Three Finger Cove: Billy ~ Book Six

Chapter Twenty-Two

Mr. Ken was up at his usual time when the boys didn't have school. He did his morning ablutions then retrieved his morning newspaper, before getting his first cup of hot coffee. He was reading the paper when Bill came into the Kitchen Nook.

"Good morning, Bill," offered Mr. Ken. "What brings you down here this early?"

"Good morning, Mr. Ken," replied Bill. "I woke up and I just couldn't go back to sleep. So, I figured I'd come down and get a start on the day. Do you want me to heat up a few breakfast tacos for you?"

The foster dad asked Bill to heat up three tacos for him and whatever he wanted. Then, Mr. Ken asked him to heat a few more for when his 'brothers' came down. The man explained it would make breakfast easier for them. Bill did the math and took out 21 of Momma Maria's breakfast tacos and placed them in the convection oven to heat them up. He then took care of Chief's needs.

The convection oven was bigger than the microwave and, as such, could easily reheat the 21 tacos at the same time. It still took almost 20 minutes for them to be ready. When they were ready, Bill served three to his foster dad and refilled his coffee cup. He then took three tacos to the table for himself. The teen then got a glass of orange juice before sitting down to eat.

As the two older Covers ate their breakfast, the twins came into the Nook. Bill told them there were three breakfast tacos each waiting for them in the convection oven. That brought a smile to both boys' faces who went to the oven and took the three they wanted. Each twin took them to the table, and then they each got a different drink from the refrigerator to help wash them down.

Conversation at the table between the three young Covers was lively. They were talking about the previous evening's Go-Kart race when the last three Cover boys arrived in the Kitchen Nook.

"Good morning, dad," called out Robert. "What smells so good?"

"Good morning, 'dad'," said Charles, who also hugged the man. "Yea, I know that smell!"

"Good morning, 'dad'," also called out Matthew, who waited until Charles finished his hug, before he could give his 'dad' a hug as well.

"Yea, Billy heated up breakfast tacos for all of us," called out Kevin. "It was a nice surprise and they are still in their foil wrappers. Check the convection oven and take three."

There were nine breakfast tacos in the oven waiting for their takers. Robert got to the oven first and saw there were three each of three different tacos types. He was going to take all three bacon and egg and leave the bean and cheese and potato and egg ones for his 'brothers'. But the teen knew that wouldn't be fair, or nice, so he took one of each and told Charles and Matthew what he'd done.

Robert also asked the two boys what they wanted to drink and when they told him the teenager took them out of the refrigerator and brought them to the table. Charles got the glasses from the cupboard as his older 'brother' did his part.

"Thank you, Billy, for heating up the tacos for us," offered Matthew, with a smile.

"Yea, thanks, but what had you up so early for you to do that?" asked Charles.

"I couldn't fall back to sleep after I got up to drain my dragon. So, I figured I'd come down here and get breakfast. After I asked Mr. Ken what he wanted to eat he suggested I reheat enough for all of us, so I did. ... To be honest ... I wouldn't have done it if ... if Mr. Ken hadn't said something to me," honestly replied Billy.

"But at least you did it," spoke up Kyle. "Thanks 'dad' for making Billy do that for us," now laughed the younger twin.

"Boys, this is something you all need to do for one another. I think I told you once before that you're a kid first, so you can learn things about life and how to act. Doing what Bill did for all of us is just one of a thousand things for you to know and learn about. Yes, you may fail the first time, or two, that you try, but I feel you learn more from your failures, most times, than doing something correctly all of the time," offered 'dad' Ken.

"How do we learn from failing?" asked Matthew.

Robert answered the question. The teen told his youngest 'brother' that when you don't do something right the first time, or two, you now know the way NOT to do it and you then understand there is a correct way.

"I still don't understand," said Matthew.

"Matthew," started 'dad' Ken, "when you try to hammer a nail into a board and you miss the first time or two and smash your finger and thumb you failed. But I'll bet you'll make sure you hit the nail on its head the next time you try to set a nail," chuckled Mr. Ken.

"Will you show me how to miss the nail, so I can learn from your mistake?" laughed Matthew, who was joined by all his 'brothers'.

After Mr. Ken stopped laughing, he asked the boys what they had planned for the day.

Billy spoke up first and reminded the man he was going to show them his private lair. The other boys agreed with Billy and they asked when they'd get their tour. Mr. Ken saw the boys were finished eating, so he told them to clean up their mess and when the Kitchen Nook was clean and straightened up he'd take them back to his private retreat.

"Boys, there's nothing mysterious about my private space," began 'dad' Ken. "It is bigger and grander than what you have for bedrooms, but my bathroom is attached whereas yours is located in the hallway. Ask questions as I show you where I go to rest up after a long day."

Other than Robert, the boys were amazed at what they were seeing. They couldn't believe the size of the room and all its furnishings, but particularly the bed their 'dad' used at night to sleep. The boys looked into the walk-in closet and were surprised at all the clothes their 'dad' had.

Their next stop was the en suite, or attached bathroom. The boys were astounded at what they saw. There was a dual sink counter with a very large mirror mounted on the wall. They also saw a very large bathtub set in front of a wall of clear glass that formed the shower area behind it.

When they looked into the shower area, they saw there were two moveable multifunction wall bars with adjustable and removable showerheads. The boys also marveled at the two rainfall nozzle showerheads that came out of the ceiling, as well.

They all walked through the shower area and when they exited, they saw there were two toilet rooms. Matthew asked why there were two. Mr. Ken smiled and told the boy, and thus his 'brothers', that they were 'His' and 'Hers' toilet areas.

The boys walked into the 'His' toilet and saw there was a urinal separated by a wall from the toilet and a washstand with a hinged mirror with a medicine cabinet behind it. The boys then walked into the 'Her' toilet area and saw what looked like two toilets. The boys had to ask why and Mr. Ken had to smile at their innocence.

"Boys, one is a toilet, like we all use and the other bowl ... it is called a Bidet. It is what women use to wash their private areas to maintain good feminine hygiene. You probably won't fully understand their use until you are much older and you get involved with a woman," answered the man.

"'Dad', what is that other room used for?" asked Kevin, who pointed to a side room off the main bedroom.

"Ahh, I wondered if any of you would ask about that empty space," laughed 'dad' Ken. "To be honest with you, that room... that is the baby's room, or nursery."

"The baby's room?" asked a surprised Kyle.

"Yep, one day I'm sure I'll get married and hopefully we'll have a few crumb crunchers running around to add more life to The Cove," replied Mr. Ken.

"Why is it you aren't married now?" asked Matthew.

"Good question, young man, and a very personal one, too," replied 'dad' Ken.

"But, since you asked, one of the reasons I didn't marry straight out of college was ... well, was because of all the money I now had. I didn't want a woman who was only interested in how much money I had. I wanted, and still do, want a woman who loves me because of who I am, not because I of the few extra nickels I have to rub together.

"Oh, and, by the way, I am only five years out of college and I am still a very eligible bachelor. I have dated some before most of you arrived, and I think I have a few years to go before I get serious about finding a mate," honestly answered 'dad' Ken.

"But what will happen to us?" asked Matthew.

"Matthew, boys, I do not plan to let any of you go unless someone comes to claim you," answered Mr. Ken.

"Claim us? What does that mean?" asked Kevin.

"Boys, you all have someone out there, in your extended family, who could petition the courts to allow them to finish raising you for your parents. Then, in that case, I would be required to turn you over to those family members. But even then, it doesn't mean we can't stay in touch.

"But, up to now, as you all know, no one has come to claim any of you, other than Robert's uncle, even though there are people out there who could still step forward to do so," offered 'dad' Ken, while trying not to alarm or scare any of the boys.

It was then they heard some light sobbing. Mr. Ken found the source and pulled the now crying Matthew into his arms. At feeling the man's strong arms holding him, Matthew started to cry even harder. All 'dad' Ken could do was to try to calm the youngest Cover down, and try to talk to him about why he was crying.

Robert knew he and his 'brothers' needed to give his dad and Matthew some 'space', so he motioned for all of them to leave and wait for the two to come out of the bedroom.

Once out in the Foyer, Charles said he was going to go upstairs and take his shower and get dressed for the day. He reasoned there was nothing they could do, even after their 'dad' and Matthew came out of the bedroom. The twins agreed and followed Charles up the stairs.

Billy was curious about Robert's uncle, and why he wasn't living with him. Robert told the teen it was a very long story and he would tell him one day. Billy was a bit confused, but understood they each had 'stories' as to why they are living there, and this might be one of those 'stories' he had to wait to hear.

Billy then told Robert he understood what he was trying to do when they all left Mr. Ken and Matthew, so they could talk. The older teen said he needed to get showered and ready for his friends. Robert agreed and followed Billy up to the bathroom to get his own shower.

"Matthew ... what has you crying, 'son'?" asked 'dad' Ken.

Matthew looked up to the man through his tear washed eyes and said, "I don't want to go with anyone. I want to stay here!" The boy then cried some more.

"Matthew ... I am very happy that you are a part of us here at The Cove. But you must understand that I am only a temporary parent. Your dad ... he could be out there somewhere and not aware of your predicament. He may want to get you back and, you know, raise you himself," counseled Mr. Ken.

Matthew looked up to the man and replied, "But, but what ... what if he doesn't want me? What ... what will happen to me then?" said the youngest Cover through his tears.

"Matthew, right now ... we will take it one day at a time, as we have ever since your arrival. And, if your real dad doesn't want you, then I will adopt you," replied 'dad' Ken.

Matthew heard the part that his 'dad' would adopt him and he immediately jumped into the man's arms and said, "You will? You'll adopt me as you did Robert? But ... but what will happen to us when you get married? Will ... will we have to find another home to live in?"

"The simple answer is no! Matthew, you and Robert would stay here with me. If I meet a nice woman and we fall in love with one another, she will know about you and will have to accept you as my son. And, if she can't accept you, then ... then we are not compatible and won't get married. I promise you this," answered 'dad' Ken.

Hearing all that calmed Matthew down and he hugged his 'dad' as tight as he could. The younger boy thanked the man for telling him that, and then told his 'dad' he needed to go and get ready for his friends. The two gave one another a hug and then the boy ran out of the bedroom to catch up with his 'brothers'.

At twelve, noon, like clockwork, the Covers' friends began to arrive. The ones who'd been coming to The Cove for quite some time were let right in. Billy's friends were delayed some before they could enter The Cove. They eventually were allowed in as they could prove who they were and that they were in the database.

"Well, you finally made it,' teased Billy, as his three friends arrived in the Parking Coral.

"Yea, the guard made us prove who we were," replied Lonnie.

"That's his job, to make sure the people in the database are who they say they are. Mr. Ken told you it would take a few visits for the guards to get to know you. And, remember, there are a number of them, and they switch off, so one guard may know you, but the next guard may not. Anyway, you're all here. What should we do first?" answered Billy.

"Did you ever ask Mr. Ken about us taking that Coast Guard training and, if we pass, can we ride the WaveRunners?" asked Kaden.

"I'm sorry, I haven't, but I'll go do it now," replied Billy.

The Cover teenager went into the house to talk to Mr. Ken. When he found the man in the Study, Billy asked about the training needed to drive the WaveRunners, and if he and his friends get it can they drive the personal watercraft.

Mr. Ken told the teenager they could, but first, they had to either take the Texas Boater Safety Course at an all-day training class or take the training as a home study, or over the internet. The man added, with a smile, they did have to pass the course. Billy thanked the man and headed out to talk to his friends.

"Mr. Ken said we all needed to take and pass a Texas Boater Safety Course before we could drive the personal watercraft. He said there is an all-day class, a home study course, or we could do it over the internet," offered an enthusiastic Billy.

"Did he say where the class is?" asked Brett.

"I think he'd want us to figure that out for ourselves," answered Billy. "Maybe we can all check the internet this week and talk about it in school."

"Can't we go up to your room and check the internet there?" asked Lonnie.

"I wish we could. I don't have a computer yet," answered Billy. "I've only been here, what, two, three weeks or so. Mr. Ken told me he would eventually get me one, but for now, I have to use either Robert's or Charles'."

The four teenagers talked about the training course and if it was worth taking it. Billy said he was going to do it because the WaveRunners looked awesome to him, and he felt it would be fun to take them out on the lake. Lonnie agreed and said he'd like to do the course, as well, but wanted to take the one-day class instead of doing it as a home study, or over the internet.

The teens then decided to take their turns on the ramps. Kaden went directly over to the ramps and jumped right onto them. The younger boys balked and Robert had to go over to his older 'brother' and ask him to get Kaden off the ramps. Billy wanted to know why it wasn't their turn as they watched them ride for over an hour.

Robert told Billy they just don't barge onto the ramps. He reminded the older teen they had a system and he and his friends are no different from anyone else there. By that time, the other boys got Kaden off the ramps, and the teen went over to Billy to get them to let him ride.

Robert explained to Kaden, Brett and Lonnie how they shared the ramps. He told the older teen how they needed to integrate into the line, not just jump in whenever they think they should.

Kaden didn't like the way Robert talked to them. He was going to say something, but Brett had already apologized for them doing that, as no one explained to them about the use of the ramps, and when it was their turn to ride them.

Billy was at a loss. He knew his younger 'brothers' had a system, as to who rides the ramps, and when, but he hadn't been there long enough to learn all about it. The teen pulled his 'brother' aside and asked if his friends could jump in and take their turn. Robert told him again his friends weren't any better than the rest of them, and they had to join the queue, and wait their turn.

Billy was pissed at hearing that. He figured he and his friends had the same right as his 'brothers' and their friends did, and he told Robert that. Robert wasn't happy at the way Billy approached him, and wanted to take over the ramps. Kevin heard the verbal scuffle and headed into the house to find 'dad' Ken.

Two minutes later Mr. Ken quickly came outside. The man called Billy and Robert over to him and the three walked away from the group. All of the boys' present saw Mr. Ken come outside and pull the older Covers away from them. Everyone wondered what was happening.

"Boys, I am not happy there is a problem with the ramps. Bill, you were told that Robert and his 'brothers', and their friends, had worked out a way to make it fair for everyone on the ramps. But for your friends to just jump in and try to take over the ramps is not the way it works. It is up to you to control your friends.

"Bill, if they don't like the rules, then maybe they aren't the boys you need as friends. This is your first and only warning. Robert had been here for well over a year and there had never been a problem with who rides when on the ramps. Learn the rules and tell your friends what they are. Everyone else patiently waits their turn and you and they will have to, as well. Do you have any questions?" directly asked Mr. Ken, of his foster son.

Billy didn't know what to say or do. Mr. Ken has always been an even-tempered man, but right now the teen was seeing a side of the man he had never seen before. Billy knew there were rules and he should have stopped Kaden from jumping onto the ramps. But, at the same time, they hadn't been bugging the other boys about taking their turns and figured there shouldn't be a problem.

"Bill?" said Mr. Ken.

"Yes, sir. ... Ahh, Robert, ahh, I'm sorry for Kaden jumping the line. He did it before I could even say something to him. I guess you need to explain the rules to me some more. That way I know what to tell my friends when they come over," said Billy.

Mr. Ken let the teenagers go back to the group. Once there, Billy pulled his friends aside and told them they had to abide by the rules set out many months ago. He told them not to jump the line and to wait their turn. The Cover teen reminded them that in about 45 days the new Cove Skate Park should be finished, and there should be enough space for all of them, at the same time.

Lonnie and Brett were fine with what Billy told them. Kaden didn't appreciate that Billy, being the oldest, wasn't in charge of the ramps and everything else they did at The Cove. Little did he know Mr. Ken was going to ask Jules Diamond to do a further check on that particular teenager.

When it came time to burn the burgers and dogs, Charles picked the two ten-boy groups who would set up the barbeque. The pre-teen did ask Billy and his three friends to follow along with a different group this time, so they could see everything that it takes to get the barbeque ready for cooking.

Lonnie asked Charles would they ever get to cook. Charles told the older teen that they would eventually, but he'd only been there twice and he still needed to be a part of the setup and take down groups a few more times. Charles did tell Lonnie that in a few weeks he'd be assigned to help the cooks to see what was involved there. Lonnie thanked the pre-teen Cover and hurried off to catch up with one of the set-up groups.

When it was time to eat, Matthew and one of his friends went inside to get Mr. Ken to come out and eat with them. When the man came out, he commented that the burgers were nicely burned and he'd have two. That earned him some laughs.

Mr. Ken got his plate and two burger buns and had the cook place one burger each on a bun. The owner of The Cove then went over to the fixings and condiments table and finished topping off his lunch before setting them down and getting a drink from the cooler.

As the boys ate, many of them tried to sit with their owner/host so they could just talk with him. The boys knew Mr. Ken was responsible for many of the things they were allowed to do at The Cove, and the only way they could thank him was, they felt, to talk with him and let him know more about them.

Since it was a Sunday, and the boys had school the following day, they didn't get to swim as long as they would have liked. That day they just jumped off the rock ledge to see who could make the biggest splash. Kaden thought it was a childish game to play, so he sat it out. But Bret, Lonnie and Billy joined in with the other boys and took their turns. When Russell and Jordan announced the winner, Brett was pleasantly surprised at his selection.

As the teenagers walked up the slight rise to the Main Gate, Kaden asked them why they would want to play a silly game designed for young kids. Lonnie quickly spoke up and said it was fun competing with the younger boys. Brett added that the younger boys liked the fact that they played the game with them. Billy asked Kaden why he didn't want to play. The freshman said he had hoped they would do stuff together, not baby-sit a bunch of little kids.

Billy defended the boys, and thus his 'brothers', by telling Kaden that he was part of a bigger family and as the newest member he had to go along with what was already established. The Cover teen added that it would take him some time until he situated himself there and what he wanted to do. Billy said that with summer coming, and the skate park getting finished, there should be a lot more that he could do that won't have to involve his 'brothers'.

The teens arrived at the Main Gate and many of the parents were out there waiting. Kaden went over to his mom and in doing so he avoided answering Billy's unasked question. Mr. Ken was up there talking to the parents and he reminded them that they would have to sign a waiver before they sons will be allowed to use the new skate park. That was the first the four teens had heard of that requirement and they looked back and forth to one another. Billy told his friends he'd get the 411 and let them know at school tomorrow.

Once all the Cover's friends had left the estate, Mr. Ken loaded his 'boys' into the van and they headed out to dinner. They went over to the Four Corners Restaurant and were seated back in the corner where Mr. Ken likes to sit and eat.

"'Dad', where ... where is Mr. Wayne?" asked Kyle.

"Well, Mr. Wayne needed some time for himself after being with you guys for five days. He'll be back over here tomorrow. And, I am sure he will appreciate it that you asked about him," replied Mr. Ken.

"Mr. Ken ... what did you mean when you told the parents that they would need to sign a waiver before their kids could skate on the new skate park?" asked Billy.

"Well, you see Bill, my insurance company ... it is requiring I have the parents signed permission and understanding that I am not responsible for any injuries their child may receive while using the Cove Skate Park. I won't have the forms ready until about two weeks before the skate park is ready to open," answered Mr. Ken.

"But ... well, you don't have them for the ramps, now, do you?" asked Billy.

"No, I don't. I never imagined I'd ever get Robert, let alone the extra five of you. As I added foster boys the number of their friends increased to what it is now. That is why my insurance company wants to cover their and my collective asses," said a smiling Mr. Ken.

The twins giggled at 'dad' Ken's use of 'asses'. That got Matthew and Charles giggling back and forth to one another, too. Mr. Ken smiled at the antics of the four Covers. He didn't say anything to the boys, as he knew it was all part of growing up and hearing adults using language, they never figured they'd hear from them, and would undoubtedly, make them laugh, or in this case, giggle.

"Will my friends have to, you know, have those permission papers signed to swim in the pool or out in the cove when it gets warm enough?" asked Billy.

"Not, yet, Bill," responded foster dad Ken Thomas. "My insurance company will visit The Cove around the middle of May to look at the skate park and all the other things you boys get involved in. We'll all have to wait and see what they come up with, if anything."

"Ahh, Mr. Ken, I'm sorry for taking up all the conversation, but ... about the Texas Boater Safety Course ... can I take it before the summer, so I can drive the Wave Runners when it gets warmer?" inquired Billy.

"Yea, 'dad', I'll be thirteen soon, and I'd like to take that training too. That way I can drive the personal watercraft this summer, too," spoke up Charles. "And I bet my friends would like to take that course as Robert's friends did last year."

"OK, I'll check into it. Or, I'll have Mr. Chris look into it. What good is having employees if you can't give them stuff to do," laughed Mr. Ken.

Hearing Billy and Charles ask about the boating course, Matthew asked if he'd need it if he wanted to take sailing lessons. Mr. Ken asked the youngster what brought that on. Matthew told him the day that he and friends went with Todd to gas up the Commander he saw the brochure about the sailing races the Commodore's Club at the Lake Yacht Club hosts. The eleven-year-old added he thinks it would be fun to sail that small boat that was docked in The Cove's marina.

Mr. Ken had to smile to himself. He never mentioned to the boys about taking sailing lessons and here Matthew was asking to do it. He was proud that the boy was looking to be different from his 'brothers'. The man told the youngster that he'd have Mr. Chris check on sailing lessons for him, and then they'd talk about it some more.

It was then Mr. Ken asked Bill, what he'd like to get for his birthday. That surprised Billy because of what happened earlier with Kaden. He saw his foster dad was back into his calm and collected mood, and now he had to think of what he wanted. After a few moments, Billy asked Mr. Ken if he could get a computer for his room.

"Hey, 'dad', my birthday is the week after Billy's. When are you going to ask me what I want for my birthday?" teased Charles.

"Well, let me take care of Bill first. His birthday is on Thursday and I needed to know what he'd like to get to celebrate it. Charles, think about what you may want for your birthday. Then, when I ask, you can tell me straight up. Bill, what made you think of a computer for your room?"

"Well ... all of my 'brothers' ... they have them, and it is a pain to have to keep asking Robert or Charles to use theirs. It would be nice to be able to, you know, search the net for things like the boating course you're going to have Mr. Chris check for me," responded Billy.

"OK, I'll ask Mr. Chris to get you a matching computer like your 'brothers'. It may take a week or so, as he'll have to order it, so it meets my specifications. Also, do you want a party? We can have a 'surprise' party for you on Saturday.

"Boys, if we do that, I need to remind you, we do not mention it to anyone. I'd like to do it as we did Matthew's with a sheet cake and barrels of ice cream, we'll serve down on the pool deck. Bill ... your thoughts?" finished Mr. Ken.

At that time Ed Henry, the restaurants manager, came over to Mr. Ken to ask him if everything was OK at their table. Mr. Ken wanted to know why he was asking, and Mr. Henry said he and his 'boys' never stayed that long after dinner before, and he wanted to know if there was something that they did wrong and needed to correct.

Mr. Ken laughed and told the man he and his brood were having their nightly meeting there instead of in his Study. The restaurant's owner asked if his group needed to leave, so they could seat another large group. Mr. Henry told the owner they could stay as long as they needed and he was concerned there might be something wrong. The two shook hands and Ed Henry walked away happy.

"Boys, it is getting late, but I want to thank you for asking your questions and letting us have our meeting here instead of in the Study. Now, to cover what is coming up this week. Bill will have a School Board Meeting to attend, probably on Thursday, besides having his birthday. Five of you have an appointment with Doctor Doug this week. I think Robert is the one who does not. Mr. Wayne will probably come to the school to take you there.

"You all have about six more weeks of school then your summer vacation begins. Keep in mind we are going to visit all four of my amusement parks and that trip will be at least ten days long. That means you need to tell you,r friends. That way they can prepare to make plans while we are gone. I haven't chosen a date yet, but it will probably be in June and then maybe we'll go back in August.

"And, Bill, I'll try to fit in a trip for just the two of us. Talk to your 'brothers' about their trips and that may help you decide where you might want to go. I want you to think about it, so when the time presents itself, we can head there. And, the sooner you chose the easier it will be to schedule it, and then make plans for what we'll do. Oh, and it doesn't have to be over the weekend, since it will be after school is over," explained Mr. Ken.

"'Dad', will we ever go on another cruise?" asked Kyle.

"So, you liked that cruise, did you?" asked a teasing 'dad' Ken. "Well, to be honest with you, a cruise needs to be planned at least six months in advance or longer."

"So, will you plan a Disney Cruise for us?" asked Matthew. "My 'brothers' have gone on one and I'd like to do one, too."

"Is that what the rest of you want to do?" asked 'dad' Ken, placing the onus back on the boys.

The boys looked around at one another and before 'dad' Ken knew it they all said, "Yes!"

"OK. I'll get my travel group working on that for next Spring Break. They'll find out the best itineraries and from which ports, and we can all decide which one to book. ... What say we finish our discussion at home? I know we have one family member who is patiently waiting for her ice cream, so what say we all get an ice cream cone and then head back to Chief.

Billy was given money to get Chief her cup of vanilla ice cream. When the Covers returned home, Billy told Chief he had her ice cream and asked the resident pet to sit while he put the cup down in front of her. Chief did that, her tail wagging a mile a minute. As soon as the ice cream was in front of her, she devoured it as quickly as she could.

When Chief was finished eating her treat, she went to Billy and began to play with him. The two wound up on the floor and they wrestled as the other Covers looked on. Mr. Ken had to put an end to it after about two minutes of fun.

"Boys, I know it is still a little early, but we all had a busy weekend. How about heading up to your rooms and settle down. I'll be up in about fifteen minutes to talk to you and say goodnight," offered 'dad' Ken.

When 'dad' Ken went up to the bedrooms to say goodnight to the boys, Kyle asked him if he was going to adopt Matthew. That question surprised him, but knew he needed to address it before it became a major issue. The man told Kyle and Kevin that he told Matthew that if his dad, or anyone else in his family, didn't want to raise him, that he'd adopt him.

The twins did their 'twin' talk to one another, as they are prone to do. Then, Kyle asked 'dad' Ken if he'd do that for them, too. Mr. Ken said he'd do that for all of his 'boys' after the families give up their option to raise them themselves. That put a smile on both twins' faces.

With school the next day, the boys did get into bed by 9:30. Everyone in The Cove slept well that night.

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