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  2. HORNY Hugo's one randy new young TWINK
  3. So tonight I watched the rest of season 1 of Orange Is the New Black. I guess I wasn’t really surprised that Pornstache didn’t get what he deserved. Institutions like prisons don’t like scandal. They don’t want the public to know that members of the staff can be crooked. They’d like to blame the inmates for every problem that’s discovered.

    In my former county of Alameda, the Sheriff has several scandals he’s dealing with. One is over the no-bid contract for healthcare that he illegally signed. There are several related scandals including charges that inmates were forced to give birth in their cells. There was also a case where an inmate was released in the middle of the night, after BART shut down for the night and several hours before it starts up again in the morning (I believe the buses don’t run in that area at the time either) – she OD’d in the BART parking lot and was only discovered when the station opened for the morning.

    Tastee was an example of how there is even less support for ex-con when they are released than when they are incarcerated. She mentioned the unreasonable demands placed on her, including getting three interviews per week (I’m not sure what would constitute proof of an interview). It’s no wonder that homeless shelters are filled with ex-cons. I’m not sure what ex-cons do when they have to wait months on a waiting list to get into shelters (as with one county-run shelter I stayed at twice). I know that many ex-cons live on the streets or in encampments – they may not have any other choice!

    Watching this show is a lot more relatable than Oz. The dorms and conditions were more similar to the homeless shelters I stayed at. A lot of the same sort of drama there too!
    ;–)

  4. Henry had got Gavin’s room key and went round to the hall of residence to pick up a change of clothes for him from his still unpacked cases. Nobody seemed to have noticed that Gavin was not there, or commented when Henry went into his room. Henry found that sad. He returned to Finkle Road and discovered Gavin a bit more awake and in less apparent pain. He gave the boy chicken soup, which he ate, and a fruit juice because it seemed a healthier sort of drink to Henry. Gavin smiled up at him, looking more relaxed, so Henry helped him get dressed and come downstairs for a space. Since Eddie was in the Union bar, which had already become his second home, Henry and Gavin watched TV for a while until the doorbell heralded David’s arrival. Gavin immediately retired into his shell in the presence of a new face, and was clearly intimidated by the public-school confidence and good looks of this vision. David did his best, but in the end he and Henry had no choice but to talk about common friends and what they were up to. Finally, David got on to a subject that roused Gavin. ‘Rudi’s in the papers today. Some photographer got into his college and took pictures of him in the quad and on his stairs. The tabloids say he’s not covered by the same privacy agreement as the Windsors. Chancellor Trachtenberg has supposedly complained to the UK government about it.’ Gavin, emboldened by curiosity, asked timorously, ‘Er … who’s this Rudi?’ Henry smiled. ‘Rudi Burlesdon we called him at school, but he’s the King of Rothenia and he’s in Oxford this year.’ Gavin’s eyes widened. ‘You know the King of Rothenia?’ David grinned a little smugly. ‘Yeah, he’s a mate. We went with him last year when they restored the monarchy. It was an …. interesting few days.’ He caught Henry’s eye and flexed his eyebrows. ‘Wow, what a life you guys have led. I don’t know anyone even remotely famous, though my cousin was on Big Brother two years ago.’ David was a fan of reality TV. ‘Really? Which one was he?’ After that the conversation picked up a bit, and even more so when they began discussing media lust-figures. Gavin maintained that the most beautiful man in the world was Brad Pitt, while David voted for Matthew White. ‘But he’s British,’ Gavin complained with something resembling a laugh, which showed he was coming on a lot in his present company. Henry put on an offended air. ‘British guys can be sensuous and romantic too. You don’t have to be foreign to be interesting. You do realise what you said is heresy in this house.’ ‘How’s that?’ ‘Matt White lived here as a student, and his dad still owns the place,’ Henry said. ‘Never! So it was here that …’ ‘Yeah, he and Andy Peacher had their first fuck here, so he tells me: front first floor bedroom, and he topped,’ David declared. ‘What! You know Matthew White too! Who are you people?’ Henry grinned. ‘Just eighteen-year-olds who happen to know a few people. But Eddie, who shares here, he’s Andy Peacher’s little brother.’ ‘Oh my God! And does the queen, like, come down here for tea from Windsor on Fridays?’ ‘Gavin,’ smiled Henry, ‘that was almost ironic. You seem to be getting better.’ Gavin blushed. ‘But billionaires, models, royals … you people are jet setters. I knew I might meet interesting people in uni, but I never thought Cranwell would have the likes of you. You lot are supposed to go to Oxbridge or – I dunno – St Andrews.’ ‘Cambridge turned me down,’ said Henry, ‘but Davey here could have gone to Durham, Bristol or Oxford if he had wanted.’ ‘So why did you come here … David?’ David then pleased Henry enormously by reaching over, ruffling Gavin’s slightly greasy hair and saying, ‘Call me Davey too, Gavin. You’re a nice kid. Henry always picks them.’ Gavin positively blazed with shy delight. ‘No, the reason I came here is that I fell in love with a man who comes from Cranwell, and who has a flat here. I live with him when he’s at home, which isn’t often enough for me. That’s why I picked Cranwell over Durham. Not most people’s choice, I gather.’ ‘The place seems to be looking up, though!’ Gavin laughed fully now, then winced when the sudden movement reminded him of the damaged state of his arse. ‘Back to bed, Gavin. You need the rest. We’ll help you up the stairs, and just take it slowly.’ As he cuddled back down into his duvet, Gavin murmured, ‘Who’d have believed it? I finally meet the jet set, and in Cranwell!’ Henry got the impression that Gavin was living one of his daydreams. David grinned up as Henry came back to the lounge. ‘That’s a sad little refugee you’ve picked up.’ ‘I wonder …’ said Henry. ‘I thought so too, but he perked up amazingly during that last conversation. He was almost funny. He can emerge from his shell in the right company. He has self-esteem problems, though, so much is clear.’ ‘Henry, he is not your problem. Tell me that you aren’t going to take in a stray.’ ‘I already have, but I’m sending him home tomorrow, is that alright with you?’ David laughed. ‘Come on Outfield, let’s go see what’s up with Eddie and the drunks.’ *** Eddie Peacher was holding court in the bar once again, with the same bunch of apprentice deadbeats around him. To be fair to Eddie, Henry registered, he was making nothing – indeed dodging away from – any reference to his background. So far as his mates were concerned, he was an amusing Yank out for a good time. Eddie’s ability to transcend the effects of beer was impressive too. He had been playing drinking games that involved reciting long lists of sexual diseases, and drinking half a pint if you went astray. His mates were nearly all under the table, but he still made perfect sense when talking to David and Henry, other than betraying a certain bleariness in his eye. The entire group lurched off afterwards to the student nightclub on campus. It was Freshers’ Only Dance. The other years were technically banned from the premises, although Henry noticed the dark figure of Wayne Clanchy cruising the perimeter of the floor. He nodded to David. ‘That’s the guy who tore Gavin.’ Eddie caught the remark and smiled dangerously. ‘Then let’s go say hello.’ ‘Hey motherfucker!’ he snarled as he caught Wayne round the neck and slammed him into a brick wall, knocking all the breath out of him. Eddie was powerfully built on the lines of his father and had been a keen footballer in his college. ‘We got a kid at home you ripped up with your dick. It’ll be a week before he can walk properly. Just want you to know how little we think of you.’ Henry was impressed, although a little nervous as to what this could lead to. But he wasn’t feeling that friendly towards Wayne either. ‘I don’t think we’ll be seeing you in Gaysoc again, will we.’ Wayne had recovered, and a small crowd of staring students had gathered. Wayne began mouthing off for the benefit of the audience. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, get your hands off me! Fucking homophobes. Wait till the Union hears about this. You can’t take out your own inadequacies on gays any more.’ ‘Oh shut the fuck up,’ David joined in, ‘you’re the sort that gives gays a bad name, you arsehole.’ Wayne began struggling and shouting and security came over. ‘Break it up, lads. What’s going on here?’ ‘They’re picking on me cos I’m gay!’ shouted Wayne. Eddie was still smiling. ‘Not at all. We were reasoning with him. He shouldn’t be here, he’s a second-year.’ ‘This true? Show us your card,’ the security man said. ‘Okay. Another one. You’re bounced. We’ll just check your card in at the desk. That’s an automatic month’s suspension, matey.’ As Wayne was hustled out, Eddie gave an even broader grin and called after him, ‘Wait for me outside, fucker, just wait and we can continue the debate any way you like.’ ‘You’re a dangerous dude, dude,’ Henry said, although he was inwardly a little troubled by the ease with which Eddie slipped into violence. Eddie seemed strangely sobered by the incident and got a coke rather than a beer at Henry’s round. They watched the dancing. Eddie sized up the girls and without warning launched himself on to the floor to put a move on a long-haired blond with a big smile. They talked easily and apparently effectively over the music. David raised an eyebrow at Henry. ‘Are you daring me?’ Henry asked and David grinned. Henry grabbed his hand and pulled him on to the floor and into the moving groups. They were dancing, and were being very much noticed, but no one was going to say anything. David threw a very provocative kiss in Eddie’s direction when they passed. Eddie looked flustered for the first time since Henry had known him. ‘You are so gay, Davey,’ Henry murmured as they went to sit down. They left at midnight and Henry felt very good about the world as he reached his house. Streaks, eh? Maybe I bloody well will, he thought. *** Henry woke to the doorbell at ten the next morning. He staggered down in his boxers, struggling to contain his morning erection. He peered around the front door, then whooped, awake in an instant. ‘Justy, man!’ A dark-haired and cocky-looking lad in a suit and tie was on the doorstep. He caught Henry round the back of the head and began a thorough exploration of his mouth, licking his lips when they broke off. ‘Hey, Henry babe, I fink I knows what you wuz doin’ last night.’ ‘Mmm. C’mon in, Justy, missed you so much. I haven’t seen you since … forever. How’s your Nathan?’ ‘He’s good. He had a great year wiv the garden centre, and Uncle Phil is pleased. Course, part of his profits is because he don’t pay me nuffink when I works in the shop, the chiselling capitalist. But I don’t mind, Uncle Terry’s making me rich. In about one month I’ll be twenty and I got – well I ain’t gonna tell you how much I got in me bank account, cos it’ll make yer sick, yer poor student, and put you off yer studies. Just let us say that me bank manager kisses me feet whenever I comes through his door. And yeah, I will have a coffee, ta very much.’ Justin Peacher-White sat at Henry’s kitchen table, and they smiled happily at each other. They had formed a close if unlikely friendship two years before. Justin pulled out a pocket notebook and found a pen. ‘OK, little Henry. Might as well get on wiv it. This the only back door? Is there an alarm system? What’s the access to the back yard?’ And Justin ran through two dozen pointed questions about the house, its access and security. Carrying his mug, he gave the back yard a thorough inspection, leaping up on to the brick walls and checking out the neighbouring gardens and back lane. ‘Is Eddie up yet?’ he asked. Henry pulled on his trousers and shook his head. ‘But he’s definitely in, ‘cos of the smell from his bedroom. I think he’s alone, too, though he was making out with a tidy girl last night. On past form, you won’t see him till about three this afternoon. He must have drunk fifteen pints last night.’ ‘Christ almighty! What the fuck must his head be like this morning?’ ‘He seems to shrug it off.’ ‘Kids,’ scoffed Justin. ‘OK, Henry babe. I got me bag in the car.’ ‘You staying?’ ‘Yup, for a week or two anyway. Eddie’s me new contract. I’m working to Jenna Rudat from Andy’s office. Grandad Peacher’s delegated Eddie to Andy’s people, and they asked for someone who might blend in wiv a student environment.’ ‘And they came up with you?’ ‘Whossamarrer? I’m nineteen … well for another six weeks anyway. I could pass for seventeen too, as a couple of criminals has learned to their cost. Is this a comment on me lack of education?’ ‘But technically, Eddie’s your uncle! This is genuine nepotism! You’re the adopted son of his big brother. You may have to follow him to lectures and seminars, and you’ve got to get a student look.’ ‘Aw thass easy. Just don’t wash or shave more than once a week, eat a diet of meat pies and curry, get spots and wear the same clothes for a month. I can do that.’ Henry shook his head. In fact, for all his street-kid background, Justin was very fastidious and fashion conscious. He had a lot of money and dressed expensively. He was Andy Peacher’s adopted son, and cost for him had been no object now for several years. ‘You’d better talk to Davey about student kit. I don’t think he’ll charge you for the advice. What exactly are you going to do? Are you going to follow Eddie round?’ ‘A bit, until I get the lowdown on his habits and routines. See what his lecture timetable’s like, and what he does in between, library stuff and so on.’ Henry shook his head, but didn’t disabuse Justin of his illusions about Eddie’s academic lifestyle. He would soon learn. Henry led Justin to the back loft room, which Matt had told him must be left vacant for the use of Eddie’s security people. Henry put his finger to his lips and whispered that Justin should be quiet as he had a sleeping guest in the opposite bedroom, then he went downstairs. *** While Henry waited for Justin he took up the latest Alastair Bannow book, which David had given him: Staring in the Face of Christ. He was on the opening chapter where Dr Bannow was talking – pretty convincingly – about early depictions of Christ. It was an interesting mixture of genuine scholarship and mind-boggling speculation. Bannow had the old story of the letter of Abgar, king of Edessa, to Jesus inviting Him to take shelter in that city. The letter could still be seen several centuries later in the royal archives of Edessa, along with Jesus’ reply. Bannow also told the story of the statue of Jesus at Caesarea, commissioned as a thankoffering by the woman whom he had cured of haemorrhaging. The statue was allegedly standing for many years thereafter in the city. Such relics, said Bannow, were cherished all across the Near East during and just after Jesus’ lifetime. Henry sipped his coffee and reflected. It was a reasonable assumption, he thought. Hegesippus of Jerusalem, writing less than sixty years after Jesus’ death, had seen a portrait of Him said to have been painted from life by the evangelist Mark. Then Henry lost Bannow when the author went on to claim that at least one picture of Christ had survived and, indeed, still survived. Apparently he was not referring to the Turin Shroud. Henry glanced at the back of the book, where there was a thumbnail picture of the author looking earnest and scholarly. The book was a major bestseller, and half the student population of Cranwell was reading it, or had read it. Henry studied the reviews on the back of the dust jacket: ‘Major revelation of the secret life of the Catholic Church, Sunday Times’; ‘Seamless work of historical and theological investigation, New York Review of Books’; ‘If true, makes you think hard about the nature of the Church down the ages, Church Times.’ *** Justin had changed into casuals, his favourite Cucinelli kit. He looked like a million dollars, and indeed the cost of the ensemble would have taken a sizable bite out of that sum. ‘Yer guest is stirring, Henry,’ he said, as he poked his head round the lounge door. Henry went upstairs and knocked at the front loft room. ‘Morning, Gavin, how’s your bum?’ Gavin gave him a shy smile. ‘A lot better, thanks. I think I can get up, but I need to go to the loo bad.’ ‘Oh,’ Henry replied. ‘Ah. Okay then. Best thing is that I wait outside the door and you don’t lock it. There could be pain and there could be blood.’ Gavin looked scared. But he went to the bowl of torture and only screamed a little as he passed a stool. ‘You alright?’ Henry called through the door. ‘Better now that’s done,’ Gavin said, with the trace of tears in his voice. ‘Blood?’ asked Henry. ‘A bit, but … it’s not sort of dripping out of me like before. I think I can go back to Stenton Hall safely now.’ ‘I’ll walk you there. I’ve dried your jeans. The stains came out after all. They’ll be wearable again.’ ‘Thanks, Henry. You’re so kind.’ Gavin was quickly dressed and ready, but had a major shock when he unexpectedly encountered Justin in the lounge. He immediately retired deep within his shell, hardly acknowledging Justin’s cheery greeting. Justin looked at Henry, who gave a little shrug. Rather than drag out Gavin’s social agony, Henry took him up Finkle Road to the main campus housing at Stenton Hall, in the suburb of Northside. Gavin didn’t seem to find the walk too painful. He surreptitiously checked in his underpants as they parted and found no leakage. Henry hugged him in the empty lobby of Block 12 and kissed his cheek. Gavin kissed him back. ‘You got my number, Gavin? Then ring if you’re lonely, okay?’ *** But Gavin didn’t ring, and quite a few days went by until Henry saw him again. In the meantime, Justin settled into Finkle Road. Henry was delighted to have him there, endlessly cheerful and, more importantly, intimidating to Eddie. Eddie knew that Justin would be reporting on him to his big brother Andy and indirectly to his father. He got a hunted look on him whenever Justin was around, and began attending his lectures and seminars. But Eddie’s social life did not slow at all, and the rate he downed alcohol troubled Justin. ‘Can’t match him, Henry, and I thought I wuz dissolute. Still, it’s his kidneys.’ Henry tried to have a word with Eddie about his rate of sinking pints. He finally scored when he said, ‘Eddie, it’s hardly any wonder that no girl is going the whole way with you. Drinking like you do scares them; also, you’re getting a gut.’ Eddie looked down at his stomach, a little worried. He went to the gym the next day, and indeed for three consecutive days thereafter. The drinking slackened off a bit too. Henry hoped it had only been a phase associated with Eddie’s release into liberty in the world. One area of Eddie’s student life that impressed Henry positively was his commitment to Paul Oscott’s course. He even said that Henry should come too. Apparently, a lot of students who were not actually on the course were turning up to the lectures. ‘He’s really something, Henry dude, he really is, and I’m not just saying this cuz he’s my brother’s best friend.’ In the meantime, Henry had been taken off to David’s stylists and streaks duly applied to his hair. He wasn’t too fussed at the end result, but he no longer looked like Henry Atwood, son of the rectory, that was for sure. And while he was in the chair, he noticed that the place did piercings, at which point Henry suddenly discovered his unsuspected wild side. David stared as he asked for a brow piercing. A curved metal rod was pulled by a thread through his pinched-up and anaesthetised right eyebrow. He grinned at the result. He knew it was there, but it didn’t hurt much. He felt wicked. He knew exactly what his mum would say. Then he wondered what his Ed would say too, all proper and conservative as he was at Cambridge. Henry shook his head.
  5. Today
  6. Homosapiens

    The Way Home

    Very nice work. I love how you used cliffhangers and surprise twists to capture and keep interest and to move the plot along. I also like your style of not starting the next chapter exactly where the last one ended, yet still letting us know what happened in the interim. I am glad that it was Seth and Rory to the end. Like everyone else, I thought it would have been Luke and Rory, but halfway through you made Seth so perfect that no way could Luke cut in there anymore. And did you make Seth the perfect boyfriend! Even his not wanting to say goodbye to Rory made sense, and in the end he recanted anyway. How any person, let alone a 16 year-old boy, would be okay with their boyfriend living with someone the boyfriend has confessed to being attracted to...! Yes, Rory really lucked out with Seth. I, too, noticed they did not say "I love you" to each other. I thought that was what Rory was going to add to the note he left for Seth on the Friday night, but it wasn't. I also thought that Rory was going to bottom for Seth, but that did not happen either. I was hoping that Luke would end up with Aaron, and that may yet happen since, if I understand some of the other comments correctly, you have started Luke's story. Again, bravo!
  7. Bill W

    Another Birthday

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing in a cute story. As far as if you should expect something soon, you'll just have to wait and see.
  8. Dodger, I just wanted to take a minute to say that every time you post a new chapter, it makes my day. This is the best story ever. It's as good now as it was in the beginning. Better, actually. I (selfishly) hope there are at least 122 more chapters still to come. Followed by a sequel! I don't know how you do it, but thank you for being so good at what you do.
  9. Wesley8890

    Another Birthday

    I just read Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing the other day. Just for the heck of it. Things have been can should we expect trouble soon?
  10. Carlos sat at his desk, watching the suspect. Ramona had left a half an hour ago after typing up a report; Carlos had elected to stay here so she could go home and be with Moira. “Thanks,” she’d said, obviously grateful. “I owe you one,”. Now the station was quiet. The only other person in the station was Melvin the dispatcher. The longer Carlos watched Lane the more perplexed he became. Lane was sitting on the edge of the bed now, looking at the walls. To Carlos he looked like a small boy who’d been put in the corner for timeout. He was thin and frail looking - it was a wonder he’d been able to throw Vanessa Stanton over the edge of the tower, even with Vanessa’s sickliness. And his words kept repeating through Carlos’s head: The darkness...it got inside her. There was nothing else I could do. Carlos thought of the dream he’d had, of being in the boiler room, knowing the lunch woman was hidden behind the furnace, and felt a shudder pass through him. He rubbed his eyes and kicked himself inwardly. You’re just tired from lack of sleep, he told himself. Don’t let it affect your ability to do your job. He got up and went over to the counter with the coffee maker on it and grabbed a styrofoam cup. After watching the dark steaming liquid pour into it. He poured in a healthy amount of cream and sugar and stirred; he could only assume Melvin had made it, therefore it would taste like rocket fuel, not coffee. He’d discovered long ago it was best to do one thing at a time when sleep deprived. The whole time his thoughts were on Lane. He took a sip of the coffee and turned back towards the cell. Against his better judgement he walked up to the cell. “What did you mean back in the car?” he asked. Lane looked up. Seconds ticked by in which he remained silent. “It’s a long story,” he said finally. “Well you better get it straight. Because when the sheriff gets here you’re going to have a lot of questions to answer.” Lane suddenly laughed. There was a cynical, hysterical quality to it. “I never should have come to this fucked up little town. I should have just kept driving and driving.” “Why did you come here, then?” “For answers.” “Answers for what?” Lane’s face darkened. “Who I am and why bad shit keeps happening to me.” “Is that what happened to your arm, something bad happened to you?” Lane looked down at the arm with the makeshift cast. “That was when I got into a fight with a crowbar - and lost.” The door to the station opened and Sheriff Enzo came walking in. His eyes were red and puffy. The old man’s been crying, Carlos thought. This is a day I’ll never forget. Enzo gave Lane a seething look and said with a venomous voice, “Get him into the interrogation room, Carlos. The interrogation room was a square room with white walls and white tiling. Lane and Sheriff Enzo sat at a square table in the center of the room. He'd offered Lane a cup of coffee. He spoke in a calm friendly manner that was really just a facade. Lane simply shook his head and kept his silence. Carlos watched it all in the recording room, behind the two way mirror. Speakers in the room allowed him to hear what was being said; video cameras recorded the whole conversation. "So," Enzo said, his voice crackling conversationally through the speakers, "I have a lot of questions for you. Frankly I don't know where to begin. I'd ask your name but I don't know if you'd be telling me the truth since we found this in your car." He held up an evidence baggie full of IDs social security cards, and birth certificates. "You trying to get away from something?" “Yes,” Lane said, looking the sheriff in the eye. “What?” “I don’t know...I was kind of hoping you could tell me. There’s something about this town. Something wrong with it.” “Yeah,” Enzo said, “sick people like you who bring your twisted big city problems with you.” “Actually,” Lane said, “I’m from here. I always thought I was from Indianapolis, where I was adopted, but as it turns out that’s not the case.” “What are you saying?” “I’m saying I just got here yesterday. I just found out Vanessa Stanton is my aunt and she put me up for adoption to get away from this place. It didn’t work” Carlos watched as his father leaned back in the chair and gave Lane a long hard look. Carlos didn’t like the look he was seeing on his father’s face; there was something dangerous looking behind there and he had no idea what it was. “You’re saying your a Stanton?” “Yes,” Lane said. “My mother was Elise Stanton. She died moments after giving birth to me.” Enzo stood and leaned across the table so his face was just inches away from Lane’s; his olive toned skin had turned tomato-red. “You’re lying,” he spat. “And what does any of this have to do with why you killed Vanessa Stanton, an old woman already moments from stepping through death’s door?” Lane stared back in defiance. Carlos had to give him credit, he was a tough little shit. “I don’t know, you tell me. The town killed her, not me. Whatever it is here that infects people. It got inside her and she attacked me. And she told me not long before she died that you know about it, so don’t tell me I’m fucking lying!” Slowly Enzo’s face changed. His eyes became glassy and his face went from bright red to a pale shade of green. Carlos couldn’t remember the last he’d seen him look scared. “Infected?” The younger man nodded. “I’ve always just called it ‘the darkness.’ Somehow it gets in people and controls them. They always come after me. Sometimes it leaves behind stains on the walls...and there’s things that come out of it, like bugs. And it moves almost as if it’s alive...Vanessa told me she had answers; she said I might be able to stop it. That’s why I came here, to Adermoor Cove. I just want to find a way to stop it.” Once more, with an air of finality, Enzo rose from the table. He had the black-crevasse look on his face Carlos recognized, which meant he had shut himself down. Whatever he was thinking or feeling, whatever decision he'd made, there was no getting through to the sheriff. "You stick with that story and there won't be much of a trial - the judge will just have you locked up in the loony bin and you will never get another chance to see the light of day." It was then Lane's resolve shattered. "Fuck you!" he shouted, vocal cords standing out against his neck. His hands were clenched into fist. "Fuck you and everyone on this God forsaken island!" He crumpled forward in his seat and buried his face in his arms, handcuff chain scraping against the table. Even in the interrogation room, through the speakers, Carlos could hear his muffled sobs and it made him think of a rainy night seven years ago in Boston: A seven year old boy had come home from school, just off the school bus, to find his mother wasn't home. The door was unlocked so he just went inside thinking his mother had just made a quick run to the grocery store, fixed himself a sandwich to hold him over until dinner, and sat at the kitchen table and did his homework. Carlos suddenly remembered the boy's name had been Timmy Maddox, the mother's Rebecca. Timmy waited until five o'clock in the morning before he got worried enough to try and reach his mother on the cell. He later told Carlos it wasn’t like her to not be home when he got out of school or leave without her cell phone. At seven Timmy got scared and called the cops. Timmy was sitting on the porch swing when Carlos had arrived at the scene, and the sound Lane was making wasn’t so different from the one Timmy had made. It was the sound of fear, pain, and desolation. As it turned out Rebecca Maddox had been in the house the whole time. Carlos found her in the upstairs bathroom. She'd locked the door so Tim couldn't discover what she'd done to herself. Carlos would never be able to forget the water, darkened with her blood, and the bone-deep slashes she'd carved into herself. The few friends who'd known her later said they didn't know Rebecca had been thinking about taking her own life; they couldn't imagine why she would want to leave her young son behind with no one to look after him. But the prescription bottles found by the forensic staff, prescribed by the psychiatrist, had told a story no one knew anything about. It was a memory Carlos hadn't told his father and didn’t think he ever would. In those days he'd still been a beat cop and felt the same drowning helpless feeling he did now. Enzo came back into the booth, looking grave, tired, and old. His words passed through Carlos’s ears like water: Unless an angel comes along and posts his bail, he'll be transferred to Bangor first thing tomorrow...I'm going to get a few hours of shuteye...You look like you could use some too...Go home, get some sleep…And I don’t want you telling anyone about this just yet... "Has this morning been a fucking nightmare or what?" his father asked. Eyes burning from exhaustion, Carlos thought, Everyday is a fucking nightmare. … Once back at the house exhaustion hit Carlos like a ton of falling bricks. He stripped down to his birthday suit and crawled underneath the covers. The bedroom felt wonderfully cool. The pulse of the fan almost sounded like rushing water. For the first time since he'd bought the place with money he'd saved up over the years, the house felt like home. As sleep gradually started to take him a question drifted through his mind: Why did I move back here? And then he was dreaming again. Not of the boiler room this time, but a different dream. He was walking up the driveway leading to the lighthouse. The sun was just starting to set. In the bleeding light, the beacon at the top of the lighthouse shone brightly. Carlos wondered if there'd been a mistake, if Vanessa Stanton hadn't really been thrown to her death, but was in fact at the top of the tower, shining that light. He could hear someone crying, a little boy. It sounded like Timmy Maddox. A question floated feverishly through his mind: What's Timmy doing here in Adermoor Cove? He passed the yellow security tape and walked the rest of the way to the porch. He realized it wasn’t Timmy crying as if in the greatest agony a person could find themselves in, but Lane. He sat in the rocking chair where it was said Vanessa Stanton used to sit before she was diagnosed with cancer (you mean before the darkness took her just like it took the lady in the boiler room, a small voice in the back of his mind whispered), head lowered. When he sensed Carlos coming he lifted his head. A mix of tears and eyeliner trailed down his face like liquid ash. His suffering only made him look more beautiful. He rose from the rocking chair and waited. Carlos climbed up the steps and stopped so that Lane was standing slightly above him. "Why are you crying?" "Because every fucking day is a nightmare," said Lane. "I need you to listen to me. You know something's going on. You know how this town is. You don’t remember because you blocked it out - but you do remember the lady in the boiler room. And you know after you told your father she was never seen again. Things have a way of going missing here. What is it your father always used to tell you?" "'Here in Adermoor Cove we do things our own way," Carlos recited. Lane nodded. "That's right." "But I don't want to remember. I don't want any of this to be real." "And that's the problem with this town. People don’t want to acknowledge there is something very wrong with this island. They cover it up to make it look all pristine and pretty so the tourists will come every summer, without incident. But you have to remember because the dark times are coming." "It's too bad you're a murder suspect," said Carlos, "because I really want to kiss you." Lane smiled through his tears. “Well I guess it’s good this is a dream, then, huh?” … By the time Carlos went into the station at three o’clock in the afternoon, feeling refreshed, the dream was mostly forgotten the way most dreams are. He stepped into the station to find Ramona Sterling and Jack Nichols standing together by the coffee maker, talking in low voices. “What’s going on?” Carlos asked. “What are you guys gossiping about? Or is it about me and I'm not supposed to know?” Ramona glanced towards the sheriff’s office door which was cracked open. “You just missed it. Ted Magyer just came in and posted that kid’s bail not an hour ago.” “What?” Carlos whirled around. Sure enough the holding cell where Lane hardy had been held was empty. “Things are starting to get mighty interesting around here, wouldn’t you say?” Nichols said, taking a sip of his coffee.
  11. The following week went by quickly and now we were ready for the weekend again. After dinner on Friday, we threw a small celebration for Elliot’s birthday, because he wanted to wait and have the cake and ice cream on Sunday. Dad made cupcakes for the occasion, and after we sang Happy Birthday to Elliot, he made a wish and blew out the lone candle on his cupcake. After we enjoyed this little treat, we gave Elliot his presents, but it’s hard to buy something for someone who already has everything he wants. That’s because he inherited quite a bit of money when his father was killed, so we had to think outside of the box when it came to his birthday and Christmas. Based on our recent experience with our own birthdays, we gave him a card with a message inside. “What’s this?” he asked. “It’s our offer to purchase a two-day package to Hershey Park for you, and it will include a two-night stay at the Hershey Lodge, breakfast, and tickets to the park both days. You can take Ian with you, so both of you will have to decide which two days you want to do this. As soon as you’ve selected a date, we’ll purchase the package for you.” He was thrilled with the gift, since it would give him a chance to be alone with Ian for a couple of days, so we felt we’d made a wise choice. Once the others had given him their gifts as well, Brandon and I spent some time with the boys as they interacted with the puppies. We were pleased to see they were making some progress with teaching Dobby and Flash how to ‘sit’ and ‘shake’ and had even accomplished more than we’d anticipated. It was definitely a step in the right direction. The potty training, on the other hand, wasn’t going quite as smoothly. Much of the lack of success had to do with the puppies’ ability to control their bladders, because it would be another couple of months before they’d be able to do that. For now, however, we dealt with the occasional accidents and the boys were very good about catching the puppies and taking them outside to do their business. They were also rewarding the puppies when they peed or pooped in the grass, and they picked up the feces afterward. It was a good sign and the boys were making progress, but we knew there was still a long way to go. After the boys put the puppies in the carrier for the night, they went upstairs to shower and get ready for bed, and then we went up to tuck them in. During the week we started reading a chapter from the book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume to the younger boys before they went to sleep. It all started unexpectedly, because when I was doing my chores the previous weekend I came across the “Fudge” box set that we’d purchased for one of the other boys when he was younger. We started with the first book in the series, which got its name from one of the characters in the story. It’s a cute tale we thought these three would find interesting, and Tristan heard us reading it to them and asked to join us for these sessions as well, so now he sat in with us most nights as well. Doing this allowed us to continue a tradition Julie had started with the twins, but had to discontinue when she was no longer capable of reading to them, due to her illness. The twins seemed pleased that we were doing this with them now, and Brandon and I enjoyed it since it gave us a chance to spend a little more quality time with the boys. It was now becoming a nightly ritual, and as soon as we finished reading the chapter, we kissed each one on the forehead, wished them sweet dreams, and tucked them in before we turned off the light. When Brandon and I got home from work on Saturday, we had lunch with the family and then went outside with the boys so I could record a video of them playing with the puppies. Doing this would allow me to keep a promise I’d made to them, and we would show the video to their mom and Alice when we visited them the next day. The boys also brought the puppies closer to me while I was filming them so I could get a nice shot of each one, and then they raced around the yard so the puppies would chase after them. It was after 8:00 that evening when Elliot’s phone rang, and he went into the other room to answer it. When he returned, he let us know who had called. “It was Ian, and he was calling me from his parents’ car. He wanted to let me know they were on their way home now.” “So his parents drove to the airport to pick him up?” Brandon asked. “No, they drove to Pittsburgh a couple of days ago and caught a flight to California so they could see him graduate, and then they all flew back together. They had left their car in the long-term parking lot at the airport, and now they’re driving home.” “I’m glad he made it back safely and you’ll be seeing him soon,” Brandon responded. “Me too, and I invited him to dinner and my birthday party tomorrow, but he said his parents want him to have dinner at home. He said he’ll come for the party, though, so I told him I’ll pick him up at 7:45, because we were having the party at 8:00.” Although Elliot didn’t mention it, I imagine he also advised Ian to plan on spending the night. After the boys took their showers, we went up to read them another chapter before we tucked them into bed. I have to admit that even Brandon and I found the story interesting and humorous, while at the same time we were hoping it didn’t give the boys any ideas about mimicking some of the antics of the characters in the book. When the chapter ended, we kissed each of them on the forehead and wished them pleasant dreams before we left the room, and then we went to say goodnight to the others. In the morning, Brandon and I were surprised that we didn’t have to wake the younger boys this time. They woke up on their own, came downstairs, let the puppies out of the carrier, fed them, and took them outside. In fact, it even seemed as if they were enjoying the puppies so much that they looked forward to doing this with them, so it was working out even better than we’d hoped. After the boys washed up afterward and grabbed a bite to eat, we all got ready to go to church. We picked up Becky, Revin, and Tristan on the way, since it was Tristan’s turn to stay with them, and then we headed to the church. It was another typical Sunday morning for us, and once the service ended we went to the diner for brunch. “By the way, Becky, you and Revin are invited to join us on Wednesday for our Fourth of July cookout,” I told her while we were eating. “That sounds wonderful. What can I bring?” “We’ve got what we need to make the potato and macaroni salads, and I’ve purchased the meat for the grill,” Dad responded, “but you could make a three-bean salad or bring a watermelon.” “I’ll do both. Who else is coming?” “The usual crowd, which means everyone who lives close by,” Pop answered. “Uncle Steve is bringing the corn so we can have corn-on-the-cob too,” Brandon added. “And Aunt Mary is making a couple of apple pies and Aunt Sally is baking a cake,” Trey followed. “So I don’t think anyone will go home hungry,” Dion concluded. “Then it sounds like it will be a wonderful time,” Becky agreed. After we finished eating, we dropped Becky and Revin off at their house, and then the rest of us went home. Once we’d all changed out of our church clothes, I told Holly and the twins to hop in the car so I could take them to visit their mom. Once again, Brandon chose to stay behind so he could work on his chores while I was driving them to the nursing home. As soon as we got to Shady Pines, the twins led the way to Julie’s room, since they remembered the way from the last time we were there. As soon as we said hello to Julie and Alice, the twins began teasing me to show the video of them with the puppies, so I let Julie view it first. ”They are… really cute,” she told the boys after watching it. “You both… seem to… have fun… playing with… them.” “We do,” Hunter agreed. “We like the puppies a lot,” Hayden followed. “Do you… play with… them too?” Julie asked Holly. “I mostly just pet them, but I enjoy watching the puppies chase the boys around the yard.” While Julie and her children were chatting, I took my phone over so I could show Alice the video. “My uncle had one of those dogs when I was younger, and I enjoyed playing with it too.” “Yes, beagles can be a lot of fun, especially for a child,” I agreed, and she nodded. “Do you have any family in the area?” “No, I was an only child and my husband and I didn’t have any children. My husband died a few years ago in a traffic accident, and I don’t have any relatives that live around here. I have a couple of cousins, but they live out of state.” “Do they ever visit you?” “They have, but it’s a long trip for them to make and they obviously can’t stay here when they visit.” “Yes, that would be a little awkward, so you can join us when we come to visit Julie.” “That’s very nice of you, and I appreciate you doing this.” After a while, we offered to take Julie and Alice outside again, and they were more than eager to go with us. “Can I push mom this time?” Hunter asked. “Yeah, let us do it and I’ll push Alice,” Hayden concurred. “Would that be ok with the two of you?” I asked Julie and Alice next, and they both nodded in agreement. “Ok, but only if you promise to be really careful and don’t try to go too fast.” “Yeah, we promise,” they replied in perfect unison. I think only twins could do it that precisely. Once again, we took Julie and Alice for a walk around the lovely area behind the nursing home, and then we sat down to chat with them as we all enjoyed the beautiful day. The twins got up and left us at one point and started chasing a squirrel that had been foolish enough to scamper across the grass while we were there. The squirrel ran away from them and climbed a nearby tree to escape, and of course there was never any chance the boys would actually catch it. Eventually, Julie announced that she was tired again and wanted to go back to her room. We wheeled them both inside, but this time I didn’t offer to help Julie get into bed. Alice had explained to me earlier why Julie had turned down my offer the week before, and it was because she was afraid I didn’t have experience doing it and thought I might drop her. It was probably better that the aides did it for her anyway, since they knew how to do it safely. We said goodbye to both of them, and Holly and her brothers gave their mother a hug and a kiss before we left the room. “We’ll see you both again next Sunday,” I said just before I walked out the door. “Thank you,” Julie said before I disappeared. “And thank you for including me too,” Alice added. When we got to the car, I decided to ask the kids a question. “I hope you’re not disappointed that this visit was shorter.” “No, it’s just nice to get to see Mom every week,” Holly answered. “Yeah, it’s not your fault we couldn’t stay longer,” Hayden added. “It’s cuz Mom got tired,” Hunter confirmed. “I know, and I just wanted to make sure you understood and weren’t disappointed.” “Nah, we’re fine,” Hayden agreed. I drove back to the house and they thanked me again for taking them before they headed off to do their own thing. I went to find Brandon, and he asked how the visit went. “It was very nice, but Julie got tired again. I also discovered that Alice doesn’t have any family in the area.” “Then we’ll have to fill that void for her when we go to visit Julie. I think I’ll go with you next Sunday.” “That’s a good idea and it won’t be a problem, because the kids can all fit in the backseat.” “Yes, the twins are small enough that the three of them should have plenty of room back there.” “What’s been going on here?” “Not much. I did the laundry, but I had to stop while Elliot was taking his shower. I forgot the washing machine was on the same hot water supply line as the bathroom he was using. I guess he got a cold blast while I was doing the whites.” “Ouch, that can be a shock to the body, but didn’t he shower last night?” “Yes, but he was showering again before he picked up Ian. I think he wanted to be squeaky clean for the private birthday party they’d be having in his room later.” “Ah, yes, the celebration of the end of several months of being apart, since Ian didn’t come home for Christmas.” “Yes, I’m sure they’ve got a lot of making up, and making out, to do.” When I went to check on the kids, Tristan and the twins had just fed the puppies and were taking them outside. Holly was in her room making more visual aids for her daycare group, and Ryan was up in his room talking on the phone with Owen. I just said hello to him and didn’t stay long, because they seemed to be planning what they were going to do while he was there. When I went to find Noah, he didn’t seem to be anywhere in the house. “Do you know where Noah is?” I asked Brandon when I got back to the first floor. “Yes, he asked if he could spend some time with his friends, and I told him that would be fine as long as he was back in time for dinner.” “Ah, yes, the freedom that comes with having his own car.” “Hey, it saves us gas money,” Brandon joked. We all came together again for dinner later, and while we were eating Dad and Pop asked Holly and the twins about their visit to the nursing home. “So how was your mother today?” Dad asked. “She’s doing good,” Holly answered, “but she got tired again.” “And we got to push her and Alice this time,” Hunter added. “And we showed her the video that Dad took of us and the puppies,” Hayden offered. “Did she like that?” Pop wanted to know. “Yeah, she thought the puppies were cute,” Hunter answered. “And we chased a squirrel while we were there. It was kinda like when the puppies chase us,” Hayden followed. “Did you catch the squirrel?” Pop followed. “Nah, it was too fast,” Hayden responded. “And it climbed a tree,” Hunter chimed in. “Yes, they’re good at doing that, but I’m sure your mom enjoyed watching you run after it,” Dad stated. “Yes, she was laughing at them,” Holly confirmed. “And what did you do while your brothers were chasing the squirrel,” Pop asked. “I was telling Mom about what it was like living here and about what I was doing at my job.” “Then it seems as if you all had a nice visit,” Dad observed. “Yes, it was wonderful to spend time with her again,” Holly agreed. “And Alice is really nice too.” A short time after we finished eating, Elliot left to pick up Ian, and about thirty minutes later they arrived at the house. “Sorry, but I stopped in to say hi to Ian’s parents,” Elliot apologized. “It’s not a problem,” Brandon assured him. “How have you been, Ian?” “I’m doing well, especially now that I’ve finished my bachelor degree and won’t be so far away from Elliot this fall.” “Yes, we heard that you’ll be attending Harvard Medical School,” I concurred. “Yes, and even though we won’t exactly be together, Harvard’s a lot closer to Yale than Stanford is, so we should be able to spend a little more time together.” “And maybe you’ll get to come home for the holidays this year too.” “Yes, but I’m glad I stayed in California last Christmas. The boy I’d been spending time with died before I would have gotten back there, and I was with him when he took his last breath.” “Damn, that was awfully nice of you,” Trey told him. “I know we’re not supposed to get emotionally attached to the patients, but he was a really sweet thirteen-year-old and I became close to both him and his parents.” “I’m sure that must have made them feel a little better as well, having you there,” Dion stated. “Yes, we talked a lot, especially when their son was asleep.” “How are you going to deal with losing a patient when you’re a doctor?” Noah asked. “I’ll be a cardiologist, so my patients will most likely be older and it won’t be as hard to accept. It’s a lot easier to cope with the death of someone who has led a fairly full and active life, rather than one who is just getting started and should have many years still left to enjoy.” “That’s very true,” I agreed. “We’ve had to deal with that when we lost Brent and Cody.” Everyone remained silent for a few minutes as we recalled those times, and then Dad and Pop went out to get the cake and ice cream. When they returned, Dad set the cake in front of Elliot and I lit the pair of deuces on top of the cake, announcing he had just turned twenty-two, and then we sang Happy Birthday to him. “Make a wish and blow out the candles,” Brandon urged when we finished singing. “I already got my wish,” he stated as he gave Ian a hug. “Make another one then,” I suggested. He made his wish and blew out the candles, and then we had him make the first cut in the cake. Brandon then finished cutting it for him and placed the slices on a plate before I passed them to Dad and Pop so they could add the ice cream. While we were doing that, Elliot showed Ian the card we’d given him. “It’s for a two night, two day trip to Hershey Park, and we just have to decide when we want to go there.” “So it’s for both of us?” “Yes, in a way it is. You weren’t around for your birthday in February, so we decided to give Elliot something that you would both enjoy together,” Brandon explained. “We thought you could use the time to become reacquainted and unwind after studying for so long and so hard,” I added. “Yes, it sounds great. Are there any restrictions on when we can do this?” “Only if the Hershey Lodge is booked up on the dates you select, so the quicker you choose a date, the sooner we can buy the package to ensure you’ll get the dates you want,” I offered. “I assume the park will probably be busy all summer long, but most likely even more so on the weekends, so it would probably be best if you selected two weekdays to do this.” “Yeah, we’ll look at a calendar later and let you know what we decide,” Elliot confirmed. “And Ian,” I continued, “you and your parents are invited to join us on the Fourth of July. We’re going to have a cookout here at the house.” “Thank you and I’ll be sure to tell them tomorrow night.” After we finished the cake and ice cream, the younger boys got the puppies to show Ian next, and then Elliot and Ian disappeared. Brandon and I took the rest of the kids to the family room to see if we could find a movie to watch, but we also did this so the other boys wouldn’t bother Elliot and Ian. We assumed they were being intimate and we didn’t want the other boys to disturb them. When the movie ended, the younger boys went to take their showers, and then Brandon and I went up to read the next chapter to them before they fell asleep. When we finished, we kissed each one as we tucked him in, and then we wished them sweet dreams. We went around to do the same thing with the older kids next, although we skipped saying goodnight to Elliot and Ian. Another hectic weekend had come to an end.
  12. You’re a great writer. I really like how you created Robbie. He’s a really lovable character. I think you’ve done a great job with all the characters. Jo is fantastic. I’m looking forward to Don’s reaction when Robbie tells hmi what she said about Mr, Symmonds. Off the subject, but will this story ever end? I’m not complaining; I just want to know. I think you’ve done a great job maintaining an interest and keeping your readers interested after 122 chapters. Hooray for you, Dodger! Thanks for the effort.
  13. quokka

    IOI Chapter 1

    Hi Mister Will, just to clarify something you said, it is not the Brits who throw in extra letter into words, if you look back in history, you will see that a good majority of White Americans originate from the UK and Europe, and it is them who have dropped letters in some words. Q
  14. Geron Kees

    Chapter 6

    Derek is a dick. You'd think a gay guy would like that, but in this case, no. At least Allison seems nice. Too bad our boy missed out on rugby. I am enjoying the story, but why do I feel like you're setting us up for the kill?
  15. rockycs

    Chapter 5

    I have to chuckle at the tags for this story: Future, Gay, Teen. I mean talk about understatement....... With all that is going on in just the first five chapters... 😁😁
  16. Thanks, Danilo. That's the goal. Creation of characters you will miss, and those you will wonder about. I'm glad they could worm their way into your heart in such a way. It is sad, that Tad left them so soon. But we all will. And he did so in the best way a man can - he left a mark destined to be seen by thousands, and deeply loved by those who remained. Not bad for a skinny, artistic guy. 🙂
  17. wildone

    Chapter 2

    Good to see Davey will be around, it will be good to have a good friend a shout away. Curious about Henry’s plans for Justin and if Justin knows 😛 Eddie might be right about coming for a security consult, but he might be taking on the garden in the end As for Gavin/Henry, will be interesting to see if Henry can hold out. By his own admission he is a bit of a whore when it comes to men, and Gavin seems to bring the necessary equipment to pique Henry’s interest. Great chapter.
  18. Geemeedee

    Hogmore

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been thinking the same thing. Clifton was totally willing to cheat on Raul before; why would it be any different now? And we know how young Cliffy really felt about young Nathan. Old crushes die hard.
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