Castle Roland

Chapter 26

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Chapter Twenty Six

Upstairs the boys wasted no time in getting Collin's clothes out of the closet. Collin immediately tried on the tux and it still fit him well. Then they focused on what to do about getting dates for the TYNE dance.

"So who you gonna call to ask to the dance, Ry?" a smiling Collin asked his 'other' bro.

"I think I'll call Cheri and see if she'll go with me. I know by now she heard we didn't pick their band. This will tell me if those kisses the other night were for real or just to play me into selecting them like you said."

Ryan pulled out his phone and said, "Here goes nothing," and dialed the number Cheri gave him.

"Hello, Cheri? Hi, it's Ryan. ... Yeah, I know, I'm sorry your band didn't get the gig. ... As I told Michael on Saturday, Mr. Thomas voted for the other band. ... ... Yeah, yeah Collin and I did choose you guys, but he's paying and his vote out weighed ours. ... ... The other band has been together since they were in junior high school Cher. ... But, but ... But, but listen to me. ... Mr. Thomas went with what he considered experience. ... ... Yes, yes I know you've been together 16 plus months but that ... that ... asking him to change his mind will NOT work. ... ...

“The other band has signed the contract already and I know Bro ... What's that? ... No that's what I call him. ... No I work for him and he's helped me a lot over the past three years or so. ... No, he isn't my real brother and if he were, he'd still stick to the contract. ... Come on now, Cheri let's be reasonable you'll get other chances. ... ... No, no I didn't call to gloat. ... We listened to four bands that day and they were all good. ... Why did I call? I called to see if you'd go to the dance with ME! ... Yes, I'll be there. Collin and I will both be going. ... Well, Collin lives here. ... I'm his friend. ... ... Ok, I get it. So you won't go to the dance with me, but you will be here anyway, huh? ... Ok then, we'll see you here. Bye." And the phone call ended.

Ryan was devastated over how the phone call went. He thought for sure Cheri was still out to get him as her boyfriend, but it appeared Collin was right and she kissed him to get him to vote for 'her' band. Ryan began to think about his vote and that maybe he did 'vote' for her band because she had kissed him. He was not very happy with himself over that possibility. He wanted to crawl into a hole right about now.

"Ry, Ry, you in there?" a concerned Collin lightly tapped on Ryan's head. "Ryan, don't let her get to you this way, bro. She is just like any other girl who will take what she wants. Just remember what happened to Big Bro downstairs, earlier. He got rejected because Janice thought he didn't have any money. If Cheri was any kind of ... any type of nice girl, she'd have said yes because she liked you NOT because you could get what she wanted."

"But, you told me she did it just because of that. Why didn't I see that? How did you know what she would do, and not me? I know her, you didn't"

"Bro, it isn't like that. I saw how she was acting that evening and ... well you were mesmerized by her attention to you. And she kept you distracted from what you were there for. I didn't know if she was actually doing that. I just said it because that is what came to my mind when I said it. I'm sorry, Ry, that she ... she did that to you. Come on now, bro, get out of that funk. Y ou got to get us some dates for Wednesday night. So, what do you say there, Ry? You gonna get on that cell phone of yours and get us some women for that night or ain't cha?" and Collin sat next to Ryan and placed his arm around the lad and comforted him some.

While Ryan made more calls to find them some dates for the dance Wednesday night, Collin decided to call Eric about coming over for a swim party. The phone rang and Judy Turner answered and he explained the reason for the call. Collin explained he was also inviting Alex and three of his friends, too, so there would be lots of kids about the same age there. Judy said she would check with Eric and call back in a few minutes but she needed a time and date in order to plan. Collin saw he needed to find a date and time so he decided on Thursday, New Year's Day at 1 PM. After they hung up, Collin quickly called Doc Powers' home to ask him about Alex as to whether or not he might be able available to attend a swim party that coming Thursday beginning at 1 PM. Rick told Collin he'd have to call Alex's mom to discuss it with her and would call him back as soon as he knew anything. Doc Rick thanked Collin for calling telling him that Alexander was hoping he'd get to go over there to swim ever since Ken mentioned it on Thanksgiving Day. Now Collin had two phone calls he was waiting on but at least he set the wheels in motion for what he was now calling the date the "New Year's Swim."

Just then Collin's phone rang and he answered it, "Mrs. Turner? Oh, it's only you Bro. ... Oh, sorry about that, I was waiting on Mrs. Turner to return my call about this Thursdays 'New Year's Day Swim' as I am now calling it. ... Yea, she needed a date and time and I figured we'd be pretty busy up until after the dances so I chose Thursday. That's not a problem is it, Bro? ... Oh, good! Phew, I was afraid I made a mistake for a moment. ... Dates, not yet, Ryan is making phone calls as we speak. ... The tux fits great, so I'll be sure to wear it that night. Hey, what about you getting a date, did you have any luck yet yourself? ... You did, awesome. I know she will flip out when she sees the house. ... Ok, Bro, I'll tell Ryan and we'll check in with you when we have dates all lined up and the New Year's Swim set to go. Bye"

Ryan was waiting for Collin to get off the phone and tell him the good news.

"Col, I gots us some dates!"

"Great, Ry, I sure hope mine likes me and I that at least I will like being with her."

"Relax, Col, you've already met her. Her name is Shelley. You remember the drummer from that last band, Two X Two? I called Megan, you remember she worked the Christmas parties, to ask her to go with me and she agreed. Then I asked her if she knew anyone who might like to go on a 'blind' date with you. She immediately mentioned Shelley and I said yes for you. You're not disappointed are you, bro? I was supposed to be finding us dates wasn't I?"

"Yes, Ry you were supposed to be getting us dates, so don't have a cow. Shelley was cute and she handled those drums like that guy for Ramblin' Rockers. I think I'd like being her date for the evening. I need to get to know more people and girls are people the last time I looked, hehe. By the way, how are we getting them here though? Do you think Bro will let us use one of the limos? That would be awesome. We should go ask him," an excited Collin said to Ryan.

"Col," asked Ryan, "what did Bro want when he called you just a few minutes ago?"

"Not much, bro, he asked how we were doing with getting dates and he also asked me about Eric and the swimming invitation. I told him you were working on the date thing as we talked and that I chose Thursday at 1 PM for the "New Year's Day Swim" as I am calling it. I called Mrs. Turner and Doc Powers and they are supposed to call me back later today. They both sounded real positive about that day and time. Oh, Bro asked me to ask Miss Judy and Doc Rick to come along and the adults will have their own get together. Come on, let's go down to the Study and talk to Big Bro. Oh, and he has a date for the dance now, too. He sounded excited. Come on!"

The boys entered the Study just as Ken hung up the phone and Collin's began ringing.

"Hello? Yes Mrs. Turner, Thursday at 1 PM that's what I said. Naw, it won't be a problem. Ryan and I will be ready for them even if we did have a 'rough' New Year's Eve, hehe. ... I haven't heard from Doc, yet. ... Oh, you have; that's good. ... Make sure they have swim suits. We don't want to embarrass any of the young kids. ... Well, we'll swim for a few hours and play a few games. Then we'll get them to help us set up the grill and we'll cook hot dogs and hamburgers and we'll have sodas and chips and everything to make it like a picnic. Then we'll relax and then go back swimming . Oh, hold on a sec, Mr. Ken wants to talk to you." And Collin passed his phone over to Ken.

"Judy, Ken here. Yes, that is a good day for the New Year's Day Swim party as Collin named it. ... Oh, Yea, I wanted to invite you and Doc over for the day, too. I'm also going to invite Mary and a few others as well. I have some things I want to discuss with you, and a few others, then if you can make it and don't mind. ... No nothing to do with Christmas or the shooting or Collin for that matter. I promise it will not be job related. ... Ok, that sounds good. You'll bring all the boys with you. Great! And plan for a long day, too, so let their parents know their kids may get home late. I'll call Doc now. See you Wednesday night. Bye."

"Bro, what is that all about? Why do you need all these adults all of a sudden? Aren't we good enough for you," asked Ryan while at the same time he went over to Ken and made like he was snuggling up to him in order to get the answer.

Ken knew what Ryan was up to, and as Ryan got real tight to him Ken grabbed hold of the teenager and began to tickle him mercilessly. Ryan was extremely ticklish and he began to thrash around while calling on Collin to help him. Collin remembered from a time he got tickled from his Bro and didn't want any part of it. Chief even got into the act as she began to run back and forth and all around while barking at what now turned into a wrestling match there on the Study floor. She was having her own fun as she liked seeing people 'playing' as they were.

"I give! I give," yelled Ryan. He was out of breathe and obviously out of condition.

"What'd you do that for? I was just funnin' with ya and you turned on me and tickled me. You know I hate to be tickled. If I were bigger..." and he no sooner said the word 'bigger' that Ken was all over him again telling him that he had a long way to go to catch up to him. Ken didn't tickle Ryan all that much this time, and as he let up both laid back on the floor laughing at what they just did. Chief came over and licked both their faces a couple of times all the while her tail was wagging a 'mile a minute'. Chief then went over and sat down by her 'boy' Collin and he petted her as Mr. Ken and Ryan got up off the floor and gave each other a hug.

The two 'wrestlers' talked about this recent tussle and then began reminiscing over some of their other bouts of fun. Collin could tell from what was said that Ryan relished the closeness he had with Mr. Ken, who was his 'hero' and mentor. Collin could see how Ryan looked up to the man for direction and security only a 'father figure' could give.

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