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"Dad? Do you have a minute?" Jake asked hesitantly with Aaron standing at his side.
"Of course son. Come here." Allen said with an inviting smile at Jake.
Jake walked closer to Allen and was pulled into a warm hug.
"What's on your mind Sport?" Allen asked as he reluctantly released the hug.
"There's this kid who needs our help..." Jake began.
"Uh oh." Teri said as she looked around at the other adults.
"I was wondering, I mean, we all were, if we could invite him to move in with us?" Jake asked hesitantly.
"Son, we haven't even seen the new house yet. I don't think..." Allen began but was interrupted.
"If we don't do this now, he'll be sent to Vulcan and then we probably won't be able to help him." Aaron said desperately.
"Vulcan?" Allen asked in confusion.
"He's half Vulcan. His dad is always pushing him to be like Captain Spock. He makes him study all the time and now is ready to send him away because he isn't Vulcan enough." Jake said with pleading in his voice.
"And he needs someplace where he can grow up and be Vulcan and Human without being pushed to be something he's not." Aaron interjected.
"And he really wants to stay on Earth." Jake said imploringly.
"Guys, maybe it would be better if he came to stay with us." Teri said, noticing Allen's overwhelmed expression.
"He can't. He needs to stay with us. He can't speak English, but Kevin can speak Vulcan so he can talk to him." Jake said quickly.
Allen held up his hand in a 'stop' motion and asked, "Chip? How many bedrooms does your house have?"
"There are three bedrooms and an apartment over the garage." Chip said with a smile, knowing that the decision had already been made.
"Jake, I don't think Kevin and Kenny will have a problem sharing a room, but what about you? If we invite this mystery boy to live with us, will you be willing to share a room?" Allen asked carefully.
"Yes Dad. He can have the bed if he wants it, I'll sleep on the floor. Please don't make him have to go someplace where he won't be loved." Jake asked as a plea.
Allen closed his eyes and thought for a minute before saying, "You'll each have a bed. You don't have to worry about that. He can stay as long as it's what he wants. If he wants to go back to his father or to Vulcan, I don't want you or your brothers trying to change his mind."
"Thanks Dad." Jake said with joy and turned to run out of the room.
"One more thing." Allen said quickly.
Jake stopped and turned cautiously.
"As part of my job, I've also learned to speak Vulcan." Allen said with a smile.
Jake's face lit up and he continued out of the kitchen followed closely by Aaron.
"He's got you wrapped around his little finger." Chip said with a shake of his head.
* * * * *
Jake walked into the game room to see Kevin talking to the picture in a language he'd never heard.
"What's he doing?" Jake asked no one in particular.
"He's soothing Xain. It is not exactly telepathy, but it's not empathy either. He seems to be speaking to his sub-conscious mind." Jamie said in concentration.
"What did Pop say?" Kenny asked hopefully.
"He said 'yes'." Jake said as he listened to Kevin's calming words.
Justy walked in and said, "Grandpa Sarek said that he would make the invitation personally. He said that Solak would be most accepting of the idea if he presented it. He is waiting for our call to proceed."
"Now we need to get Uncle Brady to bring him here when he comes." Jake said to the group.
"Dad could arrange that. Let's go ask him." Jamie said as he looked at Jacob.
After a single nod from Jacob they hurried out of the room.
* * * * *
"Do you do this often?" Jake asked Kevin quietly.
"I used to do it every night." Kevin said as he kept his attention focused on the picture before him.
"He's feeling better. Not exactly happy, but he feels like things might work out for him." Kenny said in thought.
Kevin nodded and looked up at Jake.
"I used to take out my pictures and if any of them was afraid or hurting, I'd talk to them and try to make them feel better." Kevin explained.
Jake pulled Kevin into a hug and asked, "Did you ever do that for me?"
Kevin shyly nodded.
"Was it the second night after my mom was killed?" Jake asked in a small voice.
Kevin nodded, then pulled out of the hug and started going through his pictures.
"This is yours." Kevin said and presented the picture to Jake.
"It's Midas." Jake said with a smile of delight.
"Who's Midas?" Kenny asked curiously as he looked at the vague shape of a mouse-like creature.
"Midas was my hamster. I had him when I was about seven years old." Jake said fondly.
"Why did you call him Midas?" Kenny asked curiously.
"Why not call him Midas?" Jake asked back challengingly.
"How long have you two been brothers?" Sean asked with a smile as he watched the exchange.
"Sorry Kenny." Jake said shyly.
"You don't need to be sorry Jake, you were doing it right. If Kenny wants to know something, he's going to ask. If he asks you something that you don't feel like sharing, you let him know it. That's what you two just did." Sean explained carefully.
"And you did it like you've been doing it for years." Cory said from Sean's side.
* * * * *
"Dad, we've got something to ask you." Jacob said quietly.
"Jake said his Uncle Brady is coming to visit tomorrow from San Francisco." Jamie said, matching his brother's tone of voice.
"And we were wondering if you could ask him to bring our new friend here with him." Jacob asked as he looked at his dad with large eyes.
"That way no one would have to make a special trip to bring him..." Jamie said more quickly.
"...and he wouldn't have to travel by himself." Jacob said, increasing the pace even more.
"Boys!" Chip said, trying to stop their tag-team verbal assault.
Both boys looked at Chip with wide, hopeful eyes.
"I'll call him now and I'll let you know where and when your friend should meet him." Chip said in resignation.
"Thanks Dad!" Both boys said in unison and hugged their father gratefully.
"Yeah, and Jake's got me wrapped around his little finger." Allen said with a chuckle to JC and Teri.
* * * * *
"He said yes. He's calling Lieutenant Thompson now." Jacob said happily.
"Good. Come on in. I can smell cookies baking, so we have one more thing to do, then we'll hit the kitchen." Cory said happily.
Jacob and Jamie took their seats on either side of Beau and pulled him into a warm hug.
"Everyone. You know that when one of us does something as a representative of Clan Short that it reflects on all of us?" Cory asked the group who were giving their full attention.
'Yeahs' and nods went around the circle of boys.
"David, JJ, Gabe, Jacob, Jamie, Mark and Zac. I've talked to a few people who you've come in contact with today." Cory said as he looked at each of the team members in turn.
"Each of them told me the same thing in their own way. You all behaved professionally and represented Clan Short well." Cory said dramatically.
"David, when you first called me you were uncertain and thought it would be best if someone else went to help Kenny. How do you feel now?" Cory asked with a small grin.
"I didn't do much. You told me to get my team together and let them know what needed to be done. That's all I did." David said humbly.
"Talk to Uncle Chip about that sometime. I think that's his job description when he's in command." Cory said with a smile.
David blushed and pulled Aaron tight against his side.
"JJ, there's a Starfleet Security Lieutenant that you impressed to the point that she called me so I'd be sure to know what a capable man I have as my head of security." Cory said happily.
"Just doing my job." JJ said while trying to hide his smile of pride.
"Gabe, Jacob and Jamie. T'Prang sent a personal message informing me that my intelligence team was properly skilled and worthy of any house of Vulcan." Cory said in a Vulcan tone.
Everyone chuckled as Travis, Eli, Benji and Ricky surrounded Gabe in a hug.
"Mark and Zac." Cory said and turned his gaze to the pair.
"We didn't do anything." Mark said quietly.
Cory looked from the pair to Kevin, Kenny and Jake.
"You helped us not be scared." Kevin said seriously.
"You stayed with us, even after we were safe when we got here." Kenny said quietly.
"You were there when we needed you." Jake said with true respect for the pair.
"You see? And thanks to all of you, Kenny, Kevin and Jake are safe, have a family and have more brothers than they could have dreamed of." Cory said happily.
"Daddy, my tummy wants some cookies." Timmy said in a whiney tone.
"Mine too." CD said immediately.
"I guess we're done. Let's go raid the kitchen, then we can start the nest when we get back." Cory said to the group as he stood.
"What does that mean?" Kenny asked Justy quietly.
"We're all going to sleep in here tonight. It's really neat." Justy said happily.
"All of us?" Jake asked as he looked at the group of boys funneling out the door.
"Yeah. Have you ever seen a litter of puppies sleep?" Justy asked as he moved toward the door.
"Um, yeah, once." Jake said slowly.
"We kinda do that. A puppy pile. We just all snuggle in and go to sleep." Justy said as he finally made it to the door.
"It sounds like fun." Kenny said with a smile.
"I don't know. I never slept with anyone before." Kevin said nervously.
"It'll be fine. Kenny and I will be right there with you." Jake said with assurance.
Kevin looked at Jake's earnest expression and broke into a smile as he said, "You're a great big brother Jake."
"And you two are great little brothers... unless you make me miss out on cookies by keeping me in here." Jake teased.
Kevin and Kenny took off at the same time to follow the group to the kitchen.
* * * * *
"Really?" Kevin asked in wonder as he was handed a glass of milk to go with his cookies.
Helen looked at Kevin in confusion, then at Kenny.
"You've had milk before haven't you?" Kenny asked slowly.
"Yeah, but I only ever got to drink it at school before. You mean we get to drink milk whenever we want?" Kevin asked in disbelief.
"Yes honey, whenever you want a glass of milk you can either ask for it or help yourself." Helen said as she tried to hold in her welling emotions.
"Do you think Poppa will let me have milk to drink too?" Kevin asked Kenny seriously.
"I know he will. In fact, he's always trying to get me to drink 'more' milk." Kenny said with a smile.
* * * * *
Aaron showed the boys to a bedroom where they could keep their suitcases, or pillow cases as the 'case' may be.
"With this many of us, we shower in teams. Those with boyfriends usually shower with them. Those without usually go with their brothers or best friends." Aaron said to Kenny, Kevin and Jake.
"Shower... together?" Kevin asked shyly.
"Yeah. It's no big deal. We're all guys and all we do is wash... well, except the couples sometimes. When your turn comes, just go in and shower. I'm guessing you three will want to go together." Aaron said in a considering voice.
"Yeah." Kevin said nervously.
"I'll come get you when it's your turn." Aaron said and walked away.
"What's wrong Kev?" Kenny asked quietly.
"Back when I used to have to play in gym I had to shower with other guys and they'd make fun of me and call me names." Kevin mumbled.
"Why did they do that?" Kenny asked quietly as he pulled Kevin into a hug.
"Cause I'm so little and skinny." Kevin whimpered.
"So? I know you're skinny and I don't make fun of you. Do you think Jake will make fun of you?" Kenny asked and looked up at Jake with a 'you'd better not' expression.
"No. Jake wouldn't make fun of me. I guess I'm being stupid." Kevin said weakly.
Jake knelt down so he was closer to Kevin's eye level and said, "No you're not Kev. In your head, showering with other guys leads to getting hurt because that's what's always happened before. But you know we won't do that. We'd never kid you about something that we know bothers you. And if we say or do something to hurt your feelings, then tell us and we'll stop. Just remember that we love you Kev."
"He's right bro. We wouldn't be talking to you about this if we didn't love you. If you're really scared or really don't want to, we'll let you go in by yourself and we'll wait till you're done." Kenny said and looked at Jake to see a nod of approval.
"No. I'll try. Just as long as you don't laugh at me, I'll be okay." Kevin said seriously.
"I promise Kev. No laughing... well, not unless you do something funny." Jake finished with a smile.
"Ken? Do you have something I could wear, my stuff's kind of..." Kevin trailed off.
"Sure. You can look in my suitcase with me and pick something out. My boxer's will probably almost fit you." Kevin said as he moved the suitcase to the bed.
"I don't think so." Jake said, looking at Kevin seriously.
"Maybe he could borrow something from someone else?" Kenny asked hopefully.
"I bet Jacob or Jamie could give you something to wear. It might be big on you, but not as big as something of Kenny's." Jake said in thought.
"What about you?" Kevin asked seriously.
"Oh, um, maybe Aaron could loan me something." Jake said as he considered who else might be close to his size.
"Did I hear my name?" Aaron asked as he walked into the room.
"Yeah. We need something to sleep in. Do you think Jamie or Jacob would loan Kevin something and maybe you could loan me something?" Jake asked hopefully.
"Well, you really don't need to wear anything to sleep in if you don't want to. Most of us sleep nude. But if you really want to borrow something I'm sure the twins won't have a problem, and neither will I." Aaron said with a smile.
"We have to sleep naked?" Kevin asked in terror.
"No. Just if you want to. Like I said, most of the guys sleep nude. But if you'd rather wear something to sleep in, it's fine. No one will mess with you about it either way." Aaron said with assurance.
"Jake? What are you going to do?" Kevin asked cautiously.
"I'm probably going to borrow something. I'm just kind of used to wearing something to sleep. All my naked time is spent awake." Jake said absently.
"Me too. I never slept naked, ever." Kevin said with wide eyes at the thought.
"I do." Kenny said hesitantly.
"What?" Kevin asked in shock.
"I usually sleep naked. I tried pajamas and boxers to sleep in and they always got twisted around while I was sleeping." Kenny finished with a shrug.
"Are you going to sleep naked tonight?" Kevin asked slowly.
"Not if you don't want me to. If me being naked will make you uncomfortable, I'll wear something to sleep in." Kenny said as a vow.
Kevin thought about the statement and finally said, "I want you to sleep good. Just as long as I don't have to sleep naked, I'll be okay."
"No problem. And Jake will be wearing something too, so no one will even think anything about it." Kenny said with a smile.
"Good. Now that that's settled, I came to tell you that the shower should be free any time now. Give me a minute to get some clothes for you and I'll be right back." Aaron said and hurried away.
"He's really a great guy." Kenny said conversationally.
"Yeah. I always thought he'd be nice, but I never thought we'd have stuff in common. It's really cool." Jake said in thought.
"Do you want him to be your boyfriend?" Kenny asked curiously.
"No. Aaron already has David. I think I'll stick with having brothers for now. Dating and stuff like that can wait till later. For now I'm just going to enjoy my brothers and my Dad." Jake said happily.
"Yeah. I like that plan." Kevin said with a grand smile.
* * * * *
Aaron handed out boxers for Kevin and Jake, then asked, "Are you guys ready now?"
"I guess." Kevin said hesitantly.
"Can I shower with you?" A small voice asked from the doorway.
Everyone turned to see CD standing in just his underwear.
"Does your Dad know where you are?" Aaron asked in a parental tone.
"Uh huh. He said it was okay cause they're new. Timmy and Ricky got to shower with everyone else when they was new so I get to shower with you... if you say it's okay." CD finished hopefully.
"I don't mind, but you'll need to ask Kenny and Kevin." Jake said with a smile directed at CD.
"Can I? Pleeeeeeease!" CD begged shamelessly.
Kenny laughed and nodded.
Kevin smiled and said, "Okay."
* * * * *
Kevin watched apprehensively as Jake and Kenny began to undress.
"You look ascared." CD said seriously to Kevin.
"People used to make fun of me when I showered in school. I'll be okay." Kevin said and reluctantly began to undress.
"That was wrong of them. If anyone makes fun of you here, I'll tell my Daddy and he'll make them stop." CD said firmly.
Kevin smiled and took the final step of pulling down his shorts.
Kenny had been watching and turned quickly away to face the wall as Jake walked to the shower to turn it on.
"Kenny? Are you trying not to laugh?" Kevin asked accusingly.
Kenny shook his head 'no' but didn't answer.
"Then what are you doing?" Kevin asked apprehensively.
Kenny slowly turned to face his brother with tears shining in his eyes.
Kenny felt a fresh stab of pain as he looked at his brother standing before him, every bone in his scrawny frame clearly visible through ghost pale skin.
"I'm sorry Kev, I wasn't ready..." Is all that Kenny could manage to say.
"What's wrong?" CD asked in confusion.
"I think it would take longer to explain than it would take to shower. Come on, the water's just right." Jake said from the shower.
* * * * *
"Can you wash me?" CD asked Kenny hopefully.
"Um, I don't know. You're Dad might not want me doing stuff like that." Kenny said hesitantly.
"Daddy and Poppa says it's okay. Please? It feels good. It shows me that you really like me." CD said earnestly.
"Sure. Come over here." Kenny said with a smile.
"Jake, you should wash Kevin too so he'll not be ascared and know you like him too." CD said firmly.
Jake looked at Kevin's timid expression and said, "I'd like to if you wouldn't mind Kev."
Kevin was ready to say 'no' but looked into Jake's eyes to see the honest caring within.
A nod was all Kevin could manage, he couldn't find words to express how much he wanted to be shown that someone loved him.
* * * * *
"Relax Kev, I'm not going to do anything but wash you. I'd never do anything to hurt you." Jake said as he felt the tension in Kevin's body.
"I never had anyone do something like this before. It feels weird." Kevin said apprehensively.
"Do you want me to stop?" Jake asked with concern.
"No. It's nice. I'm just not used to it." Kevin said quickly.
"Okay. But if it feels too weird, just let me know and I'll stop." Jake said quietly.
"Jake, can you wash me now? Kenny needs to show Kevin that he likes him too." CD said as he watched the exchange.
"Um, is that okay with you Kev?" Jake asked carefully.
"Yeah." Kevin whispered.
* * * * *
"Is everyone clean? I think we've taken longer than we should." Jake asked the group.
"Yeah. All clean." CD said happily.
"Come on, out you go." Jake said as he stepped out of the shower.
"You got a big one like Unca Aaron." CD said as he looked at Jake's penis.
Jake couldn't think of anything to say in response to that, so he grabbed a towel and started to dry CD.
"Daddy says that someday I'll have a big one too." CD said happily as he enjoyed being dried.
"And Timmy says that when I have a big one I'll be able to make spermies and do stuff to my weenie that feels good." CD said as he held up his arms for Jake to dry under them.
"You have plenty of time to wait on that CD. That stuff that feels good is just for the big guys to mess with." Jake said, trying to keep his voice even.
"Yeah, that's what Daddy and Pop said. Thanks for washing me Unca Jake." CD said with a smile.
"Anytime CD, I know that sometimes being told that someone likes you just isn't the same. It's better to be shown." Jake said with a grin.
"Yeah. It's nice." CD said with joy as Jake dried his feet.
* * * * *
As all the boys left the bathroom dressed only in underwear, Allen walked up and asked, "Guys, do you think we could talk for a minute before you go to bed?"
"Sure Dad." Jake said immediately.
"I'll go find Daddy and Pop now." CD said and ran off down the hall.
"Come on in here, I just want to talk about a few things." Allen said and led the way into a bedroom.
* * * * *
"What's up Pop?" Kenny asked with concern.
"I just wanted to cover what's going to happen over the next few days so we all know what to expect." Allen said as he took a seat on the bed.
Jake took a seat on Allen's right as Kenny took a seat on Allen's left.
Kevin looked hesitantly at Allen, not knowing what to do.
"Come here Kevin." Allen said gently.
Kevin took a step forward and was pulled into a hug, then lifted to sit on Allen's lap.
"Guys, everything is happening really fast and I need to know if you're having any problems with anything." Allen said with concern.
"Everything's great Pop." Kenny said as he hugged into Allen's side.
"How about you Jake?" Allen asked as he turned to his right.
"It's... like it's not real yet." Jake said honestly.
"I know. It's the same for me. We've all been through a lot today and it's going to take some time for it all to sink in. If you have any problems or questions, just come to me and ask." Allen said gently.
Jake nodded and leaned against Allen's side.
"Kevin? Are you okay?" Allen asked with concern.
"I'm scared." Kevin said in a small voice.
"So am I. Change is scary. If we all stick together and tell each other what we're feeling, I think we'll be okay. Will you tell me if you have a problem?" Allen asked quietly.
"Yeah. I don't know what I'm feeling yet. It's all mushed up together right now." Kevin said seriously.
Allen smiled and said, "When it gets unmushed, let me know if there's anything I can do to help."
Kevin nodded and hugged Allen as he put his head on Allen's shoulder.
"I took some personal time off from work, I still have another week. I'm going to enroll you all in school this week and you'll start next week." Allen said carefully.
Kevin got a look of fright as he sat upright.
Allen turned to look at Jake as he felt a wave of tension come over him.
"Don't worry. Kevin and Jake are going to a school called 'Camp Little Eagle'. David told me that your Clan started the school and they'll take good care of you." Allen said with assurance.
"What if we don't like it?" Kevin asked in a small voice.
"Then we'll find you something else. I never want you to be hurt again Kevin. If you don't like your new school, we'll find someplace else that you will like. Please just give it a chance." Allen asked hopefully.
Kevin nodded and put his head back on Allen's shoulder.
"What about me?" Kenny asked quietly.
"You get to choose if you want to go to your old school or to 'Camp Little Eagle' with your brothers." Allen said seriously.
Kenny got a big smile and said, "Thanks Pop. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to go to school with Tiffy and Charlie and TJ."
"We'll all go to 'Camp Little Eagle' this week and visit. Then you can decide what you want to do for sure." Allen said with a smile.
"I also need you three to do something for me." Allen said seriously.
All three boys pulled back to look at Allen in question.
"We have a week off, I think we need to go do something as a family next weekend. You all be thinking of where you'd like to go and let me know as soon as you've decided." Allen said with a smile.
"Really?" Jake asked with delight.
"Really. Make sure you include your new friend... what's his name?" Allen asked curiously.
"Xain." Kenny said quietly.
"Right. Make sure you include Xain in your plans and try to find a place we'll all enjoy going. Depending on what you come up with, we'll probably leave Friday night and spend Friday and Saturday nights in a hotel. You have all week to work it out, but as soon as you've decided, let me know so I can make reservations if I need to." Allen said to the group.
"This is going to be soooo cool!" Kenny said with excitement.
"Yeah. Where do you want to go first?" Jake asked with glee.
"Boys! Calm down. You have all week to figure it out. We have a lot to do tomorrow, so you'd better get to bed now." Allen said with a smile at the happiness of all the boys.
"Okay Pop. Thanks." Kenny said and gave Allen a kiss on the cheek.
"Yeah, thanks Dad. You're the greatest." Jake said and hugged Allen tightly.
"I love you Poppa." Kevin said with a smile and gave Allen a quick kiss on the mouth, then hugged him tightly.
"You boys go on and get to bed. I'll be in this room tonight if you need anything." Allen said with a smile of delight.
"Goodnight Pop." Kenny said happily as he hopped off the bed.
"Night Dad." Jake said with a smile as he stood.
"Good night Poppa." Kevin said as he wiggled down from Allen's lap and joined his brothers by the door.
"Good night boys. Have sweet dreams. I'll see you in the morning." Allen said with a glowing smile.
"You too." Kenny said as he led the boys out the door.
* * * * *
"Jake, you got a second?" David asked as the three boys entered the room.
"Sure." Jake said with wide eyes as he looked at David standing naked before him.
"I've got all the information Teri needs about Kenny and Kevin. I just need to know a few things so we can get all your paperwork settled tomorrow." David said as he tried not to react to Jake's inspection of his body.
"Um, okay. What do you need to know?" Jake asked hesitantly as he brought his gaze up to meet David's eyes.
"Your full name." David said as he picked up a notebook from beside the door.
"Jacques Marcel Labrideaux Samuelson." Jake said quietly.
"Okay." David said, then handed the notebook to Jake and asked, "Could you just write that down for me?"
Jake smiled and wrote his name out.
"Where were you born?" David asked as he accepted the notebook back from Jake.
"Yarmouth, Nova Scotia... that's in Canada." Jake said shyly.
"We're going to need to sit down and trade stories sometime." David said with a smile as he wrote down the information.
"My mom was Canadian. I was born there while she was visiting my Grandma. I grew up in Chicago, I don't even remember Canada." Jake said with a shrug.
"Is your Grandmother still alive?" David asked quietly.
"No, she died about ten years ago. She choked to death on a poppy seed roll." Jake said seriously.
David looked at Jake blankly, blinked, then shook his head and asked, "Do you have a social security number?"
"Yeah." Jake said and put out his hand for the notebook.
Jake wrote down his social security number and handed the notebook back to David.
"That should be everything I need. I'll give this to Teri so she can record everything in the official records.
"Do you think Aaron would mind if I hugged you?" Jake asked hesitantly.
"I'm sure he wouldn't mind." David said with a smile.
Jake pulled David into a hug and quietly said, "Thank you for saving us."
"I'm glad I could help." David said as he held Jake tightly.
"I guess I'd better get back to my brothers." Jake said as he reluctantly released David from his arms.
"And I'd better get back to Aaron." David said with a smile.
* * * * *
After Cory made the announcement that everything was in place for Xain to join them in the morning, the group settled in to sleep.
"You okay Kev?" Kenny asked quietly.
"Yeah. I was worried before, but now I'm fine. This don't seem weird at all. I like this." Kevin said as he snuggled between Kenny and Jake.
"Me too. Have a good sleep Kev. I love you." Kenny whispered as he placed a light kiss against the side of Kevin's head.
"Yeah. I love you Ken, you too Jake." Kevin said in a sleepy whisper.
"I love you both, now go to sleep." Jake said with a smile as he draped an arm across both his brothers.