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by J J Janicki

Chapter 15

And so here is Chapter Fifteen, which is to be the grand finale. At long last, Lucas and Jedidiah are about to reach their happily-ever-after.

Unless of course, we're to have one of those tragic endings or...

But you really don't want me to be giving the ending away, now do you? Of course not. So fine, I won't then.

Only before starting, I must disclaim once again. Even if I really don't have to, since I already have on fourteen separate occasions. So...

Well, I sort of liked my disclaimer prior to chapter two, so go back and read that one, and once you're finished we'll just carry on.

What? You're finished already? That was quick! But okay, on with the show. Or with the story. Whatever.

For a few minutes that Monday afternoon after dropping off the two Ks, Lucas and Jedidiah rode in silence. For one thing, Lucas was having second thoughts about that fantasy of his. He really wished he'd never even mentioned it and... well, if Jedidiah thought it was too weird, then...

Although at least it wasn't going to be the next day. So maybe he could think of some way out. If he could think of a way of bringing the subject up that is.

But at the same time Jedidiah was wondering what Lucas thought about his fantasy. To be honest, he wasn't sure why that idea ever came to him in the first place and he definitely wasn't sure why he'd let it out. He didn't know how Lucas would react to it. Not Lucas, not Kelly, not... "Hey, wait a minute! ... Yeah! This might work!"

Jedidiah had just thought of a way of possibly solving not one, but two problems. Because, really, he was afraid their home movie project was on the verge of getting out of hand. Kelly hadn't told them what he was going to do the next day - or have done to him...

That was it, right there. All at once, it seemed obvious. Kelly was going to let... "It would almost have to be Katon at first"... Kelly was going to let Katon fuck him! "He sucked, then we sucked. So he gets fucked by Katon, then he'll get fucked by... Oh boy. It wasn't supposed to go this far!"

Jedidiah cleared his throat. "Hey, Lucas, I've been thinking about something. You know how we agreed that some things were only going to be between us?"

"Yeah, I know. ... And I've been thinking about that some, too. It's like we've gone from PG-13 to XXX just like that."

"I think you might have just read my mind."

"So you think it's going too far, right? ... I mean... well, I'm not positive, but based on what we've done already, I'd almost have to say... well, to put it bluntly, I think Kelly wants to get fucked. You agree?"

"It makes sense, doesn't it?"

"Yeah, it does."

"But that's one of the things I wanted to be just between us. Because... well, because I just don't feel right about... well, I don't know... having an orgy... I mean, you know... all four of us, but... well, don't you feel the same way? About some things being between just us?"

That was a little unexpected, but finally Lucas managed, "Well, yeah, that's how I feel, too."

That's when Jedidiah finally decided he was in love. Whether it was supposed to be that way or not, he was, and it felt like the best feeling in the world. Only now he was on the verge of tearing up.

So he took a deep breath. "So... So... So okay. Tomorrow let's just tell them. 'Cause, see, I think I know how Kelly could feel, that he's really exposed himself and... well, I don't know, I guess I don't want to hurt his feelings, I don't want him to feel bad, so we'll just tell them... that we want some things to be just between us and maybe we ought not to push this movie deal any further until we can talk about it, okay?"

"Yeah... okay." Just the two of us. So Lucas rushed on, "Damn, Jedidiah, I've been trying to be cool my whole life and it looks to me like you're trying to blow it right out of the water!"

"But it feels good, doesn't it? But... well, I do need to get back because tonight we got Family Home Evening - Monday, remember? - so we don't have a lot of time, but we could go back to your uncle's for a little bit. I just want to make out a little... and I know how that's worked out so far ... but let's... well, you know... just cuddle and all. You want to?"

And amazingly, that's what they did. That, and nothing else. Well, hardly anything else. But it really felt awesome.

Only what Jedidiah and Lucas didn't know was that the two Ks had already decided the home movie project needed to put on pause, maybe for good. They weren't even thinking about that project any more. Well, they were, but only in terms of there now being a much bigger problem that needed to be addressed. As soon as possible. It might not do any good, but they had to do something, they just had to! Only they could hardly even think straight! Oh man... what were they going to do??

It started in Lafayette, Louisiana. Kyle just wanted to feel good about himself again. He really wanted to go back home, only he wasn't sure if could ever talk to his parents. About Dr. Sandifer, of course. But he needed to talk to someone, so finally, he took a deep breath and Monday afternoon, August 9th, he went inside the local LDS church. He wasn't sure if that was the best place or not, but he just needed to talk to someone.

And Bishop McCulley was trying to help, only in Kyle's case he felt his hands were tied. The way he understood the law, it had to be reported. He tried to explain. "I know it's going to be difficult. But once you've given your testimony in court - and Kyle, I can almost assure you that no one aside from those who need to know are ever going to know your identity, so no, the entire town isn't going know about it - but first, unless you want to do it, then I'm obligated by law to report this. Kyle-"

Kyle started panicking. "But... Well, see... I just don't want... well... what I mean is..." (This was trouble!) ... "Well..." (It didn't seem like he had much room to bargain, but maybe...) "Okay. I will." He guessed his goose was cooked anyway, so he blurted, "But just let me think about what I'm going to tell my folks first. I didn't want to, but if they're going to know, then I want to tell them myself. And the police. But could you give me two days? I promise I'll be back."

"I think I can do that, Kyle. And don't worry, in the long run, it'll be fine. It took a lot of courage to tell me this."

And so on.

He'd been trying to make things right. And the bishop was trying to do the right thing, but the truth is, had Kyle known in advance, he probably would have kept it all inside. Once Dr. Sandifer's tapes came to light, his parents weren't just going to know about him, they were also going to know about Kelly and Katon and he never meant to get them involved. Damn! He'd told them to stay away and as far as he knew, they had. Because he'd told his brothers that he'd never say anything about their role in it, not to anyone, just as long as they promised him they wouldn't do it again. He'd promised!

So he called home and asked if Kelly was around.

Kelly understood in a way. That's how it worked out at school sometimes: you didn't want to get anyone else in trouble, but they left you with no choice. And at least Kyle had warned them, but...

But whether he sort of understood or not, now he was in a panic.

So he told Katon.

And then Katon was in a panic as well.

It didn't seem right. Maybe it was a little bad. Maybe it was dumb, but they'd stopped doing it, they weren't going to do it again, so why...

They had to get those tapes. They just had to!

And so Katon called Jedidiah. Because Katon had a plan. Or at least he was working on one.

Now, fortunately - or fatefully - depending on how you might look at it, Katon didn't call Jedidiah about eleven minutes later than he did. Because in roughly ten minutes, Uncle J was going to start Family Home Evening and at that point, if the phone rang, it would go unanswered. But as it was, Jedidiah came to the phone. "I can't talk long. What's up?"

"Shit, Jedidiah, you gotta help us, you got-"

"Not so loud! ... And stop... you know ... but anyway, what's going on?" Jedidiah wasn't exactly panic stricken at that point, but he was getting a little concerned. What in the world had they gotten themselves into?

"Okay. Sorry. I'll try not to," Katon rattled on, "But see, here's the thing. Well, see-"

Kelly grabbed the phone. "Let me talk to him," he said hurriedly. He was trying to calm himself down. Some. Or at least a little more than Katon.

"Well, hurry up. He can't talk long."

And that wasn't too helpful. Not as far as Kelly was concerned, it wasn't.

"I can talk a little while," Jedidiah quickly informed him. But he sure hoped this wasn't something fire and rescue needed to get involved with.

Kelly dropped his voice and said, "Okay. I can't explain it all now. But tomorrow? Tomorrow morning, a little after ten, we need you and Lucas to help us, okay?"

Jedidiah glanced around and his aunt and uncle seemed safely far away in the living room, so as quietly as was possible he asked, "Help you do what?"

"Dr. Sandifer is going to be in his office, so we're going to break into his house. We know where it is. We think we know where he keeps those tapes. We have to get them, whether you help us or not. In fact I don't want you... well, maybe you can keep a lookout-"

"What?" Jedidiah looked around very quickly. Aunt Nan was still watching Wheel of Fortune and Uncle J was thumbing through a church magazine. So Jedidiah hurried on (in a loud whisper) - "Hey listen. Maybe I can call you back later on tonight. But real quick, why all at once do you think you need to..." (lower whisper) ... "break into his house?"

So hurriedly, Kelly told him why. Everything was about to hit the fan, that's why. In two days. Just two days!"

"So okay, okay. Then it doesn't have to be tomorrow, right? So I promise I'll talk to Lucas first thing tomorrow. Very first thing. I promise, just as long as you promise not to do anything stupid until I get a chance to talk to him, okay? We'll think of something, but... well, we will. But don't do anything like you're talking about tomorrow, okay? Promise?"

And so after a brief interlude of whispered back-and-forths between the the two panicky brothers, Kelly finally came back on the phone with, "Okay. Just let us know soon as you can, okay? And thanks man, you're a real life saver," and with that he hung up.

So, needless to say, this left Jedidiah in a bit of a quandary. Because he didn't even know where to start, but he'd promised to do something. Oh brother!

And then there was that bit about him being a life saver. Well, you know what? For some time he'd been thinking that when he grew up, he wanted a job dealing with disasters. Other people's disasters. He wanted to be a problem solver, maybe even a life saver!

And if fate hadn't already been tempted enough, that night, the Family Home Evening discussion was about Nephi chopping off the head of the wicked Laban when he and his brothers were trying to get the Plates of Brass from him. True, it was a bit gory, but Nephi did it for a good reason. In a way, it was a mission of mercy, the kind of thing a real lifesaver might think of doing.

... And it wasn't like Jedidiah was going to chop Dr. Sandifer's head off or anything...

... And those tapes probably weren't going to be his personal property for much longer no matter what...

....And besides, Kelly and Katon weren't ever going to do anything like that again. At least, not for somebody like Dr. Sandifer, they weren't.

And not only that, they were going to stop making those home movies, too. They all were. If you really thought about it, Kelly and Katon would probably be so grateful, they even wouldn't want to make any more of those movies, so that would solve another problem!

So all that was left was thinking up a good plan, only it wasn't that easy, because Jedidiah had never broken into a house before. Never even dreamed of such a thing. In fact, several times that night he gave up on the whole idea and felt relieved. Only to start thinking about it again. He was awake for a very long time that night. Because the more he thought about it, the more certain he was that Kelly and Katon weren't going to wait two days. No, they were going to panic and do something really stupid and then they'd probably end up in juvenile, so to keep that from happening...

... Well, it looked like he'd just have to do his stupid thing before they did their stupid thing, that's all. "And if Lucas helps me... Yeah, I think that just might work."

And so bright and early Tuesday morning, Jedidiah presented his hopefully fool-proof plan to Lucas while they were on their way to his uncle's old home place.

So after screeching to a halt, Lucas said in reply, "Have you lost your mind?!!?"

Only Jedidiah wasn't ready to give up. "Well, just hear me out, okay? Kelly said there aren't that many houses close to Dr. Sandifer's place. And he's going to be at his office then. So there probably won't be anyone around. And not only that-"

"No, I don't think so. That is not a good idea, Jedidiah. It's not!"

"But it is! Because Kelly said he knows where he keeps those tapes. So I'll be in and out just like that! And you'll be outside, I jump in, and we leave, that's all."

"Did it ever occur to you that he might've moved those tapes some place else? ... And just how many times have you been in his house in the first place, huh? You don't even know which-"

"Kelly said they're in his den. Downstairs. In a cabinet close to the TV. So that's probably where they'll be. So-"

"So you just get the ones marked Kelly & Katon, right? And he probably has an arrow pointing the way."

"No, but... well, I'll just get all the tapes, then."

"Well, maybe we ought to go ask Dr. Sandifer for the key to his cabinet, then. Might be a little faster that way."

"Well, then, we'll just take the whole cabinet."


"Yeah, well, you're the one who brought it up, you know. You said we. So that's me and you. We. ... It'll work, Lucas. We'll be in and out in no time. All right?"

"Well..." Lucas was trying to think of another reason not to. And if given enough time, he could have come up with at least a hundred, but he'd already given several good reasons and it just didn't seem to be getting through. Jedidiah was determined! He was crazy! Any minute now, he was going probably say something like, "I'll go by myself, then. If I have to walk, I will." And there was no way Lucas was going to let that happen. No, if he was determined to go through with it, well...

Lucas sighed. "Okay. I guess we can at least take a look."

Dr. Sandifer lived out on the edge of town on Merry Lane. It wasn't hard to find at all.

Of course Lucas was hoping one of his neighbors would be home and out and about, because if that was the case, he'd say, "Well, at least we tried."

Only he didn't have many neighbors. There was a house just as they turned on the right, and there wasn't a soul in sight. A little further down, there was a house on the left, but once again, it looked as though no one was around. Several hundred yards up ahead, at the top of a hill, was a large house. It didn't look like anyone was around there either, but it was so out in the open... I mean, right up on top of the hill... "So if that's Sandifer's place," thought Lucas, "We're not going. No way."

And it seemed to him that even Jedidiah would finally see that it wasn't a good idea and Lucas was about to mention that when Jedidiah exclaimed, "He lives down there!"

To their right was a mail box with "Norman Sandifer" on the side. Just before reaching the box, there was a driveway going down a hill. They couldn't even see the house from where they were, but... yeah, it looked liked they'd found it, all right. Just under his breath Lucas muttered, "Shit!" He was starting to sweat. But he swallowed hard and down the drive he went. Still hoping for a good reason to give the whole stupid idea up, but...

... But aside from the obvious - that it was a dumb idea - there weren't any. No Dobermans and not an armed guard in sight. Not an "all trespassers will be shot" sign, in fact, not even a high wall, just a fence with the front gate standing wide open. And to make matters even worse, the other houses were now completely out of sight.

"So, okay," said Jedidiah, "Let's put on these robes I brought for us to wear," and he opened the back pack he'd brought along and pulled out two hooded bathrobes. They'd been downstairs in the basement and were intended to be worn by shepherds and wise men in Christmas pageants and the like.

Lucas just looked at Jedidiah. "You're kidding," he finally managed, "I mean, what good is-"

"Just in case, that's all. See, nobody can get a good description of us this way. Hurry!"

"So what are we going to dress my car up like? Jedidiah, this is really stu-"

"Hurry up!" Jedidiah hissed.

"Oh... all right!" Lucas just wanted to get it over with, so what was the point in arguing about it any more? Because maybe...

Well, maybe they'd be lucky just because it was so stupid. If you can't come up with anything logical, then just go with something else entirely, right?

And in fact, that's what Jedidiah was banking on. Didn't it seem like Nephi was facing insurmountable odds when he went up against Laban? Yes! Well, Dr. Sandifer was a bad person too, so therefore...

So therefore, he just had to keep believing that. And oh by the way: What Jedidiah was really hoping to find when he was looking for robes that morning were two that would come to just above their knees, because that's the type Nephi wore. Or at least that's what the Nephi action figures wore, but...

Maybe shepherds' robes would work almost as well. Because, really, Jedidiah was hoping those robes would bring them good luck.

Yeah, well, it does too make sense.

And so the two shepherds went scurrying around back and it looked like everything was locked up tight.

"Well, good!" thought Lucas, "Maybe we can get out of here!"

"Hey, wait a minute!" said Jedidiah excitedly.

"Oh shit," thought Lucas.

"See that window up there? It's cracked open a little, so if you could boost me up, well-"

"Okay, let's give it a try, then," replied Lucas, hurriedly.

Lucas felt doomed, but still, he'd agreed, so he guessed he was completely out of graceful exits: no, whatever happened happened, it was that simple.

So he boosted Jedidiah up. Two hands locked together, Jedidiah stepped up, Lucas pushed him up and-

"I can't get the screen open," reported Jedidiah.

"Well, I guess that's it," said Lucas. He sounded very relieved.

"Unless I push on it real hard..."

"I knew it," thought Lucas. Jedidiah just had to think of that.

And so after a few wham whams that sounded to Lucas as though they could be heard at least a mile away, with a small screech of protest, the screen's aluminum frame gave way. "Got it," said Jedidiah triumphantly, and a few seconds later, him and his stupid robe disappeared into Dr. Sandifer's house.

Then shortly afterwards, Jedidiah, his face flushed with excitement, opened the back door and let Lucas inside. And an alarm didn't go off. Lucas was very surprised. "Shit, we might get out of here after all," he thought.

It didn't take them too long to find the stairway leading down to the den. They switched on the lights. So there was the TV, a very nice home theater type. And there, beside the TV, was the cabinet!

Only it was locked, of course. And since they both had the feeling they really didn't have time to look for a key that might end up being in Dr. Sandifer's pocket, they decided to take the entire cabinet. It wasn't that heavy, but it did take one in front (Jedidiah) and one in back. Lucas could hear something thumping around inside, so he guessed it was the tapes. "Maybe we'll really get away with this!"

And it seemed as though they might at that, but just as they were almost to the top of the stairs, from behind them Dr. Sandifer said to Jedidiah, "You move a muscle and I'll blow your head off."

As you might imagine, (and as Jedidiah and Lucas should've), Dr. Sandifer tended to be a bit paranoid when it came to security, which is why he had a triggering device built into his driveway roughly fifty feet down. A car passing over it would turn on a strategically placed surveillance camera in front of his house. Dr. Sandifer always wanted to know who might be paying him a visit, so he had things set up so that not only would the triggering device set off a small alarm in his house, but also in his office, just in case. As fate would have it, - darn it - he happened to be on the phone when the alarm went off, so he quickly ended his call and watched with great interest as the two shepherd boys got out of a junky-looking car and scurried into his back yard. They looked terribly suspicious and not at all like legitimate burglars. And so he quickly buzzed his receptionist and told her a family emergency had just come up and he'd have to cancel all that day's appointments. He wasn't sure how long he'd be away, but he'd be back in touch later that afternoon. Then, thanking his lucky stars for having just been on the phone, he rushed out, jumped into his dark green 1938 Packard Touring Sedan and in no time at all he was coasting silently down his driveway. Mayville is a very small town, after all.

So that brings us back to Dr. Sandifer's threat to blow Jedidiah's head off. He really wouldn't have, but he seemed to be pretty upset, so Jedidiah and Lucas both guessed that they should go along with him.

"Exactly where did you think you were going with that?" he asked.

"We were taking it to the police," replied Jedidiah very forthrightly. And they probably were - eventually- but Lucas was still wishing that he hadn't mentioned it right then. Even if it was obvious that they certainly planned to take the cabinet out of his house - I mean, duh? - but still...

"Oh? And why is that?" asked the doctor. Outwardly, he still seemed to be fairly calm, but inwardly he was flying into a panic.

Jedidiah's voice was shaking, but thinking fast - a bit too fast, in fact - he answered, "Because they already know all about you in Louisiana. Kyle told them. So you can kill us if you want to," (and yes, Lucas was really wishing he hadn't mentioned that, either), "but by tomorrow the police are going to know here, too. ... And not only that, if we're not back in an hour, Kelly Jeddry is going to call the police anyway!"

"Oh, I see," said the doctor. "I don't suppose that leaves me with many options. Now, let's see... we'll leave the cabinet here, so just drop it... and then we'll just go back upstairs. I'll be right behind you."

But the fact was, Dr. Sandifer really had no idea what to do next. He did have a "just in case" plan, but it was fairly complicated, involving a remote cabin (way station) in the North Carolina mountains belonging to one of his better customers, along with a Cessna which also wasn't registered in his name, parked at a remote air strip. But this fool-proof plan of his also involved a quick transfer of a fairly large amount of money to an overseas account along with some "cleaning up". I mean, it was a very complicated plan and it didn't take into account the possibility of two boys breaking into his house and then informing him that the police already knew all about him!

But at least one of them was saying that they knew in Louisiana, but apparently not in Mayville yet.

So obviously he had to take them with him, because if he didn't, they'd go racing off to the police and he'd be lucky if he made it to the county line!

They entered the kitchen. "That's far enough, boys. Now get undressed. Quickly."

Jedidiah started, "You mean every-"

"Every last stitch," the doctor finished.

Yeah, well, he did have a pistol - cocked - so Lucas and Jedidiah reluctantly complied. They were fairly quick about it.

"Now let's all go into the living room and get acquainted, shall we?"

Lucas and Jedidiah nervously sat on a couch with their hands modestly in place over their privates. The doctor was sitting across from them. After a few seconds of silence, the doctor said, "No need in being shy, boys. We'll probably be seeing quite a bit of each other in the next few days, so relax."

Jedidiah and Lucas did no such thing, but the doctor continued, "Now then. I'm Norman Sandifer, but apparently you're already aware of that. I don't believe I know either one of you, though. So-" (motioning towards Jedidiah) - "what do I call you?"

"Homer," said Jedidiah.

"Homer, eh? Any kin to Gomer? ... Oh never mind. Bad joke on my part." Then he looked at Lucas and asked, "And you are...?"

"Lucas" replied Lucas doubtfully.

"Lucas? I believe Kyle mentioned a Lucas once. ... But obviously you thought better of it. Too bad... but then at the moment, time is very much of an essence, I'm afraid. So at any rate, since I saw you getting out from the driver's side, would I be correct in assuming that breaking into my house was mostly your idea?"

"Um... yeah," answered Lucas.

"No, it was mine, " cut in Jedidiah (Homer) defiantly.

"Well, I was doing the driving, so-"

"That hardly matters now," interrupted the doctor, "but at any rate, here's what we're going to do. We can't leave your car in my driveway, but first I need to toss a few things together - shouldn't take long at all - but since you were the driver..." (Then he appeared to be mulling things over before finishing with...) -"So all right." And with that, he went into the kitchen briefly and picked up their bathrobes, which he then tossed to the two would-be-burglars.

"We'll be going outside briefly, and since I certainly don't want to take a chance on offending anyone's sensibilities, put those on please. ... And you might also want to slip your shoes back on. I imagine that pavement is a bit warm by now."

(So they did.)

Once outside, the doctor opened his trunk and said to Jedidiah, "Now this is just for safekeeping, but I'm going to lock you in for a few minutes, all right? Now get in."

And so reluctantly, that's what Jedidiah (Homer) did and then the doctor and Lucas went back inside.

Once inside, the doctor said, "Upstairs. I have a few things to take care of, then we'll get to know each other a little better. I'm afraid I don't have as much time as I would like right now, but still... you're an attractive young man. Although I do find it hard to believe that you're sixteen. But let's go on up to my bedroom, all right? Sound like a plan?"

Lucas hoped the doctor wasn't saying what he thought, but if he was, he didn't seem to have very much choice in the matter.

And for about a minute it certainly looked like Dr. Sandifer was saying what Lucas thought he was saying. Once upstairs he said, "All right, get rid of that robe and let's have another look at you."

Lucas really wished he'd stop waving that gun around, but he was, so... well, fine, then. Off with the robe. Then he shrugged and... well, he just stood there.

The doctor chuckled. "You don't seem too excited."

And that was true enough. Lucas was one bit excited, but that's when a fairly desperate idea occurred to him. So trying not to sound too hopeful, he answered, "Sorry. That gun just makes me nervous."

"Yeah, I imagine it does at that." The doctor sighed. "And on second thought, I really am in a bit of a rush here, so while I take care of a few loose ends, just sit on the side of the bed where I can keep an eye on you. ... And you can put your robe on again, we'll just wait till later."

Then doctor turned on his computer and started his file transfer program. "You always need to think ahead to those pesky worse-case scenarios, Lucas. Always plan ahead." And it was obvious that he had, because he had a small suitcase already packed in his closet.

Needless to say, Lucas was very worried about what was going to happen once they reached wherever in the doctor was taking them. He wasn't sure if he was ready for it, and he knew for certain that Jedidiah wasn't. And that's what was worrying him the most.

The final instruction the doctor's worse-case program carried out was to activate a timer downstairs. It was set to go off in thirty minutes, and when it did, the house was going with it. Dr. Sandifer was sure there wouldn't be much left, and certainly not his tapes.

Once outside, the doctor unlocked his trunk. "Homer, until we dispose of Lucas's car, you'll be riding up front with me. So Lucas, you'll be following us. But you want to stay in sight, Lucas, it's very important. I can't stress this enough. You follow us, staying in sight at all times and nothing will happen to Homer, do I make myself clear?"

Lucas swallowed hard and nodded. Only then he thought of something important. "I will, but you have to understand that my car can't go much over 75, all right?"

Dr. Sandifer chuckled. "Well, that's perfectly all right, Lucas, because we won't be getting over 55. We surely wouldn't want to be pulled over for speeding, now would we?"

As he was getting in up front, Jedidiah glanced back at Lucas. There were so many things he wanted to say with a quick glance. "I'm sorry", "Don't worry, we'll be all right", "Make sure you stay in sight"... but in the end he just shrugged slightly while trying to remain brave. Or at least to look that way.

And Lucas managed a tentative smile and nodded slightly. But it certainly looked as though they were in over their heads. Especially when they turned onto River Road, because that was the same road Jedidiah's Uncle J broke down on a couple of months earlier. For the first time, Lucas started to wonder if the doctor was going to be taking them all that far after all. It could end at almost the same place it all started.

Then, as though the situation wasn't already looking ominous enough, the doctor turned off onto a dirt road that led off into the woods. Lucas wasn't sure, but it didn't look as though anyone lived on that road. It was a bad feeling, bad enough that he almost had to force himself to follow. But still, the doctor said as long as he stayed in sight, nothing would happen to Jedidiah. Or Homer. If they got out of this alive, Lucas was going to remind Jedidiah of that every chance he got. Jedidiah Homer King. Right. He was so scared he was shaking, but just thinking about how he was going to tease Jedidiah later on helped a lot.

If anything, Jedidiah was even more certain that the doctor was about to shoot them. So he was pretty shaky, too, but probably not so much as Lucas. It was strange. Like most fourteen-year-olds, he'd never thought much about dying, but he still would have thought that he'd be busily repenting right then. And he really was sort of praying, but how could he repent when he kept thinking that the one thing he regretted most was getting Lucas involved. Or when he glanced back to see if he was still following them, on one hand he was hoping he hadn't, but on the other he was glad he had because it meant he cared about him. Lucas loved him... and he loved Lucas.

So really, that made repenting pretty out of the question. He'd just have to take his chances.

They drove about two miles until reaching a place on the side of the narrow road wide enough to pull over and turn around. Dr. Sandifer stopped and walked back to Lucas. "Pull up ahead and leave it there. Leave the keys in the ignition, get out and walk to the back of your car. Understand?"

Lucas was trying to search the doctor's face, but saw nothing he could interpret. "So-"


And so that's what Lucas did. He was looking very uncertain.

Dr. Sandifer turned to Jedidiah. "Okay, Homer, now you can go stand beside Lucas."

"My name is Jedidiah!" blurted Jedidiah. His voice cracked a little, but even so, he guessed he should set the record straight before the end came.

Then as he was walking up he said, "I'm really sorry I got you into this, Lucas."

Barely above a whisper, Lucas answered,"It's okay. I knew what I was doing."

The doctor almost smiled in spite of himself. Aside from some other character flaws, he liked playing cat-and-mouse games. But he didn't have very much time to waste, so after tossing what amounted to a Molotov cocktail into Lucas's car he said, "Okay, both of you into the trunk of my car. Since I'm not all bad, you can keep your robes on for now. So in you go. Quickly, quickly!"

Then once inside, the doctor tied their hands behind their backs with their bathrobe sashes, slammed the trunk closed, then they heard what sounded like, "poomth!" Meaning that it wasn't a really loud explosion, but it still was one. So Lucas guessed that took care of his car.

Jedidiah whispered, "You okay?"

"Well, I don't think my car is any more, but yeah, I'm alright. ... Homer."

Jedidiah still sounded a little shaky, but he almost giggled. "I don't know why I told him that."

"Well, I think the doctor's right about one thing. Gomer would have been even better."

"Oh shut up. ... What do you think is going to happen to us?'

"I don't know. ... You just gotta... well, don't worry about it. 'Cause it's not going to help any. And besides... well, maybe he's not as smart as he thinks he is. Sooner or later, we'll get our chance. We're going to get out of this somehow, all right?"

"Yeah, well..." and Jedidiah thought about it briefly and decided Lucas was right, it made no sense to worry about something they had no control over. Or at least not right then, they didn't.

"Well, I know one thing he's not good at. Want to guess?"

"What?" Lucas asked.

"Rope tying. I bet I can get my hands loose in about a minute. In fact... there! That was easy!"

As Jedidiah was untying him Lucas asked, "So we going to tie ourselves back up before he opens the trunk?"

"Fuck him."


"I just felt like saying it, that's all."

"Cool. ... So you haven't gotten around to repenting?"

"Um... not quite. So... well, I know it's a weird place to be doing it... but we might not get another chance... for awhile, so-"

"I'm not too sure if I can get turned in the right position, Jedidiah. What if I get stuck? ... But I'm sure I can manage a hand job. Long as we're quiet about it. ... And that would be a pretty good way of relieving stress, right? ... Slow and easy, then we'll just get close as we can to each other, okay?"

And so they comforted each other for roughly two hours, mostly cuddling, but they did manage two hand jobs in between. But after about two hours, they could tell that they had turned off onto a dirt road and that they were climbing. So they guessed they were getting close to wherever and, deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, they turned over on their backs. But it was a bumpy road and it seemed as though it was never going to end, so okay, they agreed that they would just be ready to turn over on their backs with their hands behind them, soon as they finally stopped.

Which was about thirty minutes later. And that's when they both started getting really nervous, because soon as they heard the car's door slam shut, they could hear the doctor talking to someone else. They couldn't make out what was being said at first, but then the two voices started coming their way! If you thought about it, it was almost inevitable but still, both Jedidiah and Lucas were sort of praying at that point. Saying under your breath something like, "Please, please, please," is sort of like praying, right?

"Well, Norm, let's see what you got in here," said the other voice. It was almost directly above them. Then they heard the key going into the lock and... sunlight. That's how it goes sometimes. But then neither of them was really all that hopeful about their semi-prayers to begin with.

Lucas and Jedidiah undoubtedly looked pretty scared at that point, because the doctor's friend was a very large person. Bear-sized, almost, with a bushy black beard. Then Mr. Bear unceremoniously pulled their robes open and whistled appreciatively, "Nice, Norm! They are nice! We're gonna have us some fun tonight!"

Then he slammed the trunk lid shut again and the voices gradually faded away. They heard a motor start up and soon they heard a car driving by. And then after a bit... silence. So both Lucas and Jedidiah thought something like, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" But still, it was getting hot in that trunk. And thinking about what lay ahead of them... well, they really didn't want to think about that at all! So maybe...

"Hey, Jedidiah. There anything in your Scout Manual about getting out of a locked car trunk?"

"Afraid not. ... Except I don't think we're supposed to panic. ... You got any ideas?"

"Well, not panicking is a good idea I guess, but... well, okay, let me think about it. Stay calm, all right?"

"Well, that's exactly what I just said, dummy."

"Yeah, right. ... So, okay. I think better if I can cuss whenever I feel like it, so is that all right with you?"

"If you can get us out of here, you can cuss all you want to."

"Good. Good. Now let's see... Hot damn! Just couldn't resist ... but... well, there's almost no way there's going to be one of those safety latches inside. New cars have them, but this sure isn't one of those. ... But let's feel around and see if we can find a cable or latch or something that we might could spring loose."

No such luck.

Lucas sighed. Staying calm was proving to be a bit difficult, but...

"Oh shit! I got an idea! We just go through the back seat!"


"Well, we might could push it loose, but it's probably fastened pretty tight. So... feel around in that tool box we kept banging into and see if you can find a screwdriver. That way, maybe we can pry whatever's holding it in place loose. ... Let me see if I can find where it's fastened."

And after a short while, Lucas felt... "I think I found one! ... Got a screwdriver yet? A big one would do just fine."

And Jedidiah had found a large screwdriver. Not daring to hope, he asked, "You sure? What's it fastened to?"

"I don't know. It's fastened to a thingy, that's all..." but after a few minutes... "Well, I sure ain't bending it any."

"How about if we both kick at it? You know, at the back seat?"

"It's worth a try, I guess."

So they kicked with all their might. (THUD THUD.) Then they'd catch their breath, and try some more (THUD) until finally ... "I think it's starting to give!" said Jedidiah excitedly. So they kicked with even greater urgency until finally... daylight! Just a little.

"Damn," said Lucas, "I'm sure glad he let us wear our shoes outside." They were catching their breath right then. "I mean-"

"Let's kick some more," said Jedidiah. "Harder this time. Just as hard as we can."

And a few minutes later, Jedidiah was crawling out with Lucas right behind him. And not only that, now Lucas had another idea. "Hey, Jedidiah, I'm going to push this tool box up to you, all right?"

Only once outside, at first they were just looking around and catching their breath. Feeling relieved, although they did feel a sense of urgency. But apparently they were close to the top of a mountain. There was a cabin - pretty nice, actually - but no, they weren't contemplating another break-in. That didn't seem like a good idea.

Finally Jedidiah said, "So okay. We start walking? We can't just take off into the woods because we have no idea where we're going. We'd probably get lost. But I guess we could just stay at the edge of the woods and follow the road. Because that way, if we hear somebody coming, we can duck down. I don't think anybody else lives up here, so it would probably be Dr. Sandifer and his friend, and I don't think I want to meet him. So what do you think?"

"I think we might just drive," replied Lucas. He wasn't sure if he could do it or not, but he was hopeful.

"Um... I think you need to start to the car before driving it-"

"So I hotwire it." Then when Jedidiah looked at him a bit incredulously, Lucas explained, (as he was hunting through the tool box), "See, not long before I left my mom's, Johnny - that's the asshole who was shacking up with her at the time - well, he got the bright idea of... this ought to do-" (small screwdriver) ... but see, he took my car keys while I was asleep. ... And this should do too." (Wire stripper.)

Then he took a deep breath, because the moment of truth was upon him. So of course he was hesitating. Because it might not work as planned. So he kept talking. "See, Johnny moved in and said he was the man of the house. So you know, screw that. But I was there sometimes, because that's where I lived. And one night he took my keys and wouldn't give them back. But I had a friend, and it turned out that he knew how to hotwire a car - don't know how he came by that - but it turned out, he knew exactly how to do it. So at any rate, let's see if it's going to work on this car. ... You know what this is? A Packard. Probably worth some money, but anyway..."

Deep breath. "I just need to find the ignition wires. So where's that stupid ignition switch at?"

"It's over on the left hand side." After all, Jedidiah had been riding up front with the doctor for awhile.

"Oh. All right. So... well, before I start trying to get to the wires and figuring out which is which, Nick did tell me this. Sometimes... not always, but at least sometimes..." And he inserted the tip of the screw driver into the ignition, twisted it - just like a regular key - and... the motor sputtered to life and then died when the car lurched forward. Because Lucas hadn't taken it out of gear first. This Packard didn't have an automatic transmission. But still, once he checked to make sure he hadn't run over Jedidiah's foot or something, Lucas looked elated.

And of course Jedidiah was looking amazed. "How did you do that?"

"Sometimes a screwdriver works just fine. Nothing to it. ... If it works, that is, and we are in business! ... Long as this car shifts something like Harold's pickup. I mean, it's a straight drive, but that's what I learned to drive on! A four-speed manual transmission! You know, clutch and all that. I can do it! ... Or at least I think I can. So want to give it a try?"

Jedidiah jumped in beside him and yelled, "Let's book!"

So after figuring out where neutral was, Lucas took another deep breath and tried starting it again. And it worked again. So he started creeping cautiously forward. And he started getting the hang of it. "We just drive it around up here first. Till I get used to it. I feel like I'm driving a gun boat or something! ... But it's not hard to steer... I thought it might be, but it's not too bad, so let me get used to it, okay? We're getting there. ... You know, this is really a nice car!"

And so not long afterwards they were headed down that mountain road, both far too nervous to risk saying very much. Lucas would have preferred a little more time to get used to the car with its huge steering wheel and long hood, to get used to the clutch, to get used to all the switches, but in the words of the good doctor, time was of an essence.

Mr. Bear had said something about the "fun" starting that night, but that might have only been a figure of speech, how were they supposed to know? But they definitely knew that they didn't want to be the guests of honor. So of course they were constantly afraid of meeting up with them around the very next curve. If they did, then what? Haul ass? Lucas didn't know that road and there were some hairpin curves with drop-offs that... well, better not look.

They didn't even know what state they were in. But one thing they definitely were in agreement on was that they weren't stopping at any houses until they reached some sort of town. Wherever that might be, but for sure, if they were to go knocking on some stranger's door - and the door would open and guess who... - so no, they'd just keep going. (That's how it usually works in movies, right?)

Only they didn't pass any houses. They were in the middle of a wilderness!

So that brought up yet another thing to worry about: the gas gauge was below a quarter and it didn't seem too likely that they were going to see a gas station anytime soon.

Of course they didn't have any money, either, and for all they knew, Mr. Bear - or at least one of his cousins - might be sitting at that there filling station...

Lucas was so nervous he was afraid to cuss, he was afraid to say anything because it would probably come out in a squeak. And squeaking doesn't project much confidence. He was fairly certain he was going back the way they'd come because he did know that they were climbing on the way up. So now they were going down again. Simple. Only he was becoming increasingly afraid of meeting up with Dr. Sandifer again. Along with Mr. Bear and probably four or five of Mr. Bear's cousins. Of course there was no logical reason for him to expect even more to be in on the fun, but he couldn't help worrying about it a great deal. Maybe there would be ten or twelve of them. That would not be good. So, logical or not, he really wanted to get off that road.

A few breathless miles down, they came to a road that went off to the left. Only that one seemed to be headed up another mountain. So it didn't look too promising, not when they were down below a quarter of a tank and they didn't even know what state they were in. No telling where that road went. It could have easily gone to the top of a mountain and that's all, then they'd just have to turn around and come back down again.

But then to their right was another road, and this one went downhill. So that's the one they took.

About a mile further down the road narrowed. It wasn't a road any more, it was a trail. Fine for dirt bikes and ATVs, not so good for a '38 Packard. But the road - or whatever you wanted to call it - was still going down to somewhere. At times, almost straight down. So of course there was no going back, either. Were they supposed to back up? No, I don't think so.

Then the road or whatever got even worse! In fact, Lucas couldn't even see where the road was ahead of him! As in, almost directly in front of where the hood ended.

So since their top speed was somewhere between one and two mph, Jedidiah got out and rode on the hood, on his stomach, calling out the directions. So Lucas could now look right up Jedidiah's robe. But he tried not to. He would have thought he'd be completely used to it - and he was - but still, it seemed he never got tired of it, not in the least.

Unless you're going down the gawd damnedest road in the eastern United States, that is. One thing for sure, Lucas wasn't getting a boner right then. Where were they?

Then suddenly, Jedidiah yelled, "Stop! Stop! Now, Lucas!"

Yeah, well, they were on a really steep grade, so while Lucas wanted to see what the problem was, he'd have to get out to do it and he wasn't sure the parking brake was going to hold. "You better get off the hood and clear of the car first," he yelled.

And that turned out to be good thinking on his part, because as they were surveying the scene down below, all at once they heard a creaking sound, so they turned around, and there went the Packard slowly down the mountain. Or, at least, it started out slow. Then it picked up speed and went right on over that little tree blocking the road and... well, it just kept going, that's all. Once past the fallen tree, the "road" turned into a footpath, but no problem, that Packard just kept right on going until it reached the bottom and went into the creek, which really wasn't far away.

After a few moments Lucas laughed shakily, and giving his best W.C. Fields imitation, he said, "You know, once this trip is over, the resell value on that car is going to be nil."

After debating awhile on whether they should follow the creek or the footpath, they decided they should go where apparently others had gone before. Down the path, of course. So they started walking. Lucas kept thinking about "Deliverance", but he didn't mention any of that to Jedidiah.

It was quiet and peaceful. Well, aside from birds and insects and the wind rustling through the trees. There were no load crashing sounds or banjos, though. So after awhile, they started to talk. They weren't loud, but they were gradually starting to unwind, even if they had no idea how far they were from civilization. They agreed that some day it might be nice to camp out in country like this. Although hopefully they would be better prepared next time.

But of course they also talked about Dr. Sandifer. Trying to imagine the expression on his face when he found out that they'd escaped! Gone. Along with the Packard. Yes! He thought he was soo smart, he thought he had it all figured out, but guess again, sucker.

But for awhile they didn't talk about that other thing. What could have happened. Would have happened. That wasn't mentioned. Not until after about an hour, when they stopped to rest.

Jedidiah sighed. "They were going to rape us, weren't they?"

... "Yeah, that much I'm sure of."

"When I was in the trunk and you were in the house with Dr. Sandifer, is that what happened to you?"

"Well, I'm sure he had that in mind, but since he was in a bit of a rush, it didn't happen."

"I'm glad."

"Yeah, me too."

"But if we hadn't got away, it probably would have been pretty bad, huh? For both of us."

"Yeah, it would've been. That big dude sure didn't seem like a gentle sort and doc had a score to settle, so... I'm glad we missed it."

"Yeah, me too. ... Do it to me, Lucas. I want you to. Right now."

Only of course it wasn't quite that simple, and it definitely wasn't right away. No, first Lucas had to be convinced, and by now, that shouldn't come as a big surprise. And of course they had tried before, under more favorable circumstances. They'd probably gone through a entire tube of K-Y trying to get it in, so naturally Lucas reminded him of this. If K-Y hadn't worked up till that point, just how were they going to manage it with just spit?

But then Jedidiah pointed out that they both had erections. As in major, "please shut up!" type erections. And of course he (Jedidiah) could get lots of spit on Lucas's erection. And Lucas could um... well, use his tongue some more, and then if he could get a finger in, and then if he could get two of them in, and then if they were to pretend that he (Jedidiah) had no choice in the matter, that it was going in somehow or other, no matter what, well...

Well, it was at least worth another try.

Lucas guessed Jedidiah would be most comfortable either flat on his back with his legs in the air or bent over a near-by blown-over tree. Jedidiah liked "being bent over" better. And, remarkably, he didn't let loose a string of obscenities this time. Although he did mutter a few under his breath. It was like... well, it was like the biggest turd imaginable, it was like something that he couldn't quite... "Oh God, come on!" push out, only this time it was going the other way. And while Lucas' dick might not have been as big around as a major league turd, it was a lot harder. But Jedidiah could feel his sphincter muscle slow-ly giving way. It hurt, it really hurt, but this time, he was going to let it happen to him. And when for an instant or so he thought he just couldn't take it any longer, he reminded himself that it could have been someone else's. Probably a lot bigger. Mr. Bear? Yeah, probably, and if it had been Mr. Bear or the doctor, it was going inside him, no matter what, and with those thoughts in mind, all at once...

"It's in, Jedidiah."

"Yeah... I... notic... Oh fuck! ... I noticed... that."

"You all right?"

"Yeah. ... Keep... push- Oh shit. ... Push hard!"

And so Lucas did, and all at once, almost like whomp... "I'm in all the way now."

So Jedidiah thought to himself that maybe next time they might want to keep going slow, not all at once "Whomp, I'm in all the way", I mean that was a little sudden, but...

But having gone to all that much trouble, "and it doesn't hurt as much anyway, and... it really does feel sort of good at that! Oh my God."

The pain never went away completely, but it did fade into the background, almost to the point of not being noticed any more, because of that other feeling that kept slowly building. And building. Jedidiah thought maybe it was the most awesome feeling ever. It just kept building!

Not long afterwards, Jedidiah discovered that not having anything on underneath his shepherd's robe was really a good thing. But still, he thought it was worth it.

Not too awfully much later, they finally saw a little town down below. Finally! It was about a mile away, at the foot of the mountain.

They walked in silence for a few more minutes, then Jedidiah said, "If we were to start kissing, then I guess it would be like we were really in love, wouldn't it be?"

"Yeah, I guess it would be at that."

"Want to?"

At least they didn't have to walk into town naked. And being in just those bath robes wasn't hard to explain, either. They were because Dr. Sandifer had a gun on them and was going to shoot both of them otherwise.

The part about having been inside his house proved to be a little more difficult, and they were of course lectured on how you shouldn't take the law into your hands... oh, at least ten different times, but no charges were pressed. Dr. Sandifer, when caught two days later, had more pressing concerns on his mind. The zip disks he had in his possession were quite informative. It took awhile to piece everything together, but eventually the authorities had more than enough.

Kyle came back home and his folks weren't that hard on him. They thought he'd been through enough and that he'd probably never do anything like that again. (And they were right.) But, much to his surprise, his parents could live with his being gay. They didn't want it to be that way, but he was still their son and they loved him.

Then, not long after school started back, he finally found the hunky boy of his dreams. They had to keep quiet about it, because Mayville was a small town, but they did enjoy each other's company.

Of course after Dr. Sandifer's house went up in flames and after Lucas's Datsun was discovered burned out, Kelly and Katon felt awful. Although at least no human remains were found, so maybe there was still some reason for hope. So of course they told the authorities everything they knew, and that included the part they knew a great deal about, the part they were involved in.

Their parents were glad they'd had the courage to go to the authorities, but they also grounded them until school started back. And during that time, Kelly decided he probably liked girls better.

Well, maybe messing around with Katon... and with Lucas and Jedidiah... just a little was okay too, but even so, there was this one girl in his class that he really liked a lot.

Katon remained undecided, but guessed he had at least two or three years before he needed to worry about it all that much.

And so their band played on. They just kept getting better and better.

At first, Jedidiah was grounded until his parents got back, but eventually this was shortened to three days. Because, after all, he'd agreed to work at Lucas's uncle's place for the rest of the summer. And Lucas did seem to be interested in the church now, so maybe something good came out of all that after all.

Lucas was interested in Jedidiah, that's what he was interested in, so he guessed he could put up with his church every once in awhile. Or even more than that, because, after all, he got to play his violin. He didn't start any shouting spells, because Mormons frown on hollering during church services, but at least two members reported episodes of chills and goose bumps, so...

So he guessed he'd keep trying. Sooner or later, he'd make them lose all control.

That was easier said than done as it turned out, but he sure could make Jedidiah lose control often enough. Oh, he'd start cussing up a storm!

So, all in all, he guessed he could live with it. And I guess that's about as good a place to end this story as any.

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