Castle Roland

Who Is He

by Eric Aune


Chapter 19

Published: 8 Apr 14

Chris smiled as he woke up on the third day of the vacation, as he was cuddled comfortably in Travis' arms. He wanted to stay a little longer but nature was calling and he needed to get moving. He started to move away and felt Travis' arm tighten on his chest.

"Don't move yet," Travis whined from behind him.

"Okay, I won't, but I hope you're ready to go swimming, cuz that's what's gonna happen if you don't let me up," Chris teased him.

Travis reluctantly let him go, "Okay, okay. Shit, now I have to go too."

They both jumped up and went into the bathroom, not bothering to put anything on. They were completely used to sleeping and moving around the bedroom naked after spending the last couple of nights together. They didn't worry about Bryce coming in because he had done that the day before to prank them and when he pulled off the covers and yelled, he got an eyeful of the two boys naked and cuddled up together. His mouth dropped open, and he stood there for a few seconds, before covering his eyes and yelling as he ran from the room.

"Oh no, I'm scarred for life! I'll probably need years of therapy to get that image out of my head! I so did not want to see that!"

Chris and Travis were rolling on the bed laughing at Bryce. So they were pretty sure he wouldn't come barging in and do anything like that again. They took care of their morning business and got dressed for the day, rash guards and board shorts.

The three boys and Cheryl were going to start their surfing lessons this morning. The other kids were going to be playing in the sand and water at the resort's beach. Later on they were all going to go down into Hanalei for lunch, sightseeing and shopping before driving to the end of the road at Ke'e Beach and do some snorkeling.

They met everyone for breakfast and by nine am they were on the beach meeting with their instructor. He introduced himself as Rick. He started with them on the sand learning the proper stroke to get out to the waves, then to get up on their feet. They felt kind of foolish at first; because it looked goofy to them, but they were assured that this was the way to learn. After about an hour of going through the movements as he demonstrated them, helping them get their stances correct and showing them how to pop up on the board. He described how to go over the incoming waves and keep moving out. Finally he told them they were ready to give it a try.

He led them to the water's edge and got them into the water up to their waists before having them get on their boards and paddle out a little ways. He stayed behind and watched as they started out. Once he was sure they were paddling correctly, he got on his board and started after them, catching up quickly. He stayed among them encouraging them along. Once they were where he wanted them to be he had them gather near him and sit on their boards with their legs hanging in the water. He had them watch some of the other surfers as they set themselves up and then paddled forward to catch the waves. He then sent them forward to try to catch a wave one by one. Chris missed the wave, Travis and Bryce caught it for a few moments but fell off trying to get up.

The instructor motioned for them to come back out to where he was. Once they got back he sent them in again. This time they all caught it and but couldn't get their balance when they popped up, and fell off again. He continued having them come back out to him and try again. After a few more tries he had them watch him as he paddled forward and caught the wave, popped up and rode it in, before jumping off and motioning for them to join him.

They went one at a time and this time, they each were able to stand up for a short time before falling off. He gathered them back together with him in the waist deep water as he gave them some more pointers and then sent them out while he stayed behind and watched them come in. Every time one of them would come back in, he sent them back out, sometimes with some instruction to help them get their balance right and other times he just told them to keep doing what they were doing. By the end of the three hour lessons, they were all able to get up on the board and ride the waves straight in, at least for a little bit. He gathered them together on the beach.

"Good job, you guys are doing okay. Now all you have to do is just keep practicing and you'll get better. See you later. Go have some fun."

"Thanks, Rick," they said.

They continued surfing until it was about twelve thirty, when Michael motioned for them to come in. They returned their boards to the rental place and followed their families back up to the rooms, to clean up and change into dry board shorts and t shirts for the afternoon adventure.

They got into Hanalei about one thirty and grabbed some lunch at Bubba Burgers followed by some Shave Ice next door. They went to the Ching Young Shopping Village across the street and walked around the area for a little while to let the food settle and do a little shopping. They next drove down the road a short distance to Wai'oli Park and walked around looking at the old church and mission building.

Soon it was time to get back into the cars and head to Ke'e Beach at the end of the road. They passed through a couple of small towns on the way and finally pulled into the small parking lot. They grabbed the snorkeling gear and found a place to put their stuff on the beach before heading out to snorkel. Chris noticed his dad carrying a bag of frozen peas with him when they went into the water.

"What are the peas for Dad?" he asked.

His dad smiled, "I'll show you guys, c'mon. Let's get out there."

He led the way as they swam face down looking at all the coral, plants and fish that swam below them. The beach was protected from a line of reefs that were a couple of hundred yards from the beach. They could see the waves breaking way out there.

Michael led them to an area of the reef where it was only about 10' deep. He had the kids all crowd close to him and he opened the bag of frozen peas. He took a handful and threw it up in the air a couple of feet, letting it land in the water, and then he motioned for everyone to look down. They saw fish swimming from all around them to nibble at the peas as they floated down through the water. They were all grinning through their snorkels. After the fish finished with the handful of peas, everyone asked for a handful of the peas and the bag was soon emptied as they fed the fish and watched them darting around after the peas. After the peas were gone Michael told them that he had learned about using frozen peas to attract the fish from a friend of his. They continued snorkeling for another hour or so before heading back in to the beach to get something to drink and have a snack.

The boys went exploring and found the trail head for the Kalalau trail, which went for eleven miles down the Na Pali coast. They decided to go up the steep trail and soon found themselves looking down on Ke'e Beach and back along the coast. The water was so clear they could see the extent of the reef. There was a small clearing there and they sat down to enjoy the view, taking pictures and talking. After a few minutes they headed back since it was getting close to time for them to go back to the resort and they arrived back at the beach in time to help haul everything back to the cars. They showed some of the digital pictures that they had taken while on the trail to everyone. Plans were made to come back here later in the week and spend some more time, snorkeling and exploring around the area, including hiking along the trail for a couple of miles to see the view for themselves. They drove back to the resort and everyone got cleaned up and ready for dinner. They were having dinner on the terrace again, so that they could watch the sunset. When they got there they could see that several tables had been pulled together and there were several extra seats at the table.

"Mom, why do we have all those extra seats and tables?" Chris asked.

"Oh, we met some people earlier today and we became friends. They asked if they could join us for dinner so we said yes. We reserved them this morning while you guys were surfing. They should be there soon. They have a boy with them that is about your age, a girl who's a little bit older and another boy who's in college. They were pretty nice people so you all should like them," Heather said with a smile.

As he turned his attention back to Travis who was sitting next to him, he thought she seemed a little excited about something, but when he turned back to ask her about it, she had already turned to Michael and was talking. As he and Travis continued to talk, some people were led toward their table by the maƮtre de. There was one older couple and with them was an older teenager, behind them came a lady and her husband and their two kids a teenage boy and girl. The older couple stopped suddenly as they came within sight of the table.

"Oh god, I'd know him anywhere. He looks just like him," she exclaimed as she stood there staring at Chris

Puzzled Chris and Travis looked up and saw the older couple standing on the other side of the table staring at him. She was tightly clutching the arm of her husband as she stared at Chris. He started to get embarrassed at being stared at and turned to his mom, who had gotten up and walked over to the couple. She hugged them both and he could see that there were tears in his mom's eyes. His dad was right behind them and shook hands with older man and was hugged by the older woman. His mom had hooked her arm in the older ladies arm and walked her toward the table.

"Everyone, these are the people that I told you would be joining us this evening for dinner," she said by way of introduction.

There were greetings from the others at the table, but Chris was still puzzled by his mom's tears. He noticed that all of the adults in the new group of people, including the older teenager, had misty eyes as well. When he looked at the older teenager he felt a sense of familiarity and his heart started to beat a little faster. He had seen a similar face in pictures back home. He looked back at the older couple as his mom introduced them.

"Chris, these are your grandparents, Tom and Janelle Huntington. This is your uncle, Sean Huntington and this is your Aunt Desiree and her husband Ken and your cousins Jason and Elaine."

Chris was shocked at the revelation, but as he studied them he could now easily see the resemblance between them and the boy he had seen only in pictures. He had a tight grip on Travis' hand as he stood up, pulling Travis along behind him, until he was in front of his grandparents.

His grandmother couldn't hold back any longer and slowly put her arms around him and pulled him to her and hugged him tightly. His grandfather joined in the hug holding both his wife and his grandson. Travis stood back a step to give them a chance to be together. When they let go all of them had tears in their eyes.

Chris was quickly grabbed by Sean, followed by Desiree. He shook hands with Ken and his two cousins. After that the others got up and shook hands with everyone. Chris reached out for Travis' hand and pulled him to him. Travis reached around from behind and crossed his arms across Chris' chest as he hugged him back to his chest and watched as everyone greeted each other. As the others returned to their seats, the newcomers started finding seats. His grandparents stopped when they saw the way Travis and Chris were standing and raised their eyebrows. Chris reached up and took one of Travis' hands in his own and stepped forward.

"This is my boyfriend Travis," he said.

"Oh, yes it's, uh, very nice to meet you Travis. Do you mind if I sit with you Chris? I'd like to get to know you better," she asked him.

Chris nodded, "Sure."

He and Travis went back to their seats. His grandmother sat on his right side, while Travis sat at his left. His grandfather sat across from them. It wasn't long before she was asking Chris all about himself. He recounted for her his life, although he did leave out the kidnapping; as he didn't think it was something he wanted to talk with them about. They were only interrupted by the waiter taking their order, but other than that they continued to talk all through dinner. Travis occasionally added something to whatever story Chris was recounting, but Chris did most of the talking.

By the end of dinner Chris had plans to have breakfast with his grandparents. He had wanted to invite Travis along as well, but Travis urged him to go by himself because they hadn't seen him for such a long time. They all split up for the night and retired to their rooms. Chris told Travis to go ahead, because he wanted to talk to his parents for a minute. He followed them to their room and went inside. He hugged them both.

"How did you arrange it?" he asked.

"I told you I would see if I sould find them. I found an old letter that we had received from them several years ago and we were able to track them down. I talked to them on the phone a couple of weeks ago, and even though it was short notice, they were able to get a week off. So they are going to be joining us until we head to Oahu," Michael explained.

"Cool. Thanks Dad, thanks Mom," he said.

"It was so nice to see them again, Honey. We both used to spend a lot of time at their house."

"I'm having breakfast with them in the morning, so I'll see you later after that," he said.

"Good night, love you," they told him.

"Love you, too."

Chris hugged them once again and said good night to Tyler before he went to his room. When he got there he saw that Travis was sitting on the couch watching a movie. He looked around before he sat next to him.

"Where's Bryce?" he asked.

Travis motioned with his head toward the door, "He and Cheryl decided to take a little walk."

Chris smiled, "Good for him. I guess he needs to work on getting that image from the other morning out of his head."

They both busted up and when Bryce came in a little while later, they start laughing again.

"What? What?" Bryce looked down at his clothes and checked his zipper. This caused the other two to start laughing even louder.

"What!?" Bryce demanded.

They continued to giggle so Bryce jumped them and they ended up wrestling around a little before finally stopping.

"So spill, what's so funny?" Bryce asked.

"So did Cheryl help you get that image out of your head?" Travis asked.

"Wha…oh yeah," Bryce laughed, "Not yet, but we're working on it."

"I'm tired, you ready for bed Travis?" Chris asked.

"Oh no, that picture went right back in there. I'm going to need some more therapy from Cheryl," Bryce whined as he pretended to be shocked once again.

Travis punched him on the shoulder, "I agree, I think you need lots of therapy. Night Bryce."

"Night guys, don't do anything I wouldn't do," Bryce smirked at them, "Wait, that's all you do, something I wouldn't do."

"Fuck you," Chris retorted.

"No thank you. I love you guys, just not like that," they both laughed.

"See you in the morning," Bryce said.

"Yeah see you in the morning."

Chris and Travis went to their room and closed the door. From the other side of the door they heard Bryce yell.

"Keep it down in there too. I want to sleep and dream about Cheryl. I don't want to hear you guys and get that picture stuck in my head."

They laughed as they undressed and took turns in the bathroom. When Chris came out of the bathroom, Travis was laying down with his head propped up on his hand.

"Hey big boy, wanna fool around."

Chris didn't answer him he just got in bed and moved over until he was laying on top of Travis and smiling down at him.

"Remember we're not supposed to make any noise," Chris said.

"How do you propose to do that?"

Chris just smiled at him, "Like this."

Chris leaned down and starting kissing Travis. As he did, he started moving against Travis and both of them groaned into each other's mouths as they moved against each other. Once when they pulled back to take a breath, Chris let a loud moan out. The mood was almost broken when they heard Bryce yell from the living room.

"I heard that."

They both laughed out loud and both yelled back, "Sorry!"

They continued to chuckle a little as they gave each other little kisses. Soon they were kissing deeper and moving against each other once again, but this time they tried to keep the noise down. Soon they're explosive feelings rose as they moved faster against each other and at the peak; they were kissing so as to keep their moans muffled. Afterwards Chris stayed where he was as they caught their breath. They both got out of bed, cleaned up before getting back in bed, and they were soon asleep with smiles on their faces.

The next morning Chris gave Travis a kiss goodbye as he headed out the door for his breakfast date. He met his grandparents at the entrance to the dining room where they were waiting for him. She hugged Chris and they went inside for breakfast. They talked for a little bit about playing baseball and she told him about how much Jason liked playing as well. Toward the end of the breakfast Chris noticed her start to say something a couple of times but stop herself. Finally she looked at Tom before turning back to Chris.

"As I sit here, I can't believe how much you look like Jason. I can of course see your mother in you, but you have the same hair and eyes as he did, it's like going back to when he was your age," She said.

Chris nodded, "I know. I've looked through the pictures mom has of him."

"You and Travis, how long have you known each other?" she said a little hesitantly.

"He's been my next door neighbor about as long as I can remember. We've been friends all that time and we met Bryce when we started in kindergarten. Since then we've all been best friends," Chris explained.

"I see Bryce has his girlfriend with him, Cheryl is it?" she said.

"Yep, his parents helped arrange for her to go on vacation with us. They really like each other. They met earlier this year when we started school," he said.

"This, uh…thing with Travis being your boyfriend…"

Chris narrowed his eyes and frowned as his voice took on a flat tone, "What do you mean?"

"I mean, aren't you a little young to make such a choice. I mean, I've read that boys get crushes on other boys, especially someone who they feel close to already when they're your age…" she was saying.

Chris interrupted her, "Grandmother, there isn't a choice about it. It is who I am. I love Travis and he loves me."

She continued, "But how do you know you love him more than like a best friend, you're still young."

His grandfather noticed the look on Chris' face and tried to calm him down. "What I think your grandmother is trying to say, guys your age, with all the raging hormones may not be sure yet. Maybe if you went out with a girl you may feel different," he explained.

Chris shook his head, "I know I love him because when we're together I feel great and I know I can face anything if he is there beside me. It is not a choice, it is who we are. In fact, we did date some girls earlier this year, but it didn't feel right for either of us and it felt right when we were together. So we accept that this is who we are," he said as he sat back in his chair and looked at them defiantly.

His grandparents looked at each other and his grandpa did a little shrug and smiled at Chris to try to diffuse the scene, "I guess then if you are sure. There is nothing more that needs to be said about it. He seems to be a very nice boy, so your grandmother and I wish you all the luck together."

Chris relaxed and they finished breakfast. He had been worried for a little there, that he would lose his grandparents right when he was just getting to know them. He told them that he and his friends were going to go surfing in a little while and they decided to go to the beach and watch him. He hugged them goodbye and went back to his room to get Travis and Bryce and head to the beach. They were already dressed and waiting for him. Meeting up with the other families, they all made their way down to the beach. While Chris and his friends got their rental boards, Sean and Jason went over to start their surfing lesson. They waved as they walked by.

They got out there and after a shaky start as they tried to remember everything they had been taught the day before, they were soon doing a decent job of riding the boards in, with a few spills here and there. Chris had just paddled out and was looking over his shoulder watching the waves when he was interrupted by a familiar voice.

"So how are they breaking today?"

He turned to the voice and nearly fell off his board in shock as he saw his grandfather sitting on a surfboard a few feet away with a big smile on his face.

"Wha…I mean how…Uh, what are you doing out here? On a surfboard?" he stammered.

His grandfather laughed at the look on his face. "What do you think? Kid, I grew up in Huntington Beach in the 60's and 70's. I was surfing when I was younger than you. It's been awhile, but you just watch and I'll show you how it's done," he challenged them.

Chris could only stare with his mouth open as his grandfather watched the waves until he saw something he liked and quickly got down on the board and started paddling. In moments he was up and riding the wave in. Chris couldn't help himself.

"YEEEEAAAAHHHHH! GO GRANDPA!" he said while pumping his fist in the air.

His grandpa turned the board back over the wave as it got closer into shore and dropped into the water. Chris saw him get back on the board and paddle back out to Chris. When he got back, one of the local surfers gave Tom the shaka which he returned.

"Well, the old man's still got it, huh?" his grandfather said as he rejoined them.

Chris smiled, "You were great grandpa."

His grandfather pointed to the waves, "Okay, why don't you show me what you got."

Chris nodded to him. He started paddling and was soon up on the board riding it in until it got too shallow. He headed back out and saw that Travis and Bryce were out there with his grandfather. He saw him motion to the two other boys and they were soon up and riding the waves in.

"Nice job Chris. So far you're mostly just riding straight in. I want you to turn the board a bit and try and move along the wave. Watch me and then try to follow what I do. I won't do anything fancy."

Chris nodded as his grandfather headed in once again. Chris got the next wave and he was able to do what he had seen his grandfather do, for a little while, before he got off balance and fell off. His grandfather was waiting for them and they both headed back out and met up with Bryce, Cheryl and Travis. Tom gave all of them some more pointers and they spent the next couple of hours surfing together, until they started getting hungry. Sean and Jason had finished their morning lesson and were sitting with the rest of the families.

"Well, I see you haven't forgotten how to surf," Chris' grandmother said.

He smiled, "No, that was great. It's been so long I forgot how much I used to enjoy doing that. Too bad there's no surfing in New Mexico. I could get used to doing this again," he said.

"Why don't you boys go grab something to eat from the place over there? Here's some money," she said as she pulled money out of her purse.

"Thanks grandma," Chris said.

They went over to the snack shack to get some lunch and went back to where everyone else was sitting. They sat and talked with Jason and Sean while they ate. Anyone who saw Sean and Chris together might mistake them as brothers. There were a lot of similarities in their looks, their hair was the same but Sean had brown eyes instead of blue. Sean told them about playing baseball for the UNM in Albuquerque. He would have a BA in business and was going for his MBA after that. After lunch, they all headed back out to do some more surfing. After another hour or so, Tom decided to call it a day and went to rejoin his wife and watch.

The others continued surfing for another couple of hours until they got tired. After turning in the rental surfboards, they headed back to their rooms to clean up and to hang out for a little while before dinner. After dinner they returned to their room and soon most of the other younger members of the group ended up in the boy's room watching a Dodger game on the TV. They made some popcorn to snack on while they watched the game. The girls soon tired of the game and left to go hang out in one of the other rooms. That left only the guys, which included Tyler, who wanted to hang out with them while they watched the game and talked. There was a knock at the door and then it opened. It was Michael.

"Hey Ty, about time to get to bed," he said.

"Can I stay until the game is over?" Tyler asked while trying his puppy dog eyes look.

Michael glanced at the TV screen, "What inning is it?" he asked.

"Bottom of the Eighth," Bryce called out.

"Okay, but as soon as the game is over, come back to the room," Michael said.

"Kay, thanks Dad."

The game finished with the Dodgers on top. Tyler gave his brother a hug goodbye and went back to his parent's room. That was the signal for Sean and Jason to leave as well. They got up to leave and Jason stopped Sean at the door and said something to him. He nodded and left. Jason closed to door and came back to the room. Bryce was throwing the trash away.

Jason looked a bit nervous as he looked at Travis and Chris, "Can I ask you guys a question?" he said to the two of them.

They nodded, "Sure."

Jason hesitated a few moments, "When did you…know you were, uh, hom…gay?"

Chris answered right away, "I've known since I was twelve."

Travis added to that, "I think, I've kind of known for awhile now, but I didn't really accept it until a few months ago, when I realized how much I cared for Chris. I tried dating a girl, but I didn't feel the same way with her as I did with Chris. So I accepted it and here we are."

Jason nodded as he looked down at his hands. Bryce joined them and the three of them waited for Jason to continue.

"I think I might be gay," he said after a moment of silence.

"Okay, why do you think that?"

"Well, me and a friend have been kinda fooling around for a few months," he confessed.

"A lot of guys do that, it doesn't mean anything," Travis said.

"But, I liked it. Doesn't that mean I'm gay?" Jason asked.

Chris shrugged, "Maybe so, maybe not. It depends on the guy. Do you find girls attractive?" he asked him.

"I guess so, yeah, I like girls." Jason said with a shrug.

"Then maybe you're straight or maybe even bi. Anyway at our age, a strong wind turns us on. Even Bryce," he said as he tossed a pillow at Bryce.

Bryce protested as he tossed the pillow back at Chris, "Hey, especially Bryce. I don't get to spend the night with my girlfriend, like you two."

Jason had a surprised look on his face when he heard that, "You guys are in the same bed?"

Chris nodded, "Uh, yeah, but not like that. We're not ready to do some things, so we don't. We mostly just…."

"TMI. Lalalalalalalala."

Chris and Travis laughed at Bryce who had stuck his fingers in his ears and was making noise so he couldn't hear anything they might say. Jason was smiling at Bryce as well. When Jason stood up, the others did as well. He said goodbye to everyone and Chris walked him to the door.

"Jason, hey cuz, don't worry about whether you're gay or not. I personally don't think you are. A lot of guys fool around, most move on, some don't. Both Travis and I were worried about it too. We've been best friends for years. I knew how much I liked him, but I was afraid of how he'd think about it, especially when he was dating this girl at the beginning of the school year. We finally realized who we were and accepted it. We've been pretty much accepted at school. Anytime you want to talk, even after this vacation is over, you can call me."

Jason nodded his thanks, "Thanks Chris. See you in the morning."

They hugged goodbye once more and Jason went back to his room. He and Travis said goodnight to Bryce and went to their bedroom.

The next day was for sightseeing and shopping. After breakfast, they loaded into the cars and headed toward the southern side of the island. The first stop was Kilauea Lighthouse, and then they stopped at Kapa'a to shop for a little while, before continuing the journey. They drove along the edges of Lihue on their way to Old Koloa Town through the Tunnel of Trees. They eventually ended up down by Waimea at Fort Elizabeth which was an old Russian Fort built about 1815, when they tried to claim Kauai for Russia. Nearby was something the ladies were really interested in, a jewelry swap meet. They finally finished with their purchases and they headed up the road to Waimea Canyon. They reached the end of the road in Koke'e State Park, where they hiked around to look down into the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and Kalalau Valley. After a late lunch it was time for the long ride back to the hotel. When they got back, they quickly cleaned up for dinner, and then went back to their rooms to relax for the rest of the night.

It was about ten pm and Troy had just left the movie theatre, where he had been with some friends. A few cars back were Randy and Leo, driving in one of vans that Zebulon Marks owned. Earlier they had gone by Troy's house and got there in time to see him leave. They followed him to the mall where he met some friends and after getting a quick meal they went into the theatre to watch a movie. Randy and Leo had loitered around for awhile until the movie let out. They followed him, hoping that he was headed back home. They needed to get the information about where the family was and had decided that tonight was a good night for that. When he turned into his street, they pulled over a few houses down and turned off the lights to watch. Once he was inside the house, Randy nodded to Leo and they had barely opened the doors to get out when the doors were slammed back closed. They looked up and saw that they had company. It was the same Furginson kid that kept getting in the way, standing at the other door was another Furginson that they had seen around, but didn't know too well. The younger guy was on Leo's side and leaned against the door as he smiled at them.

"Evening, guys. What brings you out to this neck of the woods? Not planning any nefarious deeds are you?" he asked with a smirk.

"What business is it of yours Furginson?" Randy scowled at him.

"Well, normally, none; but there is no reason for you to be here, unless it is to make some mischief for our friends, or specifically the one who is here since the rest of the family is on vacation somewhere," he answered Randy.

"It's none of your business what we are doing here," Randy protested.

"Actually, I think it is, especially since I specifically asked you politely to leave anyone in these three families alone or Patrick and I will be very put out. We don't really want that aggravation, but it's up to you. So you can calmly drive away and stay out of the area, or you can possibly walk out of here after I put some big holes in your tires."

The kid held up a very large and sharp knife as he showed them a smile that didn't reach his eyes.

Randy's eyes narrowed in anger. He looked around and saw that there were a lot of lights showing from most of the houses and any noise made by a fight would bring attention to themselves that they did not want.

"Fuck you Furginson!" he growled.

"Yeah, Fuck off Furginson, you don't know what you're fucking with and you'll find out soon enough." Leo threatened.

Randy looked at Leo as soon as he said that, "Shut the fuck up, Leo," Randy yelled at him.

Randy started the van and burned rubber as he drove away. The two left behind, saw Randy's fist lash out and slam Leo's head back as he drove away. They watched the van drive off before they returned to their car, where a twenty something girl was leaning against the hood. She pushed off as they neared.

"Let's go Allison, we need to head back to Robert's and let him know what we found out. The idiot one of the two, Leo, let slip something that Randy seemed to be a little upset about and we want to let Robert know that something is going on like we suspected. Patrick, I'll see you later tonight some time," Jack said as he waved to Patrick.

"See you guys. Don't worry about Troy," Patrick assured him.

"Thanks, see ya."

He and Allison got in the car and drove off. Patrick quickly faded in the shadows.

From the Grayson house Troy stepped back from the window when the car turned around and drove off. He had come to the window when he heard the van peel out and drive off. He watched the two guys walk over to another car and talk to the girl. He noticed the glint of metal in the hand of one of the guys as he opened the passenger door and the girl went around to the driver's side. They drove off and the guy left behind, disappeared in the shadows down the street.

Later, in the study at the Furginson estate, Jack had just related what he learned from Leo's slip up. Robert nodded as he digested the information.

"I suspected something was going on. Friends told me that Marius had been in town visiting Zebulon a few times recently. It has probably not been a social call, since they are not old friends, allies many times, yes; but not friends. I think it's time to bring Eric further in on this. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Now if you will excuse me, I have some things to think about and plans to make."

They left the room. Then Jack went to his room, while Allison headed out for a few hours. Patrick settled himself down in the Hale backyard where he could easily see over the fence between the two houses for the rest of the evening.

In an alley several miles away, Randy dragged Leo out of the van then slammed him up against the alley wall with his arm across Leo's throat. His feet dangled a few inches off the ground.

"You stupid motherfucker! Do you always forget to engage your brain before you open your mouth, you dumb fuck? Next time we are around any of those Furginsons, keep your mouth shut, pretend you're mute or you don't understand English, but don't say a word, or next time I will let Zeb know how much of an idiot you are. If he knew that you had said anything like you did tonight, you'd be permanently taken care of. He'd probably chain you up and give you to Marius as a plaything."

Leo started to reply, "Sorry, Rand…"

His reply was choked off by a sudden increase in the pressure on his throat. Randy gritted his teeth as he leaned closer, "Not another fucking word from you."

He released him and stepped back. "In fact, get the fuck out of my sight moron. You can find your own way back. Make sure this is the last of your fuck ups, or I'll end you myself."

Randy got back into the van and drove off, leaving Leo behind rubbing his throat. When Randy was far enough away, Leo flipped him off and started the long walk back to the estate.

The families headed out from the hotel for a day of adventure. They planned Zip lining in the morning and mountain tubing in the afternoon.

They arrived at Kauai Backcountry Adventures by seven am. They met their guide, got their equipment and were soon loaded in the back of a couple of old Swedish military transport trucks and headed into the Kauai backcountry. After about a thirty minute drive they were at the first of seven ziplines that traversed a canyon. The first one was the scariest to some of them, as it crossed the canyon. Below, as they rode the zipline across, were trees and brush several hundred feet below them.

Some of the ladies were a bit worried about it, but when they saw how easy it was, they went along with it and had huge smiles on their faces as they came to the end of the zipline. The most excited one was Tyler who screamed in total enjoyment of the feeling of flying across the canyon. They were instructed to hold the carabiner instead of the strap that they hung from and Bryce forgot that part, so he ended up spinning all the way and came in backward, landing on his butt at the end of the line.

Between each zipline was a short hike to the start of the next line. For the next two hours they made their way down the canyon. When they finished all seven ziplines, most of them wanted to go back to the top and start over again because it was so much fun. They went to a nice area where they had some sandwiches and could go swimming. What was surprising was how cool the water was. It felt great, of course, since it was a pretty warm day. After they were done they got back in the transports to return to the headquarters.

They waited around for an hour for the next adventure they had planned that day which was mountain tubing. Again their guides met them and they took the transports into the backcountry once again.

For this adventure part of the equipment were helmets with lights attached. The guides explained that in mountain tubing you sat in these large inner tubes and you floated along in some of the old sugar plantation irrigation ditches that were a century old. At several points along the way, the hand dug ditches went underground and you needed the lights to see the way and the helmets protected your head. The trip was a long, slow, calm trip as they floated along; nothing but plants, trees, sugar cane, birds and no people anywhere to be seen. Before long they were at the end of the canals where they were picked up and brought back to the Backcountry Adventures HQ and ready to head back to the hotel.

The next day they spent time at the beach surfing and playing in the water. Later in the afternoon they went to Smith's Tropical Paradise for a luau. They arrived early enough to take a boat up the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto, made famous in Elvis Presley's film, Blue Hawaii. There were Hawaiian musicians who played music while the guests walked around the grotto. More music was played on the trip back to the dock.

Once there they walked over to where the luau was to be held. There was a large garden area where they could stroll around and look at the plants and birds in the garden. They had an Imu ceremony where they removed the pig from the underground cook pit (Imu) and brought it to the kitchen to prepare it for the guests. The feast featured pork, a few different kinds of fish, poi, mashed potatoes, veggies and plenty of it. It was all you can eat, so the boys went back to the tables a few times. There was entertainment during dinner by some of the members of the Smith family who owned a large chunk of the Wailua River valley.

Once everyone had eaten enough, they were shown to the amphitheater for the Aloha Show that evening. There were dancers from many of the Polynesian Islands, such as Samoa, Tahiti and of course Hawaii. They even had an erupting volcano as part of the show. By the time the show ended, Tyler and Jessie were asleep after a long day of adventure. Back at the hotel everyone only had enough energy to go to bed. Tomorrow was the last day on Kauai for everyone. Jason's family were flying back home, while the three families were heading to Oahu for a couple of days and then on to the Big Island.

At the airport the next day, Jason's family made sure the others had all their contact information, so they could keep in touch. They invited them to come out to New Mexico some time and they would show them around the northern part of the state near Santa Fe. Michael and Heather were glad to reconnect with people who they had been friends with years ago and looked forward to the trip to New Mexico.

The flight to Oahu did not take very long, so by lunch time they were in the shuttle on the way to the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach. Once they were checked in, the boys changed and rented some surfboards to try out the surfing at Waikiki beach. It was a lot more crowded than where they had learned in Hanalei Bay, so they had to be a bit more careful so that they didn't run into anyone. They met a couple of guys who were about their age, Eric and Matt. They liked to use the Hawaiian versions of their names, Elika and Makaio. They had grown up in Honolulu and went surfing as much as possible. Makaio was Hawaiian, while Elika was a haole as Makaio kept jokingly calling him.

Chris, Travis, Bryce and Cheryl hung out with them and tried to keep up with them surfing, but failed miserably. The two guys helped them on their surfing technique and they were able to pick up some of it, but it would be awhile before they would be able to get even half as good as the two of them were. When it got to be near time for dinner, they called it quits and after returning their surfboards to the rental place, they went with the two boys to grab a drink and snack from a snack shop near the beach.

They sat down on the grass in Fort DeRussey Beach Park and relaxed for a little while and talked. Matt sat against a tree and Eric lay down between his legs with his head resting against Matt's chest. As they talked, Chris noticed the closeness of the two boys and his thoughts about them were confirmed when Matt leaned down and kissed Eric. They didn't seem worried at all about what the others thought about them being gay.

"Does anyone give you guy's problems about being gay?" he asked.

"Nah bra, not too much. I mean there are always those who have a problem with it. But we're pretty open minded on the Islands. They've been trying to pass a law so that gays can get married and it's looking like its going to happen soon enough. So when Matt and I are old enough, after college that is, we can get married. That is if I can still stand this brudda that long." Eric said with a smile as he looked at his boyfriend.

"Stand me? I'm the one who's always hanging around a haole. My family may disown me if I married you. They'd probably prefer I find a nice Hawaiian boy rather than some haole like you," Matt protested.

"You lie, they love me more than you anyway."

"Yeah, I know. If they could trade me in for you, then they probably would. My dad likes you better because you can play the uke. At least I can dance a lot better than you."

"Hey, I dance good," Eric protested.

"Yeah, but I'm better."

They both laughed at each other before kissing again.

"That's pretty cool, that you don't have people causing you problems," Travis said.

Matt laughed, "No way, man. I've got some big brothers. When I say big, I mean big. When we came out a couple of years ago, if anyone gave us any hassles, my brothers got up close and personal with them and they didn't find anything wrong with our relationship after that."

"That's cool that you have the support. We're lucky we've had a lot of good friends for our support. We don't have any big brothers, well Travis does, and he's going to a cop, but we have good friends and any problems we've had have been handled," Chris said.

"Good I'm glad for you."

Matt looked at his watch, "Elika, we gotta jet."

Eric got up, "Kay. Well, see you guys. You gonna be here tomorrow?"

Chris shook his head, "No, we're going to be sightseeing around the island and then leave for the Big Island the day after."

"Cool, say hello to Pele for us." Matt said.

"Pele? That soccer guy?"

Eric and Matt started laughing. "No Pele, the Goddess of Fire. You're going to see Kilauea right? Well legends say that when Pele gets angry she makes the volcanoes erupt."

Chris nodded in understanding, "Oh. Uh, yeah sure, we'll say hello to Pele if we see her."

They walked with Eric and Matt to where they had their bikes parked. They watched the two guys attach their surfboards to the side racks on their bikes and climbed on. Everyone bumped fists.

"Aloha, have a safe trip," Matt said.

"Yeah Aloha, thanks," Travis answered.

"You say "Mahalo", that means thanks."

"Cool mahalo then."

As they pedaled away, Matt turned back and gave them the shaka. "Hang loose."

The four of them walked back to hotel and met everyone else for dinner before heading back to their room.

The next day, they did some of the touristy things, Pearl Harbor to see the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri, going out to the Punchbowl, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. They went to Iolani Palace and the military museum at Fort DeRussey. They had lunch and shopped at the International Market Place and finished out the day with a trip on the Atlantis Submarine trip, that dove over one hundred feet down to the coral reefs off Waikiki. They were amazed at the varieties of fish and coral that they saw. The younger members of the party thought that this was the best part of the day. It had been a long day. They packed up most of their stuff so as to be ready for the early flight to the Big Island the next day.

The next day they landed in Hilo where they would be staying and didn't have too much planned except going to the Macadamia nut factory nearby. Everyone left with an assortment of macadamia nuts of different kinds. The next day was a trip through Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

They spent the whole day driving around and looking at all the places that they could get to. All through the park they could see where past lava flows had blocked roads, requiring the state to rebuild or divert them. They drove down Chain of Craters Road to where it ended having been blocked in 1983, when Kilauea started its most recent eruption. Beyond that blockage you could see nothing but hardened lava flows stretching before you. They parked and hiked for a little while across the lava. Somewhere ahead was the two towns that had been completely destroyed by the lava from this eruption, Kalapana and Kaimu. They finished the day with a helicopter ride over the park to where they could see the eruption and lava flowing from Mount Kilauea's Pu'u O'o crater and emptying into the sea. Back at the hotel, they packed most of their stuff up for the plane trip home the next day. It had been a great vacation, but they were looking forward to getting back home.

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