Three Finger Cove: Matthew ~ Book Five

Chapter Eleven

Mr. Ken and Kyle returned home before Mr. Wayne and Charles did. The two Covers sat in the Study talking while Chief lay next to Kyle's chair.

"Boy, it sure feels good to have that dang cast off, Mr. Ken," said Kyle. "That smell is still there, some, but it still feels good to have the cast off. And look at the color of my arm. It's much lighter than my other one." Kyle then placed both arms together to show Mr. Ken.

Mr. Ken laughed at what the youngster had to say. The man told the twin that after he takes a good shower that smell will probably be only in his mind. The two had a good laugh.

Mr. Ken and Kyle talked some about that coming weekend. Kyle wanted to know if his 'dad' was sure he wanted that many kids spending the night. Mr. Ken smiled and told the lad that as long as everyone behaves themselves there shouldn't be a problem. Kyle asked what they would do if it rained. The owner of The Cove told the boy he figured they would all be waterlogged after swimming the whole time in the pool. The two had another good laugh.

When Mr. Wayne and Charles came home from Charles' doctor appointment with Doctor Doug the two young Covers and Chief went out to the Kitchen Nook to see if Momma Maria would give them their after school snack before their 'brothers' came home.

Wayne Mitchell came into the Study and took a seat in one of those famous comfortable leather chairs. "Have you looked into getting another one or two of these chairs now that you've added Matthew to the mix? I bet it won't be long before Ms. Judy asks you to take on another boy ...or two," laughed Mr. Wayne.

Mr. Ken got up and out of his chair and walked around his desk to join Wayne in one of the leather chairs. "No, I haven't, but that is something I should get Chris working on. And, if he can't find matching chairs, maybe I can get a completely new set. What do you think? It's only money, you know," asked Mr. Ken, as he sat in the chair next to Wayne.

Wayne chuckled at what his employer said and wondered if the man would be that extravagant and buy six, seven, or even eight new leather chairs for the Study. The man knew there was enough room for eight, but probably not anymore. Inwardly, Mr. Wayne laughed at the thought of that many boys living at The Cove.

Mr. Ken was settled in his chair and looked to Wayne and asked him directly if he wanted to talk about what happened at the school that afternoon. Wayne said he was surprised his employer acted that way and was curious as to why. Wayne told his boss he would like to understand what brought that on and, if it was something he needed to be aware of if he has to act in his place when he was gone

Mr. Ken sat back in the leather chair and then told Wayne about the time Jane Andrews, the school's secretary, called all of her friends and started a rumor that one teacher would be fired and a number of students would be expelled, including Robert. The owner of The Cove told his employee that her actions had most of the community in an uproar over that rumor.

Mr. Ken then reminded Wayne how he was treated by the woman, not too long ago, when he stopped by the school to pick up Kyle to take him to his doctor appointment. Wayne said he had not yet given the woman the papers he had with him, so he felt it was not really her fault.

The owner of The Cove chuckled at what Wayne said. The man then explained how the woman refused to allow him to talk to the principal and that he had to call him to get the woman to do her job. Mr. Ken explained the secretary should have asked him about his authority to take Kyle out of school not immediately refuse him to talk to Ms. Chadwick.

Ken Thomas then described how Ms. Andrews would not let him to talk to Principal Chadwick when he went to register Matthew in the school. Mr. Ken told Wayne that Jane Andrews asked him if he had an appointment because the principal needed to plan her day. Wayne sort of laughed at hearing that.

Mr. Ken added he was tired of that woman's attitude and actions, which let his usually well-mannered nature get out of hand. The man said he does not like to throw his weight around, knowing he actually has no so-called weight to use.

The Cove's owner explained how he and Collin and his friends got John Ostrowski and a few other School Board members elected by using his good name to get them the needed 'foot in the door' name recognition so people would consider electing them.

Mr. Ken continued to reveal how he took the School Board to task over the way Collin was being treated and ignored after being attacked at school. The result was a promise to develop a Teacher/Student Handbook, but when it came time to do the task they said saying their getting reelected was more important.

Mr. Ken described how Collin and his classmates delivered handbills to lots of neighborhoods and talked up the needed changes to the people that they wanted to see in the new School Board.

Mr. Ken then told the Estate Master how he really did not mean what he said to Ostrowski, because he just lost his focus, and would probably apologize to the man for saying what he had. The Cove's owner did tell Wayne he would file an official protest against Ms. Andrews and her attitude about keeping anyone from talking to the Principal.

Just then the last of the Cover lads walked into the Study. The three said 'Hi' to 'dad' Ken and Mr. Wayne before heading back to the Kitchen Nook to get their after-school snack. This time Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne followed behind to see if Momma Maria had any extra for them.

After dinner that evening, the Covers sat in the Study talking about the upcoming weekend.

"Dad, what will we do tomorrow night after our guests arrive?" asked Robert.

"Well, son, I figure we'd give them the nickel tour of The Cove first, and then, after dinner, we'd get them settled into their rooms where they will sleep the next two nights. Matthew, Chase is a nice kid and he already knows Brant and Ryan, two of your friends, so my bet is you two will hit it right off, too," replied Mr. Ken.

"But what will we do after that?" asked Kyle. "Do you think we could go over and drive the Go-Karts?" said the smiling youngest twin.

The other four boys picked up what their 'brothers' suggested and chimed in with their own requests to go drive the go-karts and maybe play some miniature golf. 'Dad' Ken didn't say they would, but only they would have to see what the weather was like after dinner and how cool it might be. He also added he wanted to get the chance to talk to Nathan and Owen before they made any decisions.

Matthew then asked how riding the ramps would work out with 40 kids there. Robert took that question and told his 'brothers' they would share as they always did and if need be they would sit that one out, so there would be 5 less people skating. Robert also said they could use the ramps until their friends showed up at twelve noon and that should be enough skating for them. Matthew said that sounded fair to him. Everyone chuckled at Matthew's agreement.

After they talked about what they would do with their weekend guests, Robert asked to talk about Brooklyn's friends coming over to Matthew and picking on him. The teenager wanted to know what they could do to stop the bullying. The teen said they went to Mr. Chassen, but then the bell rang and all he could say was he'd talk to the principal. The teen then said he and Mr. Wayne came to take Charles and Matthew out of school for their appointments.

Mr. Ken told his son that they have to give Principal Chadwick time to address the problem and come up with a solution. He told his 'boys' he figured she'd have a solution before long and implement it after the Thanksgiving Holiday. The lads accepted his explanation.

Mr. Wayne's boss, Mr. Ken, asked him to go upstairs with Matthew and check over Matthew's extra homework. The owner of The Cove wanted to know how the lad was progressing in catching up with his classmates in the 5th grade.

Mr. Ken explained to Mr. Wayne his agreement with Principal Chadwick to let Matthew mainstream with his classmates in the hope the lad could catch up by after the Holidays. Matthew smiled at being able to be with Mr. Wayne as he got his homework checked.

As those two Covers, with Chief following behind, went upstairs, Mr. Ken reminded Robert he had an appointment with Doctor Doug tomorrow and either he or Mr. Wayne would be there to take him.

The group then got down to talking about Kyle's new freedom with not having the cast on. 'Dad' Ken reminded the younger twin that he had to take it easy for the next few weeks, so he doesn't reinjure his arm. The man then suggested to Kyle that he take it easy on the ramps over the weekend. Robert said he would remind his 'brother' if he saw him going all out. They all had a good laugh over that.

Before too long it was time for bed. Mr. Ken went upstairs with the boys to check on Matthew and Mr. Wayne and their progress. When he approached Matthew's bedroom he could hear the two reviewing some math. That made him happy that the lad was trying his best to be caught up with his classmates.

"So, how goes the studying?" asked Mr. Ken.

"'Dad', Mr. Wayne made it clearer for me as to what Mrs. Jacobs was showing us. I think it was because I missed the first two months of school that I didn't grasp it. Mr. Wayne explained the whole concept to me and now I think I understand it. Thank you for letting him come up here with me," exclaimed Matthew, showing a great big smile on his face

"You're very welcome young man. However ...I think it is time for you to settle down some and get ready for bed; don't you think so, son? Say Goodnight to Mr. Wayne and try to settle yourself down, so you can go to sleep and stay that way until it is time to get up for school," teased Mr. Ken.

Matthew thanked Mr. Wayne by hugging him and telling him he appreciated his help in making the math understandable. Mr. Wayne told the newest Cover he was happy to help and was available if he needed more help. The two hugged again and Mr. Wayne walked out of the room.

Mr. Ken stopped by each of his 'sons' bedrooms and said Goodnight to all of them. He told them all to sleep tight and have good dreams. Kevin, after hearing he was to have good dreams, remembered back when he first arrived and had those horrible dreams about Julian Hankers. He was so thankful he would never have to live with him, ever.

Friday morning came sooner than the boys had hoped. They all got up at the same time and got ready for school. Matthew still used the alternate bathroom and Kyle joined him there. After a week of showering with Kyle, Matthew was getting used to being naked in front of his 'brother' and he no longer felt it was wrong. The two 'brothers' talked and laughed as they got cleaned up.

When it came time to go back to their bedrooms to get dressed, Matthew joined his 'brother' Kyle in walking naked to their bedroom doors. Matthew told himself he needed to do that for him. He'd been showering with Kyle all week and was no longer embarrassed to be naked with him. He figured if his other 'brothers' saw him then he'd just have to deal with it. Then, he laughed which was something he would never had done five days ago.

The boys ate a very good breakfast and while they were eating Momma Maria told them she was having a few friends over later to help make enough snacks for the entire weekend. She also told the lads the three woman would also be cooking breakfast on Sunday morning for 41 boys plus 5 adults. The boys all thanked her for doing that for them.

As the boys left to catch their school bus, all the boys gave Momma a big hug. Robert and Charles held their hugs longer and after they released them they thanked Momma Maria again for cooking for them that weekend and for all their friends and guests. After hearing that from the two older Covers, Momma Maria had a great big smile on her face the rest of the morning.

When the Cover boys arrived at their school, there was some sort of commotion going on at the front door. They could see Brooklyn Sippelle and Natalie Bell were there with a number of adults, presumably their parents. Principal Chadwick opened the school's front door for them to enter and the two girls and six adults entered the school.

The lads and their friends headed to their small corner of the school grounds to talk over what they just saw. None of the lads had any idea why the girls were with their parents and two other adults and were waiting to enter the school before the first bell.

In Matthew's group, they could only speculate that Natalie was there because of what she said to Matthew the previous day. They figured four of the adults were the two girl's parents, but they had no idea who the other two people were. It was then Matthew told his three friends the sleepover was on and for his friends to bring their skateboard, swimsuit, and a change of clothes if necessary, and a sleeping bag when they came over on Saturday.

In the twins group, they had no idea whatsoever of what happened out front. They all thought it strange two girls and their parents were here at the school so early and that Principal Chadwick came out to greet them and take them into the school.

Kyle then told all of their friends the Saturday sleepover was a go. All the boys were happy to hear that and all of them said they had talked to their parents last night and they all said it was OK with them.

Charles and his friends all speculated that the girls were in big trouble and the principal called their parents to come to the school to discuss what that trouble the girls had caused. Charles spoke up and told his group that he figured it had to do with what Brooklyn had said to his new 'brother', Matthew. The pre-teen also told his friends that the sleepover was on and for them to bring their stuff with them on Saturday when they came over. That put a big smile on all the Cover lads' friend's faces.

Then the pre-teen mentioned that Natalie said some things to Matthew the previous day and Brooklyn was overseeing what she said. He figured Mr. Chassen had told Principal Chadwick about what Natalie said and that coupled with what Brooklyn was saying earlier in the week the principal wanted to discuss it with the girls and their parents. Charles also figured the other adults were their lawyers.

Robert told his group he would bet that Principal Chadwick was talking to the girls about what they said to Matthew that week and that she considered it bullying. The teenager felt the principal read the girls the 'riot act' to them and told them what kind of trouble they would find themselves in if they continued to bully Matthew and any other student.

When Robert was asked, who he thought the other two adults were, the teen said he figured they were the girls and their parent's lawyers. Robert reminded his friends about the trouble Joanna Schwimminger and Kaelyn Farlow got into the previous year and when they brought their own lawyers to try to keep from being expelled.

Robert told his group that they would all probably find out what happened to the girls by lunchtime because they would tell their friends who would tell other friends and word of what the meeting was all about that morning would get around. The group of boys agreed with Robert's assessment, and just then, the first bell rang for the students to go to their homerooms.

As the lads walked to their homerooms, Robert yelled out to them, "Oh ...and the sleepover is on!" The boys yelled back a "Thank you!" And, some "Yeas!"

Mr. Ken called Mr. Chris to his Study to talk to him about the coming weekend and what was going to happen the following week. The Cove's owner told Chris about the 40 plus or minus boy sleepover and that Owen and Nathan and their lads were spending the weekend, as well.

The owner of The Cove also told Mr. Chris about hiring two women to help Momma Maria that weekend, beginning later that day. Mr. Ken told Mr. Chris, he should get with Momma to have their checks made out and ready for him to give the women come Sunday.

Mr. Ken also reminded Mr. Chris that he and the boys, along with Ms. Judy, Eric, Wayne and Chief would be traveling to Collin's come Wednesday morning and would not return until late Saturday afternoon, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Mr. Ken also told Mr. Chris to finish up as much work as he could early next week, so he could have a five day Thanksgiving Holiday with his family. Chris Dominions smiled at hearing that and gratefully thanked his boss.

Then the Estate Manager's employer told him to get with Wayne, after the Holiday, to figure out a bus for a Christmas Holiday trip to either SeaWorld or Six Flags. Mr. Ken said he liked the way the first bus company treated them, and he wanted to use them again, so to reserve a bus with the date to be determined.

Mr. Ken also told Mr. Chris that he and his boys, and possibly Ms. Judy, Eric and Mr. Wayne, were going with him to visit his back east amusement parks for at least three days or maybe four if they could fit it all in. The owner of The Cove said he hadn't looked at the school's Christmas Holiday schedule yet.

Mr. Ken added since he was planning his Christmas Parties to be held on the 18th and 19th, the weekend before the actual Holiday, he wanted all that lead-up time to ensure everything was ready and in-place. He mentioned the earliest they could go to his amusement parks would be the Saturday after Christmas Day.

Mr. Ken asked his employee to have all the contracts signed for the Holiday Parties a week before the actual parties. The owner of The Cove said he didn't want any last minute surprises coming up to bite him on the Thursday or Friday before. Mr. Ken reminded Chris to also talk to the Police Explorer's group so they are prepared to work all four Parties as they have the past three or four years.

As the two men were talking about the upcoming Holidays, Mr. Wayne came into the Study. He took a seat and listened in to their conversation. Wayne wasn't left out of the conversation for long as his boss directed a few items to his estate Master.

"Wayne ...I reminded Chris here to schedule a bus for a Holiday trip. I'd like it if you can get online and download a copy of the school's Holiday schedule. That way we, err you, can plan a trip for the boys as we did for Halloween," chuckled Mr. Ken.

"We are also going to visit my amusement parks during the Holidays and I would appreciate it if you would come along, as I'll need another chaperone. I've invited Ms. Judy, and Eric, of course, to come along, but she may be a last minute drop out if CPS gets very busy after Christmas as she has in the past.

"After talking to Chris earlier about scheduling a bus, I think the Holiday bus trip should be to Six Flags. We've all been to Sea World and we all know there isn't as much to do there as there is at Fiesta Texas and I believe the boys would have a better time there.

"One problem we may have is ...if we are having 41 lads spend this weekend, I wonder how many we are going to have to plan for on this Holiday bus trip. We will also need, of course, more chaperones than we had for Sea World.

"Chris will get the tickets for us, as before, and maybe we'll have to have a few of the adults meet us there in case there aren't enough seats on the bus. Chris ...how big a bus can that company provide for us?" asked Mr. Ken.

Chris thought about the question for a few moments and then answered, "Mr. Ken ...the largest bus they offer, I believe, is a 57 passenger bus. But ...but if we find we have more than 57 people going, kids and adults that is ...then maybe we could hire two 49 passenger busses as an alternative.

"I think that after we return from this Thanksgiving Holiday, Wayne here needs to select a date and then start finding out how many lads and chaperones are going to go. I already know Six Flags will be open every day with the exception of Christmas day. They are open from Friday December 17th through January 3rd."

The three men talked some more about the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays and what was going to happen at The Cove and whether they were ready or not. Mr. Ken then told his men that failure was not an option. They all had a good laugh over that.

Just as the men were getting ready to leave the Study, Momma Maria came there to introduce the two women she hired to help her that weekend.

"Mr. Ken ...Ize wants tos introduces thes twos womens whoses wills bees helpings mees thess weekends. Thess isses Sofia ands thess isses Isabela. Theys goes to mees churches ands cooks oftens for weddings and others funciones. Theys bees verys goods cooks, likes Momma Marias," laughed Momma Maria

"Welcome to my home, Sofia and Isabela. These two men also work here for me. This is Mr. Chris Dominions, my Estate Manager. He'll be the one who prepares your check", laughed Mr. Ken. "This other gentlemen is my Estate Master, Wayne Mitchell. He helps me with my son and foster sons.

"You will see them both here today, but only Mr. Wayne will be here over the weekend and will also be here for breakfast on Sunday. If you have any questions, just ask Momma. She runs the kitchen and pantry like a mess sergeant and everyone knows not to mess things up in either of them," chuckled Mr. Ken, bringing the rest into the laugh with him.

When Sophia, Isabela and Maria returned to the Kitchen Nook, the two new hires asked Momma to tell them more about Mr. Ken and his taking in foster boys. Momma first gave them a condensed version of Collin's time there and how it brought life to The Cove. Momma then explained how her boss adopted Robert.

The Cove's kitchen manager and meal preparer finished her storytelling the two women what she knew about the other three boys and what she knew about their arrival at The Cove. The two women were amazed at what they heard, but knew there had to be a lot more that Maria did not tell them. After hearing about the man and his boys, the three women got down to their job of cooking snacks and getting dinner ready for twelve that evening.

During lunchtime, at the school, the twins and Matthew noticed that Brooklyn and Natalie were missing. They had not been in class all morning. All the 5th-grade kids began wondering where the two girls were and began talking amongst themselves about what they thought might have happened.

Three girls did know what that meeting was all about with the Principal that morning. They had talked it over with Brooklyn and Natalie the night before and wished them Good Luck with the Principal. When Brooklyn and Natalie did not come to their classroom, after the meeting with the principal, they knew something went wrong. So, when they got outside, after they ate lunch, they pulled out their cell phones and called their clique friends.

Matthew wanted to talk to Brant, Ryan and Noah about the sleepover. The youngest Cover told his friends that a boy named Chase would also be in their group. Matthew said he knew they had met him at SeaWorld and wanted to know what he was like.

Brant said Chase was just like them. He and his brothers were going to be at SeaWorld all by themselves and Mr. Ken gave them extra tickets and then asked the three boys to join them.

Ryan said that Chase was fun to be around and they all got along fine. The young 5th grader said they all went through the haunted houses together and he was just as scared as they were. The four boys had a good laugh over that.

Bailey heard about the big sleepover learning that Brant, Ryan and Noah were all invited. The young girl saw the four boys talking and figured they were talking about the sleepover. She wanted to go over and join them, but felt she would be the fifth wheel and not too welcome, so she never went over to the boys.

"Guys ...I've never had a sleepover before and I ...well, I want to tell you that I have no idea what we'll do. My 'brothers' said we'd swim and have snacks before we go to bed. Also, on Sunday morning Momma Maria, she's the woman who cooks all our meals, will have two other women come over to help. If it wasn't for Momma Maria getting two of her friends to help out then there would be no sleepover," explained Matthew.

Noah then told the group how he and his brother, Dylan, sat down with their parents to convince them to let them spend the night. The 5th grader said that since Dylan had already spent the night he was given the OK. He said he had a difficult time trying to convince his mom and dad that he would be with 40 other kids and that his brother would be there to protect him. His three friends laughed at hearing that. Noah said his parents did relent and he was now happy to get the chance to have a sleepover at Three Finger Cove.

It was then Bailey came over to the boys. "I'll bet since you guys were all talking about the sleepover, you don't know what happened to Brooklyn and Natalie. Well, I heard from a friend, who talked to Mackenzie, that the girls would be on a three-day in-school suspension and would begin serving it right after our Thanksgiving break.

"My friend said Mackenzie told her the principal played some sort of audio of Brooklyn saying what she did to me. Then they had another witness, Mr. Chassen, tell Brooklyn's and Natalie's parents what he heard Natalie and Alice said to you yesterday, Matthew. It seems that Principal Chadwick is enforcing the No Bullying or Harassment Rules.

"My friend also told me that the principal told the parents there were other students who were on a short leash and if they got into trouble one more time they would find themselves at the alternative campus. My friend said what the principal meant was that Brooklyn and Natalie could find themselves in the same situation."

The four boys looked back and forth to one another not knowing what to think about what Bailey just told them. They said they would have to talk to their brothers about that to see if they understood what that all meant. It was then the after lunch bell rang and all the students had to go back inside the school.

The four boys walked away leaving Bailey standing there all by herself. She stood there pissed that they did not even thank her for telling them about Brooklyn and Natalie. Then the girl headed into the classroom where Matthew and Noah were.

Mr. Wayne stopped by the school to take Robert to his doctor appointment. When he entered the office, Ms. Andrews welcomed him and asked him what he needed. The secretary's demeanor was totally 180 degrees different from the other two times he had to deal with her. Wayne told her he was there to take Robert to a doctor appointment. The secretary immediately did what she needed to do to get Robert out of class.

When Robert arrived at the office, he could not believe how Ms. Andrews greeted him. It was as if she was his aunt and not the school's secretary. The woman quickly filed out the release from school paperwork and had Mr. Wayne sign it and the two Covers were on their way.

Out in the car, Robert said to Mr. Wayne, "Could you believe that was Ms. Andrews? It was as if ...it was as if she was human for once. I have never seen her be so friendly with anyone before. She always seems to act, you know, so superior to everyone. I wonder what would have made her change like that."

Mr. Wayne thought about that for a few moments then replied, "It could have something to do with your dad getting pissed yesterday."

"My dad ...he got pissed? That's ...I've never seen him ever get mad. He may raise his voice to get our attention to tell us we did something wrong or ...or what he didn't like. But, my dad, he got ...pissed? I would have liked to have seen that," now laughed Robert.

"I was surprised to see him act that way, too," replied Mr. Wayne. "He actually called the School Board President, Mr. Ostrowski, and ...and he told him how the secretary had again put up a roadblock to him taking Charles and Kyle out of school. He told the President she demanded he make their doctor arrangements for his boys on weekends and that was the second time that week Ms. Andrews had caused him to talk to Ms. Chadwick about her."

"I didn't hear Mr. Ostrowski's side of the conversation, but he must have told your dad that he would take care of it. I don't think Mr. Ken liked what he said, because I heard him remind the Board President of all of the things the woman had done in the past.

"Then your dad ...he said something I would never think I'd hear from him. He sort of told Mr. Ostrowski to get in gear and have that meeting he was promised from the other day. Mr. Ken also told him he wanted the meeting at the beginning of next week and if they didn't do something about Ms. Andrews he'd make sure the school board looked very different next November."

"That doesn't sound like my dad at all," spoke up the teenager.

"Well, late yesterday, your dad talked to me about what he said and why he said it. He told me he wasn't proud he tried to throw his weight around, but that Ms. Andrews had made him change his focus. He said he'd probably apologize to Mr. Ostrowski because he really didn't mean what he said about changing the school board," finished the Estate Master.

Robert just sat there thinking about what his dad said and Mr. Wayne had just told him. That was a side of his new dad he'd never seen or heard of and he wondered if having so many foster sons was part of the cause of his losing his focus. He decided he'd talk to his 'brothers' and ask them to try not to cause any problems for their 'dad'.

When the four Cover boys arrived home they stopped by the Kitchen Nook to see what Momma Maria had made of them to their snack. As the boys entered the Nook they saw two strange women.

"Ther's mys ninos," exclaimed Momma Maria, as she saw the four boys. "Ands wherers mys Robertos?"

"He has his doctor appointment today, Momma Maria. He should be here by now," offered Charles.

And just as Charles got the last part of his explanation out, Robert entered the Kitchen Nook.

"Thers mees lastses nino," called out Momma Maria.

"Ninos ...lets mees presente my amigas, OKs?" said Momma Maria. "Thess isses Sofia ands thess isses Isabela. Theys helps Momma cooks yours snackes fors todays and makes those maravilloso Desiertos. Nows, youse eats yours enchiladas de manzana,"

All the boys had a strange look on their faces as Momma said 'enchiladas de manzana'. Sophia saw their confusion and told the boys that what Maria said was what they had for the marvelous dessert, or snack, were essentially caramel and cinnamon apple enchiladas and they had their choice of cold chocolate or vanilla milk. The boys all smiled at hearing what they had for their after school snack and dug right in.

When the boys finished their snacks, they all went to Momma Maria and hugged her as they thanked her for making that wonderful dessert. But when she told them Sophia and Isabela had actually made them each boy went over to the women and thanked them with a hug, too.

After the lads left the Kitchen Nook, Sophia and Isabela told Maria they couldn't believe the boys had actually hugged them. Momma Maria told her amigas that the boys always hugged her. Telling them it was the only real way they could thank her for what she does for them. Hearing that put great big smiles on the two new women's faces.

The boys quickly headed to the Study to tell their 'dad' about their day. When they got there Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne were talking, so the lads all took a seat in one of the leather chairs. The twins sat together as the two older lads each took one of the remaining leather chairs leaving Matthew to stand. Mr. Wayne saw the youngest Cover standing and motioned him over to sit in his lap. Matthew got a great big grin on his face then walked over and quickly sat in Mr. Wayne's lap.

"Dad, you should have seen Ms. Andrews when Mr. Wayne came to take me to Doctor Doug's," began Robert, but didn't get any further as Mr. Ken's ears perked up and he spoke up.

"So, I take it Ms. Andrews gave you a rough time and took her time signing you out?"

"NO, dad, she actually acted as if she was human. Didn't she Mr. Wayne?" replied the teen.

Mr. Wayne smiled at the way Robert described the school's secretary. So, he told Mr. Ken how Ms. Andrews was very cordial and sounded as if she was happy to see him come into her office. The Estate Master said she did a 180 from the way she acted towards him the other two times he went to take a boy out of the school.

Mr. Ken smiled at hearing that hoping Ms. Chadwick did indeed have a good talk with her secretary to get her reigned in. He told himself he still needed to write that complaint and sent it to the school board to tell them about her attitude and actions which were not in keeping good order at the school and caused a hostile environment to the parents or visitors.

After the discussion about Ms. Andrews ended, the boys told their 'dad' about seeing Brooklyn and Natalie and their parents and possibly their lawyers at the school first thing. Then, they told him they heard a rumor the two girls were given a three-day in-school suspension and where not in class after their meeting with the principal.

The five Cover lads then told Mr. Ken that all of their friends would be staying for the sleepover tomorrow. Matthew said how he was looking forward to having a sleepover as he'd never had one before. He did say he wished Bailey could be there, but he now knew she would be the only girl there and would probably feel out of place. The youngest Cover did ask Mr. Ken if he could ever ask her over to skate.

Mr. Ken took the question at heart and told the youngster that Robert once had some girls stop by to watch and then they got a chance to try out the ramps. Continuing, he said that he did not think it would pose a major problem other than with the more friends that stop by to skate the less skate time everyone had.

What Mr. Ken just said caused the other four lads to speak up and ask what he could do to get them more ramps, so they could have more time skating? The twins asked why he could not put some ramps at the bottom of the driveway just past the circular drive to the front door. They argued there was loads of space down there and saw it was not being used.

Mr. Ken inwardly smiled knowing he already had a solution he and Mr. Chris worked on, but he did not want to show his hand. He knew he needed to answer the boys, so he told them that with them traveling to Collin's for the Thanksgiving Holiday they would not have any time to discuss more ramps let alone when, and if, they could be installed.

The owner of The Cove asked them to please hold off until after the Christmas Holidays since when they came back from Collin's he would be busy working on the Holiday parties and his lakeside construction projects, but that after the New Year he'd make time for them to sit down and talk about what they could do.

The five lads all got big smiles on their faces thinking they would soon get more ramps that would relieve the congestion they now had at the four ramps they used. Robert and Charles thought to themselves that they could start looking at which ramps they wanted to have built and how to install them on the slanted portion of the driveway.

Mr. Ken looked at the time then told his boys to head up to their rooms and get as much of their homework done as they could before their guests arrived. All the boys, with the exception of Matthew, said they did not have any homework to do because of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Matthew spoke up and said he did not have any homework either, but he needed to work on the schoolwork he had missed, so he could stay in school.

Mr. Wayne said he would go up with Matthew and help him work on some of the things he needed to and they would stop when Owen, Nathan, and their boys arrived. Mr. Ken said that sounded like a plan and sent them up to Matthew's bedroom. Chief stayed right with Matthew and followed the two Covers up the stairs.

Robert told his 'brothers' to follow him and those four left the Study right after Mr. Wayne and Matthew. The four Covers headed up to Robert's room and they looked on the internet for skateboard ramps and their designs and building plans. They wanted to get ahead of the process, so that after the Holidays they would be ready to talk to their 'dad.


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