Castle Roland

Somerset Farm

by Jamie Haze

In Progress

Chapter 41

Posted: 23 Mar 15


Jamie Haze

Evan climbed the owner's spiral slowly. He was alone again; at least briefly, alone to grieve for his new grandfather during the time required reaching the fly bridge. He cried openly. Tears ran down his cheeks unchecked, he would stop them before he reached the top; no one would ever see him cry again not even Billy. His head spun with the knowledge that he would be alone the rest of his life. Not alone physically, he would always be surrounded by friends, but no one could ever know the extent of the Falconburg Empire he was alone with that knowledge and that burden because he was Evan Falconburg the grandson and heir.

Everything was planned. After dinner, Billy ushered the boys to the media room per Anton's instructions. They had their choice of movies, five were first run productions currently playing in American theaters, and two others had yet to be released. All arrived via a satellite feed from somewhere. Evan didn't know the source but he could find out by consulting one of the black books. There were three, each laboriously written in English by Anton over many months because Buck was American and Buck was to be Anton's heir, that is originally before Evan arrived to win Anton's heart just by being himself, being a survivor.

There were names and addresses, phone numbers, code words, websites and e-mail addresses, instructions and there were notes. There were vault combinations and directions to their locations as well as details of accessing the vaults themselves. Evan smiled through his tears thinking of his grandfather demonstrating how to gain access to the safe in his bedroom on Sea Song where the priceless books were hidden. First open the armoire doors, then turn on both bedside table lamps, the right one first, and last dial a three digit number on the ship's phone system. Evan did as he was told. He turned back to the armoire when he heard a click and the back of the cabinet, a gun rack swung out silently to reveal the safe door. The door was blank; there was no key hole, there was no combination dial, no modern key pad and no handle. There was one small slow blinking light and it was an ominous red.

Anton sat on the edge of the bed. He motioned Evan close. He held the entertainment center remote. As Evan watched, Anton opened the battery compartment and reversed the two small batteries, then turned the remote and pushed the 'system on' button. The red light turned green and glowed steadily as the door swung open. Evan tiptoed to the safe as if it were animate, there was a need for stealth, or it would do something nasty to the unwary. Anton chuckled painfully, "It goes to sleep while door is open. Bring two cases to bed please."

Evan hefted the titanium cases; they sat on their ends with the handles facing out. One was heavier than the other. Anton opened that one first, it wasn't locked. It was jammed with bundles of currency. "This is American dollars, it is emergency egg, for starting over if needed, but possibility now remote for me, but still, old habits die hard like grandfather."

"What's in the other one?" Evan asked with his eyes like saucers. He knew all about nest eggs, he still had his original stash of cash hidden in the bottom of his backpack, and that in turn was hidden behind a shoe rack in Anton's wardrobe in his dressing room, conveniently close in the event of sudden need, but that eventuality too was growing remote.

Anton opened the second case, "The cash gives time to use these to rebuild and if needed for rebuilding, then for vengeance on those who brought you down. I keep books in here, when I move; I move books only, leave cases. There are other cases filled like these in other safes, but only these books. These are needed to get at safes anywhere, pretty cool yes?"

"Yeah cool," Evan answered with his eyes locked on the tray of gemstones nestled in foam, "cool like ice!" A few appeared to be diamonds, he guessed that others were rubies and the green of emeralds some were cut and polished some were nothing more than multicolored lumps of angular crystal. "Grandfather, these are worth a fortune!" He realized what he said and giggled.

Anton agreed, "Yes, but require time to convert to additional monies, which is reason for cash on hand." He patted the solid block of currency lovingly and picked up the books, "These are keys to kingdom. You must memorize these then destroy them. You are safe only then," he offered the books to Evan.

Evan hesitated to accept them, "But why are you giving me these now? I know you wrote them for me and I'll need them sometime after, but you're here now and we're safe. I really don't need them until, well,"

Anton interrupted, "Until after I am gone. I have decided that I should go tonight. I will not die in this bed, or any bed. The doctors now wish me to be free of pain. They will give me drugs to sleep. When I wake in pain they give more and I sleep again, on until I do not wake. This is not satisfactory." He saw Evan about to protest, he held up his hand, "I have made decision, my last. I am at peace I think, I hope, with my God." Anton lifted a third case from the floor. "This contains my wishes; things not in last will and testament, also in here, you will carry out, yes?" He opened the case while he watched tears develop in Evan's eyes. "You may cry now with me or in private, but never again in public. You must be strong in the world. You are Evan Falconburg. You should laugh and smile mostly. Reserve frowns to show extreme displeasure, meaning a promise of future repercussions. Do you promise?"

"Yes Sir," Evan hiccupped, "I promise; no tears, lots of smiles and hopefully just a few of your serious frowns."

Anton lifted out a stack of envelopes. Evan saw that each had a name scrawled in Anton's hand across the front. "Later tonight you will see these loyal friends on board and these others as you meet them. Give them their rewards from me, then in future insure that they never grow wanting. Proven loyalty is beyond price." He picked up one randomly and smiled, "Gregor and Meesha; I give them Sea Song jointly and separate accounts, but you will underwrite all expenses for which you will have life rights and continue to stay here in my suite, your suite when on board." He pushed another forward, "Ah, Hans and Herman; I give them my favorite castle and theirs. I give also funds to live in comfort. You will always be welcome there and they will guard you from afar and keep you from harm without asking, but do not hesitate to ask, you will never be refused." There were many other envelopes containing gifts. Anton closed the case and left it on the bed. He returned the books to the money case and watched Evan return the two to the vault.

The door closed and the cabinets' false back slipped into place when Evan keyed the 'system on' key a second time. "Be very sure to follow sequence with exactness. To open any you have three minutes only." Anton warned as Evan reversed the batteries in the remote.

"What happens if I don't?" Evan asked.

"That is ace card in hole. If someone forced you to open any, the decision is yours. Duress is not good; you would be dead man yes or no. Skip one step and you and all surrounding are no more. Here Sea Song," Anton clapped his hands with a loud smack, "would explode, a signal would be sent and other hiding places are also gone in smoke. I do not work to give to others unless it pleases me. Now I must change. Tonight this is what you must do, a last request for you too."

Evan reached the bridge deck. He paused there before he opened the door to pull his shirt tail from his shorts to wipe his face, "Old habits do die hard Grandfather," he thought. "Who needs a towel if he's got a shirt?" He carefully tucked in the tails before he opened the door. There was no one in the hall. Everyone would be elsewhere if they weren't on duty. Evan could feel the tension. All knew that something momentous had been ordered and was ready. Gregor and Meesha were waiting for him on the dark fly bridge when he got there. They were outlined by the multi colored screens. Gregor stood at the wheel and Meesha leaned against his side. The ship was silent except for a speaker in the console. Evan heard a mixture of languages; he recognized Hans and Herman's voices at first then Rod and Jon's. Gregor reached for the speaker switch when they became aware of Evan's presence

"No, leave it on. Wait for the signal. Is everything ready?"

Meesha nodded to the right, the starboard. The faint glow from the screens illuminated the slightly flared rounded corner of the bulkhead. The piloting position had been converted to a gun emplacement. The twenty millimeter Gatling gun had been installed in its outboard bracket. A monstrous ammunition canister that was attached destroyed its clean outline but Evan knew it made the gun deadly. He walked to the firing position and bumped his shin. Gregor and Meesha realized that Evan needed a boost, something to stand on if he was to aim the gun down at the water. He thanked them with a nod while he climbed on the packing crate they provided, a coffin-like box that recently contained a living man. He touched one of the pistol grips tentatively and the barrel moved effortlessly along with the two dark search lights that would serve as powerful close range, white tracking laser sights when turned on.

The three heard screams that stopped as abruptly as they started. Gregor tensed with both hands on the wheel. Meesha clutched an engine control in each hand and looked up at Gregor, ready for his captain's signal. A few agonized words came from the speaker in tortured English, "It is done." Hans or Herman announced in a quiet voice.

Gregor nodded emphatically. Meesha pulled hard on one throttle lever and pushed the other forward, both tachometer needles past their red lines. The engines roared and the turbine pumps whined in complaint at the suddenness of the demand. Gregor spun the wheel to its stops. The Sea Song turned instantly until he was perpendicular with his wake. Gregor nodded again and Meesha moved both throttles to idle and neutral. Sea Song froze in place with the starboard side facing what seconds before had been aft. Meesha left the controls long enough to throw a switch on the gun. The powerful lights, narrow beams came on, the gun was armed.

Evan traversed briefly down first then out the still foaming visible wake line. He squeezed the trigger when the lights settled on white shapes floating on invisible slackened tethers, some moved in jerks as they were being torn apart, others of assorted sizes were moving with speed and intension, the sharks feeding in their usual competitive frenzy since they no longer had to keep up with the moving food. Evan noticed a splash to the side, a floating body free of any tether. He continued to rain death on the concentration, but watched the solitary body in the search lights' periphery. A monster shape attacked from below. The body and half the shark jumped from the water. The body was clothed in a red robe.

Evan moved the gun slightly. The lights pinned the long sleek form for milliseconds before the explosive rounds blew it to bits and the night dark blue water turned black with blood. "DIE YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!" Evan screamed repeatedly. Meesha worked with Gregor to keep the Sea Song on station around the spreading carnage. Gouts of exploding water were frequently tinged with pink; shark and human blood. The Gatling clicked empty. "Die you motherfuckers." He said a last time in the silence in a satisfied quiet voice while he continued to traverse the muzzle over the area. There was nothing to see, just gently rolling water in a light breeze. "Grandfather wanted to take servants and watch dogs with him just like the old pharos used to," he giggled, "just in case their way of going was the right one after all," he said to himself clearly enough that anyone on the fly bridge could hear. He looked up at the night sky, "If you need any more, just let me know!" He shouted.

"Holy shit!" Someone said in wonder behind Evan.

Evan looked back and down, the twelve boys were clustered around Billy. He saw their heads turn from the lighted water to him. "I couldn't stop them, sorry." Billy explained.

Evan shrugged, "I guess it doesn't matter." He heard low voices from beyond the clumped boys and then from directly below on the bridge deck. He leaned out to look down. His eyes traveled back to the stern, the rails were crowded with crewmen.

"The entire crew, even those on duty turned to, to see the Master's passing," Joe told Evan looking up at the boy on the box, the new Master as far as the crew was concerned.

"Good Joe. Would you translate for me? Ask Gregor if we can anchor please."

Gregor answered before Joe asked, "Fuck yes Master, in half hour if push. Is problem?"

"Nope, no problem, the Master is dead. I'm Evan. Take us to anchor then please. We're going to have a real Irish wake, the whole crew. No watches for the rest of the night after we drop the hook. We'll run for the island at daylight and hung over is not an excuse. Turn on every light everywhere so the Master can see us. Would you translate that please?"

"Yes Master," Joe answered with a grin and accepted the ships' microphone from Meesha. Cheering broke out as the lights came on as Joe finished translating. Joe switched to English, "THE YOUNG MASTER"S ORDERS!" He shouted needlessly.

Meesha started a chant by throwing his fist in the air, "Young Master! Young Master! Young Master!"

The two words were picked up by the crew and repeated over and over again. "Goddamnit Meesha, I'm Evan, the Master is dead. Make them stop." Meesha shrugged like Anton was fond of doing and otherwise ignored Evan. The boys and Billy joined the chant then suddenly Hans, Herman, Rod and Jon were there to add weight to the boys' voices. Evan jumped down from his perch, wearing a small grin as he gave them all both middle fingers, "Well fuck you all too!" he shouted and made his way aft to the stairs to the bridge deck. The crew gathered there melted back out of his path but not before bowing low as they regularly did if they encountered Anton anywhere unexpectedly.

Evan had almost reached Anton's suite, now his suite when he felt the stern sink slightly as the power was boosted rapidly to forty knots and Sea Song bit into the water and heeled suddenly when the course was set. He met the ashen faced doctor and the two nurses. He shared his grandfather's aversion but he smiled at them politely until he had a sudden thought, "We anchor in half an hour for the night. I'll have the chopper ready then, you can go to Nassau or back to Ft. Lauderdale then. Thanks for your help."

"What about all the equipment we have on board?" the doctor asked "Will you ship it back?" Then without waiting he added, "If Mr. Falconburg committed suicide or was murdered I'm required to report it to the authorities."

Evan allowed himself his first serious frown, "If you do you'll need a doctor yourself. Just say you left him sick but alive on Dagger Cay."

"Is there a problem Master?" Rod asked from behind the three medics. Jon had an eyebrow hoisted and was scowling dangerously.

"I'm not sure. Is there a problem Doctor?" The implications of repeating himself kept the man silent, he shook his head, but Evan saw suppressed anger and fear in the man's face. He realized he was in the process of making the doctor an enemy and he didn't want to start making enemies so soon or ever if he could prevent it. He smiled brightly, "Come in Doctor, I apologize, I'm upset." When the door was closed with Rod and Jon leaning on the inside Evan apologized again, then, "Of course there's the matter of your fee. I have a check book somewhere but I'm not sure where it is. Will cash work for you?" He asked as he picked up a trash bag sitting on the floor inside the door. The bag contained the money that Anton gave Evan's step father as a payment for the boys. The doctor and the nurses were awed at the sight of so much money when he dumped it on a table. He made two neat stacks of ten bundles. They could see the currency wrappers; there was one hundred thousand dollars in each stack. "Ladies first," he said and offered each nurse a stack. Then he returned the remaining eight hundred thousand to the trash bag and offered it to the doctor. "If you don't mind we'll keep the equipment. Grandfather endowed a school for boys on our island and we'll need an infirmary, so I'm sure it will be used. Hey perhaps since your clinic is in Ft. Lauderdale and so close by, I was wondering if you might be available from time to time if there's an emergency at the school. Your nurses too if they're available, you never know. Since I guess the school is in another country maybe we should just use cash to pay you. Would that be all right? Oh, about Grandfather, maybe we could compromise; could we maybe just say he died of complications onboard and was buried at sea? That's kind of the truth, just leaving out the details."

The doctor nodded without hesitation, "I'll type and sign a death certificate before I leave."

Evan closed the door on the owner's access after he bid the three good night and a safe flight. The ladies had nowhere to put their shares of the fortune out of sight so he suggested the back way to their staterooms on the lower deck. "I say Young Master, that was rather well done. You've just bought three discrete friends in the medical world." Rodney congratulated him.

Evan grinned, "Yup, more than they know. Would you always remember to report big cash payments to the income tax guys? I wouldn't, and I bet they don't either. I'll never have to use the threat of reporting them, because they know its there all the time after they think it over." He got serious after the three had a good laugh. "While we're alone, I need to know, how much do I need to pay you for your loyalty?" He waved them to silence when he saw surprise and both we're about to protest the abrupt question. "Hans and Herman are going to retire now and I'll be alone. I don't know you guys and you don't really know me. We like each other I guess, but grandfather always said everyone has a price. There are powerful rich guys out there who want what he left behind. I'm too green at defending myself yet. Bucky will help, I'll be his ward financially anyway, until I'm eighteen, but I'd like to have people around that I know I can trust independent of Bucky, so name your price and make it big please. Someday someone is going to make you an offer and I don't want either of you to be tempted." He giggled suddenly, "I don't ever want you to turn down any offers, take them, but just let me know so we can take them out and then we'll split whatever they had."

Jon looked at Rodney to be their spokesman, Rod shrugged, "A most difficult question to be sure. I say, it's rumored that Mr. Trenton's man Will, and your man Billie did rather well on the most recent attack on your grandfather's empire. I wonder if we could expect similar treatment if the occasion arises? And I agree there will be those occasions, particularly now when you are thought to be vulnerable, plus you'll have your mother's safety to think about."

Evan nodded, "Yeah, get some guys to take care of her around the clock. They shouldn't be involved with you or me at all, what they don't know, they can't tell or sell. You're right, I am vulnerable, my ass is hanging out and my cock is on the chopping block," both men winced, "that's why I'm asking, and I said we'd split, we will, even steven, and the payments to Billie and Will weren't splits, just little bonuses. Look, Grandfather told me what he estimated he makes, I mean made, in just one tiny minute, twenty-four hours a day. I'll never fuck you guys when it comes to money, I promise."

Jon had remained silent until then. He rubbed his chin in thought. "I might make a suggestion if I may. Do you happen to know the names of any of these rascals likely to do you financial if not physical harm? If you do, I wonder if we might head them off at the pass so to speak by approaching them. You know, to get all the nastiness out of the way early as it were without waiting for them to develop a plan and mustering their forces. Then we could all relax somewhat and live the good life until the next one comes along, but of course we'd remain quite vigilant and most devoted in extreme comfort at no cost to you at all."

Evan clapped his hands in delight and giggled, "Wow that would work," he said remembering that there was a short list of names somewhere in one of the black books. Men that his grandfather said needed watching because of their undying interest in the snoopy system, men who would be tempted to risk everything to gain control of snoopy even forgetting the recent example of the banker's demise. "Let's do it." He sat down at the console and activated snoopy. "Gather around guys, this is what they're after. This is the crown jewel." He brought up Sea Song in the infrared mode, and then zoomed in to watch their own images in putrid green; Evan sat at the console with Jon and Rod clearly leaning over his shoulders. "Meet snoopy gentlemen. This is a world wide system. We sell this intelligence to anyone with the price and we charge a lot. But we have a rule; we won't sell to someone if the info will harm a friend which could be a country. We do let friends know they're exposed and who's interested and then make more by selling tapes of the bad guys to our friends. We can even give them a real time feed if they want, just like we're seeing now."

Jon lapsed into colloquial English, "Sonofabitch, but that's priceless, I say far out man!"

Jessica Compton Smith was alone with Will in an open fisherman just outside the pinchers watching what had been a white dot on the horizon grow into the Sea Song as it neared Dagger Cay. At first she was planning to wait on the dock for her son Evan, but as news spread that the Sea Song was arriving, the dock became crowded with impatient residents, all the boys with Dieter and Billie and every man, woman and child from nearby Black's Cay. Will suggested taking the boat out so Jessica could have a few minutes alone with her son after the Sea Song was safely moored but before the island's residents were to have their chance to greet the new Master. Jess became concerned when the giant yacht continued to approach the reef at full speed until Will pointed out the cut, a narrow strip of water that was a darker blue and where the swells successfully passed through the reef to spend their reduced power harmlessly on the walls of the pinchers.

"We better get back inside before they charge the pinchers or we'll have to wait and follow them," Will explained. "This is an incredible view though; I was onboard the last time. I thought we were going to crash, but the driver," he pointed up to the lofty fly bridge, "has amazing skill."

"Cast iron balls too," Jess quipped as she looked where Will was pointing. There were over a dozen heads visible on the fly bridge, all looking forward or at a tall laughing shirtless young man in the middle of them. She started waving both arms over her head and laughing. "Is that Evan up there? Oh Will it is! See him waving back?"

Will idled just inside to pinchers with the bow pointed into the lagoon ready to accelerate as soon as the Sea Song completed his dramatic zigzag to line up on the narrow opening where they watched and waited. Will giggled, "Yup, that's him, he wouldn't be anywhere else, always where the action is. He's probably badgering Gregor, the big guy he's standing by to go faster, to make their entrance more exciting. The other guy standing by him and Evan is Meesha, Gregor's buddy." Will pushed both throttles forward hard when the Sea Song's bow turned and grew on their approach into the narrow cut blasted out of the ancient coral walls protecting the lagoon and the island.

Will underestimated Sea Song's speed and the sharply pointed bow over shadowed them briefly until they got into the lagoon and he was able to avoid being run down by cutting the wheel hard so Sea Song charged past them on a course to smash the long tee dock to smithereens. Will turned the fisherman to follow Sea Song at a safe dry distance. They watched breathlessly as the rooster tail suddenly dropped and the water around the whole stern boiled when the jets were reversed to slow the yacht's forward momentum as it approached the big orange mooring buoy hidden from their view. The boiling stopped as suddenly as it started.

To Jess the monster yacht seemed like a living playful entity that was suddenly content to wait patiently while its handlers, his handlers, she reminded herself again, caught and secured his tether and he could rest safe and secure in the middle of the lagoon. That is, rest until his master, her son, decided to unhook the leash for another bout of fun on the open ocean.

Evan climbed up on the upholstered side bench seat oblivious to the Gatling gun stored below his feet. He was about to dive over the side, the twelve boys and Billy were ready to follow him mindlessly until Jon caught him around the waist and pulled him back. "No you don't Master, sorry to say, I'm rather a selfish bloke, keeping you alive and healthy is my lot in life and that would include preventing self injury don't you know. I suggest you have someone open the convenient side hatch down below then you can step into the waiting craft with a modicum of decorum."

Rod handed Evan a pair of his shorts, "And decency," he added with a grin, "remember that's your mother down there." He shaded his eyes and looked at the crowded dock. "It would appear that all your loyal subjects are dressed and surely not all of them have read about the Emperor's new suit of clothes."

Evan giggled, "Oh yea, I guess I better. Thanks guys." He turned to Dieter, "Could you have someone open the fucking hatch down there? I'm on my way."

"Master really," Rodney scolded playfully, "here we are attempting to break our young Capitan of his habit of using that particular word in every sentence."

Gregor interrupted Rodney, "Fuck yes Master!" he replied happily while Meesha passed along the request as an order to the wheel house below them. He also turned over the responsibility for securing the yacht while moored to the officer of the watch. Then he and Gregor both listened intently as the big engines were shut down and the soft purr of the generators could be heard if one listened closely. Both nodded in satisfaction.

Rod shrugged, "I rest my case," he said to Evan's back as he ran for the stairs spiraling down. Billy held his boys back, Evan's reunion with his mother would remain private.

Everyone on the fly bridge crowded the rail to look down on the diminutive appearing fisherman and Evan's mother far below them. They saw her open her arms and suddenly Evan was in them and nearly carried both of them backward over the fishing boats' side from the force of his leap. Will waited quietly at the wheel wearing a huge smile, pleased with the successful conclusion of this particular mission, but saddened that Anton wasn't there to witness it. He circled the Sea Song once slowly while Jess sat with Evan on the engine housing. Evan chattered while his mother naturally attempted to comb his blond hair with her fingers and ran her hands over his teenage arms and bare shoulders, amazed at how much he'd grown and to reassure herself that he was without blemish or injury.

Evan surprised everyone who waited for him on the dock by actually acting like the master of all he surveyed and the master of his life. He was just as friendly, he shook hands, talked, really listened, and accepted condolences, but there was a change, he'd matured. He moved among the island residents with a new confidence. Billie was the first to point out the difference to Dieter, "It would seem our new master has already accepted the most important bequest from dear Anton," he whispered cryptically. When Dieter raised an eyebrow to ask what, Billie concluded, "He's already wearing the mantel of power, something like an aura, it's almost tangible, you can feel it. Anton hasn't passed, he's grown younger, and he's inside Evan somewhere looking out at the world with Evan's eyes. Oh my, I'm certainly glad my darling that we're on his side because I don't think he'll ever be content with just kicking ass and taking names, I doubt very much if he'll ever take prisoners if you know what I mean."

The first students of the Dagger Cay Marine Academy were lined up on the dock to receive guests. Their uniforms were the same monogrammed pull over shirts and matching shorts that the new boys still on the Sea Song wore but the shorts were tighter and cut higher to display their packages clearly. They all stood at rigid attention proudly. Curt backed by his two crewmen from the Doog waited at the end of the line and eyed the student formation critically. Evan cranked Curt's arm and looked down the line of shorts with a grin and questioning eyebrow in difference to his mother standing at his side.

Curt shrugged, "Billie brought in a tailor," he explained. "A gay tailor, the first shorts were so tight the guys could hardly move in them, these are a compromise for dress occasions only. Most days they wear skin and boat shoes." He tossed a thumb at the two crewmen and rolled his eyes, "My guys are now Chief Petty Officers and I'm the Capitan. When we get some teachers in here they'll join the officer ranks." He nodded to Kyle and continued, "Billie's been a busy beaver designing stuff, he had a bunch of these made for all of us." Kyle moved to Curt's side and presented Evan with a velvet jewelry box. "This one is special; it was made for the Master. I'm sorry Evan, I really liked him. Anyway, now that you're the Master," Kyle opened the box. Evan studied the simple gold pendant; a dagger with two diamonds to represent the blade guards or to anyone with an imagination a cock with glittering balls.

Kyle fished his from the neck of his shirt and admired it with crossed eyes, "Real gold AND diamonds too," he assured Evan.

Curt rolled his eyes again with a frown in Kyle's direction, "Will you get over appraising everything you see?"

Evan giggled and defended Kyle, "Old habits die hard. I still look at small portable valuable stuff and think of emergency money." He patted his Rollex watch, "If you lived on the street for a while, you would too." He handed the box back and turned with his back to Kyle, "Put it on me, I like it." After Kyle closed the clasp, his hand traveled lightly over Evan's back before he stepped back and grinned.

"Say Evan, is there any chance of getting on the Sea Song for a ride sometime?" Kyle asked with a grin when Evan turned back to face him.

The caress and the word, ride, combined were a suggestion. Evan winked, "Sure, except we're leaving tomorrow morning so there won't be time this visit." He snapped his fingers, "I forgot I don't own Sea Song anymore. Grandfather gave him to Gregor and Meesha. We could always chopper out of here though, Sea Song could stay for a while. I'll ask. He looked at the fleet of pleasure craft tied up along the dock and turned to Curt, "You know if this school is going to be a real marine academy we need to get some real Navy boats. Check around, see if there's any surplus we could buy and fix up, maybe a nice destroyer or something you could use for training cruises, a real sea school." He looked out across the lagoon at the pinchers, "Whatever you find has to fit between the pinchers though, so I guess a battleship or aircraft carrier's are out." He shrugged, "Too bad, I'd really get off driving one of those." Jessie cleared her throat pointedly. Evan blushed, "Sorry Mom, I'll have to watch my language with you around," he grinned impishly, "but I really would, you know." He hugged her arm and tugged her forward. "Thanks for this," he patted his new pendent. "You better get a bunch more made, there's a whole new class coming ashore, plus the guys at home will all want one when they see mine. Oh, get us some big sailboats too; maybe a schooner or an old clipper ship if there's any of those around. From now on Curt, you're the Capitan of the academy and you run the island too, I'm taking Dieter and Billie with me tomorrow," he added over his shoulder. He turned and scooted back to whisper in Curt's ear. "Don't look so surprised, you can handle it, plus your paycheck just doubled."

The accuracy of Billie's observation was proven when Evan finally worked his way to them. Evan hugged them both and after small talk, whispered to them both, "Come onboard tonight after dinner, we're going to take down some bad guys, kind of like preemptive before they get around to coming after us." He stepped back when Tommy joined them after Curt dismissed the class. "Hey Tom-tom, I forgot about you, but that's all right, you can go to school with me." He grinned at the three quizzical expressions and explained, "You all need to get packed. I need you guys close to me, so you'll be leaving with us tomorrow morning for New Jersey."

"What will I be doing?" Dieter asked, "Billie's your geek, but you don't need a hospitality manager and that's all I know how to do."

Evan shrugged, "Forget hospitality, you're a manager, and a good one from what I can see around here, you get things done so you'll manage shit, stuff for me. I need people I can trust and I need friends around too, so get packed."

"Come after US?" Billie asked in surprise.

Evan shrugged, "Of course us. The banker did, didn't he? If they get me, you're already history or wish you were and this time you won't just get a little bonus, you'll get a full share."

"Little bonus?" Dieter and Billie asked weakly at the same time.

He winked, took his mother's hand and led her to the house, his home, one of his homes, one of their homes. He switched gears when he looked at his mother with a grin, "I'm buying a house pretty near where I'm going to school but closer to Trenton Hall. It's really nice, Doug, he's one of my buddies, took me to see it. He worked there as a gardener if you can believe that since his dad owns a humongous construction company, but the lady that owns it is in Europe still on vacation so I can't pay her for it yet. Grandfather was going to live there to be close to me at school and to Bucky, who was probably the closest friend Grandfather had. I can't live like that, without friends, so I'm collecting them and I'm letting them earn more money than they can spend right away so I won't feel like I'm paying them to be my friends. Grandfather had all kinds of plans to tear the shit, I mean crap out of it, the house I mean, you know to make it bigger and put in walls and stuff for security, but I kind of like it the way it is. Anyway, you can have it and remodel it any way you want" he sighed, "but the walls do have to be built and you will have to be surrounded by security guys because they are. I mean Becky Trenton and Martha Henderson, Doug's mom. Doug got his ass kidnapped already. They thought they had Buck, that's Buck Trenton. Bucky his dad, took care of them and that won't happen again at least by those dudes. They're both really nice and they'll be your friends so you'll have plenty to do when I'm not around. I have to go to school, plus I have other things to do now that Grandfather's gone. He really wanted to meet you but the pain got too bad and he didn't want to take drugs that would knock him out, so, well, anyway he decided to make the pain go away his way. Officially he died in his sleep in international waters and was buried at sea. Tomorrow I'll have someone set up a bank account for you. Don't ever worry about getting overdrawn like you did when we were alone, that can't happen now."

It was obvious to Jesse that her son's mind was operating on several different levels simultaneously as he struggled to catch her up on just the events of recent weeks. She hugged him close to her side and kissed him on the cheek. "I don't care about any of that Evan," she grinned, "or should I call you Master like everyone else? I love you and want you to be happy."

Evan returned the kiss and giggled, "Grandfather was the Master, the assholes on the boat started calling me that last night after, well just after. I guess I'm happy; I haven't had time to think about it yet. I'm learning how to dive, I mean off a diving board and platforms, that's one thing, and then I learned how to drive. Buck and Doug have a Hummer; I have got to get me one of those as soon as we get back." He hesitated, "And best of all I've got my friend Billy back. Man that was a surprise."

"Is Billy your boyfriend?" Jessie asked cautiously watching her son's eyes.

"Will told you huh? I'm glad he did. Yup he is. I guess I was gay before, I mean always, but I didn't realize it."

Jessie looked back at the dock when she heard a hubbub of voices. She saw Will welcoming Joe with an embarrassed hug. Gregor and Meesha were being welcomed by Dieter and Billie. She saw Gregor pick up Tom-tom and hug him and then nearly drop him when the boy planted a passionate kiss of Gregor's lips. New boys wearing the school uniform were surrounded by the old salts of the upper class, and one tall handsome young man stood alone looking in their direction. Evan waved to the older boy and motioned for him to join them. The boy shook his head and turned away. Evan looked disappointed. She made a decision, "You said on the tape Will brought me that I can live wherever I want, I've decided I want to live here."

Evan looked surprised, "But Mom why? You're my mother and we're together again after two years. I'm sorry I'm gay, but I'll try to act straight when I'm with you." Hurt crept into his voice.

Jessie gathered him into her arms, "You darling, that's exactly why, you've been trying since you stepped on the dock. I'm cramping your style; you can't be yourself and I think now that your new grandfather is gone, that it's very important that you do. The young man watching us is Billy isn't he?" Evan nodded, "If I wasn't here, he would have come running just now. If I wasn't here he'd have come ashore with you. And you need to work on your whispering," she scolded. "I don't know what you plan for some bad guys, and I don't want to know what taking them down preemptively means and I don't want to. We can't go back to being a mother and her little boy, you've gown, matured way beyond that. You have your life to live and except for lots of visits I hope, your life, your new life doesn't include a mother acting motherly."

"But Mom!" Evan protested, at a loss for an argument.

"But me no buts young man, you just march right back to your Billy, and be yourself. I'll be very happy here, there will be an infirmary and I'll run that, plus it looks to me like there are some boys here who could use some mothering now and then, so I'll be here for them. My mind's made up," Jessie turned him and patted his butt pushing him toward the dock. "Go on shoo, dinner will be at seven sharp, shirts and shorts at least are required, shoes are optional," she called, and added, "And if you don't bring Billy with you tell him he'll be in big trouble when I find him. You just remind him that this is an island and he can't get away." She laughed to negate the threat.

Tommy waited on shore for his fathers to return from their meeting with Evan. He met them on the dock. When they climbed out of their Boston Whaler without shutting the engines down, he jumped in. Dieter and Billie laughed together. "Okay sport, we clued Evan and Meesha in, so you're expected," Dieter told him. "They've moved up to the Capitan's suite on the bridge deck, and they're alone. If you wait for Meesha to shut off their lights before you walk in, Meesha will call you Evan, so Gregor will think you are for a while anyway," he giggled. "Maybe like me, until it's too late to care."

"Have fun you darling little imp," Billie called and pushed the boat off. He hugged Dieter's side. "Just think our son's first sleep over and he's always so enthusiastic. Gregor and Meesha won't get a wink of sleep. Isn't it romantic?"

"Yes, but Gregor's in for one hell of a guilt trip when he finds out. Come on let's check on our new class to be sure they're settling in all right."

They found the first three of the four cottages the boys, new and old occupied, were empty, the lights were on but no one was in them. They heard the boy's laughter over rock music before they got to the fourth. They stopped and gawked when they got to the back edge of the terrace. The doors were open and every light in the bedroom was on. An impromptu mega welcoming orgy seemed to be in progress. "My God," Billie whispered, "I can't imagine what a video tape of this would be worth to those interested."

"I can," Dieter answered with a yank on Billie's arm. "It would be worth a trip to the Sea Song's boat deck. The new men, Rod and Jon were pretty graphic with their descriptions."

Billie clutched Dieter's arm dramatically, "Indeed they were. Not the best dinner conversation to be sure, but they certainly seemed to enjoy their work. They're much like Hans and Herman there. I believe our new Master is quite safe in their hands. I say darling, it occurs to me we're wasting time, this will be the first night in simply ages that we'll be quite alone in bed."

Dieter grinned, "Lead on my dear."

When they walked in their bedroom they found the lights on low. The bed was turned down and there was a smallish sheet covered lump in the middle. "Alone is not to be." Billie whispered with a smile. "Our son left us a substitute, how thoughtful."

Charlie sat up suddenly. The sheet dropped away, "Hi guys! Tommy didn't want you to be lonely, so," he lay back down, kicked the sheet off his darkly tanned little body and spread his legs. "We drew straws to see who'd get to keep you company," he explained with a giggle. "I won because I held the straws. Welcome aboard anytime you get out of those clothes and hurry up! You know it will be dawn in a few hours, some of us are going fishing and it's my turn to rig the baits. Wally showed me how; he says I'm the best student mate he's ever had."

Tommy waited with Evan and Billy on the deck just outside the windows of the Capitan's suite. When the lights finally were turned off Evan led Tommy in to the central passage and the interior door. Evan whispered, "You better lose those shorts before you go in or he'll know you aren't me," he warned Tommy. Evan found himself holding Tommy's shorts in a heartbeat before he slipped inside.

Meesha was awake; Gregor was asleep on his side and had been spooned against his lover until Meesha felt the slow regular exhales on the back on his head. "He dies almost in sleeping," Meesha whispered in halting but understandable English. He got off the bed and guided Tommy in so Tommy's back snuggled against Gregor. Meesha lifted Gregor's limp arm and placed it over Tommy. Tommy took the hand and flattened it on his chest, then moved it down to his erection. Gregor closed his hand unconsciously without waking. Meesha giggled in Tommy's ear, "Told you. I get him, you push back," he instructed before he punched Gregor's shoulder. "Wake up old Capitan, the Master visits."

Gregor groaned after a second harder punch, his hand become alive. It left Tommy's cock and moved to his own. Tommy lifted his leg and Gregor guided himself. "Welcome Master," he whispered as he thrust himself in slowly. He was distracted by Meesha's giggle. "Meesha will occupy mouth with no laughing," he ordered.

"Yes my Capitan, instantly." Meesha answered in Russian while he slipped lower in the bed until his mouth was even with Tommy's cock.

Gregor's hands traveled the small body in front of him. "Master loses pounds?" He wondered. Meesha pulled away to giggle again. Tom stopped him by grabbing the back of his head and pulling him close.

Doug stepped up on his starting block, shook himself and looked right and left to judge his competition in his first 400 meter free medley heat. While Doug was mostly unknown except for state titles in his under fourteen age group, the other swimmers at the unique invitational were all state champions or better from around the country, high school, prep, and college freshmen. The meet was a spur of the moment thing, Doug's father and coach worried out loud in front of Bucky that what Doug really needed was quality practice competition. His times were dropping nicely when he raced the clock, but he needed to be pushed harder than any of his friends could manage in the tank during practice races. Bucky grinned and nodded, "I'll see who I can find," was all he said in response. The next day Bucky assembled a planning team in his office. His instructions were relatively simple; he wanted to host an informal unsanctioned three day swim competition. Attendance was to be by invitation and those invited should be top ranked in a state, by region and /or nationally. Both competitors and their coaches were to be invited, travel and lodging was to be provided.

Bucky couldn't avoid telling Bill Henderson what he'd done as a surprise, because it was suddenly essential that the residential wing be completed enough to be habitable within a week and a half since Bill was the general contractor for the project. At first Bill was unconcerned because Bucky didn't bother to mention that he was picking up the tab for all expenses. "How many did you invite?" He asked with a smile. Bucky swiped his hand across his mouth so his answer was almost unintelligible. "Seven? Well we can just put that many up in our guest rooms, no problem."

Bucky giggled, "I said seventy not seven."

"Oh, well even seventy, on such short notice, and with the cost of travel, not many will accept." Bill saw Bucky turn away and start to shake with laughter, "Wait a minute, what did you do? How many accepted?"

"Quite a few," Bucky managed evasively.

"Goddamnit Bucky how many is quite a few? Quit laughing and start talking!"

"Well actually sixty five are coming to compete, five declined regretfully because of medical problems. One personal coach called and said his kid was in tears because of a dinged up knee, so I invited all five in just to watch if they could travel. I guess the total number hovers around seventy, so with their coaches, we need to find space for one hundred-forty or so."

"Or SO?" Bill squeaked out. "All of them AND coaches?" He cocked his head and grinned, "You're providing transportation too aren't you?" After Bucky nodded, Bill turned serious, "Damn it Bucky, this is going to cost you a bundle, and all just for Doug, although I certainly appreciate to effort, this is too much, just because our sons are best buddies." Bucky hoisted an eyebrow, "All right lovers, but everything you've done for him already; that damn truck, the pool complex, enough is enough."

It was Bucky's turn to be serious, "You don't understand Bill, I can't do enough for Doug. There will never be enough because he saved Buck's life by being kidnapped instead of my son, my only son. I believe they planned to kill him after they picked up the ransom. It didn't matter which kid, he was going to die. I asked Doug about that and he wouldn't answer me. That's a yes in my book. Buck feels the same. By the way Buck bought that truck I didn't. He's also giving Doug a catamaran for Christmas."

Bill frowned, "Why? He's already got one, it's down at the beach house and for all the times he's sailed it, it was a waste of money. He spent more time on Anton's during the week we were there than he has on his own."

"Yeah, well that was before he could get around without you taking him wasn't it? You know they reach a certain age when they can't drive and don't want to be seen with their parents. Now together they can go where they please when they want. They haven't yet because of swimming and diving. That's another thing I owe him for, Doug got Buck interested in swimming first then diving, because we both know that Buck is never going to be tall enough to compete in swimming, but height isn't important in diving. Doug had the balls to point that out to us. Maybe Buck won't ever be good enough to make the Olympics, but it won't be because he didn't try, my point is that he's only focused because of Doug. You just watch them after Christmas, I'll bet you they go down to Dagger Cay every chance they get."

"They'll keep it on the beach there?" Bill asked innocently.

Bucky burst into laughter, "I certainly hope not, Buck wanted it longer but if it was it would be too wide to fit through the pinchers. He had to be satisfied with ninety feet. Buck told me the kid, Josh; the designer is building it so it can be sailed by one person, but ideally two. Doug's even helping with the design without knowing, he and Josh are sending e-mails back and forth about something to do with mooring the monster, you know tying the thing up by remote control."

"Holy shit! How many will it sleep?"

Bucky shrugged, "There are six double staterooms, you figure it out, they sleep together like a litter of half grown puppies that is of course when they get around to sleeping." They were sitting together in Bill Henderson's den enjoying a drink before dinner. Martha and Becky were in the kitchen actually doing the cooking themselves. Bucky and Becky both were enthralled with the casual invitation to dine at the Henderson home alone as two couples and friends. It was a first for the Trenton's.

Becky glared at her husband when he told her that she and Martha were to have the residential wing furnished and staffed in time for the competition. "I wish this was a leg of lamb rather than a rack darling, I'd use it to beat you over the head with it. Where will we find the furniture locally?" They were seated at the table eating the dinner the women prepared. Becky was proud of the baked potatoes, her baked potatoes. Martha had everything nearly ready by the time the Trenton's arrived and when Becky insisted on helping, Martha hesitantly asked if she'd get the potatoes ready. Ready consisted of preheating the second oven, placing the spuds, and starting the timer. It was another first for Becky.

A shadow crossed the windows when a bodyguard crossed in front of the dinning room windows and blocked the setting sun for a millisecond on his rounds outside the Henderson home. Bill and Martha found the blinking disconcerting, but were actually glad he was there. The guard was one of several Bucky provided the Henderson's after Bill called him seeking help to keep throngs of teenage girls away from the house. Bill and Martha were puzzled by the onslaught at first until a group of girls; each holding a copy of Dylan's teen magazine besieged the front door seeking Doug for an autograph. They leafed through the pages quickly and skimmed the stories and picture captions Dylan wrote. The pictures boarded on pornographic, there was way too much skin; Doug, wearing a tank suit two sizes too small, Dylan himself, pictured shirtless, working out in the Wilcott gym, Marc Wilcott wearing very short shorts and no shirt photographing the others and finally Paul. One was fold out and poster size, a Dylan exclusive. He was pictured holding his magnificent gymnast's body in the form of an iron cross on the rings. He was clothed in oil and sweat, fortunately or unfortunately he was photographed from the rear. The boy's names and mention of the town was enough. The Henderson's and Wilcott's were listed in the same phone directory. The Wilcott's had gates and those were still guarded, the Henderson's had neither.

"I told you if you were going to hang out with me my friend, that you needed gates and a fence." Bucky giggled in response to Bill's plea for help. "Sorry about that. I'll send some boys over to chase them, but you better build yourself some security because it's only going to get worse."

"Thanks a heap. I'll seal us up tighter than a knat's ass, but it's going to take some time, meanwhile what do I tell these silly girls? And not just girls, I see women out there and even some guys. Doug's doesn't live here anymore, remember?" Bill asked sounding desperate. He did a double take when a national television station mobile unit pulled in and parked near the garage.

"Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I've got it; tell them all he's living at the pool for the summer. That's almost the truth. That driveway's gated too, and he can still come and go as he pleases." Bucky giggled again, "Our swim meet sure is going to be well attended. I guess I'll have to find some bleachers."

"Fuck the bleachers, channel two just pulled in and it looks like they're setting up housekeeping! Please send some help!" Bill begged.

"Okay, but Doug can use the publicity; you're his father and coach, give them an interview before you send them here. Then tell them they can set up shop in the pool parking lot, and I'll give them an interview IF they cover the meet."

The television producer was goggle eyed when Bucky himself gave him a guided tour and he saw the network of video cameras that were installed as coaching aids. In addition to the two that ran on tracks underwater on each side of the pool, and the four mounted high, one in each corner of the room, there were two more, on a single track around the pool just below the balcony rail. All fed images to a windowed control room on the third floor of the residential wing overlooking the pool area. A giant TV screen was mounted on one end of the pool for instant replays. The Trenton pool facility was a coaching, spectator, and media paradise.

Bucky's actual interview had to be delayed until the network sportscaster who would be covering the swimming and diving events at the Olympics could be choppered out from New York, by then the pools were a hubbub of activity. It was late afternoon and gymnastics, swimming and diving practices were over for the day. It was the boys' goofing off time before dinner, the two hours each afternoon became a time for recreational swimming. Paul considered swimming and diving great exercise. Morgan and Marc came with him. Dylan arrived home early and brought Peter with him from the city. Evan had just returned with his entourage; Dieter, Billie and Tommy, plus Jonathon and Rodney and Gregor and Meesha. The new owners of Sea Song left him in the care of the Capitan at Dagger Cay so the boys could take a cruise. Of course Buck and Doug were there as well, they were always there with David and Noah. The one notable difference was that they were all wearing swimsuits for a change while the network cameras were running for Bucky's interview. Recreation for all the boys and young men always degenerated into competition, so for Doug, Buck and Evan, practice continued, only less structured. Eric and Trevor retreated to the media control room while the cameras were present since they remained reclusive, sensitive to both the discovery of their sexual orientation and mutual illness.

They busied themselves with recording the races and dives, and then replaying them on the big screen. Bucky enjoyed playing with the roof control and the buttons that moved the dive platforms and boards in and out of position. He was at the base of the tower demonstrating the innovations when he saw that someone was in the control room operating the cameras and then replying the tapes for the boys between races or dives. He counted heads and grinned. The diving coaches couldn't see him since he was directly under the control room window. He motioned the television crew into the lobby and elevator. Eric and Trevor were trapped as the control room filled with people, a video camera and a microphone. Bucky warned his interviewer in the elevator, "You can ask them any questions you want about diving or coaching, but if you ask one personal question and you know what those questions are, this interview ends then and there and you won't leave here with one inch of tape, sound or video." He glanced at his four body guards crowded in with them, "Understood?" The elevator opened on the third floor, he blocked the door, "If I have to end the interview because you tried an end run, I'll buy the network and you all will be unemployed." He smiled after threatening them with his financial club and dangled a vague carrot, "I need to get these two guys back into the mainstream, they've punished themselves enough, help me on this and I won't forget it."

After Buck introduced the interviewer to Eric and Trevor he shut his mouth except to smile as the young men relaxed when they realized that there would be no personal questions. They started to talk diving and coaching seriously and turned to watch Buck then Evan execute the same dive of medium difficulty. "They're both smart and learning fast. Evan has a gift for it, but he competes with Buck for the fun of it. Buck has to work a bit harder, but he has a purpose, so he's determined to excel." Eric explained.

Trevor agreed and took the time to post Buck's score, two tenths of a point higher than Evan's. They watched Evan look up at them and laughed while he shot them a quick middle finger before he scooted for the tower. The interviewer asked who Evan was. Trevor shrugged, "Evan Falconburg, probably the richest kid in the world at the moment since his grandfather passed on. I guess that would make him equal with Buck there as two of the world's most eligible bachelors in a couple of years."

"Why is Buck so determined, what's his purpose in working so hard?"

Bucky answered that question, "He wants to participate in the Olympics."

The interviewer nodded, "You mean in five years?"

"Nope, next year, Doug is going, Paul is going if you want two more examples of determination and purpose. They're two of his best friends and my son doesn't like the idea of being left behind. Money can't buy a spot on the team, just hard work that also happens to be fun."

There was a false start when one competitor jumped the gun; Doug was tense, but not nervous. He was also focused. He dropped head first into the water while he had the chance and surfaced already doing an easy dolphin stroke away from the starting blocks. His hands were back along his sides he used his gut and thigh muscles to propel himself by arching his supple body. He admitted that a friendly dolphin in the Bahamas taught him the stroke during an in the pool interview. When the program aired locally, it was picked up by first national then international stations and rebroadcast. Doug found himself dubbed as Dolphin Boy, The Dolphin, or simply Rocket after he mentioned what he'd named the wild dolphin.

The balcony and poolside bleachers were jammed with girls, half of them waved Dylan's magazine to show Doug they were rooting for him. There was one safe haven for family and friends; a section on the balcony directly above the starting blocks. The small space was made secure by a phalanx of guards, who while dressed casually, couldn't conceal the lumpy shapes hidden by loose shirts at their sides or small of their backs. The gang cheered Doug as if he'd won the race when he touched the end wall to vault out to mount his block for another start. He offered them a wink and lopsided grin before his face once again became a mask of concentration. He won his heat easily but placed in the final, beaten, just barely by a world class college freshman.

Doug entered himself in all the individual races, but there weren't any teams present so the contestants put their heads together and formed their own teams for relay races. Doug didn't know anyone else attending so he was going to be content to watch those races to be held later in the weekend. He reached over the float line to congratulate the winner in the next lane, and was surprised to be complimented back, "Hey man you're tough! You made me work for that win. Can you teach me how to do that dolphin thing? That's tough too," the boy grinned. "I also noticed how it helps the abs and thighs, not to mention flexibility." The boy's eyes shifted to Doug's body in the water, "By the way, the name's Harmon, but everyone calls me Harm," he giggled as he climbed from the water, then gave Doug his hand, "you know, stay out of Harm's way, kind of a play on words. You're the infamous Doug the Dolphin, but I like Rocket better. That okay with you?"

"Sure, whatever, as long as it isn't derogatory like Shark." Doug shivered remembering the lagoon, "A big one nearly had me for lunch in the Bahamas."

"Really, what'd you do?" Harm asked as Buck and Evan joined them.

"I got lucky. Some guys on his grandfather's boat came to the rescue and blew his ass away." Doug introduced everyone.

Harm openly appraised Doug's body and whistled, "Hey are you on a relay team? We've got a guy, who's good, but he's having some problems with leg gramps, he said to find someone else if we could, are you interested?"

"Shit yeah, thanks!"

Evan looked up at Harm quizzically, "Harmon Golden, are you Jewish?"

"Yeah I am why?"

"I need to talk to a priest and I don't know any." Evan explained.

Harm laughed, "If you want a priest ask around for Catholics."

"Nope, it's got to be a Jewish priest."

"You mean a Rabbi?"

"Is that a priest?"

"I guess that's as close as you're going to get. Why do you need a Rabbi?"

"I need to build them, you guys," Evan corrected, "some churches and I don't know where to start."

By then they were in a locker room changing. They were done for the day; it was almost two hours before dinner in the dorm dinning room. "Synagogues, some synagogues, what for?" Harm asked, wondering if he was the butt of some joke.

"My grandfather asked me to build one, you know, so he would be remembered. I think ten or twelve all over the world would be better, but this is WASP country around here, I'm only a Jew by adoption," he said forlornly.

"Kid, are you serious?"

Doug answered for Evan with a nod, grin and a shrug, before he changed the subject, "Hey Harm, want to come up to the house and check out our competition before dinner? The tapes should be ready. Maybe we can round up the rest of the guys and decide who starts and who anchors." He had a sudden thought, "Would you and your coach be interested in using this place for regular practice?" Buck and Evan nodded enthusiastically. They were all in the shower room. Evan and Buck weren't participating in the meet but they weren't about to miss a chance to check out Doug's competition when they weren't wearing speed suits. Doug and both of them very much liked what they saw of Harm.

Evan crowded Harm under his shower head and matched his foot up with the taller, older young swimmer's larger foot, although not much larger. They touched legs, Harm looked down, "What's with you kid? First its Jews and synagogues now you're looking at my damn feet." Evan, Doug and Buck noted that Harm did not move his leg away from Evan's, instead he put his arm over Evan's shoulder and pulled him closer and bent to look down at their touching feet.

"I'm trying to gauge how tall I'm going to be that's all," Evan explained somewhat defensively when he saw both Doug and Buck frowning at him. Bucky warned them with a semiserious frown that they were not to use the swim meet as their personal meat market, meaning that they were not to come on to contestants and reveal themselves as being gay. Evan couldn't resist moving his eyes to the side, they widened when he saw that Harm's legs were shaved, he assumed for additional speed in the competition, except his shave continued to his heavy nut sack and the base of his thick dangling cock, and that his remaining pubes were also close cropped and shaped. Evan looked up suddenly to catch Harm's eyes focused somewhere other than their feet as well.

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