Before we knew it, it was time for the Olympic trials. We were all seated in a luxury touring bus headed to New York's horse country. We were scheduled to arrive at what we were assured was a very nice hotel on the outskirts of Schenectady where Terry and Billy had been for a few days already.
Billy had placed first in all his competitions so far and was expected to be asked to join the Olympic riding team if he did as well today and tomorrow morning. The Dads had been there for the last two days and Dad Noah had arranged that if it looked good, the rest of us would follow for the last day of competition tomorrow.
All the brothers, all the nephews and the spouses of the brothers were here, and Noah had booked rooms for us and sent the coach to pick us all up. When we arrived, we were checked in and then the luggage was taken to our rooms and once we had a chance to freshen up we were driven to the venue.
You could feel the tension in the air and soon we had found the section in the stands that had been reserved for us. The Dads were there with some of the uncles and Aunts and Helen was with them explaining what she knew from Terry about the various competition events and the riders and horses involved. Terry was with Billy.
Helen said that Billy had his hands filled trying to keep Terry calm, she was way more nervous than Billy, and she had been through this all before when she had had her chance years ago. There was a whole protocol involved with these competitions and we listened to Helen as she explained to our group what we could and shouldn’t do during and after each competition. There were only so many riders and horses allowed on the courses during each "match" and there were individual competitions for various age groups.
Billy was then 15 going on 16 and would be eligible to ride for the US team should he make it. You'll have to forgive me, but I wasn't too involved with this whole equestrian stuff. I mean as a family we loved our animals and we all enjoyed riding the trails and the little jumping competitions we had amongst ourselves, but this was Billy's sport and he loved the combination of the pageantry and the sport. He was as at home in the rink or jumping as he was on the high school's swimming team, and just as competitive.
Billy won each of his events today and barring any disasters tomorrow he would be offered a chance at a spot on the Olympic team. That night was a short one for him, after dinner, he excused himself from the small banquet room the dads had reserved for our dinner and he went up to his room to sleep.
We all stayed together for another hour or so before heading up to our rooms ourselves. The next morning we had reserved seating for the competitions again and Terry visited with us in between her duties as Billy's coach and her talks with others she had kept in touch with from her former competitive life.
Now she was an owner of the best equestrian center in all New England and she was not only revisiting old friends and pulling for Billy but hopefully drumming up more business for herself as well.
Billy took first place all around and in the dressage and jumping individually. We had a great celebration at dinner that night and he had been offered a chance to try out for the Olympic team but was assured he had a place on the team, barring any unforeseen disasters. Billy was beyond happy, and having his whole family all around him at this event meant the world to him.
He also fell in love, with a young man who hadn't had such a great time at the meet. His name was Walter and he had had a very privileged upbringing and had been training with a former Olympian that his parents had hired. He came in third in a few of his events, but you could tell his heart wasn't in the competitions. He was going through the motions until he met Billy who was only a year and a half younger than himself. Billy made sure that Walt met all of us and that he got to spend time with us all either at the venue or at our hotel where he and his trainer were also staying. His parents hadn't bothered to come to watch him. After he met Billy he was trying harder, but it wasn't enough, and he didn't really care, as long as he got to spend time with Billy. Walt was very smart and had graduated high school that June and he was planning to attend Amherst College in the fall which was just over the mountain from our town.
Terry liked Walt and therefore we all tried to get to know him as it was pretty obvious that Billy was attracted to Walt as much as Walt was smitten with him. The Dads had noticed this early on and they had taken Billy aside and had a father to son talk with him. They told him that they trusted him to behave as a gentleman and if he had any questions or felt uncomfortable with anything Walt suggested, to come to them or one of his brothers. Billy agreed, and told the dads that they hadn't done anything but held hands in private and shared a few kisses so far.
Neither one wanted to rush into anything heavy. They were planning on being together as a dating monogamous couple for quite a while; at least until they both graduated college which they could do together if Billy passed all his advanced classes during his senior year. With those under his belt and a few courses taken the summer before he entered college he would enter in the fall as a sophomore, the same year Walt would be in next fall. The Dads didn't try to discourage the relationship, they felt that would be counterproductive, plus they liked Walt and we all did too.
We didn't think we'd much like his parents, but he was a good guy who needed someone to care for, and someone to care about him. Before we all left that weekend, Terry had offered Walt a weekend job at the riding center which he accepted. She also offered to put him up until he could get registered and settled in a dorm on his campus. He jumped at the chance; he and Billy could spend almost 3 weeks visiting before they each had to start school.
Terry had the dubious honor of dealing with Walt's parents, but there wasn't any real impediment to Walt leaving for school early, in fact, Terry thought that his parents were relieved he was leaving so soon. They weren't thrilled he would be working weekends for Terry, but by the end of September he would be 18 and they wouldn't have much to say about his life after that.
His schooling was paid for by a trust set up for him by his grandmother and he had the income from that trust to live on which he could have anyway, even if he wasn't attending school.
His move was made without his parents, it seemed like they had washed their hands of him and he was now alone, but not for long.
As soon as he drove up to Terry and Helen's house he was greeted not only by them but by Emily, their teenaged daughter, and Billy, who was there to help Walt get moved in. Billy stayed there for dinner and then helped Walt set up his room the way he wanted it. The next day the two of them were up to the main house for dinner and Billy had taken Walt on a tour of the area before dinner. Walt was impressed by the town and all Billy had shown him of the town government complex and the other projects the Dads had been involved with. Their friendship grew over the three weeks as they spent the time getting full use of the exercise facility and the swim center.
Of course, they spent most of their waking hours at the riding school with Walt learning what was going to be expected of him and the horses he would be training. All the brothers had them over for dinner or lunch on several occasions and the dads had everyone over for cookouts on the weekends.
Billy was so mature for his age anyway, but seeing him around Walt was like seeing them as equals, which was just what they were working at, and succeeding.
When school started Walt had to spend his first semester living in a dorm, but that helped Billy get settled into his senior year and his taking all AP classes, so he could eventually skip his freshman year in college. Billy had his choice of schools he could attend, and he settled on Amherst, even though they didn't recognize equestrian as a sport.
He did go to the qualifying meets for the Olympic team and was chosen for one of the 30 spots.
He had extensive training with the team in the final stages, but he often hosted the team at the riding center and the enclosed rink at the Dad's barns.
Those weeks gave Walt a taste of what he had missed out on, but he was more than OK with that. He did everything he could do to make sure Billy was comfortable and at ease amongst these athletes, who were much older than Billy and more jaded in their life experience.
The Dads held many cookouts for the whole team and even made a sizable donation to the team, helping to defray the cost of maintaining the horses and their travel expenses.
Walt also made sure Billy had time for his studies, and if they were training away from home he made sure there was contact with home every day.
The Dads had explained that if there was one missed contact call or video conference call the dads would be pounding on their door, or if they were too far away to drive there, the local police would be called, and Billy would be pulled from the competition and dragged home.
Since the team was mostly comprised of riders from the eastern half of the states, a lot of their time was spent at Terry's training facility and some even trained in the enclosed rink on the Dads property. They had a built-in cheering squad in Billy's younger brothers and the cousins. A month before the team was to travel to the Olympic venue there was a terrible accident at Terry's training facility.
The rider was Billy and his horse was Baby. Baby's front hooves hit the top rail on a jump and it splintered and a shard pierced Baby's heart. She died instantly and collapsed on top of Billy, crushing his hips and legs beneath her. The trainer for the team immediately hit the panic button which summoned the emergency squad. He then ran out to help remove the horse from on top of Billy who was unconscious at that point. Terry called Noah right away as a sling was used to raise Baby's dead body off of Billy. As Noah ran through the woods he called Chris.
Chris arrived as the paramedics did and together they got Billy on a stretcher and with Chris in the back with Billy they took off for the medical center in Springfield.
As Noah rushed home to get his car and go to the hospital he grabbed Walt who was standing rinkside in shock and held him for a few moments and encouraged him to pull himself together and go with him to see how bad Billy's injuries were. The two of them left in a rush and got to Noah's car and they then went to the hospital. By the time they had arrived, Billy was being prepped for surgery and Chris was preparing to gown out to perform most of the procedure on Billy's fractured pelvis. He was relaying his orders to his surgical staff and the duty nurse, so she could keep Noah and Walt informed about what was going on in the operating room. After the pelvis was realigned and set with plates holding the breaks in place, Chris and his staff started on the legs. There were two breaks in the left leg, and the kneecap on the right was shattered. After the left leg was set they started on the right knee. They quickly consulted, and the decision was made to replace the whole kneecap. The original one was too damaged, and they took one off a knee implant and secured that in place, attaching tendons and sinew to it. It might take longer to heal this way, but the actual joint was in good shape and they felt that as much natural knee as they could salvage would, in the long run, be better for Billy's overall recovery.
Outside in the waiting room, the duty nurse was relaying all this to Noah and Walt as she heard each decision from the operating room through the two-way mic at her station just outside the waiting room.
Walt tried to hold it all together but there were times Noah had to hold him close and assure him that Billy was in the best care possible and that he himself had benefited from Chris's skills as a surgeon.
Two and a half hours later Billy was wheeled into a recovery room and Noah and Walt were allowed to sit by his bedside until Billy awoke.
Chris had joined them after he had a chance to clean up and redress in his street clothes. He assured them that Billy was going to be fine, but there would be no riding for about a year and he would be using a wheelchair for at least the next few months and needing personal care for quite a while. Chris was already looking for a "live in" caregiver for Billy and Walt was saying he would do it. Chris and Noah tried to tell him that they wouldn't hear of it, Walt was in his first year of college and it was important to keep his studies up so both of them could still be together in the fall when Billy started college. There were only a few months left in their school year, and Billy would have tutors to help him achieve his goal of graduating high school as a freshman in college, ready for his sophomore year. They assured Walt that he could spend as much time with Billy as he could, but their studies came first.
Billy came around and was in some discomfort, so he was administered some painkillers and was made comfortable before he was moved to a private room.
Once settled in, the Dads explained what had happened and that Baby was dead, and they would have her buried on their land, somewhere near the barns. Chris explained the injuries he had suffered and what had been accomplished during surgery.
Billy asked how long the legs and hip would take to heal and when told it could take up to a year he understandably broke down. His tears were for the loss of the horse he had spent his life riding and for their chance to be in the Olympics.
The others reasoned with him and eventually, he had himself under control and could look at the whole picture.
He asked if he would be able to finish school and the dads assured him they would get him as many tutors as he needed to graduate with his class, even if it meant he was still in a wheelchair when he did it.
Walt restated his willingness to help in any way that was needed, and the dads restated that both their schooling came first, and that help would be found to care for Billy at home, but of course, Walt was welcome at any time of the day or night, as long as he kept his grades up. They reminded the guys that it would be Summer break time soon and the intensive studying they had ahead of them was coming up with Billy's finals and Walt’s semester finals both coming up.
Terry came to the hospital and explained that the inspectors had gone over the jump and the poles used to create it. They'd also fully examined the broken pole that had led to Baby's death.
Their conclusion was that the pole had been possibly cracked before Baby's hoof had nicked the top half of it, causing it to splinter and a piece of that had entered her body, piercing her heart.
There was no clear explanation, but from now on she was banning the use of the pole jumps and was replacing them with artificial boxwoods that looked like privet hedges.
Needless to say, once Billy came home 10 days later he had a lot of attention paid to him.
His four younger brothers were constantly around him when they were home and often Walt competed with them for his attention.
Evan and Chuck had moved up to the third floor before Billy had been brought home and the bedroom off the kitchen hallway had been converted into his bedroom and a door had been put into the wall that abutted the hall bathroom, so he'd have total privacy. A study area had been created and there was now much more floor space which was good, because Billy was confined, in his awake hours, to the good old motorized wheelchair that had been handed down to him. He had tutors coming two days a week, two each day, and he was keeping up with his class work and he aced his first set of monthly tests.
He had many visitors the first few weeks he was home. The members of the equestrian team were constantly in and out the first few weeks until they had to go into training at the Olympic venue.
There had been some coverage in the press about Billy's accident and that it had knocked him off the team, and then one of the reporters had realized that Billy and Frank were brothers and there was another round of interviews for them to get through.
Walt had wanted to move in with Billy, but the reality was that Billy had a waist to calf cast on his left side and a very large cushioned bandage on his right knee. They were realistic enough to realize that it would be uncomfortable for both of them to try to share a bed at this stage.
On the days there were no tutors coming over, there was a small team of therapists coming from the rehabilitation section of Joe's fitness center. There wasn’t much they could do right off, but eventually, the cast size would be reduced and then they would get more flexibility out of Billy's leg and thigh muscles. After a week of being confined to his room, he was able to maneuver around the first floor and he was able to take his meals with the family, of course, this included Walt too and everyone got to know him even better during this time.
May came and the studying intensified for both young men and soon Billy was preparing for his final exams. The tutors were reviewing his class work and friends were coming by on weekdays after school and a few took turns even on the final weekend before the tests were to be given. Walt was over almost every night. Each one of them would study their own coursework and they worked diligently together on the courses they shared. Billy's exams started a day before Walt’s and his were two a day with a tutor acting as a proctor for each one.
Walt had one the second day and two on each of the following two days. By the end of the week, both guys were knackered.
Noah, coming up from the exercise room in the basement, looked in Billy's open door and saw them both stretched out on opposite sides of the big bed, both softly snoring. He pulled the door shut and made note of the time, so he could call down there in an hour to make sure they were up for dinner time.
A week after Billy's finals had been turned in he received word that not only had he passed all his AP classes, he had the highest grade point average of his class and would be class valedictorian.
The mood around the house that night was exuberant and the only downside to all this was that Billy would have to roll across the stage instead of walking across.
The next day Walt received his grades in the mail and he had maintained his 4.0 grade average for the year and had progressed to his sophomore year where he and Billy would both be in the fall semester at Amherst College.
Billy had only two classes to take in the summer and they were both classes he had already prepared for and he'd be able to take them online at home.
In July, Walt was working at Terry's riding center training horses and teaching a beginners riding class four days a week and Billy was taking his online classes to complete the freshman class requirements, so he would be accepted as an incoming sophomore for the fall semester.
The pictures from his high school graduation showed him in his Dad's former wheelchair with his classmates surrounding him, all of them in their caps and gowns, diplomas in hand. The speech he made was a heartfelt tribute to his Dads, who had done so much for his brothers, himself, and the town.
He gave out a plea to anyone in the audience who had love to give and a home to share to follow his parents lead in providing good safe loving homes to those who needed them, regardless of their ages or financial abilities, there was help out there for those who needed it.
No mention was made of his lost opportunity until he came to the end of his speech when he said that when God closed one window, he usually found a way for another to be opened and opportunity to arrive in a different package, and he was waiting to see which opportunities there were out there for him now. He received a standing ovation for his talk and the party after at the pool house was just as his brothers had been.
A lot of family and friends enjoying one of the last times they would have together before more adult responsibilities would rule their lives.
The young ones all had to have a spin with Billy in the motorized wheelchair and he had as much fun giving them rides as they had sitting on his lap.
The day after graduation Dad Chris had a surprise for him. Before leaving for his office he requested that Billy be prepared for a little trip early in the afternoon. The nurse assured him he'd have him ready at 12:30.
Noah had acquired a small handicap van and he helped to settle in Billy with Walt's help and they motored the short distance to Chris's office. Once inside and the greetings with Beth had been made Walt escorted Billy upstairs in the elevator to the X-ray department where Harry helped Billy onto his x-ray table and positioned him in several positions and snapped away. After Chris and Harry had a chance to review the images they agreed that the pelvic cast could be done away with and a smaller cast on the leg would be its replacement. The padded bandages would be replaced with a compression bandage on the right knee. A pair of compression shorts replaced his hip and pelvic area cast.
The trainers had him up and about that same afternoon. He was restricted to his room and the hallway for the first week.
There were several of us brothers there to witness his first attempts on the crutches and we tried to be supportive and encouraging.
Later he told me that Walt gave him a sponge bath after and they had a great time. Walt used lotion on the parts that had been encased in the big cast until that afternoon. He didn't go into great detail, but I could imagine just how good a massage Walt gave him because that night they slept together for the first time.
The rest of the summer found them together as much as they could, what with Billy's online classes and Walt's training sessions.
They were pleased that Billy passed his two courses and they spent the rest of August, until school started, making careful love and reveling in each other's company. They spent a lot of time talking with Dad Noah and Chris when he wasn't working and the guys all bonded. Billy had always been interested in the business Dad Noah owned, working all the aspects of real estate, while Walt seemed to be more interested in Dad Chris's medical practice.
It came as no surprise when they announced that Walt would be switching from business to medical management and Billy would be majoring in Business Administration. Walt wanted to become a hospital administrator and Billy wanted someday to manage Dad Noah's business.
For Christmas that year the Dads gave Billy and Walt the use of the basement apartment and the guys moved in that same night. The dads had furnished the place and had it freshened up some before giving it to them and the guys couldn't have been happier.
By then Billy's casts and bandages had been removed and he swore he could tell when it was going to rain or snow before even the weather forecasters could. He still used an elastic knee brace every so often, but there was a great improvement and he was back to being the athletic young man he had always been.
When swimming he used the compression shorts as his swimsuit and he reported Walt really liked that, he liked peeling them off Billy and of course that led to other things he liked, Billy too. They made it a point to swim either before or after dinner every night. It was a great exercise for Billy and Walt. They kept their grades up and by the time they graduated from college, Walt had been accepted at Tufts medical school and entered into their program in Springfield at the medical center where Chris often operated.
By this time Billy had been working with Noah and Fred at the company's office every chance he had, and Walt had been hanging with Aunt Beth learning the office management aspect of the practice. He had hopes of opening a pediatric practice himself and getting some years under his belt before trying his hand at administration at a larger facility if that was what he wanted to do at the time. For right now he had a desire to help keep kids healthy, and make sick children healthy. He was the nester of the two and he did everything he could to make Billy comfortable and happy. He knew the coming few years would be tough on both of them, with Billy starting his career and Walt going on for his residency at the medical center, but they were determined to make the next couple of years the fullest they could.
The dads gave them two acres to build their future house on. Though neither was in a great hurry, they liked having their own space in the main house and they knew it would be a few years before they even thought about building their house. The years seemed to fly when we stopped to think about it, but I'm sure that the years it took for Walt to complete his residency were like eons to those two.
Chris had bought out the doctor at the other end of his first floor and for graduation from medical school, the family presented him with the office space to build his own practice in. He had three exam rooms and a space that could be used as a play area for his patients or their siblings, an office for his nurse and office staff, a file room, and his own office. In a month he was well rested, and the office had been repainted and thoroughly cleaned and outfitted for his young patients.
Billy helped set everything up for him and together they created a bright and inviting space for the youngsters to be seen and treated in. The youngest brothers, now close to being teens, were consulted on the decor and gladly gave their advice through the whole process.
The weekend after his office opening the couple was married in the chapel by Fr. Peter. The wedding was beautifully done, with Linda and Sean singing for them and the guys had chosen the four youngest brothers to stand up for them.
Zach, Ross, Graham, and Sam looked like the young men they were in their matching suits and ties, looking so grown up. It was a festive afternoon reception held in a pavilion tent set up near the pool house. There was dancing and singing and visiting going on till the late hours of the evening.
Noticeably missing were Walt's parents who were off on a cruise even though they had been informed of the date back in December. They had never shown up for either of his graduations and he felt it was because of their homophobia. He decided to just write them off from then on. He'd given them several years to show even the slightest interest in his life and to express some support for him but to no avail.
On the other hand, Billy's family had accepted him from day one and they acted like the family he had never had. In addition to the office space, the Dads had given Walt a gift of $50,000.00 to augment the balance of his trust from his grandmother who had died back when he was in high school. He often said that she was the one person from his family who had loved him. He used these funds to buy advertising and in outfitting the practice.
Chris and the OBGYN had sent him several referrals and his first week was a busy one for him. The wedding was the perfect way to top off the happiest week of his life so far.
At the head table, the Dads presented the newlyweds with another check, this time telling them to take the hint and build their house!
The guys were surprised and very thankful. Billy said they had thought they'd have to wait a few more years before starting to build.
Dad Noah asked him what he was talking about, he had plenty of money. Billy joked and said, "On what you pay me? No way! What money are you talking about?"
Chris and Noah looked confused and told the guys to go over and talk to Uncle Sean and Uncle Bill; they were over at a table with their wives and others from the financial office.
Billy approached his uncles and asked if they could talk for a moment, and the uncles hopped up and led the young men off to the side, so they could talk in private. As they walked Uncle Bill pulled some paperwork from his suit coat pocket and when they all sat at an empty table he placed the papers in front of Billy. He said, "I'm sorry you had to come find us, but I saw you talking to Noah and Chris and I regret not finding the time to go over these with you before those two got a hold of you."
Sean spoke up and said, "It's really my fault, the other night at your rehearsal dinner I got the idea you were not aware of your financial status and I asked your dads that night if they had ever talked to you about it. They said it had been many years, but they thought you knew what you had to.
I checked our records and I realized that after you turned 18 your financial statements were still being filed with your dads' and not separately as they should in your own file with the monthly statements sent directly to you. I apologize for this error and we have the most recent statements here for you now. He then unfolded the papers and turned them to face Billy.
He was shocked. His Dads had never touched any of the money he had received from the sale of his mother's property, in fact, they had added to it by hundreds of thousands every year. He knew his older brothers were all wealthy, but he had never thought of the money after the dads explained he had enough to do whatever he wanted. That was when he was thinking of taking all AP classes and he had had a riding competition coming up and he hadn't really grasped what the Dads were saying. When they told him that HE had enough money to do what he wanted, he thought they meant they had the resources to enable him to do what he wanted. After all, he knew they were wealthy. The Uncles were showing him that he was worth over 4 million! It was a lot to take in and he was slowly processing this when he felt Walt stiffen up beside him.
He turned and embraced his new spouse and whispered into his ear, "We're rich babe; we can build tomorrow if we wanted to"
Walt looked at him and told him that was his money.
Billy reasoned with him and told him that they were married now, and what was his was now theirs, forever, just as they had just said in their vows.
The Uncles shook their hands and congratulated them on their good fortune, and their marriage, and left to go sit with their wives again.
The newlyweds held on to each other and slowly started to sway with the music, standing in place.
The Dads went waltzing past and asked if everything was alright.
They both said yes, everything was alright. Even before going to bed that night they had decided a few things. One; they would go and pick out the house plan they both liked at Uncle David's on Monday, and Two; they would both submit sperm to two different surrogates, so they could begin their family.
They also planned on taking Aunt Helen's class to become certified to foster about the time the babies were born.
Through Walt's contacts at the medical center in Springfield, they found the right surrogates for them.
They requested complete anonymity, everything was completed through a lawyer not related to them and no contact was ever made between the four adults involved. The boys paid all expenses for the mothers and also a "carrying" fee. During the next nine months, the young men had time to create a nursery in the new home they had built on the two acres the Dads had gifted them. Their home was similar to mine and Phil's, but it had a completely open first floor (except the powder room) and the basement was finished off into a huge family entertainment space and a guest room. There were four bedrooms and baths on the second floor; and a study, two bedrooms, and baths on the third, with a lot of storage space. It was very traditional on the exterior and very open feeling inside with wide hallways on the second and third floor and the huge open spaces on the first floor and the basement level. The house was finished and furnished, and the guys had just moved in on Thursday when they got the call that night that their first son had been delivered.
On the way to the hospital to see the baby they discussed how they had lucked out in having both babies turning out to be male, I mean no one would have objected to a girl, but they only had to purchase for boys, and any hand me downs would work for both boys, plus the bedding and the room decor had been done with boys in mind.
Miss Loretta had supplied them with a couple of names of women who could provide mother's milk in bottle form for them, since the guys wanted to feed and care for the boys themselves, at least until they had tried it, they could afford to hire a nanny, but they really wanted to try this themselves at first.
Billy took a leave of absence from work, so he could stay home with the boys when they were born and Walt had already brought in an associate to share the patient workload with. He had already stopped taking morning appointments, so he'd be able to help with the babies through the night and morning hours.
By the time they had arrived at the hospital, the nurses had already gotten him settled in the nursery and the guys had been able to each hold him. They had no idea which one was the biological father and had no desire to know which baby was whose. They loved each other, and they would love the others baby equally. As they passed the baby from one to the other, a nurse came in and said the other baby was being delivered, so if they wanted to stick around a bit they could meet their second son soon. Within forty-five minutes they were holding their second son and they couldn't be happier. They checked in with the floor nurse and learned both mothers were doing very well and then they started calling Billy's family and telling them all that the boys were born and doing well. They would be taking them home in two days' time. They spent a couple of more hours with the boys and then went home to celebrate and catch up on their missed sleep.
In the morning they went through the adjoining nursery and made sure they had everything they needed and they called their respective offices to spread the word that they were on paternity leave for the time being and that Walt would be returning to the office on Monday afternoon. They did some shopping and then went to see if the Dads wanted to go see their newest grandsons.
The four youngest ones were still swimming after horseback riding that morning and they were now at the swim center.
Evan and Chuck offered to stick around and be there in the house for when they got home, so the granddads went to meet their newest grandsons.
Late Saturday morning they brought the babies home and by 3:00 in the afternoon everyone had paid a visit to meet the littlest members of the family. Plenty of food was brought and everyone stayed for a while and had a bite to eat and visit. The women were enthralled with the babies and they tried to guess who the father of each was, to no avail.
As infants, they looked alike, but not like their fathers, until Ben asked to hold them. He cooed down at them, one in each arm as Mark looked down at them and then Ben said he knew.
Mark asked what he meant, and Ben stated he knew who the father of each was. Mark whispered to him that they knew that Billy and Walt didn't want to know, but to tell him, it would be their secret.
Ben explained that after studying the ears of both fathers it would be obvious to anyone.
Mark looked at Billy and Walt, standing about 10 feet away, talking to Tommy and Paul and their spouses. He then looked down at the babies and saw what Ben had noticed, the lobes of baby Chris were loose like Walt's while baby Noah's were attached like Billy's. He chuckled and joked with Ben that he was afraid Ben had a new ability he hadn't known about his partner.
Ben just smiled at his husband and said he did have some abilities he hadn't had to use yet, but the ear thing he had tried to use to tell their own boys apart when they first came to live with them, but those two were really identical and it didn't work for them.
As they were chuckling about that Alex and Art came up to them and asked if they could hold the babies.
Mark got them settled on the couch and Mark and Ben handed the babies to their sons and showed them how to hold them.
After a few minutes, Ben asked his boys if they wanted to have younger brothers like the babies.
Art answered that it would be alright, but now that they were almost 10, Alex and he really wanted an older brother, when were they getting one?
Ben and Mark looked at each other and then at their sons. Mark asked if they were serious, and Alex answered that they were, weren't the dads?
During the course of the afternoon, Ben and Mark talked and eventually found themselves talking to Aunt Helen and they asked her if there wasn't a teenager in her agency's care that might fit in with their family. She told them she was glad they were ready to increase their family and she'd look through her files and line up some prospective candidates for them to consider. A few days later she called. There were a couple of possibilities she wanted to have the couple consider, but she thought they ought to meet the boys first.
The candidates were currently housed in the DCFS dormitory in Springfield, but if Ben and Mark would meet her there in two hours she would introduce them, and they could visit for about an hour at first, to see if they could get along.
Both guys were available, and they brought Art and Alex to my house, asking if Phil and I could watch them for a few hours. We told them it wasn't a problem and we'd be glad to have them for a few hours. The couple drove out to Springfield and met Helen in the lobby of the old hotel that the agency used to house children in between foster homes, or children too old to be placed.
She sat and explained that the boys she wanted them to meet were brothers that had been in care since they were three. They had no relatives, and their foster parents had died in a car accident two months ago. The boys were fraternal twins but looked a lot alike. They had been in school when the foster parents were killed and had been staying here since. The boys were good students and were very neat, but she had to tell them that the boys made no bones about being gay and that is why they were still here. They were not part of her caseload, as they were in a different county, but she had seen their file just the other day and then the guys mentioned they were ready to enlarge their family the next day and now here they were.
The boys were sitting together on the couch when Ben and Mark walked in with Helen.
Dan and Jim were holding hands when Ben and Mark walked in, but they dropped them when the three adults walked toward them.
Ben saw this and took Mark's hand, hoping this would make the boys feel more comfortable.
He immediately felt something warm and comfortable about these two 13-year-olds and he was looking forward to getting to know them and guide them to adulthood. He knew Mark felt the same as he felt Mark squeeze his hand.
The boys were standing there now, their mouths hanging open a little as they watched these two good looking older guys walking toward them, holding hands.
Jim grabbed Dan's hand again and they only dropped them briefly to shake the hands offered to them as Helen introduced the four to each other. Helen left then to let them get a start on knowing one another.
After they sat down across from each other Ben asked a question they wouldn't have expected from a straight couple.
He asked how long they had been lovers.
Dan stuttered out, "How did you know?"
Ben took Mark's hand again and told them they had been adopted by their dads and they basically grew up as brothers and after high school, they realized they loved each other much more than brothers and they married. They had twin boys they had adopted who were a little younger than them, but they had told their dads they were ready to share with an older brother and since there were two of them and two at home they thought it might be a good idea for them all to meet.
The boys then told Mark and Ben how it seemed all their lives they only had each other, that the foster parents they had were OK, but they were not free with their affection and they felt alone most of the time. They explained they never thought they would ever have two dads and they were surprised at how good looking Ben and Mark were. It kind of made them nervous.
Ben and Mark looked at each other and they got up and went to hug the boys.
Ben chuckled and told them thank you, but they had a surprise for the boys, the rest of the family were the good looking ones, and on top of that they had 12 other brothers and about 20 nieces and nephews, and loads of aunts and uncles, some of them could make you cum just by looking at them, and then there were the Dads, they were definitely the best looking guys they knew.
Arrangements were made with Helen and the boys for them to come spend the upcoming weekend with them and their boys. They left the boys with hugs and went to pick up Alex and Art at our house.
When they got home they sat their sons down and told them they had not one, but two boys for them to meet this coming weekend, so why didn't they go up and pick a bedroom they might like and get it ready for their company and think of what they wanted to show them on the weekend.
Friday afternoon Mark met Ben at the house and they loaded the twins in and drove to Springfield to pick up Jim and Dan. They were nervously waiting in the home's lounge, wondering if those guys were really going to show up and if they did, would they still like them. Would they still want them to come and visit? Would they (Jim and Dan) like it out in the country? After all, they'd never been out of Springfield in their lives that they could remember.
When Ben and Mark walked into the lounge with Art and Alex, Jim and Dan stood, and Art and Alex ran up to them and hugged them and then they each grabbed a duffel and pulled on their arms, telling them to get a move on, they had a lot to do!
Their dads greeted them and made the formal introductions and the six of them went to the front desk and got the guys signed out for the weekend and off they went. They drove to the house and the new boys were awed at the property they drove into.
There was a big fitness center, a huge swim club, and these big houses all around, then they drove down the lane and there were more large houses and huge lawns in between and in front of them. They turned a corner and there were these huge barns and corrals and horses all over the place. The road continued and there were more big houses and then they pulled into one of those big driveways. They all departed the car and Ben and Mark unlocked the house and they all went in.
Art and Alex wanted to show them their room right away, but the dads insisted they get a tour of the first floor first so they could orient themselves in the spacious home, then the boys could take the teens up to their room and help get them settled before dinner.
Dinner was already underway, as Ben had put a standing roast in the oven before picking up their guests and now he added the baking potatoes and veggies to the large pan.
Mark started a salad and by the time the boys were all back downstairs the table was ready to be set. They ate and ate and when Ben asked if everyone was ready for dessert they all groaned.
Mark said he thought they'd wait a while, maybe after they took a walk to let dinner settle. The older boys told them that they never had food that good before and they thanked the dads. The dads chuckled, and the twins said that they ate like that all the time. The new boys were really impressed and said so as they started to walk the lane.
The young ones pointed out the different houses and explained who lived where.
Jim and Dan were surprised that there was a family connection to each of the houses.
As they walked back up the lane and near the turn a sedan pulled up and there was Helen, getting out greeting them all.
Art and Alex ran up to give and get hugs and the new boys heard them telling Helen thanks for finding them brothers so quick, they really liked Dan and Jim.
She greeted the others and asked how the visit was going so far.
Jim and Dan told her what a great meal they had, and it was real food, not like their old foster mother had gotten at the drive-thru. They told her how nice their bedroom was and how much the younger boys had helped to get them settled.
She, in turn, showed them where she lived with Terry and their daughter and then she said she'd see them at some point during the weekend.
The guys kept on walking and went all the way to the fitness center and then they turned around and walked back home.