"What … who… how … this is all too unreal," spoke the surprised teenager. Then looking at his mentor, he said, "Bro, you did this, didn't you? I love you, Bro, this is the BEST present anyone could have EVER given me!" And with that said, Collin hugged the man as tightly as he could.
The boys all crowded around their 'Texas Friend' and began asking him tons of questions about the rally, and everything else he had been up to. They also asked about Ryan and their 'little bro', Eric.
"No, Aidan, tell me about you. How are you coming along and are, are you well enough to even travel this far?" said Collin.
"Yes, I am well enough, Collin; otherwise Mr. Ken wouldn't have brought us here. He told me to get better and he'd fly us out here and so I did my best so we could visit you this time. It was hard at first, but I had my incentive and here I am! … I need a hug, Collin, I didn't get a good enough one that last time I kinda saw you," answered Aidan.
"Hey, where are your two bros?" asked Clint. "I thought they'd be here, since we are celebrating both of your Birthdays?"
"Well, Ryan had to go home and get cleaned up. He should be here by 6:30. As for Eric, I'm not sure if he'll be here. The birthday party is for teenagers, not for kids Eric's age," replied Collin.
"Don't worry, Clint, Eric will be here," answered Mr. Ken. "You don't think he'd miss a big birthday bash for his two honorary older bros, do you. Besides, when I told him you guys were going to be here, he insisted his mom meet you guys. Eric will be here about the same time Ryan shows up," explained Mr. Ken.
"Collin … ah, Mr. Ken, you have an awesome place here," said Doug. "I can't get over those picture windows looking out over the lake. Ah … ah, Collin … ah … is that where ah … ah you…"
But before Doug could finish his question, Collin instinctively knew what he was asking so, he answered it for him and the rest, "Yes, it was out there that Chief found me and Mr. Ken then carried me into the laundry room. I owe them my life. And, if you guys want, I can show you some things about the shootout, if you want."
The guys' faces lit up when Collin mentioned that, so the five of them got their jackets and, along with Chief, they proceeded outside and Collin showed them around. Mr. Ken saw Jack, Eileen and Janice standing in the background, while the teens spoke, so, he went over to them after the boys all left.
"So, how was the flight?" asked Ken. "Was it roomy enough? Did you have an easy time getting to the airport and here?"
"It was wonderful," Eileen spoke right up.
"I could love this life," said Jack. "The limo to the airport and then the private jet to here was nothing I ever experienced, and now that I have … I could do it some more!"
"And you will, my friend," said Ken. "When you leave here, you'll have the same travel arrangements and the same aircraft and crew."
"Mr. Ken" was all Janice got out before Ken spoke up and said, "Please call me Ken. 'Mr. Ken' is for the youngsters, since I'm too young to be called Dad, and I'm not close enough to be an Uncle," he qualified. "Now, what was it you wanted to know, Janice?"
"Okay, Ken … is that how you travel all the time?" asked Janice.
"Actually, I usually don't use that size aircraft. Since, there were going to be at least seven of you, I wanted to make sure the plane would be large enough to accommodate you, and your luggage, AND give you a nice flight. I am known to rent a limo, especially if there is a lot of driving, in places I don't know my way around, like when we visited you that last time," replied Ken Thomas.
"Has Maria shown all of you to your rooms? Will they be adequate?" were a few things Ken wanted to make sure were done.
"Ken, my room is tremendous. It is like a major hotel room; it is so big," said Janice.
"Oh, my yes, Ken," said Eileen. "That room is gorgeous, and so big. And having our own private bath is also so very nice. We also saw the boys' rooms and they have very nice rooms, as well. I am glad you didn't go overboard for us. Maria says where Jack and I and where Janice is staying are called the Guest Rooms, and where the boys are would be considered the children's rooms."
"Yes, and their bathrooms are ideal for kids, too," said Janice. "Maria showed us when she showed the boys their bath and the boys all hooped and hollered when they saw the shower stall with four shower heads. 'It was just like being in gym' Brent said," added Janice responding about their rooms.
"I'm glad your rooms will work out for you. There is also a Guest House, across from the garage, for families with small children. Out there are two-bedrooms and a sleeping loft, 2 ½ baths and a kitchenette. Actually, a family could live out there, permanently, since it has a dinette and TV a computer hookup and everything else they'd need," added Ken. "Now … let me show you around some more of the inside."
For the next thirty to forty-five minutes, Ken showed the adults the Master en Suite, his Study and then the downstairs Family Room, Theater, Bar, Wine Cellar and then the indoor pool.
"I sure hope the boy's brought their swim suits. I know Eric is going to want them to go swimming, while they are here," teased Ken.
At seven o'clock, the party got off to a great start as the Ramblin' Rockers, the band of choice beat out their first of 3 ½ hours' worth of music. They did such an awesome job at the New Year's Eve Teen Party; Mr. Ken knew they would be perfect for the boys' Sixteenth Birthday Party.
The California Boys fit right in with the Texas Crowd and before long you couldn't tell who came from where. Doug and Clint both spied some 'hot' looking girls and latched onto them for most of the evening. Brent and Aidan stayed close to one another, but they did dance a few dances with some of the girls who pestered them. Aidan kept using his injury as an excuse, but the girls wouldn't take 'NO' for an answer.
Shelley and Megan were also having a good time. They danced almost every dance with 'their' boys, and even stole a kiss or two out on the dance floor.
Eric came to the party and he brought his friend Brad, so he wouldn't be too bored with all the older teenagers there. Some of the girls did entice the two ten, almost eleven, year olds to dance some and that made them feel all 'grown' up. But, when the lads weren't at the party, Eric put on a video in the Theater and they watched it between eating and checking out what was happening.
"Collin, I don't know what happened with you, but I like the change in you," said Shelley.
"What? There isn't anything different about me … is there?" meekly asked Collin, as the two danced together.
"Yes, Collin, there is something different about you. It's…it's as if you are more … more assured of yourself. You're even walking straighter, you know, with your head held higher. And … and I like it!" cooed Shelley.
"Ryan … what's with Collin?" asked Megan.
"Nothing, that I know of, why?" answered Ryan.
"I don't know … it's like he's … he's different … in a good sort of way. He's acting more … more stately and … well; he is really attached to Shelley. He used to be real shy around her, but now … now, he is taking her to talk to people. Before, it was always Shelley who had to drag him to talk to their friends, that's why," answered Megan.
Ryan didn't think anything of it and so he just kept dancing and enjoying the evening with his 'girl'.
When the band took their first break, Collin, Shelley, Ryan and Megan headed for the California Boys to make sure they weren't left out and alone in the big crowd of sophomores there that night.
"Doug, isn't it?" asked Shelley.
"Yep," replied Doug and nothing else.
"I see we have a big talker here," teased Megan.
Just then two girls came over and stood next to Doug and Clint and the one, whose name was Tabatha, said, "He knows how to use those lips for a much better purpose."
Doug immediately blushed, while the rest of the teens laughed at what Tabatha said. The other girl, Jenny, latched onto Clint and it was his turn to blush.
"Come on, Boys," started Jenny, "let's go on outside and get some fresh air. You guys can talk later tonight. Since, we aren't spending the night; we need to find out as much as we can about these two."
"And the sooner the better," added Tabatha.
The group laughed as the foursome walked away towards the patio door.
"So, how are you enjoying everything, Aidan?" asked Shelley.
"This whole place is wonderful," replied Aidan. "I've never experienced anything like this … ever before. You know … with the limo rides and private airplane flight and this … this house … jeez, this house is … it's huge. And all of you and your friends are awesome, Collin. They've made us feel like we were part of your group."
"I have to agree with Aid," said Brent. "The flight was awesome and we get to do it all again but backwards, when we leave. But, I don't think I will want to. I wonder if Mr. Ken would take in another 'brother' or two."
The group laughed at what Brent just said and as they stood there, Janice came up and said, "I don't think so, young man," and gave him a big hug. "I need you at home with me, so don't get any crazy ideas … although, I don't blame you for wanting to live here. … Okay, I'll leave you all alone with your friends. I'm glad you're having fun, son." Then Janice walked away.
Just then Abbey and Christie walked up and asked if those two 'hunks' were interested in going for a walk. Brent and Aidan looked at one another and smiled and then proceeded to take a walk with the two girls.
"I am so glad that our Texas friends are taking so good care of our California friends," said Collin. "Of course, I may get four 'new brothers' out of this before they leave, seeing how they are all finding a match here tonight."
The foursome laughed and then they too decided to go for a walk along the beach and boat dock.
When the band took its next break, Mr. Ken decided it was time to sing Happy Birthday and then cut the cake. He also decided it would also be the best time to give the boys their Birthday presents.
"Okay, can I have everyone's attention, please," called out Ken Thomas, the party's host. … "Thank you … and thank you everyone … for coming here tonight to a somewhat belated Birthday Party for Collin and Ryan. These two lads have been a big part of my life, and of course, Three Finger Cove's, and I wanted to do something nice, for this very important birthday.
"The majority of you all have known Ryan for almost all your lives. And when you learned he was going to be taking the pictures of them building this, my new home, you all figured it would be a 'short lived' gig for your still wet behind the ears' friend. (The group laughed.) "But, that was a long three years ago and now look at him. Today, he is a very tall and handsome young man and one day will be a good catch for that 'right 'girl'."(More laughs.)
Ken Thomas went on for a few minutes, explaining to the assembled group how the man and boy came to know one another and how their friendship developed. He also told them how quickly Ryan picked up the nuances of picture taking from the pouring of the concrete to the selling of the pictures they saw after the shootout at Three Finger Cove.
Then Ken turned his attention to Collin. The teen made like he was going to run away from the man, but let himself be caught so Mr. Ken could talk about him this time.
"And now we come to talk about my 'new little brother', Collin. We hardly know very much about him. Oh, well, we did come to learn how they tried to kill him the night of the storm, only to be washed up on my patio to be saved … to some men trying to kill him again, when they failed that first time. Some of you have become very good friends to him, and for that I am extremely grateful. Over the months, he has lived amongst us, many of you found out his love for music and what his favorite flavor of ice cream is. Some of you found out how good a kisser he is, (Shelley Blushed a deep red.) and what a loyal friend he came be. But there are only a few of us who know the real Collin Wilkinson, and that is … whether he wears boxers or briefs."
The crowd had a good laugh at that and some people made comments about Shelley probably being one of those too few.
"Up until today, many of you weren't sure if he was 'thee' Collin Wilkinson, heir to Wilkinson Enterprises, Inc. We figured nobody really needed to know up until today, to let that cat out of the bag. There were just too many things going on, in his young life that we decided that we would answer those questions as they came. We were extremely lucky that no one has actually asked.
"But, we didn't come here tonight to listen to me go on and on and on and on about these two Best Friends. You came here tonight to PARTY! … But, there are a few Odds and Ends that have to be done at a Birthday Party, no matter what. The first thing is we have to sing, Happy Birthday. Then, we get to cut the cake and, in this instance, we have two cakes. Then, we get to watch those two open presents. But, since we said NO presents, we'll be able to save some time there and get back to the dancing and whatever you young men and women do at functions like this. So, what do you say we get started, so we can get some cake and ice cream," finished Mr. Ken.
The invited guests all joined in and sang the ever popular, Happy Birthday song. Unfortunately, Mr. Ken made them sing it twice – once for each boy. Then there was the traditional 'blowing out of the candles'. Of course there were two cakes to cut, but that didn't take too long. The serving of cake and ice cream happened next and when you serve upwards of eighty to ninety people that does take time.
The break from dancing and talking and learning about the California Boys was welcomed relief for some. For others, it was not having to watch as the 'birthday boys opened tons of presents. That was until Mr. Ken got up and started asking for everyone's attention.
"I know, I asked all of you NOT to bring any presents, for the birthday boys, but I didn't say anything about me … not having any presents for them. Can I have the 'Birthday Boys, Collin and Ryan, over here for a moment?
"Boys, you are two wonderful lads that I have come to admire and 'love', in a brotherly kind of way. And … as my two 'little brothers', I … get the opportunity to spoil you two. Ryan, I know your mother will say I already spoil you too much. And, as for Collin, he never knew what being spoiled was like, and I don't think he does so, yet, since it seems all he has done since coming here is have problem after problem.
"Anyway, what I have for my two 'little brothers' is sitting out in the garage. They arrived while the band played their second set, and you two were otherwise occupied – Thank you, Megan and Shelly, for that. Okay, you two, go on out and see how I spoiled you this time."
As soon as Mr. Ken finished talking, the assembled teens all began wondering, since the present was in the garage, what sort of vehicle the very, very rich man was giving his two 'brothers'. Collin and Ryan gathered up their dates and proceeded to the garage through the kitchen. The crowd hung back, waiting for them to get back with what it was, before they too would get the chance to see how Mr. Ken spoiled them.
The four teens walked out into the garage, along with Mr. Ken and Mary Taylor, Ryan's mom, with the California Boys and Eric and Brad following close behind. Since, it was a four-car garage, and with three foot breaks between the garage doors, the place was huge. Mr. Ken's car was in the first stall and the truck was in the second and the Taurus was in the third. Then the two teens came to the fourth stall to find identically wrapped presents.
"Bro, this is too much," yelled Collin.
"Yes, Bro, you out did yourself this time for sure," said Ryan, as he and Collin looked over their matching WaveRunner's.
Both boys' then went over and gave the man great big hugs as tears came streaming down their faces.
"Boys, you deserved them. With you two teenagers, Three Finger Cove has come alive and with these this summer, the place will be humming, with you guys on these," said Ken Thomas.
"Mr. Ken," said Collin, "with these things, we'll be able to take Eric on the lake, and even do some water skiing, too.
"Yeah, we can do all sorts of water fun," added Ryan."
The birthday boys walked back to the Party and were warmly greeted with everyone wanting to know what Mr. Ken had given them.
"Guys, you won't believe this," said Collin.
"Yeah, our Big Bro gave us matching Yamaha WaveRunner's," finished Ryan. "Go take a look for yourselves!"
The rest of the evening, their friends couldn't stop talking about the WaveRunner's and how much fun they were going to have with them this summer.
The Birthday Party wound up at midnight, with the band playing its last song for the evening. The guests either began driving their own vehicles home, or parents came to pick up a few at a time. By 12:30 AM, all the invited guests were gone and only the California friends, and their chaperon's, and Collin and Ryan and Mr. Ken remained at Three Finger Cove.
"Thank you again for doing this for us," said Collin, as he hugged Mr. Ken for the twelfth time that evening. "I can't ever remember having a huge Birthday Party for me before. All the other times, it was usually just my mom and dad and Uncle Andy and the servants, and all we had was cake and ice cream, and I got a few practical presents like clothes. This is something I will always remember. And, Bro, that present was OVER the top for sure. I can't wait until it warms up enough so you can show me how to use it."
"Well, Collin, you're going to have to take and pass a Boating Safety course before you can take it out alone. I'll set us all up for the same class so we all have the current information. How does that sound?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Awesome!" said Collin. Ryan just smiled and nodded his head.
"Okay, what say we all get to bed," said Mr. Ken. "It has been a long day especially for the California Boys. I'll see you in the morning at breakfast. Don't stay up too late talking, boys. Tomorrow we have to take our California Friends out and show them around our part of Texas."
The boys went to their rooms and got ready for bed but they all drifted into Collin's bedroom when they got into their bed clothes – t-shirts and boxers or briefs, also known in many parts as 'tightie whiteies'.
"Collin, this is so awesome being in this mansion," said Brent.
"Yeah," began Doug, "I wouldn't know how to act if I lived here. I'm still lost after being shown around the place so many times today."
"I know why you're lost, Doug" spoke up Clint. "Jenny's had you blinded all night with her smile and her kisses that you can't remember anything you've done while around her."
"I bet you can't find yourself around here either. Tab has kept you all to herself, too, you know," teased Doug.
For the next few minutes, the six boys all joked about what they saw and did during the Birthday Party. T hen the questions got around to Collin and Ryan's girlfriends.
"So, Ryan, tell us about Megan. She's a hot number, for sure," joked Clint.
"Yeah, I have to agree. We've been going out ever since the New Year's Eve Party Bro held for us teenagers," offered Ryan. "She got Shelley to be Collin's blind-date, for that dance, and those two have been together ever since, too. And that reminds me. Hey, Collin, Megan asked me what's up with you! She said there was something definitely different about you; ever since, you came back from your cruise. So, what gives? What did you do on that Disney Cruise that has you so … so upbeat and cocky? Come on give!"
"Yeah, even I noticed how you were surer of yourself, tonight," said Brent. "When we met you back in January, and then a few weeks ago, you, now don't get me wrong here, you were more reserved and not so … well, so sure of yourself. Tonight … it was as if you were taking control. You stood higher, straighter, kinda, and … well you handled things differently."
"Yeah, I noticed that, too," said Doug.
"Yeah, me, too," added Clint.
"There is something definitely different about you, Collin," offered Aidan. "I don't remember anything from a few weeks ago, but you were a scared rabbit when we first met you, and now … now you take command when you're around anyone. Something had to have happened on that cruise. What? You get 'laid' or something?"
What Aidan said was in jest and all the boys laughed at what the teenager said. They all had a good laugh that was, until they noticed Collin wasn't saying anything. He just sat there with a dumb, shit-eatin' grin on his face. Brent noticed it and nudged Doug who nudged Clint who nudged Ryan. The laughing then died down and the five teens all looked at Collin.
"Collin," Ryan said lightly, not wanting to startle his best friend, "what DID happen on that cruise? Is it something that … err, we need to know about? Do I need to go get Bro? … Say something Col, your scaring me!"
Collin just sat there smiling trying to decide what he wanted to say to them. Then he said as he continued to smile, "Well, Aidan's right. What else do you need to know?" responded Collin.
"Tell us how it happened, Col! What DID happen on that cruise to you?" asked Ryan after not hearing what Collin had just said.
"And don't leave anything out!" teased Clint as he too, didn't hear what the teen has just confirmed.
"Hey, wait everyone. Didn't … didn't he just say that I WAS … RIGHT?" asked Aidan.
"Wholly SHIT … would you look at that smile on his face," beamed Clint. "I bet he DID get 'laid'; Damn … you lucky bastard!"
Then all the boys started asking Collin questions about how he did it, and how'd he get to do it, and who was the lucky girl, all over one another with no one getting their question asked. The whole time Collin just sat there smiling like he had just won the Lottery or something.
"Wait, wait, wait … bro … are you telling me you … got … laid and you didn't even tell me about it?" asked Ryan.
"Yep!" was all Collin said with that 'shit-eatin'' smile still on his face.
A few seconds went by and then all pandemonium broke out again as the five teenaged boys tried to get Collin to reveal more about his adventure on his Disney Cruise. After about five minutes of being badgered, Collin finally relented and answered them, "Okay, Okay, I'll tell you all about it!"
For almost twenty minutes, Collin explained how he met Kattie, and the rest of the teens on board the Disney Magic. He explained how things led up to their being real good friends and then how they finally got to Kattie's cabin and did the 'nasty'.
"I still can't believe you never said anything to me, Bro," said Ryan. "You've been home a whole week and didn't tell me. I'm disappointed in you, Col. I'm not so sure I should be hanging out with 'da man' here, now that he's 'wet his weenie'" continued Ryan, and the rest of the boys laughed along with him.
"I'm sorry, Ry, but with things happening with Rodney, the way they did, and all that was happening, there was practically no time. We were both so busy all week, with getting ready for the fund raisers, it truly slipped my mind," explained Collin.
"Damn, I can't wait until I get the chance to sink my schlong into one of those warm 'tunnels of love'," lamented Doug, and then wondered why everyone was laughing. Then he looked down and saw his boner was sticking straight up through his boxer pee-slot and he quickly shoved it back in. "I'll take care of that later," was all he said and the boys all laughed some more, knowing what he meant.
The six lads talked for a few more minutes but by now they all were yawning and very sleepy. They said their good nights and headed off to their respective beds, Clint and Doug in one bedroom; Brent and Aidan in another bedroom; and Collin and Ryan in Collin's bedroom. None of them lasted longer than 30 seconds after their head hit their pillow.
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