Secrets: The Truth is Slowly Revealed

Chapter 40: Making New Friends

The next morning, my dad made a quick trip to pick up a couple of bags of ice and added it on top of the drinks in the cooler.  He then placed the meat and dishes my mom had prepared for the cookout on top of the ice and we were ready to go.   

Devin and I then placed our swimsuits and towels on top of the cooler and carried it out to our SUV.  As soon as my mom and dad were ready, we headed over to his co-worker’s house to spend the day. 

When we arrived, Devin and I carried the cooler as we made our way to their front door, and my dad’s co-worker and his entire family was there to greet us when they opened it.  After we set the cooler down inside the house, my dad began making the introductions. 

“Liam and family, this is my wife, Cindy, my son, Michael, whom you may hear us call Mickey, and his best friend, Devin, who will probably call Mickey Mac, due to our last name.  Liam, I’ll let you introduce your family.”

“You may all call me Liam, and this is my wife, Brenda, my older son, Rory, and my younger son, Jaxon.  I’ll let you boys share any other details you wish to discuss with each other.”

Devin and I were somewhat in awe.  The brothers were both quite handsome, as well as taller than us, even though they were younger.  Rory told us he was 6’ 1” tall (185 cm), while his younger brother stood an inch taller, at 6’ 2” (188 cm).  I didn’t have a problem with this, since I’m 5’ 11” (180 cm), but I think Devin was a little unnerved and intimidated, since he’s only 5’ 7” (170 cm).  He’s always been more than a little sensitive about his height, so I just hope this doesn’t affect his mood for the rest of the day. 

Once the introductions had been made, we all kind of split up into our own little groups.  Our parents sat down to chat for a while, in order to get to know one another better, while Rory and Jaxon offered to show us around the house.  

After leading us through the downstairs and pointing out everything of interest, they took us up to their rooms.  As we looked around each room, two things became abundantly clear – they were both into sports and it appeared as if they were also straight.  I say this because of the posters on display, as well as the many pages they had cut out of magazines and hung on their walls.   These items were either of their sports heroes, important plays from various sporting events, or lovely and well endowed girls.  Those items took up most of the space between the other sports paraphernalia and memorabilia they had acquired and were also on display. 

“Are you guys into sports?” Jaxon, the younger brother wanted to know. 

“We enjoy following the various college sports, but we aren’t on any of the teams.”

“Did you play any sports in high school?” he pressed.

“No, we were more into our studies.”

They then asked us about our majors in college and how we were doing so far, and we answered each of their questions.  At one point they seemed to fall quiet for a few seconds before Rory looked at us and studied our faces before he spoke. 

“I know we were told that you guys are best friends, but after seeing how you are with each other, I was beginning to wonder if it’s more than just best friends.  Are you boyfriends?”

Devin and I looked at each other briefly, unsure how to answer him.  We thought we could become friends with these two and didn’t want to ruin our chance on the first day we were together. 

“Hey, it’s ok if you are and it won’t bother us, but we were just curious,” Jaxon clarified.

I finally gathered up my courage and spoke.  “Yes, we’re boyfriends and we were also roommates in the dorm last year.  This year we’ll be living in a house near the campus that is owned by Devin’s family.”

“Cool!” Jaxon stated, and then they told us about how they were doing in high school.  Rory also told us which colleges he had applied to and what he was hoping to major in.  Jaxon said he still had time to think about those things, so he merely told us which subjects he liked and disliked instead. 

“My dad said your dad had told him that you two had been away on a trip, so where did you go?” Rory followed.

We then told them about the camping and canoeing trip we had supposedly been on and they seemed impressed.  They also wanted to know when we’d be leaving for college.

After we’d finished exchanging information about ourselves, they asked another question.  “Do you want to go for a swim before we eat?” 

“Do you think we’ll have time?”

“Let’s go down and ask.”

We then headed downstairs and quickly discovered my dad was helping their dad carry the meat outside and they were now placing it on the grill.  We also learned that my mom was inside helping their mom work on the other dishes

“Are we going to eat soon?” Rory asked his mom.  

“Yes, I was just about to call you boys to head outside so you could start filling your plates.”

That made up our minds about what we were going to do next, so we each grabbed a plate and began loading it up with what we wanted.  We were soon enjoying the hamburgers and hot dogs, along with the potato and macaroni salads and the creamy cole slaw with pineapple  bits that were there.  I was a little surprised when I saw their mom carry out another large bowl, but this one was filled with French fries. 

“I know this isn’t typical for a cookout, but my two insisted on having fries with the hamburgers and hot dogs,” she clarified when she saw the way Devin and I were staring at the bowl. 

“Hey, it’s not a problem, because we both like French fries with these things as well,” I replied. 

Even though Devin and I can pack away a lot of food, Rory and Jaxon made us look like amateurs.  I suppose some of it had to do with their larger size, but it made me wonder what they did for lunch at school.  I had a feeling a normal school meal wouldn’t fill them up, so maybe they ate two or three of those instead.

We were all fairly stuffed after we finished eating, so we agreed to wait for a bit before we did anything that required a lot of exertion, such as swimming.  In the interim, the brothers took us on a tour of the neighborhood and pointed out the houses where all of the cute girls lived.  They also told us which houses had gay sons, in case we were interested.  I thought it was nice that they’d done this and didn’t seem to care that Devin and I were a gay couple. 

“Bring your swimsuits upstairs,” Jaxon suggested when we got back to the house. 

“I’ll have to ask my parents where they put them, because we left them setting on top of the cooler when we arrived.”

As soon as my parents told us where our swimsuits and towels were, Devin and I retrieved them and followed the brothers upstairs.  Rory then explained what we were going to do next.

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, because I don’t have a problem that you guys are gay, but why don’t you two change in my room and I’ll change in the bathroom.”

“Yeah, that will be fine with us,” I answered, although his comment left me with a few doubts and questions.  

Once he left the room, I turned toward Devin and spoke.  “I’m glad he doesn’t have a problem with us being gay, but I have a feeling he was afraid one of us might hit on him.”

“Nah, he’s probably just shy about being naked in front of other guys.”

“That doesn’t seem likely if he plays sports, but I hope that’s all it is.”

After we changed, the brothers met us in the hallway and we made our way downstairs and headed outside to swim for a while.  We actually spent a couple of hours in the pool, and when we were done Devin and I followed the brothers up to Rory’s room to change back into our shorts and tee-shirts.   Once we were ready, we met them in the hallway again and asked what we were going to do next.

“Let’s go see if our parents are ready to play some games with us,” Rory suggested.

We headed outside and asked both sets of parents if they were interested in playing volleyball with us, since there was already a net set up in their large backyard.  It seemed that Rory and Jaxon had put it up so they could play volleyball with their friends when they came over to the house.  After talking it over for a short time, our parents finally agreed to play, and we decided the Fitzpatricks would play against our family, which now included Devin.   

The brothers and their parents whipped us easily, since they had a huge height advantage, and as soon as the game ended their mom scurried off and went into the house.  We weren’t sure why she did this, unless she needed to use the toilet, but when she returned she was carrying a tray with eight bowls containing strawberry shortcake.  We all went back to the picnic tables and sat down so we could enjoy the tasty dessert. 

As we were finishing up, I went over and whispered a question to my dad. 

“What are we going to do tomorrow?”

“I thought after lunch we could take you boys to play miniature golf and laser tag.  Some of the people I work with said it was something their kids enjoyed doing.”

“It sounds great, so would you mind if I asked the Fitzpatricks to join us and then we can play against their family, like we did when we played volleyball.  We might even stand a chance of beating them at those things.”

“Yes, it’s a great idea.”

I then invited the Fitzpatricks to go with us tomorrow and challenged their family to play against mine.  They liked the idea and quickly accepted our challenge, and then they made their own proposal. 

“And I have a suggestion for you,” Mr. Fitzpatrick offered.  “Since your dad brought chicken breast that he was marinating in a barbeque sauce and sausages, for sausages, peppers, and onions, we were planning to put those things on the grill and have them for supper.  We have plenty of hamburgers and hot dogs leftover, along with the other things we had earlier, so why don’t we just finish off the leftovers for supper instead?  That way we can have another cookout tomorrow afternoon before we go to do those other things and we can have the chicken breasts and sausages, peppers, and onions then.”

“Yeah, that sounds even better,” we agreed.  

We then chatted with both sets of parents until our dads decided to fire up the grill again and started preparing supper.  Sure, it’s kind of boring having lunch and supper that are exactly the same, so our moms helped to spice things up a little.  They heated up a can of chili so we could have chili dogs instead, and Mrs. Fitzpatrick made cheese fries this time and also offered each of us a small bowl of melon balls as well.  This meal was different enough that it didn’t seem as if we were eating the same things, and we all had a great time. 

When we finally decided it was time to go home, we said goodnight to the Fitzpatricks.

“We really appreciated the great food and wonderful time we had here today and we’ll see all of you again tomorrow,” I told them.  “But you’d better plan on losing this time.”

They all laughed and then the brothers said “we’ll see”.  Devin and I then went out to the SUV with my mom and dad and we headed back to the house.

My dad made a brief stop at the grocery store first, to pick up a few additional items before we went home.  Devin and I then spent the rest of the night with them as we talked about the day and how much we’d enjoyed spending time with the Fitzpatricks, and then my dad suggested we head to bed. 

“Liam said we should arrive around 11:00 tomorrow so we can grill the food and eat before we go to do those other things.  We decided to play miniature golf after we ate, and that way the food will have time to settle before we all start running around playing laser tag.”

“Ok, that sounds good,” Devin and I agreed.

After we went through our nightly rituals and were lying in bed together, Devin spoke.  “Rory and Jaxon seemed like really nice guys and didn’t appear to have a problem with us being gay, so I don’t think their reason for not wanting to change with us had anything to do with that.  I mean, Rory changed in the bathroom instead of in his brother’s room, so maybe they don’t even change in front of each other.”

“I never considered that, but you might be right.  Maybe they really are too shy to change in front of someone else, even their brother.  They probably didn’t even shower in the group showers with the other guys after practices or games either.”

“I hope that’s all it is.”

We then cuddled and fell asleep, and when we woke up in the morning we went downstairs to have breakfast with my parents.  After that, we loaded everything into the SUV to take with us again.  We weren’t sure if we should take our swimsuits with us this time, but we threw them in the SUV with the other things and started out.  Rory and Jaxon met us at the door when we arrived. 

“My dad is out scrubbing the grill, and my mom is in the kitchen,” Rory said. 

“I see you brought the cooler with you again,” Jaxon added.

“Would you boys take it out to the kitchen for me?” my mom asked.  “There are a few things in there that I’ll need to unload before you take it out to the patio.”

After we’d done that, we followed the brothers upstairs to Rory’s room where we could chat. 

“Did you bring your swimsuits with you?” Rory asked. 

“We weren’t sure if we’d be able to swim this time, but they’re in the SUV in case we needed them.”

“Good, because we want to come back here and swim after we do those other things.”

“Then I’m glad we brought them with us.”

We continued to chat until we were called down to eat, and in addition to barbeque chicken and the sausages, peppers, and onions, there was macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and corn on the cob.  Mrs. Fitzpatrick made French fries to go with the sausages, peppers, and onion, at her sons’ request, and once again everything was delicious. 

After we finished eating, the four of us helped to take the dirty dishes and leftovers inside, and then we got ready to go play miniature golf. 

“Dad, will you and Mom ride with Liam and Brenda so Rory and Jaxon can ride with us?”

My dad looked at Liam to see how he felt about this and Liam answered for both of them.

“Sure, let the boys ride together and they can follow us.”

As we were making our way to the first location, we also chatted.

“I’m glad we’re doing this together,” Jaxon said.  “We had a great time with you guys yesterday and today will be even better.”

“It will be for us too, because this time we’re going to beat your asses,” Devin responded. 

“In your dreams,” Rory countered. 

“I just hope you’re ready to lose,” I added. 

We arrived at an outdoor miniature golf course, and it proved to be an interesting and unique outing.  Our parents allowed Rory, Jaxon, Devin, and I to go first, and then they followed behind.  During one of the early holes, we had to putt around an artificial mountain that stood about four feet (1.2 m) high in order to get to the hole.  However, we also had the option of aiming our putts so the balls would travel down a mine shaft that went completely through the mountain.  It was a shorter route to get to the hole without going around the mountain.  That was fine, as long as you hit the ball firmly enough to go all the way to the other side, because if your ball got stuck in there you’d have to take a penalty stroke.  

Another hole was designed so we had to putt the golf balls so they’d go over a pass located between a pair of mountains.  The pass had a slight upward slope to it before it headed downward again at just past the midway point.  This meant you had to strike the ball firmly enough to get it over the hump or it would roll back toward you instead.   You didn’t want to hit it too hard, though, because when it reached the top it would go airborne and  then start bouncing, and it might bounce over the rail located about 3 feet (1 m) beyond the hole. 

As we were walking to the next hole, I made a comment.  “Ok, which one of you just farted?”

“I shouldn’t have eaten those damn baked beans,” Rory said shyly.  “It happens to me every time I eat beans.”

“Beans, beans the musical fruit,” Jaxon added in a sing-song voice, “makes you fart and really toot.”

“When I was younger,” Devin stated, “my mom always said the last part was ‘makes your pants go rooty toot toot’.”

“Yeah, there are different ways to say it, but it still means the same thing,” Jaxon countered.  “Besides, your mom didn’t want you running around saying ‘fart’ for the rest of the day.”

We all agreed that was probably true and then we moved to the next hole. 

It was one where you had to putt over a wooden bridge in order to get to the hole, and if you didn’t aim correctly the ball could hit the sides of the bridge and bounce back.  The other danger was missing the bridge completely on either side and then having your ball end up in the stream that ran beneath the bridge.  If that happened, you would have to take a penalty stroke.   

There was still another hole that ran next to a small pond that was fed by a miniature waterfall.  If your aim wasn’t true your ball could end up in the pond and cost you a penalty stroke as well. 

One of the most difficult holes was a really long fairway with a dogleg to the left.  If you aimed your shot correctly and hit the ball firmly enough it would follow along the curve in the masonry blocks that lined the outer edge of the dogleg.  If you didn’t aim correctly, the ball would bounce off the blocks and go in a totally different direction.  It might end up bouncing back in the direction it came from, or it could just bounce back and forth between the two sides and stop.  Beyond the curve where two mounds that looked like a typical speed bump, and you had to get over those as well.  It was a par 3, but with a high degree of difficulty.

Some of the other holes were just as interesting, although not as elaborate as the ones I just mentioned.  The entire course, though, had plenty of challenges and places where you might end up taking a penalty stroke.    

Each team kept a scorecard for the entire foursome, to make certain no mistakes were being made, and the lead kept changing between the two teams.  However, the last two holes did the brothers in, because Rory’s ball drifted off course and landed in the pond, costing him a penalty stroke.  And after that, Jaxon missed the curve on the dogleg and bounced back toward him, and that left him in a difficult position to make par.  Because of those mistakes, Devin and I ended up beating them by two strokes. 

“You guys were just lucky today,” Rory said after we tallied the scores. 

“No, we were good, not lucky,” I corrected him. 

“We’ll get you next time,” Jaxon added. 

“If there is a next time, we’ll just beat you again,” Devin followed. 

We waited until our parents had finished and caught up with us, and my dad asked a question as soon as he arrived.  “Did you boys enjoy this?” 

“Yes, it was a blast,” I confirmed. 

“And I’ve never played on a course like this one before,” Brenda added.  “It was really very interesting.”

“So, who won?” Jaxon wanted to know. 

“It was a tie,” his dad responded.  “Mike beat me by a stroke and your mother beat Cindy by a stroke.  How did you do?”

“We lost,” Jaxon replied in a weak voice. 

“Then we’ll have to beat them at laser tag,” his dad stated.  

“Yes, we will!” Jaxon agreed perking up again. 

We then loaded back into the SUVs so we could head to the next destination.  Once we reached that location, we discovered there was already a game going on and there were even more people waiting to play, so it meant we’d have to wait a while before it was our turn.  My dad and Liam put their heads together and whispered for a while, and then they went to speak with the person in charge of this place to see if they can arrange a private game for just the eight of us.

When they returned, Liam said the guy they’d spoken with agreed to their proposal, but there would be an additional fee to have a private game.  Our dads didn’t have a problem with that, but we would have to wait until the large group in front of us had played first.  During the time we were waiting, another employee came over and gave us a rundown on how laser tag worked.  Rory, Jaxon, Devin, and I had all played before, although not at this location, so after the attendant was done, we attempted to let our parents know what they should expect.  As soon as we finished, each family group met briefly to discuss their strategy. 

“I probably won’t do as well as the rest of you,” my mom said, “but I think your father and the two of you will do all right.  Just don’t be surprised or upset if I get knocked out of the game early.”

“We won’t,” my dad replied, “but don’t worry about it.  I’m sure Brenda probably feels the same way, so just do your best.”

When it was our turn, both families were taken inside and suited up for the game.  We each had to put on a laser tag vest and headband, and they all contained sensors to detect any hits, and then we were given a laser gun.  Our team got the blue gear, while the Fitzpatricks used the red gear, and then we started out on opposite sides of the indoor arena. 

We were told this would be a base-centric match, which meant we’d be defending our base while at the same time attacking the other team’s base.  It was kind of like a more modern and technologically advanced version of Capture the Flag.  After talking it over with my parents, they agreed to defend our base while Devin and I attacked the Fitzpatrick’s base.  This was fine with us, and a minute later the match began. 

Devin and I made our way dodging from obstacle to obstacle to keep hidden as much as possible as we made our way toward the target, but we did this on opposite sides of the course.  For that reason, I kept an eye on Devin so I’d know where he was at all times, because I didn’t want to accidentally hit him with one of my shots while aiming at one of the Fitzpatricks.  I also didn’t want to get too far ahead of him, because I thought we might be able to catch the other team in a crossfire before we attacked their base. 

It was during this time that I noticed something else was happening.  I know Devin isn’t very tall to begin with, but he seemed to be shrinking a bit and reducing his profile as a target.  I thought that was a good idea, so I started doing the same thing.  I just hoped my parents weren’t able to see what we were up to. 

It wasn’t long after doing this that I spotted the brothers making their way toward our base, but the tactic they were using was slightly different than ours.  They were staying together, although not right next to each other, but they were close enough that I could see both of them.  This meant we now had them outflanked and would be able to catch them in a crossfire, just as we hoped.  I wasn’t sure if Devin had noticed them as well, but that question was soon answered when he began firing at them. 

They quickly tried to take cover, but now their attention was focused entirely on Devin.  Unfortunately for them, their larger bodies weren’t as easy to conceal as ours, so I was able to move into a slightly more advantageous position and get a better line-of-sight to fire at them as well.  As soon as I began to blast away, they realized they were caught in a trap and attempted to retreat, but we got quite a few hits on them before they got away. 

We thought they would return to their base and help to protect it, but they must have just hidden somewhere between their base and where we’d ambushed them.  We knew this because they weren’t at their base when we attacked it, and we were able to score quite a few hits on their parents as well.  We found out later that the brothers had lain flat behind different obstacles and waited until they thought we had moved on, and then they attacked our base once they felt it was safe to do so.  The biggest difference was that by waiting they weren’t able to attack our base for as long as we were able to attack their base.  In the end, we scored many more hit points on their team than they had on ours, so we won this match as well.  After it was over, we all got together to chat, but by that time Devin and I had returned to our normal size. 

“We weren’t ready for your first attack,” Jaxon informed us.  “You really surprised us, since you weren’t together.”

“Yes, that put us in a big hole right from the start,” Rory agreed.  “When we played this before it was better to stick with your partner and protect each other.”

“It didn’t work this time, though, did it?” Devin shot back.

“We have to admit that they beat us fair and square,” their dad added. 

“Yeah, but they had a huge advantage, it was easier for them to hide and not be spotted than it was for us.”

“Then I guess that makes up for yesterday when your height gave you the advantage while we were playing volleyball.”

Touché,” Brenda chimed in. 

What none of them realized, was that we cheated a bit in order to win.

On the way back to their house, we got a chance to throw some shade at them for the beat down today, although it was all done in a friendly manner. 

“We’ll have to do this again sometime,” Jaxon added, “so we can have a chance to get even.”  

“Anytime,” Devin replied, “but we’ll just beat you again.

“Or maybe the four of us can play against four of your friends sometime,” I suggested. 

“Yeah, that would be awesome,” Jaxon agreed.

When we reached there house and as we were getting out of the SUV, Liam addressed us.  “We’ve got some leftovers again, so Mike and Cindy have agreed to stay and have supper with us.   Mike and I are going to run out and get some strip steaks to grill in order to make sure there’s enough food to go around.”

”Great!  Do we have time to go swimming first?” Rory asked.

“Yes, I suppose you do.  We’ll call you when the food is ready.”

“Grab your swimsuits and we’ll head up to my room,” he added, while directing his comment toward Devin and me. 

We did as he suggested and followed the brothers upstairs.  When Rory went into his room with us, we thought he just had to retrieve his swimsuit, but then Jaxon showed up carrying his swimsuit. 

“You’re really nice guys and my brother and I both like you,” Jaxon stated, “so we might as well all change in here this time.” 

Although we were surprised, we weren’t about to turn down a chance to see them both naked.  “Yeah, that’s fine,” I quickly agreed.

We weren’t disappointed either, because both brothers were well endowed, and they didn’t seem to be hiding the fact either.  Once we all had our swimsuits on, Rory spoke again. 

“Jaxon and I talked about doing it this way last night, because we didn’t want either of you to think we were afraid of changing in front of you because you were gay.”

“Yeah, we wondered about that,” Devin confirmed. 

“So, now you know, and I hope everything is cool.”

“Yeah, it is,” we agreed.

We then went outside and cooled off in the pool.  It felt really good after everything we’d done today and we were becoming closer with the brothers at the same time.  When we were called to eat, we did it in our swimsuits, rather than going to change first, and then we sat around and talked for a while. 

“I had a really good time today,” Brenda stated.

“I think we all did,” my mom followed. 

“Yes, we did,” the four of us confirmed. 

“We’ll have to do this again sometime, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait until next year, since Mickey and Devin will be leaving for college on Thursday,” my dad added.  “And the next time we do this, you’re all invited to our place.” 

“But we don’t have a pool,” I pointed out. 

“We can still have fun doing other things,” my dad countered.

“Or we can still have it here so the boys can swim,” Liam offered. 

“Are you sure you want to do that, Liam?”

“Yes, I think it would be best for the boys.”

“In that case, we’ll supply ALL of the food next time,” my dad stated. 

“That’s not necessary, because I think we all enjoy your company.  We can just do it the same as we did this weekend.”

“Ok, as long as you don’t mind.”

“And I’m really glad you both agreed to do those things with us again, because I had a blast,” I added. 

“That’s because you won,” Jaxon teased, “but I had a good time too.”

“Yes, I want to thank all of the parents for the great day,” Devin followed, “since it cost you a lot of money.” 

“We’re glad you enjoyed yourselves,” Brenda replied, “because I know my family did.  Whatever it cost, it was well worth it.”

When we finished eating, both mothers went into the house, and when they returned they were each carrying something.  My mom had a large platter with slices of watermelon on it, and Brenda was carrying a tray with dessert plates, and each plate had a quarter of a cantaloupe on it. 

“Mike and Cindy brought these things and there’s enough so you can all have both, if you want,” she said.  “They thought this would be a nice light dessert that would also taste great.”

“We agree,” the four of us chimed in. 

They then walked us out to our SUV to say goodbye, and then they waved at us as we drove away.  Shortly after that, Devin said something to my mom.

“You did way better than you thought you would when we played laser tag,”   

“Yes, she did,” my dad agreed, “and it looked as if she enjoyed it more than she thought she would.”

“Yes, I was pleasantly surprised by how well I did, and I had a good time as well.”

When we got back to the house, my dad said something else.  “We’ll be leaving in the morning, because we’re taking you boys on a short trip before you leave for college.  You’ll need to pack a suitcase with three extra sets of clothes, and one of them should be long pants and a polo shirt, because I’m not sure how dressed up we’ll have to be when we eat at some of the places.  After you finish doing that, then you’d better go right to bed.”

“Where are we going?” I asked. 

“I’ll tell you that in the morning, because I want to get plenty of sleep so I’m not tired while I’m driving.”

I knew that meant this discussion was over, so Devin and I headed up to my room.  When we got there, we packed our suitcase first, and then we speculated about where we might be going.  We didn’t do that for long, however, and soon gave up on trying to figure out my dad’s plans. 

Instead, we took turns making love to each other, and when we finished, we brushed our teeth, used the toilet, and took a shower before we went back to my room.  We then cuddled together and fell asleep, and I think we both dreamed about the wonderful day we had earlier, especially about seeing the brothers naked.