Christmas Day. Trevor got up feeling great and excited for the day. He knew that he and his mom were going to spend most of the day at Jake's. Also, Zach was going to be there, and that would really make the whole day perfect. While he was eating breakfast he thought about the day. His two favorite people, next to his mom, Jake and Zach, or was it Zach and then Jake. Nope, it was neither one nor the other, they were tied. He loved them both just the same, just each a little differently. After breakfast was over, he and his mom opened the few presents that they had under the tree. He got some CD's and some Playstation games and a cell phone. One of the things he got which was kind of different, was a big warm jacket, like a snow jacket. He looked at his mom with a questioning look.
"This is real nice, Mom, but it doesn't get that cold here. My fleece jacket that I use camping is in good shape."
"Well, you know how you wanted to go skiing. Jake told me that he said you guys would go sometime this season, so I thought it would be a good time to get one for you, so then you'll be all set. The other box with it has some ski pants. This way we don't have to scramble around at the last minute trying to get you some ski clothes."
"Wow, I hadn't thought of that. That's a great idea. Cool, thanks, Mom. Now I really can't wait to go. I hope it's soon. Maybe next month."
"Well, you'll have to keep up school if it's going to be more than just a weekend. But we'll see. Also, that goes the same for the cell phone. I think you're responsible enough to have one now, but if you abuse it, or your grades drop, I will take it away. It's all charged up and ready to go. I already had them program our home number, Jake's number and both mine and Jake's work numbers. So if you ever need to get either of us, you call right away."
"No problem, Mom. For this, I'll get straight A's."
"You just keep up and do your best, and I don't think there will be a problem."
"Okay. When are we going over to Jake's?"
"I think about noon. At least that's when everyone is arriving."
"Do you think I could go over there a little earlier, you know, to help him get ready?"
"I guess so, but it is only eight o'clock, so give him another hour or two so he can wake up properly before you barge in, okay?"
"Okay. Thanks again, Mom. The presents were cool."
"You're welcome, honey."
Trevor gave his mom a hug and she kissed him on the cheek. He picked up the torn wrapping paper, while his mom went and got dressed and then went to the kitchen to start cooking for the party at Jake's. When the living room was picked up, Trevor took his games to his room to try them out. After playing them for an hour, he put everything away and got dressed. He stopped in the kitchen before he left.
"Mom, do you need any help with anything before I go across the street?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Okay, see you in a little while. If you need me, just call Jake's and I'll be back in a flash."
"Okay, be helpful, not a nuisance."
"Aww Mom, you know I'm never a nuisance. That's Zach and Jared's job. I'm just your sweet innocent angel."
"Yeah and I'm a monkey's uncle."
"Ooo ooo aaaa"
"Get out of here, monkey, or I'm sure I can find something for you to do."
Trevor quickly left the house. It was a bit cold outside, so went back inside and grabbed his fleece jacket and made his way across the street. Up and down the street he could see kids and their parents outside, enjoying some of their new presents. He smiled as he made his way over to Jake's. He knocked, opened the door and stepped in.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS, DA... !"
He stopped suddenly as he saw a tall strong looking Indian wearing a Western shirt, jeans and some moccasin slippers, with long black hair, blue eyes, and wearing a choker around his neck, sitting in the living room drinking some coffee and looking through the paper. The man smiled at him. Trevor's eyes opened wide, and then he blushed as his mouth dropped open. He started stammering.
"Uh... um... hi."
"Hello, little one; you must be Trevor."
"Um... yeah... I mean, yes sir."
Just then Jake came into the living room from the direction of his room, tucking his shirt into his pants. He smiled when he saw Trevor standing there. He quickly went over and scooped Trevor up into a hug, and a kiss on the cheek. Trevor squealed with glee as he put his arms around Jake's neck and brought his legs up to wrap around his waist. He kissed Jake back and melted in his hug. They stood like that for a few moments. Trevor suddenly pinched Jake in the side. Jake put him down and rubbed his side a bit. Trevor was giving him a mock scowl, but he couldn't keep a straight face for long. He looked over to the Indian and saw a lady with long gray blond hair and green eyes; she was wearing a Western skirt and blouse, and stood next to the Indian and held his hand.
"Ow, what was that for?"
"For not telling me that you would have company."
"Sorry, I wanted to keep it a surprise. They haven't visited me out here for a long time. Trevor, I'd like you to meet my parents, Sean and Shayna MacLaren. Mom, Dad, this is my favorite person in the world, Trevor Garrity."
Shayna stepped forward with her arms open.
"Come here, sweetheart, and give me a hug. Jake has told us so much about you, it's like we already know you."
Trevor shyly moved forward and returned her a hug. He could feel her affection for him, which made him feel real good. When she let him go, he walked over to Sean and got a firm two-handed shake with a smile.
"It's nice to meet you as well, ma'am, sir."
"Trevor, we don't need to be so formal. Among my people, the Cheyenne, it is customary for the young ones to call us older folks, Grandfather and Grandmother, even if they really aren't. You are welcome to call us that if you wish; otherwise, you can use our names, Sean and Shayna."
Trevor thought about it for a few moments.
"I think I'd like to call you Grandfather and Grandmother. That would be cool."
"I think so too. So why don't you sit here with us and tell us about yourself."
"Hey, bud, do you want some hot chocolate or something?"
"Sure, I'd like some."
"Okay, just relax and I'll be right back."
For the next couple of hours they sat and talked. Trevor told them about his family and about his dad and mom. He told them how he met Jake, and about his friends and Scouts. Shayna did most of the talking, while Sean sat back and studied Trevor. Every so often he added something, but for the most part he quietly watched Trevor. After a while, Trevor turned to Jake.
"Oh, Da... uh Jake, I almost forgot, I came over to see if I could help you with anything, before everyone gets here."
"I don't think there's anything to do right now. Tom and his family should be here soon, so no we can just relax for a little bit before they get here."
They sat for a while longer and talked. Shayna was telling about Jake growing up, with Jake interrupting to add something from time to time. Sean said a little, but mostly studied Trevor with a speculative look, without him noticing it. Another hour went by when the sound of a car door closing out front got their attention. The front door opened and Zach and Jared came in; behind them their mom's voice was heard.
"ZACH, JARED, at least knock first!"
"Boys, come back out here and help with some of this stuff."
"Okay, we're coming."
They went back outside without noticing who was inside the house. They passed Tom as he came in with his arms loaded with presents. He saw Jake's parents and quickly put the presents near the tree. He went over to Shayna with a big smile on his face and hugged her, and then shook Sean's hand.
"Shayna, Sean, this is really great to see you. It's been too long."
"Fine to see you as well, Tom. You look good, and your boys, what I saw of them, they've really grown."
"Sean, Shayna. I'm so glad you're here."
The two older people looked up as Terry came in and then quickly took the food dishes that she was carrying to the kitchen, and hurried back to the living room and gave Sean and then Shayna a hug and a kiss. They were interrupted by stereo yells.
"GRANDFATHER, GRANDMOTHER. YOU'RE HERE FOR CHRISTMAS, YAY!"
The twins quickly but carefully put the presents down by the tree and went to Jake's parents for hugs, each to a different one. Then they switched. When Zack looked up at Sean after hugging him, Sean looked down at him with a gleam in his eyes. His gaze shifted quickly over to Trevor and then back at Zach and he smiled, tousling Zach's hair. Shayna looked at them.
"And how are my two little devils."
"Ah, you know we're angels Grandmother, well, most of the time."
"Yes, Jared, I know. Oh, it is so good to see you. We can't let it go this long again."
They sat down and talked about what had been going on in their lives. Sean had an arm around Zach's shoulders, while Shayna had Jared next to her and Trevor was sitting on the arm of Jake's chair, leaning against him. Jake's arm was around his waist, holding him close. A few minutes later, there was a thump low on the door. Trevor jumped up and went to the door. He held it open for his mom as she came in with her hands full. She stopped when she saw all the people in the room. She gave Jake a look, and then went to the kitchen to put the dish down. When she came back in, Jake got up and when he got close, she punched him in the arm.
"Hey, what was that for?"
"For not telling me ahead of time about your company."
"First Trevor and now you. I wanted it to be a surprise. Mom, Dad, this is Sandy Garrity, Trevor's mom. Sandy, this is Sean and Shayna MacLaren, my parents."
"So nice to meet you both."
"Same here, dear. Don't worry, Jake is just like his father. They both like to spring these little surprises on people. Let's sit down and talk. Jake, dear, why don't you get this lady something to drink and check on the ham; it's probably nearly done."
Jake went into the kitchen and brought back a cup of coffee, while the others talked and got to know each other. He went back into the kitchen to check on everything. After a little while the women got up and continued to talk as they headed to the kitchen. When the women entered the room, Jake was chased out of the kitchen by them. He smiled at them and came back to the living room to join the guys. They were listening to Sean talk of how the ranch was doing. Within thirty minutes, Shayna came out to say that everything was ready and to come and get it. The guys all got up and headed to the dining room. There was a multitude of food laid out. Ham, mashed potatoes, beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, salad, more than enough to feed the bunch of them and then some. There was another table set to the side of the main table for the boys. The boys talked about the presents that they had received that morning. The twins told Trevor about their new snowboards, he told them about his new ski clothes. They talked about going snowboarding this year. The twins couldn't wait to try out the snowboards. They told him about when they went last year up to Snow Summit and about the snowboard area with the half pipes and ramps. Trevor started to get a bit excited about trying that. At first he thought he might want to learn skiing, but now he wanted to try snowboarding. He figured that he could get the hang of it; since he rode a skateboard, it shouldn't be too much different. After eating, everyone helped clean up and then the real fun began: presents. They gathered in the large living room and Jake acted the part of Santa Claus. The boys were all sitting together in one spot. The presents were distributed and then it was time to open them. They found among their treasures, some gear for Scouts and camping; all of them got new bats for when Little League started. Trevor opened a present from Jake; inside was a green and silver helmet. He looked at Jake, who was smiling at him.
"You have to look inside it."
Trevor turned the helmet over and inside was a folded up piece of paper. He reached inside and took it out and unfolded it. It was a written note.
Merry Christmas Son,
Whenever you go skiing, remember to ski under cover. Don't forget this on Tuesday.
He looked at Jake and his mom; both were smiling at him. Realization dawned on him.
"You mean it!? I'm going with you?"
"Yeah buddy. The friends I'm going with are you, your mom, Tom, Terry, Zach and Jared. Oh yeah and Jeremy. Lucas couldn't make it because he and his parents went to Arizona to spend the week with his grandparents and visit his cousins; otherwise he would be going too."
Trevor jumped up, ran over to Jake and threw himself in Jake's arms. He had tears of joy in his eyes. His mom hugged him as well so that now he was in a Mom and Jake sandwich. Behind him, the twins were jumping around as well, as they hugged their parents. Shayna was smiling at the two families, Sean was watching as he did so often, quietly smiling. When he looked at Jake and his 'family', he saw a glow surrounding them. It was especially bright around Jake and Trevor, but seemed to dim a little around Sandy. This troubled him and he frowned a little. No one noticed as he put a smile back on his face. Trevor pulled back after a few minutes and got up, still excited. He looked at the twins and especially at Zach and they came together with a hug. They released the hug and started jumping up and down together. The adults laughed and Sean had a twinkle in his eyes as he looked at Trevor and Zach. Again he noticed a bright glow around them that the others could not see.
"Okay, boys. Here is what's going on. Tom and I have rented a large house near Snow Summit. We will be able to walk to the slopes from there. It has four bedrooms. You guys are going to share one of the bigger rooms that has two double beds. I didn't think you would mind sharing beds, since you have all slept together before. Tom and Terry will have one of the rooms, I'll be in one and Sandy will be in the other. It has a nice fireplace in the large den and a nice kitchen and dining room. We will be there starting on Tuesday and come home on Sunday. If you have any reports or projects that you need to work on over the holiday, bring that with you, because we will not let you slack off. How's that sound?"
"Good, now let's get this picked up and have a nice afternoon"
They made short work of the cleanup and sat and talked. Soon enough the boys went across the street to try out Trevor's new games. While they played, they talked about the upcoming trip and the fun that they were planning to have. The twins had convinced Trevor to take snowboard lessons.
"It'll be great, Trev. We've been going for a couple of years now and the boarding area is cool, with half pipes, jumps, rails, and a lot of cool stuff. When you take lessons, they guarantee that you will be able to ride the board by the end of the day or they keep giving you free lessons until you do, so before we leave you'll be having a great time with us in the board park."
"I can't wait. This is so cool."
"Yeah, it is. Uh... Trevor... you want to share one of the beds with me?"
"As if I'd choose anyone else.."
Trevor and Zach leaned close and kissed, before they were interrupted.
"Hey man, no fair, I'm by myself here, no Jeremy."
The two boys stopped and grinned at Jared.
"Can't help it, bro, we don't get a lot of chances to do this, so I'm taking advantage."
"Gee, thanks, bro. What kind of a brother are you?"
Jared stood there with his arms crossed and a mock scowl on his face. They shrugged their shoulders and then both of them seemed to get an idea at the same time. They smiled and then without warning they launched themselves at Jared and held him down. They both started to kiss him all over his face and neck while tickling him. They continued until all of them were giggling.
"Stop, guys. Okay, okay, I surrender."
"Well, we didn't want you to feel left out. We wanted to give you something to help you hold out until Jeremy could give you some snuggle time."
"Gee thanks. Trevor I don't mind, but ewww, my brother kissing me, I pass. I can wait until Tuesday."
"Okay, if you're sure."
"Yeah, I'm sure. Now let's get back to the games. And you guys keep your lips to yourselves."
They started laughing and continued to play the games for a while longer. When they finished they went back over to Jake's, to find the adults clearing things up.
"You guys ready to go?"
"Okay, carry these out to the car."
The twins took their mom's dishes out to the car. Tom and Terry said their goodbyes to everyone before the boys got back.
"See you on Tuesday morning, Jake."
"Yeah, see you then, Tom. We want to get an early start."
The boys gave everyone a hug goodbye. Zach and Jared bumped fists with Trevor. Zach and Trevor smiled at each other, which caused Jared to roll his eyes. Sean noticed the look between the two boys and smiled.
"See you guys. I can't wait to go on Tuesday."
"Yeah, us too. It's going to be great. See ya, Trev. Bye, everyone. Bye, Grandmother and Grandfather. It was great to see you again."
When they left, Shayna and Sandy went to the kitchen, followed by Jake. Sean came up behind Trevor, who was looking out the front window and tapped him on the shoulder. Trevor looked around and Sean motioned for him to follow him. Trevor gave him a puzzled look but followed him out to the backyard. Sean walked over to the lounge chairs. Dee came up to Sean for a pat on the head. Sean petted him and motioned for Trevor to sit down. Trevor sat down and looked up at Sean expectantly.
"Little one. I have something for you."
He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled a necklace out and leaned toward Trevor. He put the necklace over his head, and then sat back across from Trevor. Trevor looked down at the necklace. It was made of red glass beads interspersed with some long thin beads that were kind of tan colored, and at the end of the necklace was a small silver wolf that looked like it was running. Trevor lifted the wolf up and looked at it. Sean was silently watching the boy.
"My people have a tradition that they give the boys a name when they are born, and later when the boy is old enough he may take another name that is his warrior name. My son's name is Seotse Ho'nehe or Spirit Wolf. That is the name he chose when he became a man during a ceremony a long time ago. He has used it for his company name as you know. I would like to give you a name as well, because you are now a part of our family. I can see how he feels about you when he looks at you and the way he talks to you and about you. Someday you can choose another, if you wish. For now I want to give you the name Totsesk'e Ho'nehe, Little Wolf. My son cares for you like a father wolf for his wolf cub, and I think it suits you, as you are his little wolf. You can always depend on him. He will protect you well. A wolf takes care of his family, and if necessary they will fight to the death to protect them. Will you accept this name and this necklace from me?"
"Thank you... Gr... Grandfather. I accept them both and I'll take good care of the necklace."
"I know you will. The necklace is very special."
Sean absently petted Dee as Trevor looked at the necklace.
"The red glass beads are called white hearts, because the center is white and the long thin ones are called hairpipe, they are made of bone shaped into that form. Red beads are a warrior color. When the Cheyenne warriors decorated their weapons with them, it meant that they had killed an enemy. When they wore them on their clothes, it meant that they had been wounded in battle. You could tell much about a warrior by looking at his clothes, his horse and his weapons."
"What is your name, Grandfather?"
"Hetane tohtohosema Ma'heo'o Ohvo'komoaestse. Man of the White Spirit or some say it as White Spirit Man."
"Wow. What does it mean?"
"It is a special name and someday I will tell you what it means to me."
"Why not now?"
"I want to tell you at a special place. This summer, you and your mother must come with Jake to our ranch in Montana and see where he grew up. There I will tell you."
"Cool. I can't wait. I've never been there before. Jake has told me some about it, but he always said that it is better to see it, than to just hear about it."
"My son is right as always. I think you will love it."
"Thanks again, Grandfather, for everything."
Trevor got up and gave Sean a hug. They were interrupted by the sliding glass door as it opened. Dee ran over as Jake came outside, holding a couple of cups of coffee. Dee tried to jump up and Jake turned sideways, bumping him away with his hip.
"Down, Dee, hot coffee here. Go lie down."
Dee went over and lay down next to Trevor. Jake walked over and handed a cup to his dad. He then took a seat on one of the chairs.
"What are you guys doing out here?"
"Look at what your da... Grandfather gave me."
He got up and walked to Jake, holding out the necklace. Jake took it and looked closely at it.
"Very nice, bud. My dad does some nice work when he makes things like that."
Trevor turned around and looked at Sean.
"You made this?"
"Yes, when Jake told me about you, I decided to make a present for you."
"Wow, it is even more special then. Thanks a lot."
Trevor turned his attention back to Jake.
"He gave me a name too... Toske... Tost... I forget"
"Seotse Ho'nehe, meet Totsesk'e Ho'nehe"
"Little wolf, huh? I like it. So are you my little wolf now."
"Okay cub, I think your mom is getting ready to leave. It's getting late."
"Okay, Dad. Good night, Grandfather."
"Good night, Little Wolf."
"Good night, Dad."
"Good night, Son."
The boy gave them each a hug and went inside. The two men watched the boy as he hugged Shayna and showed his mom the necklace. She smiled and they left. Jake and his Dad quietly sipped their coffee. Shayna joined them after a bit with her own cup.
"She's a good one, Jake. I like her."
"I know, Mom, I like her too."
"The boy is special, Jake."
"I know, Dad. He is special to me. So is his mom. I've loved every minute with them."
"Well, then, you take care of them, and you've got to bring them out to the ranch soon."
"I will, Mom. Maybe we can make a trip out of it this summer. We can come up and take a vacation."
"That sounds good. Well, this old lady is tired; we've got to get packed in the morning. How about you, old man?"
"I'll be in after a little bit when I finish my coffee."
She gave him a kiss goodnight and then gave Jake one as well before she left. They watched her before they turned back to their coffee, sitting quietly just enjoying the evening.
"The boy is special, Jake, real special."
"Gotten to you too, huh."
Sean shrugged and smiled. They finished their coffee and went to bed.
The next morning, Jake loaded his parent's suitcases in the Jeep. Trevor saw him from his house and came over.
"Are your mom and dad leaving?"
"Yeah, they want to get back to the ranch. It's too warm down here. They're used to snow at Christmas, not springtime weather."
"You got that right, son. There are supposed to be four seasons; you folks are spoiled. You only have two and sometimes only one."
"We have four seasons, rainy season, hot season, fire season and earthquake season."
"Good morning, Grandfather, Grandmother"
"Good morning, dear."
"Little Wolf. How are you this morning?'
"Fine, thanks. So is there really snow back at your ranch?"
"Yessir. Probably a few feet thick at least in some places."
"I wish I could see it, I bet it's pretty."
"Yeah it is. I'm going to have to get my son to bring you for a visit sometime, you and your mom. They don't call it Big Sky Country for nothing. We'll teach you how to ride a horse and show you some of the Great Spirit's country."
"That would be cool. I hope we can see it sometime soon."
"We'll see about doing that, son. It is beautiful and I think your mom will like it too. I think we will come out this summer; we can all take a trip out there. I'll think about it and talk to your mom."
"Yay! Thanks Da... Jake."
"Jake, you should ask Tom and his family as well. I think you should all come out for a visit. You know there is plenty of room."
Trevor looked over at Sean and Shayna.
"Come here, Grandson."
Trevor walked over to Shayna, and pulled him into a hug.
"We are happy to have met you, Grandson. I can't wait to see you come out and visit us. I hope it will be soon."
"Me too, Grandmother."
Shayna released him and Sean put his arm around Trevor and gave him a one armed hug as he handed his small bag to Jake to put in the car. Sean leaned down close to Trevor and whispered in his ear.
"Take care of Zach, Little Wolf. He's a good one."
When he released him and walked to the truck, Trevor had a shocked look on his face. Sean turned before getting in and winked at Trevor. Jake turned to Trevor.
"Well, we better get going. The flight leaves in a couple of hours. You need to get checked in and all that. See you later Trevor."
"Uh... yeah, see ya later. Have a good flight home. I can't wait to come and visit."
Trevor watched as they got in and he waved to them as they pulled out. He watched the Jeep as it drove away, and then he ran back across the street to his house.