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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Life Goes On - 17. Chapter 17


The morning of Tuesday, July fourteenth, Drew and Corey woke early to catch a Hanson appearance on the CBS Early Show. With his head lying on Drew’s chest, Corey clearly heard Drew’s stomach growl. Corey giggled and started playing with Drew’s dick.

Drew softly chortled, “That’ll only make me hungrier, ya know.”

Corey hummed affirmatively and admitted, “I like to watch it get hard then get soft again. After Hanson, we’ll make love then eat.”

“That’ll be the third time since midnight,” Drew grinned.

“I must be feeling weak. Yesterday and the day before were six times. I lost count on Friday; maybe eight or nine times?”

“Maybe I’m wearing you out?”

Corey teased, “Maybe. How’re you planning on making me slow down and relax?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” Drew replied. He then pushed Corey’s head off his chest and rolled over on top of him. Gazing into his boyfriends eyes, Drew grinned, “You never should’ve told me how much you like this.”

“Oh, Drew,” Corey desperately moaned, “it really is the best feeling in the world. Fall asleep on me like this again?”

Drew grabbed a tender kiss then assured, “I will. I only wish I could stay this way all night. I’m used to sleeping on my side, not my belly.”

“I’ll take what I can for as long as I can.”

“You don’t really want to be versatile, do you?”

“I like you inside me more. You seem to be happy with once a day and that’s totally cool with me.”

“I have to take what I want though, Cor. It seems like I’m controlling you all the time, in bed and out of it.”

“I need you to, Drew. I need you reminding me to eat. I need you watching out for me so I don’t slip back into my anorexic, bitchy, only-child, selfish ways.”

“You’re doing so great too. It’s alright to take the initiative and tell me what to do though; especially when it comes to sex. We’re alone so it’s not a matter of being healthy or being stubborn. It’s a matter of being happy.”

Corey smiled, “I am happy, Drew. If I was any happier, I’d be orbiting the planet.” He pulled Drew’s head over his shoulder and whispered, “I want you inside me. It’s so awesome; it really is what I want most. If you want some too, that’s fine. Three times now, I thought of taking you, but instead, I found myself asking you to take me. When I’m horny, that’s what I want most. If you see me hard and want my cock inside you, take it, stud. I love watching you ride me and enjoying it. I love hovering over you and knowing that you love it. What happened when I tried doggie-style and on our sides? I all but completely lost my erection. I need to see you, Drew.”

Drew whispered back, “I know that feeling. That’s what caused us problems the first time we tried. Even the second time, I needed to see you. I only want you to know that alone, especially in bed, you can take control more. I don’t want to be your boss all the time. When it comes to food and eating, I’ll lead the way for as long as needed. Here, in bed, you do the same, okay?”

Corey kissed Drew’s ear and softly said, “Okay. Push up off me and show me what I love.” Drew giggled. Only slightly more forcefully and choking back his own giggle, Corey said, “Now, Drew. Show off, for me alone.”

Pushing up off of Corey and straddling his hips, Drew raised his arms and put his hands behind his head. Corey groaned, “Oh, dude.” Drew cackled and acted like he was riding Corey. “Omigod! I don’t know where to look; your face and eyes; your chest and belly; your chubby dick bouncing or muscular thighs? I’m so confused!”

Becoming still, Drew giggled and teased, “I’m not telling you. You have to figure it out all by yourself.”

The easiest thing to reach was Drew’s thighs so Corey started there. Squatting as he was, Drew’s thigh muscles were stretched and hard as rocks. Corey slid his hands all around Drew’s thighs then down the sides to feel his calves and back up to reach for the chubby dick that sent him to heaven every time. Only after Drew was hard did Corey inspect his lover’s testicles. Beckoning Drew to lean forward a little, Corey then inspected Drew’s abdomen and moved up to tweak two perky nipples, causing Drew to loudly laugh, “Don’t change the channel! We’ll miss Hanson.”

Corey smiled, “You’ve got Tay, Ike and Zac beat, Drew.”

Blushing yet doing nothing about it, Drew reminded, “I’m yours, Cor. I feel your hard bone brushin’ my ass. What’re you gonna do about that?”

Corey knew what Drew wanted him to say, but couldn’t make himself say it. Instead, he cackled, “Order you to bang my brains out!” Smirking, Drew slowly shook his head. Corey confirmed, “I have to tell you?”

Drew nodded, “Even though I could, I ain’t takin’ you inside me. You have to take me the way you want or tell me the way you want it.”

Corey impatiently huffed, “You’re gonna pay for this.”

Drew teased, “Really? Make me pay, Cor. If I’m who you want, then take me, or tell me how you want it.”

Sitting up, Corey pulled Drew off to the side and pushed him down on the bed. John walked out of his room and heard the sound of a body slamming onto a bed then Drew’s howling laughter. Shaking his head, John smirked, “Just like Keith and Prez,” then went into the bathroom to start his day. Pushing his morning wood down and pissing, John yawned, “At least I can sleep again.”

Corey scrambled to get the lube then quickly got himself and Drew prepared. Corey lifted Drew’s legs and put them on his shoulders. As soon as he moved into position and slid inside Drew, Corey asked, “Is this what you wanted?”

Drew grabbed a kiss from Corey then reminded, “What I want isn’t what we’re after, Cor. I’m leading you too much. Is this how you want me? If it is then it’s perfect. If you need me another way, tell me or show me. I have you and love all the great strides you’ve made. You have me, Corey. Love me how you want.”

Corey returned Drew’s kiss then nodded and began to slowly thrust in and out of Drew. Dreamily humming and running his hands around Corey’s neck, shoulders and arms, Drew softly encouraged Corey; repeatedly reminding him that they loved each other and had a lifetime together to look forward to. After a few minutes, Corey needed to get Drew’s heavy legs off his shoulders, said so to Drew and then knelt down. Feeling Corey’s cock only barely inside him, Drew shifted closer. Corey softly asked, “Can you ride me like that?” Drew began to slide up and down, but the leverage wasn’t quite right. Drew bent his legs and planted them on the mattress then arched his back, pushing his shoulders and neck on to the mattress. Corey mooed and started slamming up into Drew, earning pleasant gurgles and groans. Getting tired again, Corey paused to catch his breath. Unexpectedly, Drew started riding Corey and was very obviously enjoying it. Smiling and gritting his teeth, Corey wondered if John was awake. Drew was getting really loud. Rather than have Drew get embarrassed later, Corey slid one hand over Drew’s abs and chest then softly giggled, “Easy, stud. John, remember?”

Drew nodded and gasped, “We found another new, totally awesome position. You like it too, I hope?”

Corey only smirked and drove himself deep into Drew. Gasping, Drew’s eyes and mouth opened wide. Barely containing himself, Corey giggled, “That answers your question?”

“Omigod!” Drew giggled. “Now I’m confused! Do we chill out until John leaves or keep going?”

Corey hummed uncertainly then suggested, “Can I try it like this?”

Drew confirmed, “You’ve learned all I needed you to learn,” then rolled back until he felt Corey had slipped out. They quickly shuffled around and Drew knelt between Corey’s legs. Grabbing the bottle of lube, Drew reminded, “This was our discovery, Cor.” He then assured, “You’re gonna love it.” As soon as they were settled and lubed for the reversal, Corey settled down onto Drew’s cock and hips. Corey purred and Drew softly reminded, “I love you, Corey,” then leaned back on his arms and thrust up into Corey.

Gasping at the sudden pleasure, Corey soon went berserk, constantly chanting, “Omigod! So good, Drew.” Drew smiled and continued thrusting up into Corey. Occasionally, they got the rhythm right. Corey began bouncing, writhing around and loudly cheering, “Oh fuck yeah, you big stud!” Hanson was performing on TV, but Drew couldn’t hear them over Corey. Drew knew that John was going to say something very soon. When he did, Drew wouldn’t be anything more than proud. Drew would remind his younger brother that he would someday be able to make Kim holler in pleasure. That would surely embarrass John and shut him up, once and for all. Suddenly, Corey’s chant changed to “Omigod! Gimme! Drew!” Drew felt Corey’s ass pulsating, squeezing and releasing his cock. Becoming rigid, Corey growled like a wild animal and, much to Drew’s surprise, Corey’s cock bounced and spewed loads of semen. Exhausted, Corey collapsed to the bed and only softly cooed with each of Drew’s remaining thrusts. Pushing up hard into Corey, Drew soon lost it too. Thoroughly spent, Drew moved to kiss Corey. Once fully recovered, they busted up in hysterics over what was achieved and again when the front door closed; making it clear that John was awake and had heard them.

Corey sighed, “Damn, I’m hungry.” Shocked beyond words, Drew’s mouth dropped open. “What?” Corey giggled, “That was more of a workout than nine innings or two full sets. I hope you like me hanging off you.”

Finger painting a little smiley face on Corey’s soaked belly, Drew nodded, “I love hugs and you too, Corey Seaver. I’m just as attached to you, ya know.” To prove the point, Drew began cleaning Corey’s belly with his tongue. Corey howled laughing and desperately tried to push Drew’s head away to no avail. Only when Drew was finished did he get off the bed, get a package of protein milkshake from Corey’s backpack and then offer Corey a hand up.

They went to the kitchen naked. Drew made Corey another special vanilla ice cream milkshake. Corey split a bagel and stuffed it in the toaster for Drew. While the bagel was still toasting, Drew put a frying pan on the stove, turned up the burner and then asked, “How about some scrambled chicken embryos?”

Looking at his half empty glass, Corey nodded and smiled, “Yeah.” Grabbing the eggs from the fridge, Drew began humming a happy melody and cracked four eggs into a bowl. Corey giggled, “Omigod! What are you planning?” Beginning to whip the eggs, Drew turned around smiling so Corey could see his dick was hard as granite again. Corey laughed, “Drew! You’re bonkers; completely insane, a thousand percent screwy in the head!”

Drew nodded, “After making you shoot, without me touching you or you touching yourself, yeah, I am. And as soon as we eat and digest, we’re going to see if I manage that same feat. Then it’s your turn again.”

Putting his almost empty glass down, Corey howled, “Drew! I almost passed out!”

Drew hummed then chirped, “Sweet!”

Blushing bright red, Corey covered his face and suspiciously eyed his boyfriend, wondering where the bashful and shy Drew had gone. This new Drew was so great and very similar, but never in over a year together had Drew left his room naked. Never in a million years would the old Drew go to the kitchen naked nor stand there proudly cooking breakfast with a raging boner. Sighing, Corey turned and picked up his milkshake then downed it in two big gulps. He went to stand behind Drew at the stove and wrapped his arms around Drew’s waist.

Corey whispered, “You really love me?”

Humming affirmatively and seductively, Drew nodded and concentrated on the scrambled eggs in the frying pan.

With tears welling in his eyes, Corey softly admitted, “I love you so much too. I’m a little sad the old Drew is gone.”

“He’s not gone,” Drew quickly assured. “He’s right here, inside me, kind o’ hangin’ out and watching.”

“Will I see him again?”

“I hope not. That would mean something bad happened between you and me.”

“You know I loved the old you as much as the new you?”

“’Course. Admit it though, you like me more confident and less bashful. Just like I liked you last summer; just like I liked you so much all school year that I didn’t even notice the change in eating habits; just like I love the new Corey, who’s trying every day. It’s all good, Cor.”

“You say ‘It’s all good’ a lot this last week.”

Drew shrugged, “It is. Only when it’s bad is it not good.” He turned off the stove and said, “The eggs are done. Get a plate, please?”

“Only one?”

Drew nodded, “We’ll share. I figure a single scrambled egg is about four forkfuls.” Knowing that Drew intended bonus treats for every extra forkful, Corey handed Drew a plate. Drew scraped the pan contents onto it. He dropped the pan in the sink then put the toasted bagel on the plate and carried it to the table. Drew pulled out a chair and Corey started to do the same. Drew grunted negatively, sat down and pointed at his lap, saying, “Here.”

Corey giggled, “We’re sharing a chair too?”

Drew smiled, “Cor, we share everything; we share spit with almost every kiss; I willingly swallow your semen and you do the same for me; you’ve cum inside me and I’ve cum inside you. If sharing is bad then we’re pretty much already screwed.”

Corey grinned, “Okay, magic man,” and then spread his legs wide so he could sit on Drew’s lap and face him.

Giggling, “I like this even better,” Drew then reached for the pepper shaker and checked with Corey.

Corey said, “A little bit.” Drew handed Corey the pepper shaker and let him do the honors. Quickly putting the pepper shaker down and grabbing the fork, Corey giggled, “If you can be my seat then I feed you.”

Wrapping his arms around Corey’s waist and back to hold him in place, Drew softly reminded, “If you eat more than four forkfuls, I’ll skinny dip again with you tomorrow.”

Giggling so hard that the eggs fell off the fork, Corey smiled, “No ugly witch doctor could make this as much fun.” He then used a bagel half to push scrambled eggs onto the fork and carefully fed Drew. While loading a forkful for himself, Corey asked, “Is the other half of the bagel for me?”

Drew hummed and swallowed then chuckled, “Dude, if you eat eggs and that entire half of a bagel, I might be streaking around this house today and yours tomorrow.”

Corey laughed, “And then there’s lunch and dinner.” He ate some eggs then warmly smiled, “You’re not gonna let me fail, are you?”

Shaking his head, Drew flatly stated, “Both our lives depend on this, Cor.”

Corey fed Drew another forkful and said, “You don’t have to streak. Just keep showing me that awesome bod. You’re mine and I don’t want anyone else to see.”

Corey had another forkful and a bite of the bagel then offered the bagel to Drew. Drew took a bite and waited for more eggs. Back and forth they continued. Corey matched Drew’s every forkful of eggs and ate a few more bites from the bagel half. Drew ate the remainder and the entire other half. Corey loaded the dishwasher and Drew hand washed the frying pan, explaining that was how his mom wanted it done.

“Mom’s are weird,” Corey giggled.

Drew smiled and nodded, explaining, “The dishwasher doesn’t clean the whole pan. Mom freaks when the outside of the pan looks bad or if there’s a little water and soap mark in the pan. She’ll wash the whole thing over again.”

Corey remarked, “Your mom seems better these last few days.”

Drew nodded, “Remember my dad pulling me aside last night?” When Corey nodded, Drew explained, “Dad was just checking on us. Mom’s not freaking out here because of me and you, and Keith and Prez, and even John and Kim. That little boy at the hospital is dying, Cor. There’s nothing anyone can do for him except try to make it peaceful. All mom can do is keep the boy’s parents sane. All we can do is make her life easier. If hand washing a friggin’ pan can do that, I’ll do it.”

Corey put that thought together quickly with the way Drew had been acting for over a week. He’ll wash a pan, he’ll hand feed me, skinny dip and walk around nude for me. As Drew finished drying the pan and turned to put it away, Corey broke down crying.

Hearing Corey’s sniffles and spinning around again, Drew barely finished asking, “What’s wrong?” before Corey slammed into him. Corey had no words to express what he was feeling. Drew only held Corey in place and gently stroked his blond hair, waiting for Corey to calm down. When Corey smiled at him, Drew worried, “Did I make you cry?”

Corey shook his head and offered, “I made me cry. The meaning of consideration made me cry.” Corey sighed, “Was I considerate when I complained about Keith, Prez, Brian and Pete? No. Was I considerate of you at all that weekend? Barely. Was I considerate of my folks the last seven months? No.”

Becoming frightened; Drew quickly and softly shushed Corey then said, “You’re shaking. Slow down, Cor. Please don’t get yourself sick thinking about the past. Think of now, and yesterday and all last week. You ate enough to gain two pounds. You are being considerate of me, your folks, my folks and entire family. The past makes you sad and me sad too. Push it aside and remember what you’ve learned; use it today and in the future.”

When Corey nodded and forced a weak smile, Drew could still feel him shaking. The last thing Drew wanted to deal with was Corey vomiting. He would then have to reassure Corey and tell the Seavers. With no better idea crossing his mind, Drew squatted down slightly, wrapped his arms under Corey’s ass and lifted him up. He took Corey directly to the shower, hoping the warm water and contact would relax his boyfriend and prevent him from losing his breakfast. Drew shampooed Corey’s hair then grabbed a washcloth and gently bathed him. The most frightening thing was, Drew washed every inch of Corey and didn’t get a rise out of him. Corey insisted on returning the favor though and performed the same ritual for Drew. Drew got hard and Corey giggled and played with Drew’s erection, pushing it down and gleefully watching it bounce back up and slap Drew’s tummy. Still, Corey didn’t get excited. When they were toweling each other off afterward, all Corey wanted was Drew to lay on him again.

Purposefully, Drew hugged and held Corey for a long few moments at the side of his bed. Corey wasn’t shaking anymore. He released Corey to allow him to climb up onto the bed. Drew turned the television off and the stereo on. He changed to the soft jazz station then went to lie on top of Corey. Corey promised to be more considerate. Drew assured, “You already are.” Corey complained about saying one thing then doing another. Drew said, “That’s that anorexia demon, backed onto the ropes and fighting for his life. We’re winning, it’s losing.” Corey reminded Drew how much he loved him. Drew whispered, “I love you very much too, Corey.” Closing his eyes, Corey sighed. A few minutes later, Drew realized Corey’s arms were limply resting on his back. Corey had fallen asleep.

Remaining awake and on top of Corey, Drew silently and repeatedly damned that anorexia demon. It had not only taken Corey’s willingness to eat, but also left Corey feeling feeble and vulnerable; so much so that Corey was becoming dependent. That wasn’t really Corey Seaver’s personality; it was all from that fucking anorexia demon. The real Corey Seaver was an excellent student, a great diver and swimmer, a good baseball and tennis player and had been an awesome friend for over a year. The old, confident Corey was in there, somewhere. Not knowing what to do other than deal with the day-to-day trials, Drew began whispering into Corey’s ear. “Drew Hundser loves Corey Seaver. Drew loves Corey and we will fight that anorexia demon forever. Drew finds Corey irresistibly sexy. Drew wants Corey confident and secure, willing to eat and live and play. Drew needs Corey’s hugs.” For almost another hour, Drew repeated similar positive thoughts, pulling another from his heart as each was spoken. When Corey stirred, Drew stopped whispering.

Only a few minutes later, Corey woke and sighed, “You stayed with me?”

“Always, Corey; there’s no place else I’d rather be and nothing else I’d rather do.”

Corey purred, “You’re so awesome.”

Drew decided that rather than repeat himself, he would practice his kissing techniques. For many minutes, Drew tried every kind of kiss he could conceivably imagine, causing Corey to shiver, moan and giggle, but most importantly, Corey got hard.

As soon as Drew noticed and began giggling into kisses, Corey began encouraging Drew to make love to him. Drew thought about his needs, but soon realized that Corey needed to rebuild his self esteem. He would work on that issue with the others, in a similar fashion as he had earlier that morning, and rolled to Corey’s side. Drew would happily play the top role as long as necessary until he could get Corey back to normal. Drew reached for the lube. Noticing how little remained in the bottle; Drew broke into a fit of giggles. Corey lifted his right leg. Drew slid inside his lover then took hold of Corey’s stiffy. For the first time, Drew only moved enough to remain hard. This time, Drew’s orgasm was of little importance. Holding Corey close and snatching awkward kisses was Drew’s goal.


Still chortling over Ben’s ‘Weird Science’ experiment, the five of us began cleaning up the table and kitchen. Keith unloaded then reloaded the dishwasher while Mike hand washed the frying pan and griddle. Ben washed the table for us. Derrick and I stripped the bed and started the laundry. On the bed, Doug and Brian had the nicest dark blue satin sheets and a light blue blanket. The headboard of the bed was black laminated wood. Glancing at the clothes on the floor, Derrick and I realized there would be additional loads of laundry to do after the sheets. The kitchen, dining room and living room were looking tidy by the time we came back into the house from the garage.

Mike was on the phone and saying goodbye. He smiled, “That was Shaun. He and Gill will be here later tonight.”

Derrick wondered, “For dinner or after?”

“After,” Mike replied. He then giggled, “Shaun’s a little sore.”

Innocently, Ben asked, “From playing guitar? Are his fingers burnin’?”

The four of us locked eyes with one another. “Okay,” Keith softly chuckled.

Mike and Derrick led Ben to the living room and sat him down on the sofa. Keith and I followed and pulled two chairs over from the table. Derrick smiled at Ben, “Just so we’re all on the same page, you’re gay, right?”

Ben nodded, “Yup.”

Mike asked, “You like dick then?” Ben blushed, nodded and hummed affirmatively.

Keith wondered, “Have you ever thought of what you might like to do with your boyfriend’s dick?”

“Course,” Ben chirped. Suddenly realizing where this line of questioning was going, Ben gasped, “Shaun’s dick is sore?”

Mike shook his head and grinned, “No, his butt is.”

Ben’s jaw dropped. Looking around at each of us quickly, Ben asked, “It hurts?”

All four of us quickly replied negatively. Keith added, “Not during sex, only a little afterward.”

Taking Derrick’s hand, Mike giggled at Ben, “It’s awesome while we’re making love. Later though, sometimes for a long while later, I feel my asshole twitching.”

Taking my hand, Keith nodded and smiled at Ben, “Intercourse is the best, dude. Sometimes though, we like it too much and keep goin’ long after we could’ve stopped.”

I offered, “Think about it, Ben. That orifice is used to something coming out. As gay men, we like something going in. It takes some getting used to just to manage that.”

Derrick nodded, “It’s not like an eye poppin’, gut wrenching pain, but it is… umm… tender, is the best word I can use.”

Mike reminded, “Like we were saying earlier, when you find someone that likes you and you like him, the next step is to take the emotional to the physical. Last night, I was bottom for Derrick all night. When he was tired and taking a break, what was I doing?” He glanced at Derrick, Keith and I, waiting for one of us to answer.

Keith grinned, “Mike was getting Derrick revved up again.”

I quickly added, “Keith and I are versatile. We’ll swap positions and switch roles. The question of the hour, for you to answer for yourself is; what do you want?”

Mike said, “And then be prepared to be a little more than what you want. When you’ve got that partner who means the world to you, and ya don’t want to lose him, make some amendments.”

Ben hummed thoughtfully. He scowled and said, “I don’t really know. I mean, I’ve done nothing with no one. I don’t even know where to begin a fantasy. They start in the middle, with someone jacking me off, or with my fingers in my mouth simulating a dick.”

“That’s a good start,” Derrick assured. “None of us were much different.”

Keith said, “My younger brother and his partner needed pointers. That’s what we’re giving you now, Ben. Remember, sex is the easy part too. The most important part is the other eighty-plus percent of the time you’re not making love. Prez is there for me whenever I need him. I make myself available to him whenever he needs me. Sometimes we talk for hours, other times we slow dance together and say virtually nothing.”

Derrick said, “Our first day here, watching this house, was everything Mike and I needed. It was time alone to talk, to play music, to listen to music, to cook together, to clean together.”

Mike smirked at Derrick, “You make it sound like we only did those things. In between each of those things, we were all over each other.”

Helplessly giggling at them, I explained to Ben, “Mike and Derrick live with Mike’s mom and younger sister. What they could do there was much different than what Keith and I can do at home, with two younger brothers and two parents.”

Derrick told Ben, “Mike’s mom is very cool and Mike’s little sister is even cooler. It was Lindsay that told her mom and us that she was confused, because of the restrictions we lived with for the first five months. She thought we had no commitment at all to each other, like we were simple fuck-buddies. Before we moved here, we could kiss and hold hands and show affection. She liked seeing it and giggled almost every time.”

Mike nodded at Derrick and assured, “Everything’s gonna be so much cooler too in September.” He then grinned at Keith and me. He pointed at us and giggled, “Now these two, they've gone so crazy with each other that one day last month, their dicks were sore!”

While Derrick and Ben were shaking their heads and chuckling, I loudly laughed, “It was the last day of school! We had to celebrate!”

Keith then explained all of what we did and how tender our units were the next day. We both remembered the day we lost a tennis match to Drew and Corey. Keith even told Ben to park his ass in cold water to make it better. All five of us were hysterical. When he could speak again, Keith smiled, “Yes, it is very possible to over-do it. A little twinge in my butt is a reminder of how much I love Prez. A sore dick is another reminder. Does either stop me or Prez? Not in the least. It doesn’t even slow us down much.”

Mike said, “Sex with someone you really love is so addictive. Derrick and I have been together fifteen months. Keith and Prez are on their thirteenth month. What we know, Shaun and Gil are just starting to figure out. They’ve only been a couple about a month and a half.”

“They’re like a mix of us and Keith and Prez,” Derrick grinned. “Two days a week, they go nuts and five days a week they’re a little more restricted.”

Red from laughing, Ben giggled, “So we have to get Shaun in a tub of cold water?”

“Nah,” I grinned. “He prob’ly likes it. I know I do.” Keith whimpered loudly and I turned to him. Noticing the clock, I took my lover’s hand and stood, saying, “Keith needs to leave for work soon. It’s my job as his lover to make sure he has a good night.” I led Keith from the living room to the master bedroom.

Once we were undressing, Keith needed to make sure that I still loved him. In words and deeds, I made certain he knew that I loved him very much. I told him, “Without your ego boosts, none of what happened during the last week would’ve been possible. Derrick and Mike now know what you’ve done for me, babe. They also know that I won’t play any games unless you’re here. When we get around to jammin’ later, we’ll have our clothes on. Sure, they would only see me and I’d only see them, but without you here, even that’s no fun.”

Understandingly, Keith took me in his arms and assured, “You are my fantasy lover, Prez. Don’t ever forget the times you were stronger than me. I took baby steps comin’ out of the closet. You took giant leaps. You and Derrick made me and Mike take a leap this morning too. I’m not the least bit upset about that or anything we’ve done the last few days. We’ve answered questions that we never spoke of. I wondered how we could live with Mike and Derrick without things happening. Thanks to you, Derrick and I talked about what’s important. As far as I know, there’s nothing left unanswered.”

Never letting go of him and walking backwards to the master bathroom, I nodded and sighed, “Nothing of much importance. Are you confident that my best is only for you?”

He purred, “Completely. You know my best is for you too?”

I giggled, “I will soon. Make love to me, Keith. Do it like only you can.”

In the big master bathroom shower, I leaned against the wall and gave myself to him. Keith was fantastic and took his sweet time, making me moan, push back against him and revel in the fact that only he could make me feel that loved.

Once out of the shower, I asked Keith, “Do you want us to sleep alone tonight?”

Pulling up his boxers, Keith smiled. He then caressed my face and softly said, “Where ever you are, I’ll be.” Repeatedly, he tenderly kissed me. He had me groaning and my knees buckling until I hung off him. Smiling widely, he said, “When I get home tonight, first chance we get, I need to tell you all the reasons I love you more than anyone else on the planet.”

I whimpered, “You’re making my heart race and my wiener so hard.” My lover pushed his boxers down and showed me that he never completely lost his erection. I smiled, “Magnificent.”

Deliberately, he said, “I want you, Prez,” and pulled up his boxers. He gasped then chuckled, “It’s two-thirty, sex-machine. I’m gonna be late, but I’m hurrying home again, right into your arms.” He then dashed around the room, into boardies, a Blockbuster Polo shirt, socks and sneakers. I slid into a pair of boardies and followed him out of the house. At his car, I got a kiss and gave another kiss before he ducked into the car. When I looked up, there were Derrick, Mike and Ben, watching us from the front porch. I walked around the back of Keith’s Camry and he pulled away. Exactly how I arrived at the front porch, I don’t recall. Maybe I walked or maybe Derrick, Mike and Ben carried me; all I know is I was suddenly with them and hearing their soft giggles.

Leading me in the house, Derrick said, “Soon, Prez. Terry’s gonna blow off work, and then Keith’s there with us.” I could only moan in desperation, wanting that day to come sooner.

Mike giggled, “I can see it all now; Keith comes to work at Black Angus and Prez’ll get fired, for being a complete waste of space.”

Ben grinned, “If I wind up in a relationship anything like you dudes, I’ll be a veg too.” He then sighed, “Let me check on my mom. I’ll be back soon.” Ben opened the door and left us alone.

Woozy, but coming to my senses, I went to the garage to deal with the laundry. I put the king sized sheets and pillowcases in the dryer. Mike and Derrick had gathered the colored laundry from the bedroom and were loading the washing machine. Mike said, “The only things left on the floor in there are the white shirts, Keith’s socks and your Calvin Klein undies, dude.”

Derrick said, “We’ll get them last, bro.”

Mike wondered, “Why’d you get white boxer-briefs, Prez?”

I shrugged, “I like boxers and briefs. Keith likes me in white briefs.”

Derrick asked, “Would you like colored boxer-briefs or boxers?”

I smiled, “Maybe someday. Right now, Keith likes what I’ve got so…”

“Dude!” Mike laughed, “Do you really think Keith cares about underwear he’s only stripping off anyway?”

Watching them finish loading the washing machine, I cackled, “We slow dance in our undies often enough.”

Pushing me in the house, Derrick reminded, “He loves you, bro.”

Following us in from the garage, Mike offered, “What you are or aren’t wearing matters very little. The teal green boardies you’re wearing now, only improve the picture for Keith. Personally, I think it’s the contrast from red to green that turns him on.”

Grabbing a seat on the sofa, I grinned, “Please don’t talk about Keith getting turned on.”

Derrick rolled his eyes and snickered, “Ya wanna Coke?”

I nodded, “Please. Thanks, bro.” Derrick wandered back to the kitchen.

Sitting beside me, Mike said, “I’m gonna pick your brain now, dude.” I tilted my head curiously and Mike said, “Teach me what music theory you know.”

I scowled, “Why? You know as much as me.”

Shaking his head, Mike admitted, “I don’t know much beyond standard rock progressions; one, four, five or five, four, one.”

“Yeah, ya do,” I smiled, and then asked a few short questions about key signatures and chord structure. Although he worded it differently than I would, Mike got each question right. Derrick returned with three glasses of Coke and sat down on the other side of Mike. The problem was that the prior day’s conversation with Jessy was just barely within Mike’s grasp. Derrick was almost as lost as Keith, Gil and Ben. Since Mike was teaching me guitar, I readily took the time to teach them what I knew. I asked for paper, pen and an acoustic guitar. Derrick went to get the paper and pen. Mike hurried to the studio to get an acoustic. Ben returned and walked in just as we were getting settled.

For the next two hours, I taught the basics of the theory I knew. For Derrick and Ben, it was exciting and things they heard of finally made sense. For Mike, it was a matter of applying on the guitar what I was teaching. From Mike, I learned more chord shapes. Lastly, I took Mike’s Opus 17 and fully described where it was already and alternative places it could easily go. Around five o’clock, Ben hurried home to make dinner and check on his mom. Mike asked Ben to bring his guitar back when he returned.

At that time, Mike sighed, “We have a small problem.”

Derrick grinned, “You didn’t take the chicken out to defrost, did ya?”

“Well!” Mike cackled, “Prez came home. We fucked like bunnies and I won’t even remind you of this morning’s madness.” Falling back against the sofa, I roared laughing. Mike grinned at me. Once I calmed down, he admitted, “Four years ago, last year or even last month, I couldn’t have blown Keith. I don’t think he’d have been too into it either.”

Derrick pulled Mike close and sighed, “It was right today though, wasn’t it?”

Mike nodded, “It’s taken me all day to figure it out. With Keith and I as close as we’ve been, it’s been a lurking question, hasn’t it?”

Derrick assured, “I want and need you, Lick. I don’t want to ever wonder if you’d rather be with Keith. Now Prez and I know, you couldn’t and Keith couldn’t either. Ya know how?”

Mike shrugged so I answered, “Because the bitchy queen games aren’t over. Yeah, you and Keith made up for then, but now, the friendship you and Keith have is what you both want.” I glanced at Derrick for confirmation.

Derrick smiled, “Prez has it exactly right. From my perspective and from Prez’s, if we didn’t get this done now, we’d still be wondering. Two very important things happened this morning. First, you two finished what should have been done years ago. Second, saying that the bitchy games weren’t over said to us, it’s perfect the way it is.”

Agreeing completely, I smiled, “We will live together next year. It’s almost guaranteed. Only if something unforeseeable and disastrous happens will our plans get screwed up.” Then I explained Keith’s dream of connections, how some people give and receive versus other people taking and forcing. “What we’ve done since breakfast is giving and receiving abundantly,” I assured. “There’s been no taking or forcing anything.”

Visibly shuddering, Mike whispered, “I could’ve screwed everything up; everything I’ve always wanted and have now.”

“No,” Derrick and I simultaneously said. Derrick then softly said, “You cared, Lick. So did Keith. The both of you cared about Prez and me; enough to have a little fun together and enough to remain who you already are; two whacked out, bitchy queens, but only with each other. What happens when you try that shit on me?”

Looking deep into Derrick’s eyes, Mike grinned, “I get more of a response from a brick wall.”

Clearly seeing what was required, I encouraged, “Go make love in the shower. Keith and I did. Now you two need some time alone, without interruption or spectators. I’ll wait for Ben to return.”

Derrick stood and offered Mike his hand. Mike took Derrick’s hand and slyly reminded, “Frisky Summer is still in the VCR.”

Pointing at the bedroom, I cackled, “Go! I don’t need any porn. I still have the reminder twitchin’.”

Derrick grinned at Mike, “At the rate things are going, there won’t be a shoot-off again tonight.”

After watching Derrick and Mike walk away, I turned the television on. There wasn’t much to watch other than news so I decided to call home and see what was going on there. Drew answered the phone.

I asked, “What’s goin’ on?”

“Dad’s making a salad,” Drew answered. “Mom’s not home yet. John’s having dinner at Kim’s.”

“Is Corey there?” I wondered.

“Course,” Drew replied. “He’s right here.”

I grinned, “How close?”

Drew giggled, “Right in front of me.”

“Holding you?”

Through his giggles, Drew hummed affirmatively. He then offered, “He’s been here since yesterday.”

I chuckled, “You got your new bed too, didn’t you?”

Drew laughed for a few seconds before replying, “Yeah.”

“And Corey’s psychologist visit?” I wondered.

Drew hummed thoughtfully then said, “Good and bad. The bad news is, the dude was a dick and pissed-off Corey. The good news is, Corey lost it, bitched out the doctor then told his mom and the doc, never again. So he doesn’t have Monday appointments anymore.” Drew hummed again then said, “Here’s Corey.”

A moment later, Corey said, “Hey Prez.”

I pleasantly asked, “How’re you doin’, Corey?”

“Generally really good,” Corey answered. He then added, “I really hate psychologists though. They play mind games worse than any Jedi. My parents were here last night. We found out then that the doctor purposefully questioned what Drew did, to see what my reaction would be. If I had put up with his shit, he would’ve thought I wasn’t really doing any better. He wanted to piss me off, Prez.”

I sighed, “Ya know what, Cor? You passed another test. I can tell from your voice that he aggravated you, but you passed, dude. That counts and now you’re done with him.”

Corey softly giggled, “Doctor Drew. And I get the best appointments every day and night.”

In the background, Drew laughed and begged Corey to stop. Corey suspiciously hummed then asked Drew, “Why are we having pork chops for dinner then?”

“That isn’t my fault!” Drew playfully protested.

Corey insanely giggled, “Like I might believe that!” He then whined, “Poor little piggies.” Corey then softly confided that he was using my foot nibbling techniques to break Drew’s pig murdering habits. I lost it and howled laughing. Corey giggled, “I think Drew asked for pork chops tonight.”

Again, Drew protested through his giggles, “I didn’t!”

Grinning, I wondered, “Are you guys still in the kitchen with dad?”

Corey hummed negatively then said, “We’re outside, on the patio, since I started talking. What’s really great though, about torturing Drew’s feet, is I get the best kind of revenge in return.” In the background, Drew was groaning.

I smiled, “I know, Cor. Most of the time, I get the same from Keith. Tell Drew to relax and stop groaning.” Corey immediately passed the message to Drew. Drew asked for the phone back.

Drew chuckled, “Thanks, Prez.”

“For what?”

“For everything; me, Corey, camping, dancing lessons…” I then understood Drew was thanking me for talking with Corey last Wednesday afternoon, while we were camping.

Corey interjected, “Dirty dancing lessons!”

“That too,” Drew giggled. “Corey’s doin’ great; he feels way better about lots of stuff and wants to go camping again.”

I grinned, “I’ll check with Keith later. We’ll be here until Thursday, so maybe Thursday or Friday night? It’ll be just the four of us though. Mike and Derrick will be working.” I could hear Corey excitedly agreeing to another camping trip when there was a knock on the door.

I went around the wall and let Ben in, telling Drew, “I gotta go; one of our friends just stopped by. We’ll see you Thursday afternoon.”

“Cool,” Drew chirped. “Later.”

I explained to Ben that I was just checking in at home. Ben wondered, “Where are Derrick and Mike?”

I grinned, “Making time.”

“Woops!” Ben giggled. “My timing really sucks today.”

Leading the way to the living room, I said, “It’s necessary, Ben. Two people have to have some time alone. The stuff that happened this morning makes it even more necessary. I smoothed over Keith’s ruffled feathers, he did the same for me and Derrick’s doing the same with Mike. Once Derrick and Mike are finished, we’re going to have to do something about dinner.”

Sitting down on the couch with me, Ben nodded, “My mom sent me to Jack In The Box.” He then chuckled, “She’s tired of my Kraft Mac and Cheese dinners.”

Grinning at him, I had a thought and checked, “She spent about twenty bucks?”

He nodded, “Just under twenty.”

Taking the pad of paper off the coffee table, I leaned back and told Ben, “Here’s what you’re going to do tomorrow. You’re going to make your mom a fantastic dinner.”

Ben giggled, “Me? I can’t cook, Prez. Mac and cheese is my limit.”

I smiled, “You can cook this. It’s what we made last Tuesday, in one pan and two hours in the oven.” I then wrote out everything Ben would need to make Doug’s chicken dish and jotted down instructions. When he balked uncertainly, I simply said, “We’ll be here tomorrow. If you get stuck or need help, either me, Derrick or Mike can go over and get you back on track. For the same twenty bucks, we made enough for all four of us to have a great dinner. You and your mom will love it and have leftovers for another dinner.”

Ben warmly smiled at me for the longest few moments in my life. He whispered, “Prez, I think I’m…” and then loud laughter began in the master bedroom.

Before we were interrupted by Derrick and Mike, I nodded and took Ben’s hand then said, “I know, Ben. I care about you too. I love Keith though.”

Ben nodded and sighed, “I wouldn’t change that. If only…”

“You’ll find someone, Ben,” I gently assured. “You’re really special and someone’s gonna get very lucky.”

Laughing hysterically, Derrick ran out of the bedroom, shirtless and still pulling up his boardies, with Mike following close behind and making some sort of goofy, cat-like meow sound. Shaking my head, I smiled at Ben and rolled my eyes. Stopping abruptly, Derrick finished pulling his boardies up. With raised eyebrows, they grinned at me and Ben.

Ben took the recipe I had written out then forced a weak smile and said, “I’ll see you later.”

Since I still had his hand in mine, I prevented him from running away and warned, “You’d better come back. I know where you live and I’ll come get you.”

Ben nodded and promised, “Later tonight.” I let him go and he quickly offered, “See ya later,” to Derrick and Mike then left the house.

As soon as the door closed, I complained, “You two maniacs almost ruined everything! In between your laughter and Mike’s loony cat roars, I just had to break the gentlest heart in the world!” I loudly demanded, “Look ashamed!” They forced themselves to frown and attempted to look sad. Leaning back on the sofa, I closed my eyes, groaned and held my skull in place with both hands before my brain exploded. A few moments later, I felt them sit down, one on each side of me. With my eyes still closed, I softly asked, “Everything’s good?”

On my right side, Derrick grabbed my knee and assured, “We’re cool, bro.”

From my left side, Mike asked, “Ben admitted how he feels about you?”

I sighed, “Close enough.”

Mike asked, “Do you want an aspirin?”

“Two please.”

Mike said, “Be right back,” and then got up to get them.

Derrick patted my knee and assured, “I know you let him down easy, Prez.”

I huffed, “I tried to. How do you make a guy’s first failed crush easy?”

Derrick reminded, “He’s known from the start, bro. The first time he met you, Keith was here too.” He then sighed, “It doesn’t make it any easier, huh?” I grunted negatively.

Mike tapped my shoulder and held out two aspirin, saying, “Put these between your soft lips, dude.”

Opening my eyes and looking up at Mike’s not so innocent smirk, I loudly groaned, “Oh God!” then took the pills from his hand. I leaned forward for my glass of Coke and downed the aspirin.

Derrick hollered at Mike, “I’m gonna smack you!”

Mike loudly giggled, “Come on! Ben had to know!”

“Please yell softly,” I begged.

“Try being a little compassionate,” Derrick instructed.

Mike grinned, “Dad always said, ‘laughter is the best medicine’. In this case, Ben was scopin’ out a dude that was already spoken for. I’ll have some compassion for Ben. For Prez, I’ll offer aspirin and a bad joke.”

Derrick asked, “Are you hungry, Prez?”

I answered, “I was, when I was giving Ben the chicken recipe. Then he smiled at me for the longest time. He was just about to say something. Then you guys started horsin’ around.” I wondered, “What was so funny?”

Derrick shrugged and giggled, “Someone kept pulling my shorts down every time I pulled them up. Mike says my butt’s cuter than yours. Of course, I disagreed and admitted that I like his, yours and Keith’s. The first time I bent over, he goosed my ass. The second time he grabbed my dick and only let go to push my boardies down again.”

Mike cracked up. I rolled my eyes and smirked at him, “Can’t get enough?”

“Never,” Mike cackled.

I wondered, “What should we do about dinner, or the lack thereof?”

“What can we make quickly?” Mike asked, and then quickly added, “I can’t wait an hour or two.”

Derrick hummed then suggested, “Spaghetti?”

Mike shrugged, “It’s quick,” and then he leered at Derrick, “I was hoping for meat.”

Rolling his entire head, Derrick giggled, “I just gave you meat.”

Mike cackled, “That’s exactly why I’m so friggin’ hungry.”

From the garage, we heard the dryer beep. “I’ll get the sheets,” I suggested, “You two can handle dinner.”

Derrick said, “You’ll need help makin’ the bed, Prez. Its size makes it tricky.” Before Derrick finished speaking or Mike had a chance to make another wise crack, the phone rang. We all got up from the couch. I went to the garage for the sheets, Derrick went to the kitchen and Mike answered the phone. With the bed sheets gathered, I went back in the house. Derrick was missing.

Mike said, “My mom’s on her way over, Prez.” Before I could ask why, he sighed, “It’s inspection time, dude.”

I grinned, “I see. She’s making sure we’re not wrecking the place or living like slobs.”

“Yeah,” Mike groaned. “We’ve got about ten minutes.”

“We’re set, bud,” I quickly assured.

Mike nodded, “We’re looking pretty good, over all. Dinner’s on hold. Dee’s cleaning the master bathroom. I’m heading to the guest bathroom.”

So that Derrick and Mike could hear, I loudly suggested, “I’ll move our backpacks from the master bedroom to the guest bedroom temporarily.”

“Cool,” Mike shouted, and then loudly giggled, “We are so innocent!”

From the master bathroom, Derrick said, “We have to make the guest bed too, bro.” I could hear him spraying bathroom cleaner. He started coughing and hurried into the master bedroom with me, loudly complaining, “Fuckin’ noxious fumes, dude! Worse than Mike’s garlic bread farts.”

From the guest bathroom, Mike loudly laughed “I heard that!” and I cracked up. Derrick helped me make the king size bed. It was challenging because of the sheet sizes and because of the bathroom cleaner stench making our eyes water and our lungs burn.

While we were getting the blanket on the bed, Derrick bitched, “Someday they’re going to find out that cancer rates are directly related to Dow Chemical and friggin’ scrubbing bubbles.”

I giggled, “Is that what you’re using in the shower too?”

He nodded and smirked, “I’m gonna take my boardies off while I’m cleaning the shower. If only I had a gas mask.” When we finished with the blanket, Derrick asked, “Can you handle the pillows, bro? I gotta get in the bathroom.”

I nodded, “No sweat,” and Derrick pushed his boardies down then tossed them on the bed. He went to the bedroom door and shouted down the hall, “Mike, help me with this huge shower.”

Derrick walked toward the master bathroom and Mike loudly replied, “We’ll make it dirtier while cleaning it.” Shaking his head sadly, Derrick took a final big breath before entering the forbidden zone.

I finished with the pillows then went to make the guest bed. Hurrying down the hall, Mike said, “If my mom knocks on the door, let us know, Prez.”

Working on the fitted sheet, I teased, “I’ll tell her you’re mixing business with pleasure.”

Mike grinned, “Omigod! Dee’s ass gets me so crazed. My mom’s gonna find us with tented shorts.”

“You two anyway,” I cackled. “I’m the innocent shy gay boy.”

Mike smirked, “Yeah, right. In some other dimension,” and pushed his boardies off.

In the guest bedroom, I had just gotten the blanket on the bed when I heard Derrick laughing, “Lick! Down boy! Your mom, remember?”

I cracked up and could barely get the pillows in the pillow cases. With the guest bedroom and master bedroom looking great, I went to the kitchen. The trash can wasn’t even half full. I remembered seeing one of those Swiffer mops on the pantry door and quickly cleaned the kitchen floor. I ran down the hall to check the guest bathroom. The sink and toilet looked good, except Mike had left the lid and seat up so I put them down. Hurrying back down the hall, I stuck my head in the master bathroom to tell them to put the toilet seat and lid down. Before I had the whole sentence out, there was a knock at the door. I said, “Time’s up, dudes. Your mom just knocked, Mike.”

“Fuck!” they both grumbled.

I assured, “We’re lookin’ pretty good. Get dressed. I’m answering the door.”

I greeted Mrs. Gibbons. Stepping inside, she smiled, “I didn’t expect to see you here, Preston.”

Trying to keep her away from the master bedroom, I walked towards the dining area and said, “Keith and I were here a few days last week. We’ve been here since Saturday night too. We’re planning on living together next year. This is our trial run, to see if we can deal without major problems.”

She followed me to the dining room and living room asking, “Where’s Keith?”

“He’s working tonight,” I answered. “He’ll be back around nine-thirty.”

She hummed suspiciously then asked, “How long have those glasses been on the coffee table?”

“Only a few hours; we’ve been in there most of the afternoon,” I replied.

Turning around, she asked, “And that pot on the stove?”

I grinned, “For tonight’s dinner. That was next on our plan until you called.”

Coming out of the master bedroom, Mike said, “Hi, mom. I heard you talking with Prez. We live in the living room. We ate at the table this morning and it’s spotless. Prez and Dee made hotcakes and sausages. The pans are cleaned and put away. The dirty dishes are in the dishwasher.”

“So far, so good,” Mrs. Gibbons teased. She then went to check the kitchen. She checked the cabinets, the dishwasher and the refrigerator before asking, “Is this blood or chocolate on the fridge door handle?”

Mike hurried to the kitchen and did an awesome job of acting innocent. “I dunno. I got a paper cut opening a box the other day,” he said, and picked up a sponge to clean it up. Rolling his eyes and grinning, Derrick turned to me. Suddenly, I felt the need to get my hound dog and went to let him in, holding in a belly laugh.

Rush went to Mrs. Gibbons and I had to try and hold him back before he stuck his nose in her butt or crotch. I put his leash and collar on to keep him under control. Mrs. Gibbons checked the guest room next and then went into the master bedroom. She questioned Derrick and Mike about everything; when the carpets were last vacuumed; when the floors were last mopped. I jumped in and said, “The kitchen floor was just mopped, minutes before you got here.”

Derrick said, “I vacuumed yesterday, after Keith and Prez left for work. Mike mopped all the floors then too.”

Mike said, “Jessy’s been here, Saturday, Sunday and yesterday. Our band’s rehearsing for an ‘end of summer concert’, right across the street in the park.”

In the master bathroom, Mrs. Gibbons said, “I hope you're keeping the toilets clean, for her sake.”

Mike grinned and droned, “Yes, mom.”

I offered, “We clean as we go, pretty much. Today, we washed the bed sheets. All we’ve done since you called is make the beds and re-clean the bathrooms.”

Derrick grinned, “Just for you,” and then turned and winked at me.

Mrs. Gibbons walked down the hall and checked the guest bathroom. She peeked in the studio and muttered, “No wonder you two rave so much about being here.”

“We spend most of our days in there,” Mike grinned.

Dee and I grinned at each other. The little white lies were flying fast and furious. No mention was made of the night time naked jams. And it was simple luck that the master bed sheets were washed that very day. Had they not been, no amount of air freshener would’ve covered the stench of male-on-male sex.

Back at the entryway, Mrs. Gibbons smiled, “Very good, boys. Only that one little smudge on the fridge to complain about.” She then locked eyes with Derrick and said, “I’ll tell your mother. She’s got the next spot inspection, at her convenience.” Derrick obediently nodded. Mrs. Gibbons asked, “What’s for dinner?”

“Spaghetti,” I answered.

Mike admitted, “We had planned on barbecuing chicken, but I forgot to take it out and defrost it.” Mrs. Gibbons rolled her eyes and smirked at her son.

Taking Mike’s hand in his, Derrick smiled, “Not everything is perfect all the time.”

Mrs. Gibbons nodded and said, “Okay, I’ll let you get to your dinner and I’ll get back home. Have a good night.” She then opened the door and stepped outside, closing the door behind her. I took Rush’s leash and collar off.

Mike hurried to the kitchen. I went to see what he was doing and noticed Derrick walking down the hall. Mike was looking out the kitchen window. In a few moments, Mike turned and hollered, “She’s gone. Now, Dee.”

Derrick retrieved the Aladdin’s Lamp bong from the top shelf of the linen closet and I howled laughing, “Stressful motherly inspections!”

Mike grinned, “Damn right! If you weren’t here, Dee and I couldn’t have gotten to the bathrooms, and she’d still be here, bitching us out for piss splatter on the toidies.”

Returning to the kitchen counter and sitting down, Derrick nodded, “And dirty sinks and showers.” He then asked me, “Did you really mop the kitchen floor?”

“Yep,” I chuckled. “There’s a Swiffer on the pantry door. It only took two or three minutes.” Sitting at the other counter stool, I teased, “What was that on the fridge handle?”

Mike howled, “Omigod! I almost lost it and cracked up. It’s chocolate ice cream, mom. If you think that’s dirty, you should’ve seen the sheet!”

Breaking up a bud in the bong, Derrick paused and snickered, “Chocolate stains that outlined mine and Prez’s nads. I almost died laughing at that!” Shaking his head, he went back to work then took the first hit.

Mike turned the stove on under the pot of water. He turned to me and asked, “A pound or a pound and a half of pasta?”

Derrick passed me the bong. I hummed and reminded, “Keith’ll prob’ly be hungry too. A pound and a half, dude.”

Mike nodded then pulled a jar of sauce out of the pantry. It was Classico brand, which I’d never tried before, but I knew Mike was part Italian so I asked about it. Mike said, “Compared to Ragu and others, this is really good, dude. It doesn’t need any doctoring to make it edible.” I took him at his word and the proof would be when we sat down to eat. I took my bong hit then pushed Aladdin’s Lamp across the counter to Mike. Once the sauce was in a pot and on the stove, Mike took his first hit. I glanced at the clock. It was almost seven o’clock.

I turned to Derrick and sighed, “I’m still worried about Ben.”

Grasping my shoulder, Derrick nodded, “It’ll be okay, bro. Tell ya what, if he doesn’t come back here tonight, you and me will go down the block and get him tomorrow morning.”

“Should we wait all night?” I worried. “He’s so fragile still.”

Derrick confirmed, “We’ll give him tonight to pull himself together. That’s all the time he gets.”

I groaned, “I need to tell Keith too.”

Mike exhaled smoke and asked, “Tell him what? That Ben was going to admit that he likes you?” Grabbing a breath, he said, “We already knew that, dude. Saying something to Keith might only create an issue. You were totally cool with Ben. There’s no reason to admit something over nothing.”

Derrick agreed, “Tell Keith only if you have to.” He then smiled, “I know you well enough to say, when Keith walks in this house, nothing else will matter except Keith.”

Mike giggled, “At least for the first half an hour or hour.”

Obviously already feeling the effects of weed, I cackled, “I think I’m turning into a total bottom.” Derrick and Mike roared laughing. I grinned and loudly admitted, “He pounded my butt so good before. I lost it in only three strokes. What do I want now? More of the same, thank you.”

Catching his breath, Derrick smiled, “I’ve seen you banging Keith’s butt; slow and like a jackhammer.”

Mike said, “That’s another reason why Keith and I could never work out, Prez. He loves the flip-flopping. You do too. I thought you dudes were switching off after orgasms. You flip-flop all the time though.” He then locked eyes with Derrick and softly asked, “I’m giving you what you need?”

Derrick walked around the counter, took hold of Mike and clearly proclaimed, “Every time, Lick. I haven’t ever complained. When I tell you I need it, you’ve done me perfectly, every time.”

After a long, intensely passionate kiss, during which time, I helped myself to another hit, Mike sighed “I love you, Dee.”

“Don’t forget I love you too,” Derrick purred. “Our priority change is working out great, don’t you think?”

Humming affirmatively and turning to jelly, Mike hung off Derrick. Before they caught fire, I blew smoke at them. They both began giggling. I told them, “I brought what’s left of my little bag with me.”

Taking the bong and loading himself a hit, Derrick asked, “Is there much left?”

I nodded, “We’ve only smoked three small joints worth. Keith said I could save it for here. Since that first night Brian and Pete were here, I’ve kept it in my backpack, where nobody can accidentally find it.”

Mike grunted then smiled, “We might be good for the rest of the month. Between rehearsals, jams and extremely long sexual interludes, this is the first time we’ve had any since last Friday night.”

Derrick took and held his hit. I complained, “What are you boiling over there, Mike, holy water? I’m starving!” Smiling and struggling to hold his hit, Derrick sputtered.

Mike giggled, “Prez has the munchies. No more for him until later.”

“Later, Keith will be home. We’ve learned pot doesn’t slow us down at all. All it seems to do is shorten our fuses a little.” I evilly grinned, “When I closed my eyes during my last hit, guess what I saw.”

Derrick lost it, covered his mouth with both hands and coughed himself red in the face. Mike and I snickered while Derrick recovered. Glaring evilly at me, Derrick walked around the kitchen counter. I got off the stool and backed away, giggling, “Be nice. You might upset Rush.”

“Ooo, yeah,” Derrick remembered, “the dildo destroyer.” Bending in half, Mike roared.

There was a knock at the door. Derrick went to answer it. Shaun and Gil came in and greeted us then sat at the counter. Since I was up anyway, I went over to the living room stereo and turned it on. Shaun did a bong hit but Gil declined. The song YYZ by Rush had just begun and I turned up the volume. Mike prompted, “Louder,” so I turned it up more. “Omigod!” Mike yelled, “We have got to learn this song!”

Derrick hollered, “I would need a huge kit, Lick, including Roto-toms, synth drums and twice as many cymbals, at least.”

With the song still blasting, I went towards the kitchen and took Derrick’s hand. Once in the kitchen, where we didn’t need to scream at each other, I loudly asked, “Can you play this, Mike?”

Mike nodded, “I know parts of it.”

“I know sections too,” I admitted. Then we turned to Derrick.

“Oh dudes,” Derrick giggled. “I’m hearing splash cymbals, a set of three Roto-toms, three mounted toms and a synth drum making that whip snapping sound. I could at least try, if I had all the right drums.”

I took a deep breath and tried to think clearly for a while. YYZ ended and Steely Dan’s Hey Nineteen started playing, which I loved, but I needed to concentrate and speak without yelling so I went to turn the stereo down. With the volume more tolerable, I returned to the kitchen. I told Derrick, Mike and Shaun, “Here’s the scoop. I talked to Keith and he’ll let me get our band’s P.A. system. That frees you two up to get drums and mics for the drums, agreed?”

Derrick nodded, “A grand for mics and probably another grand for miscellaneous drums, cymbals and hardware.”

I asked Mike, “What do you still need?”

“Not much,” Mike answered, “an SM57 for my amp, a mic stand and a D.I. box, for the stereo line to the board; two hundred and fifty bucks or so.” Mike locked eyes with Shaun and reminded, “You’ll need an SM57 for your amp, and an SM58 for vocals and two mic stands.”

Shaun asked, “About how much?”

Mike replied, “Three hundred or so.”

I nodded, “I’m there too. I need a mic for the bass amp, but don’t know which I’d get.”

Pushing at the front of his boardies, Mike groaned, “I’m getting excited.”

Derrick’s eyebrows rose and he grinned at Mike. Shaun and Gil began giggling.

“Okay,” I grinned, “before two couples get side-tracked and I’m left spanking it, let’s put dinner on hold and get ourselves in front of the computer.”

Turning the stove burners down, Mike said, “I’ll get my Carvin catalog too.” Shaun, Gil, Derrick and I went to the studio. Mike ducked into the master bedroom and soon joined us, waiting for the PC to boot. Mike told Shaun, “Grab the Strat and start practicing, dude. Whatever ya need, just ask.” Paper-clipped to the Carvin catalog were the notes Keith had taken a month earlier when we last spent time daydreaming about gear.

I whimpered, “Even his handwriting is sexy as hell.” Mike and Derrick giggled. I wondered, “It’s not possible to rape the willing, is it?” Shaun began playing Give Me One Reason. I turned and grinned at him. Getting my unspoken message, Shaun cracked up and started over.

“No!” Derrick and Mike laughed.

I glanced over Keith’s notes. “According to this, we would fill a twenty-four channel board immediately.”

“Forget that then,” Mike said. He then turned to me and asked, “Is the thirty-two channel system beyond your budget, Prez?”

“Nope,” I replied. Derrick had Internet Explorer up and was typing in the Musician’s Friend address. Shaun was working on Stone In Love. I hurried back to the living room to get the pad of paper and pen then flew back to the studio. We searched microphones first. Mike knew he needed an SM57. We found an AKG D112 mic for my bass amps. That same AKG mic would work for Derrick’s bass drum and two floor toms. The SM57 mic would be good for the snare drum too. Shaun switched to the No No Song. Little-by-little, we had a full page of handwritten notes on microphones and mic stands. Including Roto-toms, we had twenty-eight microphones. The total cost of mics and stands was almost three grand.

There would be at least two direct connections from my bass effects unit and Mike’s GT-3, for a total of thirty channels, but that included Shaun’s amp mic and vocal mic too. We could still count on a thirty-two channel system. We were assuming four lines for Jessy’s keyboards. I went to call her and learned that six was what she needed for the end of summer concert. That filled the thirty-two-channel board. Shaun began working on Bringin’ On The Heartbreak.

“Right off the bat, we need to get an expandable mixer,” Derrick thought aloud. He was searching Roto-toms and soon added, “Four hundred bones for a set of three Roto-toms and a stand.”

Mike huffed, “It’s way after six. We’ll call Carvin tomorrow and find out if their mixers can be chained together or if there are other alternatives.”

Shaun said, “Hey, Mike? Join me for Wonderful Tonight, please?” Mike got up and powered up an amp then slung his guitar over his shoulders. Together, Shaun and Mike played the two guitar parts. Mike sang along.

I was reading the Carvin catalog description of the mixer and soon said, “This system can cover about five hundred people. This is enough for our school dances and most small parties. Four separate buses for monitors and two for on-board effects including reverb, chorus and delay. There are also two auxiliary busses.”

“Awesome,” Derrick softly chanted. Looking up at him, I helplessly giggled.

Derrick laughed, “What? A little reverb on a snare sounds great.”

Mike nodded, “And Reverb, chorus or delay on Keith’s vocals, at an appropriate time?” All five of us began mooing. Breaking us out of our trances, there was a knock at the front door.

“It might be Ben,” I hoped, not realizing the time.

All five of us and Rush went down the hall to answer the door. Boy, were we shocked to find Keith standing at the door and fell about each other, completely hysterical.

Stepping inside and suspiciously watching us, Keith smirked, “Um… wassup?”

Mike laughed, “Where the hell did two hours go? I totally missed eight and nine o’clock.”

On his way to the kitchen, Derrick howled, “I guess we can make dinner now!”

Wide-eyed, Shaun cackled, “Oh damn! You dudes haven’t eaten yet?”

I slid to my lover’s side and held on tight, still softly snickering at our two-plus hour diversion from reality. With one arm around my waist and leading me toward the dining area, Keith asked, “You held dinner for me?”

Mike giggled, “Not exactly, bro.”

“Oh shit!” Keith cackled, “The bong is out.” He then looked into my eyes and cracked up. When Keith calmed down some, I explained that we had taken a gear related tangent and time slipped away from us.

Derrick patted my back and sniggered, “It was Prez’s fault. He turned on the stereo. We heard YYZ playing and everything deteriorated from there.”

“I still think we could play that song,” Mike offered. He finished loading the bowl and shoved the bong to Keith, saying, “Might as well catch up, bro.”

While Keith did a bong hit, I fed Rush, who had been more than patient, waiting three hours for his normal six-thirty dinner. He always sat for his dinner, but this time I didn’t delay and immediately told him, “Go eat, hound.” I floated back to the stool where Keith was sitting and got woozy. His hair smelled so nice, I had to taste him and leaned over for kiss. He tasted of marijuana and blew smoke into my lungs. That only turned affection into raging testosterone.

Keith smiled at me then turned to Mike and said, “Dinner’s gonna have to wait, bro.”

Mike giggled, “Okay.” He then turned to Gil and Shaun, saying, “Make yourselves comfy in the guest room or in the studio.” Shaun nodded rapidly, like this was what he’d been waiting for all his life, and pulled Gil into the guest room. The door closed.

My lover picked me up, like the sack of wet noodles I was, and carried me to the master bedroom. He dropped me on the bed and began disrobing me. Once naked, I sat up and reached for Keith’s boardies first. Keith took his polo shirt off and tossed it aside. I had to know if the front of Keith’s boxers were damp again. I wasn’t disappointed. Keith was already on top of me and grinding away when the small guitar-shaped bedside lamps turned on. Already naked, Derrick and Mike took positions on the far side of the bed.

This night, Keith wanted to go for, what we called a ‘crab-style’ ride. He faced and straddled me, giving me access to his powerful legs and magnificent cock. Mike emulated Keith and caused Derrick to groan like I’d never heard before. After about five minutes, Keith pushed my hand off his cock then moved to kneel between my legs. I bent my legs and raised my ass off the mattress then lowered myself down onto Keith. This was another great position because Keith could drive into me and, when he got tired and leaned back on his arms, I could easily drive myself into a frenzy riding him. I was totally out of control, whimpering, groaning and shouting when Keith matched my actions with his own thrusts, causing me to bounce and wildly holler for more. Without touching myself or Keith touching me, I went off like Yellowstone’s Old Faithful, shooting a whopper over my left shoulder that I could actually hear hit the sheets by my left ear. I didn’t need or want to recover. I kept riding Keith and he kept plowing into me for another minute or so until he called my name and pushed up hard into me. I remained still, forcing my ass down onto his hips to receive his love. Thoroughly exhausted as I was, I sat up and reached over for a kiss. Keith leaned down and kissed me then softly chuckled, “Baby… you are so awesome. Tonight goes into the record book, as far as I’m concerned. You’re on fire inside.”

Emotionally drained, I was on the verge of crying when I replied, “I love you, Keith. Always and forever, babe.” Keith knelt upright and grabbed hold of me to pull me onto his lap. He was still hard inside me. I cooed at the knowledge he was still excited and held him in my arms, grinding my ass down against him. It didn’t take very long, maybe a minute or two, before Keith stiffened and quaked. Inside me, I could feel he lost it again. That brought happy tears to my eyes and I kissed him repeatedly.

Returning to the planet surface again, I realized that Derrick and Mike were in a different position and still going at it. I pushed up off Keith then rolled off the bed and offered him my hand. He took it and we went to the bathroom to clean up a little. Normally, we stay in bed and don’t worry too much about it, but since we had company and none of us had eaten, I decided to actually finish cooking dinner before the sun rose and we were having spaghetti for breakfast. As we stepped out of the master bedroom and closed the door, Shaun and Gil came out of the guest bedroom. Keith and I had never even heard the guest bed squeak. Still attached to Gil, Shaun smiled, “We’ve got work in the morning, dudes.”

I smiled, “You’re doin’ great, Shaun. We’ll see you guys tomorrow night?”

Gil nodded, “Thanks for letting us have some time alone. It’s very much appreciated.”

I smiled, “The guest room is yours, whenever you need it for the next two weeks, until Doug and Brian return.”

Keith nodded and added, “Ya know, you don’t have to wait for any of us.”

Shaun giggled, “Then we’ll definitely be back tomorrow. I might even get some guitar playing done too!” The four of us began laughing and soon said good night. Shaun and Gil left for home.

While we cooked, Keith told me about work that night. There were no drunken idiots at Blockbuster that night, thankfully. Blockbuster was expanding their video game rental selection and that was where Keith spent a majority of his time. I told him about my night as music theory teacher for Mike, Derrick and Ben. Taking Derrick’s and Mike’s advice, I did not mention Ben’s admission or my attempt to let him down easy. When the spaghetti and sauce were cooked, Keith shouted for Derrick and Mike to “Come and get it!”

Mike loudly replied, “We’ve already gotten it and cum twice, each!” Grinning and holding back a snicker, Keith shook his head.

The four of us had dinner, naked and gathered around the kitchen counter. Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me was playing on the stereo, near the end of our dinner. We tried singing and eating at the same time, which was foolish and hysterical, but as soon as we cleaned up, we raced back to the studio to play and sing the song correctly ourselves. At the end of the song, I’m sure we were all stunned. Derrick said, “Okay, I know we got high, but that was four hours ago.”

I nodded, “It did sound pretty damn good though.”

“I ain’t that stoned,” Keith corrected, and then cheered, “That was really, really good.”

Mike smiled, “There were a few barren spots where a second guitar should’ve been, but our vocals and everything was awesome.” He then suggested, “The Rover?” When we all nodded, Mike told Keith, “Take a break, bro. We played this tune last week and Dee sang. Let us know how it sounds.”

“Cool,” Keith chirped, but then left the room. He returned less than a minute later with the bong and parked his ass on the floor. We all began giggling. “What?” Keith grinned. “You’re all one up on me. Besides, from this position, I can see my sex-machine’s dick and meaty nads.”

I chuckled, “And there goes another layer of paint from the back of this bass.”

Loading himself a bowl, and without looking up, Keith said, “If you get a splinter in your unit, let me know, baby.” Looking up, he gleamed, “I’ll pull it out with my teeth then kiss it to make it better.”

Mike laughed at Keith, “You are a major distraction! We need Prez focused on music!”

Derrick chuckled, “It is late. Let’s make this the last tune for the night.”

“And then…” I giggled. “The ice cream and oral sex!” Derrick and Mike groaned, but Keith evilly snickered.

Lifting the bong and noticing Mike shaking his head, Keith smirked, “I see two chubbies. Are there three?” Derrick giggled, nodded and briefly stood up. Keith muttered, “Obviously an acceptable idea.” When Keith took his bong hit, we had the opportunity to begin the song. While I played, I watched Keith. He exhaled then started loading the bong again. He stood with the bong and carried it to me. Standing behind me, he brought Aladdin’s Lamp to my mouth and lit the bowl for me. When I was done, he cleared the bowl then reloaded it for Mike and went to stand behind him. He did the same one more time, but since Derrick was singing, Keith waited for the guitar solo to offer him a hit. Then Keith sat back down and took another hit. We finished the song and Keith cheered, “Awesome, dudes! Now play me the original recording so I can hear any differences.”

I took off my bass, saying, “Let’s go find that disk,” and then turned off the bass amp. Taking Keith’s hand and leading the way to the living room, I heard Derrick and Mike giggling. Turning around and glancing at them suspiciously, I wondered, “What now?”

Keith smiled, “You can lead me anywhere, baby. Don’t even ask if I want to follow, I will.”

I huffed, “At least it wasn’t another remark about my bubble butt.” Giggling, Mike and Derrick began turning off the rest of the gear. They wisely said nothing.

Keith chuckled, “That’s a small part of why I follow you; for the view. While we’re on the topic, your nads bounce real nice while you’re jammin’.”

I whined, “Keith! You’re instigating round two.”

Derrick cackled, “After Keith hears the Zeppelin version of The Rover.”

Mike smiled, “We’d actually like to make it to the beach tomorrow morning.”

The four of us went to the living room. Mike easily found the Physical Graffiti CD’s and popped the disk in the player. The first thing Keith noticed was the difference in guitar tone. Mike said, “That’s a wah-wah peddle, bro. Shaun’s got my GT-3 and I didn’t have it tonight.”

Derrick assured, “Mike can match those tones easily.” Dee then asked, “How about the vocals, dude?”

“Sing,” Keith prompted. So Derrick began singing along. At the end of the song, Mike pressed pause. Keith asked Derrick, “How does your throat feel while singing?”

Derrick shrugged, “Not bad, but it’s at the upper limit of my range.”

“Straining is bad,” Keith reminded. “If you couldn’t sing another song immediately after singing that one, then better not go there, dude.”

Mike suggested, “How about lettin’ Prez and me hear both of you?”

Keith shrugged and grinned, “Lyrics?”

Mike hurried to the studio and returned moments later with the lyrics. We replayed the song from the beginning and listened to Derrick and Keith swap lines. Derrick sang better following Keith’s lead. Hearing Keith sing and match Robert Plant so well, I popped serious wood before the guitar solo. All four of us began giggling. Mike took my hand and led me behind the kitchen counter so Derrick and Keith could finish singing without my distraction.

At the end of the song, Keith again asked Derrick, “How’s your throat feelin’ now?”

Derrick hummed then sighed and admitted, “Strained.”

Keith checked, “This is the song I promised I’d sing last week?” Derrick and Mike nodded. “Okay,” Keith smiled, “Now I need some practice to get this right.” Mike restarted the song and, with my stupid cock under control, I returned to the living room. We all sat on the sofa. This time Keith read the lyrics sheet and listened; only occasionally humming. The song automatically restarted and Keith stood. He walked around the coffee table, lowered the volume slightly and began singing with the CD.

“I've been to London, seen seven wonders. I know to trip is just to fall
I used to rock it, sometimes I'd roll it. I always knew what it was for.
There can be no denyin' that the wind 'll shake 'em down
And the flat world's flyin'. There's a new plague on the land
If we could just join hands, If we could just join hands, If we could just join

“Traversed the planet when heaven sent me. I saw the kings who rule them all
Still by the firelight and purple moonlight. I hear the rested rivers call
And the wind is crying, from a love that won't grow cold
My lover she is lying, on the dark side of the globe
If we could just join hands, If we could just join hands, If we could just join hands

“You got me rockin' when I ought to be a-rollin'
Darlin' tell me, darlin' which way to go
You keep me rockin' baby, then you keep me stolen
Won't you tell me, darlin', which way to go... that's right

“Oh how I wonder, oh how I worry and I would dearly like to know
I've all this wonder of earthly plunder, will it leave us anything to show?
And our time is flyin' see the candle burnin' low
Is the new world rising, from the shambles of the old?
If we could just join hands, If we could just join hands, If we could just, If we could just, If we could just, If we could just, If we could just join hands”

Turning to pause the CD player then turning around again, Keith blankly asked, “How was that?”

I kept my big mouth shut and glanced over at Mike and Derrick. They were widely smiling and checking with each other. Derrick laughed, “Are you friggin’ serious?”

Hysterical, Mike howled, “You rat bastard! You even got the British inflections right!” Softly giggling and shaking his head, Mike then stood and went to Keith. He quickly kissed Keith then stepped aside and turned to Derrick. Derrick stood and gave Keith a kiss. My turn came and Keith got my most passionate kiss.

Keith pulled me up off the floor. He told Mike and Derrick, “If we’re making the beach tomorrow, then its bed time. My sex-machine needs some lovin’.” Keith danced me to the bedroom and shoved me on to the bed. This time wasn’t too intense, just long lasting, tasty oral sex and the feeling of my lover’s hands caressing my body. Derrick and Mike were behind me, but from the sound, it seemed they went for intercourse again.

At nine o’clock the alarm went off. Without delay for excessive morning play time, we had cereals for breakfast. I had to go check on Ben. Derrick went with me and we invited him to the beach. Ben reminded us that he couldn’t swim and pleasantly declined, but said he would stop over later that day. We promised to teach him to swim in Mike’s pool. The four of us then went down to the beach in my 4Runner. It was very overcast on the southern side of the Santa Monica Mountains that day. Driving out of the last tunnel was like arriving at a completely different state. Russ’ surf shop was virtually empty when we pulled alongside the shack. The surf conditions board read one to two foot, choppy waves from the northwest. Groaning, we went back up Kanan-Dune Road.

During the ride, we started talking about the P.A. system again. I checked with Keith, “I think the time is rapidly approaching to stop talking and start acting.”

Keith nodded and offered, “You’ve done your homework, baby. I won’t stop you, but will remind you of next year’s taxes. Don’t leave yourself short, okay?”

Turning onto the 101, I reminded, “I haven’t even looked at the dividend statement from the end of June.” Glancing in the mirrors to merge, I told Derrick and Mike, “We’re making a detour to Woodland Hills.” It was good thing I looked back because there were flashing police lights racing towards us. I stayed to the right and made sure I wasn’t speeding. Four cruisers practically flew past us with sirens blaring.

“Whoa!” Derrick and Mike softly chuckled.

Mike smirked, “Someone’s been very bad somewhere.”

“Damned straight people,” Derrick joked, “if they’d just get their quota of sex, they wouldn’t be so uptight.” With all of us chuckling, several loosely related tangents were taken on our way to the Hundsers’.

Surprisingly, mom’s car was in the driveway. “Uh oh,” Keith grunted. “This can’t be good.”

We stopped and got out of the 4Runner then went inside. Keith’s mom was in the kitchen. Keith worried, “Is everything okay, mom? Are you feeling alright?”

Mrs. Hundser sighed, showed us a box of cake mix and smirked, “What day is this?”

Keith offered, “Wednesday?”

“Very good!” Mrs. Hundser grinned, “And the date?”

I answered, “The fifteenth.”

“Oh shit!” Keith hollered. He then turned to me, smiling, “It’s dad’s forty-first birthday.”

Shaking her head sadly, Mom teased, “You forgot. Don’t lie.” She then asked, “Should I expect you for dinner or afterward?”

Keith replied, “For dinner,” and then asked, “Can we squeeze Mike and Derrick around the table?”

Mom nodded, “We’ll make it work. Drew and Corey will be back for dinner too. I wouldn’t be surprised if John invited Kim.” Mike and Derrick stepped forward, surrounded Mom and kissed each cheek, softly offering their thanks. She assured them it was no problem then wondered, “What brings you home?”

Keith turned to me and I explained, “It’s time to make a major long term investment. We’ve signed up to play at a concert in Agoura Hills, Labor Day weekend. Between that and school dances this school year, we’ve got to get a better P.A. system.”

Mike smiled, “We’ve figured out exactly what we’ll need using catalogs and calculators.”

“Now it’s time to actually shop for the best deal,” Derrick offered.

Keith reminded, “We’ll also have to do birthday present shopping too.”

I hummed, “We should probably do that first. We’ll get Rush and bring him home too. Then we’ll head to Guitar Center…” Mike whimpered and I grinned, “And the Carvin store.” Derrick grabbed a magazine off the kitchen counter and fanned Mike with it. We all roared laughing. Shaking her head sadly, even Mom helplessly giggled. I chuckled, “Let me check the finances real quick.” While I headed for our bedroom, Keith and Derrick led Mike to the couch before he fainted.

The last time I checked, I had slightly over ten grand in my money market account. I opened the recent dividend statement and my eyes nearly popped out their sockets. My new balance was just under fourteen thousand dollars. Keith stepped up behind me and I showed him the bottom line.

Keith gasped then wondered, “What’re you gonna do?”

I shrugged, “Leave plenty for taxes. I’m thinking I could take nine thousand, but to be safe, take eight instead. That leaves almost six grand there, more than dad suggested.”

Keith nodded and smiled, “Go for it, baby.”

Pulling out the checkbook and sitting down to fill it out, I paused and looked up at Keith, grinning, “Don’t say a word to Derrick or Mike. I don’t want them so out of control that I have to take vitamin supplements tonight.”

Keith nodded and laughed, “We both might need them anyway. The night you got the bass and amp was pretty wild. This could be eight times as wild.”

I assured, “I’ll only want you, Keith. After I’m a panting waste of flesh, you can offer me up, but only if you’re completely satisfied and want to do that.” I scribbled my signature and tore the check out. Keith leaned over and gave me an extremely passionate kiss. I sighed, “And that was for?”

Keith grinned and softly replied, “For loving me; for giving me the task of keeping two horn-balls off your sexy bubble-butt.”

Standing, I reminded, “They ain’t touching my butt. That’s only yours, babe.”

Keith hugged me tight. I could feel a bulge in his shorts and knowingly giggled. Keith whispered, “I want you now, Prez.”

Pulling him along with me, I closed and locked the door. For the first time ever, Keith didn’t completely undress me or himself. He took me standing, with our boardies at our feet and our T-shirts still on. It was fast and furious and incredibly passionate, like if we didn’t get off right then, we might explode from the delay. Keith held my chest with one arm and my lower abdomen with the other. He slammed into me so hard, it felt like I was being lifted and on my toes half the time. Including the time spent reviewing my account and filling out the check, we walked out of our bedroom ten minutes later, wearing different undies and boardies.

From the living room sofa, Derrick smiled widely and bounced his eyebrows. Mike smirked and rolled his eyes. Mom co-endorsed my check, but said nothing about the amount or our different clothes. Smiling as proudly as ever at Mike and Derrick, Keith asked, “Ready to jet?”

They nodded and got up, pleasantly saying, “See ya later, Mrs. H.”

Mom reminded, “Dinner’s at six, boys. Be here before then.”

I assured, “No problem, mom.”

Once we were outside and the front door closed, Mike grumbled, “You bastards. Leave us there in the living room, sittin’ on the friggin’ couch.”

Derrick howled laughing, “You were so quiet too! Were your mouths stuffed?”

Bouncing my eyebrows and smiling widely, I shook my head.

At once, Mike and Derrick hollered, “No fucking way!”

“We said we knew how to be quiet,” Keith chortled.

As we got back in the 4Runner, Mike warned, “You’ll be sorry.” I had barely pulled away from the curb before hearing the unmistakable sound of Velcro being ripped open. Keith glanced back briefly then cracked up laughing. In the rearview mirror, all I could see was Derrick’s ass where his head had been seconds earlier. Shaking my head, I turned the radio on and up loud. Only Derrick and Mike would chance a sixty-nine in the back of my truck while I was driving from Woodland Hills to Agoura Hills. They finished before I exited at Chesebro, sat back in their seats and cuddled for the last few minutes of the ride.

Turning down the radio, I teased, “Not bad, but still not as good as maniacally desperate intercourse in five minutes.”

Keith turned and chuckled, “The really sad part was when we were done. There were no dirty towels in the closet laundry bag. We had to use our undies to clean ourselves up.” Mike and Derrick groaned and I cracked up. Keith turned to me and smiled, “You’re so awesome, baby. I got so hot, so fast, I couldn’t help asking. I didn’t really know if you’d go for it or not.”

I grinned and nodded, “I felt you, babe. When you’re hot, I’ll always be ready.”

Mike asked, “You were bottom again, Prez?”

Stopping in front of Doug and Brian’s place, I rapidly nodded and laughed, “I said I loved it. Keith was harder faster so… no problem.”

Derrick and Mike got out. Keith helped me get the sunscreen in place and softly asked, “Are you really okay, Prez?” He quickly reminded, “We didn’t even use lube, only a little spit.”

Turning to my compassionate lover, I pulled him close and tenderly kissed him. I then assured, “I’m not only okay, I’m in love and feeling that reminder twitching. The only thing that was a little uncomfortable was a pulled hair on entry. After that, it was awesome, babe.”

Realizing that I was being completely truthful, Keith kissed me back and offered, “Take me the same way tonight.”

Before we got out of the car, I smiled, “That was a rarity. Not once have we been that desperate and fast. I’m not gonna do it today just to be even.” Keith nodded and we got out of the car. Taking his hand in mine, I playfully warned, “Someday though…”

Keith cackled, “Woohoo!”

As soon as we stepped inside the house, Mike asked, “Rush is going home tonight?”

“Yep,” I answered. “We’ll be back here though.”

Derrick asked, “Are you staying here tomorrow and Friday night?”

Keith shrugged, “Don’t think so, dude. You two have to work anyway.”

I told Keith, “Drew and Corey want to go camping again. Actually, Corey wants to.”

Only slightly surprised, Keith said, “Okay, that’s where we’ll be then.”

I offered, “We can come back Saturday morning, stay that night and Sunday night. Then we’ll leave for Yosemite Monday morning.”

Mike asked, “When will you be back?”

“Pretty late Wednesday night,” Keith answered.

Derrick hummed and checked with Mike. When Mike nodded, Derrick asked, “Why don’t you come directly back here, dudes? That’s our last week alone.”

I turned to Keith and said, “It’s up to you, babe. You have to be at work earliest and drive furthest.”

Mike offered, “We want to see what a full week is like, with each of us running to work on different schedules. Doug and Brian are due back Friday the thirty-first. We’ve got to squeeze a party in there somewhere.”

Keith and I grinned at each other. He went to Derrick and took him in his arms while I hugged Mike tight. I said, “Our whole time here has been a party.”

Keith nodded and said, “If you wanna have Jerry, Mack, Shaun and Gil over, that’s fine, but it’s not required.”

I asked, “Is there anyone here who thinks living together after high school will be a problem?” Seeing three heads shaking and smiling faces, I said, “We have shit to do today then.”

Stepping back from me, Mike grinned, “I’ll get the Carvin catalog and all our notes,” then hurried to the studio.

Derrick raced into the master bedroom and came out again with the white laundry then took it to the garage.

Keith gathered Rush’s dishes, kibble and put his leash on. I gathered some extra tip money from my backpack. If we could’ve managed it, all four of us would’ve held hands as we walked out of the house. Rush was put in the rear cargo space of the 4Runner then we headed back to Woodland Hills. On the way, Rush tried to jump the back seat to join Derrick and Mike. The path was blocked in the nick of time and Rush was pushed back again. While I took Rush inside, Keith, Derrick and Mike waited in the car. Overly excited to be home again and seeing Keith’s mom, Rush wagged his entire body. He hurried to his crate and ran back out of our room with his rope toy then sat at the back door to be let outside.

Now that she had me alone, Mom asked, “Will you need all that money, Preston?”

I shrugged, “What we know is the basic system will cost about five thousand. There will likely be other miscellaneous requirements too. This one investment will last several years though, Mom. It’ll be enough for small and big parties of up to five hundred people. That means it’s enough for the school dances. It’ll be enough for after high school too. The one thing I don’t know about is if the gear requires periodic maintenance. If it does, we get cost estimates or some kind of service plan too. I expect to get at least five years out of this gear, like I expect to get ten years out of the 4Runner. Another thing we’ve considered is having the time to get Drew and Corey familiar with it. They’re running the sound system and the lights for us so they’ve gotta know how it all works.”

Mom nodded and sighed, “It’s a big investment.”

“I know. Keith, Derrick and Mike all know it. Our time in Agoura Hills has proved we can live together. Right off the bat, that means this gear will last us three years. I intend to have a career in music too, so it should last beyond that.”

She asked, “Will it all fit in our garage?”

“I’m pretty sure it will. If necessary, I could get a shed for out back, but I don’t think that’ll be required.”

Mom nodded and smiled, “You’ve thought this through.”

“For months, Mom; it started as dreams back in May. When Will asked us to play school dances, dreams started taking shape.”

“I can’t wait to see it and hear it.”

I giggled, “Neither can we. We’ll see you around five-thirty, in time for Dad’s birthday dinner.”

She said, “Have a good time,” and I hurried back out to the 4Runner.

As soon as I got inside, Keith grinned, “Mom gave you the third degree?”

I laughed, “Of course! I proved we all thought this through and have been for a long while.” I pulled away and started for the Promenade Mall. I asked Keith, “What about presents for Dad?”

Keith shrugged, “With Yosemite around the corner, twenty-five bucks is my budget.”

I offered, “I was thinking a nice pair of cuff links. We could pool our money and get a really nice set.”

Keith smiled and nodded, “Go to Topanga Plaza then, baby. And we’ll get a card from both of us.”

Mike said, “And another card from us. He’s been a really great surrogate for three years and always helping my mom with legal and financial shit.”

In a few minutes, we were at Ben Bridge Jewelers. Keith and I found a really nice set of Sterling silver cuff links for fifty-bucks. As usual, I drove Keith crazy and had them inscribed with Dad’s initials, while we waited, raising the price to just under a hundred, including tax. We went to the food court and grabbed some lunch. Keith kept leering at me the whole time we ate our cheeseburgers. In the men’s room, where it was confirmed to be only the four of us, I pushed Keith against a wall. Grinding myself against him, I reminded, “Who banged my brains out and got us off in five minutes? Whose father is my foster dad and father-in-law? I’m not worried so you sure don’t need to be.”

Giving up, Keith evilly smirked, “Whose legs will be high in the air demanding big dick again tonight?” Standing at the public men’s room door, Derrick and Mike cracked up. As if we weren’t in a very public place, all four of us laughed, “We want big dick now, ple-ease!” We then went back Ben Bridge to pick up the cuff links.

On our way to the car, we decided to check out G.C. first. Mike had the bucks in his pocket to get a mic and stand. I also planned on getting the AKG D112 mic and stand for my bass amp. Derrick had the bucks to begin gathering microphones for his existing kit. Exactly what Dee would get depended upon the deal we could make.

I made a brief stop at the bank. Keith told Derrick and Mike to come in with us. With my three-man security escort, I left the bank with eighty one-hundred dollar bills bulging in my boardies.

In the back seat, Mike whimpered, “Dee?”

Derrick giggled, “I know, Lick.”

“I need some now,” Mike whined.

Derrick cackled, “Whip it out.”

Mike grunted negatively then pleaded, “Yours?”

Derrick nodded and warned, “You’re mine on the way to or from the Carvin store.”

Enthusiastically, Mike chirped, “Fine.”

Behind me, Derrick ripped open his Velcro then raised his ass and lowered his boardies.

I chuckled, “You’ve barely got five minutes, Mike.”

Mike hummed hungrily then teased, “Watch me work, dudes.” He then leaned over Derrick.

Keith squeezed my hand and smiled, “I thought we were bad.”

I grinned, “We are, but so are they. That’s why we get along so well.”

Keith asked, “Could you do it in a car?”

“Not while I’m driving!” I laughed.

“But could you?” Keith wondered.

I answered, “Not in Derrick’s convertible 442, but yeah, in another sedan, sure. It might take longer…” I glanced over at Keith and groaned through my giggles, knowing it was time to shut up.

Derrick whimpered. His legs extended under my seat and he effectively goosed me with his tootsies.

Keith saw me jump. He scowled at me then looked into the back seat, playfully reminding, “That’s my bubble-butt to tweak.”

Derrick weakly offered, “Sorry.”

Mike grunted negatively and it clearly sounded like “I’m not.” Keith huffed impatiently then turned to me, smiling and bouncing his eyebrows.

I warned, “Stopping at the corner of Roscoe and Winnetka. When the light changed, I grinned, “Prepare to turn left from Roscoe onto Winnetka.”

Tossing himself back against the seat, Keith chuckled “You sound like a bus driver, baby.”

I giggled, “On Winnetka now, heading either East or North.” Stomping his feet, Keith howled. “Approximately a mile to Northridge G.C.” Suddenly, the pressure beneath my seat became constant. “About one or two minutes,” I laughed, purposefully not mentioning exactly what might happen at that time. Breathless and wheezing, Keith fell back in his seat, hysterical. I groaned, “Slowing for traffic at the Parthenia intersection. Still uncertain if I’m going East or North.”

Keith squeaked, “N-No-North!”

“No full stop at Parthenia,” I reported. “Just bumper-to-bumper bull shit.”

Moments later, Derrick hissed then sighed, “Yeah.” I made the right turn onto Nordhoff Street. At Corbin, Nordhoff Street becomes Nordhoff Way. If there was an entrance to the parking lot then I would’ve taken that route, but since there wasn’t an entrance, I turned left onto Corbin. Derrick encouraged, “You got this, Lick. I’m so close. Push it, wild man.”

Catching his breath, Keith smiled then turned to glance back. Quickly facing forward again, he reported, “Dee’s eyes are closed, legs fully extended…” Derrick began humming on Corbin.

“Uh oh,” Keith and I grunted in unison. The whole SUV quaked as Derrick repeatedly stiffened and relaxed. His humming was constant and getting louder. Because Derrick began thrashing around, I had to use both hands on the wheel to turn right onto Nordhoff Street. The Guitar Center sign could now be seen and the parking lot was about five hundred feet away on right side. I turned on my right directional.

Maybe two whole seconds before I turned into the G.C. parking lot, Derrick screamed “Mike!” Breathless and gasping, Derrick cheered, “You wild man! Perfect! Look where we are, Lick.” Derrick then began huffing and cooing.

Mike didn’t move off Derrick until I had parked. He sat up and sarcastically spat “HA! Try to slow me down with your childish act and silly jokes, will ya?” Holding up his thumb and index finger barely a half inch apart, Mike snarled, “I’m this close to sucking a soccer ball through a garden hose! I know my lover and he knows me! I’ll bet both of you twenty bucks that Dee can get me off between here and the Carvin Store. I’ll bet you he can get me off twice cos it’s a longer drive!”

Keith shook his head and chuckled, “Nope.”

Turning off the engine, I turned to Derrick. “You game to try, bro? I’ve got a twenty that says you can’t do it twice. Traffic is on your side.”

Too happy to fight or bet, Derrick said, “I don’t need your money, bro. I’ll do it twice cos I was gonna do it once anyway, but as a gentlemen’s bet, with no strings attached.” He then leaned on Mike and chuckled, “You rock, Lick.”

Wrapping his arms around Derrick, Mike smiled, “I feel you, Dee. We’re a part of each other.” He then looked forward and wondered, “Should we talk sound systems here, Prez?”

I nodded, “We can talk. If I like what I’m hearing from the salesman and all three of you, I’ll ask for a quote. We have our notes saying what we can get from Carvin and at what price. I’m thinking there might be stuff we need that Carvin doesn’t sell. Let’s learn what we can. Maybe we can get a few mics and stands thrown in for free or something; SM57’s and SM58’s, at least.” I quickly glanced down at Derrick’s shrinking unit then looked up at his pleasant grin and teased, “With or without your drawers, Dee? I think we could get a better deal without.”

Derrick smiled, “Not for money or gear, bro. I’ve had three mouths on my dick, you three dudes, right here. Nobody else even gets viewing rights.”

Keith suddenly covered his eyes and began snickering. Lowering his hand, he softly chuckled, “If we all went in there naked at once and singing…”

Pulling his drawers up, Derrick chuckled, “We’d all be arrested. Let’s save our indecent exposures for each other and close friends. We showed off to Ben, who’s a special case, Gil and Shaun, who are trustworthy.”

Keith grinned, “It was just one of those tangent images that flashed through my mind. With the right salesperson, we could get fifty percent off.” He double-checked, “Prez has the bucks and the final decision, agreed?” Mike and Derrick nodded and we got out of the car then walked in the store. We went to the back room where the P.A. systems were. A salesman named Toby was helping a guy out with a D.J. system and told us he would be a few minutes. Sticking together we browsed around the room. We found high quality stuff that was less expensive than Carvin. From our prior visits, web browsing and catalog perusals, we knew the name brands and what was rated as best bang for the buck. Mike had a pen in his pocket and the back of a sheet of notepaper to write on. He began jotting down notes.

We looked at subwoofers, main speakers and stage monitors. JBL models were outrageously expensive compared to equivalent Yamaha’s or Peavy’s. Since I had already shopped for monitors and we had one Yamaha, we chose to stay with Yamaha for all three sets; subwoofers, mains and monitors. We knew a one-third octave, thirty-one-band stereo equalizer was a must, but two single channel units were less expensive than single stereo units. The single channel unit’s sliders were longer and more precise. We agreed to go with single channel units.

Power amps were easy. Crown and QSC were the best no matter where we looked. We chose three Crown models; a one thousand watt for the subwoofers, a seven-hundred-fifty watt for the mains and two two-hundred watt amps for four stage monitors. With subwoofers, we needed a cross-over unit. Again, they came in single channel or stereo models, but there wasn’t any price difference to speak of. We agreed on a Behringer stereo model.

Let me say now that choosing the primary component, the mixer, was a pain in the ass. So many mixers had RCA stereo connection options that were considered valid inputs. We knew XLR and TRS connections were standard and considered RCA connectors for tape player connections, therefore they weren’t anything but auxiliary inputs. Jessy’s keyboards used TRS. All microphones used XLR. My bass effects unit and Mike’s GT-3 effects unit could use either TRS or XLR. When Toby finally arrived, that was our first discussion. The only thirty-two track board he had that worked the way we wanted was almost five grand, all by itself. The Carvin mixer we had been checking out was about one thousand-six-hundred.

Mike showed him our track list and notes then pointed us each out as drums, bass, vocals and lead guitar. He also stated we had keyboards and rhythm guitar too and that all six of us sang. He then smiled at me, to take over.

Showing him the list already prepared, I explained, “We need a thirty-two channel system for parties and gigs that can cover five hundred people. From the displays in the room, we’ve got a list of speakers, amps and required signal processors. I know we could use a compressor and a stereo digital effects unit too. In addition, I need a mic for at least one bass amp, but I have two amps. Mike needs an SM57 for his amp. Derrick needs about ten different mics for his drums. Jessy’s going to have six TRS or XLR connections for her keyboards. Shaun needs an SM57 for his amp and an SM58 for his vocals. Of course, we need various mic stands too for all of the mics and all the necessary cables to hook the gear up. Give me your best, cash money deal, Toby.”

“Cash?” Toby confirmed.

I chuckled, “We’re teenagers, dude. We don’t have plastic.”

“Let’s get busy,” Toby smiled. We began reviewing the list. We decided on a compressor and a digital effects unit. Both were well made and popular models that were less expensive than Carvin’s units. Then we went to the microphone area of the store. He set us up with everything we asked for, including mic stands for drums, amplifiers and vocals. The last items chosen were stackable cases for the amps, equalizers and processors. He added on all the cables then Toby disappeared with other salespeople and the store manager. When he returned many minutes later, he showed us the list and the total regular retail price, which was greater than ten thousand bucks. He then showed us the twenty percent discount, which was cool, but then he added sales tax on, making the total eight-thousand seven hundred and twenty dollars.

I shook my head and said, “Sorry, that’s almost a grand over our budget. If you can try again, we can go to the bank and have cash money today.”

Four stone faces glared at Toby and he wandered off, muttering, “Let me see what else we can do.”

Derrick said, “We’ll be together, right outside the door, dude.”

Toby nodded at us then returned to his path.

On our way outside, I grinned at Derrick, “Got something to say, bro?”

“Are you outta your friggin’ mind?” Derrick softly chuckled.

Once outside, I grinned, “That mixer is the primary problem. An equivalent Carvin mixer is three grand less for the same abilities plus onboard effects processors. I think they can do twenty-five percent for a ten thousand dollar deal. If they can’t, then we get everything except the mixer here, assuming they can lower the price enough. What he’s already shown us, minus that mixer, should come to about three thousand. Then we go to Carvin and get the mixer, flight case and snake cables for another three grand. Effectively, we would get all the mic stands for free. That’s about seven hundred bucks saved. We’ll also get the best power amps, a full set of Yamaha speakers and signal processors to boot. The price differences between Carvin’s speakers and Yamaha’s aren’t much. The Crown amps are more reliable for less money than Carvin. It’s that friggin’ mixer they’re raping us on.”

Keith grinned, “You’re awesome, baby. Everything’s done and you’ll still have two grand to return to the bank.”

Mike chuckled, “I can pass you the bucks for my mic and stand tonight.”

I nodded, “You get a hundred dollar mic for about seventy five dollars and a forty dollar stand for thirty. That’s a hundred and five bucks, Mike.”

We turned to Derrick. He sighed, “I have five hundred in the bank and a hundred and fifty at the house. What do my mics total?”

Together, we listed ten microphones that included four SM57’s, three AKG D112’s, two Shure overhead condenser mics, and another AKG condenser for the hi-hat. Including stands, Derrick’s mic setup was one thousand six hundred instead of two grand. Derrick whimpered, “I would owe you almost a grand though, Prez.”

I shrugged, “And you’d save four hundred. You’re not going anywhere, bro.”

Derrick turned to Mike. Mike smiled, “I can give Prez my five hundred saved for your mics, which was for slated for gear he’s getting. Then you only owe Prez another four-fifty. You can do that in about a month, by the Labor Day concert, definitely.”

Derrick worried, “What about you, Mike?”

Mike evilly grinned, “There’s still August, Dee. Doug and Brian will be working three of the days we’re off.”

Derrick thought and his smile grew wider. He soon nodded and chirped, “Cool.”

Keith giggled, “Can’t prostitute yourself to your lover, now can ya?”

“Ya can’t rape the willing,” Mike snickered.

I reminded, “Sell the old P.A., speakers and stands too. That could get you between five hundred and a thousand. My share of that was exactly three hundred. After a year’s good use, I got my money’s worth.”

Mike scowled, “You don’t want anything back, Prez?”

To make them and Keith happy, I sighed, “It’s not really necessary, but if you want, we’ll talk about that when it sells.”

Derrick firmly said, “We’ll share that money, Prez. You covered thirty percent; you’ll get thirty percent back.”

“We’re set then,” I cheered. “If Toby can’t break below eight grand, and I’ll bet he can’t, we’ll remove this mixer and get that at Carvin. Everything else we get here.”

We walked back inside. Toby approached us then said, “Sorry, we can’t drop the price anymore.”

Appearing sadder than I was, I disappointedly asked, “Well, what if you dropped the mixer and we dealt with that another time? We have a dinky little twelve channel for now.” That last statement was a lie, but Toby didn’t need to know that we had an eight channel powered mixer and speakers.

Toby nodded, “I’ll be right back.”

We wandered around the store, checking out guitars, basses and all the various other toys on display, like every other teenager in the store. In about ten minutes, Toby returned with the updated itemized list. We made sure that nothing mysteriously vanished from the original list except the mixer. The total dropped to three-thousand-six-hundred and twenty. Toby added on the sales tax and proclaimed, “Three-thousand-nine-hundred dollars and fifty-five cents.”

I nodded and reached for his hand, saying, “Write it up. Derrick and Mike will hang here while Keith and I run to the bank and back.”

Toby shook my hand and smiled, “Great! Writing it up is simple compared to gathering it all together.” He then asked, “Do you have a big truck?”

“An SUV now and two cars later,” I answered. “We’ll probably make two or three trips, depending mostly on the subwoofers.”

Keith reminded, “I might be able to borrow dad’s Suburban. His office isn’t that far from here. We could just swap vehicles for the afternoon.”

“Awesome!” I sang, “Two trips for sure then.”

Saying, “Excuse me, dudes,” Toby walked away to finalize the deal.

Derrick asked me, “What do we do?”

Pointing at the four of us, I replied, “We’re gonna quadruple check that we have every single cable and item. You dudes each check it, then Keith and I check it twice more. I don’t want to have one missing cable when we get to your mom’s house, Mike.”

“My house?” Mike squealed.

“That’s where our gear is,” I chuckled. “Everything’s gonna have to be connected and checked as soon as possible.”

Derrick giggled, “There goes the neighborhood.”

Keith huffed and softly realized, “We gotta move the old P.A. out of the way. Then we’ll need to get all this gear setup. It’s gonna take until tomorrow. We sure won’t be able to test anything after ten o’clock tonight. And we are having dinner at my house.” Glaring at Mike, Keith emphasized, “On time, bro.”

Mike nodded and smirked, “Okay.”

I offered, “We should be able to hit the Carvin store too tonight. If we have to wait, that’s first on the agenda in the morning.” Keith and I then went outside and sat in my 4Runner. I counted out bills to Keith, and then he counted back to me. Thirty-nine hundred dollars, plus a quarter Keith had, plus a quarter I had, and wouldn’t you know it, we couldn’t find another frigging nickel anywhere in the car! I pulled a one dollar bill from my bill-fold. Keith held the money for the salesman and I kept the remainder then we went back in the store.

Near the rear of the store, Mike and Derrick were busily watching a pile of gear build and keeping count of each item on another sheet of paper. Mike checked and Derrick double checked. I whispered in Derrick’s ear, “Still gonna double check Mike?”

He nodded and smiled, “Easily, between here and his house.”

“Shush!” Mike giggled, and then resumed counting mic cables.

It was about half-past noon when we arrived at Guitar Center. It was a little after two when Keith and I left with my 4Runner filled to capacity. Mike and Derrick remained at the store with the gear still to be picked up. In case Lindsay wasn’t home, Mike gave me his house key. But Lindsay was home with two of her friends. The girls were playing in the pool. Lindsay asked what was going on and we told her. Asking about John’s and Drew’s whereabouts, she opened the garage door for us and said she would be home all afternoon. Keith and I unloaded the 4Runner at Mike’s then went home. Keith would drive his car to his dad’s office and meet me back at Guitar Center with the Suburban. The subwoofer cabinets were huge. We were pretty sure they’d both fit in Dad’s Suburban. As it worked out, everything was transported from Guitar Center to Mike’s garage in the next SUV trips, before four o’clock.

At the Carvin store, we got the mixer we wanted, a flight case for it, a dolly and two one-hundred-foot, sixteen-channel snakes for just over three thousand bucks. I could put nine hundred dollars back in the bank. Best of all, we were set and made it back to the Hundser’s seconds before Keith’s dad drove up in the Camry; we hadn’t even gotten out of our vehicles yet when he stopped at the curb.

Before we ate, Mike quickly called Shaun so he wouldn’t wind up at an empty house in Agoura Hills. Shaun would meet us at Mike’s. Then the four of us spoke with Drew and Corey. They very much wanted to help get all the gear setup. Since Corey was expected with Drew at home that night, Corey only had to call his mom and tell her what was happening. Before and after we sat down, our new P.A. was a recurring topic of conversation. Keith and I told Mom and Dad that almost a thousand bucks could be returned to my bank account and that large cash deals saved us another thousand. While we ate, our Yosemite trip plans were discussed. We had a great dinner, an awesome cake and then dad got his presents. About seven-thirty, we left Mom and Dad to a quiet night at home.

The six of us went to Mike’s and started organizing the piles in the garage. Mike gave me the hundred bucks he had for his mic and stand. Derrick promised he and I could get square that weekend. Shaun and Gil showed up and Shaun got more practicing done. At ten o’clock, Mike’s mom had us turn off the amplifier. Shaun and Gil hung around and we started to teach them about P.A. systems in general. Startling all of us, Drew continued to review cables and explained, “Basic signal flow is from the instrument or mic to the mixer. Out of the mixer are left and right mains that feed the equalizers; then left and right out from the equalizers into the crossover, then from the crossover there are two sets of outputs; the first to the subwoofer amp and the second to the main’s amp; from the amps to the speakers and it’s done. It’s basically the same going from the monitor outputs; the odd numbered channels are left and the even numbered channels are right. Across the stage, you’d have four monitors; one is left, two is right, three is left and four is right.”

Shaun mutely checked with us. All four of us nodded. Drew looked up from his work and squealed, “What?”

Keith shook his head and chuckled, “Where’d you learn that? I don’t even know that.”

Drew grinned, “That time you brought me to G.C., I think it was during the last weeks of school. Prez was looking at acoustic basses. Compared to the old P.A. head, the mixers and stuff in there totally blew me away. I asked questions, told him what I was already doin’ with the old P.A. and it kind o’ went from there.”

Corey chimed, “The stupidest question is the one that was never asked.”

Drew smiled at Corey then leaned forward and tenderly kissed him. As if nothing had happened, Drew then said, “I’m not too sure about the compressor or external effects. I’ll have to read up or ask more questions.”

Mike answered, “The auxiliary ins and outs, Drew. Aux one goes out of the board and into the compressor. Take the compressor out and put it back in the board. We’ve been told compressors are great for drums and vocals. Aux two will be for the digital effects. Those two auxiliary channels are assignable to each track. There are also simple effects right on the board.”

Derrick suggested, “Those on-board effects should be used for the most common, almost always on stuff, like reverb on the snare drum, Drew. For the more fancy delays and choruses only needed in spots, we’ll use the external effects unit.”

At eleven, Mike’s mom had to go to bed for work the next day. By eleven-thirty we had gotten a lot accomplished, but nothing had been connected to the mixer yet. The power amps, equalizers and various signal processors were installed in the stackable cases. The subwoofers, main speakers and monitors were setup and cables ready to be attached. The mixer was put in its flight case and then both were put on a strong steel folding table. That’s as far as we got.

Drew and Corey came back to Agoura Hills with us. Drew called home to let our parents know “Keith and Prez were too lazy to make another trip.” Of course, we gave him grief about it and how much driving we had already done that day. Derrick, Mike, Keith and I went to the dining room to plan the next morning with all the documentation while Drew and Corey looked around the house. They hadn’t gotten very far before Drew hollered, “Someone’s been sleeping on this bed!”

Corey giggled, “No, I think someone’s been screwing on this bed… and the king size bed is wrecked worse!”

Mike cracked up and teased, “Maybe six of us could fit on the king bed? Wouldn’t that be cozy?”

Smiling widely, Keith and I watched Drew. Squinting suspiciously, he grumbled, “Corey and me will sleep alone, thanks,” and led Corey to the living room. They sat down and turned the TV on.

Thankfully, Derrick and Mike had talked with Toby at G.C. while they were waiting for us to return for the second truck loads. We had a simple block diagram showing us how all the gear needed to be wired up. It still took some discussion with Drew to grasp the signal flow. We would have to get a second strong steel framed folding table for the stackable case holding the signal processors, so it could be near the mixer. The other case with the power amps would need to be on-stage near the speaker cabinets and monitors.

Being as involved as we were, we didn’t hear or pay attention to the television, but suddenly noticed smooth, new age music emanating from the living room. When we looked over, Corey was lying on top of Drew on the couch. Both were unblinkingly watching the Frisky Summer video. Derrick, Mike and I cracked up. Softly snickering, Keith slapped his own forehead then chuckled, “Learning anything new over there?” When he got no response, Keith shouted, “Hey!” Corey and Drew innocently looked at the table then evilly grinned. Keith laughed, “For future reference, I did not allow you to watch porn. I’m not even seeing or hearing what’s going on over there. Not a word to our parents or yours, Corey.”

“Cool,” they simultaneously chanted, and quickly returned their attention to the two well hung dudes on the TV.

Since we were about done anyway, I softly told Keith, “We haven’t even seen that flick all the way through. We don’t know what they’ll be watching and learning, babe. It would be better if we watched it with them, just in case something gets really raunchy.”

Keith nodded and took my hand. We went into the living room and made ourselves a comfy spot together on the carpet. The dining area light went out then Derrick and Mike lay down together. In the dark room, lit only by the flickering light of the TV, we unwound from the day and got more wound up for the night. Thankfully there were no kinky or raunchy scenes in the flick. All the dudes seemed to actually like who they were with. When the flick ended around one-thirty in the morning, Drew smiled, “Thanks, dudes. We’ll see you in the morning.” Corey crawled off Drew and offered a hand up. Taking Corey’s hand, Drew stood and they wandered off to the guest bedroom. Once the tape rewound, Derrick, Mike, Keith and I shuffled off to the master bedroom.

Only after we had paired off and began our nightly rituals did I realize one thing didn’t get done that day; Derrick hadn’t had the chance to give Mike his double blowjob. It didn’t really matter. Mike and Derrick were already slurpin’ away behind me. Across the hall, we heard the bed squeaking far more than any indiscernible words being spoken. Keith knew very well how happy I was and he was pleased that everything was done well under budget. After all was quiet and we had said good night, I started to drift off, but the bed across the hall began squeaking again. Mike started softly chuckling and, one after another, the remaining three of us did too.

Mike giggled, “The sad thing is, I really want to get that system setup and tested before we have to work tomorrow afternoon.”

Derrick snickered, “They can’t be lasting too long yet. It’s only been a week.”

More to tease Keith, I chuckled, “You don’t know the Hundser men.”

Rolling towards me, Keith smiled, “Or their sex machine lovers.”

Thankfully, Drew and Corey didn’t last too much longer and we did get to sleep.

As usual, Derrick and I woke first a little after nine. Seeing the guest bedroom door open and hearing the shower running down the hall, we knew Drew and Corey were already awake. This morning, Derrick decided to try making French toast. I watched him sprinkle vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon into the whipped eggs. What came out of the pan was some of the best French toast I’ve ever had. Corey even had one and then a second slice that he almost finished. The image of the six of us eating together that morning was embedded into my mind. Even though Corey had eaten, Drew said it was “imperative” to get Corey home for his morning protein shake. Once that was done, they wanted to help us with the P.A. system. After the four of us had showered, Derrick and Mike drove to Mike’s house. We took Drew and Corey home and waited the few minutes for Corey to finish his shake then went to join Derrick and Mike. They had moved the main speaker towers out of the garage and pointed them down the driveway and out to the street. We didn’t want to chance a feedback loop that might damage something.

Shortly after midday, everything was wired together. Many of the connections were semi-permanent and would only need to be adjusted as more gear needed to be added. With the P.A. amps turned all the way down and the faders on the mixer down, we began getting levels for the drum kit. All Mike and I did was point out where controls were and Drew went right to work. He set the gain for each of the drum microphones. We forgot to turn on the forty-eight-volt phantom power for the overhead and hi-hat condenser microphones. That was quickly resolved by pressing three tiny switches. Another thing we had to get used to doing was turning the mixer and outboard stuff off correctly anytime we had to disconnect and move the gear around. We sure didn’t want to destroy anything because of a stupid mistake. Derrick began playing The Rover and we got our first successful test of the first pair of monitors.

As soon as the second pair of monitors was tested, it was time to test the mains. The power amp volume knobs were set with preset “clickable” notch positions. With Keith and Mike standing in the driveway, Drew turned up only the left main fader. I turned up the left channel subwoofer and main power amps to the first click. Mike and Derrick confirmed that only the left side speakers were working, but very softly. Mike prompted me to turn it up. I only went to the second click, but that caused Keith and Mike to smile widely at each other. They both shouted for me to turn up the right side, as if I couldn’t hear them. I could hear them fine; it didn’t seem that loud inside the garage. Drew slid up the right fader to unity gain and I turned up the amps again, stopping at the second click. Keith gave me thumbs up and Mike gestured for me to turn it up again. I turned each knob to the third click. Now laughing, Mike and Keith gestured for us to come out to the driveway. Moving from the live sound of Derrick’s drumming and beyond the speakers, I heard nice clear drumming only slightly louder than the actual performance. Drew and Corey ran down the driveway to the street. Pointing at the house directly across the street, Drew hollered, “Sound echo!”

Mike chuckled, “That’s as loud as our old system could get.”

I grinned, “That’s the third click, about a sixth of the way up.” Mike’s inner heavy metal demon exposed itself and evilly cracked up.

Returning with Corey, Drew prompted, “Let’s get the bass and guitar levels set.” He then asked, “Do those mics need power or not?”

Following them into the garage, I answered, “Nope, they’re dynamic mics. Condensers need power and we only have those three.”

Derrick paused and smiled, “How’s it sound?”

Drew, Corey and I gave him six thumbs up. I added, “It’s bouncing around the street on the third click, bro.”

Drew said, “It’s at least as loud as the old P.A. could get. With the channel EQ, I dialed out a little of the snare and tom-tom rings so it sounds more like CDs.”

Derrick went outside and sent Mike in to play the drums. Mike only played a simple rock grove with a few tom-tom hits thrown in. We turned the center pair of floor monitors around so we could hear at the board what Mike was hearing, and what Keith, Derrick and Corey were hearing in the driveway. Chuckling like crazy, Derrick came back in and gave Mike the signal to cut. Mike moved over to his amp and guitar. We got the gain set then slowly turned up the fader. We stopped at the halfway point when the sound from our monitors matched the level from Mike’s guitar amplifier. Drew prompted me to go play and he would get my levels set. After checking that Drew was cool and knew what to do at the mixer, I hurried around to my bass and amp. While we were playing The Rover, Corey and Keith hurried into the garage for only a few moments then turned around and went back out to the driveway. Vocal microphones were tested next without any accompaniment, and then again when we started playing the No No Song. Keith and Corey returned to the garage. Without Jessy and Shaun’s parts, we played the entire tune and I even had three-part background vocals.

While we were playing, so was Drew, adding reverb to our vocals and to the snare drum. At the end of the song, Drew wanted to apply a little reverb to the mounted tom-toms. We waited until that was done then started playing Stone In Love. On that song, Drew soon applied a chorus effect to Mike’s guitar. Although we were two band members short, it sounded really great. We ran through Separate Ways, Every Breath You Take, Behind Blue Eyes and Scuttle Buttin’ before taking a break. Just to see if we could do it, we turned the lighting system on.

We were still talking about what we would play next when Lindsay hurried in the garage, hollering, “The pool filter turned off.”

Mike grinned then went to check the circuit breaker. He squeaked, “Oops!” then cracked up laughing and flipped the breaker. Deciding to take a swim break, we powered the lights and main speaker systems down. Then six teenage gay boys invaded the serene backyard environment where three girls had been. They soon disappeared inside the house leaving us to rave on about our P.A. system. For grins, we would try the amps at the fourth click and see if anybody complained. We had to know what was and wasn’t acceptable, didn’t we?

Once out of the pool and dry enough to prevent electrocution, Mike powered off the filter so we could run the lights and P.A. We started Crazy Little Thing Called Love at the fourth click. Kids gathered in the street. Drew turned up another notch to five when we began playing The Road. More kids and a few adults congregated, the latter of which were lounging under trees. The volume mysteriously crept up to six shortly after the mellow introduction to Slide It In. Corey and Drew left us and went to check the sound levels in the street. To us, in the garage, we heard music from our monitors equal to our own instruments and amplifiers. However, now we had managed to get more control from compressors and effects, making the overall sound much better than it ever had been. Trying desperately to appear innocent youth, Drew and Corey returned from the street with two police officers. They didn’t make us stop playing, but Corey and Drew immediately went to the amplifiers and began turning us down. We were taken from six down to three again.

When we ended the song, we only turned to the officers. One officer completely failed to hold a straight face and turned away. I cheekily smiled at the remaining policeman and explained, “We just bought the system yesterday, Sir. It took all six of us hours last night and this morning to hook it up. This was our first trial of brand new gear. We really didn’t know it was that loud.”

Mister ‘bad cop’ sighed then said, “One very old woman three blocks away complained about being woken from her nap. When we drove nearer, the first thing we heard was the bass booming about two blocks away. This volume level is sufficient.”

Choking back any laughter, Mike sweetly smiled, “This is my mom’s house, officer. This was only a test… of the emergency broadcast system.” Getting no laugh, Mike offered, “Ninety percent of the time, we won’t even have the mains hooked up. This volume is cool with us. We’ll only be playing for another hour. Then two of us have to work. Until then, let us know if there are any other problems.” Nodding, ‘bad cop’ turned and walked away then ‘good cop’ obediently followed.

Drew smiled and softly said, “According to the manual, these amp knobs have twenty notches. We only had it about a third of the way up, and they heard it two blocks away. Imagine what half power might do?”

I grinned, “Cover about five hundred kids in a gymnasium or a few hundred in Chumash Park.”

Derrick nodded, “That’s the goal.” He then snickered, “It seems we’ve achieved it.”

Keith reminded, “Now we have to get these songs rehearsed.” Pointing at Derrick, Keith prompted, “I Need To Know.” In moments we got back to business. Derrick counted off and we played the tune. Drew applied a little delay on Derrick’s lead vocals and it sounded pretty strange at first, but then got better as Drew moved closer to the correct delay time interval. We played it a second time so Drew could zero in on the correct value. A missing piano part made little difference at all, once Drew and all of us were nodding.

As we continued the song, Drew took out the manual for the external delay device then began pressing buttons. When we finished the song, I asked what he was doing because it didn’t affect the sound. Drew answered, “Storing it away so I don’t have to re-do that. It’s in there as ‘Need2no_V’. A few turns of the dial, and its right back.”

Until three o’clock, we replayed the same songs. Drew and Corey got everything turned off in the proper order to not create any speaker-blowing pops. Derrick, Mike, Keith and I got the speakers moved back in the garage. Once everything was turned off, Derrick and Mike went back to Agoura Hills, where all their clothes were and they still wanted to shower before work. We hugged each other goodbye. I even got thank-you kisses on the cheeks from Derrick and Mike. I gathered all the manuals and warranty registration forms then took Keith, Corey and Drew home.

Corey was completely attached to Drew. They were always holding hands or hanging off one another. I reminded Keith who I was attached to. Corey softly asked Drew, “Wanna lay down?” They went down the hall to Drew’s room. Keith and I sat down at the dining room table to fill out about thirty warranty registration cards. We were just finishing up the last cards when Corey hollered, “Oh, yeah! You big stud! Gimme!”

From the dining room, at the opposite end of the house, we heard Drew loudly shush Corey then helplessly laugh.

To tease Keith and get my lover into a different mode, I giggled, “Ah, young love.”

Flashing me his mischievous smirk, Keith said, “I know, baby. Two more cards to go.”

“And then?”

Sliding the last card to me, Keith smiled, “John won’t be home for a while. We could make some noises of our own.”

Signing my name a final time, I joked, “Do ya want me to holler, ‘Yee-haw!’ while I’m riding you? That even got a momentary snicker from Derrick and Mike.”

Keith wondered, “Are we going camping? If so, I was thinking after dinner.”

I gathered the cards and hummed affirmatively then suggested, “If we go late, can we stay a little later tomorrow? I know we gotta keep Corey fed too, but I really want to see more of the place in the daylight.”

“Let’s check with Drew and Corey. They might change their minds, choosing a new bed over the hard ground.” He paused, held up a finger and listened then said, “All’s quiet. Let’s bring this stuff to our room and make it obvious what we’ve been talking about.”

In our bedroom, we attacked the conversation in reverse, clearly speaking about camping with Drew and Corey and then instigating each other until we were flying onto the bed and getting busy. At a silent moment in both rooms, Keith tapped on the wall then hollered, “Camping?”

Two voices replied, “No; doctor tomorrow morning.”

Keith shouted, “Tomorrow afternoon?”

“Okay!” They hollered.

“About four?” Keith loudly asked.

“What?” Drew and Corey laughed. “Who’s a whore?”

I smirked at Keith, “They’re joshin’, babe. They heard you.”

Keith nodded, “I want fingerprints, blood and DNA tests from both of them.”

The front door opened. In the backyard, Rush barked. A few moments later, we heard John shout, “Prez? Keith?” Keith and I said nothing and only grinned. Coming down the hall, John huffed and then tried to turn our locked doorknob. He chuckled, “I know you’re in there. Rush is out back and both cars are out front. It’s my job to play the phantom brother in this house.”

From the next room, Drew yelled, “We’ll be right out, bro.”

John laughed, “Oh jeez! I wanna talk with all four of you, actually.”

Keith scowled, “What’s the problem?” then stole a kiss just before I began rolling off of him.

While we were getting dressed, John said, “Lemme wiz while you get it together,” then must’ve gone into the bathroom and closed the door. Drew and Corey left their room first. Keith and I followed them to the living room.

Drew turned the television on and checked for ballgames. Flipping to ESPN where a baseball game was on, Drew asked, “Do you like the Rangers, Prez?”

I nodded, “Back when Nolan Ryan was playing, they were a force.”

Corey said, “This year they’ve got Ivan Rodrigues and Will Clark. They’re stickin’ out the best at bat and in the field.”

John stepped out of the bathroom as Drew was adding, “Rusty Greer is no slouch either.”

Stepping into the room with us, John smiled, “Okay, a small problem is quickly becoming a large one. We found out today from Kim and Gianna that Rose doesn’t like Tommy. She wouldn’t even come over to hang at the pool today.”

“Uh oh,” Drew grunted.

Keith said, “I know who Tommy and Kim are. Who are Rose and Gianna?”

John explained, “They’re friends of Kim’s. When I get there, usually before lunch time, it’s just me, Tommy and Sammy. Sammy is Tommy’s younger brother.”

“And after lunch, Kim, Gianna and Rose come over,” Drew added. “We all know that John and Kim are together.”

John nodded, “Kim’s bringing her friends so she’s not the only girl there and so Tommy can spend time with Rose. He likes her…”

“He’s got the hots for her, dude,” Corey corrected. John and Drew nodded and chuckled. For Keith and me, Corey briefly explained, “Rose was pretty well developed last summer.”

Drew smirked, “She was self conscious about it then.”

John said, “She’s worse in some ways this year. Alone, before they got there at least a week ago, I told Tommy, Gianna’s nicer and she’s not bad looking at all.” He then grumbled, “Tommy’s dead set on Rose though. If Rose don’t come to Tommy’s tomorrow, then Kim and Gianna won’t come. I can go over Kim’s, but that means leaving Tommy by himself,” he then grinned, “and me hanging with three girls, one of which is a knock-out, the other is my girlfriend and the third is really nice too.”

Drew cackled, “Very cool for you! It would suck for Tommy though.”

“Exactly!” John laughed.

Giggling my ass off and shaking my head, I wondered, “What does Tommy see in Rose besides her knockers?” Keith, Corey and Drew fell back chuckling.

John shook his head and smirked, “Rose was nice last year. This year, she’s really been bitchy over all, with all of us. A totally innocent remark about anything sets her in grouch mode.”

Keith scowled, “What sort of any things?”

“Anything,” John whined. “Movies like X-Files; we just saw it and talked about it. Music on the radio, commercials or anything on TV, sports is a no-go zone for lots of girls, except Kim; if a friggin’ leaf or a bug lands in the pool, skim it out now! Tommy and I skim that pool every morning. He checks the chlorine and P.H., every day too.”

“So you all know she’s a problem child?” I grinned.

John paused and nodded, “She’s been Kim’s friend since first grade though. It would be like Keith totally ignoring Mike.”

Keith told John, “Around the same age, I was totally ignoring Mike, and he was ignoring me. Just after we started eighth grade, it happened; from that October to the next May.” Keith then smiled at me.

“Oh no,” I softly groaned.

Keith asked John, “Rose seems fine with the girls, but gets bitchy around boys?”

John nodded then looked at each of us in the room. Seeing the light, John loudly laughed, “Oh no, is right!”

Keith sighed, “People change, bro. She might still be figuring out her sexuality. Not everybody is like you, kissing girls in third grade.” Corey, Drew and I fell back laughing.

John snickered, “Second grade; I got caught in third.”

Keith grinned, “Tommy’s obviously not for Rose, bro. Rose doesn’t want to try so it’s a one-way, lonely road for Tommy. Tommy’s gonna need to change his focus. Rose is going to have to choose to be with her friends and you dudes or not.”

I recommended, “You’re gonna have to play it down the middle for a little while, John. Set it up with Kim and Tommy so you spend time with both.”

Drew nodded, “If the girls usually show around one, then split one to five in half; two hours with Tommy and two with Kim, Rose and Gianna.”

“You’ll just have to spend afternoons with three girls.” Corey giggled, “What a rough life.” All five of us cracked up.

Through his laughter, John remarked, “I’m so dead.”

The front door opened and Dad walked in. He grinned, “All five together and laughing? I’m not building an extra room or second story.”

John joked, “Tommy and Kim both wanna move in. I’ll need a bigger bed too. There, problem solved.”

Shaking his head, Dad laughed, “Big enough for all three? Forget it,” and started for his bedroom to get changed out of his suit.

Following his father, John asked, “Gotta few minutes, dad?”

“Always,” Dad answered. John followed Dad into the master bedroom.

Hearing the door close, Drew evilly grinned, “John’s gonna be spankin’ it a lot.”

“He’s got his own room for privacy, anyway,” Corey giggled.

Keith and I got up to see what was for dinner. From the kitchen and pulling out salad fixin’s from the fridge, we heard Drew cackle, “Corey!” Less than a minute later, with Corey behind and attached to Drew, and the two of them matching their steps, they wobbled into the kitchen.

Keith asked Drew, “Get a small pot for hardboiled eggs, please, bro?” We watched Corey disengage himself from Drew. Corey watched Drew get the pot, fill it with water, put it on the stove and turn up the burner. As soon as he could, Corey reattached himself to Drew.

This was more than odd to Keith and me. Yes, I always was completely attached to Keith and Keith has been attached to me, but Corey actually seemed confused for the minute he wasn’t in physical contact with Drew. John came out of the master bedroom then went to the living room. As soon as Dad walked into the kitchen, Keith asked for a minute alone. As soon as Keith and dad went back into the master bedroom, I suggested, “Why don’t you two set the table?”

Drew nodded and then reached for the plates, with Corey’s arms still wrapped around his waist. Drew looked back and softly asked, “Get the silverware, Cor?”

Corey wordlessly let go of Drew then quickly got the silverware and caught up with Drew at the table. That made it obvious; Corey was fully dependent upon Drew. Mostly, they had been side-by-side and touching while working on the P.A. in the garage. They hadn’t separated for a moment the last night in Agoura Hills. That morning, they rarely separated for very long. This wasn’t simple young lovers anymore. I could easily understand all the reasons why, still it wasn’t right or healthy.

When Keith and dad came back into the kitchen, Dad called Drew back into the master bedroom. I took Corey aside and led him to our room. I sat down with him on the edge of our bed and gently asked, “How’re you feeling, Cor?”

Corey nodded and smiled, “Good. It’s been an awesome week.”

“I know,” I softly said, “its addictive too, isn’t it?” Looking away slightly, Corey nodded and giggled. I wondered, “How’s Drew been dealing?”

“Through doctor visits and everything, he’s been right there with me, Prez. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Gently pulling his face up so I could look in his eyes, I said, “That’s how you’re doin’, Cor. We’re both only children, remember. You can talk to me. How is Drew doing?”

“He’s good,” Corey quickly assured. A moment later, Corey sighed, “I learned something yesterday morning. It made me cry too. Everybody in this house is so considerate. Look what just happened with John. We were already dressing anyway, but in two minutes, three brothers were listening to him.”

“Four brothers, Cor,” I smiled. “You’re a brother too.”

“Am I?” Corey blankly wondered. “I want to be, but am I really?”

“Would I be sitting with you now if I didn’t consider you a brother? Hear me Corey; I consider you a brother.” I had his attention and ran with it. “Considering means thinking first. Keith and I think of you as a brother because you’re Drew’s lover and a cool guy. Drew would give you anything and probably make you believe it was nothing. I don’t have to do that; neither does Keith or John. John didn’t ask you to leave, did he?”

“I wonder why.”

“Yours is a valid opinion too. All he needed was direction before friendships fell apart. That don’t mean they won’t, but maybe John can reduce collateral damage. If you need direction or an opinion, all you have to do is ask in this house.”

Corey thought quietly for a couple of moments. He then looked away again and sighed, “Drew wants something I can barely give right now. He wants me to take more control, in the bedroom and out of it, basically anytime we’re alone. I need him so bad though, Prez. Since before last week’s camping trip, I couldn’t tear myself away; since then, I’m thinking of him all the time. If I was really being considerate then I would’ve remembered to get the silverware. I was zoned out though, completely involved in Drew. What’s happening to me? Am I being considerate? Am I being less selfish? Sometimes yes, other times, no.” I only nodded. Corey wondered, “That means I’m right?”

Again, I nodded and carefully explained, “Are you considering Drew? Yes, at least inasmuch as you need, which is the other half of the same sword. Are you less selfish? Again, yes, but you’re becoming too selfless if you can’t remember that you can help him set the table.”

Corey wondered, “What can I do?”

I asked, “What are you willing to do?”

Corey whined, “Anything, Prez. Please, give me an opinion to at least think about.”

I bluntly asked, “Are you holding Drew because he wants you to or because you want to?”

Corey giggled, “Of course, I want to. I think Drew wants me to. He’s not pushing me away… but then again, would he?”

I wondered, “If I told you that you couldn’t hold Drew until after supper, that he had an invisible force field around him preventing it, what would you think?”

“I think I’d crack after the first five minutes,” Corey laughed.

I shrugged and grinned, “Try it, dude. Wait for Drew to come to you looking for hugs. When he releases you though, you have to release him. It was an unspoken game Keith and I played, last summer when we thought we couldn’t separate for school days. I’d suddenly feel like giving a hug and a kiss, but then we had to separate. Let me tell you, when he turns around and suddenly hugs or kisses you, it’s the best feeling; it says, in no uncertain terms, ‘hey, I need a kiss and you look like you’d like one too.’ That’s thinking of yourself and thinking of him; it’s giving and receiving, it’s considering what you’d like and what he’d like. All in all, I think the unspoken game is better. I get to show him how much I care and he gets to show me the same.”

Smiling widely, Corey half-giggled and half-whined, “Yeah, but I’d have to wait for him half the time!”

I laughed, “Those are the rules.” I nudged him and grinned, “Check it out, Cor. I’ll bet you each wait gets better. You go out there, give a hug or a kiss then step back. Watch TV or sit at the table, supposedly waiting for dinner. After he hugs or kisses you, your heart will race and the first thing you’ll want to do is stay that way. Don’t though, he needs that same feeling. If Drew waited five minutes then you wait six minutes before returning some affection.

“The worst feeling in the world is a hug and a kiss goodbye. Every school day morning, another ‘see ya later’. The best feelings in the world are hello kisses and hugs. Every school day afternoon, another ‘hey, lover, I missed you’.

Corey smiled, “Yeah, he wants me to take control. I have to give him chances to come to me. There’s still one tiny problem, though.”

I frowned, “What’s that?”

“The whole ‘stepping back’ part!” Corey laughed. I evilly chuckled. Corey giggled, “Assuming I can manage that, it could get really hot, really fast.”

I nodded and warned, “It does. After hours separated from Keith, it’s often two hugs and kisses; mine and Keith’s back. As soon as we’re alone, that next set is usually as far we get. Then the giggles, and then the bed squeaks.”

Frowning, Corey sighed then confessed, “I’ve been bad, Prez.”

Gripping his shoulder firmly, I nodded and grinned, “Join the club. Last year, one class period I shared with Keith. This coming year, five of six period’s, I’ll be with him.”

Soon understanding, Corey’s eyes widened. “Omigod!” he gasped, “I don’t know which is worse; the time we’ll be separated or the times we won’t be separated.”

I nodded and warned, “If you think we spent time making time last school year, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I’ve gotta sit next to Keith and not touch him. And Keith is famous for inserting double-meanings whenever he can.” I suspiciously squinted, “He says simple, innocent stuff easily, like he doesn’t know what he’s said, but he does, and I want to jump across the aisle at him. But no, the class ends and we separate. And the tension keeps building until finally, we’re home. But is he working? If so, it’s fifteen minute quickies then out he goes. If I’m working too that day then at least I’m occupied. Tuesday nights without Keith has been cool with Derrick and Mike, but I’m still low on my Keith quota for the day whether I’m working or not.”

Corey nodded and smiled, “I just feel so good holding him, I only figured he liked it too. Even if he does though, I like the game and it has a purpose. We’ve talked about school. Drew’s already said, ‘it‘ll be mellow until it’s time to not be mellow’. When school starts, we have three of six classes together. I have to change for P.E. with Drew. Omigod! I can’t be near him, fourth period every day.”

A little shocked, I chuckled, “Yeah, ya can, Cor. All of us have gym for fourth period; Mike and Derrick too.”

Again, Corey’s eyes widened. He grinned, “Seniors hanging with Freshmen?”

Standing up, I reminded, “Brothers, Corey,” and pointed at the door, adding, “There are two unsuspecting brothers out there waiting. I feel a sudden hug and kiss is necessary.”

Also standing, Corey wondered, “How long is too long, Prez?”

I shrugged, “What matters is what he’s doing. Don’t follow my lead, follow your heart. Give him the opportunities too, Corey. Over-all, it really matters if neither of you feel left out.”

“Sweet,” Corey chirped, and followed me out of the bedroom. All four Hundser men were watching the Texas Ranger’s game. I slid next to Keith on the loveseat. Corey sat on the floor and weaseled his way back, between Drew’s legs. Almost at the same time that I saw Drew’s hand reach for Corey’s shoulder, I felt Keith’s hand slip into mine. I gave him a kiss and got one back. The Rangers’ catcher grabbed a foul ball and got a runner out on third, ending the inning and starting commercials. Standing, Keith led me towards the kitchen. Corey chirped, “Rodriguez has the golden glove in the bag.”

Drew agreed. John thought so too and hoped Gonzalez would get M.V.P. Dad agreed, but stipulated, “If they can hold it together the second half of the season, could be.”

Keith led me outback to play with Rush and ask what was said to Corey. “In the time you were gone, Drew talked with dad and they called me in,” Keith explained.

I greeted my wired hound and smiled, “I told him the truth. It’s time to play, ‘just you wait’.” I glanced at Keith’s imitation of a large mouth bass and cracked up.

Shaking his head, Keith chuckled, “That was last August, Prez. We had weeks together. They just started their second week.”

I prompted Rush to get his ball then grinned at Keith. “Corey needs the practice.”

Keith sighed, “Well, Drew’s already aware it’s been a very different Corey lately. He’s feeling smothered at times, but most times he likes it. When he does feel confined, he simply won’t say anything about it.”

Rush trotted back with the ball. “Typical Drew,” I said, and picked up the dropped ball then tossed it for Rush to chase.

“Drew thinks, and Dad agrees, Corey’s too fragile to deal with any rejection. You attacked it from the other direction, making Corey think of it as a game.”

I nodded, “It was and still is a game. If I don’t think of it that way, you could have a hundred and forty pound backpack, at least three quarters of the time.”

Coming to me from behind, Keith wrapped his arms around my waist then gently pulled at me to sway with him. I swayed and sighed. Keith kissed my neck and whispered, “You’re awesome, baby. Telling him about that game was genius.”

“It’s gonna get back to Drew. And it is good for them to remember the world around them, well before school becomes an issue. It was only days before school started that we started playing ‘just you wait’. There was no way I would’ve hurt Corey. It was the first real life example I could make.”

“We had transportation and other stuff going on too. They’re going back and forth, from house-to-house. It’s time to get them out of the house more too.”

“It’s partly done already, babe. Drew has to engineer our entire concert set list. Corey’s his assistant and works special lighting, so we don’t have flashing lights during a ballad. They’re enjoying it, learning stuff and still together. They need to listen to our rehearsals and get time to store settings away, like Drew did this morning. I forgot the thing could do that. We could drag them to the beach once in a while too.”

“We’ll keep them busy enough the rest of the weekend. Monday, we’re gone to Yosemite. Let’s get Mike and Derrick tuned in. They can keep them busy at least part of the time we’re gone. They’ll still need hands on the computer and on the new mixer while we’re gone.”

“Cool. They’ll be like we are, generally busy during the day, short interludes when we can and passionate nights.” I then wondered, “Drew’s okay?”

“When dad left the room for me and Drew to talk, everything was cool, until the end, that is.”

I worried, “What happened?”

“Drew asked if our record was still six. I nodded and the little shit proudly chirped, ‘nine, each’ and then walked out of the room.”

I gasped, “What?” and then cracked up; picturing Drew saying that, walking past Keith so no blush could be seen and Keith standing there stunned silent. And the only way they could manage nine is to do little else except make love.

Keith cackled, “They’ve got way too much free time.”

I giggled, “When are we going to try for nine?”

“Right after dinner, baby. They’re gone to Corey’s and John’s across the hall. No problems.”


Copyright © 2013 TheEggman; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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