Kyle's Ten Golden Rules

by Hunter Woods

Chapter 17

My heart was pounding in my chest as Evan just leaned back into me while my lips nibbled along his earlobe. "I so love it when you do that to me." He whispered his body trembling in delight.

"What…this?" I asked him softly stroking his extremely hard erection feeling his body twitch in my arms.

"Oh fuck yes…that too." He croaked his breath rasping in his chest. "But no…I meant when you nuzzle and cuddle with me…you know…rule number two." He answered truthfully with a small giggle before getting serious again and moaning in my arms as I slowly rubbed his stiffness while he melted like butter into my arms. I noticed that we were doing a lot with my number two rule these days, the whole hugging and kissing rule, making me smile fondly at the memory of how that all came about with what seemed like ages ago now.

"I know." I breathed heavily as my own erection pressed up against his lower back. "I love it too when you do that kind of shit to me." My voice shook with nervousness and anticipation.

"Kyle…I…I…" Evan stuttered making me think I had gone too far, which confused me since we've seemed to have gotten past his shy stage, at least where I was concerned.

"I'm sorry Evan," I swallowed hard as I released his erection and pulled out my hand.

Evan turned around and flushed. "No…I…I liked that Kyle. I…I just don't think we should do anything…um…in here since we tend to…um…you know…get messy." He giggled as he pressed up against me laying his head on my shoulders.

"Fuck Evan, I…I've got to do something before I burst at the seams." I moaned as my penis ached from being so hard.

"I know…me too." Evan croaked out. "I'd invoke rule number four, you know…'leave them wanting more,' but those fuckers got me all worked up seeing them like that. By the way thanks for holding off because I almost busted a nut," he giggled at his sexy talk. "I would have spewed all over myself if you hadn't stopped, and then I would have been mortified with everyone watching." He admitted to me as he tilted his head and kissed me passionately before releasing my lips. "Come-on." He stated grabbing my hand and leading me out the back of the cabin.

We stopped at the small clearing in front of the creek. He turned around kneeling in front of me, and started tugging on my shorts pulling them down making me panic and look around. "Are…are you sure about this?" I asked him as he seemed to take control for once, and me becoming a bit more shy about being so exposed out here. I mean fuck, it was like in the middle of the day with a lot of people out and about. Sure we were pretty much concealed, isolated, and out of view, but still there was a trail just on the other side of the boulders and trees that helped seclude this little oasis. It wouldn't take much for someone to figure out what was going on if they heard us while they walked past.

My erection popped free, all four inches of hardness, standing up tall and proud breathing in the fresh air making Evan gulp and look up at me with his beautiful hazel green colored eyes sparkling mischievously. "Oh yeah…I'm really sure about this." He hissed making me smile as I removed my shirt no longer afraid and getting caught up in the sexy moment. In a way this was kind of naughty, which made it even more exciting.

Evan stood up and kissed me passionately before I knelt down in front of him and tugged his shorts slowly down his sleek shapely legs. He stepped out of his shorts still wearing his bright white boy's briefs that clung to his small frame tightly since it was one size too small for him, and I admired the outline of his penis beneath the fabric. I knew he wasn't ready for a blowjob yet so I leaned in and gently nibbled on his cottony fabric covered penis eliciting an excited yelp from him as he gently pushed away my face and lips from his erection.

"I…I…" He stuttered as he blushed.

"I know you aren't ready for that yet Evan, but I just had to get a little nibble in until you are. After all the rule is that it's alright as long as you weren't naked and I assume that is true of a little bit of nibbling on your underwear." I teased him as I eased his boy briefs downwards watching his beautiful erection pulling free to slap up against his naked pubic mound making a resounding smacking sound that sent shivers all up and down my spine. He stepped out of his underwear and I watched mesmerized as his erections swayed around stiffly in front of me almost teasingly while his little boy pouch holding his chestnut sized testicle, which was weighed down heavily by his replenished supply of boy batter, bumped up against his thighs.

Looking up into his eyes, the smaller boy just smiled as he pulled off his matching blue colored jersey. While he was occupied with his shirt I buried my nose between the crease of his legs right next to his swaying boy pouch letting my lips suckled along the natural seam of his body making Evan moan with the unexpected move so close to his intimate package. His penis jerked wildly along my cheek feeling scorching hot making me tremble with anticipation as I inhaled his musky boy sex scent wafting up strongly from between his legs. 'Damn how that scent of his turned me on to no end,' I thought to myself not for the first time as my body continued to tremble excitedly.

"Oh shit Kyle," Evan hissed as he placed his hands on my shoulders for support while I wrapped my arms around behind his thighs.

My blood was boiling as I tried to stifle the urge of slurping up his beautiful three inch hard little hooded boy cocklet into my mouth. My mouth continued to kiss him all around the edges of his soft lamb-skin boy pouch along the seams of his body before I began slathering my tongue along his bare pubic mound. Evan was trembling and for whatever reason I just puckered up and planted a warm kiss right along the underside of his penis.

The smaller boy jolted and yelped in surprise as an intense wave threatened to overwhelm his senses. My own senses reeled with the overload of sensory impulses as I got a little whiff and taste of his small boy muscle on my lips along with the sizzling hot burning scorching sensation that still smoldered along the length of my mouth forcing me to lick them before they burned up. His knees buckled and I held on to him slowly lowering him to the ground as he fought off his impending orgasm. His breathing rasped in his chest as I laid him down on the soft grass covered clearing noticing his fingers wrapping around some clumps of grass to help him stabilize his quaking body.

"Oh fuck…fuck…fuck…that was close," Evan moaned as I scooted between his legs and settled my body on top of his.

Evan spread apart his legs accommodating my body and weight as I settled on top of his stomach and chest with our bodies pressed up against one another. I leaned down gingerly kissing him on his ruby colored moist mouth hoping it would help quail my burning lips, which still smoldered hotly from when they had pressed up against his smooth hard sweltering erectness. His mouth quivered with excitement as our kiss lingered and we savored each other's taste. Then it became more heated as we ground together our hips allowing our two hard erections to slide around against one another. He felt extremely warm and sweaty in my arms as I gently explored his body with the tips of my fingers sending several waves of tremors along his skin.

My own body burned and tingled with the tender touch Evan was giving in return as his fingers gently raked along my perspiring spine all the way down towards the small of my slicked up sweaty back. His fingernails left marks along my back, but never broke the skin sending shivers all up and down my insides. Fuck…him scratching me like that felt out of this world and turned me on even if it was done gently. The moment was very intense and erotic as I recalled our first real heated passionate sexual interlude in this very same spot. The thought of that initial evening made my body tremble as I tried to stave off the inevitable orgasm. It was almost too much as our hard rigid pre-cum coated erections seemed to slither around together like two snakes in a mating ritual.

Then all of a sudden everything seemed to explode in a rush of lights and sounds. At first I didn't understand what was happening as I felt Evan suddenly press upwards into me. His hands were wrapped around behind me cupping my fleshy candy apple dimpled fruit baskets pulling me downwards while his legs wrapped around the back of my thighs and constricted bringing us even closer together. I felt his erection flare up between our tightly compacted bodies, and then it seemed to quiver as something wet started to ooze between our two tightly intertwined bodies.

When I looked into Evan's face I could see his eyes rolling backwards as a peaceful countenance settled over his features. There was a small sighing moan that escaped his lips, nothing more as his body silently entered the realm of blissful erotic sensuousness. This wasn't one of those loud, screaming, and writhing orgasms; rather, it was the more sensitive subdued quiet kinds wrapped in the warm blankets of deep emotional libidinous contentment.

Whether it was from all the prior sexed up stimulating events up at our secret overlook, or just the overwhelming memories and enormity of our first sexual explosion together the other night in this very spot, it didn't matter because Evan's orgasm had caught him by surprise as his body reacted by releasing all his pent up passion. As soon as Evan started to explode rocking him to his core, my own body lost control as I too now entered the throes of blissful euphoric stupor with waves of lights and sounds assaulting my senses almost making me loose all of my sensibilities. Our two bodies had become pressed together so tightly that it was almost as if we had become one with my own creamy seed spilling between our two sweaty slicked up bodies intermingling with Evan's freshly released juice that continued to ebb out of his penis in little globular spurts. It was intense as I moaned softly in his ear surprising myself that neither one of us were creating such a huge row with the enormity of how we both felt at that moment. Time seemed to stand still as the pivotal moment felt like it could last forever while we held on to one another in a tight loving embrace. Yet, I knew this was only an allusion and that it had only been a mere few seconds as our soaring rapture came crashing down making me whimper as it ebbed and slipped away from us becoming another sweet memory in the broad scheme of our lives.

"Oh shit," I gasped as my head settled on to his shoulder and neck. "Oh fuck Evan, what the hell just happened?" I asked slowly rolling off of him, but holding on to his right hand in my left as I lay on my back gasping for air and looking over at my sweet boy with his angelic face while he just shook his head.

"I…I don't know what happened Kyle," he whispered. "I…I'm sorry it just happened so fast and unexpectedly." He whimpered apologetically.

"No my little sweetness, it's alright. I…I really enjoyed it a lot. It was really sweet and…intense." I told him giggling as I reached down to scoop up some of our intermingled boy juice from my stomach noticing him doing the same as he reached down to his bare pubic mound running his fingers through the mess before scooping it up in his fingers and sucking it clean.

"Shit Kyle, is this like normal?" He asked me making me look at him a bit confused by the question not knowing if he was talking about us lapping up our own natural balm seed, or if he was referring to something else. "I mean…you know this intense feeling. I don't mean the sex part of it…well yeah that too…but…I don't know." He tried to explain as I nodded my head knowing exactly what he meant.

"I'm not sure Evan. Yeah the sex is usually intense for most people anyway, but I think the deep emotional feeling is something more special…you know like a special kind of connection or bond we have for each other. I don't think everyone experiences that part of it when they have sex. I mean…for me it's only happened with you." I sighed as we just lay there for a while longer before Evan rolled towards me and leaned his head on my shoulder while throwing his left leg over my thighs to cuddle with me.

We were both sticky and smelled a bit ripe, but the closeness of his body to me sent shivers coursing all over the surface of my damp clammy skin. I could feel his limp drooping bean sprout and silky smooth yam bag settling on my thigh, and I smiled happily knowing Evan belonged to me now for all practical purposes, with him no longer being concerned if I saw him naked. As I reflected on it I realized that it wasn't just him belonging to me; rather, more like the both of us belonging to one another.

After a few more minutes like this I sighed and looked down at Evan's beautifully sculpted naked torso, the likes you see in famous museums that display those rare Greek sculptures or masterworks done by the likes of Donatello, Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Auguste Rodin. For me Evan was a delicately crafted masterwork that comes along once in a lifetime. Not only was he physically beautiful, but his heart was pure and innocent as well. Such beauty is rare, and I savored having him as my love, my light, the only true reason for my existence.

"Come on my little sweetness." I stated reaching over and scooping up some of his sweet nectar into my mouth making him giggle. "We better get cleaned up because who knows who might just drop in on us." I chuckled as Evan blushed nodding his head in agreement as he once more became a bit self conscious of getting caught out here in the open. 'How things seem to change from one moment to the next,' I thought to myself as I watched his naked perfection standing up in front of me. 'Yes indeed, a true sculpting masterwork of perfection,' I thought to myself as I took Evan's proffered hand as he helped me up off the ground.

No sooner had we washed off in the creek, and stepped into our clothes when sure enough, Greg, our unit team leader came around asking if we were ready to have our cabin inspected. When we said we were, he got out his clipboard and started to check off items listed on it. After a couple of minutes he signed off on the cabin and told us we were all good to go. We thanked him for being so cool with our group, and he told us this was the best group he's ever had, and more than likely the best this camp has ever seen. He thanked us for making it such a great time for him as well.

Parents started showing up a little after noon time and our group sort of hung together as some of our parents began to arrive. Soon I saw my mom approaching with Jaden and Mattie in tow. As soon as the little boy saw us he rushed forward and grabbed Evan tightly wrapping his arms around his older brother. For the first time in a very long while Evan openly showed his affection towards his little brother as he held him close and even gave the boy a peck on the cheek messing up his small rimmed glasses. The little boy smiled up affectionately at his older brother giving him another hug before extricating himself and jumping up into my arms.

"Kyle, I've missed you and why didn't you call?" He asked me as he briefly adjusted his small rimmed blue colored glasses.

I had to admit the smaller boy really did look cute in his blue toned spectacles. Mattie's vision wasn't really all that bad, and a lot of times he didn't even wear them. He mostly needed them for reading than anything else.

"I missed you too Mattie boy." I stated happily.

I held the little boy tightly and kissed his sweet little face all over to the boy's squeals of delight. People all around us laughed cheerfully as they watched me tumble on the grassy hill with my little Mattie pinned under me while I mercilessly kissed him all over blowing breath farts against his skin and tickled him until he shrieked for mercy.

"Stop it…stop it…" He squealed trying to push me off of him, but not very convincingly as we both just giggled and rolled around some more.

"No way," I teased back. "You've been missing out on my all important rule." I giggled making him look up at me.

"Oh yeah, what rule is that." He teased back mockingly.

"Why rule number two of course." I grumbled as I began slathering him more with my wet kisses eliciting another round of cries for mercy from the poor little boy as I felt his small semi-hard lap muscle press up against me while he squirmed around beneath me.

By the time I was finished with him the small little cramped elevator between his legs had reached the top floor creating a nice little bulge pointing outwards from his shorts. Once he finally managed to stand up we all watched him as the poor little guy pulled out the waistband of his silky blue colored gym shorts, the same kind his brother was wearing, and adjusted himself. Several of the parents and campers just sort of giggled knowingly, and turned away while Mattie managed to get himself squared away.

"Whoa dudes, it's like going back in a time warp." Riley stated as all my friends looked from Mattie back to Evan. "And what's this whole rule thing?" He asked looking towards me and Evan.

The two brothers just looked at each other and busted up laughing as they quickly explained about some of my rules to the rest of the guys making Riley and our other friends laugh thinking some of them silly, but way cool. The guys just rolled their eyes at me mockingly while I just shrugged and protested that these were very good rules indeed. Some of them ribbed me some more before Riley finally came to the rescue focusing his attention back on the two Prescott Brothers.

"Seriously though dudes, isn't it like going through a time warp?" He asked as he scrutinized the two brothers noting their similar looks and mannerisms. "If it weren't for the glasses and their age difference they'd be twins." Riley giggled while the others chuckled taking a closer look at the smaller boy.

The older boy reached over and picked up little Mattie turning him in his outstretched arm and looking at him critically. "Yup, you are either Evan's little brother or his twin that he left behind while he went off time traveling into the future. The only other explanation is that he managed to enter an alternate universe where he meets his younger self. So my little friend which is it?" He asked teasingly as he set the boy back down and ruffled his hair.

"I'm his little brother you ninny. Time travel hasn't been invented yet, and I have no idea what you are talking about with that whole alternate universe thingy." Mattie giggled.

"Why you little smart ass," Riley grunted as he picked up Mattie in his arms, and treating him like I had done earlier, started kissing him sloppily all over his face. "Maybe rule number two isn't so bad after all." He taunted the smaller boy with some of the parents arching their eyebrow at the profanity. Riley's Aunt sort of grimaced while the older boy just ignored it all not in the least bit concerned.

The little boy was caught off guard, but soon forgot all about Riley being a stranger he just met, and once again squealed cheerily by all the attention slathered his way. One by one Mattie was tossed around to one of my friends as they all greeted him the same way by hugging and kissing the poor boy to death. While this was going on Evan and Jaden managed to say hello to one another, and I saw them giving each other a tentative hug. I smiled happy that they had become such fast friends. By the time everyone had their way with my little Mattie boy, he was totally exhausted, but still all smiles as he leaped once again into my arms and hugged me tightly getting a bit bashful burying his head in the crook of my neck now that most of the excitement had dissipated.

"Where's dad?" I asked really wanting to see him. It's been so long and holding Mattie so closely to me reminded me of how much I missed him holding onto me.

"He'll be here soon Kyle." My mom responded. "He's got…some errands to run." She finished, but I had noticed the hesitation.

"Aunt Judy, when is mom arriving?" Evan asked a little nervously.

I saw mom flinch a moment, but she quickly recovered. It happened so fast and I don't think anyone else had seen it. I looked over to my mom questioningly, and she gave me that silent code look for I'll tell you later. I knew right there and then something was up, and I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. My mom looked around quickly and sighed.

"Well Evan you might as well know now, you too Mattie. Your mom and Don had a big argument and Don is gone. He won't ever be coming back. She can't make it today sweetie, but she sends you her love and will see you later after you get home." She promised Evan.

"Was…was it because of me?" Evan asked as the hint of a teardrop started to flow down his cheek.

My mom sighed sadly. "Maybe a little Evan, but evidently there's been a lot more going on between them the last year or so. None of this is your fault Evan, and you mom told me to tell you that. She just wants you to be happy and safe. I know you wanted her here Evan, but she would be so torn up about it if you didn't enjoy your last day with your new friends. She's so proud of you, and is so happy you found something you are so passionate about. Your art is all she could talk about with everyone. She's been bragging all over town you know, and telling them you are creating masterpieces here at camp."

"Really, she's been telling everyone about me?" He asked wiping away the teardrop with the back of his hand and smiling. He knew his mom loved him, but she had been reserved about complimenting him to other people when Don was around because he always would tear him down.

All of our families started talking amongst each other, and they were all so happy we all had found one another. It really was a nice time as we walked around showing them everything about our campsites. We all stayed together as a group forcing our parents to get to know one another even better. They all seemed to note how us boys got along so well as we would at times walk arm in arm with one another before switching out to another boy, each time showing our affections towards each other openly.

As we were heading back to the main building I spotted my dad and stopped. Mom had also seen him and made her way towards her husband. My dad looked worn out and I could see the concern on his face as my mom greeted him and they talked for a moment. Riley noticed I had stopped and while the others walked towards the building he came back and stood next to me.

"Whoa dude, is that like you dad, can I go meet him now, I'm dying to talk with him." Riley stated excitedly and started towards my father.

I don't know why Riley was so interested in my dad. I've sort of heard whispers throughout the years, but never even paid attention to those sorts of things. I've always figured people were curious to hear about how things were going in the places like Afghanistan and Iraq. As Riley stepped forward I reached out and held his arm tightly, maybe a little too tightly because I noticed him grimace a little in pain before I released his arm.

"Sorry," I told him apologetically.

He looked at me and then over towards my dad. "Something bad is going on isn't it?" He asked me.

I just nodded my head, "yeah I think so, but let's not say anything to Evan." I whispered when Mattie suddenly saw my dad and made a b-line for him. My dad saw the little boy approach, and the seriousness on his face melted away as he smiled and picked him up holding him close.

Just then I saw another figure closer to the ground as it rounded the corner of the building and making a b-line straight towards me. Riley gasped and took a protective step back as the small figure closed the gap and leaped up into the air knocking me to the ground. The huge Belgian Malinois Dog immediately clamped on to my shirt and started tugging on it dragging me in the process. I could see the frightened shocked look of all the parents and my friends as I started to squeal like Mattie had done just a few moments earlier.

"Sage, let me go," I yelped as the dog continued to tug on me happy to see me. "Oh for Pete's sake already Sage, you can let me go." I laughed as the dog finally released me and started to lick my face all over with his long wet tongue making me laugh even more as I finally managed to push him away from me so I could get up on my knees and hug him tightly. "It's good to see you too boy." I told the dog as everyone seemed to sigh in relief.

Sage was a large seventy five pound Belgian Malinois War Dog that my dad had trained with when he was just a pup. They were never apart, and when my dad was home so was Sage. He had similar features like a German Shepard and his breed was always mistaken for one. The dog was in tip top shape standing at about twenty six inches tall at the withers. Like all Belgian Shepherds, Sage was a medium-sized and square proportioned dog in the sheepdog family. He had a short mahogany colored coat with black markings. His black ears stood erect, and he had a black muzzle.

My father had named him Sage for two reasons. First the dog was smart as a whip almost like those mystical Sages of old, secondly he moved with swiftness like the smoke from a smoldering sage bundle as he crept upon the enemy with skilled and deadly stealth. Also like smoke he was hard to capture or pin down as he moved around like the tendril wisps of smoke.

"Whoa dude, that is like a wickedly awesome dog." Riley complimented me as he bent over to pet him.

Sage stepped aside avoiding the contact looking up at me as I nodded my head. "It's alright Sage, he's a friend and family." I told him as the dog sat down letting Riley pet him.

"Whoa, like why doesn't he allow people to touch him?" He asked me as I sighed shaking my head.

"He's a military working dog Riley and is highly trained for combat. When my father comes home he is home too and a member of our family, but when my dad gets sent back he is a working dog and alert to danger. He is trained not to be handled by strangers unless given the permission." I told the boy who looked at the dog appreciatively.

"Excuse me, but no dogs are allowed on the premises." One of the camp counselors approached us admonishingly.

Sage immediately became alert and stood in front of me in a guarded fashion making the man stop in his tracks. This was one of the more senior members of camp counselor's, but I didn't know him all that well because he was in charge of events I just didn't take here at camp. The man looked towards me a bit taken aback noticing the bristles on Sage's back stand up as if ready to attach should he come any closer in such a menacing fashion. My father barked a command, and Sage immediately relaxed making his way to my father taking a seat next to my dad's leg.

The counselor sighed and slowly approached my father. "Um…I'm sorry sir, but no dogs are allowed on the premises." The man repeated.

"Oh…um…yes…well he's a military service dog." My father pointed out as the man scrunched up his eyebrows a bit confused and shook his head.

"That may be sir, but I don't see a vest on him indicating he's a working dog, and besides I don't know how him being a military dog is considered a service dog. Sure I understand on the military base or something he might be allowed to go anywhere, but we aren't on a military facility, and I really do apologize, but I can't make an exception for one dog over another in this situation." The man pointed out as several people started to listen in on the conversation.

"Be that as it may be, he is a service dog and never leaves my side. Where he goes, I go." My father pointed out having dealt with this situation on numerous occasions in the past.

"I…um…sir…then I'm really sorry, but you and the dog will just have to leave then." The man pointed out truly looking apologetic. It really wasn't the man's fault because he was caught in an awkward situation regarding the camp rules and bylaws, not to mention he wasn't too familiar with this sort of situation regarding military service dogs.

"Yes, I can appreciate your position sir," my father replied, "but that isn't going to happen. Whether he is a military service dog or a civilian service dog the law doesn't distinguish one from the other so you will have to accept it." My father pointed out in a non threatening kind of manner trying to clarify things and making the man pause for a moment.

"Please sir, let's not create a scene or anything. You really should be going unless you have some proof the dog is a service dog." The man seemed to remain stubborn where most people would have already given in by now just accepting the fact.

"Well if it is proof you are looking for maybe you should just turn around." My father chuckled as the man automatically spun around out of curiosity when Sage pounced on him knocking the poor man to the ground and pinning him there as he growled threateningly. My father barked another command as Sage released the man and once more took his seat next to my father.

What no one had seen was my father giving Sage a hand command while he had been talking to the camp counselor. No one had even observed the dog disappear like a small puff of smoke as he stealthily made his way around the man without being noticed by anyone including the crowd. It was almost as if he had transformed into a wisp of smoke surreptitiously making its way along the currents of a breeze only being noticed at the last moment…the wisp of smoke being detected by smell and Sage with the snapping and snarling of his teeth.

"Listen; believe me when I say he is a highly skilled working dog. He's not what you are thinking in regards to a military police dog. He's a war dog that is taken into combat and trained just like any soldier with specialized skill. Feel free to remove him from camp if you want to. I won't stop you." My father chuckled as the man got up looking warily at Sage.

He was going to say something when a familiar voice floated across the field. It was Mr. Johnson motioning that it was alright for Sage to be there as he waved the man over to explain the situation to him. My father just shook his head as he complimented Sage for doing a good job while people started to move away admiring the skill of the military war dog. Most have never heard of such a thing, and were really impressed with what they had witnessed.

My dad put Mattie on to the ground letting the smaller boy play with Sage while I rushed over to him and just hugged him tightly to me. "I've missed you so much dad." I cried as I held on to him.

My emotions sort of caught me by surprise. I hadn't planned on crying; especially, not in front of all my friends and their parents, not to mention my own dad. There were just too many things that had been bottled up inside of me the last week or so that they just exploded as soon as I hugged my father. I melted in his strong arms, and his familiar scent made me feel at ease as I quickly recovered wiping away the teardrops from my eyes with the back of my hand.

Evan had followed close behind me, and as I stepped away wiping away the wetness from my cheeks, my father bent over hugging Evan just as warmly as he had done to me. The smaller boy seemed to cave in to my father's deep warm embrace enjoying the moment as if he were his own father. They remained that way for several moments until my dad whispered in his ear and I saw the boy nodding his head as he released my father also wiping away the wetness from his cheeks. It had been a tender moment and I wasn't jealous in the least bit with the affection my father showed the boy. Letting Evan recover, I introduced my dad to all of my friends and their parents. My father stopped a moment in front of Tim's father as he extended his hand.

"It's a pleasure Colonel," He addressed Tim's father.

The Colonel snapped into attention without saluting in a sign of deep respect for a lower ranking soldier and stated, "No sir, the pleasure is mine Sergeant Major. Truly I am proud our sons have become fast friends, and it truly is an honor to meet a real hero of our country." He stated then relaxed as he warmly shook my father's hand. "I also appreciate that finely honed weapon you have at your side." He continued admiring the well behaved and trained dog.

"Yes, well I'm afraid we will be retiring him here soon. He's put in a lot of good years, but it is time for him. He's done his duty and if not this time around, he will stay home for good after my next tour. To be honest he deserves the rest, and I'm hoping they will let him stay home and not force him to go for a last stint." My father sighed looking down at Sage affectionately.

This was good news in my opinion. I hoped Sage would finally get to be a normal dog from now on without the stress of being put into combat situations. He was seven years old going on eight, and that's a lot of years for a wartime dog to put in. I know it would be a big blow to my father's unit, but they have been training another dog to take Sage's place when the time came. Sage was under the primary care and command of my father where the new dog was under the primary care and command of another soldier in my father's unit. Since my dad is trained to work with dogs he was the secondary primary care and command caretaker to the new dog. The way it worked was that the dogs took commands from all members of the unit, but they always took commands first and foremost from their primary worker and then the secondary primary worker. It was a hierarchy that the dogs understood and always obeyed so that there wouldn't be any confusion in the heat of battle.

I watched my father as he made small talk with all of my friends and their parents ignoring what had just happened between him and Tim's father. I mean, my dad was just basically a regular soldier; whereas, Tim's father was an actual high ranking officer in the army; yet, the man treated my father with great respect and in a deferring sort of way. I thought I knew my father, but evidently I still had a lot to learn about him.

Dad seemed to like everyone as he chatted away catching up with what had been going on, and we all seemed to get along well as a group. At one point my father managed to whisper to me how proud he was at having chosen such fine friends. I sort of rolled my eyes and whispered back to him about Riley.

"Um…you may want to hold off on that assessment because Riley is dying to meet you for some reason. Do you think you might be able to step aside with him for a few moments and talk? He's a great guy, but he does take a little…um…well…getting used to." I told him hesitantly as he looked at me a bit questioningly.

I just shrugged my shoulders and shoved him over towards Riley. I watched as the two of them walked a short distance away, and sort of just meandered around. My father looked over to the boy once or twice during their conversation with a befuddled look on his face, but always seemed to make comments or answer any questions. When the two of them rejoined us he was just shaking his head and kind of chuckling. Riley on the other hand was all smiles and gave me the thumbs up.

"What's the matter?" My mom asked my dad.

"Nothing, it's just that Kyle's friend truly is a, well…enigma?" He finished just smiling.

"He seems nice, but I think he may be a little light in the loafers?" My mom stated with her euphemism of being a little off in the head. "Don't get me wrong a sweet kid, but you know…" my mom hinted looking around making sure no one was listening.

My dad just laughed at her. "I think you are underestimating the kid, and believe me I've been trained to notice these types of things." My dad told her seriously.

"You guys have no idea," I told them seriously as my mom raised an eyebrow at me questioningly while I shrugged indicating an explanation will come later.

Finally the camp director announced he wanted all the artists and their family members to assemble in front of the dining hall. Evan along with my mom, dad, Mattie, and me started to head towards the dining hall along with Chase and his family. Evan stopped for a moment and turned motioning for the other family members of our group to come along.

"I think I can speak for Chase as well when I tell you that you all belong to our family now." He pointed out and Chase concurred. We all filed over to the dining hall and met the other artists and their parents there. Many of them gave us a look wondering how many of us really were family members, but Dmytri just assayed their concerns and ushered us inside accepting our friends as part of the family.

"So we are to be having the initial viewing of all boys' art, yes. Just to being small group of family. Then we are to be having open viewing for entire camp and family." Dmytri began in explanation.

We all looked over to a grouping of artwork all covered up. Some of the parents were kind of mumbling as to why the secrecy and why was everything covered up.

"So all family to be the knowing this is to being constructive learning class. So we as to being artists will to being making comment on all work one at a time. Be remembering this is to being good for boys to be learning and improve. I have to be deciding who is to being first so to be making fair we begin with first accepted applicant and then next, and so on. Is this to being satisfactory?" He asked. We all nodded our heads in agreement.

First up was Chase's work as he stepped forward to answer any questions, and to hear any remarks given towards his artwork. I could tell he was a little nervous, but he stood up proudly next to his covered piece as Dmytri approached and gave him an assuring look.

Dmytri removed the cloth covering and revealed the painting. The breath caught in my chest as I saw his painting for the first time. It was a beautiful rendition of the camp from a distance nestled in the wilderness with the lake in the background.

Chase captured the image as someone would see it if they just caught a glimpse of it. He used a lot of colors that were very bright and vibrant, and managed to capture the image without a lot of fine detail, but rather with the bold colors. His art style was reminiscent of Impressionism.

"It's breathtaking," Evan commented as everyone all around seemed to agree.

We all enjoyed it for several moments marveling at the quality and skill before Dmytri asked for other comments which might contribute to the overall quality of the work. A few suggestions were provided from everyone and expounded on by Dmytri, but everyone had to admit that these were all just sort of little tweaks and personal preferences rather than any major detractions.

One by one they went through everyone's paintings. A few weren't finished and none had compared to the mastery of Chase's skill on his piece. Finally we arrived at the final painting as we all gathered around. Evan was biting his lower lips nervously, and I squeezed his hand tightly before giving him a reassuring hug. He walked over and stood next to his piece and fidgeted before Dmytri came over to introduce the boy.

"I want to be telling all of what we are to be seeing. This boy is to being the youngest among camp having only twelve years. This boy is to be drawing and painting only for a very few months. Yes, what you will to be seeing is a true artist mind, heart, and soul." He stated as he removed the cloth covering.

There was stunned silence among everyone present. The only sound you could hear was the gasp coming from Chase. My heart was pounding in my chest as the teardrops flowed freely from my eyes. He had captured both me and the landscape perfectly. The lighting danced on my figure as I stared off into the distance while the landscape unfolded below me.

"Oh Evan, it is so beautiful," Chase commented as he walked over and gave his friend a hug before returning to the rest of the group.

The image of me looked very much how I appeared in real life, but I thought he made me look much more beautiful and serene than possible. I flushed commenting that there was no way I came close to looking like that in real life, which everyone else seemed to contradict me stating it captured me perfectly. From a little distance everything looked so real, but up close we could see it was an illusion created by the skillful use of paint, color, and tone.

Evan had used perspective to create an illusion of reality, setting the composition and lighting to make the most of the subject. He managed to fuse a sophisticated color sensibility with a contemporary realism approach depicting a subject that reflected a peaceful and harmonious ambience, as a means of transporting the viewer to a serene contemplative visual experience. The landscape view of the entire valley absorbed the shifting of light as day progressed from dawn to dusk and back again, the vividness of colors breathing life and vitality in to the canvas.

Everyone was stunned and had no criticism of the painting itself other than to point out the assignment and competition required the painting to be reflective of the camp grounds. Dmytri agreed and presented everyone with photographs proving the painting was done from a part of the campground with a viewpoint not commonly known to the campers; therefore, qualified for the competition. The photographs seemed to satisfy everyone which presented another round of questions. Where was this viewpoint because they wanted to go there themselves.

Evan looked towards me at which time I spoke up. "It is a secret for a reason." I began telling everybody. "It took me a long time to find it and up until this year I never revealed its location to anyone. I want to keep it that way, but that doesn't mean people can't look for it and try to find it on their own."

We all mingled around the paintings for a little while longer before moving over to a corner section where the previous age group artists' works from the prior week were being displayed. There was a vast difference between those and this weeks work as there just seemed to be a level of more maturity with the older groups work. However, there were a couple of them that truly did stand out showing a lot of potential. After we spent some time critiquing the younger groups work we made our way back out so that the other campers could come in and view the artwork. Before being allowed to enter the announcement was made that none of the artwork was to be touched by anyone. All young children must be accompanied by adults. All paintings would be guarded by someone at all times, and anyone found violating the rules would be escorted out. He reminded everyone that all the artists had spent numerous hours on their paintings, and some even during every waking hour and free time. They had sacrificed much in order to have this showing so in turn everyone would be respectful.

Then he dropped a bombshell, which shocked all the parents and let them know just how serious he was about any destruction. He told them the prize money for the first place winner is a ten thousand dollar scholarship towards their college education. If anyone harms a painting in any way they would be accountable in the amount of ten thousand dollars.

By this point everyone wanted to see a painting that would fetch such prize money, but were very mindful of their children. They could tell Dmytri was a man not to be trifled with and that he would assuredly hold anyone accountable for any damage. Of course there really wasn't all that much to be concerned about because all the paintings had their own showcasing position and were completely roped off with a staff member right next to each piece.

In addition to the staff members being the guards for the artwork they had also been instructed with the finer points of the piece they were guarding in case someone had questions. The paintings which stirred up the most buzz were of course Chase's and Evan's. People were enthralled with what they were seeing from two such young budding artists.

As much as they all enjoyed Chase's depiction they were just dumfounded by the time they reached Evan's piece. Most of the people didn't know anything about artwork, but they just seemed to be drawn instinctively to Evan's piece for some unknown reason they couldn't explain. Of course Dmytri knew exactly what it was they were feeling. Deep down they understood they were looking at a masterpiece of such high quality that they would probably never come so close to a masterwork ever again.

While everyone was busy I managed to get a little time alone with Evan. I pulled him off to the side where we were hidden and kissed him passionately. He hesitated a moment a bit worried about being seen, but then gave in and returned my kiss hungrily. We came up for air and I pressed my body up against him tightly.

"Oh wow Evan, the painting was magnificent and you should be very proud."

"You…you really think so?" He asked me.

"Of course I do. Haven't you been listening to everyone? They are falling in love with both yours and Chase's paintings, but even Chase confided in me that he is head over heals in love with your painting. He's amazed at your natural talent." I told him honestly.

"Yeah, I love his too. He's really got a lot of talent with how he works the vibrant colors in his work. I'm thinking about maybe the two of us working together on a piece one of these times. I believe he can teach me a lot, and our styles could really compliment each other quiet well. I'll have to ask mom if he will be able to come over sometime. He doesn't live too far away from us so I'm sure we could work something out."

We returned to the group and were then herded over to the fire bowel for the skits and award ceremony. All the camp units had worked on a skit, and everyone had a blast entertaining our family members as people sat comfortably around the large fire bowel watching the entertainment unfold. All the families at camp sat together, but our entire group of family members had stayed together as a group. Jaden and Evan sat side by side snuggled up together and Mattie had taken a seat on my lap relishing my warm embrace while Sage had settled down next to my left leg laying his head across it and dozing contentedly. I really did miss my little tiger…both of them as I hugged Mattie tightly up against me before reaching down giving Sage a pat on the head eliciting a huff of breath from the dog. Ever since Sage came to us as a puppy he always seemed to guard me closely often sleeping by my bed when my father wasn't deployed. He was a very playful and affectionate dog with a bit of mischief in him.

Finally the last of the skits and songs were performed and the finale was upon us as Camp director Johnson got in front of the microphone to start the awards ceremony. First up was the first prize winner in the thirteen to fifteen year old age group art painting competition. He made some fine comments about the world renowned artist Dmytri and the man's accomplishments, and how honored he was that the man had chosen to spend time here as an instructor and mentor.

Mr. Johnson then cleared his throat for a special announcement concerning the artist. "Dmytri wanted me to say something very important to the artists and everyone in attendance. He wants everyone to know that these group of boys assembled here this week have been some of the finest group of artists he's had the pleasure to mentor. Every single student had the heart and passion of an artist, and will accomplish much if they choose this as their life's work.

However, there are two boys who in his opinion stand out among the finest of artists he has ever come across. With his vast experience and knowledge he is confident that whichever one wins tonight will go on to be the winner in the overall contest despite the age group coming in next week; whereas, due to the nature of the rules the other one will receive no recognition despite the fact they would have most assuredly won the overall first place prize at the end of the summer.

Mr. Johnson explained that the way the rules are set up is that one person from each age group that attends the camp will be selected as a winner. That painting will then be compared against the other age groups winner, and a first, second, and third place awarded accordingly. This way each age group would be represented. This means that in this particular class two artists with extreme and unusually high talents will technically not be represented equally since only one will be able to move on to the next stage of the evaluation.

Since the overall winner will receive a ten thousand dollar school scholarship, he wishes for the second place winner of tonight's group to know that he has placed some calls on their behalf. He does this to help jump start their art career noting that if an artwork is sold at a premium rate it will look good as part of their portfolio. It only took him one phone call to find an art collector who will pay a school scholarship prize award of eight thousand dollars."

At that announcement everyone rose and gave a standing ovation to Dmytri for this wonderful gift.

"Well we normally only announce the winner, but in light of this proclamation I guess we will have to start with the second place winner. Chase will you please step forward and accept Dmytri's second place certificate and prize."

The thirteen year old boy was in tears as he hugged the large man. Dmytri spoke to him for a few moments whispering something in his ear, and then they shook hands and the boy came back to our group. He stopped in front of Evan and nearly crushed the boy in a bear hug while everyone watched on and laughed uproariously at the display of affection. By this time everyone had heard of our group, how gossip seems to fly, and knew us boys had become very close friends.

"So," Mr. Johnson stated, "I see there are no hard feelings between the two competing friends." He smiled at the boys.

"Never," Chase shouted. "Even if I didn't have the special prize money, I would never hate the first place winner." He stated not officially announcing the winner, but making it clear he knew who it was, and so did most of the crowd.

"Well then, I guess it won't be a shock to know the first place winner and the boy who stole all of our hearts here at camp this year, Evan…please come forward and accept your prize of first place for your age group. Dmytri says if you do not win the overall prize he has a patron already waiting to purchase your work as well and will match the first place overall prize. He also wants everyone to know he has waited all his life to meet a Master Painter, a genius the likes of Leonardo, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, or Michelangelo. His dream has finally come true, and we are also honored that you have come to us even under the strange circumstances."

Everyone erupted in applause and rose up as Evan made his way down to the microphone. He received hand shakes from several staff members, the camp director, and a big bear hug from Dmytri. Then he was asked to speak to the assembly.

"Um…I don't know what to say. I…I…" he began in a small voice before someone yelled for him to speak up. I saw the fear in his eyes as he searched me out, and pleadingly motioned for me to join him. I got up with Mattie in my arms as we both headed down to stand next to our brother with Sage sticking close to my side.

I set down Mattie next to Evan and stood next to the older boy on his other side giving my little love a little squeeze for encouragement.

"Everyone, this here guy is my little brother…Mattie, or as some like to call him, Mattie boy." Evan looked down affectionately at his little brother before pressing forward. "I've had some rough times over the last several years some of which I've only shared with the friends I've made here tonight, and one friend who I will share it with when I get home. I promise Jaden, we will talk when I get back." He singled out his first true friend.

Evan didn't know why he was talking about this, but he loved his friend Jaden and didn't want him to feel left out. His new friends had helped him realize how important real friends really were.

"Anyway, I haven't really been there like I should be for my little brother, and I just want him to know I love him very much. I'm telling you this because it was due to my other brother that I've come to realize how important family is to one another. I want to introduce you to my older adopted brother. Before anyone says anything I think most of the campers here know the story behind my adopted brother or me being his adopted brother, and they can fill you in on it later." Evan told everyone to the chuckles of practically all the boys from camp not to mention staff members.

"What many do not realize is that Kyle gave up his prized position in the CCMT so that he could pay for my art lesson with Dmytri. In addition…the cost for the CCMT didn't even cover half of the cost for the chance to learn with a Master Artist of Dmytri's caliber, so he also took what he had left of his money this summer that he had saved for years and paid out of his own pocket. He knew how much this meant to me and since it was a last minute decision to allow me to come to camp I hadn't signed up soon enough which brings me to my dear friend Chase. We had only first met here at camp, but when it was important he stood up for me and defended me along with my art. Because of him, Dmytri accepted me into the program. A true friend and something I will never forget.

Kyle, thank you for being my friend …my brother and teaching me that a real man isn't afraid to show their affection openly to their friends and family. You have taught me how to love again with all my heart and soul. You mean the world to me Kyle, and no matter what, we will always be brothers through thick and thin." He concluded as he buried his head in my chest while the stunned crowd remained silent for one moment and then erupted in a chorus of applause that lasted for several minutes.

As we walked back to our seats there wasn't a dry face in the entire crowd. This had indeed been something special, and Evan was showered with hugs and well wishes as we made our way back to our seats. It took another ten minutes before we managed to make it back to our small little group. My mom just kneeled down and hugged Evan to her tightly while my father took me in his arms where I finally just collapsed and cried. I had been holding it back bravely for Evan, but now the dam just broke loose. Noticing my state, first my mom, then Evan, and finally Mattie embraced me followed by all of my friends. It took a few moments, but no one disturbed us as we just let our emotions out so that we could finally compose ourselves.

Mr. Johnson harrumphed into the microphone as he wiped away more teardrops from his face. "Well in all my years not a more eloquent speech has ever been given here, and it will be one always remembered." He finished before continuing on to other categories which had been voted on by all campers.

In all about fifteen different awards were being presented. One of them 'Kool and the Gang Award,' was awarded to my group of friends because we were the most popular group of boys in camp, and we did almost everything together. The award ceremony progressed rather quickly until we came upon the 'Glass-Half full/empty,' award.

Camp Director Johnson opened the envelope and just chuckled. "Well I suppose for most of you campers this isn't a surprise. This award is really intended for someone who is either misunderstood or a pure genius, and believe me guys you have no idea how well you have selected. This award goes to Riley so come on down son and pick up your award."

Riley sat up and smiled as he waved his hand ceremoniously to everyone as the crowd seemed to chuckle appreciatively before making his way down to the microphone. The award was more of a humorous one, but it also carried a two edged sword which the campers were soon to find out.

"Whoa dudes…this is like totally awesome," Riley announced when he got down to the microphone. Everyone totally laughed at his surfer style of speech. Most of the kids have come to love the guy as they got to know him and this was more all done in fun.

"Well Riley, since you are here I might as well give you some other news. For those of you who don't know, Riley is visiting his aunt here in Kentucky because his mom had to have some serious surgery," there were a lot of sympathy shout-outs to Riley and Mr. Johnson waited until they died down.

"Anyway your mother called to say all is well and you should be able to make it back in time for the big international Surfing competition." At this point everything got real quiet as people just looked towards one another in stunned silence.

Mr. Johnson continued, "I bet most of you didn't realize that Riley here is ranked as one of the top five competitors internationally in his age group. We have a world class athlete here, and you might want to get his autograph before you all leave." Mr. Johnson giggled as everyone erupted in amazement shouting out a million questions.

"Whoa…whoa dudes. Yes of course it will be televised, but uh do you think we could like you know not mention this to anyone. I kind of like…well don't like to brag or anything." Riley stated to the raucous laughter from the crowd. Hell how do you keep a secret like that when there are about five hundred people who just heard.

"Um…sure Riley I guess there is no problem with that." Mr. Johnson just chuckled as Riley started to leave the staging area. "Hold on a minute Riley we have another announcement for you that your mom wanted you to know."

Riley stopped and turned around. "It appears as if your oral examination for your dissertation defense against the board members has stood up earning your credential as a PhD in Mathematics. Congratulations on your second doctoral degree." Mr. Johnson announced.

"Um…yeah…like thanks." Riley announced as he quickly tried to leave the stage.

At that moment the crowd erupted with a bevy of question and comments. Riley froze just looking around as his cheeks flushed with embarrassment. There were numerous questions, and then all of a sudden someone bellowed out.

"What the hell does that mean?" One kid shouted out over the din creating a nervous chuckle from several of the younger boys at the little curse word as the entire arena got real quiet.

"Whoa…like now I'm totally confused little dude?" Riley answered.

"I mean what is a PhD and are you like some sort of genius?" The kid who had shouted out stood up and blushed when he realized everyone was looking at him so quickly sat back down.

Riley sort of scratched his head. "Um…whoa dude…good question actually, and…um well…I'll try to answer it alright dude…so…um just give me a sec like here." He replied as he gathered his thoughts before continuing.

"A PhD is the highest academic degree, and it takes several years to achieve it depending on the specialty. Obtaining PhD degree presupposes teaching students and performing independent research in the chosen field. The training must be crowned by presenting and defending a dissertation or thesis. The dissertation must contain the results of new and original research that deepens the knowledge in the chosen field and shows the candidate's ability to carry out independent investigations. For ordinary people the meaning of PhD degree is associated with a learned person who devoted his life to research work in a particular area and demonstrated superior understanding of his subject. Historically, the meaning of a PhD degree encompassed teaching in the universities. At the present time being a lecturer is not the only meaning of PhD degree, because PhD degree presupposes broader career possibilities and people with PhD degree do not necessary practice academic teaching. The main meaning of PhD degree is that the person understands his subject to the limits of present knowledge, and can expand these boundaries."

Riley quoted dropping his normal way of speaking and converting to a more sophisticated form. He looked around at the dumbfounded expression on everyone's face and shrugged his shoulders.

"Uh…like does that explain things…little dude?" He asked looking at the young boy who had initially posed the question.

"Not really, but I suppose. Um…are you like a genius or something?" The boy continued to ask while some of the kids around just chuckled.

Riley scratched his head and scrunched his face. "Well that's what they keep telling me, but we all know better don't we?" He winked at the boy as he held up the certificate. "After all I've got the Glass half empty award." He smiled chuckling at his little joke. Everyone stood up and exploded with laughter.

I looked over to my mom who was looking at my father. "Told you sweetheart, the boy is an enigma." She punched my father in the arm and sighed in defeat.

Mr. Johnson stepped up to the microphone while everyone quieted down. "So we have come to the last award, one that can only be initiated by me and then has to be approved by all the staff members and when I say all staff members, I do mean every single one has to vote yes or it isn't presented. This award is presented to a person of the highest caliber, someone who selflessly gives of themselves to others and who is respected by all for the following characteristics: caring, kind, gentle, compassionate, kindly, civilized, and charitable.

This young man embodies all of these qualities. Some may say that at the beginning of the week he had shown himself as a combative person, but we all know this was as a result of protecting the innocent, the ones who couldn't protect themselves against brutes. In so doing he displayed all of the aforementioned qualities.

He sacrificed his own needs to allow others to obtain their wishes. He did it without complaint, and did so with a cheerful spirit. We should all be so kind and caring towards one another.

Kyle the staff and I proudly present you with the Camp Humanitarian Award. Your name will be added to the plaque of other previous campers who have won the award along with a summary explaining your accomplishment for all to read. Please note that this award is not handed out every year. You are only the third person to receive this honor from us, and we have been here for over thirty years now."

I was dumbfounded as I was pulled up with the help from Riley and Evan. I just looked at them in shock while they congratulated me and shoved me towards the stage with Sage once more accompanying me up front. I didn't deserve something like this. I only did what every good big brother would do for his family and friends.

I reached the staging area and Mr. Johnson embraced me along with several other staff members including my unit counselor Greg. They handed me a nice trophy that depicted an almost naked looking youth with rippling muscles and a soft looking face stooped under the weight of the world he was holding up on his shoulders. The Title read 'Camp Humanitarian Award, then below the title it read 'Kyle always remember to support those less fortunate in a way befitting an honorable person.' Mr. Johnson then placed a round solid silver medallion over my head on a thick silver chain. It too had a design on it, but I didn't get a chance to look at it because he ushered me up to the microphone.

I started to cry as a wet small stream seemed to flow down both sides my cheeks, and didn't know what to say when I saw just in time from the corner of my eye a figure running up to me. I turned in time to scoop up Mattie who clung tightly around my neck.

"Please don't cry Kyle." He whispered, but the microphone picked it up and everyone could hear what he had said to me.

"Oh Mattie boy, don't worry these are tears of joy and shock. I'm not sad or anything." I replied as I kissed him on the cheek to the oohs and awes of everyone in the audience.

"I know that you little ninny it just makes me cry when you cry." He responded as he in turn kissed me on the cheek and clamped down his arms around my neck even tighter. This created another response of awes and giggles.

"Well," I started out addressing the audience still holding Mattie in my arms and trying to think of what I was going to tell the audience.

"I don't know what to say. I'm honored, truly honored, but I can't accept the award alone. I think there is someone else here who deserves to share this award with me because he too gave of himself in a selfless manner. He risked bodily harm and actually did get hurt in order to protect a friend he had only met not even a day before.

Chase, please come down and join me," I asked as the stunned boy just stood up and walked down to me shyly.

I removed the medallion from my neck and placed it over Chase's as his share of the award.

"I care so much for you Chase as if you are a member of my own family. What you did that day for my friend, my brother was remarkably unselfish and brave. Thank you so much," I told him as I kissed him on the cheek and held him to me.

The younger boy flushed at the unexpected display of affection so out in the open, but no one thought anything of it as they all stood and applauded us both. I could tell Mr. Johnson was beside himself not knowing what to do about this breach in protocol, but I saw Dmytri whisper in his ear and the older man just nodded in agreement as he walked back up to the microphone.

"Well, once again we now see why young Kyle was selected for this award. He has proven that we have chosen well and wisely. I and the staff members all agree that the award will be shared between the two of you and your names will appear together on the plaque. This is the first time ever that something like this has happened. May this inspire many others who follow to strive for such excellence." He announced as the audience erupted into applause.

We made our way back to our seats as everything quieted down once more, and Mr. Johnson stepped back up to the microphone. "It is my sad duty now to call our week to an end. In my thirty years operating this camp for boys and girls of all ages I can honestly say this has been the best group of overall campers ever. Thank you all for your inspiration because it is times like this when I know it has all been worth it. I hope to see everyone again next year." He announced as all the staff members joined him on the stage for a final song.

Mmm, I want to linger

Mmm, a little longer

Mmm, a little longer here with you

Mmm, it's such a perfect night

Mmm, it doesn't seem quite right

Mmm, that this should be my last with you

Mmm, and as the years go by

Mmm, I'll think of you and sigh

Mmm, this is good night and not good bye

Mmm, I want to linger

Mmm, a little longer

Mmm, a little longer here with you

Mmm, and come September

Mmm, I will remember

Mmm, our camping days and friendships true

Mmm, I want to linger

Mmm, a little longer

Mmm, a little longer here with you

With that the ceremony was over and everyone slowly began to get up and walk out of the fire bowl.

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