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    Parker Owens
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

A to Z - 20. Interrogation

Mending Fences.

No special warnings for this chapter.

Questions and issues raised in this chapter or any other chapter can be discussed at the A to Z story thread here: http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/40860-a-to-z/

July 3 - Sunday

Sunday, day of rest. I am so glad that Eustace Whitley believes in God, because I am as tired and worn out as an old pair of shoes. Kind of like my old sneakers, in fact.

I got to meet Ambrose Whitley and his family this weekend.

Ambrose is a stockier, broader version of Eustace, with thinning red hair and bright blue eyes. He grinned at me when he shook my hand Friday evening before I brought the flock up from the lower meadow.

“So you signed on as the summer help? Lucky you,” he said as he introduced himself.

“Hi,” I returned quietly, “I’m Eric. And yeah, I’m the summer help.”

“He treating you right?” Ambrose gestured with his head toward the farmhouse, where Eustace had remained.

“Yes. Fine,” I said as I unlatched the gate and called the dogs.

I have the feeling that the dogs know exactly what’s going on when I appear at the gate. They don’t really need me to call them – they’d take care of bringing up the sheep even if I started dancing and singing once the gateway was open.

Ambrose stood by as I did my best imitation of Eustace Whitley in the road, telling the sheep to move along. We hiked up the pathway behind the sheep side by side.

“Dad didn’t tell us he was going to take someone on this summer,” Ambrose spoke up.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this, so I remained silent.

“He can be pretty stubborn, you might have noticed.”

I nodded.

“We’re very glad that you’re here this summer, though, to keep an eye on him.”

I looked over at Ambrose, surprised.

“Dad sometimes forgets that he’s not in his forties anymore, if you know what I mean.”

“I see,” I replied. I understood what he was getting at.

Eustace Whitley seemed pretty fit and able to me. If anything, he’s stronger than I am. I may be younger, but I know I haven’t got much in the way of muscle.

Once the sheep were properly penned up and watered and fed, Ambrose and I parted.

Yesterday, Saturday, I made sure to get up extra early, while it was still mostly dark. I really like my new watch alarm. I carried a bundle of dirty, smelly clothing down below, along with some clean-ish clothes for the day. In the lower level of the barn, I filled a bucket and fetched out a bar of old yellow soap I’d found on Thursday night. With the soap, I washed my dirtiest clothes as best I could in the semidarkness. I scrubbed them as hard as I could trying to get rid of the smells and dirt. Fortunately, my small wardrobe didn’t take long to launder and rinse out under the hose.

With the clothes washed and set aside for a moment, I stripped down naked. I knew that nobody would be up yet, but I still felt incredibly exposed and vulnerable. Using the soap and the icy water in the bucket, I gave myself the first thorough washing I’d had in a long, long time.

I cursed myself when I realized I’d forgotten my towel.

I hosed down the floor to remove the traces of soap and dashed back up to my loft, still naked. By that time, I was mostly dry. Except for the hay poking at the bottom of my feet, I felt deliciously naughty to be naked back up in my hayloft. Maybe it was something especially sensual about the warm, thick air caressing my body.

My hayloft. Sounds funny, but I'm making it my space. I sleep behind a screen of hay bales. From below, nobody can see me. During the day, my pack and my extra clothes lie safely buried under the hay. No way will anyone ever know I'm sleeping here.

But the rooster crowing brought me back to reality. I got dressed, found some food scraps in my pack for breakfast, and clomped down again to begin the day.

I met the rest of the younger generation after morning chores.

Ambrose and his kids loaded the fencing tools and supplies into the back of the trailer (yes, that trailer), and we all piled on. The two boys were younger than me, probably like ten and twelve. Gene, the older of the two, had bright red hair like his father, but none of the parental burliness. Gerry, the younger, was quieter and darker haired. He was, if anything, slimmer than his brother.

The tractor towed us all up the lane, past the barn and tractor sheds, past the pond, and up to the right. We slowly ascended a farm track I’d not followed before, and a large field opened before us. The tall grass waved at us in an errant breeze. This looked far larger than the lower meadow where the sheep grazed contentedly each day. Now I understood why the lower meadow had its name.

Eustace took the tractor around the field’s edge to the far side and drove through an opening in the trees to still another field. Here, the grass was not so high, and the fence could still be seen. Or, some of it, anyhow.

As we drove slowly along the east side of the field, I noted how many posts would need repair. We finally seemed to reach the farthest corner in this field, and Eustace killed the tractor’s engine. He bounced down out of the driver’s seat, and the rest of us scrambled off the trailer.

“Now, here’s how we’re going to organize,” he began, all business. “Eric, you start at the corner there, and walk the east fence line.”

He handed me some pink surveyor’s tape.

“Any fence repair, mark with that stuff, and mark any posts that need replacement with this,” he handed me a roll of orange tape.

“Ambrose and I will walk the west line from this corner here. You two boys,” here he indicated Gene and Gerry, “come with me.”

I nodded and started off on my task. I was soon absorbed in wading through some deep grass to find the remnants of a fence line. At least half of the posts needed replacing.

Before long, I became aware of the sound of another motor approaching. I saw a dusty blue pickup truck making its way slowly in my direction, following the two wheel tracks the tractor had left in the tall grass. I found myself pleased to see the face of Toby Harris emerge from behind the wheel.

“Well, hey, if it isn’t my replacement,” he called out.

“Hi,” I replied quietly. I couldn’t help my emotions. I tried to close myself off, to keep from getting hurt, but Toby’s humorous, open smile warmed my heart.

“Don’t look too excited to see me.”

I vainly fought off a smile.

“I didn’t know you were coming.”

“Eustace called last night and asked if I could come and help. It looks like a big job,” Toby remarked, adding “but not too big for us, huh?”

I shrugged, letting my grin get the best of me. I shouldn’t have let him get inside my head. I had to keep him at arm’s length. Connection with people can be dangerous. The trouble with a good-looking friendly guy is that I keep forgetting that. Something could go wrong so easily. Look at what happened with that guy - Colin – at the library back in Marshall.

I shoved my grin back into its box, and looked away.

“So, I brought some tools along,” Toby continued in a more businesslike tone. “What needs doing?”

“We’ve got fence to mend and a bunch of posts to reset or repair. Anything with an orange flag.”

“Okaaay. Well, let’s get to it.”

With that, we commenced our work together. We made a decent team. With two sets of tools, we could dig up and reset a post pretty quick. Replacing a post took a little longer because we had to dig a fresh hole, but we got on well enough. On the other side of the field, I noticed that Ambrose and Eustace Whitley were doing the same thing. The little boys appeared to be patching fence on that side.

We kept on at it without a break pretty much all morning. Toby and I didn’t speak much except to help or direct one another from time to time. The air heated up as the sun burned off the morning cloud cover.

With the sun nearly overhead, we started slowing down. Ambrose walked over from where he had been working. He addressed my partner, so I took the opportunity to rest and observe.

“Hey, Toby.”

“Hey, yourself,” he said straightening up from a hole we had been digging.

“Could I ask you a favor? Would you mind driving on back to the house with Gene and Gerry and getting some lunch for everyone?”

I liked the sound of lunch; by this time, I was truly thirsty, and my morsel of breakfast had completely worn off.

“Sure thing, boss,” he said, grinning and wiping his forehead. “Should I take Eric back with me?”

Ambrose looked at me for a moment, then shook his head.

“Nah. We’ll just keep at it until you get back.”

“All right,” Toby shrugged, and he handed over his shovel to Ambrose.

Within moments, Ambrose and I were digging together on resetting a post again. The sound of Toby’s truck faded as it made its way back across the field in low gear.

“So, how’s it going today?” Ambrose asked lightly. “Certain you’re glad you signed on?”

“It’s OK, I guess.”

We lifted the post back into place and began tamping earth down around it.

“Dad says you work pretty hard. Get here early. Stay late.”

I shrugged. “I guess. Maybe.”

“Hey, that’s a compliment. Especially from Dad,” Ambrose smiled at me.

I nodded, smiling faintly back. Maybe I worked, but Eustace Whitley did most of the labor, and had all of the know-how.

We walked along the fence line to the next drunken post. My shovel bit the dirt at its base, and we began again. But unlike Toby and Eustace, Ambrose was determined to keep up a conversation, even if it was pretty one-sided.

“What time did you get here today?”

“I dunno. Maybe seven?”

Of course, I’d gotten up way earlier than that. I was doing barn chores by six-fifteen, according to my new watch.

“Didn’t see you come in, that’s all.”

His probing put me on my guard. I thought it best to keep my mouth shut. Instead, I grunted as my shovel hit a stone. Ambrose tried again. “Do you mind if I ask how old you are?”

I shook my head. “I’m sixteen.”

“So in school, that makes you a….” he let the sentence hang.

“I was in the tenth grade.”

Ambrose nodded. “Has Akron High changed much since I left town?”

“Probably.”

“I guess you’re right,” he agreed.

We walked on to the next post to fix.

“So how’d you get this job?”

“Eustace - Mr. Whitley - asked me.”

Ambrose waited for his next question until I was just ready to start digging. “Dad says you’re an Anderson.”

I stopped and looked up. This was the second time someone had taken the trouble to point that out. What was wrong with being an Anderson?

I nodded. “Uh-huh.”

Ambrose paused and looked me directly for a few moments. “There’s a whole bunch of Andersons down on the river,” he commented.

“Yup.” I stared back.

“So who do you come from?” Not ‘where do you come from,’ but ‘who.’

I had no answer to that one, so I just shrugged again. “Nobody much.”

Something about that response struck him as being funny. Ambrose laughed long and loud, but I didn't understand why. Anyway, his gentle interrogation left me feeling keyed up. I decided to turn it back on him.

“So how old are you?”

He looked back at me and grinned. “Forty two – forty three next September.”

“You the oldest?”

He laughed. It was a pleasant, genuine laugh. “Nope. I’m the baby. My older brother Will – that’s short for Wilfred – he’s fifty three, and he’s the oldest. Louise is next; she’s fifty. Don’t tell her I told you so. Dorothy – everyone calls her Dora – is forty eight, I think. I was the afterthought.”

What names this family had. Wilfred? Louise? Dorothy? Let alone Ambrose – they sounded like something out of a classic novel. I asked him about that.

“Mom and Dad’s families both came from England. They wanted traditional sounding names, I guess.”

"So how old is Eustace?"

"Dad's seventy eight; he'll turn seventy nine in September."

Seventy eight? I'd never have guessed Eustace was that old, not by the amount of work he did. He wasn't just old, he was ancient. I thought about it for a second, though. Since I've been here, Eustace has let me do any climbing or work off the ground. Anyway, no wonder his kids were happy I was here to help. Before Ambrose could start in on me again, I had another question.

“So what do you do when you’re not mending fences?”

“I’m a detective. I work for the state police,” he said, returning to work, lifting the post I’d loosened so it could be reset.

I froze for a moment.

Fear washed over me like a bucket of ice water. Before he could see, I started digging underneath the post to deepen and widen the hole. I didn’t look up as I worked rapidly in the dirt. I couldn’t look him in the eye.

“OK,” I panted, “let it down.”

Another policeman. And I couldn’t exactly run away, then or now. Since his job was to ask questions, I’d just have to deflect Ambrose and avoid him if I could.

Deciding that the best defense was a good offense, I tried to pepper Ambrose with questions. I learned that Eustace had grown up here on the family farm, that it had been a little bigger once upon a time, and that there had been cows as well as sheep up until Eustace’s wife died five or six years ago.

I was glad to hear the sound of Toby’s truck returning with lunch.

Ambrose’s wife, Cheryl, had come out with him, and we all sat down to a big picnic in the shade of a large maple tree. I was glad of the break, as it was growing really hot. Fortunately, they had brought a couple of big jugs of ice water.

I tried not to eat too fast and leave plenty for the others, but I couldn’t help myself. The food was good, and I was incredibly hungry. As I took another sandwich, I saw a look pass between Ambrose and Eustace.

“Teenagers,” Eustace muttered.

“You go ahead and eat, Eric,” Cheryl laughed, “there’s plenty more.”

“Yeah, the better to keep it off my hips,” added Ambrose.

Embarrassed, I ate in silence.

“It’s OK, Eric,” said Toby, reaching across for another one, “us teenagers gotta stick together.”

“Us teenagers?” inquired Eustace. “Just how old are you now, anyhow?”

“Twenty,” he replied, striking a dignified pose. “But I’m an honorary teenager.”

Everyone laughed.

Before long, we were back at work, and I had Toby as my partner again. No more questions, thank God.

We made steady progress through the afternoon, setting posts, putting in new ones, and mending the fence line. The little boys tired by mid-afternoon and walked back to the house across the fields after being dismissed by their grandfather.

At one point, Toby just stopped for a second and peeled off his shirt.

“God, it’s hot,” he whined.

I forced myself not to stare, but I couldn’t help glancing at him. Tan, solid, muscled, but not super defined. Glowing with exertion. I felt my groin stirring. No. Not now. Can’t let him see. I went back to digging furiously.

“Jesus, Eric, aren’t you broiling in that shirt?”

Boiling – steam cooking – that was more like it. Under my flannel shirt, I was streaming sweat. My hair matted to my head and neck. But like hell I was going to admit it. No way was I going to take off my shirt, no matter what. Nobody sees that. Ever. And there would be too many questions, especially with Ambrose the state trooper around.

I made a non-committal gesture. “I’m fine.”

And we got back to fixing fence. I tried to set a faster pace. However, a problem arose. Toby distracted me. The scent and sight of half-naked Toby kept my attention, and I dropped fence or posts more than once. That only made it worse.

“Shit, Eric, take it easy," Toby panted. "You’re getting too tired, man.”

It wasn’t weariness or the heat. I hadn’t felt horny since – hell, I can’t remember. It scared me. I sure didn’t want Toby to know.

I stopped and deliberately looked away to where Ambrose and Eustace Whitley were working. They made slower progress than we did, but they seemed to be getting closer and closer to us as they made their way around the field.

“You figure we’ll finish before dark?” I asked, changing the subject.

Toby stopped and looked, puffing a little. He took off his hat and wiped his forehead.

“Yeah, sure. In fact, I think we’re almost done. That section looked pretty solid,” he said, pointing at the portion of fence we hadn’t gotten to yet.

“You got any water left in the truck?”

We’d demolished the gallon left with us after lunch.

“I’ll go check. You can get back to work,” Toby grinned.

“Fine.”

While he was gone, I discreetly unbuttoned a couple of buttons on my shirt. It was a little cooler. I went back to digging out posts.

“Here,” Toby called out, returning, holding out a bottle of water. “I’m sorry it’s not very cold, but it’s what we have.”

“You go ahead,” I said.

I didn’t think he would want to share with me.

“No, this is for you,” he insisted, holding out the bottle to me. “I brought one for me, too.”

I noticed another bottle in his other hand. I couldn’t believe it. He was giving me a bottle of water? Free gift? Nobody gave away stuff. Not to me.

Slowly, I stretched out my hand to take it. “Thanks a lot. I needed that.”

I drank down that bottle quick, I was that thirsty.

Once back at work, Toby’s prediction proved true. We finished not too long after our water break. Toby said Eustace would be pleased. In fact, I heard Eustace remark on it to Ambrose at the trailer – he'd expected the job to take more than one day, apparently. We loaded the remaining supplies onto the trailer, and Ambrose rode back down to the farm behind Eustace. Toby and I walked back to the truck.

“Hey, Eric, what are you doing for the Fourth of July?” he asked casually.

I’d completely forgotten the holiday coming up. Not that we’d ever done anything about it much at home. I mean, Dad never let me go out to see fireworks or anything. He’d stay home and keep me working – if he was in a good mood.

“I’ll be working, I guess.”

“No, I meant after work on Monday.”

That’s right. The holiday fell on Monday, which is tomorrow now. That’s why Ambrose came back – for the long weekend. They were going to see a fireworks show in Akron, then drive home after. Ambrose had to be a detective on Tuesday.

I shrugged.

“So, that means you’re not doing anything.”

I shook my head. My heart beat faster.

“Well, we can’t let you waste away the big night down there in Andersonville.”

My ears perked up at that. Andersonville again. What did that mean?

We got into the truck. Toby fired it up, and we moved slowly back down through the fields.

“This is what’s happening,” he continued, as the pickup bumped along. “I’ll pick you up here after Eustace is finished with you Monday – that will be around six, six-thirty, right? So there’s a big street party up in New Salem Monday night – you can swing by my place to shower first, then hang out with me and my friends until the fireworks. Then I’ll make sure you get back to Andersonville safe and sound and ready to work the next morning.”

I hesitated. My experience with strangers hasn't been very good. And I've never been invited anyplace. But I remembered the kids at the reservoir and the Brethren Church picnic. I was the outsider looking in. Now Toby was opening the door. And besides, I reasoned, if I went with Toby, Eustace would have fewer reasons to suspect I wasn't who I said I was. I mean, normal kids go out to stuff, right?

Normal. God, I wish I could be normal.

"Come on, Eric, what do you say?" Toby coaxed.

I was lost. I couldn’t resist Toby Harris’s smile any longer.

“I – I’d like that. If it isn’t too much trouble, I mean. It’s a lot of driving for you, and I don’t want to be a problem…” I stammered.

“Of course, it’s not a problem. I’m staying with my folks this weekend. It’s like I’ll be driving you home with me – it’s on my way.” He was grinning ear to ear now.

Of course, Toby had no idea what he was doing for me. Nobody had ever made me part of anything before. I was the strange, raggedy kid. I was an expert at keeping people away, at being invisible. Instead, in one day, Toby Harris had slipped by my defenses.

So back to today. Sunday, July the third.

I woke up knowing I had to do some investigation. I need to figure out what this ‘Anderson’ problem is that everyone seems to talk – or not talk – about.

I know more today than yesterday. I spent part of my morning walking back to the place where Eustace dropped me off that first night. It's easy to get away unseen just by walking down the sheep path to the lower meadow. Nobody at the house could have spotted me. Anyhow, I figured if I was an Anderson, I’d better see where I was supposed to be living.

I found the place where I’d hid in the shadows, pretending it was home. It looked a lot different in the daylight. The mailbox still read ‘T. Anderson.’ The house was a long two-story affair, with a sagging roof and badly in need of paint. An older model Chrysler stood in the driveway, and the lawn needed mowing. If I wanted more work, I could have asked for the lawn job, I guess.

I walked a little farther. There were several houses – maybe eight or nine in all, clustered around an intersection. Each appeared to be kind of run-down to one degree or another; none looked very well kept. Overgrown lawns, peeling paint, junk cars. One of these houses was a more imposing, square building, with a cupola on top, and funny rounded windows. It had a decrepit looking barn in the back. The house was more or less yellow.

The mailbox had ‘B. Anderson’ painted on it. I saw a pack of scruffy, wiry, red and blond haired children playing in the back. They shouted and shrieked at each other.

Over across the intersection, a white house with greenish shutters seemed to lean a bit downhill toward the creek on the right. An older delivery truck sat parked in the driveway. The mailbox? ‘R. Anderson.’

I was beginning to get the picture. I was in ‘Andersonville.’

I walked on a ways. A thin woman with red-gold hair and tired eyes sat on the front step of another house, smoking a cigarette. She stared at me as I walked by, and didn't return my wave.

I heard a door bang, and voices raised at a house up the road leading away from the creek. Yup. More Andersons arguing loudly about something. A dog started barking, setting off another.

I’d seen enough. I walked back.

First conclusion. Whoever the Andersons are, there's a ton of them. They don't seem very friendly. And I mowed our lawn and kept our house painted – even with Dad cracking the whip every day - better than any of the Andersons seem to. So maybe there might be a problem with being an Anderson, but I guess I'm stuck with it. At least it explains why wasn't a big deal for me to have shown up looking dirty and scraggly.

Second conclusion. I'm going to have to keep away from Ambrose Whitley. He's a nice guy, but he's a cop. If he gets anywhere near the truth about me, I'll be back in jail in Carlsberg in twenty four hours, I'll bet. But I want to stay – if nothing else because it feels good to eat every day and have some money in my pocket.

Third conclusion. I have a crush on Toby Harris. I’m not sure I like it, but I can’t help it. I’m scared. But despite my being scared, and despite nightmares of Dad and Uncle Ray, I stripped down last night and jacked off to the idea of Toby kissing me, or the even more impossible idea of me touching him. It's been weeks since I got off. Being on the run might have something to do with that. Anyway, I always had to be real careful about that kind of thing around Dad. As I fantasized about a naked embrace with Toby, I sprayed cum all over the hay. I hope the sheep won't mind.

Thanks go to Craftingmom for her priceless punctuation policing, and her enduring encouragement.

Please leave a review. Your remarks, comments and questions of any variety are most welcome.

Copyright © 2016 Parker Owens; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

See Eric, that's what you get sticking around somewhere for a while. ;)
Always the problem when you become 'known' ...things get complicated.
I don't think there's any indication Toby is gay, so Eric needs to watch his enthusiasm. But I think he's pretty cautious at this stage.
Ambrose being a cop could cause problems if he wasn't satisfied with Eric's answers to the interrogation.
Lots of nice stuff to worry think about Parker! Another great chapter!!

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On 11/04/2015 05:59 AM, skinnydragon said:

See Eric, that's what you get sticking around somewhere for a while. ;)

Always the problem when you become 'known' ...things get complicated.

I don't think there's any indication Toby is gay, so Eric needs to watch his enthusiasm. But I think he's pretty cautious at this stage.

Ambrose being a cop could cause problems if he wasn't satisfied with Eric's answers to the interrogation.

Lots of nice stuff to worry think about Parker! Another great chapter!!

I am glad you liked this chapter. I found it easy to draft, but very hard to hone into the shape I wanted. I suspect Eric's arms and back and hands ache, the walk down to Andersonville was enough exercise for Sunday. Count on caution from Eric - though saying yes to Toby was a huge step for him, you could tell.

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Great chapter. We got a clearer sense of who the Whitley family is, and got to know Toby a little better. I have a feeling that Toby is a good guy, but you never know. Maybe the comment about Eric's shirt meant that he wanted to see Eric without his shirt, too... ;) The Fourth of July will be very interesting, I've no doubt.

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On 11/04/2015 09:20 AM, Valkyrie said:

Great chapter. We got a clearer sense of who the Whitley family is, and got to know Toby a little better. I have a feeling that Toby is a good guy, but you never know. Maybe the comment about Eric's shirt meant that he wanted to see Eric without his shirt, too... ;) The Fourth of July will be very interesting, I've no doubt.

And we got to see a side of Eric that was only partially exposed earlier. He's a little competitive, I think. Eric is clearly nervous about the day to come.

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I don't think the sheep will mind. LOL
It's great to see Eric actually starting to come to life after all this time on the road. I hope Toby doesn't turn into an asshat too. I think Ambrose knows something is up, but he's also exerienced enough to know when not to push. Any more questions or even an attempt to let Eric know they know would end in Eric running again. Very smart.
Looking forward to 4th of July!

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On 11/05/2015 08:56 AM, Puppilull said:

I don't think the sheep will mind. LOL

It's great to see Eric actually starting to come to life after all this time on the road. I hope Toby doesn't turn into an asshat too. I think Ambrose knows something is up, but he's also exerienced enough to know when not to push. Any more questions or even an attempt to let Eric know they know would end in Eric running again. Very smart.

Looking forward to 4th of July!

Asshat? What is that in Swedish? What we've seen of Toby doesn't look that way to Eric. Ambrose is another matter. He's glad that Eustace has some help. And it really is fun to watch Eric begin to explore becoming himself. I'm really grateful for your perceptive comments and reviews. Thank you.

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So Andersons are real and not just a herd of cows in a pasture somewhere. Phew!
While I don't think the sheep would mind, I think Eric should keep his feelings for Toby in check. There's much he doesn't know about Toby. I am happy that he is allowing himself to go out and maybe have fun.
What are the odds that Ambrose is a cop. I wonder if his questions were instigated by his father's concern.

 

Great Chapter....

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On 11/06/2015 02:33 PM, Defiance19 said:

So Andersons are real and not just a herd of cows in a pasture somewhere. Phew!

While I don't think the sheep would mind, I think Eric should keep his feelings for Toby in check. There's much he doesn't know about Toby. I am happy that he is allowing himself to go out and maybe have fun.

What are the odds that Ambrose is a cop. I wonder if his questions were instigated by his father's concern.

 

Great Chapter....

Real Andersons. A good cover perhaps. It is good to see Eric take tentative steps out into the big crowded world - as opposed to the lonely, hidden world he's been inhabiting. But being completely open will take a long time, I think.

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Lots of info in this chapter. Eric better watch it, he might start to trust. I like Toby, not sure where it's going but we'll see.

 

Good stuff!

 

tim

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On 11/08/2015 01:05 AM, Mikiesboy said:

Lots of info in this chapter. Eric better watch it, he might start to trust. I like Toby, not sure where it's going but we'll see.

 

Good stuff!

 

tim

Eric is unlikely to trust anyone consciously, but he just might slip up and get carried away. Toby could be okay, but I agree with you, Eric might need to be cautious...

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As nice as this intermezzo with Eustace is, I have a feeling it will be over soon. The Anderson story is getting thin, every question feels like it could be a trap.

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On 11/08/2015 01:38 AM, aditus said:

As nice as this intermezzo with Eustace is, I have a feeling it will be over soon. The Anderson story is getting thin, every question feels like it could be a trap.

Eric's life so far would certainly point to traps, pitfalls and problems just about anywhere. He's used to it. Perhaps the longer he can stay with Eustace, the less apprehension he will feel. The Andersons are so numerous that there's still plenty of cover, as long as nobody looks too closely. And you are right in that Eric will have to avoid getting trapped in questions. He's a pretty good dodger, though. Many thanks for your perceptive comments and review. More is coming soon!

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I'm surprised I still hadn't commented the first time around!

 

I'd forgotten that we'd met Ambrose's wife and kids…

 

I'm sure the sheep are glad Eric's not straight. Those guys are rumored to share their 'deposits' more directly.

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On 06/30/2016 01:25 AM, droughtquake said:

I'm surprised I still hadn't commented the first time around!

 

I'd forgotten that we'd met Ambrose's wife and kids…

 

I'm sure the sheep are glad Eric's not straight. Those guys are rumored to share their 'deposits' more directly.

No, Eric has no designs on the sheep! Toby, on the other hand...Ambrose appears to be both genuine, pleasant and very dangerous as we get to know him better. A very difficult combination for Eric. Many thanks for your thoughts.

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The last couple chapters since Eustace came into Eric's life have been great.  It's wonderful to see him with a roof over his head, even if he's hiding in the barn, getting at least a meal a day for a change and some positive encouragement.  Hoping things don't go badly with Toby.  I glad I picked up reading this again, it's a reminder of what a talented author you are.

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On August 29, 2017 at 0:20 AM, WolfM said:

The last couple chapters since Eustace came into Eric's life have been great.  It's wonderful to see him with a roof over his head, even if he's hiding in the barn, getting at least a meal a day for a change and some positive encouragement.  Hoping things don't go badly with Toby.  I glad I picked up reading this again, it's a reminder of what a talented author you are.

 

Finally, Eric has a tiny bit of stability in his life. He eats. He works. And for once there is an older parent sort of figure he can respect.  And he is very concerned about Ambrose Whitley. However, Toby seems like a nice guy, doesn't he? Thank you for picking up this story a second (or third) time, and even more for your very kind and generous comment. 

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I don't know what to think about Toby, Ambrose is another enigma. Ambrose's questions about Eric has him on edge, on one hand the questions just seem to be idle curiosity and then with Ambrose being a detective with the state police, how much was curiosity and how much was gathering information in order to see what he could through a computer search. I'm leary of Toby as he seems a bit more like a stalker, I'm going have to see what happens next between them as Toby asked Eric to go to the fireworks with him. I hope that the offer to shower at his place isn't a ploy just to get Eric alone so he could take advantage of Eric sexually before they go to the fireworks in town. Eustace seems to really like Eric and the fact that he arrives early to work and stays late as well, you definitely don't see that kind of work ethic from most teenagers. I hope that everything works out for Eric. 

Great work again this story doesn't leave you in suspense for long. 

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2 hours ago, Butcher56 said:

I don't know what to think about Toby, Ambrose is another enigma. Ambrose's questions about Eric has him on edge, on one hand the questions just seem to be idle curiosity and then with Ambrose being a detective with the state police, how much was curiosity and how much was gathering information in order to see what he could through a computer search. I'm leary of Toby as he seems a bit more like a stalker, I'm going have to see what happens next between them as Toby asked Eric to go to the fireworks with him. I hope that the offer to shower at his place isn't a ploy just to get Eric alone so he could take advantage of Eric sexually before they go to the fireworks in town. Eustace seems to really like Eric and the fact that he arrives early to work and stays late as well, you definitely don't see that kind of work ethic from most teenagers. I hope that everything works out for Eric. 

Great work again this story doesn't leave you in suspense for long. 

 

Eric is drawn to Toby; it’s the effect of a friendly smile, perhaps. He’s known so few of them. Ambrose is certainly interested in this new boy who is working on the farm. That’s natural; he’s clearly watching out for his aging parent. Thanks for continuing to read the journal and for your thoughts. 

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Stupid nosy cops should mind their own business, but I guess we can't blame Ambrose for wanting to make sure his dad's summer help is OK. 

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2 hours ago, Timothy M. said:

Stupid nosy cops should mind their own business, but I guess we can't blame Ambrose for wanting to make sure his dad's summer help is OK. 

Ambrose can no more help himself asking questions than he can stop breathing. And in the case of his father, he’s very protective. Thanks for having read this far and for your comments. 

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We learnt alot of info in this chapter. Eric needs to be careful around Ambrose. The Anderson are real, there's an awful lot of them.

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6 hours ago, chris191070 said:

We learnt alot of info in this chapter. Eric needs to be careful around Ambrose. The Anderson are real, there's an awful lot of them.

The Andersons are a clan. They don't appear to be very endearing on first blush. And you're right. Ambrose may require a lot of care. Thanks for reading thus far into the story.

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