It became apparent that Tony was going to be Tip's mentor, and Larry began to work with Ty. Ian and Tim would be spending a lot of time practicing baseball skills.
I went home to the farm as often as I could and Chip and Alex always went with me. Tony and Ian loved to go, as did Tip, Ty, and Mrs. Jackson. They always had a great time. It was on Tip's second visit that he came to me and asked how he would know if he was gay or not.
I looked at him and asked, "Tip, why are you asking me?"
He smirked and said, "Well, you and Chip sleep together in your apartment over the garage. What else would we think?"
"Tip, for your information, there has not been anything sexual between Chip and me. Additionally, I have never had sex with another male or female. I don't know whether or not I am gay. Chip and I have become very good friends; but he is not 18, so nothing can or will happen." I was about to turn and walk away.
Tip said, "Troy, please don't be angry with me, I just wrongly assumed that you and Chip were having an affair and I am jealous. I know, I have Tyler, but he doesn't have a gay bone in his body. I just know that I would rather see naked men more than naked women. I'm trying to figure out why."
I turned and pulled Tip close, "Tipper, you are only 15, and at that age, you are just making sure that your sexual apparatus is on track compared to your friends. Whether or not you are gay, it would be advisable to keep it under wraps until you graduate from high school. You would be isolated or worse if someone were to find out that you are gay."
Chip had been standing there listening unbeknownst to Tip and me. He finally interrupted and said, "Besides that, Tip, Troy is hands off to you. I saw him first. Now let's get our bags into the apartment. Tip, you will be sleeping in the apartment with us, so you can report to the world that there is nothing sexual going on. That will also make the sleeping arrangements easier. Grandma Maggie can have her own room and the other four guys can pair off however they want."
Everyone got settled into a bedroom and my mother had mixed up a container of homemade ice cream that had to be hand cranked. That was an eye-opening experience for the guys.
As we sat around on the porch eating ice cream and the cookies that Mother and Tina had made, Chip spoke up, "I don't think I will ever eat ice cream again. I didn't know it was such hard work to make ice cream. I probably burnt off all the calories I have eaten all week."
Everyone started to laugh. Tip said, "You probably used two weeks' worth of calories eating the three bowls of ice cream and dozen cookies."
Dad spoke up, "Guys, I would appreciate it if you could help me get the alfalfa in tomorrow. With all you strong-bodied men, it will take a lot less time. I mowed the fields earlier and the hay is dry. If someone can rake it, we can bale it and bring the bales into the barn. That way we can be done by two or three o'clock."
"Tony, why don't you do the raking as Dad bales? The rest of us will be working in the barn cleaning out the stalls and getting everything in order. After the raking and baling are done, Dad and Ian can drive the tractor and the rest of us can load the wagons. Then we can all work together to get the bales into the barn," I suggested.
The guys cleaned up the dessert dishes and went to get ready for bed. Ty wound up sleeping in the same room as Ian; Alex and Tony would share another room.
Tip, Chip, and I went to the apartment. I started to undress and said, "Guys, I'll take the first shower and you can fight over who goes next."
I undressed and put the dirty clothes in the hamper. I was totally naked when I went into the shower. I came out and drying my hair and said, "Next."
Chip shucked his clothes and walked into the bathroom. Tip was standing there taking everything in as I pulled on a pair of briefs. Chip came out drying his hair and said, "Okay Mr. Tipper, it's your turn."
"Guys, I can't do this. I have a little problem," Tip said with tears in his eyes.
Chip looked at him and said, "Tip, if Little Tip is having a hard time behaving, we won't think any less of you. Get yourself into the bathroom and take care of your problem like I did. It is amazing what a little hand action can do to make things better."
Tip undressed and did as he was told. When he came out he said, "Guys, I don't believe you two people. Neither of you have any modesty."
I looked at Tip. "You will find that I am a very modest person as is Chip. I also am not afraid of who I am. I have done nothing wrong and I plan to keep it that way. I have a loving family and they are the most important people in the world to me. Chip and I have become close but that is all. Now get your butt into bed. You guys thought that making ice cream was hard work. Tomorrow you will find out what hard work really is. I am betting that tomorrow night you will both be crawling into bed on your hands and knees."
We brushed our teeth, went to the bathroom, and then crawled into bed. I crawled in first and the other two crawled in on either side of me. I woke up about 2:30 and found Chip backed up against me on the front side and Tip was cuddled against my back. I extracted myself and went to the bathroom.
When I came back the two guys were cuddled together. I crawled in behind Tip and put my arms around both of them. When the alarm went off at 5:00 I quickly shut it off and got ready to do the milking. Chip crawled out and scowled at me, as we got dressed for the day. Tip looked at us and said, "You've got to be kidding. I'll be asleep before lunch."
The three of us went to the barn and Chip showed Tip how to feed the cows as I started to the milking process. The two guys came back to join me and Tony had already arrived. We had the chores done in half the time. My father came in and said, "Oh my goodness. This is like a production plant.
Why don't you guys take a shower and get into some respectable clothes while I go wake the others for breakfast and then we'll get into the fields?"
We all met at the house and the guys who we left asleep chewed us out. After breakfast, Dad said, "Tony let's go while the hired help cleans out the stalls. Troy, I need you to spread the manure in the back pasture. It needs some help."
Everyone went to work and we had everything done in no time. I taught the guys how to drive a tractor so they could drive while we were picking up the bales and loading them on the wagons. Tony and I pitched the bales onto the wagon while the guys stacked them. They all had their chance to drive and they were all elated at their accomplishment.
We had picked up the remaining bales while Dad and Ian had taken the wagons to the barn. When we finished the field, we went to the barn and started to stack the bales in the barn as Dad and Ian sent them up the elevator. It was just about 3:30 when we finally finished and Dad announced, "Okay everyone, let's go skinny dipping before the ladies get back from their shopping trip. Hop on the wagon and I'll drive us to the lake."
Much to everyone's surprise Dad shed all of his clothes and dove into the lake. I figured what the heck and did the same as did everyone else except for Tip. My Dad looked at Tip and said, "What are you waiting for, Tip. You don't have anything we haven't seen before; now get your butt in here."
Tip shed his clothes and dove in. Dad said, "Okay, we are going to see who the men are in this group. We're going to swim across the lake and back. The winner gets the night off."
We all started to swim across the small lake. When everyone got to the other side, we started to swim back to where we had started. I got out of the lake first. Dad was second. I hugged him and then we both hugged Tony when he got out. We were all in our natural state and watched the other guys, who were still in the lake. Finally, everyone got out except Tip.
Dad noticed. "Tip, its okay if you are a little excited. Get your butt out of the lake. We have to get back. The ladies are going to be home and someone needs to do the milking."
Tip climbed timidly out of the lake and Dad said, "That looks like it will make someone happy someday. Now everyone get your clothes on and we'll head back to the barn."
We did the milking and had a nice dinner. The guys just got ready for bed. They had never worked so hard in their short lives. Tony and I visited with my parents and Aunt Maggie, as she had grown to be called. Even Ian had excused himself. The only one of the guys who was still up was Alex and he and Tina were out on the porch. They came in and Tony and Alex went to bed. I excused myself and went to the apartment.
The two guys were already snoring. Chip had his arms around Tip. I took a shower and crawled into bed. As I did, the two guys separated and I wound up in the middle.
The next morning I extricated myself from the arms and legs and went to the bathroom before dressing and going downstairs to start the milking. Tony was already there, feeding the cows. Chip and Tip joined us shortly, followed by Ty, Ian, and Alex. When the milking was done and the stables cleaned, we went into the shower next to the barn and took a group shower. No one seemed to mind. Everyone took a towel and went to get dressed for breakfast and church.
When we arrived dressed, Mother said, "I am so glad to see so many handsome men ready to go to church. I guess you all can do the dishes while the rest of us peons get dressed."
We went to the church and after a late lunch at a local restaurant that had a smorgasbord, we started back to the Omaha area. The guys all hugged my parents especially Tip. He thanked them for being so wonderful and away we went. Ian and I dropped everyone off and then went back to the BOQ, deciding to have a light dinner together and make plans for the week.
I had just gotten into bed when the phone rang. I picked it up and it was Maggie. "Troy, I don't know what you and your family did to the guys. They seem so different. Thank you for whatever. I had a wonderful time. I think you and your family are wonderful. I can hardly wait to meet your brother and his wife and their two sons. I'll see you in the morning."
No sooner had I hung up than it rang again. "Hey Troy, thanks for the great weekend. I love you more than ever. Sleep tight. I will be lonely without your arms around me. Talk to you tomorrow," Chip said as he hung up.
I finally settled down and was just about asleep. The phone rang and I wondered who would be calling me at this hour.
"Troy, this is Tip. Ty and I want to thank you for treating us like we were the same as you. I know this is crass but we could never be as beautiful as you are on the inside and the outside especially a part of your anatomy between your legs. You and your father sure had some good genes. Poor Chip will probably be so sore that he won't be able to work for a week if and when you use that instrument. Ty wants to talk to you."
"Troy this is Ty. I don't know what you and Chip did to my brother. He is so wound up even though he can hardly move. He thinks you walk on water and I have almost decided that your entire family does. Sorry we called so late but we wanted to thank you for being our friend. Good night sir."
I hung up and wondered if I would ever get to sleep.
I must have fallen asleep. The next thing I remember was that the phone was ringing. I picked up, "Hey fat boy are we running this morning or are you too sore?"
"Chip, give me ten minutes and I'll be at the parade ground and we'll run for two miles," I said as I hung up.
Chip, Tim, and I had just begun when Tony, Ian, and Alex joined us. We had just finished the first lap when Tip and Ty pulled up on their bicycles. It wasn't long before Scott joined us. We all ran together and went back to our quarters to get ready for the day.
Work was going well. Maggie, Tony, and I worked as a well-oiled machine. The six guys were enjoying making money and really seemed to enjoy their jobs and newfound freedom. In the evening we worked primarily on tennis and football, but we also made time to work on basketball, baseball, swimming, and golf.
Some of us went home almost every weekend. We finally got to meet Betsy. Tony came to me one day and asked if I could get her a room at the base hotel. I did and Maggie had a small party that actually turned into a big deal because all of the gang was there as well as Colonel and Mrs. Allen.
Betsy was a delightful young woman. She not only had her head screwed on straight but she was extremely good looking and had a lively wit. She had the younger guys eating out of her hand. She, Lauren, and Patty took over the party and Grandma Maggie was restricted to being the "hostess with the mostest".
School was about to begin and tennis practice had started as had football practice. The guys were busy almost every night. Tim tried his hand at football but didn't really enjoy the contact, as he wasn't big enough to be competitive. He stuck it out, however. He was mostly there to cheer Tyler on.
Ty made the team as a wide receiver and safety. He was the only player who was scheduled to go both ways.
Chip, Scott, and Alex made the tennis team. Tim and Tip continued to work two hours a day and they continued to work with Ian and Tony on their sports.
Everything seemed to be going along fine; but that was about to change.
This is quite an interesting chapter, and it gives us more insight into the minds of the boys. We can begin to see that Tip and Ty are growing into fine young men as is Chip. They all love and respect Troy and he loves all of them. There is, of course, more to come.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher