Knock, knock, knock, and the door opened. “Hey, you sleepy heads going to sleep all day? It’s almost 8:30. I figured you guys would be stuffed and fluffed already. What did you guys do, stay up all night?”
Nick stretched his arms overhead and pointed his toes. It was obvious why he didn’t roll out of bed by accident. He had his kickstand down. Oggie grinned looking at the young muscular body stretching in front of him. Quietly Oggie longed for his own youth back as he watched them grow into a wonderful world. He wondered if his newest boy was going to be alright through it all and if not, then what would that mean to Nick and what would happen to Ty if he had to go back. Oggie pushed the thoughts out of his mind as if thinking about them could give the thought legs.
“You boys get cleaned up and I’ll be downstairs in the restaurant. Hurry up and we’ll go do some stuff. Don’t worry about packing up. Sharon said we could stop on the way back and have dinner and pack it all up then. She doesn’t have anyone scheduled so she doesn’t need the rooms right away. So get a move on.” Oggie closed the door and returned to his coffee in the restaurant.
“Come on you. It’s your fault we’re so tired.” Nick said to a sleepy Ty who still hadn’t moved.
“My fault? How do you figure that?” The mumbled voice managed to get out.
“I would have been happy with first place on a single ride. You’re the one who had to treat it like a tour. I’m just glad you didn’t have any spurs.”
“Spurs? You can do that?” Ty said now awake, the new fantasy clearing his head of the cob webs. Nick leaned over like he was going to kiss his lower head but instead blew raspberries on his belly. Ty’s knees came up as the giggles started.
“Come on, breakfast is waiting.”
“So is Sharon,” Ty said wearily. “I’m in no hurry for that.”
“You worry too much.” Nick said.
Ty rolled over on top of Nick so he was nose to nose. “Yeah, you can say that. You were on the top!”
“And you think being on top is any less embarrassing? I mean, we made eye contact. I had my hand in the air mid ride and was just starting to blast my load when she opened the door. And fuck, what a load that was too.” Nick’s voice trailed off into a whisper as his still rigid, gotta pee, hard-on forgot about it’s purpose in life and throbbed for a new destination. They kissed as they rubbed together.
Ty fidgeted, trying to rub his piece into Nick’s a little harder as things started to kick into boy love powered by hormones. Nick suddenly felt a sharp pain in his left ankle. He yelped and looked down to find that Ty was still wearing his cowboy boots. He chuckled as Ty, still intent on driving his boyhood menacingly against his boy. But then the moment was lost as Nick broke into laughter.
“What?” Ty asked, incredulously.
“Boots!” Nick managed to get out.
Ty looked over his shoulder and peered down his back and over his smooth, dimpled buns to see Nick’s legs outside of his and the boot clad feet that were turned toes to the mattress. Ty looked back at Nick and smiled as he rocked his dick a couple more times, grinning. “I told you the square toes were the right choice.”
With that Nick roared with laughter as he rolled Ty over on his back and kissed him down to his toes, making sure he kissed everything in between into stillness. His own problem still apparent, he said, “Come on, let’s go play golden shower. We got to get cleaned up.”
“You want to play what?” Ty said, being led into the bathroom. Moments later the water in the shower was on and the curtain pulled shut. “Oh dude, no you’re not. Oh shit, Nick that is so not right,” Ty laughed. “Here, let me show you.”
More squeals and giggles came out of the shower as the two prepared for what was to come.
“Here they come,” Oggie said to Sharon as she stood there topping off Oggie’s cup.
The boys smiled sheepishly as they came and sat down. “Good morning Miss Sharon,” Nick said, removing his hat and sliding into the booth.
“Morning Miss Sharon,” Ty said smiling, but looking down as he fiddled with his hat in his hands.
“Good morning boys. I won’t ask if you slept well. I think I know the answer to that one already. Take a look at the menu and I’ll be back in a minute to take your orders.”
“What’s eatin’ you two?” Oggie asked. “I’ve never seen you two so quiet and shy all of a sudden.”
“Well pa, didn’t Sharon say anything to you last night?”
“Say something about what?” Oggie asked. His clueless expression speaking volumes.
“Oh I get it, your being shy because you know that Sharon and I . . . you know. Last night.”
“Oh, well yeah pa, that’s it. You know, I mean, she knows that we know and stuff and well, we just don’t want to make her feel self conscious. Right Ty?”
“Yeah, yeah. That’s right, self conscious. We don’t want her to be that.” He said, nodding a lot. There was a pregnant pause and Nick grabbed a menu and handed it to Ty.
“Know what you’re havin’ pa?” Nick asked, smiling and burying his face in his menu. He glanced over at Ty and did an exaggerated exhale looking at him.
“Yeah, I think I’m having steak and eggs.”
Ty heard the magic word. Oggie saw two eyes peering over the top of the menu. “We can do that? For breakfast, too?”
“Well, not every day but yeah. If that’s what you want, then by all means, have at it.”
“Would you order mine just like yours? Please?”
“You can tell her. Just tell her you would like a rib eye, medium rare, breakfast potatoes, eggs over easy and toast. Don’t worry. If you get stuck, we’ll help.”
“What do you mean when you say medium rare?”
“That’s how well they cook it. That means that it’s still a little pink on the inside. Just like last nights.”
“Then there are other ways? What if I wanted it cooked less?”
“There are lots of choices, from tartar to Philadelphia blackened to well done. But the common ones are rare, medium rare, medium, medium-well and well done. There are lots of different kinds of steaks too. Different cuts are cooked different ways. Like a T-bone. I like that Philadelphia blackened. That means they throw it on a really hot fire and it cooks the outside really fast and the inside almost not at all. Man, my mouth is watering just telling you about it. Maybe we’ll have to have some Bar-b-ques soon.
Sharon showed up to take the boy’s orders and looked at Oggie, “Your usual?”
“That’ll be fine,” Oggie smiled. She looked at Nick and Ty. Raising one eyebrow, she grinned at them, “How about you cowboys?”
“I’d like to have the rib eye, medium rare,” he glanced at Oggie.
Oggie continued for him, “Breakfast potatoes, eggs over easy and toast.”
“What kind of toast do you want hun’?”
Ty got a quizzical look on his face. She looked at him, “White, wheat, rye, sourdough, or whole grain?”
Ty was stuck. He looked at Nick. “Try the sourdough. It’s good.”
“Is it sour? I don’t think I’d like sour toast.”
They chuckled. “No, they just call it that. It’s not sour.”
“Ok then, I’ll have the sourdough, please.”
“And what would you like to drink?” Again, Ty looked blankly, not knowing what to say. Oggie jumped in, “Bring him some fruit juice and a cup of hot chocolate. I think he’ll like that.”
Sharon scribbled on her pad and looked at Nick. “I’ll have the same except with wheat toast please.”
Ty looked at him. “Why didn’t you have the sourdough? I thought it was good.”
“It is good. It’s a favorite of mine.”
“Then why didn’t you have sourdough too, if it’s so good?”
“I like them both and I figured that if you got the sourdough and I got the wheat, you could try them both. Then, the next time you’ll know about two flavors.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Ty said. He looked away in shame as a few tears trickled down his face. He sniffed and wiped his eyes on his sleeve and sniffled again. Nick handed him a clean handkerchief from his pocket. He glanced up at Nick and took the handkerchief.
“I didn’t mean for it to sound like I didn’t trust you. But that just felt like a set up. You know, tell me how good it was and then I find out it’s sour or horrible, while everyone laughs at me. They did that a lot. I think I hated that worse than anything. When they did that to me even the weaker ones laughed. It was . . . never mind. You wouldn’t understand.”
Nick looked at Ty. He took his hand and lifted his chin so their eyes met. “You are right, I don’t understand, but I want to. Make me understand.”
Oggie spoke up. “They’ll be bringing the food here in just a minute or two. Why don’t you save this conversation for the truck, when there aren’t so many people around.”
Nick looked at Ty, “I’m not offended. I didn’t think anything of what you said. You’re alright, so are we. So forget it for right now. But I do want to understand.”
Ty sat there in silence for a few moments that seemed to stretch. Ty, not looking up, thought he could feel their eyes boring into him. But when he looked up they were both peering towards the kitchen in hopes of a glimpse of their orders.
The food came and they ate it like savages, all three needing to replenish their fuel tanks after a night of excessive expenditures. The boys finished and Ty was disappointed that there was nothing left on anyone’s plate. He drank the apple juice, making grinning eyes at Nick as he did. But the hot chocolate remained untouched.
“You haven’t touched your hot chocolate. Don’t like it?” Oggie asked. “I never knew a boy who didn’t like hot chocolate.”
Ty looked at it. It looked like muddy water. Not wanting to offend Oggie, he picked it up and took a sip. His eyes grew large at the first sip. “This is incredible.”
“Wait, let me guess. You’ve never had hot chocolate before, right?” Nick asked, smiling.
Ty set his cup on the table and looked down again. “No, this is the first time. Thanks Oggie.” But he said it like it was suddenly less sweet and he sat back.
“Well, finish up and we’ll go do some shopping.”
Ty grabbed the cup and drank it quickly, leaving a chocolate mustache. Nick looked at him and smiled. “What?” Ty asked.
Nick pushed him forward and out the door into the lobby of the inn. He stopped him in front of a mirror and whispered in his ear. “I wanted so badly to lick that chocolate mustache off of you.”
Ty looked in the mirror and grinned a big, blushing, toothy, grin as he licked the chocolate off his upper lip and then sleeved the rest. They all waved to Sharon and walked out the door. Getting in the truck, they headed down the road towards the lumber yard.
“Ok, so tell me now, Ty. I want to understand.”
Oggie cut in, “I think it’s pretty plain Nick. Nobody likes to be the brunt of any joke. And it sounds like they made their share of jokes at his expense.”
“No, Oggie. I mean yeah, that’s part of it. But you see, in prison they keep you beat down. They convince you that this is a warehouse and you are nothing more than someone’s garbage overflow. You are stuck in there and forgotten. Then, when the sex starts, you can get through it because you aren’t the weakest. You only have to do it for the most dangerous ones. The ones that can hurt you. You do what you have to do. But there is something left in you. Maybe just a sparkle – the size of a grain of sand. Everyone knows what you’ve done and what you do daily. The younger ones, the weaker ones, have pity in their eyes when they walk by and you’re bent over a desk. They just hope they can dodge the dick. We share something in that.” Ty was quiet for a moment.
“Then you get set up. Maybe they tell you to go get an apple from the new kid and bring it back to them. You do what you’re told. But then, you make your way down the aisle towards the new kid and someone trips you and you go down to the floor. While you’re down there, two guys dump their trays on you, followed by a carton of warm milk taken from the new kid. When you get up, every person in the place is laughing and pointing at you. Even the weaker ones or the others like you. It’s like, at that moment you have become the weakest of them all. Even the weakest of them all is laughing and pointing. It’s like they bent me over the desk and each one got to have a go at me. It’s a feeling of loneliness you can’t imagine. Alone in the company of over a thousand people.”
“So, when Nick convinced me to order the sourdough and then ordered the wheat I . . . I felt like I was being set up to be laughed at.”
“Oh Ty, I would never do that to you.”
“I know. That’s made it even worse. I reacted knowing that you wouldn’t do that to me and then when it soaked in that I was wrong, I felt ashamed for doubting the only person . . .”
“The only person what?” Nick asked, quietly.
“You’re the only person who ever told me they loved me.”
Nick’s breath caught and he gasped at that thought and pulled Ty into a hug as he wept great sobs at the sadness in his voice. Oggie turned off the truck and got out. He had stopped in the parking lot of the lumber yard and sat quietly to listen to the boy’s confession. He took a couple steps away from the truck and pulled the handkerchief out of his pocket and blew his nose. He walked around to the passenger side of the truck and opened the door. He gently pulled Ty out of Nick’s arms and out of the truck into a standing position. He lifted his eyes to his. “I love you too, son. I love you, too.” He hugged Ty, who now wrapped his arms around Oggie as they wept together. Oggie could never remember a firmer hug as Ty gripped him as if his life was over when he let go. And Ty felt a warmth grow in his heart that he had never known before. He quite liked it, too. He vowed to himself at that moment that he was going to make it.
Nick got out of the truck, not wanting to break the moment. His eyes met Oggie’s. He pointed to the leather store and Oggie nodded. He continued to hold Ty, determined to hold him as long as he wanted to be held. A short time passed and the sobs quieted.
Ty looked around and noticed Nick was gone. “Where’s Nick?”
“He needed to pick up some stuff at the leather shop. He’ll be back any moment.” Ty sat back in the truck and Oggie walked back around to his side and climbed in.
“Can I ask you something, Oggie?”
“Of course. Anything, anytime.”
“Did you mean what you told that cop?”
“Well, I don’t know what you are referring to, but if I said it I meant it. I generally don’t say things that I don’t mean. I mean, of course I put my foot in my mouth like everyone else now and then, but on a whole, I try to never lie. That way I don’t have to try and remember what I said.”
“You told him that you wanted to make me your son when this was all over.”
“That I meant. Every word of it.”
“Where will that leave Nick?” Ty asked, looking around and asking quietly.
“I don’t understand. What do you mean by that?”
“I mean, you’re not going to get rid of him or anything, right? Cause if you are, just so you can help me, then I don’t want it. I’d rather go back.”
Oggie turned around to look at Ty. “Ty, Nick is my son. You don’t just get rid of them. Once they are your sons, they are forever. Even when he grows up and get’s old, he will still be my son. Just like you will be, if you’ll let me.”
“You know they’ll never let you,” he said, quietly.
“I have a bio dad. He’ll be out of jail in about sixteen months. Then he’ll want me back. He can get welfare money if he has me. That’s how we ate. Then anything else he could get by selling . . . stuff. He used to buy drugs and to trade for rent. Oggie. I didn’t tell you the whole truth. I wasn’t always stuck in that room. Sometimes I had company and sometimes I had a lot of it. He made money from me like he did from my mom. And when she went away I took her place. He had just closed shop after a busy weekend. When he went to get his fix, that’s when they got him.”
Oggie choked up and took a deep breath, “Ty, you listen to me and listen well. You will never be returned to him ever again. Even if for some reason, you don’t want me to be your father, I will still never allow you to be returned to him. Even if it means I have to treat him like a coyote. I promise.”
Ty jumped up and kissed Oggie on the side of the cheek and hugged him.
“And Ty, I have lots of room in my heart for both of you. It will never be a choice between one or the other of you. I have lots of room in my heart. Don’t you ever worry about that.”
“Oggie,” Ty said just above a whisper. “I love you, too.”
“So, what did you get?”
“I just got some leather. We have some tack that needs mending.”
“You can do that?”
“Yeah well, tack isn’t that complicated. You break one piece, you use the old one for a pattern and cut out a new one. I make them better than the tack shops anyways. They use inferior leather and cheaper stuff because they don’t really care if it lasts. If it breaks, they will just sell you another one.
“What, they use skinnier cows or something?”
Grinning widely Nick nodded, “Yep, they use those damn skinny cows. Chinese ones, I think.” Oggie was turning away trying his best not to laugh after what Ty had just revealed about having been laughed at. But he was finding it very difficult at the moment. He pulled into a parking space and quickly got out.
“I’m gonna go get the stuff. You guys can wait here or come in. I figure it will be about half an hour.” He almost sprinted to get away from them.
“He’s awful happy about getting the stuff for the sally port. Look, he’s almost running,” Ty mused, pointing at Oggie making his hasty exit.
“Yeah well, you know pa. He gets happy over the strangest things. So, when are you and pa supposed to sit down and look at your drawings?”
“I don’t know. I think he said Monday, but to be honest, I don’t think I could tell you what day it is today. Days of the week just don’t seem important here. Hey, do you guys go to church?”
“Nah, we used to back when Ma was alive, but Dad and me only went for her. Why, you want to go?”
“Me? No, it was just a way we used to mark time. In prison, it was about the only thing that happened only once a week. So it marked another week. Everyone went, even if they weren’t religious, just because it was time out of the box. But it never really meant anything to me.”
“Come on, let’s help pa load the stuff.”
“Alright you guys, get your stuff packed and drag it out here to the truck and I’ll see about the bill. I know it’s early, but if you want to eat lunch here, then we can still get home around three. Don’t smash the groceries with your bags.”
Oggie felt a hand on his ass and spun around, ready to yell at someone. Sharon smiled. “Why don’t you bring your refrigerator stuff in and I’ll put it in the walk in cooler ‘til you’re ready to go.”
“Oh, I didn’t see you come up behind me. Sure, that’s a fine idea, hon. You been out shopping? Need some help bringing in anything?”
“No, I just had to scoot out to pick up a little something special for my two favorite rodeo cowboys. You having lunch before you head back, Oggie?”
“Well, we were just talking about that. I think we are. The boys are going to pack and then meet me down in the restaurant.”
Sharon stepped into Oggie and rubbed against him, smiling. “Why don’t I help you pack and we can all meet in the restaurant in about an hour? Hmmm?”
Nick smiled as he watched Oggie squirm. “That’s a great idea pa. I could use a little nap myself.”
“Me too!” Ty said, stretching and faking a yawn.
“We’ll see you in just a bit then.” Sharon said, taking Oggie by the arm. The boys followed them with the two bags of groceries that needed to be refrigerated. After stowing them in the walk in freezer, in the kitchen, they went up to their room.
The boys took advantage of their time by taking a very long shower together and nuzzling each other naked on the bed before gathering their things and dragging them down to the truck. They went into the restaurant to find Oggie sitting and talking with Sharon. They came and sat down in the booth across from them.
“Have a nice nap then boys?” Sharon smiled.
Blushing Nick replied, “Yes ma’am. Very nice.”
“Wonderful. Well I was shopping in town and picked up a little something for the two of you.” She set two small boxes on the table, one in front of Nick and one in front of Ty. Each had a card on it with their name and “With Love, Sharon” in very pretty handwriting. They just stared at them.
“Thank you Ms. Sharon. You didn’t have to do that.”
“Nonsense, of course I did. You’ll understand in a minute. Now go ahead and open them.”
They opened them to find two very large silver and gold belt buckles. The engraving on Nicks said, “Longest Ride” and Ty’s read “Best Form.” Underneath the golden bronco rider was more engraving. “Sawdust Inn Rodeo 2009 Champion”
The boys looked at the belt buckles and then at Sharon as ear to ear grins grew on each of their faces. “Thank you Ms Sharon,” Nick said, blushing. “Yes, thank you Ms Sharon,” Ty echoed as they slid out and hugged her, giving her a little peck on the neck. While they were thanking her, Oggie reached across and picked up the buckles and read them. He smiled and blushed a little too as he handed them back to the boys.
“Well, I guess it will be an interesting ride home, won’t it boys?” Oggie said, smiling.
Sharon smiled and looked at Oggie, “It’s a private joke between the boys and I, so you just leave them alone. I just thought that every cowboy ought to have a hubcap and I saw that these two didn’t have one, so I made up some stuff. That’s all.”
“Oh, ok then. I guess we don’t have to worry about the boys being gay or anything then, huh?” Oggie asked Sharon with a stern look on his face.
“Why Oggie, why would you ever think such a thing?”
“Maybe because they are. But it was nice of you to try and protect them. So, you’re alright with them, then?” Oggie asked.
Smiling and looking at the boys and then back to Oggie, “Completely,” she said, giving the boys a wink.
The boys slid out of the booth. “Hey, where are you guys going?” Oggie asked.
“Nowhere, we just needed to get up so we can put our buckles on,” Nick said, smiling as he undid his buckle and unsnapped the back of his belt to swap the buckles. Ty watched and copied Nick’s actions.
Then, looking down at their new buckles, Nick smiled and hugged Sharon again. “Thanks so much. These mean more to me than you will ever know.”
Ty hugged her to. “It’s the first gift I’ve ever received, except for the knife Oggie gave me. I’ll treasure it forever.” Sharon smiled and couldn’t find words. What he had said took her by surprise. Finally speaking, she said, “I’m sure it is the first of many. I’m glad it is special to you. I think you’re pretty special to me.” And she hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He flushed and touched where she had kissed as he sat back down in the booth.
Food came to the table. “I took the liberties boys, I hope you don’t mind.” Oggie said smiling as the waiter slid a sizzling steak under Ty’s face. He smiled and licked his lips.
“Fine by me Oggie.”
Nick smiled and they all ate in silence. Looking up and grinning once in a while, Ty finished everything and it was a repeat performance over the desert. Apple pie and ice cream, with hot fudge over both. Ty lamented having to leave the last couple of bites. They hugged Sharon and made their way home.
“Man, that drive seems so much longer coming back home than it did going into town,” Ty said, stretching as he got out of the truck. “I need to hit the restroom. I’ll be right back to help unload.”
“Pa,” Nick said, as Ty went up the steps. “When are you going to start working with Ty on his drawing and stuff?”
“I don’t know. I was planning on sitting down with him tomorrow, why?”
“Well, I got this leather project and he has a birthday coming up soon and, well, I need some time to work on it. A lot of time.”
“Will an hour or two a day work for you?”
“Good, then I’ll hire him tomorrow. He’s been funny about spending money anyways. It’ll be good for him to have some money of his own. Money that he earned.”
“Oh, that feels much better.” Ty’s grin said he found the relief he was looking for as he returned. His new belt buckle glistening in the sunlight.
“Come on, put these on so the wire doesn’t get you. Chicken wire isn’t too bad, but once in a while a stray wire can get you,” Nick said, handing a pair of work gloves to Ty.
“Grab an end of it and we’ll lay it over by the barn.”
“Wow, it’s pretty light. I thought it would be heavier.”
“Nah, it’s more bulky than anything. Come on, we’ll stack the two by fours over here too. We can start on it first thing in the morning. I figure we should have it done by noon.”
“We’re actually gonna build this ourselves? Cut it all and everything? You know how to do all that?”
“Well, your drawing is pretty good. I don’t think it will be too tough. The hardest part is measuring and getting that part right. Some places you have to figure the thickness of the wood.”
“What do you mean the thickness of the wood?”
“Like here, on your drawing. We need to look at whether the board is sitting on top or on the end when we measure the long bottom piece. Otherwise, it can be off the thickness of the wood. A two by four isn’t really 2 inches. That is the rough cut. When they finish it to be all smooth, it is only one and three quarters of an inch thick. So, if we nail these into the ends of the bottom board, we need to allow three and a half inches from the overall length for it to be right.”
Ty stared at him with a glazed-over look. “I hope you understood all that, because if you are counting on me for it, we’re in trouble.”
“It’ll be easier after we do a little bit. Don’t worry, pa is here if we have any questions.”
“Cool. It’s just that, well, I’ve never done anything like this before. And fractions scare the hell out of me.”
“Well, we’ll have to work on that before school this fall.”
“You think I’ll make it that long?” Ty asked in disbelief.
“Yeah, I think I’ll keep ya around for a bit. I mean, you haven’t even taught me to pick a lock or anything. You probably have loads to teach me yet.” Nick said, grinning.
“That would be cool. I wish I knew how to do that myself.”
“You don’t? Shit, maybe we should trade you in on a better educated criminal.”
Ty looked down. He wasn’t smiling.
“Hey, it was a joke,” Nick said, punching him lightly in the arm. “You gotta loosen up. You take it all so serious.”
“Yeah, you’re right. It’s just that, I wonder sometimes if that sign will always be there.”
“You know, the one that hangs over my head where ever I go that says criminal.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Lawman Jim saw it. He knew where to look.”
“Give it time. I think when you change your thinking about yourself, then the sign will change too. Grab that box of nails and I’ll grab the bag. Then we’ll head over to the swimmin’ hole for a quick dip. What do ya think?”
“Nah, I’ll go with ya, but I’m not goin’ in.”
“I don’t get it. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“Maybe for you. But . . . I can’t swim. I never learned how.”
“That’s okay. Like I said before, you can walk nearly half way across. Give it a try, I’ll teach you how.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“I promise I won’t let anything happen to you. Ty, look at me.”
Ty’s eyes lifted from the ground to meet Nick’s as Nick moved to touch his hand. “I love you. I would never do anything to hurt you. I don’t think I could live without you anymore. You’ve become my everything.”
A small smile appeared on Ty’s face. “What’s that mean, your everything?”
“It means that when I wake up in the morning, the first thought in my mind is you and the last thought in my mind when I lay down to sleep is about you. And nearly all my thoughts in between are about you. There is nothing in my life right now that is without you. It means that every time you mention not making it here, my heart breaks. And the mere thought of you hurt or missing from my life makes me tremble. I won’t let anything happen to you. I couldn’t stand it.”
Ty stood up and pulled Nick into a tight hug. “Alright, I’ll go. But only because I trust you and I have faith in you. And I love you, too.”
“I think that’s the first time you have said that to me and really meant it,” Nick said, staring into his eyes.
Ty leaned in, forehead to forehead and nose to nose. “I think it is. I’m trying so hard, but I’m still not sure what love means. But right now, it means that you are my world too. I feel safe, and I feel all butterfly’s inside when you hold me. And I can’t wait to see your eyes meet mine in the morning, because I know a smile is about to burst out. You have a smile that makes me smile too. I can’t help it. No one has ever made me feel this way before.”
“Come on, then. Let’s saddle Camile and Smokey and head for the lake.”
“Hello Cheryl, this is Oggie. Can you check and see if Jerry has a minute to talk to me? Tell him it’s important.”
“Hi Oggie, he’s on another line, but he has a few minutes before his next appointment. Can you hang on for a minute and I’ll let him know you’re holding.”
“Sure thing, go ahead.”
A few moments passed and Oggie watched out the window as his boys sat and talked on the tailgate of his truck. He watched as Ty stood and faced Nick. They put their foreheads together. He watched as they obviously had a discussion before giving each other a hug and a gentle kiss. He loved to watch them together. They brought out the best in each other.
“Hey Oggie, how’s the fishing?”
“Not too bad Jerry. I think you ought to bring some of those city worms out here and try and drown a few.”
“I’d like nothing better. What’s up? Do we need to come and get him?”
“No, Jerry. Just the opposite. He has really blossomed. I want to keep him and permanently. I want everything dropped and I want to adopt him.”
“Oggie this is really surprising. I mean, it’s only been a couple of weeks.”
“I know Jerry, but I can see he is a keeper. All this court stuff is really getting in the way of him really opening up. He lives in fear daily that he will screw up and have to go back. I want that thought to vanish. I want him to feel the freedom and to feel like he can forget the past. Jerry, there is no doubt that this one is a diamond in the rough and our home has really put the polish on him.”
“Well, releasing him is no big deal. It’s a phone call to the prosecutor. But as for the adoption, I think there is a bio-father. I think he’s in custody still, but I’ll have to check.”
“I think I can get him to sever parental rights easily enough. He used to pimp the kid out. He deserves a rope, but I think he will sign easily enough. Can you tell me where he is incarcerated?”
“Wow, it sounds like he’s really opened up to you. That’s huge Oggie.”
“Not so much me, but with Nick. He pries it out of him and then we all talk it through. He has really become a great kid. So if you can, let me know. I’d like to get this taken care of as quickly as possible.”
“Yeah, sure. I’ll have to make a couple of phone calls. You’re really sure about this Oggie?”
“Jerry, I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”
“Alright then, I’ll get back to you this afternoon.”
“Great, I’ll expect your call. I’ll call Larry and get him involved too.”
“A great idea. Have him give me a call when you’re ready for a hearing.”
“Jerry?” Oggie said, pausing. “I’ll owe you big on this one.”
“Oggie, you don’t owe me anything, but I can’t wait to see this new kid you are talking about, because the one I sent you had a definite outlined future. If we’ve managed to save one, then that’s thanks enough. I really had my doubts, I don’t mind telling you.”
“Yeah, when he got here, he was pretty rough. But now I don’t think you would even know him.”
“Talk to you soon, Oggie.”
“And Jer? Mom always liked you best.”
“She did too. And I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”
Oggie hung up the phone and smiled to himself. He picked up the phone and dialed another number.
“Hello Oggie, what the fuck are you bothering me for? This better be important,” the voice said on the other end of the line.
“Hey Larry, how’s that heat rash? Doesn’t sound like it has kept you off the golf course.”
“Hey, I’ll have you know, I do some of my best work out here on the green. Now, what do you want, I’m about to putt.”
“I need you to draw up some adoption papers and then give Jerry a call when they’re ready for him.”
“Christ Oggie, don’t you think you should shop for a woman before you get another boy?”
“Hey, I’m thinking about it. Get off my back. When I find the right one, I’ll call you. I need your PI’s number, too. I have to get the father to sever parental rights. He pimped the kid out so it should be an easy nudge. I figure to offer him a couple grand and won’t press charges.”
“Shit, you want one of MY boys? Hell, I’ll give you Jeff for half that.”
“Shit Larry, he has your genes. What the hell do I want with a kid whos life ambition is to raise his father above a snakes belly. I’ll bet he likes law too.”
“Yeah, the little shit has threatened to litigate if I don’t raise his allowance to permit him to continue in the lifestyle he has grown accustomed to. The scary part is I think he could do it.”
“Alright, well, have your guy give me a call, alright Larry?”
“Sure Oggie, I’ll get right on it. I’m on the back side of the 11th. Should be about an hour or two. Just one more question then Oggie.”
“This call? Bill it to me personally, not the business.”
“You’ve taken up mind reading again, I see.”
“You’re not hard to read. Just don’t screw this up or I’ll have to have my new attorney call you up.”
“A new attorney? What’s he charge an hour?”
“Later then, Larry.”
He hung up the phone smiling.
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