Memories Part 1: The Gathering
Southcrest Ranch, Orlando, FL:
Mark awoke with a start as Aaron pulled the covers off of him. He looked around in confusion before realizing where he was at; in a guest room at Chip and Josh’s ranch in Orlando. “Hey! I wanna sleep in!” he groaned.
Aaron giggled. “Unless you want to suffer the wrath of Aunt Jackie, I suggest you move it! She’s making breakfast right now; and if you miss it you’ll starve.”
“Jeeeeze! Let me get dressed goofball; I’ll be right down.”
“I’ll tell Aunt Jackie. We’re gonna start on the room for the twins after breakfast; Zac just got here to help.”
Mark looked puzzled. “Zac? Whatever, I’ll find out when I get down there.”
After a quick shower, Mark headed downstairs to the kitchen.
“Good morning Mark, glad you decided to join us!” Jackie announced with a smile.
“Sorry Aunt Jackie, that’s the best I’ve slept in a while.” Mark replied sheepishly.
“I understand. Grab a seat, breakfast is just about done.”
Mark sat at the table, and finally looked around at who was there. At the head of the table sat Harold Littrell. Mark had met him and Jackie last night when Aaron had brought them back from the airport. Both were looking forward to meeting their new nephews, and had already made plans for things that would be in the twin’s room before they even arrived at home. Next to Harold, Aaron and David were sharing a chair; sucking face and getting in as much cuddling as they could.
Mark’s eyes finally met the eyes of the last person at the table, and his heart began racing. Sitting there looking back at him was a god, deep brown eyes and blond hair pulled back into a pony tail. The two boys just sat staring into each others eyes, ignoring everything happening around them.
David was the first to notice the looks Mark and Zac were caught in. “Aunt Jackie, I think we have a problem!” he announced between giggles.
“Awwwww, ain’t that cute!” Jackie said as she saw the two boys locked in their stare.
Aaron looked at David. “You grab the blond, I’ll grab the newbie. Whadda you think, Uncle Harold; living room to unwind them?”
Harold chuckled. “Yeah, we need to at least get them down to earth enough to introduce them! Wait ’till Chip and Josh hear this, they are gonna lose it!”
With Harold’s help, Aaron and David managed to get the two zombies maneuvered onto a couch in the living room. Along the way, both Mark and Zac kept their eyes locked on each other.
Aaron knelt in front of them. “Earth to Mark and Zac! Come in Mark and Zac! Return to Earth immediately!”
Aaron’s voice did not even faze the two boys, so he turned to David. “Hey babe, I think we need to use Plan B; go get the ice!”
David ran back to the kitchen, and returned a minute later with Jackie following him. Her grin gave away her plans for the a pitcher of ice she was carrying.
“These two are as bad as Brian!” Jackie announced as she poured half the pitcher down the back of each boy’s shirt.
Both boys instantly came out of their trance-like state. “HEY! THAT’S COLD!” they both screamed as they jumped to their feet.
Aaron giggled. “You think you two love birds could keep from looking at each other long enough to be introduced?”
Both Mark and Zac turned beet red as they announced in unison “Lovebirds? I’m straight!”
“You might want to re-think that; from where I was standing it was love at first sight!” Jackie said with a giggle. “I haven’t had to use ice on anyone in a long time!”
“Before you two get all sappy again,” Harold added with a grin, “you should at least know who you are staring at. Mark, the long-haired blond next to you is Zac Hanson. Zac, meet Chip’s new landscaper, Mark Owens. Now that you know each other’s names, save us the suspense; kiss and get it over with!”
Both Mark and Zac turned beet red. Just as Mark was about to speak, Aaron reached from behind them and put their faces together. Nature took over, and the two began a long passionate kiss.
“I gotta call Chip!” Aaron giggled. “Wait ’till he hears how his landscaper defected and fell for a member of Hanson!”
Short Residence, Des Moines, IA:
Cory felt something warm and wet sliding up and down his shaft. At first he thought he was still dreaming, but the muffled moans from under the blanket brought him out of his post-sleep haze. He lifted the blanket, and whispered “Dang, I love it when you wake me like this Sean! Watch it, I’m close!”
A minute later, Cory began wiggling around and softly moaning. Just as he reached the point of no return, Timmy woke up and threw the blanket off that was covering the three of them.
“Ewwww! Poppa that’s GROSS! Stop eating Daddy’s pee-pee!” Timmy shouted.
Sean lifted his head in shock, and suddenly found his face covered with Cory’s semen as Cory erupted.
“DADDY! You peed on poppa! EWWW!”
Kelly was awakened by the shouting, and as soon as he realized the situation he decided that he had better rescue the embarrassed pair. “Timmy, stop pickin’ on your parents and get over here!”
Timmy weaved through the semi-awake boys in the room and pounced Kelly. “Uncle Kelly, that was GROSS! Why do they do that?”
Kelly looked over at Cory and Sean, who were still trying to salvage a shred of dignity. “I’ll tell you what, I gotta go pee, and I’m sure you do too. Let’s go hit the bathroom; after that we’ll find somewhere private to talk and I’ll explain it to you.”
“Okay, Uncle Kelly.” Timmy replied as he quickly grabbed Kelly’s hand and began dragging him towards the bathroom.
As they were leaving the room, Justy came over to Sean and Cory. “Here Sean, wipe off your face.” Justy handed Sean an old shirt. “I’ve learned to keep this with me in case of wet dreams. Be glad it wasn’t Johnny that caught you; when he caught Nick and Ash, half of Orange County knew about it before we were able to shut him up.”
“Unca’ Justy, you lie!” Johnny shouted from across the room. “Daddy says it was only half of O’lando!”
Justy grinned. “See what I mean?”
Cory regained his composure enough to groan “Mom’s gonna KILL us if he does that!”
“It’s too late to do anything about it now.” Sean said dejectedly. “I guess we all might as well get around for breakfast.”
Justy knelt down and pulled the two boys into a hug. “Cheer up, if your mom starts to freak Nicky and Ash will set her straight. It’s not the end of the world, trust me.”
Cory and Sean returned the hug, then the three of them woke up the rest of the boys. Once the full tribe was awake, they moved as a group to Cory’s room to cycle through the shower.
While Sean and Cory were waking everyone, Kelly escorted Timmy into the pool changing room. Once the door was closed and locked, he began. “Hey kiddo, we need to talk about what you saw.”
Timmy sat next to Kelly. “What was poppa doin’ to daddy’s pee-pee?”
Kelly thought for a second on how much to say. “Well, Timmy, what you saw was one of the ways your poppa and daddy show that they love each other.”
Timmy screwed his face into a grimace. “But daddy peed on poppa! That’s yucky!”
‘What the heck am I getting into!’ Kelly thought to himself before continuing. “Well Timmy, when you start to grow up some special things happen with your pee-pee. One of those things is it feels special when some things are done to it. Your pop was doing that for your daddy.”
Timmy replied “Okay, I guess. But why did Daddy pee on him, and why did it look so funny?”
Kelly smiled, the worst was over. “That was not pee, Timmy. What came out was called sperm, when someone makes you feel special thats what happens. I’ll bet your daddy was wiggling around and making funny noises just before it happened, wasn’t he?”
“Yeah, that’s what woke me up. Can you make me feel like that?”
Kelly was shocked, he did not expect that question. “Umm, actually Timmy you gotta grow up some before you are ready for that. Right now it would hurt.”
“Why don’t it hurt when Daddy does it?”
“Because his privates have started changing to be a man. Until your Daddy and Pop say its okay, you should not let anyone play with your privates. If you want to do something like that ask them first, they will tell you if it is okay.”
Timmy smiled. “Thanks Unc’a Kelly. What should I do if they do it again?”
Kelly smiled. “Wait ’till they are done, then roll over and join in their hug. Whatever you do, don’t scare them!”
Timmy giggled. “Okay. Thanks!”
Kelly opened the door, and Timmy ran out into the kitchen. Just as Kelly entered the room, he heard the one thing he did not warn Timmy about.
“Gran’ma! I woke up and saw Poppa kissin’ Daddy’s pee-pee! Then Daddy squirted spermzies on Poppa’s face!” Timmy announced excitedly. “Unca’ Kelly says I will be able to do that when I grow up!”
Kelly scrambled to prevent any more damage. “TIMMY! I forgot to tell you, THAT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU BRAG ABOUT! It’s between you and your parents!”
Timmy bowed his head down and began sobbing. “Sorry.”
Ashley had been sitting at the breakfast bar. “Come here, Timmy. You don’t need to cry kiddo, it was an honest mistake. Johnny did the same thing to Nick and me; you are not gonna get in trouble.”
Nick quickly intercepted Terri as she headed angrily towards the stairs. “Hold on, Mom. Listen up for a minute before you fly off the handle! This was bound to happen sooner or later, at least it happened while we were here to help with damage control. You can be glad of one thing; by the time we caught up with Johnny, he was getting off the phone with Aunt Jackie after telling her ALLLLL about it! I bet if you talk to Kelly you’ll find out he’s got it all covered, he just forgot to tell Timmy not to brag.”
Teri looked at Nick, anger still in her eyes. “Why couldn’t they do it in private?”
“Mom, think about it. Right now they have to share a room until your new house is done. On top of that, Timmy has attached himself to Cory and gets antsy if Cory leaves him to use the bathroom. They are parents now, which means no privacy. Trust me, they both feel lousy right now, chewing them out won’t help. Ash and I have been there, I promise they feel low as a worm unless one of the guys has made them realize it was gonna happen anyway.”
Teri looked over at her grandson cuddled on Ash’s lap, then back at Nick. “I hope you’re right, I just don’t want Timmy to develop a complex. I’ll find out what Kelly said, then all of us will sit down later.”
Nick visibly relaxed. “Thanks, Mom; you won’t regret it.”
Nick then turned to Kelly. “Hey Kel, why don’t you take the rugrat up to his parents? I bet they are worried about him.”
Kelly retrieved Timmy from Ashley, and headed for the stairs. As he passed Nick, he whispered “Thanks Nicky; I had no idea what to do.”
Nick rustled Kelly’s hair. “No problem, Kelly. I gotta look out for my little bros.”
Upstairs in the bedroom, Cory and Sean were cuddling on their bed while waiting for the rest of the boys to get ready. “I hope Timmy is gonna be okay,” Cory whispered.
“Me too. I feel bad now, he was really freaked.”
Jamie walked over and sat next to them. “Y’all should know better than to try having a private conversation with us around! Don’t worry about Timmy, Jacob just checked on him and he was fine.”
Sean reached an arm over and pulled Jamie into their cuddle. “Thanks, bro. I’m definitely not gonna do that again while Timmy is sleeping with us.”
Jamie shook his head. “Kelly handled that already, trust me. Timmy was just surprised, he understands now.”
Sean started to argue, but just then Kelly came in the room with Timmy on his back. Once they were in the room, Timmy climbed down and stood in front of his parents with his head hung low.
“Daddy, Poppa, I’m sorry for ‘mbar’sing you. I didn’t mean to. Do you still love me?” he said, tears forming in his eyes.
Cory motioned to Sean, and they both got up and knelt in front of Timmy. Cory lifted the boy’s chin. “Nothing will stop us from loving you, Timmy. Daddies make mistakes sometimes, we should not have done that with you there. We’re not mad at you, and we’ll never do that again when you are sleeping with us, okay? Come here and give us a hug, son.”
Timmy threw himself at his parents. “Thank you Daddy! Please don’t make Poppa stop showin’ he loves you. Unca’ Kelly told me why he did that, I’ll sleep with Gran’ma so he can love you if you don’t want me here.”
Sean gave a start. “Timmy, we ALWAYS want you with us, we just don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. If I have to choose between doing stuff with your Daddy and the three of us cuddling together at night, I’ll choose the cuddling every time. There is no way I’m ever gonna allow you to feel like you are not allowed to cuddle with us.”
Timmy gave Sean then Cory both a big hug. “You can still do stuff. Unca’ Kelly told me just to look the other way, then I can cuddle with you after you are done.”
Cory smiled. “We’ll see about that, bud. Right now, I think you need to get a shower so we can all go eat breakfast.”
Timmy grinned. “Okay, Daddy. Can you and Poppa take it with me? I ain’t never took a shower before; I always take baths.”
Cory giggled. “Sure thing, kiddo. Let’s hurry up though, I’m getting hungry.”
Sean pointed Kelly towards the other bathroom, and then the three boys disappeared into the shower.
Justy looked around the room at the remaining tribe members. “Hey guys, let’s all wait until they are back here before we go down. This is gonna be the last time for a while that we will all eat breakfast together.”
Everyone agreed, and they all settled down discussing the last weeks events among themselves. Suddenly Jacob and Jamie started giggling, followed quickly by Justy.
“What’s so funny?” Kelly asked as he walked in the room with a towel wrapped around his waist.
Justy managed to answer between giggles. “You really started something! Timmy is asking ALL kinds of questions about Cory and Sean’s privates right now – he’s driving them NUTS!”
Kelly joined the rest of the group as they all began giggling. “I kinda figured the little rugrat was gonna do that!”
A minute later, Timmy came flying out of the bathroom, nude and still soaking wet. “BONZAI!” Timmy screamed as he launched himself at Kelly.
The next thing Kelly knew, he was laying on the floor with his towel down at his feet. “What was that for?” He asked Timmy in shock.
“That’s for callin’ me a rugrat!” Timmy exclaimed gleefully as he began tickling Kelly. A wrestling match began, with Kelly putting up just enough resistance to make it fair.
Cory and Sean walked out of the bathroom carrying a towel, and busted into laughter when they saw what their son was doing. “Timmy! We meant AFTER you were dried off and dressed!” Cory managed in between breaths. “Get over here and dry off, kiddo.”
“Okay, Daddy.” Timmy giggled as Kelly rolled him over and knelt across him. Timmy looked at Kelly, and suddenly exclaimed “WOW! Look Unca’ Kelly! You got a hair by your pee-pee! You’re startin’ to get furry like Daddy is!”
“Where!” Kelly exclaimed, forgetting where he was and who he was talking to.
Timmy reached up with both hands, using one to hold down Kelly’s penis to see better and the other to trace the fine quarter-inch long dark hair centered over the top of it. “Right here. You see it?”
Everyone in the room gathered around to witness the most important event in a boys’ life. Timmy proudly pointed it out to each of them, bragging about how his Unca’ Kelly was a big boy now.
As the older boys congratulated Kelly, Timmy sat up and wrapped his arms around Kelly’s waist, giving him a tight hug. He noticed that Kelly was hard, so he carefully stood up to whisper in Kelly’s ear. “Unca’ Kelly, I think your spermies are tryin’ to get out. Daddy says big boys rub themselves to let them out, you better go help them. You can carry me so nobody sees it.”
Kelly hugged his new nephew, and picked him up to head to the bathroom. Just as they reached the door, Timmy slid down and Kelly hurried in, quickly closing the door behind him.
“Hey Nature Boy, get over here and get dressed already!” Cory giggled. Timmy started to head for his daddy, when he saw Kelly’s clothes were still sitting on the dresser. “One second, daddy. Unca’ Kelly needs his clothes.” Timmy grabbed the pile and slipped into the bathroom, coming out a minute later with a big smile.
“What’s the smile for?” Cory asked as he grabbed Timmy and began dressing him.
Timmy blushed then whispered to Cory. “Unca’ Kelly was wipin’ up when I went in. He said I was a big boy too, ’cause I helped him not be em’barr’sed. ‘Specially since he just squirted his first spermies.”
Cory hugged his son. “You’re pretty special, did you know that? That’s why Poppa and I both love you.” He then kissed Timmy’s forehead and then slipped a tee shirt over his head. “Get your shoes on, it’s time to head down to eat.”
Kelly walked out of the bathroom, this time fully dressed. Cory went over and gave him a hug. “Way to go, bro! Timmy told me, congrats!”
Kelly returned the hug. “Thanks, I almost didn’t make it. When Timmy slid off me, I just about lost it right there. I would’a been soooo embarrassed if I had shot on him!”
“Don’t worry about it, with all of the touching I was surprised you didn’t shoot. Let’s go eat.”
The tribe assembled in the hallway and headed down the stairs, Cory and Sean in the lead with Timmy riding on Cory’s back. As they walked into the kitchen, Nick looked over at them with a big grin.
“Welcome to parenthood! Sucks getting’ caught, don’t it!” Nick announced loudly.
Before Sean or Cory could respond, Justy yelled out, “Eight and under, your target is Nicky – ATTACK!”
Before Nick could move out of the way, the first wave hit. Kyle and Ty knocked him out of the chair, and as soon as he hit the floor the second wave consisting of Robbie, Johnny, and Timmy slammed into him. Ashley just sat in his chair, holding his stomach in laughter. “I TOLD ya’ it wasn’t a good idea to do that! You REALLY need to start listening!”
Chip and Josh were just sitting back with Teri watching the entertainment. Chip waved Cory and Sean over to them. “Guys, I’m not gonna make fun of you, but I want to know if you learned anything this morning,” Chip asked seriously.
The boys looked at the three adults in front of them. It was obvious that Chip had been elected to speak for all of them. Cory responded slowly. “Yeah, Uncle Chip. This parent stuff ain’t all it’s cracked up to be! I understand now why they said in school sex can wait. Once you got a kid, you gotta consider him whenever you do anything. I wouldn’t give up Timmy for nuthin’, but I guess we still need to learn what to do around him.”
Chip nodded his head, and then looked at Sean.
“Cory was speaking for both of us. Timmy’s a smart lil’ guy; I think we need to talk to him if we think somethin’ will freak him out.”
Teri held up her hand to stop Chip from responding. “You are both right. One other thing you need to realize, though. Timmy already worships you two, and he will try anything he sees you doing. Kelly did a good job of explaining he had to wait, but it’s up to the two of you to direct him so he doesn’t try things he is not ready for. That’s your job; not mine, not Chip and Josh’s, and definitely not Kelly’s. Do I make myself clear?”
Both boys hung their heads. “Yes Ma’am.”
Just then the phone rang, and JJ ran to answer it. He took one look at the caller ID and decided to have some fun.
“Short’s Butcher Shop; where the meat is well beat!” JJ answered with a grin.
“Ummm … ahhh … shit!! JJ, I’m gonna STRANGLE you! This is Aaron, let me talk to Chip!”
JJ giggled. “Gotta catch me first, old man. Just a second!” Without pulling the phone away, JJ yelled:”HEY, UNCLE CHIP! AIRHEAD WANTS TO TALK TO YOU!”
Chip jogged over to the phone and took it from JJ. “JJ, remember he WILL see you in a couple months; you better be careful.”
“I was just funnin’ him, Uncle Chip.” JJ giggled as he ran back to the table.
Chip snickered a little bit, then spoke into the phone, “This is Chip, what you need Aaron?”
“Tell JJ if I ever get the hearing back in my other ear his scrawny little butt is mine! Did you hear how he answered the phone?”
“Nope, I’m afraid to ask!” Chip chuckled.
“Short’s Butcher Shop, where the meat is well beat!” Aaron giggled. “If Mom had heard that, she’d KILL him!”
Chip barely restrained himself from busting a gut laughing. “Settle down, Aaron. I seem to remember having to talk to you and Justy about prank calls a couple of years ago. Turnabout is fair play. Now what did you call about?”
Aaron grumbled, then brightened up as he replied. “I’ve got some bad news. Your new landscaper defected!”
“What do you mean ‘defected’?” Chip asked, suddenly very serious.
“He’s fell in love! The only problem is, it’s with Zac!”
“You say WHAT!” Chip exclaimed loudly.
“You heard me. Mark and Zac have been totally useless since the first time their eyes met. Aunt Jackie had to pour ice down their backs just so we could introduce them to each other!”
Chip was doing his best to keep from laughing. “Tell Aunt Jackie I said she can do whatever she wants to get those two working on the room. I’ll pass on the info to the rest of the tribe. Thanks, Aaron.”
“Anytime, Chip. I just wish I could see Josh’s face when he finds out!”
“Get to work! I’ll see you tonight!” Chip said with a chuckle.
“Okay, later Chip” Aaron replied, then hung up.
“What’s wrong?” Josh said as he walked up behind Chip.
Chip grinned. “Nothing serious. Mark just fell in love with Zac Hanson.”
Josh froze for a second. “WHAT?!?!”
“You heard me. Let’s go tell the tribe.”
They walked back into the dining room to find the kids in a feeding frenzy. As fast as the food appeared on their plates, it disappeared into their mouths. Chip grinned as he prepared to make the announcement. “If you human vacuum cleaners can slow down for a second, Aaron wanted me to tell you guys something!”
The boys looked at Chip, then their food, and then back at Chip as they grudgingly put their forks down.
“Thats better. It seems that Mark has defected. He has fell in love with a member of another band.”
“Whadda’ you mean, Uncle Chip?” Kyle asked in a confused voice.
“Just that; he’s fell head over heels in love … with Zac Hanson.” Chip replied.
The room fell silent, then erupted in cheers. “Mark did it, he beat the Dark Side!” Adam exclaimed with a giggle.
Teri looked at her son with a smile as she shook her head. “I think calling being straight ‘the dark side’ is kinda pushing it, don’t you think, Adam?”
Adam blushed as he sank down in his chair. “Sorry mom!”
“Hey Adam, sit on up; your Mom is just jealous of us!” Josh chuckled. “She knows that she is outnumbered here.”
Adam giggled as he sat up. “Yeah Uncle Josh, I didn’t think of that!”
Teri shot Josh a dirty look, then smiled as she shook her head. “Josh, you are incorrigible!”
The boys returned to eating, and then once they were all finished retreated into the Rec Room to spend what little time they still had together.
As noon approached, Brian walked towards Rec Room to get the boys for lunch. To the surprise of all the adults, not one of the kids had been seen since breakfast. He walked into the room and smiled at the sight in front of him. All the boys were sitting in a circle, each holding the hand of the boy next to them. They were totally silent, seemingly communicating on a higher level. Robbie slowly looked at Brian. “Hi Daddy. We don’t gotta go yet, do we?”
Brian knelt behind Robbie and softly rubbed his little shoulders. “Not yet, kiddo; but it will be soon. Right now it’s lunch time, okay?”
“Okay, Daddy. We’ll be right out.” Robbie answered as he turned back towards the circle.
Brian stood up and headed back to the kitchen. About a minute later, the boys quietly followed him and took their places in the dining room.
Helen brought the first load of food out, and noticed the mood of the boys. Even Andrew was sitting quietly. “Listen up all of you!” she announced. “This is not the end of the world, you will all be seeing each other again soon. I will not have a bunch of sad faces at my table, is that clear? You are all still boys, and I expect you to act like boys.”
Everyone at the table, adult and child, looked at Helen in shock. Justy was the first to respond. “Sorry Helen, I guess we all just are still thinkin’ about what we’ve been discussing. My lil’ bros were helping out, and we all have been going through what has happened with all of us in the last few weeks. It’s kinda hard to be happy after seeing what some of these guys were rescued from.”
Helen walked up behind Justy and caressed his shoulders. “I can’t say I know what everyone has been through, but I can say that it is in the past. It is fine to learn about and learn from the past, but don’t let it bring you down so it ruins the present. What happened in the past is what makes now possible. I lost my son in the past, but due to that I not only got him back, but gained an entire family. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was thank God for the blessing of giving me this wonderful family as He returned my son to me. After lunch, I expect to see ALL of you boys out at the pool having fun, you have spent enough time in the past. Now lets eat.”
The lunch was quieter than normal, but there were still some giggles and small jokes. As the boys finished and waited to be excused, Teri stood up “Could I have everyones attention! I remember the first night that this family gained it’s new members. Out of necessity, I allowed the group to skinny dip. This afternoon, the pool is reserved for the kids only, and I’m going to declare it a suit-free zone. For those who don’t know, the house rules are you must be wearing something in the house anywhere past the changing room. Go have fun, guys; and remember there are little ones with you, so don’t do anything they shouldn’t see or do.”
The boys ran for the pool, tossing their clothes into the changing room as they ran past. In no time, they had a game of water tag going, staying in the shallow end so the little ones could play too.
After a bit, Cory noticed that Timmy seemed to be tiring, so he called out to the others. “Hey guys, take a break! The kids are wearing out!”
Everyone headed to the mat by the fence, since it was in the shade. Cory and Sean sat against the fence first, then Timmy climbed onto Cory’s lap, snuggling against his shoulder, and soon fell asleep. Johnny stretched across Justin, Jacob, and Jamie’s laps, and was soon out of it as well. Rusty sat between Jeffy and Sammy; once Robbie saw how Johnny was laying, he decided to do the same with them. Adam and JJ sat next to Cory and Sean, and soon found Kyle and Tyler snuggling on their laps as well. Andrew squeezed in between JJ and Sammy, while Kelly filled the space between Jeffy and Jacob. Soon all of them were fast asleep, one continuous bundle of naked boys.
About a half hour later, they were all woke up when Helen came out with a tray full of Iced Teas. “Hey sleepyheads, time’s a wasting. Have a drink, then get back to playing.”
She handed each boy a drink, just in case they would be embarrassed standing. She made sure Rusty got the only drink in a blue glass, and then she headed back into the house.
Justy took a swallow, then turned to Kelly. “Man, your mom was pretty cool about us bein’ naked, Kelly. She didn’t stare, make a comment, or nothing!”
Kelly giggled. “That’s ’cause she’s used to me. Before I got taken away, as soon as I got home from school the MOST I ever had on was underwear until I had to leave the house again or someone visited.”
Jacob said softly “Our old dad used to make us do that.”
Kelly put an arm around Jacob. “The difference is that I was naked ’cause I wanted to be, and nobody was doin’ things to me. You guys had something good and fun turned into something bad by someone who was using you. Don’t let what he did to you ruin the good and fun stuff, okay?”
Jacob reached his arm around Kelly and smiled as he returned the one-armed hug. “Okay, Kelly. Thanks for tellin’ me that, I feel lots better now.”
Cory spoke up. “You know, I think what Kelly just said goes for all of us. Each of us has had bad things happen, and if we let it get to us we’ll hurt ourselves. Kelly, if you had any doubts about being part of the tribe, forget them. You just proved you are one of us.”
Johnny interrupted the conference. “Unca’ Justy, could you take me down the slide?”
“Sure, munchkin. Let’s get wet!” Justy answered with a smile.
Shortly their was a line for the slide, as the youngest boys rotated through their favorites to get rides down the slide.
Two hours later, they were still going strong as Nick came out to the pool deck. As soon as Johnny saw him, Nick found his arms full of a naked wet boy. “Daddy! We’ve been slidin’ down the slide! It’s awesome!”
Nick smiled warmly at his son. For the first time in Johnny’s short life, he had family close to his own age to play with. Nick hated to have to end this, but was satisfied with the fact that within the next couple of months his son would never be without these boys to give him support ever again. “Johnny, as much as I hate to say it, it’s time for y’all to get dressed and get ready. Uncle Chip says we gotta leave soon.”
Johnny pouted for a second, then his face lit up. “Okay, Daddy. When everyone comes home, can we swim nekked in our pool?”
Nick hugged his little angel. “If the weather’s good we’ll see, okay kiddo?”
Nick turned towards the door, and called over his shoulder. “C’mon guys, time to head in.” He then carried Johnny inside to get dressed.
To Teri’s surprise, the goodbyes went fairly well. There were quite a few ‘see ya soon’ and quiet tearful hugs, but it seemed that the boys had all settled their goodbyes throughout the day. She cried a few tears herself when Jamie and Jacob came up to her.
“Aunt Teri, thanks for savin’ us.” Jamie said as he hugged her. Jacob joined the hug, and added “Without you we wouldn’t have our new Daddy and Pop. Even though we’re going away, we still love you.”
Teri hugged both boys tightly. “I love you too, guys. Take care of yourselves, we’ll see you in a couple months, okay?”
“Okay.” they both sniffled. They gave her one last squeeze, then headed over to join Chip and Josh.
Next in line was Justy. “Aunt Teri, thanks for givin’ me my new brothers. Even more, thanks for givin’ Aaron his life back. Until this week, I kinda took Dad and Pop’s love for granted, but now I realize that they are even greater than I thought. I learned a lot from you, and I can’t wait till you come home.” Justy threw his arms around Teri and gave her a huge hug.
Teri choked out a response. “Thanks, angel. Take care of your new brothers, I just know that you are gonna be the best thing that has ever happened to them.”
As Justy walked away, Teri wiped the tears from her eyes. As her vision cleared, she saw Rusty and Robbie standing there waiting for her. She knelt down to be on Robbie’s level, and motioned the boys to join her.
“Thanks for makin’ us stay at Denny’s, Teri.” Rusty began as they both hugged her. “I kinda used to have a crush on Curly, but now he’s gonna be my Dad someday soon. You’re the best!”
Teri smiled. “Take care of your new daddies, guys. They both love you very much, and are very proud of you. If you need to talk just call me, okay?”
“Yeah.” both boys said in unison. They then gave her one more hug before joining their new families.
The last one in line surprised Teri – it was Nick. “Hey Mom, you didn’t honestly think I’d leave without a thanks, did you?”
“Actually Nick, I kinda figured you would want to say something.” Teri replied with a smile.
“When Kev first told me about you while he was bouncing off the walls about having another brother, I was skeptical about what you were really like. You not only impressed me, you gave my lil bro a life back; for that you are a goddess! You are a very special person, Mom; God blessed all of us when he brought you into the family. Ash and I are both anxious to have you move down home, this last week has made me realize what Aaron and I were missing growing up, and I look forward to making up for it. For the first time, Johnny has family his age to play with; family he would never have if it wasn’t for you.”
Teri hugged Nick. “Even when Dan told me y’all were coming, I had no idea how it would change my life. Don’t sell yourself short, Nick; Aaron would not have made it this far if it wasn’t for you being there to support him. Take care of your husband and son; you are truly the light of their lives.”
“Thanks Mom.” Nick replied as he gave her a squeeze and then rejoined his family.
The rest of the adults finished their goodbyes, with a long tearful hug between Dan and Kevin being the final touch on the temporary parting.
Dan looked at the lifeless group of boys sprawled around the Rec room floor. For the last three hours, since Chip left with everyone going back to Orlando, the boys had not moved. Sean, Cory, and Timmy were leaning against the chair, Adam and JJ were cuddled in front of the TV, Kyle and Ty had staked out a corner by the doorway. Andrew, Kelly, Jeffy and Sammy were half-heartedly playing a game of Monopoly; but even they were subdued in their reactions to the game. John walked up behind Dan and began massaging his shoulders.
“Hey babe; I can see how the kids are taking this, what about you?” John asked with concern.
“I’m dealing. This last week has been a real eye-opener. A week and a half ago, my biggest concerns were how Cory and Kyle were doing at the home when I wasn’t there, and worrying about JJ getting outed at school. Since then, I’ve lost my wife, gained a boyfriend, been reunited with family I didn’t know I had, gained another son and two stepsons, and basically went from being a kid shrink barely making it to being one of the most influential child psychologists in the Federation. I kinda understand the boy’s mood right now, it’s all starting to catch up to me too.”
John reached down and hugged Dan from behind. “I know what you mean, this last week has turned all of our lives upside down. Thing is, I would do it all again seeing as to what the end result is. Between my new job and my new sons, it was well worth it. Having you is just the icing on the cake, I just wish we didn’t have to lose Sharon for all of this to happen.”
Dan patted John’s arm. “I agree, hon. I think Helen put it right at lunch today; sometimes we need to go through the bad things for the good things to happen. Now, you got any ideas to liven up this bunch? They are getting depressing!”
Just as John started to respond, Kyle got a surprised look on his face, then broke into a huge grin. “KEWL! Jamie and Jacob say they’re at their new home, and it’s HUGE!!!”
All of the boys immediately jumped up and gathered around Kyle. “What’s their new room like?” Timmy asked excitedly.
Kyle concentrated for a second, then replied. “They say it’s as big as this room, it’s got bunk beds and a buncha’ Yu-Gi posters all over the walls. Jacob says Aunt Jackie and Uncle Harold are gonna take them toy shopping in about fifteen minutes.” Kyle then started giggling. “Jamie thinks Mark and his new boyfriend Zac are goofy. They just finished supper, and the two of them were feeding each other!”
That immediately lightened the mood, as Kyle and Cory both fell to the floor laughing, while the rest of the boys fell into a serious giggle fit. Even John and Dan chuckled at the image that appeared in their minds.
Just then Teri walked in. “What’s so funny?” she asked.
Dan answered between chuckles. “Kyle is talking to Jamie and Jacob. They just described how Mark is doing with his new boyfriend. They were feeding each other over supper!”
“Oh my God!” Teri chuckled. “Poor Chip, I feel sorry for him! Andy, could you come here a minute?”
Andy stood up and walked over to Teri. “Yeah, Teri; wazzup?”
“I just got off the phone with your Dad. Your Grandma is sick and needs someone there for a while, and I’m supposed to ask you if you want to go with your parents or stay here with us. Before you answer, Cecil said that he thinks you should stay here so you can finish school, but the final decision is yours.”
“What’s wrong with Grandma?” Andrew asked in a concerned voice.
“It’s nothing bad. She slipped and cracked the bone in her hip. She’s gonna be fine, but needs some help until it heals again.”
Andrew visibly relaxed. “Okay. Dad’s right, I should finish school here, even though I really don’t want to. Are you sure it’s okay for me to stay here? It’s gonna be kinda crowded.”
Before Teri could answer, Cory spoke up. “Hey Carrot-top; you are a member of the Tribe! That means you ALWAYS have a place here, right guys?”
The resounding ‘YEAH’ was deafening. “Does that answer your question, Andy?” Dan chuckled.
“Besides,” Kelly chimed in, “I need you here to hang with when all these goofballs decide to start suckin’ on each others tonsils!”
The next thing Kelly knew, he was buried under a pile of kids, all giggling as they tried to tickle him. “Truth hurts, don’t it?” he giggled from the bottom of the pile.
John chuckled. “Dan, I think they are back to normal. Watch what you wish for, you might get it!”
Teri grabbed the two men and headed for the kitchen. “Let them be, a good wrestling match is just what they need.”
A few minutes later, the boys settled back down. Cory sat back with a grin. “Hey, why are we sittin’ in here? Sean, where’s your soccer ball?”
“In the coat closet, why?”
“Grab it, I feel like a soccer game. Last one out to the front yard is goalie!” Cory then grabbed Timmy and ran for the front door.
When Helen went out to get the boys for supper, the game had turned into a free-for-all; teams were nonexistent. She smiled when she noticed all the boys made a conscious effort to ensure Timmy was included in the game. “BOYS!” she shouted. “I hate to ruin your fun, but it’s time to get inside and get ready for supper.”
The boys started to complain, but as soon as they heard food mentioned they stormed inside and fought for space in the bathroom to get cleaned up.
‘If anyone even suggests these boys ain’t normal, this proves them wrong!’ Helen thought to herself as she followed them inside.
Once the food was served, it was obvious the depression from their new family leaving had not affected the boy’s appetites. Dan, John, Teri, and Helen had to fight to make sure they got any food. Cory made a point of making sure Timmy got his share of the food, threatening anyone who tried to take the pieces of chicken that Timmy wanted. After supper, the boys retreated into the Rec Room and put Harry Potter in the DVD player.
After the movie, Cory looked at the sleepy group around him. “Hey guys, lets hit the sack. Timmy, c’mon up and we’ll get ready.”
Teri looked in on the boys an hour later. They were all laying crossways on the bed clothed in just their chosen underwear. Timmy was safely nestled between Cory and Sean, Kyle and Ty were cuddled between JJ and Adam, and Jeffy and Sammy had managed to sneak between Kelly and Andy.
As she turned to leave, Helen walked up and looked past her. “They look like a group of angels!” Helen whispered to Teri.
“They are angels,” Teri replied, “every single one of them. If half the people in the world could have unconditional love the way those boys do, war would be a distant memory.”
Helen smiled. “Just remember, Teri, they learned it from you. The new boys are learning it too, they are just giving back what you have given them.”
“Thanks Helen, just remember you have done the same for Kelly. Lets hit the sack, when they are hungry in the morning you will forget them looking like angels!”