Tuesday, May 9, 2017
TLR CHAPTER 113
After he'd sent the boys to their room to wait, Shorty made calls to Eric, Dean, Duke and Jake. Keeping his voice low just in case he might be heard as he outlined his plan. "Eric, if you could call Jeff and James to fill them in that would be greatly appreciated."
"I'll make the calls," Eric replied with a grin. "Who do we use as lookout?"
"Well, since they lied to Mutt too, he should have the honor," Shorty said.
Eric grinned. "I think he'd love that. I'll talk to you later, ok?"
"Sounds good," Shorty replied. "Talk to you later."
The men hung up and Shorty waited for the go ahead from James. Not long afterward the call came in. James, sounding highly amused, gave the plan the ok and told Shorty that he'd already cleared it with everyone who might be involved, including Martin, who was scheduled for security that day. Martin, who was hardly able to keep himself from laughing outlined his own plan to James which the man also gave the go ahead to.
That evening Shorty gathered up his boys and headed toward the lodge for dinner. They ran into Eric and a still guilty looking Torren and proceeded on their way. As they approached the lodge they saw Duke and Dean facing off in front of the building, fists clenched, jaws tight, and nearly nose to nose as they shouted at each other.
Having been given the signal by Mutt, Duke shouted, "I already told you, Dean! I didn't have anythin' to do with it! I don't know why you just didn't believe me! I didn't do them!" he gave Dean a shove.
Dean's eyes went wide and if possible, his lips compressed even more until they were a straight line. "You didn't just do that!" he yelled in disbelief as he shoved his brother back even harder, causing Duke to fall back a few steps. “I told you I believe that you didn’t pull the stupid pranks. But you still shoved me?!" he continued, putting his hands-on Duke's chest and pushing hard once again.
“Yeah, I just did that!" Duke cried, shoving Dean harder this time, causing the man to take a few steps back as well. He shouted, “And don't you shove me, baby brother! Just because you know my reputation as the master prankster doesn't mean you should have thought I did it! I told you there are others here who are good at this stuff too! If I had done it, I wouldn't have done anythin' so piddly as set numerous alarm clocks all over the place! I would have thought of something much more devious!"
Dean stepped toward his brother and pulled him into a headlock while Torren and the twins looked on, horrified. The two men wrestled for several moments before Martin arrived and tried to break the fight up.
Duke and Dean had exchanged several punches before Martin tried to get in between them and caught a punch from Duke that sent him to the ground. The two larger men disengaged when Martin fell.
James and Jeff came upon the scene and frowning, James grabbed Dean from behind while Jeff subdued Duke. Jake also arrived on the scene looking stern.
Shorty knelt down on the ground to help Martin, asking him if he was alright as he got the man to his feet.
Martin, as he was helped up by Shorty tried not to grin at his part in the farce.
James said loudly in his authoritative Marine voice, "Gentlemen! That will be just enough!"
When James commanded them to stop, Duke's first impulse was to stop and stand at attention before his commanding officer, but Dean's continued insults made him forget all about anything else.
The two brothers struggled against the men holding them back from each other, continuing to shout insults and threats across the few feet that separated them.
"Guys! Guys!" Jarrod cried out, terrified. "It was us! Me and Little Jake and Tor! Please don't fight! It was our fault!"
"Dean the clock idea was mine!" Torren admitted. "It was just supposed to be funny! We never thought you guys would end up fighting because of it!"
Little Jake, worry plain on his face added, "We never meant for any of this to happen! Please guys! Don't fight! It was all us!"
The twins and Torren all broke into a spate of unintelligible apologies, tripping over each other in their zeal to get the brothers to stop fighting.
"Dean, Duke, we're really sorry!" Jarrod repeated. "Please don't fight! Marty? Are you ok? Man, we're so sorry!" he said as he tried to walk up to the security officer to check on him.
Jake, unable to stand aside, took Duke by the arm and pulled him away by the back of his lover's belt.
Jeff, hearing the familiar tone in James's voice and finding Jake at Duke's side released the man and almost came to attention as well, but allowed Jake to deal with Duke, knowing the other man was in on the plan.
Duke allowed Jake to pull him back from the conflict.
The head of security pretended to settle down both at James's tone and hearing the admission of guilt on the part of the culprits.
As James released Dean, who had also settled down, he gave his brother a look. "Well, that's settled, then isn't it?" James asked in a matter of fact tone.
Duke nodded, still trying to hide a grin. He'd had fun with this little play acting.
James now turned his stern look on the twin brothers and Torren.
The three boys wilted visibly under the older man's glare. They looked at the ground, unable to look at those steely smoky blue eyes.
James looked at Jeff and said to the apologetic young men, "I hope this will be a lesson to you and any others who decide to pull pranks. These things can have more far reaching effects than anyone would realize." He used his stern Captain tones which he knew Jeff and Duke would recognize from their Marine days.
"Yes sir," Jarrod replied meekly. He hazarded a glance up at the other set of brothers and said, "We're really sorry, guys. We never meant for our pranks to get to this point. Please forgive us?"
“Please?" Little Jake added hopefully, though he felt he'd understand completely if they didn't.
"It was just a few pranks," Torren said, a little defensively before getting several more swats from Eric for his tone. Once he'd gotten his breath back, Torren apologized humbly.
Mutt, who had been joined by Adam, stood off to the side, thoroughly enjoying the other boy's discomfort and trying not to laugh.
A group of guests, drawn by the ruckus stood in the lodge doorway, eyes wide as they watched the men fight.
Martin, seeing that the situation was back to normal, and hearing the boy's confessions, stood up straight and then ushered the guests back into the lodge. "Everything is alright now, folks," he said with a smile. "Everyone get settled and our servers will come to you and you can order your favorite drink, on the house."
The guests, relieved that everything was alright, and more than pleased to have a free drink, went with Martin willingly, all chattering excitedly about what had just happened.
James smiled at the security guard as he took care of the clusters of guests, breaking them up and setting things right.
Mutt and Adam grinned broadly and patted the three boys on the shoulders as they passed them to walk into the lodge as well.
Torren, Little Jake and Jarrod stood with their mouths hanging open in disbelief.
"Was that all an act?" Jare asked.
Duke gave Dean a huge bear hug and grinned at him broadly winking. "We did good, Baby Bro."
Torren was about to shout but another swift smack to his rear kept his words in check.
Little Jake and Jarrod looked around them at the men who had been involved, feeling a little hurt by the ruse. Jarrod was about to say something until he realized that he and the others had deserved every minute of it.
"We've been had, little brother," Jare whispered to his twin.
James still gave the three miscreants a stern look. "I hope the three of you learned a lesson from all this. No more pranks. The next time it might truly hurt someone. Luckily for you Dean and Duke worked things out rather quickly between themselves before all this. If there are pranks pulled like this again the culprits will be facing not only their tops, but me as well," he warned sternly. "I'm very sure none of you would like that at all."
"That was mean though," Torren protested with a scowl. "We didn't do anything mean."
Eric leaned down and whispered something into Torren's ear until he subsided.
James turned his stern look on Torren. "Perhaps it might have been mean, but according to Jake it was true that Dean and Duke did nearly come to blows. If it hadn't been for Jake being there to intervene the outcome might have been very different."
Jarrod hung his head, blushing hotly, and said, "Guys, we're really sorry. Honest. We shouldn't have done what we did no matter what. It was wrong, and... well it could have caused more trouble than it was worth. Please accept my apology?" he asked, finally looking up between Dean and Duke, trying to gauge their response by their expressions.
"I'm sorry too," Little Jake said near tears. "If I'd ever thought it could cause trouble between the two of you I'd have thought twice."
Duke looked at Dean, hearing the twin’s apologies and gave his brother a slight nod of acceptance.
Duke then trained his grey gaze upon Torren.
Eric nudged Torren who stood by with his gaze trained somewhere on the ground. "I'm sorry too guys. Really," he said sadly.
Jeff who had been standing silently by looked at the boys and replied, "You not only have to apologize to Duke and Dean, but to Mutt and Adam as well, understand? You lied to them and nearly got them in trouble as well."
James nodded at Jeff's words and continued in that same stern tone. "Yes, I agree. The three of you made a promise to Mutt and Adam as I understand and a man's word is sacred. It will now take some time for the three of you to regain their trust in your word."
Little Jake, who had been close to tears already, couldn't help the ones that ran freely down his cheeks. He and his brother had done some stupid things but they'd never lost the trust of their friends, and that hurt more than the spanking Shorty had given him earlier.
"We're sorry, James, honestly," Jarrod said penitently. "We'll do anything to earn your trust back."
James said, "It's not only my trust boys, but the trust of your fellow Brats and friends."
"Yeah," Torren added, "this turned into a total clusterfu... um... disaster, and we promise we'll never do anything like this again." He looked up at Shorty, Eric, Jeff and James in turn before managing to look the Montgomery brothers in the eyes.
Duke glanced at Jake and then Dean and said, "I accept your apologies guys, don't let it happen again"
Jake gazed with pride in his lover. It would have been easy to make the boys sweat it out for a little longer.
"This will never happen again," Eric said to his boy. "Will it?"
"No sir, never again," Torren promised.
"Guys, as long as you learned a lesson here, that's all that matters to me. Duke and I really did nearly come to blows over this. You caused a rift between us that has never been there before, and that I find hardest to forgive," Dean said sternly, waiting until his blood pressure was back to normal before he spoke.
"I think," Jeff added, "that perhaps the boys need a little extra work around the resort, since they seem to have so much free time to play pranks. What do you think?" he asked the men around him.
"I agree there," Dean said, still a little upset.
James nodded. "A very good suggestion Jeff. I'm in agreement."
"Well then, we'll have to make sure that every minute of every day for say... the next two weeks... is filled to the brim with chores and errands as well as your regular duties. Duke, Dean, any time you need something done, something delivered, picked up... well, our boys here are strong and will be more than happy to help," Shorty said, his eyes never leaving his two boys.
Duke put an arm around his baby brother and snuggled him close like he was wont to do when Dean was upset about something. He kissed his forehead and said, "It'll be all right now, Baby Bro."
Dean, with a grin, hugged his big brother back. He'd always loved it when Duke put his arms around him and kept him safe as a child. He patted his big brother's back and gave him a bear hug. “I promise if there are any more pranks played on me in future, you will NOT be the first person I ask about them."
"You might regret that promise," Jeff joked.
Duke grinned. "You'll know when you've been pranked by the Duke, believe me Baby Bro, but like I told you before I've never pranked you before and don't ever intend to so no worries on that part from me."
Dean patted his brother on the back again and pulled him back into a hug. "I'm sorry too, Big D. I shoulda known better. I will from now on."
James smiled at the older brothers and said, "Dean, I was meaning to talk to you about checking the roof on the lodge to see if it needs repairs and Jeff and I were thinking of expanding our outlying cabins by three and where and how they should be constructed as we always have waiting lists for them." He glanced at the three miscreants once more. "You could have three more helpers."
Dean grinned broadly, "That would be great! We'll get right on the schematics tomorrow and have them in to you before the end of the week."
James smiled. "Great, I'll be awaiting your suggestions and Jeff and I will look them over and then let you know."
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm starving," Jake broke in. "I'm taking my Dove and we're going to order everything on the menu."
Duke grinned at Dean and hugged him tight and then gave him a soft pat on his bottom discreetly and said, "Remember...brothers first and I'm always goin' to be your big brother and take care of you when you need it, Top or not, that's not ever goin' to change. Got me?"
"Brothers first and always," Dean replied, giving his big brother one last hug.
James laughed and looking at all the other men as well as the boys said, "Then we all better go inside and place our orders before there's no food left with our food eating machine there," he teased, winking at Duke.
"Last one in is a rotten egg." Dean laughed as he and Duke scrambled for the door.
Shorty gestured to the twins and they walked into the lodge where they were supposed to meet Bo in a few minutes. "I'm glad this is all resolved guys," he said.
"Yep, great idea you had," Jeff whispered in the big veterinarian’s ear before heading into the lodge to find Mutt. "If I ever need someone with your abilities I'll know where to look," he laughed, clapping Shorty on the shoulder.
James saw Heath and Jax coming and waved at them to come join him. He chuckled as he watched the other Tops and Brats rush inside the lodge as he awaited his men.
"Everything work out?" Heath asked after he saw the two large men getting stuck in the door as they tried to beat each other in. "Nothing I have to worry about? No bruises or cuts to see to?" he smiled.
James grinned. "Everything went as planned and it worked like a charm. All three of them were very convincing. Glad Duke learned those stunt punches when he and Jake were at Disney World. And no, no bruises, cuts or anything for the doctor to ten to," he laughed.
"Let's head inside," Jax suggested. "All of this drama has made me hungry," he quipped. " I'm glad everything worked out for the guys."
As the other men filed into the restaurant once Dean and Duke made it through the door James put an arm around Heath and Jax and walked with them inside and joined the others at a large table where they all could eat and visit, enjoying each other’s company.
Mutt, Adam, Torren and the twins were all sitting together and the guilty parties leaned in toward Mutt and Adam to apologize to them for not keeping their promise to not get involved in pranking Dean and Griff.
Mutt and Adam looked at each other and smiled. “We forgive you guys, but it was worth it to see you all squirm.”
Now that everything had been resolved to everyone's satisfaction all was well among the men again and the dinner progressed with everyone interacting happily once more.