For Everything You Are

by Westcliff Writer

Chapter 13

Getting To Know You

Cody followed Jake into the kitchen and watched as he went to the refrigerator and pulled out a can of Coke.

"Didn't think you were supposed to have that," Cody said sheepishly. Jake marched over and shut the kitchen door, walked back to the island counter and slammed the unopened Coke can down on it, making Cody flinch.

"What the hell was all that about?" Jake hissed, glaring at Cody.

"What do you mean?"

"Don't give me that, outside, you barely gave him the time of day and he was doing his best to be friendly."

"I… I…"

"Do you know how embarrassed I felt; do you really think it was necessary to act like that?"

"I'm sorry, I just saw you with him and just… I don't know…"

"Jealousy is not a good look on you, Cody. Fuck, man, after everything we talked about."

"I know, I'm sorry, OK? I just wasn't prepared for actually seeing you with him. I'll deal with it, OK?"

Jake sighed and opened the can of coke. "Urgh, I don't even want this now."

"So… did you have a nice time?"

"Do you care?" snapped Jake.

"Yes, I care," he snapped back. "No, I don't care that you're with him, but yes I care that you're happy."

"It was an up and down night, but overall, yes, I had a nice time," Jake's tone softened.

"Up and down?" Cody asked, his brow raised.

"Not that I planned it, but I confessed to us having sex," Jake replied, matter of fact.

"You what?" Cody barked at him.

"Hang on, what have you got to be worried for? It's me that has it all to lose," Jake replied incredulously.

"Because he might just decide to tear me a new asshole when my back is turned." The comment made Jake chuckle, but Cody was clearly still furious.

"He's not like that; he understands why it happened." Cody remained silent. "He said it was bound to happen, like it was meant to or something."

"Then what?"

Jake shrugged. "Then… he just said he would deal with it."

"And that's it, he's just gonna deal with the fact we slept together, just like that…."

"No, not just like that, there was more to it, I'm just giving you the short version," Jake retorted, now just frustrated. He was just about to continue when the kitchen door opened, with Jenny standing there, her arms folded.

"Boys, bedrooms, right now. Jake, you have school. Cody, I want you up early so you can get into a routine. I will be up at eleven and I expect you both to be in bed, and this time, Cody, your own." Cody's face filled with heat and he shot a look at Jake before he scurried upstairs. Jake began to leave, too, but Jenny shut the door on him. "Actually not you, yet, sit down." Jake swallowed hard and went and sat at the table.

"Everything ok?" he said innocently.

"Nice try. I know he came out of your room this morning. Look, if there is anything going on, just…just make sure you're being…."

"Mum, me and Ethen are seeing each other," he cut her off. "Not me and Cody."

"Seeing each other, as in…"

"He's my boyfriend, Mum," Jake said, Jenny leant back against the worktop looking at him.

"Oh, right, it's strange; I thought you and Cody… so, never mind."

"It's com…"

"Complicated, I get it," she said, nodding. "Well, like I said, as long as you're being safe."

"Mum, jeez."

"What, I just don't want you to…"

"We are not having this conversation again," Jake declared.

"So does Cody know you and Ethen are an item?"

"Yeah, that's what we were talking about before you came in. He's being an ass about it."

"Well, he's probably dealing with a lot of emotions right now, Jake. It can't be easy for him, seeing you with someone else on top of everything else."

"Yeah, I get that. I just want everything to work out, that's all," Jake said, letting out a sigh.

"Sounds to me like you want to have your cake and eat it," Jenny replied.

"Hey, whose side are you on, anyway?"

"No one's, but if I'm guessing correctly, whatever happened with you and Cody last night didn't fit well with what happened tonight with Ethen," Jenny said, giving him the 'over the glasses look'.

"How do you know all this stuff anyway, and what makes you think anything happened last night?"

"Because you're my son and it's my job to know, and because I didn't just walk off the last banana boat."

"Ethen is fine. I told him the truth and it won't happen again with Cody."

"You don't have to explain it to me, I'm just trying to make sure you know what you're doing."

Jake looked at his mother thoughtfully. "I probably didn't, but I do now."

She smiled at him. "God, I can't believe how fast you are growing up." She kissed his head. "Growing up to be a very mature young man, I might add, though. I'm proud of you, you know that?" She let out a warm smile. "Now give your mum a hug, then off to bed." Jake got up and put his arms round his mother, in some ways, since his dramatic coming out, they had become even closer, him feeling like he could tell her anything, if he didn't get so embarrassed.

"You're so cool, Mum," he said, grinning.

"I know," she shrugged. "Now bed, go on."

"OK, good night."

Jake left the kitchen and went upstairs, heading to his room. He stopped outside Cody's door and quietly knocked. The door clicked and opened, with Cody standing there in a pair of sweat pants, bare chested, his six pack flexing as he scratched his head. Jake never got bored of the sight.

"Is your mum angry with us?" he asked, yawning.

"What…oh, no she just doesn't like me up late on school nights," he replied, catching himself gawping. Cody hadn't noticed. Thank God.

"You wanna come in?"

"No, better not, I just wanted to make sure you're OK, thought maybe I was a bit hard on you."

"No, we're cool," Cody said, placing a hand on Jake's shoulder. "I could have made a bit more effort with Ethen."

"Meh, don't worry about it. I'll square it with him tomorrow. I'll see you in the morning."

"Yeah, OK, good night Jakey." Jake smiled at hearing Cody's name for him.

"Yeah, good night, Code." Cody shut his door, leaving Jake to head to his.


Ethen woke to the sound of his alarm buzzing, the sun just coming up. It was seven thirty. He pulled the covers off and sat hunched on the edge of his bed. He noticed a slight headache behind his eyes. Usually that happened when he was woken up during a dream. He sat, trying to remember what he had dreamt about. Squeezing his forehead, he got up and went to the bathroom, his head feeling cloudy.

Waiting for his morning wood to subside, he brushed his teeth before taking a pee. As he stood, watching the stream collect in the bowl, he reflected on his conversation with Jake the previous night. He wondered if Jake had slept in his own bed, the thought making him tense.

I have to trust him , he thought, flushing and wandering back to his room. But images of Jake with Cody forced him to pick up his cell from the bedside table and call his other half.

"Jake?" he said, after hearing the line connect.

"Oh, hey Ethen, what's up?" he replied, muffled, his mouth full.

"Oh, nothing, just wanted to hear your voice. What are you doing?"

"Having breakfast with my dad; are you sure you're OK?" he asked, looking at Alan, who was preparing toast over on the other side of the kitchen.

"Yeah, I just got up, got a bit of a headache, that's all. Want me to run you to school?"

"No, because that would make you late. I thought you had to be at the base," Jake reasoned, watching as Alan began walking towards the table.

"Yeah, I do, you're right, I just…." Jake got up from the table and went into the reception room, away from prying ears.

"Are you checking up on me?" he giggled "You sound really skittish."

"I just woke up and felt strange, like something had happened; it was probably just a dream, but I can't remember."

"Look, you have nothing to worry about, OK? You have to believe that."

"Yeah, I know. Like I said, I just wanted to hear your voice."

"I'll see you at six, OK. Now, I gotta run or I'll miss my bus."

"OK, handsome, see you tonight." Ethen hung up the phone and went to get ready, pulling on his grey overalls.

"Ethen, by any chance?" asked Alan, as Jake came back into the room.

"Yeah." replied Jake, sitting back down to finish his cereal.

"Everything OK? I know his dad was on the early shift this morning; I think I heard his car go past around four a.m.."

"Yeah, he's fine; he just wanted to know if I wanted a lift to school and stuff."

"Hmm, he should be at the base at nine; I don't see how that's possible."

"That's what I told him; anyway, I'm getting the bus, so he should be there on time. So, what's this about planting trees, anyway?" Jake asked, intrigued.

"Just politics, Jake; I don't know much about it but we chopped down a load for a new hangar and there was an uproar, so the base promised to plant a load of new trees to satisfy the locals. Then it got forgotten about, and then things went silly again, and now we gotta do it. I think that's what Ethen is doing."

"Oh, right, well, I'm sure he's glad about that," Jake laughed.

"Yeah, hmm, maybe I should take Cody with me, give him something to do." Jake's head shot up and he glared at his father.

"Oh… well, I'm not sure that would be Cody's bag, Dad," he choked out.

"Why not? It would do him good, a little bit of fresh air."

"What will do me good?" Cody asked, padding into the kitchen, looking the same as he did when Jake saw him the previous night.

"Nice hair!" remarked Jake. Cody playfully punched him on the shoulder.

"I was just saying to Jake, we are planting some trees up at the base. I was wondering if you wanted to come with me and help out?" said Alan.

"Sure, I don't have anything else to do." shrugged Cody. Jake coughed.

"Uh, Ethen's gonna be there, Cody," he said, glaring at him.

"Well, you said I need to make an effort, so maybe this is the perfect chance," Cody replied, grinning.

"Hang on, is there something I don't know about here?" asked Alan, looking at them both.

"Yeah, Jake's got a hard-on for Ethen, and he thinks I'm gonna screw it up," Cody said, laughing.

"Cody, please," remarked Alan, not looking impressed. "Jake, you have a problem with Ethen working with Cody?"

"Let him go with you," Jake said, shaking his head dejectedly. Alan got up and went to put on a tie.

"I can't believe you said that in front of him," Jake barked.

"Oh, chill out. It's not like it's not obvious; it's about time you told them anyway."

"I have told them, well, my mum, anyway. I told her last night after you went to bed. I'm sure she told my dad; she tells him everything." He wondered.

"Hmm, well, good for you," Cody replied, walking off. Jake leant back in his chair and puffed air through his lips.

"Cody, get a move on. I'm leaving in five minutes," Alan barked.

Cody came running down the stairs and stood in front of him. "Good, you're ready. We'll get you some boots when we get to the base. You'll be digging and those trainers will be cut to shreds in minutes," added Alan, looking at Cody's shiny new Nike trainers. "Right, let's go. Jake, you better get going too, or you'll miss your bus," he called.

"Where's Jenny?" asked Cody, used to her being the one to bark the orders.

"I told her to have a lay in. She's been working hard on the house these past few weeks, she needs a break, and with you two to contend with…"

"Oh, OK, well, that's nice," was all he said.

"Jake, we'll see you later, have a good day."

"Yeah, bye, Dad. Bye, Cody."

"Bye, Jake," called Cody.

Alan pulled out of the driveway on to the dirt track; Ethen's car had already gone, he noticed. The journey up the track was bouncy and bumpy; he and Cody were both relieved when there was a bump and they hit tarmac.

"God, I hate that road. So, what's the deal with you and Ethen?" asked Alan, breaking the silence.

"Deal, what do you mean?" he replied.

"Well, Jake made it sound like you weren't getting on with him."

"It's not that we… you know they are going out, don't you?"

"Really?" Alan's face was amazed.

"Oh, shit," Cody rolled his eyes, "I thought Jenny would have told you. Jake said… never mind."

"No, I didn't know, but don't worry, I won't let on I know. I'm sure you don't need that hassle from Jake. I know how uptight he can be about stuff." Cody turned and smiled at him. Alan grinned back.

"Cheers, Alan. Anyway, about what you asked, it's my problem really. I was just being a jealous jerk."

"Oh yeah?"

"I mean, you're a dude, Alan, you must know what it's like. I just see him with Ethen and it gets me jealous." Cody sighed.

"You still like him, eh?" Alan asked, thoughtfully.

"Like, totally, and I can't do anything about it," replied Cody, banging his head against the headrest.

"Well, there is no advice I can give you in this situation, Cody. As long as you and Jake are living under the same roof, it's just something you are gonna have to deal with, unfortunately."

"Yeah, I know. It just hurts, you know, inside?"

"Yeah, son, we've all been through it; young love can be a real bitch, but hey, perhaps getting to know Ethen will help.

"Yeah? I'm struggling to see how." remarked Cody.

"Well, it might help you to accept the situation." Cody sat thoughtful for a moment.

"I haven't given him a chance. Ethen, I mean. I only met him briefly and acted like a spoilt asshole. He's every right to wonder why, in his eyes, he hasn't done anything wrong, and he's right, he hasn't.

"Glad you see it like that. Takes more of a man to accept defeat gracefully and shake your opponent's hand."

"Yep, and that's what I intend to do," said Cody, crossing his arms, looking satisfied with himself.

Alan pulled into the base and showed his badge. The guard on duty fixed his eyes on Cody before looking back at Alan. "He's my son; he's gonna be helping with the trees." The guard's expression relaxed, and he waved Alan on.

"Won't you get in trouble for lying?"

"Why, what did I lie about?" Alan asked, as he pulled up in a car park slot, adding a wink.

"You said I was your son."

"Well, Cody, You get the same treatment as Jake, so you might as well be," Alan smiled. "Anyway, it was too complicated to tell them what you were legally," he added, chuckling.

Alan and Cody continued to chat in the car when Alan heard a tap on his window. They both looked, to find a smiling Ethen leaning down. Alan pressed a button and the window came down.

"Hey, Alan, and hello, Cody, what a surprise," Ethen said through gritted teeth.

"Hi, Ethen, how are you? I thought I'd bring Cody along, so he can help out with the tree planting."

"Well, that's great, Alan."

"So how many are you today?" Alan asked, looking back towards where the trees were going to be.

"Well, now we have Cody, we'll have four of us. The other two are from the base, I don't really know them," he replied.

"Well, I'll let you tell Cody what he needs to do. Is that alright with you?" Alan said, looking back to Cody.

"Yeah, sure," Cody replied, giving a small nod to Ethen. Alan and Cody got out of the car, with Alan saying goodbye to them both. Ethen led Cody over to where they were working, and started explaining what they needed to do.

"Look, Ethen," Cody said, raising his hand up, "Before we go any further, I just want to say I'm really sorry for the way I acted last night when you brought Jake home. I was a real jerk and… and so I apologise." Ethen, surprised at the speed in which the apology came, was briefly caught off guard, and struggled to think of a response.

"Well… uh, its fine, Cody. I'm sure we are mature enough to iron out any differences we have, not that I have any with you."

"I know, and neither do I with you. I mean, we hardly know each other, right, so I was out of order last night."

"Forget it, Cody. I'm sure you have your reasons for the way you feel," he said, not elaborating, but holding out his hand, instead. Cody took it and gripped it tight.

"Ethen, I hope we can become friends one day," he said, looking at Ethen in a strange way, smiling. Ethen felt uneasy for a moment, but wondered if, since he didn't know Cody, this was his sincere face.

"Yeah, I hope so, too."

"So," Cody said quick and bright, "What should I do?"

"Oh, right, well, we need to dig holes first. See those guys over there, we need to do a line like them. Don't worry about making them exactly the same size; just make sure the line is straight. We have to do three lines."

"OK, sounds easy enough."

"Yeah, should be. Those two got a head start because I was on my own for half an hour, but I'm sure we can beat them to the fence." Ethen pointed to a wire fence, indicating where the holes would stop, explaining that with the four of them digging, the aim was to make a triangle shape with the bottom missing. "Once we get this done, they are gonna put some tribute to something in the middle, but I don't think we have a deadline."

The boys were just about to start with the digging, when they saw a young solider coming towards them, a box in his hand. He approached Cody and stopped.

"Mr. Stevens said you would be needing these," said the young man, wearing a serious face. Cody took the box and pulled out some steel toecap boots.

"Caterpillar… cool!" The man just looked at Cody, his expression unchanged.

"Do you need anything else?" he asked.

"No thank you," Cody smiled falsely. The man walked off without speaking. "Jeez, are they all this friendly?" Ethen laughed.

"Some of them take their job very seriously. Most are OK, though."

"Yeah, it would seem so." Cody walked over to a standing wheel barrow and took out a spade. "Want one?" he called back to Ethen.

"Yeah, if you don't mind." Cody pulled another spade out and walked back.

"Here you go."

"Thanks." Ethen took the spade gratefully. "So better get to it, then."

"Yeah." Cody started digging about a foot away from where Ethen had started the first two holes, the loose dry earth easily coming away, as he pushed his foot on it.

"Hey, Cody?

"You still have your sneakers on." Ethen burst out laughing.

"Oh shit, so I do, whoops." Cody went over and picked up the boots from the box and sat on the grass verge.

"You don't wanna ruin them, they look new," said Ethen, eyeing Cody's Nike trainers.

"Yeah, they are. My last present from my dad," he replied thoughtfully. Ethen decided not to reply to the comment, unsure whether he was supposed to know any of Cody's private business.

"Here, I'll put them in the box until you need them again," Ethen stated, picking up the trainers, while Cody wrestled with putting on the stiff new boots.


With his boots on, Cody went back and joined Ethen, who was already deep into a new hole. Ethen had begun to sweat, something Cody found strangely attractive, as Ethen wiped his forehead with his sleeve. Just like the Diet Coke advert , he thought, snatching another look at Ethen.


The boys continued to dig until they had each done fifteen holes, with Ethen deciding to stop for lunch.

"Hey, you hungry?" he asked, looking at a ragged Cody, breathing heavily.

"You bet."

"Come with me, then, there is a chicken joint about half a mile down the road," Ethen said, pointing in its general direction. They both dumped the spades in the wheel barrow and headed towards Ethen's car. Getting in, Ethen waited until Cody was strapped up, before moving off.

"So, when do you wanna talk about Jake?" Ethen asked, staring ahead.

"Sorry," replied Cody, suddenly confused.

"Well, that's why you're here, with me I mean, right?"

"Oh my God, is that what you think? No, you got it all wrong, Alan…."

"Hey, chill, I just assumed, that's all."

Cody just shook his head.

"I didn't really have anything else to do, and I didn't know you were going to be here until after I accepted the invitation."

"Oh, I see," said Ethen, stretching his eye muscles.

"Do you wanna talk about Jake?" asked Cody, smirking.

"No, unless you think there is anything I need to know."

"Do you think I slept with him again last night? I mean, I know you know about the first time."

"Would you tell me the truth if I did ask?"

"Probably not," Cody replied, honestly.

"Well then, there is no point me asking."

"But you wonder about it, right?" Cody teased.

"I trust Jake would tell me," Ethen said, trying to hide his building frustration.

"Ethen?"

"Yeah?"

"You're right… he would, and no… we didn't." Ethen felt his body relax, his hands feeling less tight on the wheel.

Ethen came to the end of the track and turned left into a small tarmac road, trees on one side and a tall wall on the other.

"Are you gonna axe me to death down here?"

"I might," Ethen said, turning to Cody, an evil grin on his face. "Actually, it's the entrance to the chicken place," he added, his face returning to normal. Cody grinned.

"Jeez, how does anyone know this place exists, it's so… hidden?"

"Hidden, but popular, especially with the base personnel," Ethen declared. "What do you want? The place looks packed. We'll eat in the car; it'll be less noisy."

"Erm, I dunno, I'll have what you have." Cody pulled out twenty dollars. Ethen waved it away.

"It's on me; it's the least I can do for you for sleeping with my boyfriend." Cody rolled his eyes, and Ethen left the car.

Cody opened his door. "Don't spit in, it will you?" he called, grinning. He looked as Ethen stuck his middle finger up without looking around.


Cody was dozing off in the car when Ethen banged on the window, startling him.

"Fuck, man, you scared me," Cody yelled from the sealed car. He saw Ethen's face contort with laughter before opening the door. "Jeez, you nearly gave me a heart attack."

"You'd be less of a problem for me then, I guess," the meaning not escaping Cody.

"So, what did you get, and how long you been gone?"

"Sorry there was a line; it is lunchtime. I got you 4 bits of chicken, beans, and fries," he said, handing one box to Cody. "That should keep you going until we get home; you wanna eat with me tonight?"

"Sorry, what ?" Cody asked, sounding like Ethen had just revealed he was pregnant.

"I said, do you wanna eat with me tonight? We'll be leaving at four today, so if you are hungry, you are more than welcome to eat with me."

"Erm, I'm not sure. Jenny might…why would you want me to come back to yours, I thought you would rather eat glass?"

"Cody, I don't know you. Yesterday, I'm not sure I wanted to, but I think after spending a little time together, we could make something work, friendship speaking, I mean."

"Don't you want to smash my face in, or something?"

"For sleeping with Jake?"

"Well, duh," said Cody.

"No, Cody, let me tell you something, something that I haven't even told Jake. Actually, apart from my dad, you'll be the second person to know this.

"You're an alien?" Cody giggled.

"Not quite. Good guess, though."

"Well, what then?" he said, eager. Ethen paused, then sighed, a look on his face that Cody might have viewed as slightly embarrassed.

"Have you ever heard of something called Transcendental Meditation ?"

"Trans what?" Cody responded. Ethen shook his head.

"I'll take that as a no. Ok, you know the main religions, right?"

"What, as in Muslim, Christian and…?"

"Yeah, yeah, so you must know Hinduism, right?"

"The Indian one?" asked Cody. Ethen looked at him and rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, Cody, the Indian one. So this Transcendental Meditation comes from that religion right? The idea is that when you meditate using this form, you can focus on rising above all that is impermanent."

"Deal with it," Cody said, not really to Ethen.

"What?"

"Jake… when I asked Jake what you were going to after you had found out about us, he said you were going to deal with it. That's what you meant, isn't it? I get it now. Your way of dealing with it is to meditate, right, like they do in Tibet?

"There are many different forms of meditation, Cody, but yeah if that makes it easier for you to understand, then sure… like Tibet."

"So how does it work, you got me interested now?" Cody asked, biting into his last piece of chicken.

"You really wanna know, you're not just making fun right, 'cause I take this seriously?"

"Cross my heart, I really wanna know. Perhaps you can teach it to Jake, so he can chill out now and again."

"It takes a lot of practice, Cody, and I'm not a very good teacher. So, anyway… Transcendental Meditation is a simplified practice that emerges from Vedanta…."

"Vedanta?"

Yeah, it's the meditative tradition within Hinduism."

"And how do you do it, do you have sit funny, like they do in Tibet?"

"You sit with your back straight, and use a mantra, a sacred word that is repeated.

"OK," said Cody, trying to follow.

"The form I use focuses on the breath and changes the breath to help change my state of mind."

"So, what you are saying is you can just force your mind not to be mad at something?"

"No, Cody, it just helps me reach an understanding… a clarity if you like. It helps me see things clearly without… emotion."

"Like Spock in Star Trek," Cody said, thinking it was an intelligent answer. Ethen looked at him, clicked his fingers and smiled.

"Kinda, yeah. So you know Spock with all his logical stuff going on. Well, that's kinda what I do. I take the emotion out and replace it with logic. You get it now?"

"Well, explaining it like that does help it make more sense, I guess."

"Yeah, well, it's not really as easy as that, but you get the general idea now what Transcendental Meditation is, " Ethen said, shoving the last spoonful of beans into his mouth. "You ready to get back? Work to do."

"Yeah, sure. You know, you're a really interesting guy… weird, but interesting."

"If I hadn't told you I meditated, would you have left the weird bit out?"

"Maybe, but then you would have been boring, as well."

"Oh, shut up, blondie, or you walk," Ethen demanded, smirking. He spun the car out of the car park, sucking Cody back into his chair, wearing a scared look. Ethen was in a fit of laughter as he looked at Cody's expression.

"That'll teach you to be a jerk," he said, still giggling. Cody had only just begun to manage a light chuckle as Ethen slowed the car down to a more liveable thirty five.

"Weird and crazy," he muttered. Ethen made good time back to the base after his little episode for the benefit of Cody. He pulled into the slot he left, and Cody rushed to get out. Ethen smiled and left the car, following Cody back to the wheelbarrow.

"You asked me earlier If I wanted to talk about Jake." said Cody quietly.

"No, you asked me, but I'll roll with this," replied Ethen.

"Do you love him?"

Ethen paused to think about the question. "Love is such a strong word. It's early, Cody. I think a lot of him, like A LOT. I'm falling for him in a big way, if that helps answer your question."

"Not really, I don't think I wanted to hear the answer, if I'm honest."

"Then why did you ask it?"

"Dunno, to torture myself maybe?" He shrugged.

"Do you want me to walk away from him; would that make you happy?"

"I'd love you to, but he would be miserable, and so, I would be, too."

"Listen, I get what you're feeling, and I know it's not ideal. You know, since you arrived, I feel like I'm like some poison in your friendship, that if I wasn't around everything would be better for both of you, but I can't just walk away from him Cody. I'm sorry"

"And you shouldn't; this is my problem, and like you say, I will deal with it," Cody said, while starting on another hole. "So, when do the actual trees arrive?" he asked, looking at all the holes they had dug.

"Tomorrow, so I'm told, but like I said, there is no deadline. They come in pots, they'll keep, and I'm not busting a gut for a few trees."

"You know, last night I really wanted to hate you. In fact, I thought it would be easy, up until being with you today," Cody revealed.

Ethen smirked. "I guess I'll take that as a compliment. I don't buy lunch for just anyone who has sex with my boyfriend."

"Will you stop mentioning that? I feel bad enough as it is."

"Do you, really?"

"Yeah, I do, actually."

"Hmm, well, sorry then, I was just teasing, just another way of helping me deal with it, I guess."

"No less than I deserve, I suppose."

"I promise to take care of him," Ethen insisted.

"I know you will, and he's a lucky guy to have you."

"So you want me, too, now?" he teased.

"God, who wouldn't?" Cody replied, accidently more than anything, the comment making them both blush.

"Well, if Jake ever walks out on me, I'll keep you in mind," he said, desperate to brush off Cody's last comment.

"I won't tell him you said that."

"I'd deny it," Ethen grinned.

The boys worked until it was time to go home. Cody helped Ethen pack away the spades and took them to a nearby building, along with the wheelbarrow. Ethen picked up the open padlock that was on the floor and clipped it on the bolt, snapping it shut.

"OK, well, we're done for the day. Feeling OK?"

"Tired," was all Jake could say.

"Here, take my keys, go chill out in the car. I just gotta catch my dad before I leave."

"Yeah, OK, see you in a bit?"

"Sure, I'll be ten minutes." Ethen was actually twenty minutes and saw a fast asleep Cody when he arrived at his car. He gently opened his door and watched, as Cody shifted slightly, but did not appear to wake up. Thoughtfully, Cody had placed the keys in the ignition, so Ethen started the car and gently moved off, careful not to wake him.

Soon enough, he was pulling into Jake's driveway, and Jake appeared at the front door, as if he had been watching them approach. Ethen made a shhh sign with his finger to Jake as he pulled the car to a stop. He unbuckled his seatbelt and switched off the engine. Gently opening his door he stepped out, before shutting it with equal care.

Jake came over and hugged Ethen, smiling. "He like that all the way?"

"Yeah, don't think he's used to manual slave labor. I even hit a few pot holes that I couldn't avoid, and he still didn't wake up." Jake went over and peered through the window of Ethen's car.

"Yep, out for the count."

"Should I wake him?" Ethen asked.

"Naa, its peaceful when he's asleep," Jake grinned.

"Aww, I think he looks really sweet asleep."

Jake looked in again at Cody. "Yeah, he kinda does, don't he?" he replied, as he stared in. "So, how was he? I see you haven't killed each other, so it must have been an OK day."

"I was pleasantly surprised, actually, after last night; when I saw him in your dad's car, I was expecting some kind of confrontation, but he surprised me. He actually apologized… more than once."

"Really?"

"Yep, I mean, he did give me a funny look at one point, but he was smiling, so…"

"You mean like this?" Jake did his best impression of Cody. Ethen put his hand over his mouth and laughed, hard.

"Yeah, what is that?

"That's the Cody stare, he used to do that when he was facing someone down. I saw it a lot at school when he was going through his strange phase." It's OK, he was just trying to assert his dominance over you. I had to keep telling him at school, it just made him look loopy, rather than dominant."

"Well, that explains a lot, Jake, thanks."

"Meh, old habits die hard. Anyway, you wanna come in for a bit, leave sleeping beauty to sleep off his workout?"

"Sure, I'll stop for twenty, then I need to get home and eat something."

"No, you don't; I already asked my mum. I told her to feed you for putting up with Cody all day. She looked somewhat delighted with the idea, but you know how nosy she is, probably just wants to listen to us talk, grrrr."

"I think I can handle a little espionage for a good home cooked meal," Ethen decided.

"So you'll stay?"

"Yeah, I'll stay,"

Jake took hold of Ethen's hand and pulled him over the threshold, closing the door behind them. Jenny was in the kitchen, dinner already on the go.

"OK, where did you tie him up?" Jenny asked, noticing the absence of Cody.

"I left him in the car, Jenny. He's out of it; I wore him out, I think," Ethen piped up.

"Well, don't let him sleep there too long, or he'll be up playing on that games system all night."

"Hey, no worries, Jenny. I'll go wake him," Ethen decided, feeling responsible. He left the kitchen, stepping out into the driveway once again. He went round to the passenger side, slowly opened the door, and gently shook Cody's arm.

"Hmm," came a sleepy sound.

"Cody, we're home, you wanna come in?"

"Uh, yeah, how long have I been out?" he replied in a husky voice, stretching.

"Well, Jake said to leave you sleeping for a little while; we been back around fifteen minutes, so around forty minutes in all."

"Hmm, sorry I crashed on you; I was just so tired and it was really quiet in the car."

"Hey, no problem; I'm used to driving up there and back on my own, so makes no diff to me."

Cody exited the car and went inside, followed by Ethen. They both appeared in the kitchen, where Jake and Jenney were chatting. They both greeted Cody and carried on talking. Cody sat at the table and put his head down on his arms, still feeling sleepy.

"Cody, go and get changed, dinner will be in thirty, and you, Jake." Jenny asked them.

"Wanna come up?" Jake asked Ethen, seeing Cody look at him out the corner of his eye.

"Yeah, sure," Ethen whispered. All three of them left the kitchen, with Cody leading. He went to his room and closed the door, leaving Jake to lead Ethen to his room, also closing the door.

"Take a seat; I just need to change."

"Hmm, front row seats; this should be good, since I haven't seen you naked yet."

"I'll hardly be naked," Jake said, pulling his t-shirt and sweater off at once.

"Hey, I'll take anything, seeing that torso."

"Stop, you're embarrassing me," he squealed, turning a shade of crimson. Jake then took off his chinos revealing a pair of toned hairy legs.

"Damn, Jake, I'm doing everything I can not to jump on you right now."

"Yeah, well, you'll have to wait, like I said. When we do…you know, I want it to be special."

"Well, I'm gonna close my eyes then; let me know when you're dressed."

"Is that all I am, a sex object?"

"Hmm, let me think about that," Ethen replied, smiling, his eyes still tight shut. Jake just rolled his eyes and pulled on a pair of jeans and a red woolen sweater.

"OK, I'm in my burka, you can look now."

"Phew, my dick was about to explode."

"Please don't do that forward thing, it puts me off, and I start thinking impure thoughts."

"Good," blurted Ethen. "So can I have a hug?"

"Sure," Jake wandered over as Ethen got up from the sofa and pulled him in tight.

"Aww, your sush a big puddy tat," said Ethen.

"And you are too strong for your own good; I can't really breathe," Jake squeaked out.

"Oh shit, sorry baby. I didn't realize."

"Its fine, just don't do it all the time - my ribs protest." He sniggered. "Anyway, if you're done manhandling me, shall we go down?"

"Yeah, sure. I'm hungry."

They both appeared in the kitchen, followed shortly after by Cody, looking more awake.

"So, what's for supper?" Ethen whispered to Jake, their knees touching lightly under the table.

"Lamb shank, but I got pork chops, because I thought you might like the shank, and they have been cooking all day."

"Aww, you gave up your leg for me," he played.

"I just want you to experience this, it's the best thing you will ever taste."

"It sure smells it," Ethen replied, the both of them still whispering. Jenny kept looking over, curious as to what they were talking about. Ethen just politely smiled.

"Will you two love birds stop whispering? It's rude," Cody blurted out.

Ethen cleared his throat. "Uh, sorry," he giggled like a small child.

Jenny walked over with four hot plates, placing them one by one in front of the boys, leaving an extra one for Alan, who had just pulled into the drive way. Jenny could hear the crunching of the tires through the dirt as the car came to a stop.

"Hmm, just in time," she remarked to herself.

Alan closed the front door and went through to the kitchen, where everyone was preparing to eat.

"You have impeccable timing" she said, kissing Alan on the lips. He smiled at her.

"Lamb… oh, you did lamb," he said taking in a deep breath. "Remind me to reward you for that later," he said in a suggestive tone, squeezing her ass, the comment and gesture not going unnoticed by any of the boys.

"God, that is so embarrassing," said Jake, burying his head in his hands.

"Hey, we're not ready for the old folks home, you know," Alan said, putting his arm round Jenny.

"In my eyes, you both should be there already, or at least in a locked room, sound proofed." Alan rolled his eyes and Jenny put on a look of shock, placing her hand on her chest.

She instantly went back to cook mode and pulled the meat from the oven before walking over to the table and dishing out the shanks, and then Jake's pork.

"OK, dig in, guys," she said , moving away from the table. The boys and Alan started spooning out vegetables and mash potato from the dishes, hands everywhere as the hungry group did indeed dig in.

"You not joining us?" Alan asked, turning to look at his wife.

"I had an omelette a couple of hours ago; I wasn't hungry. Besides, there's a big tub of ice-cream I'm saving myself for." Alan just grinned and turned back round, and continued eating.

Cody was watching as Ethen's face was slightly contorted while he ate. He raised an eyebrow as he watched him fidget slightly in his chair, his face now turning to concentration, his posture rigid. Cody tilted his head slightly, trying to work out what was wrong with him. He was totally confused until he switched his view to Jake, who had a sly grin on his face.

Luckily, Alan was too busy eating to notice, but Cody had, and he was not impressed, realizing exactly what was going on beneath the tablecloth. Jake suddenly noticed Cody gawping and flinched, his face turning normal again, his free hand returning to the table.

Ethen, who had been doing his best to look normal, slowly relaxed, looking on as a disgusted Cody slammed his fork into his lamb shank.

"You OK, son?" Alan said, turning his head to Cody.

"Yeah, my fork slipped, sorry," he replied in a monotone. Alan bought it, and just smiled. Meanwhile, Cody gave Jake a dirty look. Ethen sat quietly, eating, having to shift in his seat, as his cock and boxers were starting to feel wet with pre-cum, the aftermath of Jake massaging his crotch stealthily.

"Looks like you got quite a lot done today," Alan reamrked, as he chewed.

"Yeah, Cody was a big help. We had this race going on with those other two guys; I think we won, 'cause we reached the fence first with our first row," Ethen replied, sounding pleased with himself and nodding to Cody.

"Yeah, nothing like a bit of friendly competition to boost your motivation," Alan remarked. "What about you, Cody, did you have a nice day up at the base?"

"Yeah it was nice; Ethen took me out to lunch at this hidden chicken shack."

"What did you have?" asked Jake.

"Chicken?" replied Cody, sarcastically.

Dinner came to an end, and the boys all headed to Jake's room. Cody found a seat on Jake's sofa, with Ethen finding Jake's bed looked inviting.

"Hey, I'm going to the department store next weekend your mum is getting me some clothes, but do you have any underwear I could borrow until then, Jake?" asked Cody.

"Sure thing,"

Jake, who had yet to sit down went to his drawers and pulled out a pair of Hugo Boss white trunks and chucked them over to Cody. "Need socks as well?"

"Uh, yeah, please."

"Anything else while I'm up?"

"Naa, that will do it, thanks. So, what are you guys up to tonight? Having sex?"

"Why, wanna watch?" Ethen joked.

"Yeah?" replied Cody, half meaning it.

"What do you think, Jake?"

"What?" came a horrified response?.

"Hey, I'm kidding, I'm kidding." Ethen said, holding his hands up, submitting.

"Spoilsport," Cody said, poking his tongue out at Ethen.

"Jeez, Ethen, he's like a dog in heat as it is, and you're making it worse."

"We need to introduce him to Luke, Jake," said Ethen, rubbing his hands together.

"Hmm, you make him sound easy," Cody remarked.

"Oh no, but I do think you might just push his buttons; he's got a thing for boys with a slight attitude."

"You saying I got a bad attitude?" Cody said, surprised by the comment.

"No, I said you have attitude, not you have a bad attitude, there's a difference,"

"Hmm, well, if you say so." Jake just nodded his agreement.

"So, Cody, are you going with Alan tomorrow, or do you wanna come with me?"

"Might as well come with you; it looks like Alan starts a bit later than you do," Cody replied.

Jake sat on his bed and closed his eyes, Ethen's and Cody's voices becoming distant. He thought he had fallen asleep but suddenly found himself looking at Cody. His room looked different, like his one back in England, but Ethen was there. He watched as Ethen and Cody spoke to each other. This is just weird.

Jake was trying to say something but no sounds would come out of his mouth. He watched as Cody grabbed hold of Ethen and started kissing him before laughing evilly at him. To His horror Ethen was responding. They started to undress each other, Jake was trying to intervene but his body was frozen, he couldn't move. He was being forced to watch, horrified, as it all played out.

How the fuck can this be happening?

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