Dooby Rhymes with Scooby

                                                                                        by Jamie Haze 


Part 29

Margery Thurston arrived at the sprawling Spelling estate with Dominic
Orsini as her escort, just after Christian dropped Cory and Dooby off late
in the afternoon, once they finished the wrestling and Lacrosse team
practices on Friday. Christian sped off immediately to get home, shower,
change and collect Tom and Tom's mother Bernice. The weekend was planned as
a family affair. Dooby's parents, John and Betty would attend with
Jennifer, and of course Lane Fulton, her inseparable boyfriend, along with
Artie, Dooby's brother and his partner Scott; without cameras or sound
equipment for the first time. Lastly, Quinn and Judy Dunn, Christian's
parents, would complete the party of seventeen. Long unused guestrooms were
readied and waiting. Curiously, the boys found Laura and Charlie in coats
standing outside the front door waiting for them – they thought.

Dooby started agitating Charlie at once, "Gramps, don't tell us we got
evicted at a time like this. If you needed help with the rent, we would
have kicked in with a few bucks." Cory just grinned and rolled his eyes,
but it was clear that he was also expecting an explanation; an untimely
eviction was unlikely to be the answer.

Charlie just grinned as if he had a secret; the boys hadn't seen him just
return his phone to his pocket, "Marjory will be here in two minutes or
less," he allowed.

"How do you know that?" Dooby asked suspiciously, "You can't see the drive
from this side of the house and no one was following us."

"We just know that she'll appear right over there. You didn't know that I
have far sight did you?" Charlie pointed to the lawn on the back side of
the roundabout, "and you two are just in time to help with her luggage, so
stay put."

Dooby giggled, "How much luggage could she possibly have for a weekend," he
guessed, "an overnight bag?"

Charlie looked at Dooby in disbelief; he chuckled, "You didn't see us leave
for our honeymoon. Trust me, no woman travels light. I know of one woman
who packed three big bags full of winter clothes and we were going to the
Mediterranean in the summer." He very carefully avoided looking at Laura,
but received a playful elbow in the ribs regardless.

"A girl has to be prepared," Laura defended, "What if there was a cold

A wop, wop, wop sound from the sky intruded into the conversation at that
time. Dooby and Cory looked at each other and exclaimed, "A helicopter!"
together, and began running to where Charlie had pointed. It was then that
they saw that someone had painted a large white `H' on the lawn.

"Get back here goddamn it!" Charlie shouted uselessly. He shrugged and said
to Laura, "I guess they'll find out about the downdraft on their own."

They did, when dried grass clippings began to pelt their faces like sleet
in a violent storm. First they backed away, then turned away and knelt down
with Dooby protecting Cory with his body until the engine died and the
rotors slowed to a stop. They recovered quickly and ran forward as the
pilot opened the rear passenger hatch.

"GRANNY," Dooby screamed, "welcome to..." he hesitated and looked back at
Charlie. "Say Gramps, does this place have a name?"

"Yup, I call it home, but the guy that built it called it High View Farm."

"Welcome to High View Farm," Dooby finished as Margery stepped down quite
nimbly. Dom followed wearing a huge grin.

"I would wager that you two will not get that close to a landing helicopter
again will you?" Dom asked as he shook hands with the boys. They assured
him that they wouldn't and frowned at Charlie.

"You could have warned us Gramps," Dooby grumped. He brightened quickly
after a glance into the helicopter, "See Gramps, Granny didn't bring much
luggage; just this one piece," he pointed.

"Ah, that one is mine," Dom corrected Dooby with a laugh, "Margery's is in
the third row of seats."

Dooby looked again, "There is no third row."

Dom laughed harder, "It is quite clear that you have never been married;
the third row is UNDER Margery's luggage."

"A girl has to be prepared, even those of us who have reached middle age,"
Margery stated and waited to see if Dooby would accept the opening.

Dooby didn't, he kissed her cheek and hugged her before passing her to Cory
for a similar greeting while he began unloading her luggage onto the
lawn. He lined up everything by size; a half dozen assorted smaller bags
that he considered to be a `weekend' size, three medium size that were
exactly the same, one of which he thought would hold everything he'd need
for a two week stay anywhere if he had to wear clothes all the time and
finally, two with handles on three sides; one of which he thought would be
suitable for an around the world cruise even if he could never do laundry
the entire time.

The craftsman in Dooby observed, "These all match, they're very well made
and they're all the same color; a kind of cow flop brown, and very nicely
camouflaged with the same sickly yellow design. Did you get them from
Army-Navy surplus?" he asked, "They were made to government specifications,
they over spec everything."

Margery didn't even blink, "Well the next time I see Louis Vuitton," she
looked skyward where she and old Louie were likely to meet, "I'll certainly
tell him you approve of his designs and color scheme. I've been adding
pieces over the years so I have quite a collection, I'm very fortunate that
larger cases are all open stock so like size pieces match."

"Wow, old Louie is good at marketing too," Dooby complimented. He happened
to see that Cory had turned away, and from the way his shoulders were
shaking, he appeared to be crying – or laughing. Charlie and Laura were
escorting Margery and Dom into the house and weren't paying attention,
although Laura was also nearly in tears from laughing at Dooby. "What's
wrong Sprout," he asked with concern.

Cory answered after he composed himself, if barely, "Do you remember when
we first met, that I told you that Mom and I were divorced, not poor?"

"I already knew that, from the neighborhood; there are no poor people who
live there."

"Would it interest you to know that Mom's luggage is the same brand and if
you add up all this, without the contents, you're almost looking at the
cost of a new Corvette?" That was a comparative that Dooby understood. He
picked up two of the mid-size pieces and directed Cory to collect the small
assortment of Louie's clunky luggage. The helicopter wanted to leave and
was waiting for them to move the luggage out of downdraft range.

Just then Dooby's parents arrived with Jennifer and Lane. Dooby drafted his
father and Lane to help with the largest pieces. Upstairs in a guestroom,
John huffed, "How many people came with all this?"

"Just one, Margery Thurston, let's go downstairs so you can meet her."
Dooby replied brightly and turned to leave the room.

John grabbed the back of Dooby's neck, "Oh no you don't, we have two women
with us and your mother is teaching your sister how to pack. I couldn't use
my rear view mirror the whole way over here, so..."

"Okay, we'll help," Dooby agreed before his father squeezed.

All the guests had arrived within an hour, the luggage had been delivered
to the assigned guestrooms and cocktails were being served in the drawing
room by George, who was catering the entire weekend, when Charlie let out
his nightly complaint; "Dooby, feed the damn deer before they join the

When Dooby couldn't find any local volunteers to help, it became obvious
that Tommy and Christian had been blabbing about the possibility of getting
dirty, so he was left with `volunteering' Lane, his future brother-in-law's
services, and Margery, who pulled Dom to his feet as well. Perverse Charlie
waited until then to mention that he had the nightly quota of feed bags
delivered to the terrace so no one was likely to get dirty enough to shower
and change before dinner, except Cory and Dooby. They needed to shower
regardless because they generally didn't do it at school, because of the
need to feed the deer and he suspected get `frisky' in their shower. Only
Dooby noticed that Lane looked a bit disappointed and hoped he knew the
reason why; a reason that was easily correctable as soon as they got the
first bag of feed open.

Dooby opened the door he usually used, to discover Rudy, with his delicate
front hoofs on the step and nose prints on the glass. "Rudy, hi. You know,
if I could teach you to always poop outside you could come in, if we can
figure out a way for you to open doors."

"Don't even try," Charlie warned.

"Gramps," Dooby said in surprise, "I didn't know you were standing behind

"I know you didn't." Charlie chuckled, "Shoo him away so Margery and Dom
can get out."

Rudy followed Dooby to the stack of feed bags with his wet nose pasted to
Dooby's butt while Lane, Margery and Dom stood back watching and waiting
for instructions. Dooby whispered to Cory with his back to their helpers,
"Get Lane dirty by accident, I think he wants to shower with us and with he
and Jennifer sleeping under the same roof, she won't let him out of bed
after lights out."

Cory nodded imperceptibly before softly calling Lane to his side to help
open bags and filling the troughs while Dooby filled his two buckets to
feed Rudy and his girlfriends with Margery and Dom's assistance. Dom was
far more reluctant than Granny and perhaps Rudy sensed some fear, he
sniffed the meager hand full that Dom offered but dove into Granny's cupped
hands. Dooby offered the bucket to Dom and told him to get a double
handful; but Rudy just wasn't interested. Just as Dom was about to give up,
one of the girls looked up and stepped up to Dom's out stretched hands and
began feeding! This caused a three step mini stampede as the other three
doe abandoned their bucket for Dom's hands.

Dom's smile covered his face, when Dooby assured him that this was the
first time that the girls had ever eaten out of anyone's hands. Dom had
just refilled his hands with feed; ground corn, and the first brave doe to
feast – sneezed. Dom, as a European gentleman well used to visiting
country estates; his own, relatives' or friends', was dressed for the
occasion, wearing a very fuzzy tweed jacket and the only man or boy in the
party who so much as dreamed of wearing a necktie to Charlie and Laura's.

To everyone's surprise Dom giggled at having his jacket sprinkled with corn
flour and snot, but he continued to use his hands to feed `his' deer. Lane
and Cory heard the commotion and looked back to see what happened just as
Lane slammed an unbroken bag on the edge of the trough to split the sack
open, he was attempting to duplicate the method Cory used, that Cory
learned from Rodger. His bag split open but on the upper side, not
underneath where it was supposed to. There was a goodly puff of corn flour;
enough to dust his coat and shower his jeans and shoes.

"Darn it," Lane lamented with a grin, "I guess now I need to shower too."

"You better keep your carpenter job," Cory sort of agreed.

Dooby observed, "I don't imagine that you brought any other clothes with
you, so you'll have to wear something of mine after we shower."

"I was all packed and Jennifer needed to borrow my damn suitcase," Lane

"I most certainly did not!" Jennifer protested though the door. She opened
the door to laugh, "At least not all of it."

"Yeah," Lane agreed with an adoring smile in her direction, "she left me a
little zippered pocket on the side."

"Close the damn door Jennifer," John called; one of his frequent winter
laments over the years, directed at one of his kids; "you're letting all
the heat out!" The door slammed.

"Oh my," Granny pointed downhill with her chin, "there are more of them."

"That's just the rest of the herd that lives on Gramps' property
year-round," Dooby explained. "Look down in the big field, Gramps says that
those are the winter visitors. He never allowed hunting, so during hunting
season, like now, all the neighbors show up to hang out until
spring. There's plenty to eat, they're safe and I guess the buck in the mob
decide how many girls they'll have in their harems before they start making

The bulk of the herd approached the feed troughs and circled at a distance
until Lane and Cory were finished and backed away before the troughs were
surrounded by deer bodies and constantly flipping tails. By then Lane's
jeans were covered with corn flour and it appeared that Rudy considered him
to be just another food source and began licking his jeans without regard
to where he was licking.

Lane froze in place as his face turned red, "Dooby, what's he doing, why's
he licking me there?"

Margery answered for Dooby with a leer at where Rudy was most interested,
"It appears that there's something protruding just there and there might be
more flour piled on top," she observed, nearly without laughing, while she
watched Lane look down at himself; the protrusion was not unlike Dooby's.

"Man, what a pervert," Dooby accused with a giggle, "you better get inside,
and head right upstairs if you don't want Laura on your ass for tracking in
dirt all over the place. We'll be up in a few minutes."

Dooby, Cory and Christian escorted Dom and Granny Margery up to show them
to their rooms; Granny needed to `freshen up' while Dom needed to
change. Christian was going to take Dom's well dusted clothes to the dry
cleaner's so they would be ready the next morning. Just before the boys
left Dom, Dooby advised him to lose the tie for the rest of the weekend.

Predictably, Lane was already in the shower by the time Cory and Dooby
arrived to join him. Dooby inspected Lane's body from a distance and
announced, "Wow brother-in-law, you know your body looks just like mine,
except for the brown hair and those `dreamy, big brown eyes'," he quoted
Jennifer. He looked down and reached out as he got closer, "And look Cory,
he's perfectly barbered too. Has Jennifer been doing that for you?"

Lane nodded as he sank to his knees; any compliments from Dooby were the
highest accolades indeed. He pushed Dooby back to the bench seat and just
before he took the object of his desires into his mouth, he looked back at
Cory hopefully, "I already showered and lubed back there too, that is, if
you want to," he whispered just loud enough to be heard over the shower and
wagged his butt for emphasis.

A printed invitation was unnecessary for Cory and within minutes Dooby and
Cory exploded. Cory pulled Lane back and down to sit on his thighs, still
impaled while Dooby followed Lane with his mouth intent on
reciprocating. The three-way was all over within the usual twenty minutes
that Laura generally allowed the boys to shower before they risked her
always threatened appearance with a video camera.

"Holy shit," Dooby puffed, "that was hot. It's too bad you'll be stuck in
Jennifer all night after lights out."

Lane, Dooby and Cory helped each other regain their feet. Lane returned
sourly, "We don't expect anything to happen tonight; not with your dad in
the same house. He may know what we've been doing, but he's never caught us
doing anything. We're afraid of bed checks." To his surprise both Dooby and
Cory laughed. "It's not all that funny," he protested, "You guys have it

Cory explained, "We talked to my mom. This is her first weekend house party
and she wants everything to be perfect..."

"That does not include your blood all over her carpets," Dooby interrupted.

"Anyway," Cory resumed, "all the bedrooms in the front of the house, those
would be the ones with a view, have their own bathrooms attached so all the
adults have those rooms. But the bedrooms across the hall aren't set up
that way. Each two bedrooms share a bath." Lane began to smile.

"But Dad doesn't know that," Dooby informed, "From out in the hall he can't
tell that your rooms are connected, so all you guys have to do is lock your
doors and he'll never know as long as you can keep Jennifer from screaming
her head off during each poke."

Lane's smile was radiant, "Oh wow, this will be the first night we actually
get to sleep together the whole night. Wait until Jennifer hears about

Dooby frowned, "If you shout a little louder everyone will know," he warned
and pushed Lane into their closet. "Pick out whatever you want, just
remember I want my stuff back without any pulls, not stretched out and no
rips; my little sister is an animal," he reminded proudly.

Lane chose to wear the same teal turtleneck sweater and white sailcloth
trousers that Dooby wore for the golf outing, while Dooby and Cory opted
for wild paisley and madras shorts respectively with plain pullover shirts,
of course embroidered with little polo players on their breast. Dom was
stunned with Lane's appearance and dress; he'd seen Dooby wearing the same
clothes on video and in a hundred still shots, but he had to look at very
beautiful Jennifer a second time after she attached herself to Lane's side
with her arm around his waist so her hand could drift lower to his butt
occasionally while Lane draped his long arm over Jennifer's shoulders so
his hand could drop to her breast if he thought no one was
looking. Together, they made the ideal teen couple and he wondered if it
would be possible to market two different yet compatible fragrances.

Clever Christian had the same idea as he whispered to Dom; "Maybe we should
exploit teen couples; Jennifer and Lane look like the perfect couple for
selling something kind of `his and hers' in the same package somehow."

Dom nodded, "Plan on introducing that kind of thing next year in time for
the holidays using them for the advertising."

Cory had just returned from the kitchen; he joined Dooby, who was chatting
with Granny about the broach she was wearing on her dress. "Look Cory, last
week we never heard of piss diamonds and now we see them again; they make
up the yellow stripes on Granny's bumble bee broach. Isn't it neat?" Dooby
switched gears, "Where'd you go?"

"I was in the kitchen learning a new recipe," Cory answered simply and
tried to return to the broach as the topic of conversation by scolding
Dooby, "You know in mixed company you should really say yellow
diamonds. That's beautiful Granny; do you collect bugs made into jewelry?"

"Why thank you Cory dear; yes I do." Granny managed to say.

Dooby saw that Cory hadn't said what recipe; "Wait a minute, what are we
having for dinner tonight, and if you need the recipe tonight, what are we
selling on the show tomorrow? You never said, in fact no one mentioned
anything about tomorrow's show." Dooby looked around to see that any of the
guys involved had turned their heads away and appeared to be too intent on
their own conversations."

"Here we go," Cory whispered to Granny. He covered his mouth with his hand
and mumbled something that Dooby didn't quite understand entirely.

Dooby frowned, "I thought you said a word that starts with a `V'," his
frown was joined by a nose scrunch, "Veal starts with a `V', come on, tell
me what we're really having."

Cory sighed pitifully, "We're having Veal Marsala and that's what I'm
preparing tomorrow because that's what's on sale." As Dooby began to
sputter a protest, Cory waved him to silence, "But we also have ground
chuck on sale, so you can do your own thing with that while I work on the
Veal. There you picky grump, are you happy now?"

"What don't you like about Veal, Dooby dear?" Granny made the mistake of

"Here we go again; and right before dinner too," Cory groaned with a frown
at Granny Margery.

"Well, we know it's beef, but it's pink, not red," Dooby began ticking off
his reasons; "they call it Veal, because if it was called baby calf, no one
would ever eat it. Like they call dolphin fish, Mahi-Mahi, if they didn't,
everyone would think of poor Flipper and it would never sell. Eating veal
would be like eating Rudy as a steak just before his balls dropped."

"Dooby, enough!" his father, John, intervened with a roar from across the
big room.

"Sorry Dad, but someone asked," Dooby didn't say who, but rolled his eyes
down to Granny. He brightened suddenly, "Do we have any ground beef?" he
asked Cory, and when he nodded, Dooby took off running for the kitchen.

"Oh my," Granny lamented, "Had I known, I never would have asked. He
certainly has his preferences."

Cory giggled, "He sure does, if you really want to get him going, ask him
about what he thinks of stuffed peppers." He looked at his watch, "I bet
you a dollar that he's going to make himself an Auggie Burger for dinner,
since he doesn't have time for meatloaf."

"I obviously don't know him well enough to wager, but what in the world is
an Auggie Burger?"

"It was a spur of the moment name for a humongous hamburger. He named it
after Auggie Bligh since he knew he was being taped and Auggie would see
the tape eventually." Cory lowered his voice, "To tell you the truth, I
like veal well enough but if I was given a choice, I'd have to pick the
burger for dinner too."

"I've heard the name Bligh," Granny stated, her way of asking who Auggie
was obliquely.

Cory explained Auggie and when he mentioned the late night adult show,
Margery said that she would be sure to watch it next week. Cory suggested
that she could watch the segment that just aired after dinner if she
wished. Dom started laughing and nodding; he said that he would like to see
the show again as well, so that took care of the evenings'
entertainment. Dooby reappeared just before dinner was to be served,
looking very pleased with himself.

At table finally, the waiters delivered everyone's plate before Chef Gary,
George's Executive Chef, carried in Dooby's, personally. Cory would have
won his bet with Granny. Everyone began to eat while those who could see
him kept their eyes on Dooby's Auggie Burger and a pile of seasoned French
fries that everyone liked and would have preferred over the
parsley-buttered finger potatoes that accompanied their Veal Marsala. When
dinner was nearly finished, Dooby promised to make Auggie Burgers for
everyone for lunch after taping, in the studio if they would stop staring,
which he claimed had spoiled his appetite, even though the burger had
disappeared and he had just swallowed the last of the fries after allowing
Granny and Dom one each to taste.

Dom proved to be one of those people no one likes to take to a movie if
they'd already seen it; he kept explaining to Margery what was about to
happen all through the show. But, when the segment was over she was red
faced from laughing and was wiping her eyes. "That was marvelous!" she
exclaimed, "But the nudity, oh my, I shall be certain to watch next week
for sure." She fanned her face with her hand and asked a passing waiter for
a fresh drink to cool down.

Margery asked when the winner of the Tarzan contest was to be decided and
laughingly wondered if she still had time to enter. Dooby told her that she
already met the winner, the previous Sunday; it was Rodger.

"I'll bet Lane would have won, if he'd been in the contest," a towering
wingback chair in the corner of the room, with a girlish voice opined.

"Jennifer shush," the chair voice, turned masculine, protested too late and

John looked from a vacant love seat, across the room to the chair in total
surprise, "You two come out from behind that chair," he demanded, and then
asked, "How did you get behind there without being seen anyway?" He
couldn't see the frantic clothing adjustments, but he could imagine them.

"Fast and sneaky," ever helpful Dooby answered for his sister and future
brother-in-law. Jennifer emerged first with her skirt and blouse slightly
wrinkled, but otherwise intact. When Lane stood up, he was seen frantically
pulling down his borrowed sweater below his hips.

Jennifer went on the offensive while she pulled Lane back across the room
to their original seats. "Well he would have won!" she charged with a
dangerous look at Dooby.

"None of us won Jennifer; the contest wasn't set up that way. Rodger voted
more times than anyone else and is still voting to be sure he stays in
first place." He elaborated; "Rodger is a geek who had too much time on his
hands; he set up some sort of program in his `puter to vote every minute
around the clock, seven days a week." He turned lecherous, "Although since
Lane's body looks just like mine, I'm sure he would have gotten a lot of

Dom expressed his continued interest in the growing contact list; "May I
ask how many hits the website received since the show aired last night?" he
asked eagerly.

Everyone looked at Scott for an answer. Miraculously, he pulled a laptop
out that had been slipped between his chair arm and seat cushion. His smile
covered his face, "So far, we're up to over eight million and counting." He
offered the little machine to Dom, so he could see the counter numbers

"Is this a good thing?" Margery asked Dom while she stared at the screen.

"Oh yes, Margery. This list has names, addresses, telephone numbers and
email addresses, all up to the minute. This list is priceless for marketing

While most of the room discussed the mailing list, Dooby began to frown at
Scott and by extension, his brother Artie, Scott's partner and
cameraman. He stood up from sitting on the floor to walk to behind the sofa
that Margery and Dom were sitting on. His glare at Scott confirmed his
suspicions. Scott shrank back into Artie's arms, seeking protection while
Artie grinned back at his little brother. "I thought this was supposed to
be a camera free family weekend, but you just couldn't resist." Dooby

"Dooby dear," Margery asked, "what in the world is wrong?"

Dooby ignored Granny's question as he tried to recall Scott or Artie
holding the laptop, facing the wrong direction, "What did you record?" He
demanded to know.

"Well," Scott answered weakly, "Auggie kind of wanted the deer feeding
scenes, and I thought tonight would be a good time and it would be
completely candid, but..."

"But what?" Cory asked after he joined Dooby to look down on the laptop.

"But using that camera through the window, didn't work, it's fuzzy, too
fuzzy to use."

"Dooby, please tell me what is wrong," Granny insisted, looking thoroughly

"Sorry Granny. See that little spot on top of the monitor frame?"

"Why yes, that's part of the brand name logo I believe, although it is
remarkably uninspired. I'm quite sure Christian could do better." She
looked at Christian, "I know their CEO quite well. Would you like me to
call him on your behalf? You could always use new advertising accounts. In
fact, while I'm thinking about it, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind
looking over my little company's marketing efforts."

Christian nodded weakly; he was stunned. It seemed that he kept meeting
power brokers; actually decision makers, that in normal circumstances he
could never even get an appointment to see and these people seemed
interested in hearing about, and seeing his ideas.

"No Granny," Dooby giggled, "that isn't part of the logo, it's a camera
lens; it's a webcam."

Granny was appalled, "Goddamn all electronics companies," she exclaimed
vehemently, "why can't they simply print instructions and include them in
the packing? But, oh no, they ASSUME that every purchaser is either
conversant with the product or is willing to visit their website to find
answers by scrolling up and down, up and down, which I find very

"Cool it Granny," Dooby advised with a rub on her shoulder, "some time when
Rodger's around and you have your laptop handy, he'll give you some
lessons," he suggested by volunteering Rodger's geeky services.

"Will we see him tomorrow?" Granny asked, "I have my blasted laptop in my
luggage," she looked pitifully hopeful, "and now I'm afraid to open it up,
it might be staring at me."

"Sure, we can call him; he'll jump at a chance to get off campus. Steve can
bring him over if he isn't busy, and then they could go out to dinner with
us, if that's alright Gramps?"

"Sure, the more the merrier, I certainly enjoy seeing both of those boys
eat." Charlie agreed.

"I wonder if I might make a suggestion," Dom asked, "I would appreciate the
opportunity to see all the other boys again; those who live near here, who
are going to participate in my new campaign. I would be most happy to
provide everyone dinner if that would be possible."

Charlie laughed and nodded, "I'm almost certain the Bradley bunch will love
a steak dinner too; I'll just bump up the reservation but there won't be
any check for you to pay Dom. This dinner will come under the heading of
company research, ah, food quality assurance. You see, when Tommy called
the restaurant about finding a source of mesquite wood he was honest about
the reason why. The owner not only provided his source, he offered to sell
his store. He's been working upwards of ninety hours a week to be
successful and he wants to retire so he has some time to enjoy his
profits. Tommy just sent him a letter of intent so we will soon have a
second Charlie's on line."

Dooby's eyes glittered, "Do you mean that Cory and I are in charge of
quality control in Charlie's too?" He ignored Charlie's cringing
agreement. "Holy shit Sprout, do you realize we've got the three basic food
groups to eat for free for life!"

"I hesitate to ask..." Cory responded with a grin.

"Steak, seafood and pizza," Dooby exclaimed. Dooby saw Scott manufacture a
yawn and his brother Artie begin to pull him to his feet. "You two, HALT,
right there," he ordered, "you forgot your laptop, but you already know the
images are fuzzy so you must have hooked it to a TV to be sure; that means
you have a cable with you. Plug it in so Granny and Dom can see how they
look on this bigger screen."

Both Dom and Granny protested that they looked horrible after the unedited,
choppy, fifteen minute segment, but it was clear to see that they were
flattered. They went so far as to ask Scott for copies as mementos. Dooby
and Cory began shaking their heads as soon as the mini-show started. There
were reflections, a finger partially blocked the lens once, they saw part
of the door frame and frequently the lead separating the small
diamond-shaped panes cut up the images. The whole house was equipped with
leaded windows that actually impeded the view and did nothing to save on
Charlie's heating bills, but were too valuable to replace.

"This is what we'll do," Dooby explained, "after lunch at the studio,
Auggie Burgers," he stated as a reminder, "we'll all come back here with
cameras and do this right. Is that okay with everyone?" After general
agreement, he hoisted an eyebrow in Scott's direction, "But, after we're
done shooting here, we better not see another camera of any size," he

"Any size?" Scott asked, while trying to look offended. Artie grinned in
the background.

Cory elaborated, "Any size meaning your wire frame glasses better not get
thicker and heavier in time for dinner and you shouldn't start sticking
lapel pins in our faces; things like that."

"Oh," Scott said and looked depressed.

Artie's grin turned into a giggle, "Busted," he sang.

Saturday morning, it was a pleasure to arrive in the dining room to find
breakfast waiting to be ordered and served by others. Everything had been
arranged by one phone call Friday evening. The Bradley bunch would join the
party at the studio and it was no surprise that Rodger and Steve were
staying the weekend at Bradley's as well, officially as guests of Billy and
Zack respectively, but since the younger mob thought of Billy or Zach's
rooms as their own, there was a two bedroom pajama party already under way
when Dooby and Cory called.

Margery arrived moaning that she had nothing appropriate to wear to be
photographed and wondered if she could get an emergency appointment at
Laura's salon to get her hair and nails done in time. She also carried her
laptop in a zippered case and held it as if it contained a poisonous snake
even though she managed to open it long enough to cover the lens with a
Band Aid just before bed.

Dom asked about his jacket, shirt and tie that were at the local dry
cleaner's, or as an alternative, if there was time to visit a men's
haberdasher's to purchase something `ready-made' since a tailor-made jacket
was out of the question, assuming there was a skilled tailor this far out
in the `country'.

Dooby decided to pick on Dom for a change of pace. He was finding that
Charlie and Laura knew him too well. He swallowed his mouth full of food
quickly to ask with a nearly straight face; "What the hell is whatever you
just said? It sounds kind of dirty, so it's probably illegal out here, this
far out in the country." Dom blinked, Dooby continued, "Of course if it is
illegal, Gramps already owns one and has it stashed around here
somewhere. Does this haber-thingy use batteries?"

Dom grinned, "Don't try to bait me you impudent young, ah, whippersnapper!"
He looked at Charlie, "Is that the correct word? I heard it on American
television and it seems to be proper usage in this case."

"That's the one," Charlie chortled in agreement.

"Damn, Dom, you're no fun," Dooby allowed and continued eating quietly.

The beginning of the cooking show always began with a visit to Spelling's
to buy the necessary groceries and a good indicator of who watched the
Thursday late night series was the increased number of people waiting to
see Dooby and Cory in person. They weren't too proud to `plug' each series
on the other shows and mentioned that they would be at that particular
store every Saturday between eight and nine in the morning. That morning
the parking lot was full by eight o'clock and cars were parked everywhere,
some as far as two city blocks away by Margery's `city girl' estimate and
people were walking along the roads in lieu of sidewalks, to get to the
store; fortunately the weather was clear and cold.

The boys rode with Charlie, Laura, Margery and Dom. Scott and Artie met the
rest of their production crew early so they could be set up and ready to
stay ahead of the boys. The rest of the family car pooled since the luggage
was out of the way. The front of the store was a mob scene that spilled out
into the parking lot for the first time; it parted for Charlie to park just
short of the doors and then promptly surrounded the truck and the others
following closely.

"Holy shit," Dooby mumbled, "we've never had a crowd this big before, and
this morning there are posters." He and Cory made sure that their ear
pieces were properly seated and microphones securely fastened to the necks
of their jerseys before they were ready to go

"Holy shit indeed," Granny agreed absently. "What is wrong with some of
those clearly older women? They're pushing and shoving girls your age to be
in front. Look at that rather large woman waving that `Pick Me' poster; she
just pushed a small boy behind her. What does `pick me' mean?"

Cory quickly explained that it had become their habit to pick a girl or
sometimes a woman to accompany them while they shopped for the show, and
now it appeared that some more aggressive fans even went to the trouble of
making posters; hoping to be chosen.

"Do you mean that woman with the big boobs and matching butt? I see her but
I don't see any boy behind her," Dooby complained.

"Duh," Cory giggled, "of course you can't, unless you have x-ray vision;
the kid is hidden behind her. I think he's kind of holding out a small
cardboard sign to the side; it says `I LIKE TO COOK'," Cory reported.

Dooby and Cory were once again sitting in the third row and couldn't get
out before Granny and Dom. "Let's get the show on the road please, Granny,
you guys need to get out first. I'll take the kid with the sign today Cory,
who are you going for?"

"There's Rebecca this morning, I'll take her."

Dooby giggled, "Man, she's so tall you can walk under her boobs," Dooby
accused of the statuesque young black girl who had helped Cory before.

"Not quite, she lets me bump my head, as many times as I want," Cory
retorted softly as they waded into the crowd with their Sharpie pens ready
and wearing their Team Spelling's jerseys neatly tucked into their jeans,
without coats.

Margery and Dom overheard the exchange, "Dom, you told me that they were
gay," Margery whispered "not that it matters, but you must be mistaken."

Dom shrugged helplessly, "It was the parents who advised me; perhaps these
boys are versatile," he suggested.

Cory had no trouble hooking up with Rebecca but Dooby had to sidestep the
over-eager, aggressive woman waving her poster in front of his face until
he glimpsed the small hand holding the `I like to cook' sign. He latched on
to the wrist and pulled. "Hi, I'm Dooby! Want to help us this morning? I
like to cook too, but I can't do that very well; I depend on Cory to tell
me what to do," Dooby confided as they waded through the crowd into the

The boy looked back at the woman, grinned and called out, "Sorry Mom, you
owe me ten bucks!" The boy noted Dooby's surprise, "We both like to cook
together, it's fun. We watch your show every Thursday morning, and this
week, you mentioned another show, kind of late, and I had to use earphones
so I wouldn't disturb `you know who'," the boy used finger quotes. He
continued, encouraged by Dooby's conspiratorial grin, "You guys are hot,
wow, so I just had to see you in person. I started agitating to come down
here, and got her to agree when I bet her ten bucks that I would do this
walk through with you and here I am. I think it was karma that you chose
me; I really didn't think either of us would win." The boy paused his happy
chatter to look at Dooby's expression, "Why are you staring at me like
that? Cory is frowning, we better catch up." The boy took over the buggy,
since Dooby appeared to be stunned, certainly stunned to silence.

Dooby shook himself, caught up and whispered, "You think you're gay and you
think we are too? How would you know?"

The boy nodded, "My name is Lee, short for Connelly, I changed it the first
time someone called me Connie," the boy shivered, "Please don't tell
anyone." He lurched on, "I know I don't look it but I'm twelve, almost
thirteen," he giggled before adding, "or I will be in nine months. My mom
calls me an early bloomer since my voice changed last year. She has no idea
what else changed. I'm pretty sure I'm gay because I always liked looking
at guys rather than girls and I can sort of tell about other guys too, just
by watching them. My problem is that I'd like to find out what it's all
about with a guy, near my own age, you know, but while I can pick out a few
worth trying that I know are like us, they don't seem to be aware that
they're gay yet..."

"DOOBY," Cory shouted, "meat department, ground chuck and veal, remember?
NOW please."

"Shit, now I'm in trouble," Dooby moaned, "We'll have to talk later. Right
now it's show time. Cory reads the ad and you and I collect the stuff," he
instructed before shouting back, "We're on our way! Make a hole guys,
Artie, damn it you're always in the way. You should try using the telephoto
more," he accused. Artie stepped aside and the aisle cleared of traffic
enough to get to the meat department in the back of the store.

Lee did a double take as they ran by Artie, "Hey, you know that cameraman
looks just like you?"

"That's because he's my older brother." Dooby informed.

"Holy shit," Lee whispered, in amazement, "your brother is gay too!"

Dooby noted that Lee wasn't asking, "Damn Lee, your gaydar is more advanced
than mine, and I thought I was good." That was the last conversation before
Dooby started making negative comments about veal on one hand and
discussing the untold merits of rich red beef in general and ground chuck
and its manifest uses on the other; of course culminating with a
mouthwatering description of the Auggie Burger. He shut up only after he
saw that Cory was getting pissed and the butcher presented him with his
special twenty-five pound order of ground chuck that would be on sale
sometime in the future in addition to assorted cuts of veal in the same ad.

Dooby and Lee took the lead throughout the rest of the store while Cory,
with Rebecca on his arm followed closely, officially, so Cory could
announce the sales items for Dooby and his helper to collect and place in
their buggy. Unofficially, Cory was there to keep Dooby moving forward and
to make sure he didn't wander off or get side tracked, which he was prone
to do. Dooby sold products he liked and allowed Cory to sell those that he
didn't care for. In all, the two or three minute shopping segment would be
edited down from the recordings from three cameras running for an hour.

They didn't bother with the farce of checking out; it would be cut anyway,
so they used the time to sign autographs and schmooze with fans. Lee looked
at Dooby strangely when he was gifted with a pen and his eyes widened when
he saw the number of photos that had nothing to do with the cooking show,
but a great deal to do with exposed skin and brief loincloths. "Could I get
one of those autographed please? Just sign on the bottom or side real small
so you don't cover anything up." Lee instructed.

Dooby looked around until he found Scott looking back and grinning, waving
a number of photos. Scott had anticipated Dooby's request, "You can have
one of each as soon as Scott gets them over here."

Lee knew that the cameras were gone but wasn't aware that the microphones
were still active or that those who wore them had heard every word of his
and Dooby's conversation and were still listening. He looked to where Dooby
looked and saw Scott moving toward them, "He's cute," Lee observed in a

Dooby whispered back without looking at Scott; "Yeah, he is, but he's a lot
older than he looks; I think he shaves every day and he's my brother's

"Thank you Lee, I think you are too," Scott said and tapped his microphone
and earpiece so the boy would understand.

Dooby signed the proffered photos carefully, as requested and turned the
last one over to write something else on the back. "This is my email
address, not many people have it, so please don't give it out. I don't know
what to tell you about your problem, except to be patient. Someday,
somewhere unexpected, someone will be smiling back at you. That's what
happened to me. Write me and let me know." He advised cryptically as Cory
pushed him into the back of the truck and closed the door. Dooby found that
Margery and Dom had managed to occupy the third row and even managed to
look reasonably comfortable.


Lee's mother looked over his shoulder while he leafed through his
collection of publicity photos. "Where in the world were those taken?" she
asked, and before he could answer she plucked one away from him to study
more closely. "Just look at these older guys." She pointed to Jim-Bob
Goodfellow and showed it to Lee, "You may not believe this but this guy
looks just like your father; I mean his body, not his face." She looked
wistful, "Goddamn all motorcycles."

Lee looked and exclaimed, "Holy sh... I mean crap Mom! Do you think I'll
ever be that tall?"

"I don't know why not, your father was tall and I'm no shrimp."

Lee stepped out of his mother's reach, "I noticed that, more like the
mother of all lobsters," he replied with a grin.

"Don't try to change the subject. You should grow to be tall, but you'll
never have a body like this until you start doing some exercise, maybe go
out for some sport; that's what you father did. He was a great natural
athlete that was good at anything he tried. If you don't start being more
active, you'll end up being a tall skinny bookworm."

"Maybe I'll try out for Lacrosse next year; that's Dooby's sport, or Cory
wrestles, I could try that."

"Should we shop while we're here? There's no point in wasting a trip."

"Good idea, I want to buy some ground chuck to try making Dooby's Auggie
Burgers," Lee grinned up at his mother with his hand out, palm up, "that
is, I will, after you pay up."


Tommy made a small local tee shirt shop rich by ordering all Team
Spelling's embroidered clothing from them, companywide, so special orders
like jerseys and seat backs for deck chairs on short notice, for the show
were given top priority. Everyone had fun finding their own jerseys and
then chairs with their names embroidered on the canvas chair backs. All the
jerseys were extra-large, or, one size fits all, so Jennifer and Margery's
shirts looked like all-encompassing night dresses while the younger boys in
the Bradley bunch referred to their jersey's as night shirts and little
Kurt's frown deterred anyone from saying otherwise.

Jennifer and Lane traded shirts as a means of announcing that they were a
couple, (as if anyone didn't already know) and since their assigned seats
weren't placed together; Jennifer supervised Lane in relocating his to next
to hers, which turned out to be next to Dom's with Margery on his other
side. That was ideal for Dom to talk to Jennifer and Lane whenever the
cameras were paused.

"Is everyone comfortable?" Scott called out. Dooby and Cory were behind the
counter and ready to open the show. The cameras were positioned and
Johnny-Be-Good was ready to activate the microphones. Scott asking about
anyone's comfort was his polite way of saying, `sit down and shut up'.

"I'm afraid I am not," Margery reported, "but you may proceed, I won't make
any noise. I forgot about transferring my broach."

All eyes moved to Granny to see that she had removed her jersey, had it
draped over her chair and was struggling with the broach's attachment on
her left breast. "I usually do this before dressing or after undressing,"
she saw Dooby grin and added quickly, "and no, I am not undressing."

Dooby got closer to look at the problem before Betty, his mother, pushed
him back before his nose made contact, "I'll help, if I may," she offered.

"Granny, you've got a whole ant family there!" Dooby announced, "Man, they
are so cool!" The ant `family' consisted of five separate bugs, one large,
one medium and three small or triplet babies. The frameworks, legs and
antennae were fashioned from gold, tipped with gem chips and the major body
parts were diamonds, the eyes, feeler tips and feet, green, perhaps
emeralds on the `mother' and two `babies', while the father ant and the
remaining baby had red eyes, antennae tips and feet. The mother and father
ants were connected by a fine gold chain and the three babies were all
attached to the mother by individual similar chains.

When Betty got the single boy baby ant dangling, she laughed and looked
back at Dooby, who was looking over her shoulder, "This one is you Dooby,
you were such a brat."

"I was not," Dooby protested, "I distinctly remember being a wonderful baby
as well as being very handsome even then, I might add without boasting," he
added with a haughty look down his nose at his mother.

"Nope, you were a brat,"

"And still is," Jennifer injected.

Betty laughed; she told Margery; "The brat learned to walk, far too early,
before he could talk, so he couldn't understand the word, NO."

"And still doesn't," Jennifer added.

"Of course he soon discovered running and that not only got him where he
wanted to go faster, he had no use for his stroller. He started running
away whenever the stroller appeared, and John or I had to track him
down. Artie even helped by tripping him on occasion."

Dooby glared at Artie, "You bastard, my own brother; what a traitor!" Artie
bowed, nodded and laughed. Dooby was so upset with the trend of the
conversation, he didn't notice that Artie and Spook's cameras had been
turned on the audience and Johnny-Be-Good was hunched over his sound board,
listening intently.

Betty ignored Dooby, "Then after we caught him, he'd spread his legs out,
hold his arms out and hold his body as stiff as a board..."

"He still gets stiff as a board all the time," Cory advised. He decided
that he may as well rag on Dooby since it was obvious the show would not go
on until Betty finished telling her tales of woe about her middle child and
Margery felt that she was properly dressed and accoutered to simply watch
the taping, off camera.

Betty laughed, "He could talk by the time he discovered that stiffness,"
she assured, "He rushed to my side every time I changed Jennifer because he
was watching to see if her peter had grown in yet."

Jennifer joined forces with Dooby at that time by making a show of looking
at her wristwatch and wondering about the delay. "Oh yes, this leash that
connects the baby boy ant to his mother is what reminded me of the brat. We
gave up on the stroller and bought him a cute little harness that closed in
the middle of his back. First he discovered that he could reach the
leashes' snap so John replaced that with another that locked. That lasted
weeks until he ignored it and began exploring the zipper and Velcro
closures on the harness itself, also in the middle of his back. One day we
were in the mall, I was holding Jennifer and as usual John's arm was out
stretched because Dooby was pulling on his leash and then suddenly he
stopped pulling, we looked to see him twenty feet away and looking back,
daring us to catch him. When we didn't chase him he came back and took his
father's hand, or if he wanted to run, he stayed well within sight except
when he explored the mall's plantings or in a clothing store but then we
could always see the plants wiggling or the hanging clothes moving
somewhere so we knew where he was."

Dooby took advantage of his mother's pause, "Well, we better get back to
work before lunch conflicts with dinner," he suggested. "Let's see a show
of hands. Who wants to eat baby calf and who wants to feast on a nice big
Auggie Burger?" It was obvious that the Bradley bunch hadn't heard about
Dooby's aversion to veal or didn't know that veal was baby calf, with an
instant show of hands.

"You forgot one thing honey," John volunteered, "We could never take the
brat shopping anywhere there was water, like fish ponds or fountains; after
the first time, you can guess the reason."

"Dad," Dooby whined with a grin, "the fountains were shallow and I could
see all that money someone lost, and I don't remember ever catching a fish;
they were too fast, or," he paused for effect, "too experienced," he added.

The women had no sooner gotten the ant family broach reattached to Granny's
new Spelling's jersey, when she disappeared into the restroom to remove her
blouse and exchange it for her jersey. Dooby opened and closed his mouth
several times; it was clear that he was puzzled.

"Call it a woman's prerogative," Charlie advised, "and keep your mouth

"What?" the other women and Jennifer asked together.

"ACTION," Dooby shouted after he was made to promise to keep his mouth
closed about his dislike of veal. After all, Scott explained, the whole
point of the cooking show was to sell sale items, regardless of personal
preferences. Dooby agreed but that didn't mean that he couldn't or wouldn't
display his complete arsenal of facial expressions that denoted his actual
opinion while Cory prepared the veal entre for the cameras. Of course the
boys were not aware that Scott split the screen on the audience monitor,
they couldn't see that it showed Cory working diligently along with a close
up of Dooby's face and wouldn't until the segment aired on Auggie's late
night out takes show on his national cable food channel.

At first, Dom looked around for someone holding `cue cards' or a
teleprompter but when he saw neither, he realized that Dooby and Cory were
a rare pair of actors who could and did actually adlib every show with
little or no rehearsal, beyond cautions generally directed at Dooby. He was
amazed to see what real, `reality' programing was, and nothing was
scripted. He was in awe when the show transitioned from veal to ground
chuck so smoothly.

First, Dooby introduced Rodger unexpectedly, as a new friend and classmate,
who just happened to be an undiscovered `grill master'. Rodger looked
right, left, up and behind his chair before he asked, "Who, me?" in
surprise and shock as the cameras swung toward him.

Dooby sent him and Steve as his assistant, out to the deck to fire up the
big charcoal grill as he would be grilling the Auggie Burgers when he
deemed the fire ready while Dooby would form the burger patties and prepare
the mushrooms and bacon inside. The door had barely closed on the two
`volunteers' when Dooby sent his brother out the other door to tape the
action and asked Johnnie, the sound man, if he had a microphone planted
somewhere out there. One was, just under the grill shelf.

The audience moved to the windows after Dooby advised, "Just watch this."

Charlie grinned up at Tommy. "I hope your fire insurance is paid up."

Johnnie turned on a speaker in the studio.

"I just came to watch, I didn't expect to do anything," Steve grumbled,
"but at least we're out here. What do you want me to do?"

"Just dump the whole bag of charcoal into the grill, I'll handle the rest,"
Rodger instructed. "Haven't you ever grilled before?"

"Nope, but I like the grilled food I'm served, like those steaks you did
the other night and that rib roast was mighty fine. The whole twenty pound
bag?" Steve asked after he rubbed his gut.

Rodger nodded, he already had the half gallon of lighter fluid
uncapped. "Leave it piled up, we'll spread it out after it catches," he

Steve was first to see Artie and his camera. He offered a sickly smile and
nudged Rodger. "I think Dooby set us up for something, if he did, I'll turn
him into a permanent pretzel sometime very soon," he promised. He frowned
at the camera, "It's good that we aren't wired for sound, like they are."
He watched Rodger squirt the charcoal, and squirt the charcoal until the
container sucked air; it was empty. "Isn't that too much of that shit?"

Rodger shook his head and giggled, "You should have said spit, not shit,
that's what Dooby tries to say."


Rodger pointed at Artie's camera, "See that foam rubber thingy that sticks
out above the lens? I think that's a microphone and it's probably
directional." Steve glared at the camera as Artie nodded it agreeably.

Steve leaned into the lens, "Dooby, if this is being recorded you are so
dead when I get my hands on you," he promised again and this time twisted
his closed fists in opposite directions to be sure that Dooby understood
his fate.

Artie stepped closer for a close up of Steve's fists as Rodger picked up
the butane starter. Inside, Dooby went berserk, but not from fear, "Quick
Spook, Scotty, get over here, Rodger's almost ready! Everyone be quiet
after I open the door for the cameras; this shot has to be clear. Be sure
to get Artie framed too, he's way too close." Charlie pulled Laura and
Margery back and began laughing without reason.

Rodger crouched down so his head was below the grill's rim. He extended his
arm and aimed the lighter. "You guys better step back," he warned as he
turned his head away and scrunched his eyes closed without looking to see
if Steve and/or Artie complied with his suggestion. There was an audible
whoosh and fire leaped into the sky.

Steve leaped backward and began to inspect his hair, eyebrows and lashes
with his fingers to be assured of their continued presence before his glare
turned down on one very happy grill master, Rodger, standing by his side,
laughing, very pleased with himself and yet another successful fire. Artie
was off balance when ignition occurred. He tried to step back, but slipped
and toppled backward to sit on his ass on the deck with his camera
temporarily pointed at the sky.

Inside once again, Dooby was ecstatic with his first directorial effort and
so was Scott. They rushed to a monitor together to see if Artie kept his
camera running as he fell. He did. The shot began as a close up of Steve's
fists; those disappeared behind, or in a wall of flame and the lens
followed the fire as it reached the blue sky and sort of bounced as Artie's
ass connected with the deck. It was apparent that Artie realized what
happened and where he was; he brought the lens back down to the flames; it
jiggled again as he regained his feet and promptly focused on Steve and
Rodger. Steve had his undamaged hands around Rodger's neck and was shaking
him like a ragdoll, apparently all in fun since they both were laughing.

"But I did warn you," Rodger stuttered between shakes.

"A millisecond is not enough time you crazy little bastard!" Steve

"Dooby knows how I light a fire, I thought he warned you."

"I told you he set us up for something, and now we know. Come on, bring
that fire starter, I'm going to stuff it up his ass and pull the trigger to
see what happens."

Inside, Dooby was already screaming Uncle, from behind and below the work
counter, of course while laughing with everyone else in the room. The
intended assault sputtered and died in laughter along with Rodger's flames
outside; although the pile of charcoal had turned white indicating that it
was burning nicely. Artie was not as amused and even put his camera down
while he chased his brother around the island counter – unsuccessfully;
Dooby was faster, he defended his person, "Damn it Artie, I did so warn
you, just this morning, if you recall; didn't I tell you to use the
telephoto feature more, like zoom in, not keep sticking that lens in my
face. I know you're always trying to annoy me. You should apologize to me!"
He then blamed or credited, a higher authority, "If you want to blame
someone for being a clumsy oaf, blame God; He got you good for not
listening to me."

Artie threw his hands in the air, "I give up, no one but you would have the
nerve to claim God as your co-conspirator. You should study law not
architecture," he proposed sourly.

The rest of the show went smoothly. Cory found his stool so they could talk
while Dooby remained busy with his hands. He grilled bacon; sautéed
sliced mushrooms, deftly sliced giant sweet onions and tomatoes, sliced a
Kaiser roll and finally tended a single ground chuck burger that would be
displayed as a completed jaw breaking Auggie Burger along with a finished
serving of Veal Marsala at the end of the show. Each time he worked on a
new item and Cory didn't say that it was on sale; he mentioned the regular
price and explained that it was still an excellent, everyday value and a
must-have to build a proper Auggie Burger.

The show, for the cameras, ended as usual; Dooby screamed `Cut, that's a
wrap!' and Scott complained of a stolen line. Cory was heard to say; "Man
you must be getting old, you forgot to mention the outtakes show, plus
there's our show on the almost adult channel, there's still time to vote
for the best Tarzan and then in just two weeks we're having our first
annual one hour Thanksgiving special right here on our local public
broadcasting station."

"Do you have hardening of the brain? This show doesn't air until sometime
in January, the only stuff viewers can watch are the two late night shows,
and who knows what they'll see." Dooby retorted with a grin at
Johnnie-Be-Good until he made a slashing motion with his hand to signal
that the sound was off, officially, so far as the cooking show was
concerned but not for the preparation of lunch for the mostly innocent

Scott turned on fixed cameras around the room while Spook and Artie mounted
their cameras on tripods, aimed them at the audience and apparently walked
away to take a break. Margery, Dom and the `rents applauded while Dooby and
Cory's peers eyed the uneaten Auggie Burger hungrily. Little Kurt was the
first to ask about the burger after his nose was a bare six inches
away. Dooby nodded and grinned but warned that it most likely had gotten
cold and that if he ate it, he'd spoil his appetite for lunch; another
Auggie Burger. Kurt took the risk and just like a puppy, licking his lips,
eventually followed Rodger, to the deck with a pan stacked with burgers to
be grilled, but before any grilling could be done, there was
preparation. Dooby drafted the guys to help if they wanted to eat, after he
made sure everyone washed their hands. The adults and older guys moved
chairs and set up folding tables. The studio took on a party atmosphere
with considerable friendly bantering back and forth.

Scott and Artie gave a tour of their living space, located behind the
kitchen set and even Cory and Dooby were impressed with the
improvements. The big open space with steel racks to hold studio and
editing electronics had been moved to offices on the ground
floor. Additional curtain walls had been built; the space had its own
kitchen and an additional private bathroom. The inflatable queen-size
mattress that could be moved across the room with a kick had been replaced
with an actual like-size platform bed in its own alcove with a sixty inch
flat screen mounted on one wall and a fireplace on the other. There was
more low slung modern furniture sprinkled in groups everywhere. The
transformed great room was dominated by a copper-hooded freestanding gas
fireplace with a raised hearth for casual seating and the dividing wall
between the apartment and studio was all but hidden by a seventy-two inch
flat screen with facing lounge chairs that had become the room's theater.

"This is such a beautiful space!" Granny enthused, "Who was your

Christian had already turned red before all eyes shifted to
him. "Christian, a man of so many talents, and still in school; when in the
world do you find the time to wear so many hats?" Granny asked.

"We've been able to hire more help. Part-time mostly," Christian shrugged,
"There are a lot of young people in design schools that are bursting with
talent but have no real outlet, you know, to see their designs come to
fruition. I was lucky with that first flier. I've hired interns. They work
from their computers just like me. I kind of hold contests by sending them
real design problems with defined parameters and supporting materials. They
submit their proposals on schedule and hopefully within budget. I review
them, pick the best of the best, tweak the best and reward bonuses in
descending order."

Christian grinned sheepishly in Charlie and Dom's direction, "In the
future, you might notice a small change in the copy write credit; it will
say `By John Smith,' or whomever, `for Dunn and Paterson Advertising', the
designer's name will be minuscule even on a billboard, but they'll know
it's there and real work they can add to their portfolios. If I can't do it
this way, or close to it, I'll never get through college."

"I can't speak for Dom, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm interested in
results, the bottom line is the name of the game, so I don't care where you
get successful ads as long as they pull in customers and so far, between
you and Tommy, I couldn't be more pleased." Charlie congratulated Christian
with a hearty pat on the back. Dom nodded his agreement and administered a
more intensive thump and a huge smile.

"I just love this interior too Christian," Laura exclaimed, "Perhaps you'd
have time to enter our new apartment in a contest?"

Charlie bent double laughing, "Now whose got the biggest mouth in the
Spelling family?" he gasped rhetorically.

"WHAT NEW APARTMENT?" Cory and Dooby shouted in harmony from the studio
kitchen while they tended the deep fryers to reduce a mountain of raw
potato sticks to seasoned fries. Two bodies appeared around the dividing
wall wearing grinning, questioning looks.

"Did you buy one of Granny's apartments?" Cory guessed.

"Does this mean we have to move to New York?" Dooby assumed with a frown.

"Yes and no in that order," Charlie responded.

"Did you buy one next to Granny or one of the cheap one's downstairs?"
Dooby asked with more enthusiasm.

Margery sputtered to life, "Cheap ones, I'll have you know Dooby dear, that
there are no cheap apartments in that building; some are less expensive on
lower floors, but none are cheap by any means."

"Sorry Granny, that's what I meant," Dooby assured, and then his frown
deepened as he proceeded with more possibilities, "Does this mean we have
to move in with Uncle Tommy and Christian? We like our room and living with
you guys. Or do we have to move on campus, is that what you plan?"

"Hardly," Tommy answered that query instantly before turning to Charlie,
"Why do you always threaten to send the kids to live with us every time
Dooby agitates you too much? Why should we be punished?" Tommy demanded,
half in jest.

The word `kids' was a mistake as Dooby and Cory joined forces to shout,
"KIDS!" as they proceeded across the room to literally take their two main
detractors down.

"STOP RIGHT THERE!" Charlie roared, "Dooby, shut up, Cory, be quiet and
we'll explain.

The boys backed up. Dooby looked down on Cory, "You must be the favorite,"
he squeaked, "I always have to shut up but you just have to be quiet."

"Remember, I'm adopted and you're just an in-law, plus you have a big
mouth," Cory explained from the side of his mouth.

"Oh yeah, I keep forgetting that."

Everyone that heard the brief exchange turned away while Charlie explained
their fate. "I`ve been saying over and over that I wanted to retire and we
would travel but I live too close to the office and I'm nosey. So we talked
it over, we'll plan to live in the apartment during the week when we're in
town, and just visit you two birds occasionally on weekends. We were away
for a whole month without you being supervised. Our spies tell us that you
even had guests over and there was no more mess than normal, so we think
you can manage very well living at home by yourselves during the week or
longer if we go out of town and," he paused to grin before adding, "we'll
still have our spies."

All the boys without exception, and including Tommy and Christian blushed
as they struggled to remember if they'd been guests and if so, what they
might have done that a spy could have seen. No one but Dooby and Cory
noticed that Zach and Billy were the reddest.

Dooby couldn't resist, "What spies are we talking about here?"

Laura arched her eyebrow, "That, you busybody, is for us to know and you to
think about." Actually there were no spies except the cook, maids and
gardeners who casually reported to Charlie and Laura that nothing occurred
except occasionally lounge cushions were displaced, a full pan of lasagna
disappeared one evening, there were more dishes in the dish washer and on
occasion, more empty longnecks in the trash than the boys ever drank by
themselves. It was certain that the same boys would continue to act like
adults in the future after the month long accidental test.

Lunch was a success, everyone wanted an Auggie Burger, no big surprise, and
the single veal dish went uneaten. The boys were sprinkled among the adults
at the smaller tables so talking was louder and everyone discussed the same
topic. Dooby started, "Any more news about the pot head, Rodger? It's been
a week..."

First, Granny and Dom had to be brought up to date on the subject, and
Rodger, with impeccable table manners, refused to answer when his mouth was
full, which was always while any food remained on his plate, so Steve told
the basic story as he knew it and by the time he got to the part about the
pothead having his jeans on backwards in the ER, Steve had run out of steam
but not one crumb of seasoned fries remained on Rodger's plate.

Rodger continued; "My former roommate will be living with his grandmother
after he gets out of rehab. His mother is living there too, while
conspiracy charges against her are being considered. The loud mouth father
was arraigned and charged, and his bail was set at five million bucks cash
or bond because he was considered an international flight risk; he owned
his own jet, the state and this guy thought." Rodger grinned at Carl
Bradley, who winked and nodded. "Guess what? It seems that this guy had a
secret benefactor; someone posted his bail yesterday. The first call he
made was to his wife to come and get his, ah, butt."

"You can say ass," Dooby allowed, "I do occasionally," reminded piously.

"Momma Pot head showed up at the jail an hour later driving a gold Bentley
convertible, a car that's hard to miss. She parked in the no parking zone,
at the curb, right in front of the building – and right behind one of
those flatbed, rollback tow trucks."

"Was all that detail on the news?" Cory challenged. He saw Carl laughing as
hard as Rodger.

"Nope, the truck driver reported all this to a guy I know and he just told
me." Rodger turned impish after a glance at Carl, "But my source was not
authorized to discuss these incidents, and spoke on condition of
anonymity," he had obviously just quoted some news article.

"Busted, Gramps Carl!" Dooby sang. Carl shrugged.

"Anyway, by the time Mr. and Mrs. Pothead came out of the building, the
Bentley had been loaded on the tow truck; it was being repossessed!
Mrs. Pothead was enraged; she swung her purse at the driver suddenly and
clocked him good enough to draw blood, AND she got her husband on the back
swing and knocked him out cold. The tow truck driver became enraged and
coldcocked Mrs. Pothead. Then the jail kind of came alive with guards, cops
and one other guy; the bail bondsman. Mr. Pothead's benefactor," Carl tried
to look cherubic and failed, "had a sudden change of heart and revoked the
bond so he was taken back into custody and Mrs. Pothead went with him in
handcuffs, charged with assault on the tow truck driver and possession of a
concealed handgun, the cops found in her purse."

"See Granny, I told you about assault, that bitch connected first!" Dooby
congratulated himself.

"You said `owned' his own jet," Quinn Dunn observed, "past-tense?"

Carl answered that, "The man's plane was financed too and he'd run up a
huge bill for fees and services at the airport, plus hadn't paid his pilots
in two months so after they were paid up, they flew it to near here where
ours are based." Charlie nodded, the golfing buddies kept their aircraft in
the same hanger. "If anyone is interested in acquiring a Gulfstream G150
with less than two hundred hours on it, I have one available at a goodly
discount, with or without crew."

"Is it a jet? How much of a discount are we talking about here?" Dooby
enthused. Everyone could see that he had visions of flitting around the
countryside in his own plane; he was already beginning a seated Dooby

Cory punched him playfully, "Forget it fly boy, we can't afford it, and
yes, it's a jet."

Carl answered Dooby's second question, "Ten million off the original
purchase price."

Dooby went limp, "I don't suppose we're talking about rupees, are we

Carl's expression answered that question, but Dom perked up, "I might be
interested, if perhaps I could see it sometime."

Carl looked at his watch, "Its two o'clock now, do we have time before
dinner?" He asked. With the economy slipping, there was a flood of
executive jet aircraft on the market and buyers were few and far between.

"Can we take her up for a test drive?" Dooby asked with renewed interest.

"Sorry Dooby, it's only seven passenger and there are too many of us," He
turned to Dom, "but if you are interested, I'm sure a test flight can be
arranged tomorrow."

Dooby persisted, "Yeah, then we can all go, we can take turns, maybe just
buzz the school to scare the crap out of the boarders, and then back to the
airport to reload to give them another shot."

Charlie squelched that thought, "I'm sure the FAA and Homeland Security
would really love that, remember you two birds already have NASA and the
Defense Department after you and Rodger," he joked. "You have no idea how
much it costs just to take off and land one of these little fuel guzzling
monsters, they aren't Disney World rides."

Dooby shrugged, "Oh well, it was just a suggestion." He looked at Rodger
suddenly, "How's the food been since Thursday?"

"Oh wow, you already know about lunch, but breakfast and dinners have been
so very fine, I was almost late for classes Thursday and Friday, it was
hard to put my fork down and now the old dining room looks like an upscale
restaurant; that happened over night as promised too, Gramps Charlie,
thanks very much from the whole school." Rodger became so excited he
started doing his own form of Dooby's dance.

Charlie moaned, "Oh no, not another one; just when I started to like that

When the laughter died, Margery asked about visiting the Charlie's that was
under construction so she had some idea of what the restaurant would look
like when completed in her building. Dooby agreed with that proposal and
surprisingly began marshaling young volunteers to clean up the lunch dishes
and the kitchen before they could go. It was apparent that Scott had the
boys trained in cleaning up the studio. The rule was; make all the mess you
want to, as long as it's all cleaned up before you leave for the day.


"We're all going to be rich!" Logan and Stevie exclaimed several different
ways as they leaped from the bus after Zeek parked it at Coral Place. They
were surprised to find no one outside to meet them. The pair left their
shirts and shorts on their bikes that all the boys used to get back and
forth, the short distance to their `school' on Marathon, just across the
private causeway.

"Somethin' ain't right," Auggie agreed with Logan and Stevie's frowns as
they looked at the kitchen screen door after he drove his scooter up behind
them. "The boys might have done somethin' wrong, but Mattie ain't out here

"Maybe the Revenuer's got them," Stevie suggested, "Thirsty and Argyle
aren't too careful when they get half lit up."

"Open the damn door Stevie, the trouble ain't out here." Auggie ordered as
he lurched his scooter forward. Ryan, Carter and Zeek followed Auggie and
the boys cautiously. They found them stopped just inside the kitchen,
staring open mouthed at the missing residents who were grinning back at

Zeek started laughing after just a glance at the newest addition to the
family; Jimmy or James Chambers, the town banker, standing between his son
and Mattie, "I tol' yo' boss, didn't I tell you? James' daddy weren't never
no redneck, white trash farm boy," he chortled.

"An' here I thought yo' was wishful thinkin'. I should `a got to town to
see for my own self; there sure ain't no need for one of them paternity
tests. They alike as two peas in a pod," Auggie agreed after his eyes
dropped briefly to matching packages. He goosed his scooter forward and
offered his hand, "Welcome to our family an' Coral Place Mista' Chambers,
yo' is one well-kept secret," he said with a frowning grin at Mattie. She
shrugged her shoulders and administered a playful punch to Auggie's
shoulder, after which Auggie slumped over and attempted to play dead.

Mista' Chambers soon became Jimmy as they moved to the great room and
Auggie declared it party time. It was apparent that Mattie agreed as she
had mountains of snacks already prepared and the boys vied with each other
to keep all glasses filled. Logan and Steve explained the proposed deal
with Orsini as he passed sample bottles around and James and Zeek imparted
the news that they were going to school up in Yankee land at the same
private school that Dooby, Cory and the rest of their Yankee friends

Marriage plans were discussed among the adults while the excited boys
chattered amongst themselves. The wedding would be soon, had to be soon so
the twin boys would be born into the new Chambers family. Auggie suggested
Thanksgiving as the perfect time, when the entire Yankee mob would be down
to tape the Christmas show along with Dominic Orsini and his photographers
to immortalize the boy's faces and bodies on his new products aimed at teen
boys or more diplomatically, `young men', for advertising purposes.

"Is that there motel ready yet, Ryan boy?" Auggie asked.

"It will be by the time the mob gets here and it's a resort not a motel."
Jimmy looked questioning so Ryan elaborated, "The previous owner bought it
ten years ago. He planned to retire and just wanted something to keep
busy. His problem was that he had no hospitality experience. It was already
run down when he bought it and ten years later, it was more run down and he
was flat broke with no winter reservations to speak of. We snapped it up
because Coral Place can't really be expanded and," he reddened, "not all
future guests are likely to be gay, so we needed a place for them to stay,
ah, to sleep. When they visit here during the day they'll just have to
adjust to seeing a bunch of young naked guys wandering around and doing
what all young guys do, not including anything sexual. If they can't accept
us the way we are, they can just stay over there and enjoy themselves,
never to be invited again."

Jimmy nodded, "When I first arrived here and met my sons and Trasker,
believe it or not, I was the one who was uncomfortable because I was
wearing clothes and they were nude. I asked Matilda about my joining them
and it took me a minute or two before I began wondering why I never thought
of going nude before."

"How many rooms we got over there?" Auggie interrupted.

"We had sixty rooms, Auggie, now we have forty luxury suites, all with Gulf
views. The restaurant will be our guest dining room and the lounges will be
staffed to serve drinks when we have guests."

"I miss doubt we'll ever be needin' more than ten or fifteen of them
rooms," Auggie grumped, "We should'a torn the rest down."

Ryan looked exasperated, "If you wanted to do that, you should have said
something; it's too late now." He grinned suddenly and added, "Plus you did
say no budget and I'm not a mind reader."

Jimmy looked excited suddenly, "Auggie, since we need a place to live down
here; my sons consider this home, and want to continue to live and work
down here after school; would it be possible for us to take over two or
three suites and make them into one big apartment? If you wanted to, I
could even run the place as a resort. I took over a hotel over Savannah way
about five years ago, I still own it and run it at a very nice profit; I
just brought in a capable management team."

Auggie frowned suddenly, "No, y'all can't take no rooms over to live in, it
would dent your profits," he declared gruffly before he grinned and nodded,
"because the dumb some-bitch we bought the place from, built him a five
thousand square foot cottage to live in, an' there was manager's quarters
built in the motel an' quarters for staff, that ain't bein' used neither."
Auggie raised his hand to stifle Jimmy and Mattie's thanks, "BUT, there's
strings! First, yo' need to promise to bring them twins by often,
especially after they house broke, even more often, they got a passel o'
uncles to spoil `em proper. Next, Mattie girl, yo' need to find us a cook
an' someone to clean before yo' go an' then maybe over-see that they doin'
it all right whenever yo' come over with my nephews."

"Done and done!" Jimmy declared happily as he cranked Auggie's hand while
Mattie hugged Auggie's neck and gave him a big wet kiss on the cheek.

It became clear that the clustered boys had been listening intently when
they began to cheer. Auggie got them cheering louder when he began issuing
orders; "Carter boy call that there rotten lobster restaurant to save us
some dinner space, an' more important make us some space for my ride, we'll
take that instead of the boat. Zeek, crank up the bus so it's cool for
Mattie girl an' our nephews. Boys, yo' best drop your cocks, an' grab your
socks, or what so ever else yo' plannin' to wear. We'll stop in at the
motel on the way so y'all can see the lay o' the land and maybe tell Ryan
what changes you want while the contractor's still there."

"Auggie, stop calling the Dead Lobster the rotten lobster," Carter
protested, "if that gets around we'll never have any business."

Auggie giggled, "Relax Carter boy, I just call it that to get you an' your
four roommates riled up."

"Damn Auggie," Ryan squawked, "it was not, and never will be a motel; for
the thousandth time, it's a beach resort."

Auggie laughed and said to Jimmy, "See how easy it is to get these boys

Five minutes later on the bus, Auggie roared, "Where in tarnation is Little
Zeek an' my two no account helpers at? The bus is leavin'!" he
called. Logan and Stevie burst through the door with their arms full of
plastic sacks with Little Zeek stumbling along behind them carrying one of
the boat coolers.

They could even hear Carter laughing while he sat in his treasured classic
Jaguar XKE. He was going to follow the bus to the resort since he hadn't
been there and then drive down to Key West and the dive shop, that he and
Jim-Bob called home.

"What's all that stuff?" Jimmy asked innocently.

Auggie rolled his eyes, "You don't expect them boys to drive a whole sixty
miles to no restaurant without no food to eat along the way do you?" He
raised his voice, "There just best be a bottle o' bourbon in there
somewhere or there's gonna be two boys lookin' for work elsewhere," he

"Damn it Auggie, give us a chance," Stevie responded, "You know it's very
disconcerting to be threatened with a replacement every time we turn

"You know back talkin' your employer ain't no way to win friends." Auggie
threw back.

"Replaced by whom? Who in their right mind would want to work for no fat
man?" Mattie wondered and then eyed Auggie critically, "Speaking of fat,
you don't look like you lost any weight while you were up there."

Stevie giggled, "Not hardly Mattie, there was this ass kissin' butler,
Lurch, Dooby calls him. His real name is Alex; he's real tall, maybe
six-five, and lanky, you know, well-proportioned too," he held up his hands
with facing palms, then spread them for Trasker, James and Little Zeek's
edification only, "every time Auggie took a sip of his drink; there was
Lurch, bringin' along a fresh one. We'll have to get him on the freight
scale as soon as we get back home." He grinned at Auggie so there was no
doubt about who needed to be weighed.

"It was a business meetin' an' I was a guest, I had to eat an' drink what I
was served," Auggie offered as an excuse. He added, "Besides which, we was
only gone two days; give me a break Mattie girl," he protested feebly.

Zeek turned off Route One on to a sandy lane and parked after about two
hundred yards. In front of them was the main building that had two curving,
two story wings attached, that bowed into the beach. "I didn't see a sign
out on the highway," Jimmy observed. He looked back, but the busy road was
all but hidden by citrus trees laden with fruit, giant blooming hibiscus
bushes and rambling bougainvillea in a riot of colors that served as a very
effective screen. The over-grown bushes were all lightly shaded by coconut
palms of assorted heights.

"This looks just like Coral Place looked before we moved in," Logan
observed, "but here they don't bury the building and they make a neat
privacy screen."

"I expect the sign blew down some time ago and wasn't replaced," Auggie
surmised, "no real wonder why the asshole went broke. If you want a sign
Jimmy, just say the word after y'all decide what to call the place."

Jimmy looked at the building, which from the parking lot where they stood,
looked like what it was, a motel, with breezeways and stairs going up to
the second story roofed balconies, well- spaced louvered room doors and
large windows covered with blinds. The roofs were gently sloping, weathered
orange tile. "Well," he hesitated, "don't get me wrong here, but I was
wondering if there are any kinds of resorts that are marketed for gays?
Based on what I saw at the Dead Lobster, if there aren't any, that would be
a very good thing; this beautiful resort could be the first."

Mattie shrugged since she wasn't gay, but the guys all grinned and
nodded. Carter waxed enthusiastic at once; "There are indeed, some are
trashy, some more high class and I imagine there are a few that are this
elegant, read expensive, and we haven't even seen the inside yet."

"Well then, let's get a move on," Auggie ordered and left his extended
family in the dust. "Plan on pavin' this here parkin' lot, else you'll be
trackin' in dirt an' dust like now, an' that damn sticky white lime rock
mud when it's wet."

"Amen to that boss man," Mattie agreed, it was obvious that she'd taken
shared ownership with Jimmy, "Wipe those big clodhopper's boys, or stay
outside," she ordered and then watched as each boy and man complied and
just frowned at Auggie's scooter tires.

"Just how do you expect to train our guests Matilda?" Jimmy ventured with a

"I expect to greet them with an introduction to my corn broom, that's
how. Every guest will be told to treat this whole place as if it was their
home and that won't include anyone trashing the place. We'll be all booked
up if known slobs want to make repeat reservations if they still have their
nuts." Mattie added.

"Ouch," Jimmy protested and grabbed his through his shorts, rather James',
his son's, shorts.

The lobby had been transformed into a comfortable lounge area, with sofa
and chair groupings, a gas fire place for atmosphere, a wet bar that hadn't
been stocked yet and a commanding view of the placid Gulf of Mexico through
tall palm trunks. There was no registration desk; Ryan explained that the
resort wasn't planned as a hotel; it was for Coral Place guest
accommodations, rather, for Auggie's straight guests.

It was obvious that Mattie had been considering the future. She looked at
Carter since he was responsible for the Dead Lobster's success; "We need
help here Carter boy, what if we made the minimum stay two nights and three
days, all inclusive, no cash money needed, oh, yes, for two people?"

"Let's see the rooms first," Carter hedged.

"SUITES!" Ryan screamed, "Damned Red Necks," he mumbled.

They walked toward the glass wall on the beach side and a door whooshed
open as they approached. "To keep the glass cleaner," Ryan explained, "all
the beach side doors are automatic, but cleaning glass will always be a
full-time job for someone because of the damn salt."

"Has anyone got any quarters?" Trasker shouted from somewhere.

The adults, interested in the business looked around to see that the boys
had gone exploring, "They found the game room." Ryan explained before
shouting back, "Just push the coin thing in, they don't take money!"

"Oh wow, free!" Trasker called after they heard the distinctive sound of a
vintage pinball game start.

"Yup free," Auggie grumbled, "just like the bookcase full o' games they got
for their TV is free. I expect they think the UPS man pays for `em. Their
good `til we leave I expect; let's see a room." Ryan refused to argue, he
just rolled his eyes.

Fully half the tiled veranda could be shaded by a roll up canvas awning,
protection from the sun or the frequent brief showers that blew across the
Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico in season.

Each suite was clearly marked by a comfortable looking outdoor furniture
grouping and they found that the beachside sliding doors had also been
automated. Ryan pointed out that the feature could be switched off and the
window wall opened fully if desired. "There doesn't seem to be much
privacy," Jimmy observed with a leer at Mattie, "What if guests wanted to
get it on during the day?"

Auggie laughed, "Get it on? You ain't been around the boys but a few days
an' yo' already talkin' trash just like `em."

Jimmy put his arm around Mattie and grinned, "We've been a mite frustrated
for eighteen years, and someone is trying to catch up, pregnant or not."

"James," Mattie squealed and giggled accompanied by her elbow in Jimmy's
ribs, "You'll be pointing that thing at the ceiling for a week for that

"Oh yeah? If you see it pointing anywhere, you can't resist," was Jimmy's
laughing retort.

While the new couple traded comments with Auggie, Ryan found a remote and
pushed a button, the room grew dark as shades dropped down over the windows
from a recess in the ceiling. Even Carter was impressed with the suites'
amenities and luxury. "I'd say three thousand for three days and two
nights, or a thousand a day for however long they stay, sleeping guests
don't cost you anything, but look out whenever they have their eyes
open. You'll have to provide around the clock room service and of course
make clothing optional after a guest gets inside the front door. I'd
suggest minimizing rules, one might be; no serious hanky-panky outside a
room during daylight hours, but just turn off most of the outside lights
after dark."

"A thousand dollars a day?" Jimmy asked in shock.

"Well yes, that would be per couple, but the same for a single guy, singles
would cause the most trouble either by peeping or potentially putting the
moves on someone's partner; that could get nasty fast and you don't want to
be calling the sheriff every night."

"This operation is going to take a hell of a lot of staff," Jimmy lamented,
"where will we find them? I imagine they all should be gay."

Carter grinned, "I think the guys in Key West can help you out there, I
know they have a stack of employment applications that's like twelve inches
high, and more guys apply every day. Key West is a gay mecca where holding
another guy's hand isn't frowned upon and young gays move down here to
enjoy the freedom. I know of two guys working as waiters who have degrees
in hotel management and others are graduates of culinary arts schools, they
all want a chance to move up into positions they've been educated for." He
paused and blushed, "Since we have such a deep pool, we hire based on
intelligence and appearance as you may have noticed from the tailored

Jimmy laughed, "Speaking of advertising, how do we promote this place so we
reach guests who can afford to stay here?"

"We got a camera with us?" Auggie asked Ryan.

"Our phones, they take video."

Auggie rolled his eyes, "Yo' the CEO o' a media empire last time I heard,
an' you don't have no regular camera; we need to be takin' some good
pitchers of this whole place to send up to that there Christian boy."

"Screw you too Auggie, there's one in the bus, I'll go get it. You need to
be more explicit," Ryan instructed accompanied by a middle finger aimed at
his employer, before he ran out the parking lot door.

Auggie told Jimmy all about Christian Dunn and Dunn and Patterson,
Advertising. Jimmy was impressed to hear that a high school boy already had
such prestigious accounts based on his continued creative successes. After
ten minutes, Auggie rolled back to the lounge with Zeek, Mattie and Jimmy,
looking for Ryan. When they heard the boys laughing in the game room, they
began laughing as well when they reached the door. Mattie took one look and
detoured into the dining room and then into her favorite place; the
restaurant's kitchen.

The boys had stripped. James and Little Zeek were playing pool and the
others were playing on the pinball machines. "Okay, that's enough in here;
let's move out to the pool, we'll get some shots of you diving, then
swimming, then sunning, then in the Gulf. Then we'll move to a room where
you can take turns making out with each other on the bed after I pan the
room and the amenities." Ryan instructed happily.

"Ryan boy what in tarnation yo' doin'?" Auggie asked with a chuckle.

"This place looks better with people around in the video; I'm giving
Christian the general idea that this is a resort for gays. The first thing
he'll do is crank up a web site and he'll need a bunch of video clips."

"Okay," Auggie agreed, "while you're doing that we'll go over to the
owner's cottage. Just don't y'all get too carried away with them bedroom
scenes, least wise whilst the camera is runnin'," he warned. He took a
second look around the game room and asked Ryan; "You got three slot
machines and a right pretty poker table in here?"

"Yeah Unc," Trasker agreed enthusiastically, "we need to stop by the bank
and get a mess of quarters and some cash money to play poker."

Ryan shrugged, "This was all planned as private guest quarters, not a
business. I guess we can take them out."

"Come on Unc, don't do that, we want to try our luck. We know Charlie
Spelling and Carl Bradley play poker every week, you like to gamble and
Dooby is too damn lucky, so we know he and Cory will play. You could make
this place into a private club where paying guests become members for
however long they stay," Trasker argued.

Carter's eyes widened as he considered the suggestion, "That's a brilliant
idea Trasker, a very private club might attract some locals if word leaked
out that a high stakes game just might be found if they signed up for a
three day weekend," he giggled, "I'll just check with Deputy Jim-Bob to see
if there are any other games of chance going on in Monroe County; we'll see
what he thinks. You took his advice running the moonshine business and
that's going so well, it's a good thing that the chicken feed and sugar
come down from Redlands."

Auggie turned pious, "Now Carter boy, surely yo' misspoke; why would you
think anybody down here is makin' `shine?"

"There may be a feed store up in Key Largo you could buy it from, but at
the current consumption rate, you'd need to have about a hundred thousand
chickens on hand to show the ATF officers if they asked to see them."

Auggie looked truly shocked, but not about the threat of a surprise visit
by ATF officers, "Mattie girl, yo' didn't tell me the business is goin'
that well!" he accused before he broke into laughter.

What was simply described as the owner's cottage turned out to be a low
slung, modern, Italian style villa with tile roofs, arches and even a four
story bell tower that appeared from the ground, to be used for entertaining
with a commanding view of the Gulf and the tops of palm trees. Mattie was
delighted to see that her new home was unfurnished; there weren't even
appliances in the kitchen. Of course that would necessitate a trip to
Atlanta. Jimmy just rolled his eyes heavenward and agreed. Auggie helped
with a snicker, by offering the use of his plane and Redlands' big box
truck to haul all of Mattie's purchases to her new home.

"As many trips as it takes," Auggie promised, to further twist the knife in
Jimmy's pocketbook.

The bus was blocked by three empty cars left out on the narrow street as
they approached the Dead Lobster; they could see that the first car was a
police cruiser with its blue lights flashing. There was also another set of
lights flashing; those were amber and mounted on a tow truck that was
backed up into a long empty space and the driver was just lifting the ass
end of a shiny new Cadillac. One of the four valet parking attendants ran
to Zeek's side window.

"Mr. Zeek, are we glad to see you," the sweating boy exclaimed, "you have
no idea how hard it is to keep this much space open, so close to the front
doors." Zeek, with the advantage of height, could see their intended space
had been protected with orange cones, and some had been run over, obviously
by the Caddy that was about to be towed. "You can leave it here; it will be
at least ten minutes before we get straightened up."

"Who's gonna park it, you?" Zeek wondered.

Auggie sniffed a bet in the making, "I got a grand, says he can," he
wagered Zeek quietly.

Zeek set the terms without the boy knowing, "Yo' goin' to pull it in, or
back it up?" he asked.

The boy seemed insulted by the question, "Why, back it in of course."

"Make the bet four grand an' we give the winnins' to the four boys for
their trouble," Auggie whispered.

"Promise no scratches nor dents?" Zeek asked the boy, but was really adding
that as a qualification to the bet.

"Nope," the boy returned confidently before adding, "if I did I might get
fired, and I'm next in line to move into the kitchen as soon as someone
leaves; hopefully the guy will be a line cook so I can finally start doing
what I was trained for."

"DONE!" Zeek shouted.

"What's done?" the boy asked.

"Done, yes yo' can park this ride without no dings," Zeek returned as he
opened both the passenger door and Auggie's door since Auggie was already
in motion.

"Should I back Zeek?" Jimmy whispered to Mattie, "Four thousand dollars is
a lot of money."

Mattie looked at Jimmy strangely before she giggled, "I expect my brother
might have more money than you do, since he accepted Bligh Media stock in
lieu of cash money back when worthless stock was all Auggie had to pay
him," she revealed a family secret. She added another revelation after they
stepped down from the bus; "Until very recently Zeek was the only other
stockholder in Bligh Media, now all these boys including," she patted her
baby bump, "all four of our sons have trusts they don't know about yet."

The party waited outside the doors to see who won the bet. The boy seemed
to be the most senior parking attendant and wasn't reticent in directing
his three cohorts in finding distant spaces for vacant cars before he had
the cones guarding the bus' parking space moved. He boarded the bus and had
to wait until the cop appeared with a very drunk man wearing handcuffs, who
was loaded in the back seat and driven away.

"I like that boy," Mattie opined, after the boy goosed the accelerator
several times, then laughed and waved, "he's sure got a set of balls..."

"Momma," James said while trying to look scandalized, "you're expecting and
about to be married, you shouldn't be looking at any young guy's balls,
even if his do appear to be kind of big..."

"As I was saying..."

"What your momma means is that boy is settin' in that bus wastin' my fuel,
bold as brass with me settin here watchin' his young ass doin' it," Auggie
seriously grumbled, "an' even laughin' about it to boot," he marveled. He
looked up at Mattie, "Don't be lookin' to make him no cook at Coral Place,"
he warned, "I'm outnumbered now with disrespectful young yahoos."

"As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, if he can cook, he
might be fine to be a chef at our resort, and you Auggie can just hire some
nice, fat ass kisser and starve when y'all find out he can't boil water."

"Momma Mattie," Trasker begged by way of protest, "can we move in with

"Here he goes Boss man," Zeek announced needlessly since they all saw the
bus move forward until the boy judged the distance correct by looking at
the right and left mirrors and then down at the backup camera monitor. They
could see him spin the steering wheel and check the mirrors and monitor in
rotation as the monster turned, backed and finally straightened before it
stopped with a whoosh from the air brakes. The engine died as the generator
began to purr.

"You best start diggin' out your roll Zeek boy and by the time yo' count
out four large, I'll just have them boys over here," Auggie whistled
shrilly and then made come hither motions to the four boys individually. He
dug into his own pocket to fish out his roll, removed the wide elastic band
and peeled off some hundred dollar bills randomly. He squinted at the bus
driver's name tag, "this here is a bonus, Brian boy, since y'all did the
driven', an' also earned you an' your three buddies a grand each for
helpin' to guard that there parkin' space. Zeek boy an' me had a bet about
backin' yonder bus. I won and agreed that we pay y'all. Can y'all cook?" he
asked suddenly. While he was looking at Brian, all the boys nodded
enthusiastically along with Brian.

"Yes Sir, we were classmates, when we graduated we decided to come down
here where it's warm, to try our luck at finding jobs as cooks," Brian
looked morose, "unfortunately, every other gay," he paused to look Auggie
in the eye defiantly, "culinary school graduate had the same idea, but at
least we got jobs at this restaurant where there's always hope that one of
us can move into the kitchen."

Auggie grinned along with all the guys in his entourage, "Yo' ever hear the
expression; `it takes one to know one'?" he asked.

"Oh," Brian said before he realized what Auggie was implying, "OH, yeah,
now I get it!"

"This here's the deal, you guys got partners?" Auggie grinned again when
the foursome turned into two pairs holding hands, "The deal is this; we got
two chef jobs open an' others in a kitchen at a resort that ain't open yet,
an' it appears that we need a chef at Coral Place, which I guess could
include a partner to keep things simple. You birds can live in or out an'
o' course found. Come to think on it, you eat your food first; then we ask
how yo' feelin'," he joked. His prospective employees were not amused.

Brian's retort was instant; "If I cooked for you; and you asked that
question, I'd lie; it wouldn't hurt you to skip a few meals. Come on guys,
we have to get back to work."

"Not so fast there Brian boy, you is hired an' here your winnins', four
large, a grand fo' each, that there was the bet!" Zeek declared in direct
opposition to Auggie. Meanwhile, Mattie and the boys, Ryan included, were
laughing so hard they had to hold each other up.

Auggie blustered, but was really impressed with Brian's put down, "Not so
fast there Zeek boy, I'll just be hirin' my own help. I like some back
talkin', all four o' yo' hired; we just need to figure out where."

"What the hell is going on Auggie?" Carter demanded as he ran up to the
gathering after garaging his precious Jag under Diving Down Under's brand
new wing.

"We gonna hire all four o' these boys right about now an' we just started
negotiations." Brian and his three friends were counting the money that
Zeek handed them, and since Brian had an additional thousand from Auggie,
they were no longer as interested in parking cars just then.

Brian shook himself out of his cash induced stupor, "Come on guys, we have
to finish out this shift, no matter what we do," He turned to Zeek, not
Auggie, and said, "We're interested Mr. Zeek; can we find you inside later,
before the mass exodus?"

"That be fine," Zeek agreed.

After the four ran off, Auggie mused, "I expect I'll be eaten some crow
pie befor' that back talkin' Brain boy comes to work fo' me."

"If you mean apologize, that won't be necessary," Mattie countered, "He and
his partner can start working for us at the resort." She offered Auggie a
nasty grin, "But I expect you'll have to bring along a food tester whenever
you come over for dinner." That crack caused even more laughter until
Auggie looked at Stevie and Logan with a nasty grin of his own.

"Maybe we should have some sort of a cook off contest like they do on TV?"
Stevie suggested as they sat down at a long table with a missing chair at
one end; Auggie's place.

Auggie didn't appear to be listening, he was frowning at Trasker. Trasker
had been greeted by name by several diner's as they walked through the
dining room, "What in tarnation you been up to whilst we away Trasker boy?
You been steppin' out on Ryan boy down here behind his back? You a mite too
popular in here fo' my likes," he asked suspiciously.

"What, who me? No Unc, nothing like that, we brought Jimmy down here for
supper on Fishin' Boy, and I got left on the fly bridge without no clothes
to wear until after we got tied up. These idiots even named a drink after
me after they carried me in on their shoulders; order a Captain Bligh
drink, Unc, an' just see what you get." Trasker explained with a giggle.

Auggie did as advised along with his usual; a bourbon and branch. He had to
drink half of the modified Bloody Mary in a single gulp before he managed
to capture the elusive oyster. He smacked his lips with pleasure and
pronounced, "That there drink was some good, but might be a sight better if
it was served in a soup bowl with more'n one damn oyster."

Spider looked at Fish and nodded, "I'll try one of those too please," Zeek
called out to Fish's retreating back; snapped his fingers and added, "along
with my usual," he added. Fish waved.

"Dare I ask what your usual is" Auggie wondered.

"A double order of oysters," Zeek reported happily.

"That uppity school is gonna be lookin' for extra boarders in your room
son," Auggie prophesied with a shake of his head.

"What we should do," Stevie persisted with his cooking contest idea, "is to
have the two teams cook the same thing, two different ways; one, prepare
something as it would be served in here like a restaurant meal and the same
food cooked the way we like to eat at home; family style. Would that work?"

"I believe I could set tooth to some of Mattie's fried chicken," Auggie
suggested, "We ain't had no chicken in days."

"Days being three, we had fried chicken the night before y'all left town,"
Mattie reminded.

"Okay," Stevie agreed, "We'll tell them to cook us two chicken dinners," he
glanced at Auggie, "just not how we expect it to be cooked."

"After we decide which boys we want to work where, could we borrow from the
Dead Lobster's menu for our resort?" Mattie asked. The Dead Lobster's
owners looked at each other and then at Carter for an answer.

"What if neither team serves it proper?" Auggie was already lamenting;
expecting the worst.

Carter ignored Auggie's sorrowful expression and fear; he agreed, "Of
course you can," he pronounced, "it would be good for business down here,
and even better if you used our name if you want to," he suggested.

Fish returned with two kitchen runners and their waiter laden with trays of
bowls, each garnished with a leafy celery stalk. "If we used your menu and
your name," Jimmy stated, "it would only be good business if we formalized
the deal by you selling us your first franchise." Fish brought soup spoons
to better eat the new appetizer and everyone at the table dug in.

"Why sell a franchise to a friend?" Spider asked after slurping an oyster.

"Good business," Auggie answered after downing his third, "This here is my
kind of appetizer," he pronounced with the smack of his lips.

Fish stood up suddenly and lifted his bowl. He made an announcement about a
new appetizer, Auggie's Oysters; a dozen fresh succulent oysters swimming
in a delicate Bloody Mary sauce. Auggie thought he was joking until the
oyster bar was inundated with orders, the shuckers were hard pressed to
keep up and trays with bowls sprouting celery were distributed. "How much
yo' chargin' fo' this here dish," Auggie asked.

"Thirty-seven-fifty, sounded about right," Fish answered without batting an

"Gawd damn boys, y'all should rename your franchises to licenses fo' legal
robbery, but this dish is some good!"

They were just about finished eating when Brian and his partner, Kelly,
approached the table. The first thing Auggie did was apologize for his joke
about potential food poisoning before they got down to the business of the
cooking contest. The four boys as two couples would be teams. They would
prepare chicken as the entre two ways; a restaurant presentation and the
second, `home style'. Home style was not defined although Auggie was
bursting to let the word, `fried', slip; he restrained himself.

Stevie gave Brian the directions to Coral Place since the resort where the
cook off was to be held had no sign and they wanted the boys to see both
places where they would live and work. Mattie surprised everyone when she
opened her purse and produced her own wad of cash. She explained that while
the resort kitchen appeared to be completely equipped and was immaculate,
with a nod of thanks to Ryan; that there were no supplies or food, so the
boys would need to shop first, before driving north to Marathon.

"Brian boy, tell us one thing afore yo' go; how'd you manage to park that
bus like some expert?" Auggie asked.

Brian giggled, "That bus was easy. You see my dad owns a shipping company
and I learned to drive the yard tractor as soon as I could reach the
peddles. You know, like back up empty trailers to the dock and pull loaded
ones out of the way."

"Woe is me," Zeek moaned, "Boss man, yo' ol' some bitch, I believe yo' set
me up." Therein started an argument that lasted all the way home to Coral


The tour of the soon to be completed Charlie's Restaurant went well;
everyone was impressed. Dooby attempted to get Roger to light the first
fire in the grill but that idea was vetoed by a unanimous vote to the
contrary so he decided to play elevator man; up from the main floor to the
banquet room and back down without any passengers while the group looked
around. Each trip was marked by the sound of the wooden gates closing, then
the security gate being rolled up and down before the lift would actually
move. All punctuated with Dooby shouting, "Going up! Going down! Going up!"

"DOOBY, goddamn it, stop playing around!" John shouted, "If you break it,
you'll pay for repairs," he warned.

"He won't break it Uncle John," Tommy assured in a low voice, "we had to
have it completely rebuilt, it just looks old. We'll actually have to use
it to get the carts of food up and down and when there's a party up here
we'll have to have an elevator man in there to run the damn thing, but it's
all part of the show."

"Don't tell him that," John returned as the security gate rolled up and the
wooden floor gate slid open with a bang.

"Going down one more time and then we're off to see Christian's studio,"
Dooby called out.

Christian looked flustered by that announcement, "Sorry Doob, no can do; no
keys to the office," he said quickly.

"No problem, no keys needed, Rob and Kevin are there somewhere; their truck
is in the parking lot." Dooby happily responded, "ALL ABOARD!" he added and
made freight train sounds.

"I think that boy watches too much TV," Charlie surmised.

"Yeah he does," Cory agreed, "you haven't lived until Judge Judy wakes you
up at three in the morning, screaming, `Are you an idiot?', to some fool on
her show," he lamented, which got everyone laughing.

"What's so funny?" Dooby demanded suspiciously as his last passengers
stepped aboard.

"I don't think we have time to visit the office, we might miss Rudy,"
Christian warned.

"Are you for real, he'll wait," Dooby grinned at Charlie, "Who knows today
might be the day he figures out that all he has to do to get a door open is
to push down on the door handle with his chin and push in with his nose; he
could be waiting in the `drawing room'," he used finger quotes, "even now."

Charlie rolled his eyes, "If that deer gets inside, I expect we'll be
havin' venison for supper with a Dooby burger on the side," he promised.

Dooby led the way the short distance to the Dunn and Paterson office
building. He made a show of opening the unlocked door with a frown at
reluctant Christian, "Come on in," he invited, "all the action takes place

"Wait," Christian called in desperation, "let me get up there first to make
sure everything's neat and tidy."

Dooby was already most of the way upstairs, "Everyone knows you're a
neat-nick, no problem," he returned as he disappeared from view. After a
few seconds of silence, with Christian cringing, he shouted, "HOLY SHIT,

The crowd left Christian and Tommy behind, "What have you been up to,"
Tommy asked with a grin, "some nice smutty pictures?"

Christian's blush deepened, he shrugged, "Just a couple of portraits that
aren't quite finished yet. Come on, we might as well get this over with. I
want to see their initial reactions."

There were two paintings on side by side easels and the subjects, Margery
and Dominic, were the only people really standing close to them; everyone
else was standing back, comparing the subjects to their
portraits. Margery's was larger; she was shown wearing the same sweater
that she'd worn the previous weekend, complete with her gem encrusted
praying mantis broach, with a bemused expression and an arched
eyebrow. While the upper half of her body dominated the canvas, Christian
located her in the lower right quadrant of the canvas and drifting in front
of a detailed city skyline that didn't exist.

Dooby recognized one of the buildings and its mate under construction
attended by gantry cranes above steel girders. These two, while in the
background, were the tallest of the buildings shown; the others, of varying
heights and of many shapes and colors, were arranged by height and more
detailed as they approached Granny's figure.

"Look Granny," Dooby rushed forward, "there's your apartment, right up
there," he pointed, "that's Thurston Tower, and next to it, is its twin,
under construction. I'll just bet that you built all these other buildings
too, didn't you?"

Margery nodded and left Dooby to seek out Christian. He and Tommy were
standing behind their parents; Bernice, Quinn and Judy. Margery pulled
Christian's head down and gave him a resounding kiss on the cheek before
she began whispering and gesturing at her portrait. Christian began shaking
his head `no' while she began rooting in her commodious `Louie' handbag to
find a folding checkbook and a gold pen. She ordered Tommy to bend over and
face away from her to present his back as a writing surface. When Tommy
began to giggle, Margery compounded the problem of his shaking body by
gigging him in his side; being ticklish he just laughed harder along with
everyone else.

Dom and his portrait had been ignored thus far, so Dooby moved to correct
that. Christian had shown Dom with his hand on some sort of massive
antique, bronze door latch mounted in a heavy partially revealed, paneled
door that at first glance, had seen better days and was in some need of
repair. Dom was wearing his obligatory jacket and necktie and was laughing
at the artist on a bright, sunny day. Most of the adjacent building masonry
was hidden by blooming and hated thorny bougainvillea vines. The stone door
jamb was discolored and badly scarred and the only modern item was a
largish polished brass plaque that was positioned to the side of the door
that said `ORSINI LTD'.

John moved up to Dom's side when he saw Dooby, his son inspecting the few
architectural details in the painting and ignoring Dom's true-to-life
likeness. John knew what was coming. "You own an international business; is
this the entrance to your office building?" Dooby asked cautiously, with a
degree of disbelief already showing on his face.

"Why yes, just my office though, with some staff; our board also meets
there. This villa has been in my family for hundreds of years," Dom
explained to Dooby proudly.

Dooby shook his head sadly, "Well after all that time, don't you think it's
time for a little renovation? You know just some stucco, paint and a nice
new door? That door looks like it was attacked by burglars; it's all gouged
and scarred; if I had time, I'd build you a door you could be proud to take
visitors through, but maybe my dad could do it, although shipping would be
a bitch either way. You must have cabinetmakers in Italy somewhere."

Dom joined John in smiling at Dooby; at times so erudite, and at others so
innocent. "My dear boy, that door and the whole building look ancient
because they are. That is a Roman villa that is mostly two thousand years
old. I don't believe the door is original to this villa, but it dates from
a similar time period," Dom explained with a hand half covering his smile.

"What kind of wood is this Pop?" Dooby asked with his nose almost touching
the canvas.

John shrugged, "you can't tell from the painting, but it looks dense," John

"I know it is very heavy," Dom volunteered helpfully.

"CHRISTIAN!" Dooby bellowed; he knew Christian must have worked with photos
to reproduce such architectural detail and of course a thirty second glance
at a living subject was sufficient to bring Dom to life.


"Do you have any pics of Dom's building?"

"There's a stack on my desk, and you better not make a mess," Christian
warned absently as he stared wide-eyed at the check Granny had presented

Dooby and John put their heads together. The wood grain was very fine and
the color in the gouges appeared to be very dark even though the damage was
incredibly old. "That could be African Ebony, I've used some but it was
veneer, for cabinets and I think it came from South America." John

Dooby was impressed, "Wow, Dad, can you imagine that doors' history, from
the time it was logged, somewhere in the African jungles, shipped to Rome
and some old cabinetmaker turned that wood into a door that's still used
two thousand years later? I'd sure like to see the joinery, wouldn't you?"

John didn't have the opportunity to agree before Dom spoke up. "And so you
shall Dooby my boy, next summer, if you are free; all of you; of course the
boys will have to be photographed in many places, doing many things and
there will be media events, but there will be plenty of time to tour Europe
and see all the sights; far grander than my poor battered office door."

Every young person in the room fell silent, their eyes widened and they
looked at their parents or guardians and almost chorused; "Can we go?"

John made the mistake of nodding first, which set Dooby off on a Dooby
dance, screaming, "ROAD TRIP! ROAD TRIP!" so the other adults were forced
to agree as if they could do otherwise.

Lane was almost in tears until he was told to call home and ask. Dom
sweetened the deal by assuring the Fulton's that they were invited as his
guests as well. Lane forgot where he was and who was watching; he left Dom
holding his cellphone, talking to his parents; scooped Jennifer up off her
feet and administered such a lengthy lip lock that even Dooby was impressed
and feared an imminent tongue graft until John cleared his throat. Lane
dropped his arms but Jennifer had hers around Lane's neck so the kiss
continued until John clapped Lane on his shoulder in a comradely way and
whispered that the happy couple should try to contain themselves until they
found a more private place. He went on to commend them for not attempting
any `funny business' the previous night since he'd left his bedroom door
ajar and he knew that the old, heavy, solid doors couldn't be closed
without making noise. It was then that Jennifer broke the kiss, dropped to
the floor and was content to hold Lane's hand while careful to stand in
front of him until he calmed down sufficiently. She did not want to spoil a
very good thing.

While Dom used the desk to write his check, Rodger and Steve pocketed their
phones and joined Dooby in his dance until both Charlie and John frowned
together. Dom had invited Rodger and Steve's parents too and it appeared
that the party was growing exponentially. The boys had no wish to spoil the
moment either. They stopped in front of Margery who wore a rather bemused

"Say Granny, I talked to Auggie last night, I call every few days to check
up on my fish. Anyway, I told him about you and how nice you are and he
invited you to come with us to Coral Place for Thanksgiving. He bought some
old motel on the Gulf and fixed it up. That's where you and all our parents
are staying, but during the day, everyone's welcome to visit Coral Place,
that is, if you don't mind some nudity, none of us guys wear any clothes
there if the cameras are off, and sometimes when they're on, for the late
night show. We're leaving right after the store grand opening next
Saturday, so you have a whole week to pack." He turned impish and added,
"Of course if you're going away for two whole weeks, you might have to hop
down to Wal-Mart to buy some more of Louie's luggage; I think it's on sale,
this week only; buy one, get one free!"

Dooby and Rodger danced away in plenty of time to avoid a playful swat with
Margery's Louie purse as she agreed at once, but asked eagerly, "Will those
older boys be there as well; the divers and that fishing guide?"

"Certainly," Dooby assured, "in fact, the divers are bringing one of their
boats up and Jim-Bob and Carter are bringing their sport fisherman too, so
we'll all have plenty to do at the same time." He looked at Scott before
adding, "That means that two out of the three boats won't have cameras
aboard at any one time."

Scott misunderstood, "Nope, just the one that you guys are on, and no
stowing away either."

Cory spoke up, he was somewhat insulted, "We know we have to work, Doob was
just saying that if anyone wants to avoid a camera in their face, they can
go out on another boat or they'll be watching themselves on one of our


Long after dinner that night when Dooby and Cory were cuddled together
after making love a final time; Dooby whispered, "You know when I talked to
Auggie last night; he gave me a heads up about Mattie so we wouldn't be
shocked when we first see her next Saturday afternoon."

Cory sat up at once, "Is she sick? What happened?" he asked with concern.

Dooby pulled Cory back down into his arms, "Not exactly, she's kind of
pregnant," he said very simply.

Cory struggled to get free again but Dooby held him tight. "That's
fantastic news; she said she wanted more children; and what she wants, we
know she gets." He giggled quietly and tried to imitate Mattie in an
imaginary love scene after she decided who the father to be, was going to
be; "Fuck me good an' deep boy, I'll tell you when you're done."

Dooby didn't laugh, instead he said, "Good, I'm glad you remember; she told
us the same thing, three times when she got us in three different

Cory did sit up then, despite Dooby's best efforts to hold him tight. "You
mean one of us is the father? Which one, does she know? Whichever, we'll
support the baby together, maybe set up a trust fund too, for the
future. We'll have to get things in order with Carter as soon as we get
down there; she'll need to see doctors and then we'll pick up the tab for
the hospital, when it's time." he rambled happily. "I guess we'll have to
wait until it's born to find out who the father is," he added.

Dooby pulled Cory back down again, and warned him to stay put; he had more
news; "Auggie said Mattie was pretty sure the morning after, she's having
twins, make that twin boys, maternal twins." He started to giggle, "One
will be a very handsome blond, and the other will be another cute Irish
pixie, both will have wonderful perpetual tans, according to Auggie."

"Is that possible? How the hell does Mattie know already?" Cory
demanded. Dooby was pleased that Cory wasn't upset by his revelations,
rather, he was delighted, just puzzled.

Dooby explained all that Auggie knew, which wasn't much; just about the
Juju lady, polite for witch doctor, who had lived on Redlands forever
unbeknown to Auggie or the previous owner, who could make strange things
happen at her follower's or believer's request. Mattie believed; she
requested twin boys by two different fathers. The rest was up to
Mattie. Ergo, he and Cory were going to be fathers; biologically only.

Dooby told of the arrival of Jimmy Chambers, James' long lost father and
the planned wedding even though he knew Mattie was harboring twins; he was
delighted to rediscover Mattie and discover a ready-made family just
waiting for him to appear.

Cory flopped over onto his back and lifted his legs; "Fuck me good an' deep
boy, I'll tell you when you're done," he invited. Second such invitations
were never required.

"Potty mouth," Dooby scolded as he expertly rolled into place.





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