Dooby Rhymes with Scooby

                                                                                        by Jamie Haze 

 

 
Part 34




The Agent in Charge and his sidekick were promptly relieved of their duties
as soon as the Agent in Charge called in the death by gunshot of Virginia
Olsen to his superiors. According to policy, one of the rookie Agents
became the temporary Agent in Charge until a senior officer could arrive at
the alleged crime scene. The rookie Agent promptly relieved the two senior
officers of their handguns and sent them to a vacant suite before he
invited the two Deputy Sheriffs in to fast forward through the night long
videos and listen to all the separate voice activated audio recordings.

It didn't take long before Deputies Barney and Daniel discovered that they
were thought of as `local yokels' by the FBI and how the former Agent in
Charge `passed the buck' to them regarding an intervention to save Harold
from a drug overdose that also could be termed his attempted murder by his
wife Virginia. Next, it became clear that the senior Agents either left the
room or they slept through parts of the video where Virginia taste tested
the supposed drug before she went to find the stolen handgun and found it
unloaded, with no loose ammunition just before she used it to bludgeon her
still healthy, sleeping, snoring, husband, Harold to death in their bed. No
one would ever know that it was far too many big cocks that were attached
to muscular younger bodies that pushed her over the edge and caused her
actions.

The temporary or acting Agent in Charge didn't want the Agency to uphold
their image by whitewashing the incident that was clearly dereliction of
duty by the senior Agents who were both pompous and arrogant assholes, so
he dubbed copies of everything and gave them to the Deputy Sheriffs. Four
hours later, a more senior Agent from Washington, D.C. and no less than six
crime scene investigators with all their equipment, arrived on site by
taxi. Fortunately, the taxi driver accepted credit cards and was overjoyed
to make as many trips as necessary to transport all the men and equipment
to the Club. He was more overjoyed when, less than an hour later; he was
called to drive everyone and everything back to the airport.

While the FBI arrived in force and were eager to investigate the double
homicide or one homicide and one justified shooting by one or two of their
number, they found the crime scene cordoned off with at least two full
spools of yellow crime scene tape provided by the local yokels, also known
as the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. Worse still, County Crime Scene
Investigators and the County Coroner had been and gone along with the two
bodies. County CSI also removed all evidence including the bed, a whole
section of wall and two mangled bullets that had been fired from FBI
weapons. The Club staff, supervised by Keith, was working like beavers to
clean the suite while the original contractor installed new replacement
sheetrock and had a painter and carpet installer standing by to finish
restoring the elegant room to its former splendor.

The very senior FBI Agent immediately began to bluster about jurisdiction
until the two rookie agents got his attention with forceful slashing hand
motions across their throats and hurried whispers to say that he really
needed to review the surveillance audio and video recordings before he
swallowed both feet. He took their advice and when he emerged from the
electronics equipped suite 45 minutes later, he ordered his crew to bring
along the former Agent in Charge and the other senior Agent and head
quietly back to the airport with emphasis on `quietly'.

The two rookie Agents excused themselves to pack their bags but the senior
Agent stopped them with new orders. They were to remain on site to liaise
with the Sherriff's Department until the Olsen case was closed in Monroe
County. He whispered that they were to work to keep all the recordings from
being released and preferably keep the County Sherriff's from even
admitting that they existed, and said they would be called to Washington to
testify in the closed door dereliction of duty disciplinary hearings
sometime in the future.

######

As soon as Barney called Jim-Bob in the Bahamas and he told the whole mob
what occurred, Carter took Ollie, who just became a true 17 year old orphan
in tow to explain how he could be emancipated; declared of legal age,
without the need of the California Family Court appointing another legal
guardian until he reached age 18.

Ollie agreed with Carter and asked him to proceed with the paper work, his
first task on being formally appointed as Olsen Assets primary
attorney. Ollie suspected that the previous law firm had colluded with his
Uncle Harold to syphon all the company profits for years without questions
being raised or at least an eyebrow or two. Further, Ollie asked Carter to
begin an audit of Olsen Assets' and his Uncle Harold's accounts because
while his Uncle gambled prodigiously, bought homes, yachts, cars, RV
busses, jewelry and aircraft, there still seemed to be many, many millions
of dollars that were unaccounted for, according to Ollie's untrained eye
and he wanted the missing fortune found. It would never be mentioned that
the important business discussion took place while Carter and Jim-Bob, Cole
and Pete and of course Ollie with Jonathon were in Ollie's king-size bed in
a suite reserved for visiting `Whales'.

#######

Keith insisted that Brenden accompany him to the airport in an SUV to pick
up some of the guests, or fellow employees when everyone returned from
Nassau. There was the usual hustle and bustle and fun of watching Auggie
deplane and then sorting luggage destined for Coral Place or the
Club. Keith's purpose was to get Brenden a part-time job at the Club by
introducing him to Brian or one of the other managing chefs and explaining
how helpful Brenden had been and how they even authorized a $500.00 tip for
services rendered from the airport car rental desk.

Since Brenden felt foolish just standing around, watching a bunch of good
looking younger guys dumping on each other, he decided to help with the
luggage. While he'd watched Auggie exit the big jet, he had no idea who he
was, beyond being associated with the plane. Auggie and Zeek were trying to
get the boys to help sort out the luggage since there was no ground crew at
Marathon. The guys were still trying to convince Dooby that it would be the
act of a true gentleman and member of the Cause; if he returned all the
money he won playing poker. Dooby and Cory grabbed their bags and ones they
knew to be Auggie's and/or Zeek's and ran for the bus while laughing and
dodging the `losers' all the way.

"Can I help?" Brenden asked Zeek. Zeek pointed out two bags and then at the
open storage compartment bays under the bus. Brenden was just wearing board
shorts without a shirt much like everyone else.

Auggie watched Brenden carry the bags and join the chaos of loading luggage
as if he was one of the boys. "Where in hells bells did we find that well
set up boy?" he asked Zeek.

Keith had just gotten the okay to hire Brenden as a part-time busboy after
a quick glance by Chef Brian. He heard the exchange and answered proudly
after Zeek wondered if Brenden had stowed away somewhere on the plane,
which was entirely possible considering the number of pranksters there were
in the gang of boys. It was fairly obvious that Keith and Brenden had
developed a relationship.

Auggie got stuck on some points in Keith's explanation; Brenden was 17, he
lived alone on a houseboat docked at the marina after he was abandoned a
year ago. He cleaned boat bottoms, worked for the car rental company at the
airport, and paid for his marina dock fee by actually posting the marina's
receipts, all part-time. "Ain't you the Keith, who managed the Club whilst
ever' one was away?"

Keith shrugged and said, "I think Jimmy and Ms. Mattie are good managers,
but the Chefs are Chefs first. I just stepped in while they were away and I
sure didn't expect to get involved in a murder. There had to be a manager,"
he said to defend his actions. Unlike Brenden, he knew exactly who Auggie
was.

Auggie's reply was unexpected, "You and your friend Brenden come over to
the house after things settle down a mite. We'll just talk about gettin'
y'all somewhat better jobs. Yo' done good Keith boy." With that said, he
rolled toward the mob at full tilt in order to speed up the boys carrying
luggage to the buses and SUV's.

Zeek caught up to Auggie. He said, "I don't know what's wid these here
boys, Boss man but the Yankees is goin' home tomorrow, they should've left
their bags on the damn plane."

Auggie almost wrenched his neck when he looked up at Zeek, "Where's that
Dooby Boy? I think he's tryin' to wheedle a longer vacation down here just
like he did before his school started an' this time, for all the Yankee
boys. DOOBY!" he screamed, "Where yo' at boy? The bus ain't leavin' until
yo' here, front and center NOW!"

Dooby's hardhat appeared from the front corner of the bus before it and the
rest of him ran up to Auggie and Zeek. It was obvious that he had his newly
monogrammed hardhat hidden somewhere on the bus. It was also obvious that
he thought the best defense was a better offense. "Now Auggie," he began,
"we need at least another day just to get all our clothes sorted
out. Somehow all our clothes got all mixed up in different bags." He was
followed by the rest of the Yankee contingent who were nodding their
agreement

Auggie rolled his eyes. "This here is the story yo' be sticken' with?"

That question was answered by more ambitious nods from everyone. "It was
the best we could do on the spur of the moment," Dooby admitted. "Can we
stay just one more day" he tried for some tears but they wouldn't come out.

"Go ask your parents," Auggie managed to say before he and Zeek were
alone. The boys all ran for the party bus to beg and plead their case. All
of the arguments were preceded with; `Auggie said it was okay...'

######

Later that same afternoon, Brenden and Keith nervously drove to Coral Place
and followed Ollie and Jonathon through the gates. Brenden introduced Keith
to the sport fisherman, Hobby's, Captain in the parking area and the four
guys began to admire the classic car collection. The delay brought Auggie
out the kitchen door wondering where Ollie and Jonathon had gotten to. He
was pleased to see that Keith and Brenden had tailgated. He laughed at
Brenden sitting in the Duisenberg making believe that he was driving while
Ollie explained that it was Auggie's favorite because he was too big to fit
in the Rolls' passenger compartment or certainly any of the smaller more
sporty models.

"Ollie boy," Auggie grumped, "yo' a mite too honest," He looked at Brenden
who was clearly using his imagination. "You got your driver's license
Brenden boy?"

"Yes Sir," Brenden answered before he looked sad, "but what I don't have is
a car - yet."

"Well why don't y'all take Keith boy fo' a ride fo' an hour or so while I
talk to Ollie boy?"

"Really, but what happens if I have an accident?"

Auggie shrugged, "Shit happens, but it would be a mite better if y'all
drove careful. Here's some money fo' gas an' a burger. Drivin' always
makes me hungry," he added.

Ollie cracked up on hearing that comment. "That's your reason number 79 for
eating according to Zeek!"

Auggie glared at Zeek. "Y'all can't seem to go one single day without
gettin' fired can yo' Zeek boy?

Zeek glared right back but he was on the verge of laughing. He turned on
Ollie and said, "Yo' got that all wrong Ollie boy; driven' is number 84,
seein' a vacant place at the dinner table is number 79." Even Auggie had to
laugh at that although he gave Zeek and the boys both middle fingers after
looking around to see if Mattie was watching. He was still getting used to
her being married and no longer the mistress of Coral Place.

"Where are all the guys Auggie? It's entirely too quiet around here," Ollie
said after Brenden drove Keith up the driveway traveling at least two miles
an hour.

"Dooby took all of `em off to the marina to go parasailin' so they quit
tryin' to get their money back from playin' poker."

"An' so they quit messin' with his damn hat," Zeek added with a laugh.

Ollie took a deep breath and blurted out his reason for calling to see
Auggie; "Auggie, I love living down here in the Keys, so I want to buy
Coral Place. Before you say no, I'll pay you twice what you paid for it."

"The hell yo' say, tell me when I can say no, not ever, at any price. If'n
yo' wantin' to buy someone's island, look somewhere else. Now y'all want a
drink or a beer to drink whilst yo' tell me yo' an' Jonathon is resignin'?"

"Yes please, I'll make them, that's the least I can do for all you've done
for me. Where can I find an island?" Ollie's busy mind asked while he
poured generous helpings of bourbon for the men and opened a beer for
himself.

Auggie cupped his chin in thought a moment. "If I was y'all, I'd call one
of them real estate fellers or yo' might look at a chart, then climb aboard
a boat or your airplane an' look further out. There're some Keys yo' need a
boat to get to."

"But what if everyone refuses to sell, like you just did?"

Auggie laughed at that question. "There're a very few folks out yonder like
yo' an' me who can just afford to say no, an' mean it. If yo' find an
island yo' like, make a fair offer first an' if they say no, y'all just
keep raisin' the ante until they want to up an' kiss yo' on the
lips. Trasker boy just bought the marina perzactly the same way an' we plan
to put in a small Dead Lobster restaurant an' a big marine shop an' dive
store an' a few more slips."

"I'm not that easy," Ollie answered with a giggle. He had another question,
"What if the island hasn't been built on yet?"

"Yet, is your answer to that one, yo' just up an' build exactly what yo'
want. It would be costive but yo' ain't got no budget. In fact if'n' yo'
want the best builder; Charlie says that Dooby boy's daddy is the best
there is. Yo just make him an offer he can't refuse short of killin' no
horse," Auggie joked. Then he got inspired. He was ever mindful that
Trasker, James and Little Zeek would be away at school in just a few weeks,
which would make Coral Place seem empty.

"In fact," Auggie opened negotiations, "if yo end up havin' to build, y'all
could live here. I expect yo' could buy your boat back an' dock it here, so
the island would be easy to get to." He let the idea hang and looked
hopeful.

Ollie and Jonathon looked at each other and grinned. "I'm planning to buy a
new boat, so we can get exactly what we want," Jonathon said.

Ollie frowned and sighed, "I told you I would buy us a fishing boat," he
argued, "We don't need any plain old yacht; I've already got two of those;
one in San Diego and I think the other one is docked in Monaco."

"And I told you that I would buy all the boats we need," Jonathon argued
back.

"Hold up there Jon boy, that there is pretty big talk. What's your
circumstances, if'n' yo' don't mind my askin'? Yo' never said," Auggie
interrupted.

"Until two years ago I was a prodigy hedge fund manager but I had a heart
attack. The doctors said to get way far away from the stress and pressure
or the next attack would definitely be my last. Obviously I decided to go
fishing and here I am." Jonathon concluded.

Ollie frowned at that explanation, "Does this mean that you could drop dead
when we're having sex? We could cut back to two or three times a day," he
volunteered reluctantly.

"We aren't cutting back there, no way unless you get too tired or start
having headaches," Jon joked and Ollie managed to look insulted, "There's
no stress or pressure making love with you. Hedge funds involve people like
Auggie or Margery, real power brokers, who paid me to risk millions of
their bucks for huge returns, far higher than what they could make in the
stock market. There's lots of research involved and the potential for huge
losses are far higher too but they don't like to lose. What I do or did was
manage to make profits. That gave me the reputation of being a prodigy at
23 years old. So I'm buying a goddamn fishing boat and you buy an island
and we'll split the cost of a house and a big ass dock to keep our fishing
boat and one of your yachts that we can use when we come visiting Auggie
and Zeek."

"So are yo' plannin' to stay here or not? Yo' know you'd be most
welcome..."

"`Ceptin' fo yo Ollie boy," Zeek interrupted Auggie, "Yo' only allowed to
walk through the kitchen without no stops," he warned.

Ollie really frowned at Jon after that comment, "You didn't have to tell
them that I can't cook," he complained.

"He didn't; yo' reputation came from when yo' cooked breakfast right in
this here house," Auggie reminded with a laugh. "Crunchy eggs an' charcoal
toast," he added.

"Oh yeah, way back when I was just learning," Ollie admitted with a guilty
grin.

Negotiations were complete after Ollie agreed not to cook, to allow
Jonathon to buy the sport fisherman he wanted and both agreed to be guests
at Coral Place until their new island paradise was complete even though
they had yet to acquire an island, much less design and build a home on the
mythical spot of land.

They had no sooner left when the new couple returned with Brenden driving
the priceless Duisenberg; much more competently and calmly. They not only
stopped for burgers, they brought to-go bags for Auggie and Zeek. Keith was
not about to serve their employers bags, tissue wrappers, fry pouches or
foil squeeze packets so he and Brenden stopped in the kitchen to find
plates and utensils.

Auggie and Zeek's eyes lit up in pleased surprise when the two boys entered
the great room dressed in the proper Club uniform; kerchiefs and boat
shoes. They had seen Keith at the club but they had only imagined what was
hidden and outlined in Brenden's board shorts. Brenden accompanied Keith to
the wet bar to pour two more drinks according to Auggie's precise
specifications.

"Thanks boys, this here is a real nice snack befo' we all set down to
dinner but now let's get down to business. Y'all might a' heard that we
just bought that there marina. It was family owned an' them folks couldn't
agree on nothin', which held the business back. What that means to y'all
Brenden boy, is yo' can't no way live on no boat until yo' is 18 or we get
yo' legal. So yo' just move in here fo' a while, an' since yo' likely to
get lonesome, Keith boy move in here too. By the way yo' both fired from
jobs at the Club. Effective immediately, Keith yo' the new general marina
manager an' Brenden boy is yo' assistant. We plannin' to put in a big
marine/dive store, a Dead Lobster an' more slips wherever they fit."

"We could reconfigure some of the existing dock space to get more small
slips and if we add tees on the end of the docks we could lure three, up to
100 footers to dock there too," Brenden volunteered
enthusiastically. "Tourists like to look at big yachts up close and dream;
maybe we could sell them tee shirts and Conch Republic souvenirs." Brenden
was really taking ownership and didn't seem to be upset in the least by
having to move in to Coral Place temporarily, or if Auggie was lucky,
perhaps permanently.

Auggie and Zeek began the boys' tour of the house in reverse; they showed
the guest house first, it was always impressive. They looked into empty
bedrooms next and then the communal clothes closet; another bedroom. "Where
do all the guys sleep?" Brenden asked. He added, "None of the bedrooms
look like they're used by anyone."

"Well they kind of like to pack together in our room; they kind of stack
up, if'n' yo' know what I mean." With that said, Zeek pushed open the
master bedroom door to reveal the king-size bed that was mostly surrounded
on three sides by queen-size air mattresses fitted with sheets and assorted
pillows. Keith understood immediately but it took Brenden longer to realize
the significance of the tightly grouped mattresses. He grinned suddenly
when the light dawned. "My gaydar isn't broken after all," he said with a
wink at Keith. "Is there any chance we could fit in here with y'all?"

Of course Auggie's eye level was the same as the boys' junk. "I'm thinkin'
yo' boys would be professional stacker-uppers with a bit o' practice."

The kitchen screen door banged repeatedly to announce that the boys had
returned, "WE'RE HOME!" Dooby shouted for good measure and to be just a bit
annoying as usual. They all sort gushed into the great room before they
realized that Auggie and Zeek were not alone and while one of the smiling
faces was Keith's from the Club, the other was the new guy they met at the
airport. Both, particularly the new younger guy were properly dressed down
to be on the property, but then so was the mob of guys.

Auggie gave up on introductions and sat back with Zeek to watch the teenage
greeting ritual that was capped with a round of beers to drink while they
watched Dooby feed his damned fish for the last time that visit. Part of
that ritual always included the new guys if present, helping, and ended
with the same guys being pushed into the water to see what they would do
when they suddenly found themselves swimming with the toothy monsters.

Keith hauled ass back to the swim platform, while Brenden surfaced briefly
for a breath of air. He paused to slap the water and calmly explain to the
fish, "Get away, you guys have had all the food you're going to get!"
Before he sank and seemed to disappear under Fishin' Boy for a tour of the
most important part.

"What's he doin'?" Little Zeek asked, no one here-to-fore had the balls to
give chase to Barry Barracuda and friends.

Keith was delighted to answer with a laugh, "He's checking out the boats'
bottom. That's what he does at the marina part-time; he cleans bottoms."

"He could clean my bottom anytime," the new bolder Rodger volunteered.

"I already called firsties with the new guy," Little Zeek countered
playfully. That challenge started a verbal joust that culminated in a
raging sea battle around the dock and Fishin' Boy. The battle ended as
quickly as it began when Auggie rolled out on the dock to invite everyone
to get cleaned up and dressed well enough for dinner at the Dead Lobster
but only if they were hungry.

There was a mad scramble to reach the dock by any route and over top of
anyone. Suddenly, Auggie and Zeek were alone on the wet dock; the only sign
that the boys had been there. "I reckon that they'll figure out we're
takin' the bus when they hear it runnin'," Zeek presumed.

There was a longer than usual delay because the chefs had been away and
none was expected at Coral Place until breakfast the next morning so snacks
were hard to find; there wasn't much in the house to eat. Auggie ordered
Zeek to lay on the air horns for a good minute before the boys, the whole
mob, began to straggle out. Little Zeek and the other residents carried the
coolers while most of the guests were already eating sandwiches! Rodger,
Steve, with Jennifer and Lane, the former mystery couple, were the
exceptions and they saw to it that the other Yankee boys settled in the
back of the bus, in the bedroom with a cooler of beer. Meanwhile the
Rebels in the front of the bus and the four turncoat carpetbaggers already
mentioned, remained in the front, and opened their coolers to reveal a
whole sliced roast beef, bread, a jar of mayo, the mandatory beer, and a
chest full of ice cubes with a full bottle of bourbon nestled on top, to be
served as a bribe.

"We defrosted the sliced turkey first," Little Zeek whispered to Auggie,
"so..." he shrugged to allow Auggie to draw his own conclusions; the
Yankees were unwilling to wait for the roast beef to defrost so they ate
turkey sandwiches.

Auggie nodded, and without saying a word, he maneuvered his cart so he was
backed into the short hallway, effectively plugging the way between the
front and back of the bus. Then he held up his hand to signal for a drink
as a reward for separating the Yankees from the roast beef until there was
no more.

Keith, as an experienced server at the Club, knew the hand signal, and
whispered to Brenden. Brenden leapt to his feet, placed two double old
fashion glasses on Auggie's table and even used his fingers to measure and
then added an invisible finger for good measure. Auggie's smile disappeared
when Brenden explained; "I'm adding an extra one of my fingers because
yours are fatter than mine."

Auggie rolled his eyes, "Just my luck, another one of them back talkers,"
he called to Zeek.

"He honest too!" Zeek answered with a laugh.

Auggie saw Logan frowning. It seemed to him that Auggie always seemed to be
looking for replacements for him, as his `step-n'-fetch it' boy, and
Stevie, his `button pushin' geek'. "Relax Logan boy, yo' safe today,
Brenden boy is gonna be workin' at the marina after school..." Auggie was
stunned with an idea; "In fact Brenden boy can just up an' go to school
with y'all!"

"Where do you guys go to school?" Brenden asked with surprise.

That explanation lasted until Zeek pulled up in front of the Dead
Lobster. By then the roast beef had been consumed, the bread was gone and
the mayo jar was empty and Brenden became an additional student in the most
elite high school around. None of the new parking attendants felt
comfortable backing up the bus, although they had guarded a big enough
space in front of the building and were delighted to see the bus. Auggie
bet Zeek $1000 that he couldn't back up the bus without knocking down half
the building and Zeek was happy to pocket the money while everyone watched
from a safe distance away.

Dooby bet on Zeek and won another $1000, which reminded everyone that Dooby
and Cory were the really big Atlantis winners so they were coerced into
paying for dinner with Auggie's consent. (It was reliably reported that
Auggie was among the biggest losers in Doobie's poker game, so Dooby and
his partner Cory and their joint bank account could well afford to pay.)

#######

Bob, of Bob the Builder, Inc., met Tony, Joe, Dooby and Cory at `River
Watch', Tony's new home, and this time Bob clutched a roll of faded
blueprints that Ms. Bess left for Tony and neophyte designer/builder,
Dooby. Ms. Bess also left the boys a handwritten invitation, probably
painfully written considering her knurled arthritic fingers, to tea and
cookies at the lady's new penthouse apartment. They couldn't say no. When
Bob asked Tony what he wanted done to renovate, restore and/or modernize
the beautiful old home, Tony pointed to Dooby, who was already doing his
dance in anticipation of reprising his first tour of the riverfront home,
of course wearing his `Christian Dunn' custom painted hardhat.

Dooby took charge of the original plans so Bob could make copious notes,
while Tony, Cory and Joe followed quietly with Tony nodding occasionally to
agree that some of the more costly changes like obliterating one bedroom to
make a new luxurious master bathroom that would also be a dressing
room/walk-in closet were necessary for his comfort. In the end, Bob the
Builder's estimate, he stressed estimate, was in the neighborhood of
$450,000 including new electrical, plumbing and air conditioning systems,
almost as Dooby estimated. Bob also stressed that change orders would be
very costly as a warning to Tony concerning changes after the project
began.

Bob also strongly recommended hiring a live-in caretaker/guard during
construction to prevent incomprehensible vandalism and keep expensive
materials such as copper pipe and wire from growing legs at night. The
person could live in Ms. Marsha's two room apartment; a bedroom and sitting
room that Dooby just wanted painted. Dooby had already suggested that the
two Embry-Riddle students who worked at the airport might just be ideal
roommates and they might be interested in moving early and then remain
Tony's roommates when renovations were complete.

Tony replied sorrowfully that he had hoped that his roommates would be gay
and ideally, highly `compatible'. Tony had become comfortable with the
ultracasual lifestyle of Coral Place in just a few days. That lifestyle
definitely did not include straight conservative guys as roommates. Dooby
cocked his head, grinned and arched an eyebrow in response. "Do you mean
that they are gay and I did not recognize the signs?" Tony asked.

"Remember when I asked the one guy, I think Barry, if he had a flashlight
in his pocket?" Dooby didn't wait for an answer. "Well I knew it wasn't a
flashlight I was just being polite." That caused a burst of
laughter. "Those guys dress out commando, just like us; they may not be
totally gay but they're already roommates and I bet that they take care of
each other whenever the need comes up, if you know what I mean," he
concluded by making his cheek bulge out using his tongue and then adding,
"If they aren't gay, I think they are definitely bent, just like big Steve
and my favorite brother-in-law, Lane."

Tony grinned, "You are far too lucky, Dooby my friend, so I will not bet
and since I now know Barry and Kevin have very handsome flashlights, I will
ask if they wish to be caretakers at first and then perhaps roommates in
the future.

The three boys held this discussion while Bob the builder was present but
it seemed Dooby at least considered him to be one of the gang. Bob was
standing by Joe and both young men were making goo-goo eyes at each other,
and weren't paying attention. Tony, Dooby and Cory grinned; Bob was one of
`them'.

The boys had no trouble gaining access to the new ocean front residential
condo tower that had become home to Ms. Bess and Marsha. The gates were
open, the guard house was empty and so was most of the parking
garage. Ms. Bess had already directed them to a smaller elevator door that
opened magically on their approach. Dooby waved at the video camera that
seemed to be watching them just before the door closed and they were
whisked up to the top floor, the penthouse. The door opened in the
apartment foyer although Dooby couldn't see it because Marsha gushed into
the small car and captured him in her arms and held his head snuggled
between her bosoms, thereby blocking the door.

"Yo' can't fool me no more pretty blond white boy, your name is Dooby!"
Marsha enthused, "Ms. Bess and me saw y'all on TV, except then you wasn't
wearin' so many clothes! We even saw little Nemo," she added.

"Marsha, you just allow those boys off that elevator before the door closes
on you," Ms. Bess warned, "and takes you down to the garage again," she
added. Marsha remembered where she was and jumped back to abandon Dooby and
the other boys to the mercies of what she considered being trapped in the
devious newfangled machine - again.

The boys followed with Dooby in the lead. He bent to give Ms. Bess a peck
on the cheek before he ran toward the open glass wall that looked out on
the Atlantic Ocean. That was when he began to frown, "The only view is
flat water, straight out to the horizon," he complained.

"Duh," Cory sniped from inside the room, "what did you expect an ocean
front view to look like?" That question was asked just before Marsha
captured him with her arms and since he was shorter, Marsha was able to
bury his head under her ample bosoms.

"Marsha dear, you should let Cory go free so he can autograph all our
photographs," Ms. Bess reminded. Marsha allowed Cory his freedom, almost;
she took charge of one hand and towed him across the room toward a desk.

"We didn't bring any pictures with us," Cory protested, "but we'll send you
a bunch as soon as we get home."

"We got us what Ms. Bess calls a desktop `puter that even prints out
pictures. Ms. Bess found all kinds of pictures of y'all inside that there
machine somewhere," Marsha explained as she pushed Cory into the chair and
handed him a Sharpie pen that had been on top of a stack of publicity
pictures that were ready and waiting for autographs.

"DOOBY," Cory called only to discover that Dooby had disappeared
somewhere. Ms. Bess explained that the terrace wrapped around the whole top
floor and their apartment walls were set back far enough that it couldn't
be seen from the ground. Therefore Dooby was most likely making a lap
around the outside of the apartment.

Ms. Bess was proved correct when Dooby reappeared from the opposite
direction. "This apartment is beautiful, modern and private," he judged,
"and with the glass terrace railings, the view looks like you have an
infinity terrace like an infinity pool."

"The top 10 floors are all set back much like a wedding cake, so those
apartments below us all have larger than normal terraces, or they will
have," Ms. Bess qualified. She explained that the very crafty developer
installed hallway and lobby walls only, which allowed buyers to buy only
the square footage they wanted to pay for, within reason; there were
obvious minimums. "The developer will make a very handsome profit on this
building when the economy recovers; unfortunately for him, he's about to be
foreclosed. He was attempting to recover something by selling cheap and
fast, I stopped that with an injunction." Ms. Bess grinned suddenly after
that news.

"And you're planning to buy the developer out," Dooby guessed, accurately,
he discovered, when Ms. Bess nodded and giggled.

"Would you be interested in two long term investors?" Cory asked quickly
with Dooby nodding his agreement enthusiastically without preliminary
discussion with his partner. They were definitely thinking alike.

"Would it be possible for me to participate in this investment?" Tony
asked. His father had mentioned that the casinos had classified Dooby as a
whale, based on his success at playing poker. Since the casino supplied the
dealers and took a cut from each hand, they had a fair idea of how much he
won and conversely how much other players lost, including Tony's father,
Dominic.

Ms. Bess sent Marsha off to serve tea and cookies before she answered the
boys. Then she became all business, "I'm doing this for Marsha. Whatever
happens in the future, she will have life-rights to this apartment. There
is ample space for care workers to live around the clock and as she
inherits my share of our joint venture, you must promise to protect her
interests and yours from my avaricious relatives and I imagine a horde of
supposed relatives such as third cousins, twice removed of my late husband
who are already circling above my estate in eager anticipation of a quick
killing."

After the boys agreed to protect Marsha and to her terms, the jaw dropping
but fair amount each would need to become partners, she answered a question
before Cory asked. She could prevent the developer from holding a `fire
sale' because she held a 10% interest in the development and could protect
her minority interest by forcing a buyout and that buyout was already in
progress with the inevitable litigation underway.

Marsha interrupted what had become a business meeting when she returned
from the kitchen with a tray of sweet iced teas and a platter of cookies,
but she made Cory and Dooby sit at the desk and begin autographing her
collection of pictures before she served them. After they finished, she had
Tony and Joe take their places so they could autograph the collection of
group photos; all the Tarzans posing together. It didn't concern her in the
least that neither was in any of the pictures. She thought they were and
that was what was important.

When the boys left the women, Dooby carried a briefcase that contained
three copies of all the necessary documents that would require
signatures. Tony could sign his own but Dooby and Cory would need a parent
to co-sign since they were not yet legally old enough to control their own
interests.

Of course Dooby was not about to simply descend 23 stories in the elevator;
he wanted to walk down while visiting every floor below Ms. Bess'
penthouse, since they were about to be part owners. If Cory and Tony
thought that they would just look into the hallways from the stairwell,
they were very wrong. Dooby wanted to visit all the big empty spaces that
would eventually be whacked up into individual apartments; whatever square
footage the buyer wanted and could afford. The top nine floors below the
penthouse, the ones that were stepped back wedding cake style, the most
desirable and most expensive in descending order, remained vacant, so Dooby
was able to run complete laps around the yet to be partitioned balcony and
simply peer into the open vacant space that was only interrupted by
regularly spaced steel columns.

At first, Cory, Tony and Joe waited for Dooby on the Oceanside balconies,
but they soon mutually agreed with Dooby; the view of nothing but open
water was rather boring, so they switched to the western end of the
building. There, they could look down on the streets, lower buildings and
further out, see the big fixed bridges, boats traveling the Halifax River
and the apparently green vacant land beyond that appeared to be interrupted
only by widely spaced radio towers beyond the horizon.

"As much as I hate to admit it Doob," Cory said after Dooby returned from
his lap around the 21st floor, "I think you're right about the views. If I
bought one of these apartments, it would be on the western side so there
was a view 24 hours a day."

"Yup," Dooby agreed, "all we'd miss on the east side is the sunrise and
nice morning sun, and on the west side we'd have to put up with the heat
from the setting sun, but after it went down, the lights would come on
everywhere. I guess it's a tradeoff."

While Dooby and Cory continued to discuss the merits of views, Tony and Joe
seemed to be preoccupied with looking down on the next Oceanfront building:
a three story hotel, they'd noted when they drove into the `Acropolis', the
name the developer chose for his high-rise condo.



"What's so interesting down there?" Cory asked as he left Dooby for the
railing where Tony and Joe were leaning.

"I am not sure, but it appears that our next closest neighbor is a gay
resort."

"How can you tell?" Dooby asked as he ran at the railing to see for himself
and nearly succeeded in going over the side.

If Cory's frown at Dooby could kill, Dooby would be a dead man. "Remember
the harness your mom made you wear?" He shouted in Dooby's ear, "I'm going
to have one of those made to fit your big silly ass," he raged, "and I'm
going to use chain to attach it to a big heavy boat anchor that you'll have
to carry around," he threatened.

"I bet I could get it off," Dooby challenged, then leaned over the railing
further. "Holy shit, look Cory, they have a rooftop pool, a crowded pool
deck and not a bathing suit to be seen!"

Usually silent Joe nudged Dooby and pointed to the over-size statue of
Michael Angelo's `David' that dominated the hotel sign that said simply,
`The DAVID'. "I believe that statue rather nicely appeals to the sort of
clientele the hotel is seeking," he pronounced.

Dooby struck a pose similar to David except he couldn't stop grinning, "I
bet I could have been old Mike's model if I was around back then," he said.

"In your dreams doofus, you're too skinny and your dicks' too big plus
you're cut and David isn't," Cory judged without looking at the subject
model. The quiet late morning and possibly Cory's eardrum was shattered
when Dooby whistled and began waving at the hotel. Cory looked at Dooby
then.

Dooby had stripped off his shirt and shorts and had embarked on a frenzied
Dooby dance. "They're beginning to wave guys, get stripped. Let's give them
a show," he sort of ordered.

"Why do we always listen to him?" Tony asked in wonder after he, Joe and
Cory stripped and imitated Dooby who by then was humping air so his junk
flopped up to smack his belly on each thrust. The boys also heard faint cat
calls and what sounded like invitations to join the mob on the rooftop
terrace. When they looked down again everyone who wasn't waving up at them
was making dramatic arm motions to `come on down'.

"Should we?"


"Do we have time?"

"Yes we should," Tony decided, "The plane will not leave until we are all
onboard," he promised with a laugh, then added, "I would like a closer look
at that place; I think it would be a splendid branch of the Club, which I
foresee as a profitable business in short order. I think we should consider
buying The David and Joe can oversee its management. We will hire Christian
to generate a website just like the Clubs' and all our publicity," he
proposed as they finished the tour on the elevator, ignoring the rest of
the floors yet to be explored by unspoken mutual consent. There was no
doubt that they would visit The David and quite possibly make the current
owner or owners an offer he or they couldn't refuse.

Dooby raised an eyebrow in Cory's direction. He was silently asking Cory if
they had the funds to buy an interest in the Acropolis AND the David
hotel. Cory was the partnership's money manager. Cory grinned and shrugged
before he gave Dooby a very definitive nod, yes. He lowered his voice;
"Have you got any idea of our net worth?" Dooby shrugged his ignorance,
Cory continued, "Well, Dad and Auggie gave us big stock options as part of
our compensation packages before the companies went public. I used the
money we inherited from the old guys to exercise those options. Now those
stocks have more than quadrupled in price and they're still climbing so we
can afford to do anything we want."

Joe already had the Orsini laptop open, running and searching for The
David's website. He found it just as they parked in the neighboring hotel
parking lot.

"That website sucks the big one," Dooby and Cory agreed by looking over
Joe's shoulders from the SUV's backseat. The website looked like it was
`home made' by a computer illiterate.

It was apparent that someone on the hotel roof had been watching for them
because the cat calls and invitations grew more intense as soon as they
left the truck. The parapet was also lined with heads and bare torsos down
to waist level more or less depending on height. The boys waved back but
didn't immediately enter the hotel. They wanted to check out the beachfront
pool and any other outdoor amenities. The pool and pool deck were
large. The deck was lined with lounges, all of them either occupied by guys
wearing anything from thongs to knee length board shorts, or marked by
beach bags or towels. There were a few tables and chairs grouped near the
typical tiki hut style beach bar and a few more along the volley ball court
sidelines and more lounges lined out on the beach facing the ocean. The
most important detail to the boys was that the whole outside area was
packed with bodies – all hotel customers.

"They don't seem to have any servers," Tony observed, "They are losing
sales from those too comfortable to get their own drinks."

"They could be selling food too," Joe agreed the hotel needed servers.

"Or renting Sea-Doos, catamarans, ATVs and gas powered golf carts since the
beach is hard enough to drive on," Dooby added, "or good looking beach boys
wearing Speedo's to rent out the junk and draw in more customers off the
beach. What we can't do here is make our rates all inclusive, but they
would be lower, which can be a good thing since not all gays are rich,
contrary to conservative straight's beliefs."

Cory chuckled, "Yup, they won't admit that a gay couple always has two
bread winners and they never take time off for pregnancies."

Joe burst out laughing and managed to draw unwanted envious attention from
the guys lounging around the pool. They had put on their shorts and left
their shirts in the truck revealing deep, even tans, some discretely
sprayed on while most of the guys in the pool area wore varying shades of
red from too much sun too quickly and too little sun block in their rush to
get some color before they returned home. They obviously were in serious
need of some Orsini products.

###

"Ms. Bess, come quick," Marsha called from the terrace that looked down on
the adjacent hotel. "It's them boys, they're over to that place that only
caters to THOSE guys." Marsha used finger quotes to bracket `those';
homosexuality was rarely a topic of conversation in polite society back in
the lady's day. While Marsha couldn't bring herself to say the word, she
enjoyed watching the hotel goings on better than soap operas and she kept
Ms. Bess posted if anything noteworthy occurred.

"Marsha, I'm sure you're mistaken," Ms. Bess said as she joined Marsha on
the terrace.

"No ma'am, it's them, although they're wearin' their short pants, y'all can
still make out them pretty bottoms," Marsha countered and pointed at the
boy's backs standing on the pool deck and looking around.

Ms. Bess took one quick look and asked Marsha, "Did we move our telescopes
we kept on the terrace and used to watch passing boats?"

"Good thinkin', I'll get them. We should `a thought of them long before, to
save our eyes," Marsha said over her shoulder as she scooted into the
apartment. The ladies owned two 50 power telescopes with tripods that had
been adjusted so both ladies could use them while seated. Ms. Bess used
hers mostly to look at passing boats, while Marsha used hers mostly to look
across the river to a big house with a pool that was apparently owned by a
family of nudists. Ms. Bess just occasionally zeroed in on the nudists if
there was a party of likeminded people using the pool.

Marsha set up Ms. Bess' telescope first and then went back to get hers. By
the time she got back, Ms. Bess had already focused on Dooby and part of
Cory because the field of vision was very small when the subject was too
close. There was no doubt; the four figures standing on the pool deck were
the boys. Ms. Bess also noticed something she hadn't noticed previously;
Dooby and Cory touched each other frequently, whether a fingertip, a pat or
a shoulder bump and neither boy seemed to notice that they were always
close enough to touch almost constantly. Ms. Bess thought that they looked
like a starry eyed, newly married couple.

"Dang it," Marsha complained, "I can't seem to focus on them boys."

Ms. Bess watched all four boys wave to the naked mob up on the roof and
begin walking toward the building. "Don't bother trying to find them on the
pool deck, focus on the doors leading from the hotel to the roof top pool,"
she instructed, "I believe our boys are heading up there now," she added.

"Lord have mercy!" Marsha exclaimed as she scanned the rooftop that was
literally covered with naked men in all shapes and sizes as well as
ages. Y'all think our boys `ill get naked too?"

"Well they frankly admit that they skinny dip all the time and we know from
the photos that they're completely tanned so I wouldn't be surprised."
Ms. Bess thanked the designer that used glass for the buildings' railings
instead of the usual solid masonry that was used more frequently.

"There they are just like you said!" Marsha exclaimed.

###

Of course Dooby was in the lead when they reached the entrance to the third
floor rooftop pool and encountered a bouncer who was checking patrons for
hotel electronic key cards; no key, no admittance per the large wall
sign. The bouncer, who would make two of Dooby or three of Cory, just
grinned while the boys went through the act of patting their shorts to find
keys they did not possess. When Dooby took on a forlorn, dejected look, the
bouncer laughed outright.

"Are you the four guys who put on a little show from up top of that new
condo?" the bouncer asked.

"Could have," Dooby said cautiously, "did you enjoy the show or was it too
much?"

"Oh, I enjoyed it, so did everyone else."

"Then it was us," Dooby happily confessed.

"Next, I suppose you guys are all 21 years of age or older although I bet
you didn't bring your ID's just like your key cards."

"Was that a question or a statement?" The smart ass asked.

"I guess a statement. I card out here so the bartenders don't have to be
bothered," the bouncer explained. "Okay, last question. You know if you go
out there you two guys," he thumped Cory and Dooby on their bare chests,
"are bound to be recognized and you'll be outted?" The bouncer obviously
had seen them on TV.

Dooby and Cory shrugged, Cory answered for them both, "We have never been
totally in the closet, and more and more people are finding out. So far we
haven't had any problems and if you think about it, we imagine that any gay
who's seen us on TV recognize us as being two more of them without a formal
announcement."

"Do you think many of the guys out there have seen our shows?" Dooby asked
seriously.

That question caused the bouncer to laugh just as seriously. "Are you
kidding me? You'd have a hard time finding a guy out on that deck who
doesn't watch your shows. Did you really hand feed those big ass fish while
you were bareass, or was that all smoke and mirrors?"

"Are you kidding me?" Dooby shot back, "At the time the big boss was
watching from a glass bottom boat, and I nearly got my ass fired for that
stunt, but we still do it, except we do it wearing shorts and Auggie, the
big boss, can't say anything because he's fed them by hand too." Dooby
looked down at his bulge and said, "Some things can be mistaken for bait,"
he suddenly stepped away from Cory and pointed down at his log, "and some
things look like a moray eel!" With that said he was already in motion,
running for the pool deck with Cory right behind him. He entered the pool
with a near horizontal dive and surfaced in the middle where he was
relatively safe until Cory got over his mad; usually, he took about five
minutes before he shook his fist the last time and began to laugh while
mumbling dire threats and shaking his head.

Cries of "Take it off," began so Cory dropped his shorts and dove into the
pool to cheers while few guys saw Dooby waving his shorts over his head
from the middle of the pool until he let out a garbled scream and sank out
of sight. Clearly he forgot he was a wanted man until Cory, the judge, jury
and executioner had pulled him under using the most convenient handle. The
squabble was over when they surfaced together and Tony and Joe had joined
them without fanfare, since they weren't recognized; just admired.

They were mobbed with requests for autographed publicity pics which they
didn't have so cell phones were found and guys made their own although
those didn't address the autograph problem so they were handed coasters and
cocktail napkins with names, addresses and some phone numbers should the
boys be in some town or city around the Country in the future. When one guy
offered to buy them a round of drinks, the small bar height table they sat
at was soon covered with plastic cups even though Tony and Joe declined
because they were `driving' although they didn't say what they were
driving. They increased their Italian accents and really said piloting so
no one knew what they said.

"What'd he say?" Someone too close asked Dooby.

"He said they're pilots; they can't drink before they fly or during
flights, not even a beer. We're just passing through on the way home."
Dooby suddenly felt the questioner's hand high on his thigh, and then the
hand and the guy it was attached to were gone followed by a tremendous
splash.

The handy guy surfaced sputtering. The bouncer had been standing behind
Dooby and Cory and had bounced the offending guy into the pool. "Bother one
of these guys again," he warned, "and I'll bounce your drunken ass off the
top of a car in the parking lot," he warned. He looked down on Dooby and
Cory and said, "Sorry about that. Some guys get tight and lose their
inhibitions. In the real world, he's a successful neurosurgeon, but when
he's on vacation, he prefers to operate on young guys' cocks with his
mouth."

After that incident, the boys' fans evacuated their personal space and
didn't approach closer than they could reach. Dooby offered the big bouncer
his hand, "I'm Dooby, this is Cory, and that's Tony and Joe, two of our
friends." While the guys shook hands with `Candy', the bouncer, when they
began laughing, he showed them his hotel name tag that was pinned to his
shorts to prove that was his name.

"Yup, my name is really Andy Candy. My parents thought it was a cute name
for a little bitty baby," he paused to show the boys a ham hock that was
also called a fist, "and it's still a cute name, isn't it?" He threatened
with a smile. After they agreed his was the most perfect name for such a
wonderful, protective, nurturing guy, they all broke up laughing
together. "Is one of you buying an apartment up there?" Candy pointed to
the Acropolis, looked there and then looked up again.

"Um, not exactly. We're going partners with someone else and buying the
whole building as a joint venture," Dooby blurted and turned the tables on
Andy Candy. "Is this hotel always this busy or is it just crowded on
holidays?"

Andy saw all four guys lean closer to hear his answer. "It's packed on
holidays from Labor Day, really busy the rest of the winter season and from
half to three quarters full the rest of the year. Why are you planning to
buy this joint too?"

"Maybe," Dooby admitted, "some friends in the Keys just opened a gay resort
there; very high end and so far it's successful, they already booked all 60
suites from before Christmas through the first week in January. When Tony
and Joe saw this rooftop, they wondered if something like the same concept
might work here on Daytona Beach."

"It might, what's the concept?"

"Have you got a laptop handy?" Dooby asked and also said to Candy's
expansive back, "Hey don't you have to guard the door?"

Candy returned promptly with a laptop and answered Dooby's question, "We
were full up here before I saw you, so I was out here babysitting. Then I
thought you guys might show up so I watched for you. When I saw you enter
the building, I waited for you outside the door. There's a sign up that
says: `FULL'. What's the website address?" He asked all business.

It seemed Candy recognized Dooby's voice doing the voiceover when he looked
up at Dooby and grinned, and a bit later he pointedly looked under the
table to look at Cory and Dooby's cocks since Christian fuzzed their faces
but not their bodies. "So what do you think," Dooby asked, "would a
modified version of the concept work here since this building isn't
isolated and private like the Rainbow Club?"

"If you remodeled the rooms something like these but kept the regular
doors, you could raise the rates considerably, although you could never go
all-inclusive," Candy judged. "We definitely need servers, more in the
hotel itself, and some on the pool deck, plus a couple of guys to manage
outside amenities if we had some outside amenities. Of course, the servers
would have to wear Speedo's or bikinis wherever they work. Thongs would be
too over the top, plus they look uncomfortable stuffed in the crack of the
guy's ass, but each to his own. Are you serious about buying this place?"
he asked again, "I think it might be for sale," he added.

"Are you the owner?" Cory was surprised.

"Hell no, but I kind of live with one of the owners," Candy said. "There
are two partners, who were real partners before they bought this place and
started fighting over the theme. The one I live with wanted the décor to
be Italian Renaissance to go with the name and statute that came with the
building. The other dude thought and thinks Polynesian is a better
fit. When you leave, really look around, you'll see some really good
reproductions of nudes, guys of course, except the other partner keeps
dressing them in grass hula skirts and leis. You'll see marble columns
hidden by Polynesian totem poles and fake shrunken heads carved from
coconut husks and silk flowers and plants that could be real in this
climate; shit like that; the battle doesn't end. The guys are still making
money but they could be making a whole lot more. That's my opinion but
nobody cares what I think." The guys thought Candy was finished talking
when he revealed a bomb shell bit of information. "The guys bought the
business, but a bank owns the building; they lease the building from the
bank." The boys already noticed the number of closed hotels and motels all
along A1A and a few vacant fenced off lots where a building had been torn
down.

"Ahhh", Tony said while he looked like he just had a tremendous
one-of-a-kind orgasm. "Then if we buy the building, we don't need to buy
the business! The savings can be used for the remodel. This is wonderful
news, Candy my friend!"

"Not so fast Tony," Dooby cautioned. He looked toward Candy, "How close are
you to your friend the owner? We wouldn't want to screw the friend of a
friend," he explained. The others nodded their agreement and Tony even
apologized.

Candy smiled and nodded. He answered; "My guy provides a roof over my head
and he's a dedicated bottom while I like some variety. The two dudes could
easily become friends and real partners again at any moment, which would
leave yours truly out in the cold, pulling my own pud. So, you can screw
them if necessary. If you guys take over, would you be interested in a
really good bouncer?"

"Is the present manager capable?" Tony asked which drew nods from the
others. They thought they knew where Tony was going with that question.

"That's another problem; there isn't a manager, or any assistant
managers. The owners are co-managers and as I said the assholes don't agree
on anything."

"Well then, how would you like to represent our interests here until the
sale is complete and then accept a management position on the staff?" Tony
offered, "You would be salaried from the beginning and at first you might
have to protect the permanent improvements after news of the pending sale
leaks out."

Just as the boys shook Candy's ham hock hand to seal the deal, there was a
scream and cursing from below. Candy looked around in time to see two
drunks standing at the parapet and dropping full beer cups since they
didn't have balloons. "See what I mean by babysitting?"

"We have to go anyway," Tony said, "but Joe will be back soon to deal with
the bank and will be in touch."

They watched Candy while they replaced their shorts. He came up behind the
two beer bombers and caught them unawares with a hand on the back of each
neck. They froze when he squeezed and guided them to the door. "Dad does
that to me, just like that whenever he wants to get my attention," Dooby
told Cory as if he didn't know already.

Candy stopped the boys at the inside stairs after he gave the two beer
bombers the boot. "Do you guys know anyone who lives up in the top of that
condo?"

"Yeah, two elderly women live in the penthouse, why?"

"One of them spends her days watching us. Right now I think there are two
of them and this time they're sitting down, watching by looking through the
glass railing."

"Shit, I wonder if the deal is off now that Ms. Bess knows we're gay."

"Do you think they know what gay is?"

"Maybe not that word but I'd bet the ranch that they know homosexual and
queer. They've both been around the block a few times."

"Huh? What the hell is `around the block'?"

"I've heard Gramps say it; I think it means someone experienced,"

"I think we should proceed as planned, as if we do not know that Ms. Bess
knows about us and see if she says anything, if it matters to her, she'll
tell us," Tony suggested.

"Yup, we should do that." Cory agreed, and then said, "Oh Doob, you know
you can't bet the ranch because we don't own a ranch."

"Yet, maybe we should buy one. Then we can buy all the different animals we
want and we could see if Rudy and his girlfriends want to move so he can
start his own herd."

"What is it with you and this `we' shit, have you got a mouse in your
pocket?" Cory asked and laughed. He added, "I've heard Dad use that
expression too. It means you and your zoo are on your own. Let's get out of
here, I want to get home and see the new fish tanks and you can meet all
your new pets."

"Hey yeah, you know, speaking of pets, maybe we should get a couple of
dogs, black or yellow labs would be nice..."

Cory rolled his eyes, "Why not one of each color? Get a black one and one
`old yeller,'" he said sarcastically and referenced the old motion
picture. That was the wrong thing to say. Dooby chose to ignore the sarcasm
and considered the comment to be Cory's full approval of his Christmas
gift.

Dooby just could not resist temptation. Just before they reached Tony's
truck, he looked way up at the imposing condo and waved with both arms.

######

The new saltwater aquarium in the drawing room, also known as the furniture
store, was a fantastically successful Christmas gift from the boys to
Charlie and Laura. It transformed the big room by creating an additional
focal point for a total of three. One was always the wonderful view from
the French doors; the second was the big old carved marble fireplace that
the boys thought was boring if it wasn't burning yule-size logs that some
unknown party kept loading on to the grate with paper and kindling and one
of the boys was fond of starting if Charlie didn't beat them to the task.

Charlie, wise to the way women think, knew what was coming, he fled to the
office immediately after they all arrived home and admired the new
aquariums. He departed while holding his back and walking with a
manufactured limp.

Laura needed help to move drawing room furniture around and around again
until she was satisfied with the newest sitting group that faced the
beautiful tank. The boys thought they were done when Laura began adding
side tables, lamps and suitable accent pieces that she sent them to collect
from many other rooms in the very big house and then replace with pieces
from the drawing room, or somewhere else.

Dooby and Cory were desperate to escape and finally had to resort to the
one excuse that they never used before. This was an extreme emergency; they
frankly admitted or claimed that they had `mountains' of homework to
do. They actually didn't because they'd both spent an hour or two maximum
working daily with Stevie and Logan's tutors, all mandatory visits but they
did manage to get their homework completed.

Laura allowed them their freedom with a reminder; "Well okay, but don't
plan anything for Saturday, I bought a beautiful new carpet for the area."
Of course she was implying without stating that everything small and
extremely large and heavy had to be moved once again so the new carpet
could be unrolled into place.

The excuse not to help Saturday was legitimate. Dooby looked to Cory to lay
the news on his mother, "Sorry Mom, we won't be here all weekend. Trasker
is flying his new `dime a dozen' school plane up here to pick us up, and
we're all going to Athens, Georgia to buy him a new house so he has some
place to live while he goes to collage there."

Laura arched a questioning eyebrow, "Tell me something Courtney," her use
of Cory's name was foreboding. Dooby even whistled in surprise, "And
Harold," she included Dooby so he wouldn't feel left out or ignored. "When
did you two stop asking permission before you did something or went
somewhere out of the ordinary? You two do remember how old you AREN'T," she
put way too much emphasis on `aren't', way too much. Cory looked to Dooby
for answers to those questions.

"And you better be good," Cory warned in a whisper from the side of his
mouth.

"Well..." Dooby hedged as they edged ever closer to the hall door, "we
just bought a one third interest in a new high-rise condominium and a half
interest in a hotel next to the condo and you didn't say no to either of
those projects (No one said `no' to the projects that they didn't know
about yet.), so we certainly didn't think you'd mind if we took a little
weekend trip to help a friend, even if he is a Rebel, he can't help that
and he's still a friend. Please can we go?" Dooby tried for tears once
again but only managed to make his eyes water."

Laura rolled her eyes and shook her head, "I guess so. I'll just get
Charlie and some of the gardeners to help me finish up in here. Go do your
homework," she said to dismiss them.

"Thanks Mom," Cory said from the hallway. Then he shouted back, "Trasker is
bringing James and Zeek too. They want to actually see the school before
the semester starts, so they'll arrive about noon on Friday. You won't have
to do any cooking, we'll just have steak and shrimp on the barbie and we'll
leave for Athens early Saturday morning.

Dooby added from halfway up the staircase, "Steve and Rodger will be
staying overnight too!"

Laura really shook her head and grinned on hearing that news. She would
have the southern boys, Steve and Rodger plus Dooby and Cory to move
furniture and unroll the carpet Friday night. She called Charlie at the
office to tell him that he could come home without his limp or holding his
painful back that never bothered him on golfing Saturdays.

On Friday at noon, Dooby, Cory, Steve and Rodger paced the day student
parking lot waiting impatiently for Trasker, James and Zeek to arrive in a
rented SUV that had been arranged in advance because of Trasker's influence
with a car rental company CEO who just loved to deliver to anyone named
Bligh. Little Zeek was Zeek any time he wasn't around his Uncle Zeek. Dooby
spent most of his morning classes paying more attention to the sky, looking
and listening for Trasker's Gulfstream G650 jet, his `school airplane',
according to Auggie that `were a dime a dozen' with the economy in the
shitter, that was scheduled to land at the same nearby airport where both
Carl and Charlie kept their aircraft. Dooby probably ran the total round
trip distance to the airport and back in the parking lot, with frequent
pauses to look up and listen.

"Dooby, if you don't stop that damn running, we're going to put the hurt on
you," Steve warned.

"Here they come!" Dooby announced and continued to wave his arms so they
could see him in the almost empty parking lot until Trasker parked the
truck right next to Steve's little Boxter Porsche, just as he'd seen Tony's
new friends and roommates do to park his little jet in the Daytona Beach
airport.

"Remember guys," Cory cautioned Steve and especially Rodger, "No lip locks
out here in the open. We'll take them to lunch first and then you can show
them your rooms for not one second longer than 30 minutes. We got excused
from classes to show the new guys around and the Headmaster will be
watching. He does not enjoy losing prospects who can afford to go here."

"Yes Daddy!" Steve and Rodger sang in unison.

James climbed from the truck, took one look at Steve's gleaming Boxter and
smacked his forehead forcefully. He almost wailed, "I forgot about buying a
damned car!" Plans immediately changed. James would not visit Athens; he
would stay with Steve for the weekend and shop for a car, while Zeek would
still accompany the house hunters to Athens. Oh, of course Zeek invited
Rodger to take James' place.

The dining room turned just a bit chaotic when the group reunited with the
Bradley bunch even though everyone just spent over a week together and
after Zach introduced them around the room to friends. Zach introduced
Trasker as the heir to the Bligh Media Group, a company everyone heard of
after the company went public with an incredibly successful IPO in October
at the same time Charlie took Spelling's Markets public with an equally
successful offering, plus it was hard to find a billboard along any highway
that didn't have the name scrolled across the bottom of the sign. Then it
was equally hard to find a student who didn't watch Bligh Media owned cable
TV channels, a student perk, particularly the adult channels that they
weren't allowed to watch.

Trasker chose kosher hot dogs that all the boys laughingly called `tube
steaks', with all the trimmings from Top Dog's menu. He got his tray and
sat down to eat quietly, "What's wrong with you Trasker," Dooby asked, "you
look like your dog just died?"

"I just realized that Uncle Auggie isn't always going to be around when
Zach introduced me as Unc's heir. I never thought about being his heir;
that's kind of scary. I'd much rather have Unc around for a long, long
time."

"Zach's a nice guy but he's a snob. He was just trying to impress his
friends with your name. We only became the snob mob's friends when Cory
nearly broke Zach's arm for calling us names our first day," Dooby pointed
to a nearby table, "right over there," he added. "Anyway, everyone in here
already knows who you are because we told them that you own your own
Gulfstream G650 that you got just to fly home on weekends. I guarantee you
that no one in this whole school owns their own jet not to mention many of
their parents like Charlie or Carl and those are company planes officially,
not strictly for pleasure like yours or Tony's. You guys are very high
class around this joint. Say, while no one's listening, what are the
chances of buzzing the school just once, when we take off for Georgia?"

Trasker grinned, "I'm not sure, I'll ask the pilots. It couldn't be a buzz,
buzz but maybe something like they did to us when Mom Mattie and Jimmy
eloped," he suggested, "that was close enough to make everyone duck." With
that question, Dooby succeeded in lifting Trasker out of his morbid funk
with a fly-over conspiracy and he could finally buzz the school early
Saturday morning when the student boarders were on their way to or from
breakfast.

Breakfast had become a very popular meal since the food improved so
drastically. There weren't any other prep schools where a student could
order eggs benedict or a seafood stuffed crape with a bit of black truffle
shaved on top or other elegant dishes from a printed breakfast menu.

James and Zeek loved their school lunch and they individually loved Steve
and Rodger's dorm rooms. Rodger was even quick to demonstrate the double
locks on his door, seeking Zeek's approval before they tested first one
single bed and then the other while hurriedly exploring ways to keep each
other from falling or drifting from either bed.

James and Steve never got to Steve's queen-size bed; they settled on the
sofa. Steve's room would be James' official residence while Steve would
continue to live off campus except on the five, six, or seven nights a week
he might stop by to `study' with James.

Cory assigned Dooby to roust Rodger and Zeek from their secure love nest,
while he got the senior pair out of theirs. The Rebels really did have an
appointment to meet with the Headmaster and he was a stickler for
punctuality. Trasker was amused by Dooby's antics and Cory's quiet
confidence and stature at their exclusive school. He chose to accompany
Dooby on his mission.

When they arrived at the double locked door, Dooby ordered Trasker to help
him pound on the door with both fists, so hopefully they would sound like a
SWAT team in search of perverts. "I know you're in there motherfuckers!"
Dooby screamed, "Rodger, your dad sent me one of the sample bombs he builds
for the Defense Department and I'm going to blast this door open! Your half
hour was up 15 minutes ago! We have an appointment with the Headmaster!"

The response from inside the room was muffled giggles and laughter but the
door remained closed and locked. "What's takin' them so long?" Trasker
wondered.

"You can't be that old," Dooby responded, "If they did what Cory and I
would have done in 45 minutes in a locked room, they're taking a quick
shower afterward." He looked down his nose at Trasker, "Dorm rooms at this
school have walkin closets AND indoor plumbing you Rebel hayseed you!"

"Oh yeah, them things y'all need to remember to flush," Trasker agreed
without argument, just laughter.

When the door did finally open all the way suddenly, not so little, 15 year
old Little Zeek rushed Dooby and had him dangling six inches off the floor
in a heartbeat, "For your information, Dooby old chap," he advised, "Rodger
and I are NOT motherfuckers. YOU and Cory are the motherfuckers in this
little group."

"Oh yeah," Dooby admitted with a stutter since Zeek was shaking him like a
near weightless ragdoll, "I remember that now that you mention it, but we
made you two beautiful half-brothers with built in tans at your mother's
request and even Auggie is afraid to say no to her," he couldn't resist
countering.

"We were unavoidably detained," Rodger felt free to add, "And for your
further information, Dad doesn't build the bombs, just the controls, and
that information was supposed to be confidential."

Trasker joined the fun, "We noticed. You know you guys forgot to dry your
hair? You were right Doob," he confirmed, "indoor plumbin', don't that beat
all?"

"Huh?"

Just then, the outside door crashed open. Cory ran in followed by James and
Steve. Trasker pointed out that Steve and James' hair was dry and concluded
that that they didn't do anything. "Just a quick 69 on the sofa," James
reported. Steve grinned and held up two fingers over the back of James'
head, then put his hands together with the right hand on top before he
turned them over to indicate that they switched positions.

Steve frowned at Cory before he added to his pantomime, "We were just about
to go at it lying on our sides when someone knocked and disturbed us."

"You know you have a very big mouth," James grumbled.

"Not nearly big enough for you, but I'm working on it."

The new recruit's meeting with the Headmaster went smoothly except he
mistook Zeek for the incoming senior who would only be there for one
semester before graduating in the spring. James corrected that error when
he offered the Head a pair of cashier's checks to pay for the semester
since he was the oldest brother. Jimmy provided the checks but Mattie
didn't know so she gave Zeek enough cash from her apparent endless supply,
profits from selling the amazing multipurpose cleaner that was so `green',
it was possible to drink it in small amounts."

"Or if you would prefer; I brought the payments in cash. One semester to
pay for James and three to pay for me to attend next year too," Zeek
announced proudly using clear unaccented pronunciation, exactly as their
mother taught them before he remembered that he left his book bag on the
plane, and looked at Trasker hopefully, asking without asking for Trasker
to drive him back to the airport to retrieve the book bag.

The Headmaster shook his head in sympathy and said that the bag full of
cash would by then be on its way the plane's next destination but offered
his phone to call the airline to alert them. Trasker, James and Zeek all
looked at the Head strangely, while Dooby burst out laughing and Cory
grinned.

Trasker's face turned red. He knew what was coming; Dooby just loved to
twist Auggie' words. "No worries there Doctor," he explained, "they flew up
here on Trasker's jet, it's just a little Gulfstream G650 he got to fly
back and forth to college on weekends. After all, with the economy in the
dumps executive aircraft are a dime a dozen. The jet is sitting at the
airport, right where they left it."

Headmaster didn't even blink, "Well, Ezekiel, you can relax, we won't need
your money, the cashier's checks will do quite nicely," he assured, then
when the boys were leaving but still in his outer office, he heard the new
boys talking.

James said to his brother, "Don't make any plans for that cash that mother
gave you, remember I have to buy a car. I'll use that first and write a
check for the balance."

"Won't the cash be enough?"

"It might be but it depends on what I get, I was thinking about a Ferrari
or a Porsche like Steve's, but if I do, I'll still have to buy something
bigger like an SUV; that's what Tony did."

"If I was you," Dooby suggested, "I'd ship that little gull wing Mercedes
and maybe that Daimler that no one likes, up here to drive, or maybe even
the Rolls. Those are really cool cars."

"Nope," Trasker spoke for his uncle, "The gull wing was one of the first
five of those that Mercedes built and it's in mint condition. No one likes
the Daimler because it was owned by Joseph Gobbles, the Nazi creep, and
it's a convertible like the Duisenberg, the heaters suck, that's why they
came with lap robes; to keep from freezing to death. If you recall the
Rolls' driver gets to sit outside in the weather while the passengers sit
in a glass enclosed box. Those are not cold weather cars; they stay where
they are," he pronounced with finality.


The headmaster shook his head in wonder again after the outer door thunked
closed, then personally delivered the two checks to the finance
department. The brothers' tutors had sent private detailed academic
evaluations. James probably should have graduated already while Ezekiel or
Zeek as he preferred to be called was at least a year ahead of his peer
group and obviously a versatile athlete who would be a stunning addition to
the school teams.

After a very brief tour of the buildings on campus, the gang was free to
leave. Steve with James in his Boxter; followed Trasker driving the rented
SUV and the boys to the airport to retrieve Zeek's book bag full of
cash. Then they planned to make a stop at their favorite Spelling's market
to collect the makings for dinner before they headed to the Spelling
estate.

Dooby however directed Trasker to go a different route and refused to tell
Cory why. Dooby didn't need to explain when he had Trasker turn into a
driveway that had a sign; `Sunniland Kennels - Labrador Retrievers'. "You
said okay," Dooby began his defense before Cory could object.

"You asshole, I don't object, but the `rents might. How did you pull this
stunt off anyway? We're almost always together."

"Well, I've been thinking about dogs for a while and you know you refuse to
watch Judge Judy with me, so I found the time on my laptop. I just waited
until they were big enough to be potty trained because I really don't want
to piss your mom off. Now you just sit your ass right there while Trasker
helps me bring them out. Just leave the door open, cover your eyes and no
peeking. It's a surprise!" Dooby instructed.

"What are we doing here Doob?" Steve asked and James nodded but was
watching a bunch of Labs playing in a big enclosure

Cory began to argue about the dogs being a surprise but thought that would
just delay them further. He covered his eyes with a hand and peeked through
his fingers until he saw the kennel door begin to open. He knew when Dooby
and the puppies reached the truck because the puppies jumped in, up onto
the seat and began licking his face.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS!" Dooby sang, "Aren't they beautiful?"

"I don't know," Cory protested, "I'm afraid to open my eyes!"

"Sit!" Dooby commanded and to his and Cory's surprise both dogs sat. One
sat on Cory's lap. Cory felt his lap dog's tail constantly pounding on his
legs and when he cracked his eyes open a bit he saw a light brown nose
almost touching his, blond fur and adoring dark brown eyes staring into
his. When Cory looked to the side, he saw Dooby hugging the black pup.

"He's beautiful Dooby!" Cory exclaimed and hugged his dog, which initiated
another round of doggie kisses.

Dooby giggled. "Yes, SHE has good taste in men too! The yellow is the girl
and this one is the guy," he explained. Trasker put a big cardboard box in
the back of the truck and ran back into the Kennel building with Zeek,
James, Steve and Rodger before they were missed.

"Where did you guys go?" Cory asked Trasker although he, Zeek and Rodger
all wore shit eating grins when they climbed into the front seats with
Rodger being `forced' to sit on Zeek's lap. Meanwhile, in the back, Dooby,
Cory and the pups had come to terms regarding which sits where; the pups
wanted the window seats so Dooby and Cory were sort of jammed into the
middle with a happy dog steaming the glass on each side.

"Y'all did good Dooby boy," Trasker quipped, imitating his uncle, "Zeek,
James an' I been rackin' our poor brains about what to get our uncles fo'
Christmas. Let's just say this here kennel is sold out until after the
Holiday."

"What are you going to name them?" Dooby asked Cory on the way to
Spelling's Market. They each had an arm around a dog and Dooby was
helpfully pointing out special sights like Christian and Tommy's office
accompanied by a promise to visit there soon to have their pictures
painted.

Cory giggled and got tongue slurp while his mouth was open. "I'm going to
try some diplomacy with Mom and Dad." He pushed yellow dog's face away from
his and scolded, "Stop with the kissing Laurie," he begged and then looked
around Dooby, "and his name is Chuckie. Do you get the play on names;
Laurie for Laura and Chuckie for Charles or Charlie?"

Dooby liked the names so much; he planted a kiss of his own on Cory's
lips. This act distracted the pups from viewing the sights and they
promptly joined the kiss as best they could while in the back seat of a
truck. The boys would discover that the pups would do much better in a
king-size bed that night.

There was no thought of leaving Laurie and Chuckie in the cold truck while
the guys went into pick up Cory's food order. The pups were wearing color
appropriate collars and leashes plus they already knew how to sit and the
boys discovered how to heel somewhat until they heard some magic words from
anyone, no matter how far away, if they could be seen by a friendly human;
derivations of, "What beautiful pups (or dogs, or Labs)," then all bets
were off.

Dooby and Cory were towed through the store greeting customers while the
customers greeted the dogs. Cory said that they needed to buy them halters
so they wouldn't injure their necks. Dooby said, "I already bought them,
they're in the box. I bought bowls and toys and food and snacks. I bought
everything I could think of including a gift certificate for you to buy
anything I didn't think of."

Rodger and Steve got the food order into the back of the truck while the
dogs greeted every customer and employee they could tow Dooby and Cory
to. Once everyone was back into the truck after a potty break, and with the
pups in their chosen places, they were no longer interested in seeing new
sights; they were more interested in the new smells emanating from the back
of the truck. They were so interested; they stood on their hind legs with
their front paws on the seat back with their tails waving frantically, the
whole trip home. It was agreed that the pups might get to eat more people
food than doggie kibble that was already in the truck from the time they
left the kennel and the pups didn't react in any way to that odor, if there
was any odor.

Charlie was home and in the drawing room with Laura enjoying the fish when
Dooby and Cory got home with their guests so they didn't know that there
were two new residents. All the food was carefully placed on the big island
counter well out of puppy and hopefully doggie reach even after they grew
to adulthood. Cory unhooked the leashes and Dooby pushed open the swinging
door that led to the dining room. He was looking for Charlie and Laura.

Apparently the pups thought that if a human could open a door by pushing,
then they could too. They ignored Dooby as they raced each other across the
dining room, into the drawing room, there were some puppy yelps, one
surprised scream from Laura and deep throated surprised laughter by
Charlie. By the time Dooby peeked in, the pups had joined the surprised
couple on the sofa and were busy introducing themselves with their tongues
and tails depending on whom they were facing. "DOOBY," Charlie shouted
with a laugh. He saw Dooby watching by peeking around the door jamb.

"Why do you always blame me when something out of the ordinary happens?" he
asked, "Laurie and Chuckie belong to Cory, not me," he defended himself
from his hands and knees, crawling across the floor and growling. (The
significance of their names was not lost on Laura and Charlie.) This was a
game the pups hadn't played with humans before but they were willing and
soon had Dooby on his back, being used as a vault or a seat and getting
kissed and alternately on his belly using his arms to hide his face while
Chuckie attempted to roll him over and Laurie tended his head. Each time he
tried to lift his head to see where she was, he found her cold nose and her
tongue aiming for his exposed eyeball.

Cory and company entered the room cautiously. Laura smiled and said, "If
you had asked before you bought these beautiful pups we would have said no,
but..."

"I didn't buy them Mom," Cory interrupted, "Dooby did. They're my Christmas
present."

"The plot thickens," Charlie observed, "At least we discovered a new use
for Dooby; he's a wonderful dog toy. Are you going to take care of them?
Where are you going to feed them and where are they going to sleep? Are you
going to walk them so they can do their business outside? Of course you
know that puppies need to go out more often than adults? How old are they
anyway? If they're only eight or ten weeks old they'll take over the house
by the time they're full grown?"

"Damn Gramps," Dooby grumped, "you sure are a bundle of questions
tonight. They're five months old already and they're house broken. And they
know how to sit," he said to redeem himself.

"For short periods," Trasker added, "And heel until someone smiles at them
or speaks to them, and they loved touring your store; they already know
where everything is, all your employees and some of your customers."

"You know you don't need to be so helpful," Dooby pointed out sourly.

"Do you know that only service dogs are permitted inside our stores?"
Charlie asked Dooby and included Cory with a frown.

"I was thinking we could get them those neat vests," Dooby said.

"Vests don't make a service dog," Charlie countered.

"Well I thought it would be implied. No one complained, not even the
manager." Of course the manager wouldn't complain, not when the owner's
last name was Spelling. Dooby sought to change the subject while Steve,
James, Zeek and Rodger took Dooby's place on the floor, but that was too
much choice for the pups, they returned to the sofa uninvited, put their
heads on Laura and Charlie's laps, sighed and closed their eyes to take a
nap. "We won't have to walk them after they learn their way around outside,
I bought a doggie door. We'll just have to blast a hole in an outside
wall..."

"Like hell you will," Charlie countered, "we'll have a hole cut in the
outside kitchen door. We'll just have to be sure to leave a door open so
they can get into the kitchen."

Dooby shook his head, "Nope, they know how to get through the swinging
door, they followed me just now."

"Next question Dooby boy; what are you going to do with them while you feed
your deer?" Charlie wondered and pointed out the nearest French doors that
Dooby said the fish could use to look outside, but at that moment Rudy was
using to look inside at Dooby with doleful accusing eyes.

Dooby whispered, "Come on guys, we'll sneak outside while they're
sleeping." He tiptoed to the doors and had just put his hand on the handle
when both dog's eyes opened and they raised their heads. They were most
likely jostled awake by Charlie and Laura's silent laughter as their bodies
shook. They were able to grab hold of the collars so the dogs couldn't join
the boys.

Zeek was last and pulled the door closed before the dogs were allowed their
freedom. Both jumped down and ran to the door where they could see Dooby,
the boys and some big brown friendly animals. Chuckie jumped up with his
paws on the door while Laurie watched. By sheer luck or intentionally, one
of Chuckie's giant puppy dog paws slipped down on top of the door
handle. The handle latch dropped down and the door opened just enough for
Laurie to use her nose to open it more fully, at least enough for both dogs
to squeeze through.

Rudy's attention left the boys who were returning from the garden shed with
bags of feed, to the dogs; potential threats. The dog's tails never stopped
wagging as they approached Rudy cautiously. Rudy took a few steps closer
and bent his head until his nose actually touched Laurie's then moved to
Chuckie's. It seemed negotiations had been successfully concluded between
dogs and deer after quick ritual sniffs to be sure of the sex of the animal
they were dealing with, the dogs ran out onto the lawn and did their
business, while deer attention swung back to the boys carrying their
dinner. The buck managing the main herd and the herd was more circumspect
at first but not enough to miss their dinner either, while the dogs sat by
the door and watched the activity and the boys; apparently whatever the big
brown animals ate, did not smell like food suitable for dogs.

When it was time to go back inside, Dooby called back to Rudy, "Watch this
Rudy; it's easier to get inside than it is to get out." Then he said to
Chuckie; "Okay boy show him how it's done." Dooby took the liberty of
demonstrating the art of door opening while the dogs watched first, then he
invited them to try by stepping back and motioning to them. Laurie got to
the door first. She lunged up from the step and connected with the latch
handle. The door opened and she stumbled in to the room to proudly rejoin
Laura on the sofa for some warm up hugs and congratulations for being so
smart.

Chuckie was about to join Charlie until a spotted stingray suddenly burst
from hiding in the sand in the bottom of the tank so he went to investigate
that and all the other colorful fish. He sat down close to the tank and was
enthralled because his head kept moving back and forth and of course his
tail moved to match his head movement. That was until his boys, Cory and
Dooby with the other boys, began to leave the room.

It was time for the ritual shower after each deer feeding for the boys, and
time to explore the big house for the dogs. Laurie was late for the party
and jumped over the back of the sofa to catch up. The hardwood floors were
slippery but fun while marble floor in the foyer was a blast to slip and
slide to turn toward the wide stairway and for five month old pups a
mountain to climb; but if humans with only two legs and feet could manage
easily, so could they with four. Their scrambling race to the top was only
impeded by boy legs but Laurie beat them all.

The pups used their God given sensitive noses to lead the boys into the
master suite lounge. Cory and Dooby's scent was everywhere and they knew
they were really `home'. They watched Cory start the fireplace and were
about to settle on the furry rug among the pillows there and enjoy the
warmth while they took a nap until the boys went into another room and
their boy's scent intensified around the bed. Problem: they weren't big
enough to jump up on the bed. That is until Cory thoughtfully patted the
low upholstered bench placed at the foot of the king-size bed.

The pups watched their humans and the others undress from the middle of the
bed and then disappear from their view once again amid much body contact,
laughter and friendly conversation. The pups didn't need the bench to jump
off the bed.

Due to time constraints the seven boys planned to just mess around with
their partners in the shower and poor Trasker could just join anyone he
chose since his partner had a very large corporation to run. They all would
really get clean before bed. Zeek collared Rodger and they took possession
of the shower first, so Cory filled the spa so everyone would be
comfortably warm while they watched and of course make inappropriate
comments. When Cory turned back to see if the spa was full enough, he was
greeted by two swimmers who were already in the pool and enjoying
themselves immensely. Laurie and Chuckie were launching from the seat on
one side and swimming to the opposite seat where they could stand up or sit
down with their heads above water.

"Hey Doob, look who likes to swim," Cory said wearing a frown.

"Cute."

"No, not so cute," Cory disagreed, "since they can get outside, what if
they find the pool, they jump in but then they can't get out? The walls are
vertical and there's no ledge, ladders or any steps."

"Shit."

"Exactly."

Dooby snapped his fingers, "What if we stuck ladders into each corner
temporarily and then had some custom ramps built, something like Auggie's
ramp he uses for boarding boats and in the down position, walk into the
water to swim?"

Cory nodded and slapped his ass, "Would you happen to have any ladders in
your back pockets?"

Dooby looked at the big open shower and shouted, "Zeek, hurry up and come,
we have to get to Home Depot."

The sense of urgency to go shopping waned when Steve and James insisted on
their turn in the shower and Trasker joined them as the need for relief
grew. Cory and Dooby, the last couple to shower, were joined by the pups
after they climbed from the spa pool, and shook off a prodigious amount of
water and then found the shower less to their liking, left the shower and
shook off again before they ran for the bedroom.

"You should have toweled them off," Rodger told Dooby and Cory and received
several moans in answer.

Then Rodger and Zeek left the bath and returned to the bedroom to
dress. They returned to the bath immediately without having dressed but
were laughing their asses off. "Your dogs don't need to be dried off, they
did it themselves," Zeek reported cryptically without explaining how that
was accomplished.

Since Dooby and Cory had enjoyed their shower, the sense of urgency
returned accompanied by a certain amount of dread concerning what they
would see in the bedroom that Rodger and Zeek thought was so funny. "Oh
no," was all that Dooby could say, "I think that was one of my pillows, and
I spent 20 bucks for a special tow rope that they could use to play
tug-of-war." He frowned down on Cory, "You really need to watch YOUR dogs,"
he accused.

Cory backed away from Dooby and grinned, "At least it wasn't an old fashion
feather pillow. That filler stuff looks like it will be easy for YOU to
vacuum up. You bought them toys but you didn't give them to OUR dogs. Come
on, let's get dressed. I guess we should take them with us so they don't
get into mischief when Mom and Dad are alone with them."

Laurie and Chuckie weren't visible; they had wormed their way under the bed
comforter from the pillows down to the middle so there were two distinct
moving lumps that became one bigger lump accompanied by much puppy growling
while they wrestled together. The match ended when the pups heard
voices. Laurie sat up and the duvet slipped so she looked vaguely like she
was blond, 'Little Red Riding Hood', wearing a shawl over her head.

"Does anyone want to go for a ride?" Cory asked the lumps, which had
resumed play, he thought facetiously until the pups abandoned the bed cover
for the floor and began running back and forth from the boys to the door to
hurry their humans with short pauses to look at the fish in the new bedroom
aquarium.

Cory paused long enough to tell his dad and mother about the fearless pups
and their love of warm water. Charlie laughed after the boys and dogs left
the house because none of them thought about how they were going to get the
ladders home. All they cared about was the dogs' welfare and making sure
that Dooby had his cash rich billfold.

Dooby stopped everyone in the kitchen long enough to dump the supply
box. The kibble and snacks joined the people food on top of the island
counter while the pups began playing with their new toys as the boys played
at figuring out how to put on the dogs' halters to replace their collars
and then figure out how their new pink and blue coats were connected and
which was the head end, so they would stay on the respective dog. The dogs
stopped resisting when they figured out that they would wear clothing just
like their boys.

Home Depot on future early Friday evenings would never be the same
again. There were very friendly humans in all sizes everywhere and they all
needed to be greeted and would have been if the polished concrete floors
weren't so slippery. The new harnesses no longer choked and provided
excellent pulling power through their shoulders and chests just like sled
dogs, as the boys would discover the next time it snowed.

Dooby and Cory were recognized instantly by some fellow patrons and news of
their presence spread. A very few recognized Trasker, James and Zeek even
though they were wearing clothes and coats and the group acquired no less
than four orange vested sales associates to help them select a ladder which
evolved into the one that was a heavy duty 32 foot extension ladder that
had the widest rungs and the all-important widest treads. When fully
extended and placed against a 12 foot pallet steel rack, that ladder was
the perfect angle for a dog or dogs climbing out of a 12 foot deep swimming
pool. Fortunately, extension ladders were not in any great demand as
Christmas gifts. The store only had four of the costly ladders in stock –
and then they were sold out when the boys and dogs departed.

One young store associate raised his hand when the subject of delivery
arose as everyone was about to carry the ladders to the front checkout. He
was one of the delivery drivers; he was also one of the few who had
recognized Zeek, James and Trasker as well as Dooby and Cory and hoped to
see more of them as well as their friends, Steve and Rodger since an
outdoor heated pool at the end of November had been mentioned.

He was almost off the clock, but with management permission, would be
pleased to deliver the ladders. The boys carried the ladders to the
contractor's door while the helpful pups towed Dooby to the check out. He
presented his father's store credit card although he was paying in cash. A
quick credit check revealed that John DuBois was one of a very rare breed
of building contractor during the growing recession; he paid promptly and
had a zero credit balance. Management gave permission for overtime to make
the special delivery.

Dooby rode in the Home Depot truck rather than write detailed instructions
to the pool and since Dooby recognized the driver as being one of the
larger minority `club', invited him to stay and help deploy the ladders and
teach the dogs how to use them to exit the pool; from in the pool. Of
course, bathing suits not required. He qualified the invitation, "We
obviously mess around with guys that are part of our group, but we do not
seriously mess with strangers, so don't get your expectations too high this
time and you and a buddy could be invited back as a couple."

The driver offered Dooby a fist to bump in agreement and said, "I'm
Deacon," by way of introduction.

Dooby misunderstood, "Get out of town! You belong to a gay church, and
you're a deacon?"

"Duh, nope, my first name is Deacon. Deacon Collins."

Cory and the guys arrived at the pool first and managed to get the dogs
into the cabana to get their coats off while the dogs were intent on
getting to and jumping into the pool. When he saw Dooby and Deacon carrying
the first ladder, the dogs went berserk while Cory shouted; "Will you hurry
the fuck up?"

Dooby ignored Cory for the present. He helped Deacon extend the ladder and
slip it into the closest corner. Then he stripped off his clothes and
waited for Deacon to follow his example before he shouted his answer back
to Cory, "You know you are one very crude motherfucker, to be cursing in
front of Deacon Collins standing right here listening to your profanities!"

Cory answered that rebuke by removing two leashes and opening a door. The
pups followed Dooby and Deacon into the pool with a series of
splashes. Trasker, James, Steve, Zeek and Rodger followed the dogs. That
left Cory standing at the end of the ladder calling the dogs to come out of
the pool. Deacon thought that the heavy mist rising from the 85 degree pool
into the 32 degree air were playing tricks with his eyes, so he swam closer
and finally used the angled ladder like staircase to climb from the pool to
be sure. He'd missed seeing James.

"Goddamn, you ARE well hung just like I thought from seeing your TV show,"
Deacon avowed.

There was laughter from the mist and Dooby's voice; "That's nothing Deacon,
you should see it when it isn't freezing!"

"Are we ever goin' to eat them steaks? We're starvin'," Charlie asked from
near the ladder with Laura holding his arm. Deacon glanced to his side,
cupped his junk and dropped head first into the pool without using his
hands.

Cory just grinned although he was shivering. "Damn Dad, they heard your
voice and here they come. Come on Chuckie and Laurie, come out of there and
greet Mom and Dad, while I jump in to get warm."

Cory surfaced next to Deacon, "Are you really a Deacon?" he asked.

"Shit no, Deacon is my first name." He nudged Cory, "You better warn your
parents or they're going to get really wet."

The warning came too late although the pups proved how easily they could
use the ladder to exit the pool. Laura screamed at Charlie as if he caused
them to get drenched and wetter when the pups dried themselves further by
rubbing against their legs in part because they were so happy to see the
humans they'd used as pillows. Charlie peered into the mist. His mind was
on eating dinner.

"Roger! Roger, are you in there boy?"

"Yes Sir," the mist answered.

"Well come on outta there, get dressed and come on up to the house. We'll
get the fire started and have dinner while these kids play in the pool with
the dogs." He looked down on Deacon, "You're new aren't you? Where'd you
come from?"

"I delivered the ladders and I was just helping out. I was invited," he
added defensively. Deacon was still in shock by being seen buck naked by
Cory's mother. She caught everyone he corrected, and didn't seem to mind.

Charlie grinned, "If you want a nice steak dinner, you can help Rodger, our
resident Grill Master. Pull your truck up to the front of the house. I'll
call your store and tell them what you're doin'."

"I'd sure like to, but I might get fired," Deacon said.

Charlie laughed, "If they fire you for takin' a dinner break, I'm pretty
sure we can find you a bigger truck to drive." With that said Charlie,
Laura and the pups returned to the house while Charlie patiently explained
to the dogs that it really wasn't nice to get the mistress of the house wet
if they expected to get a steak dinner afterward as a reward.

Rodger and Deacon dried and dressed while the boys unloaded the remaining
ladders, then Rodger rode in the truck up to the round-about in front of
the house close up for the first time.

Rodger explained who Charlie was and that he probably wasn't joking about
finding a bigger truck for Deacon to drive since he owned a fleet of
semi-trucks to deliver groceries to his stores. The guys left behind,
hurried the remaining ladder installations. Everyone wanted to get back to
the terrace in time to see Deacon's reaction to being introduced to
Rodger's other title; the Fire Starter!

The dogs bustled around Rodger and Deacon until they got a whiff of the
liquid that Rodger was squirting and squirting on Deacon's neat pile of
charcoal. They joined the audience, all the boys and Charlie and Laura 20
feet away. Deacon suggested that Rodger was too close just before Rodger
crouched down, closed his eyes and flicked his Bic.

"I told you so," Deacon calmly told Rodger from 10 feet away as the night
sky flared up briefly. The new guy's initiation was complete.

A bit later, back in the drawing room, Dooby was happily naming individual
fish, like `Auggie the blowfish', (You can guess the moray eel's name)
while Charlie was using a book that was included with the aquarium that
pictured each fish and identified them with generic common names and Genus
and species. "Excuse me Sir," Deacon said to Charlie, "I don't want to rat
anyone or anything out, but the pups are missing and your Christmas tree is
shaking like it might fall over.

Everyone began running and laughing while the 14 foot professionally
decorated tree shook, neatly stacked, wrapped gifts under the tree toppled
and the pups, under the tree growled at each other amid shredded wrappings
while they played tug-of-war with a colorful golfing sweater that no one
but Charlie would have dreamed of wearing in public, which indicated
exactly who the gift was for. The sweater caused everyone but Charlie to
laugh harder.

Charlie pointed at Cory, "YOU get your little ass under there, catch YOUR
dogs and rescue my sweater before it can't be repaired!" He ordered before
turning to Dooby, who was laughing from his knees because he couldn't stand
up any longer. "And you, get your laughing ass OUTSIDE with the dogs where
you'll all spend the night after you help Rodger grill them steaks or else
we won't eat `til midnight!"

Cory just managed to reach the pups when they noticed that Dooby was down
on their level, so he obviously wanted to play with them. Their coordinated
attack bowled Dooby over and Cory was able to recover Charlie's sweater,
the mangled gift box and whatever wrapping paper that hadn't been
eaten. Oh, and the gift card. Cory put the card in his pocket.

"Not so fast gentlemen," Laura countermanded Charlie's order to everyone to
get their asses outside and start dinner with the pups. "Cory, you prep the
steaks and shrimp skewers, then report back here. Rodger you will grill
after Cory finishes; you both may choose an assistant. Meanwhile everyone
will move all the furniture from this area and then unroll that carpet,"
she pointed to a fat paper covered roll resting against a wall, "and then
we will replace the furniture exactly as you see it now and while we're
doing all this, everyone will keep at least one eye on the dogs. Remember
that they're puppies and they need to learn right from wrong. Now, since no
one has any questions, let's get busy."

Naturally, wise ass Dooby just had to ask; "Hey Mom, what's this WE crap,
have you got a mouse in your pocket?" Cory grabbed Deacon's arm and pulled
him from the room before they began laughing. The dogs followed. They were
already adopting the policy; `out of sight, out of mind',
unknowingly. Deacon apologized for laughing, but said he couldn't help it;
Cory's extended family was a comedy troop not a team. They could hear
Laura's outrage due to Dooby's mouse question (Laura did not like mice, one
mouse or even a single mouse dropping, but their exterminator sure did) and
that included calling him Harold at least three times. Cory explained the
name problem after Deacon promised never to use those names within his and
Dooby's hearing, ever.

Cory set Deacon the task of skewering giant shrimp that had already been
cleaned and deveined while he seasoned and stacked the rib eye steaks on a
platter. "Do you like driving trucks?"

"It's a living. I'm kind of dyslectic so I didn't do well in school, plus I
foolishly got outted when I was a freshman, so I had that to deal with in
high school too."

That first question led to others that together seemed to Deacon like he
was being interviewed for a different truck driving job. He lived in his
parent's finished basement apartment and hadn't as yet found a serious
friend although he admitted that he liked what he saw of the guys that
evening as well as the guys he saw dressed or undressed as Tarzans on the
late night show. The guys he had been with so far had been fantasies and
his cooperative hand.

"Did your dad tell you that I got fired for keeping the truck out so late
just to eat dinner? What's with all the questions?" He wasn't annoyed, but
he was curious. It didn't seem like a Spelling, father or son would
interview him in their mansion's kitchen for a job driving one of their
semi-trucks.

Cory giggled and made sure they were alone before he explained. He'd bought
Dooby and he admitted, himself, a special Christmas gift. Neither was old
enough to get driver's licenses and always had to depend on someone like
Christian Dunn or someone to drive them anywhere, which someone always did
without complaining too much about the guys being a pain in the ass.

Deacon grinned and pointedly looked down at Cory's tight jeans. Cory
giggled, "Not that kind of pain, I meant driving us somewhere. Anyway I had
an SUV built that's a little bit longer than a standard Lincoln
Navigator. I hope no one will notice the difference unless it's parked next
to one that's factory built. I just forgot one important thing; someone to
drive the damn thing. You'd be salaried, get Spelling's company benefits
and there's a vacant apartment over the garage. In return, your driving
hours would be spastic, like we need to get to and from school but in
between, you'd be on your own, except now with the dogs, you might have to
care for them, although Mom and Dad seem to like them; they're moving to
the City and traveling more so while they're away, we'll have the house to
ourselves. They will be here on some weekends. Whenever we travel, you can
either go with us and drive a rental or stay here and be on vacation,
except maybe take care of the dogs if they don't go with us. Are you
interested?"


"What happens when one of you turns 17? I know I slept in my old first car
the first week," Deacon admitted.

"Well, I didn't think of that. I know you won't do any driving on this
property; one of us will drive to and from the gate to the house. I know
Tony Orsini; a friend of ours has what he calls a minder. Joe is a pilot,
Tony's co-pilot but he also does a whole bunch of stuff that's more
important, like as soon as Tony returns to Italy, Joe is coming back here
and going to Florida to buy a hotel for us, you know stuff like that. I
know there will always be shit that needs to get done that we won't have
time to do and we'll need someone we trust to follow through and watch our
backs especially after we start college."

Deacon put out his hand, "If you trust me already, then you've got a new
driver. Is there any chance that I can see the apartment while I'm here?"

Cory shouted at the swinging door from just inside the kitchen door that
led directly into the garage, "RODGER, the steaks are ready!" Then he asked
the dogs if they wanted to go out. They did, but they remained seated on
the floor closest to where the platter of steaks resided on the counter so
he assumed that they would accompany Rodger to the grill where there was
always the possibly that one, or ideally two might be dropped. Chuckie and
Laurie were already eternal optimists.

######

Trasker had taken his uncle's advice. A real estate `feller' waited for a
new client that was scheduled to arrive by private aircraft at the local
Athens airport, and so was a smiling young lady who was delivering two
brand new rental SUVs to a VIP that was so important to her company, she
was ordered to be there an hour early in the event he arrived early.

"Drive right up as close as you can to those red SUVs," Trasker told his
pilot, "They are our rentals."

Dooby looked dubious, "How do you know, and why two?"

"Because that's the color I ordered; one is for the crew." Trasker
explained the leasing company's earlier lack of cooperation until he
threatened to remove 500 of their airport billboards.

The feller and the lady attempted to look beyond the noisy, annoying G650
jet to the runway as it continued to taxi closer and closer to where they
stood. The pilot shut down 100 feet away despite Dooby's begging him to
make the feller run for his life by actually touching his car. He had to be
happy with buzzing the school and wait until Monday morning to find out
what occurred on the ground. That was a pleasant thought.

Dooby practically fell out of the hatch; he was still laughing about
Trasker's first use of his power to get things done in a hurry. The car
leasing delivery lady was impressed with the age and good looks of the
customer's party while the real estate feller was in a quandary, he was to
deal with a bunch of college students, probably fraternity brothers of
which there was no shortage in that University town, who didn't look like
they could afford an expensive property that had been specified over the
phone and yet they arrived in a jet worth millions and one blond wearing a
painted hardhat, just could not stop laughing. He prayed that the blond
wasn't his client.

The feller's name was Carson Powers. He started real estate school when the
market was booming and got licensed just after the market went bust with
more foreclosures than sales. The only reason he was still in the business
and trying his best was that he still lived at home and his father was a
broker and owned the business. The elder Powers made what few sales that
closed while he handed his son leads that he thought led nowhere.

Carson was handed Trasker as a prospective client because his father
assumed that the aircraft would be a single engine Piper Cub that was
crammed full of fraternity pledges. The Gulfstream G650 was a surprising
upgrade. Trasker went to sign his name and show his driver's license to the
lady to secure the SUVs for the weekend while the guys met Carson and Dooby
explained that Trasker was looking for something old, big, and completely
renovated, preferably antebellum and with a few acres for privacy or lots
and lots of acres if the land could be farmed. Another option was something
big and new; once again with acreage.

"Y'all got anything like that?" Trasker asked, "My new house could be a
foreclosure if the bank can close fast because I'm wantin' to move in, in
time for the next semester."

"There are lots of foreclosures and some short sales where the owners know
they're facing doom and the bank is allowing them to sell for less than
they owe," Carson allowed. "There is one important question; what's your
budget and do you already have financing?"

"Nope, no budget if we can find something we like. I don't need financing;
I thought it would be a cash deal to speed things up." Trasker snapped his
fingers. "I just remembered that my uncle wants me to buy him a closed up
bank too, so we can open a branch of our family bank." He looked back at
the guys and giggled; "Unc said that with a branch bank right here in town
I could save $10 cash money on gettin' new checks printed."

After the laughter died, Cory eyed the old Jeep Wrangler with the doors
removed that Carson was driving. His mother, Laura, was a broker and she
still owned a Jeep but when dealing with clients, she always drove a four
door Cadillac. A four door car was mandatory for all her associates. He
quickly suggested that Dooby ride with Carson exposed to the cold and the
others would follow in the warm SUV. Dooby got suckered into that deal.

Cory felt sorry for Carson, it was obvious that he entered the business at
the worst possible time and had yet to make his first sale but that would
change dramatically when Trasker bought a house and a bank building on the
same weekend. It was agreed that Trasker would pay a finder's fee in the
event he bought a home that wasn't for sale if they couldn't find one that
Dooby approved and Trasker liked in the real estate market.

The boys followed Carson and Dooby way out into the country that would
still be an easy drive into town and the University of Georgia. They could
see Dooby gesturing while he had his mouth in high gear constantly as he
was prone to do if left with strangers while unattended. Their first stop
was up a long, curving driveway to an antebellum (pre- Civil War) home that
had a total of two out six two story porch columns standing and only parts
of some outside walls and those parts remained fire blackened.

"Wait, wait Trasker!" Dooby screamed through the open back of the Jeep. He
was anticipating a complaint. "This is the old house that burned down, but
Carson says the outbuildings are all in perfect shape and the carriage
house and stables have been converted into a fucking big house! That's what
we came to see! Follow us and shut up!"

Trasker rolled his eyes and ground his teeth. "You shut the fuck up, I
didn't say a thing!" Trasker shouted back through his open window. "How the
fuck did he ever live to be so old?" he asked Cory, "If he was my partner,
I'd have to put him down as a kindness to the rest of the world."

Two minutes later after they passed the burned house, the carriage house
came into view. "Holy shit Cason," Dooby exclaimed, "that building looks
just like the carriage house at Redlands Plantation. It's beautiful and I
bet it's the original size from back in the day when you rode a horse or in
a carriage or the poor people went `shank's mare'. I think that means
walk," he confided.

"I know," Carson said.

"Auggie said his burned down and he rebuilt it smaller because he used it
as his home office and the stable as, um, for guestrooms," he told
Carson. He nearly told Cason who had lived in the rooms that only looked
like horse stalls from the outside that opened on a great enclosed
courtyard with a pool.

Carson's head jerked around when Dooby mentioned Redlands Plantation; there
weren't many fully restored and fully functional plantations left in any
southern state that was privately owned. He'd heard of Redlands, but didn't
know who owned the place. Dooby tossed his thumb over his shoulder, "The
prick driving the truck behind us, Trasker Bligh, is the owner. I mean his
Uncle Auggie owns it but Trasker manages it from Coral Place, a Frank Lloyd
Wright house, on an island in the Florida Keys right now, and I guess when
he moves here in January, he'll keep on doing whatever, to run it from
here. Now, put on your salesmen's hat and try to sell us something," he
ordered Carson before he turned to Trasker, "Carson said this place is
still 1000 acres. Developers have tried to buy it in the past, but now that
it's on the market cheap, there's no money for financing."

Carson was really nervous at first because he'd just found out that he had
a real potential buyer on his hands, someone with money and time
constraints, but no budget; it had to be ready to for move-in come
January. He warmed to his subject and relaxed when he realized the guys,
including Dooby, were listening to his tour intently.

What once was the carriage house or coach barn had been transformed into a
huge great room with a loft. The arched double doors had been replaced with
mullioned glass and modern skylights had been added between the ceiling
beams. The modern open kitchen and the dining area were situated under loft
to give those areas a more intimate `feel' according to Carson who waxed
poetic after he relaxed.

He was interrupted while everyone except Dooby was up in the loft. He'd
just suggested that the loft could be a master suite or another lounge when
a door banged and the sound echoed since there were no furnishings. Cory
rolled his eyes toward Trasker, "How would you go about putting him down?
I'm open to suggestions."

"There're bedrooms and baths in both wings!" Dooby announced, "The rooms
must have been tack rooms, maybe trophy rooms or rooms to wash the
carriages and coaches," he surmised. "But I found something else you've
just got to see Trasker; it will just blow your mind!" he shouted
intentionally so his voice echoed.

"He must have found the pool damn it, I was saving that for last," Cason
said. Trasker looked down to the stone paved courtyard that was surrounded
by closed stall doors. There was just a big empty circular fountain in the
middle but no pool. "Fuck the rest," Carson gave up and used the `f' word,
"Come on, I'll show you the exercise barn. It was built early in the last
century I think, and since it had a dirt floor it was easy to convert more
recently when the owners actually had money or borrowed some, which got
them in trouble financially. They kept getting equity loans."



Dooby met the gang at the foot of the loft stairs. He was already in his
dance mode as he led the way down a hall to the stable area and then
another much wider hallway once used by horses. He threw open a set of
doors and bowed them into the indoor pool or what would be a pool when it
was filled with water.

"What do you think Trasker?" Dooby asked, his mind was already made up,
"This is already a fantastic bachelor pad. All you need is some
furniture. You could ask Mattie to decorate or someone closer, someone like
Ryan; he did a great job at the Club," he reminded.

Trasker looked at Carson. "Is there anything else in the vicinity that's
even close to what we see here?"

"Nope, there's some newer stuff but nothing like this, with 1000 acres and
over 40 out buildings, including a dozen cottages that are in fair
condition if you were thinking of starting the farm up again. The bank is
asking 20 but they'll be happy to take 15. Less than two years ago, I was
told these owners turned down 40 offered by a developer. They just laughed
and got another equity loan."

Trasker switched his attention to Dooby. "Could your daddy rebuild that
house? I'd want to make this into a show place."

Dooby shrugged, "Maybe, if we can dig up a set of original plans, but he's
going to be busy if Ollie and Jonathon can find an island they like with or
without a house. They want to build exactly what they want. Ollie is going
to fly Dad back and forth on weekends. Mom and Dad were thinking of moving
temporarily but there was no way they could pry Lane out of Jennifer so
that took care of that plan."

Carson didn't see Trasker wink at Dooby and begin telling a story that he
already told everyone while they were moving furniture but did crack up
when he pictured Dooby trying to pull Lane away from his little sister;
Lane had a single track mind when he was mounted on anyone, or vice
versa. He changed the subject suddenly while poor Carson stood by holding
his breath. "Y'all know speakin' of Ollie; just before we left the house,
Ollie arrived by air! He bought him a sea plane! He touched down right at
the cove inlet and managed to stop just short of the dock. He plumb scared
the bejesus outta Zeek. He was thinkin' the damn Cubans were invadin' an'
him with his 12 bore shotgun still up to home in Redlands!"

"That's ridiculous," Dooby protested with a laugh, "if the Cubans invaded
Monroe County, they'd just use cars to drive down from Miami, although
maybe some might arrive by yacht."

Carson exploded, "Are you goin to buy this goddamn property or not?" He
demanded of Trasker.

Trasker looked surprised, "I thought I said yes, make the first offer 12,
with no conditions except no bad paper or liens; I want a clean title or no
deal. If they hold at 15, well we tried." He offered his hand to seal the
deal.

"Really, you mean I actually made a sale?" Carson watched his hand shaking
Trasker's as if it belonged to someone else. "Holy shit, now I can go find
a job that's profitable," he said with wonder in his voice.

Dooby sent a questioning glance at Cory. Cory nodded and asked Carson;
"Have you ever considered a position in condominium management?"

"Not so fast there you carpetbagger," Trasker countered, "y'all could work
here to start with." Trasker's ordered mind ticked off things that needed
to be done, including but not limited to; having the new main house and all
the cottages ready to be occupied by the first of the year, receiving
furniture AFTER the new carpets were delivered and unrolled in place, he
stressed `after 'with a killing frown at Cory.

Zeek suggested that Trasker could relocate some of Redlands' resident black
families since Redlands population continued to grow faster than available
real jobs on the old farm, if the cottages were ready by the spring
planting season. Trasker sort of agreed, "Yup, plus we got way too many
Bligh relatives settin' on their asses with their hands out to Uncle
Auggie, we need to get rid of. If they don't work out here, they can just
move out into the real world an' see how they do own their own. Unc feels
responsible for them but I don't. The Bligh family tree needs some serious
pruning.

"What would you raise or grow on the farm?" Carson asked.

"That's another thing, I'll send up an experienced farm manger to check out
the land then you take him around to all the local farm equipment companies
to pick up what they have that we need and order the rest from them. Always
buy local if you can." Trasker instructed.

"I know what animals you can raise," Dooby all but cried out.

"Here we go..." Cory mumbled.

Dooby started on his list of exotic mammals including Buffalo for the first
time and of course Giraffe's to act as lookouts, though he couldn't suggest
what they might look out for, they had pretty eyes and eyelashes. He
concluded with his most favorite birds; Ostriches and Emus. Cory turned to
Trasker, "Tell me again, how I should put him down?

Dooby stopped suddenly and backed away from the group, "Say what, put me
down where?"


########

As always, a big THANK YOU to Emoe for editing my stuff in such a timely
manner, even though the last summer months here in Florida beckon!


Happy Reading!

Jamie Haze



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