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Chapter 54 – The Sunday from Hell


I picked up the receiver and answered, “Hey, Carol, how ya’ doing?”


“Great, Max, how about you guys?  Everybody good?”


“About as well as can be expected.  Had an interesting party yesterday with the twins and all their friends, but we survived it and the house still stands.  How was your weekend with your mom and dad?”


“We had a wonderful time, thanks for asking.  Look, I’m sorry to call you on a Sunday afternoon when you’re probably trying to enjoy a day with your family, but you did leave a message telling me to do so.”


“So I did.  Listen, I talked to Alex and Joey about the Muellers Friday night and you’ll be happy to know they never abused the twins.  At least, not like they did me.”


“Oh, thank, God,” Carol breathed with a sigh of relief.


“Wait, there’s more.  I’ve already told Dylan about this and I figured you’d want to know, too.  Alex and Joey have given me a list of sixty names that they’ve picked up from the Mueller’s over the last several years.”


“What do you mean by picked up?”


“You know how twins can sometimes feel things from the other twin without actually knowing about it, right?”




“Well, with Joey and Alex, it goes quite a bit further than that.  They can also pick up emotions from other people, not just each other.  And from what they’ve told me, the more time they spend around the same people, they actually start to get thoughts and images from them also.  Joey saw a flicker of an image from me the other night, straight from my mind.  And it wasn’t a good thing to see.”


“Oh, my.  I bet that unsettled him.”


“Both of them, really.  Without going into any serious details with them, they know what the Muellers did to me, Carol.  There was nothing I could do to stop it from happening.  And poor T.J. saw a whole lot more.”




“Yeah, he told me yesterday morning that he’s seen every image that’s flashed through my mind the last several days.  And even though we haven’t told the boys about what happened at Walmart on Thursday, T.J. said it was too bad Tom stopped me from killing Frank.  The only way he’d know about that is by seeing it from somewhere in my mind”


“I had no idea T.J. could do that.”


“Apparently, he didn’t either until he started spending a bunch of time with the twins.  Their ability for certain feats of mental magic has awakened his own gift and he has already passed up what Joey and Alex can do.”


“Well, it sure sounds like your lives are going to be interesting.  Now, back to this list of names.  Did I hear you right, you have sixteen names the twins got from Frank and Iris?”


“No, Carol not sixteen, sixty.  Actually, it’s sixty-three.”


“Oh, hell, this is so much worse than we thought.”


“You don’t have to tell me that.  I’m guessing that most of those are not kids your agency placed with them over the years, but who knows for sure?  Since they got me at the church, it seems reasonable to assume that most of those involved will be from there.”


“What do I have to do to get that list, Max?  I’ll come out now to pick it up if it’s okay with you.”


“If you want to, that’s fine.  Or you can wait until you can get it from Dylan.  He’s coming out tomorrow morning to talk me and I’m going to give his copy to him then.  Whatever you want to do.”


“I’d just as soon have it today.  That way, I can start checking our files first thing tomorrow morning.”


“I understand.  We’re going to be out in the pool, but I’ll leave the front door unlocked for you.  Just come on out to the pool when you get here.”


“I’ll do that.  See you guys in a while.”


I hung up the phone and finally joined the rest of the family in the pool.  When I opened the door to the shelter, the noise level almost deafened me.  You’d have thought yesterday’s party was still going on.  I gave a loud whistle to get their attention and silence settled except for the quiet lapping of the waves.  “Thank you, boys.  Can we please keep the volume level at ‘dull roar’?  Mike, have you done your half hour of swimming lessons with the others, yet?”


“No, ‘cause nobody’ll listen to me.”


“Well, here’s your chance.  Boy’s, time to listen to and learn from your brother.”  Mike took it from there and soon had the other four holding on to the side of the pool and working on their kick.  I moseyed on around the pool and joined Tom in the deep end.


“That took longer than you thought, didn’t it?”


“It was Carol.  No way I could tell her to take a hike.  She’s coming out to get the list Joey and Alex created, said she be here in a while.”


“Should we get out of the pool?”


“Why bother?  She knows we swim nude and she’s seen every one of us nude at one time or another, hasn’t she?”


“Oh, yeah, didn’t think about that.  I’m cool with it if you are.”


“Might as well be, shouldn’t we?  And this fall, we’re gonna have four other adults living here full time and we’re gonna have to get used to that, too.  I’m about ready to put a sign by the front door that says, ‘Beyond this portal, you will encounter nude bodies.  If that offends you, go away!’  What do you think?”


“Um, that might be just a bit over the top, don’t ya’ think?”


“Oh, I don’t know.  I’m just gettin’ tired of living by other people’s rules.  It’s our house, damn it.  We should be able to live however we want here and if they can’t deal with it, then it’s their own damn problem, not mine.”


“Whoa, big dog.  Don’t bite my head off ‘cause you’re pissed off at the world.”


“I know.  Sorry ‘bout that.  I can’t seem to think straight about anything right now.”


“Well, there’s a good reason for that, ya’ know.  I mean, think about it, how the hell is gay guy supposed to think straight about anything, anyway.”  It was a weak damn joke, but I had to laugh.


“Thanks, I needed that.  Keep me laughing.”


“If I don’t, they will,” he chuckled, pointing to the five wild monkeys at the other end of the pool.


“Good point.”  DING!  “I bet that’s Carol.  She’s sooner than I thought she would be.”


“Who’s gonna answer the door?”


“I left it unlocked for her and told her to come on out to the pool.”  We waited for a couple of minutes and when Carol didn’t come out, I commented, “I wonder if she got lost.  I better go check.”  I climbed out of the pool, grabbed a towel to dry off and then wrapped it around it my waist.  As I entered the house, I called out, “Carol!?”  I got no response except to hear the doorbell ring.  “Oh, c’mon Carol, I left the door unlocked for ya’.”  I walked across the house and opened the door to a big, and little, surprise standing on the front porch.  I suddenly felt very self-conscious and somehow exposed standing there with just a towel around my waist.


“Afternoon, Max, how ya’ doin’?” Derek greeted me with a cheery smile.


“Derek, what the heck are you doin’ here?  We didn’t call the cops.”


“Nope, you sure didn’t, but young Logan Campbell did.  Step on out here young man.”


Logan moved from his hiding spot behind Derek and looked up at me with tears flooding his eyes.  At least, what you could see of his eyes, swollen, and black, blue and yellow with bruises the way they were.  “Oh, my god, Logan, what happened!” I cried as I knelt down to his level.  “Were you in an accident?  Are you oaky?”


“I wish I was, Mr. Sanders,” he whimpered.  “No, my daddy did this to me after I got home last night.”  I looked up to Derek who nodded solemnly.  “I called 9-1-1 this morning ‘cause I thought he might start beatin’ on me some more.  A bunch of cops showed up and they took my daddy away.  And since my momma’s gone, they couldn’t leave me at home and Deputy Timmons said he’d take care of me.  I didn’t know he was bringing me here.”


I stood back up, holding my towel to ensure it stayed in place, and said, “Get in here, you two.”  After they were in the house and I closed the door, I asked, “So what happens now, Derek?”


“Well, that kinda depends on you, Max.  I was hopin’ you might be willing to give Logan a place to stay for a bit while we figure out what’s gonna happen with his dad.”


“Oh, I don’t know, shouldn’t you be contacting a child welfare agency or something?”


“Um, can we talk privately for a moment?” Derek asked.


“Sure.  Logan, Tom and the boys are all out in the pool.  Why don’t you go on out and join them?”


“Sure thing, Mr. Sanders, thanks.”  He limped slowly through the house, dropping his bag on the couch as he went by it, on through the glass doors and into the shelter.  We could see him pulling off his shirt as soon as he was inside the shelter and getting ready to jump in the pool.


“Let’s sit down, Derek.”  I led the way to the living room and after getting comfortable, I asked, “So, what about calling DCFS?”


“Normally, yeah, we would, but I hate the idea of Logan getting dumped into that system.  You have no idea what those kids go through.”


“Not in detail, no, but I’m learning more from our boys every day.” 


At that moment, Tom appeared, sans towel wrap, and asked, “What the fuck happened to Logan!?  He’s got bruises coverin’ him from head to toe.”  He then realized Derek was sitting there with me and tried to cover himself with his hands while muttering, “Whoops, sorry, Derek, didn’t realize you were here.”


“No problem, Tom.  We’ve shared a locker room enough times, there’s not much we ain’t seen already, is there?”


“S’pose not.  So, answer me, what the hell happened?”


“Logan’s father decided to express his anger last night by beating his son.  He’s now in custody and getting booked at the county building for child abuse.  Since Logan’s mom is dead, we couldn’t just leave him at home, could we?  It was my idea to bring him here.  I’m hoping that’s okay with y’all.”  DING!  “What the hell was that?”


“Just the drive sensor telling us someone else is here.  Probably Carol.  Tom, you might want to find a towel or something.”


“What?  My hands not good enough for ya?” he chuckled.  “Seriously, though, good idea, be right back.”  He zipped back out to the pool and returned still wrapping the towel around his waist.  “I had the boys get out of the pool and they’re yakkin’ up a storm ‘til we get back out there.”


“Who’s Carol,” Derek asked.


“Carol Ward.  She works at the agency helping us with our adoption of the boys.  She’s here for another reason, but she should get involved with this also.”


“Damn it, I wanted to keep those people out of this,” Derek complained.


“Don’t worry, Derek, Carol’s a good guy, or gal, actually,” Tom replied.  “She’ll do the right thing.”


The front door opened and Carol stepped inside.  “Well, hi guys, thought you were gonna be in the pool.  And I didn’t expect Dylan to be here.  Thought you were talking to him tomorrow,” she said as crossed over to join us.  “Wait, you’re not Dylan.”


“What was your first clue, there, Carol, his lack of tan?” Tom laughed.  “No, this is my former partner, Derek Timmons.  Derek, Carol Ward.”  After a mutual greeting and handshake, Tom continued.  “We have a teeny, tiny problem, Carol, and you should know about it.”


“Oh, lord, now what?” she groaned.


“The father of one of the party guests yesterday severely beat his son last night after I took him home,” Derek answered.  “The kid called 9-1-1 this morning and his dad’s been arrested and I brought Logan here for lack of other decent options.”


“Jesus Christ, will this shit ever end?  Where is he now?” Carol asked.


“He’s out at the pool with our boys,” I answered.


“I’d like to see him.  Can you bring him in?”


“Sure thing, be right back.”  I held on to my towel as I walked back out to the pool.  When I opened the door, the six boys were all sitting at the table and chattering away as kids will do, Alex and Joey sitting next to Logan with their arms wrapped around his shoulders.  “Logan, I hate to interrupt, but there’s someone here who’d like to talk to you.”  As he stood up, I could finally see the extent of the bruises and marks his father’s beating had left.  There was barely any place on the young man’s body that had been spared and I felt sick to my stomach.  As he started to walk to me, I added, “You may want to wrap a towel around you since the person who wants to see you is a lady.”  He quickly turned around and grabbed another towel from table, wrapping it around his waist as he came back.


“Who is it, Dad?” Alex asked.


“Ms. Ward.”


“Can we come say hi?” T.J. asked.


“Um, not right now, please.  Let’s let her talk to Logan first, and you all can say hi before she leaves, okay?”


“Sure, dad, just don’t forget us,” Joey answered.


“Not a chance of that, buddy.”  Logan had rejoined me and I tenderly placed my hand on his shoulder as we headed back inside.  Once there, Logan sat in my chair with me and I introduced him to Carol.  “Logan, this is Ms. Ward.  She’s helping us with the adoptions of our sons and she needs to ask you some questions about what happened last night with your dad.  You okay with that?”


“Sure,” he answered calmly, then turned to Carol and continued.  “Shoot, Ms. Ward.  Ask me whatever you want.”


“Hi, Logan.  I’m sorry your dad hurt you, but I’m here to help you.”  Logan jumped off my chair, walked over and stood right in front of Carol, hands on his hips, before he responded.


“Lady, he didn’t hurt me, he freakin’ beat my ass, and everywhere else, too.  And all ‘cause he was pissed off I wouldn’t do as he said.  I wanted to stay here for Joey and Alex’s birthday party, I didn’t care what he said.  They’re my friends and I wanted to have some damn fun, for once.  Who gives a crap if they’re gay?    I knew I was gonna pay for not listenin’ to him, but I didn’t care.”


“You say you knew he was going to hurt you.  Why?  Has he done this before?”


“Sure he has, but last night was the worst he ever done and I ain’t gonna take it no more.  And would you quit sayin’ he hurt me.  I’m nine years old, Ms. Ward, and if I can call it a beatin’, you can to.”


“I’m sorry, Logan.  That’s just the way we deal with these things in my job.  We do everything we can to protect children, and sometimes we get carried with it.”


“Well, you can start protectin’ me by keepin’ that asshole away from me.  Now, what else do ya’ wanna know?”


“I can see where he’s hit your face, body and back.  Did he hit you anywhere else?”


“Damn right he did, look at this.”  With that, he turned around to face me and pulled the towel from around his waist.  Carol recoiled in disgust at the evidence before her.  Logan turned his head to look over his shoulder and continued, “There, is that what you wanna see?  I tell ya’, I can hardly sit right now, my ass hurts so bad.  And look at my legs.  Why the hell did he have to beat my damn legs.  I won’t be able to wear shorts outside the house for a month, at least.  ‘Bout the only place he didn’t hit me was my crotch, but I think he wanted to, since I was hangin’ out with a buncha fags all day.  Teach me a lesson, my ass.  He don’t know jack shit.  I’d like to take his freakin’ belt and stuff it up his ass.”  He wrapped the towel around him again and turned back to look Carol in the face again.  “So now, what ya’ gonna do about it?”


“Logan, I’m going to take care of you, don’t worry about that.  Why don’t you go back out to the pool and hang out with the others while we talk about this.  Once we have a solution, we’ll let you know.”


Logan was shaking his head and saying, “Huh-uh.  If has to do with me, you all can talk about it with me right here.”  After that comment, Logan walked over and climbed back in my chair with me.


“Well, okay, then,” Carol replied.  She then turned to Derek and asked, “Derek, what did you witness last night and today?”


“Not much last night.  I drove Logan home and then waited around in my unit for a couple of minutes to see if there were any immediate problems.  When I saw or heard nothing obvious, I left.  Today, though, I was first on the scene and as soon I got out of my unit, I could hear Mr. Campbell yelling at Logan.  I ran up the steps to the front porch and pounded on the door, identifying myself as Sherriff’s Department.  Mr. Campbell opened the door and he was sweating and panting.  Logan was coming down the stairs and even from twenty feet away, I knew we had a serious problem.  I immediately radioed for backup, placed Mr. Campbell under arrest, handcuffed him and put him in my unit.  I then returned to the house to check on Logan. 


“I found him sitting on bottom step of the stairway, holding his head in his hands and crying.  I asked him if he remembered me from last night and he said he did.  I then asked if I could check him out for injuries, though I could see most of them since all he was wearing was a pair of shorts.  He stood up, dropped his shorts and turned around so I could see the bruising and marks on backside.  I asked him for and received his permission to photograph his body to be presented as evidence.  Since he obviously has injuries almost everywhere, I photographed his entire body except for his genitals and groin area.  Since there were no visible injuries there, I saw no reason to document it.  When that was done, I had him get dressed, then helped him pack a bag with clothes, toiletries and the other things he’ll need wherever he ends up staying until this can all be sorted out.  After another deputy arrived to transport Mr. Campbell to jail, I drove Logan here in the hopes that he might be able to stay with some friendly faces for a few days.”


“Have you called DCFS and reported Mr. Campbell?” Carol asked.


“Not yet.  Since he’s already been arrested and we have photo evidence, I was hoping we could work something out without getting them involved.  If we have to, though, I’ll take care of it.”


She then turned to me and asked, “Okay, Max, it’s up to you.  Will you allow Logan to stay here for a few days while I try to make other arrangements?”  Logan immediately turned his head and looked at me with the most pitiful and sad puppy-dog look I’ve ever seen.


“Oh, no you don’t, young man.  Aim that look somewhere else.”  And so he did, right at Tom, causing Derek and Carol to laugh.


“Yeah, okay,” Tom wilted.  “I can’t say no to that face.”  The sad look immediately gave way to one of the biggest and brightest smiles you could ever hope to see.


“Good, I was hoping you’d say that,” Carol chuckled.  “Okay, looks like you’ve got a place to stay for a few days.  That doesn’t mean you’ll be staying here indefinitely, though.  I’m going to check with your other family members and see if they’ll be willing to take you in.”


“NO!  I don’t like any of them.  They’ just like my daddy.  I wanna stay here.”


“Give us some time, Logan,” I said calmly.  “We’ll figure something out that works for everybody, I promise.”


“That sounds better, Mr. Sanders.  Thanks.  Can I go back out with the others now?”


“Sure, go ahead.”  He hopped off my lap and slowly headed to rejoin the fantastic five.  As soon as he stepped outside and closed the door, he whipped the towel away from his waist and over his shoulder.  I turned to Carol and asked, “What the hell, Carol?  Am I running a home for lost, abused and wayward kids, now?  This all started with me wanting to adopt one, and just one, kid.  That magically turned into four, then we added Andy, and now Logan?  I’m gonna have to build another damn house if this keeps up!”


“Sure, why not?” she giggled.  “That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?  You’ve got plenty of space out here.  Besides, we could sure use a good home for these kids in this part of the state.”


“Huh-uh,” I replied, shaking my head.  “I have my limits and you just keep pushing them.”


“And you keep letting me so don’t you try to blame me for all this,” she responded with an evil grin.


“You’re just taking advantage of my big heart.”


“Guilty as charged,” she agreed.  “Now, where’s that list of names you got from Joey and Alex?  I’ve solved one crisis this afternoon, might as well get started on the next.”


“Let me get it for you.”  I walked to the office, grabbed the list I’d typed into the computer and printed, then took it back to Carol.  “Here you go,” I said as I handed it to her.  “I typed them all in because the twins’ handwriting isn’t that easy to decipher.  Unfortunately, it’s only first names, but I figure that at least gives you and Dylan a starting point to work from.”


“This is perfect, Max.  All our records back to the 1950’s have been computerized over the last few years, so I can enter the names of the foster-parents and print a list of every child who’s ever been placed in the home.  Once I have that, I can compare that list to this one and pull files for any names that match.”


“What’s this all about, folks?” Derek asked.


“You tell him, Tom.  I can’t deal with it right now.  I’m going back out so the kids can get in the pool again.  Carol, the boys all want to say hi before you leave, so come out when y’all are done here.  Derek, thanks, I think, for bring Logan to us, we’ll take good care of him.”  With that, I turned and left the house.



“Well, that was kinda rude,” Derek commented.


“There’s a reason for it, Derek,” Tom replied.  “When Max was a young teenager, he was sexually abused by a couple at the church his family went to.  But he’d repressed all of it until just last week when he was about to kill his abuser in Walmart.  That’s why Dylan’s coming out tomorrow, to talk to Max about what happened twenty years ago.  On top of that, the same couple who abused Max were fostering the twins we’re adopting and because of a mental quirk, they were able to give us list of some sixty names of other boys who could possibly be in the same boat as Max.  Since, these people were also foster-parents for many years, Carol needs the list to compare to the kids they’ve placed with the couple.”


“Okay, now it all makes sense.  I knew Sarge was coming tomorrow, but didn’t know why.  Looks like we’ll be working on this together, then, Carol.”


“I’m sure we will.  And nothin’ personal, Derek, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.”


“No, neither am I, but let’s nail these bastards.  Okay, Tom, I’ll write up my report that Logan’s been left in yours and Max’s care with Carol’s approval.  I’ll try to let you guys know what gonna happen with dear old dad, though a nice pair of concrete boots would fix that problem for us.”


“Thanks, Derek.  It’s always good to see you.  You might want to check with Dylan about coming with him tomorrow so you’ll be in on the investigation from the very beginning.  You might think of something he won’t, and vice-versa, when you’re talkin’ to Max.”


“I’ll do that, Tom,” he replied as he stood.  “Tell Max I appreciate you guys helpin’ out with Logan, I just couldn’t think of a better place for him to be right now.  Carol, nice to meet ya’, I’m sure we’ll be in touch in the coming days and weeks.  Guess I’ll get back to work, now.  See y’all later.”  With that, Derek crossed the living room and headed back out into the cool March afternoon.


“Well, Carol, you ready to say hi to the boys?”


“Always.  I love those kids just as much as you and Max do.” 


Tom led the way to the pool where they found Max sitting at the table, deep in thought, and six boys flailing about in the pool.  Once the boys saw Carol, though, the pool emptied rather quickly.  All except for Logan who stayed in the concealing depths of the water.


“Guys, what’re you doin’!?” Logan yelled.  “You’re still naked.”


“Yeah, so what?” Joey asked as he grabbed a towel to dry off a bit before giving Carol a hug.  “She’s already seen all of us this way.  Ain’t no big deal, Logan.”


After our five had all given Carol a hug and said hi, they rejoined Logan, who’d merely given Carol a quick wave of acknowledgement.  With the greetings completed, we sat at the table with Max.



“Hey, Carol,” I mumbled without looking at her.


“Hey, yourself,” Carol replied.  “Are you really okay with Logan staying here?  ‘Cause if it’s a problem, let me know and I’ll take him with me, find another place for him.”


“Oh, no, he’ll be fine.”


“Of course, he will, but I’m worried about you, too.  Are you sure you’re okay?  You seem a bit numb.”


“Numb, disconnected, lost, all of the above.  I can’t seem to get out of my own way lately.”


“You’re not re-thinking the adoptions, are you?”


“I’d be lyin’ if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind.”


“Max,” Tom began, “we’ve been over this.  Stopping the adoptions isn’t a possibility.  We just need to get over this bump in the road and everything will turn out great.  You’ll see.”


“Bump!?” I screamed, startling Tom and Carol and attracting the attention of the boys, also.  “You call this a fucking BUMP!  Those fuckers raped me for three fuckin’ years!” I cried out in anguish, then laid my head on the table and began to sob.


Tom turned to the boys, snapped his fingers and thrust his thumb towards the house.  Without hesitation, all six climbed out of the pool, grabbed a towel and ran for the house, fear etched on all their faces at my outburst.


Tom and Carol wrapped their arms around my shoulders in an attempt to comfort me, but I jerked away at the contact.  “NO!  Don’t touch me!  I don’t want to be touched!” I screamed.


“MAX!  Snap out of it!” Tom bellowed.  Tom wrapped his strong arms around and refused to let go until I quick shaking, no matter how hard I fought his embrace.  “That’s better, babe.  You’re okay, you’re safe here.  Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.”


“Damn it!  What the hell is wrong with me,” I moaned in resignation.


“I can’t tell you for sure, but with what I’ve seen from guys on the force, especially the ex-military, I’d guess you’re dealing with PTSD.”


“NOW!?  Twenty years after the fact?  What the hell are you talking about?”


“Max, PTSD doesn’t always hit someone immediately.  Since all your repressed memories just flooded back into your conscious mind the other day, I’m not surprised you’re reacting like this.”


“Damn it!  I gotta get a handle on this shit, and fast.”


“Max,” Carol started, “there is no quick relief from what you’re dealing with.  Once you start talking to whoever Dr. Kirkland refers you to, you’ll see that.  It will get better, in time, but don’t go in there expecting an immediate fix.  It just doesn’t happen.”


“Okay, okay, I’m stuck with what I got.  But I don’t think the boys are safe with me bein’ like this.  What if one them tries to give me a hug and I freak out on ‘em?  I could really hurt them without even tryin’.  And the last thing I want to do is have them scared of me.”


“Don’t you worry about that,” Tom replied.  “They know what you’re dealing with and they understand.  All of them just want to help you get better and if you let ‘em, it’ll happen that much faster.”


“I sure as hell hope you’re right, Tom.  Okay, let’s go inside so we can deal with what just happened.”  As I stood to follow my own suggestion, my towel remained draped on the chair.  Carol let out a little chuckle at my accidental exposure and I said, “Sorry, Carol, but my brain’s just not in gear today,” as I grabbed it and wrapped back around me.


“Not a problem, Max,” she replied.  “C’mon, let’s go talk with your boys.”  We slowly walked back to the house and found them waiting for us in the living room, towels wrapped around their waists and sitting on the couch with looks of concern on their faces.


As soon as door was closed, Alex asked, “You okay, Dad?”


“I don’t know guys.  I’m sorry you had to see and hear that.”


“S’okay,” Joey responded.  “If it’d been us, we’d have a hard time dealing with it, too.”


“I’m sorry, Mr. Sanders.  I don’t want to cause no problems,” Logan whined.


“What just happened with me, Logan, has nothing to do with you or you being here.  I’m glad we have space for you and you’re welcome to say with us as long as you need to, okay?”


“Yeah, okay.  You just scared me.  That’s kinda how my dad was actin’ last night, all out of control.”


I walked over to Logan, knelt in front of him, took his hands in mine and said, “I’m sorry I scared you.  I certainly didn’t mean to.  But, I’m kinda scared of some things right now, too.”


“Dad, can I ask a question?” Mike asked.


“Of course, you can,” I answered while turning my head his direction.  “What is it?”


“What’s raped mean?”


“Mike!  You can’t ask that?” Tom scolded.


“It’s okay, Tom.  Oh, geez, I just had to say that, didn’t I?  Okay, now listen, all of you, and listen good.  First you know what sex is, right?”  I received nods from all six boys.  “Second, you know, in this house, you have to ask and get a yes before you do anything with each other.”  I paused and received six more nods, one from a wide-eyed Logan.  “Rape is when you force someone to have sex when they don’t want to.  It’s a horrible thing to do and you go to jail for it.”  I saw Joey and Alex exchange a scared and wild look with each other as a light bulb went off in their minds.


“And the Muellers forced you to have sex with them?  Why?” Andy asked.


“And why aren’t they in jail?” Mike added.


Realizing this conversation had taken a turn I hadn’t anticipated, I sat in my chair so I could easily face all the boys.  “To answer your first question, yes, that’s what the Muellers did.  As to why, I can only guess.  And they aren’t in jail because I never told anybody about what they’d done.  I’d kinda blocked it out of my mind for a long time.  But it all came back to me Thursday and I’m having a hard time dealing with it.”


“What can we do to help?” T.J. asked.


“Just you guys being here will help me a lot, and know that no matter how weird or spacey I might get sometimes, that doesn’t change how much I love and need you in my life.  I’m going to be getting help to learn how to control and deal with things, but it’s just gonna take a while to work through all this.”


“Okay, Dad,” they replied.


“Thanks for being so understanding and not pushing me on this.  We didn’t plan on giving you this much detail, but now that you know, please don’t say anything to anyone outside the family.  We don’t want the Muellers to find out they’re being investigated.  Do you all understand that?”


“Yeah, Dad,” Joey answered, “we might be kids, but we’re not total idiots, ya’ know?


“I would never say or even think you are.  You guys are the some of the smartest people I know.  I’m just trying to impress on you how important this is, to all of us.”  After receiving nods from all six, I added, “Good, come say goodbye to Carol and then run through the showers to wash the pool off.”  All six followed my instructions and once they’d disappeared down the hall, I turned to Carol and asked, “How’d I do?”


“Considering the meltdown I just saw, pretty damn good.  You told the boys the truth in an age-appropriate manner, and gave them the basics without diving into any sordid details.  But, I think, more importantly, you’ve calmed any fears they may have had after seeing what happened out at the pool.  You’ve sure calmed my fears and I gotta tell ya’, you scared the ever-loving shit outta me.”


“I’m sorry about that, but then, I scared myself, too.


“Me three,” Tom chimed.  “But you got through it.  That’s what matters.  After twenty damn years of keeping all that bottled up, you have the right to express some of your rage and anger and hate.  And now that the boys know where it’s coming from and why, I think they’ll be all right.”


“I sure as hell hope so,” I responded.


“Well, I’m gonna get outta here, guys,” Carol said.  “I have some things I need to deal with at home before I get to work tomorrow.  I have the feeling once I start digging into this list, I’m not gonna like what I find.”


“I wish you the best and hope none of your other kids were tortured like I was.  If there’s anything we can do to help, let us know.”


“I think you’ve already done more than your fair share, Max, but if something comes up, I’ll be sure to ask.  Hope you all enjoy the rest of the day.  I’ll keep you updated on what I find about another placement for Logan.”


“No hurry on that, Carol,” Tom replied.  “He’s fine right where he is for as long as he needs.  Besides, that list you have is much more important.”


“Still, thanks, you two.  We really appreciate everything you do.  Well, adios amigos.  Y’all be good.”



“So, do you guys really, you know, play around with each other like your dad said?” Logan asked as he and the twins stepped into the shower.


Joey gave a sly grin and answered, “Sure we do, but we’re supposed to stay in our rooms with the door closed when we do or we’ll get in trouble.”


“And we have to ask to touch someone before we actually do and they have to agree to it.”


“Isn’t it, like, weird doin’ that shit with your brother?”


“Who else we gonna do it with, you?” Alex asked.


“Hell no, I ain’t gay!”


“You think there’s somethin’ wrong with bein’ gay?” Joey queried.


“No, I just … I mean … oh hell, I don’t know.”


“Look, Logan, do you ever play with your own dick?” Alex asked.


“Well, maybe,” he stuttered.


“That means ‘yes’,” Joey retorted glancing at Alex and receiving a nod of agreement.  He looked back to Logan and ask, “Does it feel good when you do it to yourself?”


“If I did, I guess it would,” he answered with a blush of embarrassment flooding his face.


“Well, as good as it feels to do it to yourself…,” Joey started.


“…it feels even better when someone else does it to you,” Alex continued.


“Bullshit!  I don’t believe that for a second.  You’re just wantin’ to play with my dick.”


“Why would we want to do that when we got each other?” Alex asked.


“And we can do it whenever we want to,” Joey added.


With his interest now piqued, Logan asked “So, what all have ya’ done with each other?”


“Oh, you know, jerked each other off, sucked each other and just this mornin’ we fucked.  Oh, man, that was awesome,” Alex answered.


“No, you didn’t!  Did you?”


“We’re not lyin’ to ya’, dude,” Alex replied.


“Want us to do it right now?” Joey asked.


“Yeah, go ahead, I dare ya’.  I bet you won’t.”


“C’mon, bro, let’s show him how it’s done,” Joey said.  Joey leaned over, placed his hands on the bench seat and pushed his ass up for Alex.  Alex, who had been absentmindedly stroking his pecker, stepped over, slid his slim cock inside his brother and started to hump his ass.  Logan just stood there under the spray of the shower, gawking in disbelief at what he was seeing.


“You ain’t really fucking him, are ya’?  You’re just rubbin’ your dick in his crack.”


“Come take a closer look, dude,” Alex replied.  Logan stepped closer and looked down into the gap between Alex’s stomach and Joey’s ass.  After seeing Alex’s dick slide smoothly into Joey’s tight hole and disappear from view, Logan’s knees got weak and he sat on the bench next to where Joey was holding himself up.  The twins could not miss seeing the rampant and throbbing piece of hard young cock protruding from Logan’s groin.  Nor did they miss glazed look on his face.  “Still think we’re lyin’ dude?”


“Oh my god!  You’re really fuckin’ doin’ it!  What’s it feel like?”


“Like nothin’ you ever felt before,” Joey moaned.  “You wanna find out?”


“What?  Really, you’d let me fuck you, Joey?  If I do, will that make me gay, too?”


“Why not?  And no, it won’t make you gay.  All you’re gonna do is get off in the most mind-blowing way than you ever done before.  Alex, help him out.”


Alex slipped his dick out of Joey’s ass and stepped over to help Logan stand up.  He guided him into position behind Joey, then grabbed Logan’s stiff three-and-a-half-inch rod between his thumb and forefinger to help guide him to his brother’s hole.  Once he had the head properly positioned, he said, “Okay, dude, just push forward with your hips and you’ll slip right on in.”  Logan did as he was told and soon felt Joey’s hole release as his own cock slipped inside his friend’s deliciously warm body.  And he kept pushing until his hairless pubic mound was nestled in between his buddy’s smooth globes.


“Oh, god,” he moaned.  “My hand could never feel this good, no matter how much spit or oil I used.  What do I do now?”


“Well, don’t just stand there like a fool, fuck me,” Joey groaned with pleasure.




“Jesus Christ!  Alex, show him what to do, the kid’s fucking clueless.”  Alex took Logan’s hands and put them on Joey’s hips, then stepped behind Logan and placed his own hands on his friend’s hips.  Looking around Logan, he pulled his hips back until the impaling rod almost came out of his brother, then stopped and pushed him back in.


“There, Logan, just keep doin’ that.  Start slow and easy.”  Logan, again, followed the instructions he was given as was soon screwing Joey like he’d been doing it his whole life.  Not to be left out of the action, Alex leaned close to Logan’s ear and whispered, “Can I play with your balls and asshole while you fuck my brother?”   After receiving an emphatic nod of agreement, Alex knelt behind Logan’s rocking ass, reached one hand up between his legs to play with his balls and with his other hand, he gently started to spread Logan’s cheeks in search of his virgin pucker.  Once located, Alex held his finger in position and followed the in and out motion until, on one of Logan’s retreats, he held his finger in position.  As Logan continued to back out of Joey, Alex’s finger slipped smoothly into his ass, causing Logan to gasp with delight.


“Oh, fuck, you two, this is out of this fuckin’ world.  I ain’t never felt this good,” Logan growled.


After several minutes of fingering Logan, Alex stood up, leaned in close to Logan’s ear again and whispered, “You like my finger up your ass?”  The poor boy was so lost in new feelings, all he could do was nod and pant his agreement.  “Can I swap my finger with my dick?”


“Oh, fuck yes, do it.”  That was all the invitation Alex needed as he moved back behind Logan, removed his finger from his friend’s tight hole and then positioned himself so his pecker could fill the now empty orifice.  The next time Logan slid back, Alex maintained his position and felt his cock penetrate the warm confines he sought.  He then followed Logan’s push back into Joey to maintain maximum impalement.  They continued that way for several minutes, Alex fucking Logan as Logan fucked Joey, while the tempo and need for release continued to build in all three boys.


When it finally happened, Logan felt an explosion of previously unfulfilled sexual tension as all three hit their orgasmic peak at the same moment.  They moaned with lust as the orgasms overtook their young bodies and the threesome shuddered with pleasure.  Completely spent and with sexual appetites satisfied, the three wilted lads sat on the bench together to recover.


“Oh, fuck me, that was fuckin’ awesome, dudes!  Oh wait, you just did!” Logan exclaimed as they caught their breath while fighting off a major attack of the giggles at his comment.



“Hey, dads, can we watch some more Star Trek?” T.J. asked as he, Mike and Andy came back to the living room after their showers.


“Sure, that sounds like a good way to kill some time this afternoon,” Tom answered.


“Why don’t I go get things ready in the theater while you check on the three still in the shower?” I asked.  “I don’t think I need to be doing that for a while.”


“Sounds like a plan to me, babe,” Tom answered.  “We’ll join you four in a few minutes.”


While Tom when to check on Joey, Alex and Logan, the rest of us headed to the theater to get ready to watch some good science fiction.  Upon entering, I discovered we never got towels back on the chairs after the party, so I sent T.J., Mike and Andy to the laundry room to grab some clean ones for us.  While they were gone, I located the next disc we needed, got everything turned on and ready to go.  The terrific trio returned with the towels and I had them drop one in every chair.  As they were doing that, Tom finally came in and joined us.


“So, what’s takin’ them so long?” I asked.


“Who knows, babe.  They were just sitting there on the bench, giggling their asses off, and letting the bathroom become a freakin’ sauna.  You should have seen the steam roll out when I opened the door.  I told ‘em we’re getting’ ready to watch some Star Trek and they said they’d be right here.”


“And speak of the naked little devils, there they are.  Let’s get this show rollin’.”  We settled into our chairs and I got today’s first episode playing.  As the starting credits began to roll, I absentmindedly realized my prescient planning at having installed ten recliners in the theater seemed to be just about right.  Of course, if the family kept growing the way it has so far, I was going to have come up with a new plan to accommodate everyone for the same show.  And when our parents finally joined us on the property, the situation was going to get even more cramped.  Since I’d seen all these shows before, I allowed my mind to wander a bit and I had what I like to call a ‘flash of brilliance’.  Or maybe it was one of those stinkin’ brain farts I’ve been having lately.  Whatever it was, when the first episode ended, I tapped Tom on the shoulder and signaled for him to follow me.


“What?” he asked as I closed the door behind us.


“I just had an idea.”


“Oh, shit, here it comes,” he laughed.


“No, it’s a really good one this time, I swear.”


“Yeah, right, seems I’ve heard this story before.”


“Fine!  Just be that way.  I’m going back to the show.”  I turned to go back to the theater, but Tom stopped me with a gentle hand on my shoulder.  I turned back around and asked with as much sarcasm as I could muster, “Yes, may I help you?”


“C’mon, spit it out.  What’s this great idea you’ve had?”


“Okay, promise you won’t laugh.”  After a curt nod, I continued, “You know how are parents are going to build a house up here, right?”


“Um, yeah, I’ve don’t think I’ve missed any of the meetings yet.”


“Well, I’ve lived here for almost thirteen years now and, with the exception of last month or so, this house has been too damn big.  Now, suddenly, it’s getting too damn small.  How about instead of our parents building a house, why don’t we build a bigger one and let the ‘rents have this one?”


“What!?  Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me!?”


“Not a bit.  Think about it for a minute.  Bigger house, more bedrooms, bigger garage, bigger theater, bigger pool, bigger everything,” I ended with a big wave of my hands.


“And I suppose with a bigger house comes a bigger family?”


“Sure, why not?” I asked.  “Think how many kids we could help.  We wouldn’t have to adopt ‘em all, but at least we’d have some extra room for them to stay for a while as other things get worked out.”


“I don’t know, Max, that seems like a big chunk to be bitin’ off as we try to raise the ones we are adopting.”


“But our moms and dads will be here to help us.”  I was really warming to the idea now.  “We could really make this work and make a difference in so many lives.  Look I know this is comin’ out of left field, but please, please, please give it some serious thought.  I need something to keep me focused and moving forward.  I don’t want my past to define who I am.  I want my future to do that.”


Tom sat down heavily in a chair at the dining room table.  “That’s an awful lot to take in there, babe, but I promise to think about.  How much time to I have before I have to give you an answer?”


“Take all the time you need.”  I waited five seconds and added, “Okay, time’s up.  What’s your answer?”


“What!  I thought I could take all the time I needed.”


“I’m just shittin’ ya’, man.”  I finally joined him at the table, punching him in the shoulder.  “I know I’m askin’ for a lot, Tom, but I really want to do this.  All I can think about is this, ‘what if I’d had a place like that when I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen?’.  I’ll tell ya’.  I would’ve left mom and dad’s and moved in someplace where the Mueller’s couldn’t have found me ever again. How many other kids are out there, right now, dealing with shit beyond their control?  We can help them.”


“I’m with ya’, Max, really, I am.  I know exactly what you’re talkin’ about ‘cause I used to see it all the time.  Shitty parents fuckin’ up their kids because of drugs, alcohol, or just bein’ ignorant abusive asses to each or their kids.  But to take that on by ourselves, that’s a big damn leap.”


“I know it is, but I think, together, we can pull it off and make it work.”


“Oh, I don’t doubt that for one second.  We need to talk to our parents, first, and second, I think we need to talk to Carol about this.  Since what you want to do will, I’m sure, be involving kids she and her group work with, we should get their input, also, before we go off the deep end, don’t ya’ think?”


“Good idea, I’ll call her tomorrow morning.”


“Uh, hold on there, Skippy.  Dylan’s coming in the morning, remember.”


“Oh, yeah.  Thanks for that reminder,” I replied glumly.  “You sure know how to bring a person back down to earth, don’t ya’?”


“I’m sorry, babe.  I want you to be able to do whatever you want to do, but I also know you’ve got to focus on one thing at a time.  And right now, dealing with the Muellers should take priority.”


“You’re right, of course.  Damn, I’ll be glad to have them out of the picture forever.”


“I know you will.  We all will.  But let’s try to tilt just one windmill at a time, okay?  When we finish one, then we’ll move on to the next one.  Sound reasonable?”


“I suppose.  But, do you really like the idea or are you just goin’ with flow, hopin’ I don’t freak out, again.”


“No, I like it, truly I do, but you need to deal with your own demons before you go off half-cocked and start tryin’ fix someone else’s problems.”


“There ya’ go, again, makin’ fun of my manhood, again, half-cocked, my ass,” I laughed.  “Yeah, yeah, all right.  I get what you’re sayin’ and I agree.  One set of demons at a time.  Thanks, lover, I knew you wouldn’t let me down.”  The boys started to wander out of the theater and hover.  “What’s up guys, that episode over?”


“Yeah, we was just wonderin’ where you and Pops disappeared to,” Joey answered. 


“Besides, we all gotta pee before we start then next one,” T.J. added.


“Okay, go ahead.  Y’all want popcorn for the next episode?”


“Does an Eskimo have a cold nose?” Alex laughed as they continued on towards their rooms.


“I’m gonna take that as a yes, babe,” Tom chuckled.


“That’d be my best guess, too.  Let’s go get some movie snacks.”  We got busy in the kitchen and as the boys came back from their bathroom break, they climbed up on their stools to wait with us.  Joey and Alex pushed their stools together so Logan could share with them.  “How you doin’, Logan?” I asked.


“I’m okay, Mr. Sanders.  I’m pissed off at my daddy at what he done last night, but I always knew it was gonna happen sometime.  He’s been mad at the whole damn world since momma died two years ago.”


“I’m sorry to hear that, and I’m really sorry about your mom.”


“It is what it is.  She started gettin’ sick about a year before and by the time they figured out it was leukemia, it was too late to do anything to help her.  Daddy’s been pissed off ever since and sometimes it boils over and he takes it out on me, like, somehow, it’s my fault she got sick in the first place.  But last night was somethin’ else.  He ain’t never been that freakin’ mad and outta control ‘bout nothin’ and he just kinda lost it.”


“If your dad got help to deal with his anger, would you want to live with him again?”


“Well, sure.  He’s a great guy when he ain’t mad and I love him, I just wish he wouldn’t beat me the way he does.  Maybe I shouldn’t a stood up to him like I did yesterday.”


“Logan,” Tom started, “it takes a brave person to stand up to an authority figure who’s doing the wrong thing.  What you did yesterday and this morning, I call that bravery.”


“Weren’t no bravery this mornin’ Mr. Wright.  That was all about self-preservation and survival.”


“You can call what you want, young man, I call it bravery.”


“Now, I’ve got another question for you, Logan.”


“Shoot, Mr. Sanders.”


“I’m assume, since you’re sitting there, you don’t have a problem with all of us bein’ nude, do you?”


“Nope, don’t bother me a damn bit.  Since it’s been just me and my daddy at home the last couple years, we don’t worry too much ‘bout wearin’ clothes.  Course, he’s usually wearin’ his boxers, but I don’t wear nothin’ and he don’t bitch about it, so I just enjoy it.  Unless somebody drops by and that don’t happen too much since he’s such an asshole to other people.  Don’t nobody want to hang around too much.  Never knew there was other folks who did the same thing, though.  Kinda nice to know we’re not so different, after all.”


“Nope, not so different at all.  Well, Logan, welcome to the zoo.  You’re gonna fit in just dandy with the other monkeys that live here.  There’s one other rule in this house you need to know about…”


“Joey and Alex already told me, Mr. Sanders.  In their rooms with the door closed.  That is what you were gonna say, wasn’t it?”  I detected just a light tinting of pink occurring in his ears as he said it.


“As a matter of fact, it was, but seeing as they’ve already taken care of it, I’ll just shut the heck up.”  All six gave a big giggle at that.  “Well, looks like our popcorn’s ready, shall we start the third show?”  With agreement from everyone, we grabbed our bowls and drinks and returned to the theater.  Though I assumed Logan wouldn’t be living with us for very long, it was nice to see how easily he fit in with the rest of the crew.  Maybe this wouldn’t be too bad, after all. 


When our show ended, I ordered pizzas from Capone’s for supper and while I made the trip to pick them up, the boys were busy setting the table and getting everyone’s drinks.  By the time I got back home, everyone else was already seated and ready to dig in.  I set the pizzas and breadsticks on the table, then continued on to the bedroom to get undressed.  As I walked through the kitchen, I yelled, “Y’all try to leave some for me please.”  A loud and long chorus of laughter followed me all the way down the hall.  One thing I am quickly learning is to not turn your back on food when there’s a group of hungry, growing boys anywhere nearby.


When I got back to the table, I noticed Tom had filled my plate for me, so I needn’t have worried about getting some supper.  Before taking my own chair, I gave him a kiss and whispered, “Thanks for making sure I didn’t starve tonight.”


“No problem.  I almost got a fork in the back of my hand for it, but I fought ‘em all off.”  The boys all laughed heartily at that, and I did, too.


“Well, I thank you for your bravery against such formidable opponents.  I trust you fought honorably.”


“Never.  Especially when food’s involved.  It’s first come, first served.”  The three oldest boys cracked up with laughter.  Tom gave them a sideways glance and asked, “Do I wanna know what that’s all about?”


“Probably not, Pops,” Joey answered through his continuing giggles.


To change the topic from the direction I felt it was headed, I asked, “Logan, are you going to try to go to school tomorrow or would you rather stay here?”


“I think I’d like to stay here, if that’s okay with you, Mr. Sanders.  I’d really hate to be there lookin’ like a freakin’ raccoon all day.  Maybe my eyes won’t look so bad on Tuesday.”


“That’s fine.  I’ll call the office in the morning to let them know where you are.”


“Thanks, Mr. Sanders, I really appreciate it.”


“Oh, and as long you’re here, please can call me Max or Dad, and use Tom or Pops for the big guy over here.  Calling us Mr. just makes sound a lot older than we are.”


“Mmmph, big guy,” he chortled.  “I guess if the shoe fits, right?”


“We’re referring to his muscles, Logan, nothin’ else.”


“Yeah, right,” he retorted with a snicker.  “He’s bigger than my old man.”


“You’ll find out as you go through life that there all shapes and sizes of bodies in this world, but on the inside, we’re all the same, and that’s the part that matters.”


“Whatever,” he mumbled.


“Next question, we have a spare bedroom, but there’s no bed in it right now.  Will you be okay sharing a bed with Alex and Joey until we can get the bed brought back from my storage building?”


Logan turned to his friends and, after seeing the sly grins on their faces, knew what his answer was going to be.  “Oh, yeah, that’s fine with me, Mr. San…, uh, Max,” he answered with his own wicked grin.  Their bed is huge and there should plenty of room for all three of us, no sweat.”


“Well, another problem solved.  We’re on a roll, Tom, what’s next?”


“Um, I can’t think of anything.  Sounds like we got it all squared away to me.”


The rest of the meal was fairly quiet, the only comments coming from the boys about school tomorrow morning.  When we were all done eating, we worked together to clean up the table, put the extra pizza and breadsticks in the fridge for lunch tomorrow and then settled in the living room to relax by the fireplace for a while.  Mike pulled out the Uno cards and the boys played on the floor while Tom and I returned to our books.  I started yawning about an hour later and decided it was time to head for bed.


“Boys, it’ been a long weekend and tomorrow has ‘long day’ written all over it.  I think it’s time we all hit the sack so we can start tomorrow bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.”


“Aw-w-w, do we hafta?” whined Mike.


“You don’t necessarily need to go sleep right now, but I’d really appreciate if you’d climb in bed.  If you want to talk or watch TV in your rooms for a half hour, that’s fine.  As long you promise us that lights and TVs go off then.  How does that sound?”


“That’s cool, Dad, thanks.”


“No problem.  Come give us our hugs before you go.”  One by one, they came by and we swapped hugs, kisses, goodnights and love yous before trudging on to their rooms.  All expect for Alex, who held back until he heard the last door close, then sat on the coffee table in front of me.  “Yes, son?”


“Dad, I know we told you we were sorry about what happened yesterday but I want to say it again.  We know we were wrong to push you, but something you said this afternoon made Joey and I realize how really wrong we were.”


“What did I say?”


“It’s when you were telling us about what rape is, about how it’s when you force someone into sex.  When you said it, Joey and I suddenly realized that’s kinda what we did to you.  When we pulled your shorts down so Brent could see your penis, we forced you into something you really didn’t want to happen.  I noticed even then that you kinda went into zombie mode or somethin’, but I was too horned up to stop it.  Then when you almost left the bathroom still hangin’ out of your shorts, I knew we’d really screwed up.  All three of us are really, really sorry we did that to you and we won’t never do nothin’ like that ever again, we promise.  Please don’t send us to jail for rapin’ you, please!”  He had already started to tear up when he began apologizing, but he was really crying when he finished.


“Come here, buddy.”  Alex came over, crawled up in my lap and I wrapped my arms around his quivering body.  “What happened was a mistake, yes, but I wouldn’t call it rape and I wouldn’t ever dream of you going to jail for it.  Let me tell you something.  When you guys pulled my shorts down, I felt like I was losing control, kind of like I did 20 years ago when I was abused by the Muellers and that’s why I spaced out.”


“Oh, god, I knew it, we’re just like them.  Maybe we should be in jail,” he sobbed.


Tom came over, laid a hand on his back, then calmly said, “Alex, listen to me.  You guys are nothing like the Muellers and you’re not going to jail.”


“Really?” Alex whined.


“Really.  But after what your dad’s been through, you and your brothers need understand that he’s in a really fragile state of mind.  Something that maybe wouldn’t have been a problem a week ago can now become a big problem very quickly.  Our biggest concern over the whole thing is involving Brent in it.  Had it been just you and Joey, it wouldn’t be as big an issue.  Including Brent could open us up to all kinds of problems, especially if he ever tells anybody about it.”


“He said he’d never say a word.  He promised!”


“And we hope he doesn’t, but if he does, there’s no end to the problems we could have.  Do you understand that?”


“Yeah, I guess so.”


“Good.  Why don’t you go to our bathroom, straighten up your face, dry your eyes and blow your nose?  That way when you go to your room, you might not look too much like you’ve been crying.”


“Okay.”  Alex hopped of my lap and headed to our bedroom.


“Whoa, I didn’t see that comin’,” Tom said quietly.


“I sure didn’t either, but I’m glad they truly realize it was a mistake and something like that can’t happen again.  Although…”




“The last thing Brent said to me before going to get dressed was he still wants to return the favor.”


“Holy crap, are you kiddin’ me?”




“Max, you can’t let that happen.”


“I know, bubba, I know.”


Alex reappeared on his way back from our bathroom and stopped between Tom and me.  He grabbed our necks, one in each arm, and whispered, “We really love you guys, we hope you know that.”


“We do, buddy.  And we love you, too.”


“Oh, one more thing, we also want to say thanks for helpin’ us out last night.  We couldn’t figure out what we was doin’ wrong.  We didn’t have no problems this mornin’ though,” he giggled through his grin.


“I’m glad for you guys.  That’s a big step to take.  We’re glad we could give you some guidance so you didn’t hurt yourselves.”


“We’re kinda sorry for interruptin’ your own, um, love makin’, but I think you two really liked us bein’ there with ya’.”


Tom and I exchanged a sheepish glance before he answered, “To be honest, we enjoyed watchin’ you two.  We might like to do that again sometime.”


“Next time, if there is a next time, the two of us wanna do it to you two.”


“We’ll see buddy.  Now scoot, please, I need some sleep.”


As Alex walked away, he turned back and winked, then disappeared down the hall.


“Oh, my, life is going to be very, very interesting, isn’t it?” Tom asked.


“You’re just now figuring that out?  Took ya’ long enough.  I’ve known that since the first time I met these guys.  But that’s okay, it sure beats the hell out of boring.  Well, look, this has been a long damn day and I’m beat.  Also, I can hear my pillows calling me.  You comin’ to bed with me?”


“It’s still pretty early for me, babe.  I thought I’d read a little more by the fire, it you don’t mind.”


“Whatever you want.”  I leaned over and gave Tom a kiss and a hug.  “I love you, big buy.  See you in the morning.”


“I love you, too.  I’ll try not to wake you when I come to bed.”


I strolled into the bedroom, visited the bathroom one more time, then crawled under the covers where I promptly fell asleep.  I have no idea when Tom came to bed, but I still managed to entwine myself in his strong, safe arms during the night.  Considering the dreams I kept having, that was a good place to find myself when I woke up to start the new day.  As I made my way to the bathroom, my mind was swirling with the thoughts of having to relive my abuse at the hand of the Muellers again as I told my story to Dylan.  I was not looking forward to the day at all.  In fact, I wanted nothing more at that moment than to crawl back in bed, pull the covers over my head, and hide from the world.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option if I wanted to see them in prison where they belonged.


I ambled across the house to wake the boys and get them moving as they start another fun-filled week of school.  I stopped to wake the twins and Logan first and found them in their regular pretzeled position with Logan in the middle.  The covers had been shoved to the side and their beautiful bodies were on full display.  The most intriguing part of this morning’s twining was each lad had a hand wrapped around the turgid member of another.  Damn, but I love mornings.  I hated to wake them, but two were going to school so I leaned over and shook Alex’s shoulder. 


As his eyes fluttered open, he made no attempt to remove his hand from Logan’s hardness, but looked up at me and mumbled, “Oh, hey, Dad.  Time to get up?”


“Why else would I be waking you?  Get those other two lumps movin’, will ya’?  I got three more to roust.”


“Sure thing.”  He turned to the other two and yelled, “YO!  Time to move sleepyheads!”  Though I knew I needed to move on, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the tableau in front of me, so, I stood there like a statue and watched as Logan and Joey’s eyes snapped open in a flash of confusion.  Logan immediately realized he was exposed and there was a hand holding his perfect pecker.  Then the confusion on his face grew even deeper as he realized it wasn’t his own hand because that was wrapped around Joey’s sweet meat.


“Oh, shit!” he exclaimed removing hands from various locations and scrambling for the covers.


“Chill out, dude, Dad’s cool,” Alex said.  “He knows what boners are and what they look like.  He should since he sees ‘em every morning.”


“Sorry, man, I wasn’t thinkin’.  My old man’s never seen me hard.  Bein’ ‘round him always makes it wilt in a hurry.”


“Ain’t no big deal ‘round here, goofball,” Joey replied, laying his head in Logan’s lap and giving the stiff, hot cocksicle located there a quick lick, eliciting a giggle from Logan.  “Dicks get hard, dicks get soft, who gives a fu…, uh, rat’s behind?”


“Good catch, young man,” I commented.  “Up and at ‘em boys.  Breakfast in fifteen.” 


I left that trio to their own devices and moved on to the next.  Opening the door to their room, I found T.J., Mike and Andy in a similar position as the other three, covers pushed to the end of the bed, legs and arms entwined, and hands wrapped around engorged cocklets.  Someday, I’m going to have to take some pictures of these young lads in this state, if for no other reason than to embarrass them later in life.  But now that I think about it some more, they probably just think, ‘yeah, I knew what I liked, even when I was asleep’.


I shook Mike’s shoulder to wake him up and soon as I did, he began disentangling himself from the other two while mumbling, “Yeah, Dad, we’re movin’.”  He shook Andy and T.J., receiving moans from them at having to move.


“Breakfast in fifteen,” I called out as I left the room to wake the furry teddy bear still sleeping at the other end of the house.  There was no pretzel happening here since Tom was alone, but there was no hiding the obscene bulge pushing the sheet up and forming a tent over his midsection.  I snaked my hand under the sheet and wrapped it around the stiff pole supporting the peak of the tent.  His eyes flew open and a throaty growl of lust emanated from deep within his body, causing vibrations to emanate through his shaft and tickle my palm.  “C’mon, big guy, time to get movin’,” I chided as I pulled my hand out from under the sheet.


“Oh, man, don’t tease me like that.  It’s not nice to leave a guy high and dry like that.”


“You were already high, bubba, but not so dry,” I laughed as I licked the ooze from my hand.


“Serves ya’ right, jerk,” he grumbled as he got up and headed to the bathroom.


“See you in the kitchen.  I’ll have coffee ready when you get there.”


“You sure as hell better.”


I disappeared down the hall and entered the kitchen just as Alex, Joey and Logan arrived and hopped up on their stools, all three still sharing two stools.  “Looks like I need to buy another stool, doesn’t it?”


“We’re okay, Max.  I don’t mind sharin’,” Logan answered.


“We’ll see.  How does cereal and toast sound to you guys this morning?”


“Fine with us, Dad,” Alex answered.


“Do we really have to go to school today?” Joey asked as I put the cereal, bowls and milk on the counter.


“Of course, you do, why would you ask such a silly question?”


“I was hopin’ since Logan was stayin’ here today, we could, too.”


“Sorry, boys, not gonna happen.  Logan has a valid excuse to miss a day,” I answered, pulling the toaster from the cabinet and getting it set up.  Next, I got the coffee going so it would be ready when Tom joined us.


“Dang it,” Alex exclaimed.


Mike, T.J. and Andy finally joined us and I filled their bowls with their cereal of choice and milk.  “You guys ready for another fun-filled of school?”


“No!” was the answer from all six.


“Well, y’all better get ready, there’s lots to learn and school’s the place to learn it.”  Since the coffee was done brewing, I poured two cups and had just taken my first sip when Tom meandered down the hall and joined us.  “Mornin’, Grumpy.  Coffee’s on the counter, as promised.”


“Thanks, I needed that.  You seem awfully chipper this morning, all things considered.”


“I feel pretty chipper, too, despite the lousy dreams and worrying about talking to Dylan this morning.  I can’t explain why, but it feels good.”


“I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better.  Any English muffins left?”


“Should be some in the bread drawer.  I’ll take one, too, if you don’t mind.”  Tom took care of the muffins for us and I pulled out the honey so I could put some on mine.  When the boys finished their cereal, they rinsed their bowls and dropped ‘em in the dishwasher, then returned to their rooms to get dressed for school.  While we munched our muffins I asked, “Do you mind runnin’ the boys out to the bus this morning?  I’ve got a few things deal with before Dylan gets here.”


“Sure, what are you dealing with?”


“I want to call James and get him to push the Mueller’s to make their restitution to the twins before they go to prison.  Then, I want to call Ron about coming out to talk to him about coming to work out here, if you’re still cool with that idea?”


“Sounds good to me, still.”


“Good, I was hoping you’d say that.  I also need to get the Spiderwick books ordered.  After losin’ it yesterday, I kinda forgot all about it.”


“Oops.  I hate when that happens.  Forgettin’ shit, that is.  You can’t really control the other.”


“That’s the other thing I need to do, call Paul and see if he’s found someone I can talk to.  I want to get started with that as soon as I can, try and get things under better control.”  The boys were filtering back in and waiting for Tom to run them out to the bus shelter.  “You better get a move on, Tom, the bus will be here any minute.”


“Just need to pull on some sweats.  Be right back.”  As he turned down the hall to get dressed, Logan climbed up on the stool.


“What am I supposed to do today?” he asked.


“Do you have any homework to work on that you didn’t get done over the weekend?”


“A little bit, but it won’t take long for me to finish it.”


“Well, why don’t you grab it real quick and get started on it.  I need to call the school and let them know where you are.”


“You want me to do it out here?”


“If you want, or you can use one of the desks in the twins’ room, whichever you prefer, Logan.”


“Okay, I’ll be back in a minute.”


As he headed to grab his backpack, Tom stopped by to give me a kiss before delivering the boys to the end of the drive.  After getting my goodbye hugs from the boys, they headed to the garage.  Logan returned with his backpack and pulled out his work to get started on it.  While he was doing that, I picked up the phone and called the school.


“New Berlin schools, may I help you?” Gloria asked in greeting.


“Good morning, Gloria, Max Sanders here, how are you this beautiful Monday morning?”


“It’s Monday, Mr. Sanders, do you really have to ask?” she chuckled.


“No, probably not.  The reason I’m calling this morning is to let you know that Logan Campbell won’t be at school today?”


“Well, thanks for calling to let us know, but why are you calling for him?  Why isn’t his father calling?”


“Um, how can I say this?  Let’s just say that Mr. Campbell is currently indisposed and not allowed to make phone calls.  As a result, Logan is staying with us for the time being.”


“Okay,” she responded slowly.  “Do I want to know what happened or is it none of my business.”


“I’m sure you’ll find out in due time, Gloria.  I expect Logan should be ready to return to school tomorrow, but if that changes, I’ll let you know.  Could you please make sure either Alex or Joey has whatever assignments Logan will need to work on so they can bring home whatever he needs?”


“Thanks, Mr. Sanders, and sure, I’ll let Mr. Thomas know.  Anything else I can do for you this morning?”


“Actually, yes, is Mr. Furman available?”


“One moment, please.”


Ten seconds later, Steve answered the phone, “Mornin’, Max.  How ya’ doin’?”


“I’ve had better days, but I’ll survive it.”


“Nothing serious, I hope.”


“It’s serious, but nothing we can’t deal with.  Listen, I wanted to talk to you to let you know that Joey and Alex have finished working on the fourth-grade math text.”


“What!?” Logan exclaimed in one ear.


“What!?  Are you serious?” Steve shouted in my other ear.


I put a finger to my lips to ask Logan to be quiet, then continued my call with Steve.  “Of course, I am.  I checked over their work and didn’t find any mistakes, but I’ll bring the texts and their notebooks to you this afternoon or tomorrow so you can see them.  I hope you were serious about giving the fifth-grade texts.”


“Without a doubt, Max.  I’ll look forward to seeing how they do with it.”


“That’s good news, Steve, they’ll love it.  One more thing I want you to know about.  Logan Campbell won’t be at school today.  I told Gloria already, but I didn’t tell her why.”


“Uh-oh, that doesn’t sound like good news.”


“It’s not.  He was here for the twins’ birthday party Saturday, and his father took umbrage with Tom and me being gay.  When Logan returned home after the party, his dad beat him pretty badly and Charlie’s sitting in the county jail right now and facing child abuse charges.”


“Is Logan okay?  How badly was he hurt?”


“He’s pretty well bruised from his shoulders to his knees, including two black eyes.  Logan asked if he could stay here today so he wouldn’t be looking like a raccoon at school.”


“No problem, Max.  I’d imagine he’s pretty miserable right now.  If he wants to take a couple days, that’s fine.  I’ll make sure we send any assignments home with Alex and Joey.”


“I’ve already asked Gloria to do that and she said she let Mr. Thomas know.”


“Excellent.  Look, you take care of Logan and he can come back when he’s ready.”


“We’ll do that Steve.  Thanks.  We’ll talk to you later.”


“Thanks for calling, Max.  Have a good day.”


After hanging up, I turned to Logan and said, “Okay, buddy, you’re all set.  The school said you take as many days as you need to feel better, and the twins will be bringing home any work you need to do.  Cool with you?”


“Yeah, that’s great, Max.  Thanks.  And thanks for letting me stay here.  I don’t know where else I’d go.”


“Don’t you worry about it.” 


“What was that you were saying about Joey and Alex having a fourth-grade math book?”


“Well, we’re supposed to keep it quiet, but since you’re living here, you’re bound to find out.  They’re both really, really good with numbers and math and they were bored with the work in the class, so I asked the school to give them next year’s book and see what they did with it.”


“Knowing those two, they probably flew right through the dang thing.  I’ve noticed they’re always the first ones done with any homework or tests.  How long did it take ‘em to finish it, a couple months?”


“Less than two weeks.”


“Holy crap!  I could never do that.”


“Well, I don’t think I could either, so don’t feel too bad.”  Tom finally returned from dropping the boys at the shelter and headed directly to the bedroom to get undressed.  When he came back, I said, “Just got off the phone with the school to let them know about Logan.  Now, I’m getting ready to call James to sic him on the Mueller’s.  Before I do, though, I want to ask a favor of you.”


“If I can do it, I will.  Shoot.”


“Would you mind taking those fourth-grade math texts and the twins’ notebooks to the school this afternoon.  Steve would like to review them before he gives them the next text.”


“Sure thing.  Was he surprised when you told him they were done with it?”


“More like astonished.  Thanks, bubba, I appreciate it.  Now, James.”  I dialed his number and since it was still a bit early, he answered his own phone.


“James Cantrell, Attorney-at-Law, how may I help you.”


“You still chargin’ those outrageous fees, you shyster?” I asked with a laugh.


“Damn right, I am.  You still writin’ books nobody wants to read?” he joked back.


“Is there any other kind?”


“Not for you, there isn’t.  So, what’s up, Max.  You never call me unless you need something.”


“I need you to go after Frank and Iris Mueller.”


“For what?  I didn’t represent you with that case.”


“I know, but you were there in the court when the judge rendered his decision.  The damages they were supposed to pay to the boys were to go to a gay youth suicide hotline.  I’m betting they haven’t done it.  I need you to find out if they’ve paid, and if they haven’t, I want you to hound whoever you have to make it happen, and quick.”


“I’ll be happy to it, but why the pressure?”


“Because I don’t think they’re going to be able to stay out of prison very much longer and once they’re inside, they won’t be able to pay.  I want to make sure it’s done before they go away.”


“What the hell are you talking about?”


“Let’s just say they’re about to get swallowed up in a child sex abuse investigation and once that investigation is completed, they’ll no longer be free people.”


“And just how do you know that’s going to happen.”


“Because I was one of their victims and I’m talking to the police this morning.”


“Oh, shit, Max.  I had no idea.”


“I didn’t either, really, until just last week, again.  So, do me a favor and get their money while they still have some.  Once they have to pay for lawyers to try to save their sorry asses, there won’t be any left for the hotline.”


“You got it Max.  We’ll get right on it and I’ll let you know when it’s done.  And since I’ll enjoy this, I’m not even gonna charge you this time.”


“That’s great, although I’ll be happy to do so.”


“Nope, this one’s on the house.  Do you want to sue them, also?”


“No need.  There’s no statute of limitation on the criminal charges they’ll be facing, so putting them in prison is the best outcome.  Besides, I don’t want any of their damn money.  It’d just be another reminder I don’t need.”


“Understood.  Well, I better quit wastin’ time on the phone with you and get busy.  Thanks for the call and if you need anything, call me.”


“Will do, James.  Give ‘em hell for me.”  I hung up the phone, turned to Tom and asked, “Okay who was next?”


“Ron, and then Paul.  Or was it Paul first?  Either way.”


“Paul first, I think.  Maybe I can get to him before he’s with a patient.”  I dialed his number and waited patiently for an answer.


“You’ve reached the Kirkland home and office, this is Joy.”


“Good morning, Joy, Max Sanders here.  How are you this bright and beautiful Monday?”


“Oh, morning, Max.  We’re good, how are you doing?”


“Nothin’ but better days ahead, I hope.  Hey, is Paul available?”


“Sure thing, he’s just finishing his coffee, one second.”


She handed the phone to her husband and he greeted me with, “Mornin’ Max.  How you feelin’ today?”


“I’m not real sure.  Better than I was last time you saw me, but not by much.”


“What’s going on?”


“Well, I kinda freaked out yesterday and lost control.  Scared the crap out of all of us.  Tom was able to help me regain control, but it was a struggle.  From his experience on the force, he thinks I might be dealing with PTSD.  Is that really possible after all this time?”


“Not only possible, but very probable.  You’re dealing with emotions and feelings that have been bottled up and festering for over twenty years.  I’d actually be surprised if things didn’t boil over and explode from time to time.”


“Great, just freakin’ great.  Any luck on finding someone else I can talk to so I can learn to deal with this?”


“As a matter of fact, I was going to be calling you in a bit to give you a name and number.  She has some time slots open this week and she’s waiting for you to call.  Let me get to my office and I’ll give you her information.”  After a brief moment on hold, he came back on the line.  “Okay, you ready?”


“You bet.”


“Her name is Jean Schaid.  Her office is in Clocktower, so it should be easy for you to get to and here’s her number.”  I wrote down all the information as he gave it to me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to remember it otherwise.  “She’s a no-nonsense type of psychologist and believes in attacking things head-on.  If there’s anyone in town who can help you, it’s her.  I talked to her briefly and gave her a little bit of background on your situation, so she knows what she’ll be dealin’ with.”


“Thanks, Paul, I really appreciate this.  And we are all very thankful for your help last week.  I’m not sure what would have happened if you hadn’t come out when you did.”


“I’m always happy to help out a friend, Max.  By the way, you should be hearing from the police soon.  I turned over my report to them Friday.”


“Funny you should mention that.  Dylan’s coming out to talk to me this morning.”


“Good, I’d figured they wouldn’t waste any time, not with the information I included in the report.”


“The sooner I get done dealing with this insanity, the sooner we can move on with our lives out here.  Oh, hey, that reminds me of something I don’t think we’ve talked about yet.”


“What’s that?”


“Tom and I are getting married May seventeenth.  We’d really like it if you and Joy could be here.”


“We’d love to join you.  I’ll let Joy know.”


“We’ll be sending out invitations in a bit, but I wanted to give you a little advanced notice.”


“Thanks for that, you can count on us being there.”


“Excellent, we’ll look forward to it.  Thanks again for Jean’s name and number.  I’ll call her right now.”


“No problems, Max.  I wish you the best of luck and if you need me for anything, just call.”


That call completed, I dialed Jean’s number.


“The Schaid practice, how can we help you.”


“Good morning, I was given Dr. Schaid’s name by Dr. Paul Kirkland and I’d like to make an appointment.”


“May I have your name, sir?”


“Max Sanders.”


“Oh, yes, the doctor told me to expect your call.  Let me pull up her schedule.  Okay, here we go, she has appointments available tomorrow at ten, Wednesday at two and Friday at eleven.  Which one would you like to have?”


“Tomorrow at ten would be perfect.”


“No problem, Mr. Sanders.  I have you down and we’ll look for you then.  Do you have our address?”


“Yes, Dr. Kirkland gave it to me.”


“Then we’ll see you tomorrow morning, Mr. Sanders.  Have a good day.”


“Thanks, you too.”  After hanging up the phone again, I turned to Tom and told him, “Appointment tomorrow morning at ten with Dr. Schaid.  Do not let me forget it.”


“You want me to go with you, babe?”


“Probably not a bad idea.  God knows what kind of shape I’ll be in after.”


“What about me,” Logan asked.


“Well, buddy, if you don’t go to school, I guess you go with us,” Tom answered.


“Cool.  It’ll be like a field trip.”


“I guess so,” I answered, leaning across the counter and ruffling his hair.  “Okay, Ron was next, right?”


“Yep, then Amazon, Spiderwick.”


I dialed the number for Merry Maids.


“Merry Maids, this is Joyce, how can we brighten your day?”


“Joyce, this is Max Sanders, how are you?”


“I’m well, thanks for asking.”


“Look, I had a crew of yours out a while back to give my home a quick cleaning.  I have some more things I’d like to have done and I’d like to arrange for Ron to come take care of them for me.”


“We can certainly do that, Mr. Sanders.  Any particular reason you’re requesting Ron?”


“Well, some of what I want done will require use of a tall ladder,” I said as the reason while looking to Tom and shrugging my shoulders.  “I just thought Ron might be more willing to accept the challenge.”


After a quick chuckle, Joyce replied, “No doubt about that.  Most of my ladies won’t do ladders more than three foot tall.  When would you like Ron to come out?”


“If possible, tomorrow afternoon, say, around two or so?  I expect he’ll be here for a couple hours.”


“Let me look at his schedule, one moment.”  After a few moments, she came back on the call, “Shouldn’t be a problem, Mr. Sanders.  I just talked to him and he’s looking forward to coming out.  Thanks for calling and have a great day.”


“Okay, Ron will be here around two tomorrow.  We’ll see if we can get some real help around here keeping things clean.  Now, I need a computer to order those books.”  I headed to office and five minutes later, the whole series of Spiderwick Chronicles books were ordered and they were scheduled to arrive Wednesday.  As I rejoined Tom and Logan in the kitchen, I commented, “Okay, I think that’s everybody and everything I wanted to take care of this morning.  Have I missed anything?”


“Let’s see, school, James, Paul, Jean, Ron, Amazon.  Nope that sounds like everyone I knew about.  You didn’t want to call the pope or the president, did ya’.”


“Gee, let me think about that.  First, the Pope.  Since I’m an atheist, I think I’m the absolute last person with whom he wants to have a discussion, on any topic, so I think we can safely rule him out.  Second, our president.  As for the poor imitation of a world leader currently residing in our White House, I wouldn’t walk across the street to piss on him if he was on fire.  So, I think I’ll pass on the opportunity to place that particular call, also.  Guess that means I’m done.  Guess we should get ready for Dylan to show up.”


“What do ya’ mean,” Logan asked.


“When people come to the house, Logan, we get dressed.”


“But we didn’t yesterday, we just wrapped a towel around ourselves.”


“Yesterday was kind of a fluke and we didn’t have the time to actually get shorts.  Tom and I will have on shorts and a t-shirt today.  I expect you to have on shorts, at least, okay.”


“But if this is your house, why do you get dressed?  Why don’t you make people get naked like you?”


“It’s called courtesy, Logan.  Yes, it’s our house and they’re just visiting, but still, we don’t want anyone to feel awkward when they’re here.  Besides, you said you and your dad do the same at your home, right?”


“Yeah, we do.  Okay, I’ll get a pair of shorts, I think I brought some with me.”


“If you didn’t, you can borrow some from Alex or Joey, okay?”  DING!  “And now’s the time, so scoot, young man.”  Logan headed across the house to the twins’ room while Tom and I headed to our room.  Just as we were coming back down the hall, the doorbell rang.  I headed to the door as Tom continued to the living room and Logan returned to the kitchen to continue his homework.


I opened the front door to find Dylan and Derek.  “Mornin’, guys, come on in.  I didn’t know you were bringing backup with you today, Dylan.”


“Well, I hadn’t planned on it, but Derek asked me this morning if he could join me, and I figured two heads are better than one, so I brought him with me.  I hope that’s okay.”


“That’s fine.  Why don’t we talk in the living room?  It’s the most comfortable.” 


Logan stuck his head out of the kitchen and said, “Hi, Mr. Timmons.”


“Good morning to you, too, Logan.  How ya’ doin’ today?”


“Pretty good, but Max let me stay home from school.”


“Is he the young man you assisted yesterday, Deputy?” Dylan asked.


“Yes, sir.”


“Logan, I’d like to talk to you when I’m done talking with Mr. Sanders.  Is that all right?”


“You bet, whenever.”


“Good, I’ll let you know when.”  Dylan turned back to me and asked, “Well, shall we get this interview started?”


“No time like the present, I guess,” I replied and led the way to the living room to join Tom.


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