Subject: “A Trial Of Strength” – Part 558 by Rob Williams A TRIAL OF STRENGTH � PART 558 by Rob Williams Chapter 558 � “TWO SHY BOYS FIND A BIG BROTHER” IN THIS CHAPTER When the young, reserved guys Vic and Noah meet the virile young Aussie Nate, there’s an instant connection. Nate takes them under his wing like an older brother. They invite him for dinner, and together they take care of the older boy’s sexual needs. Nate feels protective of the shy boys, and the other men of the tribe rally to support him in caring for them � maybe even permanently? ____________________________________________________________________ IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER The shy new boys Vic & Noah have had a falling out, arguing and fighting with each other. Their boss Brandon persuaded them to go see the tribe’s shrink, hunky Doc Steve, who tried a novel therapy. At his house he took them down to his basement gym where the handsome young Aussie Nate and the blond gymnast Tommy were working out. The cheerful Aussie persuaded the boys to join in and the resulting action, from mild to wild, left them sexually drained � and totally enthralled with the friendly, sexy young Aussie. Doc Steve was surprised to see that both young boys were gazing at Nate, by-passing the glamor of the gymnast for the easygoing, welcoming look of the Aussie. The doc suspected that the boy’s attraction to Nate wasn’t only his fine, square-cut features, it was the smiling brown eyes, his cheerful, open expression and the easy confidence of a virile young Aussie. Later, alone with Steve, Nate pumped him for information on the boys. “Truth is, doc, up to now I never really noticed the kids much in the crowd down at the compound and they were always so shy. But today … man … they really came out of their shell. It wasn’t just that they’re both so cute and hot to trot. There was something about them that really moved me � I dunno, something vulnerable, a neediness. I mean, who takes care of them, doc?” “Well that’s the point, Nate. I’m not betraying any secrets here, they’re quite open about it. They have no family, parents are deceased, no siblings � just each other. For a long time they grubbed along in separate single apartments in the same building and later spent most of the time together, cooking, hanging out, watching TV. “Then everything changed when Brandon hired them in the office, and Randy smartened up that little apartment for them over the office. So they have a good solid job and a neat place to live. But the closest they’ve got to a mentor is their boss Brandon, but his influence is mostly limited to the office. They still spend most of their time together, just the two of them. I’d say what they need is a man of their own in their lives.” At lunch with Steve, Nate and Tommy, the previously hesitant boys came alive, as if they had woken up from a deep sleep. Without realizing it, they focused almost entirely on Nate, pumping him with questions about Australia. Steve watched the two boys gazing at Nate, hanging on his every word, spellbound. As the meal drew to an end Nate asked them casually, “So, mates, you got plans for this evening?” “Just the usual, sir � make dinner together and watch TV.” “Hmm. Tell you the truth, I’m at a loose end tonight too. “See, one of my men, Adam, is gonna be making love to my other man Chad, and I’m giving them their space so they can have one of their lovey-dovey evenings together. I was thinking of going out to eat on my own, maybe a movie.” There was an expectant pause. “I, er, don’t suppose you blokes might have room at your table for a hungry Aussie. Maybe we could kick back and watch Netflix or something.” The boys’ eyes sparkled. “Yes, sir, sure we could,” Vic said, a little too eagerly. “We’re pretty good cooks, and we got Netflix and Amazon too so we’ll find a movie you like.” Vic checked himself and frowned. “Are you sure you want to come, sir? You’re not just saying that `cos you feel sorry for us?” “I would never do that, mates,” Nate said earnestly. “Us Aussies are more direct than that, we tell it like it is. What’s more, we all have big appetites. So if the invitation still stands, I’m in.” And so it was that at seven o’clock that evening Vic and Noah were waiting in their apartment in a state of nervous excitement. After leaving Steve’s they had gone back to work and Brandon was thrilled to see the change in them. He let them go early so they could go to the grocery store and get everything they needed � or rather that Nate might need. Now the table was set with a clean white cloth, whatever silverware and glasses they could rustle up, however mismatched, and even a couple of partly used candles stuffed in old wine bottles. In a vase in the center was a bunch of flowers they had bought at the grocery store. They had hastily cleaned up the apartment, which included stuffing clothes and a bundle of laundry in a closet out of view. And the smell of a casserole wafted from the kitchen. Freshly showered, they were dressed in clean shorts and their best polo shirts as they stood side by side, their hands touching. They gulped when the doorbell rang and Vic let Nate in, carrying two bottles of wine. With his warm, cheerful smile Nate hugged them both, then glanced around him. He looked at the table � at the mismatched candles, the mismatched glasses and cutlery, and the flowers standing bravely in the middle. He looked at their proud, shining faces waiting nervously for his reaction, and his eyes filled with tears. “I love you, guys, I do. It’s like coming home.” ========= CHAPTER 558 ========= A NEW VIEW OF LIFE “Good on ya, mates, this all looks brilliant,” Nate said in his Aussie drawl. His handsome face lit up with a cheerful smile as he looked down at the table, set for dinner with candles, flowers and all, and Vic and Nate smiling nervously. “I didn’t mean for you to go to so much trouble, though.” “Oh, it’s no trouble, sir,” Noah said eagerly. “We loved doing it. We’ve never had visitors for dinner � you’re the first.” “And it looks like you cleaned the place up too. OK, level with me,” Nate grinned playfully. “Did you shove a whole bunch of stuff in the closet and slam the door on it. It’s what I do when I’ve got company coming and I`m running late.” The boys blushed and giggled. “Yes, sir,” Vic said. “The place was a mess as usual. Er, sir, Doctor Steve gave us a sixpack of Tooheys Australian beer when we left him � said it’s your favorite. Would you like some now?” “Mates,” Nate laughed, “all you have to ask an Aussie is `how d’you feel?’ and he’ll sing, `I feel like a Tooheys’. Comes from an old 1980 beer commercial with a real hunky cricketer, Dennis Lillee. It’s still on YouTube, I’ll show you later � great jerkoff material. Hey, we’re gonna have a great time, I can tell.” Nate’s open, laidback attitude put the boys at ease right away. Noah brought the sixpack and they sat on the couch, Nate between the boys. Nate twisted off the bottle cap and raised his bottle. “Here’s to us, eh kids?” “To us, sir,” they chorused and clinked bottles. Nate took a gulp, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Nothing like it, mates. Takes me right back to Sydney.” After another swig he got up and sat on the coffee table facing them. “Just so I can see you both together � don’t have to keep turning my head from side to side like I’m watching a tennis match. “‘Cos there’s something I wanna say right off the bat, guys. I like you a lot and I wanna be your mate. But I don’t want you to be shy or nervous around me. You can do or say whatever you want, and I’ll be completely open with you always. See, I want us to have fun, kids. Life’s too short to hold back and tiptoe around each other. Agreed?” Yes, sir,” they said, a little uncertainly. “But we can still call you sir, can’t we?” Vic asked. “Of course, I would like that. Think of me kind of like your big brother.” They were pleased with that and exchanged smiles. “Right, so what’s that tempting smell coming from the kitchen? I’m starving.” “It’s chicken casserole with all kinds of veggies, sir,” Noah said. “Will taught us how to make it some time ago.” “Can I come to the kitchen and watch?” Nate asked. “They hesitated and frowned. “Er, it’s a bit messy, sir.” “Dudes, I already know you got all kinds of crap stuffed in that closet, so a messy kitchen ain’t gonna faze me.” They laughed, and Nate followed them into the kitchen carrying his beer. He was impressed with the kitchen that Randy had updated for them, though it was, as they warned him, more than a bit messy. He leaned against a counter and watched them � and again a warm wave of compassion swept over him, moved by their obvious efforts not to look clumsy. He smiled to himself as he saw them bump into each other several times and try to cover it up, with sideways glances to see if he had noticed. But all in good time they pulled a big casserole dish out of the oven and took off the lid.” “Does it look done to you, Vic?” “Er, reckon so. Here … he grabbed a spoon and scooped a little out.” “Hey, let me taste,” Nate said, stepping forward and grabbing the spoon. He chewed some slowly, watched anxiously by the boys. He swallowed, frowned to prolong the suspense … then smiled. “Brilliant, kids. Tastes perfect. I was just mind-fucking with you. Let’s take it in.” “Sorry there’s no first course, sir, but there is dessert. We dropped by Will’s and he gave us one of the rhubarb pies he always has ready. We just have to warm it up.” “You’ve heard the old saying, mates, that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” “Were counting on it sir,” Vic grinned, matching Nate’s playful tone for the first time. They placed the casserole at center table by the flowers and Nate produced the two wine bottles he had brought. “What’s your preference guys, red or white?” They frowned uncertainly. “What do you think goes best with chicken casserole, sir?” “Who gives a shit?” Nate grinned. “I don’t go by the book I go by what I like. I’m partial to red.” Liberated from the rules of taste and etiquette the boys smiled, “White for us, sir.” Throughout the meal Nate maintained that `who-gives-a-shit’ attitude which set the easygoing tone that visibly relaxed the boys. Nate realized that nurturing the nervous boys and giving them confidence was a subtle process that went step by step, even phrase by phrase. He felt himself already growing into the role of their big brother � and he liked the feeling. As the boys relaxed they became more talkative, and pumped Nate for more information about Australia. To them it was an exotic faraway place, and it added to their fascination with Nate himself, with that cheerful grin and Aussie drawl. “Do you ever go back, sir?” “Once in a while. See my man Adam works for Qantas Airways, he’s in charge of the L.A.-based crews, so he does a couple of runs to Sydney and back each month. Sometimes he gets me a real cheap fare, then bumps me up to First class. It’s a fifteen-hour flight. “You mean you’re on a plane for fifteen hours?” Noah asked in disbelief “Sure, but in the lap of luxury. Maybe one day I’ll take you with me. I’d love to show you guys around Sydney. But hey, enough about me, I wanna know about you. Not your old life before Brandon hired you. I mean, your life now � what you love about it, and what you don’t like.” The boys talked more than they ever had before. In the office they chatted to Brandon and Ryan between work, but talking to Nate was different. Here was somebody who seemed really interested in their lives outside of work � not that there was all that much to describe as they kept pretty much to themselves. As they rattled on, talking over each other, Nate was struck by their youthful enthusiasm, and their rush to open up to him. Again he was moved by these kids � a feeling he couldn’t exactly pin down. He knew what he felt for his mate Adam � love, lust and companionship. And what he felt for his longtime buddy Jamie � real good mates who shared everything. And there were elements of all that in what he felt now for these kids, plus … it was hard to describe … he felt compassion toward them, yeah that was it a kind of sympathy where he kept wanting to throw his arms round them and tell them everything was gonna be alright now. He felt protective, something he knew every man felt for his own boy. Randy was the best example of that. He would fight like a tiger to protect his boys. But did he really want Çorum Escort to go down that road? To offer love, nurturing and protection? That was a big responsibility, and he was just a fun-loving boy. Wasn’t he? He always had been, but recently he had been shedding his own boyish traits and … and growing up, he supposed, from boy to man. It’s why he had asked for a therapy session with Doc Steve, to describe the sense of something lacking in his life that he couldn’t identify. Steve had described to him how a first-time father feels when he looks down at his own helpless baby clutching his finger, and how it changes his whole attitude to living, having a new life utterly dependent on you. Maybe that was the kind of void he felt. Nate snapped out of his reverie and gazed at the boys � still talking, smiling, laughing. And suddenly he knew with certainty that he couldn’t go back � he couldn’t turn his back on these kids. It was as if they depended on him already � oh, not like the finger-clutching baby � not as a father, for sure, more like a big brother they could look up to and depend on to guide them. “So that’s about it, sir,” Vic was saying. “It’s a pretty good life � we got a job we love, a great boss, a nice place to live right here � and now we’ve got you. sir.” He stopped abruptly and blushed, realizing he had gone too far. “Sorry, sir. I didn’t mean that … it just kinda slipped out … I don’t know what I meant.” “No worries, mate, I know � `cos I felt it too. But hey, let’s not rush into anything. We only really met properly, what … eight hours ago. I know we’ve done a bunch of things since then � worked out, had sex, eaten lunch with Doc Steve and Tommy, and climaxed with that tasty casserole. So whatever this is, let’s take it one step at a time � the next step being … rhubarb pie!” NATE LEARNS FAST After dinner Nate helped them clear the table and clean up the kitchen. Then they pushed the table aside so they’d have a clear view of the television from the couch. Nate had brought another Tooheys with him from the kitchen but he set the beer aside when the boys proudly produced an almost-full bottle of brandy that Will had given them. “Ooh, good on ya mates, yes please,” Nate grinned. Of course they didn’t have proper brandy glasses so they used three regular tumblers, poured a little in each and drank a toast … “To us.” Noah ran back to the kitchen and came back with a tray of coffee. Everything they did, every little gesture or glance, Nate found charming. He was reminded of something Adam had told him not long after they first met and he became Adam’s boy. He would watch him and say, “You know, kid, I love everything about you, every expression, every move.” At his house, watching TV after dinner, Nate usually sat in the middle of the couch between Chad and Adam, as their boy. And now, as they settled on the couch, Nate sat in the middle between Vic and Noah, his arms spread along the back of the couch behind the boys. Nate smiled to himself. There was something perfectly symmetrical about the two pictures, a natural progression. And It felt right. Vic had the remote, and browsed on Netflix until they found an action movie they all wanted to watch. The sense of domestic harmony deepened as they sat drinking coffee, sipping brandy, eyes riveted on the screen. The boys gasped and cheered the action and Nate watched the boyish excitement on their faces. God, he loved them. No, wait, not so fast, he told himself. Too soon to talk of love � just go with the flow, Nate, as he always did. As they concentrated on the movie the interactions with each other became instinctive. Nate’s arms were still stretched along the back of the couch and his fingers idly stroked the back of their necks. The boys’ own hands strayed and they each rested a hand on Nate’s thigh, squeezing it a little when the onscreen action got tense. “He can’t get out of this,” Noah said of the hero. “Sure he can, dude. Just watch …” “Wow, never saw that one coming.” When the movie ended with the inevitable fight scene, where the hero improbably demolished ten of the bad guys single-handedly, the boys cheered and squeezed Nate’s thigh hard.” “Hey, careful, mates, that hurts. I might be forced to pummel you just like that guy did.” “Whatever you say, sir,” Vic laughed, shedding any trace of his former shyness. But when he turned off the TV there was a sudden, apprehensive silence. Nate looked at the clock. “Is that the time? I’ve had a really good time here, mates, but now I’m bushed. It’s been a long day.” The boys shifted uneasily until Nate said, “Er, guys, I really wanted to leave Adam and Chad alone tonight � it’s kind of date night for them. So, er, is there any chance of me bunking in with you two tonight?” The boys were suddenly animated. “Yes please, sir.” Noah said, “We’ve put clean sheets on the bed and we’re all ready for you.” There was something about their eager preparations to share their bed with him. It was almost as though they took sex with him for granted. He sat on a chair facing them. “Look, kids, I wanna get a few things straight before we bed down for the night. See, I’m not sure what we’ve got going here, but whatever it is, I don’t want it to be based on sex. That way we might end up just as fuck buddies, and I want something more than that. “So do we, sir …” Noah said, and looked at Vic for help. “Thing is, sir,” Vic said, “what we really want is to serve you. We were excited to be able to serve dinner to you, and we’d like to serve you in bed too � show you how much we like you.” Nate was about to say he didn’t want to be `served’ by anyone, but he bit his tongue. He realized that what he wanted was beside the point � it was what the boys wanted that mattered. This man/boy thing was more complicated than he first thought. He had to think first of their needs and desires, to put himself in their heads. He realized with sudden clarity that that’s what Adam had always done for him, so Nate knew he could rely on Adam for support and advice. Another realization hit. That is what he wanted, to support these kids and help them achieve what they desired. They wanted to demonstrate their affection for him, and if that meant servicing him sexually, then … hey, what was wrong with lying in bed and letting these two cute, eager boys do their thing? And to his surprise he suddenly felt his cock stiffen in his shorts. That clinched it. “OK, mates, let’s hit the sack.” THE BOYS SERVICE THEIR MAN In the bedroom Nate grinned. “I always sleep in the buff. Is naked OK with you?” “Yes please, sir,” they chorused. Noah pulled back the bed covers and they grinned at him. “Jeez, you guys don’t mess around, do you? OK, mates, I’m in your hands. Nate kicked off his sneakers, pulled off his shirt and dropped his shorts. Butt naked, he threw himself on the bed and lay on his back, arms bent at the elbow, hands linked behind his head on the pillow. When he smiled up at them they could have cum in their shorts, gazing down at the naked, tanned Aussie jock. With his arms bent like that his biceps bulged. From there their eyes traveled down over his muscled chest and ripped abs, down the long slim waist and over the tan line to the long cock standing up straight from a forest of wiry brown pubes. His muscled thighs were a testimony to the many barbell squats he had done at the gym. Even his feet looked sexy to the boys � and to his surprise, that’s where they started. They knelt on the floor at the foot of the bed, grinned at each other, then licked the top of his foot, down to the toes … and sucked the big toe. “Wow,” he laughed. “I’ve heard of guys with a foot fetish but this is a first for me.” “It’s not a fetish, sir,” Vic said. “We just wanted to surprise you. This is just the start. We’ve made plans.” The fact that they had planned all this moved him, as so much about these eager kids moved him. And he was surprised at their expertise as their mouths moved up his body � his shins first, then they bent lower and kissed his muscled calves. They licked his solid thighs and reached their goal of his balls hanging between them. They feasted on them, licking them then sucking them in, their faces pressed cheek to cheek. Nate moaned with pleasure. He had expected clumsy boyish efforts, but they had obviously practiced a lot on each other. And when they left his balls and started in on his cock, he gasped. He looked down at the intense faces as they licked up the length of his cock, then each boy in turn took the head in his mouth and went down on it. Time and again Nate almost lost his load in their mouths, but the boy seemed skilled enough to know when he was reaching his climax and to pull away and hand off to their buddy. “You’re gonna make me shoot, mates, is that what you want?” “No, sir,” Noah said. “We’ve got other plans.” Leaving his cock they knelt on either side of him and ran their tongues along the hard ridges of his sixpack abs. When they reached his pecs they licked all round them and up the cleft between them. They smiled at each other and teased his nipples with their tongues, before pressing their lips over them and biting them gently. “Oh, fuck … man, that gets me going.” Nate pressed his hands on their heads and pushed their faces down harder on his chest, moaning with a mix of pain and pleasure. He was so turned on he grabbed his cock and pounded it in his fist. But before he could cum everything suddenly stopped. The boys got off the bed and stood on the floor on either side of the bed smiling down at him. Are you OK, sir?” Vic asked. “Do you like it so far, sir?” asked Noah. “You’re bloody brilliant, mates. You’ve been practicing, right?” “On each other, sir, but with you it’s a whole different thing.” “Only thing is, kids, I don’t know how much longer I can hold out. My balls are fit to burst.” “Oh, we planned for that too, sir. Leave everything to us.” The boys turned and smiled at each other … then kissed. Nate inhaled sharply. It was a beautiful sight and probably the moment when he was sure he wanted these guys. While they kissed he saw them both reach down to the night table beside them and, in turn, dip their fingers in a jar of lube. Then they reached round behind each other and shoved their lubed fingers up their buddy’s ass. They broke apart and Vic got on the bed and stood astride Nate’s chest. Noah stood behind him, put his hands on his shoulders and pressed down slowly. Vic bent his knees and lowered his butt until he felt the tip of Nate’s cock pushing between the cheeks. Noah shoved down hard on Vic’s shoulders … and he suddenly sat down on his cock, all the way until he was sitting on his bushy pubes. Vic grabbed his own cock and stroked it hard. “Aaah …” Nate sighed, gazing up at Vic, and Noah behind him. “Yeah, mate, fuck my dick. Vic rode the cock for a while, then rose up and paused, his ass almost clear of the cock. Noah pressed hard on his shoulders again, he sat down on Nate’s cock and … “Aaagh.” Vic’s cock erupted in jizz that splashed down on Nate, making him blast a load in the boy’s ass. Behind him Noah pulled Vic up fast, and he stepped aside to let Noah take his place. Noah sat down hard on Nate’s cock that spurted another load deep inside him, as the boy beat his own meat and sprayed more creamy jizz on the already-cum-soaked Aussie. Suddenly the only sound in the room was their panting breaths. Then Nate’s face broke into a broad grin and he chuckled, then laughed out loud. “Good on ya, mates, you sure know how to `serve’ a guy, as you call it. Damn that was hot. How ya feeling?” Their sparkling eyes answered for them, then Noah said, “That was the best sex we ever had, sir, `cos it wasn’t just for us, it was for you too.” Nate scooped his fingers through the semen on his chest, then put them in his mouth. “Mmm, tastes great. We should bottle it, kids, and sell it. We’d make a fortune.” Noah ran to the bathroom and came back with two towels that they used lovingly to wipe their man clean. Nate pulled them down on the bed beside him, propped himself up on his elbow and looked down at them solemnly. “OK, mates, before we go to sleep together there’s one thing I want to get off my chest. All this crap you’ve been going through lately, fighting with each other `cos you had some cockamamie notion that Brandon liked one of you more than the other. You know that’s bullshit, right? Brandon’s a great guy Çorum Escort Bayan and a fair boss and everyone knows it. “Well I want it to stop, `cos the best friend you’ll ever have is their best friend lying right next to you now � Noah and Vic. We’ll deal with all that later, maybe have another session with Doc Steve, the three of us together. In the meantime, I want you to promise that if any little problem flares up between you, you’ll tell me about it first.” “We promise, sir,” they said together, staring up at him solemnly. “We’ll tell you.” And the great thing was, Nate was sure beyond a doubt that they would. TIPTOEING INTO THE FUTURE When the adrenaline stopped racing and their heartbeats slowed they all realized how exhausted they were. Nate lay between them and watched their faces on the pillow as they closed their eyes and fell asleep. As sleep overcame him he was aware of new feelings he could not identify, but had a strong sense they would change his life. They all slept soundly through the night, and next morning it was the smell of cooked bacon that roused him. As he opened his eyes the boys came in with two breakfast trays. “G’day, mates, he smiled, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. So what’s this � breakfast in bed? You sure know how to treat a bloke.” Vic smiled, “Like you said yesterday, sir, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” “Hey, you kids made a pretty good job of sealing my heart last night, along with a lot else.” As they ate hungrily Nate pumped them for more information about themselves, including how often they went out, and how they got around. Noah explained, “We used to have bikes, sir, when we lived in separate apartments, but when we decided to live together in just one of the apartments to save money, we got that little red used pickup you saw outside.” Vic giggled. “And when Noah says `used’ he means used. It’s got 250-thousand miles on it and keeps stalling. We keep saying we should ask Pablo to take a look at it, but, you know, he’s always real busy with the firm’s trucks and stuff.” “No worries, mates, I’ll talk to Pablo. There ain’t no truck he can’t fix, he’s a genius. See, boys, you said you would serve me last night and you did � with bells on. Now it’s my turn. I don’t like the word serve, sounds too much like a master/servant deal, which we definitely ain’t. I prefer take care of each other. I can get behind that one, and now it’s my turn to take care of you. “So, to repay you for last night’s dinner I’m gonna treat you to dinner this evening, either at a restaurant or up at my house, depending on what Adam and Chad have got going on. That’s if you’d like to. You don’t have to agree with all my suggestions.” Vic answered for both of them. “Thank you, sir, we’d like to.” “Good, now what time do you start work?” “Eight-thirty, sir,” Noah said. “We usually go down and open the office, put the coffee on, check the overnight voicemails and stuff, and Brandon and Ryan get there soon after. Brandon likes the office to be up and running when the phones start ringing at nine.” “Good, that gives you half an hour and you don’t wanna be late. I heard that this stupid quarreling affected your work, so I want you to work extra hard for Brandon to make up for that. I’ll shower back at my house and leave you kids to get ready. I’ve got a lot of thinking to do and several guys I wanna talk to, but I’ll call you later about dinner, OK?” He pulled on his clothes. “I just wanna say this, mates. I’m not sure yet what’s happening here, so I want us to take it one step at a time. No point crossing bridges till we come to them. But I want you to know I had a terrific time last night, and it wasn’t just the sex. I enjoy your company � just being with you � and that’s even more important. I think we got something going here so we’ll just relax and see how things develop, right?” “Right, sir,” they chorused, with bright, hopeful smiles that moved him. There’s that compassion thing again, he thought to himself, as he hugged them both and left the room. NATE TALKS TO ADAM When Brandon came into the office he noticed a difference right away. As Noah and Vic looked up and smiled, “Good morning, sir,” they were positively glowing. Brandon poured himself a cup of coffee and smiled playfully. “Didn’t expect you in so early. Rumor has it that you two hooked up with Nate and invited him to dinner … and he, er, spent the night. I thought you might still be a little tied up.” “Oh it was nothing like that, sir,” Noah said hastily. “Sure we had sex, but we loved just hanging out with him. Nate says that enjoying our company and just being together was even more important than sex.” Brandon smiled and suspected that in the coming days he would hear the phrase `Nate says’ often. “I wasn’t prying, dudes � what you do outside the office is no business of mine. But I’m glad you had a good time and the only thing I’ll add is that Nate is a terrific guy.” “Sir,” Vic said, “we want to say sorry for the way we let our own trouble affect our work lately. Nate says he wants us to work extra hard to make up for that.” The boys’ bright-eyed eagerness moved Brandon almost as much as it had Nate. He grinned, “Well in that case we better do just what Nate says, eh? Let’s get to work, guys.” Meanwhile, Nate’s reception when he got to his house was similarly enthusiastic. Adam and Chad were having a late breakfast, as Chad wasn’t due at his hospital until noon, and Adam was off for a couple of days before a five-day tour of duty working flights to Sydney and back. “G’day, mate,” Adam said. “Hey, you look like you just won the lottery. Stand back, I don’t wanna get singed by that glow you got going.” Nate laughed. “Not the lottery, but I have a feeling I won something. I’m just not sure what.” “Dude, we hope we didn’t chase you out of the house last night. Sure, Chad and me had a sorta date night, but you know you don’t have to leave because of that. You’re our family. Anyway, pull up a chair and have some breakfast, there’s plenty left.” “I already had breakfast, and a cooked one too.” Chad grinned. “Wow, dare we ask?” “As a matter of fact, guys, you know those two shy boys who work for Brandon in the office � Vic and Noah? Well they invited me to dinner in their little apartment over the office. So one thing led to another and … well, I slept over and this morning they brought me breakfast in bed.” “Breakfast in bed, eh?” Adam chuckled. “Sounds serious. But you can’t just say `one thing led to another’. There’s a lot more to it than that I reckon. You wanna tell us the whole story, mate?” Nate looked relieved. “Yeah, I really need to, Adam. I’m feeling a whole jumble of new emotions and I need your advice. “So, you know I had a shrink session yesterday morning with Doc Steve, and that’s where it all began � in his basement gym …” And so the whole story came out � the workout and sex with Tommy and the boys in the gym � the lunch and getting to know the boys � inviting himself to dinner at their place � the preparations they made that moved him so much � their need to `serve’ him sexually. He described being moved by so much that they did, even the way they looked at him and blushed, and the sight of their sleeping faces on the pillow beside him. “So there you are, guys � and the breakfast was delicious, by the way.” Adam smiled. “That’s quite a story.” He reached over and squeezed his hands. “Good on ya, mate. I think I know what might be happening here and I couldn’t be more pleased. I saying to Chad recently that you’ve grown into such a fine young man that you’re ready for something more � like more responsibility � but I just couldn’t imagine quite what.” “But it’s come on so quick that it knocked me sideways,” Nate said. “I feel, I dunno, elated and scared at the same time. When the boys look up at me with those big eager eyes, I feel this … this kinda compassion for them, like I need to protect them. This morning when I was telling them I wanted them to patch up their quarrels and work hard, it felt almost like … like …” “Like a dad talking to his boys?” Chad said. “In my hospital work, Nate, I see compassion every day in many different forms. But one element that’s always there is love. I believe there’s a very fine line between love and compassion. They overlap, merge into the same thing.” “‘Course,” Nate said, “I don’t feel like their dad � more like a big brother. But are you saying that what I’m feeling for those kids is love, sir? You hear that? I rarely call you guys `sir’ anymore, but now I feel like a boy asking his man for advice � advice about giving advice to his own boys.” He frowned and shook his head. “See what I mean, sirs? I am real confused.” Adam smiled, “No worries mate, let’s try and keep it simple. I believe Doc Steve would tell you that where emotions like love and compassion are concerned you can’t work it out with reason and logic, like a mathematical equation ending with Q.E.D. You have to ease into the emotion and let it take you wherever it leads � like feeling your way into a dark room, one step at a time. Hey, you’ve only known these kids for a day and a night.” Chad said. “So, Nate, as a first step, how about inviting the boys here for dinner this evening?” Nate smiled with relief. “I had told the boys I would give them dinner tonight, either at a restaurant or up here.” Chad frowned in thought. “They would most likely feel intimidated meeting Adam and me, so it might be a good idea if you suggested they help you prepare the dinner in our kitchen. They would love working with you, and maybe feel more like part of the family, rather than nervous guests sitting there trying to think of something to say.” Nate agreed and Adam said with a gleaming smile, “So it’s settled, mate. As we all get better acquainted with each other, maybe some of the pieces will fall into place. Er, you mentioned that they wanted to take care of you and now you, in turn, want to take care of them. So I suggest you get started and do something right away. I mean, when they talked to you, maybe they mentioned some specific need they have?” “Too right, mate, and I know just what that is. Thanks guys, it’s great being able to run all this by you. It’s exactly what I needed.” “It’s what we’re here for, kiddo. `Cos don’t forget, whatever happens, I’m your mate and always will be � even if you end up with boys of your own. I’ve got your back, kid � we Aussies have to stick together.” NATE TALKS TO PABLO As Nate drove away he felt different � bigger somehow, more confident in himself. He had a real sense of purpose, doing something for these boys who depended on him. He was on a mission. He drove straight to the construction site where he knew he would find Pablo. The chief mechanic was working, as usual, with his young assistant Ben, both of them with their oil-streaked faces under the hood of a truck. Pablo looked up and grinned that roguish smile that his dad Randy always found so sexy. “Hey, Nate. We don’t often see your cheerful Aussie face round here. What’s up? Something you need.” “G’day, Pablo � hi Ben. Well, not something I need exactly, but two other guys do. Yesterday I, er, I met those kids from the office Noah and Vic.” “Yeah, yeah we know all about that,” Pablo chuckled. “Ryan in the office told Darius, who told Ben here, and … well you know how that goes. And it sure sounds more than just I met … Dinner, breakfast in bed, it don’t get much cozier than that, eh? And now you wanna do something for them, I totally get it, dude. Let me guess. That little ol’ truck of theirs?” Nate chuckled, “Nothing much gets past you, mate, does it. Yeah, actually, I said I’d speak to you `cos they’re a bit nervous about asking you again. Seems the thing keeps stalling and …” “Ah, stop right there, buddy. The thing’s a piece of junk. The mileage is, what, 250-thou? And it’s an old bone-shaker. I could have Ben take a look at it, but if he fixed one thing some other rusty ol’ part would fuck up next week. It belongs in a junk yard.” Nate looked crestfallen but Pablo smiled, “But as you Aussies say, `no worries, mate’. I might have the answer. See, a few days ago I was at the dealership we use all the time � we’re his best customer, all the trucks and vehicles we buy there. So the manager turned me onto a great deal � an SUV he wants to unload. It’s real sweet � a midnight blue Nissan Rogue.” “Whoa, Escort Çorum aren’t they a bit pricey?” “But wait, there’s more,” Pablo grinned, like a TV pitchman. “See, he’s been using this one as a courtesy car, shuttling customers to and from the dealership. So it’s like new, with not much over a thousand miles on the clock, but he has to sell it as a used car. And since it’s me,” Pablo said, preening a little, “he’d give me an incredible deal. Would you be interested, for your … for these boys?” “Too right, mate. How do I go about it?” “Tell you what. The guy to talk to is Bob. He handles all our financing, car loans, insurance and shit. He knows the dealership manager real well and, hell, you know Bob, he can charm the birds out of the trees. Tell him I already looked under the hood and absolutely vouch for the car. He’ll call the manager and I guarantee he’ll close a deal you won’t believe.” Nate grabbed Pablo’s hand and shook it hard. “Good on ya mate, I really appreciate this.” Pablo pulled him into a tight hug. “Ah, no problem, dude. It’s all in the family. And, er, good luck with those kids. I hear there’s a lot more to them under those blushes. Looks like a great fit to me. And I’ll tell you something … when I asked Tyler to become my boy it changed my life as much as his. Made be grow up and become the magnificent specimen you see before you.” Pablo roared with laughter at his own joke, then Nate left him and Ben with their heads back under the hood of the truck. NATE TALKS TO BOB Next stop Bob. Nate found him at home in the Boss House in the tribe’s compound, and he poked his head round the door of Bob’s home office. “Sorry to interrupt, sir, but can you spare me a minute?” Bob, wearing his usual blue jeans and V-neck white T-shirt, looked from his desk and smiled. “Nate � good to see you, come on in and take a seat. Actually I was kind of expecting you.” “You were, sir?” Bob chuckled. “Never underestimate the tribe’s grapevine, Nate. Brandon told Will and he told the twins and they told me … well, you know how that goes. I was very happy to hear about you spending the night with Noah and Vic. Suddenly a light went on in my brain, a light I should have seen sooner. Of course, it’s early days yet … what, barely twenty-four hours? But sometimes events overtake us.” “Yes, sir, but on Adam’s advice I’m taking it one step at a time.” “Very wise. And I assume I’m part of the next step. I’m glad you came.” “You see, sir, it’s about the boys’ old truck. I came straight here from talking to Pablo and …” Nate explained the whole issue and Bob listened thoughtfully. Bob said, “You know, in the past Pablo has got into a lot of trouble. He was something of a confused young man until he met Tyler and made him his boy. That changed Pablo overnight into a much more generous and mature guy, as you experienced just now. “It was good of him to offer that suggestion and it sounds like a good one. I’ll certainly follow up with the dealership and I’m sure we can come up with a good deal. I can get a low-interest car loan from our bank, er, but I do have one question, and a suggestion of my own. Whose name will be on the loan?” “Oh, er, mine I guess, sir. I don’t imagine the guys have much of a credit record.” “I think you’re right about that, Nate, but if you take my advice the boys should take out the loan, with you as co-signing guarantor. I’m sure the bank will go for that, and it will be good for the boys to be responsible for the payments, plus it’ll help them build their own credit rating. I’ll make sure the monthly payments are low and I’m absolutely sure they’ll manage them, knowing you are depending on them. “Sir, that sounds brilliant. You have so much experience about men and their boys, and I have so much to learn. It’s a huge boost to have the tribe rooting for us.” “That’s only natural, Nate � it’s all in the family. Give me half an hour to call the bank then the dealership, then I’ll run you up there myself. You obviously should see the car first. Plus, it’s time I made another trip to the manager, schmooze a little and keep him on our side.” “I don’t think you’ll have any problem with that, sir,” Nate smiled playfully.” Bob stood up and opened his arms. Nate fell into them and felt the muscular arms fold round him. “I know it’s early days yet, Nate, as I said, but I’m so glad the way things are going. And I’m sure Adam is mighty proud of you. It’s happy events like this that keep the tribe strong � families within a family. HELP FROM CHEF WILL Things went like clockwork at the dealership where, not unexpectedly, Bob had the manager eating out of his hand. Bob had a guarantee of financing from the bank, provided there were three signatures on the loan agreement � Vic’s, Noah’s and Nate’s. Nate loved the look of the car, which, as Pablo had said, looked like new. And best of all, the manager agreed to let Nate test drive it until tomorrow, when all the paperwork would be completed. Bob shook hands all round, then drove off in his Mercedes. Nate followed in the SUV and when he got back to the compound he went straight to the office. The boys’ faces lit up when Nate came in and he ruffled their hair. “Sorry to interrupt your work, Brandon, but I have something to show Noah and Vic when you can spare them.” Brandon said, “You could take your lunch break now, boys. No more than an hour, though, I want the payroll finished by the end of the day.” His voice was stern but there was a twinkle in his eye as he looked at Nate. The boys signed out of their computers and followed Nate out of the office. They followed him through the gate and he smiled, “Here’s what I wanted to show you kids.” “Wow,” Vic said, “that’s a beaut. You bought a new car, sir?” “No, you did. It’s not mine, it’s yours.” They gaped, speechless, as he explained everything that had happened. “Pablo said your old truck was on its last gasp � only good for the junk heap. Don’t worry, I didn’t buy the new car for you. The loan’s in your name, real low payments � and I’ll help if you have any trouble.” They took it out for a short drive, first Vic then Noah proudly at the wheel, and when they got back the boys gushed their thanks. “Is there anything we can do for you, sir?” “As a matter of fact there is. Adam and Chad would love you to come to the house for dinner this evening, but there’s a catch. They don’t want to cook and I wondered if you could help me in the kitchen to prepare dinner. I know that’s a weird kind of backhanded invitation, but …” “Of course we can, sir, we’d love to,” Noah said. “Come on, let’s go ask Will to suggest a menu.” Nate found himself following the boys across the garden into the main kitchen where Will was working alone, in his dark green apron, as always.. “Dude,” Vic blurted out, “Adam and Chad have invited us to dinner up at their place and Nate wants us help him to cook it. Can you suggest a not-too-hard menu?” “Sure can,” Will said, “but you think that old truck of yours will make it up the hill?” He winked at Nate who guessed that by now everyone knew the whole story. “Maybe not,” said Noah smugly, “but it don’t have to. See, we’ve got a new car, a gorgeous dark blue SUV.” “No kidding, dudes. It’s about time you got rid of that clapped out old relic, it was about to fall apart anyway. I’ll go take a look when I go on break. OK, now let me see …” Will opened the fridge and searched. “Here are some great salmon steaks. How about baked salmon, spinach and baked potatoes. You know how to bake potatoes, don’t you?” “Duh, we lived on them before we came to live here.” “There’ll be five of you, right? You don’t wanna spend all night in the kitchen so how about I give you these little flans for the first course and these fruit tarts for dessert, all different flavors? All you have to do is warm them up and serve them with ice-cream or yoghurt. Oh, and here’s a big ol’ bone you can take to Molly.” As he watched them Nate was moved again, not for the first time. And it wasn’t just the eagerness in his boys’ faces (his boys?) it was the unhesitating encouragement and help Will gave them � just like the instant help Nate had got from Adam and Chad, Brandon, Pablo and Bob, making everything come together so quickly. He realized for the first time how supportive and generous the tribe was, all rallying to help the excited youngsters. “You got time for a quick bit of lunch, guys, before you get back to that slave-driver Brandon?” The boys accepted eagerly but Nate said, “Thanks, Will, I should get back up to the house. So, are you boys OK to bring all the supplies up in your new car? Try to get there around six so we don’t have to rush.” They both hugged him happily, eyes shining, and as Will saw him out Nate said quietly, “Thanks a bunch, mate, you’re a real pal. This means a lot, dude.” “I know it does, Nate, and it means everything to those sweet guys, they’re over the moon. I remember how I felt when I first became the twins’ boy. Congratulations, Nate, I hope it all works out. Looks to me like a perfect match. As for thanking me, no need, dude. Anything for family eh?” “Now where have I heard that before?” Nate chuckled. “BOYS, MEET ADAM” And so it was that a brand new-looking SUV drove up the hill the short distance to the big house with lush wisteria hanging like eyebrows over the door and windows. The boys pulled out bags of food and supplies and Nate met them at the door. “Bring all that through to the kitchen, boys.” As they stowed all the food, Nate said, “I’ve been making all kinds of plans in my mind, kids � you know, just kicking ideas around. Fr’instance, I really want you to get to know my best buddy Jamie, `cos we go back a long way. He has a real special relationship with that gorgeous cop Mark � kinda unique. “They’re a beautiful couple, way sexy, and they have a beach shack in the dunes up the coast, where Jamie loves to go surfing. It’s where I first met Jamie and Mark years ago � they were having sex on the beach, and I watched from the dunes,” Nate chuckled. “Who knows, maybe we can take a trip up there. Hey, we could all go together � you know, us three, the cop and the surfer. I know Mark and Jamie would like you � I want us all to be friends. But there I go, getting ahead of myself when we’re s’posed to be taking it one step at a time. OK, first things first � come and meet Adam.” Nate took them out to the garden and they saw a tall dark man pruning the bushes, lit by the late afternoon sun. He wore black jeans and a white dress shirt, sleeves rolled up, and unbuttoned most of the way down, hanging open over his muscled chest. He looked up and his chiseled square-jawed features broke into a gleaming smile. Nate said proudly, “Adam, this is Vic and Noah. Guys, meet my man Adam.” “G’day mates,” Adam said in his deep Aussie drawl. They shyly held out their hands but he pulled them both into a hug. “We never really met before, though we’ve glimpsed each other across the crowd. Nate has told me so much about you � all of it good. “Oops here comes someone else to greet you.” Big shaggy Molly bounded up to them and slobbered over them. “Down, girl. Guys, this here is Molly, always the star of the show. And Chad will be home from his hospital shortly. But before anything else I gotta apologize for that kinda lopsided invitation asking you to cook and all … oh, which reminds me. Wait here.” Adam ran into the house and came out with a folded piece of cloth, and shook out a bright yellow apron. “Chad and I bought three of these. See all the houses in the tribe lay claim to their own color for their aprons, and we thought yellow matched the spirit of this house. They’re yours if you want to wear them. They’ll look terrific on you.” “Thank you, sir,” they chorused. Their faces lit up with pleasure and they hid their blushes by looking around the garden. Adam said softly to Nate, “I see what you mean about them, Nate, they’re adorable. Good on ya mate. And we’re gonna have a great time this evening. Be interesting to see where it all leads.” TO BE CONTINUED in “A Trial Of Strength” � Chapter 559 Hey guys, this is Rob Williams. I hope that chapter turned you on, and I welcome your comments and suggestions, which can be very helpful in planning future chapters. E-mail me in confidence at rw6789@aol. ALSO, I invite you to visit my own Web-site gth. You can read the whole story, with extras including pictures and biographies of all the characters. AND DON’T FORGET � IF YOU ENJOY THESE STORIES, PLEASE DONATE to this site. Nifty needs your donations to provide these thousands of wonderful stories. So please go to fty/donate.html and donate what you can. All the other writers and I thank you.

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