Caral

by Jobe

"Dad I want to go. I'm 18 and I can help."

"Toby, we're going into the jungles of Peru. It's going to be dangerous and I don't want to see you hurt."

"I'll be careful and I'll be with you. Come on Dad, please?"

3 weeks later, Toby and his dad, Professor Bently of the University's archeology department boarded a plane heading to Lima, Peru, along with four other students from the University's archeology department working on their Masters degree. Toby was very excited, this was his first dig outside of the States. In preparation for this trip, he read articles about the Indians of Peru.

"Dad, I know that we're going to Peru, but what'll be our objective?"

"Several years ago, there were people who lived in an area called Caral. The civilization that lived there was estimated to have been created in 2100 BC. This is possibly the oldest city in the Americas. Very little has been excavated so I'm anxious to see the site and to determine where's the best place to begin the dig. We'll be joined by archeologists from the San Marcos University in Lima."

As Toby listened to his dad, his excitement began to grow. If only he could discover an artifact, he'd feel closer to his dad and just maybe his dad would include him on more digs.

As the plane landed in Lima, Toby's excitement grew to the point his dad had to tell him to calm himself. There was no way Toby was going to be calm, he was too excited. As they left the plane and entered the customs hall from passing through passport control, "Toby, you see that man standing at that window waving?" Toby looked where his dad was indicating, "That is Dr. Viego from the University's archeology department. He'll be part of the team."

"Dad, who is that young man standing next to him?"

"I don't know. Maybe it's a student from the university who is studying archeology. Sometimes students will accompany a dig as part of their curriculum. Remember you came on that dig we did in Arizona."

Toby kept studying the young man while they retrieved their luggage. Exiting the arrivals area, Dr. Viego met them.

"Dr. Bently, it's good to see you again. I thought that since you brought your son with you I would invited one of my students to join us. They both can use the dig as a learning experience."

The young man approached Toby, "Hello, I'm Carlos Cervantes and a student of Professor Viego." Toby introduced himself as the son of Dr. Bently.

As Dr. Bently and Dr. Viego chatted about the exploration of Caral, Toby and Carlos talk about general subjects. "Have you gone on other digs with Dr. Viego?"

"No, this is my first. I'm only a freshman and I think I was asked because we're the same age. I'm very excited about going on this dig. In some ways this will be an opportunity to understand my heritage."

"I'm also very anxious to go on this dig. I've been with my father on digs in the States but this is my first dig outside of the States. I have read a little about the inhabitants of Caral and I'm very excited about going on this dig. Maybe if we work together we can find some important artifacts."

"Yes, that'll be fantastic."

The boys continued to chat until they had to part at the hotel. "It seemed that you and Carlos got along very well."

"Yea, I think we'll become good friends. He said that he looked forward to the dig as it may show some light on his ancestors."

"There are a lot of people who live in Peru, Chile and Ecuador who can trace their ancestors back to the early Indians. These digs are very important to them."

"Carlos and I are excited about this dig. I think Carlos is excited because of the possibility of uncovering something about his ancestors. We agreed that it'd be really exciting if we're able to uncover an important relic that could shed some light on his ancestors."

Chapter 2

Sleep that night didn't come easy for two young men. The excitement of going on the dig kept them up most of the night. Of course they had to pay for that when morning arrived. Two sleepy young men only got out of bed because this was the day they would be leaving for the dig. Dr. Bently and Dr. Viego teased the boys telling them they could go back to bed and come to the dig tomorrow. Of course that did the trick as the two boys quickly helped to load the truck. Of course once they started heading to the dig, they took a little nap.

Arriving at the dig, in the early afternoon, Drs Bently and Viego met with the other students who were going to join them. Setting up camp was the main activity of the day. A large tent was set up as the main operational center. Once this tent was set up, the equipment was unloaded. The smaller tents for housing the crew were set up around the main tent. A meeting was held before dinner to discuss how they were going to approach the dig. Carlos and I decided we'd like to share one of the tents, my dad and Dr. Viego shared a tent. The other two tents were shared by the other 4.

In the morning over breakfast, my dad and Dr. Viego discussed their approach to the excavation of the dig. Four sections of the area were to be assigned to two team members. My dad reviewed the procedures we'd use and then took one of the university students and started toward what appeared to be the remnants of a building. Dr. Viego took another student and headed toward a stone pile that might have been an entry into the city. Two of the students went to a shallow spot and Carlos and I headed to a hill that looked like it shouldn't have been there. The area around the hill was flat, we both hoped it would contain important artifacts.

With small hand held shovels, a brush and a tool with one end flatten, we started to lay out an attack strategy. "Toby, let's take a picture of the four sides of the hill. Then we can divide the pictures into quadrants. You could work on one quadrant and I could work on another."

"That sounds like a good idea. If we start at the edge, we can work toward the center of the quadrant. "

And that is what we presented to my dad and Dr. Diego. The other student team thought that was a good idea and decided to follow the same logic. Needless to say, we felt like we had made a major contribution for the day .

That evening, Dr. Bently congratulated the boys on using a scientific approach to their dig area. He reminded them that they had to take it slow and, even it may not look significant, they needed to place all objects except fine dirt into their collection box.

Chapter 3

For the first 5 days all I saw was dirt. "Carlos, I wonder if this is just a hill of dirt."

"Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. You need to understand that this hill has been here for several hundred years. The wind alone would count for several feet of dirt. Keep digging we'll find something, my bones tell me this will be an important find."

I continued to sift earth the rest of the week. It seemed no one had uncovered anything of significance. I looked at dad and he seemed still very enthusiastic. I was puzzled but I knew if my dad was still positive then I'd keep on sifting dirt. It wasn't until the third week of the dig before Carlos and I found anything of significance. We worked toward each other from opposite sides of the hill. Simultaneously we uncovered a wall of stone that contained a series of pictures. I immediately call my dad to show him the wall. Carlos and I stood together waiting to hear what my dad and Dr. Diego would say about the wall.

"Well boys, this is a significant find. You now have to start in the other quadrants to determine if this is all of the wall or if there's more. Continue sifting as you have done and let's see if there are any other artifacts that might help us to understand this find " That evening the other 4 guys had to look at the wall.

"John, those symbols look similar to the hieroglyphics in the tombs of Egypt. You don't think there's a connection do you?"

"Let's try and apply the same techniques used on the writings in Egypt and see what we can come up with." Both boys began to copy the figures so they could study them later in their tent. Needless to say, Carlos and I were overjoyed at our find.

"You know there's a school of thought that the same people who built the pyramids in Egypt also built the pyramids here in South America. The basis of the proposition is that these people were taught by aliens who landed on earth. Do you remember those strange lines that were discovered from space? Some people think they were markers to direct alien space ships."

"That would be awesome proof if these markings can be translated using the same techniques used in Egypt. Of course the other hypothesis is that the Egyptians arrived here by boats and settled in these areas."

"I can't wait to begin the excavation of the other two quadrants."

With these thoughts going through their minds, the boys finally drifted off to sleep. As soon as the sun broke through they were up and ready to start on the other two quadrants.

Chapter 4

Breakfast was wolfed down and before long they were back at their site. Chatting back and forth as they sifted dirt, "I'd like to uncover an artifact that I could take back to the University to study. I know that the other students will be jealous they didn't come along."

"I think they will be jealous if you just showed them a picture of what we have uncovered so far."

The two boys worked all morning and nothing new was uncovered. They weren't dismayed at not finding anything, their expectations were still running high. When they returned to the tent for a late lunch, Carlos noted that Dr. Diego was looking at the site plan.

"According to ancient literature, the early settlements involved caves. Many of the people of that time supposedly lived in caves till they were able to build cities. Some of the oldest caves in Peru are located in this area. Before we leave John, we should check the area for caves."

The two boys continued to work on their mounds. "I was thinking, look at that piece of stone we uncovered, it has a slight curve to it. Let's measure that curvature and see if we could draw a circle"

"Do you suppose it could be part of an enclosure?"

"It could be, I wouldn't be surprised."

The boys measured the width of the stone, then they marked off a short distance and placed a peg an equidistance from the stone at a spot which would be the center of the stone. Now they measure a string from the peg to the center and then did the same thing to the ends of the stone. With these measurements they showed that the stone had a very slight curvature. "If this is part of a circle, we should be able to draw the circle. Let's tell your dad and Dr. Viego."

Needless to say this discovery shone a new light on the dig. "John, the boys might have found something significant. We could draw a circle with these calculations."

Toby and Carlos basked in the comments of Dr. Viego.

That evening after drinking a little too much congratulatory wine two slightly tipsy boys ended up on the tent floor in each other's arms. What Toby and Carlos had been thinking about, without common sense prevailing, were soon kissing. As one would expect in a such a situation, the kissing led to exploration of a different source. It didn't take long for fingers to drift downward. There they found a different pole, one that was warm and hard. Testing the pole they move their fingers to the top and found it wet. Instinctively, they put their wet fingers in their mouth. Now they had to see, rolling so that they were side, finding the pole, Toby turned 180 degrees to take a closer look. Holdiong the poles, they licked the top and soon they had the poles in their mouth, savoring the moisture that was being produced. For Toby this was a new experience however Carlos knew what would happen if this continued and soon it happened. Both boys were beyond just being excited and soon they experienced the ultimate sensation of coming into a hot mouth. Pulling aside, they both had a smile, Toby turned and planted a kiss on Carlos, soon they were swapping, not only saliva, but also the remnants of the sperm they both had enjoyed a few minutes before.

With a smile the boys fell asleep. In the morning they woke with a smile and a young man's problem, a hard on. But this morning they remembered what happened last night, Toby looking into Carlos's eyes, moved his hand to that hard piece of flesh. Then nature took over, for the second time the boys were treated to a warm thick liquid.

They laid there in each other's arms for only a few minutes, mother nature called and they had bladders that were telling them that they better get a move on or they will have an accident.

Toby was happy, he liked Carlos and he knew that Carlos liked him. His dad noticed the way they looked at each other, he knew Toby was gay and was comfortable with that. He didn't know about Carlos and hoped that when the dig was finished Toby wouldn't be hurt.

Chapter 5

Two of the other boys who were working on a shallow spot uncovered a stone base and Dr. Viego with a student uncovered another stone much like the one Carlos and I uncovered. Between the sites uncovered it became apparent that we were working on a wall of some sort.

Over the next two weeks we calculated were the center of the circle would most likely would be. We drew a circle and marked it so we could begin to excavate what appeared to be the base of the stone circle. We then began, independently, to confirm the circle and the wall.

As I started to dig, I noticed that I didn't have to dig far before hitting some stone. As I moved toward my left I noticed I had to dig deeper before I hit stone. 'Toby, what's wrong?"

"When I dug there I only had to go down about 6 inches to hit stone. Here I had to go down about 12 inches before I hit stone. That stone we uncovered must have been the top stone, I wonder how deep these stones are?"

"Or how high was the wall."

At dinner that night, Toby, Carlos and the other boys discussed the wall. Each boy told what they experienced at their dig. "I think we have uncovered a walled development. It is believed that the early peoples built either high on the mountains or behind walls. There were probably some dangerous animals then, maybe the ancestors of the jaguar. We have found pictographs of animals that looked the jaguars. I suppose there were others as well."

"I would think that they could jump over the walls, building in the mountains would be better."

"You may be right, but this civilization is believed to be one of the oldest and that could be the cause of them vanishing."

"It seems I read something of people living in caves. We need to think about that as well."

Everyone went to bed with a lot on their mind. Toby and Carlos had other things on their mind.

Chapter 6

Over the next two weeks the uncovering of stone continued. As more stone was uncovered, it was obvious a wall but the question that now needed to be determine, how far down in the ground was the base. It was known that there were many occasions where over time the wind deposited soil upon a base. Considering the back of the circle was a mountain, it is conceivable that the wind could have deposited any dust it carried in, in front of the mountain on to the perceived circle.

Toby was excited until his dad told him they would be leaving next week. The summer break seemed to go fast. Toby realized that school would be starting a week after they arrived home. He was confused, was it the dig or Carlos he'd miss the most. At the end of the week, as he started to pack he realized he'd miss Carlos more than the dig. He knew there would be more digs but not more Carlos's.

Leaving was hard for Toby but also for Carlos. The night before Toby would be leaving, Carlos made his feelings known to Toby. Toby had tears in his eyes as he thought about what Carlos had said, he felt the same way. What followed that evening was a lot of tears and hugs.

Chapter 7

In the morning as Toby and his dad put their luggage in the van, Carlos and Toby said a sad goodbye. Toby's dad knew that his son and Carlos had formed a bond. He was glad that Toby had found a companion, Carlos was a nice young man and according to Dr. Viego was smart as well, a perfect companion for Toby.

On the plane ride home, Toby was quiet, a drastic change from the trip to Peru.

"I thought the dig went well. You and Carlos surprised us with your discovery and the way you determined the possibility of a circle. I'm anxious to get back to see what else we can uncover about this civilization. Maybe we can go over Christmas break."

Toby's smile began to grow as he thought about seeing Carlos over the Christmas break. He was beginning to feel better.

School started, Toby was studying archeology, his goal was to follow in his dad's footsteps. His time in Peru presented a lot of fodder for his required papers. Those students in his class were a little envious of his summer experiences. Of course the grad students that accompanied him didn't help the situation. Every chance they had they would meet with Toby, "When are you and your dad going back? Have you heard anything from Dr. Viego?" The other students were listening which only added to their frustration and enmity. There was nothing Toby could do, this was his dad's project.

That evening Toby told his dad about the build up of animosity among his class mates. His father hadn't counted on the negative reaction. Giving the problem a lot of thought, he decided he would make a contest The next day, Dr. Bently met with Toby's professor.

"John it seems I have created problem. Toby tells me a few of his class mates are a little jealous of him going to Peru with me. As you know I took 4 boys besides Toby. I'm planning on spending Christmas break back at the dig. With your concurrency, I would be willing to take your 4 top students with Toby and I. What do you think?"

'If I got the University to sponsor the trip could you take more, like my whole class?"

"How many are we taking about?"

" In Toby's class there would be 8 students who would qualify. I have a total of 12 but there are 3 who are auditing the class."

"Let me get back to you. I need to clear this with Dr. Viego who is leading this expedition. On the surface I don't see any problem, we have uncovered some serious information concerning the structure of the old city. There is still quite more we need to uncover. Maybe you'd liked to go and get your hands dirty."

"I'd like to go but unlike you I'm married and if I went I think I'd end up a divorced man."

I guess in a way I'm lucky that I only have to worry about Toby, I miss my wife. She shared my enthusiasm for archeology and was great help. Toby comes by his interest in archeology from having two parents who were archeologists. I guess for that reason alone I'm glad he and Carlos have hit it off.

Chapter 8

Wednesday before Thanksgiving, while Toby was in class, I drove to the airport to pick up a special package. "Welcome Carlos, let's get you though customs." Notoriety has some privileges, I have passed through customs so often they now just wave me though. Of course having my brother being head of customs at this airport helps.

"Does Toby know I'm coming?"

"No, you'll be a big surprise. Toby has told me about his feelings for you, how do you feel about him?"

"I feel as strong for him as he feels for me. Before he left the dig, we swore an oath that we'd be true to each other. That hasn't changed for me and I suspect it hasn't changed for him."

"You're right, if Toby told you that then you can take it to the bank. He's a committed son and I'm very proud of him. He'll be surprised to see you."

Arriving at home, being a realist, I showed Carlos to Toby's room. I had a good idea of what they would be doing but they did spend the time at the dig sharing a tent. Toby was old enough to make up his own mind, better under my roof than somewhere else. At least here he was safe.

"Carlos, Toby will be home soon. Go and wait for him in his room. He normally goes directly to his room with his books, you can surprise him."

I heard the shower being turned off just a few minutes before Toby arrived home. "Dad, what did you to say to my professor, he was very excited today during class. All he lectured on was the excavations in Chile, Peru and Mexico. He asked me to comment on our current dig. After class he called his other students into his office but not me. I didn't hang around, I'll find out on Monday. I'm going to take a shower before dinner."

I heard him walking upstairs, then I heard it. 'Carlos'

Running downstairs, 'Dad, why didn't you tell me Carlos was here?" I just looked at him, he turned around, ran back upstairs. I didn't need to hurry dinner, it would be a few minutes before they would come down.

I heard the shower being turned on and 30 minutes later Toby and Carlos came down holding hands. Their smile said it all.

On Sunday, Toby and I drove Carlos to the airport. I could see tears in their eyes. "Remember Carlos we'll be flying down for the Christmas holidays, let Dr. Viego know. I'd like to get a few good days in on that dig."

I turned to walk away, giving Toby a chance to say goodbye. Young love, its deep and consuming but also a joy to behold. Toby being gay doesn't bother me and Carlos is a nice guy. I couldn't have picked a better partner for Toby.

Driving home I heard a few sniffles. "Just think in three weeks we'll be at the dig. I wonder what we'll find this time."

"Dad thanks for flying Carlos here. I really like him, he's so gentle and has the same interests we do. We must have spent hours discussing the dig. I showed him pictures of the digs I went on with you. I think he wished his father was into archeology. His dad owns a farm and a grocery store. He said a lot of what his father grows he sells."

"I wonder what got him interested in archeology?"

"Did you know that Dr. Viego is his uncle. He said his dad was against him going to the university but his mother insisted. Dr. Viego is his mother's brother."

"I'm glad he shares your interest in archeology. The best digs I ever had were with your mother. She was an excellent archeologist and was able to add to our studies. I still have several of her books and papers. If you ever want to read them let me know." Thinking about my wife as I spoke to Toby made me realize once again how much I miss her. I truly believed she was better than me in uncovering our past. I hope if Toby and Carlos team up, they will develop the same rapport I had with his mother.

While Toby was at school, I began to read some of Clair's reports. Memories came flooding back as well as my tears. I miss her as a wife, mother and co-worker. I know she would be happy for Toby.

I must have been lost in my memories because the next thing I heard was 'Dad'.

"In here Toby"

"Why didn't you tell me you invited my class to go on the Peruvian dig?"

"I guess I forgot with Carlos coming, that was the subject of the day?"

"Yes, one boy said his dad said he couldn't go but his mother gave him the money for the ticket. Now everyone wanted to see my pictures and read my reports. They are treating me as a celebrity. Don't be surprised if they show up at your office. That reminds me you didn't go to your office today, one of the girls said she went to thank you and the door was locked."

"I had one of my grad students handle my class load today. Let's go out for dinner and you can tell me more about your class."

Chapter 9

Impatience took over the next three weeks. Not only Toby was excited but the eight students in his class were as well. Toby's professor was beginning to question the wisdom of letting those in his class know about going on the dig in Peru.

As the departure came closer and closer, it was difficult to keep his students focused on their lessons. The final week the professor gave up, he turned his lectures toward conducting excavation techniques focusing on the importance of preserving even those items that may, on the surface, have no legitimate reason to keep. To support his presentation he had several examples. The last day of class, he presented slides showing various findings at digs, among those slides were examples of artifacts that on the surface would indicate they weren't pertinent to the dig. He also had slides showing what appeared to be artifacts but in reality were not. He asked the students to determine what they would keep and what they would discard. After the slide show, he gave them the answers. The students were surprised by the answers. The professor had made his point.

The plane ride to Peru was one loaded with an excited class of course Toby was excited about something else, or better someone else, Carlos.

Arriving in Peru, Toby couldn't wait to claim his luggage, going through customs he literally ran to baggage pick up area. Looking at the glass wall, he saw Dr. Viego but no Carlos. He looked at his dad, his face showed not only disappointment but also fear.

"Carlos is at the site. He went up yesterday to get everything ready. We'll be leaving as soon as we get our luggage through customs."

Toby felt a little relief but still was disappointed. He was counting on seeing Carlos.

As his dad had said, exiting the customs hall, Dr. Viego met the party. "We'll be going directly to the dig. I have 3 large vans here to take us. Place your luggage in the back, take a seat and we'll be on our way." Toby and his dad made sure that they rode with Dr. Viego. They discussed the dig the whole way to the dig.

Arriving at the dig, Toby took off looking for Carlos. Drs. Viego and Bently watched as Toby saw Carlos. In no time Toby was in the arms of Carlos.

One of the girls in his class was watching, whispering to her friend, "No wonder he ignores me when I hit on him. He's gay and that must be his boyfriend."

"Well, if that's his boyfriend, he has good taste."

Dr. Bently interrupted the girls, "Ladies and gentlemen, take a good look around. This'll be your home for the next few days. Carlos will show you to your tent and then we'll meet in the large tent for a quick review and assignments."

Everyone picked up their duffle bags and followed Carlos. The students who were here last summer recognized their tents, not waiting for Carlos, they took off, dropping their bags in their tents and headed back for the meeting.

"I'm glad you four are back before the others. I want each of you to take two of the new students, give them an overview. They'll be working with you over the next few days. We need to discover how deep is the wall. Once we know that we can begin to look for their encampment which history indicated might be in the rear."

Over the next 10 days, the students discovered that working a dig was just that. No glory, just hard meticulous work. Carlos and Toby already knew this and put their minds to the task. At the end of the 10 days, they had determined that the wall was at least one meter tall. Only one section of the wall was uncovered. There still was a lot of work to be done. The students, under the direction of Dr. Viego and Toby's father, prepared the site for departure.

Arriving back in town, Dr. Viego and Toby's father arranged for an overnight stay at the local hotel. They would be flying out in the morning for home. Their spring break was over.

Toby and Carlos said their tearful goodbye in their hotel room that night. Arrangements were made to keep in touch until Toby returned in the summer.

On the plane ride home,Toby's dad noticed the tears in Toby's eyes. He knew that his son had found his mate and being young missed him. He also knew that they would spend 3 months together soon.

It was two weeks before school let out for the summer when Toby's dad told him that Dr. Diego would be arriving the last week of school to make a presentation on archeology in South America.

"Is he bringing anyone with him?"

"I think he said he might bring his nephew with him."

Toby's smile faded until he remembered that Carlos was his nephew. Toby took off, he was going to FaceTime Carlos. The next morning, Toby with all smiles informed his dad that Carlos would be arriving this coming Saturday. "He said he has a term paper to do but he can do it here. That's okay right?"

"Yes, of course, he might want to sit in your class. It would give him a new perspective. I'll talk to your professor to make sure it'll be alright."

"I'm sure it'll be okay. A few of the students that went with us told me they where going to change their majors. I think the hard work turned them off."

Toby's dad smiled, he thought he could name those that changed their mind. They were the ones who complained about the work.

Chapter 10

That week-end Carlos arrived. Toby was all smiles. Going to class now presented another problem. Carlos was a good looking young man and there were young ladies who recognized that Carlos was good looking and listening to his accent only added to his charm. Normally Toby would have been concerned but he knew Carlos was faithful to him. There was a trust and understanding that existed between the two.

Dr. Viego arrived the following week-end, Toby, Carlos and Toby's dad met Dr. Viego at the airport. There were a lot of smiles and handshakes. Arriving at Toby's home, he and Carlos took Dr. Viego's luggage to the guest room.

The discussion around the dinner table that evening centered on the dig. "It looks like if we're lucky we might be able to clear a path to the mountain now that we have an idea how much fill has occurred."

"With the plate we set, we should have an idea of how much soil was deposited and how long it took to get to the depth we uncovered."

"Is that the purpose of the plates we set out?"

"Yes, with that information we should be able to estimate the age of the site. It will only be an estimate, however if we're able to find any artifacts we'll be able to be more accurate in our estimation."

Toby and Carlos looked at each other. You could almost read their thoughts.

"Dad, Carlos and I were thinking that we'd like to work in front of that mountain. You know we'll be careful and we were the first to discover the wall. What do you think?"

"First we need to make arrangements to fly to Peru, don't you think." Toby realized that he still had one week of classes.

Chapter. 11

On the flight to Peru, Toby and Carlos sat in front of Dr. Viego and Toby's dad. "Dad, have you and Dr. Viego given any thoughts to us working on the mountain."

"That so called mountain may actually be a temple. If you check other sites there was always a temple of some sort. I have no problem with you and Carlos working there but I think maybe either Dr. Diego or myself should help."

"Okay, but can we start?"

"First let's get to the sight." Toby heard a chuckle from the seats behind him and Carlos.

Arriving in Peru was like an old hat, Toby knew his way around. Carlos and Dr. Viego being Peruvian essentially walked right through customs. Toby and his dad of course were asked a lot of questions, as they expected.

Exiting the arrivals halls, "Dad have you given any more thought to my request?"

"Just give me a minute."

John Bentley went to find Dr. Viego. He wasn't sure if he should let the boys attack that temple alone although they did a fine job in uncovering the wall.

"Luis, the boys want to investigate the temple. What do you think?"

"I think John one of us should be there. With their luck I feel they'll uncover something and we should be there to help them identify it."

"That's what I thought as well. Why don't you work with them and I'll work with the rest of the team."

The next morning Dr. Viego went to the temple with the boys. Looking over the temple he decided to start at the top. He was afraid if the started at the bottom the sides would slip down and cover what has been dug but also put the boys in harm way.

Explaining his strategy and why, the boys were ready to climb the side and start uncovering the top. Carlos suggested cutting steps in the side which would make climbing easier. Toby and Carlos went to get buckets and screens to sift the dirt they removed for the steps. Dr. Viego smiled, their thinking was logical and the idea of sifting the dirt removed indicated they were taking this project seriously.

The other students under the guidance of Dr. Bently returned to the wall. The question was 'why the steps up but no steps down.'

He called the four older students for a meeting, " I'm confused about something and I think we need to determine why."

That was marching orders. The boys called their teams together and laid out a plan for the dig.

One month later, the pyramid top layer was removed, about 1 foot of the top earth was screened. No artifacts were found but the boys hadn't expected anything. The other team discovered that the wall was about one meter thick, lifting the top surface from the rocks, what they found indicated that the wall consisted of packed dirt topped by stone.

At the end of the summer break significant excavation was completed. Once the team discovered the wall, they split up and removed the dirt from the center of the circle. No significant artifacts were found but the discovery of the wall was a significant find.

Toby and Carlos weren't disappointed in not finding any artifacts. They were more interested in their relationship to feel disappointed. The encouragement from Dr. Viego to continue made them feel that what they were doing was important and even though they hadn't found any artifacts.

Before leaving the dig, the area had to be prepared for closure. This took the team four days to place tarps over the areas that were uncovered.

Carlos and Toby made plans for Carlos to visit Toby at Thanksgiving. "We'll be back at the dig over the Christmas holidays. Then spring break hopefully we'll make a significant find on the Temple."

That night Carlos and Toby sealed their relationship in only the way two lovers can. In Toby's mind this was it, Carlos was his future and he hoped Carlos felt the same way. He envisioned Carlos and he would be partners much like his mom and dad were. In a romantic way he could see Carlos and him making great discoveries.

Dr. Bently noted that Toby was as sad as he was last year when the summer was over. What he didn't know that Carlos and he had decided that this year they would put all of their time in achieving high marks in school. Of course they still had time to chat and one would think they talked about their relationship but they would be wrong, they actually discussed homework or the lectures they attended. They were serious about excelling this year in school. Dr. Bently noticed the attitude and the emphasis that Toby exhibited concerning his studies.

Being occupied with school, time seemed to pass quickly and sooner than he realized, he was on his way to pick up Carlos at the airport. For the next few days Toby's mind wasn't on school but he and Carlos shared their intimate relationship. They did managed to talk about the dig as well. Both boys looked upon the dig as their initiation into their field of endeavor.

Sadly the Thanksgiving break was over and Carlos had to return to Peru. Toby's dad noticed that Toby wasn't as depressed as he was last year. He wasn't sure what happened but he was glad for Toby. This was a markable change from last year.

Chapter 12

Toby and Carlos again picked up where they left off, studies were number one.

As the Christmas holidays approached, several members of the summer team asked if they could take their break in Peru. They would join the team after Christmas having to spend that holiday with their families.

Back at the dig, they spent one day removing the tarps that were placed over the dig. After Carlos and Toby rekindled their special relationship in a very special way, they were anxious to start on the pyramid again.

In a meeting with Dr. Viego he introduced them to a new member of the dig, Luis. Carlos knew him, "He's in my classes and showed a high degree of interest in what we were doing. I spoke to Dr. Viego and since your dad has brought extra students I thought we should include him."

"That's a good idea, the more we have the faster we can progress. If you have any other friends that would like to come, ask Dr. Vie-go if they could come."

Carlos was glad that Toby didn't mind Luis coming. Dr. Viego asked Carlos to explain to Luis what we were doing, more or less.

We were back on the pyramid, with the extra hand we were making good progress. Still the sifting took time, Toby noticed that Luis was pitching in, smiling whenever Toby looked at him. Over the next week, Luis, Carlos and Toby became close friends. In the evening, the boys would sit on the wall and talk about the dig but also about their personal lives. Carlos informed Luis that he and Toby were boyfriends. Luis suspected something like that.

"Carlos, I've always suspected you were different. Maria used to find ways to be with you. I remember at lunch time she practically threw herself at you and you seemed to ignore it or treated it as a joke. At first I thought it was because of your attitude toward your studies. You were Dr. Viego's number one student."

I knew why he was Dr. Viego's number one student, he was his nephew.

After two weeks we still hadn't found any artifacts, but we did begin to see the top of some stones similar to what we found at the wall. Dr. Viego said that we should clear away all of the dirt above the stones as this would indicate how big the Temple was.

"During spring break we could start to work on the sides. Then this summer we can begin to remove the top layer of stone and maybe we can get inside of the pyramid."

That was enough excitement for the boys, until Dr. Viego told them that to remove the top stones would be a bad idea. He went on to explain that if weather got into the pyramid beside the dirt, it would compromise any findings. The boys considered what Dr. Viego told them and decided they would wait till they found the entrance at the bottom of the pyramid.

Again it was time to return home. Toby was excited about finding the top of the pyramid. His dad listened, smiling inside, as he heard the enthusiasm in Toby's voice.

The boys inserted themselves into their school work. Dr. Bently knew that any assignments their professors would give them would result in a paper written by the boys which would cover being on the dig. He smiled to himself but also was proud of Toby's professionalism at the dig. He wasn't sure among the two who was the leader. But they seemed to very compatible with the same drive and motivation. He was happy for Toby and it didn't matter to him if he and Carlos shared themselves. If Toby was happy, that was all that counted. Of course Toby's approach to his school work was something Dr. Bently expected. Archeology was always discussed in the home and Toby took an interest in those discussions. Dr. Bently knew that his wife would have supported Toby unconditionally.

Spring break was right around the corner. Toby was talking to Carlos outlining what they wanted to do at the dig. Carlos was to review their plans with Dr. Viego and Toby would review their plans with his dad.

Chapter 13

Spring break and the usual group headed south. Toby was excite to see Carlos as Carlos was excited to see Toby. Spring break was only 10 days, that meant they had only 7 days to work on the dig, two days for traveling and one day to wrap up the dig.

Toby and Carlos knew that not much could be done in 7 days. They were excited to be together as well as getting more data from the dig.

At a meeting with Dr. Viego, Toby asked if he had any idea how much earth had accumulated on the pyramid. Dr. Viego told them it was hard to estimate. But he thought most had already been removed from the top. He explained the wind would remove the loose dirt but the rains would turn the dirt into mud which would cake and dry.

"The top was mostly dried mud. It came off in chunks which we had to break up to sieve."

The sides were easy. The dirt wasn't as caked and what was caked was the front. They started at the top, and worked down one side, one gathered the dirt the other shifted. Then

Luis showed ups and started to help. Now with two boys removing the dirt and only one sifting, the sifting became the limiting action. "We need two sifting if we continue to have this much dirt to sift."

"Luis, do you think Miguel might want to come and help?"

"Probably, he's been asking about the dig."

"It's too late now but this summer would be perfect."

The boys continued to sift dirt, when it backed up, one of the boys joined with the sifting, when they got caught up, one sifted while the other two removed the dirt from the pyramid. They proceeded like this for the 7 days that they were at the dig.

On the way home, "We don't really get much done in 7 days. I think we cleared only about 12 inches of soil from the pyramid. At that rate it will take us about 6 months to get to the bottom of the pyramid."

"Maybe this summer we can get more people working on the pyramid. I know you wanted it to be your and Carlos's project but you have already added another person. When you talk to Carlos ask him if there are any more students in his class that may want to help. He'll need to clear that with Dr. Viego."

"Maybe" Toby was getting disappointed but he couldn't figure out why, was it taking so long or was the time away too long. He knew that you couldn't hurry a dig along, you might miss an important clue or artifact. He knew that and accepted it, but normally they would stay at a dig until it was complete.

This bother Toby. He was thinking maybe he should have stayed home until he had his degrees. If he did that he wouldn't have met Carlos. Toby wrestled with this issue on the plane ride home. He knew what he had to do, later that night he would call Carlos.

Dr. Bently understood Toby's dilemma. There were times he had to leave a dig. By the time he got back someone else had finished the excavation.

Over the next few weeks, Toby poured his efforts into his school work. It proved to be a distraction from the dig. Focusing on his school work made him realize that when the mind was busy there wasn't time to dream up worries, worries about the dig and time remaining, worries about his future and how Carlos and he would resolve them living in two different countries. These thoughts use to plague him now they weren't in the fore.

Chapter 14

Toby was surprised one morning when his dad told him they would be flying to Peru on Saturday. He went and checked his calendar and then called Carlos.

"I can't believe the semester will be over in a few days. I have my exams the next three days and then we'll be flying back to the dig."

Carlos was just as excited as Toby, but not so much about the dig as seeing and being with Toby again.

Saturday couldn't come fast enough. By Thursday Toby was packed. At dinner that night, "Dad, you like Carlos, right?"

"Yes, he seemed to be a serious young man, has the same enthusiasm about archeology as you do. Why do you ask?"

Toby took a big gulp, "When school is finished, I'd like to marry Carlos, now that it's legal." Toby held his breath waiting for his dad's reaction.

"I like Carlos, he shares your interests, but are you sure about marriage? Have you discussed this with Carlos and does he feel the same way?"

"No I haven't. We share a lot of the same interests and I think he feels the same way about me as I feel about him. I guess I just wanted to know how you felt. Once this dig is over, I'll probably not see him anymore." Toby had tears in his eyes when he said that. He just realized that when this dig was over his chances of seeing Carlos again would be limited, if ever.

Toby's dad understood the pain that crossed Toby's face. Finding one's soul mate and then contemplating the loss is painful particularly in someone as young as Toby.

"There's a lot of opportunities for future digs in South America. I'm sure there will be opportunities for you two to spend a lot of time together."

"Dad what do you think of Dr. Viego? I was thinking of taking my doctorate at his university. I'll get my masters here and then my doctorate there."

"Dr. Viego is a well respected archeologists. However you'll need to learn Spanish as they speak it. I'm sure his lectures would be in Spanish."

"Why did you say his Spanish. I thought that Spanish would be the same no matter where you go."

"The basics yes but each country developed their form depending on localisms. I'm sure there are some words in his language that came from the early inhabitants of his country."

"So if I wanted to learn Peruvian Spanish I would need to learn it in Peru."

Toby's father laughed. Toby would now be determined to learn Peruvian Spanish. "Maybe Carlos might want to get his pHD here at my university. What then?"

For Toby the answer was simple, where Carlos would be, he would be as well.

On the flight to Peru, "Dad how far do you think we'll get this summer? I think we might get the pyramid uncovered and that'll be all."

"That's hard to say. It'll depend on how many we'll have working on the pyramid and hopefully no one will be hurt. Since we have extra people to work on the wall, maybe we can send a few to work with you and Carlos on the pyramid."

"Yes, we could use more sifters. We had to stop removing the dirt to help sift as the unsifted pile began to get ahead of the sifters."

The rest of the flight, Toby was quiet but his mind was running on a full tank of gas. Of course most of his thoughts were on Carlos.

Arriving in Peru, Toby rushed to the baggage area as soon as he cleared customs. Of course he'd have to wait for his luggage and again pass customs before he could exit. But as soon as he was in the luggage area, he was checking out the large glass for Carlos. He didn't see Carlos, his heart dropped and his eyes glassed over, as he was walking by the glass looking, he heard a rap on the glass, turning he saw Carlos who had a smile from ear to ear. Toby, ran to the window, looking at Carlos he mouthed the words 'I love you'.

Being away from Carlos for a few months just made it more important to be sure Carlos knew exactly how he felt.

It didn't take long before the luggage arrived, loaded on a cart and heading for the exit. Toby had a smile so large his cheeks were hurting from holding the smile so long. Dr. Bently looked at him and inwardly smiled. He remembered his first love, he remember well cause he ended up marrying her, Toby's mother.

As soon as Toby was through the gate, he grabbed Carlos and not caring who was looking, gave him the biggest kiss he could. In Toby's mind, Carlos was it, no questions, no doubts. He only hoped that Carlos felt the same way. By the way Carlos responded to the kiss, Toby knew that his feelings were being sent right back to him.

All the way to the dig you would think Toby and Carlos were Siamese twins, joined at the hip.

By the time they arrived at the dig, feelings were beginning to cool off. The boys, along with the total team, began to unload the trucks, set up the tents and helped in general to get the dig to the point where they could start in the morning. Drs. Viego and Bently gave a brief overview, made sure everyone knew everyone, Dr. Viego brought additional 6 people from his senior class. He made the remark that as soon as Carlos started talking about the dig, he was told that he had to bring the 6 senior students, they told him that.

In the morning, during breakfast, the team was divided into teams. Of course Toby and Carlos along with Luis was assigned to the pyramid. Two other boys and one girl was assigned as well.

They met and decided how they were going to work. They decided that three would remove the dirt from the sides of the pyramid and three would sift. They would change every two hours to give everyone a chance at both tasks.

The first three weeks went well, slow but well. They all knew that was necessary to make sure they didn't miss any artifact that may be in the removed dirt.

During the end of the fourth week, one of the crews assigned to digging out the circle, came upon a building at the base of the pyramid. Of course Toby and Carlos were a little disappointed they didn't find the building but they were excited about the purpose of the building and what secrets it contained.

Drs. Viego and Bently decided to complete the excavation before they opened the building. Toby was excited and was anxious. Later that evening, "Dad, why don't we open the building now?"

"Dr. Viego and I thought that maybe you and Carlos would like to open the building. So over Christmas holidays, we will come back and the four of us will open the building. Just don't say anything to anyone. In a sense it isn't fair but you two have been on this dig from the beginning and so if there are any papers to be written you and Carlos should do it."

Toby's dad knew that the best incentive for an archeologist is to make a discovery, large or small, makes no difference.

One looking from outside may think favoritism was being used in making that decision, and they would be right. It was important to Dr. Viego and Dr. Bently that their boys experience this dig. Based on previous digs in the area they knew there wouldn't be any treasure in the sense of gold or silver, but they knew there would be something.

The last week was devoted to drawings and covering the dig. Toby had tears in his eyes as he and Carlos spent their last night together in their tent. Laying in each other's arms, they pledged their love for each other.

It was a teary goodbye at the airport, but the boys knew they had made a pact. A pact made of trust and love which will help them being apart till the Christmas holidays.

Chapter 15

Toby settled down into a routine, week days his evenings were dedicated to school work and an email sent to Carlos. Saturdays were spent on finishing school work and chores but Sunday was his and Carlos's time. Letters were written but the best part was when they connected so they could chat face to face. Future plans were made, schools and where they would live after graduation. Even what type of home they would have, a city apartment, a house, number of bedrooms and should there be a room for relics, or a farm with animals but most importantly how they would find their digs and where. The answers to these questions weren't important, what was important they were speaking to each other getting to know each other and their preferences at a different level. Almost like looking into their brains. Now that a commitment was made they needed to focus on those little things.

It was at Monday's dinner when Toby asked his dad what he thought about something on his mind. "Dad, since I'm one year ahead of Carlos, I'll be graduating this spring. I want to go for my masters and then my pHD, what do you think about taking a year off so that Carlos and I would finish at the same time?"

"Have you discussed this with Carlos? You do realize once you start your masters you'll have teaching assignments with freshman classes, your studies will be more specific. To be honest I wouldn't want you to interrupt your education."

Toby didn't like his dad's position but he understood, he hasn't expressed any dissatisfaction with his and Carlos's relationship. In fact his dad was pretty clear that he had accepted his and Carlos's relationship. Toby decided he would discuss this with Carlos over the Christmas holiday.

Toby's dad didn't tell him that this year they would spend Thanksgiving in Peru. There were several issues, Toby's desire to finish school the same time as Carlos only being one of them. He needed to understand what Dr. Viego, being Carlos's uncle, felt about Carlos and Toby's relationship. There is the off chance he would not look kindly on their relationship. Not every one is as open as he is to a gay relationship.

Toby walked into the house prepared to spend the holiday studying. He had talked to Carlos who told him he couldn't come up for the Holiday. He had tests and his father is having his 65th birthday.

"Let's go. We have a plane to catch in 45 minutes. I packed a bag for you, take your school bag, grab a snack and let's go. I'll meet you in the car." Dr. Bently laughed at the expression on Toby's face.

Driving to the airport, Toby tried to find out where they were going. All his dad told him was that he had an important meeting on Friday and thought the trip would help him relax. Toby still wondered about why they are flying on Wednesday if the meeting was on Friday.

Boarding the plane, the cabin crew did their usual, walking the aisle checking on seat belts and making sure trays were stowed. Toby still didn't catch on, his father thought for sure he would recognize one of the flight crew.

As one of the flight crew went though the emergency procedures finishing and hoping they would enjoy their flight to Peru. That woke Toby up, "We're going to Peru?"

"Yes, I have an important meeting with Dr. Viego. I thought you'd like to go along."

Dr. Bently couldn't have done anything more to prove to Toby that he had his support. Needless to say, Toby had a smile on his face they whole plane ride.

Landing in Lima, Toby rushed to the customs area way ahead of his father. He couldn't get through customs fast enough. Arriving at the luggage area, he looked at the large glass wall, but no sign of Carlos or Dr. Viego. His face showed his disappointment. Joined by his dad, "Dad, I don't see Carlos or Dr. Viego."

"Well, we're early. My appointment isn't till Friday. I thought we might enjoy some of the sites in Lima. We generally go to the dig right away. I understand there is a fantastic museum here."

Unknown to Toby, Carlos was at their hotel waiting for him. Dr. Bently was meeting Dr. Viego in the morning.

Arriving at the hotel, Dr. Bently had reserves adjoining rooms. He also made sure Carlos would be in one of the rooms waiting for Toby. Checking in was a simple affair, reservations were in order, credit card approved, and two keys were given to Dr. Bently. Now Dr. Bently had to make sure that Toby had the right room key. On the pretense of ordering room service, he went back to the desk. Asking about the room assigned to Carlos, the desk staff informed him of the room number.

In the elevator, Dr. Bently handed Toby his room key. "I have ordered room service for 8 so be ready. I suggest we eat together so as soon as you unpack and freshen up come to my room. I'll be right next door." Dr. Bently knew he wouldn't see Toby till morning.

There was no excitement in Toby's voice as he agreed.

Dr. Bently had just sat his suitcase down when his phone rang. "Dad, there's someone else in my room. There's a suitcase on the bed."

Before Dr. Bently could respond, he heard a loud 'Carlos.' Then the phone went dead.

Now, Dr. Bently called room service and ordered breakfast for three to be served at 8:30 in the morning

The next morning, a very tired Toby and Carlos sat down for breakfast. Dr. Bently just smiled. He called room service and ordered another pot of strong coffee. Toby just smiled as he heard his dad order the coffee.

"Toby, why are you eating with only one hand? Normally when you ate you had both hands visible." Dr. Bently knew where the other hand was since Carlos also was eating with one hand. He just liked to tease a little.

"Dad, we're going back to bed for a little more sleep."

"Okay, I have a meeting at 11 with Dr. Viego. Make sure you are up before noon, housekeeping will be coming to clean your room."

As expected. A woman knocked on the door, "Room service." Toby, cracked the door open and asked her to come back, "I got in late last night and I am just waking up."

The lady said she'll be back in about 1 hour, of course she said this in Spanish. Carlos heard from the bathroom where he fled when they heard the knock on the door and translated for Toby.

The boys decided they would not be here when she returned. "Let's go and have lunch and then we can visit your university."

As Toby left the elevator his phone rang. "Hello, let me ask him. Dad wants to know if we would like to have lunch with him and Dr. Viego, what do you think?"

Carlos nodded his head yes, "Okay but where will we meet you? —Does Carlos know where the restaurant 'La Primavera is located? He knows, he is shaking his head yes. Okay we'll see you in 10 minutes."

"You will like this restaurant they make a great ceviche."

Walking to the restaurant, "What is ceviche?"

"It is fish that is cooked in a spicy lime juice where the acids in the juice and spices give the fish a fantastic flavor. You'll enjoy it." Toby wasn't so sure.

Walking into the restaurant, "There's your dad with my uncle Luis."

The boys walked over to the table and sat down, "We have already ordered. I just hope you like what we ordered."

I knew my dad wouldn't order anything I didn't like. But I'm not sure if he wouldn't order something I have never eaten before. I saw the smile on my dad's face so I knew he had done just that.

Sure enough when the waiter brought over plates of fish in a clear liquid that contained smashed cloves of garlic, I knew this was the dish Carlos told me about.

I watched dad's face as the dish was set before me. "Toby, before you say no, try it. Then if you don't like it, you can order from the menu."

That sounded like a fair deal to me. I took a piece of fish, closed my eyes as I put it in my mouth. What a surprise!

I actually like it, it wasn't like I thought. The fish was cooked and had a delicious flavor. I smiled as I dove in to get another piece. Carlos smiled, "I knew you would like it."

Not only did I like it, I ordered it as my main course. I wonder if there were other Peruvian dished I might like. Normally I would shy away from new foods, but the

ceviche was really good.

On the way back to the hotel, "Carlos that fish dish was very good. What other types of native foods do you have that I may want to try?"

"We have a lot of similar dishes but prepared a little different. We have a dish called Taco Tacu which is pan fried rice and beans. We'll try that tonight. I know of a small restaurant that makes the best. We also have chicken, beef and a native sausage that comes with fries. I think you'll enjoy these special dishes. We have a dish called pachamanca which involves cooking a complete dinner in a hole in the ground. That is diffidently something you'll need to try."

Toby wasn't so sure about that. The fish dish was one thing but food cooked in the ground was something else.

Chapter 16

That evening Carlos took Toby to a small restaurant on the outskirts of Lima. "A lot of students come here. The food is good and reasonable."

"Do they have pizza or hamburgers?"

Carlos laughed, "No but you'll like the local food."

"I was kidding. When you visit in December I'll take you to a similar type of restaurant."

When they entered the restaurant Toby heard a group of students calling Carlos. Looking carefully at the group he recognized several from the dig. Toby smiled and followed Carlos to their table. Before Toby could say hi, two chairs were brought to the table.

As Toby listened he decided he was going to learn Spanish. Every once in a while Carlos would translate for him. While he was sitting there one of the girls from the dig pulled up a chair and sat beside Toby. "Hi, how are you? Ready for the dig again?'

"Yes, what are you doing here, I didn't expect to see you till December?"

"My dad had a meeting with Dr. Viego so I tagged along. What are your opinion of the dig?"

That started a conversation about the dig which overflowed into archeology in general. Toby got so wrapped in the conversation he didn't realize that Carlos was feeding him food. Carlos knew if Toby knew what he was eating he wouldn't even try it.

Carlos just set back enjoying the conversation, adding his two bits occasionally. If you have ever been in college and had the opportunity of participating in a free discussion you have the picture of Toby's experience.

Walking back to the hotel, "You seemed to enjoy tonight."

"I did, you have a great group of friends. I really enjoyed the conversations and the food was very tasty." Toby stopped walking, he just realized that Carlos had fed him bits of food from his plate. "You fed me?"

"Yes, I knew if you tried some of the dishes you would like them. But you seemed a little squeamish when I suggested something like the ceviche, you didn't want it till you tasted it then you had a complete serving."

"So what did I eat that I wouldn't have eaten?"

"You remember me telling you about 'earth oven'?"

"Yes, that was food cooked in the ground. I told you I wouldn't like it."

"Yes, but you ate it today and asked for more."

"No I didn't"

"Yes, you did. Remember the chicken you ate, that was cooked in an earth oven."

I looked at him, "I'm glad I didn't know that I was eating it. Is that all of the strange food you fed me?"

"No, I fed you some Cuy."

"What was that?"

"It's a small animal. They are similar to a rabbit, more or less." I wasn't about to tell him it was guinea pig. "You liked the potatoes."

"Yes, even if they were purple."

"The early people grew potatoes as a main source of food, for human use as well as animal feed. There are at least 200 varieties of potatoes. These varieties fit into one of seven type categories. You probably ate at least two of these varieties and now you can add one or two more."

"I only know russet, red skin and baking potato."

"Well, now you add yellow and blue/purple."

"Blue/purple I never ate those."

"You did tonight. Those fries were good weren't they?"

"Next time I'll not talk so much and watch what I eat."

Arriving at their hotel they met Toby's dad. "You both look like you had a good time tonight."

"We did, Carlos took me to a restaurant where I met a lot of his friends. Some of them I had met from the dig. It was a lot of fun."

"He even tried some of the local food."

"Even guinea pig?"

Carlos nodded his head yes. "I didn't eat guinea pig. They are pets."

Carlos and Dr. Bently laughed. "I definitely have to watch what I eat and don't just accept what you feed me."

Saturday, Toby and Carlos did the tourist bit, visiting the typical tourist sites in the mountains. Toby wanted to see Machu Picchu. "That would be a full two day trip but we can go to another site where you can look at Machu Picchu from there. It will be cold up in the mountains." Toby was ready in 15 minutes grabbing a piece of fruit as they left.

They walked through Lima and headed into the mountains. As they walked, they talked about school, the dig and what they might find. "We should have visited the museum at school. They have a lot of the artifacts from their sponsored digs and some great books on the history of the Indians of Peru, the Incas."

"Maybe we can do that when we get back."

"I think it'll be too late. What time are you leaving tomorrow?"

"I don't know, I didn't ask my dad. I'll do that tonight when we get back."

The rest of the day Toby enjoyed the walk, not sure if it was the sights of the ruins that they saw or just being alone with Carlos.

When they got back to the hotel they ordered rooms service for dinner. Toby pictured that this is what his future would be like. Working a dig along side Carlos, coming home and having dinner together while discussing the day's events. "TOBY, where did you go!"

"I'm sorry, I was just thinking how nice this is, just the two of us. I can't wait till school is over and we can be together all the time."

Carlos just smiled as he looked into Toby's eyes. There was no question there was love there and he hoped that Toby saw the same in his eyes.

Finished eating, Toby wheeled the cart into the hall. "Hi Dad, what time is our flight tomorrow? If we have time Carlos and I would like to go and check out the university's archeology collection."

"How was your trip today?"

"We went to see a few small digs, Carlos said we would need two days to go to Machu Picchu."

"Some people camp there for two or three days. You can do that this summer when we come back to the dig. Our flight tomorrow is at 3 so you have time in the morning to go and see the university's collection of artifacts."

Toby smiled and wished his dad good night.

Toby woke up he noticed it was 10 o'clock morning. He was still a little tired but he knew if he wanted to visit the archaeology room at the university he had to get up. Carlos, sleeping by his side, complained when Toby tried to wake up. "Carlos come on wake up. I want to see the exhibit and if you don't wake up soon I won't be able to go to the university."

Carlos begrudgingly opened his eyes. "We have only been asleep for 4 hours. I'm still tired."

"Hey you are the one wanted to play last night."

"Making love is not play, it's a serious business."

Toby pulled the covers away and threatened to pour cold water on him if he didn't get up.

Finishing his morning shower, Toby called room service for breakfast for Carlos and himself. "Carlos unless you want room service to wheel the cart in while you're still in bed you better get up."

Carlos mumbled as he pulled sheet over his head. 15 minutes later a knock on the door announcing room service got Carlos out of bed. Toby laughed as Carlos rushed into the bathroom but not before Toby swatted him on his bare ass.

Chapter 17

On the way home, "Dad, did you and Dr, Viego have a good talk?"

"Yes, we did. I really like that man, he's an excellent archeologist and I doubt if anyone knows more about the archeology of Peru. I have convinced him to write a book, which I offered to edit for him. I don't think I'll need to do much except for the English version."

"Wow, I can't wait to read it. What little I saw of the ruins, I definitely want to go back and see more."

"Let's see how far we get this summer at our dig. If we have time then you can go and spend some time at Machu Picchu, It is the most famous of the archeological sites in Peru."

Toby smiled to himself remembering what Carlos said about camping out at the site.

Toby immersed himself in his school work. Of course he FaceTime with Carlos each evening. Their chats were brief more to the point on committing themselves to each other.

Toby knew that Carlos would be spending the Christmas holidays with him. He could wait till he saw Carlos because he believed that Carlos was his significant other and knew that Carlos felt the same way about him.

"Toby, are you ready to go, the plane will be landing in 45 minutes?"

"Be right there Dad."

On the way to the airport, "You are very quiet. Is there something wrong? Did you and Carlos have a fight?"

"No, we are ok. But this long distance romance makes everything hard."

Arriving at the airport, they to the arrivals hall to wait. After 30 minutes I saw Carlos and waved. Then I saw Dr. Viego, "Dad, I didn't know Dr. Viego was coming also."

"He suggested that we could review his book, taking a break from our teaching duties."

In a strange way, I was glad that dad would have some company for the Holidays.

It seemed that Christmas came and went in a flash. Gone two days and I miss him already. I decided I would bury myself in my studies and get ready for graduation. I had almost 5 months before I would see Carlos again at the dig. Dad thought this would be our last summer at this dig. Thinking about Carlos I wonder when I'd see him again if the dig is closed.

I guess dad saw my gloomy mood. "Toby, there's a chance that Dr. Viego might be a visiting professor next year. His book is almost complete which will then allow him to take on the responsibilities of a visiting professor."

"Does that allow Carlos to finish his degree here?"

"I'm not sure. The next time you talk to him ask him what the universities position on accepting credits from other schools. Sometimes they will accept all of them. They'll also check his courses to see if they match ours. Some school curriculums will differ even though the basics are the same."

Toby's attitude picked up a little, he knew not to build his hopes up only to have them destroyed.

Toby had spoken to Carlos, Carlos was excited as well. Two weeks later Carlos called Toby with some bad news. His dad found out that he might take his final year in the States and said no.

"Dad, I just spoke to Carlos, he said his dad told him he can't come to the States and when he finishes school he wants him home to work on the farm."

His dad knew this was a possibility and so did Dr. Viego. "Don't worry about that now. Continue to work toward finishing your degree, I have a good feeling everything will work out."

In conversations with Carlos, Toby tried to get him to relax and not worry. "Carlos, if you can't come here I'll go to your school until you can come here for your Masters. I think Dr. Viego will help you."

Toby remember his dad always told him you don't build a dam in the desert.

Chapter 18

For the rest of the term Toby applied himself to his studies.

Time passed quickly, graduation day was just 24 hours away. Graduation wasn't on Toby's mind, what was on his mind was that he'd be at the dig in less than 48 hours. He'd have three months to spend with Carlos.

What Toby did not know was that his dad had invited Carlos and Dr. Viego to Toby's graduation.

At the graduation ceremony Toby was smiling because he knew he would soon be at the dig. All he could think about was seeing Carlos.

At the conclusion of the graduation ceremony Toby looked for his dad. He found him in the lobby talking to one of the students. From the look on his dad's face he knew that it wasn't good news.

"Dad, what's wrong?"

"First congratulations, it seems that those senior students who were with us at the dig will not be returning this year. Their parents have made other arrangements as a graduation gift. That means we'll have to do with the help of Dr. Viego's students."

"I can go."

Toby turned around and saw Carlos. It took a second for Toby to recognize and understand that Carlos was right in front of him. With tears in his eyes, he grabbed Carlos and gave him a kiss. He didn't care who saw or what they thought, for Toby this was the best graduation gift ever.

Toby was so into Carlos he didn't see Dr. Viego standing behind Carlos. Pulling back from hugging Carlos he saw Dr. Viego.

"Congratulations Toby."

"Thank you Dr. Viego, this is a pleasant surprise and the best graduation gift," holding on to Carlos.

That evening sitting around the dinner table,"Dad, what are we going to do at the dig since a lot of the group won't be going? If we don't have enough people we won't be able to finish the dig this year."

It was Dr. Viego who suggested that we approach the junior class and see if any of them would like to go. "I can always offer the opportunity to some my students in Peru."

"I don't think you have to worry Toby. We're at the point were we could leave the dig. We'll just concentrate on the pyramid and surrounding buildings."

Toby knew based on working with his mom and dad that leaving a dig for others was the way they had operated in the past.

Three days later Toby and Carlos were at the dig. On that first night they relived their first night together on the first day of the dig. "I'll remember this dig as a very special place. It's where I met you and fell in love with you."

The resulting kiss led to the sharing of their love as only two young men could.

Over the next three months the smile on Toby's face never left. Dr. Bentley would smile as he saw Toby and Carlos walking hand in hand. He was happy for Toby but knew that life wasn't going to be easy for him and Carlos. The world had made great strides in the acceptance of gay relationships. There were still bigoted individuals and particularly in countries where religions taught that gay relationships were an anathema to God's commandments.

He knew that a lot archaeology involved what is known as the mid east such as Mesopotamia. There the boys would have a difficult time unless they kept their relationship quiet. For the time being, he'd direct their efforts to the Americas. There were still a lot of sites that needed to be investigated. It was his intention to provide as many opportunities for the boys as possible.

As Carlos attended Toby's graduation, Toby and his dad attended Carlos's. Toby had the opportunity to meet Carlos's parents. It didn't take long for Carlos's father to begin to discuss Carlos's return to his farm.

Dr. Viego heard this discussion and told his father, "That's not going to happen."

This of course lead to an argument and a rather loud argument. Carlos's mother took his dad's arm and pulled him away. "Stop this now, he'll continue his education. You have enough people to work your farm. This is his chance to be more than someone working as your field hand."

Carlos heard what his mother had said. The obstinacy of his father in front Toby embarrassed him. Toby just took his hand and gave it a squeeze to let him know that he was there for him.

The animosity between Carlos's father and Dr. Viego was very evident. "John, I'll take you up on that offer of being a visiting professor at your University. Carlos can come with me and begin his work towards his Master degree."

"That's great Luis, both of you can stay with Toby and I. The house is big enough to provide a place to work and study."

The relationship between the Toby's father and Carlos's uncle was based on not only sharing the same interests in archaeology but also their relationships with Toby and Carlos.

It seems with every happiness there is some sadness. Carlos's relationship with his father was a sadness that he hope in time his father would come to recognize his achievements and be proud of him. He was sorry to distance himself from his mother. She was his stalwart when he had arguments with his dad, she would come to his aid providing the support necessary for him to continue his education.

And so it was settled, there was no way that Dr. Viego was going to let Carlos's mind be turned away from his love for archeology to plowing or herding cattle.

The boys spent one last month at the dig. Toby got his souvenir, it looked liked a clay whistle. They saw a lot of them broken but there were a few still intact.

Now was the time for the boys to visit the other sites, Machu Picchu was definitely on the list.

Returning home a few weeks before school started, Dr. Viego and Carlos needed temporary permits to teach and study in the States. With the help of the University's lawyers they received their green cards in time.

Peace reigned over Toby's home. He was back at school and in a year he would be getting his Master's degree. Carlos was well entrenched in his studies and not minding he had not only a bed partner, for those cold nights, but someone who can help him with his studies.

Breaks were spent viewing other archeology sites in Mexico as well as other parts of South and Central America.

Peace and happiness reigned except Carlos and his father never made peace. A bothering tick in his mind but his mother was very happy. She attended his graduation when he received his doctorate.

There seems always a price to pay for one who walks a different path then their fathers, but the walk has to be made. The dig at Caral will always be in the minds of two young men.

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