Time sure can fly by when you are busy. Collin had his tutor six days a week for six hours each day, so he could get caught up on the three months of studies he'd missed out on so far that school year. The one-on-one teaching was proving to be a good decision as Collin was like a sponge and he was able to absorb so much more of the information.
But before Collin could join his fellow sophomores at the local high school, he'd have to take some qualifying exams to be considered caught up to the end of the Third Marking Period, which was considered the half-way point through the school year. That was when they projected Collin to join Ryan and his friends. Once he passed those, he'd be able to attend the local high school right along with his new found friend, Ryan.
Ken found himself still a bit disabled from the shooting. Even though it was his left arm which was injured, he didn't realize how much he used that arm and hand until now that it was in a sling. It had only been two weeks and he knew he had to endure it for another two or three, before the doctor would consider letting him have the sling off for parts of the day, like for Holiday Parties. Since Mr. Ken was having a difficult time showering after the shooting, Collin returned the favor and helped his Bro with his shower.
In the beginning, it felt strange for Mr. Ken to have a naked 15 year old young man in the shower with him. He knew he needed the assistance just as Collin had when he was recovering, but he still felt out-of-place with the nude teen being there. Now it was Mr. Thomas' turn to have to deal with that same embarrassment of dealing with another male seeing him in his birthday suit. Overall though, Ken got over his dilemma and was grateful for the helping hand which was extremely useful when it was time to shampoo his hair and get the towels and his clothes for him.
The holiday decorating on the house began in earnest that weekend and Wayne and his crew didn't waste any time. The first day, Saturday, they had a 21 foot Christmas tree setup upon a 3-foot high platform/stage, all lit up, and the backyard totally finished, including 6 animated figures installed and electrified. Wayne figured they would finish the front side on Sunday.
Wayne explained that the ladies of the company would stop by first thing Monday and then they would begin the interior decorating. They would fully decorate the tree, along with the rest of the interior of the house. Mr. Thomas was thoroughly pleased with all that he was seeing and knew this Christmas would be a memorable one.
Then he suddenly realized he hadn't even begun to organize a Christmas party let alone think of a menu and who to invite. He had wanted this Holiday to be the Bell-Weather of the local Social Events calendar and with everything that happened, he was way behind the power curve. He needed help and he needed it fast. He made a few phone calls and hoped these people could assist him.
The weekend of the decorating, Collin had Ryan and some of Ryan's buds over for a swim. Since Collin was going to be attending the same school as Ryan, he asked Mr. Ken if he could ask some guys over to swim and begin to get to know them. Ken liked that idea and also wanted the lad to invite some girls over, but the teen put a kibosh on that idea quick. Ryan and five of his friends, the ones who already knew Mr. Thomas from previous sleepovers and cookouts, treated Collin like an old friend. The indoor pool got a good workout and it wasn't long before their stomachs wanted to be filled.
Ryan told Collin he knew what to do but now with him there, they needed to check with Bro to see if it was okay to do what Ryan normally did. Wrapped in towels, they went looking for Mr. Ken in his Study and explained what they wanted to do. Ken was pleased with Ryan and his idea to show Collin where everything was and to show him how to have a cookout for his friends. It didn't take the boys long to get out the foods and trimmings and for Ryan to get the grill hot enough to start cooking.
Collin was amazed at what went into it all. First, there were the meats – hot dogs and hamburgers – to get from the freezer. Then there were the onions, tomatoes, chips and ketchup and mustard along with the plates and napkins, phew! Then someone had to go to the garage, where the industrial sized ice maker was, and get an ice chest filled to chill down the sodas. Collin helped as much as he could but was overwhelmed with the logistics. Ryan then cooked and the other guys pitched in and set everything up.
Collin felt the day was a complete success by the time his new friends left for the day. He now had six guys, including Ryan, his age he could call his buds. He got their phone numbers and email addresses, too. He now also knew where to get everything for a cookout if he ever had a group over like that again. And he also knew he would need help like Ryan had that day and when everyone was involved, the process went faster and the gang totally enjoyed helping out.
Ryan spent the night again and Collin was happy for that. When he was with his parents, he rarely had friends over for the night. This idea of being able to have people over for the day and someone his age to pal around with and talk to was something Collin knew he never could get enough of. The two lads watched a movie and 'their' Big Bro joined them just in time for the ending. He no sooner sat in his favorite chair than he had two lanky teens on either side of him. Collin took the hurt side and let Ryan get the good side. That way he let Ry get the hugs he used to get when it was just Mr. Ken and Ryan.
That night, up in the bedroom the two good friends talked about the day's events and what it will be like for Collin to be the new boy at school. They discussed the normal things such as the jocks and nerds and the bullies and girls. Up to this time, Collin hadn't had much interaction with girls because his parents kept a tight rein on him. Of course the talk of girls also brought up the subject of sex and this was all new for Collin. He asked Ryan about dating and his experiences and possible conquests.
"Ryan ... do you ... you know ... have a steady girlfriend?" asked Collin.
"Naw ... I've dated a few girls, but nothing serious. When I was in Junior High there were all these girls who wanted to go out with me. It was sickening at times. ... Even some of the guys who were here today felt the same way. We just weren't interested in girls back then. Now that we are in high school ... let me tell you ... our interests have changed some, but we still don't have steady girls. It is difficult without a car and even if the girl lives nearby there is no place to take them, anyways.
"That was why the other night, when we were talking to Bro about him building a restaurant, I was so into it. It would be awesome to have a local place like that nearby for not just us, but for all the families. I sure hope he doesn't put it on a back burner. We'll have to stay on top of him.
"What about you, Col? Have you ever dated?"
"No, not ever!" came out real fast from Collin's mouth.
Collin then hung his head and added, "I never even had anything like what we did today. My parents ... they didn't like me to have 'those types' over to the house. They wanted me to hang out ONLY with the boys and girls with the same social standing as me. The trouble was there were very few kids around there like that ... and with our ages being so spread out; we were either too old or too young. It sucked! But today ... IT was an awesome first for me. Having a bunch of guys over and swimming and doing the cookout and not having anyone always checking up on me was... was something I never experienced until today.
"The entire time I've been here ... has been like a new 'life' for me, Ryan. Mr. Ken gives me space ... but he also keeps tabs on me, too. The best thing is ... is he gives me hugs. When I turned thirteen my dad ... he just stopped doing that. When he'd see my mom give me a hug he'd say she was keeping me weak ... and that I needed to grow up and be strong." Reliving all that made Collin begin to sniffle and rub his eyes as if he was trying to hold back his tears.
Ryan went over to his friend's bed, sat down next to him and began to give him a big hug and then said, "Collin, don't be afraid to cry in front of me. You ...you've been through hell, bro, and ... well you need to get rid of all that shit inside you."
Feeling the strong arm and soft hand of his best friend over his shoulder and feeling himself being pulled toward his friend was all Collin needed and he just let the tears begin to flow. Ryan instinctively knew to just sit there hugging his Best friend and encourage him to just get it out of his system.
All that crying alerted Chief. She had seen too many previous crying episodes and knew that Ken always went to her 'boy'. Chief got up, stretched and walked out the door and went directly downstairs to the Study to find her master.
Seeing Chief enter the room without either of the boys and come directly to him, Ken knew there was something amiss, so he headed up to the boys' room. As he approached the bedroom he heard Ryan talking in a low voice telling Collin to let it all go and to get rid of the demons inside. Upon hearing what Ryan said, Ken knew he needed to contact that professional without delay and get Collin into see him before the holidays. Even if he had to suspend class for a day; Collin needed someone trained in getting the 'demons', as Ryan called them, under control and the sooner the better.
Ken didn't even enter the room. He kneeled and told Chief to keep an eye on her 'boy' and let him work through some things for himself. Chief then looked into Ken's eyes, as if she knew exactly what she was to do, licked his face, and quickly proceeded into the boy's bedroom. All Ken could do was go back to his Study and make a large note on his desk to remind himself to call Doc Powers to ask him for a recommendation for help for Collin.
Sunday morning, when the boys woke up, they both needed to use the facilities but they each were too embarrassed about their morning condition.
"Hey Collin, you up?"
"Yea, I'm up. I also need to use the pisser. What about you?"
"Yeah, me too! ... Then why aren't you getting up and heading there if you need to piss?" asked Ryan
"Probably the same reason as you. I got me one hell of a piss hard-on and I don't want you to tease me. It might not meet up to your standards." Then Collin laughed at what he just said.
"Hey, I won't say anything about it if you don't about me. How's that sound?"
"Yea, that sounds good, because I really need to pee and bad!"
"Okay, if you're game, on three we'll both get up and head to the urinals. One ... two ... two and a half ..."
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