Dooby Rhymes with Scooby
by Jamie Haze
The last full week of school before `D' Day, Departure Day on Saturday, was
torture for all the Yankee boys. They would be cutting the last few days of
school before the official Thanksgiving holiday when they headed for the
sunny, warm Florida Keys and Coral Place. By extension, the entire student
body was envious of the guys who were to be a part of the Orsini promotion,
whatever that was. With Count Dooby DuBois and Cory Spelling involved with
their well-known ability to step from one bucket of money to the next, the
boys all assumed the trip was going to be immensely profitable. After all,
the student grapevine reasoned, who ever heard of the need for anyone to
leave school early, to fly by private jet to the Florida Keys just to pose
for a few fucking photographs? Further, they wondered how the lucky few,
the entire Bradley mob, Steve Gray and Rodger Mathews, were chosen; and
why, apparently, no one else was even considered.
There were phone calls back and forth among the adults invited, but not
really participating, to decide who would travel with whom. One plane they
all agreed, that no one wanted to be aboard, even for the relatively short
flight, was Auggie's, which would be crowded with hyperactive teenagers and
young adults including Jennifer, the only girl.
John and Betty decided that Jennifer could go with the boys and of course
Lane, because she would be protected by two older brothers and Tom, her
cousin, and with so many guys flying with her, she and Lane would have
little opportunity or the privacy to `get together' on a jet
aircraft. Dooby had already told the horny couple that the amenities on
Auggie's jet included a bedroom, which was provided with a locking door. Of
course Dooby told their parents only that the seats reclined completely as
one might expect, in a private, luxurious jet that was capable of flying
long distances, like across the country or to Europe, without refueling.
During the family weekend, Margery Thurston and Bernice Paterson, Dooby's
Aunt Bernie, became fast friends and they made plans of their own. Bernice
was surprised to discover that Margery had a small jet of her own and the
two women would use that for the trip to Florida and perhaps while they
were there, fly off to Nassau or any other tropical paradise wherever they
could find accommodations for a few days during the peak winter
season. When Bernice asked why she owned a small jet, Margery admitted that
her `little' real estate development and management business also included
retail shopping malls, office and industrial parks and residential and
office towers in cities across the country, outside New York City's
boundaries, which were the developments she and her husband were known
for. When Marjory wondered if there was a car service on Marathon, Bernice
asked why, Margery admitted that she didn't have a driver's license. In
cities, she used a service, or if there was somewhere to land, a chartered
Bernie laughed, "I have a license; I'll rent a car, if you aren't afraid to
ride with me. Tommy thinks that I'm a bit reckless and he calls me a lead
foot, but in this day and age, one must be daring or get pushed off the
"My dear," Margery returned, "you simply have not lived until you
experience a ride down Fifth Avenue in a taxi. The drivers will never speak
English, and they intentionally misunderstand the address, so they can
extend the fare, all while shouting and shooting birds at other drivers in
several languages. Why don't I send a helicopter out to you earlier in the
week; we can go shopping, have a few drinks here and there and dinner at
some very nice eateries and our taxi drivers can give you some aggressive
driving pointers? I'm quite sure Tommy will be impressed with your new
found skills. Oh yes, if possible, could you pack for the trip by then?
Then we could ship our luggage overnight, at the same time. I always ship
my things for business trips; it saves so much time and room. I simply
don't have much space on my little plane."
Bernie accepted Margery's invitation to visit New York early and then
accompany her to the Keys, but qualified her acceptance of a subsequent
trip to the islands by asking with a slightly reddened face; "While we are
visiting Coral Place, I was wondering if you might like to experience scuba
diving? I hope you don't think me to be a dirty minded old woman, but I
think those three divers are extraordinarily handsome young men."
Margery agreed with a giggle and added, "And the next day, we should go
deep sea fishing if you don't mind, frankly, I think that the fishing
guide, Jim-Bob is a stud, as your nephew, Dooby would say and I still can't
believe that his partner Carter is as old as he is until you see him
wearing one of those ridiculously brief loin cloths."
"Especially when they get the leather wet and clingy," Bernice added with a
return giggle, arched eyebrow and a handshake. Both women were pleased to
discover that they shared the same interest, at their age, in viewing well
set up young men's bodies; just for the pleasure of looking and allowing
their imaginations to roam.
Dominic Orsini invited the adults to accompany him on his large jet and
only Margery and Bernice declined. Steve and Rodger assured the weekend
family group that their parents were liberal minded and neither set of
parents would be shocked or upset by the nudity they were guaranteed to see
when visiting Coral Place. From the parental point of view, having read the
contracts; their sons would be paid enormous initial modeling fees, future
royalties and expenses such as this first trip and unspecified future trips
to Europe and around the world if the boys were available, all accompanied
by their parents.
Unknown to Dooby; Jennifer and Lane, accompanied by their parents, were
invited to be Dominic's guests in New York City a full three days early
because they needed to be completely outfitted for their roles as the
perfectly dressed international, intentionally mysterious, teen
couple. Christian provided a hurried concept and by his exacting standards,
crude sketches of the couple to be, photographed in the most luxurious
backdrops such as an elegant restaurant, clubbing, entering or leaving a
chauffeured Rolls, motoring in an exotic convertible sports car,
entertaining and merely lounging onboard a really huge yacht, gambling in a
casino and anywhere else Dom could think of where an elite teen couple
might be found on holiday in warm weather where the images wouldn't be
spoiled by heavy coats or goose bumps; all of which required that they be
perfectly dressed or nearly undressed but never naked together while in
front of a camera.
All of the above required new designer wardrobes for any occasion for both
Jennifer and Lane. Jennifer was excited by the prospect of wearing designer
gowns, casual clothes for any occasion and particularly one-of-a-kind
bikinis. She had already begun fretting about where to find next summer's
bikinis at the end of November at any mall in New Jersey and when Jennifer
fretted everyone around her had to put up with her less than sunny moods.
Lane looked forward to wearing casual sportswear of his own like Dooby's
and Cory's. Lane wasn't a `clothes horse' like they were, though his family
could easily afford to buy him whatever clothes he wanted. He was learning
from his continued access to Dooby's wardrobe. Men's bikinis were like
tank suits, so they were okay as long as they weren't thongs, where the
string ran through the crack of his ass, those were too brief and he
suspected uncomfortable, but he baulked at the mention of formalwear. He
argued that Dooby didn't have a tux, so why should he have to wear one even
to be photographed. He changed his mind when Dom mentioned that, among
other places, Christian wanted him and Jennifer photographed while driving
in something exotic like a Ferrari, Maserati, or Aston-Martin and like it
or not, licensed driver or not, he would have to be the driver for as long
as the `shoot' took. They would be accompanied by a chase car so the
photographer could capture them with a happy, carefree, windblown look not
achieved in a studio with fans in front of a blank `green screen', where
passing scenery would be added later.
Jennifer began packing, or repacking her suit cases as soon as she got home
while Lane lay comfortably, stretched out on her bed. She had moved into
Dooby's upstairs bedroom as soon as he moved to Spelling's. He had
Jennifer's laptop resting on his gut and was working on something. The
bedroom door was always wide open whenever Lane was visiting her
room. "Jennifer, I wonder what car they'll let us ride in?" he asked
Jennifer giggled, "What you mean is; which one they'll let you drive. The
answer will be none if you won't wear a tux."
"I already agreed to a tux, as long as it isn't the kind that has those
dumb looking Penguin tails." Lane laughed suddenly so the laptop bounced,
"I can't wait until the guys find out that they have to wear tuxes too, for
the casino shots; of course they don't even know we're all going to that
big old Atlantis hotel over in Nassau. I wonder what we're advertising
there wearing formal crap?"
"Daddy's right you know, you never listen; Dom said he wanted to get some
head shots of all you guys, I think for hair gel. I'll bet your mind was
still stuck on one of those sports cars." Lane went spastic, as if he might
be choking, all while he had his tongue bulging out the side of
cheek. Jennifer burst out laughing and after a quick glance at the open
bedroom door, said, "Not that kind of head shot, and you know it! You have
such a dirty mind," she added with a leer at Lane's rapidly growing
`shooter' barely concealed by his jeans and its shifting position made the
laptop more difficult to balance.
"What's going on up here?" John, Jennifer's father, asked from the doorway.
Lane sat up quickly and turned the laptop around so John could see the
screen and not his shooter, "We were just talking about the kind of sports
car Dom is going to pose us with, Sir. Which one do you like best, the
Ferrari California 30, Maserati's Gran Turismo, or the Aston Martin DBS,
they're all convertibles?"
Much to Lane and Jennifer's surprise, John sat down on the bed by Lane and
actually reviewed Lane's three choices. He whistled at the end of the short
visual tour, "Wow, it's hard to believe that they can jam that much
horsepower in one of those little cars. But, Lane, you should know that I
am not deceived."
"You aren't Sir?" Lane imagined his entire short life passing by.
"Nope, I know you two are car shopping. As soon as you're old enough, you
plan to buy one of these missiles on wheels; just remember to always drive
safely." John cautioned.
"You mean, you wouldn't object if we bought one of these?"
"No, not really, Dooby and Cory plan to buy Corvettes, there isn't much
difference, except of course the price tag. Any car can kill you if you
drive like an idiot, WHICH I KNOW YOU WILL NOT DO, will you?" John
cautioned Lane as he stood up to leave the room. He looked at Jennifer,
"Here's a caution for you Princess; while Lane's driving, you better keep
your little hands in your own lap." Jennifer began to sputter a defense but
her father waved her to silence. He turned back to Lane, "We'll have some
ice cream and brownies in about half an hour, then I'll take you home," he
advised as he pulled the door closed and wiggled the handle from the
hallway to make sure it latched.
"What just happened?" Lane wondered.
"Maybe Daddy's growing up," Jennifer guessed; she was already pulling off
her clothes. "Don't just sit there, get those jeans off; we only have half
an hour to say good night!" she ordered.
James, Little Zeek, Logan and Stevie, rushed outside as soon as they heard
the gate buzzer, promptly at eight o'clock Monday morning, despite Auggie's
efforts to keep them inside so he could see the four new chef's reactions
to the boy's nudity. "Damn kids," Auggie grumped, "they like mules that
can't hear nothin' but the dinner bell." Of course Mattie, Jimmy, Ryan and
Zeek just laughed as usual.
Carter, with Jim-Bob riding shotgun, parked in the lone open bay in the
garage in the same place where the classic Jaguar had been parked since it
was brand new. Brian followed closely with his partner Flynn, riding with
him in a minivan, and Andrew and Neil, his partner, followed in an ancient
pickup truck that closely resembled Trasker's Bondo-covered relic before it
was restored to like new condition. The boys could see that both visiting
vehicles were packed with boxes. Brian and Andrew had their eyes fixed on
the boys and barely avoided two rear end collisions; Brian, into Carter's
Jag, and Andrew into Brian's minivan.
"Sorry," Brian said with a sheepish glance over the boy's heads, "I was
looking at your classic car collection."
"Sure you were," Trasker agreed with a giggle, "you may as well get used to
seeing some skin if you work around here," he raised his voice for Ryan's
benefit, "or at the motel, I guess, too."
"RESORT, goddamn it!" Ryan shouted from the kitchen.
"You mean this isn't where we're going to cook?" Andrew asked.
"Nope, this is where we live, and where two of you might live if you want
to, if you win the home cookin' part of the contest. Come on in and look
around, we've got two bedrooms free, or there's the guest cottage with the
best view and lot's more privacy." Trasker beckoned.
The four contestant's first interest in the kitchen, was the appliances;
the six burner gas stove, the two ovens, the separate broiler, a grill, a
double basket deep fryer and finally, a double door fridge, an even bigger
freezer and a commercial sized icemaker to supply the house and the
boats. Mattie was most interested in getting their opinion of her beloved
kitchen. "I made some improvements when I first moved in here because this
kitchen dated from so far back; I could never feed this hungry mob with
that old junk."
Flynn giggled, "Ma'am you built us a gourmet kitchen that anyone would love
to work in." He received three nods of agreement from his friends. "No need
to apologize," he added.
"Good thing you got the kitchen redone, Mattie girl, befo' them folks from
that there hysterical register come sniffin' around an' say we can't make
no more changes like they did up to Redlands, as soon as they find out that
ole Frank Lloyd Wright built this place," Auggie congratulated Mattie for
her foresight and indicted the National Register of Historical Places at
the same time.
When the four chefs found out that they were standing in a privately owned
Wright house, they didn't need guides; they just walked slowly through the
rooms and whispered about interesting and unique architectural details and
the original, custom furnishings. When Trasker led them to the breezeway
attached guesthouse and opened the window wall to the light Atlantic
breezes and panoramic view, the two couples joked about which pair wasn't
going to cook for the resort.
Back in the kitchen, Brian asked, "Can whoever works here, kind of go naked
too, except of course, in the kitchen?"
"That be fine," Auggie agreed, "an' in the kitchen yo' can get along with
wearin' whatever to keep from gettin' nothin' burned."
"The resort is going to be gay oriented and clothing optional," Jimmy
advised, "so you can plan on saving on laundry over there too," he
joked. "If you guys are ready, let's get over there now."
Zeek already had the bus' generator running and as they trooped out to the
parking area, Flynn asked, "How come there's a screen door on the kitchen
entrance and the rest of the house is wide open?"
Mattie giggled, "That door is my early warning system; Auggie has a pair of
no account cousins, spookin' around here somewhere, which at present, are
away on business of some sort, or they better be, and I don't like them, or
anyone else sneaking up on me unawares so I like the way it squeaks and
bangs." She stopped suddenly without looking back and screamed, "Little
Zeek, y'all best get out here and come empty handed, we're only goin' over
to the resort, you don't need to fix any snacks!"
The four newbies looked back when the screen door squeaked before it banged
closed and Little Zeek ran to catch up while still chewing and swallowing
something, since he couldn't bring it along. "Never worry about no
leftovers around this place," Auggie advised.
"It's my job," Little Zeek explained to the Chefs, "If I didn't take care
of all the leftovers, we'd have to put a guard on the refrigerator; in case
you haven't noticed, one of us is on a diet and has been known to sleepwalk
his way to the kitchen late at night." He rolled his eyes down to Auggie so
there would be no mistaking which one of them the sleepwalker was.
Auggie frowned at Logan instead of Zeek as expected, "My step an' fetch it
boy best have my cane in hand by the time we is all aboard this ride,
`cause I'm fixin' to whale the tar outta one over-grown dispose-all when he
can't get away," he warned.
"That might be a problem," Brian cautioned, "The recipes we planned to
present to you aren't exactly diet foods, but maybe we could fix you a nice
salad with a lemon and fresh herb dressing?" To Little Zeek he suggested,
"If you're hungry, we could fix you some breakfast as soon as we get
there. Since this is a resort, we'll have to serve three meals a day so we
really should show you some breakfast entrées. We bought all the food in
"Oh boy, second breakfast," Little Zeek cried and rubbed his rippled gut.
"Second breakfast," Auggie wondered, "where in tarnation did you get that
"From the Hobbits in Middle Earth," Little Zeek shrugged as if the idea was
obvious, "I think if there's time before lunch, they even have a third
"I ain't even gonna ask," Auggie said under his breath.
Auggie stopped mumbling about his cane, second breakfasts and rabbit food
when they pulled into the resort. "Holy shit Ryan boy, you sure work fast!"
A sign was being built out of weathered planks although there was no name
as yet, the driveway had been paved and the parking lot was nearly
finished. Best of all, a mature, lush tropical landscape had been planted
all along the stark building and the main entrance was clearly defined with
more intensive, colorful plantings.
Ryan grinned his thanks, "You said no budget. The paving was planned and I
happened to think about the landscape dude that cleaned up Coral Place. He
likes cash on the barrel head kind of deals and he cleaned out half the
nurseries in Monroe County just for us and worked overnight to get this
finished. And remember we talked about discrete night lighting? The guy
suggested propane gas tiki torches, so that system is being installed now
out front on the beach and around the pool," he pointed to the lobby
entrance where clusters of torches had already been installed.
"Where at did you get all the cash money?"
Mattie answered that question with a giggle and a pat on her purse,
"Remember we own a very profitable cash only, cleaning supply business and
I had to get rid of a little of the money somewhere, so..."
"'Nough said about that, yo' done good again Mattie girl."
The boys ran to help the chefs unload at the kitchen entrance while the
others went inside. The lobby lounge had also been finished with additional
furnishings, including a rattan glass topped desk and chair grouping for
registrations near the automatic front doors. The whole room had also been
interior-scaped with just enough large potted palms and bushes to create
private areas without blocking too much of the water view and best of all,
as far as Auggie was concerned, the small self-serve wet bar had been
stocked, including glassware. A wink at Zeek and four horizontal raised
fingers from Auggie sent him and Jimmy off to investigate the brands, the
icemaker and to check three double old fashion glasses for leaks.
"Special occasion," Auggie excused, to mitigate Mattie's frown as the men
toasted her and her babies' health.
The boys appeared from the dining room already carrying their
shorts. "There're four nice bodies in there," James reported with a leer.
"But there might be a problem," Trasker warned, "We think they have their
own still that they're setting up now, first thing, Unc, it's maybe ten or
fifteen gallon size, very high tech, real heavy steel, pressure gauge and
Auggie slammed his scooter in gear, but was stopped when Mattie stepped in
front of him, "Hold on fat man, I'll go see what they're up to. If you go
in that kitchen, flapping your gums, they might quit before they get
started. That Brian boy still hasn't forgiven you entirely for that crack
you made about food poisoning," she warned.
Mattie returned minutes later; she was laughing and shaking her head, "You
young fools could have asked what that big pot was; it's a pressure
cooker. They wouldn't tell me what they were going to use it for, but it's
not for cooking mash," she assured Auggie.
Auggie wiped his brow dramatically and held his empty glass out to Zeek for
a refill, looking very hopeful.
Mattie rolled her eyes, "You know you're wearing out that `special
occasion' excuse don't you?" she challenged.
"This one is a calmer-downer," Auggie returned with a chuckle, "thanks to
my rock head nephew." He saluted Trasker with his second drink, "Thank ye
kindly Trasker boy." He ignored the finger Trasker used to scratch his nose
Half an hour later, Brian found the adults out on the terrace, discussing
which beach toys to provide for guests, "Brunch is served in the dining
room," he intoned dramatically.
"Oh boy, second breakfast!" was heard echoing through the building as the
more muted sounds of the old pinball machines ceased instantly.
Auggie frowned at Brian's retreating back, "Why's he all dressed in long
black pants and that long sleeved white coat?"
"You just hush up," Mattie instructed, "I expect that this is the first
time those boys have had a chance to wear their official chef's coats and
they're all proud as peacocks," she speculated.
The five boys were already seated in high back armchairs at a single big
round table with one missing chair that had been set for ten when Mattie
and the men arrived. Surprisingly, they all stood up as Mattie approached
the table and remained standing until Jimmy helped her to be seated. The
four contestants appeared, all dressed identically, like Brian, and more
importantly, each carried two dinner plates heaped with food. Mattie had
already advised the chefs that she wasn't on a diet and controlling
Auggie's caloric intake was a family problem that they didn't need to be
concerned with until it was decided who worked where.
Two hurried back to the kitchen and returned at once with the additional
plates and by chance or by design, Auggie and Little Zeek were the last to
be served. Both breathed a sigh of relief when they looked down on eggs,
fried country ham, grits and hot biscuits covered with thick sausage
gravy. "This is just something that might be ordered from a menu if we have
servers or on a buffet if we don't," Brian explained and held his breath; a
wait staff hadn't been mentioned. The chefs hoped for servers, obviously a
more high class operation, whereby steam tables and chaffing dishes that
would adversely affect their culinary efforts could be avoided.
Ryan smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand, "We forgot waiters and
all the other staff; like bartenders, cleaners, pool boys, room servers,
guys to help guests on the beach with the toys."
"No problem," Jim-Bob assured, "we'll dig into our pile of applications as
soon as we get back and send up a bunch of guys you can interview."
Ryan moaned; he clearly wasn't interested in conducting interviews. After
all he was the CEO of Auggie's multi-billion dollar media empire, and while
he enjoyed the project, he did have other duties and wanted this one to
end. He looked at Jimmy hopefully.
"Don't look at me, I'm not gay," Jimmy answered before he was asked.
"Me either," Mattie declined, "in case you haven't noticed, I'm not gay,
and I'm not a guy," she patted her growing baby bump.
Auggie swallowed quickly and looked up at Brian with an eyebrow at full
arch, "Could you four yahoos handle this for us? You already know you got
chef positions somewhere up here, so no pressure there."
"We could," Brian responded at once, pleased that Auggie was offering his
trust, "if we only hire eye candy that can walk and chew gum at the same
time; no stupid asses and no strictly decorative types, and none of them
will be hookers either. We'll have to write up a list of rules in advance,"
he added. It was clear that Brian was thinking out loud and taking
ownership before the cooking contest. "We could make a few calls to spread
the word if you want. Is there room in the quarters you mentioned?"
Auggie smirked, "I expect there might be, if some guys don't mind doublin'
up, or mayhap, pilin' up. This whole buildin' is quarters upstairs which I
understand is all furnished. Oh, an' spread the word that the employee
vittles is the same as the guests eat too; meanin' that y'all will need
more guys to hep yo' in the kitchen."
Jimmy spoke up for the first time, "The pay scale will be the same as the
Dead Lobster's to start, the front of the house and back of the house gangs
will all share a gratuity that will be added to the total bill, I guess
paid monthly and maybe a decent percentage of profits, paid quarterly based
on position, but," he cautioned, "be sure to tell everyone that they'll
earn their money. Anyone who doesn't will be off the property immediately."
Brian hesitated, "Um, could I ask if the pay scale at your house is the
same as it is here?"
"I expect so, but over to home, y'all would have to travel with us;
speaking of which, have you boys got passports here an' now? We got a trip
to Nassau planned for next week, an' y'all may as well go along since there
won't be nothin' to do, with all of our guests gone with us, an' this joint
ain't open yet to real outside guests anyway."
"Do you know what the pay scale is for the Executive Chef at the Dead
Lobster?" Brian squeaked. He knew and was astounded.
"Nope, but no doubt it's fair, except over to the house, the pay would be
the same for both guys, that's only fair too since I don't notice anyone is
more bossy than anyone else." Auggie responded.
"That would apply to the two guys that work here too, so there's nearly
always an Executive Chef on duty during prime time." Jimmy added, and
Mattie nodded her agreement.
"Would we get another grand each to gamble with?" Little Zeek interrupted
excitedly since Auggie was in a generous mood.
Auggie frowned and sighed, "Yo' know yo' boys should register as one of
them charitable organizations so I can deduct what I give yo' to waste on
them one arm bandits like y'all did last time," he grumped.
"We have a system this time Unc," Trasker assured Auggie confidently.
"An' just what might that be?" Auggie was already laughing at his boy's
confidence regarding beating the casino odds, playing any of their so
called games of chance.
"We plan on sticking to Dooby like flies to cow shit; whatever he bets on,"
James volunteered their system, "we will too; that Yankee boy is some
lucky," he added.
Auggie actually burst into gales of laughter, so even his scooter shook, a
rare occurrence, "I can just pitcher it now; a young Yankee rock head
walkin' through the casino with a bunch a good Johnnie Reb, pebble heads in
tow! I sure hope that there casino allows cameras in there or that they
give us security footage. The world just has to see this!" He looked at
Ryan, who was trying hard not to laugh since young partner and sometimes
naive, Trasker was involved. "Mayhap they'll give us one of them little
gold statues after the world sees this segment!"
Little Zeek's mind was elsewhere. He looked at his watch, and then up at
the four Executive Chefs, "After y'all get done laughin', are we going to
have third breakfast, or do we suffer through `til lunch?" he asked.
The chefs rushed off to the kitchen, once reminded of their new high paying
jobs. "Lunch will be served at one o'clock sharp," Flynn announced over his
"Where the hell is this Middle Earth, yo' keep talkin' about," Auggie asked
Little Zeek "seems like it might be a place for you an' me to visit all by
ourselves?" he scowled at his detractors, but his innocent question changed
the subject of the other's continued laughter.
"I've got a project for you guys, if you want something to do while waiting
for lunch, aside from punishing those old machines," Jimmy offered as the
group left the table. "I'll even pay you some gambling money, but I want to
see results before our guests arrive," he qualified his offer.
"What do we have to do Dad?" James asked suspiciously.
"Simple really; outside, we have an empty beach and dock. You need to
change all that with small boats, sail and power, fishing, scuba gear,
snorkeling stuff," Jimmy ticked off everything that they'd talked about
earlier, "lounges, some of them doubles, umbrellas and maybe a gross of big
beach towels to start with, you know, stuff like that, let your
Jimmy offered James a credit card but Mattie pushed it back. She reminded
them that she had the profits from the cleaning supply company to get back
into circulation, so they would pay cash on delivery, as long as everything
was delivered by Friday. The boys ran for their shorts to get their phones,
and began adding things to the list, like volleyball equipment, Frisbees
and anything else they could think of that they liked to play with. They
would spend the morning before lunch, sourcing everything, and actually
begin to go shopping the next day, Tuesday.
"Dishes," Mattie reminded the boys before they could get too far away. They
reversed course, collected the breakfast dishes and carried them into the
kitchen; straight to the dish washer, rinsed everything and even started
the unfamiliar commercial machine. They left the quartet of chef's with
their mouths hanging open; none expected the boys, who had obvious
unlimited wealth, to do the dishes so willingly without complaint, and
without any mess to clean up after Trasker wrested control of the overhead
hose mounted sprayer from Logan.
After it got quiet, Auggie grinned at Mattie and said, "Yo' know Mattie
girl, yo' too damned efficient, that there still is makin' too much money
to be illegal any longer." He turned to Carter, "Carter boy, could you find
out wherever what we need to do to operate a distillery in Florida? We'll
brand the products local for ourselves and do some private labelin' o'
cheap stuff to start off with for some ready cash flow. Then move that
damned still out o' the grove into a nearby buildin' before we get
caught. We'll need one of them bigger osmotic filter things to keep the
water pure, an' meantime source some of them oak barrels an' a big secure
warehouse to store `em for a few years before we can roll out some fine
sour mash sippin' whiskey."
Ryan did a serious double-take in Auggie's direction, "You just sat there
and like that," he snapped his fingers, "you thought up a new business
that's very likely to be profitable from the start?"
Auggie shrugged, "so, yo' think it'll work?"
"Can I get in on the action?" Ryan countered.
"Us too," Jimmy looked hopeful, "including my sons?"
"Sure, we'll make the company a family affair, includin' my newest
nephews. I can hardly wait `til they're seven years old, an old enough to
take a drink o' that first barrel." Auggie chortled. It was obvious that he
was baiting Mattie.
"If I catch you feeding the twins booze, I'll just bring more than a corn
broom to the party and it will be your last ever sip of anything," Mattie
No one had to be called to the table for the contest at one o'clock. The
table had been reset completely, including the tablecloth and there was a
glass bowl full of water where a collection of colorful hibiscus blooms
floated. The chefs served family style with a platter of chicken and
another of cat fish, both entrées appeared to be fried although the
chicken had been cooked in the oil filled pressure cooker. These were
followed with bowls of creamy slaw, blooming onions, baked beans and
homemade fresh fried potato chips along with smaller bowls of
condiments. Everyone except Little Zeek ate sparingly because they expected
to be served three more dinners.
"What do ya' think Mattie girl?" Auggie waited until she'd sampled
"This is a fine a home cooked meal as you're likely to ever get, everything
is perfectly delicious," Mattie opined with a smile up at the
chefs. Everyone except Little Zeek agreed verbally; he only nodded happily
because his mouth was full.
"Okay," Auggie said, "Now bring on the restaurant version." He had second
thoughts, "Wait, which two o' you boys cooked up this at home dinner, yo
Four nervous hands rose in answer to the question while Brian became their
spokesman, "You wanted chicken cooked two ways, but first of all, this is
the way we would all serve fried chicken; we'd also serve it exactly the
same in this restaurant, so you may as well dig in. At your home, it would
be served like this, but over here, servers would be ready to serve seconds
and thirds from platters so there's minimal waste. If fried chicken or fish
was served at the Dead Lobster, it would be like a Friday or Saturday
night, all-you-can-eat special, of course appetizers, salads, drinks and
desserts would be extra."
"How would you price this all-you-can-eat special at the Dead Lobster?"
Brian looked at Andrew, "You're our money man, you figured the costs, you
"Well, ah," Andrew began with a stammer and a glance down at Little Zeek,
who had assembled a pile of naked chicken bones democratically; the pile
included rib, thigh, leg and a few wing bones while demolishing his second
blooming onion, "With a few notable exceptions, the average," he emphasized
with finger quotes, "diner would eat about six dollars at cost, and you
would probably charge somewhere around 49 dollars and change." Jim-Bob and
Carter just stared at the young chef; he wilted under their gaze, "Isn't
that enough?" he mumbled meekly.
Carter nodded finally, "I think what we should do is have two of these,
special nights; Friday would be catfish and Saturday, we would serve
chicken and since they're specials, reduce the price to only 39 bucks."
Jim-Bob agreed by adding, "We'd serve all day, lunch and dinner, both
days. Before you move up here, would you be willing to stop by and leave
your recipes for everything? Even the slaw was very good, much tastier than
what we serve now, but you needn't mention my opinion in our kitchen," he
cautioned with a laugh, "some of you chef guys are very sensitive to
criticism," he reminded.
"Let's talk turkey here; who cooks where?" Auggie asked as he plucked two
more pieces of chicken from the platter while he had the opportunity, after
he realized that there wasn't going to be another dinner or dinners served;
the contest was over. "Zeek boy, please pass the catfish."
"Auggie," Mattie warned.
Auggie chose to misunderstand, "Well we need to get these boys settled in
somewhere, supper's not far away. Ryan boy's got the plane on standby and
ready to go as soon as you two love birds can get off to the airport. Yo'
got a passel o' shoppin' to do up in `lanta to furnish yo' new house. The
farm truck is up there, an' ready to go as soon as yo' can fill it. I
expect they can make two or three trips by Saturday."
"Should we go up to Atlanta right now?" Mattie looked at Jimmy, before
shifting back to Auggie, "Fat Man, don't you dare pile another scrap of
food on your plate!" she ordered. "Zeek put down those baked beans, stop
passing him food! Why are you two eating machines sitting together anyway?"
"I expect because I have a longer reach, Momma," Little Zeek answered
"You mean you want us to move up here today and start cooking? We've still
got three months to go on our lease and if we don't give 30 days' notice
we'll lose our deposit."
Auggie wiped his fingers carefully and dug out his bank roll, "How much is
"It's 1500 dollars a month."
Auggie whistled and began counting, "It sure must be some nice
place. Here's 90 days' notice. Just keep the keys until the end; no need o'
your landlord double dippin'."
"Actually it's just a one bedroom crap house; housing is scarce for folks
who live and work in Key West, plus we're in the middle of the season."
Auggie looked at Jim-Bob and Carter between mouthfuls, "There's somethin'
to think about; build or buy some `for rent' real estate. It would be a
right nice employee benefit if yo' gave `em a break, and keep your
investment close to home." he suggested. "An' most likely, your employees
loyal," he added.
After profuse thanks and five more minutes of discussion, it was mutually
agreed that all four chefs would live upstairs at the resort and work out a
schedule among themselves to always have one of them work at Coral Place,
seven days a week. While the chefs talked with Auggie, Jimmy and Mattie had
been whispering together and after both nodded their agreement, the chefs
found that they were promoted to be co-managers of the whole resort and
would occupy the manager's apartment upstairs.
"I've got one more question," Little Zeek stated as the party was about to
break up, "What are we having for supper tonight and when is it?"
"Hey Count Dooby, why'd you get called out of class this morning?" someone
shouted in the fast moving lunch line on Wednesday.
Dooby managed to look downtrodden and disgusted, "Sorry about that; our
tailor had some free time and decided to come out from the City,
unannounced, to get us measured for some new formalwear. We couldn't say
no, he's such a bitch to get an appointment with." He turned away from his
questioner, so the guy couldn't see him laughing at his bullshit
explanation, but it would be excellent `plant food' for the school
To begin with, none of the guys knew why they'd been abruptly summoned to
the administration building in the middle of class and sent to the
infrequently utilized infirmary. Infrequent until exam time, then there was
a rash of creative ailments and yet to be discovered diseases and an equal
number of miraculous recoveries after the school nurse-practitioner
displayed a syringe with a six inch needle used for spinal taps and other
Surprisingly, neither Dooby, nor anyone else objected to being measured
for new clothes including tuxedoes. Dooby and Cory and the Rebs had to
dress in coats and ties for their impromptu overnight visit to the Paradise
Island casino when Auggie took them there the first time, because they were
all underage, and he wanted to make an impression. By the time they entered
the casino as a part of Auggie's entourage, they were all old enough to
gamble without question, although the boys suspected that Auggie's letter
of credit had a great deal to do with the rapid aging process.
This trip, there was time for some advance planning; ergo,
formalwear. Apparently the tailor was straight, because he didn't react in
any way after the boys stripped to be measured. Of course, no one was
wearing underwear, an unexpected occurrence, but the tailor in charge just
stared at their bodies generally and made copious notes while his two
apprentices did the actual measuring. Those two worthies began to sweat
when they noted the absence of undergarments before either touched tape
measure to the first young athletic body and by the time they got to Dooby,
they were sopping wet and since Cory managed to stay out of sight behind
Dooby, they had yet to encounter the biggest surprise in the room.
Rodger, most used to dealing with tailors was first in line with Steve
next. Rodger explained the single question one assistant whispered when the
man measured his inseam. "He needs to know which way you flop your junk,
right or left. They'll leave some extra material there so you don't get
When the man on his knees in front of Dooby nervously asked the expected
question, he added, "That is, flop when you aren't, ah, excited." There was
a giggle from directly behind Dooby, which Dooby attempted to address with
an elbow thrust blindly backward. He missed, and the giggles continued.
Dooby sighed, "I'm not excited; I just don't flop. Where you see it, is
where it winds up no matter where I stick it when I dress." Dooby added,
"And you best not get your mouth any closer pal," he warned.
The tailor intervened, "There are a few men like this young gentleman. I'll
explain how to address the issue later. Next please."
Dooby took a giant step to the side to expose his unseen tormentor. The
kneeling apprentice took one look at Cory and fell backward, flat on his
ass. "Holy shit!" the man exclaimed.
"That's what everyone says when they see it the first time," Dooby agreed
with some giggles of his own. "Isn't it cute the way he blushes?"
Once again, the tailor stepped in, "Just get his inseam and nothing more,
not even by accident," he advised and seriously cautioned.
Kurt, David and Alan were surprised and pleased to discover that they had
been included in the measuring session and that they would apparently go
along with the gang to the Bahamas and perhaps even get into the casino,
whether they would be allowed to gamble or not. Three pouty expressions and
continued envious frowns had changed to optimistic smiles while they waited
in the lunch line with their elder friends and unofficial brothers; Zach
"I wonder why this Dom guy included us," Kurt rumbled his question to the
"That's easy," Dooby informed, "We told him that you're the three Bradley
Dooby got no further with his playful explanation; he was too busy
sidestepping Kurt's fist that was directed squarely at his crotch. Kurt
connected with Zach, who was standing behind Dooby.
Zach folded his body to protect his package from further assault, "Ouch,
Shrimp, what was that for?" It was clear that Zach hadn't been listening.
Kurt smiled sweetly up at Zach's pained expression, "I told you not to call
Zach straightened and looked around, "Did I miss something here?"
Dooby continued after he pulled Cory in front of his body as a shield,
"Just think about it Kurt, if you can find four more guys as tall as you
aren't, the seven of you can open a mine!"
Dooby forgot that he was including usually quiet Alan and David in his
`Seven Dwarfs' joke and that they were standing way too close. Neither boy
threw a punch; both grabbed. David twisted Dooby's convenient `handle',
while Alan went underhanded to squeeze his `twins'. That effectively ended
that bit of fun, and Dooby borrowed Zach's pained expression for the rest
of the lunch period.
Mattie outfitted James and Trasker with innocuous appearing, soft
expandable shoulder bags that were originally purchased for the boys to
store their laptops safely, but when they went unused, she adapted them for
`cleaning chemical' company use. Both bags seemed to be fully expanded and
were heavier than the weight of several laptops, "There's more if you need
it. Give everyone a big deposit and then the balance whenever they deliver
whatever they're selling, as long as everything is delivered to the resort
by Friday night. Do not open either of those bags in front of anyone," she
cautioned while she packed for the lightening trip to Atlanta to furnish
her very own house.
The boys visited Diving Down Under, first thing the next morning. They
decided to drive the ancient Rolls just for fun and the four beat Trasker
into the back passenger compartment and refused to budge, so he was forced
to drive. As usual, the car drew lots of second glances and stares and the
irreverent four imitated Pope John Paul in making tiny crosses with their
fingers while making believe that they were riding in the Pope Mobile.
Fish was in the dive shop reviewing applications for four new valet parking
attendants to work at the Dead Lobster when they arrived, and made a phone
call after James described what they wanted. Ideally, they were looking for
a small completely equipped dive boat that included a captain and a dive
master. Failing that, they wanted to buy a boat that could be easily
adapted for diving, all the necessary equipment, a capable dive
master/instructor and someone with boating experience to drive the boat.
"Shit, you boys don't want much and just like last time, you wanted it
yesterday if not sooner. Today, I think you may be in luck. We know of a
young guy who went into business for himself a couple of months ago. He
bought a real nice 30 footer from someone who was goin' bust and all new
equipment from us; now he's in the same boat as the guy he bought out. I
imagine Auggie knows the type; expert at what they do, but piss poor
businessmen. Anyway, here he comes now. He'd rather sell out than have the
finance company take over his boat."
A new GMC truck backed into a space reserved for customers who needed to
get their air tanks filled. "What's he doing?" James asked Fish.
"He gets his tanks filled here," Fish explained, "He's got a 40 thousand
dollar truck but didn't buy a compressor, that's why he's goin' broke;
little things like that will do it every time," he whispered as the guy
walked in the store.
The young man, Cole Yates, shook hands with the boys with a firm handshake
and eye contact after he took off his sun glasses. "There's one thing we
need to know," Trasker began, "and forgot to tell Fish; are you gay?"
Cole frowned, "Why do you need to know that just to buy me out?" he shot
"Well we're about to open a resort up in Marathon and we'd like you to run
the dive boat for us."
"So if I'm gay, I don't get the job, right?" Cole sighed; he was clearly
depressed and automatically assumed the worst.
"Is your fucking gaydar busted?" Stevie challenged with a giggle, "If you
were straight, you wouldn't get the job," he advised. "Our resort is going
to be a private club for gays only. The fees are for an all-inclusive
package that includes diving."
Cole's frown turned into a radiant smile, "Oh, well in that case you can
meet my partner when you look over Dildo."
"Your partner's name is Dildo?" Little Zeek gasped out.
Cole grinned, "My partner's name is Pete, Peter, but I have called him
dildo on occasion; I named my boat Dildo, I suppose you'll change it first
thing," he guessed.
The boys took a second to look at each other before they shook their heads,
"No way," they said together.
Just then the dockside door banged open and Carter stormed in, looking like
a thunder cloud. Jim-Bob followed, laughing his ass off. "How come you guys
are back so soon?" Fish wondered, "I thought that couple wanted to spend
Carter answered Fish obliquely, "They did, and they said they never got
seasick so they didn't need Dramamine." Jim-Bob burst into another laughing
fit, which drew a middle finger from Carter. "They live in the middle of
Ohio, and this morning was the first time they really set eyes on the
"Or ever stepped aboard a boat," Jim-Bob contributed.
"This turned out to be the reason they never got seasick and I had to clean
up their mess. The lady fouled the lounge while her husband sat in the
fighting chair and managed to get puke all over that and the deck, but not
a drop in the fucking bucket I gave him."
"So, did you have to give them a refund?" Little Zeek assumed.
Jim-Bob turned mock serious, "Watch your mouth, Zeek boy; you know that
word ain't in no one's vocabulary around here," he cautioned.
Carter giggled, "Not only didn't they want a refund; the guy was willing to
sign over the title to their hardware store, just to bring them back here,
"What brings you guys down here this morning?" Jim-Bob questioned with a
"Unc wants us to stock up the resort, so we're lookin' at Cole's dive boat
and since you guys are here, an' not doin' anything, we need a nice fishin'
boat too, along with a crew," Trasker suggested. "As usual," he paused to
pat the over-stuffed bag he was carrying, "we'll pay cash on the barrel
head, on delivery, of course."
"Sure, we'll help," Jim-Bob agreed, "the boat yards are already full of
good boats and if the economy slumps any further, they'll be parking repos
out on the streets so we'll find some great bargains in boats, but finding
`our' kind of captain might be a problem," he used finger quotes on the
most important word.
Cole spoke up, "Maybe not, if you mean gay, one reason I failed was docking
in the public marina, right in the middle of a dozen other dive boats and a
lot of them will take parties out for almost nothing; the competition is
fierce, and it's the same with too many charter boats docked there too. My
partner Pete might just know of a starving gay captain; he loves to gossip
and flirt, he's a little outrageous, but he knows just about everyone on
Carter took the time to run upstairs to get his mobile office; a laptop and
a portable printer contained in one of his legal beaver book bags. Jim-Bob
wanted to drive the Rolls so Carter rode up front with him, which allowed
Trasker to play lord of the manor with the other guys. Cole did a double
take when he saw the car that was following his truck, but the Rolls served
to ease his fear that he was being scammed or pranked somehow, by a bunch
of young guys who talked of paying cash for Dildo, a sport fisherman and
God only knew what else.
They found the dive boat, Dildo, as mentioned, among other dive boats and
fishermen, most of which were still in their slips, meaning that they had
no business for yet another day. Cole's partner Pete was wearing ear buds
and a tiny thong, industriously polishing an already gleaming lifeline
stanchion aboard an already sparkling clean boat. They all noted that the
name, DILDO, on the transom was followed by what appeared to be an
exclamation point if you hadn't seen a real dildo with a set of balls
"Damn, how old is he?" Stevie questioned. Pete was one of those guys, who
like Carter, appeared to be far younger than they actually were.
Cole grinned and shrugged, "He says he's 18, and I'm sure he will be in a
couple of years. He just appeared on the dock one morning looking for a
job, somewhere he could live aboard. He talked like a diver and he really
is in the water, but I didn't ask for a card or any other I.D. I told him I
lived aboard already so we might be crowded; he just grinned and said
something like, he was hoping for that kind of position with me, ah, or
under me." Cole blushed with that admission, "If his age is a problem in
working for you guys, I'll pay him myself. I just don't want to lose
him. Among other things he's good to look at, as you can see, and he's also
a clean freak."
A slight movement of the boat when they stepped aboard, brought Pete out of
his music induced cleaning stupor. At first he was delighted to discover
that Cole had found some customers, but his smile changed to tears when he
found out the Cole was selling the Dildo. Cole took him below for a quiet
conversation and when they emerged, Pete was once again all smiles and
eager to see if one or two fishermen of his acquaintance were interested in
selling out and then remain working on their boat, for a resort, up north,
By the time Pete returned with a likely prospect in tow, Carter had his
printer set up on the tiny dinette table and belching documents. Signatures
were affixed on the proper lines, and Jim-Bob, who Carter got qualified as
a Notary for convenience, affixed his seal, and lastly, bundles of currency
changed hands. The sight of that much money got the fishing boat captain's
attention and made Cole and Pete almost delirious with overwhelming joy.
Jim-Bob pulled up a chart for Marathon and pointed out the tiny dot that
was Coral Place and keyed in the coordinates. Dildo and the new fishing
boat were to be docked there to serve guests attending a private party and
then moved to a permanent slip in a marina on the Atlantic side, closest to
the resort. Cole and Peter were further overjoyed when Trasker told them
that room and board at the resort was available. The pair raced each other
to Cole's truck to visit the bank for the last time. Jonathon, the charter
boat owner and captain, watched them go with a wan smile.
"My boat, Hobby, is probably more boat than you want but I always enjoy
showing her off."
Jim-Bob looked up suddenly, "Hobby is yours?" he whistled, "That's a
"What are we talkin' about here?" Trasker asked for the boys, "How can any
boat be too much boat?" he wondered as they walked two docks over where
larger boats were docked.
"Hobby is 60 feet, I bought it used in good condition and then spent a
bundle on a complete refit. Pete calls me Hobby, because Hobby is my
hobby. I went into the charter business because I like to fish, assuming
that I wasn't going to make any money, but I didn't expect to lose as much
as I am. Selling out to you and then remaining as captain would be ideal,
but then ideal, rarely happens."
Trasker looked confused, "Wait up here, 60 feet ain't all that big, Fishin'
Boy is only five feet bigger, and Chief (Jim-Bob and Carter's joint
venture) is 66 feet. Both are comfortable boats if the fish aren't bitin'
and if they are bitin, comfort don't matter."
Hobby really looked at Trasker and the other boys for the first time, he
laughed, "Now I remember where I've seen you guys; the Dead Lobster, the
Captain Bligh cocktail, right? I was there for dinner that night." He
arched an eyebrow and glanced down at Trasker's shorts, "May I compliment
you on your very nice buns?"
Trasker grinned and nodded, a bit red faced while the other boys cracked
up. "If you liked the Captain Bligh," James informed, "next time you go in
there, try Auggie's Oysters as an appetizer; Auggie is Trasker's Uncle."
Little Zeek offered his endorsement, "The next time we go in there, I'm
getting a triple order of Auggie's Oysters; if you eliminate the damn
shells, three dozen oysters doesn't look like so much and I won't look like
a pig." Little Zeek attempted to look offended by everyone's laughter as he
rubbed his gut affectionately, and then glanced at his watch to remind
those who knew him and his appetite, that the time for his midmorning snack
was waning, the peanut butter cookies Brian baked hadn't survived the trip
to Key West and lunch at the Dead Lobster was fast approaching.
"Right," James agreed, "but you'll have to borrow Momma's big soup tureen;
nobody will ever notice that." He had another question after they boarded
Hobby, "Do you have a partner or a mate?"
Hobby the Captain shook his head, "There are always a few guys hanging
around, looking for a day job. I hire one of them." He pointed back outside
the dock area security fence, "They're all good to look at but some are
real air heads and some others, well, I think might be working to finance
their drug habits. Who knows?"
With a nod from Jim-Bob as an okay that Hobby's price was right, Trasker
frowned in response, "Would it be alright with you if we just give you 250
cash money down, and I'll give y'all a personal check for the balance? We
still need to do more shoppin' for toys an' such that will likely take the
rest of our cash on hand."
"That would be fine," Hobby answered without blinking, "if you escort me to
the bank first to make a deposit, then I'll even be happy to spring for
lunch at the Dead Lobster."
"You have a deal!" Little Zeek agreed instantly and offered his hand to
seal the deal. It was obvious that he was more interested in a free lunch
in preference to the purchase of a 1.25 million dollar sport fisherman.
Chef Brian worked at Coral Place the first day after Mattie and Jimmy's
departure. No one knew how early in the morning he got there but the
delightful aroma of fresh baked bread and peanut butter cookies permeated
the whole house despite the open window walls. The boys, stimulated by the
odors and anxious to get on the road got to the breakfast table early
enough to find Thirsty and Argyle still eating and attempting to coax Brian
into taking a drink of a clear liquid contained in a wide mouth Mason jar.
Trasker saw that his cousins had already talked Brian into providing them
with a big pitcher of orange juice, and since Mattie wasn't around, they
felt free to actually place the quart jar of moonshine on the table. That
was something they dared not do previously. "Don't drink none of that stuff
unless you're close to a bed and plannin' to go horizontal right after," he
warned Brian, based on personal experience. He was pleased to see that
Brian was already complying with the house dress code and wasn't even
wearing an apron. He assumed the tan lines from wearing board shorts would
"Now Trasker boy, y'all don' be like that," Thirsty protested, "this here
is our special, it's done been distilled three times; this here is some
smooth," he promised Brian and offered the jar once again.
Brian ventured a sniff and backed away, "Is that really what you call
Trasker assured him that it was and that it was sometimes called sipping
whisky or sometimes `bust head' because that was most likely to be all he'd
need to drink before being done for the day and then felt like his head was
exploding the next day. Brian ran off to the kitchen shaking his head after
he pointed the boys to chairs at the opposite end of the table from where
there was no chair, Auggie's place, at the head of the table. "Y'all best
get that jar off the table," Trasker warned.
"What fo'?" Argyle asked with a burp, "Mattie's gone up north to `lanta fo'
the whole live long week an' what she don' know won't hurt her or us in the
Stevie laughed, "Yeah, but your cousin Auggie is still here an' he don't
know about that still y'all got in the grove. If he finds out, he's likely
to be some wrathful. I hear him now doin' his coughin' an' wheezin' mornin'
The men looked at each other and then at the Mason jar. Both were wearing
bib overalls chopped off at the knees and no shirts. They all heard Auggie
talking to Zeek, which meant that he was on his way to the dining room and
breakfast. Speed was of the essence. Thirsty grabbed the jar and slipped it
into the big patch pocket centered on the bib for want of a better place to
hide it until they could exit the room.
"Good mornin, good mornin'" Auggie sang, he was looking forward to watching
the chef's conduct interviews at the resort the whole day while the boys
went to Key West shopping and Ryan was already hard at work in the study
doing some actual Bligh Media business that he claimed was long overdue.
Auggie frowned when Zeek joined the boys at the foot of the table in
preference to his regular place at Auggie's side. Then his eyes settled on
his cousins; Thirsten and Argyle, "Yo' boys sloughin' off this mornin'
`cause Mattie ain't here to kick ass?"
"Why no Cousin Auggie we ain't late, yo' early, we just goin' now," Argyle
explained as he attempted to help Thirsty stand upright without bending
over so the jar wouldn't slip out of his pocket.
Auggie hoisted an eyebrow, "what in hell's bells happened to you there
Thirsty boy; yo' grow a third tit?" he asked curiously. "An' why's ever'
one settin' so far away?"
Thirsty laughed nervously, "Why no, Cousin Auggie, why yo' ask that dumb
question?" It was clear that he was suddenly inspired when his face
changed. He patted the hidden jar gently so the contents wouldn't
slosh. "Oh, yo' mean this here? Ryan boy gave us this mail order catalog
that sells real nice, what he calls, public relations stuff." Auggie made a
twirling motion with his finger, rush stories from his rock head cousins
were always better told if they didn't have too much time to think. He
continued; "Well, we bought us a thousand pencils each that got our names
printed on them."
"What's pencils got to do with that there third tit?" Auggie interrupted.
"Well," Thirsty started over, "this here is some old jar Mattie give me to
carry my give away pencils so as the points don't get broke," he fell
silent as Argyle nodded his agreement and both men edged closer to the
kitchen door. Ryan really did give them a catalog that offered imprinted
promotional junk. They did order a thousand pencils each, but had no
thought of actually giving them away to customers; after all, they were
monogramed. They already planned to give them out to the extended family,
one each, as Christmas gifts.
"Whilst you two is here," Auggie changed the subject, "I got news. I been
rackin' my poor head, thinkin' what to do with y'all, an' since y'all can't
do nothin' but make shine an' burn up my timber, we gonna set yo' up legal,
makin' shine. Yo' goin' to be vice presidents in charge of the whole
shebang as soon as we find a proper place."
"You fixin' to give us a still?" Argyle was flabbergasted, "I ain't sure we
remember how to make no shine, it's been a coon's age since we was drug
down here," he lied valiantly.
Thirsty turned frugal and dumber, "We don't need no new still, we got, ah,
we got us that no good fertilizer feeder out to the grove, we could use
that quick like a bunny."
Auggie knew their still's capacity, "That be fine if it can turn out 50
gallons a day to start an' then go up to 500 a day regular when we find
where to buy some barrels."
Thirsty responded way too quickly, "Nope, not no more than 25, ever' other
day; between deliverin' days."
Auggie shrugged, "Well, work out what yo' most likely need fo' 500 wi' room
to expand some, without interruptin' production. Now git on outta here, we
waitin' on breakfast!" he shouted that last, so Brian could hear his
complaint clearly in the kitchen.
Brian served the foot of the table first; buttermilk pancakes, fried
scrapple, eggs and grits along with still warm fresh baked bread. Auggie's
mouth watered while he looked on with a growing frown. Brian served him
last, a plate covered with a doomed cloche. He removed the lid and stepped
back out of Auggie's reach. Auggie's plate held a large perfectly formed
scoop of cottage cheese, and three green grapes, the whole, artfully
presented on a single lettuce leaf.
"There, all natural," Brian promised, "no food poisoning today," he added.
Everyone but Little Zeek paused eating to laugh, "I been set up," Auggie
surmised over the group laughter. He turned to Brian, "I said I was sorry
fo' that crack, I didn't realize yo' was so prideful."
"Apology accepted," Brian agreed and offered his hand, "Truce?" he
suggested. Auggie agreed at once. After they shook hands, Brian asked,
"Sunny side up, right?"
"If we talkin' eggs, yup." Auggie looked suddenly hopeful and very
Brian took the plate away to the kitchen and was back within
minutes. Auggie was served the same as Zeek and the boys, just smaller
Zeek braked suddenly as they approached the resort entrance. Northbound
traffic, the direction they were driving on Route 1, seemed to be stopped
because an inordinate number of cars were signaling left turns into the
"Hot damn Boss, look at that sign!" Zeek exclaimed, pointed and signaled
The new sign was finished and elegant in its stark simplicity. The gold
leaf letters mounted on the weathered sign back announced the destination;
`RAINBOW RESORT CLUB'. The only vibrant colors were matching rainbows,
tipped on their sides that filled the enclosed portion of each `R'. Under
the resort's new name, in lower case gold was; `private – no
Auggie giggled, "That there sign says it all, no doubt; if yo' straight yo'
pass on by, but if yo' otherwise, yo' know to pull in to see just how
private the place is, as long as yo' got a stuffed billfold. I purely love
that Christian boy. I expect I ought to give him somethin' nice, like a
cash money bonus whilst he's down here."
"But Boss, how come the cookin' boys called in so much help? `Pears like
the place have no room for customers," Zeek surmised.
"I doubt they did, one called one friend and was told to keep it quiet, so
he called three more an' tol' them the same thing, and so on. I expect we
goin' to see the kind them chefs ain't lookin' fo' mixed in with the kind
we want, but it be nice to be lookin' `em all over." Auggie looked ahead at
the parking lot. "Yo' may as well park out here on the grass, out to the
way," he suggested.
By the time Auggie de-bussed from his electric scooter door, he had
acquired an audience of one; a tall whipcord thin blond, wearing board
shorts, a tank top and flip flops with a fair size backpack strapped over
his shoulders. "Good morning Sir," the boy greeted Auggie.
"Why good mornin' to you too young man," Auggie replied affably.
"I hate to tell you this," the boy continued, "but I don't think this
resort is open for business yet. They're just conducting staff interviews
today," he advised.
"That's what we're here for," Auggie liked the boy and realized that he
didn't know who Auggie was and was just being helpful. "Think I got a
chance fo' a job?" He asked playfully.
There was no point in hurting the fat man's feelings by saying what he
really thought, so he shrugged, "Maybe, at the registration desk, if it's a
sit down job. I guess your chances are as good as mine."
"How so, yo' young, polite an' have a good well set up appearance?"
The boy looked around, walking close to Auggie's side, "I may be too young,
although I bought a really nice driver's license that says I'm 18, it
doesn't have all the stuff on it, if someone looks too close in a bright
light," he confided.
"I see," Auggie agreed, "if we was guests, how would you greet us?"
"I'd say; `Welcome to the Rainbow Resort Club, if you'll just roll this way
to the lobby, after you get registered, I'll show you to your room.'" The
boy giggled, "How was that?"
"Mighty fine, mighty fine, yo' got a better chance than me;" Auggie
prophesied, "They might think I'm a tad overweight."
The boy nearly fell over laughing at Auggie's sorrowful expression, "Well,
I guess we both have the same chances of getting hired," the boy hesitated
and laughed again; "None at all, but I heard that there's a free lunch, so
at least we'll eat."
Auggie offered his hand, "The names' Auggie, put her there, we is two
misfits bound fo' lunch anyways. This here is my buddy Zeek."
"Hi guys, I'm Ollie, short for Oliver."
Once inside, while Ollie ran to get application blanks, Auggie pulled the
registration deckchair aside and rolled up to the desk. He sent Zeek off to
have a whispered word with Flynn, who was the only chef in the room so
far. Flynn was once again wearing long pants and his chef's coat and had
added a blue kerchief tied around his neck.
"Shit, I just thought of a problem for little ole me," Auggie said after
Ollie returned with the forms and had boldly pulled up the unused chair to
sit by Auggie to fill out his application while Zeek used a guest chair
What's that?" Ollie asked.
"I just remembered that this here place is goin' to be what they call
clothes optional fo' guests, but that ain't an option fo' no staff. I ain't
about to be showin' off my muscles, nor my fallen chest neither, to no
one. I guess that lets me out." Auggie moaned. He added, "Y'all can just
stop laughin' there Zeek boy, an' fill out that form; you mos' likely to
need a new job soon anyways," he warned.
Ollie giggled, "You shouldn't be making jokes while I'm trying to write,
I'll get my application all smooched. I heard about that nude rumor too, so
has everyone else, but everyone in here is still dressed."
"Mayhap that there boss man is lookin' fo' guys that has the balls to be
first to shuck down without bein' asked, I believe that's what I'd do,"
"Think I should?" Ollie asked.
Auggie didn't have time to answer. Ollie pulled his shirt over his head and
pushed his shorts off without standing up. No one but Flynn noticed,
everyone was either writing or looking at Flynn with their backs to the
desk. "That there chef guy just smiled in this here direction," Auggie
reported, "Now yo' got to show off your stuff some. How about yo' act like
a waiter an' fetch me an' Zeek a drink."
"Do you dare me?" Ollie grinned, waiting for the challenge. "All they can
do is throw us out," he guessed, "I just hope they wait until after lunch."
Auggie didn't answer directly; he placed an order for him and Zeek and
raised his hand to display four fingers. "This here is my universal sign
fo' bourbon an' branch, about this much befo' yo' add the ice," he
instructed and pointed to the undisturbed wet bar. Ollie took off like the
proverbial scalded cat with Zeek following at a more sedate pace. The first
naked applicant seemed to be a signal from Flynn to the other three
chefs. They walked in from the dining room wearing only blue neck kerchiefs
to join Flynn who somehow had already stripped. He pointed to industrious
Ollie, who was carrying two very full drinks while Zeek followed; he was
once again enjoying Ollie's rear view.
Ollie placed the drinks on the desk blotter and when he stood straight
again, Brian was behind him to place a blue kerchief over his shoulders,
"Tie it and turn around," he instructed Ollie.
"This is the staff uniform," Brian announced after red faced Ollie
complied, "Y'all have ten seconds to match this guy or leave." All four
chefs looked at their watches and then up at the crowd.
Auggie noticed what might have been a conspiracy, since about 30 guys
clustered in a group managed to be first to strip. He recognized two who
worked as dock attendants and three others as waiters at the Dead
Lobster. He grinned when Brian winked and nodded before turning back to
Ollie, "Just fill out the app as a formality, we'll find a job for you
somewhere," he instructed, "We'll call you tomorrow," he added before he
walked away to hand out other kerchiefs to the preordained 30, and a few
When Ollie resumed his seat by Auggie, he was on the verge of tears, "What
in Hell's bells is wrong now, yo' got yo' a job of work?" Auggie
"I was afraid of that," Ollie moaned, "he wants the application completed,
and I don't have a phone, or even an address; shit, I'm screwed."
"Zeek boy give Ollie boy my phone to use an' he can use our address over to
home." Auggie held out his hand.
"Now Boss man, yo' know I no can do, if we carry them things turned on,
they most likely ring, an' if we don't turn `em on, there ain't no point in
luggin `em around. They safe at home as usual."
"Shit a goddamn, I forgot. Yo' got my number, Ollie boy can put that down,
and then when we get home, he can have mine." He giggled suddenly, "Won't
Ryan boy be surprised when someone answers that damn thing? He keeps on
Ollie hesitated, the invitation was obvious, "Ah, Auggie, I don't want to
sound ungrateful, but I'm not really into older guys...," he allowed his
assumption to dangle before adding with a frown; "or younger guys either so
far," he finished mournfully.
"Ollie boy," Auggie began with a smile, "between Zeek an' me, we got lots
of nephews, some fo' real an' some adopted. They all like us, an' I expect
these other guys. There was a time, but now none objects to have us watch
an' that seems to suit them an' us just fine. If'n yo' don't want to play
with the boys if they should ask, y'all just say no, with no hard feelin's
except for bein' friends; they could always use more friends who live
local." Auggie described the younger members of their extended family
generally to reassure Ollie that there was no pressure, plus as he talked,
he realized that suddenly the big house would be almost empty come January,
when Trasker, James and Little Zeek departed for their schools.
Twenty minutes later, Brian reappeared, "Hey Auggie, we need some patrons
in the dining room to help us evaluate our new servers, if you promise
never to tell Ms. Mattie you may have had more than one lunch today."
Ollie looked from Brian to Auggie and back again, "Do you already know each
other?" he asked cautiously with a slight barely suppressed smile. It was
clear he wanted the truth.
"Sure," Brian responded, "Auggie's the man we all work for; he owns this
"You know Brian boy, yo' ain't just a back talker, yo' do it through a damn
big mouth too!" Auggie groused. He sighed, "So okay, I fess up, this ole
place was gonna be like a guest house, an' it kind of snowballed more `an
somewhat, I was just gettin' around to tellin' yo' that when big mouth let
the cat outta the bag. You mad at me Ollie boy?"
Auggie was surprised when Ollie shook his head, no, "If you recall I
thought that you were a customer at first, I sure didn't think you were
here looking for a job as a waiter or as anything else, not driving a
million dollar RV bus, although you kind of said that you were, and I liked
you and wanted to find out what you were up to. Now I know," he concluded
happily. "Are we going to have lunch now?"
"Not `til you finish fillin' out that there job application, you ain't,"
Auggie answered with a grin, "Our address is, One Coral Place,
Marathon. Hurry it up, I didn't have much fo' breakfast."
Ollie looked up from his application to ask, "What should I put down in
this, `Position Desired', box?"
Auggie blinked, "That there is some loaded question. How could yo' know
until yo' try some, just put a question mark in that there box fo' now."
Zeek just about slipped under his side of the desk from laughing. Auggie
glared at him, "Zeek boy, I ain't fired yo' today yet, but yo' gettin'
close," he warned.
The bus followed the old Rolls through the gate into Coral Place late in
the afternoon. Ollie's eyes were still as big as saucers, "Is that car
yours?" he wanted to know.
"Yup, one of `em, though we favor the Duisenberg since it's a convertible,
that thing don't let no air flow through." Auggie disparaged the Rolls and
shrugged his answer away,
Zeek giggled on hearing Auggie's response. Ollie watched the car park and
the back doors open but no one climbed out immediately. "Those doors aren't
very wide; I bet you can't fit in the back there very easily," Ollie
"OUCH!" Zeek sang, laughed harder and pounded the steering wheel in
delight. "This Ollie boy got yo' some good an' ain't been on the place a
full minute, Boss Man!"
Auggie offered Ollie a man or boy killing frown as his answer.
The boys had taken the time to strip off their shorts and roll up the
windows before they abandoned the car for the day. "Wow, are those guys
your nephews? You really do have nephews; son of a gun, who knew?" Ollie
expounded with a giggle while he matched the boys in dressing down, left
his shorts and tank top on the sofa with his backpack and leaped to the
ground as soon as Zeek opened the passenger door.
Zeek and Auggie watched Ollie run up to the surprised boys, introduce
himself and apparently explain his temporary presence, all while the boys
went through some incredibly complicated handshakes and laughed together.
"One thing that Ollie boy ain't; is shy and retirin'," Auggie opined.
"An' don't much hold back in speakin' his mind neither," Zeek agreed.
Auggie just about reached the kitchen screen door when Trasker called from
the dock; "We're goin' to show Ollie around after we feed the fish!"
The screen door banged, caused by Little Zeek on the run to catch up with a
five gallon bucket in each hand. He ran as if the buckets were empty. "I
keep forgettin' that he's so young," Zeek observed, "I expect he's fixin'
to be bigger than his pappy."
"I wish I knew where that some bitch was hidin' out," Auggie's voice
"He safe fo' now," Zeek answered, "He a guest o' the State o' Georgia fo'
the next five years, give or take."
Auggie arched an eyebrow and grinned, "Yo' know there's that big bomb hole
out to the middle o' the timber where that still used to be? Remember to
get that filled up sometime in the next five years or so, give or take," he
"That hole a last resort, I got a line on a gang on the outside wi' friends
on the inside, there might be some kind o' riot or some such. One guy is
fixin' to die wi' his cock stuffed in his mouth, so we'll know who he was,
it costive but worth it," Zeek informed.
"Whatever it cost, let me know,"
Zeek was offended, "No way, Mattie girl my sister," he protested.
"While we talkin' unfinished business, how about that George boy that had
his way wi' young James?"
Zeek smiled, "He up an' succumbed to his injuries after half the boys on
the place had their way wi' his nasty ass, though James boy thinks
"Good, good," Auggie grinned. "Let's go watch the boys feed the fish. That
damned Dooby boy asks about them fish ever' time he calls. He's worried
that they'll pass away from malnutrition if they ain't fed daily, like them
pet deer he's got at Charlie's. More like they'd just feed on each other if
that happened; they ain't exactly underwater bosom buddies."
Little Zeek, James and Ollie were standing on Fishin' Boys' swim platform
feeding, while Trasker, Stevie and Logan watched Ollie with the advantage
of height from the dock. It seemed Ollie had contrived to stand between
James and Little Zeek with the bait buckets directly in front of him and
couldn't seem to move without bumping one of the brother's hips when he
reached into a bucket and he didn't pretend that the bumps were
accidental. His hip bumps also included a frank look, right or left, each
time he bent over, "Okay," Ollie said; "now I understand."
"What they talkin' about?" Auggie asked Trasker quietly.
"It doesn't seem like Ollie ever saw a guy his own age before, who was
naked, and he was wondering about the difference in cock sizes, so he up
and asked," Trasker responded just as quietly. "It seems like so far, he's
lived in a vacuum," he added.
"Might have, yo' should have seen him settin' down at lunch; his eyes were
level with the new waiter's packages, an' he never looked up, nor blinked
much either," Auggie agreed.
"But it didn't stop him from feedin his face fo' almost three hours
straight," Zeek added. "That boy give Li'l Zeek a run fo' his money when it
comes to eatin' any day."
Trasker frowned, "You spent three hours eating lunch?" He questioned with a
"Lunches," Ollie corrected happily while he sent a choice mullet flying
overhand and watched Barry Barracuda race off to estimate its point of
landing just like any pet dog playing catch might do.
"I had to be perlite, them chefs was trainin' the waiters," Auggie
rationalized, "but I only had two drinks," he added, he hoped to balance
the yet to be revealed number of lunches.
"Three," Ollie corrected Auggie's number of drinks consumed, "I served you
one in the lobby and you had two more at the table," he counted.
"They was trainin' bartenders too," Auggie reminded as justification.
By the time the trio had emptied the buckets they had stopped bumping hips;
they were in mostly constant contact from upper thighs to knees and all
three were beginning to react. The three squatted down together to rinse
out the buckets. Little Zeek placed them aside, collared Ollie and James
and leaned forward to pull them into the water with him. Ollie surfaced
quickly with his first thought that he was about to be attacked by hungry
fish. He swam back to the swim platform, ignored the folding ladder Auggie
used for diving and promptly vaulted out, and over the transom to put that
obstruction between him and any pursuing, disgruntled fish.
Of course Zeek and James almost drowned from laughing at Ollie's
antics. "That boy sure is fast," Auggie observed. He looked up at the three
boys standing around him to ask; "Did he say anything about his background?
He seems to be seein' the world fo' the first time, somethin' about him
ain't just right. He knows almost exactly how much the bus cost, an' his
shorts an' shirt are as costive as you boys buy, he's sure he's gay but so
far never did anything about tryin' nothin' out, although he sure ain't
afraid to look at other guys' junk."
Trasker looked at Stevie and Logan in question; they shrugged and nodded
together. They planned to talk to Auggie at some private, quiet time, but
after Ollie returned to the water and was trying to drown Zeek and James in
turn, as well as inspect their bodies tactilely, there was no better time
to tell Auggie what little they knew, like the present.
"He only said he was told he was sickly his whole life and got cured
somehow about a year ago," Trasker began.
Impatient Stevie butted in, "He flew here from California..."
"Quicker than walkin'" Auggie butted back. "He don't have no car, nor
"No Unc, he flew here in his own little airplane, hip hoppin' across the
country from airport to airport. He has his very own solo pilot's
license. He hid his plane at some little airstrip just up north from here,
so no one looking for him, could find it," Trasker concluded, "that's about
all he's had time to say," he added.
"Well don't that beat all," Auggie observed, "it seems there's more to
Ollie boy than meets the eye."
A car horn ended further conversation and speculation about Ollie. Brian's
minivan was backed up to the kitchen door. Trasker, Stevie and Logan left
Auggie and Zeek on the dock and Little Zeek, Ollie and James weren't far
behind them. The three were dripping wet and sported full blown erections
as they ran to catch up. It was obvious that they'd been engaged in a game
of underwater, `touchy-feely', and even Ollie, new to the sport, didn't
seem to be embarrassed by a bit of ostentatious display.
"Where's everyone off to?" Auggie asked, tongue in cheek.
"Baby back ribs have been in the Club smoker all day!" Ollie shouted in
Auggie cocked his head as Ollie ran by, "Glad to see that boy a grower not
a shower, I expect he'll fit right in with our boys tonight an' might even
let us watch," he observed and rubbed his hands together before his scooter
accelerated to give chase.
Auggie and Zeek were surprised to find Brian alone in the kitchen, slipping
big restaurant pans into the ovens. "Where'd the boys go?" Auggie asked,
although he thought he knew.
"I suggested that they take showers before I serve a few snacks with drinks
before dinner. If they're like the four of us, they're probably getting
`really' clean so they don't have to do it later when they get `really'
tired and head off to bed early." Brian's well placed finger quotes
betrayed his correct assumptions.
"Good, fix yo' a drink an' join us on the terrace, it's been a long day an'
whichever o' yo' is here is part o' our family. You'll join us as such
includin', at the table for meals," Auggie advised.
The boys, with Ryan, joined them 45 minutes later, they all looked
satisfied, as if they'd already eaten and they had; just a taste of each
other and Ollie as they demonstrated the art of getting `really' clean for
the first time. Ollie looked dazed but couldn't stop his perpetual grin at
the other guys, particularly Little Zeek. It was obvious that other lessons
were planned right after dinner and Zeek was to be Ollie's first
teacher. After the table was cleared and the kitchen cleaned, the boys
formed a line to walk through the dining room, and the great room with
Little Zeek and Ollie bringing up the rear with their arms over each other
shoulders, and Ollie once again brazenly exploring Little Zeek's body with
his free hand, all while competing with each other to see who could make
the worst fake yawn.
Ollie paused Zeek in front of Auggie, "Aren't you two coming to bed, you
said you liked to watch and you can't see much from out here?"
Dooby and Cory were in the kitchen at four o'clock Saturday morning; they
were excited, but not too excited to skip a meal. Cory worked on breakfast
and to give Dooby something to do, sent him to load their two gym bags,
their only luggage, into the back of Charlie's truck. Dooby took off
through the kitchen door that led into the garages without their bags,
which were sitting in lonely splendor in the foyer. Charlie had already
shipped his and Laura's luggage to the resort in Marathon after he heard
Margery tell Bernice how she usually dispatched hers on business trips.
Cory grinned and shook his head, he knew exactly what Dooby was going to do
and 30 minutes later, when Dooby returned to the kitchen through the dining
room door, he was proved right. Breakfast was ready and waiting on the
island counter. The boys dug in without speaking, there was no need; they
were comfortable together without the need to talk endlessly. With their
dishes in the dishwasher, they both looked at the intercom system mounted
in the kitchen wall.
They grinned together and dialed the new master bedroom since Charlie had
yet to appear. Cory made the sound of a police car siren, while Dooby
duplicated the sound a submarine made when it was about to dive, as heard
on TV. "Wakie, wakie," Doobie called.
"Breakfast is ready when you are Dad. Good morning Mom," Cory announced.
"I'm really going to kill that kid before I send him home," Charlie told
Laura so the boys could overhear.
"Kill ours too," Laura was heard to say in the background. She added, "Oh
dear, Charlie darling, you've allowed me to oversleep!"
"One of us will be down in ten minutes," Charlie advised, "and one of us
will be down later."
"Just don't make us come up there with a video camera!" Dooby warned,
disregarding the death threats, as he shut off the intercom.
"That went well," Cory said.
Dooby agreed with a giggle, "Yup, and now you're on the hit list too, for
the first time! Who knew?"
By the time Laura arrived in the kitchen, Cory had joined Dooby doing his
`dance' so Charlie sent them out to wait in the truck. The boys turned to
the dining room door. Charlie stopped them, "The truck's in the garage," he
"No it isn't Gramps, I moved it out front and warmed it up for you," Dooby
corrected. "I even loaded up all our luggage so we wouldn't have to deal
with that at the last minute."
Charlie rolled his eyes, "Oh you did, did you; I don't suppose you noticed
that the garage is heated?"
"Well, yes, kind of, sort of," Dooby began to back pedal. He saw that Laura
was carrying her coat, "But it wasn't warm enough for Laura, without
wearing her coat, which might get wrinkled if she had to sit on it all the
way to the City," he guessed her reason.
He was right, "Why thank you Dobby, that was very thoughtful," Laura
Of course Dooby started the truck and made sure the heat was blasting and
the driver's seat warmer was set on high, before he joined Cory in the
backseat and when Charlie and Laura climbed aboard, the boys had already
shed their coats to expose their Spelling's jerseys and were still too hot.
The first thing that Charlie did was to reset the interior thermostat to a
more comfortable level. He drove all of 50 feet before he stopped, shifted
to park and told Laura and the boys to climb out because the truck was on
fire and might burst into flames at any moment, all while rubbing the seat
of his pants.
Cory covered his head with his coat and that began to shake violently as he
tried to stifle his laughter while Laura covered her mouth with her hand,
with her head turned away. It was up to Dooby to save the day, and himself,
from Charlie's wrath; he thought everyone knew that more costly vehicles
had seat warmers. He turned paternal and diplomatically showed Charlie what
each of the switches on the side of the seat were for, including, in
passing, the seat heater toggle and comfort dial. Most important to Charlie
was the permanent seat adjustment. He had Charlie resume his seat (after it
cooled down) and then locked the adjustment into the truck's computer, so
in the future the seat would return to Charlie's perfect preset position
with the touch of one button since he always allowed younger, taller guys
drive whenever one was in the truck. As far as Charlie was concerned, the
demonstration and help was almost worth nearly burning his ass off for,
plus no one accused him of not reading the truck's owner's manual.
Dooby almost spoiled the brief moment of camaraderie when he began to tell
of where all the deer were sleeping, under the low hanging pine tree boughs
along the drive – in advance – of passing those areas. Once again,
Cory covered his head; Dooby had warmed up the already warm truck, by
taking a little tour of the mile long driveway.
It was still dark, "Just look at all their eyes, glowing like fireflies, or
nightlights," Dooby enthused and pointed here and there at hundreds of
pairs of eyes staring at the passing truck. Only Laura could see Charlie's
eyes roll and his barely contained smile.
Charlie gained access to the parking garage when they arrived at Thurston
Residence Tower with a key and parked in a space that was already marked
with a painted sign on the wall that said `SPELLING'. "Bring your bags and
coats boys," Charlie instructed. "We'll leave everything in Margery's
apartment and leave for the airport from up there."
It took a moment for Dooby to react after a look at Cory to get his
opinion. Cory grinned and nodded. "You mean we'll go by helicopter, up
there, Granny has a helipad on the roof?"
"Yup," Charlie agreed, "the pad is what's called an included amenity for
penthouse residents, but the other owners have to pay a fee to use it."
"Holy shit, how many of us are going that way?" Dooby questioned.
Charlie used a key again to get a smaller than normal elevator door to
open, and again to close it and start the car moving up. There were no
buttons at all. Dooby's eyes became saucers. "That's right, Dooby, this one
is private, straight to the top floor." Charlie enlightened. "As far as
who's flying; Margery chartered one and Dom another, so I think the two
will make as many trips as necessary."
They found three apartment doors wide open when they reached the penthouse
lobby and family and friends were circulating between two; Margery's and
Dom's. The third was the Spelling's, and of course it was under
construction. Laura and Charlie went there and were greeted by Christian,
anxiously holding a set of rolled up building plans and waiting for them.
Lane and Jennifer ran to greet Dooby and Cory, Lane hugged both guys and
Jennifer not only hugged them, she even gave both boys a kiss on the
cheek. Dooby was so surprised he kissed her back, "What the hell happened
to you guys?" Dooby asked with a giggle, "I mean it's not like we haven't
seen each other in a month of Sundays, as gramps says."
Jennifer took her brother's arm to steer him off to the side. She was
nearly breathless while she imparted the astounding news that their father
had loosened up his watch over the couple's activities. First he allowed
them a whole half hour to say goodnight with her bedroom door closed.
"That long, man that must have been worth a double poke, if I know Lane,"
Jennifer giggled and nodded, "But that's not all," she recounted, "we
stayed in rooms at this beautiful hotel that have a connecting door and
Daddy didn't rattle the doorknob once." She continued as Lane and Cory
joined them, "And Dom bought us whole new wardrobes. Did you know there are
people who actually get paid to dress you? Mine took me to all these
designers' studios, we had so much fun, we picked out such beautiful
clothes and they wouldn't even let me see the price tags."
Lane looked glum, "My dresser took me to a store called Barneys New York,
that's a dumb name; we're right here in the middle of Manhattan. You were
right Doob, some designer clothes look so weird; like my dude tried to get
me into a pair of pants that had legs that ballooned out so if I wore them,
I'd look like some big old eunuch that guards a harem, all I'd need is a
damn big sword and a towel wrapped around my head," he lamented, "then they
showed me some nice jeans, I thought, until I tried to put them on; they
were so tight, there was nowhere to put my junk, I mean we all like a
little display out there, but not mashed. Maybe those designers are
actually women, or they wannabe."
Dooby grinned, "So, didn't you buy any new clothes?"
"Oh sure, my dresser guy gave up and took me to Macy's, I got lots of
stuff; all brands we recognize and wear, but I'm worried about the more
dressy stuff that I didn't get to see after they took a zillion
measurements. I may have to borrow some of yours, again," Lane warned.
"You mean WE'LL have to borrow some stuff from Stevie Rippy, he's a Reb you
haven't met yet. He's our size everywhere," Dooby made a few quick hip
thrusts to show Lane what was included in `everywhere'.
Lane's excitement was dampened by Jennifer's elbow in his ribs as Dom
greeted the boys. "I hope you don't mind," he said, "but I invited my
oldest son, Anthony, to accompany us on this adventure. He arrived
unexpectedly to pick up a little gift I bought for him for finally entering
University, and so far achieving very high marks."
"No problem," Dooby enthused and began stretching his neck to find a
stranger. "Where is he, we'd like to meet him and then we can introduce him
around to the rest of the gang whenever they get here."
"I am sorry, but he spent the night at the airport. He slept on the
plane. He's a very great fan of anything that flies. He wants to transfer
to some University in the state of Florida to study aeronautical
engineering, so of course he wanted to look at all the different airplanes
in the private aircraft park. You can meet him at the airport," Dom assured
Dooby very proudly. He looked worried suddenly and lowered his voice, "I
hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty to tell Anthony all about you,
he's very quiet and shy and he needs to acquire a few gay friends in
America to perhaps get him out of his shell, so to speak, before he comes
here to study."
Dooby beamed, "Why sure, we'll be his friends while he's here and when we
visit Italy and the rest of Europe, he can show us around over there."
Margery and Bernice greeted the boys and led them into Dominic's apartment
and the dining room. "We waited breakfast so we could have it with you and
enjoy your company," Margery informed the boys.
Dooby looked at Cory. Cory looked back at Dooby and shrugged. Dooby checked
his watch and asked cautiously, "Ah, what time is this grand opening?"
Bernice replied, "I believe the ribbon cutting is at 10:30 and then there
will be a reception for everyone in the mall right afterward. Is there
something wrong, Dooby?"
"No, I guess not. Cory and I are so used to getting up early on Saturday
mornings, so we can get to the store to shop before we tape the show; I
guess we might be a tad early." He grinned suddenly, "So that means we have
plenty of time for another breakfast, and after the store gets open
officially, we'll have plenty of room for lunch before we head to the
Dom's table filled quickly. It seemed that everyone got the email or memo
about the grand opening schedule but Dooby and Cory, however the food was
excellent, plentiful and the price was right so there were no
complaints. Halfway through the meal, Dooby began looking at the women and
Jennifer. They were all wearing their Team Spelling's jerseys, but
something was wrong; it took him some time before he realized what the
problem was. It suddenly dawned on him that the jerseys fit, and the
material wasn't a heavy poly-cotton blend; they were too shiny and
"I hate to bring up this problem, girls, but it seems like all of you are
out of uniform. What you're wearing is not official," Dooby stated with
what he hoped was a great deal of seriousness in his voice. The ladies, one
and all, as well as Jennifer, looked down and then looked to Margery to
give him an explanation, or better yet, a proper put down.
"They certainly are not what we were given," Granny agreed, "those shirts
were suitable for teams of men to wear on athletic fields, but not for
women to be seen wearing in public. My seamstress worked overtime to create
something more suitable for all of us."
Dooby's giggle stopped further explanation, "Gottcha! I agree you all look
very nice. I was just trying to wake up the conversation. What kind of bug
is that Granny?"
Margery grinned at Dooby while his Aunt Bernie laughed. Margery answered
evasively; "It's one that I don't wear very often, it was made as a fond
remembrance of a trip my husband and I took to Florida, many years ago."
It was Dooby's turn to grin, "Is it snowing in here?" he questioned, "You
kind of forgot to say what kind of bug it is," he reminded.
"Did I really? Well it's a Palmetto bug, so there," Granny admitted, "They
can be very intrusive, just like someone sitting at this table," she
Dooby and Cory both laughed, Cory nodded, "Did you know the name, Palmetto
bug, was created by the Florida Tourist Board? That's what Auggie claims
anyway. It's a polite name for really, really big Cockroaches, just not
quite as big as your broach, Granny. They're everywhere in the tropics I
guess, but they're kind of scarce in the house at Coral Place."
"Yeah," Dooby agreed, "at Coral Place, they use a natural control; there
are Geckos running all over the place and Palmetto bugs are one of their
Jennifer perked up, "Do you mean like the one on TV that advertises some
insurance company? He's cute," she remembered.
"That's the one, although these don't stand on their hind legs and talk
with an Aussie accent, and sometimes they're green and sometimes they'll
turn brown; they can change colors and they're eating machines. Coral Place
has window walls in all the main rooms that open and close like
accordions. When the house was built they didn't install air conditioning
if that was invented by then, so the window walls are mostly open to catch
the sea breezes. Palmetto bugs fly or run in and these little lizards
follow. Sometimes the bug is bigger than the Gecko, but the Gecko usually
wins the fight." Dooby snapped his fingers, "Dinner is served just like
Dooby looked at his watch, "Hey, should we go down to the store to see how
Tommy and Scott are coming along with setting up? Maybe we can help them
Charlie, Laura and Christian had joined the breakfast party by
then. Christian, protective of Tommy, shook his head, no, while Charlie
agreed with Dooby's suggestion instantly. After the boys departed, Charlie
called Tommy to warn him and suggested that he think up something in a
hurry to keep Dooby occupied. "Yup," Charlie agreed with Tommy, "they just
had breakfast, again, but I'm sure they can find the room to do some taste
testing in Justa Pizza and Top Dog too, for that matter. Tell them I want a
written report, or, rather, you do, that will keep Cory busy." He closed
his phone and grinned like a Cheshire cat at the rest of the table, and
received only nods of approval, "That will take care of them and the rest
of the kids whenever they show up."
Lane raised his hand hesitantly for permission to speak, "I was just
thinking, you know that I'm an expert testing pepperoni pizzas," he allowed
his claim to percolate while he looked very optimistic.
"Well, why are you sitting here?" Charlie asked. "You best get downstairs
and give the boys some input. Branch out," he called to Lane and Jennifer's
backs, "try some different kinds."
Dooby and Cory looked out through the street windows and store entrance on
their way into Justa Pizza's door. They paused to look at each other a
moment before they grinned and nodded together. "Hey Tommy," Cory called
out, "is it alright if we give out some free pizza and hotdog samples?"
Tommy shrugged, "I guess so, but who are you planning to give them to at
"Look out on the street," Dooby instructed, "there's a whole bunch of
people out there who look kind of down on their luck, and kind of
hungry. We want to feed them. We'd keep it simple; like just hotdogs and
three kinds of pizza; cheese, sausage and pepperoni pies and soft
drinks. Can we?"
Tommy agreed, "Sure, we need to be friends with everyone in the
neighborhood, it would be good public relations and just a nice thing to
do. Tell the managers to keep track of everything and corporate will pick
up the tab."
After the boys explained their plan to the Justa Pizza manager on duty, he
agreed at once and even admitted that in the early morning hours when
business was slow, he occasionally baked a few `accidents' and `mistakes'
and served them to as many as 20 `non-customers' who knew of his generosity
and kept the information strictly confidential so as to keep the freebies
coming since they realized that Justa Pizza couldn't hope to feed the
number of needy that lived on the streets or in shelters if word got
out. Cory instructed the man to charge off the freebies as donations so
they wouldn't affect his bottom line at the end of the month in the future.
The manager grinned, "Can you do that?" he challenged.
"My last name is Spelling..."
Dooby interrupted, "And he's a very major stockholder," he added, "so you
figure it out."
"Say no more Mr. Spelling, Sir. I'll get someone started on making more
dough, meanwhile, maybe you could use your juice to get that hard ass
uniformed security guard inside and put him in charge of guarding the
people's buggy and bicycle parking area by the doors. No one will leave all
their worldly possessions outside for obvious reasons." The man
grinned. "Oh, one more thing, you need to set a cut off time, say, 9 A.M.,
firm. We need to get set up for the party in the mall. Another question;
what about paying customers? It would be really good PR if they got
freebies this morning too." Cory agreed with everything.
Top Dog's manager was just as amenable to the plan after Cory used his last
name once again, but the security guard was not so happy. The front door
guards, officially titled, Doormen, if a can of pepper spray and a ready
set of handcuffs were ignored, were necessary to keep the doors clear of
vagrants and panhandlers, for customers and to insure that no Spelling's
shopping buggies escaped the premises; that was what free local grocery
delivery was for.
Tommy suddenly appeared to end the guard's objections by instructing him to
do whatever Dooby or Cory wanted done. The man whispered to the boys after
Tommy had rushed off; "You know that young guy is the President of the
whole damned company? That's pretty amazing for him to be so young."
Fifteen minutes later the guard locked the automatic doors open as
instructed and began inviting people inside for free food and drinks, while
ordering those with cartons, bicycles, someone else's packed shopping
buggies or other wheeled conveyances to park everything just inside the
door where everything could be seen from either restaurant and that he
would watch over while they were eating.
Somehow, word spread on the street and free business grew until there were
lines into both stores. When the assorted news media arrived to set up with
the intention of just reporting yet another ribbon cutting and a speech by
a Vice Mayor, they turned their attention to the great food giveaway; that
would be an ideal human interest story, broadcast live for the early
Saturday morning news.
Tommy called Charlie and by the time he arrived with the others from
upstairs, reporters had actually organized a makeshift podium using a
restaurant table between the two lines and Dooby and Cory were holding a
press conference with the hustle and bustle of pizza and hot dogs being
served by limited early morning staff, which was augmented by Lane,
Jennifer, Rodger, Steve and the whole Bradley bunch including their
patriarch Carl, seen through the glass wall, of course all wearing their
distinctive hybrid, `Dining with Dooby', Team Spelling's jerseys.
Charlie saw Dooby frowning at a reporter. He hadn't heard the question,
just Dooby's answer; "No. we didn't do this as a publicity stunt. Cory and
I saw a few people outside the store, looking in, and maybe they looked
hungry, so we invited them in. This was just an impulsive thing and it
snowballed. That's when you guys showed up, uninvited; you wanted to know
what was happening, so we told you, end of story."
"Don't you think that serving pizza and hotdogs for breakfast is strange,
maybe even denigrating? I mean just because these people are homeless and
Dooby pondered that question a moment before he answered. "Personally, if a
fresh, hot, sausage pizza or a nice big kosher hotdog was waiting for me in
the morning for my breakfast, I'd eat it. Unfortunately we live out in the
country where there are no Justa Pizza or Top Dog stores within walking
distance, and if they were close by, none of our other stores are open 24
hours a day, but," he added, "if there were, we wouldn't have to buy as
many eggs and that would save a lot of wear and tear on some chickens."
Cory spoke up willingly for the first time ever, after the laughter died,
"One benefit of this is, we found out that there's a shelter for families
really close by. Imagine that, right up here in the high rent district," he
chided the neighborhood, "It has always been Spelling's store policy to
donate non-perishable foods including baked goods, to food
banks. Unfortunately, foods that require refrigeration were dumped because
of health concerns and store liability."
"Were dumped," Tommy quoted Cory in a hurried whisper to Charlie, "where's
he going with this?"
Charlie shrugged, but grinned, "Maybe this shelter has a cooler, maybe
something good is about to happen to all the meat, dairy and produce we
Charlie's assumption was proven correct as Cory continued; "We just made a
tentative agreement with this shelter that has limited sleeping space for
families only, but they have a big kitchen and dining room. We'll donate
everything to them as long as they promise to cook it and serve it to their
clients in a timely manner and anyone else who shows up looking for a hot
meal. This shelter will even get the eggs Dooby doesn't eat if he can con
someone into making him a pizza for breakfast. He doesn't know this, but
chickens don't have off and on switches."
Margery was frowning mightily as the press laughed and the indigent inside
the building cheered, "A family shelter that close by, in this
neighborhood?" she wondered out loud, "I shall investigate this as soon as
we return. I'm quite sure I have apartments available somewhere where
families would be much more comfortable."
Charlie agreed somewhat, "A permanent address is only half the problem;
these families also need good jobs so they can support themselves. You
should talk to Carl, he supports a runaway shelter and is aware of these
problems; maybe he'll help. I'll get Tommy to look into our hiring policies
so we can hire some of these people too. I know one problem we've always
had, is getting them to apply. First they need to get cleaned up and wear
decent clothes before they apply and then keep them cleaned to wear to
work, which apparently they don't have. Soap and water won't be a problem
if they have a place to live and we can find them all some clothes. Let's
have a meeting when we get to Florida, we can get Auggie involved; I can't
even guess how many people he employs."
The rest of the morning sped by. The gang helped finish setting up the
actual grand opening event by delivering the food to the tables in the mall
and no one objected to their mouths moving before and after they placed the
trays after inventive Steve showed everyone how a waiter carried a tray
with one hand and demonstrated what one might do with a free hand.
Margery was drafted to cut the ribbon since it was her building, and then
the Vice Mayor made a few often used, memorized remarks. Invited officials,
and other dignitaries were invited to the buffet first, then the general
public. The press and their crews were next and lastly, the gang, (The guys
or boys became a gang with Jennifer in their midst.) who didn't seem
particularly hungry for some reason. While the homeless had been invited
into the mall and dine once again if they wished, they hung back and
appeared to be waiting for something.
That something or someone, Dooby and Cory, appeared from the store trailing
staff from both restaurants with `to go' wrappers and empty cartons; the
boys didn't ask anyone if they wanted more or something different to
sample. The staff went to work wrapping or boxing everything leftover. It
was then that the motley collection of homeless moved closer to accept the
neatly packed boxes, thank everyone, especially Dooby and Cory before they
left the mall.
Cory saw Charlie walking toward them and he wondered if they were in
trouble. "Dad, what we did was a spur of the moment kind of thing. You
might not like it, but it feels good to us." Dooby stepped halfway in front
of Cory to protect him from verbal assault. If Charlie was really mad; he
was most likely to holler at Dooby, his usual target, whether he was mad or
not. Of course Dooby never did anything to incur Charlie's wrath.
The first thing Charlie did was push Dooby to the side before he got
between them, put his arm over Cory's shoulders and his hand on Dooby's
arm, "Boys," he said with a huge grin, "I've never been more proud of you
two, than I am right now. But," he qualified, "we'll need to put in some
safeguards in that shelter. We'll tell them that everything we send them
either gets cooked and served or thrown in the garbage. The first piece of
meat we see going out the back door, will be the last piece of food they
ever see from us. You guys don't have to do anything; I'll send word
through Tommy. If this works here, we'll expand it to other stores."
Charlie looked at his watch, "Now you best get upstairs, Tommy and I will
wait for Scott and Artie, to help them get their cameras packed up and..."
Only Scott and Artie had remained behind to document the grand opening. The
rest of the production crew had gone on ahead driving the equipment trucks.
"You guys go on up Gramps, we'll do all that, we placed an order to go, to
bring with us on the plane," Dooby interrupted happily.
Charlie blinked in surprise, "If you two are still hungry, you must have
"It's not for us to eat Dad, Trasker and the Rebs will be on Auggie's
plane," Cory explained, "we're sure they brought food along, but by now
it's probably all gone. We don't want them to starve to death by the time
we all get to Marathon."
Margery and Bernice waited for the boys in the special penthouse elevator,
because without a key, they couldn't get up to the top floor or more
importantly, up one more level; to the helipad. Each carried a fair sized
carton full of Justa Pizza's toasted sub sandwiches. The women had changed
into summery clothes and carried commodious purses that matched, except for
slightly different styles.
"I didn't know Louie made bags in plain canvass," Dooby observed as he eyed
the purses and grinned at Margery, "I'm glad you switched handbags," he
told them, "Those cow flop colored Louie bags are too distinctive; any
purse snatcher or mugger who knew his business could see you coming 100
feet away, but they won't look twice at those cheap plastic and canvass
"But, but..." Bernie began to protest.
Margery cut her off, "So true Dooby dear, we found a hand bag shop called,
Hermes, and these were a bargain at only 6550." She carefully didn't
mention where the decimal point was located.
Dooby whistled, "Still 65.50 is a lot for those, unless that's what you
paid for both of them," he surmised, "of course at that price you could buy
lots of different colors if they have them."
The opening elevator door saved Margery from further explanation. She
waited until the boys were climbing the steps to the rooftop helipad and
the waiting chopper before she whispered to Bernie, "I'll explain
everything after we get on our plane; your nephew is so charmingly
"But this is my first Hermes bag and I want everyone to know." Bernie
"Believe me, other women who carry them will know, as do some who can't
afford them but buy them on credit anyway."
"I just feel so daring, but Tommy keeps telling me, I can't take it with
me, and he certainly doesn't need it, so I've splurged on this wonderful
visit. Thank you so much for having me," Bernice enthused.
"Hurry it up girls," Dooby called, "they might leave us behind."
"They won't leave you Dooby; I see you've brought the food. Of course if
they did, you could accompany us on my little plane," Margery assured.
The devil appeared in Dooby's eyes, "Is your jet small like that Dope
Head's, Gulfstream, Gramps Carl is trying to peddle?"
"Yes, it's a Gulfstream, but I believe it's a slightly larger size and
somewhat faster and before you ask, the answer is no. If you accompanied
us, we would not deviate from the flight plan to buzz your school, so do
"Damn Granny, you're no fun." Dooby looked down as they approached Newark
International, "Hey, see that big red one parked by the white one? That's
Auggie's, the white one parked alongside it has `Orsini' lettered on its
side, and there's a smaller one with no identification at all. Is that
yours Granny? It sure looks fast. Look at that Cory, there's even a smaller
one next to Granny's that has the same bent up wing tips, I wonder who owns
that?" Dooby asked. Their chartered helicopter landed 200 feet from the
wing tip of Auggie's plane and when it was safe for passengers to debark,
Dooby was reminded that he was wearing a set of earphones and microphone
when they nearly pulled his ears off on reaching the limit of the extension
cord. If Dooby noticed that Cory hadn't stopped laughing since they first
boarded the elevator, he didn't let on.
A uniformed officer, complete with shoulder boards on his jacket and
`scrambled eggs' on his caps' visor, greeted Margery and Bernice warmly and
escorted them away to Margery's `slightly' larger Gulfstream, a G650, that
she admitted she chose, because she liked the ability to walk around in the
larger cabin space, the lavatory was larger and the crew space was more
comfortable for her four man crew.
Trasker and the other native born members of the `Cause' saw Cory and Dooby
coming from the open hatch where they were waiting. When Little Zeek saw
that both were carrying a carton that appeared to be food, he led the
charge down the boarding steps with a blood curdling Rebel yell. He greeted
the carton that Dooby held by burying his nose between the distinctive
Justa Pizza wrapped packages and inhaled deeply.
"Italian, my favorite, come on Dooby, get aboard, we aren't dressed for
this weather." All five Rebels were wearing shorts; pullovers, flip flops
on their feet and magnificent, enviable tans. "I'll just relieve you of
this heavy load so you don't trip and spoil any," he said, by way of
greeting Dooby. With the carton in his possession, he turned and ran back
up the stairs and into the plane. Cory received similar treatment from
James, before both boys were abandoned at the foot of the rolling stairs.
"Son of a bitch," Dooby lamented as he ran up the stairs two at a time,
"The bastards only love us for our food, but I have to agree; it is cold
Cory grinned, "Maybe it's because we forgot our coats and bags; they're
still in Granny's apartment."
Dooby hugged his body, "Shit, you're right; we wasted all that time packing
"Yeah, at least two minutes each," Cory agreed.
"I sure hope Dom brought along some of his tanning lotions in lots of
numbers; my magnificent body does not look good in red."
Dooby and Cory gawked at the Bradley bunch, Steve, Rodger, Lane and
Jennifer, when they reached the main lounge; they had not only introduced
themselves to each other, they'd also changed clothes. They were all
wearing shorts and tee shirts or pullovers already. "Damn it, there's
another email we didn't get," Dooby groused.
"Duh, yeah we did. You never look at your mail. We brought shorts and
shirts; they're just safely packed in our bags back in New York," Cory
answered with a roll of his eyes.
Strangely, the cartons of sandwiches were sitting on a table, but otherwise
ignored and all five Rebels were frowning at them. They heard the hatch
thunk closed and the engines began to sing their way up to a constant
whine. "Gentlemen of the Cause," Trasker intoned formally, "It seems our
two newest members, recently injected into the Cause, are plumb out of the
uniform of the day."
"Injected, don't you mean inducted?" Jennifer asked, oh so innocently. She
was an even better actor than her brother.
"Ms. Jennifer," courtly Trasker replied, "Perhaps it would be best if y'all
stepped into yonder bedroom," he suggested, "while we correct two dress
code violations, so y'all won't be offended by some nudity."
Jennifer turned haughty, "If you mean seeing those two naked, I've already
seen them, plus I've got one of my own," she stated and pointed dangerously
close to the prominent bulge in Lane's new madras shorts. "If you see one,
you've seen them all," she eyed Cory and grinned, "more or less," she added
"Jennifer!" Lane whined, scandalized, but unable to slow his reaction to
her pointed finger, and her thinly veiled reference to the size of Cory's
Dooby and Cory backed away, straight into Little Zeek's and Stevie's arms
respectively. There was no point in fighting; that would only prolong the
inevitable. When Jennifer saw that the Yankee contingent was just standing
around, watching, while her brother and Cory were deftly stripped, she led
them forward. "Come on guys, let's get them; I know where all their most
ticklish places are!" she ordered.
Cory and Dooby did struggle then, "Jennifer, damn it, stop," Dooby begged,
as her firm little fingers dug into his sides. He tried another tact; "Hey
look, the fasten seat belt light just came on! You guys better find seats,"
"That there won't work Dooby boy," Trasker drawled, "Y'all know we don't
pay attention to that old light. Unc figures that a seat belt won't help
much if we crash except they'll find our bodies 200 yards away, in our damn
seats, all buckled up proper."
"How about if we say," Cory volunteered through his giggles as his Yankee
friends worked his body over without mercy and even more indiscriminately,
"that we forgot our bags so we don't have any summer clothes to change
into?" he finally managed.
James shook his head as he ran to a nearby seat, "Nope, that won't work
either," He was happy to display not only their bags, but also their
"Hey, how'd you get those?"
Recently innocent Rodger was exploring Cory for ticklish places that
Jennifer had yet to touch on her brother's body, and actually didn't plan
to. Being too familiar with `that' would surely reveal just how close she
was with Dooby in a most un-sisterly way. "Your dad, Gramps Charlie,
dropped off your stuff so you guys wouldn't forget anything. Holy shit
Cory, have you grown?" he asked with wonder in his voice.
"Let me go, damn it," Dooby protested to Little Zeek, "now that we're about
to be related somehow, this isn't proper. As soon as we get to Coral Place
I'm telling your mother that you've been picking on her son's fathers and
she'll wear out her corn broom on you two," he promised Little Zeek and
Surprisingly, to the Yankee contingent, Dooby and Cory were let go, handed
their bags and allowed to dress. "Who told you about Momma?" James asked
"You know I talk to Auggie all the time, he told me and I told Cory. He
told us so we wouldn't be shocked when we see her, ah, advanced
condition. We want to set up trust funds for them both as soon as we see
Carter. Is your father mad at us as in, is he going to kill us on sight? We
didn't know it would happen, of course we didn't know about him at the
time. I'm sorry, are you mad at me," he looked down at Cory, "I mean us?"
"Dooby DuBois," Jennifer interrupted, "I don't know what you did, but Daddy
might kill you when he finds out. What did you do anyway? You better tell
me right now before I kill you first."
Dooby shrugged, "It's just that Mom and Dad are kind of going to be
grandparents, so you're going to be an aunt, I think around May first."
Jennifer looked from Dooby to James and Little Zeek and back again, "Dooby,
how could you; if I understand this right, you got together with James and
Little Zeek's mother, and now she's going to be the mother of your baby?"
"Mattie, their mother is having twins," Cory announced proudly, "One of
them is Dooby's and the other one is mine."
It took the rest of the flight to Marathon, in the very quiet lounge, for
the entire story to unfold. James explained that his and Little Zeek's
mother decided she wanted to have more children and Little Zeek told the
spellbound group about the old African religions, what little he knew, and
the Juju lady, witch doctor, or priestess, that still lived on Redlands
farm from the time it was a plantation and was sharecropped by Auggie's,
their Uncle Zeek's and their mother's parents. Their mother wanted two more
sons and she thought it would be quicker to have both at the same time,
except with different fathers.
At first Mattie set her sights on Stevie and Logan since they lived on
Redlands, but then her aim changed to Dooby and Cory because they didn't
live on Redlands. They were two young, handsome strangers, who would remain
unaware that they were fathers, which would be easier, until they became
friends and involved in Auggie Bligh's business. The rest, after one night
on Paradise Island, as they say, was history.
Of course Jennifer didn't know about the wedding between Jimmy Chambers,
James' father and Mattie Redland, James and Little Zeek's mother that had
been scheduled while the whole mob from the north was there and she could
hardly wait to get off the plane. There was a wedding shower to plan and
right after that; a baby shower; no woman could be married or have a baby
without proper showers. Jennifer would get her mother, her Aunt Bernie and
Granny Margery involved; there were so few women, so they would have to
invite all the men. She ordered all the boys on the plane to go shopping
for gifts at the first possible moment after they deplaned. That would be
after the women sat down and made out a proper list of gifts that would not
include toasters or blenders, certainly any duplications or any useless
baby toys such as lacrosse sticks, footballs or any other sports
equipment. She calmed down after Lane reminded her that there were his and
other mothers along on the trip and he assumed rightly that they would be
eager to help.
James amended that plan, "Don't be too quick to write off kitchen stuff,"
He cautioned, "Momma has a whole big new kitchen in her house to equip. She
and dad have been up in Atlanta this week buying furniture, big appliances
and stuff. We just about broke our backs unloading the big farm truck every
time we turned around."
Trasker added to James' lament, "By the way, we've also unloaded so much
luggage that was shipped to the resort in advance, overnight; the FedEx
driver wanted to tip us for helping him out," he joked.
A huge THANK YOU to Emoe for his editing efforts on this chapter; he
suggested moving whole sections around for better continuity and ease of
transitioning into the next chapter. He knows that I write kind of
`willy-nilly' as thoughts enter my head.