A couple of weeks later, Jake was working in his office on the computer and Tom came in, holding a manila envelope.
"Mornin', Tom, what's up?"
"The boys wanted me to ask you to give this to Trevor."
He handed Jake the manila envelope. Jake looked at it quizzically and then up at Tom.
"It's some information about their Scout Troop. They want Trevor to join. They really like him and want to see him more. They thought joining the troop would be a good way."
"Sure, I'll drop it off at their house this evening."
"So how are your neighbors?"
"They're fine, why do you ask?"
"Oh nothing, just wanted to see how things are going."
"Oh, I get it. Tell Terry to stop. Jeez©, she's not going to stop until I'm married to Sandy, is she?"
Jake smiled as Tom started chuckling.
"Okay, she asked me to ask you. You've got to admit, Sandy is pretty nice and Trevor looks like a good kid. You could do worse."
"What, you too? Traitor! Just tell Terry to relax and quit pushing; if it's meant to happen it'll happen. I'm not going to marry someone I just met, no matter how good for me Terry thinks it would be. That's not why I've been nice to Trevor, and you're right, he is a good kid."
Tom held his hands up in surrender, laughing.
"Okay, I was supposed to pry a bit, that's all."
"Well everything is fine, but we are not an item, so you can report back to the chief spy. Changing the subject, anything on this Harvey guy?"
"Nothing yet. Jeff has not been able to get anything on him. It could be an alias, which is why we can't find anything, but he's still digging."
"Something about this guy, kind of bothers me. I don't know what, but he just rubs me the wrong way and I don't know why."
"Well, we'll keep looking, hopefully something breaks."
"I hope so. Tom, we need to look over the schedule a bit; do you have any plans right now? We need to schedule some protection details, and I want to make sure we've got it covered."
"Sure, let me get my laptop, and I'll be right back."
"Okay, great. See ya in a bit."
Tom left and Jake carried his laptop over to the conference table and set it up.
Jake got home that afternoon and changed into his swim shorts. He went to one of the rooms and got on his weight machine as part of his weekly workout routine. When he finished, he went out into the back, dove in the pool and started doing laps. He got out after several laps and grabbed an ice tea and climbed into the spa to relax for a while before making dinner. He laid back, closed his eyes and just relaxed for a little while. After a few minutes he heard a young voice.
"Jake! Jake! Are you back here!?"
Jake opened his eyes and looked around.
"Yeah, Trevor, I am. Come on in."
The side gate opened and Trevor came in the backyard. He was dressed in a blue t-shirt and Levi shorts and hiking sandals. Dee ran over to him and started jumping up on him. Trevor smiled and got Dee to settle down, petting him for a few moments before making his way over to the spa. When he reached the spa, he took off his sandals and then sat on the edge of the spa, right next to Jake, dangling his legs in the water.
"Hi Jake. I knocked and rang the bell, but you didn't answer. I saw your Jeep and thought you were home, so I came around and called. Hope you don't mind."
"No problem, you're welcome here anytime."
"So, what brings you by today?"
"Just wanted to say hi. Nothing much going on at home, so I thought I'd come over to visit."
"Does your Mom know you're over here?"
"Naw, she's not home yet, and it was kind of boring just sitting around at home, and Jeremy wasn't home."
"Too bad you didn't bring your trunks, you could do some swimming."
"Well…uh…I kinda have them on under my shorts."
Trevor turned red and smiled. Jake laughed at him.
"You just happened to have them on when you came over, huh? Okay, go ahead, jump in."
Trevor quickly jumped up and stripped off his t-shirt, dropped his shorts and jumped into the pool. He started swimming around. Jake stayed in the spa and watched him.
"Aren't you coming in?"
"Naw, I'm just going to relax for a bit here. I was in swimming earlier, but you go on and swim."
Trevor looked disappointed for a few moments, and then shrugged and went back to swimming back and forth. Jake watched him and when Trevor was swimming away from him, he quickly and quietly got out of the spa and with a running jump, he dove after Trevor and quickly caught him by the foot. He made so little of a splash when he went in that Trevor didn't even realize that Jake was in the water until his foot was grabbed in an iron grip and he was suddenly pulled backward. Before he knew it, he was grabbed around the waist and launched toward the deep end of the pool. Trevor screamed in surprise before going under. He came up sputtering water. Jake was now standing in the shallow end laughing at him. Trevor grinned and swam toward Jake. When he got close, Jake danced out of the way, and Trevor followed him. Jake would let him get close, before grabbing him and throwing Trevor to the deep end again. Trevor came up with a wide grin each time, laughing. He started swimming to Jake again.
"I aim to please."
This time Jake lifted him up so that he had both hands on Trevor's butt; he held him at shoulder level and then threw him kind of like a shot put. Trevor sailed forward and turned it into a dive as he entered the water. Trevor came up laughing.
"That was cool. Can you do it again?"
"Sure, come on over."
Trevor smiled and quickly swam over. Jake lifted him up and for several minutes tossed him over and over. Finally he leaned back against the coping of the pool deck, and held up his hand.
"I need to take a break, Trev. I already did my workout before swimming."
"Sure Jake, thanks; that was fun."
Trevor swam over and pulled himself out, sitting next to Jake on the deck. Jake smiled up at him and rubbed his back. Trevor scooted next to Jake and put his arm across his shoulders. Jake absently put his arm around Trevor's waist, and gave him a gentle hug. Trevor smiled at him. After a bit, Jake dropped his arm and got out, he walked over to the spa, and picked up his tea to take a drink. He got into the spa. Trevor watched him as he walked over to the spa.
"I'm going to relax for a bit in the spa."
"Can I get in too?"
Trevor hurried over, and got in sitting right next to Jake.
"So bud, when do you start school?"
"Ugh, don't remind me, next week. At least I'll know someone, Jeremy goes there too. My mom and I have to go shopping sometime this week for clothes and school supplies."
"Mayfair Middle School."
"Ehh, it's not that bad, besides you know others too."
"Zach and Jared will be going there too."
"Really! That is really cool. So they don't live too far away?"
"Nope, they live on the other side of the school from here."
"Awesome, maybe I'll be able to go to their house after school sometimes. How far away from here do they live?"
"Not far, maybe a couple or three miles total."
"Uh, well, not exactly walking distance, but I was going to ride my bike to school anyway, so that works out."
"Not walking distance, that's nothing. That's just a good stretch of the legs."
"For you maybe, but why walk, when you can ride?"
"Yeah I know, but hey, you know, I'm a kid, I'm supposed to complain about it, it's my job."
"Yeah I guess so, and you do a good job."
He gave Jake an impish grin and settled in next to him. Jake ruffled his hair and put his arm companionably across Trevor's shoulders. Jake laid his head back and closed his eyes. After a short time, he felt Trevor lean into him. He opened his eyes and saw Trevor with his eyes closed and his head resting on Jake's shoulder, with a contented smile on his face. Jake smiled down on him and brought his arm around to give Trevor a gentle hug. Trevor opened his eyes and looked up at Jake with a smile.
"Thanks for letting me go swimming. It was great."
"Anytime, bud, you just have to ask."
Trevor then closed his eyes with a contented sigh and got comfortable again, leaning against Jake. They sat there in companionable silence for a little while. Trevor and Jake opened their eyes at the same time. Jake gave Trevor a quick squeeze.
"Well, I think it's time to get up, before we're turned into prunes."
Trevor started to get up, and then turned to Jake and gave him a quick hug and peck on the cheek. Jake was startled and Trevor quickly pulled back with a look of uncertainty on his face. Jake recovered quickly, smiled and pulled Trevor to him, giving him a bear hug and kiss on the forehead. Trevor melted into his embrace. They stayed like that for a few moments, and then got out. Jake walked over to the bar and grabbed a towel that he tossed to Trevor, and then got one for himself and they started drying off.
"Oh, I almost forgot. I have something for you from Zach and Jared."
He finished drying most of the water off, and then went inside for a moment. He returned with the envelope that Tom and given him, and handed it to Trevor. Trevor took it after drying his hands off. He opened it and saw that it was the information about the Scout Troop.
"Cool. They said that they were going to get this for me. I'll have to see what my mom says about joining. Thanks for bringing this."
Trevor put the envelope on the chair nearby and quickly finished drying off. Jake watched him until he was done, before putting his hand out for the towel. Trevor gave it to him and got dressed. Jake draped the towels over a couple of the chairs to dry off. Trevor picked up the envelope. Jake held his hand out and Trevor went over to him, and put his arm around Jake's waist and Jake put his arm across Trevor's shoulder, as they walked back inside the house and to the front door. Dee trotted up, wanting attention, as they walked to the front door, and he kept nudging Trevor. He laughed and petted him with his free hand. They got to the front door, Jake opened it and Trevor went outside. He started to leave before he turned, hesitated, and then went back and gave Jake a big hug and murmured almost under his breath.
"Thanks, Jake." 'I love you.'
Jake was startled a little when he heard that, at least the last bit anyway. It sounded almost inside Jake's head, instead of Trevor having said it out loud. Jake wasn't sure if he should have said something, but figured that Trevor hadn't wanted to say it too loud, so he decided he would ignore it and go on as if he had heard nothing at all. He hugged Trevor back. Trevor broke the hug and headed back home, turning to wave with a grin on his face as he got to the sidewalk. Jake waved back, smiling.
"See ya, bud. Thanks for coming over!"
"Sure, see ya, Jake!"
Trevor turned and ran across the street to his house. His mom's car was in the driveway. He opened the door and hurried in.
"Hi Mom, I'm home!"
"Hi honey, where've you been, and why is your hair wet?"
"I was over at Jake's. He let me go swimming."
"I hope you weren't bothering him."
"Nope, he said I could swim with him anytime, I just had to ask. Besides he had something for me from Zach and Jared."
"Oh. What was that?"
Trevor handed the envelope to his mom. She took it and opened it up. Inside were some papers with information about the Scout troop and an application to join. She quickly looked it over as she walked to the kitchen.
"Okay. I'll look it over and remember, I said no promises. I'll see what it involves."
"Okay, but I really want to do it. It will be fun and good for me. I'll be getting outdoors and get to go hiking and backpacking and stuff."
"I know, I'll look at it and let you know in a couple of days. All right?"
"Until then, let me get some dinner going, and then I think we'll go shopping this evening for school."
"Ugh, don't remind me."
She laughed. She noticed that his shorts were a little damp and motioned him to his bedroom.
"Now go get out of those wet clothes and then come back and help me with dinner."
Trevor went to the bathroom and took everything off. He put his shirt and shorts on the floor and hung his swim shorts over the shower curtain bar. He took a quick shower to rinse off the chlorine. When he got out, he dried off quickly, and then opened the door and looked around to see if the coast was clear, and then he quickly ran naked to his room, shutting the door behind him. He got a fresh pair of briefs and shorts on, and put on a clean t shirt, and then walked back to help his mom with dinner.
A few days later, Jake was relaxing watching a baseball game on TV on Saturday afternoon. The doorbell rang. Jake put down his ice tea and went to the door. Trevor was standing there.
"Hi Trevor, c'mon in. I'm just watching the game; you can join me if you like. You want some tea?"
Jake grabbed his glass and went to the kitchen to refill his glass and got one for Trevor. Trevor went over to the couch and sat down. Jake noticed that he seemed a little down; his smile seemed kind of forced. Jake brought the drinks and gave one to Trevor, who gave him a little smile in thanks, took a sip, then leaned back and watched the game as Jake sat down. They sat for a little while quietly watching the game. Jake glanced at Trevor out of the corner of his eye. Trevor didn't seem his normal self. Jake hesitated to say anything and decided to wait for Trevor. Dee walked over and pushed his nose against Trevor's hand. Trevor absently rubbed his head and ears. Jake heard a small dejected sounding sigh come from Trevor. He turned and looked at him.
"Okay, out with it. What's the matter? This is not my usual Trevor. You're sitting here looking a little down about something. I want to help if I can. Won't you let me?"
Trevor looked up at Jake and his eyes started to look a little watery.
"My mom won't let me join the Scouts with Zach and Jared. She says that she doesn't have the time to take me and all that, what with her new job and all. She said maybe later or next year when she's settled, but can't right now. But I really want to do it now. They told me all about it and it sounds like they have a great time doing all kinds of things."
Trevor moved over next to Jake. He hugged him and started crying quietly. Jake put his arms around the boy and held him, stroking his hair. He murmured softly to Trevor that it would be all right. After a short time, Trevor stopped crying and just stayed in the hug. Jake continued running his hand up and down Trevor's back soothing him. Trevor then looked up at Jake with a little smile.
"I guess you think I'm a crybaby now."
"No, you were just disappointed about something you really wanted. I would never think of you as a crybaby. That would be mean to you and you're too special to me for me to want to hurt you."
Trevor's smile lit up more.
"I'm special to you? Really?"
"Yep, you are. I care a lot about you and like having you around."
"Cool. That makes me feel really warm inside."
"Good. Because it makes me feel really warm inside too."
They sat quietly for a little while until Trevor broke the hug and sat back up.
"Well, I guess I got to get going soon. Mom will be home soon from shopping and we'll be having dinner."
Trevor got up. Jake also stood up. He followed Trevor to the door and opened it for him. Trevor got outside, then turned back.
"Jake? Would you like to have dinner with us tonight? It's lasagna and I think that there's plenty."
"Don't you think you should ask your mother first?"
"She won't mind."
"Still, you should ask her first. If she says yes, then I will be glad to come over."
"Great, I'll call ya after I ask her."
"Okay, talk to you later."
Trevor looked a little happier than he was before as he ran back across the street. Jake closed the door and got back to watching the game. An hour later, the phone rang. Jake reached over to answer it.
"Hi Jake, this is Sandy, Trevor's mom."
"Trevor told me that he asked you to have dinner with us. You are more than welcome to come over."
"Thanks. When should I come over?"
"How about 5:30?"
"Sure, I'll be there. Thanks for inviting me. Bye."
Jake hung up the phone and continued watching the game. Just as he got settled, the doorbell rang again. He got up thinking "Who is it now?" He got to the door and Trevor was standing there, smiling.
"Hi Jake, I came to ask if I could sit and watch the game with you, until it's time to go eat?"
"Sure, as long as your Mom doesn't care. Maybe she needs help with dinner."
"Naw, she doesn't care. I already set the table, so there is nothing else to do for now."
"Okay, come and join me."
Trevor followed Jake back to the den and waited until Jake sat down before he cuddled up next to him. Jake draped his arm across the back of the couch as they sat back and watched the game. When the team made a good play, they cheered. Dee barked when they cheered. Trevor laughed and petted him. As the game went on, Trevor pulled Jake's arm around his shoulders and cuddled closer. The game finally ended a little after five.
"Thanks, Jake, that was fun."
"It's almost time for dinner. You want to come over now?"
"I need to lock up and put Dee out back, and I'll be right over."
"I'll wait for you."
Jake took Dee outside, and then grabbed his keys and set the alarm. They went over to Trevor's house. As they walked, Trevor reached over and put his hand in Jake's. Jake looked at him and gave his hand a squeeze. Trevor was smiling. They went into the house. Trevor still had Jake's hand in his as he led him to the table. Sandy looked up and noticed it. She smiled and walked over to them.
"Thanks for coming; dinner is just about ready. Trevor, will you get the salad and bring it to the table. Jake, go ahead and have a seat there."
Jake sat down where she pointed and the food was brought in. They sat down and started to eat. They talked about how everything was going with her getting settled. Afterward, Trevor went to his room to play some video games, while Jake and Sandy talked over coffee.
"Thanks, Sandy, that was good."
"You're very welcome. Trevor was very happy when I said that he could invite you. He really likes you a lot. I would say it is more than that. I think he really cares about you, probably loves you."
"Well. I really care about him. I enjoy it when he comes around."
She looked at Jake with kind of a serious look.
"That's good. I hope that you can handle it that he probably loves you. He has been happier in the last month, since he's known you, than he has for a while. He probably looks at you as something like a surrogate father, and I don't want him to be hurt if it bothers you. Since his dad died, he just gets lonely for those times when he and his dad did things together. It's just us, and as much as I love him and do what I can for him, I'm not a dad, and he may need someone like that in the coming months or years. I have no problem with you being that one, as long as it is something you are comfortable with."
"Well, to tell you the truth. I really have come to care about him and yes, I think I could say that I love the boy. He has kind of gotten under my skin, and I would hate to not be a part of his life as long as he wants. I have always enjoyed having Zach and Jared over, and I am proud to be their godfather. They know that if anything ever happened to Tom and Terry, that I would be there to take care of them. Trevor is a great kid and I would be more than happy to step in to help if you need it. You only have to call, and if I don't have any other plans, at least any plans that can't be changed, then I will be glad to help out."
Sandy smiled at Jake then.
"That takes a bit of weight off my shoulders. There are just some things that I can't do for him, and as he gets older, he will need a man to show him the right way of things."
"Like I said, I'd be happy to. That reminds me, when he was over earlier before you got home, he was kind of upset about not being able to join the Scouts. If you don't have the time, I would be happy to get him to the meetings and help him with that. He told me that he really wants to do it, and he was pretty upset when you told him that you needed to get more settled before you could do it."
"That can be quite a commitment. I don't want to impose. You've been so helpful to him already; I don't want to take advantage of you."
"Nonsense. Doing something for him would not be an imposition. It would be a pleasure. If you don't have a problem with it, I would be happy to do it. I don't have such a busy schedule that I can't be there for him, if he needs me."
"Okay. If you really don't mind, I'll let him join."
There was the sound of running feet and then two arms wrapped around Jake's neck from behind as Trevor hugged Jake. Trevor laid his head next to Jake's as he put his chin on his shoulder, so that his cheek was touching Jake's cheek.
"You're welcome, bud."
"Trevor, I have told you not to eavesdrop."
"Honest, I didn't, I was just walking in to get a drink, when I heard Jake say that he would take me to join the Scouts."
"Okay, I just wanted to make sure."
Trevor gave Jake another squeeze and Jake again heard I love you like before. It sounded like Trevor said it, but Sandy didn't seem to hear what he heard. He was startled, because he heard it in his head, not from Trevor's mouth. Trevor let go and then went over to his mother and gave her a hug. Jake was looking at him curiously, but Trevor didn't notice. They talked for a while about the Scouts and arranging everything they needed to get done so he could join. Sandy got the paperwork out and the three of them went over it, filling everything out. Eventually it was time for Jake to go home. They followed him to the front door.
"Well, thanks for the great dinner. I had a good time this evening."
"Thanks for coming and thanks for helping Trevor. I'll finish up all the paperwork and you guys can get it to the right people."
"Okay, see you later, guys."
Sandy gave him a quick hug and peck on the cheek. Trevor hugged him tight around the waist.
"Thanks again, Jake, for helping me get into Scouts."
Just before Trevor pulled back from the hug, Jake again heard another silent 'I really love you'. He looked down at Trevor and leaned in close as if to give him a quick kiss on the top of his head. He whispered into his hair.
"I love you too."
Trevor leaned back quickly and looked up at Jake with puzzlement. Jake smiled at him and tousled his hair. Then he turned and left, waving once more back to Trevor and Sandy, and winking at Trevor. Trevor's mouth dropped open. Jake walked back home. They shut the door.
"Do you need any help cleaning up, Mom?"
"No thanks, honey."
Trevor went into his room. His face felt hot, he looked in the mirror of his bathroom and he saw that he was blushing. He thought to himself.
Did I say that out loud? I didn't think I did. I must have though, because Jake said that he loved me too.
Trevor started to smile and jumped up a bit with happiness at the thought of Jake saying that. It made him feel real good. The Scouts were going to be great with Jake going with him. He couldn't wait. They would be going the next Tuesday night to get him signed up. Trevor went to the computer to contact Zach and Jared to let them know. When he logged in, he saw that ZachWonDo was online:
Tgar: ZachWanDo are you on, or is your computer just turned on.
ZachWonDo: Hey Tigger how's it goin?
Tgar: Great now, and I told you it's not Tigger, its Tiger.
ZachWondo: Tigger, Tiger. Tomato, Tomahto. You're a Tigger to me.
Tgar: Oh yeah, why is that.
ZachWonDo: Cause you're bouncy, flouncy, fun, fun, fun, and you're the only one.
Tgar: Only one what?
ZachWonDo: You, of course, dummy.
Tgar: Oh. Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you, that my mom said yes to me joining your troop and Jake's going to take me to the meetings.
ZachWonDo: Way cool.
ZachWonDo: I just told Jared, he's glad too. I told you that Jake would do it.
Tgar: At first my mom said no that she didn't have the time, and she didn't want to bother Jake, but Jake was over here tonight for dinner and they were talking and Jake told her that he would do it, so she said yes.
ZachWonDo: Cool I can't wait, you'll have a great time in our troop.
Tgar: I found out today from Jake that you go to Mayfair Middle School too.
ZachWondo: Yeah, I hope we have a lot of classes together.
Tgar: Yeah me too. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know about scouts and stuff.
ZachWonDo: Yeah, that's cool. What are you doing tomorrow?
Tgar: School shopping.
ZachWonDo: We already did ours. Well, see ya at school on Wednesday.
Tgar: Yeah you too Zach, I can't wait to see you.
ZachWonDo: Yeah me too.
The cursor blinked like Trevor was thinking about adding more, then Zach got the message Tgar has signed off. He sighed and smiled at the screen for a few moments and then shut down the computer and walked over to his bed. He flopped back, putting his hands behind his head, and smiled up at the ceiling.
"Damn, Bro, you got it bad."
Zach looked over at his grinning brother sitting on the other bed. He smiled and turned back to the ceiling.
"Hey, I can't help it, he's so cute, and those eyes of his, wow, sometimes they look like they're glowing when he looks right at you. Man, this is way cool, now if he'll just turn out to be gay too, then I think I'm set for life."
"How are you going to find out?"
"I don't know yet, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, we're going to see each other in school and Scouts. Maybe he can come over here after school or I can go to his house. This is going to be way cool."
"Yeah, now I just have to find me one."
"Well, you know what they say, around ten percent. There's got to be someone at the school. We'll just have to keep our eyes peeled; something will come up."
Jared fell back and started rolling on the bed laughing. Zach was puzzled for a little bit, and then it dawned on him what he had said and he quickly joined in. When they finished laughing, Jared turned on the TV and they settled down to watch for a bit before getting to sleep.
A few miles away, Trevor was lying in almost the exact same position as Zach, looking up at the ceiling. He smiled and closed his eyes.
"Thanks God, for helping us meet everyone. Jake, Jeremy, Jared and of course Zach. Say hello to my Dad and tell him, I think I'm going to be okay and thank him for sending Jake to me."
Lying there thinking about Zach made Trevor really happy. He drifted off to sleep after a few moments. If he had been Peter Pan, he knew that he would have been flying right now.
Wednesday morning seemed to come early. It was the first day of school, seventh grade, and Trevor wasn't sure that he was ready for it, A new school, new people, new everything. Well, except for his three friends who were going there as well. The thought of them, especially Zach, made him smile and gave him the renewed energy to get out of bed and get ready for school. He was nervous, but knew that they would be there and it made it easier. Mayfair, being a combined Middle and High School, had kids from seventh to twelfth grade. Hoping that he would fit in was kind of important. At least he had his friends, Jeremy and of course the twins. Trevor got up, and got cleaned up. He went into the kitchen to grab breakfast and got out a bowl and a box of cereal. As he sat there, his mom came into the kitchen, dressed and ready for work.
"Morning, Honey. Ready for school?"
"I guess so. At least Jeremy, Zach and Jared will be there."
"Don't worry. I'm sure everything will be just fine, you'll see."
They finished breakfast. Sandy got her laptop case and purse, while Trevor rinsed out his bowl and put everything away. They went into the garage. She gave him a quick kiss before opening the car door. Trevor got his bike out of the garage.
"Bye, Honey. See you tonight."
"Bye, Mom. See ya."
Trevor waited as his mom pushed the garage door button She backed out, then he got on his bike and rode it outside and waited as his mom closed the door and drove away. They waved to each other. Trevor started down the street toward school. Part way down the block there was a honk behind him. He looked around and saw a smiling Jake drive by waving. He smiled and waved back. He continued to school with a big smile on his face. He got to school and locked his bike up. He heard someone yell his name and he turned around smiling.
Jeremy walked over and they bumped fists.
"Ready for the first day?"
"As ready as I will be. Where do we go?"
"We're in a Mrs. Keyser's room for first period, and then we'll get the rest of our schedule then. C'mon, I'll show you the way. I've already scouted it out."
"Thank god I have some friends here. This would be a whole lot harder without you around."
"Well, we don't want to be late for a first day, so we'd better get to class."
They hurried off to find their class. They got to class and went in. Mrs. Keyser was in her mid 30's, dark hair, brown eyes. Trevor and Jeremy went and found seats in the middle of the classroom. There were desks in here for the 24 students in the class. They found a couple of seats together and sat down. They were distracted by two other students coming in behind them; one of them clapped Trevor on the shoulder.
The boys turned around and saw Zach and Jared behind them, smiling.
"Hey, Zach. Zach, Jared, this is my friend Jeremy that I told you about."
"Hey, Jeremy. I'm Zach."
They bumped fists. Zach claimed the seat next to Trevor, while Jared went to the other side of Jeremy.
"Hi, guys, cool to finally meet you guys. Trevor told me about you. So you're here too, huh?"
"Yep, another pair of inmates."
Just as they sat down, Mrs. Keyser got everyone's attention.
"Good Morning. Welcome to seventh grade. I hope you enjoy your school year and that we have a lot of fun together. Okay, I'm going to take roll now, so answer when I call your name. This will take a little time, because I am going to write your name in a seating chart as well. So I hope you are sitting where you want to sit for the rest of the year. I don't expect to make any changes unless I feel the need to move people around for any reason. After that I will call you up to get your class schedules. Okay, listen for your name."
She smiled as she started to take the roll. After they got their schedules, they checked them and saw that the four of them had the same classes and teachers, which made them all happy. The rest of the day they were told what to expect and got their books and a lot of paperwork done that had to be taken care of. The rest of the week went pretty much the same, except they started getting homework toward the end of the week. On Friday they finished up for the day and walked out to their bikes to go home. Trevor and Jeremy were getting their bikes as well.
"Trev. You wanna go over to my house and do our homework, then play some video games?"
"Sure, Jer. We have to go by my house first and call my mom to see if it's all right."
They rode their bikes to Trevor's house and went inside. Trevor called his mom and she gave the okay. They went over to Jeremy's. There was a great smell coming from the kitchen. They went to get drinks and saw that the crock pot was on and cooking something great smelling. They got their homework done and then were able to do some playing, until Trevor said that he had to get home for dinner. Jeremy followed him to the door and said goodbye. As Trevor rode off, he saw Mrs. Davis pull up; she waved to him and he waved back. As Trevor took off, a Mustang pulled up in front of the house and a man got out. He watched Trevor ride away. There was a weird kind of grin on his face as he watched the boy ride down the street. He turned to Denise, who was waiting for him and waved. He went over and gave her a quick hug and a peck on the cheek before they went inside.
"Jeremy, honey, I'm home."
Jeremy came out from the kitchen to the living room where his mom was standing there with some guy he had never seen before. The man had black Hair, brown eyes and looked to be in pretty good shape, a little under six feet tall. He was dressed in a pullover knit shirt and Levi's.
"Jeremy, I would like you to meet Roger Smith. I met him last week and invited him to dinner tonight."
"Hey, Jeremy. It is great to meet you. Your mom has told me a lot about you."
"Hello, sir. It's nice to meet you also."
They shook hands.
"Why don't you make yourself comfortable, Roger; the remote is by the couch. Jeremy, would you set the table please? Dinner will be ready in a little while."
"Denise, could I help out with dinner?"
"That's very kind of you, Roger, but I think I have everything done. Go ahead and turn on the TV. I know you like sports; we have cable so you should be able to find something to occupy you until dinner is ready. Would you like a drink or something?"
"I'll wait until we eat, thanks."
Roger went into the living room, turned on the TV to something on ESPN and sat down. He watched Jeremy get the table set and grinned. Jeremy finished and went back to his room to play a bit before dinner. Roger's eyes followed him. Jeremy didn't notice Roger watching him. Denise finished dinner and called everybody to the table. They sat down and had some short ribs, mashed potatoes, and green beans. They had a good conversation and everyone was having a nice time.
"Jeremy. I was thinking about something, I sometimes get tickets to games and stuff, you know, like professional sports because of my sales contacts and they're usually pretty good seats. If I get some, would you like to go some time? What kind of sports do you like?"
"Baseball is my favorite. So I guess it would be cool to go see the Dodgers."
"Sure, I like baseball too. What if I could get tickets to see the Lakers or the Clippers?"
"Well, basketball isn't my favorite sport. But I think it would be cool to see them for real instead of on TV. Yeah, that would be fun. I would like to see them play."
"Fair enough. If it was earlier in the baseball season, I'd try to get some tickets, but since its September, it might be hard to get baseball tickets, But I think I can easily get some NBA tickets, since the season is going to start next month, so let me see what I can do in the next couple of weeks and we'll go see a game."
"Thanks, Mr. Smith. I can't wait...but, er, uh…forget it. That will be great."
"What is it, bud?"
"Well, I don't want to bother you, but could we maybe bring my friend Trevor along with us. That is, if you can get enough tickets."
"Honey, you shouldn't impose."
"Don't worry, Denise. Is that the boy that I saw ride away as I got here, blond hair?"
"Yes, sir, that was probably Trevor."
"I would be happy to. What about his Dad? Maybe he would like to go too."
"He doesn't have a Dad; his died a couple a years ago in a car crash."
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that. I will do whatever I can to include him. It should not be a problem. I'm sure I can get enough tickets. What about you, Denise?"
"Sure, I guess so, yeah, that might be fun. But I would prefer that it was on a weekend night instead of a school night."
"Sure, Denise. I believe that I can arrange that."
"Cool. I'll let Trevor know. I'm sure he will love to go too. Thanks, Mr. Smith."
They finished the dinner. Jeremy and Roger helped clear the table. and then he and Denise went into the living room. Jeremy went into his room and watched some TV for a while. Roger and Denise sat on the couch next to each other and talked for a while. Later Roger went to the door of Jeremy's room. Jeremy was sitting at his desk in just a pair of shorts, his back was to the door. Roger looked at Jeremy's bare back for a few moments before knocking on the open door. Jeremy twisted around in the chair and looked at the smiling Roger.
"Hey, Jeremy. Just wanted to say good night. I'm leaving now. I'll let you know about the tickets as soon as I can."
"Thanks, Mr. Smith. I can't wait."
"Jeremy, please call me Roger. Mr. Smith makes me feel so old."
"Sure, M….Roger. I'll try. Thanks again."
Jeremy got up and held out his hand. Roger shook it and ruffled his hair, smiling as he patted him on the back. Jeremy smiled back, then went back to sit at his desk. Roger lingered for a moment and then turned away with a grin and Denise walked with him to the door. He turned to her and gave her a kiss.
"Thanks for having me over. Dinner was nice. Jeremy seems to be a good kid."
"It was my pleasure. We'll have to do this again sometime."
"I think that next time, why don't I take you out for a night on the town, dinner, dancing. How does that sound?"
"Okay, I'll talk to you next week."
"Bye, Roger,…and thanks for Jeremy. I'm sure he'll have a good time. But if you are able to get tickets to the Dodgers when spring season starts, he would really go nuts. They have always been his favorite team."
"Then I will see what I can do. That should pose no problem. I'll make sure he gets to see them. Goodbye and thanks again."
He gave her a quick kiss then went out to his car, smiling. He waved before getting in the car and driving away.
The next day Jeremy went over to Trevor's house. He knocked, and Sandy answered the door.
"Good morning, Jeremy. Looking for Trevor?"
"Good morning, Ms. Garrity. Yeah, is Trevor home?"
"Yes he's out back, picking up some leaves. Go on back."
Jeremy went back and saw Trevor raking leaves.
Trevor turned around and smiled.
"Hey, Jer. What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to see if you wanted to ride to the mall and wander around."
"Sure. Let me finish this and see if mom has anything else for me today."
Jeremy helped Trevor finish up. They went back into the house and got some soda.
"Mom, I'm done. Can I go with Jeremy?"
"Where are you going?"
"Just to the mall."
"Okay, see you later."
They finished their drinks, then went to the garage and got Trevor's bike. The two boys' ride to the mall didn't take long. They locked up their bikes and wandered around for a while. They saw some of the other kids from school and waved to them. They wound up in the food court, grabbed something to eat and had a seat.
"Hey, Trevor, would you like to go see the Lakers or Clippers play at Staples Center?"
"Sure, I guess. I mean, that would be kinda cool. I've never seen them in person."
"A friend of my mom says that he can get us some tickets with good seats and he wants to take us."
"That sounds cool. I've never been to Staples Center. I guess it would be fun."
"Great. He says that he can get good tickets. I'll let him know. It might take a couple a weeks."
"Too bad it's not baseball season, then maybe we could go see the Dodgers."
"He told my mom that he was going to see what he can do about Dodger tickets when spring season starts."
"Hey, that's way cool. I can't wait. Do you think I will be able to go with you too?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. He said he would take you to the basketball game, so I'm sure he would be willing to take you to see the Dodgers too."
"Cool. Hey, you want to see a movie?"
"Yeah, let's go see something."
The boys finished lunch and then went out to the theater to see what was playing. They found a movie they wanted to see and went inside. They watched the movie and then headed home. They separated at Jeremy's street. Trevor rode home. He put his bike away and went inside.
"Hi, mom. I'm back."
"Hi, honey. What did you guys do today?"
"We had lunch, and then decided to see a movie. Jeremy said that his mom has a friend that told him that he could get some real good tickets to a Lakers game and he wants to take us. So can I go when he gets them?"
"That's sounds like fun. When is this?"
"Jeremy didn't know yet. He said the guy would let him know as soon as he gets the tickets."
"Well, that sounds pretty good. I'm sure you boys will have a good time. I'll call his mom and get the information."
"Thanks, mom. I'm going to go over to Jake's and see if he's home."
"Okay, but don't be a bother."
"I'm never a bother. He said so."
"You know what I mean. Don't wear out your welcome."
"'Kay, Mom. Be back later."
As Trevor went outside he saw Jake coming out the front door with Dee. He smiled and waved.
"Hey, buddy! How are you today!"
"Great. Are you going to the park?"
"Yep, Dee wants to run a bit."
"Can I go with you?"
"Sure, if your mom says it's okay."
"Wait a sec!"
Trevor went back inside.
"Mom, Jake and Dee are going to the park; can I go with them? He said it was okay as long as you didn't mind."
"Okay, just remember to be back in time for dinner."
"'Kay, see you later."
Trevor closed the door and hurried across the street. Dee started jumping around when Trevor started over. Trevor went to Dee and gave him a quick hug and pat. Jake ruffled his hair and they started off to the park. When they got there, Jake let Dee off the leash and they took turns throwing the ball for him. Then Jake sat down and watched while Trevor and Dee ran around together. Trevor came back and flopped down next to Jake. Dee lay down next to Trevor. Jake put his arm around Trevor and squeezed. Trevor smiled at him.
"Guess what, Jake, I might get a chance to see the Lakers at Staples Center."
"Well, I don't know yet, but as soon as a friend of Jeremy's mom gets the tickets, he's going to take me and Jeremy and his mom to a game and when the baseball season starts, he is going to try to get tickets to see the Dodgers too. He told Jeremy that he can get really good seats, because he's a salesman and has contacts that help him get them."
"That sounds pretty cool."
"I wish you could go too, Jake."
"Hey don't worry about it. Maybe you, me and Jeremy can go see some kind of game another time."
"That would be cool."
"Are you ready for Tuesday, bud? First Scout meeting."
"Yep, I'm ready. The paper from the troop, said not to buy anything until we know what to buy, and what not to buy."
"Good. I think you'll like it. I remember when I was a Scout. I had lots of fun."
The sat and talked for a little while then got up from the grass. Jake snapped the leash onto Dee and they headed home. When they got to Jake's house, Trevor said goodbye and went back across the street to his house. Jake called to him.
"Hey Trevor, would you be interested in starting your John Wayne education tonight after you've had dinner? I can make up some popcorn and we can sit and watch a movie or two. That is, if your mom says that you can."
"I'll ask my mom. I've got some homework. Is he that old actor you talked about?"
"Yeah, that's him. Your mom is invited as well. We can all see the Duke."
"That was his nickname. Duke Wayne. Hey it's better than his real name, Marion Morrison."
"A guy named Marion? That's a girl's name!"
"Yeah, sometimes guys have names that are usually girl's names. Like Carroll O'Connor. He was another actor for many years."
Trevor nodded and went into the house.
"Hi, mom, I'm back."
"Hi. Dinner will be ready in half an hour."
"Okay. Jake asked me if I wanted to…if we, wanted to watch a movie at his house this evening. He said he wants to start my John Wayne education."
"I don't know. Do you have any school work that you have to get done?"
"I have a little, but I can get it done tomorrow, no problem."
"I'll think about it; we don't want to impose on him."
"Well he invited me…er, us…so he must want us to come over."
"Okay, I'll talk to him."
Trevor nodded and went to watch TV until dinner was ready. Sandy went into the kitchen. While finishing up dinner, she called Jake.
"Hi, Jake, it's Sandy."
"Hi, Sandy, how are you?"
"Fine, thanks. Trevor told me that you invited him, or rather us, over to watch a movie. I hope he's not being a pest."
"Yep I invited him, well both of you really. I need to get him educated properly about John Wayne. That is, if you don't mind. And he could never be a pest. I really enjoy having him around. And don't forget I invited you too."
"Well, if you're sure he is not a bother. I think that would be a nice evening. Which one of the Duke's movies are you going to show?"
"Ah ha, do I hear another fan? I thought I would put in Big Jake."
"That's a good one. Do we need to bring anything?"
"Nope, I have everything we need. Just bring yourselves."
"Then we will see you later."
They said goodbye and Sandy finished with dinner. She called Trevor in and they sat down. He told her about the movie he saw. She told him about going over to Jake's and his face lit up. He got up and hugged her, and then went back to his seat to finish dinner. After everything was cleaned up and in the dishwasher, they went over to Jake's house. When they knocked on the door, Jake opened it and Trevor gave him a hug in greeting. They all went to the living room and sat down. Jake went to the kitchen to get the popcorn made. When everything was ready, they sat down to enjoy the movie. Trevor sat next to Jake. Sandy sat on the other end of the couch. During the movie, Trevor scooted next to Jake and Jake let his arm go around Trevor. Trevor smiled up at him. They all enjoyed the movie. After the movie they sat and talked. As it got later, Trevor snuggled closer to Jake and Jake let his arm hug Trevor to him. Jake and Sandy talked a little bit before they realized that Trevor had fallen asleep against Jake. She looked at the two of them.
"He really likes you a lot, Jake."
"I really like him too, Sandy. He's a great kid. I always enjoy his company. Anytime you need to go somewhere, for your job or whatever, don't hesitate to ask my help. I'll be glad to watch over him."
"Jake…uh…I want to ask you something; it is kind of important and I don't want you to be freaked out or anything, but I believe he loves you. Remember when we talked about this a couple of weeks ago? He has really missed his dad, but he seems more like he used to be, happier and all, since he got to know you. I know I asked you this before, but I feel I need to ask again. Can you handle that?"
"I was starting to get that impression. Like I said the other night, not only can I handle it, but I am proud to think that he might love me, because…I love him too, and he is such a great kid, how could I not love him? I mean, how could he not be a great kid, he has a great mom."
"Thanks, Jake. I'd hate for him to get attached and you not reciprocating his feelings. It might hurt him a lot if you rejected him."
"That could never happen. Anytime he needs me, I'll be there."
"That's good to know."
"That goes for you too, Sandy; you need me, I'll be there. In fact, how about if when the boys go to see that game Trevor told me about, you and I go out to dinner. I would like to take you out."
"Jake, you don't have to do that."
"I know, but I want to, Sandy. I like you as well, and I want to get to know you better, that is, if you would like to go."
"I accept. I like you too, Jake, and I love the way you are with my angel. Well, I guess it's time to get this one back home and to bed."
"Let me carry him."
"I don't want to trouble you."
"I told you before, anything having to do with him will never be trouble, trust me. Come on, buddy, let's take you home."
He carefully lifted Trevor into his lap and then stood up. Trevor mumbled a little, and then put his arms around Jake's neck, wrapping his legs around Jake and laying his head on his shoulder. Jake hoisted him up and they walked across the street. Jake followed Sandy into the house and to Trevor's room. He held him until Sandy got the bed turned down. Jake laid him down, and Sandy started to unlace one shoe and motioned for Jake to do the other one. When they got his shoes and socks off, she motioned for him to take his pants off. Jake shrugged and undid the pants and pulled them down, leaving Trevor in just his t shirt and briefs. They got him tucked in and Sandy leaned down and kissed his forehead.
"Goodnight, my angel."
Jake leaned down and brushed the hair off his forehead, and then he kissed him on the forehead as well. He looked up at Sandy and smiled.
"You're right, he is an angel. Night, buddy."
The words were sleepily mumbled but they could both hear it. Jake looked back at Sandy. She was smiling with tears in her eyes. She gave him a look that said "I told you so"; she motioned for him to follow her. They went back through the house and to the front door.
"See, I told you so. He loves you."
"I love him, too. That was a bit unexpected, but it felt kind of good. Well, I'll see you. Remember, when they go to the game, you and I have a dinner date."
She smiled at him and he looked at her, and then he leaned down and kissed her. She returned the kiss and they hugged as the kiss deepened a little. They broke apart and looked at each other with their arms around each other.
"That was nice. I hope you didn't mind, Sandy."
"Not at all. I look forward to our date. Thanks for being there for Trevor."
"My pleasure entirely. Remember, he is welcome at my house anytime. So are you. If you need me, I'm just across the street."
"Night, Jake, see you later."
They parted and Jake went back across the street. A shadow from the hallway detached itself and went back to his bedroom, smiling. This was so cool, Trevor thought to himself. Jake and his mom. He quietly got back in bed and closed his eyes. Soon he was asleep with a smile on his face. Sandy looked in before she went to bed. She also slept with a smile on her face. Across the street a similar scene was played out. As Jake fell asleep smiling, he heard in his sleep. 'Good night, Daddy.'