Dad called the contractor on Monday and explained the situation to him. The man said he could stop by that afternoon to measure the walls so he could see what materials he’d need and estimate how long the job would take. Dad told him that would be fine and he’d see him later.
The contractor and one of his employees showed up shortly after Dad had finished fixing the boys lunch, so he took the men upstairs and showed him what needed to be done. They measured both sides of each wall and did some quick calculations to determine the quantity of materials they would need.
“Ok, I now know how many of the natural cork wall panels I’ll need and how much glue will be required to fasten them to the walls. I should be able to get everything fairly easily, and I have an opening on Wednesday afternoon when we can do this, if that fits into your schedule.”
“Yes, that will be fine. How long will the job take?”
“We should be able to complete the project the same afternoon.”
“And how much do you estimate it will cost?”
The contractor did some more calculations and told Dad an amount. “That sounds reasonable, so let’s get this done.”
They shook hands and the men left, and then Dad told us about it after Brandon and I arrived home. “Damn, that sounds great and the price isn’t bad either.”
“I thought the same thing and I’ll pay half,” Dad offered. “I want to do it because I didn’t have the original crew insulate between the walls as I should have done when we converted the attic into more rooms, so I’m actually responsible for this problem.”
“That’s not necessary and we don’t hold you responsible. We can cover the cost without your help.”
“I’m sure you can, but I want to do this because the current problem only arose due to my error.”
“Ok, if you insist and we’ll help the boys move everything away from the walls tomorrow night. That way the contractor will be able to get to work without having to waste time moving furniture and other items.”
“Yes, I’m sure that will be a big help.”
We then went to tell Ryan, Noah, and Elliot about what we were going to have done, and we had to explain to Ryan and Elliot why this was necessary. “It seems that the noise from your sex-capades on Saturday night kept Noah awake, so we’re having cork panels put on both sides of the connecting walls to help deaden the sound.”
“Damn, I didn’t know we were being that loud,” Elliot responded.
“Me neither,” Ryan concurred.
“Actually, you two weren’t, but Owen and Ian are moaners, and quite loud ones at that, and your beds squeak,” Noah informed them.
“Then it’s a good thing we don’t have sex at Ian’s house,” Elliot replied.
“Especially if their walls are as thin as these,” Noah joked.
“Damn, I wonder if Owen’s parents were able to hear us when we were having sex.” Ryan wondered.
“Was their room close to the one you guys were in?” Noah asked.
“No, their rooms are at opposite ends of the hall.”
“Then they probably would’ve only heard you if they happened to be in the hallway at the time you were doing it,” Noah suggested.
“Then we should be ok. They have their own bathroom and the stairs are closer to their room than Owen’s, so they don’t usually have to go down to his end of the hallway.”
Now that these other concerns had been addressed, the boys agreed to do what we asked on the following day. They even offered to help each other move the bigger items, so Brandon and I wouldn’t have to do any of it after we got home from work. Another problem solved – at least we hoped so.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened during the rest of the night and we merely spent the time talking to Holly and the boys about their day before going up and reading the next chapter to them. After that we made our rounds and said goodnight to everyone, and when we went up to the third floor we ran into Noah as he was getting ready to head downstairs.
“What’s up?” I asked when I saw him.
“I’m just going to sleep in one of the other bedrooms tonight and tomorrow. I’ve already moved everything away from the walls, and I’ll go back there once the work is done and the cork is installed, but I don’t want to listen to those guys having sex.”
“That sounds reasonable, and it’s probably a smart move,” Brandon agreed. “Goodnight and pleasant dreams.”
Noah then continued going down to the second floor as we made our way up the stairs, and when we got to the top we knocked on Ryan’s door. Once we were told to come in, we thought we’d tell him and Owen about what Noah was doing, in case they were worried about bothering him again.
“He’s really going to do that?” Owen asked.
“Yes, he doesn’t want to stop you guys from having sex, but he doesn’t want you keeping him awake either.”
“Damn, I feel bad about that. I didn’t want to chase him out of his room,” Ryan followed.
“He’s not upset, and it’s not just because of the two of you either. Ian and Elliot will probably be having sex as well.”
“Yeah, but I still feel bad that he has to sleep somewhere else.”
“It’s only for two nights and then the cork panels will be installed. Once they’re in place, it will be a good test to see how it works when he returns to his room.”
“Should we try to be quieter on Wednesday?” Owen asked.
“No, just do what you normally do, and that way we’ll find out if we solved the problem.”
“What if it doesn’t work?” Ryan asked next.
“Then we’ll figure out something else, but I’m confident this will take care of the problem.”
After we said goodnight to both of them, we went over and had a similar conversation with Elliot and Ian. They felt just as badly, but they were glad we were going to do something to take care of the problem. They said they would most likely be having sex again when they came home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they didn’t want to be constantly bothering Noah, so doing this would help all of them. We agreed and then said goodnight to them before turning in as well.
Tuesday went about the same way, however when we read to the younger boys that evening we finished the last chapter of Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great.
“That wasn’t too bad,” Hunter stated when we were done.
“Yeah, what’s next?” Wyatt wanted to know.
“The next book is called Superfudge,” I replied.
“Oh, goody, we get to read about Fudge again,” Tristan blurted out.
We then said goodnight to each of them and made our rounds to do the same thing with the others. This was all becoming old hat, but I have to admit that it was still one of our favorite times of the day.
When we arrived home on Wednesday, Dad gave us the good news almost as soon as we walked through the door. “The contractor completed the work and I suggest you go up and check it out. I think it looks really good and he says it should solve the noise problem.”
Excited, we hurried up to the third floor and headed directly to Noah’s room. He had beaten us there and had left the door open while he was checking it out. He grinned as we entered and spoke. “It looks way better than I thought it was going to.”
“Yes, it’s actually quite attractive,” Brandon concurred after inspecting both walls.
“What did Ryan and Elliot think about it after they saw one of their walls looking like this?” I followed.
“I don’t know, because I haven’t talked to them yet.”
“Ok, that makes sense and we’ll check with them next. I’m glad you’re happy with it, because I was mostly concerned about what you thought, seeing you had it done to two of your walls.”
“I’m really happy with it, especially if it means I don’t have to listen to the moaning and squeaking beds.” He then laughed out loud.
“Yes, that’s the reason we had this done and I’m sure it will get its first test later tonight.”
We then walked over to Ryan’s room and knocked on his door. “So what do you think of it?”
“It looks good and it will make it easier for me to hang posters and put other things on it.”
“Yes, you’ll just need some push pins,” Brandon agreed.
“I’m pleased that you like it as well. Did you happen to talk to Elliot about this?”
“Yeah, and he says it looks decent too, and we’re both happy that we’ll still be able to have sex up here.”
“Yeah, victories for everyone,” I teased before we left his room.
Everyone seemed to be in a really good mood when we sat down for dinner later, but I became a little concerned when Tristan asked a question. “How come that guy was here and doin’ stuff up in Ryan, Noah, and Elliot’s rooms?”
“He was fixing a problem I accidentally created when I had the rooms built up there,” Dad answered for us.
“What kind of problem?”
“I didn’t have the walls insulated properly, so noise was able to travel from one room to the other.”
“Then how come it wasn’t a problem before?”
“Because for the past few days there have been more than one person in two of those rooms,” I explained. “When they were talking with each other, horsing around, or chatting on their phones then the others could hear it and it became a problem, so we had cork put on the walls to deaden the sound and keep that from happening.”
He seemed satisfied with my answer, and I was relieved that no one else questioned my response. I was afraid Benny or Joshie might ask if it also happened while they were having sex, but they were apparently smart enough not to say anything of that nature. Holly didn’t consider that possibility either, so it seemed as if we dodged another bullet.
The rest of the night was fairly quiet. After we finished reading the first chapter of Superfudge to the younger boys, we began our nightly rounds and headed up to check on our sons in the penthouse first.
“So Noah’s going to be in his room tonight and we can still have sex?” Ryan asked when we stopped in his room.
“Yes, it will be a good test to see if installing the cork panels solves the problem.”
“Are you sure you don’t want us to keep the noise down?” Owen followed.
“Yes, just be yourselves and do whatever you normally do. That’s the only way we’ll know if this does the trick and absorbs the noise.”
After we said goodnight to them, we went over to say goodnight to Noah. “I hope this works,” he said when we entered.
“We do too,” Brandon and I confirmed.
“And you can let us know how it went in the morning or after we get to the health center,” I added.
“Ok, but only if Holly isn’t around.”
“Of course, because I don’t want any of our uninvolved family members to know the real reason we had this done. Some things are better left unspoken.”
After we left his room, we went over to say goodnight to Elliot and Ian next. “So we don’t have to do anything different?” Elliot asked.
“No, and as I told Ryan, Owen, and Noah, this will be a good test to make sure we actually solved the problem.”
“Ok, if you say so.”
I was about ready to leave when Brandon asked a question. “Ian, not that it’s a problem for us, but what do your parents think about you staying here every night?”
“I’m sure they realize why I spend so much time here, but they’ve never said anything about it. I think they’re actually relieved that we do it here, rather than at our house.”
“Yes, I suppose your right about that. Even accepting parents prefer to remain ignorant about the sex lives of their gay children.”
“I don’t think my parents even want to accept the idea that we’re having sex, although they’ve never said anything like that to me.”
“You may be right about that too,” I conceded.
We then bid them both goodnight, and then we headed downstairs to say goodnight to the others. After we finished, we stopped to chat with Dad and the others before we turned in.
“So how are things on the third floor tonight?” Pop asked.
“It appears to be going well, but we’ll know better in the morning.”
“So you expect to know that soon?” Dion wondered.
“Yes, because I think the same things will be going on tonight that kept Noah awake on Saturday. I’m sure he’ll tell us tomorrow if the other boys bothered him again.”
“Then I hope this was worth the time, effort, and expense,” Dad concluded.
“Us too,” Brandon and I concurred.
“So have you thought about what you want to do with the kids this weekend?” Trey followed, so I went ahead and explained the idea that Brandon and I had come up with.
“There’s a place not far from here that has a go-kart track, and we thought that would be fun for everyone. It also has a four-wheeler course that travels over a fairly lengthy dirt trail, which I understand goes up hills and across valleys. I thought we could take the kids and do both of those things on Saturday.”
“I like the idea,” Trey agreed, “but I see a problem with it. The younger boys won’t be able to do either of those things due to their age and height.”
“Not by themselves, but they can ride with one of us and do some of the driving under our supervision. Hunter and Hayden can ride with Brandon and me, and one of you can take Wyatt.”
“Then you’d better do that,” Trey told Dion, “because you’re a better driver.”
“I can, if you want, but I’m sure he’d be fine with you as well.”
“I’d rather not tempt fate. That’s why I let you do most of the driving, especially when the kids are with us.”
“Ok, if you say so.”
“Is this Revin’s weekend to be here, or Tristan’s weekend to be with Becky?” Dad asked next.
“It’s Tristan’s weekend to stay with them, so I thought I’d call Becky and invite her to join us. If she agrees, Tristan can leave his things in the car while we’re doing those things and then we can drop the three of them off at their place afterward.”
“Works for me,” Dad agreed, and then we all headed to bed.
Noah didn’t say anything the following morning until we got to the health center, and then he waited until Holly left to go to the day care center first. As soon as she was out of earshot, he turned to me and spoke.
“It was a lot better last night. If I listened really hard I could tell they were having sex, but the good thing is that it wasn’t loud enough to really bother me and it probably wouldn’t have woke me up if I was asleep. I doubt I would have even known they were doing anything last night, but this time I was trying to see if I could hear them.”
“That’s good to know and I’m glad it worked.”
“Yeah, it did, and thanks for doing this to fix the problem.”
When we got home from work later, Brandon and I changed quickly, and then I called Becky to talk to her about our weekend plans. I told her what we were going to do, and then I offered her a couple of options.
“You can either go with us on Saturday and we can drop Tristan off with you when we’re done, or you can have Tristan stay over on Friday night instead. If you choose to do that, then we can stop to pick him up, as well as Revin too, on Saturday afternoon before we go to this place. It all boils down to if you want to do this with us.”
“I’m not really keen on driving the go-karts or four-wheelers, but I know Tristan and Revin would be very upset if they found out later that they’d missed out on doing it with everyone else. If you don’t mind, I’ll take Tristan home with us when I pick up Revin after work on Friday, and then you can stop for both boys on your way there on Saturday. I’ll give you some money to pay for Revin doing this with you.”
“That won’t be necessary and we’re happy to help out. I’ll let Dad and Tristan know that he’ll be going with you on Friday night then, and we’ll drop Revin off on the way back on Saturday.”
“As long as you’re taking them for that time, why don’t you let Tristan spend Saturday night with us as well?”
“That would be fine, and I’ll make sure he packs his things for church.”
As soon as I hung up, Brandon and I went downstairs, but before I had a chance to tell Dad and Tristan about what Becky and I had discussed, Dad announced that dinner was ready. We told the boys to wash up quickly and get to the table, and then we sat down to eat. When we finished, Brandon and I told Tristan that we wanted to speak with him, and then we had Dad join us so we could tell both of them at the same time.
“Am I in trouble?” Tristan asked once we were alone.
“No, I just wanted to let you know that there’s been a change in the plans for this weekend. We’ve got something special planned for Saturday, and since it will interfere with the time you spend with Revin and his mom, she’s agreed to take you home with them on Friday night instead. We’ll stop for you and Revin on Saturday afternoon so you can go with us, and once we’re done we’ll drop both of you off at their house again. His mom has agreed to have you stay over on Saturday night as well, so make sure you pack your clothes for church this time.”
“I’ll check to see that he has what he needs before he leaves,” Dad offered.
“Thanks that will be a big help, seeing she’ll be picking him up before we get home from work.”
“So that’s all you wanted to tell me?”
“Yes, it is, so now you can go join the others.”
As he raced off, we went to speak with Elliot and Ian next. They were hanging out in Elliot’s bedroom, but the door was open. We still knocked to get their attention, and then we filled them in about our plans for Saturday as well.
“We just wanted to let you know what we’ve planned for Saturday and see if you wanted to join us,” I began, and after I explained what we were going to do, I asked if they wanted to go with us.
“Hell, yes. That sounds like a lot of fun,” Ian answered first. “I wish my parents did neat things like that, but the most they do is go to the country club to swim, play tennis, golf, and eat and drink with their friends.”
“Everyone has their own tastes and interests,” Brandon offered.
“Yes, but sometimes I wish they were more like you guys. I would have missed out on doing all sorts of things if I hadn’t started hanging out with Elliot and spending time with the rest of you, and I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”
“We’ve been glad to have you do those things with us, and that goes for Saturday as well.”
Now that we’d cleared this up and they knew what was going to happen, Brandon and I went downstairs again. We spent some of the time talking with Dion, Trey, Dad and Pop about the logistics of Saturday’s venture and who would ride with whom, and before we’d worked out all of the details, Dad made an announcement.
“Jake and I have talked it over and we’re not going to go with you on Saturday, because it’s geared more to the younger crowd. We’ll just stay here and take care of Dobby and Flash, and we’ll also have dinner ready when you get back.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to go with us?” I asked, just to be sure.
“Yes, we’ve ridden on four-wheelers and go-karts before, and we’re not excited about doing it again,” Pop answered.
“Ok, then I’ll let Elliot know we’ll need him to drive.”
“Noah could do that as well,” Pop suggested.
“That’s true, but Elliot is a more experienced driver and I’d rather he did it, since a couple of the boys will have to ride with him and Ian.”
“Oh, ok. I didn’t think of that.”
As we were going to speak with Elliot next, Brandon made a comment. “I think they might be staying home to take advantage of having some quiet time alone.”
“Yes, I’m sure that’s true too.”
Elliot was happy to agree to drive, but he was less eager when I told him that Tristan and Revin would be riding with them. “Can’t we take Ryan or Noah instead?”
“No, I don’t want to split up Ryan and Owen, and I also don’t want to have Holly riding with just Noah, because that might exacerbate the hostile feelings between the two. For that reason I’ll take the four of them with me, and Dion and Trey will take Wyatt, Hayden, Hunter, Benny, and Joshie. That way they’ll have their two sons with them, and it just leaves Tristan and Revin to go with you.”
“Ok, I see what you’re doing, but I don’t want them making a mess in the backseat.”
“I’m sure they won’t, but if they do I’ll clean up after them. You can follow us and we’ll stop to get those two at Becky’s house, because Tristan will be spending Friday night there.”
“Alright, I’ll do what you want.”
Brandon and I then spent a little more time with everyone before we sent the younger boys upstairs to get ready for bed, and then we went up to read the next chapter to them. When we finished, we made our rounds and said goodnight to each one before turning in.
Tristan was already gone by the time we got home on Friday and it seemed strange that he wasn’t there, but I guess I was the only one who felt that way. The rest of the family went about the night as they normally would, and Wyatt, Hayden, and Hunter were more than happy to take care of Dobby and Flash without him.
Later, after we read to the boys and tucked them in, we forgot and stopped in Tristan’s room as we made our rounds. As soon as we realized our mistake we moved on to the next bedroom, but it was still strange to be doing this on Friday night instead of Saturday. I guess I’m just a creature of habit and a slave to a specific routine, one that I’d developed over time.
When Brandon and I slipped into bed later, I felt as if I’d forgotten something, even though I knew I hadn’t. It was tough trying to shake the feeling, and no matter how many times I told myself it wasn’t the case, I still had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I even woke up once in the middle of the night thinking something was amiss, but after I regained my senses a few seconds later and thought the situation through. That was when I realized I was merely mistaken and my mind was playing a trick on me. In the end I also concluded that it was possible that Brandon wasn’t the only protective parent in this family.