Jamie's Gift

by Nicholas Hall

Chapter 2

"We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which make the heart run over."

(James Boswell)

My Best Friend

Jamie wasn't the fastest person on earth when it came to getting dressed once he found someone to visit with; Scotty, Chris, Derrick and me - especially me! The only real problem with visiting after the end of class was the simple fact, he still was standing in his underwear and I found it a bit disconcerting trying to get him to dress while, if not touching me on the shoulder, arm or holding on to me, he'd fondle his ample front package while he visited with us. I'm certain he was totally unaware of his actions so I finally said with exasperation, "Jamie, leave your balls and pecker alone and get dressed!" Just watching him do it made me harder than the Rock of Gibraltar!

He looked down at his plumping crotch, moved his hand, grinned that "happy-go-lucky-I'm-so-happy-to-be-with-you" grin of his, picked up his pants, put them on, and then his shirt. The three other Horsemen, plus myself, were already dressed and waiting on him. Scotty raised his eyebrows questioning if they should wait or leave; I waved them on indicating I'd stay with Jamie until he was ready to go home. For someone who was so shy all last week in class and up until an hour ago or so when class started, he certainly wasn't now! I decided the longer I knew Jamie Long, the more patience I'd have to have and learn; a task I was quickly coming to accept and look forward to for some reason!

Finally dressed, Jamie's eyes sparkled with joy and pleasure, expressing the excitement he felt, being with us, and having a friend. He ran his fingers through his hair and said softly, "I didn't bring my hair brush."

I reached into my gym bag, pulled out my own hair brush, and without even thinking what I was doing or caring what anyone else thought, I brought his head closer and brushed his hair in place. As I did, he closed his eyes and sort of leaned into me, much like he'd done in the shower, acting as if this was something I did for him every day of our lives. Little did I realize, at the time, how normal this would become for us!

"I've got to go to my room and get my homework and other stuff," Jamie announced when I was done, slipping his hand into mine as we left the locker room. We walked down the halls until we came to Jamie's room and his hall locker outside of it. The locker wasn't locked and I commented that someone might take his things. He reached inside, took out the combination lock he was given to put on the locker and handed it to me. It was one of those school padlocks with the key slot in the back so the custodians could open it if they needed to get in or if someone forgot their combination.

"I don't know how to make it go around and open," he confessed.

"Don't worry about it Jamie, we'll learn how, okay?"

He picked up a couple of books, a math book and a literature or reading book, stuffed them into his back pack, and took small device from the book shelf in the top of the locker and put it in his pocket. It appeared to be similar to a small cell phone, but wasn't.

"I'm supposed to keep this on me when I'm not home, but I forgot to take it with me when I went to gym class."

Jamie thought a moment, frowned, his dark eyebrows wrinkled, and suddenly laughed out loud.

"Where would I put it if I did take to gym?" he mused. "Would I put in the sack on the jock strap where my cock is? I don't think anything else would fit in there."

He seemed so happy he could use the word 'cock' now, but I had to caution him "not to use it and some of the other words he heard today around anyone else except us guys."

Before he could ask why, I raised my eyebrows and said, "Remember your aunt, Jamie?"

Jamie made the same distasteful face he'd made when he described how soap tasted, and nodded his head he understood.

I asked him what the little device was and he shrugged his shoulders, indicating he didn't know. "My new daddy only said if I ever got lost or needed him, I could just push the little red button and he'd come get me."

I figured it was some sort of GPS device or something like the thing the lady uses in the television commercial and falls down outside the bathtub and hollers for help. I wondered why someone thought it necessary Jamie have one instead of a cell phone. Can't a cell phone just "ping" from nearby cell towers and law enforcement triangulate the location from that? Maybe that would take too long, how should I know? I was now really curious who his "new daddy" was - really, really curious!

Back pack hitched up on his back, gym bag in one hand and my hand in the other, Jamie walked with me to my hall locker so I could get the own homework I had for the next day to get done. The halls were pretty much empty by then and when we went out the front entrance door of the school, I was wondering how Jamie was getting home. I saw no one waiting for him so I asked.

"I'm supposed to walk home today," he answered. "Momma walked with me every day last week so I'd know the way and wrote down the directions for me to follow," and reached into his jeans pocket and took out a slip of paper. I looked over his shoulder as he showed it to me.

"See," he said explaining the directions carefully to me, "I walk two blocks that way" and pointed across the street, "and turn left and walk two blocks that way," and again pointed with is finger. My address is right here," pointing at the address written on the paper. "I live on Franklin Street."

"Hey," I said, "I live three blocks over and three blocks left, on Pierce, so I can walk with you. Okay?"

Man, he damned near danced, he was so excited; still holding my hand, as if it was just the thing to do, we started off for Jamie's house! I didn't care who saw me holding another boy's hand as we walked; Jamie was happy, secure, and with his friend and that was all that mattered!

It was a nice day and we weren't in any hurry Jamie thought, but I figured if we were too late, someone would wonder what happened and come looking for him, so I had to urge him on once in a while, especially if he saw something he thought was interesting and wanted to take a closer look, such as flower bed full of Fall Mums or a smashed banana on the sidewalk. We visited as we walked; well I mostly listened and Jamie talked. I noticed once he was relaxed and comfortable around someone, especially me, his speech did speed up some and he was not quite so deliberate trying to get it right. Sure he made some mistakes, but I didn't give a shit and neither did he; he knew I understood what he was talking about and didn't care how he said it!

I asked him about his other daddy, if this was his "new daddy."

He looked at me funny, as if I had two heads, but all he said was, "Because he is my new daddy, not a daddy I had before," and let the subject drop.

We finally arrived at his house and I recognized it! I don't know why I didn't tumble before; I guess because I never paid attention to the address before. Stopping at the sidewalk and gate through the taller iron picket fence surrounding the property, I noticed the two story brick home hadn't changed much since I was last here. The trim on the two column roofed front entrance and the wooden balcony above were freshly painted as were the French doors leading to it. In fact the entire house trim looked freshly painted.

I asked carefully, "Is this your house, Jamie?"

He nodded and said, "Momma and I moved in here after she married my new daddy."

Cautiously, knowing the answer in advance, I asked, "What's your new daddy's name, Jamie?"

He smiled proudly, "Arthur Kraft, and he works up at the University."

Yep, shit and two are eight! It was the house of Dean Art Kraft, Head of Campus Security and Campus Police. Everyone called him "Chief" because of his position. How well I knew the man, as did the other three Horsemen. We made his acquaintance first four years before after our romp through the residence hall!

As head of a major division of the university, my father, as well as Chris's, Derrick's, and Scotty's, were well acquainted with Dean Kraft, professionally and socially, although Chief Kraft really didn't socialize very much. He was a good head of security, took everything quite seriously, knew when to be tough and when not to, but was always on the job! Mom and Dad said he was really a nice guy and that might be, but I knew one thing for certain, he could be one tough son-of-a-bitch and carried three things on his belt under his suit coat; a shiny gold badge, a two-way radio, and a fucking big gun!

We stood near the front gate, Jamie still holding my hand. There was an awkward silence until I finally said, "Jamie, I have to go home too."

He looked so sad when I said it, so I added quietly, "If you want, I can stop by in the morning and we can walk to school together."

Jamie giggled and smiled that happy smile of his. "What time?"

"Oh, I don't know, I'll give you a call."

I didn't have his phone number, but knew my dad would have it in the faculty phone directory; the private one, not the one distributed to the public. Many of the faculty members had private numbers at home and only listed their office numbers in the public directories. I pulled my backpack off, got out a piece of paper, and wrote down the number he gave me. I took another piece of paper and wrote down my home phone and cell phone number.

"The first number," I explained, "is my home telephone number so I put an 'H' in front of it. The other is my cell phone number and I put a 'C' in front of it, okay?"

Jamie's face lit up like a Christmas tree, just as happy as if I'd given him a million dollars, but quickly asked, "You got your own cell phone?"

I nodded.

"Someday," he said hopefully, "my new daddy says I'll get my own cell phone too."

Jamie gave me a big hug and skipped down the sidewalk toward his house. As I turned to leave, I saw a woman, who I presumed to be his mother, open the door and her arms, and give him a big hug. She looked over his shoulders as she did, seeing me look back.

On my way home, I quickly gave Scotty a call to see if the Four Horsemen were going to run in the morning before school and what time (six, according to Scotty). I had to be done running, showered, and have breakfast before going over to Jamie's. School started at 8:10 so I figured 7:45 should be soon enough, unless we ate breakfast at school then 7:30. Breakfast was from 7:30 to 8:00.

The nice thing about being a campus school, university food service prepared and served the breakfast and lunches. Breakfast was mainly ala carte with hot and cold items, fruit and fruit juice, milk, tea, coffee (the usual breakfast type foods) and paid for with a swipe of your food service debit card which the parents replenished as needed through the Food Service Office or Bursar's Office. Many of the students, grade school through high school, ate breakfast at school. Not only was it good to eat and saved moms who worked the hassle at home, it also gave everyone a chance to visit. I wasn't certain yet if Jamie would be ready for a breakfast at school, so thought I might wait a few days.

It was a slow walk home for me; I had so much to think about, mainly Jamie Long and where my relationship with him might go. I wasn't certain it would go anywhere, but yet I sort of really wanted it to. How could a bright, top of the class, boy like me have anything in common with a boy like Jamie? Worse yet, how could he possibly be interested in the things I like to do without being bored to death? Let's face it, I'm a little artsy-fartsy and a complete nerd! A boy who has learning problems (unlike me), probably had difficulties studying (unlike me), and probably was as straight as a Texas highway (unlike me, bent as a series of switchbacks going down a mountain), couldn't possibly be interested in me, no matter how much I wanted him to be!

I knew I wanted him as a friend and I thought he wanted the same of me, but perhaps it was just because I stepped up to help today, protecting him from Freddie Halbeck. But, that's what I wanted to do, protect him, be with him, laugh and cry with him, and love him! I knew that the first day I saw him in art class and later choir. Could he feel the same way toward me?

What would him mom say, or worse yet, Chief Kraft? He knew who I was, would he let one little transgression, actually more than one if you count decorating the trees outside the principal's house with toilet paper or making a foot and half big long dick from modeling clay and hanging it on one of the statues outside the Commons (he didn't know that was the Four Horsemen- rumor was it was a frat house)? I can get myself in some of the damnedest predicaments!

Once home, I quickly set about my daily routine; soon to change when cross country practice starts. When it did, it'd take about an hour and a half to run, shower, get home, with barely enough time to do my homework and practice piano before dinner. I had lessons every other week on Wednesday evening and I had a piece to perform at a recital just before Thanksgiving.

After putting my school work and books on my desk, I chucked my backpack on the floor next to it and went down to the living room to begin my piano practice. I raised the cover over the keyboard, ran a few scales and played a couple of short pieces to limber up my hands and arms. I still wasn't pleased with my efforts on the selection I was to perform and didn't feel my memorization was complete, so I vowed to continue to work at it.

There are some, I'm certain, who might think Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, op. 27, no.2 (Moonlight) is not all that difficult and perhaps it isn't to them. I was having the most difficult time with the third movement, "Presto Agitato." It's fast (presto-get it?) and about half way through, for some reason I'd seem to stumble, my right hand would seem to tire and I'd lose count. Once I reached that part where the left hand picked up more of the action, I could rest my right a little. I felt if there was some way I could relax, focus on something else other than the mental block I seemed to be building and just let the music flow, my right hand could then just ease into the "trilling" on the upper keys, rest (as written), and began again, finishing the piece.

I try to practice an hour every day, usually before dinner time. Dad gets home around five thirty or so and enjoys listening to me. With dinner usually at six, it gives him that opportunity and me the chance to practice as he settles in his chair to listen.

Practicing the piece, this first time through, I found my mind wandering, allowing my memorization of the piece to take over, moving my fingers, my feet almost automatically. I imagined performing the work not so much for my parents or for the gathered people at the coming recital, but for Jamie! I didn't know if he'd ever appreciate classical music or what type of music he'd like, but I did know I wanted to please him and no one else! I imagined him standing near the piano, his face aglow with that precious, captivating, lovable smile of his, nodding approvingly as I played, and when I finished, applauding me, sealing his pleasure and love with a kiss on my lips by his soft, smooth warm lips and mouth! I almost stood after I finished, hesitated sitting on the piano bench, realizing suddenly I had finished, really, and never missed a note!

During dinner, I must have been remote, distanced mentally from my parents while at the table, since Dad remarked, "Whit, you must really be thinking of something important to be so far away, yet so close!"

My face flushed red, Mom and Dad smiled at each other and I knew very well they knew who and what I was thinking of!

After helping clear the table, I went upstairs to my room to do my homework. Our house is a two story (obviously, if I went upstairs - duh!), four bedroom brick house. My parents occupied the master bedroom, with its own bathroom; I had one to the front of the house, and the other two used to be my older brother's. My next oldest brother, Matt, is eight years my senior and a teacher in a nearby community and my oldest brother, Jeff, is an emergency room doctor in our local hospital. He and his wife and two little ones live over on the east side not far from the hospital. I think he wished he lived closer so my nephews could go to Hamilton, but he wasn't in this attendance area. He's a pretty good doctor if I don't say so myself; he's patched me up a couple of times. Each time wasn't anything serious, but enough to have mom call him and take a look at me.

I sat at my desk and began doing my homework. I'd work a little bit and then my mind would wander back to Jamie Long! I suppose you'd think I'd probably be pounding my pud vigorously as I envisioned his lightly tanned body, slim hips, big balls, and nicely shaped uncut cock, seeing him stand naked before after our shower his dick sticking straight out in front of him, almost as an invitation or challenge, but, although I was stiff as a ten-penny nail and really wanting to become intimately acquainted with his body, I didn't do it! No, he was more than just "wank" material for my fantasies; he was special; someone I really wanted to be with, not just for sex, but to "be" with, if you know what I mean! His smile could make me happy and my heart ache at the same time!

Around nine, homework finished, I went downstairs, told my folks goodnight, went back to my room, stripped naked, and crawled into bed. I was tired, yet not tired. My thoughts were disturbed by the ringing of my cell phone next to my bed. I seldom shut it off and left it in the charger at night so it'd be ready to go for the next day. A quick look at the caller ID told me who it was, but when I answered, no one responded to my first "hello" although I knew he was on the other end.

Speaking softly, I said, "Hi, Jamie."

An audible sigh of relief was heard from the other end and a reply equally as soft as mine;

"Whit?" followed quickly by "Daddy said, after I did my homework and before bed, I could call you and say goodnight and ask what time I should be ready in the morning."

I grinned, just hearing his voice was enough to put all of my mind's wanderings at peace, and replied, "I'm so happy you did!" The truth be known, to put it like Scotty might, I was as happy as a pig in shit!

"Did you get all of your homework done, Jamie?"

"Yeah."

"Jamie?"

"Yeah?"

"How about I stop by about seven fifteen in the morning and we can go to breakfast together at school?"

He hesitated, so I quickly added, "Ask your dad if it's okay."

"Wait a minute," he jabbered quickly, put the phone down and I could hear him scampering away. He was back sooner than I expected so I had to assume his dad was somewhere close.

"He said okay!" Jamie responded giggling.

"Great, I'll see you in the morning, okay?"

"Whit?"

"Yes, Jamie?"

"I really like you, Whit!"

My heart almost burst with joy hearing him say that! With all my heart, I responded, "I really like you too, Jamie! I'll see you in the morning, okay?" With that I said goodbye and disconnected.

Just as I returned the phone to the charger, it rang again.

"Yes, Jamie?"

"I forgot to tell you goodnight, Whit, so good night!"

"Goodnight, Jamie!"

"Whit?"

"Yes?"

"I really, really do like you!"

"And I really, really like you, so I'll see you in the morning!"

"Goodnight and goodbye, Whit."

"Goodbye, Jamie."

I lay awake reflecting on our conversation, the turmoil in my mind coming to an easier understanding of my current relationship and future relationship with Jamie Long. He was so innocent in so many ways, but quite astute and understanding in others; so good looking, so lickable, so Jamie; how could I not love him, not only as a friend but, hopefully as a lover. I could barely keep my eyes off of him when I was around him or my hands either, and that only after one real day of knowing him. I knew, because of the challenges he faced in school because of his special needs, I'd have to be careful. I didn't want to be taking advantage of him for my own sexual satisfaction or any other reason. I just wanted to be with him and be his friend. I loved having him near, hearing his voice, inhaling the very scent of him!

Would a sexual relationship with him be wrong because of his intellectual limitations? Were they severe enough, (although it didn't seem so, but what the hell do I know?) that I'd fuck up his mind while fucking him up the ass or him fucking me?

Did I really deserve to have such a wonderful person as my boyfriend, if he wanted me and was gay, or did he really understand what that meant? These were all questions I had, but decided the answers would come along as we grew to know each other. No matter what they were, I just knew Jamie Long was a special person to me in so many ways!

My usual morning hard-on led the way to the bathroom; I damned near had to stand on my head in order to piss in the toilet wondering if Jamie got as stiff in the morning as I did, but remembered what he looked like with his cock erect and decided he did, only more so!

Resolved not to pump out a load, I changed into my running clothes and shoes, left the house, and jogged over to the school where the other three Horsemen were just gathering. Little was said as Scotty, setting a steady, but not fast pace, led the way up through campus, around the physical plant, down through the trail going through the arboretum, and back to the school. We ran without saying much, each of us knowing the other's strides, allowing us to run as a team and rack off the distance. We ran with each of us absorbed in our own thoughts; mine were on Jamie!

The others must have sensed my thoughts because when we stopped at the school, each of us sweating, breathing deep and hard to catch our breath, walking off the run to cool off, Derrick asked,

"Going to bring Jamie to breakfast with us this morning?"

I nodded, gasping out "Yeah!" as I was catching my wind.

"How about he start running with us in the morning?" Chris asked.

"Don't know if he could keep up the pace," I answered in between deep breaths.

"We can take it easy and slow down some. It really wouldn't hurt us any," Scotty added.

It hit me at that point; they really liked Jamie and wanted him to join us! My friends knew, from watching me and hearing me, I really liked Jamie too and they were giving me an opportunity to be with him more. It was their tacit approval of my developing relationship with him, but they wanted to be friends too.

"He'll have to check with his dad," I responded.

The three of them nodded, but stopped abruptly when I said, "His new daddy is Chief Kraft!"

Scotty's mouth dropped open in astonishment and just as quickly, his mind was suddenly absorbed sorting through the various events, pranks, or mischief we'd concocted over the past few years, at least since our race through the women's residence hall, before exclaiming, "No shit!"

"I shit you not," I fired back.

The four us, after we were caught that fateful night, were hauled to Chief Kraft's home, still clad in our underwear, I might add, and waited for our parents to come pick us up. You know how damned cold and embarrassing it can get standing on the front porch of the Head of Security's house waiting for your parents? My balls and little wiener was so shrunk up against my groin so tight, I'd have to poke my finger up my ass and shout "SNAKE!" in order to take a piss.

He calmly but accurately described our antics to our parents, not separately, but right there, still in our underwear, on the front lawn. I mean, where do you put your hands when you're trying to listen seriously because there's every possibility you just might get tossed in jail and have some ugly, fat, big-dicked bozo decided to do a prostate exam with something other than just a finger! When he suggested, for punishment, rather than press charges we do some community service and apologize, I damned near pissed my pants with joy! I looked over and could see a damp spot on Derrick's undies though. After all, it was his house we were supposed to staying at and his dad was the Dean of Instruction. Must have been kind of embarrassing, standing there in his underwear listening to the Chief tell the Dean of Instruction the somewhat irregular adventures of his son!

I was sort of dreading going home; my mom was just a little pissed and I expected my dad to be really upset. I was surprised, once home, dad thought what we did was uproarishly funny; mom didn't!

"How do you know he is?" Derrick asked questioning my statement.

"Jamie told me on the way to his house and once we got there, I recognized it, that's how!"

"Yeah; who could forget!" mumbled Chris.

"I thought he must sleep with his clothes on," mumbled Scotty. "Shit, he answered the door all dressed, gold badge on his belt and that big fuckin' gun strapped on his hip!"

We all agreed, that night of our misadventure, Chief Kraft looked pretty formidable and bigger than life. Not one of us wanted to meet with him again under those circumstance! I'd seen him, as had the others, when children were included at faculty gatherings at our homes or receptions or when he walked or drove around campus. He also made periodic trips through our school, evidently either inspecting or just "showing the badge" letting others know we were safe from harm with the campus police about. It also kept all of the students on our toes as well.

Scotty thought just raising the urinals in the boy's bathrooms would have had the same effect, but I disagreed; the little guys would just piss on the floor!

Personally, I did my very best to avoid him really not wanting to remind him of our previous encounter!

"Still want Jamie to run with us?" I asked cautiously.

All three, almost in chorus, chimed out, "Hell, yes; he's a nice guy, in spite of his step-father!"

Well, I thought Jamie Long was more than just "nice;" I thought he was much, much more! My grin expressed how I felt concerning their reaction to my question. With a wave of my hand, I jogged home to shower and get ready for my breakfast date with Jamie; a date I hoped would happen every morning and every lunch period.

Showered, deodorant and some nice cologne applied (I wanted to smell nice for him), teeth brushed, dressed in my school clothes, and back pack slung over one shoulder, I scurried over to Jamie's.

I started up the sidewalk to Jamie's house and thought I saw a curtain move in one of the front windows. I was willing to bet it was Jamie looking out the window waiting for me. The doorbell barely had a chance to ring its chime when the door popped open and out came Jamie. Be damned if he didn't grab me and give me the biggest, warmest, hug and briefly rested his head on my shoulder. Other than about dislodging my backpack strap from its position on my shoulder, his actions were not disagreeable, in fact, just the opposite; I found it most pleasurable. I hugged him back and breathed in the scent of a mixture of shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, a whiff of delightful cologne, and most of all, him!

"You smell good!" he said softly in my ear before releasing me.

"Daddy and Momma!" he shouted over his shoulder, "come meet my very best friend, Whit!" and led me into the living room.

As they came into the living room, a panicked look upon his face, Jamie said excitedly and with deep concern, "Whit, I don't know your last name!"

"Whitfield, Jamie. My real first name is Carlton, but that's my dad's name too so everyone just calls me 'Whit'."

Okay, we're all happy again!

I'd not met his mother before (duh- she just moved here with Jamie), but Chief Kraft I knew only too well! She was not a very tall woman, but not short either, about the same height as Jamie; small framed, with slim waist, built somewhat like Jamie although not quite, and a large, bright welcoming smile, just like Jamie. Jamie's smile would light up his entire face, as did hers, but his smile seemed to radiate over his whole body and make mine tingle as well every time I saw it!

Mrs. Kraft shook my hand with the same delicacy I'd expect from Jamie and said softly, "We've heard so much about you, Whit, since school started. It appears our son is quite taken with you. We're pleased he has you for his friend."

Her voice, although feminine, reminded me of Jamie's with the same softness, sincerity, and intonation. It was easy to understand she loved her son very much and the way he smiled at her as she talked, he loved her very much and so much wanted her to like me as well!

Chief Kraft then stepped forward and although I dreaded this meeting, I was pleasantly surprised by the smile on his face as he welcomed me; "Good morning, Whit, did you and the other Horsemen enjoy the run this morning?"

Now, just how in the hell did he know we ran this morning? I supposed one of the campus cops on patrol saw us and reported it to him.

"Good morning, Chief," I responded, "Yes we did sir, thank you."

Jamie perked up all of a sudden, looked at me curiously, back at Chief Kraft, and back at me before asking, "You know each other? Who are the Horsemen; do they ride horses?"

Chief Kraft explained my dad also worked for the university and so did the other boys' fathers who ran track with me ("no, Jamie, they don't ride horses; some people call them that because they run so fast.").

"But why did he call you Chief, when your name's Art?"

Chief Kraft put his arm around Jamie, pulled him close, and with a smile, said to me, "Everything is so new to Jamie and sometimes it's difficult to understand what my job is and really the type of school he goes to. It is so different than the one he went to for so many years. It is quite a change for him, moving here with his mom, changing her name to mine, and living in this house. It's pretty strange to him. He knows I work at the university; I don't teach any classes but I carry a badge and a gun."

He gave Jamie a kiss on the forehead, saying, "It's because I'm in charge of the all of the police men and women at the university, Honey, and my job is to keep everyone safe."

"Whit will explain more to you won't you Whit?"

I nodded and it was then I noticed, the two of them standing side by side, how much they looked like each other; tanned, dark hair, hazel eyes, and slight frame, although the Chief was well muscled and stronger, and their smiles were similar, but not quite. I'd think, if I didn't know better, Chief Kraft was his real dad rather than his step-father. Perhaps it was just my imagination since Scotty, who had no real love for dogs, always said people and their dogs often looked alike. I didn't know, we didn't have a dog. I wished we had a pony though!

"Jamie," I said softly, "we better get going and meet the rest of the guys for breakfast."

When he stepped out of the arm of Chief Kraft and approached me, I inadvertently, almost with loving reflex, reached out, and straightened out his shirt collar. Chief Kraft and his mom smiled, but I blushed, realizing what I'd done.

"Got your food service card?" his mom asked.

Jamie grinned and nodded and gave each of them a hug again.

As we started to leave, Chief Kraft gently placed his hand on my shoulder and said, "I know you'll take good care of our Jamie and watch over him. Don't let anything hurt him; he's pretty special!"

I looked back at him and responded seriously, with all of my heart and soul, "I won't Chief Kraft; Jamie is pretty special to me too!"

We left the house, Jamie holding my hand, and half-skipping down the sidewalk, happy to be with his best friend.

The Literary works of Nicholas Hall are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America and are the property of the author.

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