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    Aceinthehole
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The Golden City - 31. Spooked

Chapter 31: Spooked

As Adam laid back and watched T.V., I couldn’t help but keep looking over at him. Does he even have a strict side? Could he ever actually stay mad at me? I mean, I’ve seen him panicked, but never really angry. Even at the court case and reading of Mom’s will, I could feel his anger against his parents, but he never really let it show.

So if I know he’s this relaxed, why am I still hiding Ezra’s card from him? Why don’t I want his advice on this? I went to say something, but before I could a knock began on our front door. I forced a smile as Adam quickly jumped to his feet and let Mason in.

I guess I’ll give it a little bit more time before I drop that bombshell on him. He just seems so happy since we got back, I’ll wait until I know what I want to do. I’ll wait until I know how I feel about this. I mean that’s a smart way to approach it, right?

As Mason and Adam finally picked out a movie I put my book down and tried my hardest to sneak off to bed with as little attention as possible.

“No Dizzy tonight, right?” Adam called out, freezing me right before I could take the first step up the stairs.

“No Dizzy tonight.” I confirmed, drawing a strange look from Mason.

“Why don’t you tell Mason what happened?” Adam smirked, but I simply rolled my eyes. “I heard Dizzy sneaking in last night to spend the night in Artie’s room.”

“And you didn’t stop it.” I reminded him as I slowly began to climb the staircase.

You snuck your boyfriend in?” Mason asked as he carefully thought it over. “or your boyfriend snuck in?”

I snuck my boyfriend in.” I confidently answered, trying to shield Dizzy from receiving all the blame.

“You don’t have to lie,” Adam warned as our eyes met, forcing me to stop halfway up the steps. “he’s already in trouble.”

“It was my idea.” I insisted with a shrug of my shoulders. “If it was a Dizzy plan, we probably wouldn’t’ve got caught.”

“What’s that mean?” Adam quickly asked as concern entered his gaze.

“It means watch the doors closely tonight.” I teased, before finally walking up the rest of the stairs and out of their view. I heard Adam call something out to me, but ignored it as I got ready for bed. It’s not like Dizzy’s actually coming over tonight, hell, his Mom’s probably broken both his legs already! But I know it’ll mess with Adam tonight, and that’s what he gets for teasing me about it!

Yet as I laid down, I couldn’t help but wish he was here with me. Especially after how he started acting this morning! Maybe he’s just trying to get laid more often, but he was so sweet today. It was like a side of Dizzy I hadn’t even seen before!

--

--

Eventually I drifted off to thoughts of Dizzy, and when I did wake up, was happy to find him waiting outside my front door.

“Good morning.” I smiled, leaning forward and landing a kiss on his lips.

“Morning.” He replied in a mumble, before gripping my hand and leading me down the stairs.

“You seem energetic this morning.” I teased, noticing his normally bright smile was reduced to a blank expression on his face.

“Do we have to go to school?” He whined as he threw his head back. “We could just skip and hang out at your place.” He said, but I could tell he didn’t mean it.

“Yes.” I played along as he let out another groan. “Why? What’s so bad about school today?”

“My Mom said I have to stay after while you’re at baseball from now on.” He complained as the look on his face grew even more blank.

“That’s it?” I asked in an unamused voice.

“I mean she took away my bag with my tagging stuff, and computer too.” He answered in a sigh. “But I have to stay after and get tutored by teachers, and then she said she’s going to talk to Adam about something for us after that!”

“I only have baseball like, three times a week.” I clarified, but once more received a groan from him. “Besides, if Adam’s the one in charge of whatever happens after that, it can’t be that bad.”

“Speak for yourself!” Dizzy exclaimed, proud of how dramatic he was behaving. He went to say something else, but caught himself as the noticed the people walking around us.

“I don’t want to know.” I rolled my eyes as we reached the steps of our school. “I don’t want to know!” I repeated as he went to say something else.

He let out a guilty laugh as he knocked shoulders with me. “We can talk about it over lunch.” He shrugged his shoulders. “You and Charlotte had one on one yesterday, so me and you get one on one today.”

“Actually, we didn’t finish our conversation from yesterday.” I shrugged my shoulders. “We only had enough time for me to tell her about her date, we didn’t get to talk about Texas.”

“Or about what happened the night we got back from Texas.” Dizzy smirked, knowing he had caught me.

“World doesn’t revolve around you.” I replied, trying my hardest to find an out.

“Sure, it doesn’t.” He sarcastically agreed, seeing right through my lie.

I rolled my eyes, and made sure to change the topic as we approached our homeroom. The last thing I need is all of homeroom to overhear that conversation! It’s bad enough we sit close enough to the front for Mrs. Mowry to hear us! I really hope she just tunes us out! For our sake and her own!

--

--

When lunch finally rolled around Charlotte and I managed to slip away from the group and find a small table in a quiet area just like yesterday. Every now and again I would turn back to where Ky and Dizzy were sitting and notice him making a funny face at us, but tried my hardest to keep my focus on Charlotte.

“What’s going on with you two?” She finally asked, getting to the main question on her mind. “He’s been even more head over heels for you than usual.”

“I don’t know.” I played stupid as I shrugged my shoulders. “I guess visiting Texas just helped him understand me more.”

“Bullshit.” She called out as she watched me closely. “I gave you the details on my love life.”

“Charlotte.” I exhaled, but as I noticed her stare growing more intense, knew I wasn’t worming my way out of the conversation. “He just wants more sex.” I rolled my eyes.

“That can’t be it.” She pressured, still not believing me.

“I rocked his world.” I confidently nodded my head, trying my hardest to hide the red filling my cheeks.

You rocked Dizzy Armstrong’s world?” Charlotte asked, not believing a word of it.

“Sure.” I shrugged my shoulders, my face now fully red.

“You’re missing something.” She shook her head, before glancing over at Dizzy then back to me.

“I’m not.” I insisted in a nervous laugh. “We just, took things one step further.”

“One step further?” Charlotte repeated as her mind went to work on cracking the code. “Why can’t you just say it?” She groaned, tired of my games. “We already tell each other everything already.”

“Because it’s kind of embarrassing.” I forced out as our eyes connected. “We just moved onto more advanced stuff the other night.”

“Advanced stuff?” She asked, as she thought it over once more. “Oh.” She exhaled with a smile. She let out a loud laugh as she saw the look on my face. “What do you have to be embarrassed about?” She dug, but I stayed quiet. “Did you like it?” She asked, this time drawing a nod from me.

“It was amazing.” I finally forced out, causing her to laugh once more.

“Then there you have it!” She encouraged with a wide smile. “You had amazing sex with your boyfriend, kids here would kill to have that experience! You have nothing to be embarrassed about.”

“Yeah.” I agreed as a smile finally cracked my face.

“So how’d he convince you to do it?” She asked as her curiosity got the best of her.

“I convinced him.” I corrected, trying to calm the blush lingering on my face. “Him coming all the way to Texas to help me, it just made me want to get closer to him.” I shrugged my shoulders.

“Only you could make sex sound so innocent.” She shook her head.

“Well trust me, it wasn’t very innocent.” I joked as the blush fully returned to my face and Charlotte began to laugh once more.

“Yes Artie!” She exclaimed through laughter, yet as she glanced towards Dizzy she began to calm down. “You’re wrong though.”

“About?” I asked, not fully following her train of thought.

“He doesn’t want to get laid more,” She shook her head. “on second thought, he probably does.” She quickly clarified. “But that’s not why he’s so crazy for you lately.”

“Alright, then what’s going on?” I asked in a skeptical voice.

“I think taking that step, it just showed him how serious this relationship is to you.” She shrugged her shoulders, proud of her answer.

“And the trip to Texas didn’t?” I asked, still not believing her theory.

“I’m sure that helped.” She replied with a smile. “But come on Artie, when you first got here you would nearly implode at the idea of kissing another guy, and now you were the one that suggested, well, you know.”

“Yeah.” I shrugged my shoulders, but still wasn’t overly sold on her point. “I think Dizzy’s still just shocked he got that lucky.”

“Now that I agree with.” Charlotte giggled as our eyes met once more. “Now tell me, how was Texas?”

“It was good.” I nodded my head, unsure what to tell her about first. “Sadie figured out me and Dizzy were a couple right away.”

“Really?” Charlotte asked as a shocked expression quickly filled her face.

“Yup, I guess we’re not that great at hiding it.” I teased with a smile. “But she took it like, really well. She said she didn’t want to lose me and that she’ll work to accept it.”

“That’s great.” Charlotte replied as a genuine smile overtook her face. “So then did you also tell the court.”

“Nope.” I shook my head. “Adam still wanted to keep it a secret, but I don’t think the judge would’ve cared anyway.” I shrugged my shoulders. “He was kind of fed up with the case after the first ten minutes, and then Dizzy testified on how Adam took him in for two weeks after that incident with his Mom’s boyfriend.” I continued to explain. “And the judge just kind of ended the case right there.”

“Well it seems like you gave Dizzy one hell of a thank you!” Charlotte giggled as she caused my face to blush once more.

I rolled my eyes, but kept going with my story. “That’s not like, the crazy part though.” I warned as she leaned forward in her seat. “You have to keep this a complete secret. Only Dizzy knows this happened.”

She hesitated as she nervously began to lean in her chair. “Alright.” She finally accepted.

“I met my birth father.” I forced out as she grew quiet.

“You met your birthfather?” She repeated in shock. “Just like, out of nowhere?”

“Kind of.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Me and Dizzy were waiting in the lobby of the court house, and he just found us.”

“He found you?” Charlotte asked as confusion overtook her face.

“Yeah.” I nodded my head. “He walked up to us, and gave me some stupid line about how I looked like someone he went to school with.” I said causing Charlotte to roll her eyes. “It was like he didn’t even have a plan.”

“What are you saying?” She asked in a suspicious voice. “You think he just happened to run into you?”

“No,” I shook my head. “I, I know I look like Adam and my Mom, but he had to know who I was. Someone had to tell him.”

“Your grandparents?” She guessed, getting side tracked by the minor details.

“Maybe.” I shrugged my shoulders. “But I don’t know why they would do that. I, I think it was someone in town who knew we were there, maybe, maybe my friend’s Dad, but that’s not important right now.” I clarified. “Dizzy told him he needed to leave, so he gave me his business card and just, left.”

“Just like that?” Charlotte asked as she shot me a worried look.

“Yeah.” I slowly nodded my head. “What do you think?”

“Something doesn’t sound right.” She shook her head. “He sounds, creepy.”

“He was creepy!” I agreed, a little louder than I intended. “Then I look at his card and he’s some kind of CEO!” I continued to shout. “He’s had money all these years, and he never sent any to my Mom??”

“If the business card is even real.” Charlotte observed, sending my mind into an even bigger tailspin. “Sorry!” She quickly apologized. “You probably didn’t need that right now!”

“He just seems like such a jerk.” I remarked, as I tried my hardest to ignore her past few words.

“He is.” Charlotte agreed without hesitation. “So why haven’t you told Adam?”

“Because he’s been through enough this past week and a half, he doesn’t need something else on his mind.” I shook my head. “Plus, I think he would freak out and I, I don’t want to deal with that right now. I just want things to be normal again.”

“They will be.” She nodded as she reached out and placed her hand on mine. “But you need to tell Adam first. He, he deserves to know.”

“Now you sound like Dizzy.” I complained in a sigh.

“Why?” She asked, watching me closely. “How did he react?”

“He was spooked.” I shook my head. “It was like when a horse sees a snake and freaks out, that kind of spooked.”

“Artie.” Charlotte sighed as she heard my analogy.

“Sorry,” I apologized as I tried my hardest to think of another example. “it’s like if,”

“I get it.” She cut off before I could say something else she didn’t understand. “I think Dizzy has a point,” She supported as our eyes locked. “and he has pretty good instincts about this stuff, I think you should trust them.”

“I trust them, and I, I feel the same.” I nodded my head. “But this, this is my birth father, am I crazy for not wanting to give up on him so quickly.”

“Maybe,” She swayed her head. “but I, if I was in your situation, I’d feel the same.” She confessed as her face stayed serious.

“So I should reach out?” I asked, drawing a deep sigh from her.

“Not without talking to Adam first.” She warned in a stern voice. “I meant that Artie. You might have Dizzy staying quiet, but, but if you reach out to your birth dad without telling Adam, I will.”

“Charlotte,” I began, but froze as her stare grew more intense.

“I mean it Artie.” She said, finally relaxing in her seat. “Don’t make me do that.”

“I won’t.” I quickly shook my head. “I, I’ll tell him about it soon.”

“Good.” She forced a smile, but before she could say anything else the bell rang. “I love you, you know that right?”

“Yeah,” I replied as I reflected her smile. “I love you too.” I smiled as we both rose to our feet.

“So,” Dizzy began as he quickly worked his way over to us. “what did you two talk about?”

“None of your business.” Charlotte dismissed, grabbing onto my arm before he could.

“I don’t know if I believe that.” Dizzy smirked as he and Ky tried their hardest to keep up with us. “I think we had pretty similar conversations.”

“Trust me, we didn’t!” Charlotte insisted as we finally lost Dizzy and Ky in the growing crowd.

For the rest of the day I noticed Charlotte trying to stay close to me. I could tell she was just as worried as Dizzy has been, maybe even more! But I swear I’ll find a way to get this all under control, and thanks to her, well I’ll actually tell Adam about it. I just have to find the right time, and hope his head doesn’t explode!

--

--

Baseball was a welcomed escape as I hit practice with everything I had. I have to make up for my last game, for all the mistakes I made. Our team may not be perfect, we may not even make the playoffs, but I won’t be the reason that happened. I won’t be the one holding us back.

By the time practice ended and I made it back to school, I was more exhausted than I had ever been before.

“You look dead.” Dizzy giggled as he walked out of the front door of the school to find me waiting at the steps.

“Gee, thanks.” I forced out as I began to lead him home.

“Don’t take it like that.” He smirked as he grabbed my gym bag from my hand. “Let me take that for you.” He offered before landing a kiss on my cheek.

“What are you up to?” I cautiously asked as I noticed the look on his face.

“I just figured I’d help.” He shrugged his shoulders. “You alright?”

“Fine.” I answered with a sigh. “Just tired is all,” I complained as I felt his hand try and wrap around mine. “and uncomfortable.” I warned as I pulled my hand away from his.

“Alright.” Dizzy let out as he gave me some space, but a smirk grew on his face as his eyes checked me out.

“What now?” I complained, preparing for some kind of stupid joke.

“I was just thinking I’m lucky.” He shrugged once more. “How can you be worn out, but so hot all at the same time?”

“I thought I looked dead?” I asked, refusing to let his compliments win me over so easily.

“Sure, you look tired.” He swayed his head. “But it’s like after games, I don’t know, that’s always when you’re the hottest to me.”

“Adam’s probably home.” I reminded him, knowing what he was trying to get at.

“I’m not trying to get laid.” He defended as he lightly bumped me with his shoulder. “I just want you to know I think you’re beautiful is all.”

“Seriously?” I asked as I shot him an unamused look.

“Yes, seriously.” He agreed as he landed another kiss on my cheek. “You’re the most handsome guy in all of California Arthur Price.” I shook my head as I fought off a smile and grabbed his hand. “I knew I’d win you over.” He teased.

“Don’t ruin it.” I warned, this time bumping into him. He flashed me a wink, but stayed quiet for a few moments before suddenly turning back to me. “Just say it.” I groaned, knowing there was something still on his mind.

“You told Charlotte about Sunday night, didn’t you?” He asked with a proud smirk.

As I looked at him I let out a sigh, knowing he’d see through any lie I tried to tell. “Well you told Ky.” I answered, side stepping the question the best I could.

“I didn’t.” Dizzy shook his head. “Well, I tell him we’ve been hooking up and I did say Sunday was the best sex of my life,” he quickly clarified. “but I didn’t tell him any details.”

“Mhm.” I hummed, not believing a word of it.

“Really.” He insisted as we reached my house. “Because I know you wouldn’t be comfortable with it.” He explained, stopping me before I could start climbing the steps. “I promise.” He smiled before stealing a kiss from my lips

I let out a guilty sigh as his words sank in. “I may have told Charlotte.” I forced out as I broke eye contact. “I’m sorry, we’re just close and I, I figured you were going to tell Ky anyway.”

“It’s fine.” Dizzy laughed as he leaned his forehead against mine. “I’m alright with you telling Charlotte if you need to.” He offered. “I just want you to be comfortable with it.”

“With doing it, or talking about it?” I asked, unsure of his point.

“Both,” He replied with a smile. “besides it’s just Charlotte. She probably just laughed and cheered you on.” He said, perfectly describing her response.

“Maybe,” I shrugged my shoulders with a guilty smile. “and for the record I am getting more comfortable with it.” I offered, trying my hardest to show him the progress we’ve made.

“Even though you wouldn’t take it that far yesterday?” He asked with a growing smirk.

“I was sore,” I reminded him as a proud look entered his eye. “but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t looking forward to next time.”

“As if the baseball pants didn’t kill me enough!” He whined as I finally led him up the stairs. “Why does Adam have to be home?” He continued to complain.

“I bet now you regret acting stupid in school.” I couldn’t’ help but laugh as he let out one last groan.

Yet we both froze as I pushed open the door to find Adam and Coleen sitting around the living room.

“About time.” Adam remarked as they both zeroed in on us.

“What’s going on?” Dizzy cautiously asked as he looked from his Mom to Adam.

“Well Adam came up with a great plan this morning,” Colleen began as she stared down her son. “Artie has A’s in the classes you’re failing, and you have an A in the class Artie is struggling in. So you’re going to tutor one another.” She explained, proud of their plan.

“And to make sure you’re not just doing one another’s homework, one of us will always be here to monitor you two.” Adam pointed out with a smile.

“Alright.” I accepted, too tired to fight them on it.

“So you two are just going to watch us do our homework?” Dizzy asked, not fully sold on their plan.

“We’re just going to be more attentive than we were before,” Adam shrugged his shoulders. “and from now on homework is the first thing you’re doing when you get home.”

I let out a groan as I heard those words. “Can I at least shower first?”

“For all our sake, please do.” Adam dismissed as he took a long look at me.

“I’m not that gross.” I defended as I headed towards the stairs.

“I could smell you the second you walked in the door.” Adam shook his head as he walked towards the kitchen table.

“He’s right,” Dizzy nodded his head. “you’re so dirty you probably need some help in the shower.”

“Z!” Colleen shouted as she stepped forward causing Dizzy to have to avoid a swing of her hand. “How stupid are you?!” She exclaimed as he began to laugh. “Both me and Adam are here and you’re still making that joke!”

“The worlds in danger!” He continued to tease. “I’m just doing my share to save water!”

“Shut up with that line already.” Adam exhaled as he took a seat at the table.

“You’ve made these jokes before?” Collen asked as she shot him an angry stare.

“Global warming isn’t a joke Mom.” Dizzy argued, causing me to fight off some laughter as I climbed the stairs.

“You’re such a fool!” She shouted at him, repeating her words from last night. “I could kill you sometimes, I swear to God I could!” I heard her yell when I was at the top of the stairs.

Once more I held back some laughter as I finally made it to the bathroom. I made sure to take my time in the shower, having no rush to get back to the chaos downstairs. I mean, Dizzy will be fine by himself, right? Afterall, he is the one who caused this mess!

When I finally reemerged down the stairs, I received a quick smirk from Dizzy but he quickly hid it as his Mom stared him down.

“Nice of you to finally join us.” Adam remarked, staring me down as I slowly made my way towards the table.

“Nice to be here.” I replied causing Dizzy to laugh.

“So they’re both smartasses now?” Colleen asked, turning towards Adam.

“Unfortunately.” Adam groaned as I finally reached for my backpack.

“Well I’ve got news for the two of you,” Colleen began as I grabbed a textbook and sat next to Dizzy. “if Dizzy’s grades and behavior don’t improve before the end of the year, he’s not allowed to spend the night here anymore.” She warned. “and I mean that.” She emphasized, staring down Dizzy.

“Yeah but,” Dizzy began.

“But nothing.” Colleen cut off, now staring him down. “And that’s just the beginning, if anything gets worse there will also be less dates and spending all day here.”

“You can’t be serious.” Dizzy shook his head and returned his attention to his work, not believing a word of it.

“I agree.” Adam suddenly spoke up. “Dizzy, I want what’s best for you too, and if that means you have to see Artie less, I’ll support your Mom’s decision.”

“Well it won’t reach that point.” I warned as I turned towards Dizzy. “Right?”

“Right.” He replied, but I could tell he was holding back some anger towards Adam and his Mom. “We’ve got work to do.” He grumbled, pointing to one of his responses on the work sheet. “Does this make sense?” He asked as I began to proof read it.

“If you want, you can head home and I’ll watch them the rest of today.” Adam offered as I saw Colleen nod her head out of the corner of my eye.

“You sure?” She asked as she slowly stood up.

“Yup.” Adam answered, leaning back in his chair.

“Alright, well I’ll be back Wednesday to watch them, She nodded her head. “and Z,” she began. “you can pout and be as mad as you want, but that’s not changing anything.” She warned, heading towards the door. “It’s time we all grow up.” She said, in a confident voice.

Dizzy made a face at her words and let out a groan as she left the house and shut the door. “She wants what’s best for you.” Adam clarified, beginning to stare down Dizzy. “You don’t get to fool around all the time, and get mad when she cracks down on you.” Dizzy flashed Adam an annoyed look but he simply shrugged his shoulders. “You don’t get it both ways Dizzy.”

“Whatever.” He grumbled as he focused back on his homework.

We spent the next hour and a half staying focused on school work. Anytime one of us would get distracted, Adam would make sure to pull us back in and make sure we stayed focused. When we finally finished up Adam made sure to check most of it over before heading back towards the living room and taking his spot on the couch.

“Still annoyed?” I asked Dizzy as I noticed the look stay on his face.

“I just hate being babied.” He complained as our eyes met.

“You kinda did it to yourself.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Besides, we just have to outlast them. You think they want to do this every single night?”

“You better be right.” Dizzy shook his head.

“You better get better grades.” I corrected with a serious look. “Don’t hurt our relationship because you want to fool around in class.”

“I won’t.” Dizzy agreed as he leaned in and laid a kiss on my lips. “I really do need you to be a good tutor though.” He warned. “Especially in math.”

“I will be.” I nodded my head. “I’m actually pretty good at math.”

“Of course, you are.” Dizzy rolled his eyes and stood up. I watched with a smile as he walked over to the couch, and let his weight fall dangerously close to Adam.

“Why do you always have to do this?” Adam began to complain. “The whole damn couch, and you sit right next to me?”

“I like being close to you.” Dizzy shrugged his shoulders. “It makes me feel safe.”

“Didn’t you just say you’d stop goofing around!” Adam exclaimed as he turned towards him.

“In school,” Dizzy argued as I stood up and headed towards the stairs. “I said nothing about at home.”

Adam let out a sigh and rolled his eyes, but suddenly locked in on me as he saw me headed upstairs. “Where are you going?”

“I need to grab something from my room.” I shrugged my shoulders as Dizzy stood up.

“Sit back down!” Adam instructed as Dizzy went to head towards the stairs. “Not there!” Adam yelped as Dizzy sat even closer.

“You told me to give you space, so I was going to Artie’s room to give you some space!” Dizzy began to tease, getting his revenge on Adam for before.

“Now I know why your Mom could kill you.” Adam shook his head. “You really are a fool sometimes.”

“Thank you.” I heard Dizzy reply as I disappeared back up the stairs and quickly made my way to my room. I grabbed the business card from my nightstand before nervously walking back down the stairs.

The second Dizzy saw the card in my hand he straightened up and gave Adam some space. “What are you up to now?” Adam complained as he noticed how worried Dizzy’s face had grown.

“I actually have something I need to talk to you about.” I began as I took a seat between Dizzy and Adam.

“Alright.” Adam hesitantly agreed as the concern from Dizzy’s face spread to his. “Did something happen?”

“Kind of.” I answered, gathering the last of my energy. “When, when we were in Texas, me and Dizzy ran into someone in the courthouse.” I began in a nervous voice.

“You sure this is the right time?” Dizzy asked, trying to give me an out.

“Yeah.” I forced a nod. “We uh, ran into a business man and he, he said I looked familiar, and gave me this card.” I finally said, anxiously offering Adam the card.

“What?” Adam asked as he began to scan over the card, but the second his eyes lock in on the name I saw his face turn red. “Is this a joke?” He suddenly demanded as he turned towards me.

“No.” I forced out as the anger in his eyes froze me.

“He found us.” Dizzy spoke up, unsure how to read Adam’s reaction. “Swear to God.”

“This is some kind of fucking joke.” Adam yelled, shocked by my revelation. “How did he find you?” Adam asked, but I shook my head, not having an answer. “I’m going to call him right now, and I, I’m getting a restraining order.”

“No!” I suddenly blurted out.

“No?” Adam echoed as his eyes focused in on me. “Are you insane?”

“That’ my birth father.” I began to speak up. “He, he’s reaching out to me and I, I don’t want to slam the door on him without giving him a chance.”

“The same way he slammed the door on your mother before you were born?” Adam asked as his anger got the better of him. “Sorry.” He forced out, but I could tell he meant what he said.

“He’s right.” Dizzy agreed, just as nervous as me. “He abandoned you Artie.”

“I know,” I exhaled in a sigh. “but I, I can’t just move on like this didn’t happen.”

“You should.” Adam warned, unable to calm himself down. “He’s a manipulative liar. You’re better off without him in your life.” He lectured in a cold tone.

“People change.” I argued as my eyes fell to the floor. “This is my birth father we’re talking about.” I forced out as I began to grow more and more upset. “And I, I want to work to forgive him or at least, try to.”

“Because of your faith?” Adam asked, but once more I stayed quiet. “Well let me tell you something, if there’s a God out there, he’s yet to catch up to Ezra Green.” Adam warned. “but when He does, well you don’t want to be anywhere close.”

“Are you even listening to him?” Dizzy asked, nearly worried sick over it.

“I am,” I forced out, still not looking up. “but he’s not changing my mind.” I exhaled. “I want to do this through Adam, but if you’re not on board, then I’ll do it myself.” Adam let out a deep sigh as he heard those words, and pulled out his phone. “What are you doing?” I asked as he began to dial the number on the card. “Adam,” I forced out but he simply raised a finger to me.

I heard the other end of the phone click on followed by a muffled “Hello.”.

“Ezra?” Adam asked, anger still seeping out into his words. Once more I heard a muffled response from the other end. “I don’t know how the hell you found my nephew, but this, it’s not going to fly with me.” Adam warned in a strict voice. “I should go to the police right now with this.” He threated as I heard the muffled voice quickly shoot something back. “He’s not your son,” Adam boomed in a loud voice. “and if you want any sort of communication with him, you’ll have to go through me.”

I couldn’t help but gulp and look towards Dizzy as I heard those words. “Before anything happens, you’re going to terminate your parental rights and send those forms to me.” Adam lectured, still as angry as when he first saw the card. “Second, you’re going to explain how you found him.” There was another muffled response but I could tell Adam wasn’t satisfied. “I want a name.” Adam demanded. “James Brooks?” He repeated as I felt my heart jump to my throat. “And how did he know we were in town?”

“I have the answer to that.” I spoke up as Adam quickly looked to me before returning focus to his phone.

“I want those parental termination papers within the week.” Adam dismissed as he hung up the phone, all while keeping his eyes on me. “How did James Brooks know we were in town?”

“I was friends with his son,” I nervously shrugged my shoulders. “and we, we ran into them at their farm so I told them we had family court in Dallas.”

Adam let out a deep sigh as it all began to connect in his mind. “That doesn’t explain how Ezra knew which court it was and when we’d be there.” Adam shook his head. “He must know someone on the inside, I don’t trust it Artie.”

“I know.” I forced a nod and grew quiet.

“We’ll talk about it more when I get those termination papers.” Adam decided, still staring me down. “But any communication you have with him is through me, do you understand that?” He asked, anger still resonating through his voice.

“Yes sir.” I replied, too nervous to say anything else.

“I have to go smoke.” He shook his head as he stood up from the couch and headed towards the stairs.

Once more I gulped hard as I looked towards Dizzy. “You better have listened.” Dizzy shook his head. “This, this is really serious.”

“I know.” I nodded, reaching out for Dizzy. He hesitated for a second, before moving in and letting me lay up against him.

“Adam grew up with this guy,” Dizzy began once again. “he knows him.”

“Yeah.” I exhaled with a sigh. “I just, I want to give him a chance, even if it’s a small one.”

“Alright.” Dizzy let out, but I could tell he didn’t agree.

As Adam came back down the stairs with a joint in his hand, I saw him focus on me one more time. “For the record I’m not angry at you.”

“I know.” I nodded my head, but stayed quiet.

“I’m only being so strict about this because I love you.” He explained, trying his hardest to keep eye contact. “Same goes for you and the homework thing.” He clarified as he looked over to Dizzy. “We’re just doing what’s best for you boys.”

“We know.” Dizzy agreed with a forced smile. “Now go get high and calm down already, I think you’re going to burn a hole through the floor!” Adam shook his head but headed out the back door so the house wouldn’t smell. “Have you ever seen him so mad he had to smoke to calm down?”

“I was just thinking this morning that I never see him mad.” I shook my head, looking back at the silhouette of the man through the glass doors.

“Well I hope you know what you’re doing.” Dizzy warned in a sigh.

“Me too.” I agreed, laying even more into him.

If I ever want to feel like my life in Texas is fully over, if I ever want to sever all my ties to that state, it starts with making peace with my birth father. It starts with getting to know the man he was, and who he is today. I’ll listen to Adam and let him guide me through it, that should be enough, that should lead me to the other side in one piece, right? My mind went around in circles until finally the exhaustion from practice caught back up with me and I passed out in Dizzy’s arms. One way or another, things will all work out.

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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I’m with Adam on this, even if I can understand where Artie’s coming from.  It’s tough to just accept what someone tells you about a person especially in a situation like this.

 

However, it’s silly for Ezra to think he can have it both ways - live his life without any parental obligation and come find Artie only when I assume it is most convenient for him.  He waits till now to show up? When Artie’s living with his uncle and the custody’s been decided and he’s leaving Texas for good? Quite pleased that Adam told him what’s what.

 

Then again, maybe location doesn’t matter because Mr. Bigshot CEO has an office in San Francisco.... Oh, dear. 

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Artie is a good soul to give Ezra the benefit of the doubt, but the truth is that he promised to be there for Sarah and then abandoned both her and Artie. Further, Adam says that he's a "manipulative liar," and Adam should know.

 

Interestingly, Adam (or his lawyer) already knows Ezra's whereabouts, or else the parental rights termination papers could not have been forwarded to him, and Adam has not shared this info with Artie. Of course, the termination papers are just a formality (right?), as Adam's custody has been reaffirmed.

 

So why, all of a sudden, does Ezra want to see Artie?  Artie wants to grant forgiveness, but what does Ezra want out of the deal?

 

Edited by travlbug
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If Ezra really is a CEO, I don’t think Adam’s lawyer would have found it difficult to locate him. But it doesn’t sound like he was asked to sign away his parental rights until Adam demanded that he do so. I don’t know anything about the laws, but does a birthparent’s abandonment of a child affect their parental rights? Is there a statute of limitations (aside from the child becoming an adult)?

 

I’d think the county in Texas would want a reimbursement of all the back child support that he owed Sarah and the funds the county paid in his stead. Governments don’t seem to have statutes of limitations on things like that. They can send you a bill even if they made a mistake that caused an overpayment.

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Another great chapter.  Several high points.  I am really glad that Charlotte and Adam are working together to get Dizzy back on track. Artie can use the help with his computer skill.  It was great that Artie had a hard work out at baseball he needed to feel good about playing again. Now the elephant in the room is Ezra.  You can see for sure how small Artie/Adam home town is. Ezra gets word that Artie is in Dallas from a man on a horse, small town stuff.   No doubt Adam has an opinion about Ezra and I hope that all communication Artie has with Ezra goes through  Adam.  It may result in Artie learning just what kind of guy his bio-dad is.  Lots of things going on. It will be great seeing how they get worked out. 

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I...am not sure how I feel about Ezra?!?! We haven't really heard the whole story because we don't know his side from his point of view. I think it is best that any initial communication be between Adam and Ezra.

I love the way Wesley 8890's mind works, but even then...people can change. I do believe that. If he does turn out to be a Passport carrying Citizen of Dicksville, I hope Artie doesn't get in too deep before he finds out. Of course, he has an amazing support system if anything does go awry. 

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12 minutes ago, Buz said:

…a Passport carrying Citizen of Dicksville…

I feel like a very unwilling citizen of the nation of Dicksville.

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Excellent chapter! The carefree lifestyle Dizzy and Artie have been brought back to reality. I’m glad that Colleen and Adam are forcing them to focus on their school work and grades, the classroom antics will be coming to an end also. Both boys are aware that this is for their own good and will hopefully get back on track with their studies. I’m very glad that Artie finally got the nerve to tell Adam about his “chance” encounter with Ezra. I understand why Artie wants to find out for himself what Ezra has to say, however, I’m also glad that Adam has forced all communications through him. The paperwork terminating Ezra’s parental rights was a great call by Adam. It forces Ezra to sign the papers or forget about communicating with Artie. Adam’s truly stepped up to be the parent that both Artie and Dizzy both need. I’m glad that my predictions about Colleen and Adam were correct. I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter! 😃❤️

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54 minutes ago, flesco said:

I’m glad that Colleen and Adam are forcing them to focus on their school work and grades, the classroom antics will be coming to an end also.

Personally, I’m not sure that the classroom antics will cease, I cannot imagine Dizzy not doing crazy things. As long as their grades improve, I think they’ll get some slack. Adam and Colleen know Ryan too well to expect that Dizzy cannot be completely suppressed.  ;–)

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I'm glad Artie didn't wait too long to tell Adam. As much as he hates his uncle to keep secrets, it just would've been hypocritical. 

I'd like to hear what Ezra has to say. The boys were creeped out so that's a hint as to what his character as an adult might be. But his actions as an 18year old shouldn't define his character today. Many of us find it difficult to try to correct major mistakes. But his family may have told him to stay away. They don't seem to have tried to reach out to be a part of Arties life. I will hold off on judgment. If Ezra does terminate his rights, that leaves the door open for Adam to adopt!

I love Charlotte, btw. True friend.

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I want to say that Artie should just trust Adam’s judgment as well as Dizzy’s instincts yet I don’t think I could ignore the possibility of meeting my birth father for the first time if I were in his shoes. Then there’s the fact Adam hasn’t given Artie any reasons not to besides Ezra abandoning his mother & him, which while a horrible act is obviously not the only reason Adam hates him. Clearly Adam has seen other instances of Ezra lying and not being trustworthy to result in such hate which he should tell Artie about. I mean a restraining order seems a little over the top given the situation if Adam’s anger is only about Ezra abandoning his sister & nephew. Adam claimed he was not keeping any more secrets yet clearly he still is and this is something Artie needs to know about.

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I hope Artie thinks of Sadie as a resource and calls her for information about Ezra. I can understand Artie wanting to know about his birth father. Especially since he hasn't had a real male role model until Adam. It will be interesting to see if Adam has a reason to hate Ezra besides abandoning Artie and his mom. I can't wait for what's next. Thanks. 

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9 minutes ago, JeffreyL said:

I hope Artie thinks of Sadie as a resource and calls her for information about Ezra. I can understand Artie wanting to know about his birth father. Especially since he hasn't had a real male role model until Adam. It will be interesting to see if Adam has a reason to hate Ezra besides abandoning Artie and his mom.

What a clever idea! I forgot about Sadie. She certainly knew Ezra back in the day and is likely to know if he’s changed over the years.  ;–)

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 Having been adopted myself, by my maternal grandparents, I know firsthand how it feels to not know my birth father.  I've been told that I did meet him once, when I was about Four, but I have no recollection of that.  My (adopted) parents and my adopted sister have both told me that my birth father basically abandoned me, and during my growth years I never heard from him.  I did make contact with him a couple of times by phone when I was in my Forties, but never met with him in person.  We lived on opposite ends of the country, last I knew he lived in Washington State, and I had moved from New York State to Virginia, and now I live in Texas.  He passed away quite a number of years ago.

 

Even though I never really knew them, my Paternal Grandparents always sent me Birthday and Christmas Cards throughout my school years, and when I was in my late Twenties or my early Thirties, I did visit them once.  They are long gone today.

Edited by Douglas Spencer
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On 1/20/2019 at 10:31 PM, Wesley8890 said:

I'm thinking Ezra is a two timing jerk who had relations with Sarah and Adam. 

 

Prices do always seem to be popular

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On 1/20/2019 at 10:37 PM, Israfil said:

I’m with Adam on this, even if I can understand where Artie’s coming from.  It’s tough to just accept what someone tells you about a person especially in a situation like this.

 

I feel the same. Although from Adam's perspective it's frustrating to feel so strongly against someone, and still have a person you love want to meet them.

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On 1/20/2019 at 10:39 PM, travlbug said:

So why, all of a sudden, does Ezra want to see Artie?  Artie wants to grant forgiveness, but what does Ezra want out of the deal?

 

 

Especially with how oddly he introduced himself. A normal person would reach out to the guardian and not just approach a minor like that.

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On 1/20/2019 at 11:18 PM, droughtquake said:

If Ezra really is a CEO, I don’t think Adam’s lawyer would have found it difficult to locate him. But it doesn’t sound like he was asked to sign away his parental rights until Adam demanded that he do so. I don’t know anything about the laws, but does a birthparent’s abandonment of a child affect their parental rights? Is there a statute of limitations (aside from the child becoming an adult)?

 

 

I agree, I think Adam demanded it from Ezra and will have his lawyer be in contact later in the week. One of the ways abandonment is established is by leaving a child with no communication or child support. So a court would likely rule Ezra abandoned Artie, but I think Adam just wants peace of mind knowing Ezra terminated his rights. 

 

 

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On 1/21/2019 at 1:53 AM, Buz said:

I love the way Wesley 8890's mind works, but even then...people can change. I do believe that. If he does turn out to be a Passport carrying Citizen of Dicksville, I hope Artie doesn't get in too deep before he finds out. Of course, he has an amazing support system if anything does go awry. 

 

I agree, people can change. Especially when it comes to doing the best thing for their child. Hopefully that's all he has in mind.

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On 1/21/2019 at 2:43 AM, flesco said:

Adam’s truly stepped up to be the parent that both Artie and Dizzy both need. I’m glad that my predictions about Colleen and Adam were correct. I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter! 😃❤️

 

He's certainly come a long way since Artie first moved to San Francisco. Especially when it comes to being more of a parent than a friend. 

 

Thank you! Next chapter will be out within the hour

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On 1/21/2019 at 9:11 AM, tinytoes said:

 Many of us find it difficult to try to correct major mistakes. But his family may have told him to stay away. They don't seem to have tried to reach out to be a part of Arties life. I will hold off on judgment. If Ezra does terminate his rights, that leaves the door open for Adam to adopt!

I love Charlotte, btw. True friend.

 

Especially considering Ezra grew up in the same time as Adam and Sarah. For Ezra to take care of Sarah, it most likely would mean leaving his family for good. It doesn't justify his choices, but sometimes it takes a while to find the balls to leave your family. 

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On 1/21/2019 at 7:51 PM, NimirRaj said:

I want to say that Artie should just trust Adam’s judgment as well as Dizzy’s instincts yet I don’t think I could ignore the possibility of meeting my birth father for the first time if I were in his shoes. 

 

I agree, personally I could never leave that door shut. Even if I tried to, it'd always be in the back of my mind.

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19 hours ago, JeffreyL said:

I hope Artie thinks of Sadie as a resource and calls her for information about Ezra. I can understand Artie wanting to know about his birth father. Especially since he hasn't had a real male role model until Adam. It will be interesting to see if Adam has a reason to hate Ezra besides abandoning Artie and his mom. I can't wait for what's next. Thanks. 

 

I agree, especially since his mother would never tell him about Ezra growing up. That curiosity would kill me.

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4 hours ago, Douglas Spencer said:

 Having been adopted myself, by my maternal grandparents, I know firsthand how it feels to not know my birth father.  I've been told that I did meet him once, when I was about Four, but I have no recollection of that.  My (adopted) parents and my adopted sister have both told me that my birth father basically abandoned me, and during my growth years I never heard from him.  I did make contact with him a couple of times by phone when I was in my Forties, but never met with him in person.  We lived on opposite ends of the country, last I knew he lived in Washington State, and I had moved from New York State to Virginia, and now I live in Texas.  He passed away quite a number of years ago.

 

Even though I never really knew them, my Paternal Grandparents always sent me Birthday and Christmas Cards throughout my school years, and when I was in my late Twenties or my early Thirties, I did visit them once.  They are long gone today.

 

Thank you for sharing your story! I'm sure at times that was hard to go through, so I'm sure you can relate a lot to Artie. Plus it sounds like you were blessed with a loving family, like he has found. 

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On 1/21/2019 at 12:14 AM, OzLoGo said:

Another great chapter.  Several high points.  I am really glad that Charlotte and Adam are working together to get Dizzy back on track. Artie can use the help with his computer skill.  It was great that Artie had a hard work out at baseball he needed to feel good about playing again. Now the elephant in the room is Ezra.  You can see for sure how small Artie/Adam home town is. Ezra gets word that Artie is in Dallas from a man on a horse, small town stuff.   No doubt Adam has an opinion about Ezra and I hope that all communication Artie has with Ezra goes through  Adam.  It may result in Artie learning just what kind of guy his bio-dad is.  Lots of things going on. It will be great seeing how they get worked out. 

 

Thank you, your work is what's part of making it a great chapter!

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