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The Redemption, Book 2

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 35

*-* Friday, Nathan's POV *-*

Donnie called his folks to see if he could spend the rest of the day with us. He received permission and the perfunctory "Be good, don't be a pest" warning. His reply was simple and to the point, "I'm always good. See ya tomorrow." Standard reply... we knew it all too well.

We headed to my room, closed the door, turned on the X-Box, played and goofed off for a while. I couldn't keep my eyes open, neither could Donnie. Without fanfare we crawled onto my bed. I thought for a moment since we didn't have any sheets covering the mattress.... while I was thinking that I should get up, sleep took over.

Sometime later, I woke up and lifted my head to read the clock. Donnie had rolled over onto his stomach. He was awake and was idly playing with my hair. The clock read 12:15. I couldn't belief it so I looked again: 12:16. The AM light wasn't illuminated so that had to mean it was afternoon, already.

Donnie urged his leg under my belly then between efforts by both he and I, I ended up on top of his stomach and chest. I laid my head on his chest. He began rubbing my back with his hands all the while repositioning himself so that we were intimately joined. He said, "Good morning... err, good afternoon there sleepy head." He then reached down and kissed the top of my head.

I raised my arm up just enough so that my hand stroked his cheek, and then let it plop down on his neck. He snickered then pushed his hips up so that his pubic mound pushed against mine. I was already very hard from a need to relieve my bladder. He was hard too, very hard indeed.

"Are you okay, Nathan?" Donnie said softly.

I nodded into his neck, took in a deep breath and started to say something but the thought of what I'd say eluded my sleep fogged mind. The only intelligent thing was, "Yeah, I'm good. How about you?"

"I'm good too. I sure slept hard."

Now that elicited a snort from me. I pushed my pubes into his and wiggled them twice. He giggled. I looked into his face. His eyes were closed lazily. He was wearing a little grin; the same little upturned one that he usually displays to the world. I reached in, kissed his cheek and laid my head back down, relishing our closeness.

"How's your butt?" Donnie asked with concern in his voice. I looked up again... his eyes were open, and his smile was gone.

I snickered lazily. "My butt is very much here." I patted my butt with my hand the lazily returned to where from it had come from.

"That's not what I meant, oh goofy one. I mean, are you sore back there?"

I squeezed my cheeks with the muscles closely related to the opening closing the back door. Tender, very tender, stinging tender, "Uhh... yeah... it's okay though... yours?"

"The same... I could definitely get used to it ya know."

"Me too. It's all good." I said, moving up so that our faces were together. Tenderly, with his lips beckoning for some attention I touched them with mine, "I never thought I would feel this way with another guy... really I didn't... Donnie?"


"How come you you're so different from your sister? I mean I didn't feel all peaceful and stuff with her... I'm not too sure I'm saying it right..."

"Nathan, she's always been a bitch. She only looks out for herself. You're not the first person she's ever hurt... I tried to tell ya... I really wanted to just tell you flat out... but something inside of me told me to keep my mouth shut for the most part... she's whacked."

I laid my head down, listened to his heart beating inside his chest, then raised up, and said after thinking of our new friendship which was actually becoming much, much more, "Let's not keep secrets between us... first, we're friends... I don't want to keep things from you... I've really never had a real meaningful friendship... ya know?"

"I've had friends come and go... or I thought they were friends. In the end though they weren't really friends... they were just some people that we hung out with. Okay... I can do it."

With that said he put his arms around my chest, inside my arms, and pulled me in tight. I reached my arms around his body, held it firmly and then at the same time kissed his lips in solidarity, rested, and soaked in his aroma that was strong but not overly so, and certainly not less than kewl.

"Gotta pee."

"Me too." I said then looked at the clock... it read 1:45pm.

*-* Timmy's POV *-*

I'd gone to bed last night all excited that Joey and Skeeter would want me to be their best man... but what was a best man? It was something to do with a wedding or something... I'd never been to a wedding before... and how could two guys get married? It's not legal, nobody recognizes it, and besides all those fucking churches say everything, and I mean everything is wrong, immoral, sickening, fattening, or way outside there from reality.

I mean look at me... who would ever think a punk, street fucking whore like me would ever live in a house like that, and with a family who only wanted to give the very best, and to help me along to grow up to be somebody.

I was going to have to get up to pee real shortly but for a few moments I got to thinking about LaShawn and how we used to hang around and trick on our own on Bourbon street, to make a few bucks of our own to have and to spend as we chose, to do what we wanted to do. Since we were a team we always went together and worked together as a pair. The idiots we worked for during the day thought they were punishing us by having us fuck together on camera like it was something we didn't want to be doing... but little did they really know – they were a bunch of dumb fucking assholes.

Yeah, LaShawn's penis took some serious getting used to, and much to the film crew's dismay he took his time with me. He never ever just banged the hell out of me without me saying it was okay, usually after he'd been in the hole for a while, when I was relaxed.

Little did the Mauer's know that I was actually from Georgia. I'd come to Chicago because I had received a lead that perhaps LaShawn was in the area but the lead ended up being a nothing. I had planned, before getting sick and beat the fuck up, to head for New Orleans since that was where we'd met, and cheap as it was, where we were building a life together... if only in our minds.

Thinking about him always got me going... as I brushed away the tears from my eyes with a corner of the bed sheet I had this feeling that he was deeply imbedded within me as we'd done so many, many times in the past. I closed my eyes, not tightly mind you, and imagined him making love to me, how he would touch my lips with his, how he would kiss each side of my face, neck and ears, which drove me wild, and all the while he would gently yet urgently bring us to conclusion.

Totally oblivious to all that surrounding me I took hold of my pillow, brought it to my chest and then hugged it close, and then a few minutes later with my mind totally getting into 'us' I sprayed, dripped and dribbled that which is produced by the male species. I hadn't even touched myself -there-.

Just as I was getting up and leaning over to get my shorts to put on mom stuck her head in the door to my bedroom. She smiled, "Hi sweetie, did you sleep okay?"

"Oh yeah." I said reaching for those cloth fibers to wipe away the evidence of carnal passions that had transmitted from that which designates me as male to the pillow, my tummy and pubes. One thing about my ability to shoot was the fact that it was still clear, thin and only slightly stringy so I didn't think she would be able to see the evidence. I reached down, retrieved them and then quickly brought them up and over my front and back sides.

"Be right back... don't go anywhere." I said then scurried into the bathroom, closed the door, whipped it out, and took care of the urgent need to relieve myself. I used toilet paper to wipe away the evidence, washed my hands, dried them good and walked out. She was in the kitchen gathering up her stuff to take to work.

"Go wake your brother, tell him they need to get up and get with it. If they give you a hard time just tell them I sent you to do my dirty deed."

"Kewl. Okay, mom, see ya later. Are ya going to be working late?"

"Don't know yet. I'm on call so it'll probably be busy. Dad should be home around 5 or so. Okay, little one, I've gotta scoot. Have fun."

I love her. She's kewl people. I don't know why my other mom hated me but she must have just been full of shit because these people were really treating me nice, like they wanted me around.

Once she was out the door I walked to Joey's room. He and Skeeter were awake and changing the sheets on Joey's bed. "Hey squirt." Joey said.

"Squirt my ass." I said with an ornery twist on the tone of my voice.

Skeeter looked at Joey then to me. They then cracked up, and then from out of the blue Joey grabbed one of his many pillows and tossed it hitting me in the face.

The war was on.

I held my own until they both got me down on the floor and began tickling my chest and belly unmercifully. I used the 'I gotta pee' trick - that got them off of me.

We all took a shower together in companionable silence, dried, got dressed, did our hair (actually Joey did mine), brushed teeth, ate bowls of Raisin Bran, and then decided to go to the park to shoot some hoops. I was getting better but still was no match for them.

Jeff and his friends Jack and Stan joined us. Although I wasn't very good I definitely had fun with them. Joey and Skeeter, when they were finished, said they were going back to house and for me to come when I was finished.

Those guys were pretty kewl and they showed me how to shoot swishers even though I wasn't anywhere near as tall as they were... nevertheless it was all fun and I learned some new tricks that worked out really well.

I learned that Jeff was 16, his friend Stan was 17 and the other friend Jack was 19. They looked mighty fine with the sheen of sweat dripping down their faces, necks, chests and abs.

We were hot and sweaty from exertions at the basketball court so Jeff invited us to his place for Cokes and to cool off in the air conditioning. I called Joey when it was decided that we were going to play video computer games and goof off for a while. He said for me to be home by 6. It was 1:30. I told Joey that I'd forgotten to get Nathan up. He said he'd take care of it because our brother and Donnie still weren't awake, that he knew of anyway.

I followed into Jeff's house last, which was just fine because I was seriously enjoying the view from behind. For being older guys their butts were uhm, well, very nice visual pieces. Also, it was very obvious that Stan and Jack were commando, and that they had nice equipment beneath those silk shorts they were wearing half on and half off their hips. I also noted their lightly scattered treasure trails that entered those shorts they were wearing.

Much to my dismay Stan turned to face me... he caught me staring. He smiled then turned away and walked into the living room where Jeff and Jack had already gone leaving me there alone, which wasn't any problem whatsoever because they were getting down onto the floor, and I needed to adjust my bits. The legs of their shorts rode up high on their thighs which created an opening that clearly showed and allowed their balls to fall free into mid air.

I felt my pulse quicken at least 40 notches so I joined them and laid on my stomach so that my bone was not on full display.

We played video games for a while. They beat my socks off but we had fun. It could be too that they were seriously razzing me when it was my turn to play, doing such things as tickling my sides, belly, neck, then Stan got serious and began snapping the back waistband of my shorts, and then they all acted all big and tough like when they pinned me on my back and depantsed me.

They looked at each other and then without hesitation lowered their shorts and kicked them aside. At first I got really afraid because they were all boned up and appeared ready for some fun and games... but instead we got involved in playing some more video games. My fears were unfounded yet the fear I had been feeling turned to desire.

When I got killed I asked for and received directions to Jeff's restroom. I walked in, closed the door and took care of 'preparing' myself for what I really wanted to do, but only if they were interested. I got in the shower and took a quick one just to get the sweat and smell off of me.

I returned to the living room. They were lying around just talking. Jeff said, "We quit. It wasn't any fun because we couldn't beat you."

Their eyes got as big as saucers when I reached down and tweaked my already hard maleness. I asked, "Wanna have some fun?" I then got down on the floor and splayed my legs up and open over my chest and began fingering my hole. I really wanted to get to know those guys better.

Jack, the oldest said that he needed to leave. He reached for his shorts but I beat him to them. I stood in front of him and said, "If I can handle 16 dudes having their turns with me then I damn sure can handle you guys, all three of ya. I'd like for you guys to take turns, and Jeff the only thing that I ask is that you guys wear raincoats, if you know what I mean."

They were slow to react so taking matters into my own hands, so to speak, I knelt down in front of Jack and worked his penis into a fully upright state. The boy was begging. Meanwhile, Jeff got down onto the floor with me. We tag teamed Jack's pole of pleasure until he was whining but then I pulled Jeff away, grabbed the tube of lube, worked my fingers fast and seriously until I was wide open. I then slicked Jack until I thought he was ready but not too far cuz I wanted him to load me up.

I grabbed his penis and led him to the sofa where I laid down on my back and brought up my legs so that there would be full access. I said, "I want you guys to take turns. Don't pop your nut before I say you can. Jeff, you're first. I want you and Stan to do me so that I'll be ready for Jack... geezus kahrist, what are you, 8 or 9 inches?" I asked Jack.

He replied, "Eight and three quarters... kid I can't do this to you... it'll rip you in half... hell even my girlfriend complains..."

Jeff worked me up good... his thing was probably 6.5 to 7.0 inches. Stan's was thin but it was long. I took both of them easily, Stan's better than Jeff's... maybe I should have had Stan go first... but I was definitely okay, taking it all in stride.

Jack was an entirely different matter. Several times he went to quit... yet I wanted him inside of me... Jeff and Stan had only barely touched the surface of the itch I was feeling deep, deep, and way up there. I couldn't relax properly. I knew I could take him... I just couldn't relax enough.

Jeff asked, "Do you really want to take that?" He pointed to Jack's pole that was standing straight out from his body.

I nodded then pulled my legs all the way up as far as they would go. Jeff had an idea... he urged Stan to take one of my legs and he would take the other. They would hold them up, but not too far up, and then he told me to totally relax, to not even think about my legs. I closed my eyes and willed myself to relax. I fingered myself some more... pulling firmly against my butt lips until I was totally and completely wide open. I opened my eyes and nodded to Jack. He got down on his knees but before he poised he passed across my stomach on his way up, up, up until his face was directly over mine. He then kissed me tenderly. He let me lead on how much we kissed and played tongue tag. He was very kind and gentle with his oral ministrations, and at the same time I felt his thing against my back door... valiantly I fought off the urge to push him away as his head entered that cavern that I'd used so many different times.

Finally, when he just about ready to abort the mission I told Jeff to put a towel beneath my hips and to hold it there. He found that a bit odd but did retrieve a towel from the bathroom, put it under my hips and then held it out as far as he could all the while allowing Jack to remain in position.

"Okay, it's there, now what?" Jeff asked seriously, caringly.

I replied, "Jack get ready... go ahead and put your head back in... easy, easy, easy like... that's it... kewl... okay... get ready."

I took a deep, deep, deep breath, and then bore down with every ounce of strength I could come up with... as I began slowly exhaling I said, "Go... do it now." I then gave everything, holding back nothing.

I'd continue to take deep breaths in, slowly exhale, breath in and then with one last ounce of strength said, "Go... go all the way..."

I closed my eyes ready to be ripped apart... the blast of pain never happened but then again Jack didn't pummel my ass... he moved in and out a couple of times then he backed out all the way jacked a couple of times and then nearly drowned me with his offering... it was running everywhere... quickly Stan wiped Jack's spunk away so that it wouldn't run onto the sofa.

Once Jack regained consciousness he returned to my lips where he asked over and over again if I was okay. Jeff and Stan lowered my legs so that my feet were lying flat on the floor. The problem, as I saw it at the time, was that my muscles had opened so much that my hole was gaping wide open.

Finally, after the last two spasms passed by I said, "Jeff, you're next. Just do it. Stan, you and Jack hold my legs up and make damn sure that towel is in place... I don't know what's going to happen."

Jeff, taking my cue, put on a rubber and then easily entered. I said, "Ride me hard, Jeff. Ride me hard."

And ride me hard he did. Just before he was ready to blow I pushed him away, looked at Stan... needless to say he and Jeff traded places... Stan... unfortunately blew his load into that little baggie thing before I was ready for him to blow. One thing I learned about Stan was that as soon as he cums he yanks out, too damn fast. That was not a very good thing to do as we would learn a little bit later on.

Jeff popped his nut within 5 seconds of reentering my entry point, or exit point, depending on the need at the time... my need at the time was entry, not exit.

I told Jeff, "Stay inside me... don't move... I've got a stomach cramp... you guys – get the towel ready just in case."

Have you ever been carried by three guys... with one of them cramming a towel inside your lower area? It's tricky to say the least. They did a perfect job... no muss no fuss.

They then got me into the shower and very tenderly washed me from the tip of my head to my little toe. I found out one more think about Jack... he loves toes. And he knows how to do it without tickling.

Almost in concert, Jeff and Stan held me firmly in their arms in such a way that I was totally and completely open to the world. Jack then very gently, caringly, and lovingly coaxed my gland into full attention then gave me the best blow job I'd ever before received from another human being. If it weren't for his mouth I am positive that the head of my penis would have blown clear off its foundation. Nobody and I mean nobody had ever taken me to that level of ecstasy, ever.

Jack then took me into his arms and carried me into the living room, laid me on the sofa and then began kissing me all over. Tears were in his eyes. He kept saying over and over again that he was sorry for hurting me. Yes, entry of his tool was very painful but I told him that he did it just right, that he didn't push the envelope by forcing himself on me. He then pulled me into his chest and began weeping bitterly, saying, "I've never had sex with a little boy before... Timmy, how old are you? Please tell me."

I kissed his lips and said, "It doesn't matter how old I am... all I can say is that you did me just perfectly. I'll tell you what... I'll never have a penis your size in me ever again. Yes, it hurt, but I'm okay. Thank you for being so gentle with me." With that said, I kissed his lips tenderly.

Jeff gathered up my shorts and put them on me.

Before I could leave I had to use the bathroom yet once again. My hole would not close no matter that I did all the tricks of the trade so I stuffed myself full of toilet paper, the absolute last resort.

Jack, the paternal or big brother dude walked me home and wouldn't leave until I was safely inside.

I went to my room, closed the door, and stripped to my skin. I turned on the light and stood in front of the full-length mirror looking, searching, wondering why oh why I acted just like the fucking whore I'd always been for as long as I could remember. I felt filthy dirty even though I was freshly showered... I'd always felt like that after a night of work. LaShawn had to scrub me down so that I didn't feel that way.

A light knock on the door interrupted my thoughts. I quickly grabbed a pair of clean underwear, got them and a pair of jeans on before answering the door. "Hey sweetie, dinner is just about ready, I hope you're hungry."

"Yup... I'll be right there." I said then snagged a t-shirt and put it on.

Dad had grilled bratwursts, roasting ears and assorted other veggies. Mom had made her special corn casserole. While we were eating dinner mom revealed that Joey's test results came back perfect, and that his chest x-ray looked good, and that my infection was healing according to plan. The news was call for celebration. Joey served his dessert on mom's fine China.

Joey and I volunteered to perform kitchen cleanup while the rest went into the living room and prepared for a board game.

However, that was not to happen. Mom was called into work, and well, the party just seemed to fizzle out. Donnie went home, and Nathan sulked and went to his room and shut the door because he was not permitted to go with his 'boyfriend'. Dad went to his office saying he had some things to do for a presentation on the following Monday.

Joey and Skeeter headed to their room and closed the door.

Derrick headed out. He had a hot date that night and wouldn't be home till late. Dad and him got into it a bit when dad put out an 11:00pm curfew because he'd been out all night without asking for permission, or telling them where he'd be.

I really didn't want to go to my room knowing I'd just crawl into bed and go to sleep so I lightly knocked on Nathan's door. Immediately, he answered it, smiled and invited me in. He finished his phone call then turned to me, smiled and asked, "What's up?"

"Nutten... just came here to hang with ya... but only if ya wanna." I replied hopefully.

"Kewl... do you have any homework left to do before we go back to school?" Nathan asked.

"Nope. I didn't have any. You?"

"Nope... me either. Wanna get on the computer? I'll show you how to get around..."

For the next hour he showed me all kinds of neat stuff such as the Wiki, National Geographic, The Weather Channel, and good research sites for school homework, book reports, and all that stuff. It was interesting. I learned a lot. We had a good time.

Soon enough, too soon actually, it was time to head for showers and bed. Nathan invited me to shower with him. I agreed. As we were going into the bathroom, Joey and Skeeter were already there. Joey was sitting while Skeeter was brushing his teeth so when we entered the room was quite 'busy' so to speak. I went ahead and went back to my room where I stripped to my skin and then returned. Nathan had done the same thing... so there were 4 of us totally naked guys, using the sink or the toilet. Thankfully, there were 2 sinks. I dropped the toothpaste, bent over and before I could stand back up Skeeter pulled some toilet paper from my butt... he giggled and told me that I needed to be more watchful with the paper... and then he related the comedy movie "Nine to Five" where the boss exited the restaurant restroom dragging toilet paper behind him through the place. We had a good laugh about that.

Joey and Nathan got into the shower while Skeeter hung back. He said, "Turn around... are you okay, little brother? What's with the toilet paper, dude?"

I replied, "It's okay... I was having some diarrhea today, you know... I didn't want to have an accident..."

Skeeter turned me around when I'd hesitated. I felt him tugging. He said, "Damn, Timmy, there's a lot of blood back here... are you sure you're okay? Hey Joey!"

Joey opened the door and peeked out... his hair was dripping water. Skeeter held up a piece that he'd torn off. Joey's eyes opened wide then he looked at me. I looked to the floor. He said, "Hand me a towel... Timmy... what's wrong?"

Joey turned off the shower. I handed him a towel. He said, "Nathan, dry off. Timmy has a problem." Resigned to fate I handed Nathan a second towel.

Joey tossed the towel to the floor then turned me around to face the toilet. They urged me to kneel down. I said, "I'm okay... would you guys just leave me alone!"

"Bullshit... you've got a bunch of blood back here... what happened to you?" Joey said, taking command of the situation. Without waiting for an answer he said to Nathan, "Grab me the big tweezers.

"Come on you guys... leave me alone... I don't want you back there... mom and dad said you can't force anything on me..."

"Okay, Nathan go get dad..."

"NO! No, don't get dad... okay..." I partially acquiesced and at the same time clenched my cheeks tightly closed which sent a shard of pain up through my rectum. "Okay... I'll tell you but promise me that you won't tell dad... or mom... not now... I'm kewl."

"Okay... but if you're hurt then all bets are off. Timmy, you've got a bunch of blood back here dude. What happened? Skeeter, close the door. Nathan, lay some towels under him... no wait... open the toilet... Timmy lean over on the lid... can't see, bro."

*-* Joey's POV *-*

I took care of my newest little brother by removing all the stuff he'd placed in there. I knew it all too well... been there done that... those days were over. I know that what I did next seems harsh but his sex receptacle was still wide open and therefore susceptible to leakage and other things that would embarrass him. I went to the kitchen, retrieved an ice cube, wrapped it with a kitchen towel, and then applied it to the area in general but not inside. I'd learned through experience that doing the inside could lead to a serious case of belly cramps. The trick worked as it had done for me, more than once.

"Timmy, let's go to your room so that we can talk for a while. I have some tips and pointers to give to you so that this doesn't happen again." I said caringly yet firmly. I looked to Nathan who was worried about his little brother, and said, "What I'm going to talk about applies to you also... don't you guys feel bad or anything... I had to learn this shit on my own."

We walked into his bedroom, leaving the door open since there were no 'rents around and Derrick was out and about. Timmy put on a pair of underwear and jeans and socks then sat on his bed. The look on his face told me that he was paying attention, and there was even some fear at what was going to come next. I pulled him into a sideways hug, kissed the top of his still wet head and said, "I'm learning to love you bro. The main thing is I don't want to see you hurt, or worse."

Nathan and Skeeter nodded their agreement.

Timmy said quietly, "I wanted to do it so don't get mad at them... promise me."

"No, it doesn't work that way, Timmy. I'll get mad as hell if they intentionally hurt you. Permission is one thing but if they knew better then that makes it a whole different story. Your hole isn't big enough to take a fuckin horse cock... it just isn't."

Timmy looked to the floor then he looked first to Skeeter then to Nathan and finally to me where he kept his gaze, and then said, "He apologized. He did me real gentle. He pulled out before he popped his nut... I wanted it, Joey, so don't get all pissed off and shit. It's not like he raped me or anything."

"Okay..." I looked to Skeeter... he said, "Did those guys at the basketball court do you? That one guy, and yeah I checked him out, is a big dude..."

Timmy, somewhat to my surprise, nodded and grinned. To me he said, "Uhm... he does have a horse cock for sure... they all took care of me... nobody got rough... Jack was really apologetic. He meant it."

"Okay, nobody's getting onto you... I do need to ask mom to get some steroid and antibiotic cream... don't worry... I'll keep this between us... for now... I'll work something out with her... if you don't get better in a couple of days then we need to talk to her... agreed? Let me just add this... if you don't agree then I'll have to get mom and dad involved. We're not going to have you going out and getting hurt and shit."

Nathan piped in, "We're watching your back, bro. You gotta learn to not fuck every swinging dick walkin the streets. I've seen Joey all bruised up and shit... it ain't pretty... kinda like you had happen with the ole friendly, not, cop."

Skeeter said, "They're right. I'd suggest you pay attention to them. They ain't shitting ya. We love ya, bro."

When I called mom I told her that we needed some of the cream that worked so well on tender tissues... she didn't question me... in fact she chuckled when I asked her to get the giant family sized tube or tub.

The stuff soothed all our tired and well used butts! Wonderful stuff!

*-* Saturday Morning, Joey's POV *-*

Lying sprawled eagle on top of the sheets Skeeter and I talked about this, that and everything. Nothing really important came to mind to talk about though... we were simply having idle chit chat until the last possible moment when we had to get up and around to get Skeeter to the airport for his return home which I wasn't looking forward to, not at all.

By the time we got up and out of bed and on our way to the shower we were definitely ready for a good dose of the good stuff mom had called in.

Breakfast was quick, mainly because it was 11:30 by the time we'd hit the kitchen. We needed to be on the road by 12:15 to catch the train to O'Hare.

The train ran right on time. Due to being a non-ticketed person I was not permitted to enter the gate area so we stole off to a corner. Our departure was tearful yet we were already looking forward to when school was out. We were SOOOO looking forward to the trip to Hawaii when we'd be dedicating our lives to each other, to the world, to our families, and then having loads of fun swimming, snorkeling, boating, seeing Pearl Harbor and other famous places, beaches, and whathaveyou.

As the overhead intercom called his flight we seriously damaged some lips with tearful farewells. As he passed through the security checkpoint he turned and waved and then disappeared out of sight.

I looked around... several people were looking at me... some had expressions of contempt, some had indifference written on their faces, and some more were wearing wan smiles... most of the people were going on about their way, not paying any attention.

The trip home was filled with morose thoughts and feelings; depression almost. Upon arrival, I went to my room, laid down on the bed and drank in Skeeter's aroma, and began softly crying into the pillow.

A few minutes later, my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID... it was Skeeter. He told me that he was on the plane and that it had just pushed away from the gate. His voice sounded much like I felt. After kissing, and after hearing the pilot announce it was time to turn off all electronic devices, we hung up. I plopped my head back down on the pillow and fell into a fitful sleep.

*-* Skeeter's POV *-*

Unlike the flight that bounced us all over the place my return flight home was smooth sailing all the way to Kansas City. After a 2 hour layover a puddle jumper plane took me to Wichita, the last stop of the trip.

As soon as I got off the plane I could see mom and Kevin through the windows in terminal. At first Kevin was in mom's arms, appearing sound asleep, but when mom roused him and pointed to the plane and me getting off and walking up the tarmac his eyes popped wide open, he started frantically waving, his little legs were jumping up and down... to say he was just a little bit excited would be a gross understatement.

When I exited through the door into the terminal, still in the secure area, Kevin tore out and ran as fast as his legs would carry him. He body slammed me and then clambered up and into my arms, squeezing the hell out of my neck... I thought it was going to break... and then his mouth plastered mine.

Gone was the melancholy I'd been experiencing since early that morning. The boy continuously and constantly jabber jawed all the way through the terminal to the baggage area, while waiting for my suitcase to arrive, and then to the car. But as soon as we hit the freeway we were both out like a light. Mom was saying something about James' horse... but I faded out...

I love home... what more can I say? I love Joey with all my heart... but my heart was in a Podunk town in Kansas, with my family... I realized that Chicago was no longer home though it held a part of my history. I realized my roots were growing to the farm... just as dad said they would.

I awoke first and then Kevin woke from deep slumber when we turned into the parking lot at Wal-Mart in the town closest to home. After shaking the sleep from my eyes and body we went inside and did a lot of grocery shopping to get stocked up. Mom liked to combine trips to just once a week unless something came up like one of us got sick or something, or dad needed a part for something.

When we were in the checkout line mom reached into my neck, pulled out my part of the necklace Joey and I gave to each other. She looked at it very carefully. She kissed my cheek... I didn't even mind... then said, "Stephen, it's really, really nice... so I trust you and Joey got your relationship straightened out."

"Yeah... it worked itself out but can we not talk about it here?" I asked waving my arms around to let her know that people were in the checkout line both in front of and behind us. That earned me a roll of the eyes but she let it ride.

We then made a quick stop at a discount shoe store to buy Kevin a pair as he was growing 'like a weed', or so the saying goes. He was happy with them. He tore out through the parking lot like a bat out of hell... I had to run to catch him... thankfully no cars ran on through the crosswalk. Mom scolded the hell out of him for running away... and then she scolded me for not holding onto his hand tightly. My arms had been full... when he got seated in the car, me and Kevin in the backseat, I growled my disapproval for what he'd done... he was quiet and subdued the rest of the way home though he was still in my arms hugging me and telling me he was sorry, "Don't be mad Stephen." The puppy dog eyes, his quivering lip, tears welling up in his eyes removed any trace of anger and fright that I 'might have' been feeling at the time. I just told him how much I loved my little bro and didn't want to see him hurt.

All my brothers and sister were waiting on the lawn waiting my arrival... mom must have called them when we'd left Wal-Mart, or something... cuz even dad was waiting.

As mom drove up my tears welled up and then started flowing when Thomas opened the car door, yanked me out, grabbed me up in a hug, and then I was attacked by the mob. Even Stacy got into the act.

We made short order out of unloading the car.

Kevin walked to dad who lifted him up to his neck. He proceeded to tell him about the incident in the parking lot with baited breath. Dad gave the boy's jean and underwear clad butt two swats with his hand... the boy didn't cry, instead he urged dad to let him down, and then he ran up to me then to James and then to Eric and then to Luke exclaiming, "Daddy thrashed me! Daddy thrashed me!"

He was so happy over his rite of passage. Dad tried to look stern but it didn't work, not at all. Kevin then walked to dad and said, "I'm a big boy now!"

Once the initial welcoming assault passed by Thomas, Luke and James urged me to go with them. We headed in the direction of the barn. We stopped by the goat barn first. Luke quickly pointed out, then went to and hugged his newest babies. He was gushing with excitement, warmth and love for the little critters. They were cute as hell. With all seriousness, he said, "Dad helped me deliver the two smallest ones... I actually got to see them come to life after dad said they'd likely not survive because of their size and under development. Stephen, I bottle fed them... I watched them come to life."

I put my arms around Luke's shoulders then whispered into his ear, "They're really lucky to have you caring for them... I'm serious. They wouldn't have survived otherwise. I love you, bro." With that our lips touched for but a brief few seconds and then he got busy hand feeding them. He said, "I still have to hand feed them. Their mother rejected them. Dad says the little ones will be okay in a month or two."

Luke had come a long way.

Thomas and James took me to the main barn. It was largely re-roofed but the job wasn't entirely finished. They had had to completely strip off the old roof, or what had been left of it,

Thomas, ornery as he can be at times, lifted me onto his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. He started up the ladder but I jumped off his shoulders, crashed to the ground and then began calling him a motherfucker and a few other choice words of endearment ... the son of a bitch, he knew I was deathly afraid of heights yet he did it anyway. I was about to square off with him but dad put a halt to those thoughts, and then reamed Thomas a new one, reminding him that he was neither too big or too old to thrash.

Five minutes, no longer, we, Thomas and I were back to our usual selves shoveling shit out of the horse stalls. There were no critters due to birth anytime soon so we cleaned it good but didn't re-hay it so that the ground could dry well.

Dad walked in sometime later... he wasn't finished with Thomas quite yet. He got into Thomas' face... he was loaded for bear. He said, "Thomas, let's take a little trip down to the creek. Apparently you think it's funny to force a man into his fear... do you want to go swimming?"

Thomas' face turned white. I'd never seen my brother shake or tremble... he was the biggest of everybody... even dad was hard pressed to be taller than him... but I was just about positive that Thomas was going to shit his pants.

Dad turned away, walked to me, and then led me outside. We walked around to the spot where the machine shed had been located prior to the storm. All the materials, supplies and lumber were stacked neatly. He said, "We'll get started on this tomorrow. We waited because this is your chore to be seen through until it's completed."

"I'll do a good job so long as you teach me. I've never built anything before." I said excitedly.

"Don't worry none boy. You'll do fine. Me and Thomas will show you how to do it but we're not going to do it for you. Ask questions, and listen carefully... you'll do fine."

We then walked down to the ditch on the far end of the property. He showed me how it was filled in and what I was to look for. He then turned me loose on the tractor to cut the south pasture in preparation for haying.

Dad drove the fuel truck to where I was working 2 or 3 hours later. He also brought a thermos of water which I drank down in a heartbeat cuz I was so thirsty. They'd not had any more rain since the storm so it was dusty. That and I was itching like hell from all the dry chaff.

While the tank was filling I said, "Dad, I love it here. I realized on the drive from the airport that this is where I want to live my life out. I love it here. I love you guys. I just wanted to say that."

Dad sat down on the ground with me. He pulled me into his side and said softly, "Stephen, this is where my heart is too. I've been here all my life. If I have anything to say about it then this is where I'll die. My heart and soul is here. Son, I don't need to meddle in your business, but I will because you had a lot of ache in your heart when you left... did you and Joey get your business taken care of?"

"Yes sir, we're okay. We talked about things. Uhm, I don't know how he'll take it when I stay here. He talked about going to medical school and stuff... in fact, in school, he's taking classes designed to help him get in... I guess it's really hard to get in... But he's working on it. I'm really happy for him... I just don't know where we're going... does that make sense?"

"Yes, it does." Dad readily replied. He continued, "Stephen true love knows no boundaries... so long as you two are working on the issue. The worst thing, I'm thinking, is if you two don't talk about it. Be an open book, son."

"I'm trying..."

"Yes you are. Keep up the good work... it'll work out but don't wait until the last minute... you'll both regret it... you know... if you decide to go one way and he goes another. Of course, he might think about doing rural medicine. If he signs up and makes a commitment then a lot of his medical school expenses, I hear, would be forgiven or paid by the community."

"That's an idea. Kewl. We'd have the better of two worlds."

Dad patted my shoulder.

I said, "Well, I'd better get back to work... dad who's going to do the mowing when I'm rebuilding the shop?"

"Well, you are. I'm going to start teaching you all about time management. There are so many things that have to be done simultaneously. Our animals, of course, because they are living breathing creatures, have to have first priority over everything else. Usually, this field can be cut in a day and a half so long as other priorities don't come up first. It also depends on how wet it is or if a storm is predicted to come through. This field can only be cut in the afternoon and early evening because by the time noontime comes around the dew should be burned off. We've got a storm system brewing so this needs to be your priority for the next day or two. Tomorrow morning, while you're in school, I'll do some of the heavy work to get the shed ready to actually build... We're going to build it differently... before it just sat on the concrete slab... this time we're going to bolt it to the slab..."

"That'll keep it from blowing away, right dad?"

"Yes, I'm going to bolt it down enough so that any wind shy of a tornado, of course, won't give it much more trouble than maybe blowing its roof off. I also want to move the gasoline tanks further away from the barn and out buildings."

"Yeah, James was scared shitless about the fuel tanks maybe catching afire... dad, I've got one more question that's been bothering me a whole bunch... since June and Dave told me that we were going to Hawaii this summer..."

"You have nothing to worry about, Stephen, it's all taken care of."

"Uhm... well, how... I mean... well you know... we're real tight on money and everything... and we have so much work to do..."

"Stephen, you don't have anything to worry about. The crops will be maturing while we're gone for 2 weeks, starting on I believe June the 9th. If you need to know... Thomas and Stacy are staying behind to watch over the little ones. The Granby and Smitherton boys will be taking care of the animals and doing urgent things that need to be done. You'll be expected to show them what needs to be done about your chores... the other boys will also be expected to do the same thing."

"Yup, that's so not a problem, dad, I'll do well." I said desperately for some reason needing his approval.

"I'm confident that you'll be fine." Dad said, patted my shoulder. He then added, "Okay, go ahead and cut for another 2 hours or so, until dinner time."

We got up off the ground, the switch to the fuel transfer clicked just as we stood. He took care of the nozzles and hoses and wrapping the hoses back up and putting them where they belonged. Just before he entered the truck to drive back to the buildings I said, "Thanks dad for letting me to see Joey. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know."

"Oh don't worry so much... I know you had a good time... and I know you're glad to be back home... almost as glad as I am to have you home. Take that to the bank."

Mom made fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner, my second favorite dinner of all time. She fries the chicken just right so that a good crust is on the outside yet the inside is flavorful, juicy, and wonderful. She doesn't believe in the instant potatoes. Usually Eric is the potato peeler of the family.

After dinner we all got together and did the evening chores and finished them by 8pm which gave us some time to unwind, get our baths taken, and to have a bowl of homemade ice cream that had been made over the weekend... to die for.

Kevin was my glued in partner throughout the evening, ever since I'd arrived home he was at my side. Luke said he'd cried, stood in the window looking out over the field, and continuously asked when I was going to be in to play with him, or when he could go outside to play with me.

Dad and I got into a bit of a 'play' struggle with words when it came to bath time – and – Kevin's role in that. I didn't protest the boy bathing with but dad weakly argued that a guy has to have his own time every now and again. My dad's bad at times... the look on his face was pure-d orneriness.

Kevin took a bath with me but did 'permit' me to take a dump without his presence. Of course, that was my opportunity to have a few moments 'alone' to take care of another matter.

At bedtime... of course he was with me.

Just as I was falling asleep the little critter asked, "Aren't you going to wiggle the bed, Stephen?"

*** To be continued

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