It was almost six o'clock when Allie came out on the veranda, "Dad, are Uncle Khalid, Uncle Amir and Mr. Yates back yet?"
I pulled Allie onto my lap, "We haven't seen them yet."
"Dad, is everyone okay?"
"Allie, no one was injured."
"Dad, I'm not getting off the ship again."
"We have to get off to go home."
"Dad, you're being silly. Did the Hobbs' sons and grandsons arrive?"
"Allie, how would I know? We were afraid to leave you alone. We weren't sure what you were going to do."
Our conversation was interrupted by an announcement, "This is Captain Brower. We will be departing for Reykjavik in fifteen minutes. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy your evening aboard the Paradise."
Allie looked up at me, "Dad, does that mean that Mr. Yates and the Generals are back on board?"
A voice spoke from behind us, "We're here to take Alexander Graham Bell Safi Waller to his cage."
Allie looked up at Khalid, "Sorry, sir, he just jumped overboard. He heard that there were some gorillas on board."
The banter was interrupted by Michael, "A few snacks for the starving young man. Can I bring anyone a drink?"
Allie looked up, "Michael, they can get their own drinks. I'll have a double martini on the rocks with three cherries and two large orange slices."
Michael left and came back with a glass and handed it to Allie, "Here you go, sir, I hope it meets with your approval."
Allie tasted it, "This tastes like vodka instead of gin. What kind of vodka did you use? It's really good."
Mr. Yates grabbed the glass and took a drink, "What a minute! This is Seven-up. This will rot your stomach."
"See, Michael, I told you that Mr. Yates was just like the rest of these people. Everyone hates me. I need to go get ready for dinner."
After Allie went into the cabin, Brahim and I told the three gentlemen what happened when we got on the ship. Khalid nodded, "It was just a matter of time before something like that would happen. We have to remember that Allie is only ten. We are rather confident that the threat has finally been neutralized. We have been debating as to what to tell Allie."
Brahim frowned, "Gentlemen, tell him the truth. He'll be able to figure out if your not."
When we walked into the dining room, Philippe met us, "Right this way gentlemen. The rest of your party is waiting."
Philippe ushered us to an alcove that I had not seen before, "Master Allie, I hope these arrangements meet with your approval."
"Thank you, Mr. Philippe, this looks great. We won't bother the other passengers so much if we get silly."
We were interrupted by Jim, "Allie, come on, we saved you a seat. You need to meet Tran and Kim."
I looked at the five young guys and Allie was by far the best looking of the five of them. Of course, I'm a little prejudice. My thoughts were confirmed when I sat down beside Kate, "Ed, your young son is going to steal a lot of young women's hearts."
We were finishing dinner when the visitors started. The first was Mrs. Dawkins, "Brahim, what are you going to be singing tomorrow night?"
Brahim looked up from his meal, "Ma'am, I have no idea. No one ever tells us anything. I'm sure that Allie won't let me go too far astray."
Mrs. Dawkins looked at the guys, "I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'll meet you after breakfast and we'll plan tomorrow night's show. I have some things in mind that I think will make this ship rock and roll."
Allie grinned, "Mrs. Dawkins, we're pretty bad. We need all of the help we can get. You do realize this ship pays nothing to us poor starving passengers. Save us some seats at the show and we'll join you. We'll be there as soon as the Captain releases us from our chairs."
I hadn't seen the Captain, but he spoke, "Don't worry, Mrs. Dawkins, the guys will be ready to rock and roll."
The Hobbs' son, Keith, laughed, "Ed, I have the feeling that your son is going to have our sons eating out of his hand before the cruise is over. My parents haven't stopped talking about Allie since we arrived. He is nothing at all like I expected."
We heard Allie explaining to Tran and Kim, "We won't have desert now, Jacob will send it to our cabin and we'll have it after the show while the old people go to the lounge to drink and dance."
Darryl pointed his finger at Allie, "I resent being called old. At least you could have referred to us as older people."
Allie sighed, "Guys, I misspoke. I meant to say the young old people."
Keith's partner, Ryan, laughed, "Boy is he quick. I would never have thought of comeback like that."
The guys asked to be excused. I saw Allie stop to talk to Philippe again. 'What's he plotting now?'
When we got to the theatre, it was almost full. We were able to find some seats in the balcony where the fifteen of us could be together. We could see Allie and four guys in the second row. Allie was looking around. When he spotted us, he waved to let us know that he saw us. He started to talk to the guys and they looked up to acknowledge us as well.
I watched as Mrs. Dawkins leaned forward and was talking to Allie. He nodded his head and said something to the other four guys.
The cast put on a good show, and we were waiting to let the masses exit before we tried to depart. The five guys appeared from the door by the stage. Allie spoke for the group, "Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Leach, Tran and Kim are going to spend the night in the cabin with us and they're going to be in the show with Brahim and me tomorrow night."
Brahim reprimanded Allie, "Allie, it would have been much better had you asked Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Leach instead of telling them what was going to happen. Perhaps the boys' fathers have some objection to the guys spending the night and being in the show."
Allie sighed, "Sorry. Sirs, would it be permissible for your sons to spend the night and assist Brahim and me in making fools of ourselves tomorrow night?"
Keith put his finger to his lower lip and moved it back and forth, "We'll have to think about this."
Ryan stepped in, "We thought about it and we give our consent for our two sons to spend the night and to assist you in your endeavor tomorrow evening."
Allie looked at Tran and Kim, "You didn't tell us that your dads were comedians. Does it always take them this long to make a decision?"
The other four guys were laughing at Allie's antics. Allie looked at me and I shook my head no.
Allie looked at Keith and Ryan, "Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Leach, I apologize for being impertinent."
Ryan put his arm around Allie, "We don't think you were being impertinent at all. I knew that you were giving us a difficult time. I do have one question, though. Where is everyone going to sleep? Our cabin is barely big enough for the four of us."
John answered before Allie had a chance. "Allie's bed is plenty big enough for the five of us. If it gets too uncomfortable, some of us can always sleep in the sofa bed in the living room."
Ryan asked, "Where are Mr. Waller and Brahim going to sleep?"
Jim answered, "They'll be in their bedroom. Some of us could always sleep with them if we absolutely have to. We have it on good authority though, that they snore."
I scowled, "I think there might be several young men overboard before the night is over."
Allie backed away, "The adults are getting mean. We'd better get out of here while we can."
The fifteen of us went to the lounge and were sitting so we could visit. We were to find out the Keith was an ophthalmologist and Ryan was an oncologist, so now we had two more doctors on board with us.
As we were visiting, Mrs. Hobbs spoke, "Guys, don't be too hard on Allie. He has handled the pressure of everything that has been happening to you people very well. I hope, for his sake, that we've seen the last of this mess now. I'm a clinical psychologist and after the way he responded to what happened today; I don't think he can take much more."
She added, "Quite frankly, I think having him around the other four guys will make it much better for him. Also, having him do the show is a wonderful idea, since it keeps him from thinking about everything that has happened. Having said that, Ossie and I need to go get some much needed rest. See everyone at breakfast."
After the senior Hobbs had departed, Darryl stood, "I need to make sure that I have everything ready for my presentation on Reykjavik tomorrow. I guess the guys won't be practicing between three and five. My talk is scheduled for three and the hallowed Bingo game starts at four. Come on Tommy; let's leave these young people to their own devices."
Uncle Tom quipped, "Don't you mean vices. Goodnight people, see you at breakfast."
After Darryl and Tom had departed, Keith looked around, "I have to ask. What is the connection between everyone here? I gather that it centers around Allie, Brahim and Ed. I guess I'm tired from the trip, because it doesn't seem to make sense, especially since Kate and JoJo are involved. We've been on several cruises with you and this is the first time that we have seen you connect with any guys before."
JoJo answered, "Look, cuz, that wasn't a nice thing to say. We've had more fun on this cruise than any we've taken before, and you are right, everything does revolve around Allie, Brahim and Ed. I'm not sure how much the others here would like to divulge at this point, so I'll leave it there."
Khalid took over, "Since it's obvious that your two sons are going to be around Allie a lot, or probably all the time, and you will be spending time with us, we should clue you in. Your parents and Darryl and Tom know what is happening, for the most part.
By the time Khalid, Amir, Mr. Yates and the Summers had explained their involvement, both Keith and Ryan were looking confused. Ryan asked, "So, the only person who hasn't been injured yet is the person who caused the problem in the first case. Now I have another question. How do Jim and John fit into this mess?"
I answered, "Oh, they're my former boss' sons and the grandsons of Doctor Sorenson."
Keith asked, "Ed, exactly what is your job?"
"Keith, I have no idea. I am a petroleum engineer by training. I didn't know that I was to have a new job, until the Thomases boarded the ship."
Ryan stood, "Everything is as clear as mud. Can we go check on the boys?"
The Summers and Mr. Yates went their way and Kate and JoJo stopped at their cabin. Khalid motioned, "We'll join you shortly. We'll come in the other way."
Keith asked, "What other way?"
When we came into the cabin, the guys were lying on the floor in their briefs playing Monopoly, Kim looked up, "Dads, next time we take a cruise, can we get a cabin like this. You should see Allie's room. It's bigger than our cabin."
Khalid and Amir came in the patio door and Tran looked up, "What is this? The cabin with the revolving doors."
I looked at the five guys, "Gentlemen, I take it you had your dessert?"
Allie didn't even look up, "Yes, Dad."
"Did you take a shower?"
"Yes, Dad, we all took one at the same time in your and Bra's shower to save time and water. And, yes we cleaned it. Yes, we also brushed out teeth."
"Good, then it's time for you five young men to get into bed."
"Allie, it's eleven o'clock. The other guys didn't sleep all day like you did."
The guys put the game away and Allie started to hug and kiss people good night. He started with Amir and Khalid. When he hugged me, I picked him up. I whispered, "Son, are you going to be okay?"
He whispered, "Dad, I'll be fine. I just lost it this afternoon."
Tran and Kim looked at their Dads. Kim asked, "Dads, why don't you treat us like that, anymore?"
Keith answered, "If I remember correctly, it was you two who asked not to be kissed and hugged, anymore."
Tran looked at his Dads, "Well, we changed our minds."
I looked at Jim and John and they looked confused, "You five handsome gentlemen get into bed and we'll come and kiss you goodnight."
The five preteens went into Allie's bedroom. I waited a couple of minutes and then I went in and hugged each of them, kissed them on the cheek except for Allie. He hugged me and whispered, "Dad, I think Jim and John needed that."
As I was getting ready to leave, Jim looked at me, "Mr. Waller, would please tell our parents that they need to show us that they love us?"
"Guys, why don't you tell them?"
John shook his head, "Mr. Waller, you don't understand. Our parents think we are too old to be kissed and hugged."
"That's rubbish; no one is too old to let them know that you love them. Perhaps, if you guys would hug and tell your parents that you love them, they would be more than willing to reciprocate."
Jim looked at me, "What does that word mean?"
Kim answered before I could, "It means give back or return. Mr. Waller, so you're saying that it is okay for two men to show that they love each other."
"Kim, I think it is fine, as long as they don't make a spectacle of themselves in front of other people."
Allie winked at me, "Dad, we love you. We'll see you in the morning."
When I went into the living room area, Brahim was coming out of our bedroom area with Keith and Ryan. Ryan was asking, "How can you guys afford a suite like this. We're in a mini suite and it could fit into your bathroom. Khalid and Amir, is your suite like this?"
Amir answered, "Nah, we don't have the extra bedroom that the guys have. That's Darryl's and Tommy's space and is a separate suite."
Keith asked, "How did you guys get here from the veranda anyway?"
Khalid answered, "Easy, we walked through the wall. In fact we can get to Darryl and Tom's room by walking through walls too."
Ryan looked at us, "If I didn't know better, I would say you're all drunk. Guys, how can you afford accommodations like these? How much did it set you back."
I started to laugh, "I have no idea who paid for these accommodations, as you call them, but we haven't paid anything."
Khalid answered, "Keith and Ryan, we aren't at liberty to disclose the guys' benefactors. We're going disappear through the wall again. See you tomorrow."
Keith and Ryan took that as their clue to leave also.
Brahim and I were in bed and Brahim was playing with my pubic hair when there was a knock on the door. We pulled the sheet up because I wasn't sure who it was. Allie usually just walked in.
I called out, "Come in."
Allie came in, "Dad and Brahim, I can't go to sleep. Can I sleep with you, tonight? I'm still concerned about what happened today. Is this mess ever going to end?"
I moved to the center of the bed and now I had my two favorite guys in bed with me. One on either side of me.
I would say that things seem to be settling down just a bit, now, but I don't know, for sure. You never know about nasty people; they have a way of turning up when you least expect them, and I at least expect them, so let's keep our fingers crossed, and our sling shots at the ready. Allie gave me a few lessons on how to use one of those things. He is very good with one of them. I can barely hit the side of a barn.
I do hope that Ed has a talk with the other parents and tells them that their kids really would like to be hugged and cuddled, and even kissed. Maybe the kids will take the initiative to hug their dads first. I guess we will have to wait and see.