The Challenger's passengers grew more somber as they approached San Diego. The boys were unused to dealing with death, death of a loved one or even someone they knew and liked. Buck and Evan talked quietly and watched Doug sleeping fitfully stretched out in a reclining chair. They took turns replacing the light blanket he kept pushing off while he slept.
After the doctor removed the staples from his feet, he thought he could walk without the crutches he was offered. He accepted them reluctantly after he attempted to stand the first time. Then he refused the pain pill the doctor offered until he walked the length of the plane twice. His face was gray and ran with sweat. He gulped the painkiller. Then without waiting for it to take effect, continued to drag himself using the crutches, balanced on his toes. David and Buck stayed as close to his side as they could given the confines of the interior with its fixed furnishings. After the fifth teeth gnashing stumble Buck motioned to Noah to replace him. Noah rubbed Doug's neck and Doug slumped. Gregor and Joe caught him and carried him back to his seat. Everyone moved away from him so they wouldn't disturb him while he slept peacefully, and they didn't notice the stewardess wake him to ask what he'd like for lunch. Buck's glare was enough to send her running for the galley but insufficient to keep her from defiantly serving Doug first. Everyone relaxed when Doug seemed content to eat quietly while they read newspapers filled with stories of an avenging angel that visited Ft. Lauderdale overnight.
They talked cryptically, Evan counted on his fingers and frowned, "There should be two more, maybe they haven't been found yet."
Joe shook his head, "Those two will be suffering coronaries," he looked at his watch, "just about now."
Buck grinned, "Hey, like that cop in Manhattan, Walter, that Peter had a problem with." Joe shrugged and looked away without answering.
The doctor looked up from the sports section. "What drug did you use? I don't know of any that work like that." Joe stiffened in his seat. In response, Noah and David stood up and suddenly looked menacing. Gregor followed just from observing body language. The doctor hastened to explain while he still could, "Hey look, the Trenton Foundation paid my way through medical school. Part of the deal was that I would always be available to help out Mr. Trenton in anyway I could. I have two specialties, I like orthopedics best, but I'm also an internist. I've been called twice to consult, unfortunately neither of those patients made it, there were complications." When he saw that Joe didn't seem placated he added, "George called me to help with those, Mr. Trenton himself called me in to take care of Doug."
Doug choked suddenly, standing at the doctor's side, again balanced on his crutches, but this time with his feet flat on the floor. "Am I going to have complications?" He croaked.
The doctor laughed nervously. "Hell no Doug, if anything happened to you, I'd be the one suffering from complications. By the way, sit your ass back in your seat and stay there."
Doug giggled and lifted both crutches, "No way Doc, there's no pain now, I'll just do a few laps first." He walked away cautiously, still holding his crutches up.
The doctor protested futilely, "But that's only because the painkiller kicked in. Believe me the pain is still there, you just can't feel it." He looked at Joe in desperation, "Can you make him stop?"
Joe nodded to Noah again. Doug tried to dodge Noah's hand, but he wasn't quick enough. Noah caught him as he slumped and David grabbed his feet. The doctor opened his bag; found a disposable syringe and a small bottle then began filling the needle. "How long before we land?" He asked Joe.
"Three hours, give or take."
"Good, I'll give him enough to keep him down for four."
Doug stirred briefly when Gregor first gathered him into his arms to carry him off the plane to the waiting car, then slept with his head on Buck's shoulder until they almost reached the gates to the ranch after an hour's ride. "Are we there yet?" He whispered, while he casually ran his hand over Buck's body.
Buck giggled when Doug flicked out his tongue to touch his nose. "Hey it's awake and horny as usual." He delicately removed Doug's hand from his crotch, then held it. "There's a first time for everything. You're usually the one fighting my hand." Buck looked outside, his eyes widened. "Douggie wake up and look at these gates! Holy shit! When Mom gets one look at this place, we might be in for a remodel at old Trenton Hall."
Doug's eyes were open wide and fixed on his feet. "Hey look, I'm wearing real gym shoes. Where'd they come from?" He wiggled his feet. "Oh wow they feel great."
The doctor waved a syringe under Doug's nose. "I brought them along. We put them on you while you were sleeping on the plane and if you don't listen to me about getting you walking again, I'll put you back under. Is that clear?"
Buck elbowed Doug, "Look damn it."
"Yeah Doc, okay, I get the message." Doug looked out as the car passed the open gates. Fountains flanked the drive surrounded by flowers and manicured lawns. Beyond the lawn, fenced fields occupied by horses or fat cattle interspersed with clumps of trees lined the drive. "I thought the twins said the ranch was in the dessert? Wow, this place is palatial."
"You were sleeping when we first got on the property fifteen miles back on the public road, there were two stone pillars and a sign, Rancho De la Varga," Evan advised Doug. "I think we're kind of in the foot hills of those mountains." He pointed in the direction they were heading on the driveway. After three miles, the car climbed a single switch back on a steep slope and they faced a twelve-foot whitewashed wall interrupted by an open solid wooden gate.
Joe looked back and down, he whistled, "The first time I was here with Will, we thought we were going back in time. I'm still impressed, what a great defensive position in the old days. No wonder the De la Vargas still own all this."
Inside the wall, they met a line of people, apparently Mexicans, hundreds of them, men; woman and children, all dressed in their Sunday best and all slowly heading toward the front doors of the sprawling hacienda. The line yielded to the limo. Pepe, Don Thomas' foreman, wearing old style traditional dress suit opened the back door for them under the portico. "Welcome, the boys are inside, in the ballroom. These are all the Don's people, his extended family, vaqueros and their families from ranches, here and Mexico. Come in I will stand in for the boys while they greet you, but I'm afraid as grandsons and only family, it is their duty to stand watch near the Don to thank mourners who loved him."
"We aren't dressed, we didn't know," Buck hesitated and waved at the line. "Everyone's wearing a tie."
"No problem, they understand that you are friends of the young Dons, therefore aristocracy yourselves in some way and newly arrived. They'll look on you with friendly awe. Traditions die hard on this rancho," Pepe explained and bowed them to the door.
Gregor attempted to pick Doug up but Doug waved him away, "I'll walk, thanks Gregor," he said. Buck joined him in frowning at the doctor daring him to argue. "At least until we get inside, then I'll use the chair okay? I don't want to be carried another foot." Doug clenched his teeth and followed Pepe. David grabbed the wheelchair and stayed close.
Pepe led them through the mob in the foyer away from the wide hallway everyone was intent on reaching. "The twins asked that you be given rooms close to theirs." He motioned two elderly servants who carried their small amount of luggage to lead the way before he disappeared in the throng.
The servants, a man and a woman were clearly upset and preoccupied as they led the way through a large sitting room. "Why don't you leave us here? We can find rooms later if that's all right. Then you can go and mourn in peace." Joe suggested in Spanish.
The couple hurriedly lined up the baggage near the door. The man bowed his thanks, "We are sorry for our inattention we have served the Don since childhood his sudden loss is a shock," he answered with tears in his eyes in unaccented English. "The Don would not approve leaving you with no one to serve you. We will send you our grandsons. We were training them to attend the needs of the young dons. They are still clumsy and inattentive, but they do not lack enthusiasm. Would they be satisfactory?"
Joe smiled and nodded, "I'm sure they'll do just fine, we're all pretty much used to taking care of ourselves except for getting lost in your beautiful home, thank you."
A few minutes later they heard booted feet running in the hallway, then Patrick's echoing voice, "Walk like young gentlemen ye are!"
The twins skidded past the doorway, backtracked, then raced across the room laughing with tears in their eyes toward Buck and Doug. Buck had just helped Doug stand up when they heard Patrick's shout. The twins split apart as they jumped to hug and kiss their friends, carrying both boys backward to the sofa they'd been sitting on. Patrick stood in the doorway dressed in his suit and tie. He was about to scold the twins until he saw how uncomfortable the four teens were in offering and receiving condolences.
Evan squeezed his little butt between the two couples and after telling the twins how sorry he was, he got practical. "So what happens to you guys now? If you want to, you can run away back to the island and hide out. If the cops come looking for you, we'll just say we never heard of you. If that doesn't work, we could always sink their boat or shoot down their chopper."
The twins laughed together, Toby answered for them, "We weren't thinking about the future until Patrick showed up in St. Louis. We've only got our father left and if he ever got custody of us we'd be homeless in a year, he can spend money so fast. Patrick brought all kinds of papers, Grandfather's. He knew he had a really bad heart, and he was going to need a transplant, but there were just never any donors that matched whatever has to match." Toby paused and hiccuped, "He just never told us, I guess he didn't want to worry us. We wish he had."
Evan frowned, "It's too bad we didn't know about it, we, my grandfather and me, we could have helped. We could have tested all the guys."
"EVAN!" Joe interrupted suddenly.
Evan shrugged not embarrassed by his thought; "Well, we could have," he said defensively.
"Yeah," Terry agreed, "but it's too late now. Grandfather told Patrick about what could happen and asked him if he would be our guardian."
"Temporary guardian," Toby corrected with a smile. "Until our father is located, but that probably will be never, because we think grandfather fixed it that way somehow."
"Don't go there either," Joe warned. "If Don Thomas did anything, he paid your father to disappear and that's all he did."
"Aye, that be the truth o' it," Patrick interjected. "Don Thomas sat down for a long chat with John Wilcott on the island an' did the papers. We'll be needin' to run newspaper advertisements for some while, but then it'll likely be a case of abandonment. Don Thomas was certain sure Kevin Fair would not be showin' his face."
"Will you guys still be coming to school with us?" Doug asked.
"Sure." The twins answered together, laughed, then Terry took over, "Nothing's changed really, we still need to go to school somewhere. Grandfather was going to lease a house somewhere close and he said he really got spoiled flying around in the Challenger so he was going to buy one. Now we'll buy one won't we?" He looked at Patrick hopefully.
Patrick shrugged, "If ye can afford it I don't see why not, but they look to be a bit on the costive side. We'll see, I'll be askin' Bucky after your sainted grandfather is laid to rest. Speakin' of which, my young Dons, your people are expectin' to see ye. We best be back to the ballroom for the vigil."
The twins frowned and stood up, their faces turned somber. Terry noted their luggage by the door, "Weren't you shown to your rooms? There's four bedrooms plus ours in this wing, then if you go back down the hall and turn left, there's eight or ten more," he hesitated briefly, then nodded after receiving a telepathic message from his brother.
Toby whispered to Buck; "Would you three guys room with us? Our room is at the end of the hall. We'd like the company. We know we shouldn't be thinking of stuff at a time like this, but." Buck grinned and nodded his agreement before Toby could finish.
"We'll figure it out," Joe assured the twins with a smile. "Since you'll be crowded, we'll probably just pile up in a close group near you guys. Is it okay to hook up a laptop to a phone line?"
"Sure, or even better, use our 'puter in our study next to our bedroom. Grandfather had dish installed when they first came out. He built this wing for us, our mother and father that is, after they got married, but then something happened and they didn't visit here very often after we were born," Terry's explanation was interrupted by a light tap on the door jam. "Ah Loupe," Terry smiled, "this is Loupe, our housekeeper. These are our friends, some of them anyway, from the east, where we go to school. We were just talking about where everyone was going to sleep. They're going to crowd together so we have enough room for the rest that will be here soon."
Loupe was small, slender and in her late sixties. She wore her white hair in a severe bun and was dressed in a near floor length black dress. She half curtsied, then looked back into the hall with a frown. She moved with the speed of a teenage girl, and returned pushing two boys, teenagers, in front of her. "Your pardon Don Tobias and Don Terrence, these two were being trained to serve you, but this is all so sudden and the whole household is in turmoil." She shoved the boys forward further into the room. "This is Carlos, he's sixteen, and this is Diego, he's just your age, fourteen, their mother is one of your most able cooks, and their father is a vaquero at the rancho in the old country."
Toby and Terry offered their hands. Carlos and Diego looked shocked at such familiarity from their masters. Loupe administered two kidney punches and the boys lurched forward with their hands out reluctantly. Carlos was short with a broad face, wiry black brush straight hair, and the dark eyes and complexion that denoted a strong Indian heritage. Toby shook his wet limp hand. Carlos stammered in a whisper; "It is a very great honor to meet you Don, Don." he struggled for a name while he stared at the floor.
"Toby, just Toby," Toby supplied helpfully, "there is no Don here anymore."
"Yes Don Tobias," Carlos answered and pulled his hand away to wipe it on the leg of his trousers.
Diego's hand in Terry's was firm, warm and dry. His lighter brown eyes met Terry's and held. Diego was taller and leaner than his older brother was; his hair was longer and baby fine so a lock drooped down his forehead. Freckles danced across his light skinned tanned face that bore no trace of Indian blood. "Don Terry? Terry? You probably don't remember, but we played together, the three of us in the kitchen when we were four or five and you two came to beg cookies from my mother on baking day."
Terry grinned in recognition, "Ah but I do, we do. And when your mother told us we'd had enough, we'd hide under the table and snatch the ones we could reach from the cooling racks when we thought your mother wasn't looking. We thought we were so clever then, but now we think maybe your mother just moved the racks closer to the edge, because we never could get more than three more after she cut us off."
Toby grabbed at Diego's hand, "That was fun. We can still taste those cookies; maybe she could bake some for us again sometime? They go so great with ice cold milk, or without if we're hiding under the table."
Buck nudged Doug and whispered; "They're brothers! Half brothers," he corrected. "They've got the same nose, eyes and freckles they have to be. Kevin Fair must have been in the kitchen getting his cookies too," he giggled.
Buck looked up to see everyone's eyes on him. "Huh?" The twins said in unison, before they started looking at Diego and each other, then back at Diego.
Doug rolled his eyes and grinned down at Buck, "You REALLY need to work on your whisper FOGHORN!"
Terry scooted to a bookcase and returned with a photo album. He held it while Toby turned the pages and Diego looked over his shoulder. Toby stopped when he found a studio portrait of Kevin Fair taken when he was an aspiring actor. The three boys scanned each other and the photo, looking for similarities. Diego turned pale and his shoulders slumped, "I, I'm a bastard?" He squeaked. It was not really a question.
Carlos reacted badly in Spanish; "YOU ARE! No wonder father left us to work in Mexico all these years! You bastard, I never want to see you again!" He ran from the room nearly knocking Loupe over.
"What's his problem?" Evan asked the room, "He's not the bastard." He pushed his way between the brothers to look at the album then whistled his appreciation, "Shit, this guy could just smile my pants off in a heart beat and I'm not an easy lay. If he wanted a girl it would be no contest, married or not, so your mom's not at fault."
Everyone started laughing except Loupe, Diego and Gregor. Gregor giggled after Joe brought him up to date, then glanced at the album, "Fuck yes!" He agreed. Loupe fled the room holding her ears and muttering the rosary. Diego turned and started to follow as tears formed.
Toby stopped him; "Hey, where do you think you're going Bro? There's nothing wrong with being a bastard we are too just in a different way. This guy, our father wasn't married to our mother because he was already married to someone else." Terry nodded when Diego turned to look back at them. The twins rushed him and hugged him.
Terry got wide eyed with a thought, Toby grinned and nodded, Terry vocalized, "Since you're our brother, that also makes you a grandson, which means you need to get changed into a traditional monkey suit. Come on to our room we're the same size."
Diego looked at them blankly, "But why?" He asked as they each took one of his hands to tug him to the door.
"Because fool, you get to share in the ass kissing for the rest of the day and all day tomorrow." Toby explained with a giggle.
"Yup," Terry agreed then looked at the others. "Come on guys, grab your stuff. Pick rooms on the way to ours."
The twins' minds remained linked, Toby become the spokesman, "Yeah! We'll tell Pepe to spread the word, if we ever hear the word bastard, even whispered, the whole family gets shit canned off the property, no excuses, no second chances. Oh wow! Do you swim?"
"I can, what's swimming got to do with Don Thomas? I can't go in that room with you, everyone will know."
"Of course they will we're going to make a statement, right a wrong, we're the Fair brothers, three musketeers!"
" All for one and one for all!" The twins sang at the top of their lungs while they held Diego's limp arm with theirs over their heads. Then congratulated each other on the excellence of their performance.
"We meant swim competitively, if you don't, Doug, he's the gimp on crutches by the way, he can teach you, and his father, he's our coach."
"Thanks for that introduction!" Doug called as he struggled to keep up with the group, with the doctor hovering on his right, David almost hitting his heels with the wheelchair and Buck and Evan vying for his left side. "Get away from me goddamn it, all of you. My feet feel better and better, and I'll show you gimp tonight in bed, it's been a long day and if you recall I don't use feet for that."
"We accept that as a date," Toby answered Doug with a giggle then continued talking to Diego. "If swimming isn't your bag, you've got to go out for some sport, sports always look good on college applications even if you suck at it. What's your grade point?" He looked at his brother, receiving a thought, "Hey, that's right, hey guys, what grade point do we need to be in the top ten percent at Oaks?"
Buck shrugged, "Three point eight or nine I guess."
Diego looked completely bewildered as the twins guided him to their dressing room and jointly began to strip him starting with his necktie and unbuttoning his shirt. Helpful Evan attempted to unbuckle his belt. Diego slapped his hands away. "Hey watch it shrimp. Do you mind if I ask what the fuck you guys are talking about?"
"It's simple," Toby answered, "you're our half brother. We sure don't need a DNA test to prove that and from now on you ARE our brother. You'll move into the house, you'll travel with us if you want to of course and you'll be going to school with us. Your mother can't be our cook anymore though, unless she wants to bake cookies occasionally" He snapped his fingers, "I know, we'll make her our chatelaine, kind of a glorified housekeeper except she'll just watch the cleaning, not do any. It's time that we retired Loupe, she was Grandfather's housekeeper and almost fainted when Gregor said fuck. Gregor's Russian and doesn't speak much English yet, that is without sneaking a fuck in somewhere, do you Gregor?"
"Fuck yes, speak English fucking good!"
"I rest my case." Toby frowned at Diego after they peeled his shirt off. "Well?"
"Well what?" Diego asked shyly.
"Well, you need to take off your fucking pants before you put these on."
"I'm not wearing underwear."
Everyone laughed, followed by a chorus of, "We aren't either."
Diego reluctantly unbuckled his belt, "Boots," Toby said with a laugh.
"Don't you have to take off your boots before you take off your pants?"
"Oh, yeah." Diego started to re-buckle his belt.
Buck and Evan decided to help him at the same time, but they picked different boots. Diego toppled backward into Doug, standing behind him balanced on his crutches. They both went down. Doug ended sitting with his back against the wall. His legs were spread and Diego lay between them with the back of his head pillowed on Doug's cock. He struggled to stand up, but couldn't while Buck and Evan pulled at their chosen boot. When they started to pull him away from Doug, he got his hands under Diego's arms and pulled back holding his head in place.
Doug leaned down and whispered in Diego's ear; "You should be laying on your belly to give head, but if you keep struggling the back of your head will get the same results."
Diego froze his neck muscles and allowed the boys to pull off his boots. Then when he still didn't move, Evan once again unbuckled his belt, unsnapped and lowered the fly. He nodded to Buck, who pulled his pants off by pulling both cuffs. Diego turned scarlet as he grew before their eyes. "Oh no guys, I'm sorry. I always get hard when I really don't want to. Please let me up now so I can get dressed," he begged.
Evan held Diego's erection up and studied it with his eyes two inches away. "Yup, no question about it anymore, you're a Fair brother." He giggled at Diego's expression then qualified his analysis, "I just wish there was time for a taste, DNA never lies, but I see Patrick is tapping his foot like he's about to get mad, so we'll save the test for tonight.
Doug pushed Diego up to the sitting position and Diego got to his feet. He snatched the tight trousers Terry held and struggled to pull them on. Then he fought his erection down into his left pant leg and fumbled the fly closed one silver button at a time. After he sucked in his gut to successfully button the waist, Toby belatedly offered him the frilled snowy white shirt. He stared at it balefully before he unbuttoned his fly again to tuck the shirttails in properly. He grinned ruefully at his new brothers and showed them a tanned fist. "If you guys were just the young Dons and not my brothers, you'd both be shitting teeth tomorrow." He pivoted quickly to Evan and brushed his nose with his knuckles, "And you shrimp, we aren't related at all, understand? You're just lucky I kind of like you."
"We apologize Don Diego," the twins said together with smiles. "You have a temper much like Grandfather's even though you aren't related by blood." Toby added with a bow.
"Yes Sir!" Evan squeaked with a grin, not seriously intimidated. "I like rough trade once in a while if it's young and good looking," he batted his eyes coyly.
"Enough!" Patrick roared, "Let's be movin'."
The twins went into action. One tied the black string tie while the other added a silver studded belt through loops around his narrow waist. They both helped Diego into the short jacket and carefully exposed the ruffles at his wrists before they turned him to face the mirror together. The twins flanked Diego and grinned together at their images. "Damn, if you just glance at us fast, we could be triplets."
"All Saints preserve me," Patrick muttered and crossed himself. "Three o' ye' together! I'll surely be joinin' your sainted grandfather right soon in tryin' to keep up with ye. Come on now lads, Pepe 'ill be breathin' fire in waitin' on us so long a time."
"Before you go," Doug stopped them in the hall. "Two things, have you got a pool, and I don't know about anyone else, but my stomach is still on Eastern Time and I'm starved?"
The twins laughed and nodded, "American or Mexican?" Toby asked. "We'll send you something from the kitchen if you want American, or there's a tent on the lawn outside the ballroom, the food's catered but they're all Mexicans so it's really good, just remember some of it will burn your ass off tomorrow, so taste it first. It's definitely not from Taco Bell. The pool is on the other side of the garden. It's normally really private, but with all these people," he shrugged, "we make no guarantees. There's a small pool downstairs, next to the armory if you want to skinny dip."
"I'll wear a suit, but first, lead me to the tent."
Doug lurched forward when David bumped the backs of his ankles with the wheelchair. "You'll ride to the food and the pool. You've walked enough for now." Doug sat down heavily.
"Yeah, I'm tired, but I'm walking! Now I can turn in the pool and tomorrow I'll toss those fucking crutches AFTER I do something with this chair that won't be pretty. I've really got a hardon for this chair."
David laughed, "I can imagine, but maybe there's a kid around here somewhere that needs a wheelchair permanently. Maybe think about donating it to someone who's always going to be sitting in it."
Doug twisted around to look up at David, "I didn't think about that. You're right, would you ask Pepe? If there's no one here we'll dump it at the first hospital we find when we leave. I can't wait to get home, I'm so out of shape and so far behind."
Buck giggled, "Bull shit, you're in great shape, you just spent a week in the fucking water, you'll catch up in practice in no time."
The boy's conversation died as quickly as all the conversations at the tables under the tent when they appeared at one of the entrances. Like all wakes, mourning gives way to a party atmosphere. The tables were segregated by sex and age, the men sat together on one side of the tent and the women crowded together at others when they weren't scurrying back and forth serving their men. Teenagers sat together at a few tables in one corner where they could be seen by their parents, and an army of little kids ran around all the tables.
Buck scanned the seating arrangements quickly. "It's time to split, old guys with old guys and we'll be over there," he pointed to a teen table. He looked down on Doug and grinned, "Wheel your ass over there, and Evan and I will get us some food, what do you feel like eating?"
Doug shrugged, "Anything, but nothing hot." He pulled Buck down so he could whisper, "Funeral or not, I'm horny but I'm also tired, so you'll be doing the work tonight and I don't want to burn your dick off." He winked and giggled.
Buck nodded and laughed, "Good point, I didn't think of that, no hot for me either."
Doug aimed his chair at one table crowded with teens, but when he was almost there, noticed a boy at a table where there were empty chairs, and the tell tail handles of a wheelchair flanking his shoulders. He changed direction. The boy saw him coming and backed away from the table leaving a half-eaten meal. "Hey, no stay, can I join you? We seem to be the only ones with wheels, we should stick together."
The boy slowed his retreat, "But you're friends with the Dons, you arrived in a big car."
"So? I still need to eat and a place to put a plate." Doug explained while he collapsed a folding chair so he could get close to the table. He put out his hand, but not far enough for the boy to reach it without rolling back to his dinner, "Hi, I'm Doug Henderson." The boy took his hand reluctantly, shook it weakly then tried to pull his hand away. Doug grinned and tightened his grip; "You won't break it, unless you've got a problem with your arms too."
That comment was a challenge as Doug intended. The boy grinned back and squeezed until Doug was about to wince before he let go. "Nope, everything works except my legs. I'm Charlie Garcia; I got thrown last year. I landed on my back okay except there was one damn rock the size of a golf ball right under the base of my spine. I'm going to walk and ride again as soon as I convince my brain that my legs are still there waiting for orders." He laughed ruefully at his joke, then cocked an eyebrow at Doug, "What's your problem?"
"Wow, bummer, nothing like yours. I sliced up my feet on some glass a couple of weeks ago and cut some tendons. The staples came out this morning. These wheels go away tomorrow and the crutches hopefully in a few days."
"Damn you're lucky, these wheels will be my ride for as long as it takes."
Charlie started eating again after he introduced Doug to the four other silent teens at the table and by the time Evan and Buck arrived with his food, he was talking and laughing with all of them. Doug introduced everyone unerringly and was as pleased that he'd managed to remember their names as they were that he remembered them. Each time Doug had an opportunity, he looked at Charlie's battered wheelchair and grinned inwardly, he'd found a new owner for his.
Evan looked at the young faces at their table, then scanned the other tables. "I have a question. I'm not prejudiced or anything but how come over three-quarters of the people here actually look like Mexicans and you guys and the rest don't, but you say you're all Mexican Americans, how come?"
Charlie grinned, "I guess because we're kind of prejudiced among ourselves. Our ancestors arrived from Spain as part of the first Don's retainers, servants and military. A lot of the men brought their wives and families. Spanish kids married Spanish kids. A lot of single guys married locals, Indians, and all our male ancestors screwed with the Indians, so the people here you think of as Mexicans are anywhere from pure Indian up to almost pure Spaniard. We tend to intermarry to preserve our light skinned Spanish blood and look down on Mexicans with darker skin and Indian blood. It's not much different than Irish, or Italians marrying their own nationality even if they're third or fourth generation Americans. I guess we think of ourselves as Spanish Americans more than Mexican Americans.
"Don Thomas always had a hard on for Mexican Americans, second and third generation Americans who still can't or won't speak English as their first language. The teachers in our school teach in English only and anyone who can't hack that is welcome to hull ass back across the boarder and stay there. Does that answer your question?"
Doug finished and pushed his plate forward and himself backward. He eyed Charlie's legs under the table. "Do you swim, I mean can you swim?"
"I could before, and now I kind of do what you could call a drowning butterfly," he giggled. "I use my arms to keep my head above water, why?"
"Because I'm going swimming want to come along?"
"I would, but it would be too much hassle to go home and get a suit and the pool here isn't private enough with all these people around."
"No problem," Buck grinned, "we can make it private." He worked his way across the tent to talk to Joe.
Doug watched Joe nod and laugh then lean toward Gregor, Noah and David. "Buck just got our guards to keep everyone away from the pool so we won't need suits."
Charlie blinked, "Guards? Man I thought my father was strict. You guys on house arrest, or what's the story?"
"What? Oh no, They're bodyguards, not for me really, but a little I guess. Buck is Buckminster Trenton, ever hear of him? Buck's the fourth, I mean his father."
"Sure, somewhere. He's a big time business guy."
"Come on, let's roll." Evan got behind Charlie's chair. "Where is the pool anyway?"
Buck grabbed Doug's chair handles and started pushing him faster than Doug could manage using his hands. They got twenty feet from the outside of the tent when the general hubbub suddenly ended and the tent fell silent. The twins and Diego stood behind Pepe on the other side of the tent. Pepe eyed a table at random that was crowded with men. They quickly stood up and collected everything they could carry plates, beer bottles and glasses of wine and melded with other tables. Women swooped in and reset the table.
Charlie whistled softly, "I'll be damned, so that's who his father is." He and Diego made eye contact. Charlie grinned and waved. Diego whispered to his brothers and the three of them crossed the tent. "Hey asshole, it's about time."
"You knew?" Diego looked astonished, "Why didn't you tell me?"
Charlie shrugged, "Everyone knows the peon who gave you his last name wasn't your father, but no one could figure out who the real one was, except he was probably a gringo, and your mother wouldn't even tell my mother who he was, and they're best friends."
"Son of a bitch, why didn't you tell me?" Diego looked hurt, "I thought you were my best friend."
"Hey chill out. No one told you because you're too nice a guy and way too innocent, besides there was nothing to tell. Anyway, congratulations Don Diego." Charlie emphasized the title, leaned forward, reached up and slammed Diego on the shoulder with a laugh. Diego introduced Toby and Terry to Charlie hesitantly, before Patrick caught up to them and herded them back to their lunch.
The trip to the pool became a race. Evan and Charlie won because Doug slowed Buck with his hands. "Could we get the Doc to look at Charlie? Maybe there's something he could do to get him walking again."
Buck nodded, "I was thinking the same thing, but he won't be able to do anything here. The twins can bring him along when they come back for school. When we get home, I'll get the contractor to chop a door in the wall between the bathroom and the next room. The four of them can bunk there officially, we're just about maxed out in our room."
"You noticed too?" Doug laughed.
"Yup, everyone noticed. I'll bet Charlie used his fists in school to keep anyone from calling Diego a bastard. And get your fucking hands off those wheels." Buck complained, "you know I hate to lose."
Doug laughed and started employing his hands to take his shorts and shirt off and Buck started running to catch up. "Yeah, or call Diego a pussy," he added before they got too close. Buck stopped suddenly when Doug's footrests were over the edge of the pool, and started shedding his own clothes. Doug moved his chair back and took off his shoes and socks before he stood up so his shorts dropped to the pool deck before he dropped into the water. He surfaced screaming, "Jesus H. Christ! This is ice water, but it sure feels good to be surrounded by water AND walls." He disappeared and headed for the wall near where Buck stood. Buck leaned over the edge to watch him touch then kick off powerfully. He surfaced laughing; "I can do it! No pain, no strain! Come on in guys give me a race! Yahoo!"
Charlie struggled to push his trousers off his butt, Evan didn't hesitate to help, "Just raise up, I'll get them off." Charlie obeyed without thinking. Evan included Charlie's Jockey's in the depantsing by getting his fingers in the waistband. After they were around Charlie's ankles, Evan went to his knees and lifted each leg then pulled them over his feet after he removed his boots and socks, although his eyes remained on Charlie's manhood.
Charlie frowned, "What's your problem shrimp? If you're wondering, the middle leg works fine." He inched his chair forward closer to the edge of the pool. Evan walked backward on his knees. Charlie grinned suddenly, "I think you need to cool off don't you?" He lunged his chair forward and Evan fell into the pool sideways.
Charlie locked his wheels and dropped forward into the water. Evan surfaced screaming and laughing. Charlie's arms appeared. He flailed up out and down to pull his head above water. Doug stopped to watch for a moment. "Hey let's try something. When I come up under you, grab my shoulders then relax your body, I'll be your dolphin," he instructed before he dove to glide up and under until his back touched Charlie's chest. Charlie put his hands on Doug's shoulders with his arms out straight. Doug towed him easily to the submerged steps.
Charlie used his hands to brace himself there with his head above water. "Thanks, but I could have made it on my own."
Doug swam in idle in front of him. "I know, but that was easier. Can you move your hips? I see your legs are pretty stiff, if you wore fins you could swim like a dolphin, like this." Doug demonstrated down the length of the pool and back. "Like that see? I had to use my arms because no flippers, but with them, I learned to use my arms and hands like pectoral fins, to steer."
Evan had climbed out and was pulling off his soggy clothes, smiling and muttering, "I'll get you for this Charlie Brown."
"I'm sorry Evan, but I couldn't resist the temptation."
Evan shrugged, "No problem, it just means were friends now. You only got me because I wasn't paying attention. I was wondering who's on top, you or Diego? We mostly go both ways." He looked around and noticed a small building behind some bushes. He ignored Charlie's shocked look and scarlet face. "Doug's right, with flippers you could swim like our dolphins with some practice. I'll go check out that little house there might be some toys in there," he said over his shoulder as he ran.
Charlie allowed himself to sink. When he surfaced the first thing he saw was Buck and Doug with their arms over each other's shoulders grinning back at him. "Don't be embarrassed," Doug urged. "Little kid, big mouth, sorry about that. Evan's got the best gaydar in the group. Couldn't you tell about us, if you think it over, you knew didn't you?"
Buck giggled, "We call Douggie, the cock magnet. He can walk into a crowd and suddenly every gay around is trying to feel him up if he doesn't get them first."
Charlie nodded cautiously, "Yeah maybe, I guess," he admitted. He rushed to explain his relationship with Diego. "You know before the accident I had loads of friends, this ranch is so big, everyone who works here lives here in a little town just over the hill. My hospital room was packed at first, before anyone knew that I was going to be a cripple for a while. Then suddenly when they saw me in that fucking wheelchair, everyone got real busy too busy to come around anymore, like it was catching.
"Diego was the only one who kept coming around, and after I came home, he brought my books, and helped me with homework, shit he was my teacher. He's really smart. At first, before Don Thomas fixed it up, our house was just a house, I mean you have to sit your ass in a chair before you realize how helpless you are." Doug offered an emphatic nod of agreement. "Like the shower in my bathroom, they put a plastic chair in it for me to sit on, but it took up so much room and it was nearly impossible for me to get in and out of there by myself. I was bitching to Diego, and he offered to help. He got naked, and helped me get naked, then he kind of lifted me with his arms around my chest and dragged me into the stall and got me on the chair, only he was pinned on the back wall. There I sat and there he stood with his cock inches away, almost at eye level. I couldn't take my eyes off it, and he knew it. He got hard and I got hard. We didn't say anything. I suddenly wanted to thank him for being my only friend, so I did.
"After, after, well, you know, he straddled my legs at first and we got all slippery with soap, then he just kind of moved up closer, so he really sat on me, and got me off that way." Charlie grinned, "After the handicapped shower was finished, Diego, just kind of kept on helping me, and homework took on a new meaning if you know what I mean." He suddenly looked sad, "I guess now that he's a Don he'll be too busy to be around me anymore."
Evan interrupted Charlie by dropping a pair of flippers on his head, "Here Charlie try these on and stop looking so morose. I'll bet you a dollar you get invited to dinner tonight. Then you'll have to stay over because it'll be too late to drag your sorry ass home. Then since you're Diego's friend, the twins will want to get to know you better and you'll end up moving in, so by the time the four of you get to school, you'll all be ass hole buddies." He leered, "Check that WE'LL ALL be ass hole buddies. Don't worry, you'll fit right in."
Doug grabbed the fins and ducked under to put them on Charlie's feet. He surfaced in time to hear Evan's last comment. "Check that, we'll only be ass hole buddies if YOU want to be. You never have to do anything you don't want to do with anyone. Just being friends is fine with us. Would it hurt you if I straightened your legs out a little?"
"Shit, I wish. They won't stay completely straight but you can't hurt them." Charlie looked at Evan sitting on the step beside him. "I never thought about doing anything with anyone other than Diego, but it's an interesting thought. We'll have to talk it over." He watched Doug pull the back of each ankle while he pushed down on the knee until his legs were as straight as they would get.
Doug stretched out in the water in front of Charlie and held his legs together bent slightly at the knees like Charlie's would be. "Okay, now just picture how a dolphin swims. The flippers are your tail flukes. You move them up and down with your hips. You can use your arms all you want but all a dolphin can do with theirs is steer, so you've got an advantage to start with." He demonstrated by making a circle with his arms stretched out in front like diving planes on the sub, then used just his legs by flexing his hips. He swam under water and surfaced for air as needed then arched his body again to dive. He wasn't fast, but again his movements were fluid. He pulled Charlie forward off the step and held his hands at first. Then he let go to swim at Charlie's side and occasionally duck under to use his back on Charlie's chest to lift him as cow would do with her newborn calf to be sure it got air at the surface.
Charlie's first movements were nervous and jerky while he learned a new way to swim. As he gained confidence he relaxed and began experimenting with his arms. Buck and Evan joined Doug in following Charlie as he made slow circuits around the pool. Gradually, they increased their strokes to keep up.
Evan broke away from Charlie's pod of boy dolphins first. He climbed the steps woodenly then stood watching them while he hugged his chest and his teeth chattered. Doug saw him. He was freezing too. "Grab my shorts Evan and go get some towels. Ask around in the house. See if they have a sauna or a steam room somewhere. Buck and I will get Charlie out while you're gone." Doug waited for Charlie near the steps in the shallow end and grabbed his arm as he glided by. Charlie argued at first, but relented when his chattering teeth made it difficult to talk.
By the time Evan returned with an armload of towels the three of them were huddled together sitting on the side of the pool. They worked fast to get themselves reasonably dry. Buck held Charlie up while Evan wrapped a towel around his middle then ran for his chair to get him seated. Doug dried himself standing up and grinned when he looked down at his feet. He wrapped a towel around himself and started walking toward the house before the pain returned and Buck caught him with his chair. Evan led the way with Charlie. He'd discovered that there was a gym near the indoor pool as well as both a sauna and a steam room and had the foresight to start both before he ran back with towels.
Buck and Evan had the wheelchairs halfway down the stairs when Evan started laughing suddenly. "Hey you know here's one we didn't think of; the good old trip and fall down a flight of stairs. We'll have to use that one next time."
"Huh? Hey watch it shrimp." Charlie warned as Evan allowed his chair to tip dangerously forward while he giggled. "If you lose it, I mean me, you better hope I'm dead, because if I'm not you will be as soon as I get my hands on you." Buck gave Evan a murderous frown and mouthed the words, SHUT UP clearly.
They huddled together on the highest ledge in the steam room until the dense clouds of steam warmed them. They paired off gradually. Evan knelt behind Charlie and started massaging his shoulders and back, while Doug and Buck just started making out with each other oblivious to being watched. Buck pushed Doug to his back and followed with his lips glued to Doug's. The movement exposed both erections briefly, until Doug swung his legs up to the tiled platform and Buck shifted his position so he lay on top of Doug. Charlie stared without blinking.
Evan's massage became sensual. His hands became a means of exploration and slipped under Charlie's arms to his chest. He tweaked Charlie's nipples until they hardened, then slowly dropped his hand over his washboard gut until they encountered his rock hard cock, which had quickly grown to meet them. Charlie closed his hand on Evan's to stroke himself. Evan grinned and moved to the lower ledge without pulling his hand away. He got to his knees between Charlie's legs and was about to lower his head, until he looked up to see Charlie's head twisted back so he could watch the busy couple laying behind him. Evan frowned, backed away, then gathered Charlie's legs and lifted. Spinning him ninety degrees; he forced him to lay back so he was alongside Doug and Buck with his head inches from theirs.
Charlie saw Buck lift his head, grin and whisper; "Sixty-nine?"
"Practice, practice and more practice!" Doug sang and giggled.
Buck glanced to the side and saw Charlie watching them intently, mesmerized. "Hi!" Charlie looked embarrassed. Buck reassured him, "Hey, watching is cool, you like it and we like it." He reached out and ran the flat of his hand down Charlie's body to Evan's bobbing head, then crawled up over Doug's body before he turned and sat on his heels above Doug's head. He giggled from his vantage point looking down on Charlie and Doug. "It's also okay to feel up anyone you're close enough to reach, we like that too." He told Charlie before he took his limp hand and placed it on Doug's cock. "There, you can help by holding him up for me."
Charlie held Doug tentatively with his fingertips but his attention was torn between Doug and his own cock alternately appearing and disappearing in Evan's mouth. Doug squeezed his hand. "Don't worry about breaking anything," he advised Charlie as he reached back over his head, felt around for a moment until he connected with Buck's cock and suddenly Buck was leaning forward over his body with his cock disappearing into Doug's mouth.
Buck spent a second on his hands and knees before he stretched out with a mumbled, 'Ooof!' as Doug pulled him down roughly. Buck braced himself over Doug on his elbows and used both hands to pry Charlie's fingers from Doug's cock before he could bob his head timed to his thrusts into Doug's mouth.
Charlie tapped Evan politely on the head, "Evan?" Evan ignored him, "Evan? Can we, that is, ah, can we try that?" He asked hesitantly.
Evan froze then sat up and grinned, already moving. "I thought you'd never ask."
Evan was pounding himself into Charlie's mouth when the area the four boys occupied darkened further than it already was from the clouds of steam. "Here's two of them." Noah announced to the room. Then, "Check that. The other two are behind them."
Charlie's eyes snapped open. He turned his head to the side to see Noah and Gregor, standing on the lower shelf, bent down and peering closely at him and Evan's cock moving in and out of his mouth. Evan let out a muffled scream when Charlie's teeth connected. The scream grew in volume when Evan lifted his head. "Charlie! Damn, just ignore the old guys, they won't be watching very long. Hi Gregor, now leave us be. Don't be scaring the new guy when my cock's in his mouth."
Gregor ran his hands over Evan's slick back. "Fuck yes! Good sixty-nine!" Gregor's voice boomed around the tiled walls and ceiling before the shadows they cast on the boys disappeared.
Buck and Doug moaned, almost simultaneously then got quiet. Charlie warned Evan by contracting his gut muscles and kneading and pulling Evan down further into his mouth so Evan's balls rode his nose like fat ass on a small saddle. Evan pulled back and swallowed frantically. Charlie had no need to swallow but he enjoyed the feel of Evan's contractions in his throat.
After the four boys separated, three of them pulled Charlie up to sit with his feet dangling from the ledge then they joined him to look down on two pairs of young adult bodies sweating together. Noah was all but hidden by Gregor except for his legs, which extended beyond Gregor's head, and occasionally his hands and arms as they traveled Gregor's back and ass intermittently. David and Joe chose to lay on their sides with their upper bodies twisted so that they could get at each other. Joe was the closest to the edge of the platform. He and David kept getting pushed closer due to Gregor's more and more frantic movements.
"A hundred bucks says they get pushed off before they get off." Evan whispered.
"No bet," Buck shook his head, "they're going over whenever Gregor comes, finished or not."
When Gregor suddenly surrounded Noah's ass with his arms, he rolled to his side toward David pulling Noah with him. David wouldn't have fallen except Joe grabbed desperately at David's hips to save himself and pulled David along so they toppled off the edge together.
The torrent of curses from the floor blended with the boys' screams of laughter and Noah and Gregor's groans of ecstasy. Gregor roared with laughter after Joe thought about translating their abuse. The two on the floor got quiet suddenly. Gregor looked down on them and quickly arranged petite Noah on his side closest to the edge, then got behind him to watch from over his shoulder.
The boys couldn't see from where they were and realized that they were rapidly becoming dehydrated while they again sported full-grown erections from watching their guards and mentors. "Let's bail before we cook." Doug suggested. The others agreed.
Buck and Evan lifted Charlie down to a small vacant space on the end of the lower platform, then carried him with their hands locked under his legs out the door. Doug followed by hobbling and keeping one hand on a wall. Joe stopped him at the door with a word of warning; "After you get to the twins' bedroom, you all stay there until we show up. Okay? Your parents and the gang will be here sometime tonight after dinner. We'll catch up with you in a few minutes."
Doug watched Gregor lift Noah's leg, then move up closer to his back, Noah's smile changed to a leering grin as Gregor started moving against him. "Better make that a half hour Joe," he suggested.
Joe looked up at him grinned then really grinned at David, "Make that an hour."
Doug giggled, "You old bad asses are worse than us! See ya!"
Doug sat with Charlie on the floor under one of two showers in the gym dressing room. Evan and Buck shared the other and when one thought about it, they reduced the hot water in both showers so their pores would close to stop the flow of sweat from their overheated bodies.
They decided to wear towels back to the twins' wing. Doug had all their clothes in his lap so that Charlie had his hands free to help. Buck had some experience in backing up a staircase and bumping Doug's chair along one step at a time. Evan however had no experience, so every step was a heart stopping event for Charlie as the higher they got, the further he had to fall if Evan lost his footing or his hold on the wheelchair.
Buck and Evan reached the top first and waited patiently. They thought they'd have the hall to themselves since the upper hall led to one of the bedroom wings, but the only time the workers ventured in the hacienda were on major holidays. Of course they were there to mourn Don Thomas but they were naturally fascinated in 'seeing how the other half lived', so there were small knots of people exploring the hall and any rooms with open doors.
"When they get up here, I'll snatch Evan's towel and you take off for the room," Doug whispered to Buck.
Evan and Charlie were both sweating again by the time they reached the top. Both sighed with relief. Buck wheeled Doug close enough for him to congratulate Evan by thumping him on the shoulder. Doug's hand slid down Evan's back, and suddenly Evan was naked. Buck started running giggling and making engine noises like a race car shifting up, as he ran down the long hall. Doug held Evan's towel out to the side like it was bait and screamed his laughter.
"YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!" Evan roared as he ran to catch them with no thought of abandoning Charlie.
Charlie was laughing too hard to watch where they were going. Suddenly there was a chorus of "Charlie!"
He knew the voices, and braked with his hands on the wheel rails. Evan recognized the old couple, Don Thomas' servants and Charlie's grandparents, he didn't know who the younger couple was with them. He stopped pushing as soon as he felt resistance and left Charlie sitting in the middle of the hall dressed in a bath towel. "Later dude," he mumbled with his head down to hide his face as he ran past the four strangers.
Charlie went on the offensive, starting with a huge grin, "Hi Mom, hi Grandma, imagine meeting you guys here in this hallway." He tossed a thumb down the hall after he heard a door slam. "Those guys are friends of the young Dons from school back east. I met them in the tent, we ate together, and they're really cool and always playing practical jokes on each other. The nude dude was Evan he's the youngest and he's got a big mouth so they pick on him the most. We went swimming, and then we were freezing so they took me to the steam room to warm up, now we're on our way to get dressed. Did you see Diego with the Dons? They're half brothers, that's pretty amazing." While he talked, he kept backing away from his parents and grandparents. "I better go get dressed. I think I'm invited to dinner here to night, and I might be late getting home, so don't wait up for me. See ya later!" He called as he backed into the closed door hard to make a noise. The door opened behind him. Hands grabbed his chair handles and pulled him inside before the door slammed once again.