The Tire Swing

by Rob Warr

Chapter 5

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

As soon as the boys entered the front door, the reality of what was about to happen hit them squarely in the face. Brad's mom jumped up and ran to him then hugged him tightly, and for some reason he couldn't explain, he broke into tears. All the tension, all the waiting for what he knew would happen suddenly came crashing down on him and he crumbled like the little kid that he was.

"Oh honey, what's wrong. Are you just glad to see us?" she said, kissing the top of her son's head.

Not knowing what to say, and totally embarrassed by his tears, he just nodded, but when he finally looked at Sammy and saw tears in his eyes too, he couldn't let it go at that.

"Mom, dad, this is Sammy," Brad said wiping at his eyes, "you know, I told you about him when we talked on the phone, and that's his brothers, Doug and Bobby. We've become really close friends," he continued, "and...well, I'm really gonna miss them, and I guess now that you're here, it's all become kind of real that I'm leaving."

"Well, sport," his dad said giving his son a hug, "no reason why you boys can't stay in touch. And it's only a couple hours drive, and well...we've been wanting to visit mom and dad more often anyway, will all work out, don't worry."

"Thanks," Brad said meekly.

"It's nice to meet you boys," Brad's mom said then, "what are your ages..."

As they rattled off their ages, Mrs. Hinton noticed her son watching Sammy closely with the unmistakable look of love in his eyes, and suddenly she had an epiphany. Brad loved this boy, and from the adoring look the boy was giving him back, he must love her son as well. She smiled then. No wonder Brad had fallen apart, he was leaving his first love behind, and she could only imagine how painful that must feel to her son.

"So, you and Sammy are the same age," she said giving both of them a smile, "that's wonderful. I'm sure you two have so much in common. Maybe Sammy can come visit you sometime, maybe during Christmas break, or Spring break..."

They were interrupted by Mrs. Chambers who had laid out a buffet for everyone, and as expected the three brothers were invited to join. Though Doug and Bobby were dressed only in shorts, and barefoot, no one commented, and in fact Mrs. Hinton thought the two were absolutely adorable. Often, she wished her and her husband had sired more kids, but it was a little late now, considering Brad was a young teen.

She mothered the two and helped them fix their plates, enjoying the feeling of being useful once more. Brad had become so independent since becoming a teen, and she was enjoying mothering the two younger boys.

After a delicious meal, the two women cleaned up while the men and boys congregated in the backyard to visit. Soon, the women joined the group, and the adults visited while the four boys cavorted in the backyard.

"It's nice to see Brad having so much fun. Was he any trouble, mom?" Mrs. Hinton asked her mother-in-law.

"Land sake, we barely saw him most days. Him and those boys were down at the creek most every day, they even went camping a couple days. Course, Sammy stayed over here a lot of nights, but he's a good boy, no trouble at all. His brothers are little sweethearts too. Their folks are good people, they live on the next farm over."

"Brad and Sammy are close as two friends can be, I reckon," the old man said then, "I think they might be a little sweet on one another," he chuckled.

"Oh, old man, why would you say that?" his wife scolded.

"Well, I may be old, but I ain't so old I can't see the love in those two boys' eyes."

"I think dad is right," Mrs. Hinton said smiling, "and thank you, dad, for being so understanding. I know a lot of people from your generation aren't as accepting of such things."

"Fiddle, Brad's my grandson and I love him with all my heart. Don't matter to me if he likes girls or boys. And Sammy is a good boy too. I'll admit, I didn't know Sammy liked boys till now, but it's easy to see and to accept."

"Our boy has his first crush," Mr. Hinton chuckled, "Oh, wonder Brad fell apart. He's gonna have to leave his crush behind," he said looking concerned, then to his wife, "honey, did you know about this before we got here?"

"No, not really, but there was something in Brad's voice when he talked about Sammy on the phone that made me wonder. At any rate, like I told him, we'll have to try to accommodate their friendship as much as possible."

"That Sammy boy would probably load up and go with y'all if he could," Mr. Brewster chuckled, "but of course his brothers'd be fit to be tied ifn' he did."

Everyone laughed then, and Mrs. Hinton took the opportunity to say once again what handsome boys they all were, "That Bobby, he is so cute. I remember Brad when he was that age, such a sweetheart. We were always doing things together, and going places, the three of us, then he became a teenager and he seemed to draw a little away from us," she sighed.

"Younguns will do that," Mrs. Brewster said, "this one was no exception," she said laying a hand on her oldest son, Brad's dad, "he had more friends than we could shake a stick at, and always up to something from that age till he left us to go to college."

"Aww, mom, that was so long ago, but it seems like we still had family time. I remember the Holidays were always special at our house. My friends were jealous sometimes of how things were at our house as compared to theirs."

"Well, we welcomed your friends into our house and treated em like our own," the old woman said fondly, then looking thoughtful, she added, "Whatever happened to that one boy, Fred? I swear it seems like he was around as much as you were when you were in junior high."

"Fred died, mom," Mr. Hinton said looking sad, "Don't you remember, we went to his funeral."

"Land sakes, now why did I forget that?" the old woman said, looking stricken, "that was so sad, his poor momma bout grieved herself to death. And that one brother of his, Eddie, he blamed himself for his brother's death. It's all coming back to me, and mind you, I wish it hadn't."

"Eddie is married and has two boys now," Mr. Hinton said on a happier note, "he joined the Air Force right out of high school and he'll be retiring soon. I guess he and his wife and kids have seen a lot of places we never will, but I'd rather not move around like that."

"Mom, dad, what time are we leaving tomorrow?" Brad said, running up with Sammy right on his tail.

"Not too early, maybe after lunch. It's only a couple hours drive, son. I'll let you sleep in on your last day on the farm," his dad said grinning.

"Okay, that's good," Brad said, looking as if he had something more on his mind.

"Is there something else, son?" his dad asked curiously.

"No, I guess not," Brad said, having suddenly lost his nerve.

"Hmm, Sammy, has this anything to do with you?" Brad's dad said, noting the disappointed look on the boy's face.

"Well, sir..." Sammy stammered as he looked to Brad for help, "we were, uh, wondering if...since Brad didn't have to go early, if he could, um, sleepover at my house?"

"Yeah, mom, dad, then you two could have my room, I mean, the room I been using. We can be back at whatever time you say. I'm all packed except for a few things, and it won't take me a minute to throw those in my suitcase."

His mom and dad both chuckled, "Well, what does Sammy's folks have to say about this?" his mom, always the stickler for details, asked.

"Oh, they won't care, ma'am," Sammy said, "but I can call them if you say yes."

"Well, we had planned on spending some time with the family all together, but I guess we've done that," his dad chuckled, "and...we can visit a bit more tomorrow. I'm fine with it if everyone else is," he finally pronounced.

"Yesss," Brad said under his breath, "come on, Sammy, let's call your mom."

When the boys were gone, Mr. Hinton gave the others a mischievous smile, "I wonder what those two are really up to."

"Oh, you know, dear. They want to say goodbye one more time," his wife said smiling, "but I don't think we want to know the details."

"Boys will be boys," the old man chuckled, "I remember one time I caught you and Luke Evans out in the barn..."

"Dad, that's enough!" Mr. Hinton cried, blushing profusely now.

"Oh, dear. That sounds like a story I'd like to hear sometime, dear. Perhaps you can tell me about it later," Mrs. Hinton said, a mischievous smile on her face.

"I'd rather not, but better that, than to hear dad tell it," he laughed.

They were interrupted a few minutes later by the boys returning with good news.

"Sammy's mom says yes," Brad said, "but since it's gonna get dark soon, "we were wondering if one of you could take us over there. We don't have to go now, just whenever you're ready."

"I think we can manage that," his mom said, "what about tomorrow, will you need a ride then too?"

"Nah, we can walk back, it's not that far, just kind of scary at night, I guess." Then suddenly Brad remembered the pictures and video of the deer and pulled out his phone and showed them to his folks.

"Oh, my, they're so beautiful," his mom cooed, "oh, I wish I could have seen them in person. So sweet."

"Come on, let's go tell Doug and Bobby," Sammy said once Brad had put his phone away.

As the two ran off to deliver the good news, the old man scratched his chin and looked at his son and daughter-in-law with a serious look. "It's not my place to tell you how to raise your son," he began, "but Brad is of an age now that I think he needs to know a thing or two about life. When you told us he was gay, well...we accepted that without givin' it a thought, but it's one thing to hear it, and another to see it. Now, I don't mean there's anythin' wrong with what him and Sammy have, but I do think he needs some guidance, well, you know? Some modified facts of life."

"Land sake, old man," his wife cackled, "kids today got the internet and Google, they know it all."

"That may be true," the old man said, "but kids still need to know their folks are there and lookin' out for them, and if that means messing in their love life a little, be it."

"I think you're right, dad," his son said, "the two of us will have a man to man once we get settled back at home, "I'd like to know more about Sammy anyway, and I'm sure Brad will be glad to tell me all about his crush."

"Just go easy," the old woman cautioned, "boys may act tough, but I raised two, and I found they can have tender hearts."

"I know, mom," her son said taking her hand and kissing it, "and you always made us feel loved, and I never felt like you were prying. You just gave us the right amount of guidance and let us make our own mistakes."

"Well, we would have come down on you hard if you'd been making any really bad choices," his father chuckled, "but you and your brother were pretty level-headed kids."

"So is Brad," Mrs. Hinton said, "and he is very tender-hearted. I don't know if that's because he is gay, or if that's just one of his many wonderful attributes."

"He was a sweet baby, and he's grown to be a polite and sweet boy," the old woman expounded, "it's been a real pleasure having him here these last ten days. Makes me think of how it was with our boys."

"You'll have to send him more often," the old man said, "now that he has a reason to come, other than to visit us two ancient folks," he added chuckling.

"Well, we're all agreed on that," Brad's mom said, "but I hope that's not the only reason he wants to visit you."

"Oh, I think the first couple of days he was a little bored, but now I think he genuinely likes the farm and the woods, and I know he loves playin' in the creek," the old man laughed, "and if I know boys like I know boys, there was no doubt some skinny-dippin' goin' on."

"Oh, my..." Mrs. Hinton said grinning at her husband, "if he doesn't mention that, I don't think we should either."

"Mum is the word," her husband agreed, "and I'm pretty sure he won't confess that to us any time soon."

"We're gonna go in and grab my stuff for tonight," Brad said running up with the other three boys in tow.

"All right, dear," his mom said, then looking at her watch she added, "It's almost 9 o'clock, I guess as soon as you get your things I'll drive you boys there. I suppose you can show me the way, Sammy?"

"Oh, yes ma'am, just a mile down and a mile over. Our farm is actually just behind this one, but cause of the roads it's further to drive than walk."

"We should just ask the county to make us a road from doorstep to doorstep," the old man joked.

"Could you?" Bobby said looking serious and the adults all laughed, then realizing it was a joke, Bobby joined in the laughter, "Oh, Mr. Brewster, you're so funny," he said, giving the old man a quick hug before the three ran off to get Brad's things.

"That little one is a sweetheart," the old woman said, "I told Sammy him and his brothers were welcome here anytime. It would be nice to have some ornery boys around once again."

"I agree," the old man said, "place could use some boyish laughter and some little feet trackin' in mud once in a while," he added with a chuckle.

"All ready," Brad announced as the three returned.

"I'm going to go in and visit with the boys' mom for a bit, " Mrs. Hinton said, "just to make sure she's okay with Brad sleeping over, and to introduce myself."

"All right, dear, we're gonna move inside now, the skeeters are beginning to swarm," Mr. Hinton said, looking at his parents for their agreement.

"Yes, I'll pour us some lemonade and we can visit in the living room," the old woman said.

The drive took only about five minutes, and Mrs. Hinton was relieved to find that Sammy's parents were as nice and down to earth as she'd been told. They visited for a few minutes, then Mrs. Hinton said her goodbyes, and gave Brad a hug before driving away.

"Yaay!" Bobby said once the boys were upstairs in the room they all shared.

"Do we hafta stay on our side of the room tonight?" Doug asked looking surly.

"Not till sleep time," Sammy said, "then it's just me and Brad."

"So they can have fun," Bobby whispered with a mischievous grin on his cute face.

"And say one last goodbye," Sammy added, "which is one more than I thought we'd have. Thanks for thinking of this," he said to Brad.

"I can't believe my folks agreed, to be honest," Brad confessed, "it's almost like they knew we needed to say goodbye one last time."

"Maybe they did, maybe your grands told them we were boyfriends," Sammy teased.

"But how would they know?" Brad chuckled, "we sure didn't tell them."

"I dunno, maybe they picked up on it or something. Hey, do your grands know you're gay?" Sammy asked then.

"Yeah, mom and dad told them, and I guess they took it pretty well for being old and all. I mean, back when they were kids, a boy could get beat up for that kind of thing."

"Yeah, so most boys just kept it to themselves, I guess," Sammy added.

"We sure have come a long way since then," Brad commented, "I still don't want to come out at school though. I'm just not comfortable having everyone know that about me, and I don't want to freak out my friends and have them wondering if I'm perving on them.

"Do you, perv on your buds back home?" Sammy said grinning.

"No, of course not. Like I said, I've never even seen any of my friends naked, just in underwear and swim trunks. But I confess, I did sort of check a few of them out, you know, just comparing muscles and stuff?"

"Yeah, normal boy stuff. Hey, want to watch some YouTube videos on my tablet?" Sammy said then.

"Sure, but not porn, okay?" Brad laughed.

"Silly, YouTube doesn't have porn, but I do know some sites..."

"We wanna see some porn," Bobby said, having overheard the older boys' conversation.

"No, absolutely not," Sammy said shaking his head, "you're too young, besides, you already know too much about sex anyway," he added laughing.

"Can we watch the YouTube videos?" Doug asked quietly.

"Sure, let's lay across my bed so we can all see..."

Laying across the bed diagonally, the four boys propped their heads up on pillows against the wall and Sammy held the tablet so they could all see. They checked out some funny animal videos, then some movie trailers, and finally watched an episode of Futurama. By the time the episode was ended, it was well after ten thirty and Sammy proclaimed it was time for the two younger boys to head to bed and leave him and Brad alone.

After everyone took a turn at the bathroom, the four stripped down to their underwear and piled into their beds. Doug had top bunk, and Bobby the lower one, but most nights they wound up in the lower bunk together, at least until they were ready to sleep.

Turning all but one small nightlight out, Sammy climbed into bed beside Brad and leaned in to give him a quick kiss on the lips, "comfy?"

"Yeah, do you think Bobby and Doug will go to sleep, or play around first?"

Sammy laughed, "What do you think? I'm sure they're horny by now."

"Yeah, so am I," Brad laughed.

"Me too, so...let's do something about it," Sammy said, pulling Brad into a full body hug and attacking his lips.

"Mmm," Brad said pulling away for air, "can we lose these undies...?"

"Yeah," Sammy said doing so in one quick motion, causing Brad to laugh at his enthusiasm as he followed Sammy's lead.

When they were naked, Sammy rolled Brad onto his back and attacked his lips once again, this time with urgency. Then moving down his body, he began placing small kisses on his neck and shoulders, continuing on down to suckle his nipples and place more kisses on his chest and flat tummy.

"Mmm, that feels so good," Brad cooed, "I'm really gonna miss this."

"Your body is so perfect," Sammy said softly, "I even love your belly button," he said, demonstrating by sticking his tongue in the shallow indention, causing Brad to giggle.

When he finally reached Brad's small patch of soft pubes, he couldn't resist burying his nose in them and sniffing like a hound dog.

"What are you doing, silly? Do I stink?"

"No, no way, you smell wonderful," Sammy said swooning," I wish I could have this scent on something to remember you by."

"I could leave my undies," Brad teased.

"Would you? That'd be great," Sammy said excitedly.

"Well, I was kidding, but, yeah, if you want."

"Yesss," Sammy said giving Brad's crotch another sniff, "oh man, you smell so good."

Brad actually knew what Sammy meant, even if it did sound kind of weird, because he felt the same way about Sammy's scent. It had become a familiar scent, arousing, yet comforting at the same time.

After giving Brad's balls a few sniffs as well, Sammy surprised Brad by moving down to his feet to rub and kiss them for a few minutes. Foot play wasn't something they always did, but when they really wanted to make each other feel good it was usually where they started. However, Sammy had gone from head to toe this time, and was saving the middle for last.

"Mmm," Brad sighed, "that feels good."

Sammy mumbled something around Brad's big toe, then plopped it out of his mouth, "Roll over, I want to work that butt next," Sammy said lustily.

Brad sighed and rolled over as commanded, and suddenly he felt Sammy straddle him and began massaging his neck and back muscles like a pro.

"Oh, man, you could charge for that," Brad said, his words a little distorted by the jarring of his body.

"I'll collect later," Sammy teased, "right now, I'm going to have a taste of your yummy behind."

"Mmm, go for it," Brad said, raising up some and wiggling his cute butt at Sammy.

Sammy wasted no time diving in, his tongue painting the crack of Brad's ass, passing over his tight little pucker, then pausing to drill into it, causing Brad to moan softly.

Brad hoped he wasn't being too loud, but Sammy's folks' room was downstairs at the other end of the house, so he supposed they were okay.

Suddenly, Sammy pulled up and spoke, but not to Brad, "Hey, what are you two cockroaches doing, spying again?" he asked, but he didn't sound mad.

"Sorry," a small voice said sounding worried.

"It's okay, I guess," Sammy chuckled, "if Brad don't mind."

"No, it's fine," Brad said, "We should charge admission though," he teased.

"I got a nickle," Bobby giggled.

"I was hoping for something bigger, like that thing between your legs," Brad chuckled.

"Oh, well, you can have that anytime," Bobby said sounding excited.

"Come closer and let me see if I can get at it," Brad said, moving a bit closer to the edge of the bed.

Bobby moved over then, his cock already hard and throbbing, and Brad somehow managed to get it into his mouth. Doug stood watching the action and working his own stiff cock, feeling a bit left out, but enjoying the show none the less.

Meanwhile, Sammy had decided he'd done enough licking and was now ready to do some humping. Using spit and his own precum, he greased up his pole, then Brad's ass, and moved into place.

Doug moved closer then so he could get a better view of the action and he and Sammy locked eyes for just a moment. Doug looked away first, blushing uncharacteristically, but he never stopped pulling his pud the whole time.

"Save that," Sammy suggested, "when I'm done with Brad I'll suck you off."

"Really? Cool," Doug said with surprise and excitement.

"Hey, what about me?" Brad managed to say, taking Bobby's cock out of his mouth for a moment.

"You can hump me while I suck Doug, how's that?"

Brad grunted his approval and continued to suckle Bobby's stiff little prick, bringing him closer and closer to his little boy dry orgasm. When at last the feeling began, starting first in Bobby's small balls, then radiating throughout his whole body, he got up on tiptoes and thrust forward as if trying to bury his little tool in Brad's throat. However, it didn't quite reach, and at any rate, Brad already had all of it in his mouth.

Bobby exploded then, his balls aching as they tried to push out the semen that was years away from production. The feeling, however, was no less powerful than Sammy or Brad's orgasms, and Bobby was shaking with pleasure as it went on and on. Finally, his cock grew too sensitive even for Brad's warm wet mouth, and Bobby pulled out and sat down on the edge of the bed.

Doug walked around and sat beside him then, the two watching the action as Sammy slid his hard leaking cock up and down Brad's crack, causing both boys to moan in pleasure as it passed over his tight virgin hole.

"Just stick it in," Bobby giggled, "I bet it would fit."

"Shut up," Doug said, "that's dirty."

"So...licking my b-hole is dirty too, but you did that."

"So, are you sayin' you want me to put my pecker in your butthole?" Doug teased.

"Maybe, sometime, but not yet. When I'm older."

"That's weird," Doug said without conviction. In fact, the thought of penetrating his little brother was a real turn-on.

"Guys, keep it down," Sammy grunted, "I'm getting close..."

"Are you gonna shoot your spermies up his butt?" Bobby asked softly.

"Yeah...yeah...oh, it comes..." Sammy hissed as his cock began to explode.

The first volley went up Brad's crack and onto his back, the second and third smaller volleys running down onto his taint and balls. Spent, and thoroughly sated, Sammy sat back on his heels, panting like he'd just ran a race, as he surveyed the mess he'd made.

"Doug, grab a towel from that stack over there," he commanded, and the boy quickly obeyed, rushing to the small stack of linen on a shelf at the top of the stairs.

Using the towel, Sammy cleaned Brad up first, then himself, and by then both boys were ready for Brad's turn. Brad preferred Sammy lay flat on his tummy with his ass slightly in the air, and this time they placed a towel under Sammy's middle to catch any spunk that might get away.

Sammy lay at a slight angle on the bed, so that his head was on the edge, and once Brad got going, Sammy coaxed Doug over so he could give Doug the blowjob he'd promised him. This time it was Bobby who was left to watch, and though he did rub his semi-erect cock a little, he really wasn't all that horny now.

Brad took his time with Sammy, laying down fully on top of him at times and grinding his cock into his crack, once or twice penetrating Sammy's anus just a little. Sammy didn't mind, in fact, he was almost tempted to yell for Brad to just go ahead and do it, but they'd decided to wait and he was willing to do what Brad wanted.

As Brad neared orgasm, he rose up a bit and began jacking his cock, and when he erupted he was able to direct his spunk into Sammy's crack and onto his butt cheeks. Thinking he had never seen anything as sexy as Sammy's cute butt painted with his cum, Brad leaned down and began licking up the mess he'd just made.

"Whoa," Bobby giggled, "I want some too," he said, his hungry little mouth finding a drop or two of Brad's cum to lick up.

"You guys are freaks," Sammy giggled as he came up off Doug's cock for a moment, "but I like it."

"I'm close, Sammy," Doug said urgently, wanting his older brother to finish what he'd started and quit talking.

"Okay, okay, lay down and I'll do it right," Sammy said then, as Brad got up and began wiping himself off on the towel.

Doug flopped onto his back then, his still hard cock glistening from Sammy's spit, and put his hands behind his head, presenting himself to his older brother for his approval.

"You have a nice dick," Sammy said, as if picking up on Doug's need for his approval.

Doug didn't reply, but he was beaming as Sammy lowered his head and began licking and sucking his middle brother's cock and hairless balls. Brad had finished cleaning up, and quickly decided he wanted to get in on the action too. Sitting down next to Doug, he began licking and sucking his nipples, causing the younger boy to moan and thrash about.

"Hey," Bobby said, not wanting to be left out, "can I play too?"

"Sure, grab a nipple," Brad laughed, "and he left the right side for Bobby as he continued teasing the other nipple.

However, all the extra stimulation had Doug excited to the point that he didn't last much longer. Sammy felt him begin to tremble as his orgasm approached, then the boy went rigid and thrust upwards as it hit him hard.

"Ohhhh, shit," Doug moaned, "stop, stop...too much," he said, pushing Brad and Bobby off his over-sensitive nipples.

Sammy kept Doug in his mouth for a few seconds more, feeling the stiff little cock throb as it tried to pump out nonexistent spunk, then when the spasming ended, he pulled off and placed a wet kiss on the head.

"Ugh," Doug sighed, "I'm done, someone carry me to bed."

"You got it, little bro," Sammy said, picking the ten year old up as if he weighed nothing, then throwing him over his shoulder and starting for the bunk beds in the corner.

"Me, me," Bobby cried excitedly, holding out his arms for Brad.

Brad was glad Bobby was smaller than Doug, and he was able to carry him on his hip to his bottom bunk. After hugs all around, and goodnights, Sammy and Brad returned to Sammy's bed and snuggled up together, still naked, but sated, at least for the time being.

They awoke early that morning, just before sunrise, slipped on shorts and went downstairs to pee, then stripped off once they were back upstairs and proceeded to kiss and make out before finally falling into a 69 and getting off once again.

Two noisy, rowdy little boys, whooping like Indians, woke the boys up the next time, but it was well past nine o'clock by then. Sammy's dad had gone off to his day job at seven, and his mom was busy doing laundry and housework, and had decided to let the boys sleep to keep them out of her hair.

Now, as the two stretched and yawned, the reality of what was about to happen came down hard on them, once again.

"Get up, get up," Bobby sang.

"Can it," Sammy said grumpily, "maybe we could just run away," he said to Brad, "we could live off the land..."

Brad laughed, "As much as I love you, and want to be with you, that is the dumbest idea I've ever heard."

"I know," Sammy said grinning, "well...shall we get dressed and go face the world?"

"Yeah, cause I don't think the world is ready for us, naked," Brad laughed.

After dressing, peeing, and washing up a bit, the two boys headed to the kitchen to find Sammy's brothers assisting their mom, who was busy fixing a late breakfast for the boys.

"How did you boys sleep?" she asked, causing Brad to blush, but Sammy fielded the question for them both.

"Fine, once the little terrors settled down," he said, referring to his younger brothers.

"Did they bother you boys?" she said giving them a stern look.

"Nah, not too bad. Anyway, we're all friends now, right Brad?" Sammy said giving his boyfriend a smile.

"Yeah, I kinda think of Doug and Bobby as my little brothers too," Brad said, then blushed again.

Sammy's mom gave Brad a strange look, then smiled, "Well, they certainly seem to have taken a liking to you too. I'm happy you boys get along so well. We're gonna miss you around here, Brad, aren't we, boys?"

"Yeah, momma," Bobby said sadly, "but he's gonna text us and stuff, right Brad?"

"Yeah, we've already swapped numbers and stuff," Brad explained, "so we can stay in touch, and I might be back come Christmas break."

"Oh, how nice," Mrs. Risner said as she took a pan of bacon from the oven, "how do you like your eggs, Brad."

"Anyway is fine, ma'am," Brad said smiling.

"Scrambled it is then," she laughed as she began cracking a dozen eggs into a bowl, "these are from our own chickens, and I think you'll like the taste better than those store bought ones."

"We got twelve chickens," Bobby explained, "and one rooster, and he's mean."

Mrs. Risner laughed, "That's because he's protective of his hens."

"Huh, what does that mean?" Bobby said looking totally lost.

"I'll explain it later, Bobby," Sammy said grinning, and their mom covered her mouth with her hand to suppress a laugh.

After breakfast, and after thanking Mrs. Risner and giving her a hug, Brad headed home with the three brothers accompanying him. Each step closer to his grandparents farm brought the reality of the situation closer, and closer, until Brad felt as if he couldn't breathe. He'd never felt this scared or sad before, and he was afraid he would completely fall apart once he got there.

All the way there, Sammy held his hand, and at times Bobby or Doug would take his other hand. He wasn't sure if that made it better or worse, but he was glad they were there to support him, even if only for the short walk to the farm.

They found the adults on the front porch, the old couple in their rockers, and Brad's parents sitting on the porch swing, swaying lazily back and forth.

"Hi boys. You look well rested this morning," Mrs. Hinton said cheerfully, "have you eaten?"

"Yes, mom, Mrs. Risner fixed us a good breakfast," Brad explained, "uh, what time are we leaving?"

"Not for an hour or so," his dad said then, "come give us a hug, son, we've barely seen you since we got here."

No, please, Brad thought as he stood there frozen to his spot, if I hug them I am going to fall apart, he worried, but in the end he knew he couldn't deny his parents this simple request.

The tears did come, but they dried quickly and neither of his parents, or the old couple made mention of them. They all knew boys, even teen boys, were emotional creatures, and that it didn't take much to set them off. Unfortunately, some boys expressed those emotions negatively, sometimes with disastrous results, when tears would be a much better alternative.

"Why don't you boys go get a cookie and something to drink?" the old woman said after Brad gave both his grandparents a hug as well, "I made a fresh batch of those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies you like so much."

"Aww, thanks grandma," Brad said feeling a bit better now, "come on guys, let's raid the cookie jar."

When the boys were gone, Mr. Brewster turned to his son and wife and smiled, "I bet those boys will never forget these last couple weeks as long as they live."

"Yes, it's just too bad they have to part ways now," the old woman said sadly.

"Well, unless you want to raise Brad," Mr. Hinton teased, "he'll have to come home with us for now."

"Where do we sign?" the old man laughed.

"No one is taking my baby away from me," Mrs. Hinton laughed, "you can borrow him, but not permanently."

"Well, anytime daughter, anytime," the old man chuckled.

The boys returned after a few minutes with little bottles of Coke and two cookies each. As they sat on the steps of the huge porch that spanned the entire front of the house, they talked quietly about the fun they'd had, avoiding the stark reality of what came next.

Eventually, the two younger boys got up to wrestle and play on the lawn, and after a few minutes of watching them, Sammy and Brad joined in.

"Momma, don't that remind you of when our boys used to wrestle around like that?" the old man chuckled.

"It surely does, it's like going back in time," his wife agreed, "nothing makes a home more of a home than a bunch of younguns running around."

"They all look so happy," Mrs. Hinton said wistfully, "I wonder..."

"What dear?" her husband said, taking her hand.

"Oh, nothing, I was just wondering if the boys' folks would let them come visit us sometime. Maybe for a week or so."

Her husband laughed, "You really want to watch over four rowdy boys for a week?"

"I'd consider it a pleasure and a gift," she said seriously.

"Well, I'll leave that to you moms to work out," he chuckled, "for now, we need to get our stuff loaded and on the road. Do I tell him, or do you?"

"Oh, dear, couldn't we wait another hour or so?"

"We could, but what's the point? Eventually, he has to leave his friends behind."

"All right, we'll both tell him then," she sighed, then standing, she raised her voice to be heard over the laughter in the yard, "Brad, honey, come here, please."

Stopping in his tracks, Brad's stomach fell to his feet as he realized the time had come at last. Looking at Sammy for support, he screwed on his happy face and led the way to the porch, where his folks were waiting on the bottom step.

"Brad, son, go grab your things from the bedroom and load them in the car. Your friends can go with you so you can say one last goodbye," Mr. Hinton said, wanting to give the two boys one last chance to say goodbye properly.

"Yes sir," Brad said softly, knowing it was useless to argue at this point.

Slowly, Brad led the way inside, keeping his cool right up till the moment they walked into his bedroom for the last time. Then falling into Sammy's arms, Brad began to sob quietly, as Bobby and Doug joined them in a group hug.

"Shh, it's gonna be okay. It's not like we'll never see each other again," Sammy said patting Brad's back gently.

"I...I...know," Brad sobbed, "but I'm gonna miss, much."

"I'll miss you too, we all will, but we'll make it work. I promise."

"I love you so much," Brad said then, raising his head to kiss Sammy wetly and passionately, "I wish we had time know, one last time..."

"I know, but at least we had last night, and this morning," Sammy reasoned, "come on, let's get your stuff, we don't want them to come looking for us."

Brad nodded and stuffed a few things in his bag, then looked around to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything. His toothbrush was still in the bathroom, but he had plenty of those at home and decided not to bother with it. A few days later, his grandma would find it and have a tearful moment as she realized just how much she missed having Brad around.

Somberly, the three boys reappeared on the porch and Brad noted that the tailgate was already open on the SUV. Taking his bags and throwing them in the back, he slammed the tailgate shut with a bang, signifying the finality of this phase of his life.

"Well, we're all packed, "Mom, dad," Mr. Hinton said as he hugged his parents, "thank you so much for having Brad, and for just being the most wonderful parents, and best grandparents in the world."

"Well, son, I don't know about that," his dad said wiping tears from his eyes, "seems to me my son has some pretty mean parenting skills himself," he added with a wink. Then with a smile he added, "You know the three of you are always welcome here. Our home is your home, son."

"You be careful now," the old woman said, wiping tears from her eyes as well, "you call us when you get home so we won't worry."

"I will, mother," Mrs. Hinton said as she took her turn to hug her father-in-law, and mother-in-law.

Next, it was Brad's turn to hug the old couple and the tears came once again, "Thanks, grandpa, and grandma, for letting me stay, and for being so nice and all, and for letting Sammy and his brothers hang out," he said managing a grin.

The old woman kissed the top of his head and squeezed him tightly, "Honey, you are always welcome here, and so are your friends. We love you with all our hearts, and your being here has been like a breath of fresh air to this old couple."

"You're not old, grandma," Brad assured her, "you're just right."

The old man laughed, "That one could be a lawyer, or a politician, no...scratch politician, he's too honest for that."

Eventually, Brad was left to say goodbye to Sammy, Doug, and Bobby. It was easy till he got to Sammy, then Brad was torn between what he wanted to do, and what he was willing to do in front of his parents and grandparents. However, love won out over pride, and after hugging Sammy fiercely, he held him by the shoulders and kissed him quite properly, right on the lips, as the two brothers watched in shock, and the adults smiled knowingly.

When he broke off the kiss, he looked toward the house, but he saw nothing but love and support, and he finally smiled, "Well, goodbye, Sammy, I'll text you along the way, okay?"

"Yeah, uh, goodbye, Brad," Sammy said, still glowing from the kiss, then leaning in close he whispered, "I love you."

"I love you too," Brad said proudly, not bothering to lower his voice.

Sammy blushed, but the adults were still smiling, so he figured they were okay with him and Brad being in love.

"Bye, Bobby, bye, Doug," Brad said managing a little smile, "my little brothers."

Bobby burst into tears and hugged Brad one last time, but Doug just sniffed back a few tears and nodded to his new big brother.

"Well, mom, dad, I guess I'm ready," Brad announced at last.

"All right,, dad, we'll see you soon, and I promise we'll keep in touch," Mr. Hinton said as they headed to the SUV.

Soon, everyone was seated and buckled up, and Brad rolled down his window to give Sammy and his brothers one last goodbye.

"Bye," Sammy said as he reached in to take Brad's hand and squeeze it gently, "see ya."

"Yeah," Brad said managing a sad smile, "see ya."

Then Brad's hand pulled away and the window went up, and suddenly the SUV began to move. The three boys ran after it for a ways, then waved furiously as Brad waved back, then the SUV disappeared around the corner and the three boys walked back to the porch and sat down heavily.

"Would you boys like to stay for supper?" the old woman asked hopefully.

"Yes, ma'am, I think that would be just fine," Sammy said turning a tear-stained face to her and smiling sadly.

The old man sighed and stared into space, a million thoughts going through his mind at that moment. This had been a summer to remember, that was for sure, and until Brad's visit he and his wife hadn't realized just what was missing from their lives. There had to be ways they could fill that void in their lives, he mused, maybe they could volunteer at the youth center, or become foster parents. Yeah, foster parents, he thought, shaking his head to himself, what better place for some young person to learn about life, and escape the evils of civilization than on the farm?

Ten miles down the road, Brad typed in his first message to Sammy, and it was a short one.

Brad: I miss you already

Sammy: I miss you too

Though the two boys kept in touch by phone and online, often through video chats, it was not until Christmas break that they were finally united. After years of having been invited to spend Christmas on the farm, Brad's folks had finally decided this was the year. Not only would it give them a chance to relax and spend time with the old couple, they could make their son's Christmas wish come true, being united with Sammy. And...deliver the fantastic news that they'd been holding onto for a while now.

They arrived that afternoon, the SUV loaded with their luggage, food, and gifts for everyone, including Sammy and his brothers. Brad had helped pick out the gifts for the two younger boys, and though not expensive or lavish gifts, he was sure the boys would enjoy them. He'd been sort of secretive about what he was getting for Sammy and his parents didn't pry, especially since he was using his own money to purchase the gift, a new smart phone. It wasn't an I-phone, but then neither was Brad's, however, it was a big step up from the phone Sammy now had.

As expected, Sammy and his brothers awaited Brad and his family's arrival with joyous anticipation and didn't seem to mind the cold, opting to huddle on the front porch rather than in the warmth of the farmhouse. The old couple too were looking forward to the arrival of the three, and they'd gone all out this year, decorating both the inside and outside of the house, having enlisted the help of Sammy and his brothers.

As the SUV pulled into the gravel driveway, the three boys left their shelter on the front porch and headed that way, flanking the vehicle on both sides as it slid to a stop. The snow which had been coming down sporadically all day long, seemed to increase in intensity now that Brad and his family had arrived, almost as if it had been waiting on their arrival. Brad's door popped open first, and Sammy was there waiting, then, despite Brad's folks being so close by, he pulled his boyfriend into a hug and gave him a quick kiss on the lips.

"Hi, Merry Christmas, I ordered snow, just like you asked," Sammy said grinning.

"It's perfect," Brad said smiling as he greeted Sammy and his brothers.

The Hinton's had climbed out by then, stretching their limbs after the long trip, then greeting the three brothers with smiles.

"You boys look cold," Mrs. Hinton said, shivering a little herself now that she was out of the warm vehicle, "Looks like this year we're going to have that White Christmas after all."

"No ma'am, we're fine," Sammy said grinning, "I told Brad we ordered the snow special when we heard you were coming. Then after a pause as the adults appreciated his attempt at humor, he added, "do you'all need help with your stuff?"

"Sure, Brad, why don't you and the other boys bring the stuff in, while we go say hello to mom and dad?" Mr. Hinton said, pulling his coat collar up around his neck and shivering a little. He liked snow, but over the years it seemed his tolerance for the cold had diminished considerably.

"Sure, dad, come on guys," Brad said taking charge.

The old couple was waiting at the open front door, and after hugs all around, Mr. Brewster took the younger couples coats, and his wife suggested they all go into the dining room for coffee or hot chocolate.

"I see Sammy and Brad picked up right where they left off," Mr. Brewster chuckled as they sipped their hot beverages.

"Yes, if those two aren't in love, then I don't know what it is," Mrs. Hinton said, "not a day went by while they were separated that they didn't text, or call, or do a video chat, and in fact, they texted all the way here," she chuckled.

"Well, they're both fine boys, it's just a shame that they live so far apart," the old woman said.

"Well, I'm glad you brought that up," Mr. Hinton said, "I have some news on that very subject. Mom, dad, do you remember that dream of mine I had when I was in high school, about owning my own business?"

"Yes indeed," Mr. Brewster chuckled, "as I one time or another, you wanted to own a hardware store, or a Dairy Queen, then an auto repair shop. However, we convinced you to go to college, and you found other less risky ways of makin' a living. Why, what's that got to do with the price of tea in China?"

"Nothing," his son laughed, "do they even drink tea in China? Well, anyway...I've been thinking about starting my own web-design business for a while now, and I finally decided the time was right. I've got the contacts, and though I would never steal any customers away from the company I work for now, if they just happened to like my work and stay with me, well...there's nothing I can do about that, right?"

"Wait, you know I don't know a lot about that kind of thing, but are you saying you'd be working for yourself, have your own office somewhere?" the old woman asked.

"Yes, mom, and the great thing about what I do is: I can do it from any place that has a good internet connection."

"Okay," his dad said, "so you're going into business for yourself, finally. Is that what I'm hearing?" he added, still not getting the point.

"Yes," his son sighed, "okay, I guess I need to be a little more clear here, we're planning on selling our house and moving closer to you guys. The market is perfect for selling our home, and properties here are so much cheaper. We can have twice the house for half the price here."

"Wait, you mean you want to move into town, into our town, son?" the old man said, trying not to get too excited.

"Yes, we've talked it over with Brad, and well...I guess I don't have to tell you how he feels about moving closer to you guys, and to Sammy," Mr. Hinton chuckled.

"Oh my, that's wonderful news," the old woman said, a tear escaping her eye, "when will you move?"

"I've already got things rolling to set up the new company, and it should be up and running by the first of the year. I'm officially on leave from my old company, but I think they know what's up, however, they can't do anything about it without pissing off a lot of their customers. As for the house, we've already had one very good offer, but of course we need to find a place to move before we sell. We were hoping you might be able to help us find a place nearby. Are there any new housing editions going up around here?"

"Oh, son, you don't want one of those cracker boxes," the old man said looking excited, a twinkle in his eye now, "I know a great place, quarter of a mile down the road, close to town, close to us. The folks who own it moved to Florida, dang fools, but it's been up for sale for a while now, and I know they're anxious to sell."

"That sounds great dad, maybe later we can take a drive over there and have a look,"

"Absolutely, son," the old man said leaning in to give his son a hug, welcome home."

"Guess what," Brad said grinning as the three began unloading the car.

"You're really Santy Clause," Sammy said, noting all the brightly wrapped gifts in the SUV.

"Close," Brad said wanting to withhold the good news as long as possible. It had taken all the willpower he could muster not to tell Sammy on the phone what his dad had just told him a few days ago, but this was better, now he could see Sammy's face up close when he laid the good news on him, "We might be moving," Brad said, a somber look on his face.

"What! Why? Where, further away?" Sammy cried, his face a mask of sorrow and pain.

Brad hadn't anticipated how his joke might affect Sammy, and he was quick to fix things.

"Not further away, closer," Brad said grinning.

"What? Closer, close?" Sammy said feeling relief wash over him.

"Like here."

"Here, like here, the farm?" Sammy said not believing his good luck

"No, not here, here, but nearby, maybe in town. Dad says we need to start looking for places though, cause we've already had a good offer on our old house."

"But how, why? Why didn't you tell me this before?" Sammy jabbered.

"I wanted to surprise you. Surprise!" Brad laughed.

"Well, you did, you really surprised me, boyfriend. This is great, it's almost too good to be true. Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming," Sammy rambled on.

Bobby was happy to oblige, almost taking a chunk out of Sammy's arm, causing his older brother to cry out in pain, while the other three just laughed.

"I guess it must be real," Sammy said grinning as he rubbed his arm, "cause that hurt like a mutter humper," he added, and they all laughed some more.

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