The New Adventures of Jamie

by Jamie Mac

Chapter 18

The Coming Storm

Jamie woke as the sun came up. He sat up looking down at Kyle, they had spent the night snuggled close and enjoying each other's warmth. He knew tonight was the big night. He was going to go get the orb, so he was cherishing his last morning with Kyle should things go horribly wrong. He ran a finger through Kyle's thick hair, taking in all the details that he could. One would have thought that he was condemned to death, but Jamie did not want anyone else to get hurt or die because of him. He felt certain from what Nyssa had said that he had to go alone.

Kyle started to stir, moaning, "Mmmm." He then slowly opened his eyes to a smile that he loved to see, and said, "Morning Sunshine, you're awake early."

"I slept really good last night. I woke and watched the sunrise and just sat here," said Jamie. "I hope you don't mind?" he added, as he continued to play with Kyle's hair, occasionally letting his finger caress Kyle's cheek, even feeling the beginnings of a soft downy beard on his soft face.

"Mmmm, it's fine. You can rub my back if you'd like," Kyle suggested, rolling over onto his stomach.

"Where's Swift and Eric?" Kyle asked, noting that the mats they had been laying on were gone.

"They moved the couch into the middle of the floor and are on the other side of it so we could be alone; I think they wanted to be alone too," Jamie replied, as he straddled Kyle's back, and after sitting down gently began rubbing Kyle's shoulders.

Jamie traced his fingers across Kyle's skin, running them gently over his shoulders and upper back. Goosebumps formed on Kyle's back as he let out soft moans, thoroughly enjoying the massage he was getting. Once he was fully awake, he felt a need to shift. Raising his backside slightly, he moved himself so he was more comfortable. Jamie giggled as he rose up along with Kyle while remaining in position on his back. He then laid forward and kissed Kyle on the nape of the neck.

"Mmmm, that was nice," said Kyle.

"I'm glad. I like making you happy," Jamie whispered in Kyle's ear, as he now laid down onto Kyle's back, his arms wrapping around and under Kyle, bringing him into a hug.

"You're cold," said Kyle. "Shall we get in the hot tub?"

Jamie shifted, reached for the blanket, and while remaining on Kyle's back he pulled it up over them, "I think I'd like to just lie here if that's alright with you."

"It's just fine Sunshine, just fine," said Kyle, still somewhat sleepy, combined with feeling the warmth of the younger boy's body pressing against his. After lying together for a few minutes they both dozed off again.

Kyle woke when he realized it was getting rather warm and noted that Jamie still laying on his back. He shifted once again and Jamie woke, giving him another kiss on the back of his neck. Kyle said, "Mmmmm, that's nice. Maybe we should jump in the hot tub before Swift and Eric wake up."

"Mmmm, yeah that sounds good," replied Jamie.

Jamie slid off Kyle's back, giggling in the process, because he could feel their skin peeling apart from being sticky with sweat. The two boys got up and Kyle grabbed the small remote for the CD changer. They slipped into the hot tub together, Kyle turned the changer on, and pressed play.

Jamie noted that while there were many modern items back in the main house, the gatehouse seemed to only have the hot tub and the stereo sitting on the shelf. "How come there're no other things in here like a T.V.?" he asked Kyle.

"I think they just wanted to keep this room simple and cozy. A way to get away from everything, so to speak," Kyle replied.

"Sounds good to me," Jamie said softly sitting next to Kyle in the warm water. "I think I'll need a shower after this."

"Yeah me as well. I love the hot tub, but it leaves that pool smell on you," he replied.

They sat for a bit enjoying the closeness and the warmth of the water, then Kyle had an idea. He whispered in Jamie's ear, "You wanna have a laugh?"

"Sure."

Kyle pointed over to the empty jewel case that sat by the CD changer and said, "See the case? I've got my favourite CD in the changer, shall we wake them with it?"

Jamie looked at the case and knew which CD it was by the black cover with the prism on it, and realized at once which song Kyle would be referring to. He smiled and giggled at the idea saying, "That'd be so funny."

Kyle changed discs and listened for the song cues. Just as the second song was ending he turned the volume on the CD player as high as it would go. Moments later they heard the raucous sounds of multiple alarm clocks ringing and overlapping each other, accompanied by the deep ticking of a clock.

Swift and Eric jumped up at the sound startled out of their sleep. Both stood there looking around, momentarily off balance. Kyle and Jamie sat back in the hot tub laughing while noting that their two friends were in the same state of dress as they were. Eric looked around, finally focusing on the two pranksters and said, "I'm going to get you!"

He then jumped over the couch and jumped into the hot tub, splashing Jamie and Kyle with water. This got everyone including Swift laughing. He then came flying over the couch next; jumping into the hot tub, and helping Eric soak the already wet Kyle and Jamie.

They wrestled around in the water for a little bit and then they all settled back, sitting in pairs. Kyle looked at Swift and noticed a huge change in his demeanour, "I gotta say if I didn't know better, I think someone else has found what Jamie and I did last night."

Swift and Eric blushed and Jamie giggled, "It's okay, I think we all did."

"It was much more," Swift said, holding his hand in the air and in it was Eric's hand as well.

They both smiled, and then Eric said, "Until last night I thought like Jamie did. We heard you guys talking; that was part of why we moved. Hope you're not mad we listened in a bit?"

"No Eric, it's fine. Somehow I think that conversation was meant to happen," said Kyle, certain that last night's events, while meaningful to all four boys, were part of a larger plan; and none of them minded.

Eric, his emotions still on a high, had to say what he was feeling at that moment, "Swift and I spoke long into the night. I never thought I would say 'I love you' to anyone. I guess I was wrong, and I am so happy I was. I found my true love."

"So did I. I feel the same as you Eric; I learnt that what we were forced to do was not love, and now I know what real love is," Jamie added.

A tear ran down Swift's cheek and he said, "I think we have all found what we're looking for."

The boys then climbed out of the hot tub a short time later, dried off, and sat around the fire that Kyle had re-stoked after drying off. There was a knock at the door of the Gatehouse. All the boys jumped, thinking it was the Satyrs again, but when they turned they saw it was Mom and Dad. They had walked down from the house with another basket of goodies for the morning for the boys. Swift quickly got up and opened the door letting them in. While setting the basket down on the table, Gwinis casually noted that the boys had not dressed themselves as yet.

"Good Morning," she said with a light airy tone.

Almost in unison the boys all replied, "Hi, Mom; hi, Dad."

"It looks like you had a nice relaxing night," said Thondir. "How is the water?"

"Just fine, although I think the PH might be off," Swift replied, he had a smile on his face that neither Gwinis nor Thondir had seen in a long time.

"It is good to see you smiling like that again Swift. It has been far too long," said Gwinis.

"You know?" asked Swift, not realizing his parents were aware.

"Sometimes us old folks can figure things out. Would you like to keep it between you and Eric for now, or should we fill in Kyle and Jamie?" she asked, the smile not fading from her face.

They all sat down. The boys sitting on the mats since they were still damp from the hot tub, while Thondir and Gwinis sat down on the sofa.

"You aren't mad at us?" came the first question out of Jamie, who looked down at the ground when he asked it.

"Of course not, Son," Thondir replied. "We are happy that you have all found what you have been looking for, for so long."

"Yes, remember when you first came here, and how scared you were. Now look at how confident you all have become. You have all grown, a little physically, but more in the lines of maturity. You have all made a big decision last night and that will stay with you for a lifetime. We are so proud to call all of you our Sons. Swift, we are also so happy that you have finally come to terms with Rhys' death, and that you have found a new love. It shows, on your face …"

Then before Gwinis could finish, Kyle interrupted saying, "Wait, a second … Rhys? That's why you've always been so serious Swift. I'm sorry, I never knew."

"It's okay Kyle, I never told anyone other than Eric last night. It was the first time I have spoke of it in thirty years. Although I don't think I'm ready for much more than saying that I had a brother who died thirty years ago." Then taking Eric's hand in his he added, "But last night I found my new love, and I'm never letting him go."

Eric blushed a bright red and said, "I love you Swift. I always will."

That pronouncement set everyone off; tears welled in eyes and then began flowing freely. They had all found a joy in dark times, and knew that it was meant to last; no matter what length of time they had left. They sat there shedding tears of joy, and the joy replaced the misery that they had all felt in varying ways during the past. It was a great release for them all.

"Well, breakfast is getting cold, and I bet you all are hungry," Gwinis said, standing up and heading over to the basket. She started to remove the food she had made earlier, and began setting it out on the table. Meanwhile the boys started to find their underwear and T-shirts, and began putting them on. Thondir stood up as well and helped his wife to set the table.

Soon they all had plates full of eggs, sausage, bacon, toast and jam, along with glasses of milk and juice. They sat around the low coffee table, which had been moved back to sitting in front of the couch; Gwinis and Thondir taking the couch while the boys sat on the floor. The family ate breakfast together; smiling and happy. Talking of fun things, putting the world and its troubles on hold while they enjoyed a meal: the first as a true family; one of many more to come.

"So what are your plans for the day?" Thondir eventually asked the boys.

They all looked at each other for a moment almost as if in silent conversation. "I think we're just going to spend another day relaxing and having fun," Swift then replied, looking at the others who all nodded in agreement.

"Well here is a bit of information for you," said Thondir. "Last night Jamie's friend paid us a visit."

"He did?" said Jamie, rather surprised. "Why didn't we hear it?"

"I think it was meant for Gwinis' and my ears only. We think you had all fallen asleep as we sat in the parlour last night. We heard a bell tone, and then the 'Done'. That's how we sort of realized what had happened," said Thondir.

"We knew that you boys would eventually figure it out from the first time that we saw you all sleeping together here in the gatehouse on the day you arrived," explained Gwinis. "Thondir and myself came down after Aunt Faervel had come back and we had discussed the events of the day. We are very happy for all of you."

"Jamie, you have surprised us the most. You have come so far in a short time, much further than we expected. We are so proud to call you Son. As Swift has said, 'You do honour to our family name'. This also goes for you, Kyle and Eric. You all do honour to our family. Now before you fear we will not allow you to be together, we want you to know we encourage it. You all have found that special someone in your life and we want you to be nothing but happy.

"Even in these troubled times, enjoy each other, that is what love is about. Stick with each other and hold each other; in good times and in bad," Gwinis finished.

Jamie stood up and walked around the coffee table, tears flowing freely down his cheeks. He wrapped Gwinis in a hug and sobbed on her shoulder. His emotions had been bottled up for so long it was like a dam burst. Kyle stood, came around, and sat down beside Gwinis and rubbed an additional hand on Jamie's back, hoping to help comfort him. The racking sobs continued for several minutes, then they slowly started to subside.

Jamie sat back on Gwinis' lap; unwrapping his arms from around her; his eyes blurry and red, still brimmed with tears; his nose stuffed and running. Swift handed him a serviette that was sitting on the table. Jamie blew his nose, then moved from Gwinis' lap and sat between her and Thondir.

"I'm … I'm … sorry … Nobody has ever told me anything nice in my life … until now," he managed to say, his throat tight from crying and the emotions.

"You have nothing to be sorry for. We are sorry you had to go through what you did. Never again, Little One. Never again," said Thondir.

"Sunshine, I really mean it when I say this. I love you more than you know; although I think you do know how much," said Kyle, tears running down his cheeks as well.

"Swift, I know I can never be Rhys, but I will always be your Eric. You made me understand what love is. I will always love you," said Eric, as the tears also started to flow freely down his cheeks.

Swift sat there numb, it had been many years since he had cried, and it felt like he never would be able to again, until Eric's words hit him. The hardened part of his heart softened up, and then he too broke down in tears, falling over into Eric's lap. Eric wrapped his arms over Swift and bent his head down and kissed Swift gently on the cheek, letting him cry it out. Thirty years was a long time to hold everything in and now it seemed the time for it to all come out had arrived.

"It seems we have a room full of love this morning. I think we have become a full family; if not by blood, then by bonds that have been forged in fire and tested to be true," said Gwinis, while wiping her own eyes.

Finally it seemed everyone was out of tears, and they all sat there looking at each other, wondering what was next. It was Jamie who spoke and broke the tension, "Thank you everyone and I will not let you down. You all mean the world to me. Can we go play now?"

Everyone broke out laughing. Jamie's timing was impeccable and the mood in the room shifted immediately to one of happiness; from this day on they would all share in the joy of the moments that would follow. Gwinis and Thondir got up and started to pick the dishes up while the boys found the rest of their clothing and got dressed.

Everyone exited the gatehouse, its doors were closed, and they all headed back to the main house. Then they walked along the drive, the boys hand-in-hand with their loves, and Gwinis and Thondir following behind also holding hands and smiling at the early morning events.


Once back at the house, the boys all headed upstairs. They remained quiet, nobody wanting to break the silence as they all basked in the love they had just learnt they had for each other. Going to their rooms they put their gear away, each deciding to take a shower and get the smell of the hot tub's chemicals off of them. The plan then was to meet back up and find something to do for the rest of the day.

Jamie put his gear away and grabbed a change of clothing, the revelations of last night, and this morning weighed heavily on him. He knew what he had to do, and was still going to do it. Now he knew it had to be tonight, there was no doubt in his mind that this would be the last chance he would have to get the orb.

A knock on his door brought him back from his deep thoughts. "Come in," said Jamie.

"Hi Sunshine, have you showered yet?" Kyle asked with a wink, hinting at the possibility that maybe they could shower together.

"No I haven't. You can wash my back if you'd like," he said with a smile, certain that Kyle would agree.

"Okay," said Kyle, who then started to get undressed, as did Jamie.

Swift had already gone to Eric's room and Kyle heard some laughing coming from across the hall, whereupon he said, "Looks like Swift had the same idea as me, and Eric likes it too."

After they had finished showering the boys met in the hallway and headed downstairs. They found the rest of their family sitting in the parlour, all chatting about the events of last night and this morning. The adults looked up at the four boys who stood before them, and smiled. They were all happy to see the glow back in Swift and they could see the love etched on all of the boy's faces. The boys entered the parlour and sat down.

Grandpa Brúndaer smiled and asked them, "So, do we need to talk about the birds and the bees?"

All four brothers turned three shades of red, and in unison said, "NO!" This resulted in a chorus of laughter from everyone.

Swift then said, "I think Eric and I are going for a hike, we have a lot to talk about."

"Jamie and I are going to do the same thing. We will be back by lunch time," Kyle added. "Or when the tummy clock goes off; whichever comes first."

Everyone chuckled as the boys stood up, and all went around the room hugging everyone. Brúndaer then said, "My, my … We do indeed have a fine bunch of boys." And a smile appeared on his face as he looked over the now completely happy collection of youngsters before him.

Jamie slipped his hand in Kyle's as they headed for the back door of the house, while Eric slipped his into Swift's and they headed out the front door. Each pair walked in directions that only they knew, each pair happy to be alone with the other.

Jamie and Kyle kept walking. They headed down near the practice pitch, then took the main trail and walked back towards the entrance they had come through when they first arrived. Jamie wanted to spend every minute he could with Kyle. He was not saying why, but he looked at him, absorbing every detail, almost as if he were drawing a picture of Kyle in his mind. Jamie wanted it to last. He knew what he was about to do might be dangerous, but he felt he would be fine. Knowing the gang had been removed from the picture helped to ease his mind.

After about twenty minutes they arrived at the hidden entrance to the preserve. They sat down on the old log bench just looking around at all the flowers; everything was in full bloom now that spring had arrived in force. The sun was out, and the air was warm, it was a great day to be out for a walk.

"It's been a few months since we came through that gate. How are you feeling about being here now, Sunshine?"

"At first it felt strange. I was sure I was going to have to bend over for someone, sooner or later. But nothing happened, no one ordered me. And then I fell in love with someone special," Jamie replied, taking Kyle's hand in his.

"I know, it's strange to me as well. I never thought I could or would fall in love, and yet I did. I think this voice of yours is part of it. I can't be sure, but maybe he is also a match maker," Kyle replied, looking into Jamie's eyes.

"He is. He hasn't told me directly, but I can feel the nudges. I think you and Swift would have been together had you not found me and Eric. I'm glad he nudged us together. I really love you Kyle. I also wanna say thank you for last night. You showed me what true love was, and it sure wasn't what I thought it was," said Jamie, a small tear running down his cheek.

"Sunshine, at first when you made that offer, I was tempted to do just that. But, I stopped when I realized it wasn't going to show you what real love was. I wanted you to know and to learn that a quickie to relive some tension is not love. I hope you aren't mad because we didn't do that."

A surprised look appeared on Jamie's face, "I didn't know … I'm sorry …"

"No, no Jamie … don't be sorry. We're all told that. We were all trained to do that; it's what we were made and forced to do. Or we'd look at our bodies, see the scars, and know what'd happen if we didn't comply when they wanted to slam their peckers up our butts while whispering I love you. We thought that to be loved was to allow that to happen. That it was something you submitted to. Something I had to submit to as well. They were all wrong, so very wrong. What I feel for you goes far deeper than anything physical we could do, to me that would just be yet another meaningless act of sex. And that's why I said 'no'."

"You really mean that don't you? You really do love me, and I know it in my heart. I feel different when I am with you. Thank you Kyle, thank you so much … I really love you and I do want to be with you forever."

The morning wore on as the sun climbed higher in the sky. They sat on the log bench for a while longer talking of things from the past, as well as talking about the present and future. They smiled and laughed, they even cried. Finally, a deep rumble got them both giggling.

"I guess we should find you some food," Kyle said, still giggling.

"I wonder if that is ever going to quit?" asked Jamie.

"Sunshine, I hope it never does; I love your tummy clock. Do you know we've sat here for hours talking?" Kyle replied.

"I hadn't thought of that," said Jamie.

"Well there's not much to eat around here. We can make it back to the house a bit faster though, I know a shortcut," said Kyle.

"It won't be dangerous will it?"

"No it's a safe path, Taaggin showed it to me. He and Dohgyn use it to get from their place to here. Who knows, maybe they might have something to munch as well. We can impose on them," laughed Kyle, and Jamie did as well; he had learnt a lot about the two Satyrs in the short time he had been on the preserve.

After a bit of walking they found the Satyrs were not at home, so Kyle picked Jamie up on his back and started to hike a bit faster towards the house. A few minutes later they arrived at the yard. Kyle set Jamie down and then they both ran for the back porch. When they arrived they found Gwinis and Aunt Faervel sitting in their rockers smiling down at the boys.

"It must be lunch time," Gwinis said to Aunt Faervel.

"Yes, I think you are right. I thought I heard a rumble a little bit back. I think felt the ground shake a bit as well," she replied.

This earned some giggles from both Kyle and Jamie; they knew that their mom and aunt were teasing them. They also knew that lunch was probably already set for them.

"Yeah, Sunshine's alarm clock went off about thirty minutes ago," said Kyle.

"Sunshine? What a lovely nickname Kyle, that is the first time I have heard it. How adorable," Aunt Faervel proclaimed. "Do you mind if I call you that Jamie? I love the sound of it."

Before a somewhat tongue-tied Jamie could answer however, Aunt Faervel spoke again, "I will stick with 'Little One'. I was only teasing you, although I really do love Kyle's name for you and it does fit. However, that is his special name for you, and only he gets to use it."

Jamie smiled while blushing and replied, "Thanks Aunty."

Jamie's stomach rumbled in protest again, lunch was already late by its reckoning and it was determined to let Jamie know about it. Everyone looked at the smaller boy and grinned, whereupon Gwinis said, "Come boys, there is food ready in the kitchen."

They sat down at the smaller table in the kitchen where the food was laid out and ready for them. As they sat down the door from the butler's pantry opened and Swift and Eric came through.

"Hey guys, did you have a nice time?" Swift asked.

"Yeah we did, we just got back. Jamie's alarm went off," said Kyle. "Did you guys have fun? I think you did by the smile on Eric's face."

Eric began to blush and said, "It wasn't like that … We had a very long talk. Okay, so we kissed as well."

Swift smiled his face slightly red as well, "Eric is right we spent most of the time talking and we did kiss."

"That's cool. Me and Jamie walked all the way back to the entrance where we first came into the preserve, and talked for quite a while," said Kyle, looking over at Jamie who had a mouthful of sandwich. "We didn't kiss, but I like what we said to each other."

Jamie smiled, swallowed the last bit in his mouth, and said, "Yep, we had a great time; and guess what?"

"What?" they all said.

"I know what love is now," Jamie replied, and then took another bite of his sandwich.

The revelation was astounding, they all looked at Jamie, surprised by what he had said. Eric looked at the others saying, "I think I'm with Jamie on this one. I know what he is saying, and I agree I know what love is now. Before it was just meaningless words, something you said to keep from getting beaten. Now it is a true feeling, something beyond what we both thought it was."

No one could say anything else. Both boys had said the most profound things in the last few hours, and there were no words remaining that they could use to express anything else. Other than three small words that Swift and Kyle knew meant the most to the two boys.

The two pairs of boys looked at each other and unbidden they all spoke at the same time: "I love you."

"Jamie, I will always love you, and that is a promise," said Kyle.

"Eric, I will always love you, and I make the same promise: I always will," affirmed Swift.

Lunch was probably the tastiest that they had ever had, even if it was merely sandwiches and chips. It was a lot like breakfast with Mom and Dad earlier that morning; it was eaten with the same joy of them now having a family that they could call their own. After the boys finished they cleared the kitchen and headed upstairs.

Eric took Swift's hand and they headed for his room, Jamie took Kyle's and they headed for Jamie's room. The doors to both rooms then closed gently.

Eric sat in the big chair in his room and Swift then sat down next to him, then Eric asked, "Wanna play a game?"

"Sure, lets find something fun this time," said Swift.

"Sounds good to me," Eric replied as he began to look through the collection of video games available. Soon the two of them were both laughing and having a good time as the chosen game progressed.

Meanwhile, Jamie and Kyle took a seat together in the big chair in Jamie's room. Jamie just watched Kyle. He did not say anything; he still just wanted to memorize every detail he could. He knew that there was a chance that he might not ever again see the face of the only person who had ever professed his love for him. Kyle looked at Jamie, and a question flashed in his head.

"What are you thinking about, Sunshine?" he asked.

"Nuthin much. What can we do? I know we're just taking it easy, and I'm kinda tired of books right now. From the laughter I hear through the door, Swift and Eric have gotta be playing a video game."

"How about we watch a movie? I've not done that in a long time with everything that's been going on."

"Hey, yeah I haven't seen a movie … Well, I've never seen a movie," a small tear ran down Jamie's cheek as he replied.

Kyle put an arm around him and pulled him close saying, "Let's change that. I bet you'd like something related to what we're doing."

"That sounds good. They make movies about preserves?" asked Jamie.

"No, but it's a fantasy and it has some of the whimsical beings we protect in it. I think you'll like it," said Kyle. He let Jamie go and stood up and walked over to the shelf. Not able to find the movie he was looking for, Kyle said, "I think it may be in the closet downstairs."

He looked at Jamie who nodded it was okay to leave to get the movie, but then suddenly Jamie grinned and pointed back at the shelf. When Kyle turned back, sitting right in front of him was a gold and black box, the image of a golden ring on its front cover, and with the title that he was looking for.

"Brownies!" Kyle announced, holding the box up and showing Jamie. "They sure are fast."

Jamie smiled back saying, "They are, but I seen him. About six inches tall; wearing dark blue pants, funny shoes, and a red jacket with a wide belt around it. He almost looked like one of those fake garden gnomes you see in people's yards."

"You saw him? I'd only turned for a second … Well we know you can see everything whimsical, so I take your word for it. Good spotting, Jamie," said an enthusiastic Kyle.

Kyle popped the movie into the DVD player, pressed 'play', and turned the sound bar on for a nice effect. He sat down next to Jamie, and they snuggled together comfortably as the tedious studio advertisements were displayed first. Finally the movie started and some strange words were spoken, "I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae a han noston ned 'wilith."

Jamie sat up suddenly as he heard the words, crying out, "That's Elvish!"

Kyle smiled, "I thought you might know it."

"I always wanted to see these movies, they seemed so cool on the movie posters!" said Jamie, excitedly climbing out of the chair and moving closer laying on the floor in front of big screen T.V. that hung on the wall.

Kyle smiled, he knew he had just made Jamie's day. He wondered if the Brownies would be so nice and bring them a huge bowl of popcorn. He doubted they would be that good, but he also knew he had some cold sodas in the little mini-fridge in his room. He stood up from the chair and knelt down by Jamie asking, "Would you like a cold soda?"

"That'd be great," Jamie replied.

Kyle slipped out of the room and quickly went to his own room. He reached into the mini-fridge grabbed his favourite ginger ale, and another for Jamie. Kyle knew that Jamie had never had it before, so he thought it would be a great treat. He returned to Jamie's room and saw sitting on the floor next to him was a large bowl of buttered popcorn, still steaming. Kyle marvelled at how well the Brownies worked. Jamie had already reached a hand into the bowl and was munching on a handful of the buttery salty treat.

Kyle uncapped the sodas and said, "Try this, it's my favourite ginger ale. It's tough to get, but one of the guys who does maintenance at the preserves brings a couple of cases of it when he stops by. It's real bubbly and will tickle your nose a bit." Kyle then handed Jamie the cold golden-coloured ginger ale soda.

"I see the Brownies got my message," Kyle added, as he sat next to Jamie and grabbed a handful of popcorn.

"Yeah, a couple of them dropped it off right after you closed the door," said Jamie, who then started to take a sip of the soda, stopped, and giggled. "You're right it does tickle." Then taking another sip added, "Mmmm, that is good!"

"Glad you like it," replied Kyle.

Soon they both lay on the floor engrossed in the movie that played on the screen in front of them, the popcorn disappearing as the movie progressed. They laughed at the funny scenes, and even shed a few tears in the proper places as well. Jamie reached over and took Kyle's hand in his, and lay there just holding it. He knew that soon he would have to go and recover the orb, so he was determined to enjoy every minute he could with his best friend and his love.

Time has a way of seeming to fly by when you are having a good time; soon there was a knock on the door. "Come in," said Jamie, still holding Kyle's hand.

The door opened and it was Gwinis, "Dinner is ready boys."

"Okay Mom," they both replied. Kyle grabbed the remote and stopped the DVD; the end credits were already rolling on the screen.

She smiled and closed the door; it had not slipped her sight that Kyle and Jamie had been holding hands. She then crossed the hall and knocked on Eric's door, after a moment she heard Eric say, "Come in."

They were both lying on the floor, video game controls set beside them, and were covered in a blanket that had clearly been hastily thrown over them. Gwinis smiled and said, "Dinner is about ready boys. I have already told your brothers." She smiled at them again and then walked out closing the door behind her. She stood for a moment to listen and could hear them scrambling to get dressed. Covering her mouth to keep her laugh quiet, she headed downstairs.

As Gwinis arrived in the dinning room, Thondir was already seated. He was going over some mail that had been delivered by the maintenance man who had also dropped off other supplies used around the preserve. He paused and looked up from the note he had been reading, "The boys are coming?"

"Yes. Two will be down faster than the other two," she replied still with a satisfied smile.

"So I take it the boys were busy with other things?" he asked with a wink at her.

"At least Swift and Eric were. Kyle and Jamie were watching a movie," she replied, still smiling.

"I don't think we need to interfere too much, I think they all have figured it out," said Thondir.

"I agree. I am so glad to see them all happy. I think this is the most joy they have felt in a long time, especially Swift. I have seen more smiles on his face in the last few weeks then I have in the last thirty years," Gwinis replied, a small tear running down her cheek.

Thondir stood up, walked around the table, and embraced her saying, "He has finally come to terms with Rhys' death."

As they stood there in their embrace Kyle and Jamie came into the dining room. "Is something wrong?" Kyle asked.

"No son everything is great. Thank you for asking," Thondir replied, letting go of Gwinis so that she could finish bringing dinner out.

They all sat at the table and Jamie seeing the letters in front of Thondir asked, "Is that more information?"

"Yes it is, but nothing we need be concerned with today," said Thondir.

Aunt Faervel and Lornen were next to enter, they greeted everyone and sat down, then Brúndaer appeared and took his seat. "Where are Swift and Eric?" he enquired.

"In their room. I think they had to finish the game they were playing," Thondir replied with a wink.

"Oh, I see," Brúndaer replied with a knowing smile.

Jamie looked at Kyle, both had caught the exchange between the adults and were smiling at each other. "I guess their periscopes were up," said Jamie, and broke out laughing. Kyle laughed as well; the rest of the table looked on, not quite getting what Jamie had meant.

"Sorry we're late," Swift said as he and Eric came into the room and hurriedly sat down.

"It's fine boys. You had plenty of time," Thondir replied, winking at them.

Instantly they both turned bright red, and looked down. Everyone at the table just smiled.

"I am glad to see you both so happy. Swift, it has been far too long. Eric you have also been so much happier over the last weeks, as well as you two, Jamie and Kyle. We have not had this much joy in the house in a long time. It is nice to see it changed back to a happy home once again," said Thondir.

Gwinis then came out carrying a large platter with a big roast turkey on it and set it on the table. They all were served and the usual small talk that happens at meals began.

Kyle said, "Did you know Jamie had never seen a movie? And he's quick enough he spotted the Brownies twice: once when they dropped off the DVD I was looking for, and a second time when I thought about a nice bowl of popcorn."

"That is really impressive to be able to see them, they are usually far too quick. Jamie, they must really like you for them to show themselves around you," said Brúndaer.

Jamie blushed and said, "They don't stick around for long."

"That is not surprising," said Lornen. "I am more surprised they actually let you see them at all."

Dinner finished on a happy note, everyone was full, and everyone helped clean up afterwards. Once all the cleaning up was completed, they all gathered at the table one last time.

"Well boys, the evening is yours tonight. We need to go over the letters we received today from the other preserves. They are all checking in with us," explained Thondir, holding out the stack of letters in his hand.

The boys wandered up to their rooms. Swift and Eric went to finish the game they had started and then forgotten, and Kyle and Jamie to finish their movie.

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