I woke up feel relaxed. I turned my head and JC was still asleep. I watched him sleep and was able to slip away to the bathroom. I came back and took my spot next to him and just stared at him. How could I have forgotten him? Dr. Kev told me that I have a habit of blocking out tragic things to keep myself safe. Mom said I was really torn up when we moved and I cried for days. I guess I chose to block it out but after the dream I want to get to know him again.
“I love you J” I say as I kiss his nose and he just smiles in his sleep. I see that Lucas is starting to stir and so is Beau. Those two are so connected it’s scary. They both got up and leave taking their bedding with them. They are so into each other they don’t notice I am awake. The next to wake up is Grayson and he sees I am awake.
“Morning Teej” He says as he stretches.
“Morning G, did you sleep ok?” I ask
“I miss my bed but I will do anything for you.” He gets up and walks over and sits next to me and rests his head on my shoulder. We sit like this for a bit and he gets up to go get ready for the day. Trace hears him walk by and wakes up and follows Grayson upstairs. That leaves me and JC on the floor. I decide to wake him with a kiss on the lips. His eyes flutter open.
“Good morning beautiful” I say
“My prince woke me with a kiss and I think I might need another one” JC replies as he leans in again. This one is longer and takes my breath away.
“Wow” we both say
“I’ve been waiting a while to do that TJ”
“Well let’s not waste any more time.” I lean in and we begin a full on make out session in the living room.
“Get a room” Trace says as he comes back in.
“Looks like you two are reconnecting, which is great” Trace says we both just smile at him.
“I need a shower and to freshen up.” I said
“OK, I’ll wait for you then I’ll take my turn.” JC said
“Or you could shower together” Trace says with a snicker
“I am not ready for that” I say. We both went and showered and came down and had cereal.
“Now that everyone is here, I wanted to let you know we are having a New Year’s Party.” Mom said everyone was excited
“I know its last minute but I think we should all ring in the New Year together.”
“Sounds like a good plan Mom” I say. After I finished eating Mom and I headed out to shop for a new bed for me. We went to a couple of stores to find the best price and a bed that I liked. She reminded me I leave for school in a couple of months, so it will be my bed for when I visit. We found a great deal on a mattress and set-up delivery and removal of the old bed. We stopped at the store to grab some fixing for sandwiches.
When we get back to the house everyone was hanging in the living room. Kellan, Jordan, Lucas and Beau were in a fierce Mario Kart battle. Grayson was watching and laughing at their antics.
“Where are Trace and JC” I ask Grayson taking a seat next to him
“Their dad came and got them something about needing to have a family meeting. He said they would be back after lunch.” Mom came in and said we were ready for lunch.
“Where are Uncle Brayden and Aunt Kat?” I asked
“Oh they went to lunch with your grandparents” mom replied
After lunch the phone rang and it was Liz and she wanted to talk to Mom and I privately.
“Ok Liz, TJ and I are here.”
“All right, so my meeting with the Chief of Police went just as I was suspecting. He didn’t want to hear anything about the alleged rape and was more concerned about the missing boys as he had a community to keep safe.”
I sat there looking rather pale and was on the verge of tears. Of course the kids with money are the concern and little old me pushed aside.
“Liz is there anything we can do?” mom asked
“We are meeting with the States Attorney and State Prosecutor around 3 pm as the Governor was shocked about how this case is being treated. He said if it was a woman they would be all over it but since it is a male they don’t see it as rape. We have all the proof we need. They were idiots to record and take pictures… talk about an open and shut case.”
“They were never really that smart” I said
“TJ just know I am here fighting for you. I have told them you were in the hospital right after receiving the messages and didn’t have time to arrange a kidnapping.”
“Thanks Liz. Let us know how the meeting this afternoon goes.” Mom said.
I was on egg shells the rest of the day. I knew if they both escaped overseas they would never face prosecution. I guess money does win in the end.
Around 4 the phone rang and I jumped up. Mom called me into the study and closed the door.
“Ok Liz what did you learn?” Mom asked
“Well for starters the FBI had been called in but they didn’t seem too worried about the boys missing. I found that to be very odd. They said an investigation has been opened and that their pictures are everywhere. They haven’t had any movement on their bank accounts and nor have they scene a withdrawal of money. They also have been interviewing Carmine’s and Corse’s about their whereabouts. The States Attorney has opened an official investigation into the rape. They were very displeased how things were handled and were told by the police that the rape allegation was false and that TJ was crying rape after not getting what I wanted.”
“So said my assault didn’t happen and I am crying wolf?”
“Basically that is the police’s view. I am here and going to dig into this and see what I can find. Something isn’t adding up with all those involved. One last tidbit of information that you may find interesting, Caroline Carmine and her husband separated a year ago and no one has talked to her about her missing son.”
“She is still alive right?” mom asks
“Yes she is. I talked with her today and we have a meeting set-up with her and her lawyer tomorrow. She actually sounds like a nice and reasonable person but don’t get your hopes up.”
“Thank you Liz. Let us know if you find anything else out.”
I came out of the study but JC and Trace weren’t back yet and it was way past lunch.
I sent him a message
T: I thought you were coming back
J: I am but we are working on a surprise ❤️
I went and sat on the couch as the others were still playing Mario Kart.
“Hey TJ can we talk privately?” Grayson asked
“Sure thing little bro” we went upstairs to his room
“How did you know you were gay or liked boys?” Grayson asked
“WOW... um I am attracted to boys and I love how they look and I get nervous around ones I like. I can talk to any girl with no problem. I kissed a girl once but it was the worst thing. Where is this coming from?”
“Well I like girls no doubt but I have a crush on someone.”
“I see, well it could be just that a crush. You won’t know unless you do something about it.”
“I think he likes me too. I’m just scared.”
“Well when you get the nerve up ask him but make sure you are ok if he’s not interested or you find out you’re not as interested in him as you thought. Who knows you could find someone who makes your world rock.”
“Thanks TJ. I will take what you said into consideration.”
“I will love you no matter what G.” we hug and head downstairs
As we watch them play Mario Kart I try to figure out if he is crushing on Kellan or Jordan. They are both pretty hot as they work out all the time and were in the Army for four years. I don’t know what they do but they travel a whole lot.
Everyone had regrouped for dinner. Mom ordered pizza and JC and Trace were back along with their parents and Grandparents.
“So TJ, are you excited to move to NYC?” Tracy asked
“Yeah I am ready to move on and start dancing more. Dorm life is going to suck though”
“Well about that. How would you like to stay in an apartment with Trace and JC?”
“Is that an option for me?”
“Normally no, but exceptions can be made. I made a call to the person who makes those decisions at the school and explained that you had extenuating circumstances and you would be better off outside the dorm.”
“Oh wow. I never thought about living somewhere else.”
“You are walking distance of the school and the high-rise has a view of Central park. You’d have your own room for privacy.” Jack said
“You guys have a spare room? Mom said
“Actually we are moving to a brownstone that we just renovated and planned on letting the boys stay in the apartment.” Tracy said
“Well can I decide what I want to do?”
“I thought you’d jump at it” JC said
“Well I would but I want to think.”
“OK” he sulked
After dinner I avoided everyone and went to study and closed the door. I sat in dad’s chair behind the desk. I have so many memories with him in his different offices. This has been his desk for as long as I remember. I ran my hand across the top and was so in thought I didn’t hear the door open.
“Penny for your thoughts?” Trace asked
“Hey Trace, just thinking about my dad.”
“I wanted to see if you were ok as you didn’t look too thrilled with the offer to stay with us.”
“I’m stuck.. one hand sure it would be cool to live with you guys but I am not sure what JC will expect.”
“Ah I see what your troubles are. My brother is excited to have you in his life again. When you finally had a facebook and Instagram account he stalked you, in a good way. He said you were his true love.”
“I feel a connection with him but after what’s happened to me I am damaged goods.”
“TJ listen to me, he knows what happened and has he left your side? No he hasn’t. He is the one who asked if you could move in with us. Let me tell you we call it an apartment but it’s really not. We have the 90th and 91st floors. The bed rooms are on the top floor and entering the apartment is secure as you need a pass to stop at certain floors. You come off the elevator into a hall way with a door and Dad had everything beefed up so you can’t get in without a key. I think you’d love it and should visit before making a decision. The rooms are massive and we even have a lounge room for studying and there is even a dance room where JC practices his moves. You gotta come and teach my brother how to dance.”
“I guess maybe in the New Year I could visit.”
“That’s all I ask and it’s not contingent on you and my brother getting together either.”
Wow they live in a high-rise and have two floors. I pulled up some real estate sites on the computer and see that living in a high-rise cost a fortune. I went to the living room and sat with JC. I got up the nerve and held his hand.
We watched a movie and everyone slept in the living room again. I woke to the smell of someone making breakfast. I went into the kitchen to find Grandpa Tony and Mom hard at work cooking.
“Hey sleepy head” mom said
“Morning mom and grandpa”
“Do me a favor and wake the dead breakfast is almost done.” Grandpa Tony said
After waking everyone we joined the parents in the dining room and began eating. As we were eating the phone rang and Grandpa Joe answered it.
“Good morning, may I speak with Emily Michaels please?”