One Door Closes

By MultiMapper
Copyright ©2002-2009 MultiMapper and CSU Productions.
All Rights Reserved.

For full disclaimer and Copyright information visit Copyright/Disclaimer Page. Continuation of viewing this document is deemed acceptance of all terms on the preceding link. While these stories are provided for free, I would appreciate it if those who were able would consider contributing to this artist via my Patreon.


Allen was laying awake in the dark, replaying the events of the day in his mind. It wasn't surprising that after twenty-two hours of sleep, he was having trouble drifting off at his normal bed time. The bedroom door opened and a figure crept inside before closing it again. Allen remained still, wondering what was going on. He felt the bed shift as someone climbed on and crawled under the covers. Allen was about to say something when he felt a gentle kiss on his chest. 'One of the boys.' Allen thought to himself with a smile.

Then a hand started to stroke him through his boxers and he froze in panic. The hand started to work it's way under the waist band as the mouth began to trail down his belly. Allen reached down to grab whoever was in his bed by the shoulders and pull him away.

"Let me." A voice whispered.

"Come up here first." Allen whispered back and urged his unexpected bed partner up into his arms.

There was enough moonlight coming into the room that he could recognize Jake when his head emerged from under the covers. "What are you doing Sport?" Allen asked in as gentle a tone as he could manage.

"I got to thinking about how you made me your son and how nice you're being and I wanted to show you how much I love you." Jake said honestly.

Allen was shocked for an instant, but then he saw the honest love in Jake's eyes and smiled.

"Thank you Jake. I love you too, but this isn't the way a son should show his father that he loves him." Allen said, trying not to sound harsh.

Jake got a fearful look on his face and his eyes began to fill with tears as he said, "But I don't know any other way. It's... it's all I've got to give..."

"I know Sport. I know. How about this? When you want to show me that you love me, just hug me as tight as you want as long as you want to show how much. That other way of showing love belongs between lovers." Allen said quietly.

"It doesn't seem like enough." Jake said in a small voice of defeat.

"Let's try it now. You give me a hug that shows me just how much you love me and I'll do the same." Allen said in a whisper.

Jake pulled close to Allen's side and held him with a vice-like grip.

Allen responded in kind and held Jake with all the love that he felt.

The two remained in the embrace for five minutes without saying a word.

"How's it working?" Allen asked with a smile.

"I love you, Dad. My old dad wouldn't let me hug him after I was about six years old." Jake said distantly.

"Some men are like that. They're taught that showing love is wrong. Some are taught to show love in other ways, like buying presents or working hard to provide the best home possible. They don't love any less, they just show it in different ways." Allen explained.

"You're not mad at me for trying to do sex stuff are you?" Jake asked hesitantly.

"No, Jake. I'm flattered that you love me enough to want to show me." Allen said and kissed Jake on the cheek.

"But if you *were* mad, what would you do?" Jake asked apprehensively.

Allen caught the tone of Jake's voice and thought about what he knew about Jake's past before answering, "It depends on how mad I am. If I'm a little bit mad, I'd probably tell you why I'm mad and try to find out why you did whatever you did."

"But what if you're really really mad?" Jake pressed, obviously needing to know.

"Then I would probably leave the room for a few minutes until I got over my anger. After that I'd come back in and talk to you about it." Allen said in thought.

"Is that it? I mean... what if I wrecked your car?" Jake asked, desperately trying to think of the worst case scenario.

"Why would you have my car?" Allen asked curiously.

"What?" Jake asked in confusion.

"I'd need to know why you had my car. If you borrowed my car to take one of your brothers to the hospital, then I wouldn't be mad at all. If you borrowed it because you were going to go out and take your friends out to joy-ride and do illegal things, then I'd be very mad." Allen said seriously.

"Okay, the second one. What would you do?" Jake asked with concern.

"Would you ever do that?" Allen asked quietly.

"What?" Jake asked in confusion.

"Take my car to go joy-riding and do illegal things?" Allen asked seriously.

"No. I just want to know if you'll hit me!" Jake finally said in frustration.

Allen pulled Jake even closer in a hug and said, "No matter what happens. No matter what you or your brothers ever do. I swear I'll never hit any of you."

"Really?" Jake asked with disbelief.

"Well, there is one way." Allen said in thought.

"What's that?" Jake asked suspiciously.

"In self defense. If you hit me or your brothers, then I'll defend myself or defend them. But besides that, there's no way I'll ever hit any of you." Allen said as a vow.

Jake nodded seriously, accepting the statement.

After a moment of silence, Allen asked, "Can you make the same promise to me?"

"What do you mean?" Jake asked hesitantly.

"I've just promised that I won't hit you or your brothers, no matter how mad I get. Can you promise the same thing?" Allen asked seriously.

Jake opened his mouth to answer, then closed it slowly as he thought.

Allen waited as Jake considered the promise he was about to make.

"I don't think I can." Jake said in a defeated whisper.

"Why not?" Allen asked gently.

"Sometimes I get so mad that I do stupid things. When I'm like this I'm okay, but when I get really mad... it's like I can't think at all. I can't promise that I won't hit you if I get really really mad." Jake said in an ashamed voice.

"There's something we can do about that." Allen said as he reconfirmed his hug.

"What?" Jake asked, not ever considering that something could be done about it.

"Tonight I talked with the other adults. One of them was named Dan and he's a child psychologist. He talked with me about what I could expect with you three. He said that since your dad had problems with his anger, you might too. He said that if you'd be willing to talk to him about it, he might be able to teach you different ways to express your anger." Allen said carefully.

"Like you just showed me a different way to show my love." Jake said in thought.

Allen smiled and said, "Exactly. From being on your own so early you've had to learn a lot of things by yourself. You got most of them right, but there are one or two things that you need to relearn so you don't end up in trouble."

"So I don't end up like my old Dad." Jake said, matching Allen's tone.

"I wasn't going to say it, but yeah." Allen said regretfully.

"Thanks Dad. Thanks for seeing to it that I'm not going to end up like him... I've been scared of that." Jake finished in a whisper.

"Don't worry Sport. We're in this together now. We'll get this fixed before it's a problem." Allen said and held Jake closely.

"Dad? Can I sleep here tonight?" Jake asked in a small voice.

"Of course. Just relax. You've had a long day." Allen said gently.

"Thanks Dad, I love you." Jake whispered as he scooted down to use Allen's shoulder as a pillow.

"I love you too son. Now go to sleep." Allen said in a whisper.

Before two minutes had passed, Allen heard Jake's breathing become slow and even as he fell asleep.

Allen smiled to himself and closed his eyes and let consciousness drift away.

* * * * *

"Where's Jake?" Kevin asked in sleepy concern as he sat up.

Kenny opened his eyes and looked around.

"Maybe he got up early and didn't want to wake everyone else up." Kenny said in a whisper, so he didn't disturb the others sleeping around him.

"Maybe he ran away." Kevin said with full worry.

Kenny heard the concern in Kevin's voice and was fully awake.

"Let's go find him." Kenny said and got up to find his shorts where he left them.

Kevin nodded and stood.

Kenny and Kevin walked from the game room to the kitchen. Finding no one, they went to the living room and the study to find them equally empty.

"Let's go get Poppa." Kevin said as his worry increased.

"Yeah." Kenny said, his own worry growing with every silent minute.

The pair walked through the house quickly with their worry turning to panic. They then headed up the stairs to the room their father was in.

Kenny and Kevin walked into the bedroom and froze just inside the door.

Jake was snuggled into Allen's side, sound asleep.

Kenny smiled at the sight and motioned to his brother to 'come on'.

Quietly the two boys crawled into the bed and snuggled in. Kevin snuggled against Jake's side as Kenny snuggled into Allen's.

* * * * *

Allen awoke to a wonderful feeling of being snuggled from every direction. Slowly he opened his eyes. The sleepy fog finally gave way to the light of pre-dawn coming through the window. Allen looked around the bed to find all three of his sons snuggled in, fast asleep. Allen gave a sigh of contentment and rested his head on the pillow again as he smiled.

"Good morning Dad." Jake whispered.

"Good morning son. Did you sleep well?" Allen asked happily.

"I think it's the best I've ever slept." Jake said with a smile.

"Me too. We seem to have company this morning." Allen said quietly.

"I guess they missed us." Jake said as he looked around.

"Is it time for breakfast?" Kenny asked sleepily.

"Just about, cute stuff. Did you sleep well?" Allen asked, enjoying the carefree feeling of laying in bed.

"Yeah. We woke up and noticed that Jake was gone so we came to find him." Kenny said as he shifted to rest his head on an elbow.

"I needed to talk to Dad about some stuff." Jake said shyly.

Kevin sat up, looked around the room quickly, then raced to the bathroom. A minute later Kevin returned to the bed and crawled up beside Jake again.

"Good morning Kev." Jake said with a smile.

"Good morning." Kevin said slowly as he blinked his eyes, obviously not fully awake yet.

"Guys, we have a big day ahead of us. I'm going to need your help looking at the new house." Allen said seriously.

"What can we do?" Kevin asked slowly.

"I need you to look it over and tell me what you really think of it. Let me know if you really like it or not. Your Uncle Chip wants to sell it to us, but it's our decision. This is going to be your home so you have to be happy with it." Allen said as he looked around to find comprehension on all the boys faces.

There was a knock on the door.

"Come in." Allen called, just loudly enough to be heard.

JC stuck his head in the door and said, "Breakfast will be ready in about ten minutes."

"Thanks, we're just getting up." Allen said with a peaceful smile.

JC smiled in return and said, "That's one of the best ways to wake up in the morning. It's much better than a pounce."

"A what?" Allen asked curiously.

"You'll find out." JC said with a mischievous smile and pulled the door closed as he left.

"When do we have to be there?" Allen asked as they got into Chip's Ford Explorer.

"He should be arriving about the time we get there." Chip said seriously.

"How's he doing?" Justy asked Kenny curiously.

Kenny put his hand in his pocket where Xain's picture was. "He's okay. A little nervous." Kenny said in thought.

"Do you guys think you're ready to meet Xain?" Allen asked carefully.

"I don't know. Captain Spock is the only Vulcan I ever met." Kevin said slowly.

"But he needs our help. We've got to try." Jake said seriously.

"I know, Sport. I just want you to be ready to deal with someone who was raised differently from you." Allen said with concern.

"What are you worried about, Pop?" Kenny asked as he watched his brothers.

"When you're not used to being around Vulcan's, they can seem... like they don't care. Sometimes you get your feelings hurt because they don't react the way a human would." Allen said in thought.

"How do you mean?" Chip asked with interest, curious to hear Allen's point of view.

"If you say 'good morning' to a human. It's natural to expect a 'good morning' or something similar in return. To a Vulcan, the statement is meaningless and not worthy of comment." Allen said in thought.

"Why is it meaningless?" Jake asked with interest.

"Because in Vulcan thinking, morning is simply the rotation of the planet and the location of the local star. It happened yesterday and it is logical to assume that it will happen again tomorrow. 'Good' or 'bad' judgments concerning this regular event make no sense. It is morning, that is obvious and expected, therefore it is unworthy of comment." Allen explained.

"So he's not really being rude by not saying 'good morning'." Kenny said in thought.

"But we're kind of being rude if we say something stupid like 'good morning' to begin with aren't we?" Kevin asked curiously.

"That's between you and him, little one. Some Vulcans understand the human need to make nonsensical comments and greetings and aren't offended. Others simply ignore it completely without giving a thought as to why it was said." Allen said carefully.

"So how can we talk to him without saying something stupid?" Kevin asked in concern.

"Short answer, you can't. Just talk to him normally and if you say something that you think he might have a problem with, explain it to him or avoid saying it again." Allen said simply.

"Allen's right. Be yourself, just don't get your feelings hurt if Xain's behavior makes you feel like he doesn't like you. Vulcan emotional control sometimes appears to Humans as not being interested or even brooding." Chip said seriously.

"I think I understand. He doesn't know how to show things like love and anger the way Humans do." Jake said as he looked at Allen conveying the deeper meaning of his question with his eyes.

"Exactly. Vulcans don't show their emotions obviously, sometimes they don't show them at all." Allen said with a smile at Jake's understanding.

"We're here." Chip said and pulled the Explorer into a parking place.

* * * * *

"There they are." Jake said as he spotted his Uncle Brady walking with a Vulcan boy.

"Hey guys. How you doing?" Brady asked happily.

"We're good. How was your flight?" Allen asked with a smile.

"Fine. Strangely quiet." Brady said and glanced at Xain.

"T'nar pak sorat y'rani." {No direct translation, a formal Vulcan greeting.} Allen greeted Xain formally and held out his hand in the appropriate salute.

"T'nar jaral." {No direct translation, The customary reply to being formally greeted.} Xain said, giving the customary reply.

"We will speak English while we are among those who do not speak Vulcan. If you require clarification of what is being said either my son Kevin or I will be able to assist you." Allen said.

"Acceptable." Xain said flatly.

" I am Allen, these are my sons Jake, Kevin, and Kenny. You traveled here with my brother, Brady. This is my friend Chip and Chip's son Justy." Allen said slowly.

Xain glanced at each as they were introduced, then said, "Xain."

"Nice to meet you. If you'll come with us, we'll look at where you might be living." Allen said with a smile.

"My Clan?" Xain asked as they walked.

"Justy, Kevin, Jake and Kenny are members of Clan Short of the house of Sarek." Allen said carefully.

"Human." Xain said with a curious look.

"Yes. Chip, I mean Commander Dodds, was adopted into the house of Sarek. Captain Spock is his brother, Justy and his brothers make up the clan." Allen said, trying to be brief and understandable.

The group reached the Explorer and stowed the luggage efficiently. Once the group were settled into the Explorer, Xain asked, "Patriarch Short?"

"He knows you're here. We will see him later today. Now we are going to view a house that Allen is considering buying." Justy said seriously.

"Please, inform he who is my father of safe arrival." Xain asked carefully.

"Yeah, in just a few minutes." Justy said seriously as the car drove on.

"Is the new house like yours, Uncle Chip?" Kevin asked hopefully.

"Not exactly. But it's really nice." Chip said with a smile.

"But I like your house." Kevin said in a small voice.

"I'm glad you like it, but there's one thing about this new place that I think you're going to love." Chip said as the car started down the driveway.

"What's that?" Kevin asked hesitantly.

"It'll be yours." Chip said with a smile.

Kevin looked at Chip with confusion.

Allen turned and said, "We won't be living in someone else's house, we won't be renting it from someone else. If we decide to get this house, I'm going to *buy* it and it will belong to us."

Kevin looked at Jake to find a look of confusion staring back at him.

"Just trust us guys. It feels really good to have a place that's your home that no one can take away." Chip said as he concentrated on his driving.

"It's an adult thing. What's *really* cool is the swimming pool." Justy said with a dismissive look at his father.

"Swimming pool?" Kenny and Jake said simultaneously.

"Yeah. It's really neat. You'll like it." Justy said happily.

"And I've been paying to keep it maintained, so you can use it right away." Chip said happily.

"Can you guys swim?" Allen asked casually.

"I can some. Not really good." Jake said quietly.

Kevin shook his head.

Xain noticed that they expected an answer from him and he shook his head.

"Then it looks like I'm going to get to teach you. Guys, no swimming unless there's an adult at the pool with you. Once you've all learned how to swim, we'll talk about relaxing that rule a little." Allen said firmly.

"We're almost there." Chip said as they turned onto the block.

"We're going to live here?" Kevin asked in wonder as he looked at the beautiful houses in the neighborhood.

"That's what we're here to decide." Allen said with a smile.

* * * * *

"Holy God!" Allen said in a gasp as they pulled up in front of the home.

"It's beautiful!" Brady said in amazement.

Jake and Kevin stared in disbelief at the house before them.

"I can't afford this, it has to be worth a million-two at least." Allen said with disbelief.

"Not quite that much, but I've had it appraised recently. After you've seen inside, we can talk money. It's not as bad as you're thinking." Chip said honestly.

"I guess it won't hurt to look." Allen said with a note of worry.

"Daddy. Can I?" Justy asked as they approached the door. Chip smiled and handed Justy the keys.

"Poppa, can we really live here?" Kevin asked in a timid voice from Allen's side.

"That's what we're here to decide." Allen said as he saw Justy open the door.

* * * * *

Everyone walked inside and waited for their eyes to adjust to the much dimmer light inside the house. Chip walked to a panel and punched in a code to disarm the alarm system.

"Poppa look! Someone drawed pictures all over the walls!" Kevin said as he pointed to the mural on the stairway wall.

Chip smiled as Brady explained, "That's called a mural. It's okay, it's supposed to be like that."

"The living room's over here." Chip said and led the way to a door on the right.

"It's bigger than our whole apartment." Kevin said as he looked at the large living room.

"I bet two Vulcan Clans could sleep in here." Kenny said as he looked around.

Allen walked to the double doors at the far end of the room and saw that they opened onto a beautiful terrace overlooking the lake. "It's like a dream." Allen said as he looked at the breath-taking view.

"I'd forgotten just how beautiful it was." Chip said from Allen's side.

"What's in here?" Kevin asked and opened double doors to reveal another room.

"It's the family room." Justy said as he followed Kevin in.

Allen looked at the three double doors that led to the balcony and couldn't take his eyes off the view.

"Through here we have a bathroom, the kitchen and the dining room." Justy said as he led the way out of the family room.

Allen walked into the kitchen and said, "I didn't think anyone really had a kitchen like this. It's huge."

"Do you cook?" Brady asked curiously.

"Not really. I can make something if I have a recipe. But I'm not a real cook." Allen said, sounding a little apologetic.

Brady looked at Jake curiously.

"Not me. I can boil a brick of Ramen Noodles, that's about it." Jake said, laughing at the thought.

"I burn toast." Kenny said as Brady's glance fell to him.

Brady looked at Kevin next. The boy barely knew what food was.

"I can cook." Xain said quietly.

Everyone looked at Xain curiously.

"I prepare meals for me and for he who is my father." Xain said carefully.

"Humans don't always have the same tastes as Vulcans..." Allen began to say.

"I cook Human food. I have a book from she who was my mother." Xain said with difficulty.

"Thank you Xain. If you want to cook a meal for us sometime, I'm sure we would all enjoy it. But I'm going to hire a housekeeper to prepare meals for us when we're all in school and at work." Allen said seriously.

Xain nodded in understanding.

"This is where we used to eat most of the time. The dining room was for when we have company." Justy said as he led the group into the next room.

"Nice." Allen said as he glanced at yet another set of double doors leading onto the terrace.

"There's just laundry stuff in there." Justy said and walked back into the kitchen.

"And past the utility room is a walkway that leads into the garage... and out to the pool." Chip said as he followed the group back into the main hall.

"There's the dining room." Justy said as he passed the closed door.

"Let's look at it." Kenny said and opened the door.

"That's a big room." Kevin said as he looked at the room in awe.

"It's beautiful." Allen said as he looked around.

"Come on, I want to show you upstairs." Justy said anxiously.

* * * * *

The group followed Justy back into the entry hall and up the spiral staircase past the mural.

"I never dreamed of owning a house like this." Allen said in wonder.

"I don't think your boys have either." Chip said with a smile as the boys were looking at every detail.

"This used to be my room." Justy said as he raced ahead of the group.

"Lookit." Kevin said as he looked into the bathroom.

"That's a really nice bathroom." Allen said as he looked around the spacious area.

"This closet is bigger than my old bedroom." Kevin said from the walk-in closet beside the bathroom.

"There's plenty of room in here." Allen said as he looked at the spacious closet.

"There's more." Chip said happily and led the way to the next room.

* * * * *

Allen stopped in his tracks when he saw the three huge windows overlooking the lake.

"It's amazing." Allen said as he gazed out over the water of the lake.

"It's got a great view." Chip admitted.

"Another bathroom!" Kevin said in surprise.

"Yeah. Each bedroom has it's own bathroom." Justy said as he enjoyed everyone's excitement.

"There's still one more to go." Chip said and led the way out of the bedroom and around the stairway to the master bedroom.

* * * * *

Chip stood aside and waited for Allen to open the door. "What?" Allen asked in confusion as he stared at a vanity with two sinks and two doors.

"This is the dressing room. The bathroom is through that door and the closet is through the other one." Chip said with a smile.

Allen opened the bathroom door and was surprised to see how large the room was.

"It's even got a beday." Allen said with a smile.

"What's that?" Kevin asked as he looked at the funny looking toilet.

"It washes your butt." Justy said with a giggle.

"No." Kevin said in disbelief.

"Really... come on Daddy, tell him." Justy said seriously.

"He's right, Kevin." Chip said with a smile and walked through the dressing room and out to the bedroom.

"It's beautiful, it's all so beautiful." Allen said, lost in the moment as he walked around the huge bedroom.

"Can we get it Poppa?" Kevin asked hopefully.

"Guys. Let's go downstairs and talk about this... somewhere that I'm not looking out over the lake." Allen said as he tried to turn his back on the breathtaking image.

* * * * *

"Chip, if you'll excuse us for a minute I need to talk this over with my family." Allen said and gestured for the boys to precede him into the dining room.

"We'll be right here." Chip said with a smile.

"Come on, Xain. If we get this place, you'll be living here too so you're in on this decision. You too, Brady." Allen said as he stood by the doorway.

Brady got a smile as he was included in the decision making.

* * * * *

"Okay guys. It's time to decide, do you want to live here?" Allen asked as he looked around the group.

"It's got my vote." Brady said immediately.

"I love it." Kenny said seriously.

"Can you afford it?" Jake asked with worry.

"Don't worry about that Jake. If I need to, I can afford it. I just need to know if you could feel comfortable living here." Allen said seriously.

"Are you kidding? It's like a palace. I never even dreamed of anyplace this nice." Jake said quickly.

"Kevin? Do you still want to live here?" Allen asked with a smile.

Kevin nodded quickly.

"Xain, would you like to live in this house with us?" Allen asked seriously.

"I do not understand. I am not of your family." Xain said carefully.

Allen looked at Xain and was surprised to see a flicker of emotion in his eyes. Something that looked like hope.

"Xain, are you a member of Clan Short of the family of Sarek of the house of Surak of Vulcan?" Allen asked formally.

"I am." Xain said as he regained total control.

"Are the other members of Clan Short to be regarded as your brothers?" Allen asked, maintaining his formality.

"They are." Xain said without inflection.

"Then logic suggests that the brother of my sons is also my son. Would you agree?" Allen asked seriously.

"That is logical." Xain said without hesitation.

"Then tell me, my son. Would you like to live in this house with us as part of our family?" Allen asked in a softer tone.

"Yes Father. I would be honored to share your house and family." Xain said and nearly betrayed a smile.

"Good. Then if there aren't any questions, I'll tell Chip that I'm going to do it." Allen said with a smile.

"Poppa, who gets what room?" Kevin asked carefully.

"Well, I was thinking that you and Kenny could have Justy's old room." Allen said in thought.

"Awesome." Kenny said with a great smile.

"Jake and Xain, you can have the bedroom with the beday." Allen said with a fond smile at Kevin.

"But that's the master bedroom. I don't want to take your room." Jake objected immediately.

"Don't worry about that Jake. I'm going to get the room with those huge windows that looks out over the lake. It's the room I really want anyway." Allen said with a great smile at the thought of his room.

"Where's my room?" Brady asked playfully.

"Your room is the family room. When we get furniture, you're going to pick out a day bed or sofa bed that you like and we'll put it in the family room for when you come to stay with us." Allen said happily.

"I was only kidding." Brady said hesitantly.

"I wasn't. Brady, you're my brother. My only blood relative. This is your home. Don't make me have to go to your Commander about this." Allen said mock-sternly.

"Yes sir." Brady said with exaggerated resignation.

* * * * *

"We'll take it." Allen said with a smile as he walked out of the dining room.

"Aren't you going to ask how much?" Chip asked with disbelief.

"You already said it's less than $1.2 million. I trust you. So, no. I'm not going to ask. Whenever you're ready to sit down and talk business, we'll work out those details but for now. It's settled. We're buying the house." Allen said firmly.

Chip nodded and pulled his cell phone from his pocket. He pressed a few buttons and held the phone to his ear. "He said 'yes'." Chip said seriously.

"Uh huh." Chip said a moment later. "Four-thirty." "Where?" "Okay." "Would you tell Xain's father that he arrived safely?" "Yes, I'll be sure."

"I love you too. Bye." Chip said, then hung up the phone. "Allen and Kenny, I'm supposed to take you to your old house. Clan Short and their parents are headed to your place right now with enough boxes to move three families." Chip said with a smile.

"Kevin, Jake and Xain; David and Antonio are going to take you shopping for things for your new rooms and for new clothes. Josh wanted to go but he's not allowed to go clothes shopping without adult supervision anymore. Ask him about it sometime." Chip finished with a smile.

"Brady, if you wouldn't mind doing a little security work on your day off, I have a job for you." Chip said seriously.

"Yes, Commander?" Brady asked curiously, expecting a punch-line any second.

"Soon about fifteen cars are going to be moving all Allen and Kenny's things into this house. Can you stay here and direct traffic and keep the place safe for those rare moments when no one is carrying things in?" Chip asked in a friendly tone.

"Of course, Sir." Brady said with a smile.

"And there will be a furniture delivery soon. Accept it." Chip said, glancing at Allen.

"Furniture?" Allen asked cautiously.

"Yes. We had the majority of it put in storage when we moved out. There were a few pieces that had sentimental value that we kept, but most of it didn't fit at Southcrest. Josh is having it delivered as soon as they can. It'll be here today sometime." Chip said with a smile.

"You're starting to scare me. How much *are* we talking about with the furniture added?" Allen asked in worry.

"No extra charge. It's of no use to us in storage, it's costing us money to keep it there. It belongs with this house." Chip said frankly.

"Thanks." Allen said in a bewildered tone.

"Let's get moving." Chip said to the group gathered around him.

And they did.

To Be Continued...