Dooby Rhymes with Scooby

                                                                                        by Jamie Haze 

 

  Part 35




Carson Powers, virgin licensed realtor, excused himself from Trasker Bligh,
his first ever potential sale, to call someone at the bank that held the
paper, the bad paper, on the old Rigby plantation. While he intended the
conversation to be confidential, he stood in the middle of the former empty
carriage house and the boys heard every word of his end of the negotiation
echo through the building while they edged closer. He pointed out that it
wasn't his client's fault that the bank gave the former owner equity loans
each time he alleged that he had refused ever larger offers from a
developer and the last offer was $40 million dollars and most of that, the
developer planned to borrow from them!

While Trasker actually offered $12 million, three million below the asking
price, Carson's opening gambit was $11 million. The boys listening presumed
that whoever Carson was talking to on a Saturday morning was a decision
maker who was using every card in his deck including sympathy for Carson's
father, a major stockholder and board member to raise the offer. "It's not
my fault that my father is greedy. The next time the board meets, he and
the rest of you will be sitting in a public park if you don't accept this
cash infusion. The days of wine and 100 dollar cigars are gone. You'll note
I said cash, that would be ALL cash, wired in the minute the papers are
signed as long as y'all warrant that the deed is free of any encumbrances."

Carson winked at Trasker and almost covered his mouthpiece
intentionally. He shouted, "What was that Mr. Bligh? You'd consider buying
a local bank that's still in business if possible, rather than an old bank
building for your new branch here in Athens?"

Trasker cupped his hands around his mouth to answer, "Damn straight, unless
that there bank wants some competition from some new blood in town!"

Carson gave Trasker a thumb up for that answer as he shouted back, "Let's
try to get this deal finished first, before we find you a bank building!"
Then he excused the interruption to the person he was talking to and took a
completely different tack. "Did y'all know about the vandalism out here?"
There was a pause, "I'm standing in the great room now; there are some
broken windows, I guess that's how they got in. The front door was standing
open, there's graffiti on some of the walls, empty beer and whisky bottles
thrown around, candle stubs and what looks like some used condoms. I hope
you guys didn't allow your insurance to lapse. Maybe you should hire some
around the clock security?"

By then Trasker and company had moved closer and were nearly rolling around
on the floor while keeping their mouths covered with their hands. Carson
continued, "Well hell yes. That would be expensive but not as expensive as
a burned out uninsured property. You're the CEO; I'd like to be at the
meeting when you try to explain that away to the stockholders, including my
daddy, the cheap bastard. I expect you'd go to the top of the local hate
list, fence rail, tar, feathers an' all...What? You heard that? Well, I did
say Mr. Bligh; he's the same guy that just took his media company
public... Yup, he is fixin' to open a branch of his family bank, he said, I
quote, `come hell or high water', end quote, right here in Athens, so I
guess that's a done deal anyway as soon as I find him a building he likes,
even if y'all don't want to part with this here, old Rigby plantation... I
don't need to call him; my daddy ain't the listing agent, I am, I expect
only because he didn't think this vandalized old barn would ever
sell... Hold on I'll ask," Carson actually put his phone on hold. "The
counter offer is $11.5 million."

"Shit yeah," Trasker agreed without hesitation.

Carson relayed another counter offer, "Mr. Bligh says $11.25 million is as
high as he's goin' to go what with all the vandalism repairs; oh, of course
that would be BEFORE y'all sit down an' talk about the sale of the
bank... Middle of the coming week to sign the papers; Wednesday afternoon?"
he asked Trasker. Trasker nodded to confirm and added that he would bring
his bank CEO and attorney along. Carson ended the call after he relayed
that message. He knew that the last thing the local bank wanted was any
more competition; especially a privately held bank with endless cash
resources.

Meanwhile Dooby was so impressed with Carson's negotiating skills, he
pantomimed drawing an imaginary dagger and while holding it in two hands,
he plunged it into his chest, whereupon, he collapsed to the floor and made
his limbs spasm to imitate the last throes of death. "No way," Cory
objected, "this is what he did." He made believe that he had a big game
fish hooked and was reeling the reluctant fish in. Trasker, Zeek and Rodger
agreed by imitating Cory.

"Hook, line and sinker," Trasker sang. "That snow job was so beautiful to
listen to Carson; I'm fixin' to give y'all the $750 thousand difference as
a bonus since it's just like new-found money. What would you have done if
that dude wanted to come out here and see the vandalism?"

"I figured we'd have time to break a window, buy some booze and a can of
spray paint. Did you mean it when you said I could work for you?" Carson
asked Trasker while he still had his phone out and looked at his
watch. "I'm asking because I expect to get a phone call from my greedy,
cheap old man as soon as that banker gets done talkin' to him. He's fixin'
to chew me a new asshole for not selling you this property for what the
bank wanted, if not more..."

"Cory and I have first dibs on Carson's ass," Dooby argued to Trasker as if
Carson was deaf, "We need him to sell and manage our new condos in Daytona
Beach!" Once again he tried for some tears and succeeded in making his eyes
water.

Carson didn't seem to be very sympathetic when he said, "As much as I hate
to burn bridges; money talks and a $750 thousand bonus on top of my
commission for this listing and sale, plus maybe a bank building, talks a
lot louder than any phony tears Dooby."

"What tears?" Dooby demanded, "I just had something in my eye," he
protested since he was caught in his acting mode.

"That act was not worth an Emmy, if you think I didn't recognize you
guys. You should know that my cheap old man actually pays for cable TV."
Carson revealed with a giggle.

"Well since you recognize us," Cory began, "you should know that Doob and I
are going partners with another guy to buy a beach front hotel next to our
condo project. Right now a bank owns the property and two guys own the
business. Would you at least be interested in a fee to negotiate those two
sales?"

Just then, Carson's phone buzzed, just as he predicted. Apparently he and
his father were not on the best of terms already. The guys could actually
hear the elder Powers shouting at his son without using the speaker
phone. He started by complaining about the low selling price and ended by
saying he was planning to help Carson close the sale, so he didn't fuck
that up too. As far as the sale of the bank was concerned; that was
canceled.

Carson shrugged his indifference although his father couldn't see him. He
finally interrupted the tirade, "Don't you even think about withholding one
cent of my commission! If you try, I'll have your greedy ass in court so
long, you'll end up sleeping in the same park where your precious bank
holds its future board of director meetings! There's a big difference
between a major stockholder and the majority stockholder, the guy Mr. Bligh
has a verbal contract with for the sale of HIS bank and that ain't you!
Oops, low battery. My client wants to look around. I won't be home for
supper." After he ended the call, he said, "I'll burn that bridge face to
face, after I get my commission check. Now where were we?" he asked
Trasker.

"You were going to help us buy our gay hotel and the business," Dooby cut
in, this time wearing his most little boy optimistic, hopeful expression.

Trasker overruled that for the present since Joe wouldn't be back until
after the holidays. Meanwhile he wanted Dooby to make a list of renovations
while he and Carson toured the property and the outbuildings. By then it
would be time for lunch. Trasker ignored big Little Zeek's and Rodger's
complaints about not having second breakfast while Carson ran out to his
Jeep to fetch a roll of plans that included a plan view of the carriage
house and a larger pieced together plot plan of the entire Rigby property
since the property included land in two counties; Athens-Clark County and
adjacent Oglethorpe County.

A plan of the carriage house soon had Dooby absorbed making notes with Cory
and Rodger, non-farmers, while the farmers, Trasker and Zeek, studied the
big plot plan.

While Trasker appreciated all the work Carson put into the colored plot
plan, he was not happy to see a dozen parcels of land traced in red that
were surrounded by his new farm except for public country lanes that
crossed the property just like Redlands, although the Redlands roads were
private.

The `red' parcels were land that had been sold off over time. The largest,
120 acres, only had 10 improved acres with streets, street lights,
utilities and three model homes all of which had weeds growing taller than
the street lights and all but hiding the models. The rest was fallow farm
land and timber. There were three other much smaller derelict developments
and the rest were all under five acres for single family `ranchettes' where
the owners enjoyed country living that might include horses or one or two
farm animals.

Carson's first assignment was to buy all of the redlined property back. The
commercial properties would be easy, but the eight single family homes
would officially be acquired by an unnamed client who was passing by and
fell in love with the property if it wasn't already in foreclosure or
upside-down, so Carson could look forward to another dozen commissions
immediately. Those would be before he was sent out to buy other properties
adjacent to Trasker's to further enlarge the farm that he didn't know about
yet.

"We'll be back at noon," Trasker advised the planners, "we're going out to
look at the farm and the outbuildings." He didn't say lunchtime because he
didn't want Zeek and Rodger to begin grumbling about the lack of second
breakfasts, or the extent of Trasker Bligh's hospitality, middle earth or
food in general. It didn't help that they returned at 12:15, 15 minutes
late or that Zeek accompanied Trasker on the tour, by then the whole party
was ready for lunch.

As luck would have it, there were two Justa Pizza restaurants in Athens, a
State University town; one was company owned and the second was a franchise
and Cory and Dooby were Vice-Presidents at Justa Pizza for quality
control. At first Tommy granted the titles as a joke but the boys took
their taste testing reviews seriously, even more seriously after they
became stockholders, plus Dooby's handsome mug graced Justa Pizza
billboards all over the country and as luck would have it, there was one
such Bligh owned billboard across the street from the Athens franchise
store which Carson recommended over the company owned store without knowing
or caring which was which; he was interested in quality. He also didn't
know who Cory Spelling was except he got the impression that his family
owned a grocery store while Dooby's father was a home builder of some
repute in New Jersey.

The boys found that the dining room was packed with Saturday lunch
customers, and no less than four parking spaces close to the building had
been reserved for delivery vehicles, which customers didn't object to
because the building was sighted on an out parcel in the regional shopping
mall's parking lot so there was plenty of parking. The boys didn't mind
having to wait for a larger table because they could watch the organized
chaos behind the sales counter and the prep area. The store was so busy,
unusually; they even had a hostess and servers.

At first the hostess thought the party of six consisted of college students
until she saw Carson; a regular local customer and graduate of U of G, who
still had to wait like everyone else. When they were about to be seated,
the pretty young hostess greeted Carson by giving him a light kiss on the
cheek that caused his face to turn a nice cherry red. Dooby thumped the
side of his head and whispered to Cory, "I think I'm broken."

"What was that?" Carson asked.

"He said he was broke, so I'll pick up the tab for lunch," Cory said
quickly, and more quickly when he saw that Carson was about to object, "I
insist, it's the least I can do for you guys for inviting us along this
weekend."

"Well okay, I'll catch y'all for dinner this evenin'," Carson compromised.

Dooby wanted to be sure he was broken. "Was she an old girlfriend?"

Carson turned red again, "Um, no, not really, Molly's parents own this
place. We're still just good friends from high school. I was actually
interested in her younger brother although he couldn't see me at the time
for the rest of the football team and the cheerleading squad and anyone
else he could bang." Dooby felt redeemed. He sighed dramatically and wiped
his forehead, for which he received Cory's elbow in his ribs as a
suggestion that he keep quiet.

They ordered three large `Garbage Pail' (double cheese and all other
toppings) pizzas to share and each ordered whatever toasted sub he
wanted. Carson suggested that they might not be able to eat all that
food. That started everyone but him to laugh and point out Zeek as their
own personal garbage dispose-all and this luncheon; he would be ably
assisted by Rodger whose stomach was only eclipsed slightly by his
intellect.

Cory and Dooby realized that something was wrong with their subs and the
pizzas. Their food tasted great and everything looked even better than they
were used to in the corporate owned stores. Zeek identified the difference;
there was more of everything, the good stuff, like meats and cheeses, in
the subs and on the pizzas; a point that he and Rodger approved
of. Charlie's taste testers had to agree. They also noted two other
significant differences; there was still a waiting line to be seated and
while there was only four parking spaces for delivery cars, there were more
cars that always seemed to be out and about the town delivering food
orders. This franchisee was covering their small additional food costs to
make a better product, with twice the volume of sales when compared to
corporate owned stores.

Molly picked up Cory's credit card with the check since their server was
super busy. She returned the card hesitantly with the check to be signed
followed by a couple who turned out to be her parents, the franchise owners
and they looked worried. "This is a Justa Pizza corporate credit card,"
Molly told Cory needlessly.

"Yes, I know. My name is Cory Spelling, just like it says on the
card. That's because Charlie Spelling is my father, and this weird looking
dude's cousin," he tossed a thumb at Dooby, "is Justa Pizza's CEO. Tommy
and my father call Dooby and me the company's royal taste testers, but
we're really just vice-presidents for quality control. Oh, and you passed
our taste test with flying colors."

Molly and her parents breathed a sigh of relief. The parents said they were
concerned because, while their district manager couldn't order franchises
to reduce food quality to match the lower company store standards, their
local DM strongly recommended it because of higher food costs despite the
higher sales volume, gross sales and net unit profit reflected badly on the
company store across town. Cory and Dooby rolled their heads like bobble
heads to show what they thought of that idiotic reasoning.

That was when Carson introduced them as Mr. and Mrs. Candy. Cory elbowed
Dooby before he had a chance to say that they knew someone in Florida with
the same last name. He shrugged a final warning and Dooby nodded that he
understood. The world was not as big as everyone thought it was but they
didn't know where Andy Candy was from and he didn't mention why he
relocated to Florida.

Mr. Candy invited an elbow from his wife when he invited the boys back the
next morning for breakfast. Cory accepted as he pushed Dooby out the door,
before he could say that Justa Pizza didn't serve breakfast. All the burger
joints had been serving breakfasts for years with varying degrees of
success; there was no reason that a national chain pizza joint couldn't
enter the competition. It was easy to picture a breakfast pizza and some
kind of sandwich as yet another profit stream for Justa Pizza if it was
intensely promoted nationally and the food tasted better than the `other
guy's'.

The first item of business after lunch was to park Carson's Jeep at his
office. While northern Georgia wasn't as cold as New Jersey, it was colder
if you were riding in an open Jeep and Dooby's hardhat wasn't equipped with
earmuffs – yet, and the natural blush on his cheeks looked like he'd
over-applied some Orsini cosmetics.

Trasker yielded the SUV's steering wheel to Carson since Athens was his
town. Trasker rode shotgun which left Dooby and Cory, and Zeek and Rodger
to ride in the second and third row of seats. Carson thought a squabble
would break out when it was found that there was no third row of seats. He
didn't know that there would have been a squabble if there was a third row
between the two couples because the couple that rode in the back was
surrounded by darkly tinted glass and high seat backs was where they could
make out with each other with abandon, depending on the length of the
trip. He was amazed and envious to see Dooby and Zeek take the seats
without comment while Cory and Rodger seemed to expect, and were more than
happy to sit on their respective boyfriend's laps and he thought snuggle
down far more than necessary during the short trip to the local
Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealer.

Carson made a quick phone call on the way to the car dealer after Trasker
told him that he was interested in buying a Navigator and a truck for his
farm manager. "Uncle Beau," he began without preamble, "if y'all want to
sell a Navigator and a truck this afternoon get off your ass and meet a red
Suburban that I'm drivin' into your parkin' lot... No I don't think he
wants to buy the truck I want; he wants a farm truck... Daddy called y'all
already? Well that's tough shit, this sale is all mine and I'll be back as
soon as I get my commission check... Bye."

Carson didn't notice Trasker look back at Zeek and wink. Trasker already
discussed buying Carson a company vehicle while he followed him and Dooby
from the new farm to Justa Pizza. All Zeek had to do was to get Carson to
show him what he really wanted to buy as his own.

Carson explained that local new car dealers were far too used to ignoring
college age guys who liked to look at cars that they couldn't afford and
were regularly ignored by sales staff. He was just providing his uncle a
legitimate lead, since new car sales were almost as scarce as real estate
sales; Trasker would be on his own to negotiate any purchases. Carson
introduced Trasker, lately of Redlands Plantation and the new owner of the
old Rigby Plantation as a heads up to his Uncle Beauregard Powers that
Trasker was a serious buyer and not to be trifled with as just another U of
G student, before he headed out to visit `his' new truck.

Zeek had no trouble finding out what truck Carson wanted to buy because
Carson suggested that they follow him out into the new truck area where the
guys noticed, there was not one empty parking space for any new
inventory. Trasker asked Dooby to stick with him since he'd been so helpful
to Tony at the Daytona Beach Caddy dealer's.

Beau Powers turned out to be the most laid back sales person that the guys,
with limited experience, had ever met. Trasker and Dooby naturally zoomed
into the dark blue Navigator that was parked inside the sales room in the
middle of the floor. They opened all the doors and the rear hatch while
Beau kept apologizing for all the extras, every conceivable extra that had
been factory built into this particular SUV, but his apology was
accompanied by an in depth demonstration of each `must have' feature while
Trasker sat behind the wheel with Dooby looking on avidly from the
passenger seat.

Dooby nearly fell out of his seat laughing at Trasker when Beau
demonstrated the built-in seat heater as he recounted the story of Charlie
thinking his Navigator was on fire with his ass burning up first, all due
to Dooby being excessively helpful on a cold morning. This story, he
claimed as his defense, proved that an owner should always read the owner's
manual.

Once the tour of the truck's interior was complete, Beau was about to open
the hood so they could look at the engine, although he apologized that
there was nothing that looked like an engine to see; with everything
covered, it looked like nothing more than a closed barbecue gas grill made
of plastic. Trasker agreed that he had no doubt that there was a powerful
V-8 engine under there somewhere and there was no point in
looking. "Unfortunately, the day of the backyard mechanic is gone forever,"
Beau apologized once again.

Trasker looked at Dooby for his opinion after Beau produced a scrap of
paper that had the sticker price at the top and a list of factory and
dealer incentives and discounts, along with several creative customer
rebates. Ford was indeed motivated to sell their brand. The bottom line was
one third less than the sticker price. Dooby nodded and added, for Beau's
benefit, "Of course that price would be before that quantity discount," he
assured Trasker. Beau agreed with that with a hungry salesmen's look in his
eyes.

"I guess I'll take it if y'all can have it out at the airport next
Wednesday afternoon?" Trasker looked out at the guys, really just the top
of Zeek's head in the distant new truck display area. "Do y'all happen to
know what truck Carson has his sights set on?"

Beau laughed, he said, "Carson stops in regularly to visit `his' truck," he
used finger quotes, "He sees that truck more often than he sees his father
and they live in the same house! He wants a special ordered, Ford 250 crew
cab with so many bells an' whistles on it that it makes your new Navigator
look cheap. The local guy that bought it backed out of the deal when his
wife convinced him that he needed to pay the mortgage before truck payments
or diesel fuel or he'd most likely still be payin' the mortgage, plus
alimony, plus child support for five kids; all without gettin' a sniff of
nookie out o' her. She was so mad; she made the dude point his dick at the
shingles for three full months before that beast was delivered and
refused." He got serious suddenly, "Tell me you ain't fixin' to buy that
truck out from under Carson are you?"

"Nope, I'm fixin to buy that truck for him as a company truck. He's goin'
to be workin around here for me for a while since there's a lot to do out
at the new farm. I expect he can buy it from me used if he decides to do
something else for these carpetbaggers I'm plagued with."

The second Civil War began after that comment although this one was
strictly verbal and insults were accompanied by laughter. While the battle
raged Trasker managed to buy an additional 4X4 crew cab for his farm
manager to drive immediately. He knew that there were over 40 farm trucks
in use on Redlands but he would wait and see how many and what sizes would
be needed at the new smaller farm. Of course that news sent Beau off in an
expectant mental dither and he almost forgot to ask about the means and
method of payment.

The Civil War II ended when Dooby handed Trasker his laptop case that
actually contained his laptop instead of cash money. The wire transfer
percolated through cyberspace while Trasker reviewed and signed the
paperwork after there was some scrambling to find the dealer's bank account
number since a wire transfer was unusual and by then the other guys had
entered the showroom. Trasker also had supplied a blanket Georgia
certificate of insurance so all three trucks could be tagged temporarily
and permanent tags could be ordered from Georgia DMV.

Poor Carson almost pulled a neck muscle when he happened to see `his' truck
being driven into the dealership's garage along with another slightly less
elegant crew cab and Trasker's new Navigator had disappeared from the
showroom. "Some son-of-bitch bought my fucking truck!" he wailed to the
entire showroom, which fortunately was devoid of other customers at the
time.

"I did," Trasker challenged wearing an evil grin, "y'all wanna make
something of it? Now don't get all teary eyed, I bought it for you as your
company wheels; you can buy it from me anytime y'all want."

Carson forgot where he was (a showroom) and who was watching (his
uncle). He jumped Trasker, carried him to the floor and planted a very
unbusiness-like kiss on his lips. Surprisingly, Carson's uncle Beau just
grinned and said, "Right glad to see y'all finally got that Andy Candy high
school crush out of your system after four long years. You got a business
degree from U of G and a new job that I assume pays somewhat better than
sellin' real estate, so it's time y'all moved your love life forward too."
After Carson recovered from the surprise of finally getting his truck and
shock at his uncle's reaction to the spontaneous kiss, he looked at his
uncle and grinned. Beau added, "That's right Carson boy, the rumor is
true. Now there's two black sheep in the Powers family. I expect it must
run in some families."

The five boys in the rental followed Carson who was driving his truck, to a
`boutique' inn and spa, also frequently called a hotel near campus where
Trasker had reserved a two bedroom suite that turned out to be two double
bedrooms connected by a door. It didn't matter that one of the rooms was
unlikely to be used, Trasker wanted to keep up `appearances' since he was
new and there would be five guys in the party. They dumped the Suburban
since Carson was not about to be separated from his new truck, so he could
give Trasker a tour of the University campus, particularly the School of
Agriculture and the city generally. It was Zeek who called a halt to the
tour after they passed the corporate owned Justa Pizza AND the inevitable
City of Athens, Civil War monument for the second time around. The
afternoon break was in order so that didn't conflict with dinner.

There was plenty of room in the company store parking lot, which was a good
thing because Carson backed his truck precisely over the white line that
separated two spaces. He rationalized his hogging of two spaces by saying
that he didn't want to risk careless dings from other customers' car doors.

That got the guys laughing. Dooby observed that the new truck had such
oversize tires that if cars parked close enough, he could use a cars' roof
to step down onto the pavement without using one of the ladders that were
bolted under the running boards. Then Dooby and Zeek made a big show of
coaxing Cory and Rodger out of the cab by catching them when they jumped as
if they were toddlers jumping into a pool their first time.

Dooby looked back at the monster truck as they were about to enter the
store. He exclaimed; "It has a winch on the front just like Wench Boat! We
should call it Wench Truck!"

"It has a winch but y'all said Wench," Carson reminded. He didn't seem
upset by Dooby naming his truck.

"You haven't met Trasker's Uncle Auggie yet; he murders what he calls the
King's English. Winch and wench are the same to him just like picture and
pitcher," Cory pronounced carefully. "My dad does the same thing if he
wants to make some business guy think he's a country bumpkin just before
the business guys loses the drop the soap game."

"Or when he gets mad at me for some reason," Dooby added.

"Which would be all the time," Cory added to that with a laugh.

Things were quiet inside the second Justa Pizza, the `company' store. They
sat at a table and were told they would have to order from the counter and
the food would be delivered to the table. They already planned to order
more food than they wanted to eat mostly for comparative purposes. They
ordered six different subs and three different pies, one of which had to be
a garbage pail. The manager helped the two prep cooks serve and returned
minutes later when he saw that no one but the big light skinned black kid
and his geeky white friend in the group were actually eating. Dooby told
them not to eat until he and Cory looked at the sandwich contents and
visually inventoried the major pizza toppings.

To keep Zeek and Rodger from complaining, they checked the garbage pail and
their toasted subs first. Dooby and Cory were not surprised to find that
the sandwiches and pies met the company specifications exactly; there was
not one extra piece of pepperoni nor was there one less. "No nothing is
wrong really," Cory answered the manager, "But we've eaten at the Justa
Pizza across town and..."

"And nothing in this store is as good as it is over there, I know, because
I eat over there too," the manager said to finish Cory's sentence. He
brightened suddenly, looked all around the outside windows and stated,
"Since it's Saturday and my district manager won't be around, I hope," he
said and then asked, "Would you like to try a dessert pizza I've been
working on? No charge, because I want to find out from strangers if they're
any good," he added.

The manager didn't see four guys nod cautiously or Rodger and Zeek nod
enthusiastically, he was already in motion running for the prep area. "He
gets points for being an eager beaver anyway," Cory said, "I'd bet that if
he was given more latitude, the food here would be as good as Candy's."

"And our profits," Dooby agreed as a concerned major stock holder.

By the time the experimental dessert pizzas arrived, Zeek and Rodger had
finished their subs while the others only ate one half and planned to ask
for them to be wrapped to go. No one was interested in eating more pizza
but Zeek wanted them boxed anyway providing the dessert pizzas were
edible. They would join the half subs as midnight snacks.

The manager, Jonnie, NOT Jonathon or John, he spelled and explained his
name proudly, was a family thing, returned with his experimental individual
dessert pizzas since his restaurant wasn't busy enough to rationalize
servers. They were served on nine inch round pizza stones that were fresh
from the oven that in turn rested in plates for safety sake.

Zeek's eyes lit up as he inhaled and visually inspected the new
pie. "Raisins, pecans, candied fruit and molasses with lots of chocolate
bits and sugar melting on top," he guessed. "My favorites!" he exclaimed as
usual.

"Close enough;" Jonnie agreed with a satisfied grin, "I used self-rising
dough that we use to make deep dish pizzas and work in the fruit and
nuts. How do you like them? Do they taste alright? I tried to put the
chocolate bits in the dough at first but it gets to runnin' out and it's
too messy. They're best eaten while they're still warm because they're real
pizzas not just big cookies," he was so excited, he forgot to make that
suggestion before the six experiments were half gone.

Of course Zeek paid the ultimate compliment by trying to extract the recipe
for his momma so she could make up a batch as soon as he got home. Jonnie
told them that he asked his district manager if he could submit the dish to
the home office since such creative suggestions were always encouraged, but
the DM didn't like "rockin' the boat", polite for NO. The DM wouldn't be so
bold, so no store manager could make suggestions either.

Fortunately, Cory thought ahead by making Dooby promise to keep his trap
shut for the duration but that didn't stop him from doing his dance while
seated; he was outraged because creativity was being stifled by some old
red neck that was too set in his ways. Cory paid the bill using cash,
curiously thanked the whole staff and strangely, promised to be in touch
soon. Then he got too busy pushing Dooby out of the store. There was a
limited time that Dooby could keep his big mouth closed, promises aside.

Once back in Carson's truck, Cory called Tommy and used the speaker phone
so the other guys could hear since he was being badgered by the guys,
including Carson, to explain what he planned to do. He asked Tommy how much
it would cost an existing franchisee to buy an under-performing corporate
store in the same city. He gave the two store numbers and waited while
Tommy looked up their respective numbers. The results drew a holy shit from
Tommy that half of Athens could have heard if the truck windows were
down. Then Tommy wanted to know what the fuck Cory was doing in Athens,
Georgia.

"I'm here too Uncle Tommy!" Dooby shouted, "We bought Trasker a farm and
some trucks here so far, so he has somewhere to live and get around town
while he goes to school here at the University of Georgia. Tomorrow morning
we're going out to look at farms around Trasker's, so his farm is
profitable from the start."

"Dooby, is that you?" Tommy asked as a joke.

Carson was shocked, "We are?"

"We certainly are. Hi Tommy!"

"Hi Tommy!" Zeek reported in, "Rodger's with us too, and a new guy, Carson,
he sold us the farm."

"Hi everyone; say Dooby, your dad called Charlie and he called
me. Something about a limited partnership agreement and a contract that
someone sent overnight to your dad without any explanation, just a couple
of sign here tabs. I don't suppose you would know anything about that?"

Dooby began to sputter but Tommy cut him off since he could hear Cory
laughing. "Oh, Cory, you know early this morning you left the same papers
on the sofa where Charlie sits to watch the news?"

"Yes Sir, I do that so he doesn't forget to sign something I need to get
signed."

"Well you better think of somewhere else to leave papers since you have two
mutts in the house. I hope a few tooth punctures don't matter."

"Those dogs aren't mutts, they're Labrador Retrievers," Dooby corrected
archly; "Chuckie and Laurie have all kinds of papers that say they have
champion parents."

"They certainly are retrievers," Tommy agreed. "Did you guys know that
Laura was going into the City this morning to meet with the aquarium guys?
I bet you didn't, you left the house too early."

"Exactly what are you trying to say about the dogs?"

"Well Laura left Charlie to babysit YOUR dogs but Christian, Carl and I had
an 8:00 A.M. tee time with Charlie for our usual game."

"Utoh,"

"That's right, Charlie brought them along. They sat on the back seat of
Charlie's cart just watching us and looked kind of eager when Charlie
sliced his ball into the deep rough on the first fairway."

"Oh no..."

"Oh yes he did; he let YOUR mutts go after he had them sniff one of his
balls, and no Dooby, not those balls. Charlie said, and I quote, "Them
monsters were going to earn their keep," if he had to babysit. One of YOUR
dogs found Charlie's ball in the brush and the other one collected
Christian's from the fairway since it was easier to find. They brought the
balls back to Charlie, but wouldn't give them back until Carl and I drove
our balls and they ran to retrieve them. Once they understood what they
were supposed to do, they made side trips to the closest fairways or greens
to collect any balls they saw there too."

"Oh no, are you guys still members or did you get kicked out?"

"We would have been black balled if Charlie and Carl weren't two of the
club's founders. Actually most of the guys that lost balls to your dogs
thought it was funny, as long as they never have to see them on the course
again."

"Are we in trouble?"

"Nope, except with the tennis pro, Laurie and Chucky stopped in at the
courts and helped him give a lesson when we were on our way into the
clubhouse to play poker. The dogs thought the machine that serves practice
balls was fun. Tennis balls are bigger, easier to see and softer. They
brought two of them home as souvenirs and toys."

"Why didn't Dad put them on their leads?"

"Because we couldn't catch them at first, and then we stopped trying when
their antics really got funny. At least they got completely worn out and
slept under the table as long as we played poker after we fed them burgers,
fries, they drank a bowl of water and had a potty break. By the way, they
each enjoyed a chef's salad, lettuce and all for lunch."

When they finally got down to business, it was agreed that the Candy family
could buy the company owned Justa Pizza, by buying the franchise for the
standard fee and just leasing the building. Then Tommy would fly down,
visit the Candy's store to see the business for himself and taste the food
with an eye toward adjusting the Justa Pizza's menu standards upward, chain
wide. Then he would taste Jonnie's dessert pizza to see if it too could be
added to the national menu and reward Jonnie financially for his suggestion
accordingly, which was the suggestion program's intention.

Back at Candy's store for the second time, Cory made the offer and the
Candy's agreed with no hesitation. They planned no personnel changes and
even wanted to have Jonnie continue to manage the store. They knew him
since he came in to eat so frequently because of the food and Mr. Candy
mentioned in passing that he and Molly had dated or were dating. Who knew
how serious the couple was in this day and age?

Wench Truck's next stop was at a package store and Carson was elected to go
in the store to buy a case of `supplies' since the boys realized that they
were in a strange city, the wet bars in their rooms weren't stocked and he
was the only one in the truck who was of legal age. Of course while he was
in the store, Trasker took heat for not thinking ahead and loading
supplies, not even one jar or gallon of Thirsty and Argyle's drinkable
`super cleaner', on his dime a dozen school airplane in advance of need.

Trasker did manage to redeem himself, hospitality wise, when he ordered
trays of snacks from room service. Of course he'd also made reservations in
the hotel dining room as soon as they checked in earlier. Dooby and Cory
inspected the boutique rooms carefully because they agreed that these rooms
would be perfect if they substituted a king-size bed for the more typical
two queen beds. They would add a small sitting area with a nice desk with
plugins and comfortable office chair, plus a very nice wet bar complete
with fridge and separate icemaker would be ideal to re-create at the David
Hotel and the wet bars would remain just as empty until the guest stated
his or their preferred brands. Then pre-priced packages would be available
based on quantities desired and include appropriate unbreakable barware
along with bar sundries such mixers, fruit, olives, shakers and etc.

Carson seemed to be nervous in the room at first until longnecks were
served and the guys started recounting stories about Thirsty and Argyle and
their adventures as professional bootleggers before almost actually going
legitimate by opening a Florida distillery. They said almost because the
legal distillery wasn't in production yet, when they would have to account
for every ounce of production to the damn `Revenuers' (onsite ATF
Officers), both State and Federal. So the cousins planned to keep the
orange grove still in operation for their personal consumption while the
real owner, their cousin Auggie, had entirely different plans that included
scrap metal recycling. The cousins would have to become accustomed to
paying for their booze, an entirely new concept.

After dinner, Trasker invited Carson back to the suite for a `nightcap',
while he decided to accept or decline an earlier invitation; to stay
overnight, with no strings attached to his future employment. Dooby, Cory,
Zeek and Rodger disappeared into the second bedroom while Trasker and
nervous Carson sipped beers in the other. Carson wondered if Trasker's
partner would be upset if he and Trasker just happened to do something in
bed together that didn't include sleeping.

Trasker carefully explained the group dynamic that included no secrets
between partners and the `just say no' rule. He also said that his partner
Ryan was the CEO of the family business that actually was based in Atlanta,
so Ryan would also be in residence during most weeks and fly back and forth
to the office by helicopter if necessary and they might use the helicopter
to fly down to Redlands on weekends occasionally, or use the jet to visit
Coral Place and his Uncle Auggie in the Florida Keys more
frequently. Trasker went quiet suddenly when he realized he said `the
family business' out loud for the first time; Bligh Media was a family
business and he was the second half of the family in control even though
the corporation had gone public.

To cover his lapse, Trasker said, "That's something else you can do; pick a
site for a lighted helipad close to the house..."

Trasker was interrupted by Dooby and Cory when they ran in complaining that
the shower was too small to hold four guys when one of the guys was, "The
BIG LUMMOX ZEEK," Dooby shouted back through the adjoining bedroom door.

"FUCK YOU DOOBY!" Zeek shouted back with a laugh, "In fact that's just what
I'm fixin' to do after I get Rodger here, properly anchored to the
bed. Oops, that would be after we borrow your cleanin' kit please. Hey,
maybe we should try makin' a sandwich again an' we can all switch around
bein' the meat and the bread?"

Dooby and Cory looked at each other in question. Trasker answered Zeek,
"The damn Yankees forgot their kit too, shit!"

"Nope, most likely not enough to make a difference," Cory said, "I guess we
go to plan `B' tonight."

The significance of the presence or absence of a `kit' went right over the
top of Carson's head, he was staring at two beautifully naked bodies, "Um,
do you guys realize that you're both, um, stark naked and um, hard, right
here in front of me, a stranger?" Carson managed to stutter with his eyes
fixed on two bobbing cocks; one, Dooby's, perpendicular to his gut and
Cory's, drooping because of its excessive length and weight.

Of course Dooby chose to misunderstand, "Yeah, so? Where we come from, we
have bigger showers and we never wear clothes to shower OR go to bed."
Dooby retorted. He turned to Cory and said, "Just what we need, another
hayseed."

Carson stood up and unbuckled his belt, "Well, I hope y'all know you made
my pants too tight to wear any longer; I expect until at least sometime
tomorrow mornin'," he looked at Trasker hopefully, "If that's alright with
you?"

Morning found the six guys spooned together on one queen-size bed while the
other three beds in the suite went unused. In any spooning there had to be
one outside spoon and when Cory tried to turn over he pushed Dooby out of
bed. That was a good thing since no one thought about leaving a wakeup call
although five guys listening to Dooby bitching about the un-named bed hogs
was more than ample to serve the purpose.

At some point during the bedtime festivities where only head jobs were
given, received or experienced jointly due solely because no one thought
about bringing a portable douche kit, it was decided that Carson should
accompany the Rebel party on Trasker's dime a dozen jet back to the Keys
after dropping off Dooby and Cory and picking up James in New Jersey.

Cory engineered Carson's visit to Coral Place with Trasker, during a quiet
moment alone. He told Trasker that he and Dooby knew where the elusive Andy
Candy, Carson's long lost heart throb was, and they would send Andy down to
stay at the Rainbow Club for a week, to see how the Club operated and how
the suites were decorated so as many innovations as possible could be
applied to the David Hotel in Daytona Beach. Trasker agreed because he
didn't think Carson should be burdened with not having a partner, or at
least, a very good friend to pal around with. When and if Carson and Andy
were reunited, the guys decided to let nature take its course and if they
were lucky, then the new couple could decide where they wanted to work.

######

Deacon Collins called Cory, Saturday morning. Deacon had been fired from
his Home Depot delivery truck driving job, not because he'd enjoyed a steak
dinner at the Spelling mansion, but because he didn't return the truck
before dinner, and a manager had the wait around at the store for close to
two hours after the store closed. Charlie knew about Dooby's Christmas gift
from Cory because a licensed driver had to own the truck so it could be
registered and insured.

Cory also asked his father to handle all questions and solve any problems
in dealing with the company, `Custom Wheels', who specialized in rebuilding
factory stock vehicle models into custom limousines in varying degrees of
elegance and for some owners, ostentation, so Dooby would never find out in
advance. Cory wanted the new truck to be longer by just adding a few inches
so whoever sat in the back seats (he and Dooby mostly) had more leg room
and that was his only specification.

However, Charlie found out that just adding a few inches to the truck
required that it be cut in half and a `few' inches needed to be added to
the frame, the drive train, the body parts and windows and adding as few as
one inch was nearly as costly as adding 24 inches or 36
inches. So...Charlie had 36 inches added to Dooby's Christmas gift without
troubling Cory with the change. Then, with that much more interior space,
the stock rear seats would look hokey according to the builder,
so...Charlie allowed the builder his freedom to redesign and install a more
appropriate rear interior.

The completed, finished result was parked in a closed barn located in a
distant part of the property where the boys had never visited as far as
Charlie knew. What he did know was that the rear passenger compartment
seating was a `J' shaped leather sofa with fold down arm rests and a small
built-in wet bar just behind the driver's seat had been added. The third
row of seats was gone in favor of two comfortable folding jump seats that
faced the sofa and left rear door was gone while the single right rear door
had been widened and was centered on the nearly wraparound `J' shaped
seating area from the door around the back and up to the wet bar.

Deacon's call came in just after they landed in Athens on Saturday morning,
with Dooby standing right there listening, Cory whispered Charlie's phone
number. He had to be brief and to keep turning away in the off chance that
Dooby could read lips. All that Cory would say after the call was that it
was concerning a Christmas gift that a certain nosey partner wouldn't
receive if he asked any more questions. That warning had Dooby guessing or
trying to guess, the whole weekend at odd times and out of the blue. Dooby
stopped asking Sunday morning when he guessed a pair of giraffes, and Cory
laughed nervously (he was a pretty fair actor too), so Dooby just knew he
had guessed right finally, and he stopped asking.

Very few people had Charlie's cellphone number, and after Deacon hurriedly
explained his new position, driving the slightly stretched Navigator and
that he was supposed to move into the vacant garage apartment, Charlie
invited him to move in whenever he wanted, even though he thought the rooms
were full of junk furniture that he would have to clean out first. Charlie
agreed that Deacon could start work on the apartment that day and he would
see Deacon sometime in the afternoon and then he would show him what he
would be driving because it had been delivered and was hidden in a barn on
the property. Charlie had to end the call suddenly when Laurie decided to
help him drive to the country club by sitting on his lap.

Deacon had only seen his new apartment at night from the entrance closest
to the house via a staircase inside the eight car garage but there was only
one old overhead light in the first room that appeared to have been used as
an office in a far earlier time and he and Cory were in a hurry to get back
into the house to enjoy a steak dinner. He had the foresight to stop in at
his old employer of less than 24 hours to stock up on cleaning supplies
while he still had his employee discount. He also took the liberty of
borrowing his mother's vacuum cleaner. He assumed that he could find a step
ladder in the mansion.

In the light of day, Deacon was surprised to see that the eight garage
doors were widely spaced and more importantly, no less than 10 leaded
dormer windows jutted from the slate roof that would be part of the second
floor apartment that looked down on the brick walled courtyard in front of
the garages. The courtyard served a double duty; it was also the main
house, kitchen or service entrance.

Deacon could hardly believe that his new apartment was actually larger than
his parents rambling ranch style home when he walked from the interior
stairs in the garage, all the way to the other end of the wing that was
attached to the house. Also there were duplicate dormer windows on the
opposite side with a view of the entire river valley and on a clear day or
night, extending as far as the New York City skyline. He found that a
kitchen was located on the far end and a kitchen door opened on a deck with
an outside staircase.

There was a dining room, three bedrooms, two full baths, what he assumed
was an office and another room that could be a den. While the kitchen and
bathrooms were dated, no expense had been spared in tile and fixtures
including two original cast iron claw foot bath tubs that were twice the
size of a similar reproduction that he had the bad luck to deliver; that
had to be loaded and unloaded with a forklift. He had to wait until the
contractor rented a forklift. He was amazed at first that the jumble of
furniture was in such good condition, and was far from the junk that
Charlie thought it was and there really wasn't that much furniture.

There was enough furniture to furnish the kitchen with a table and chairs,
and another set went into the dining room that he had no plans to
use. There were sofas, chairs, small tables and lamps, more of everything
than he needed. He was pleased to find one complete bedroom suit and that
three mattress and foundation sets hid a wood burning fireplace in the
living room. He began shifting furniture, got really hot and couldn't find
the thermostat, so since he was alone, he stripped to his tennis shoes and
went back to work. By late afternoon, Deacon's last task was to scrub the
kitchen and bathroom floors.

He was down on his hands and knees with a scrub brush and a bucket of soapy
water. He found out that he was no longer alone when the dogs found him in
the kitchen. Since he was down on their level, they assumed he wanted to
play. Deacon didn't know that the dogs spent the morning golfing or most of
the afternoon napping on Charlie's feet before and after lunch, so they
were well rested and happy to be home. The Dogs managed to bowl Deacon over
and cause him to tip over the bucket of soapy water.

That was the chaotic scene that Charlie walked in on; one young man and two
happy dogs; all wet and soap covered. Deacon was laughing and pushing the
dogs away while screaming about them getting him covered with dog germs. Of
course he had to expose his face and open his mouth, which was the prime
target area, just like Dooby. Deacon stood up and apologized for not being
dressed while Charlie apologized for not knocking first and reminded that
he and Laura had seen him naked the previous evening as well as all the
boys who spent most of the holiday week dressed exactly the same. Charlie
chased the pups out of the room and told them to stay put. The pups sat at
the dining room door with their tails thumping the floor while Charlie
volunteered to help mop up the mess.

Of course first sight of the moving cotton floor mop was far too tempting a
toy for the dogs to ignore and the more Charlie hollered and shook the mop
at them the more aggressive they became until they managed to wrestle the
mop out of his hands and then use the business end to play tug of war. By
then Deacon felt free to advise Charlie that he really shouldn't laugh
while trying to discipline the pups as that just encouraged them.

Charlie shrugged and sent Deacon off to dress. Since the boys weren't home
and Laura called to say she was staying the night with Margery, Charlie
would enjoy Deacon's company. The first item of business was to help one of
the weekend grounds crew feed the deer. Charlie enjoyed seeing Dooby feed
the deer up close to the house, but if he admitted that, Dooby would most
certainly be teaching Rudy how to open a door since the doors were equipped
with handles, not knobs.

The pups had already discovered and remembered how when Chucky was the
first to lever the latch while Laurie again used her nose to keep opening
the door for Charlie and Deacon. Deacon went to help carry the feed bags
while Charlie opened a bag and filled the pails for Rudy and his four
doe. The dogs and Rudy went through their ritual sniffs before Rudy
actually ate from Charlie's hands while Laurie and Chuckie sat at his side
and watched with their tails wagging constantly as usual.

After feeding, both Charlie and Deacon needed showers and a change of
clothes, which Deacon did not have, so Charlie led the way upstairs
straight into the boy's suite and into their closet. Since Deacon appeared
to be about the same size as Dooby, Charlie invited him to pick out
whatever he liked to wear because they were going out for dinner.

Deacon had no trouble finding the pups, they were whining from the bathroom
and after he stripped once again, he found them sitting on a bench in the
empty spa tub and looking very hopeful. That changed to appreciative when
he stripped off their harnesses, turned on the water and adjusted it so it
wasn't too hot for the dogs. He waited until the water reached swimming
depth before he went to the shower.

He was about to turn on one of the showers when he noticed that the hand
held spray had been adapted for another purpose entirely; it was a
beautifully proportioned erect six inch cock with stylized balls that he
assumed would be used as a handle. He was tempted to experiment but then
decided that being really clean would be a waste of time that evening
although he wondered where Dooby and Cory bought such a unique yet
utilitarian device. He would have to ask Cory because one might prove
useful in his new apartment if he ever got `lucky' the first time before he
was too old to care. Deacon got under the shower and hoped to find shampoo
among the many bottles on the shelf and shower seat.

Deacon's first choice was a flat plastic bottle that had a picture of a
naked Dooby on it. More searching yielded other bottles with other guys'
pictures, guys he didn't recognize. He straightened the shelf by lining up
the bottles so they faced him. He used Dooby to shampoo and Cory to
condition and a stranger's bottle of conditioner as lubricant for his
inevitable shower jerkoff session while visions of guys' bodies floated
through his head behind his closed eyes. When he finished, he resolved
once again to find a friend; perhaps a friend among the bottles or a friend
of one of those other guys. He knew he'd never been closer to getting
lucky, since all of Cory and Dooby's friends were gay and obviously had
messed around within the group. His last official act in the borrowed
shower was to be sure that all of his cum had been properly rinsed into the
drain.

He was about to dry off when he thought of the dogs, they shook off before
he dried them first after which they ran into the bedroom until they
reappeared when they heard Deacon using someone's hair dryer. He used the
dryer on them first for which they showed their appreciation with bountiful
doggie kisses all over his kneeling body including a lick or two on his
cock that he couldn't help reacting to. "God let me find a friend soon, so
I don't end up having sex with dogs; talk about desperate!" he mumbled to
the dogs.

He found a pair of cargo pants that were long enough, but tight around the
waist that also served to display his tight butt in the back and with his
junk clearly outlined in the front. A loose weave, V-neck cotton sweater
almost completed Deacon's borrowed dinner finery; he added a braided
rawhide choker and a handful of colorful cord bracelets to one wrist
selected from a jumbled pile on the boy's dressing room counter.

He just picked up the dog's harnesses. That was enough to get them running
from the bedroom due he assumed, to the subtle jingling. The dogs assumed
that they were going somewhere and they needed to be properly attired just
like their humans.

Deacon and the eager dogs met Charlie at the top of the stairs. "You clean
up real nice," Charlie observed.

"Thanks I guess, you too," Deacon risked a joke. Charlie laughed and
agreed. Deacon didn't know that Charlie had been waiting for him for 10
minutes. He'd been around two gay boys long enough to know that a young gay
man would most likely take as long if not longer since the boy's closet was
like entering a teen clothing shop the first time for Deacon. "What are we
going to do with the dogs? Do you lock them in a room?" He assumed a room
or big wire cages.

The dogs raced each other from the stairs to the front door waiting for
Charlie or Deacon to open it since it was too heavy for them to manage –
yet, since it opened in. Charlie grinned up at Deacon. "Nope, they're way
too clever to be left alone. We'll just bring them along with us."

Charlie drove his truck almost a mile on a seldom used farm road to the
barn where the new truck was hidden. Deacon won the battle with the dogs to
ride shotgun while the dogs were relegated to the empty back seats with a
stern warning from Charlie to stay put although Charlie did allow their
heads to intrude from between the seats; he said they enjoyed watching the
GPS screen.

Deacon was still unwilling to believe that Charlie would dare take two
rambunctious pups into any restaurant and said so. "We'll just make believe
that they're service animals, Labs are the perfect breed," he countered.

"Not five month old pups; no one will believe that."

Charlie opened the console glove box and pointed at the contents, "Here dig
around in there and find a pair of sunglasses you like, if it will make you
feel better."

Deacon was aghast at the implication, "I don't believe you want me to play
at being blind; that's a shitty suggestion."

"Nonsense, guys your age wear sunglasses day or night, we can't help what
other guests in the joint think or don't think. Once we get to the table
the dogs will disappear underneath. That's what they did at the club at
lunch and the card table. I think they like the feeling of security of
being closed in, with humans sitting at the table to serve them food, of
course," Charlie hastened to add.

"These are all Ray Bans, how come you need so many expensive pairs of
sunglasses?" Deacon asked while he tried on several pair after he lowered
the sun visor to look at the result in the lighted mirror. He was hooked
after Charlie explained that Ray Ban was a sponsor and he would find some
print ads and a TV ad that would be out soon; all showing Cory and Dooby's
mugs wearing those sunglasses and he could have any that he liked.

The dogs followed Deacon out his door after Charlie parked near the
barn. They weren't on their leads yet so they searched the surrounding area
and left several `signals' to mark their new territory.

Deacon lifted his new sunglasses to see the new SUV in the barn after
Charlie turned on the lights. He whistled his appreciation and told Charlie
that Cory told him that no one could tell the truck had been stretched
unless it was parked beside a stock Navigator.

Charlie explained the minor difference in cost between a `few' inches that
Cory wanted and 36 inches that Charlie okayed as he opened the single extra
wide back door and climbed in after whistling for the dogs to join
him. "The keys are in it," Charlie concluded, implying that Deacon should
begin his new job then and there while Charlie and the dogs played at being
`lord(s) of the manor' from the back seat.

Deacon lowered his new sunglasses once again after a quick glance at the
restaurant name and laughing in the rearview mirror at Charlie who just
happened to be grinning back. "I don't suppose you would know how your
first name came to be the name of this, joint, I believe you called it?"
They were third in line for valet parking, with the valets suddenly
invigorated to see which of them would get to park the limo, if the driver
didn't do it.

Luckily, Charlie had the foresight to attach the leads and give Deacon some
bills for tipping, before Deacon opened his door prior to another attendant
thinking about opening the rear passenger door. Deacon just managed to
catch the two leads before the dogs could escape to greet all the new
humans. "These are my service dogs," he explained to the lucky valet as he
offered a bill as Charlie instructed, before he looked at the
denominations; they were all $50's. "In training," he added in a whisper
that no one heard.

Deacon, the dogs and Charlie had almost entered the front door when they
heard a valet tell another, "That limo driver is fucking blind!"

Charlie kept a straight face due to years of experience while the hostess
greeted him by name and looked everywhere but down at the pups who were
nudging her legs, trying to get her attention. She continued to ignore the
dogs while they trotted at her side while pulling Deacon and his sunglasses
along behind them. He used his free hand to cover his mouth until the
hostess led the party to what appeared to be a very special table close to
the open kitchen and the mesquite wood–burning grill. The big round
table was all but surrounded by an upholstered banquette which effectively
blocked other diners' view, while all other diners sat in comfortable
chairs at tables

The pups lost interest in the hostess as soon as they saw the whole prime
rib turning slowly on its spit and the chef or grill master deftly flipping
steaks on the grill. As Charlie predicted, the pups sought refuge under the
table but sat so they could see and smell that roast, the steaks and the
occasional flames and thanks to Rodger's grilling the previous evening,
they were not intimidated at all.

"I think I was set up," Deacon told Charlie when he could stop laughing.

"This is Charlie's Number 1, Number 2 is about 25 miles away and Number 3
is on the ground floor of a high-rise condo tower now just about finished
in midtown Manhattan and you weren't set up, you got a free lifetime supply
of very good sunglasses out of the deal," Charlie said and laughed. "Now we
best see about feeding the critters before they figure out how to nab that
roast without gettin' burned."

"Will they eat anything besides a steak?"

Charlie laughed and nodded, "They had chef's salads for lunch, served under
the table and when we picked up the plates they were both licked clean;
lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green pepper an' all, not to mention the sliced
chicken breast."

The men ordered prime rib dinners for themselves and two more for the dogs
including snap beans and baked potato. The impatient pups each picked a
human and began goosing them in the balls with their noses to speed up the
meat, potato and bean dicing process. The dogs had begun eating before the
plates touched the floor, no salt or pepper required, and they were
finished before Charlie and Deacon had begun chewing the first bite of
food.

The dogs gave up begging for more when that proved unproductive and by
mutual agreement, they stretched out and appeared to go to sleep, although
one or more eyes opened occasionally in the off chance that the grill
master dropped a steak.

The restaurant had `turned over' completely by the time the men finished
dinner, Charlie signed the check and Deacon used Charlie's money to leave a
tip for the server, so none of the new diners were aware that there were
two Labs in the room. That would be before one young man once again wearing
Ray Ban's stood up and nearly had his arm pulled out of its shoulder socket
as they headed for the door with Charlie following at a safe distance in
the event that he needed to claim plausible deniability concerning any dogs
inside his restaurant.

An alert valet announced Deacon and his service dog's return to the parking
lot by shouting to someone to bring up the blind guy's truck. Of course by
then word of Charlie Spelling's presence had bounced back into the parking
lot. He was recognized as the little old guy with a huge bank
account. Charlie compounded Deacon's boarding the driver's seat by helping
his driver in placing Deacon's hands on the steering wheel!

Charlie invited Deacon in to stay overnight so they could enjoy a nightcap
together before bed without Deacon having to drive home. Charlie didn't
entirely trust anyone who was a strict prohibitionist, and he wanted to
discover Deacon's stand on the subject. Deacon responded that there was a
time and place for everything and for him, the time to have a drink with
Charlie had arrived – if Charlie had any bourbon on hand. Deacon never
drank to excess but he preferred bourbon.

The dogs slept all the way home and roused enough just to get inside the
house, to the library. Charlie sent Deacon to the kitchen with an ice
bucket and a water pitcher while he delved into a private stash he was
given by Auggie, another veteran bourbon drinker.

After Deacon's second generous drink of 20 year old `Old Pappy' on the
rocks with a splash, he yawned and was ready for bed. Charlie sent him to
the boys' bedroom because he knew that bed was made but he didn't know
about any of the guestrooms. Deacon completely forgot about the pups until
he'd stripped and attempted to climb on the bed. The dogs had beaten him to
the bed and represented a pair of lumps under the covers; apparently the
dogs were born hedonists. They certainly enjoyed their comforts and
pleasures.

He pulled the bed clothes back and pushed them to one side with some
pitiful sighs from them to show their displeasure at being roused from
sleep in the middle of the night. Once he got in the big bed, the pups
presumed to rearrange his body with Chucky pushing him from one side to the
middle, and then they stretched out on opposite sides with their warmer
bodies pasted against his sides seeking the heat of his body as if he was
their mother. It was Deacon's turn to sigh with contentment as he drifted
off to sleep.

######

Keith and Brenden were up and gone before daylight Saturday morning, their
first full day managing the marina after the couple's first night sleeping
at Coral Place. That would be sleeping after some frantic sex with each
other and with Stevie and Logan for the first time before moving onto or
under Ollie and/or Jonathon, then together again with Keith once again on
the bottom. Then Brenden boldly invoked the `put and take rule'; it was his
right if not duty to take back whatever he injected into Keith, along with
anyone else's contribution to the feast while the other guys, including
Auggie and Zeek watched them until they were stimulated to begin a show of
their own. The end result; no one in the room got much sleep.

The new couple's first stop was the Club to have a business breakfast with
Mason and Ian, the parasailers. Their eventual intent was to fill a six
foot diameter balloon with helium and launch the balloon after it was
anchored securely to the new marina sign. The actual advertising was a
large banner that flew under the balloon to announce that it was a perfect
day for parasailing from a boat named Wench Boat, docked at the very same
marina; the sign proclaimed, newly renamed Trasker's Marina. That was a
name that Trasker didn't know about yet and wouldn't until he returned home
to Coral Place from the airport and saw the sign, courtesy of his Uncle
Auggie.

Keith and Brenden were immediately called to task when they walked into the
dining room because they were improperly attired; both were still wearing
shorts and shirts and there were guests present, two of which, the staff
judged to be `chicken hawks', who wanted to see if what was outlined in
Brenden's shorts was real. He foiled their hawkish stares by sitting at a
table before he slipped his shorts off and his tight muscle shirt over his
head. After a growing boy's hearty breakfast, the foursome departed for the
marina.

Brenden's very fine athletic youthful body turned out to be sufficient lure
to entice the hawks and two other guests to the marina to go parasailing
because they thought he was involved with Wench Boat. They didn't know he
was the marina's assistant manager before they paid their money to Ian and
Wench Boat left the dock without Brenden.

Entrepreneurs Mason and Ian erased their first customers' of the day
disappointment by once again offering the four, Mason's laptop that
displayed all the parasailing out takes and brief clips they added of much
younger guys such as well endowed, Kurt with a `K' Bradley, who were never
going in the advertising anyway, had returned home and there was no way
that they could be identified behind tinted goggles and wearing
helmets. The video show yielded the sale of four individual DVD's at $100
bucks each, with sound for only $50 bucks extra while sound was always
included previously at no extra charge. The new instant Wench Boat policy
was, `pay to perv'.

Brendon and Keith had fun launching the balloon; they let out 400 feet of
nylon cord and immediately received an irate call from the airport that was
relayed through the marina's PA system. A pilot complained that they had
created a potential air traffic hazard. Keith pulled in some line while
newly licensed driver Brenden, happily drove one of the Club's SUV's up and
down the Overseas Highway until he could see the banner easily traveling in
either direction, without sticking his head out the window and looking
up. About 50 feet high was perfect.

Auggie's bus ended the fun when it drove into the fairly large parking area
that was crowded with boats on trailers, bigger power and sail boats on
cradles, a stack of abandoned cradles and way too many empty boat trailers,
some had been parked so long, their tires were flat. The new management
team was understandably nervous. Keith and Brenden really didn't know
Auggie very well, the previous nights' activities aside. August Bligh (Call
me Auggie.), didn't become a multi-billionaire by always being a nice guy.

The boys welcomed Auggie at the bus' elevator door. Zeek used the
conventional door carrying Auggie's fabled gold knobbed cane because he
wanted a tour of the whole place and his electric cart didn't climb so much
as a three inch step. This marina was not a handicap friendly place so
Auggie was planning to walk and Brenden was going to be the tour guide
since his home was docked there. Logan and Stevie soon joined them after
having motored over in Fishin' Boy to top off the tanks with fuel, and then
backed it into an empty slip normally used for docking large overnight
guest boats.

Auggie didn't need a guide to tour the crowded field that was going to be a
parking lot for the new businesses that were planned to be incorporated
into a stilt building facing the docks. The lot was another result of the
recession. Someone who owned a boat on a cradle or trailer or an empty
trailer was supposed to be paying a monthly storage fee to the marina and
the majority weren't according to Brenden who had been posting the marina's
receipts for a year, so he would know.

"I made a suggestion to the other owners, but they didn't want to risk
rockin' anyone's boat," Brenden told Auggie. Zeek, Keith, Stevie and Logan
laughed at Brenden's little joke, but Auggie didn't.

"Y'all plannin' on tellin' us the suggestion sometime befo' it snows?"

"Well everything parked here has a home mailing address within about 50
miles, north or south of here. And we know we haven't got a snowball's
chance in hell of collecting any delinquent fees..." The boys and Keith
turned away to laugh but Zeek didn't bother. Even Auggie had to smile at
Brenden's further reference to snow. "So I suggested that we deliver all
the junk to the home mailing address if it isn't a Post Office box, and
write everything off as bad debts." Brenden was on a roll and started to
giggle. "Can you imagine some bank manager's face when he finds a 40 foot
fishin' boat on a cradle, sittin' at his banks' front door an' three more
on trailers in his parking lot some morning?"

Auggie could indeed imagine that. He laughed so hard he made his cart
shake. When he recovered enough, he said to Stevie; "Call Jim-Bob boy an'
see if he knows a contractor that might have one o' them lowboy trailers
an' a heavy duty truck crane. Then get to Carter boy to get us a forensic
accountant to audit this here marina's books. We need us a list of every
delinquent account so these boys can start deliverin' the junk."

"I already made a list of bad accounts, but an audit would still be a good
idea. There's a lot that I don't know about, like why everyone of the
owner's family charged everything to the business, even groceries; that
didn't seem legal," Brendon declared.

Auggie told him that lots of business owners did exactly that so they could
avoid paying income tax and social security contributions, he added that
they could end up paying dearly if the IRS took a sphincter clenching
interest in their personal incomes and business expenses in future years,
but that was not their concern.

Auggie abandoned his cart at the marina office when he went inside while
Brenden collected some papers listing delinquent accounts including boat
slip rents, another area of concern. Stevie looked over Brenden's shoulder
at a master list while he pointed out boats that owed back rent that had
been highlighted in yellow.

"Holy shit Auggie," Stevie said, "it looks like half the boats docked here
are parked here for free. We should have them towed away."

"Towed where? There's no place to impound boats. Boats are not like cars
although towing boats might be profitable," Brenden opined.

Keith looked disgusted. He was, with himself. "You know I don't know
anything about boats or marinas Auggie. I think Brenden should be the
manager and I'll just follow him around as his assistant."

"Like hell," Auggie countered, "this here young man has to finish up his
high school, an' then get ready for college next fall to study there for
four more years, an' that's the end o' that discussion."

Brenden protested, "But Auggie I can't afford college, and I don't see
borrowing the money even if I could get student loans. I'd be paying the
loans off until I was as old as y'all, like 100 years!"

Auggie knew he was being baited as Brenden danced out of reach to leave him
holding the papers. "Logan boy, hand over that there cane, I got me another
dunderhead on my 100 year old hands. Seriously Brenden Boy, yo' about a
hair o' becomin' my ward, an' that is close to blood, which don't end when
yo' is a big shot 18 years old or a 100! Yo' goin' to college without no
loans," he looked around, conspiratorially, "Y'all might know this, but I
got a few bucks in the bank."

That comment sent Logan and Stevie off on a back slapping laugh trip until
Auggie turned on them, "An you two yahoos best start to studyin' more `n
somewhat because yo' goin' off to college come next fall too."

Stevie and Logan looked like they'd been slapped, "Who the `f' is goin' to
take care of you?" Stevie demanded barely avoiding saying, fuck, with the
store/office manager within ear shot.

"I expect y'all would be back home weekends, holidays an'
summers. Meanwhile y'all need to start lookin' for replacements, just a
pair that's not so long in the tooth as you two!" Clearly it was Auggie's
turn to have a back slapping laugh at his button pushin' geek, and his step
an' fetch it boy's expense, while ignoring their middle fingers and frowns.

Stevie had been holding two conversations on his cellphone at the same
time; one with Auggie and the other with Jim-Bob in Key West. He told
Jim-Bob what was being discussed in the marina office and then whispered to
ask if Jim-Bob knew of a runaway shelter somewhere in Monroe County. He
listened to Jim-Bob a minute and said, "Okay, I expect we'll buy that truck
crane and rent the lowboy trailer with the guy and his big ass truck to
pull it."

"Buy what truck crane?" Auggie asked.

Stevie pointed out the windows at a homemade crane that clearly had been
`rode hard an' put away wet' over the years and needed to be replaced,
without explaining further. Then he said, "There's a crane service that
bought a big one, brand new, two years ago, who wants to sell it before the
bank gets it and he's got a lowboy rig he'll rent."

"Tell him to be here tomorrow mornin' with an operator an' a riggin'
crew. We'll deliver to all the banks first while them banker fellers are in
church prayin' for another bailout." Keith was amazed to see that Stevie
took the initiative by buying an almost new truck crane worth perhaps $200
thousand dollars or more, over the phone and Auggie didn't object, so he
thought he should begin taking charge of the marina without Brenden's
direction.

Keith took the list of delinquent boats currently in numbered slips and
trailers registered to the same owners that were parked out in what Auggie
called the `north 40' that needed to be cleared. When he had 10 that
matched, he went out to the docks and whistled to the fulltime workers that
were employed to work outside. They would pump fuel, clean the two
bathhouses, pump out holding tanks, help launch or pull boats among other
things and the mornings' assignment was to use the marina's tow tractor to
bring the trailers to the docks, then pull and load the matching boats for
local residential delivery that afternoon.

Brenden led Auggie and Zeek around the docks with Brenden talking nonstop
to point out where he thought there should be improvements. There were tee
docks to be added, dock and bulkhead repairs, better slip arrangements,
more lighting and dock security generally. Dock security was important if
they were going to lure bigger yachts; currently, there wasn't any at
all. They needed fences with self-locking gates, CCTV and maybe get Coral
Place's around the clock marine security force to watch the marina from the
water since one or more of the four boat fleet of boats was always docked
at the marina anyway.

Auggie cut Brenden off, "Yes, to all that shit an' anything else yo' can
think up whilst we're tearin' up, git `er done." He pointed, "Who owns that
pretty little boat?"

Brenden beamed with pride and a dazzling grin. "That's Hit, my houseboat,"
he explained the H.i.t.W. acronym, "that's where I live, um, I mean where I
was living."

"Yo' can dock it over to home if y'all want to, to keep her safe," Auggie
suggested.

"I would but my Dad hit a palm log with it and the outdrives' messed
up. I'll move her as soon as I get her fixed though, thanks. You know with
this slip free maybe we should look into getting a towboat?"

"Do we want more junk boats?"

"No not towing to impound, just towing back to a dock when something breaks
down or some idiot runs out of fuel or maybe rescue if we're closer than
the Coast Guard. We would charge by the length like, Fishin' Boy at 65 feet
might cost $1200 to $1500 just to tow it from a few miles out in the Gulf
Stream in to Coral Place or here. If a boat owner is smart they get towing
insurance that would pay us and if they aren't smart, well' we'd accept
cash or a credit card for twice the insurance rate."

Auggie looked to see that Keith was involved in cleaning the `dead wood'
out of the slips by using one of the Club SUV's to pull the trailer that
had been loaded with a boat destined for a local resident whose slip rent
was long overdue. "I got me an idea," he said to Brenden, "You an' Keith
boy take one o' them trucks an' journey on down to Key West. Find us a
proper boat for towin' that can be used as a runabout an' get it fixed up
fo' towin' at the boat works before it's delivered up here. Meanwhile, stop
in to have lunch at the Dead Lobster, before yo' stop at a new car dealer
to get you two a pair of company trucks; somethin' big for towin' heavy,
but nice enough to be pleasurable to drive."

Brenden put up a stink about goin' to jail for using company money to buy a
boat and not one, but two new trucks. He didn't want to risk going to
jail. Zeek and Auggie convinced him that those kinds of big purchases were
far more legal and above IRS suspicion than buying groceries using company
credit cards. Zeek even pointed to Auggie's bus as a company car that had
been modified for handicapped use since Auggie was the Chairman of the
Board, was handicapped and did business out of the bus. He did not mention
how much Auggie's `company car' cost.

"If we do that, who's going to deliver the stuff on trailers?" Brenden was
wavering in his resolve not to abuse Trasker's Marina by using company
funds. Auggie and Zeek giggled like little kids and rubbed their hands
together in eager anticipation.

The marina had been open for business since before dawn. There was one
woman in the store who did double duty working in the store, selling
convenience store items, ice and live bait that needed to be fished from
tanks, tackle and in the adjoining office, collecting daily boat ramp fees
and for fuel, although someone else pumped the fuel. Auggie assigned Stevie
and Logan to help her out since the store was another area of concern, it
was not only very busy on weekends, some regular boating customers had been
allowed to charge their purchases to their marina accounts that originally
included their slip rent and boat maintenance. Most kept their monthly
accounts paid, while others not quite, or not at all, although they had the
balls to continue to charge to their delinquent marina accounts, not to
credit cards.

That abuse stopped when Keith was playfully pushing Brenden away from the
SUV driver's side door because Brenden was excited about driving all the
way to Key West, his longest road trip behind the steering wheel to
date. "Here comes a dead beat now," Brenden said over his shoulder as he
started to run toward the marina store, "the son-of-a-bitch owes me $90 for
cleaning his boat, plus he owes for back rent, gas, ice, bait and tackle!"
He began laughing when he and Keith got into the store and saw that the
man's boat was one that had been loaded on its trailer and the first that
Auggie and Zeek were planning to deliver as soon as they got done arguing
about which of them was going to drive the SUV. Auggie was as fond of
driving as Brenden especially with passengers like Zeek that he could scare
the shit out of.

When Auggie and Zeek saw Brenden running and his shouted reason, they
hurried to witness the showdown. The deadbeat, as Brenden called him didn't
get into the store before he noticed that his boat slip was vacant and then
saw his 30 foot open `fisherman' on a triple axel trailer that was attached
to an SUV. Brenden was ready for the man with two printed past due
statements when he stormed into the store with two of his regular fishing
buddies that arrived with him in his compact car.

"Where's the manager or owner? Someone's stealing my goddamn boat in broad
daylight out from under your noses, and you're here in the store doing
nothing but watching the theft," the man raged. He was talking to Brenden;
the only person he recognized.

Brenden's cheeks colored but he didn't say a word to argue. He handed the
man, the former customer, his statement and copies of his monthly invoices
starting September 1st when he launched his boat and rented the slip. The
man paled when he read the balance due. Brenden said, as calmly as he
could, "We accept cash or a valid credit card. If you pay in full right
now, your boat goes back in the water. If you fail to pay right now, your
boat will be delivered to your home address here in Marathon. By the way,
the invoice for $90 is for cleaning your 30 foot boat at $3 bucks of foot,
not 25 feet that you told me. Do you think I don't have a tape measure or
that I'm just a stupid kid?"

The man grinned after slapping a back pocket, "I don't bring my wallet when
I go out on the boat, and you can't deliver my boat to my condo because
that trailer isn't mine; I sold it to some guy soon after I launched the
boat. What are you going to do now?"

Brenden looked out the window again and said to Zeek and Auggie, "That's a
drive on trailer, so to deliver just the boat, back it up to a palm
tree. Cleat a line to the stern and tie the other end to the base of the
palm and drive away. Bring the empty trailer back, we'll find out who owns
that later."

"No, no, wait, I was just joking. I have my wallet. I'll pay in full with a
credit card." While the deadbeat was no longer smiling, his two fishing
buddies had backed away. One made a hurried phone call to ask about an
alternate ride back home to their condo complex. Apparently they wanted to
be there in time to see the boat delivery, so Auggie very kindly
volunteered to drive them since they were going to same place.

Keith stepped up at that moment. He introduced himself as the marina's new
manager and Brenden as his assistant. He said, "Y'all best pick out a good
card the first time, because if it's declined; your boat gets
delivered. The new owner of this marina bought all the receivable accounts
and as you can see we are in the process of cleaning up the books." Auggie
and Zeek nodded eagerly and after whispering together, both got out their
substantial bank rolls that were held by extra heavy elastic bands.

Auggie gave Dooby one of those elastic bands to bind his bank roll but when
Dooby attempted to use it; Cory had a fit laughing at him. Dooby looked
like he suddenly had two cocks; one real and kind of pointy, and the second
short and very plump, growing from where cocks didn't normally grow, so he
just used it to keep his cash reserves together stored safely in his
underwear drawer since he didn't own any underwear.

The store was silent as Keith swiped the man's proffered card. He grinned
as he returned the card to the deadbeat. He said to Auggie and Zeek, "Y'all
can deliver the boat."

Auggie beamed and put his money back in his pocket while Zeek began
counting out bills, which he handed to Keith. "This here fat mans' too damn
lucky, but either which way we payin' y'all. That there was better `an any
TV show!"

While Zeek was talking, Auggie was hauling ass out to the SUV and the
driver's seat with the two fishermen in tow.

"Do you realize that Auggie is going to drive? He's gettin' in the truck
now," Brenden said with a giggle.

"Damn that man, he's worse than a little kid to tend, but them fishin' guys
will sure learn what a free ride's like!" Zeek said over his shoulder as he
ran to catch up.

While Auggie and Zeek were away, Stevie and Logan soon realized that the
marina store did a brisk business as the area's most convenient,
convenience store serving local drivers on wheels in addition to day
boaters, live-aboard residents like Brenden and overnight transient
`cruising' boats who were exploring the Keys. May-Ellen, the store/office
manager, was sorely overworked although she was fast, pleasant and
efficient. She was unsure of her position since the new owner took over,
but cleaning up accounts receivables was a giant step in the right
direction for the marina, no matter what happened to her personally.

Logan and Stevie turned on their natural southern charm to win her over and
reassure her that she was in no danger of losing her job although her
position would certainly change to more supervision and less grunt work as
soon as the new buildings were built and in operation and more help was
hired immediately. She looked more confident when Logan fetched the
building plans from the bus and they began to mark up the plan based on
May-Ellen's suggestions. Stevie asked if she might know of someone she
might hire to begin work at once.

The new store needed more cooler space for ice cold beer, wine and soft
drinks so they could carry a larger assortment of brands in greater
quantities. They also needed a small kitchen to fix and package fresh
sandwiches. The marina was also critically short of freezer space evidenced
by the odd collection of aged chest type and upright freezers in the back
room by the live bait tanks and it was unforgivable for a marina to run out
of ice, ever, but especially on weekends and holidays. In short the marina
needed more of everything that would appeal to a captive audience such as
their boating customers who would prefer not to make three or four stops
before they got to their boats, live-a-boards to leave the property or
local drive-ins to go elsewhere to make convenience store purchases.

The conversation was frequently interrupted by customers and once by
May-Ellen when she saw two boys who were entering the marina basin in a
johnboat that made its presence known by trailing a continuous trail of
blue smoke from its outboard engine. "Before those boys get here, you
should know that they're much like you. They're twins and are in the foster
child program." Stevie and Logan suppressed grins. May-Ellen got the idea
that Stevie and Logan were being fostered by Auggie since she overheard him
telling them that they were going to college along with Brenden, a boy from
the marina she treated as a son.

"Kevin and Kyle use a cast net to catch our live bait and I always buy what
they bring in whether I need them or not, even though I was not allowed to
pay them more than $.25 cents apiece." She hastened to add before the twins
reached the store, "What we could really use is the same fish that are
rigged because the majority of these weekend fishermen couldn't rig a bait
properly to save their souls and they blame us for selling them bad bait,
but we just don't have a dependable source of the rigged baits."

"Tell them the new owner will pay them $1.00 alive, or $2.00 rigged and the
marina will buy all the rig materials," Logan whispered to May-Ellen as he
stripped off his shirt first since he was first to see the twins while
Stevie had his back to the door.

Stevie was quick to remove his shirt too after he turned around. A bit of
male posturing seemed to be in order. The twins were also shirtless and
wearing tattered cutoff jeans that revealed as much as they concealed. They
nodded toward Stevie and Logan and treated Logan to a second glance since
he was closer to their height, except for his treasure trail which might
make him 15, not their age, almost 14 if `almost' was six months short
14. Stevie on the other hand was taller, so he must be older, since his
treasure trail remained stubbornly within home base and just like blond
Dooby; he still looked for hairs on his thighs. But first one of the twins
was all business.

"We got y'all a 100 today Ms. May," the twin announced proudly.

His brother had other things on his mind; more like monkey business, "Hi
Ms. May! Is Brenden around?" The other asked as he scanned the docks
looking for the electric air compressor and hose that Brenden used when
cleaning a boat bottom from a dock.

The twins always enjoyed watching flashes of his flexing body when he
neared the water line and was not hidden under the boat. Sometimes he wore
a tank suit instead of his board shorts, and sometimes he wore a `skin'; as
the name implies, a skin tight lightweight wetsuit complete with a
fascinating bulge, frequently worn in warm tropical water if he was under
for the extended time required for bigger boats to prevent hypothermia. The
twins preferred seeing him work when wearing his very brief tank suit and
if they were really lucky he would take a break when one tugged on his air
hose and he'd offer them Cokes from his little fridge aboard Hit. They
continually hoped that Brenden would strip off his wet suit, and take his
time drying his body before dressing again in dry shorts while they were
aboard, but so far, that was not to be.

From Brenden's point of view, he enjoyed looking at the youthful twins'
matching bodies wearing their cutoff jeans and never wearing shirts. He
knew they frequently fished without wearing shorts because sometimes when
they were aboard Hit, one or the other would have to actually pull their
shorts up just a bit above their sprouting pubes. When ones' shorts were on
the verge of falling off, he couldn't see tan lines. He had been tempted to
invite them up to his very private sundeck, but they were only 13 or 14
years old and he was 17 and regretfully an innocent himself; they were too
young to mess around with and he was way too old. Still before Keith, he
used their twin images with impunity as imaginary jerkoff buddies without a
`lick' of guilt, either before, during or after a climax.

"Come in boys, and meet Logan and Stevie, they're in much the same
circumstances as you. They live with the man that just bought the marina
so you'll be bait fishing for them in the future and they plan to pay you
more than the skinflint. Stevie and Logan, this is Kevin and Kyle." The
only way to tell them apart was by the color of their caps; Kevin's was red
and Kyle wore blue. Both hats were worn backward while the front proclaimed
that they were residents of the Conch Republic and were souvenirs that the
marina gift shop would be selling in the future.

The mention of more money for their product got the twins' attention away
from other guy's bodies and what it might be like to have sex with someone
other than a twin brother, at least temporarily. Logan got to business
after a round of fist bumps. Naturally Kevin and Kyle were interested in
making a buck each for live bait but even more so for doubling that by
rigging bait fish with a hook, wire leader and a swivel after Logan and
Stevie showed them how.

The how part required the four boys to adjourn to Fishin' Boy with
Ms. May's blessing, where there was a 20 year supply of tackle, including
boxes of hooks, spools of leader wire and pounds of swivels, all courtesy
of Jim-Bob (who believed that not having tackle was no excuse for not
catching fish), after Auggie bought the sport fisherman and named him, not
her, Fishin' Boy.

Of course a tour from stem to stern and from the engine room to the tuna
tower was the first order of business for the twins with three potential
sibling fights about which should be first to sit or stand at a pilot
station; in the salon, the fly bridge or the tuna tower, were barely
averted with Stevie's promise that they could actually drive someday soon
when they went out fishing using the very same rigged baits that they were
supposed to be making.

"How about tomorrow," Logan suggested, "can you go tomorrow?" He reinforced
his offer by buying the first 25 rigged baits by paying a $50 dollar bill.

Strangely, the twins blushed before they nodded cautiously, one said, "We'd
love to go but we wouldn't want to cramp your style. We've seen you pass us
when we were anchored near some mangroves and you didn't see us."

"Yeah and..."

"Well, um, y'all were kind of not wearin' a stitch. If we went naked in
front of y'all we'd probably get hard right there on the spot. We can't
help it, it just happens all the time," Kevin, the red cap admitted with a
nearly matching face.

"And besides," the Kyle the blue cap added, "if we don't bring home some
money we earn from fishin' everyday, our foster father keeps threatening to
send us back to DCF and we might get separated. We don't have enough in our
secret escape fund yet," he announced to the world.

"Oh Lord, save me from baby brothers," Kevin the red, prayed to the sky
while he carried a five gallon bucket of temporarily gasping bait fish in
each hand from the johnboat to Fishin' Boy, "Do you know the definition of
secret?"

"Ms. May knows, so it ain't no secret," Kyle, the blue cap, and apparently
also the younger twin protested.

"You fucking idiot; of course she knows, she keeps the money for us," Kevin
patiently explained to his brother.

Kyle made an enlightened face and argued that it didn't matter because
Stevie and Logan were foster kids too, so they were sort of brothers, even
though Logan paid for the rigged baits with a very real $50 bill, which
they had only heard of previously. Logan used another $50 to purchase the
store's entire supply of small Zip Lock baggies to package finished bait
rigs individually before they went into Fishin' Boy's onboard bait freezer
and the rest went into a store freezer.


"I don't understand why your foster dad takes your money; DCF pays him for
you to live with him," Stevie said as a cross between a statement of fact
and a question; he wasn't sure since Auggie never had anything to do with
the State Department of Children and Families.

"Mommy and Daddy Dearest," Kyle spat, "are professional leeches. They know
how to play the system. Both of them get disability checks for chronic back
pain and Daddy has a Workman's Comp claim pending for his back injury that
he got when he was drunk and fell off a fucking roof. Too bad it wasn't a
taller building," he said with gritted teeth. "Now he does roofing work for
himself on weekends. That's when he thinks some kind of insurance
investigators won't be around to catch his stupid ass. DCF pays them to
take care of us, plus they get food stamps that they trade with a neighbor
for booze and big fat Mommy has been collectin' unemployment for over two
years."

"What the fuck do they do with their money and whatever you give them?"
Logan asked with rising anger.

"Well, what they don't spend on booze, junk food and regular bills, big fat
Mommy uses to buy new clothes." The twins broke into back slapping belly
laughs as soon as Kevin said, `new clothes'. He explained after he calmed
down, "Now you have to picture this. Mommy Dearest weighs in at about 300
pounds and she ain't all that tall, but she's always just about to go on a
new diet, so she buys clothes that she thinks will fit her when she gets
down to like 100 pounds! I shit you not!" This time Stevie and Logan joined
the twins' laughter.

"Want to have some fun with them so they leave you alone for a while?"
Stevie asked with an evil grin and an eyebrow at full arch.

Of course the twins were willing to do anything short of burning the house
down since they still lived there. The boys didn't have to wait long for
Auggie and Zeek's return with the empty boat trailer. They rushed Auggie,
introduced them as twins, as if Auggie couldn't see that for himself and
announced that they were all going fishing early tomorrow. However, first
they needed the truck to go home for 10 minutes before another boat could
be delivered.

Auggie nodded his okay as he and Zeek watched the SUV tear out of the
parking lot. "I expect that Stevie boy is like Dooby boy; they both cock
magnets," Auggie opined. "Inside o' two hours ago I ordered `em to find
young replacements an' they pop outta that store with twins. I wonder what
they up to with us not watchin'?"

Inside Coral Place, Steve drove straight into the orange grove to the
roofed over still. There, they made up four boxes that held four gallons
of moonshine each. They were careful to pack jugs that hadn't been labeled
so the shine couldn't be traced back to the cousin's thriving enterprise.

They made a quick stop at the house so the twins could see the cove and the
cut and Logan called security to tell them that a camo painted john boat
was allowed in whenever it appeared. That was the moment that they were
buzzed by a seaplane that banked over the water and lined up perfectly with
the cut as it landed in the cove. The twins ducked but Logan and Stevie
offered Ollie middle fingers only as Ollie glided the plane to the dock so
he could see their displeasure.

The twins went as goggle eyed as some of the fish they just made into bait
when Ollie and Jonathon, accompanied by two other young guys, climbed out
of the plane. They were all carrying their shorts and otherwise not wearing
a `stitch' as the twins referred to being nude.

Introductions were brief since Ollie and Jonathon were delivering Hobby's
new Captain and Mate to the marina first to see Hobby and then to the Club
to see their new living accommodations. When Stevie noticed that the twins
seemed to be incapable of lifting their eyes above waist level he ran into
the house to get two pairs of aviator sunglasses that Dooby left behind for
future use in the event that he forgot his. These allowed their eyes to
wander wherever and no one would know officially while unofficially
everyone in the group enjoyed being admired by other attractive guys.

Of course Ollie, Jonathon and company were invited to fish but they already
planned to fish from Hobby, so one boat became two and Stevie called
Brenden to invite him and Keith to go out as well. When Stevie mentioned
Brenden's name Kevin and Kyle's eyes lit up from behind their new
sunglass. They were finally going to see Brenden without wearin' a stitch
the next day, or sooner; that evening if Stevie's plan worked as
anticipated.

The twins were to tell their foster parents that they found the four cases
on a tiny mangrove island, covered with a tarp. Since it looked and smelled
like alcohol they decided to bring the abandoned treasure home to their
loving foster parents; a pair of booze hounds, and allow human nature and
unquenchable thirst to take its course. Stevie surmised that the 140 to 150
proof give or take 10 proof grain alcohol would not take long to do its
work.

Stevie was proved right, the temporary `rents were so excited by the find
and the first taste, they began drinking seriously and forgot to ask why
the johnboat no longer smoked or where the twins got two pair of $150
sunglasses.

Kevin and Kyle were welcomed at the Coral Place dock by all the gang then
in residence and since no one was wearing a stitch, they got used to being
naked while they helped Brenden and his friend Keith feed the fish and
didn't mind the swim platform over-crowding with constant hip bumps and
`accidental' touches one little bit or more serious water wrestling with
everyone involved afterward, while Auggie and Zeek watched with total
amazement from the dock.

######

Trasker's jet touched down in New Jersey late Sunday afternoon after an
exciting and productive trip to Athens, Georgia. They were met, as
arranged, by James and Steve. Steve was driving Trasker's New Jersey rental
truck while James had driven something else entirely. The steel gray sports
car looked like no other car that the guys had ever seen; it was exotic but
not quite as exotic or as sleek as Tony's Maserati or any of those really
super costly new sports cars and no one recognized the logo. That was when
Steve and James opened the two car doors at the same time. The doors were
hinged near the middle of the low roof, which made the car look like it
might take to the skies. They knew it wasn't a `gull wing' Mercedes 300,
because Auggie owned one of those and it was deemed too valuable to drive
because of their scarcity.

"You guys are all a bunch of hicks," James declared with pretended
sophistication, "It's a 1981 DeLorean! Isn't it beautiful? And it's a
classic," he added and rapped his knuckles on the hood, "This sucker has a
stainless steel body! I know it isn't really practical for driving every
day, so Steve is going to let me store it at his house so we can drive it
weekends."

"So are you plannin' to ride with Steve during the week? That don't seem to
be too practical either," Trasker said.

"Nope," James agreed, "I also bought a big 4X4 crew cab, for drivin' durin'
the week!" That news caused Carson to introduce himself to James as a
fellow 4X4 enthusiast and then to Steve since he was obviously James' very
good friend.

The original plan was to deliver Dooby and Cory to their home and then
drive to the kennel to pick up the Christmas presents the guys bought
earlier for Auggie, Zeek, and the newlyweds; Jimmy and Mattie Chambers,
James and Zeek's parents. That was until Cory suggested that they stay
overnight and then fly back Monday morning in full daylight.

"Let's get the show on the road," Dooby encouraged, "before the kennel
closes. It will be neat for our dogs to have their first ever family
reunion." On reflection he added, "I can't wait to see Gramps' face when
two more dogs rush into the house!"

"Two, which two?" Trasker asked. He was already laughing with James, Zeek,
Rodger and Steve, "We went together and bought two pairs, so that makes
four."

"And Rodger and I bought the last two the kennel had available that age to
sell before Christmas. We planned to pick them up this afternoon too. If my
math is correct that makes six," he concluded.

Neither Cory nor Dooby wanted to risk Charlie having a spell when six more
Lab pups found him inside the house, so they planned to park in front of
the house and blow the horn to get Charlie and Laura outside to see six
more Labs running free and Laurie and Chuckie could reunite with their
siblings or whatever the actual relationships were. At the very least they
had been very recent kennel mates and playmates.

`The best laid plans of mice and men' or something close to that actually
occurred. The six dogs could hardly wait to leave the truck's confines as
soon as Trasker parked in front of the house, and by that time the boys
were ready to eject them if they didn't exit willingly. All four doors
opened simultaneously as Trasker honked the horn and received a black tail
lash across his face and a ball mashing paw by way of thanks.

While no one came out the front door, there was some distant barking in
response. That was enough for all six pups to leave off sniffing the new
territory and race off in the direction of the sound, out of sight. This
caused to boys to laugh and run in the same direction. Carson was a minute
behind. He got stuck admiring the front of the monster Tudor mansion.

While Carson had begun to get some idea how wealthy his new friends and
employers were, he always thought that his father and the local bank
president were very well off, but they were mere paupers compared to
Trasker's uncle and now Cory's father, Charlie Spelling, who had even gone
to the trouble and expense of feeding 100's of deer, hay and cattle feed
through the winter months, or lived in a house with 50 rooms for just four
people.

"Now who the hell could that be?" Charlie asked Deacon. Before Deacon could
answer, Laurie and Chuckie barked at hearing the car horn sound. "That's
the first time I heard them bark," he added and watched the dogs begin to
paddle to the closest ladder.

Charlie and Deacon spent the day together mostly playing with the dogs,
inside, moving excess furniture out of Deacon's new apartment with the dogs
help by tugging the item the opposite way, or watching the dogs explore the
expansive grounds outside and playing with their newest toys; two stolen
electric green tennis balls plus a dozen old fashion white ones that
Charlie hunted up. The dogs were true to their name, they were excellent at
retrieving but they still refused to drop a ball until another was
thrown. That it seemed, was yet another game in which humans chased them
down and attempted to pull the slimy ball out of powerful jaws.

The dogs did drop the balls they were carrying around when they
rediscovered the pool at mid-afternoon and decided to go for a swim. Laura
wasn't expected back until later so Charlie and modest Deacon decided to
skinny dip with the dogs. That's where they were when the horn honked and
Laurie and Chuckie barked for the first time.

Laurie and Chuckie hadn't reached the nearest ladder before six kennel
mates raced down the marble stairs from the garden and jumped into the pool
without the slightest hesitation. While Chuckie and Laurie may have been
happy to greet their friends, they were not canine Olympic swimmers and
they were more intent on reaching dry land to take a well-deserved break
from entertaining their human friends in water where there was nowhere they
could stand or sit.

Deacon distracted the six by waving and calling the dogs generally before
he threw the tennis ball he had been waving. "DOOBY!" Charlie screamed
while he did his own form of doggie paddling to the nearest wall. "When I
get my hands on your young ass it's goin' to be hurtin' all the way home to
live with your poor parents includin' all these extra mutts you bought!"

By then, Laurie and Chuckie had reached the safety of the terrace and were
barking a welcome to all their canine buddies and wagging their asses off
to greet all the humans while Dooby was trying to save his by trying to
tell Charlie that four of the new dogs were destined for Florida, one was
going home with Steve and another was going to Rodger's parents, all for
Christmas presents. This was hurried as he stripped with all the other guys
to join in the fun of swimming with dogs that loved water, at least warm
pool water.

"Oh," Charlie said by way of an apology to Dooby before he began throwing
antique white tennis balls into the pool since the single new green ball
was in one dog's mouth and it was not about to let it go. It was paddling
toward another corner ladder to escape its friends.

"Hi Deacon," Dooby called, "what are you doing here? I thought you said you
had to work this weekend."

"He got fired because we kept him and the truck out too late," Charlie said
quickly. He and Deacon hadn't thought about a story to tell Dooby. "So he
contacted me about a driving job and I hired him. Only instead of driving a
truck, he's going to be driving me around."

"In your old Mercury Marquis?" Dooby taunted Charlie. The old Mercury was
still in the garage and Dooby would have driven it to the front door for
Charlie just to be aggravating, but he couldn't find the car keys. It was
obvious that he'd recovered from his threatened expulsion but that brought
another thought to his mind; "Boy Gramps, if you got that violent about me
buying six more Labs, I can hardly wait to see what you do to Cory after
the Giraffes arrive."

Cory dropped head first into the water before his father screamed at
him. "WHAT GODDAMN GIRAFFES?" But he could hear Charlie anyway as he kicked
off the 12 foot bottom and by then he thought up a plausible story that
Charlie would understand wasn't true, yet Dooby would accept.

"I was going to tell you Dad, but look at it this way. What do you buy a
flaky partner who has everything he wants, and if he wants something he
doesn't already have; he goes out and buys it. He's impossible to buy a
gift for."

Charlie seemed to accept that explanation with one qualification, "Well
okay, but you're on notice Dooby boy; the first time we see one of them
critters lookin' in our bedroom windows, Giraffe burgers are goin' on the
restaurant menu the next day!" Dooby promised that he would train them to
be selective peeping Toms and some second story windows would definitely be
off limits.

"Speaking of menus, what are we going to have for dinner?" Dooby asked as
his mind shifted to more important immediate matters.

"If it wasn't for all these critters I would have taken you guys to the
restaurant, so we'll have to eat here tonight," Charlie decided. "Cory and
Deacon will go with me to do the shoppin' while the rest of you stay here
and keep track of all these dogs AND feed the deer," he amended to keep
everyone busy. He knew that Dooby was an excellent host and would keep the
guys and the dogs entertained. He also knew that all the guys would have
to shower together for an extended period of time because of the number of
guys who were going to have sex together in Cory and Dooby's shower.

Half an hour later, Charlie and Cory were in Charlie's truck with Deacon
driving. "You know Dad, you made a big mistake this afternoon," Cory said.

"How so?"

"Well you now have a verbal contract in front of witnesses with Dooby. You
agreed to let him have Giraffes and all he has to do to keep them is keep
them from looking at you and Mom through your bedroom widows."

"Shit!"

"Yup," Cory agreed, "he'll love the new truck Christmas day, but by the
next morning I bet he'll have tracked down some exotic animal farm that has
Giraffes for sale. I kind of gave him the idea that I was giving him a pair
a Giraffes so he would stop badgering me about what I was really getting
him after Deacon called me while Mr. Big Ears was listening."

Charlie sighed "Maybe a pair of Giraffes wandering around the place
wouldn't be such a bad idea," he mused.

"If you buy him Giraffes, you've opened the door to Dooby's whole menagerie
and I promise you the list is long," Cory warned with a giggle. "We'll have
to put up gates to keep the sightseers out."

"And the livestock in," Charlie added.

#######

The twins, Kevin and Kyle, were still at Coral Place on Monday
morning. They hadn't been back to their foster parent's home since they
delivered 16 gallons of moonshine and the couple began drinking the first
gallon. Stevie's idea of allowing them to drink themselves into a stupor
seemed to be working better than expected and Auggie knew from County
Deputy Sargent Barney that the twins had not yet been reported missing.

Kevin surmised correctly that if they were reported as missing the State
support checks would stop abruptly and perhaps the November check would
need to be returned. The money was the only reason to tolerate two teenage
bastards in their shabby little home. They were constantly reminded that
their father had disappeared before they were born while their mother was
safely in prison for an extended stay for sale of controlled substances in
quantity and desperate for ready cash; attempting to sell her five year old
twin sons on the internet to the highest bidder. A drug user herself, she
never dreamed that law enforcement also read the advertisements on Craig's
List.

Auggie had a story ready if their presence at Coral Place was
discovered. Everyone was prepared to claim that twin boys showed up at the
gates one morning without identification and refused to say where they came
from or how old they were, so he `assumed' that they were 18 years old. All
they would say officially was that they were hungry just like every teenage
boy ever born.

The twins had already said that they were fearful of getting naked in front
of anyone because of the high probability that they would become erect
instantly. This occurred when they were feeding the fish while standing on
Fishin' Boy's swim platform with Brenden and Keith, who also sported
instant boners and complimented the twins for already displaying six inch
cocks and they were still growing, evidenced by their size 12 feet,
indicating that the rest of their bodies had some catching up to do.

In the water after feeding, Stevie and Logan encouraged them to use their
hands as well as their eyes to be sure that Brenden's cock was real despite
Brenden's laughing assurances that it was, and halfhearted attempts to keep
their hands away. They did, and when they did, Brenden reciprocated eagerly
only to decide that age was no barrier after all and he had been wasting
time when he was alone with them on Hit when it was obvious that they
wanted to `play', but fear that he was wrong about them was the inhibitor.

Dinner that evening was an exciting adventure for the twins as they rarely
ate beef that wasn't ground and Chef Flynn brought a whole prime rib with
all the trimmings. Auggie and Zeek realized that it was a good thing that
Little Zeek wasn't home; if he was, Flynn would have run out of meat! It
was the first time in their lives that they'd eaten any more than ground
beef and that was dry and burned to a cinder more often than not. They also
discovered that beef tasted better and was certainly juicier if it wasn't
over-cooked, and wonder of wonders, the meat juices weren't pure fat.

Auggie suggested they quit eating with the promise of leftovers made into
late night sandwiches and perhaps more sandwiches to eat Sunday while out
sport fishing with the boys on Fishin' Boy. Flynn promised a cooler full of
food if the party stopped at the Club for breakfast on the way to the
marina the next morning.

Keith invited the twins to shower with him and Brenden just before bedtime
and when they returned to the bedroom, the only light was from an array of
scented Christmas candles. The atmosphere was perfect for love making,
Stevie and Logan saw to that while the foursome showered. Auggie and Zeek's
attention seemed to be riveted to Ollie and Jonathon, who were already on a
bed and making out passionately so the new boys were apparently
ignored. That is, they were ignored until the twins began to demonstrate
their love making skills with Brenden and Keith acquired and perfected by a
lifetime of trial and error in bed with each other. While the older boys
thought they would be instructors, they found that the twins were already
full professors in the field of sexology!

Early in the morning, Auggie and Zeek were awakened by their bed jiggling
rhythmically caused by the tireless twins who thought to have their usual
`waker upper'. Only there were too many arms and legs scattered on the air
mattresses so they borrowed unused space on the other half of Auggie and
Zeek's king-size bed and grinned a brief apology when Zeek turned on the
bedside lights so they could see more clearly.

Sunday morning saw Auggie ordering Brenden and Keith to take the day off
and go fishing with the boys, while their shiny new trucks would be used to
deliver boats on trailers and Auggie took charge of delivering yachts on
cradles to banks large and small if they were still in business or to the
last owner of record, boat owner or finance company owner or CEO, that
didn't matter.

A reporter/photographer with the `Key West Citizen', the local newspaper,
took an interest in Bank of America's collection of boats when he found a
30 foot sloop on a cradle that was blocking the ATM drive through, so
Auggie invited him along to document what he referred to as the `return of
property' abandoned at former Marathon's, now Trasker's Marina. Auggie even
went so far as to pay for the charter of a helicopter so the reporter could
get an aerial view of the major banks and their fleets of yachts and a few
large private homes that were the proud sudden possessors of boats large
and small parked on driveways, lawns or even out on the street.

The online article that included copy, still photos and video clips,
immediately went viral to receive a million `hits' within hours and was
quickly picked up by national broadcasters and became a feature story on
some primetime Monday morning news shows. The gist of the story suggested
that anyone wanted to buy a big ticket item that they couldn't afford; all
that was required at one of these lending institutions was to apply for a
loan.

While Auggie, Zeek, Stevie and Logan were explaining their private tutors
to the twins Monday morning, the screen door banged. It was assumed that
Trasker, Little Zeek and James had returned but the new arrivals were
Mattie and Jimmy. They had received a cryptic phone call from James to
instruct them to go to Coral Place and meet them there in 20 minutes. They
had no idea why, but James told them to be there without fail.

Ten minutes later, the screen door banged again. Mattie, Jimmy, Auggie and
Zeek's full attention was on the doorway while the twins, Kevin and Kyle
dove over the sofa back when they first heard Mattie's voice and exposed
themselves to just below their eyeballs so they could peek over the sofa to
see what was going on and wondering how they could get to the bedroom to
put on shorts without being seen by a woman. The people in the great room
heard way too much whispering, giggles and outright laugher before all the
boys screamed, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

Trasker shouted, "Let the Hounds of Baskerville GO!"

The four big pups put their noses to the floor to do a quick scan for
available food, and their paws in high gear. In the great room they greeted
the new laughing humans in rotation repeatedly until one or more happened
to see two more human heads, who obviously wanted to play hide-and-go-seek
with them. Two went over the sofa back and two went around the ends. The
twins were caught in a pincher movement that climaxed with them being
buried under four happy pups.

Pets generally were as rare as gourmet food to the twins. They were
laughing so hard, they forgot they weren't wearin' a `stitch' but when they
looked up they saw the woman hugging three guys who weren't wearing a
stitch either. "Can we keep them Uncle Auggie?" Kevin or Kyle asked. The
twin's red and blue souvenir caps had become chew toys and were already no
longer wearable. The `Uncle', was impulsive wishful thinking. Pets
generally were as rare as last night's roast beef to the twins. They were
laughing so hard, they forgot they weren't wearin' a `stitch' but when they
looked up, they saw the woman hugging three new young guys who weren't
wearing a stitch either.

"I expect one or mayhap two of them hounds are Christmas presents an' y'all
can't say no." With that simple statement, the dogs, that the boys
intended as gifts for Auggie and Zeek, became the twins first ever pets,
"But," Auggie added, "Y'all got to take care of `em your own selves. Like
now you got to feed the fish without them dogs swimin' around with `em;
train `em to stay on the dock `til y'all say otherwise so they don't get
bit."

"Come on guys, we'll help you figure it out," Stevie volunteered his and
Logan's services while the adults, Trasker and the Chambers brothers
discussed the addition of two boys to the family and which pups were whose
intended gifts.

Ryan ended up being the final mediator. He agreed with Mattie and Jimmy's
opinion that two half grown pups joining their household now was premature
with another pair of twins expected in the spring; they would have enough
to do since James and Little Zeek were off to school in January. The
decision was that their two pups would be fostered with their two kennel
mates who were originally intended to be gifts for Auggie and Zeek and all
four would call Coral Place home, `temporarily'.

After Mattie and Jimmy returned to their home without living Christmas
gifts, Zeek observed dryly, "Temporary until y'all try to pry even one o'
them dogs away from them two boys..."

That evening the twins in Zeek's company and without any dogs, made a final
trip back to their foster home. They were using the ski boat because it was
fast, small and it had running lights. They were towing the old johnboat
that belonged to the foster father. They planned to leave it tied to the
rickety dock so the twins would not be accused of theft.

The only reason that the twins were accompanying Zeek and not one or two
other eager volunteers; was Auggie wanted them to remove every personal
effect that they wanted to keep and most importantly every single scrap of
paper that was related to them, particularly their birth certificates. He
was hoping to give the impression that the twins never lived there and they
were in fact figments of the foster parent's alcohol befuddled minds or
perhaps subjects of a fraud perpetrated against Florida DCF who was
constantly fucking up somehow.

It was hoped that the absence of any lights turned on so early in the
evening might mean that the couple was unconscious and they would stay that
way while the twins collected their few things and the all-important
papers. However Zeek carried a so far unused gift from Jim-Bob; a
collapsible Billy club that he was itching to try out, if one or both
people happened to be roused by the boy's search.

Zeek stood over the inert couple who were leaning against each other on a
foul smelling sofa in a living room that was littered, well, with litter
that included one empty gallon jug. There was another that was three
quarters full or one quarter empty depending on one's philosophy. Zeek was
idly thumping the extended wand on the palm of his hand, daring one or both
of the unconscious couple to awaken when the twins reappeared.

One carried a small duffle and the other clutched an accordion style
cardboard expandable file. "Can we take turns bonkin' those two
sons-a-bitches Uncle Zeek, just once each?" One of the hatless twins
half-whispered way too hopefully before they left the house forever.

"No you certainly can't, this here is my bonker an' it appears as it won't
be needed. Now let's light outta here."

The twins insisted that they retrieve their cast nets and other specialized
fishing gear for catching bait fish from the johnboat because they fully
intended to resume their live bait business even though the boys told them
that they were living with one of the 20 wealthiest individuals in the
Country and working was unnecessary beyond fetching Auggie a drink or using
a remote to change a TV channel occasionally. The last thing that Kyle did
before leaving the johnboat for the last time was to remove and toss the
boat's drain plug. He assured Zeek that the built-in floatation under the
seats would keep it afloat, just barely, but it couldn't be bailed out
until the plug was replaced.

Naturally one twin drove the ski boat one way and the other drove back to
Coral Place. The dock lights were on and they could see the four Labs
running up and down the dock in eager anticipation. That was until the
first pup jumped into the water and of course the other three followed.

The dogs circled the boat, the twins assumed, because they expected to be
fished out so they could get a boat ride. Kyle pointed at Auggie's ramp
that had been lowered into the water so the dogs could reach the dock
without help. "I guess they need another ramp climbin' lesson," Kevin
surmised as he dropped his shorts borrowed from Logan, "Come on bro, let's
show `em how it's done."

Two splashes later, Zeek was left holding the twins' shorts and docking the
ski boat while Auggie and the other boys laughed from the dock. "An' yo'
was afraid it was goin' to be too quiet around these parts wid de boys off
to school," Zeek said to Auggie with a laugh.

#######

My thanks to Emoe once again for his tireless work in editing my stuff and
for the rapid turnaround time!



HAPPY READING!

Jamie Haze


                                                                                                                                                        

                                                        Back    main    next

Email Jamie