The Book of Aric

by Doc Sawzall

Chapter 10

A lunch interlude uncovers hearts of darkness and we exchange Christmas presents

It had been a whirlwind of events since that last week in September, starting with the Chaplains visit to deliver the news of Ethan's death, to that first Thanksgiving with him back home after he was found alive. While he was still confined to the wheelchair it was felt that the cast could come off of his arm. It would be combined with one of the regular checkups he would require on his aorta. For the first year the doctors wanted to monitor it every three months. Providing it remained stable that first year then his periodic checkups would extend to every six months. These checkups would take place at the VA hospital in West Roxbury, a section of Boston and eventually take place closer to home in Worcester at the Good Doctor's hospital.

I had turned sixteen the previous June and had my learners permit. While I wasn't supposed to drive alone and needed a fully licensed driver, Ethan was going to have to do. There wasn't anyone else who could be spared so I was elected, volunteered was more than like it, I leapt at the chance. It would give us some precious time alone even if we would be clothed the entire trip. I hadn't brought Ethan down to the cabin, I was waiting for Christmas. It was going to be my gift to him. A gift I thought, at first, I would never be able to give. Another month was gonna strain my ability to stay patient. It helped that everyone else kept the news about the cabin quiet and when Ethan noticed the hay shed was gone it was easy to explain away. He never gave it another thought and I kept leading him in other directions. His time outside the farmhouse was limited as to how far he could get in the wheelchair, so this trip to Boston was a welcome relief to Ethan. Instead of being cooped up he was looking forward to a day out.

The ride into Boston was uneventful, Ethan had his x rays on his arm, leg and chest and in all cases the news was good. The cast could come off his arm and if he continued to mend the cast on his leg could come of at Christmas time. He was under strict orders to keep things slow and simple and to exercise his newly freed arm. He was leaving with a clean as possible bill of health and I was delighted. On the way back I was a chatterbox, never taking my eyes off the road. When we got to Worcester we needed to fill the tank. Stopping at a gas station we topped the tank off. It was mid afternoon and we both realized neither one of us had eaten since breakfast. Across the street was a diner and we decided to grab a late burger for lunch.

Parking the car across the street I quickly realized that getting Ethan into the diner was gonna take some work. Ethan had been given a set of crutches as he was expected to start using them once his arm felt strong enough. Giving him a crutch to use with his good arm I took his other side. In this fashion we were able to make it into the diner and grab a booth. Our waitress was pleasant enough as she took our order and came back with our drinks. We chatted with her for a few minutes about our day trying to keep our business quiet. After she left, I told Ethan I thought she was interested in him and he snorted soda out of his nose. What neither of us had noticed were some of the glances coming our way.

Ethan's death and subsequent return from the grave was news for the expected fifteen minutes. TV, radio and the newspapers were all interested in his story but when he declined, the interest faded and we all settled back into our normal routine.

When the burgers came the cook followed the waitress, helping her to place our food on the table. He introduced himself as the owner and asked Ethan if he was the son of Earl Tompkins. Identity confirmed, the owner told us that he had served with Ethan's father. He talked briefly about their time in the service and how Earl Tompkins had to be the toughest son of a gun he had ever met till now. Ethan and I looked at the owner with puzzled looks on our faces and before we could comment, the owner continued that Gunnery Sergeant St Clair had stopped in the diner a few weeks ago after having gone to Hutchinson to bring the good news to Ethan's father. Gunny sat at the counter near the cash register and had noticed the picture of the owner and Ethan's father. It was taken shortly before the end of the war. The owner had the waitress bring the picture over and handed it to us. If I hadn't known better, you would have sworn it was Ethan in the picture, the resemblance was eerie. It was if they were identical twins separated by some forty years.

One thing had led to another with Gunny and the owner that day, tales of both of their experiences were swapped, and the owner and I further learned of Ethan's exploits. It was embarrassing for Ethan and I was mortified, I bit my lip and clenched his hand. It was the first I had heard of what he had done to survive in the jungle over there. There was more information that I could reasonably handle when I discovered just how dangerous a situation he was in. From his letters home I never had a clue or expected how bad it was. I kept a smile on my face and nodded appropriately as needed, it was then I realized just how lucky he truly was and how fortunate I was that he had come home. We finished our meal as the owner departed in peace. When it was time to go I went to pay the check and was refused. I asked if I could pay for a copy of the picture of Ethan's dad and the owner and was told one would be sent to the farm. I shook his hand and said thanks The owner asked that I tell Earl Tompkins that August …'Auggie' Gustafson said it was time he brought the wife back to town and to stop in. He held the door for us as we exited the diner and escorted us to the car. Making sure we were both safely in he stepped back and fired of a crisp salute which Ethan returned. It was a simple sign of respect between men of different ages who were brothers in arms.

The first few minutes of the ride were spent in an uncomfortable silence. Ethan was clearly upset at what I had learned over lunch and I was in shock. I couldn't blame him for not sharing with me the constant danger, heck I would have done the same, but I just never realized. I just didn't know. It was a lot to process and in so many ways I had no clue as to where I should start. I was replaying the conversation in the diner over in my mind when Ethan quietly asked if I was upset or mad at him. He had trouble looking at me. Keeping my eyes on the road I took my right hand and rested it on his left leg just above his cast.

"How could I be mad at you?" I retorted. "You didn't have a choice in going over and you did what you had to do to stay alive. You saved the lives of your fellow soldiers and with any luck they'll come home."

"I didn't mean to lie to you or deceive you" he explained "I did not want you to worry any more than you were."

I explained to Ethan my feelings about the color TV he had sent home, that I enjoyed watching it, I simply couldn't watch the news when coverage of the war was on. I had an idea of how brutal it was but when I saw it in living color it simply was too much. I had just thought he was way behind the lines. He winced when I relayed those feelings; never thinking it would have caused him to be upset. I gave him another reassuring pat on the leg and told him I needed to pull over to pee.

We stopped at Lanes Pond, it was the halfway mark home and there was a picnic area where we could sit. We needed to talk and I needed to reassure Ethan that I was fine with him and his past experience in the war. Pulling the car over close to a picnic bench I hopped out and had a quick piss. I helped Ethan out and held him steady as he relieved himself. We hobbled together over to the picnic bench and sat on the side that faced the pond. I sat as close as I could to him and placed an arm around his shoulder and rested my head against his.

He started talking and it all came out. His body would shiver once in a while as he relived particularly ugly details, he didn't spare anything. I heard it all in its exacting gruesome details. And while I wouldn't have thought it possible, I loved him even more. I don't know where he got the courage or the strength to have survived what he went through or how he was able to deal with it as calmly as he did. I pulled him even closer, kissed the top of his head and expressed my undying love for him.

Getting up I moved over and knelt before him. "Ethan Tompkins, I pledged my love to you the morning you left the farm to report for duty. I meant those words as much as the words I say today. I loved you then, I loved you while you were gone and I grieved for you when I thought you were lost to me. I wept with joy when you returned home and I love even more today." Placing my hand under his chin and raising his head so our eyes met "I pledge myself to you once more today. Like you on that day so many months ago up at the old hickory, I may not have anything to give you as a sign of my love, all I can give you this" as I placed his hand inside my opened shirt and over my heart. Ethan stared deeply into my eyes a light trickle of tears forming in the corners. He unbuttoned the top of his shirt, took my hand and placed it against his warm chest. As he struggled to resolve the pain he was carrying so deeply inside of him, his chest mirrored the effort. Mightily, he took deep breaths, gulping for air as the flood of emotions continued spilling out. His chest heaving, as he fought back the tears and the pain…pain that threatened his very soul diminished as I took my free hand and brought him closer to me, our other hands still against each other. He buried his head against me and I could feel the warm tears soak my shirt as he found the strength to let it all go, to release of all that he had done, been forced to do and forced to become, as it melted away in our loving embrace.

It was another one of those moments when I was completely alive, seconds were minutes, minutes were hours and I was ever so acutely aware of every detail and object in my surroundings, lost in a forever moment. We both cried ourselves out that afternoon, Ethan for finally being able to begin to let go of the horror the past two plus years and I, for seeing my reason for being, restored to me. For me it was selfish or so I thought, until he let himself completely go in my arms. He trusted me to be there waiting for him as he fought and won the battle for his soul that afternoon. That what remained broken that afternoon would heal, we would heal and our lives would go on. Even now, when I think of that afternoon I can still feel steady beating of our hearts as one. I remember every detail, smell and sound. The way the afternoon light faded and evening approached, the textures of our touches and the love for one another exchanged.

We sat there that afternoon until the day turned to dusk, sitting next to each other was enough, and words would have only gotten in the way. As late afternoon grew upon us the setting sun colored the lazy clouds floating across the sky, a family of wood ducks made their noisy appearance as they descended from the twilight sky. They came to rest in the water in front of us, a small flotilla coming to rest at days end. Settling in for the night the birds chirped and sang their songs as they discussed amongst themselves their days adventures. Of in the distance the cries of the nocturnal hunters became more distinct as evening started to fall upon us. No longer warmed by the late autumn sun the air grew distinctly chilly. We snuggled closer together and enjoyed the last of our moment.

The ride back to the farm was quiet for the most part. We made some small talk and Ethan mentioned he's like to go Christmas shopping the next weekend. I mentioned mine was for the most part done and he shot me a quizzical look. I mentioned I only had to buy something for my folks we could do that next weekend as well. I had to change the subject as I did not want to get into what I had done in building the cabin on the island. While it was predominantly for Ethan and my gift to him, I had to involve Earl and Marge in the building of the cabin, and the others who didn't know what I had done either. I hated keeping secrets and am a lousy liar, I can never remember enough of what I was lying about to keep my story consistent if I was asked later on, so I never bothered trying anymore…it was easier. If pushed on something I did not want to talk about I'd fudge or equivocate, feign ignorance or simply change the subject.

So…I did not want to talk shopping or "gifts" bought and I needed to distract Ethan from his earlier curiosity. I started nattering about school and course work. Moving on when I quickly exhausted those subjects, I started in on my parent's car. They were due to get another soon and I figured I'd ask for it. I would be willing to pay, my bank account had grown steadily and for a sixteen year old kid I had a small fortune saved. I liked having money saved and enjoyed it less when I had to spend it on the necessities. I was called a tightfisted frugal old man by my father, well what he actually called me isn't fit for print and I retorted I might as well have been what he was calling me, seeing as how he had me circumcised.

I'd bounce back and tell him I wasn't a lump and he was lucky, damned lucky to have a motivated, well behaved handsome son like me. And he was lucky all he had to pay for was haircuts and school clothes. I further would tell him I was gonna look at the really expensive colleges and spend his retirement…or what was left of it after my siblings finished college.

I'm just chattering on now as we near the last few miles before we get home and Ethan places his hand on my thigh and started to rub me. I was hard as a rock nearly instantly and needed to adjust as the sudden surge of blood was getting parts of me strangulated. I lifted my hips and untucked myself. When I withdrew my hand I placed it over his and told him it was ok to pat Old Spot. I told Ethan to don't stop and go slow, remember who was driving here and I wanted to get home intact. A little teasing was fine. I promised him a special treat later tonight. Well before you knew it, we were home and I had a stiffie that I had to cover with my jacket folded my front as we walked into the kitchen.

The distractions of being home were enough to let Old Spot realize he needed to wait and he just sulked in my underpants. Supper was a collection of leftovers, turkey sandwiches on toast smothered in gravy, leftover squash, turnip, mashed potatoes and stuffing. I had two pieces of mince pie for desert. I helped to clean up the kitchen with Ethan as his parents retired to the living room. Eddy stayed behind to help and when finished we sat at the kitchen table and discussed each others plans for the rest of the weekend. Eddy's friend Bobby was coming over and staying thru the weekend. Ethan suggested that he consider moving into his old room and his face lit up. He gave his brother a hug and was beaming. I asked Eddy if he and Bobby were getting serious. He blushed and said that they were. I got up from the table and crossed over to him and gave him a hug and told him, if there was anything he needed to let us know.

Clean up and kitchen chores done Ethan and I went into the living room to sit with his parents for a spell. We discussed our visit to the hospital and they were pleased to see the cast on his arm was off. More importantly they were delighted with the news about his leg and aorta and along with us, hopeful that the remaining cast on his leg would come off at Christmastime. We discussed our visit to the diner and Earl was pleased that Auggie sent his greetings and we made him promise to bring Marge to visit shortly. I remarked cheekily to Marge of the picture of Earl and Auggie so many years ago. Looking directly at Marge I told her she must have been quite a stunner to land a handsome feller like Earl. Laughing she told me that she had a bunch of suitors in her time, so many she had to beat them off with a stick as she had a crush on Earl. I started giggling, my face turning red when Ethan jabbed me in the side. I don't think she ever realized her slip of the tongue, I noticed Earl saw the humor as well. However at the end of the day, it was the simple farm boy, sitting next to her, that won her heart. To which I said silently to myself… Amen.

I excused myself with the pretext that I needed the bathroom and got up and went to our apartment. I lit a candle on the nightstand beside the bed and turned down the covers. I had promised Ethan some "us" time tonight and I wanted to make it special. I went to the bathroom and did my business and took a quick shower. I wanted to be clean for what I had planned. I wanted to be with Ethan as we were on out last night before he left for the Army. While we had had our chances, his condition precluded that sort of intimacy up till now. His clean bill of health earlier in then day gave me the idea. The both of us having the cathartic experience at the pond on the way home today made me feel the time was right. I had watched Ethan bare his soul in a desperate fight to reclaim the person he was before and I wanted to help him finish the battle. It was a fight I was going to join; I needed to as it was just as important to me, that we see through what we had started today.

As I left the bedroom to rejoin Ethan and his parents I turned the radio on softly for some background music. Back in the living room I went and sat next to Ethan. I don't recall what was on or what we were watching. Thankfully it was over soon and we made our goodnights. We swung by the kitchen and said good night to Eddy and Bobby and headed for our apartment. I helped Ethan to the bathroom and let him pee and brush his teeth. Bringing him to the bedroom I helped him to the bed and undress. He was using his right arm and while still week he would still need some assistance. I got undressed and moved back towards his side. Gazing at Ethan I told him that tonight was his but I was his guide. I would lead the way.

I laid Ethan on his back and I crawled on top of him. I brought my lips to his and ran my fingers through his hair. I ground myself into his soft belly as he pressed himself back into me. Finishing our kiss I lifted off of him and slowly moved down him with my lips. Satisfied that he was ready I got up and sat on his belly. Reaching up to the head of the bed I grabbed my pillow and had him sit up so I could place the pillows behind him so he was in a sitting position. Once I had the position I needed I moved back down and proceeded to spread his legs a bit, the cast made it somewhat difficult but I managed to gain the space I needed. I proceeded to lick, kiss and fondle all of that which was in front of me. I took him in my mouth and sucked on him as his life depended on it. I brought him close and slowed down.

I brought myself up to kiss him. As I did, my ass was resting slightly above his penis. Reaching back I positioned him so he was pointed towards my entrance and slid down to meet him. The touch was electric, our eyes met and the need was evident. Sitting back a bit more his hands grabbed my ass cheeks. Encouraged I pressed against him as he lifted himself towards me. Feeling that he was able to enter I brought both hands towards his chest and lowered myself ever so slowly on him. As with the first time it was painful and as I adjusted, I sank deeper on him. Finally I was completely impaled, bottomed out so deeply his pubes were pressed against the underside of my balls which were resting on him. Taking a moment to adjust to him being in me I nodded and he thrust upwards with his hips ensuring he was totally within me. He drew back as I lifted upwards and allowed me to sink back down on him. We built our pace slowly, I didn't want to rush this, I needed it to last. With each thrust and stroke I became more relaxed and our movements easier. Sensing when he was getting close I would slow down. Sitting nearly upright, we continued, bringing his good hand around to my front the grasped a hold of me and started to stroke me in time with our movements. Soon I was reacting to his motions and my body took over. As I was getting closer he moved faster. I could sense it wasn't long now. I moaned and threw my head back; his touch had me on fire as he sank again and again into me. His urgency matched mine and as I reached the point of no return he joined me as we vocalized incoherently. I blasted off as he expended the last of his demons. We had fought the battle together and the war was won. I collapsed on top of him, our chests heaving. I kissed his face all over, whispered and murmured my love for him. Ethan wrapped his arms around me and we lay still attached for as long as we could. When he could no longer stay inside of me I got up and got a damp face cloth and I cleaned us up. I crawled into bed beside him and snuggled close and fell asleep to the radio playing…

There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There's a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!

We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
Some day

I woke early the next morning to mind myself intertwined with Ethan. My right leg over his and my head on his chest, his newly freed right arm over my shoulders and my hand covering his crotch. As I lay there I did my best to let the moment sink, to luxuriate and bask in his warmth. Last night was so intense, so completely and utterly draining. It was one of those rare mornings where I didn't need to piss and Old Spot was completely spent. He was tuckered out and as reticent as could be, there was no standing up to be counted and there was no fight in this old dog this morning.

I continued to lay with my head on his chest and marveled as it rose with each intake of breath. I could hear and feel the beating of his gentle, loving heart. Like me, his bits and pieces would need some time recuperating. A door had opened unexpectedly yesterday afternoon at the diner and while I was grateful that Ethan was home, I had no idea as to the depths his soul had plummeted, and the darkness had been overtaking him. At that moment, in that narrow window of chance, I was able to cast a lifeline, as he trusted me to be there when I brought him to the safety of our love. In the flight from his torment, he wasn't alone as he started down the path of his recovery. I wasn't going to lose him and I used every tool in my arsenal last night and as push came to shove, I wasn't gonna fight fair. When it was over, I had won the battle for Ethan soul over the depths of despair and in doing so, I gave to him the very best part of me and I would have given everything else if I had to.

The next few weeks passed quickly. With his cast off and the prospect of the leg cast coming off just before Christmas Ethan was returning to his normal self. We had gone shopping for presents at the mall in downtown Worcester and the only awkward moment was when Ethan asked for some time to do some shopping by himself. I was at first reluctant but his broken arm had mended and with the cast off nearly three weeks he had regained most of the use of it and he felt comfortable getting around in his wheelchair. He had been using the crutches but only for short distances. I agreed to meet him back at the food court in an hour. It would give me some time to look around for anything I may have missed or something for anyone I may have overlooked. As agreed we both met back at the food court had a late lunch. Ethan had a couple of large bags with several packages wrapped as he took advantage of the free wrapping service the mall offered.

The ride home was uneventful and we discussed the removal of his leg cast the following week. He had scheduled his appointment for mid afternoon and asked if I would bring him in after school let out. We were lucky in that this time we would only have to come back into Worcester and have it removed at the Good Doctor's hospital office. As well as having an office back in the center of town the Good Doctor has hospital privileges at Worcester Memorial. We would have preferred to have it done in town but if there were issues, the hospital setting was a better choice.

I had spent a couple of afternoons making the cabin ready for Christmas day. The ice was thick enough and I brought out everything I thought we would need for our first night. It was going to be cold but I had brought out an old woodstove that in its day was used to keep the chicken coop heated. We wouldn't be able to use the cook stove but I figured we weren't there for eating. It would keep the cabin warm and the blankets and down comforters for the bed would do the trick. I laid in a supply of split firewood and hung some old burlap feed bags as curtains over the windows, and as added touch I took some string and tied them back to nails on either side of the windows. I placed the oil lanterns out and gave the place a through cleaning.

Before I knew it the week had flown by and the day came for Ethan's cast to come off. This was a huge day, while Ethan would be on crutches for sometime; the final steps on the road to his physical recovery were here at last. We made it to the hospital in time despite the traffic and after one last X ray and the obligatory wait; he was cleared to have it removed. It was funny to watch him struggle at first to maneuver on this crutches without the cast on his leg, but he managed to get the hang of it by the time we got to the car.

Christmas was just around the corner and we all helped get the house ready for the onslaught of Ethan's brothers and their families. We cut a tree for the living room and the four of us boys decorated it. Eddy and Bobby cooked the popcorn and made the popcorn strings, Ethan and I made paper chains and we all hung the family ornaments. Our presents were placed under the tree and I cut and split some birch logs for the fireplace. I hung Ethan's present from the tree. It was an envelope with a Christmas card in it and with some meaningful words. Inside of the card was a picture of the cabin. Earl had made a sign that hung over the door to the porch that said "Island View".

We were all antsy that last day before Christmas. The hours passed by ever so slowly. I had helped to pass the time by helping out in the kitchen with Ethan and Marge. We baked pies, cookies got the vegetables ready, helped to clean the fancy silverware and set the dining room table. There would be an army at the house tomorrow. Ethan's six brothers had nine kids between them. They ranged in age from six months to twelve years old.

It is traditional in Swedish families to exchange some presents on Christmas Eve. I decided that I would spend Christmas Eve with my parents and siblings go to midnight mass and leave after we had opened the rest of our presents in the morning. Walking in the door felt strange at first as my brother and sister had not seen me in a few months. We exchanged pleasantries caught up on each other and they were genuinely surprised to see the improvement in my school work and begrudgingly accepting of my relationship with Ethan. They both wanted to meet him and would do so in the morning when he came to pick me up.

Supper was a traditional meal of Swedish meatballs, with side courses of pickled herring, lutefisk, beet salad, Janson's Temptation (a potato salad), hard tack and other assorted biscuits served with lingonberry jam. We had eggnog, glogg and other Swedish liqueurs to drink. Our table was set with mom's traditional Christmas dinnerware; tablecloth and the angel chime candle holders graced the table. The heat of the candles caused the angels to rotate on their stand and as they did the angels would strike tiny bells as they passed by the. As a kid, I was always fascinated at how they worked and of all the Christmas decorations Mom would set out, these are my favorites. The centerpiece of the table was a pine and pinecone arraignment with holly leaves and berries. On either side of the centerpiece were my Grandmother Peterson's, Dala painted horses. These were very old having been in the family before Grandmother Peterson was born. Grandma would often tell us stories of times when she was a little girl and of the stories she was told of life in Sweden. Her forbearers the Vikings regarded the horse as a sacred animal and as such they were considered valuable family heirlooms. They were brightly painted and always occupied a special spot on our Christmas dinner table.

Supper was pleasant enough and we retired to the living room to exchange presents. I had gotten Mom a scarf and Dad some golf accessories and golf balls. For my brother, I had gotten him a rare book on mathematics from a bookstore in Worcester and my sister, a gift certificate to a clothing shop she liked. I got the usual assortment of socks, underpants, flannel shirts, jeans and some cash. Mom handed me an envelope and made me swear I couldn't open until presents were exchanged back at the farm and it would be best if I gave it to Ethan unopened.

We sat and talked until it was time to go to midnight mass and walked over to the church. Once it was over we came back home after a few minutes of chatter outside of the church. It would be an early morning so we all retired for the night.

I guess it was from all of the early nights and mornings on the farm that I got up early. I was so excited, today I was going to give to Ethan the cabin I had built with help from Earl. I was literally counting the minutes and hours as I walked down to the kitchen. Mom was already up and had started making our traditional breakfast of Swedish pancakes. I helped and as I was helping to clean up I noticed the new car in the driveway. Commenting on it, Mom allowed as how they got a very good price for the old car, enough to make the purchase of the new car very affordable. I did my best to hide how crestfallen I was and promptly moved on to other inane subjects with Mom till it was time to roust everyone. When breakfast was over we sat around and talked some more and before I knew it, Ethan was here to pick me up. I invited him in and introduced him to my siblings, getting out of the car was a bit of a chore but he was able to manage and used his crutches once out. I was glad his father's car was an automatic and not a stick shift like his jeep. Mom gave him a hearty hug and Dad shook his hand and clasped him on the back. I was delighted to see the positive interaction. It didn't take long for my siblings to warm up to Ethan, keeping it short and sweet; he briefly told them about his travails and tribulations of his time in the service. I could see the begrudging respect grow and by the time we needed to leave he was accepted as a member of our family. For once I was silently delighted with our liberal upbringing. I walked out of the house with my head in the clouds despite the fact I did not get a crack at my parent's car. There would be others to look at and I could wait till I had my license. I was full of anticipation for what the rest of the day was going to bring and eagerly awaiting my night at the cabin with Ethan. I had some things I wanted, I should say needed, to do with and to him.

Christmas dinner at the farm was a riot of noise, chatter and multiple conversations. I got to know each of the brothers a bit better and play with the kids afterwards. As soon as the meal was over, a fifteen pound standing rib roast with all of the fixins, we went to the living room to exchange gifts. Because of the size of the family, gift giving was limited. Each of the adults bought one gift for another adult and only the kids got multiple presents. I waited and hung back until all of the kids and adults had exchanged their presents. Only little Sam had broken the rules and had made a present for Ethan and I. It was a drawing of the farm with the two of us working side by side. He had made a crude frame out of paper, colored it in, and had glued a hanger on the back. We both gave him a big hug and remarked for an a twelve year old he had some talent which made him blush deeply. I hadn't noticed till then but all throughout the day he was always at Ethan's or my side.

It was time for me to hand my card to Ethan. Walking over to the tree I retrieved the card and handed to Ethan. As I handed it to him I commented that he was a very difficult person to buy a gift for. He smiled and opened the card. Only Earl, Eddy and Marge and myself knew what the gift was and they were nearly giving it away with the look on their faces. He took the card out of the envelope and read what I had simply written, 'No more rainy nights'. Looked at the picture which I had conveniently taped to the backside of the card. He shot me a very puzzled glance then flipped the card over again and looked at the picture. I was so frigging nervous I nearly pissed my pants with anticipation. He saw the picture of the cabin and was dumbfounded. Scratching his head, looking at me he asked 'What's going on?"

"Merry Christmas", I replied grinning from ear to ear. By now the rest of the family was puzzled and little Sam went over to Ethan and looked at the picture. As only the innocent could, he exclaimed to Ethan, "It's a cabin and it looks like its on Ant Island silly" God how that kid was perceptive. I had tried to get the picture just so. I wanted as few distinguishing landmarks to the mystery so it would continue a bit more.

"Look Uncle Ethan, there's the old stone fireplace! I bet we could walk or skate right over there now if we wanted to!"

What I didn't know was that Earl and Eddy had told everyone to bring their skates and once the gift giving was over they had planned a skating party. Thankfully for them, it had been cold enough that it had sufficiently frozen over. Little Sam was tugging at Ethan's sleeve trying to budge him towards the door. Placing his hand on Sam's head he told him to wait a moment. He asked me for the envelope my parents gave me earlier. Now it was my time to be puzzled as I handed it to him. He took another envelope out of his back pocket and handed the both of them to Sam and told him to give them to me.

Walking over as if he were carryings precious treasure he handed them both to me. Opening the first one, I saw a car key, not just any car key but the key to my parent's old car. The second envelope contained the bill of sale and insurance papers. It was registered in my name! Walking with his crutches over to me, Ethan exclaimed that he could be full of surprises also. Grabbing little Sam and I, he turned me towards the door and walked me out onto the porch and my parents old car was sitting in the driveway. Trying to figure it all out, I saw my folks, followed by my siblings get out of the car, each of them holding their ice skates.

By this time little Sam was going ballistic and bouncing off of the both of us. It prevented me from giving Ethan a hug but I figured it could wait till later. Looking at Sam I figured I needed to put his energy to good use and told him to get everyone who wanted to come down to the pond ready, we'd be leaving in ten minutes. Like an experienced ranch hand, the little cowboy got everyone going as Ethan and I walked over to the car. I had tears in my eyes and my family was beaming. It had been washed, vacuumed and detailed. It was spotless. Pointing to the glove box, I opened it and found another envelope, it was from Marge and Earl. It was addressed to "The best son any two sets of parents could have". Openly crying as I tore into the envelope there was a card and a fifty dollar bill. The card simply said 'For gas and expenses'. I hugged everyone in sight, both my brother and sister got into the act and handed me similar envelopes with ten bucks each in them.

Little Sam had gathered everyone and herded us down to the dock at the ponds edge. We waited as those who were going to skate got their stuff and once everyone was ready, we walked Ethan over to the island. With his arm on my shoulder and using one crutch it was like the Keystone Cops at the beginning but as everyone gathered around, it was if we were swept off of our feet as we made our way.

When we arrived at the other dock on the island I could see that Ethan was visibly stunned. Looking up from the dock he could finally see the cabin in real life. Sam was chomping at the bit and ready to go off like a bottle rocket. I asked him to go on ahead and open the doors for me. Eddy had been out earlier and had started a fire in the wood stove and made sure everything was in place. Walking up the path with Ethan and everyone else behind we made our way to the porch. Sam at this point was beside himself he was bounding from foot to foot exclaiming how awesome it was.

It was hard to tell who was the most excited, Sam or Ethan. Hand in hand they both examined it closely, they both marveled at the old fashioned water pump in the kitchen area. I explained to the both of them that the water pump worked but only in the warmer months. Sam after giving some thought to the question asked, "where was the bathroom?" Laughing I told him to go out back and look over towards the edge of the clearing and look for the outhouse. When he came back it was in his parlance "Wicked pisser cool!" as he finished zipping up.

Everyone having inspected the cabin complemented the good job and patted me on the back or shook my hands. My family was stunned; they couldn't believe I had built this with just a little help as needed. Earl made it a point to explain to them how I had gone about it, the planning, patience and fortitude I had put into it. He minimized his efforts and Marge covered him as well. I made it a point to show everyone the cook stove. Although it was used for heat in the winter I told everyone it would be great for those hot summer nights. Marge piped up and told me I was going to need cooking lessons and laughed along with everyone else. She was delighted with the screened-in porch and the two old rocking chairs.

Eddy lit a fire out at the old stone fireplace, brought in the picnic basket with the desserts and those who were going to skate laced up. We skated and roasted marshmallows and ate the desserts for the remainder of the afternoon. Those of Ethan's brothers who had smaller, younger children made their goodbyes after dessert and soon it was just Ethan, Sam, our attached to the hip, twelve year old, Eddy, Bobby who showed up late afternoon and Earl. I excused myself for a moment as I walked back up to the farmhouse with Marge and my family. Realizing they had no way home unless I gave them a ride, I told them to take the car; I'd be by in the morning. For the first time I could remember we had a family hug and told each other Merry Christmas. As they started to pull out the driveway my father rolled his window down and we all said goodbye again and expressed our love. Maybe, I thought to myself, there's hope for us after all.

Walking back into the house only Ernest and his wife were left amongst the brothers. Sam and his younger brother Timmy would be staying the night with their parents at the farm. Marge was delighted to have some grandkids around to spoil. I told everyone we would be spending the night down at the cabin and when it was time for bed, I would bring Sam back up to the house. Both Marge and his mother started to laugh and thought what I had said was quite funny. Sam's mother Betty, left the kitchen for a moment while I was packing a cold supper for us. Marge took over and told me to go get more blankets and pillows for our guests. When I had come back to the kitchen Betty came back with Sam's PJ's. She sweetly asked me to let Sam stay in the cabin tonight as well. She quickly eased my fears by telling me he was a very sound sleeper and after the days excitement he'd be out like a light early.

Betty walked down to the cabin with me after I made my goodnights to Marge. I had given Marge a hug only a son could give a mother. I told her how much I truly loved her and kissed her on the cheek. I swear I could see a tear in the corner of her eye as she hugged me back.

As Betty and I walked down to the cabin with the additional food and gear I had stuffed into a wheelbarrow, we talked about Ethan and me. She was delighted that we had met and more importantly very impressed with how I had fit into the family. She, like everyone else, was stunned with what she knew of Ethan's story and of my care and concern. She told me a bit about how she and Ernest met and lived on the farm the first years of her marriage. That it was special to her. She had helped to raise Ethan as a baby, while they tried; they were unable to have kids of their own until much later. In many respects, Ethan was a son to her. Looking directly at me she told me Ethan was very special to her; there was an attachment that ran deeper than the other brothers. She could see how happy Ethan was now. It bothered her greatly when he first came home. While she could see flashes of the Ethan of old she was worried and concerned that psychologically there were issues. She was afraid of his sliding into a depression. Betty then told me that she saw the influence I had had on Ethan. When I had first come up to the farm she had hardly noticed me and then suspected our relationship on the day we had supposedly buried Ethan. She was amazed that I stuck around afterwards and more amazed at my building the cabin. She told me she saw the quiet fight I was waging to find the Ethan of old and though she had been unable to offer much support, she saw my efforts and appreciated me dearly for them. She would speak with Marge often over those weeks of his convalescence and heard of Ethan's gradual improvement, she had known I had left home to move in with Ethan and knew how tough that must have been. Walking down to the dock to finish our conversation before heading into the cabin Betty placed her hands on my shoulders and with tears in her eyes thanked me for saving Ethan, a boy she considered her own. Pulling me into her she hugged me tightly and told me of her love for me as well.

Well, as you would have it, one thing led into another and I started bawling like a baby. It was the first time someone other than the immediate family had pulled me aside to tell me these things. Then the floodgates opened and I let all that I had been carrying inside out. I told her how lost I was when I had heard he had died, how my world had ended that day, of my absolute joy and elation when I fully realized it was Ethan sitting in the kitchen, having come back from beyond the grave. I told her how scared I truly was when I had fully understood the things that had remained unspoken until that day in the diner. Wiping my eyes and steeling myself, I told her that I fought with every tool at my disposal to bring him back and believed I had succeeded. I told her that I knew we were at a fragile moment but over the hump. I was not as scared as I had been for our future now, as I was not as worried.

I told her of our plans to run the farm and how our college courses would help us take it to the next level. She was happy that we would keep the farm going; it was a place they all loved. I told her how much she meant to me right then and how I appreciated her blessings. I told her Sam was good for Ethan, he helped keep him grounded. She told me that Sam and Ethan were two peas in a pod. Ethan at Sam's age was exactly the same way.

Sam, on the other hand could talk about nothing else she explained. He wanted to live on the farm in the worst way and he positively adored the both of us. Everything he did and all of the games he would play always revolved his time on the farm.

I asked if she would mind letting him spend part of his summer with us here at the farm. It would be good for him to do some work and earn some money. There were always chores and errands to be run and he would earn his keep. Betty, very enthusiastically agreed but asked me to discuss it with Ethan later, she knew Marge and Earl would have no problem; she just didn't want him underfoot. "Not a chance" I retorted, "he's to quick for all of us!" We both laughed at that, hugged once more and headed up towards the cabin.

As we turned around to head up she stopped once more and told me that she was sounding like a broken record but she wanted me to understand how much my being with Ethan meant to her.

Mothers have way about them men will never understand, it can be the look of concern, a who are you fooling glance or, the you're in trouble now buster look. With a slight tilt of the head and the appropriate placement of the hands on the hips and with a slight modification to the stance all of these looks take on a myriad of subtexts, it is infinite the way a mother can cast through all of the hooey and cut right to the heart of the matter. Taking my hands and looking into my soul, Betty thanked me for saving her 'baby'. She knew there was nothing she could ever do to repay the effort but to let me know that she would always be there for me. The look on her face was one of pure unadulterated love. It was all I could do to keep from crying again as we went into the cabin.

Noticing his mother, Sam was despondent; it meant it was time to go. Seeing his reaction his mother created as she pulled his PJ's out was priceless. It meant that he'd be staying the night. It was like flipping a switch, he went from discouraged to elated in less time than it took for a light to turn on. He hugged his mother, bounced over to Ethan, gave him a massive bear hug and then to me as he grabbed my hands dancing from foot to foot. I leaned over to pick him up and he nearly strangled me. As Sam went to change into his PJ's Ethan started to laugh and told Bobby and Eddy to go back and grab their stuff and bring back more food and a couple more spare chairs from the barn storeroom. I knew Ethan was delighted, his reaction told me so, tonight may be just a cuddle but it was fine with me as well, there was always tomorrow.

Once Sam was in his PJ's Betty kissed him good night gave us a hug and went back up to the house with Bobby, Eddy and Earl. I admonished Sam that he was to be on his best behavior or we'd cook him for breakfast. He giggled evilly and clearly enjoyed the attention. Suggesting he take the flashlight I mentioned he should go to the outhouse. By the way he was fidgeting you could tell he had to go, he leapt at the chance giving Ethan and me a rare moment alone. Pulling Ethan to me I kissed him and told him for the umpteenth time how much I was in love with him. I apologized that 'our' night was ruined and he smiled and told me it couldn't have gotten any better.

Sam came back shortly after and placing the flashlight on the table went out to the porch, without having to be told, and brought more firewood inside and stacked it neatly by the stove. Finished with that he grabbed a broom and swept up the floor and the stuff that had been tracked in all afternoon. When Bobby and Eddy returned with their gear he made them wipe their feet before coming in. He helped them make their beds, explained that they should take the flashlight with them if they go to the outhouse, it was after all, very dark. While I had made the cabin for Ethan it would seem that without a word being spoken, Sam had claimed it as his own.

We tossed some of the blankets on the floor by the wood stove and all sat on the floor. Sam wormed his way in to between Ethan and me and cuddled with the both of us. We talked about nothing much, told a few scary ghost stories and played a card game or two. Before you knew it Sam had stretched out across our laps and not too shortly after, was sound asleep. We talked with Bobby and Eddy for a bit more about themselves and how they were getting along. They were genuinely happy with each other and were not having any difficulties outside of the farm. They were careful when they were off the farm but for the most part, their closest friends accepted them without a hassle. There were some dinks at school and they did their best to avoid and ignore them. Talk soon turned to the New Years and if anyone had plans. To be frank, with all of the excitement revolving around Christmas I hadn't given it a thought. After some discussion of where to go or what to do, Ethan suggested that we spend it here at the cabin. It was a great idea and we all agreed to it.

Very carefully we got up with a sleeping Sam in our arms and brought him to the bunkroom. We tucked him and silently made our exit leaving the door open so it would stay warm. We decided to leave one of the oil lanterns on in the main room and left Bobby and Eddy to their own devices after saying good night to them both. We retired to the bedroom and quietly undressed and slipped into bed. The down comforters were exceedingly soft and very soon warm. I leaned over Ethan and gave him a kiss good night. Returning my kiss he took his hand and placed it on my crotch. Old Spot was dying for some action and before you knew it, was standing up at attention. Ethan then brought my hand to his crotch and he was in a very similar predicament. Placing a finger to my lips he whispered on the pain of death not to make or utter a sound. Scooting down the bed he proceeded to minister to me orally. I writhed and wiggled from the stimulation and as I got closer I struggled to keep quiet. My head was thrashing from side to side and the warm wetness of his mouth was counteracted by the coolness on my penis as he rose up off of it. As I got harder than I thought imaginable, I was lost in the sensations. His grip got a tad firmer and I responded by thrusting my hips upwards to meet his mouth. Each time his hand brushed the edges on the head of my penis, it sent shivers down my spine, and the friction was setting me on fire and increasing my sense of urgency. Doing my damndest not to moan, the wait for release was coming at me like a speeding car. As quietly as I could, I took deep and deeper breaths, each breath coming faster than the one before it, finally when I could stand the strain no more I held my breath and exploded. Ethan was holding his head completely down at the bottom of my shaft, I remember counting at least four distinct volleys before I lost count and collapsed into submission. When it was over I let a large breath that I was holding slowly exhale. I saw stars and was in orbit somewhere over the cabin. As the tension released from my body I trembled. My sac lost its firmness as I slowly grew soft in Ethan's mouth. All I could do was to mew thank you. I was transported far into another world and it was going to take some time to come back.

When my senses were fully restored I knew I had to reciprocate the favor. First I got up to check the wood stove and throw another couple of logs in. When I turned to go back to the bedroom I snuck a peek in at Sam, he was sleeping soundly and his face looked angelic. Bobby and Eddy were on the lower bunk, spooning with each other under the covers.

Walking softly I went back to the bedroom where I needed to quickly slip under the covers and see what I could do to relieve Ethan's obvious tension. I didn't waste much time as I scooted down and inhaled his scent, of all of the things that got to me the most was the smell of Ethan. On some days it was like fresh linen and on other days there was a definitive odor of musk that filled my nostrils with desire. I loved all of it… his scent could bring me rock hard anywhere or anytime if I wasn't careful. I sniffed and rooted around his groin with my nose, satisfied he was ready I started to lap at his balls, bring one at a time into my mouth. From there I moved to the head of his penis and gave the top a light kiss then encircling it with my tongue before taking him as deeply as I could with my mouth. With one hand I held him upright with my fingers and with the other hand I lightly ran those fingers over his sac paying attention to the underside and the bottom of his testicles. I let my baby finger dart down to the top of his anus and lightly stroke it. All of this served to bring him closer to the edge, he was doing his best not to make noise and when he started to, I would slow down and hold my position for a moment. I brought him close a few more times and then went for the gusto. When I sensed that he was close then closer and then on the brink, I rested my baby finger on his anus and pressed against it lightly. It sent him over as wave after wave pulsed into my waiting mouth. As each pulse fired off, it was telegraphed to the finger on his anus. At the beginning of each volley his sphincter would grasp at the finger lightly resting against it. While he was coming back to earth I held him in my mouth till I was satisfied I had received all of his offering. I snuggled back up beside him and rested my head on his chest, within minutes we were both sound asleep.

I know I slept soundly that night and I know Ethan slept soundly as well. The evidence was a lump that had somehow appeared while we were sleeping. I don't know how he did it but Sam was ensconced between the two of us. We were both on our sides facing each other with our arms across him. His face was the picture of innocence and as I gazed upon him I noticed that he too, also had the family resemblance. I brushed the hair out of his eyes and kissed his forehead. At that moment and at that time I truly believed I was the happiest and luckiest person on earth. All of the events of the past two years simply melted away.

I needed to get up soon, the wood stove needed to be tended to along with my bladder. I needed to set out the milk and cereal we brought for breakfast and place out toothbrushes, toothpaste and the jug of water at the sink. I think what woke me was the sound of someone trying to carefully close the outside door to the cabin and the footsteps heading towards the bunkroom. If I had to guess, the both of them had gotten up to use the outhouse and were trying to quietly return to the bunkroom. I figured I'd give them a moment or two before I got up so as not to disturb them. I figured after yesterday everyone deserved to sleep a little more. I was fully awake when I heard telltale sounds coming from the bunkroom and realized Eddy and Bobby were fooling around. While they were trying to be quiet and banking on the fact we were asleep, they couldn't hide what they were doing. A short time later it was obvious that they were done.

As I made my attempt to get out of bed, Sam's hand grabbed mine and clasped it to his chest. He turned his head and burrowed it against my chest. He was still deep in the land of slumber. I noticed that Ethan was awake now as well and he rested his hand on top of mine and Sam's. We lay there looking at each other grinning.

There are moments that you remember forever, the moments when you so deeply connect with another. These are the moments that make life worth living. The icing on the cake was Sam, in the sweet innocence of youth he accepted us, his uncles totally and without reservation. He had wormed his way into my heart, bonded with me, claimed the cabin as his own special place by the way he began to care for it and it was clearly evident we felt the same way.

I would have stayed in bed for weeks but my body wouldn't allow it. I had to pee and get the breakfast ready. Reluctantly we both had to get up. Very gently, tenderly we woke Sam. It took him a moment to wake and at first he was confused until the events of the past day came flooding back, then he was full throttled awake. It never failed to amaze me how his motor worked. When he was awake, he was awake going at full speed. When his motor was off he out like a light. Instantly he was chattering about all of the stuff we were going to do today. We were going to skate, play in the cabin, visit Grandma and Grandpa, explore the barns and all of the animals and so forth. He sat up in bed and announced that he was positively starving and we needed to get the wood stove going and get Eddy and Bobby up cause they were gonna play with us as well. We both pushed him back into the bed and proceeded to tickle him till he was laughing hysterically. We stopped when he announced if we kept it up he was going to pee. He clambered up and out of bed and took us with him. Stopping to put our underpants and tee shirts on we caught up with him in the main room. Grabbing our shoes we headed towards the outhouse. It had snowed lightly last night and there was a very fine dusting on the ground. Sam stopped, dropped the bottom of his PJ's and announced he was going to write his name in the snow. Not to be outdone Ethan and I joined him. Having marked our territory we went back into the cabin to warm up. Sam immediately ran into the bunkroom to roust Eddy and Bobby loudly announcing they also had to write their names in the snow and to get up. Both of them came out of the bunkroom with foolish grins on their faces and went out to mark their territory as well.

While they were out, I set out the breakfast stuff and placed the toothbrushes, toothpaste and the jug of water out. When the guys came back in the cereal was on the table along with some fresh milk and some breakfast rolls. It didn't take long before everything disappeared off of the table. We sat there while Sam, without hesitation asked Ethan and I how long we had been boyfriends. Bobby snorted milk out his nose, Ethan's face got very red and I looked at Eddy who wasn't any help at all. Realizing it was an innocent, innocuous question I figured simple honesty was the best approach I told Sam about two and a half years. "Cool" he replied and went on to another half dozen subjects that he needed to cover.

The rest of the day flew by and by the time it was over I was exhausted. Sam convinced his parents to let him spend the of the vacation week at the farm.

"Jesus Christ that hurts like a son of a bitch" Ethan yelled. "How many more times are we going to do this?"

"Until you are walking around here without a stupid limp" I retorted "The doctors told you this would happen" by now I was frustrated, Ethan knew he needed his therapy, I had just wished he didn't put up a stink with the stretching we needed to do.

"If you quit your bellyaching, I'll give you a special rubdown after." I offered hopefully. Helping Ethan with the exercises he was supposed to do with his leg was the only time I would see him get upset. He was beyond frustrated. He was exasperated at the pace his leg was coming back; it was taking much longer than it took with his arm. To be sure, the arm was a bit smaller in girth than his good arm but the functionality was back, muscle growth was just a matter of time.

"Come on Ethan, one more set and we'll stop for supper" I pleaded. We needed to get this done; I had stuff to do to get the cabin ready for New Years.

"Go ahead torture me some more, you seem to enjoy it" he pouted through the mischievous beginnings of a smile. It was the one thing I could always count on with Ethan, when he got frustrated or snippy, and we all do at times, he was able to understand what he was doing and self correct.

"Oh, I'm gonna torture you alright" I said reaching up under the towel over his midsection. "this thing is looking particularly flabby, when was the last time you did your exercises for this?"

Holding up the arm recently freed from it's cast and feigning a hurt, wounded look on his face "But my arm isn't strong enough" he pleaded. "besides my physical therapist is a rotten miserable good for nothing lout. He likes to torture people. He told me he went to a school for sadists."

"What about using your other hand then?" I wryly commented.

"The grips all wrong and I could do more damage, more harm than good!"

By now you could hear the begging in his voice. "If and only if you do this last set and let me finish it, your mean attendant will see to your other needs." I stated as flatly as I could trying not to giggle.

Ethan's leg, when it was removed from the cast, suffered from the lack of inactivity. Most of the muscle groups had atrophied and his skin suffered as well. His doctors wanted him to do a regular set of exercises at least once daily, preferably twice daily. As the adhesions in the muscles were stretched and dealt with, his mobility and range of motion would come back. His skin was another matter, it had dried and callused in places, unbeknownst to us there were a couple of sores that were formed when the leg shrank in the cast and would rub against the sides. Of course all of this was treatable and Ethan was getting better at doing them but it did require my help. My goal was to have him fully functional by the time spring arrived. There were many things he could do once the cast was off, drive for short distances as long as the vehicle wasn't a standard shift. That meant his beloved jeep was out of the picture and it sat lonely down next to 'Old Betsey' behind the workshop. He was able to maneuver around the yard on his crutches and in the house hobble around with one when no one was looking. Occasionally he'd get stuck somewhere and frustrated wait till someone came by to bring him his other crutch. If it were me I'd extract a promise for later and if no one was around then he'd have to pay up right then. He was getting better but full weight bearing activities were a few weeks away at the earliest.

When we began each round of stretches, I would have to rub moisturizer on his leg to make his skin supple and when we were done I would use a little baby oil to massage the different muscle groups and get the kinks out. This was the part I liked best. Occasionally one or both of my hands would stray and we'd forget what we were supposed to be doing. When I knew we would be alone and undisturbed I would have him help me out with a muscle knot or two.

I was leaning over Ethan trying to get him to do his flexibility exercised for the last time today and asked "are we still going out to the cabin early for New Years?"

"Can't wait and I am looking forward very much to it. What are we gonna do about the Munchkin?"

"Well he knows Eddy and Bobby are going and he's set his mind to tagging along. I'd hate to leave a grumpy Sam with your parents, it wouldn't be fair" I commented.

"Shall we hang his sign before or when we go out for the night?' Ethan had made a sign for the cabin that would hang below the one Earl had made. Sam had taken over the cabin and he ruled it much to our chagrin. He kept it clean and picked up, reminded everyone to wipe their feet. He would be the first to pack to go and when we were done eating down there he'd be the first to clean up after we ate. He kept the wood pile on the porch and by the woodstove stocked and made the most important decision for all of us. He had Grandpa Earl make a small shelf for the flashlight by the door. That flashlight was strictly for use when going to the outhouse after sunset as it was in his words, ''very dark out there.'' Woe be to the person who did not return the outhouse flashlight, or in Sam's words 'Pooplight', to its proper place on its shelf. He kept extra batteries next to it in the shelf as well. Sam also was our social director; he decided who would sit next to whom at the cabin diner table and what activities we would do when we were out there.

All of us had noticed how Sam had taken to the cabin and treated it as if it was his. He had demonstrated his love and care of the place and it delighted us. We wanted to encourage him and to prod him along and loved him for simply being himself. Ethan had made a sign in the workshop for the cabin he knew would delight the Munchkin. It said 'Sam's Place'.

"I think we should hang it before he goes out with us for the night. I would like to get everything ready and bring it out then. I asked Sam to make a list of what he thinks we need and while we take care of business he'll be spending time with your parents. If you keep distracting me we'll never get done. Now bring your leg up to your chest and place it against my shoulder and push me back."

Ethan did as he was told and pushed against me. As we were just finishing this set of stretches I pushed him back as he pushed against me and he yelped. The bottom of his foot was slippery from the moisturizer and it twisted as it slipped off my shoulder tweaking his knee. A few choice words followed the yelp and I gently lowered his leg to the bed. In the process the towel covering is midsection had slipped up and his bits were exposed.

As Ethan was letting lose his stream of invective, Sam alerted by the sound of Ethan yelling came bursting into the bedroom. While he was staying at the farm he had decided he would be staying in the extra room in our apartment. He had been playing with some of Ethan and Eddy's old toys in the living room as we did his therapy. Ethan's obvious cries of pain and frustration saw a very concerned Sam come running into our bedroom. I had just replaced the towel over Ethan's midsection and had gotten out the oil to give his leg a rubdown. He wanted to know what had happened and I tried to explain as bet I could.

We had gotten out of our routine over the Christmas holiday and were trying to reestablish it. As such he was behind in the schedule and I needed to push him. We did his therapy in our bedroom. Because of the moisturizer and oil I would use I generally had him remove his socks, pants and underwear leaving him only in a tee shirt. In case anyone should stop by I kept the towel handy incase we needed privacy or I needed to…clean him up or wipe him down.

Sam was a little freaked out when he saw Ethan's leg close up for the first time. The skin was still mottled and bruised. And the scars were still painful looking. Being the curious little midge that he was, he needed to know what was happening. I did my best to explain what had happened to the leg in the accident and what the cast did and its effects on the leg as well. I told him why it was important Ethan do his daily exercises. Why we had to use the moisturizer and then the oil to massage his leg after.

I couldn't have asked for a better assistant. Ethan was trapped as only Sam could do to someone. That boy had gumption, he'd get a notion and once he clearly understood the reasons behind something, there was no dissuading him if something needed to be done.

He asked me to show him what it was we were supposed to do. Poor Ethan didn't stand a chance; we simply had to do another set of stretches with Sam. He grimaced and groaned but complied with Sam's directives. When it came time to oil his leg to work the muscles Sam watched me intently and then took over. He started with his foot and manipulated his ankle. He got Ethan to push the flexibility of his sore knee. He lifted, gently twisted and moved his bad leg as he worked his fingers into the tired muscles. He probed his fingers deeply occasionally hitting a tender spot. To Ethan's credit he suffered gracefully and without complaint. Sam was in his element, he felt useful and needed. That he loved his Uncle Ethan was clearly evident, that he accepted me as Ethan's partner was without question. He saw us as a pair, just like his parents, grandparents or any other couple. To him, we just were and it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. We were all just normal people living normal lives. The world was simple and uncomplicated in his eyes

As he was massaging Ethan's upper thigh muscle he had him bend his knee up with some difficulty. I had shown Sam how the underside of the leg needed to be worked on as well. It was important as these muscles were for walking and standing, that they hadn't been used for months as well. He would take Ethan's leg while the knee was in the upright position and bend the knee towards the other leg and then move it in the other direction accidentally opening up his groin as the towel had slipped. Ethan was turning beet red as Sam got a close up of his privates. To his credit Sam was nonplused he needed to finish the rubdown and handled it like a professional. They were simply another part of the body, no different than an elbow or a nose. He took one hand, scooped Ethan's testicles aside and directed me to hold them out of the way while we finished. I could barely suppress my laughter as Ethan became tumescent under my hand. He grabbed the waylaid towel and managed to cover himself before he thought it was noticeable. Sam didn't miss a truck as he quickly finished up and looked at me "Uncle Ethan's getting a boner, I think it would be best if he got rid of it before supper. It hurts to have one when you are sitting down at the table." He grabbed the towel hiding Ethan's rampart erection wiped the oil off of his hands, passed me the towel and skipped out of the room and said "I can smell that supper is almost ready".

I stood there as we listened as Sam made his way to the kitchen in his own little world. Turning to Ethan I just started to laugh, tears rolling down my cheeks. "So you gonna sit at the table with that?" he didn't know whether to laugh, cry or be mortified.

"If it's a medical issue you need assistance with Sir, I am qualified to help." I offered "however this is a time sensitive offer as I have a prior engagement at the kitchen table tonight."

"I don't know if my insurance will cover a sudden erection issue" he chortled clearly seeing the humor in what had just transpired.

"Well then, you are in luck tonight Sir, you have a few minutes on your therapy session" I replied with a mischievous grin." As I lowered my head I brought his penis up to my mouth. His fragrance was intoxicating. I think it was a result of Sam's presence but Ethan was a loaded pistol. It only took a few strokes before he unloaded and fired. I think I lasted a stroke longer before I urgently blasted off as my knees buckled.

I helped Ethan put his clothes back on and we headed for the kitchen getting there just as supper was being placed on the table. Sam was beaming as we walked into the kitchen and motioned us over so we could both sit beside him. As we walked over to him, Sam cast a glance at Ethan's crotch looked at me and smiled. The next thing I knew he was chattering about his morning with Grandpa Earl learning his chores in the milking parlor.

It was early in the day on New Year's Eve when Ethan and I were able to give everyone the slip and head out to the cabin. I had gotten the jeep started and loaded with all of the gear we would need. Although it wouldn't take much to get the cabin ready we needed to bring food and drink out, get the woodstove going and see that everything else is ready. We had brought out the board and card games and a battery operated radio. We hung the sign and were eagerly anticipating Sam's reaction.

Speaking of Sam, while we loved having him around he did however put a small dent in our plans. Our first inclination was to have the cabin alone between the two of us. Sam's arrival brought an end to that. It was obvious that Sam was becoming sexually aware but it wasn't something we were planning to include him in on. Growing up around the farm and being exposed early on to the how's and why's of animal reproduction and reproductive organs simply meant it was another facet of life on the farm. Particularly in spring the urge for the animals to procreate is evident. Birds do it, bees do it, dogs, cats, horses, and cattle do it. I was going to do it and Ethan was going to do it. Lord knows Eddy and Bobby were doing it. Judging by the six sons, Earl and Marge liked doing it.

It was just complicated with Sam around. None of us wanted to be that type of influence on him but hiding our unbridled desire for our partners made it difficult. It was another reason we went up to the cabin early and alone. We were going to have an interrupted afternoon of us, blessedly, just us.

Fumbling with our clothes after putting everything away in a rapidly warming cabin we stumbled over to the bedroom. We kissed each other passionately. Rubbed and ground our bodies together. I was laying on top of Ethan with a very obvious erection luxuriating in his scent. I buried my nose in his armpits. I tenderly licked and suckled at his nipples as I tasted all that I could as I wormed my way towards his groin. Here a distinctively different sort of smell was to be found, the smell of his maleness, the ripe smell of his male fruit ready for taking. Inhaling the aromas of his penis I tasted the flesh of his scrotum. Watching that skin constantly change and move, as his body self-regulated their temperatures, to produce the ideal conditions for creating what made him quintessentially unique. Tasting my way down below his corpulent testicles I had Ethan spread his legs so I could partake of the delectable odors that lingered there. The taste was metallic as he squirmed at my tongue's probing. I was rapidly going beyond sensibility, I needed to rut and drive from within, all of that which made me unique.

Seeing in Ethan's eyes my lust reciprocated I placed some baby oil on me and pressed into him. His warm, moist fleshy embrace took hold of me as I slowly slithered as deeply as I could, my pelvis coming to rest against him. It had been a while since I had found myself in that position and the familiar sensations springing to life were bringing me to the launching pad. I was on a journey to far off places, freeing my soul from the constraints of our daily lives. I was heading towards zero gravity as our bodies complemented each other. The atmosphere was getting thin; struggling for oxygen was difficult as my breathing became labored, Sweat perspiring from my pores on a cold winter's afternoon mixed, between us as we ground our bodies together. His pliancy, as I sank deeply within him, the all encompassing grip he had on me as I tenderly withdrew, fueled our engines. The taking and the giving of each others individuality as our passion joined our souls was evident. The jettisoning of our second stage rockets as our pace quickened. The rhythmic sounds we made as zero gravity was nearing closer. We were but machines set on a mutually assured path to oblivion, grasping for dear life in a tenuous hold on the mattress as he clawed into my back, to keep tethered on planet earth. The light, the blinding light, illuminating the darkest, furthest recesses of my mind as my eyes tightly closed,

Nebulas and comets flying by, as the firework displays neared at the ready, our chains broke free from the reality of this world. I was in orbit as the planets and constellations flew past me. Encircling the palm of one hand around Ethan, further connecting us to the rhythm of our lovemaking, we broke free from the bonds of gravity. Maneuvering thrusters set our course as we neared the journey's end. I was aware of everything, every pore of our bodies, every follicle, each droplet of sweat, the beating of his heart, the coursing of blood through our veins, the thousands of microscopic sensations where our bodies had joined as we touched. We were traveling at high-speed and yet at the same time in our continuum, nothing went unnoticed. The light was getting brighter, magnifying in its intensity as we approached the zenith of our beings. Solar fireworks were going off all around us as our approach drew us closer and the heat of our passion increased till, with a last mighty effort of our engines, we erupted, spewing our essences, draining the life force from us till we were but spent hollow shells.

I died that afternoon. In the giving so completely of myself, I had nothing left to offer, my individuality lost in a sea of zero gravity. I was no longer what I had been. I had thought months ago, that I had subordinated and cast off my lonely existence, little did I know just how wrong I was.

I died that afternoon, a grand and glorious death, sacrificing myself totally and completely. I died with out hesitation or reservations. I had discarded my body and traveled to parts and places unknown, seeking and finding only that which made me complete.

I died that afternoon and was no longer.

It was the beating of Ethan's heart that brought me back, jumpstarted my engines and kick started my motor. I had collapsed on top of him and was unable to move. The steady rise and fall of his chest as he breathed soothed me. My arms lay limp by his sides. My withered penis still clinging inside of him, his touch as he ran his fingertips across and up and down my back, sent lightning bolts coursing throughout me. His warm breath was caressing the side of my face and neck as he murmured sweet words to me.

His gentle stroking as he nuzzled me, along with the languorous beating of his heart was what brought me back. I was reborn in his arms. We lay together for some time as my senses found their way back to me. Looking into his eyes I realized I was an open book that no longer held secrets, I had completely given of myself on that voyage of discovery, I held no fears anymore, they had crumbled away only to be consumed as the summit of our love was reached and in the heat of that moment.

As I felt my body recover and my strength return I rolled off and out of him and lay on my side. Ethan kept a hand on my side the other stroking the top of my head. He kissed my forehead and my nose, pecking me lightly on the lips. His smile was from ear to ear.

"That was fantastic" he crowed "you were on a mission and it was a hell of a ride"

"I don't know what came over me, what came over us but the intensity was phenomenal" I said weakly. "I just need you to hold me for a bit longer." We lay there for another half hour or so and realized the afternoon was getting away from us. Regrettably we would need to rejoin the world outside the cabin, the spacecraft that had transported us to places far off, distant and new.

When we got up I realized we were somewhat stuck together, parting this last obvious connection to our earlier escapade I went to the sink and wet a face cloth from a jug of water. We cleaned ourselves up and got dressed. Checking to see that all was ready for the evening, I tossed a few more logs in the woodstove, banked the damper to slow their burning, refilled the oil lantern, set it to low and we headed back up to the farmhouse.

We had missed lunch Sam informed us, but he had saved a couple of sandwiches, pickles and chips. Directing us over to the sink to wash our hands, he placed our food on the table. When we were done I placed our stuff in the kitchen sink. As I was looking out the window I could see Bobby and Eddy leaving the workshop walking very closely together. When they came into the kitchen I could see and smell the detritus of their private time in the workshop. I looked at Ethan and winked.

The five of us discussed the night ahead. We made plans, we would go after supper, we'd skate and build a fire. Where Ethan couldn't skate we'd bring his wheelchair and we would push him around on that.

It was going to be fun watching the reaction on Sam's face when he saw the sign. I had taken the 'Pooplight' for our walk back to the cabin. As usual, Sam was tightly wrapped and giddy with excitement. He was going to be celebrating by staying up late on New Year's with his favorite uncles. He was going to help Eddy and Bobby build the fire in the outdoor fireplace before we went skating. After skating we were going to toast marshmallows and have hot chocolate but I am getting ahead of myself. We crossed over the ice to the island dock and made sure Sam was leading the way. There was a warm glow shining out the cabin windows as the oil lantern fought back the impending blackness of the cold night. Walking up to the cabin Ethan shone the light first to the path and just before we got to the steps he shone it on the new sign. Sam, as expected, was stunned, he looked at us with his mouth opened in amazement. It took about ten seconds for it to fully register and his slow burning fuse to ignite. He grabbed both of our hands and brought us into the cabin. He was literally jumping for joy and babbling a mile a minute. He jumped up first to me and hugged me hard enough I thought I was in danger of passing out. Releasing his grip he jumped onto Ethan and did the same. Once we were done he grabbed the 'Pooplight', placed it back on its shelf and told all of us to wipe our feet. He checked the supply of wood for the stove, brought more in from the porch and left with Bobby and Eddy to start the fire outside.

Everything went off as planned that night; we skated, pushed Ethan around in his wheelchair, roasted marshmallows and had our hot chocolate. We played board and card games. The battery operated radio kept us informed of the time as we listened to the music in the background. At midnight we all hugged and wished each other happy New Year's. We stayed up a bit longer sitting in a circle in a pile of blankets by the cook stove telling ghost stories. Sam had once again spread himself across our laps and once asleep we brought him to the bunkroom and put a very tired, excited boy to bed.

We picked up the main room of the cabin, folded the extra blankets and put them away with the pillows. We made our goodnights to Eddy and Bobby after we all made use of the outhouse and headed off to slumber land ourselves. Once again, sometime during the night we acquired a lump between us. His head was against my chest as our arms were draped across him.

Tomorrow would be the last day of vacation week and school was right around the corner. I was pretty excited for the last six months of this school year as I drifted back to sleep. Summer was coming.

I was rudely awakened by a giggling Sam. At some point during the early morning our covers had gone askew. All that was covering us was a light blanket and my morning wood was clearly showing, "Looks like someone else has a boner too" as he pointed towards his own.

"Its something all boys get in the morning" I told him "there called piss hardons, you ever notice they go away after you first pee after waking up?'

By this time Ethan had awakened and rolled over on his back, his morning wood clearly evident.

"Looks like we all have to pee, who's first?" I said. With that Sam jumped out from under the covers completely naked, he had slipped off his PJ's some time in the night. I asked him where they were and he just shrugged his shoulders. Laughing I tossed him my tee shirt from off the floor and told him to put it on. Once the tee shirt was on he came back to the bed and pulled the covers off and exclaimed we were all going to write out names again. We both got out of bed and pulled our underpants and shoes on for the trip outside.

When Sam got his mind set to something there was no denying him. We followed him out the door after rousting Eddy and Bobby so they could write their names as well. As we were finishing our business on that cold New Year's morning Sam told me I had to dot the I in my name to make it official. Everyone got a chuckle out of that and Sam was giggling all the way back to the cabin.

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