Jake MacLaren was hot. It was a warm late summer day. He was under his jeep, getting to the drain plug in the oil pan so he could drain the old oil out.
"Damn, forgot the crescent wrench"
He started to get out from under the jeep, when he heard the sound of tools clanking and a young voice.
Jake looked toward his feet and saw a young boy crouching down at his feet with the forgotten wrench in his hand. The boy looked to be about eleven or twelve, with dark blond hair and blue eyes, and was looking back at him with a smile. Jake took the offered wrench and stammered.
Jake got back to work. He finally got the drain plug out and he let the oil drain out into a pan. Jake pushed himself out from under the jeep while the rest of the oil drained. The boy backed out of the way as Jake came crawling out from under the jeep and stepped back a bit. Jake stood up and looked at the boy. He looked to be about five feet tall and about 90 pounds. He was good looking with bright blue eyes and was smiling at him, his golden hair was worn a little long. He was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. The boy looked up at Jake's six foot muscular frame. Jake smiled and put out his hand.
"Hi, I'm Jacob MacLaren, but my friends call me Jake."
The boy took his hand and shook it.
"My name is Trevor Garrity, nice to meetcha, sir"
"Well, Trevor, since we are on a first name basis why don't you call me Jake. Like I said my friends do, and I would be happy to be your friend."
"So Trevor, where are you from and how did you happen to be there right when I needed the hand?"
"I live across the street with my mom. We just moved in last month. I saw you working in here and I had nothing better to do, so I came over. Just as I came up I heard you swear about the wrench, he,he, and since I could see it in the box and I was right there, I figured I would get it and hand it to you."
"Well, thanks for that. I do remember seeing a moving van, a month or so ago. Where did you move from?"
"We lived in Van Nuys and my mom got a job down in this area and wanted to find a place nearer than Van Nuys."
"What does your mom do?"
"She's a secretary for a lawyer."
"What about your Dad?"
The smile faded a bit from Trevor's face, and Jake worried he may have said something he shouldn't have.
"He…He died in a car crash a couple of years ago."
"Sorry Trevor, I didn't mean to make you feel bad."
"It's alright, you didn't know."
Jake bent down to look under the car.
"Well, it looks like the oil is drained. I better get back to work and get this done."
"Do you mind if I stay for awhile and help?"
"Ah…sure, no problem"
Jake got back underneath the jeep. He screwed the drain plug back in and tightened it. Then he got back out from under the jeep and looked in the engine compartment. He looked over at Trevor.
"Trevor, since you're here and you want to help, could you hand me the oil filter wrench, that's the thing with the handle and big loop."
Trevor reached into the toolbox and held up the oil filter wrench for Jake to see.
"Yeah, that's it."
Trevor walked over and handed it to him. While Trevor looked on, Jake reached inside and wrapped the wrench around the oil filter and turned, loosening it, and he could then finish unscrewing it and he removed the filter.
"Okay, Trevor, over there in that box is the new oil filter, could you bring it here."
Trevor went to the workbench to get the filter.
"Also could you bring those bottles of oil?"
Trevor grabbed a couple of the oil bottles and brought them and the filter back to Jake. He then went back to get the rest of the oil and brought them back. Jake opened the filter box and took it out. Then he opened one of the bottles of oil and tipped it a little bit so that he was able to get a little on his finger. He then smeared a little of the oil on the filter gasket.
"This is how my dad taught me. You take a little of the oil on your finger and smear it on the gasket here, before you install the filter and it helps to give you a good seal."
He showed Trevor as he talked about it. Jake then took the filter and screwed it into place, and then took the filter wrench and tightened it.
"Okay, Trevor take that funnel there and put it in the open hole there, and then start pouring the oil in there."
Trevor took the open oil bottle and after he put the funnel in, he poured the whole bottle in. He looked at Jake, who had the next one open. He took the empty bottle and handed Trevor a full one. Trevor poured that one in, and they continued like that until all five quarts were poured in.
"Okay, Trevor, put that cap there back on and tighten it."
Trevor put the cap on and tightened it.
"Good. Okay we're done. Come on back here to the bench and I'll get you some hand cleaner."
Trevor looked at his hands and saw that they had gotten a little dirty. He followed Jake to the workbench. Jake opened a big jar and took a scoop of it out and started rubbing his hands together. Trevor followed his lead. Jake motioned with his head and they went into the front yard where the hose was. Jake turned the water on and rinsed his hands off and held the hose out for Trevor to do the same. They got all the cleaner off and Trevor followed Jake back into the garage. Jake grabbed a couple of shop towels and tossed one to Trevor. They dried their hands. Trevor handed the towel back to Jake, who hung them on a wire near the wall. Jake turned to Trevor and smiled, he held out his hand.
"Well my friend. Thanks for your help. The next time I have to do work on my jeep, I'll call you."
Trevor smiled back and shook Jakes hand.
"Anytime, si…Jake. It was kind of fun. See ya."
Jake watched as Trevor headed back across the street and went inside. Nice kid he thought as he watched him go inside. Trevor turned at his door and waved to Jake. Jake waved back and headed inside. He went into his house and a large wolf like dog came up to him, he gave him a pat on the head and ear rub as he went inside. His house is a nice four bedroom with two baths. In his living room there was a couch, and a couple of comfortable chairs to match. A large plasma TV was on the wall with surround sound. Underneath it he had a DVD and Bose stereo. There are a couple of cabinets with DVD's and CD's in it, and a fireplace on one wall. Throughout the house there was a lot of Indian and 19th century themed artwork. He went to his room to change out of his dirty clothes. The room had a king sized bed. A Plasma TV is on the wall with DVD player below, and a small stereo next to it. There was also a dresser with a mirror and a sliding glass door leading to the backyard and the pool. There was some more of the art prints in there that was found in the other parts of the house on the walls and along with some pictures of his family. After changing he went back to his office to get some work done. His office had been converted from a bedroom and had a nice oak desk; on the walls were pictures and certificates from his time in the military and as an L.A. Sheriff. There is a small plasma TV on the wall. He also had some trophies from when he played baseball as a boy and in high school. Also some baseball memorabilia, signed baseballs and such, in a small case. Bookshelves lined one wall, with some reference books on security, military history, computers, etc. Also there are some shadowboxes with his awards and ranks as a Cub Scout and later a Boy Scout, this included being an Eagle Scout. He worked for a while, and then he went out to his backyard for a swim in his pool. It was a nice summer afternoon in Southern California.
Jake woke up a week later on Saturday. He got up and after taking care of his morning business, he put on a pair of swim trunks and went out the sliding glass door to do a few laps in the pool, before taking a shower. After his swim and a shower he put on some hiking shorts, t-shirt, and running shoes. He went out and got the paper, and then to the kitchen bar for some cereal and coffee while he read the paper. He suddenly felt a large cold nose pushing against him and looked down to Dee, who was looking up at him. He reached down and petted the dog on the head.
"Good morning to you too Dee."
He went back to his coffee and the nose pushed against him again, he looked down.
Dee pushed at him again.
"You're not even going to let me finish my coffee?"
Dee trotted a few steps toward the front door, and then stopped and looked back. Jake held his hands up in surrender
"Okay, Okay. We're going."
Jake got up; Dee started to jump around a little. Jake pulled his long hair back into a ponytail and grabbed his house keys, leash, tennis ball and went out the door. He snapped the leash on Dee and they started out for the park. Dee stayed by his side as they jogged down the street.
They got to the park and Jake let Dee off the leash. He took the tennis ball out of his pocket and threw it for Dee. Dee chased it down and brought it back. He stood in front of Jake and looked up at him with the ball in his mouth.
Dee dropped it. They continued like this for awhile. Jake threw the ball real far and it got into some bushes. Dee took off after it, when he reached the bushes, he started nosing around for it. Jake watched him.
Jakes looked around and saw Trevor ride up on his bike. He stopped in front of Jake.
"Hey Trevor. What are doing here?"
Trevor pointed to the glove on his bike.
"I'm going to meet my friend Jeremy. We're going to play some catch. What are you doing here?"
Just then Dee came back behind Trevor and pushed him with his nose. Trevor turned around and saw the big wolf looking dog behind him and attempted to jump backwards off his bike away from the dog.
"Holy sh…I mean…whoa!"
He got tangled up and fell backward. Jake started laughing. Trevor looked at Jake in indignation
"What are you laughing at?"
Dee jumped over the bike and went over to Trevor. Trevor put his hands up, and gave a little scream of fright and started to curl up. Dee started licking him in the face. Trevor started giggling.
"Stop, hehehe, Stop, Stop. Stop, that tickles. Help me Jake, haha, make him stop, please!"
Jake was now sitting on the ground laughing at the boy, after a little bit he stopped laughing, and wiped the tears in his eyes as took pity on the boy.
"Dee, stop. Dee, heel"
Dee stopped and went back over to Jake and sat down next to him. Looking at Trevor with what looked like a smile on his face with his tongue hanging out. Trevor stopped squirming and looked over to the pair with wide eyes.
"Wow, Jake is he yours?"
Jake squatted down and rubbed Dee on the head and down his back, as he answers.
"Dee and I have been together for a couple years now."
Trevor sat up and looked at him.
"Cool. He looks like a wolf."
"Yeah, well he is part wolf, and part Malamute, so he has a lot of the wolf look because of it."
Trevor moved forward a bit, he is a little nervous because Dee outweighed him by a lot and he was not sure whether the dog would let him touch him.
"Can I pet him?"
"Sure. He is pretty friendly. He likes kids…for dinner."
Trevor pulled his hand back just as he was getting close and looked at Jake, who was smiling at him. Trevor started to laugh.
"Very funny, Jake."
"He is well trained as a guard dog, but if he knows you're a friend, then there is never a problem."
Trevor moved forward again and tentatively reached out his hand. Dee smelled his hand and then licked it. Trevor started petting him, Dee seemed to enjoy it, and he moved his head over and started to lick Trevor again. Trevor started giggling and moved his face away. Dee pursued him. Pretty soon Trevor had his arms around Dee's neck as he tried to push him away. They started wrestling around on the grass. Dee laid on his back, and Trevor rubbed his belly. He looked over at Jake.
"So what are you and your dog doing here?"
"I'm letting Dee get out for some exercise and we usually go to the park at least once a week, so he can run around. I throw a ball around for him to go fetch it."
"Could I throw it for him Jake, if he's not too tired?"
Dee quickly rolled off his back and got up. He went over to where the bike was laying on its side and picked up the ball he had dropped there. He brought it over to Jake and Trevor. Jake looked at Trevor.
"Tell him 'Drop'".
Dee dropped the ball next to Trevor. Trevor picked it up, stood up and threw the ball. Dee raced after it. He grabbed it and brought it back to Trevor, and he dropped it on command. Dee took a few steps forward, before turning and looking over his shoulder at Trevor as he picked it up. Dee started to dance a bit as Trevor reared back and threw it real far. Dee raced after it and brought it back to Trevor. Trevor reached down to pet him after Dee dropped the ball in front of him. He pet Dee on the head for a little while then looked up at Jake.
"You called him Dee, is that his name. I mean…of course it's his name, I mean…you know what I mean."
"Well his whole name is DeeOhGee, but I call him Dee most of the time. He knows that if I say his whole name, then he better get serious and listen, or he might be in trouble."
"Oh. Well I like him. He's a cool dog."
They are interrupted by shout.
"Trev, Hey Trev!"
They looked over and saw a boy about the same age and size of Trevor, but with light brown eyes and dark brown hair. Trevor looked over in the direction of the shout and waved at the boy.
The boy rode his bike over. He looked at Dee and then at Trevor as Trevor pet him.
"Wow, cool dog. What's his name?"
"Is he yours, Trevor?"
"No, he belongs to Jake."
Trevor pointed at Jake. Jake stepped forward, and held out his hand.
Jeremy tentatively took his hand and shook it.
"Jeremy Davis, nice to meetcha. Do you live around here?"
"He lives across the street from me. I met him a last weekend, when he was working on his jeep."
"Well, Jeremy, it's nice to meet you also. You can call me Jake, like all my friends and any friend of Trevor's is a friend of mine."
"Okay mister…uh, Jake. Well, Trevor, you want to go throw some?"
"Sure, let's go. See ya later, Jake."
Trevor picked up his bike and waved to Jake as he and Jeremy walked off. Suddenly Trevor stopped, looked back and started laughing. He handed his bike to Jeremy and trotted back over to Jake.
"I get it, I get it. DeeOhGee, D-O-G, Dog. His name is Dog. That's a cool name. How did you come up with that?"
"You're pretty smart. A lot of people don't figure it out that quickly. Yeah, I kind of like it. There was this John Wayne movie called Big Jake, and he had a dog that he called Dog, so I just spelled it out. I thought it was cool sounding so that's how I named him."
"That's neat. Who's John Wayne?"
"Who's John Wayne? I swear I don't know what this world is coming to."
He shakes his head in disbelief.
"John Wayne was one of the best western and war movie actors of all time. He died in the late 70's of lung cancer. He smoked for a long time, and it finally killed him. I am going to have to educate you. Someday I'll let you borrow some of his movies so you can see what I'm talking about."
"Okay cool, see ya Jake."
He trotted back to Jeremy. Once there he turned back and waved, Jeremy waved as well. Jake returned the waves. He squatted down and put his arm around Ded.
"So what do you think, Dee. Nice kid. Jeremy seems nice too. Well let's get back, I've got some things to do."
He gave Dee a last pat, picked up the ball, snapped on the leash and they left for home.
A few days later Jake was at his office in Long Beach. The office was good sized. There was a small conference table off to the right of his desk; it had six chairs around it. His desk was in an L shape with a desktop computer on the small side of the L. On one side of the main part of the desk was his laptop, phone and the regular office stuff; lamps, pens, pencils, etc. Behind the chair was a bookshelf with books, folders and such on it. More bookshelves lined the rest of the wall behind the desk. There were a couple of comfortable chairs and a small couch across from the desk, with a low table in front. There were pictures around the office that showed Jake with some of his military buddies and sheriff buddies when he was part of them. Others showed him with some of the people that he had worked for as a body guard. Most of them were celebrities of some kind. Other pictures were some of his wealthy business clients who contracted with his firm from time to time. He was looking through a folder on his desk. A stereo was playing low in the background, some American Indian flute music. A knock sounded on the door, Jake looked up and his partner, Tom Browning came in.
"Hey Tom, What's up?"
"Afternoon Jake. I got a call today, from a Jerry Hornung. He owns a shipping company back east. He called about an investigation he wants us to look into."
"Well it seems his daughter has been missing for a year or so and the police have no idea where she is, no clues. His daughter had a boyfriend, but they could find nothing on him and there was no sign of foul play. Mr. Hornung didn't know the boyfriend very well, he only met him a couple of times, but he said there was something about him that he didn't like. So he hired an investigator back east to look for what he could find on him, after nine months of work, the investigator did not find much of anything. Soon after the police finished their investigation, and found no clues, the boyfriend moved away. The only information the investigator could find was that he possibly moved here to So Cal, because Hornung says that the boyfriend had tried to talk his daughter into moving out here with him, but she didn't want to move away. He heard about us from a friend of his and he wants us to see if we can find this guy and maybe information about his daughter."
"How old was she?"
"23. She had just finished college and was starting on graduate studies in child psychology when she disappeared."
"What does Hornung want us to do if we find the guy?"
"Follow him around, find out some information about him, what he does for a living, if there are any skeletons, the usual."
"Well, let's take a look at what Hornung's got and see if we can help. Do we have a name and description, picture anything like that?"
"We don't have a picture, just a description and name. James Harvey, Black hair, brown eyes, about 5'10", 175 pounds, around 30 years old."
"Well that narrows it down to several million people. Didn't he have any pictures of his daughter and this Harvey guy?"
"No. When they packed all her stuff up in the apartment, they looked but there were no pictures of the two of them. There were plenty of pictures of her, but none of Harvey."
"That's a bit unusual. How long were they going together?"
"About year or so. They met right after she got her degree."
"You'd think there would be some pictures of them together. Sounds kind of strange."
"Maybe there were, but Harvey took them. Kind of suspicious, huh?"
"Yeah. Give this to Jeff Gant, and let me know what he finds out. I can contact some friends in the Sheriff's Department if I need to. Maybe he can find something."
"Sure. Hey, Jake, we are still getting together this weekend at your house, right. Terry was asking."
"Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. When are you guys and the boys going to be over?"
"How's one sound. That way the boys can swim and then we can have the barbeque a little later in the afternoon."
"Sounds good. See ya then."
"Yeah see ya. You leaving soon?"
"Yep, just finishing up. See you tomorrow."
Tom left and Jake went back to the file, and signed a couple of forms. He closed his laptop and put it back in its case, he picked up the file and his laptop case and left his office. He stopped at the secretary's desk and dropped the file on her desk. Joyce Higa looked up.
"I'm leaving for the day Joyce. Could you get this to Hank Green?"
"Sure Jake, have a nice day."
Jake waved as he left the office. He went outside to his Jeep. Their building was part of an office complex. They had a gated parking lot with five limos and the same number of Chevy Suburbans in it. There were also ten private vehicles in the lot. He got in the jeep, started it up and headed out, the automatic gate opened up as he approached and he drove off.
He was thinking about the case that Tom was talking about. How were they supposed to find someone with such a mundane description? From the sounds of it, there could be something going on. We'll have to see what Jeff comes up with. He turned into his neighborhood and as he neared his house, he saw Trevor out front shooting hoops. He honked and waved, Trevor looked around and waved back. Jake pulled into the garage and closed the door. He went into the house and to his room to get into his normal non-working summer attire; shorts and aloha shirt and sandals. He had just gotten the shirt on but not buttoned when the doorbell rang. He buttoned up the shirt as he went to the front door and opened it, standing there was Trevor, smiling up at him.
"Hi Trevor, what can I do for you?"
"I wanted to ask you to come over and meet my mom. I told her about you, and she thought you sounded nice. So since we're friends and neighbors, you should meet her. Y'know since we're neighbors."
"Uh sure, I guess I can, since I don't have anything else to do right at this moment."
Trevor grabbed Jakes hand and pulled him out the door. Jake grabbed the doorknob to pull the door shut as he was dragged away.
Jake following him across the street. Trevor let go of Jake's hand and opened the front door. He motioned for Jake to follow him. Jake followed him in, closed the door behind them. Jake waited just inside the door.
"Out here, honey."
Trevor started to walk out to the back, then turned and motioned for Jake to follow, as he turned and opened a sliding glass door. His mom was sitting out back with an ice tea reading a book. She was a blond in her early thirties. She looked up as they came in the backyard. When she saw she had company, she put the book down and got up, walked over to Jake, and held out her hand, they shook hands.
"Oh, uh, hi. Next time Trevor, warn me you were bringing a guest in."
"Mom, this is Jake from across the street, I met him last weekend. I told you about him."
"Oh yes, nice to meet you Jake. My name's Sandy Garrity. Would you like some ice tea?"
"Nice to meet you as well and sure, I'd love some."
"I'll get it mom"
She motioned to the chairs on the back patio, Jake sat down, and Trevor brought a glass to him. He also brought his own glass of tea and sat down with them. Jake took a sip of the tea.
"That's good. Good southern style tea, just the right amount of sugar in it, to make it sweet."
He held his glass up in a cheers type salute.
"Well, welcome to the neighborhood you two. I think you'll like it here. I think the school's are good, the park is nearby, there are a lot of kids Trevor's age to make friends with, like your friend Jeremy."
"Yeah it's pretty nice so far, huh mom?"
"I agree. I'm just enjoying my last few days before I have to get back to work next week."
"What do you do Sandy?"
"I am a paralegal and legal secretary for an attorney in downtown Long Beach. What about you?"
"I am part owner of a security consulting and private investigation company in Long Beach."
"What kind of things do you do?"
"We have about fifteen employees and others that we can call on when we need them. We're hired to provide bodyguards for people, celebrities, business people when needed, and help people get a security system set up at their homes, offices, companies, that sort of thing. We just recently started doing private investigations."
"Unfaithful spouses and such."
Jake chuckled a bit.
"Some of that yeah, but other investigations, missing people, friends or relatives that people have lost track of, insurance fraud, that sort of thing. We've just started that part of our business over the last few months, but it's picking up."
"Sounds like interesting work. If we ever have need of that kind of service, I'll mention it to Keith, the attorney I work for."
"Thanks, Sandy, that's kind of you."
"Jake, if you're a bodyguard, does that mean you carry a gun and all that."
"Sometimes. I don't carry one all the time and I don't do a lot of bodyguard or security work anymore, only when someone requests that I do it and depending on whom it is. We are hired to do security at big parties and sometimes charity events, black tie affairs, and events like that up in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and other affluent areas."
"Wow, so you meet a lot of famous people?"
"Yeah we do. A lot of our work is with business people though. The kind of people that own big companies, but we work with celebrities also."
"Cool that sounds fun."
"It can be, but it is work and not all of it is fun. Some of them can be pretty rude, but there's a lot that are pretty decent folk."
They sat for awhile and talked. Finally Jake drained the rest of his glass.
"Well, thanks for the ice tea. Nice to meet you, Sandy. I have some things to do at home, so I'll see you later."
Sandy stood up and smiled to Jake, as she and Trevor walked him to the door. He opened the door and started to leave.
"Oh, by the way. I'm having a barbeque at my house this Saturday, how about you and Trevor come over about one o'clock or so, that is if you don't have any plans. I've got plenty of food. My friend and his family are coming over. They have a couple of kids, his sons are about your age Trevor, and you might have a good time. The kids plan on going swimming in the pool."
"You have a pool? Cool, I wish we had one."
Sandy laughs at him and ruffles his hair.
"Well we don't have any plans, we'd love to come over. We'll see you Saturday."
"Great see ya then."
Jake walked back across the street and into his house. Dee greeted him at the back door. He petted him in greeting and then he headed to his office, and got on the computer to do a little work. He turned the TV onto the news with the volume down and got to work.
During the rest of the week at work, Jeff Gant, the investigator put on the Hornung case, reported not having any luck in finding any information about James Harvey. Everyday when he pulled into his driveway, Jake invariably saw Trevor in front of his house or just coming out of the house. They exchanged greetings.
Saturday found Jake out in his backyard, cleaning the grill on the barbeque. The backyard was good sized with the pool roughly 15 X 30 feet with a spa at the far end of the pool. The grill was on a brick patio near one corner of the house. On the patio there was a table with six chairs. The patio had a lattice work cover over it, which gave some shade. A few other chairs were scattered about the patio. There was a small outside wet bar near the grill. There was a rock fountain near the other corner of the house. Jake was dressed in swim shorts and a aloha shirt. The doorbell rang, and he stopped cleaning, he grabbed a towel to wipe his hands and answered the door. He saw Tom, his wife Terry and their twelve year old twins, Zachary and Jared standing there. They were both like their dad having brown hair and blue eyes. Tom was holding a foil wrapped bundle, Terry had a tote bag with towels and such for all of them.
"Hey Tom, Terry, good to see you, and how are my godsons? C'mon in, I was just cleaning the grill."
He shook Tom's hand. Terry gave him a kiss. The boys hugged Jake at the same time.
"Hi Jake, good to see you."
"Hi Uncle Jake."
He reached down and lifted them both up in a hug and gave them a quick peck on the cheek. They started giggling.
"Hi guys. C'mon back everyone. There's beer and ice tea in the bar and some soda for those that prefer to rot their teeth and stomachs. I'll finish cleaning the grill."
They followed Jake to the back of the house and out to the backyard. He went back to his cleaning, while Tom got a couple of beers, opened them and putting one down by Jake. The boys went over to the bar and got out the ice tea and poured one for their mom and got a can of soda for themselves. Zach brought the glass of ice tea over to his mom, Jared was behind him carrying the sodas. Jake finished the grills, and wiped his hands on the towel. He sat down with Tom and Terry and they talked of what is going on at work and such. Jake noticed the twins fidgeting, but sitting quietly. He looked at Tom, who had also noticed and was ignoring them as he was looking at Jake with a little smile.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you guys, I invited a neighbor over. She and her son moved in across the street about a month ago."
Terry perked up at that and looked at Jake with a smirk and lifted eyebrow.
"Oh really. She's…not married?"
"Don't get any ideas, Terry. Her husband died a few years ago in a car accident. Her son's name is Trevor and he is eleven or twelve I think."
Jake noticed the twins have stopped fidgeting and are paying attention to what he was saying. They looked at each other for a quick moment and smiled, before turning back to the adults.
"Her name is Sandy and she is a paralegal and legal secretary for a lawyer in Long Beach."
Terry put her glass down and started ticking points off her on her fingers as she looks at Jake.
"She does huh? Let's see, unmarried, nice looking I take it?"
Jake nods and she continued with her countdown.
"Works for an attorney, has a son, you invited them over today. Sounds good to me."
Tom was trying hard to keep from laughing and really not succeeding. The twins had big grins watching their dad shaking from barely controlled laughter. Jake was blushing a bit.
"Now Terry, like I said no ideas, and Tom either stop or you're getting wet."
Tom got a look of "who me".
"I didn't say a thing."
"Yeah, but you were thinking it."
"Soooo…how did you meet her, Jake?"
"I met Trevor last weekend, while I was changing the oil on the Jeep. He introduced me to his mom a couple of days ago. We had some ice tea and talked for a bit. Trevor seems like a good kid and she was nice and since they just moved here, I thought I'd invite them over for BBQ and swim. That's all."
"Sounds nice, I look forward to meeting her."
The twins went back to fidgeting as the adults continued talking, Jake took note of it, and he looked to Tom, raising his eyebrow and Tom nodded slightly. Jake looked at the twins and smiled.
"Okay, already, you can go change and get in the pool."
They jumped up like they were shot out of the chairs and went over to Jake and gave him a quick hug. They grabbed the bag from beside their mom's chair and ran inside the house. The adults laughed at their antics. The twins went into the extra bedroom they used when they stayed overnight. They quickly stripped down, showing off two virtually identical bodies. Both smooth skinned, very little of the boyish softness as muscles have started to develop from their sports interests of soccer and baseball. There was no turning their backs to each other to change as they had nothing to hide from each other.
"Zach, what do you think about this Trevor who's coming over?"
"I don't know. If his mom is good looking, then maybe he's cute too."
"You think that Uncle Jake might get with his mom?"
"How'm I supposed to know, Jared. He hasn't known her very long. Mom was kinda makin fun of him about it though. If she's nice, I hope he does, especially if Trevor's cool. Maybe he'll be kind of like us and like boys better than girls. I can't wait to meet him. Hurry up and get ready, let's get to swimming."
"Yeah, that would be cool if he was gay too. Cute and gay that would be a great combination."
Zach and Jared quickly finished changing and they went back outside and jumped into the pool. The boys had been swimming for just a short time, when the doorbell rang. Jake got up and Terry smiled at him sweetly. Jake looked at her and waved a warning finger back and forth smiling the whole time.
"Not a word, Terry."
Jake walked through the house and opened the door, Sandy and Trevor were standing there. Trevor was wearing his swimming trunks and a t-shirt and wore sandals on his feet, with a towel around his neck. Sandy was holding a foil covered dish. Jake stepped back smiling to let them in.
"Hi guys, c'mon in. What have you got there, Sandy"
"This is a baked bean dish, it's an old family recipe."
"Hi Jake, thanks for inviting us. Are the other boys you told me about here yet?"
"Come on out back. Tom and his family are out there, the boys are swimming."
Jake motioned for them to follow him as he led the way. When the sliding door opened, Tom and Terry got up as Jake led them outside. Dee intercepted them. The twins were looking at the new arrivals and they smiled and looked at each other with a smile and raised eyebrows, when they saw Trevor. Jared held up one finger to Zach and mouthed 'Cute, that's one.' Zach nodded, and turned back to look at Trevor, staring at the good looking boy. Jake introduced the family.
"Sandy, Trevor, this is Tom Browning, my business partner and his wife Terry."
"It's nice to meet you both."
They all shook hands as the introductions were made. Jake then pointed toward the pool.
"Over there are their boys, Zach and Jared"
The boys raised their hands as their names were said, but Zach raised his for Jared and Jared raised his for Zach. Then both of them waved to Trevor. Jared waved his hand in a "c'mon" gesture.
"Come on in, the water's fine"
Trevor looked at his mom and she nodded, he threw his towel onto a chair and ran and jumped into the water.
"Trev, your t…..shirt."
Trevor surfaced and smiled sheepishly
"Sorry Mom, forgot".
He got out of the pool and took the shirt off and laid it over the back of one of the lounge chairs, and then he jumped back in the water and swam toward the twins, who were now laughing at him. His mom turned back to the adults smiling.
"Sometimes, that boy."
"I agree, at least you only have one, I have two."
Trevor joined the boys. They moved over to him and introduced themselves to him again, still going with pretending to be each other. Trevor smiled at Zach.
"Nice to meet you Zach. You too Jared."
The twin's mouths dropped open as they stared at him.
"How did you know which was which? No one except our parents can tell us apart."
Trevor looked back and forth between the two, lingering a little longer when he looked in Zach's eyes.
"I don't know. I just do."
Terry and Susan sat down and started talking about things. Tom and Jake got a couple of beers and sat down and talked business.
"So have you got anything more on this Harvey guy?"
"No, nothing yet. We're still working on getting some leads. The information was sketchy at best, so it will probably take awhile. We are waiting to hear from the police back east and the investigator that did the original work to see if we can get any more information. Jeff has talked to both and is supposed to hear what they can tell him on Monday. So we are in a holding pattern right now. Anyway to other things, such as, I like her. She's really great looking, so when's the wedding."
"Knock it off. Like I said I hardly know her. I know her son only a little bit more"
"Well I say go for it. The kid seems like a good kid and look he and the dynamic duo seem to be getting along well.
Tom waved toward the pool where the boys were splashing each other.
"There you go, ready made family."
"Tom will you keep such thoughts to yourself. I don't want Terry to hear. Yeah she is nice, and for some reason I really like the kid, he seems to be a pretty great kid."
"Uh Huh. Sounds like your family gene finally woke up."
"Tom, I told ya, keep it up and you're going to get wet."
They continued talking about work, baseball, things like that, while the ladies got acquainted.
"Now Sandy, Jake told us about your husband, I'm sorry to hear about that. I know sorry doesn't really say it, but sorry. I don't know how I would handle it if something happened to Tom, or god forbid the twins. How are you and Trevor doing?"
"Thanks, we're doing good. We both miss him of course, but I think it has been harder on Trevor. He worshipped his dad, and vice versa. They both thought the sun rose and set on each other. I think he'll be okay though. He's really taken to Jake, in just a short time. He was always affectionate, but not as much since his dad died. He is always talking about Jake."
"Well, he couldn't have picked a better person to like. Jake is practically family. He and Tom were in the SEAL teams together. Jake was best man at our wedding. Jake became a Sherriff after he got out of the Navy. Tom eventually talked him into getting out of the Sheriff's department and joining him in the security business, and they've been in business a few years now. My boys love him and call him Uncle Jake. He's their godfather. We almost called Jared, Jake, but Jake put a stop to that, he didn't want any Jake Jr. running around, so we chose Jared. Jake really likes kids, he's protective of them and he's great with them. You should hear him when he sees or reads something about kids getting mistreated. It really irritates him, in truth it really pisses him off. According to Tom it has to do with something that happened a long time ago, but Tom won't tell me and neither will Jake. I know I asked him once and he just looked off in the distance, when he looked back, he said he just doesn't like to see kids mistreated, but there was some pain behind his eyes when he says it. Anyway enough of the bad stuff, we're here to have a good time."
The ladies continued talking about kids and work and such. Trevor was playing with the twins, and was having a great time. He seemed to get along with them easily. When they were not dunking each other and wrestling in the water, they talked about what they liked to do.
"Trevor, you've only know Uncle Jake for a couple of weeks. What do you think of him?"
"He's your Uncle, that's cool."
"Well, he ain't technically…our Uncle, we just call him that, technically he's our Godfather. He's been best friends with our Dad for a long time and they own a company together. They use to be in the SEAL Team's together a long time ago. But we've always known him and we always called him Uncle Jake. So he's our Uncle as far as we're concerned."
"That would be cool. I wish he was my Uncle."
"Jake told us about your Dad, that kind of sucks."
"Yeah, I lost my grandparents too, my Dad's parents. He was picking them up from the airport when the drunk driver hit them. They were all killed. Sometimes I do wish my Dad was here, I miss him a lot."
Zach moved over and put his arm around Trevor's shoulders and gave him a quick one armed hug and Trevor smiled shyly at him. Trevor didn't see the raised eyebrow and smirk from Jared, but Zach did. He flipped him the bird, which caused Jared to smile and make a kissy face at Zach. Zach looked at Jared with a scowl and Jared shrugged and nodded, still smiling.
"Well now you got us as friends and I'm sure Uncle Jake will be your friend. So how long have you lived here?"
"We've been here about a month."
"You get to know anybody yet?"
"Yeah, I got a friend named Jeremy, I met him the first week we moved here at the park. He lives a couple of streets away."
"So, what do you like to do?"
"Play baseball, video games, ride my bike, things like that"
"Hey that's cool, we like the same things, but we also are in Boy Scouts and play soccer. We just got into a troop, it's a lot of fun."
"I was in Cub Scouts when I was younger, but after my Dad died, my Mom didn't have the time to take me all the time and it wasn't as fun, so I dropped out and then we moved here."
The twins looked at each other silently for a few moments. Trevor looked at them curiously. Jared and Zach nodded before they turned back to Trevor.
"Hey, maybe you could get back into Scouts again and join with our troop. It'd be great. If your Mom can't take you, Uncle Jake probably would. What do ya think?"
"I don't know, I'd have to ask my Mom and see what she thinks. It might be fun though, since I know you guys, I'll talk to her and ask."
"Cool, let's get back to swimming"
Zach dived underwater and tackled Trevor. The boys continued roughhousing and having a great time, until they were interrupted by a piercing whistle from Jake.
"Okay boys, food's ready"
There was a sudden stop of activity in the pool, and then there were a trio of wet boys jumping out of the pool and heading to the food. Jake held his hand up as they neared the food table.
"Wait, dry yourselves off first, eat next. Besides this gives us time to get some food before the wild animals get there and eat it all."
The boys quickly dried themselves off, while the adults got some food. The boys got their plates and filled them up with food and grabbed drinks and then wandered over to some lounge chairs that were all near each other to sit and talk. Everyone was having a good time and ate a lot, especially the boys. Since there was more than enough food, the boys went back for seconds. They ate more than they should have and had to lay back in the lounge chairs to digest. Jared looked over at the other two.
"D'you guys wanna go swimming some more?"
"Jared, you dork, I can hardly move, let alone swim."
"Hey guys, maybe we could go across the street to my house and play some games on my Playstation."
"That'd be cool."
"That'd be cool."
Trevor looks at them and shakes his head.
"How d'you do that?"
"Say the same thing at the same time. It's like you're in stereo. I noticed it a few times when we were talking in the pool."
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"See, you did it again"
The twins shrug like its no big deal.
"We don't do it all the time, but sometimes it just happens."
"That's cool. I'll go ask my mom and see if it's okay"
Trevor stood up and walked over to where the adults were sitting. They stopped talking as he neared them.
"Mom, can Jared and Zach go home with me for a little while and play some video games, we're too stuffed to swim right now."
Sandy looked at him, and then over at Tom and Terry, they nodded.
"It's fine by me, if their parents don't mind."
"Sure guys go have fun, but tell them they need to get out of their swim suits before they go over."
"Great, thanks. See ya in a little while."
Trevor walked back over to where the boys were sitting.
"It's okay, but your Dad says to get changed out of your swimsuits before you go over."
"Yaaayy! C'mon Trev, will get changed then go to your house."
The boys jumped up and led Trevor into the room where their clothes were. They looked at each other and grinned, then quickly stripped their shorts off. Trevor's mouth dropped open. He had never seen another boy naked and these two had just dropped their shorts in front of him. They were identical in everyway and he felt kind of weird looking at them while they finished drying off and getting dressed, a good weird, but weird. The twins noticed his staring and smiled to each other and gave each other a faint nod. They finished dressing. The twins followed Trevor to his house. They went inside the house and he led them to his bedroom. He pulled the Playstation out from the cabinet under his TV.
"Go ahead and play, I'm going to change."
Trevor got some clean clothes out of his dresser. He looked over his shoulder at the twins and they were playing the game. He turned back and he didn't notice that they were kind of watching Trevor out of the corner of their eyes. Trevor turned his back to them and he quickly dropped his shorts and put a clean pair of briefs on. A wolf whistle sounded behind him, and he looked back over his shoulder. The boys were smiling at him.
"Nice butt, Trevor"
He immediately blushed and finished pulling up his briefs, followed by his shorts. He went back into his dresser and pulled out a t-shirt and slipped it on. When he turned around, he was still a bit red. The two boys had frowns on their faces.
"Yeah, sorry, we didn't mean to embarrass you."
"It's alright, guys. I just have never been naked around anybody else before, except when I was a little kid. I didn't think you were looking."
Trevor said with a shrug. He reddened up again as he walked over and sat next to Zach. Zach put his arm around Trevor.
"Like we said, sorry. We've seen each other since we were little and it never bothered us. We forget sometimes that it can be embarrassing to others, but you do have a nice butt."
Trevor smiled back at him and they all started laughing. They began playing and took turns playing for an hour or so. Eventually they got tired and decided to get up on the bed and watch some TV. Trevor's bed is queen sized so they could all fit. It was a little tight, but there was enough room. They turned the TV on and found that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was on cable. They got comfortable, the twins on either side of Trevor, and started watching. With everything that had been going on today, swimming, the meal, a nice warm summer day, they started to nod off and eventually they fell asleep. As they slept, Zach and Trevor curled up together and Jared cuddled up behind Trevor.
Back over at Jake's house the adults were having a nice visit. After the boys had been gone for a while, they started wondering where they were. Terry looked at her watch.
"The boys have been gone for awhile. It's about time for us to get going."
"I'll go over and get them. They just probably got involved in the games and lost track of time."
Sandy got up and went across the street to get them. She heard the TV in Trevor's room and went in there.
"Boys, your par….."
She stopped when she saw the sight of the sleeping boys. She quietly left and went back across the street and into the backyard. She motioned to the others.
"You've got to see this. Come with me."
They followed her across to her house. When she opened the door, she put her finger to her lips. She went to a small desk in the entryway and grabbed her digital camera and turned it on. She motioned for them to follow her as she led them to Trevor's bedroom. She let them see the boys sleeping together with their arms around each other. They had shifted around a little by now, Trevor was on his back and each of the twins had their heads lying on his shoulders, with an arm across his chest and belly. Sandy took a few pictures. After a couple of pictures, the flash woke Trevor up. He was startled awake by the flash and noticed where he was and realized that he was sleeping cuddled up with the two other boys, and his mom, Jake, Tom and Terry were looking at them and his Mom was holding a camera. He started to get up, which woke the twins. Trevor immediately looked guilty and blushed bright red. The twins looked up and smiled at their parents. Terry motioned to them.
"C'mon guys, time to get up. We need to get home."
"'Kay Mom, be right there."
The adults left the room smiling, Terry turned to Sandy.
"Sandy, I'd like copies of those if you don't mind."
"Sure, Terry. How many?"
The boys sat up and slowly stretched, reaching high. Zach quickly looked at Jared and smiled, Jared grinned back and nodded. They quickly tackled Trevor back to the bed and started tickling him. He started giggling in his high pitched boy's voice, while trying to get back at the twins. They wrestled on the bed for a little while and Zach ended up on top of Trevor as they wound down. He looked down smiling at Trevor and couldn't help but lock gazes with him, both of them smiling as they grew silent. Jared saw the exchange, and then poked both of them, breaking the silence.
"We better get moving guys. See ya another time Trev."
"Yeah Trev, see ya. Oh and don't forget to talk to your Mom."
They got up from the bed and walked out to the front yard, joining the adults who were standing in the front yard talking. The twins stopped just inside the door and gave a Trevor a quick hug.
"Thanks Trev, we had a great time."
"Yeah thanks, see ya another time. Don't forget what we talked about"
"See ya guys. I'll let you know."
Tom and Terry shook Sandy's hand and Trevor's, when he and twins joined them, while Terry gave him a hug.
"It was great to meet you, Sandy. I hope we'll see you again. We may have to if I know my boys. They seem to get along with Trevor, so I'm sure they will want to get together again."
"Sandy, I'll get your dish back to you after I clean it up."
"Don't worry, Jake. I don't need it anytime soon. Thanks for inviting us, it was really nice."
"Yeah thanks Jake, it was real great."
Trevor gave Jake a hug goodbye. Sandy looked at the two of them with a little bit of surprise on her face and smiled. Trevor and his mom waved as the others went back across the street to Jake's house, and then they went inside.
"Mom, Zach and Jared asked if I could join their Boy Scout troop. I told them that I used to be in Cub Scouts, but dropped out. Could I join again?"
"I don't know. Where do they meet?"
"Dang, I forgot to ask them. I could call them and find out."
"I still don't know if I could get you to the meetings unless they are close by."
"But Mom, I'd really like to do it. I like them, they're a lot of fun. I think it would be real fun to do. They said that Jake would probably take me, if I asked him."
"Hold on, Trev. We don't want to impose on Jake like that, he hardly knows us and he may not want to do anything like this. He probably has things to do and this would be a commitment for him. He's just a good neighbor and…"
"But Mom, he's really cool, I know he'd do it. The twins call him Uncle Jake and everything, and he's not even their real Uncle. I'm sure he wouldn't mind. All we have to do is ask him."
Sandy looked at Trevor and he looked at her with lots of hope and pleading as he tried to use the puppy dog eyes approach. She smiled and ruffled his hair.
"Tell you what. You can get the information and I'll think about it. That's all I can promise for now."
"Okaaay. I'll find out. You'll see it will be cool."
Trevor hugged his mom and went to his room.
Across the street Jake was saying goodbye to Tom and the family.
"Bye guys. See you at work Tom. It was a nice afternoon."
"Bye Jake, I like Sandy, you should get to know her."
"Terry, I said don't meddle. She's a neighbor, not a girl friend."
"Well Jake, I think that all you have to do is turn on that charm of yours and I'm sure that will change"
Terry laughed at the look Jake gave her as they got into the car. The twins waved to Jake as they pulled away. Jake waved back and then went back into the house.