Where Do I Fit In?

by Andrew Foote

Chapter 7

Throughout this story real organisations and real people are mentioned by name. Their place in the tale is in the author's imagination. No thoughts, words or deeds attributed to those people or organisations are real, nor have they ever happened. This is a story! It's fiction. The people and organisations, even when they interact with the characters, are presented in an entirely imagined and fictitious manner, and no discourtesy is intended to them by the author nor by the web site.

I honestly believed I could've stayed in bed with Lucas for the rest of my life. I'd finally discovered who I was and what I was and on the one hand I was elated but on the other, terrified.

I was as sure as I could be that I was gay, that realisation didn't bother me in the slightest, that's what I was and I felt good about it but……..the prospect of breaking the news to my parents filled me with horror. I knew Jo would be okay with it, she as good as accused me of being gay and I hadn't gone out of my way in issuing a flat denial. No she'd be fine but Mum and Dad? How would they take it? Mum would most likely be disappointed, Dad probably angry and no doubt both of them would round on me telling me I was too young to understand these things which of course is a load of old bollocks!

Then there was the issue of the program and how that might be effected. Would they banish Lucas from the house? Make it perfectly clear I was never to see him again? Withdraw me from the program? Too many ponderables.

Lucas was of the opinion that there was time enough to worry about coming out to them. He told me that he sometimes caught my parents looking at me with a curious look on their faces and he wondered if they already suspected. Well yes I could understand why they might. Even before anything 'happened' it must've been obvious just how close we were and what with Lucas being 100% out and me not batting so much as an eyelid over it, yeah okay but sometimes people only see what they want to see and I can't believe they want me to be gay? Fuck, fuck! First I'm worried and confused about my sexuality then as soon as that's all sorted, I worry about my folk's reaction!

We pigged out on another massive lunch, cleared the dishes and went out into the garden for a bit of sun bathing but this time I remembered to bring the sun block. A couple of hours later we practiced timing this time using two stopwatches. On the word 'go' we'd each start a watch then stop them after a prearranged count, sometimes just to three, sometimes longer. We were becoming quite good at it, sometimes we were only adrift by a few hundredths of a second but by teatime we called it a day. We showered, ate a light meal, grabbed our bikes and left for the pool and an evening of exertion!

Alec was already there when we arrived and after the usual small talk he fitted us each with a heart monitor.

Seven leads were attached to us using little sticky pads. One on the right side of our chest, four on the left and two just below our left shoulder blade which prompted me to ask what they were all for.

"Right. The red, yellow and blue leads on your left side monitors the two lower and one upper ventricles in your heart. The green one on your left side and the orange on your right is monitoring your breathing and the two below your shoulder blade are looking for any 'noise' or abnormalities."

The device itself was about the size of a smart phone and once the leads had been taped out of the way, this was clipped to the waist band of our shorts.

"Okay. Ready to begin?"

We nodded our heads.

"Good! Now just remember what I told you. I'll be working you hard, very hard in fact but here's the deal. When you reach the point where you really feel enough is enough then you can fall out, switch the monitor off and go for a swim while I carry on working with whichever one of you is left. What I don't want you to do is keep going just because your partner is able to. This isn't a competition, it's just a method by which we can determine how we proceed. Understood?"

Again we nodded our heads.

"Great stuff! Now ten lengths of the gym as fast as you can then rest for ten seconds and go again. GO!"

Two and a half hours later and we were still going.

During one of the short breaks I asked Lucas how he was feeling.

"Okay. I've more left in me I think. How about you?"

"The same. I ache but there's still fuel in the tank!"

Three and a half hours later, both of us were face down on the floor!

"Well you two?"

Lucas and I looked at each other and in unison said

"No more! I'm all done in!"

"Hardly surprising! I though perhaps an hour and a half, tops two but three and a half hours? Unbelievable. Do you want to go and cool down in the pool for ten minutes?"

I answered for both of us.

"Yes if we can walk that far!"

We must both have looked like a couple of geriatrics! Thank God there wasn't anyone else there to see us as we hobbled to the poolside and fell in to the water and lazily floated around.

Ten minutes later and Alec called for us to get out as the facility was about to close.

On the way back home we rode the bikes downhill but didn't have enough strength in our tired legs to peddle uphill so we walked. Once back we both collapsed into chairs at the kitchen table. Mum looked at us, the look of concern was obvious to a blind man.

"Are you sure you two are alright? I know you said it was likely to be a late night but it's almost half eleven and you still haven't eaten!"

"It's alright Mum. We're fine if completely knackered. We can lie in tomorrow. Special dispensation as we don't have to be there until nine tomorrow morning. What's for supper? I'm starved!"

Following supper we dragged ourselves upstairs, stripped off and fell into bed and from that point I don't remember anything until hearing the alarm ringing at 7.30.

Lucas was lying flat on his tummy, he opened his eyes briefly, muttered something incomprehensible and took a deep breath.

"Morning Andy. How are you feeling?"

"I ache all over otherwise fine. You?"

"I don't know. I'm too scared to move just in case I can't! I hope he doesn't expect us to do too much this morning, I'm not sure I'd have the strength."

"We'll probably be okay once we start moving around."

"I tell you what. You go test that theory while I get some more shut-eye! How does that sound?"

"No deal. We're a partnership remember? One up all up!"

"Can't I just be a sleeping partner? Anyway I haven't got the energy to get it up!"

"Get what up? Oh I get it! Hang on a moment?"

I lifted the sheet and looked down at my dick. Flaccid, dead, shrivelled up."

"Oh shit! I think it's broken! Alec killed it!"

Lucas giggled.

"How's about I give it the kiss of life. Do you reckon that'd do the trick?"

"No need! Just the mere thought of it's done the job!"

I swatted him on the bum.

"Come on. Let's get moving before I change my mind and rape you."

I suddenly realised what I'd said.

"Oh God, I'm so sorry Lucas? I didn't mean……..I don't want you to think…….."

He looked up at me inviting me into his arms.

"It's okay! Don't worry! With you it could never be rape. Just a statement of love. A culmination of everything we feel towards each other but you're right. I'd better try to get onto my feet before I let you!"

Now. Do we walk, cycle or jog?

In the event we opted to walk but after about ten minutes we broke into a trot and by the time we'd reached halfway house we were back jogging.

"Feeling okay Andy?"

"My shoulders still ache a bit but otherwise I feel good! How are you doing?"

"The same. I think it was those new bar exercises we did, you know the ones, those pull-up jobbies. We've found muscles we didn't know we had!"

"I hope there aren't too many more we've missed!"

Lucas giggled.

"As the man said. 'Welcome to your new normality!'"

Alec met us outside the pool, looked us over and shook his head.

"You guys get into your swimming gear. I'm resting you this morning regarding gym work. I'll see you poolside when you're ready."

We walked through into the changing room and while we got into our swimming stuff, Lucas voiced the same concerns that I had.

"Do you think we fucked it up last night? He didn't seem too happy did he?"

"No he didn't but he seemed alright last night when we left. I can't think what might've happened since then. I suppose we better go and find out."

Alec was sitting on the floor with his legs outstretched, his back leaning against the wall. I don't think either of us had ever seen him in any other position other than standing up. He smiled up at us as we walked towards him then beckoned us to sit down with him. I was really beginning to think we'd screwed up somehow so I asked the question.

"Is everything okay Alec? Did we do something wrong last night?"

"Wrong? God no! You did everything right and then some. It's just you've left us, principally me with a problem."

"Why? I mean if we did okay last night, where's the problem?"

"Alright. I'll try to explain.

As sports coaches we are graded depending on our level of experience. I'm only five years out of college and so I'm only at level three, five being the highest, one the lowest so when you guys came along, my level was seen as good enough to get you started and stay with you for say the first six months but here's the rub.

I watched you very closely last night and also, although I didn't let on, I videoed the entire session so I could study it later on.

The thing is, I couldn't believe what I was seeing! You lads seem to eat pressure, enjoy pain, love the challenge and the best bit? You do it with a smile on your faces! I have never before witnessed two people without extensive training, do push-ups in time with each other, pull ups the same, you run in time with each other, your mannerisms are identical as is your bearing and deportment and yet you don't do it deliberately, it just comes naturally to you.

Now for the scary bit.

I spent most of the night over at Liam's house looking at this video and also the results of the monitors. Yes he was as amazed as I was when he saw what you were capable of and how you did it, not to mention your stamina and high pain threshold but what was scary was what came out of the monitors.

At rest, your breathing was identical, one complete cycle every seven seconds. You heart rate the same, 62 beats a minute but then we started exercising.

Do you know that you stayed in cinque? Throughout the evening, no matter how hard you worked, if one of you had a breathing rate of three per minute, so did the other. If one of you had a heart rate of 72bpm, so did the other and by the way, that was your maximum for both checks which in itself is astounding! I would've expected to see a breathing rate of……..about one maybe two a second and a heartbeat of perhaps 85+.

My problem is, I need you to go further than I'm qualified to take you. You need another coach is the bottom line."

"Oh no Alec? God damn it we've only known you for less than a week and now you're telling us that's it for you?"

"If you want to get to where we think you can, then yes but I'll be working in the background, I'll still be on your team Lucas. Now go and do your half mile. Liam should be here shortly and I know he wants to talk to you."

We lost count of how far we swam and only climbed out when we were asked to.

"Half a mile would've done you know! You've done over a mile already!"

Mr Coughlan seemed happy enough then asked us to get changed and meet him in the office.

"Right lads. A lot has happened in a few short days. Events have taken us by storm and so we need to think carefully about where we go from here. Your progress has been nothing short of meteoric and given your ages we have to tread very carefully in the way we proceed. You've still got some growing to do physically and if we put too much strain on you we could do irreparable damage so here's what I propose.

I need to talk to your parents so they understand what's what and where we want to go with this. Then there's the issue of your schooling. It may well be that we think of another way for you to receive your education but again, that's something I or should I say 'we' must discuss with your folks.

Your training has to alter. Alec isn't qualified sufficiently to take you much further, in fact he's nervous about trying and in my opinion, rightly so. It isn't fair on him, it isn't fair on you but the idea is that we build a team that is working with you and he'll be a pivotal part of it. I'll talk to you more about that just as soon as I've talked with your parents. Now get yourselves off home! Alec will meet you tomorrow at 6.30 as usual. I'm calling training off for tonight. You need a break."

"How far? I mean what's he talking about? Then there's all this shit about our education? Got any ideas and anyway, why do we need a break?"

"I dunno Andy, Beats the crap out of me. I guess we have to wait and see but at least Alec will be on the scene. He's a nice guy and a good coach."

We'd just cleared up after breakfast when my phone rang. It was my father.

"Andy? I've just had a call from this Coughlan guy. He wants a meeting. You've not been messing him about have you?"

"No Dad. It's something to do with our training regime. He needs to see Mr and Mrs Carmichael as well."

"Just checking son. We're all of us meeting at the Red Lion tonight once I've finished work. You'll most probably be in bed by the time we get back, if not we'll see you later. Bye for now."

I turned to Lucas.

"Mr Coughlan doesn't hang about does he? That chat with our parents is happening tonight. I just wish we were included, afterall, it is about us and our training isn't it?"

"Yeah but you know how it is, we're the little people and any decisions will be made by them. All we have to do is tag along and do as we're told! What do you want to do today given we've no training?"

"I've not thought about it. I become so used to having full days that I've forgotten how I used to fill my time. Tell you what? I'll show you our secret beach."

"Secret what?"

"Beach, well it isn't really a beach like as in the seaside type beach, more a sort of shallow bit of river where we go to mess about. It isn't much of a secret either. Pretty much all the kids I know use it!"

"Sounds like a plan. Can you swim there?"

"Well if you go out far enough you could but mainly we just mess about in the shallows and have fun. Have you got a second pair of trunks?"

"Only Speedo's. My swimming shorts are back home."

"Okay, Speedo's it is. We'll most likely be the only ones wearing them and we'll probably have the piss taken out of us but so long as you can handle that then no problem."

"I'm at the point where I don't mind what people think or even what they say. The way I see it is if they're taking a prod at me, it's taking the heat off someone else who's maybe a bit more sensitive to that kind of thing."

"Nice philosophy! Maybe I should adopt the same attitude but I've always been a bit touchy if people take the piss out of me."

"I know why that is. Remember what you said shortly after we first met? You said you were and I quote, 'ordinary-boring'. Your only issue is one of lacking self-belief! You had a downer on yourself didn't you?"

"Still do I think?"

"Why? Look at yourself! You're witty, intelligent and articulate, fucking drop-dead fantastic-looking, sexy, your bod is trim and fit, I mean what else is there! All you need is self-confidence. Deport yourself as if you understand you're all these things without being swell-headed about it and you'll be fine, I promise you!"

"I still find it hard to think that's how you see me. I think of you in those terms and I thought I was kind of walking in your shadow somehow."

"Well you're not and neither have you ever so quit the self-character assassination, show me this damn beach and let's cast shadows over all the other assholes!

Busy busy!

There were around fifteen kids there, a mixture of boys and girls. The girls were all around our age whereas the boy's ages varied from 9 to 14.

One of the eldest boys, a pimple-faced lad named Alan Saunders had something of a reputation of being a bully not that he'd ever caused me a problem, I tended to steer well clear of him but this morning it was obviously our turn or better put, mine as Lucas was an unknown quantity.

I stepped out of my shoes and dropped my shorts, my Speedo's I already had on underneath.

"Whoo-hoo! Look everyone? A poofter in Speedo's! Who's a pretty boy then!!"

I merely shrugged my shoulders and packed my shoes and shorts into our bag. Lucas was watching, first me then Saunders.

Saunders walked up to me and as I stood up he poked me on the shoulder.

"Didn't you hear what I said Pope?"

"It's not that I don't hear, I just care not to listen."

"Why you little cunt! You will listen to me, I'll make sure of that!"

With that he drew back his fist and levelled a powerful punch to my stomach. I saw it coming and tensed up. His fist bounced on my muscles and he let out a yelp."

"Ouch! What the fuck have you got on under that shirt Pope, body armour?"

I peeled of my tee and chucked it on top of our bag.

"Nothing, now why don't you back off so we can all have some fun Alan?"

He shot me a look of total disbelief then holding his fist, turned and walked away. He sat down nursing his hand which caught Lucas's attention so he walked over to him.

"Hey bud? Let me take a look at that."

"Why? Who the fuck are you anyway?"

"Just this guy is all. We had to study elementary first response stuff back in the States, I know about stuff okay?"

For a moment he just sat there unsure what to do but then he offered Lucas his hand.

"Oh well fuck it! It hurts like hell anyway!"

Lucas just cast his eye over his hand then pronounced,

"Dislocated thumb and forefinger. You should really learn how to hold your fist properly, not in this instance it'd done you many favours given what you punched an-all? Want me to put you back together?"

"Will it hurt?"

"Yup but it's a case of get it done and dusted right now or wait in pain until you can get to an accident room and have someone else do it. The choice is yours buddy? It's gonna happen anyways?"

"Do it!"

"Do it what?"

"Do it……..please?"

"Okay. Now what all that about Andy's Speedo's again? Didn't you call him a poofter?"

"Yeah, what of it?"


"There 'ya go bud! All sorted but might I suggest you patch things up between you two?"

"Why should I? Little turd means nothing to me!"

Oh okay but just a friendly word of warning, tangle with him and he'll eat you up and spit out the pips."

Lucas walked back to where I was standing. It was as if everyone was frozen to the spot so I broke the silence.

"Hey people? Just a minor local difficulty? We're here to enjoy ourselves aren't we?"

I walked over to where Alan was sitting and raised my fist. He visibly shrank back from me.

"Oh for fuck's sake Alan? Bump it! Pax, quits, mates or whatever. Life's too short for shit? C'mon?"

We bumped and then I held out my hand which he took with his good one and I helped him to his feet.

"Sorry Pope……..Andy even. Stupid of me. Anyway, who's the yank?"

I went back to Lucas and made the introduction.

"Hey guys. This here's Lucas, Lucas Carmichael. A really good guy and my best friend and no, he isn't American, he's as Brit as you and me, he just spent too long in the Colony's ' is all'!

Welcome him back to Blighty and make him feel at home here!"

The rest of the day was nothing short of brilliant.

Lucas was as popular with the boys as he was with the girls and given……..okay, given he was gay, he handled it very well! Me? Well the way I kind of rebuffed Alan Saunders seemed to impress everyone, even a certain Loraine Ifield, 'she who is out of the reach of us mere mortals' came up and had a long conversation with me!

I don't know why that was? It might be that I wasn't blushing all the time, not nervous or falling over my words but we talked for ages, swapping jokes and laughing together, talking about mutual friends, school, our holidays and stuff but I think because I wasn't 'on the pull' relaxed her to the point where she trusted me. Anyway come mid-afternoon she and I parted company with a kiss on the cheek and I went to see what Lucas was up to.

He was in the deep playing waterball, our improvised water ball game which had few rules other than to keep possession no matter what anyone did to you.

All of the younger boys loved it and by the look of their tented swimming shorts, didn't care about being groped or tickled in intimate places in order that they released the ball.

My little mate Adam was up there with them. He was cute to the point that I wanted him on toast for breakfast but he was just that, cute, adorable and funny. He also had a habit of stealing a quick cuddle from me which I thought was really sweet too but at nine years old, I doubt he understood the full meaning of what he was doing. Let it ride and enjoy his innocence. It'll get taken away from him soon enough.

We made it back just in time for a late lunch and while we were clearing up Lucas started to quiz me about Loraine.

"Who was the girl Andy? I mean she was one great looking chick!"

"Oh you mean Loraine, Loraine Ifield. She's like every boys wet dream, well perhaps not every boy but you get my point! Anyway, I thought you weren't into girls?"

"I'm not but just because I'm gay doesn't mean I can't recognise a beautiful girl when I see one? She wasn't just beautiful, she was a stunner. Does she fancy you?"

"Me? Oh please? She's never given me so much as a second glance up until this morning! Normally she's really stand-offish, not just with me but pretty much all boys. I mean she knows she's a looker and she told me that that has its disadvantages. It's hard for her to really get to know boys properly as they're all just trying to get into her knickers all the while. She said I was nice and how good it was to just have a normal conversation with someone. Who would ever have thought she would find me 'nice'!"

"Well you are nice. You're really good looking, quite a hunk actually and I also saw the look on her face when that kid Saunders punched you in the gut. Man, was she ever impressed! Was she like, chatting you up back there?"

"No? Do I detect a hint of jealousy?"

"Maybe a bit. Okay, a lot if you really wanna know."

"Listen. The other morning when I was wrestling with all that sexuality crap, I closed my eyes and tried to imagine stripping her naked and taking her to bed but there was no reaction. Everything was quiet 'down stairs' but then I imagined being like that with you and I'll tell you, all of a sudden there was a party going on down below. That's when I understood it was you I needed, not a girl and not just another boy but you. I'm in love with you, you dickhead? I want to know what it's like for you to make love to me and for me to return that love ten-fold. Yes it's good to have her as a friend, quite a bit of kudos actually but that's all Lucas, honestly!"

"Thank fuck for that! I mean I could hardly have blamed you if that's what you wanted. I as good as told you that I'd be cool whichever way it panned out and I never thought I'd be jealous but when it came down to the wire? Oh shit Andy? I was hurting so much inside!"

I pulled him into a cuddle and kissed his lips.

"You can banish all thoughts like that from you mind. Look next time I'll introduce you to her. She's a lovely girl and you two will get on great, I promise you and not only that, I'm making it my business to pair her off with someone decent. Paul Radcliffe? You met him this morning at the river, he was the blond lad wearing those God-awful Bermuda shorts? He's absolutely besotted with her and not only that, he's not just after her body, he really, really likes her!"

Lucas giggled!

"Playing Cupid are you? No good will come of it!"

"Maybe, maybe not but don't you see? She really wants a boyfriend but doesn't trust anyone. She needs someone to like her for what she is, not just because of her sex appeal? Paul is really level-headed and if I play my cards right and have a quiet word with him not to go pawing her at the first opportunity, I reckon it could work and anyway, Cupid's a pretty mean shot. He hit the bull's eye in my case didn't he!"

The rest of the afternoon we spent sunbathing, a light tea followed by what routines and exercises we could do then supper which because everyone was out at this meeting at the Red Lion, we had to cook ourselves.

The fact that besides the swim we hadn't done very much, both of us cleared every scrap of food before settling down to watch TV.

Ten-thirty came and with still no sign of the others, we went upstairs, showered and went to bed and apart from cuddling up together neither of knew anything until the alarm sounded a five o'clock. Yes I know! Difficult to believe that two boys who were so in love with each other could climb into bed stark naked and just drop off to sleep in each other's arms but that's how it was but we obviously needed the sleep as we both woke refreshed and ready for a day of training and not only that, we were actively looking forward to it.

We went down stairs for our customary glass of fresh fruit juice and found a note on the kitchen table.

'Please can you get back here directly after your session this morning. We need to talk. Dad.'

"Oh here we go! What have we done now! No point in worrying about it I suppose. C'mon, let's go."

We again jogged to the pool wondering who would meet us but in the event it was Alec. Lucas seemed pleased and asked him what had got said to allow him to stay.

"Nothing. I'll most likely stick with the morning workout as it isn't that strenuous but just as soon as we find someone to take over, the evenings will be coached by them. Liam will still be your diving coach, that won't change and also assuming we can make suitable arrangements, I'll also supervise any work you do in place of PE or sports once you're in school."

I chipped in.

"What exactly was said last night?"

"Quite a lot. It was a very late evening. I think or rather I know both sets of parents are anxious to talk to you both about it. Nothing to be concerned about but I have to leave it to them to talk to you. Now let's get started lads!"

It was good to be back in harness. Maybe Alec was right saying training became addictive because we both threw ourselves into it body and soul. We then swam what had become our usual mile, got changed and headed home and as we walked through the kitchen door both mine and Lucas's parents were there waiting for us, even Jo was there.

"Dump your bag on the floor then find chairs. We have a lot to talk about." My Dad, never wasted words!

We pulled up a couple of stools and sat down, Mum placed mugs of tea in front of us as Mr Carmichael started to speak.

"That ran into overtime last night! Neither Roy, (my Dad), or I had the slightest idea what you boys were up to, in fact if you'd asked me, I would have said it was a flash in a pan, a whim, something that you would become bored with but it seems I was wrong.

We saw the video of that gruelling session of the other evening and it wasn't like I was shocked? I was dumbfounded! Where you found the strength and stamina from was something I still cannot fathom but then we were played edited snippets which showed your timing. How can anybody do press-ups in time with anybody else especially as most of the time you couldn't see each other. Handstands, pommel-horse routines, skipping, the list goes on. Even Mr Coughlan can't explain it! What is it with you guys?! It's scary, scary!!"

Now my father took up the reigns.

"I agree with everything Gregg said but then we were treated to another bombshell……..the traces from the heart monitors.

Like the routines you did, being completely in step one with the other? Damn it! Your metabolisms were just as in tune! Pulse……..the same at every turn, your breathing……..the same at every turn. Scary? I'd prefer to use the word 'bewildering'. It's as if both of you are controlled by a single computer or something!"

He paused as if expecting a response but instead, we both shrugged our shoulders.

"See? There you go again! You don't just shrug your shoulders like two individuals, you do it with perfect timing! Jesus Christ Almighty!"

Jo sprang to her feet.

"For heaven's sake Dad? Lay off them why don't you? From what I've been told, this is what their coaches were aiming for all along. The fact that they've got there like a bloody express train is hardly a reason for you giving them grief is it? Oh for pity's sake! I'll never understand you and your attitude!"

My father, rather than turning on my sis, looked slightly taken aback by her onslaught.

"Well……..sorry. Yes I'm sorry boys. I didn't mean it by way of criticism, I really didn't. I applaud all your hard work and I'm proud of you because of it but……..I'm still at a loss in understanding how it can happen. I mean you've only known each other about a week? What can't you do?"

Lucas and I looked at each other and nodded in agreement. He turned to my father.

"Why don't you all come outside with us. We're neither of us sure what we cannot do, shit loads I expect but we'll show you something you didn't see on the vid."

Lucas and I tied our trainers tightly and walked onto the lawn and as we did so, the garden lighting sparked up automatically even though it wasn't supposed to. Once everyone was assembled on the patio, we both stood back-to-back and blindfolded ourselves.

"Ready?" Lucas asked.

"On a three." I replied.

We waited exactly three seconds and then took six paces forward, turned to face each other, silently counted to three again then Lucas launched himself into the air like a flying frog. I lifted my arms and caught him around his waist, placed my left foot firmly behind me to maintain balance and held him in position for five seconds. His body was like a human javelin, arms outstretched, back perfectly straight and his toes pointed backwards away from his body then I slowly set him down on the grass, never once bending my arms.

The silence was deafening so we resumed our start positions but without removing our blindfolds and did it again but this time I was the 'frog'. We had become so attuned to each other that we could sense each other's presence which enabled us to go back to our starting positions without the need to be 'sighted'. It went like clockwork and so once the demonstration was over, we hugged each other, walked back into the kitchen, tossed the swimming stuff into the washer and went up to get changed leaving everyone else outside on the patio.

For a while we weren't disturbed. We heard car doors closing and vehicles pulling away and then ten minutes later came a knock on our door.

"Boys? It's me, Jo. Can I come in please?"

We were both decently dressed albeit only in shorts so with Lucas's nod I let her in.

"Come on in Jo. Find a space and sit down."

She walked through the door and did a double-take.

"Christ it's cramped in here! How do you to cope in such a tiny space?"

"Yeah well, you have to like each other if it's to work!"

"O……kay. More about that another time perhaps but the main reason for being here is to ask…….. how the bloody hell did you do that??"

"Do what exactly?"

"Oh give me a break? That stunt in the garden, that's what? My God Andy? You both had everyone shitting themselves! I've never seen Dad lost for words before but honestly, you had him speechless!"

"We needed to prove a point I suppose. I sort of knew he'd think this was all about filling in time over the holiday and alright? To begin with I suppose it was but that changed as soon as I met Lucas and we did a formation dive together. Mr Wilson saw it and well, the rest is history. We're really committed to this Jo. It takes a lot of very hard work. It's a cycle of workout, eat, sleep, workout, eat, sleep and so it goes on. Today we were rested and it was difficult to find something to fill the time with. If you didn't thoroughly enjoy it, you'd never be able to cope."

"Yes, yes I get all that but you didn't answer my question! How did you do it?"

"The three 'T's. Timing, trust and thinking. Get those right and you're almost there."

"So what you're saying is strength isn't a factor in all of this? That has to be bullshit!"

"No you're right. You have to have the strength to do it but without the other factors, it would be impossible.

Jo? Do you trust us?"

"I guess? What are you proposing to do?"

I indicated for Lucas to stand up. He instinctively knew what we were about to do with her."

"Lay face up on the bed and try and hold yourself rigid. Don't worry, you'll be absolutely fine! Lucas is going to lift you off the bed and once you're at chest height I'm going to take over. Whatever you do, don't relax! Ready?"

She looked nervous but nodded her head.

Lucas placed his hands, one under her middle back, the other under her thighs then bending at the knees, lifted her clear of the bed with his arms outstretched until she was perpendicular to his chest.

He then waited until I was in position underneath her in a crouching position then carefully replacing my hands for his, I stood up lifting her up to just below the ceiling and clear above my head.

Lucas spoke quietly to her.

"Whatever you do, don't relax your body but you can open your eyes if you like. You're in a safe pair of hands so don't freak okay?"

She opened her eyes, turned her head and looked at Lucas in disbelief.

"But I thought you were……..I mean it was you who……..Oh GOD! It's you Andy! You're holding me here! Please let me down?"

I sank down putting one knee on the floor and tilting her upright, put her back on her feet.

She looked at me with different eyes, her gaze then fell on Lucas.

"Dear God. You guys are ripped and then some! I've never seen anyone as fit as you two in my entire life! I'm so proud of you! I've seen Cirque de Solei but nothing comes close to you blokes, NOTHING! Hey! Simon's good in bed but off the bed? You guys win hands down!"

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