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The Redemption, Book 2

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 42

*-* Timmy's POV *-*

Carefully, Dad picked Joey up behind his shoulders and knees. Mom fussed with his hair, "You need a haircut, Buddy.", then kissed his cheek and moved away so that Nathan and I could get in to give him our affections.

Nathan was stressed out... you could see it in his eyes; they were tired, but he put on a good front... until he turned to me after kissing Joey's lips, once, then twice. Nathan nodded and backed away, giving me room to muscle in. Joey gave me a wan smile, pursed his lips and closed his eyes.

My chest tightened up, my throat constricted... I was not going to lose my composure... I had to be strong for my brother, I just had to be... I leaned in, kissed his lips. While I was there, while we were together, I touched his lower lip with the tip of my tongue. The touch was quick, then I backed away so that Derrick could share his love with his brother.

Nathan pulled me into his arms; my back was against his front. Donnie had his arms around Nathan's chest and belly. As soon as Derrick backed away, Donnie, at our urging, went forward and kissed Joey's cheek, and said, "Get well, Joey. We need ya, Bro."

Joey replied, "Well, if it was up to me, I wouldn't be go..."

"Ahhh, but, it's not up to you, Young Man." Dad said, parentally; with a smile. He then gave us instructions to not be around the power tools, that we were not to be up on the roof, or anywhere else that could possibly cause injuries, or other calamity.

"That goes for wrestling in the house, too... you know what the rules are – take it outside!" Mom instructed sternly... she knows us too well...

I had to laugh when Donnie gave Mom his most innocent expression... he didn't even know he was doing it... She continued, looking at Donnie, "That goes for you, too, Young Man."

"What? I didn't do anything... sheesh..."

Dad laughed. Joey, said, "Innocence doesn't work around here, Donnie. You should know that by now..."

"Smart kid." Mom said, smiling, then grabbed her purse and off they went.

We walked them to the car and watched as they drove down the block toward the freeway that would take them to the hospital to find out what was wrong with Joey. Even when they were out of sight, we just stood there watching in that direction. Donnie pulled Nathan into a hug and held on tight. Nathan buried his face into Donnie's chest and stayed there.

Derrick put his strong arms around my shoulders and held me close to him. He said, "Joey's going to be okay. He came back before, so he will again. I've seen him stumble around a little bit when he's stressed about something... something must really be bothering him. Anybody know what that might be?"

Nathan shrugged his shoulders, then said, "He got that way right after I told him about what happened at the movie theater... he must have had a flashback, too. I keep telling him that he had to do it, that he had no choice."

Derrick offered, "Joey's very sensitive, though, he sometimes tries to be so tough... you know, like when something tough comes up. Maybe, maybe he's ready to get the counseling that Mom offered. She's probably going to insist, at this point."

Nathan said, "Yeah, me, too. We can't keep living with that stuff in our heads. I know you're right, Derrick. It was tough back there... we had to be..." He got a far away distant look in his eyes, but it was just for a moment.

Derrick said, "Why don't you guys go down to Donnie's... get away for a while... do something different... I'm going to call Shelly to get my mind off of what we can't do anything about, right now."

Our attention was caught when a big white Cadillac made the turn up the hill. We stood there watching the vehicle slowly crawl up the street... as soon as it passed our house, it took off, like normal.

Nathan, mumbled, "It's a ghetto-mobile. Did ya see all the chrome and gold inlays and onlays... probably a fuckin pimp... I gotta take a shit..."

With that said, Nathan took off inside the house.

Derrick chortled, "Maybe it's some rich chick, looking for hot lean bodies to fuck her brains out – like ME."

I flipped him the bird, then tore out. But he was faster than me. Within a split second he had me on the ground... despite my begging and screaming, Donnie would NOT come to my aid – until Nathan returned, then the both joined in.

Derrick, being the bigger and stronger one, easily dominated.

Have I ever mentioned that Donnie's butt is a lethal weapon... we all had him pinned down on the ground, and then he let loose with a fart, second to none, causing us to scramble for our very lives, in all directions, every which way.

But Donnie wasn't done, yet. He released two more, all of which was surely enough to fill one of those humongous balloons. I screamed, "Call Hazmat! Call the EPA!"

That earned me another wrestle... I got worried when they had me pinned down. Donnie stuck his butt in my face, causing me to scream out of control... afraid he had one more up there, needing to escape... luckily that didn't happen!

Donnie went into the garage to retrieve the basketball. While he was gone, I asked Nathan if Donnie ever filled a balloon when they were intimate. Laughing, he replied, "No, thank God! DONNIE, HURRY UP!"

No response...

"Come on." Nathan said, grabbing my wrist and pulling me toward the garage and into the house...

Donnie was in the bathroom. He was sitting on the can. The look on his face was absolutely hilarious... his eyes were wide open... he had this most peaceful look on his face... his mouth was opened like an O. Nathan, chuckling, said, "He only does that when he's laying a snake... how long is it?"

"Long... it's still going..."

Nathan sputtered, trying to talk and having a very hard time getting a word out, but finally, he managed, "The boy has to walk like a dog when he shits outside..."

That caught me funny... I fell to the floor, laughing my ass off... pun intended...

Donnie flipped us both off. Then his face turned to that look a person gives when they do a job well done... cracking me up even more... even Nathan cracked up.

I went to my room, changed my shorts, and tossed my shirt in the bin, knowing we were going to go play basketball.

Nathan stuck his head in and said, "We're going to Donnie's house... go ahead and bring a shirt... we'll probably stay for dinner... we're going to starve Donnie, though..."

Donnie is usually pretty prim and proper... when he entered the hallway, he looked to Nathan and flipped him the bird, up close and personal... wearing a coy smile, he said, "You like it so don't give me any crap..."

I burst out laughing once again. Nathan rolled his eyes up into his head and walked out of my room. I quickly changed into a pair of tight underwear to save my nuts from getting stone bruised... they've been real sensitive since they started to drop, hell, my balls were dropped just like Joey's... he told me I was okay, down there... that I was going to be big when I grew up into a man... he made me feel really good by saying that, because I'd wondered just where I measured up, when someone actually gives a fuck... then I remembered he put his underwear in the bedside table... I pulled them out... I couldn't help myself... I needed to smell his aroma... they were clean, so don't worry!

Tears filled my eyes... thinking... he... wasn't... going to be okay...

Nathan entered the doorway. He saw me... instead of making fun or that shit; he came to me, took me into his arms, and said, softly, "Joey's going to be okay... Mom and Dad took him to the hospital only as a matter of precaution... Timmy, I saw him in the hospital... I didn't leave his side... I thought he was going to die, too. But he came back..."

"But... what if he doesn't..."

"Don't think that way, Timmy... he's going to get better... stay positive... more than anything else... he needs us to be positive. He needs you just as much as he needs me... we're brothers, Timmy. Come on, let's go play... so you can whup our asses into next week... Donnie called his Mom... we're staying for dinner... I sent Mom and text message... she's okay with it... I told her we'd be at Donnie's and probably at the park... that way when news comes along... we'll be sure to hear it..."

I nodded, then pulled myself into his arms even more than I already was... he held me tight... and then, I was okay... I believed him, that Joey was going to be okay.

Mr. Clemson, seeing me still standing by the front door, walked up to me and offered out his arms. Donnie snickered, then jumped into his Dad's arms like a little kid... his Dad hugged him tight, then dropped him to the floor, laughing. Mr. Clemson looked at me very carefully, then walked over and offered his arms out again, and said, "We have plenty of hugs around here, Timmy. I'm sure this is all very scary for you. I'm very concerned, too, but we have to have faith that Joey will be just fine."

I shrugged my shoulders, not knowing how to act, react or respond... I hadn't spent too much time around Donnie's folks... usually, our interactions had been simply 'hi' and 'bye' and 'see ya around'... that kind of stuff. But, he seemed nice enough, so I melted into his arms. I looked around Mr. Clemson, to see what Nathan and Donnie were doing... Donnie nodded, and then they took off into the kitchen, and just about ran into Mrs. Clemson who was coming out with a tray of sandwiches.


We took our sandwiches, chips and Cokes to the patio, sat down, and munched our way into full tummies. Finished, Donnie gathered up the paper products, dumped them in a covered can sitting by the picnic table, and then took our empty cans and dumped them into another receptacle, saying that they recycled.

With Mrs. Clemson standing at the head of the patio table, a loud, rumbling belch escaped from the depths of my being... When it passed, I couldn't have been faster at apologizing... thinking that she would think I was some kind of street urchin... I was trying to be more proper about the way I conducted myself...

All she said, while patting my back, was, "I'm glad you liked the sandwiches and soda pop... can't have a boy going hungry, now can we?"

"Oh no, Ma'am... I'm still sorry, it just came..."

"Timmy, relax. I know you're stressed out... why don't you boys go up to the park and run off your worries... I'll come get you if I hear any news... promise... just don't go any further than the park. Donnie, take your phone..." To me she said, "Donnie is on my speed dial... I promise... if any news comes along, I'll call Donnie..."

"Okay." I said... she reached out for a hug... I looked at Nathan, then Donnie...

"Hugs, Dude... don't turn them away. They come in real handy..."

She gives really, really good hugs...

On the way out, I stopped in the restroom, peed real quick, not wanting to miss Nathan and Donnie leaving the house. They'd waited for me.

As we walked up the street, Brad was out mowing... he waved and returned back to his work.

I creamed them.

Even they admitted I did... they were really making me feel good. They both said that I absolutely had to try out for the school team in the fall. I told them I was too short to play, but they told me that size made no real difference, that I made up for my short stature by being fast and agile.

I said, "Okay, I'll try out."

We were hot and sweating like pigs, so we headed to the stand of trees that lined the creek up and over the hill from the park. Donnie checked the reception of his phone, and found that it had 5 bars. He texted his Mom. She replied that they'd not heard any news, yet.

Arriving at the creek, there were a few little kids looking for frogs... there were no critters to be seen, even though you could hear them... but they were further away, down in the deep part... we cautioned them to stay away from the deep water... Nathan promised we'd come back after sunset, sometime, and help them catch frogs, then.

They thought that was the best idea ever, then scampered up the hill leaving us to ourselves.

Nathan and Donnie stripped off their shirts, socks and shoes and sat down on the bank. I looked around, saw nobody... in a flash, I was naked and in the water... it was so warm that it felt almost like bathwater, but not quite... it actually felt good. I dunked my head, and swished it all around to get the sweat out of my hair...

Donnie and Nathan were laughing their asses off, I heard when I started shaking my hair to get the water out... I wiped my eyes... they were pointing their fingers toward the hill... and laughing their asses off... in the meantime, from the temperature and movement of the water I'd gotten as hard as a pogo stick... I turned around... and just about died... there were no less than 6 girls about my age looking on, watching me frolic in the water... I dove down to hide my bits and other things from them...

They, I'm sure, were having a good old time... I sat down because just about everything I owned was in full sight... then, having had their fill, and probably their curiosity cured as well, they took off hooting and hollering their fun...

I got out of the water, sat down on the bank between Donnie and Nathan. We recounted the encounter with the girls, laughing and carrying on – because – if they only knew! Soon enough, I was dry enough to put my shorts back on, but not my underwear... whatever... the 'hard' subsided to a more manageable level.

Both Nathan and Donnie began giggling like crazy. They pointed down to the ground, right in front of me. I looked down... my dick had sprung up and out of my shorts... couldn't go without the undies...

They rearranged so that Donnie was sitting in front of Nathan. They put and pulled Nathan's arms around Donnie. They would lean down and up and kiss every once in a while after making sure nobody was watching... they were whispering back and forth every now and again, mainly they were just spending some time alone... almost alone, anyway. I didn't feel out of place or anything... they would include me in their conversation to the fullest extent possible.

At the same time, I had some nervous energy on my hands, and in my pants.

I grabbed up the basketball and headed up the hill to the court to practice some more. I wanted to do good when I tried out for the team.

Some really little kids, like 7 or 8 years old, were fooling around, trying to shoot baskets... they weren't really seriously trying to play... of course, I got a bunch of kudos when I did a half-court shot and swished the ball through the net. We played around for a while, and then I decided to go home. I promised them I'd play with them another day. They were good with it, and so was I.

In the short time I'd played with those kids, I started sweating like a pig again... I thought I'd just go home, take a shower, and see if Derrick wanted to watch a movie or something... as I headed away from the park, I saw Brad out washing his car. I debated back and forth about stopping. I kinda sorta felt need, but it wasn't overwhelming or anything, so I stopped by. I tossed the basketball to the ground, but the damn thing rolled onto the pavement and was heading out to the street... I took off after it. Like a dumb ass, I wasn't paying any attention to traffic... the streets in our neighborhood do not get many cars... I reached down for the ball on a bounce, just as a car was driving by. It was that mile-long white Cadillac again. What the fuck was it doing in the neighborhood? Anyway, the driver honked, and I flipped them off. They drove on. Then they turned on our street, and disappeared up the hill.

Not thinking any more about it, I put the ball next to a tree and made sure it wasn't going to roll off anywhere, again.

"Hey, what's up?" I said to Brad, happily.

"Nutten much, just washing the car. I've got a hot date later on. What's up with you? I haven't seen you around for ages." Brad said, inquisitively, as he reached into the bucket to get more water and soap on the sponge.

"I've been around... where have you been?"

"Working. I owe my parents a shit load of money. I've been meaning to come up and thank Joey for doing what he did..." Brad confessed, while applying the sponge to the top of his car, not even looking at me as he spoke... looking directly into a person's eyes is something Dad had told me to do when I was having a conversation with someone.

I didn't mind though... as he was busy up there, I was busy down 'there' watching his fine ass, and how his shorts were dropped to just above his ass cheeks, leaving little to none to the imagination.

I remembered what Joey told me about meeting my fuckbuddies, but he already knew Brad, and held no hard feelings toward him.

"Got another sponge?" I asked, curiously.

"Yeah, there's one in the garage. It's on the workbench." He said, not missing a stroke.

I went into the garage. There were a stack of boxes in front of a work-bench that ran the entire length of the back of the garage. I wondered if Dad's was going to be that long... The sponge was sitting on the edge, so I grabbed it, and then a new thought crossed my mind. Quickly, I looked out and saw nobody around, and Brad was paying no attention... I sat the sponge down, lowered both my underwear and shorts, tossed the underwear aside, and put back on my shorts, made sure they were hanging low, but not too low. I giggled, and then grabbed the sponge and went to work helping Brad.

While he washed the top, windows, trunk and hood, I was busily washing the sides and hubcaps, then pulled out a brush and began scrubbing the tires. He got down off the stool, picked up the hose and began rinsing. Every now and again, I'd get sprayed. Every time I got sprayed, inadvertently or not, I'd flip him off and go back to what I was doing. Getting wet with the cold water actually felt pretty good... like I said, the temperature was hotter than hell, and I was getting hotter by the moment while watching him, from the corners of my eyes, stretching, reaching, and whatever to dry the top.

When he dropped down the hose... I will add... I figured I'd get him back when I started rinsing the tires. We weren't talking all that much, so he didn't even pay any attention when I got the hose to rinse the tires... I stepped back and aimed – perfectly for his ass. Dead on shot. About half his ass showed to anybody looking... mainly me...

He got down off the stool, grabbed the hose... and, well, we had a tug-of-war experience... and since I had the head... he got very wet... he took it all in stride... but then he won simply because he's much bigger and older... he turned the tables... it was all in fun. It was hot, so we both won.

He grabbed another towel for me to use to clean the dash, console, cubbyholes for instruments, that kind of stuff.

Finished, I helped him to gather up everything and put it in its rightful place.

"Wanna Coke?" He asked.

"Sure. Thanks."

He motioned for me to enter the house first, but I insisted that he go ahead... when we got in the house, with his back still facing me – laughing my ass off, I depantsed him, and then reached around and grabbed that which designates him as male, squeezed it firmly and let go. He kicked them aside, walked to the refrigerator, bent down and over to retrieve the cans, and in the meantime I shucked off my shorts and kicked them to where his clothes were lying on the floor.

I'd been about half hard most of the time... the cool air from the vent below my 'betweens' was enough to give my body the rest of the umph to fully elongate.

He turned around to hand me the can, and stopped. "We really shouldn't be doing anything... go ahead, get your shorts back on."

"Looks to me like you're interested..." I said, pointing down to his tool standing at a 90 degree angle away from his body.

"Yeah, well, it's always hard... that girl I'm dating doesn't put out, not that I really want her to... she's good people."

"Are you going to kick me in the teeth if I'd start messing around? I don't like violence, you know."

Brad chuckled. I walked to him, dropped to my knees, set the can down, and then, in one fluid gulp, took down just as much of his appendage as I could possibly take. He put his hands behind my head and pulled me forward. I gagged, pulled off, swallowed a few times, gulped twice real deep, opened my mouth wide, angled my body just right, then took another stab, and swallowed him – completely. But I had to come up for air... when I swallow somebody big like that my air gets cut off. That, and because I get so excited, air comes in short supply.

He retracted his previous cautions about not doing anything... but my need had become urgent. I sat down on the toilet in the bathroom in his room, squeezed out what needed squeezing out, jumped in the shower, took a quick one, dried off even quicker, and then took a flying leap onto his bed, and prepared myself for some serious action.

I put my legs up in invitation. Instead of jumping me right then and there, he used lube, lots of it, rubbing it over his penis, and then he applied it to my hole... taking the time to really loosen me up good... in and out... in and out... round and round, two fingers, three fingers, and then he tried to stick in a fourth but that hurt... I kind of thought he was going to do me good... he was sure getting me worked up... I was kind of like a bitch in heat. The more he gave, the more I wanted.

He easily entered. While I was stretched to the max, I had no pain, in fact, I was enjoying his long-dicking me like crazy. He'd push in. I'd push down and out. We got a rhythm going, but it was short-lived as he quickly reached the juncture... at which time he started pounding my ass, and cursing because he couldn't get 'there'... I mentioned that he might be trying to hard... that he needed to relax some, and to let it take its course... he was getting very, very rough... my butt, already somewhat sore from the all night love making the previous night was being taken to the brink of pain... just when I thought I couldn't take anymore, which is saying a lot for me, he drove his meat to home-plate, smashing me into the soft covers on his bed... then he pulled out, just like that. Without saying a word, he went into his bathroom and started the shower running. I was still wide open, still lying on my stomach, wondering why the hell he jumped up and left the room... I tried to close my hole... but it was beyond closing, having been relaxed, totally, and pummeled, too.

I turned over on my back, spread my legs, and was just starting to jack when he returned with a wad of Kleenex in his hand, which he, after lifting my legs high in the air, pushed into my hole. He said, "Go home. Go on. You know the way out."

I'd never been stuffed with Kleenex before. I've had people tell me to leave... I've even had people show me the door... but what he said was over the top... even for my standards.

He went ahead and got in the shower and closed its door. I got up, a bit light-headed and headed toward where I'd tossed my shorts. I was still hard, and needy.

A plan... a really good plan came into my head...

I sat down on the cold kitchen floor, leaned back against a cabinet, took hold of my very stiff penis, and began jerking furiously, knowing it wasn't going to take very long to get 'there'. And it didn't take long at all, maybe 25 strokes later... I leaned forward, pushed my dick down and splattered the floor with my little bit of offerings... I quickly recovered... and gave a brief thought of removing those Kleenex, to leave other presents, but decided not to. That would be just wrong. He's a good fuck.

With that decision made, naked as the day I was born, I grabbed my shorts, went into the garage, grabbed my underwear, and got dressed, sans the shirt.

In a way, I was glad he put that blockade in place as my stomach was rumbling like crazy. I felt pressure down there, so, without delay I headed home. As I rounded the corner, I saw that mile-long Cadillac parked in front of our house. I quickly made my way to it, peered into the windows, but because they were darkly smoked, I couldn't see in. Besides, I needed to use the can in the worst possible way.

I took a quick glance around the kitchen and dining room... nobody was there... but I saw Mom's head, facing the backyard, as she sat in a chair...

Filled with a sense of urgency, I headed to the bathroom, closed the door, went to the toilet, sat down, and began removing the blockage, and after a mighty heave ho to release those Kleenex... nature took over from there... those tissues were soft, they were just like toilet paper, right? Right.

The cramps passed and a feeling of emptiness took over. I wiped up just like normal, then flushed.

I was wrong... dead wrong. Thankfully, the water stopped at the brink... I seriously thought it was going to run over... that would be fucked up.

What was I going to do?

A conversation started in my head... it went something like this:

"Hey Dad, I stopped up the toilet?"

"Oh, okay... there's a plunger in my bathroom."

"Uhm, Dad, you don't understand... it's really stopped up."

"Well, try it anyway."

"You really don't understand... it's way stopped up."

"Is your stomach okay?"

"Yup, it is now. Actually, there's a wad of Kleenex... you know, a bunch."

"Why is that, Timmy?"

"Well, you see... Dad... uhm..."

That's where it stopped... the conversation, I mean. There's just some things you can't tell your Dad, or shouldn't, anyway.

I looked in the pool... there were 2 logs sitting side-by-side... the rest was clear of natural disaster... other than for a few marbles.

A few minutes later, damage control was finished, I used some of the body lotion (okay, a lot), to slick things up, and then took the plunge (pun intended) and flushed.

Whew... that was a scary moment.

I flushed the toilet one more time, just to make sure. Good news. I like good news.

I went to my room, stripped to the skin, debated on taking a shower, but decided it could wait... I tossed my clothes into the hamper, grabbed a pair of outside shorts, put them on, checked my backside to make sure it wasn't leaking... my pucker was sore, but it was a pleasant sore. I stuck the end of my finger inside, pulled it out, looked at it, and after seeing no blood or anything, I went to the bathroom, washed my hands, and went into the kitchen, grabbed a Coke, then walked to the sliding glass door leading outside to the deck. Mom, Dad, and Joey were sitting in chairs, and two men... well, a man and a younger dude were standing, facing them... I looked up at the strangers... and found that they were not strangers – at all... I dropped the can to the floor, and just about shit my pants, and would have had I not just done that.

*-* Joey's POV *-*

"Why are you here?" I squeaked... no, I croaked. Puberty hadn't hit me with a screwed up voice, yet, or so I thought.

"We came to see you and Nathan." Mark said.

Seth said, "Yeah, we owe you an apology, Joey."

I sat forward in my chair, laid my head on the table, and tried to think of the next words, but they eluded a voice... everything was happening so fast... they came to see us, but why. An apology? They don't owe me an apology. They'd left. Ma made all kinds of excuses for them, yet we all knew they just left... just like that... gone... out of our lives.

At one time, Christopher and I were close, very close... yet he was a brother who didn't say a whole lot, but his actions, his love told me that he was one of the good ones... until he wasn't... until the drugs took him over... until the grief took hold of him... and choked the life out of him.

I knew Mark and Seth had been mean to him. Jerrod and Mark had fought constantly... nothing physical, mind you, their arguments and hate spewing was verbal... Ma was always after them... and Dad had severely punished them... which made them all the more mad... until they left... until that last moment of Christopher's life...

I was fiercely protective of Nathan. Oftentimes, I'd hide him under the bed, when we heard them fighting in Christopher's room until late at night... Ma and Dad worked nights...

I always wondered, being a little kid, what they were doing to him, but was too afraid to go find out.

Mom said, "Honey, we gave our permission for them to see you. This is a part of your life that has not been closed. This may not get resolved, now. We want to give you the chance, though. Joey, we're here with you all the way, no matter what; we're not quitting. This is your home for as long as you need or want it..." To Mark, she continued, "Joey said you left their home right after your father and brother passed away. I've no doubt that he's upset. That's a part of his life that has no resolution. I'm sure you can understand why his father and I are protective of him, and why we're skeptical of your visit, but as I told Joey, just now, we need to give him the chance to put this behind him, however it turns out."

I was only half listening to Mom speak, as my thoughts turned to Christopher, knowing he was Mark and Seth's favorite brother. They doted on him like he was a little bitty kid, but Christopher's crying at night told a different story... he wasn't just crying... he'd beg... one of those kinds of cries... Christopher had never said anything about anything, though. He was like that – quiet, subdued... until he wasn't.

At one time, I really, really loved Christopher... I guess I still do, even after he did what he did, and after doing what I had to do. Still, though, I wasn't in that place where I could forgive him. I didn't hate him... I hated what he'd done... and, yes, to be perfectly honest... I hated him at the time. Anger was in my blood. I was angry at, over and about a lot of things, but that white hot anger was going away, day-by-day, it was getting better, it was better controlled... and even, a lot of things that I had, at one time hated, I no longer hated...

Seth reached around and hugged me tight... that was so unlike him... I can't ever remember him showing any physical affection... it wasn't like him... so why was he doing it?

I reached up and pulled his arms off me, and said, "I don't want to be pawed by you. I don't even know you. He said, "I've missed ya. Can't a brother even hug his brother? I want to get things right between us, Joey."

I replied, "You guys still haven't said why you ran away."

"Joey, that was a messed up situation..."

"You got that right!" I hissed between clenched teeth. The anger, it was welling up, and was just at the surface... "You don't know the half of it."

Mark said, "We left to go to work. Our plans were to come back to support the family..."

I didn't let him finish that sentence... I knew it wasn't the truth... I spat, "Is that why you couldn't even call? Ma would have loved to have heard your voice. She might have even wanted to see you... Ma was like that... she held no grudges... all you would have had to do was to talk to her."

"We've tried to call her. The line has been disconnected..." Seth said.

I choked back a sob that was threatening to strangulate me... I knew he was lying. Our number had been unlisted. Besides that... Ma had been... for a week shy of 8 months...

"Joey, what's wrong?" Mark asked, interestedly.

I let it go. Instead of answering his question, he had no idea what can of worms he'd just opened up, I said "How did you find me, us, Nathan and me?"

"We found that Nigger kid you hung around with... what's his name?" Mark said. Seth answered, "Wayne... his name's Wayne... he told us you got adopted... he's crazy... and he's a faggot, did you know that, Joey?"

Dad said, sternly, because I knew his voice so well, I knew he was verging on anger, "Gentlemen, that is no way to talk with my Wife and Son present... this is our home; we make the rules here. If you wish to continue this visit, then you will refrain from offensive language and mannerisms."

Neither Mark nor Seth apologized... in fact, Mark continued, "He told us to tell you hi. Nobody even knows he's in a Podunk town in Oklahoma..."

Mom said, sternly, "He's being rehabilitated at one of the finest hospitals in the country... I'm finding this conversation going nowhere positive... I'm going to ask you to state your case, get to the point, please. My patience is wearing very thin."

Mark said, condescendingly, "Ma'am, this is really between Joey and us... Nathan, too... When is he going to get here... we need to talk to him, too."

Dad spoke up, "That may be true. As my wife told you, this is our home, and these children in our home are under our care and control, not that they need to be controlled... let me just be blunt with you since you seem to use this tactic... they are our Children, we are their Parents, and our job is to watch out over them, to guide them in the right direction, and hope that they make good decisions for not only themselves, but for others, too. I must ask you to respect our care for our Children; otherwise I will show you to the door. Am I understood?"

Seth spoke up, the sarcasm dripping, "Sir, we're blood kin. We've come to take our brothers..."

I said, angrily, "Mom, please go inside. This blood brother doesn't understand conversational English. Please... I need to speak to these guys who think what they did was and is right... they're disrespecting you and Dad... I don't care what they do to me... but I won't have them disrespecting you."

"I'm going into the house, against my better judgment... but your Dad is staying here. Just remember, Joey, I'm not quitting... you are my Son... and I will fight for you... you haven't seen anything, yet, if these people think..." Mom said, forcefully.

"I love you, Mom. I don't want you to hear me, not right now." I said, much softer, gentler, respectfully. Then Mom walked to me, leaned down, and drew me into her arms, hugged me firmly, and whispered, "I love you, too." Then she said very, very quietly in my ear, "Don't say anything you'll have to make amends for... I want these people to know that you're older and can show more respect... this is who you are today."

I turned my face into her ear, and whispered very, very quietly, "You're right, Mom. Trust and respect is earned... so far they haven't earned our respect."

She turned my face toward her ear, "Don't lower yourself, Joey. I love you. I'll be watching from inside the doorway." She kissed my cheek, then walked away, the sliding door opened, then closed.

*-* Mom's POV *-*

When I entered the dining room, Timmy about scared me to pieces... he was standing in the curtains, to the side of the door, out of sight, and out of hearing.

I grabbed him up, hugged him tightly, kissed his upturned lips, and said, "What are you spying on, Young Man?"

"Them. Why are they here?" Timmy asked, seriously.

I led Timmy to the table. I sat down and pulled him onto my lap, facing me. "What's going on here, Timmy? Why are you spying?"

"I'm not spying, Mom. They know me very well. And I know them very well, too... very, very well..."

"How so?" I asked, seeing the wheels behind Timmy's eyes spinning round and round and round.

"Uhm, Mom, before I answer you... can I ask again... why are they here?"

"Well, Honey, they are Joey and Nathan's blood brothers... they're here to, I think, try to straighten some things out between them. It's not going really well, I don't think. Joey asked me to come in here... he doesn't feel like he can say what he needs so say in front of me..."

"Dad's staying, right?"

"Yes. That's all I can tell you, Child. The rest is in their hands. Can I spy with you?"

*-* Joey's POV *-*

"You ain't taking Nathan or me anywhere. I still don't really know why you're here... obviously, you don't know what the truth is if it was to bite your ass. Now, tell me again, that you tried to call Ma to talk to her." I said, icily, my voice rock steady.

"That's right, Joey. We've tried to call several times. There was no answer, and then the line was disconnected."

"Did you ever talk to her? Say... about 9 months ago, maybe a year ago?"

"No... for a while, nobody answered the phone... then, it's like I just said." Mark reproached.

"That's funny... Christopher never stopped answering the phone on the first ring... you know how he is." I chortled, trying to bring the lies out, as if they were building up a nice fine Broadway film.

I hate liars.

Mark cleared his throat. Seth volunteered, cheerfully, "You got that right... so where is everybody?"

Dad said, calmly, carefully, quietly, "Life has a way of changing... Joey?" The way he said my name... I knew he was in my corner, as he always was. He sat down on the edge of my chair. I leaned in. He put his arms around me, and whispered, "I love you. Give them a chance to redeem their selves."

I turned my face toward his ear, and whispered, "They're lying. Ever since our Dad was killed, Ma was careful to have our phone unlisted. There's no way they could have known our number... and, add to that, we moved into the projects."

"Do you want me to put a stop to this? Or do you want to handle it? You know them better than I do."

"Watch this."

*-* Mom's POV *-*

When I saw Dave sit down with Joey, I knew that something was up. I just didn't know what. I'm their Mother... Mother's don't need to know each and every little everything that goes on in the lives of their children, however, this was a big deal... it took everything I had in me to not go out there, to be with My Son... yet, here was My Son sitting on my lap, looking intently into my eyes, his wheels spinning faster and faster... with a little hint of a smile in the corners of his mouth... he smelled sweaty... boys... yes, he'd been sweating... trails of previously deposited drips adorned his neck, in the creases of his skin. I didn't care. He was my Boy, and I was so damn proud of him, and all of my sons... despite their backgrounds, they've done so well, they've learned and continue to learn how to love, and, they're making great strides in allowing themselves to receive love.

As I ran my hand down Timmy's back, trying to loosen him up, I found that, below his rib cage, along his spine, his skin was slick. I found that odd. I ran my hand down to the waistband of his shorts... his skin was very slick... I patted his back, and putting that aside, attributing it to being a boy, I said, "So... what have you decided, Little One? Are you going to let me in on it?"

He smiled, opened his mouth. Nathan and Donnie came clambering in through the door from the garage... in my deep thoughts about everything that was going on, I didn't even hear the door open...

"Hey, Mom." Nathan said, walked over, kissed my cheek, then added, "Who's here? Where's Dad? I need to talk to him... oh... there he is... I'll be right back..."

"Nathan, Honey, your Dad is in the middle of a, uhm, business deal. Phewy... you stink... have you been wrestling alligators, again?" I said, while taking him into arms and kissing his cheek. I looked to Donnie, he was smiling. I motioned him to join us, which he did. He's a really sweet boy... I was growing to love him like my own children... he, too, turned his cheek to be kissed, and kissed he got.

"Come on, Nathan, let's go play with the rubber duckies." Donnie said, mischievously. And that, my friends, earned him a smack up the back of his head, planted there by My Son Nathan. But, thankfully, they took off for Nathan's bedroom, leaving Timmy and me to talk about what he needed to say.

Pulling Timmy into my side, we walked to the sliding glass door just to see what was going on. Joey was standing, holding onto the patio table for support... he was looking at Mark. Dave had his hand on Joey's side, giving him support... my heart relaxed a little bit, hoping against all hope that Joey was regaining his abilities... Mark, the older boy, man, was sitting on the edge of a chair facing this direction... but he was not paying any attention to the door... his face was riveted toward Seth like they were conversing together. The other boy, Seth, was facing away, toward Mark...

Something inside of me said that I did not like them. They'd really given me no opportunity to dislike them... my feelings were nagging, though.

I kissed Timmy's nose, patted his butt, then we took off for the kitchen table, sat down, and I said, seriously, "Give me the Reader's Digest version... we have company..."

*-* Joey's POV *-*

Dad patted my back, hugged me again, then sat up, put his arm around my shoulder, squeezed tenderly, and then I said, "Mark, Seth, after Dad and Jerrod were killed... we moved to the projects because Ma had no money... we went on welfare... because of why they were killed, Ma had our phone number unlisted. She changed it frequently. She was afraid they'd find us... so... unless you were in our inner circle, there's no way you would have known our phone number, and Christopher still answered the phone on the first ring... now, tell me something I don't know."

Mark had never been violent with me, or anybody else, that I knew of. He didn't like to be called on anything, but never really used words or his fists to resolve things. One of the things I watched him do over the years while we were living together as a family, was lie. Seth's savior, his role model was Mark. They were so alike that it wasn't even funny.

Don't get me wrong... Mark watched out over Nathan and me, too... it was just different. He was hard on us, made us mind, obey and watch out for the next guy.

Anyway, as those words tumbled out of my mouth... I wondered what his reaction would be.

"You've changed, Joey."

"Yeah, I guess so. Although I'm still the same person living inside my skin, I've learned and continue to learn to let it come out. And, I guess, Mark, and you, too, Seth, I'm learning to spot a bullshitter when I see one." I added. Dad squeezed my shoulder. His touch was reassuring.

When they didn't say anything, I continued, "Ma's dead. So's Christopher. Christopher killed Ma. I killed Christopher. When you and Seth left after Dad and Jerrod died, he went nuts, off the deep end. Like me, he did drugs, drank, became a totally different person, and he was prone to violence. But he was afraid of guns, though he overcame that fear when everything went down that day. It was him or Nathan, Wayne and me. I still have nightmares, remembering... Nathan got hurt, Mark... I saw him falling down the stairs... I thought he'd been shot... it all happened in 2 or 3 split seconds. Everything."

A bird landed on the railing that runs around the deck, to keep people from falling off... it was a Cardinal, a male. I wondered why it was that the male birds were prettier than the female ones. It was looking at me... his eyes were intent. He'd occasionally cock his head... you know, when they swivel so that they could look clearly with one eye...

"You killed Christopher?" Seth asked, incredulously.

"That's what I said." To Mark, I continued, "You knew how to handle him. Maybe if you would have been there, then things might have been different, maybe not. And, you can stop your baby-brother, big-brother bullshit, because you left when you were needed the most. Now, leave us the fuck out of your plans, cuz we're not a part of them... Dad, tell them to get out here."

With that said, I used the table as leverage to stand. While my legs were wobbly, they supported my weight, I felt them, too. Though they were not, in any way, 'normal', I felt confident they would take me into the house.

Seth rose up in his chair, stood up, walked over and put his hand on my shoulder, "Hey Mark, there's something wrong with him... look at the way he's standing... need some help there, Baby Brother?"

Mark said, "Leave him alone. He just doesn't understand that we built a home, have money enough to support a family, now. I haven't been the best brother. I can see why he's upset... I'd like him to give me another chance... it'll be different."

"Just like always, Mark, you talk like I'm not even here. While I'm at it, so that the air is clear for you, I'm sorry that Christopher had to die, it wasn't in the plans, but it was him or Nathan, Wayne and me... just like Christopher was your favorite brother, Nathan is mine, always has been, always will be. Dad, I'm going into the house... I don't want Nathan around this crap."

Seth put his hand on my upper arm, "Joey, we can straighten this out. Come live with us. We'll be the best brothers, ever, in the whole wide world. Like Mark said..."

I looked Seth straight in the eyes, then I looked at where his hand was grasping me, then back up... with every fiber in my being, like I've never ever told anyone else, "Let go." The depth of my voice surprised me... there was no request made, no, what I said was an order.

At the same time, Dad quickly stood, put his hands on Seth and pulled him away from me. He said, "Don't ever touch my Son ever again... you have crossed the line... I will ask you and Mark, one time, to leave our home. Your invitation is terminated."

Mark, standing, walking to my Dad, said, "Mr. Mauer, we have come to claim our blood brother. We were never served with any papers stating he would be adopted... there's always a provision for birth-blood family, and relatives to have their say in court. We are fully capable of supporting both Joey and Nathan. They will go to the best schools money can provide..."

Mark walked over and pulled me into a sideways hug, which I resisted, then what I heard next surprised me, "Get your fucking filthy hand off my brother..." Derrick said from below the deck. In a flash, he was up those stairs, and had his arm around Seth's neck, pulling him away.

I said, "Don't, Derrick... he's leaving... besides, if I know Mark... he's carrying, aren't ya, Mark?"

Dad growled, "I swear to God Almighty, if you so much as touch anything that appears to be a weapon, I will have your ass on a plate... that's kidnapping. So help me, God, get the fuck off of my property, right this second."

*-* Nathan's POV *-*

As soon as the door to my room closed, I turned to Donnie and said, "That's weird..."

"What's that, oh Boyfriend, You..." Donnie giggled, rifling through my underwear drawer, obviously looking for the 'right' pair or pairs. We wore the same size... probably half of my clothes are down there at his house, and half of his are here at our house...

He'd pull out a pair, look at me very quickly, then shake his head, and turn back into the drawer – Mr. Fashion. Mr. Fashion, though, had a very, very hard time with dressing himself... it takes him forever... And it was taking forever to – pick something out. I grinned, walked to him, reached down into a bottom drawer, then pulled out two pair of FTL's, handed them to him, and then pulled off my shirt, socks and shoes... I then did the same for Donnie... Mr. Submissive, in person... He reached for the zipper on my jeans, but I pulled his hand away, reminding him that we had company...

Our shower was quick but thorough. Other than for some very minor playing around with our anatomy, we washed and rinsed in record time, for us, saving the best for later.

While I was brushing out Donnie's hair, a knock on the door interrupted our conversation about 'who the visitors might be'. We weren't yet dressed, but since we were in the bathroom, not thinking that maybe it was the 'company' who was knocking... I opened the door. Mom said, "We have visitors. I want you boys to get dressed... no messing around... Donnie, just wear something... <she giggled, knowing how much of a fanatic he can be about getting us dressed>, jeans and t-shirts are just fine... socks and shoes, too." Then she took my face into her hands, kissed my nose, pulled me into a deep, deep hug, and whispered in my ear, "I love you Nathan. This will all work out... trust your Dad and me."

When Mom left us to get dressed, I looked to Donnie, touched his shoulder, and said, "We need to get dressed... I don't know what's going on here..."

*-* Mom's POV *-*

Quickly, I walked back into the dining room. Timmy was standing at the sliding glass door, looking outside. He waived me over to him. I walked over, peered outside, just in time to see Derrick barreling up the stairs.

"Mom, I had nowhere to go, they pulled me off the streets, used me for their business, I got sick, I got torn, they dumped me, here they are... that's the short version... they're bad people... Mark always has a gun on him... I don't know why they are here... but I think crap will hit the fan when they see me..."

"What kind of crap?" A voice, Nathan's voice, said from the entryway to the dining room...

"Timmy, Nathan, Donnie, I want you all to go down to Donnie's. Timmy, you're in no trouble... boys, just trust me here..." I said... not believing my own words, for once...

"Mom, what's going on?" Nathan's voice said, seriously.

I opened my mouth to speak... he didn't wait... he walked to Timmy and me, then, gently, pushed Timmy aside, went to the door, and then... with a voice I'd never before heard, deep, dark, almost like a cheetah ready to strike, said, "Call the police. Hurry! Do it now!"

I rushed to the door to see what was happening...

Both Mark and Seth had their hands on Joey... and Dave had his hands on them... and Derrick was positioning himself between Joey and his 'brothers'... things were moving fast... and then Nathan rushed Mark, and slammed the older boy with his elbow, knocking him away from Joey...

Timmy screamed into the phone, "HELP US!" Then he took off out the open door, and I could not believe what I saw – with a flying leap he body slammed Seth, knocking the older boy off balance, and then Timmy body slammed him the rest of the way to the deck floor...

And then I saw it... a shiny piece of metal flew away from Mark's chest...

*-* Nathan's POV *-*

When I walked to the door and saw 'them', I saw only red. What the fuck... how the fuck... why the fuck... where the fuck... when the fuck...

I pushed away Mom's arms, slammed open the door, and then had every intention of body slamming the motherfucker... I'd never before felt that much pain and hate toward any other human being... they left... they caused Joey to have to whore... they made him a drug addict and alcoholic... they made him capable of doing the incapable... they caused me to cry myself to sleep most every night... and they hurt Christopher... I saw it... when they didn't think I saw or heard it... that one night... pissed... and scared... I turned on the light... and saw Mark fucking our brother, Christopher... when he, Mark, jumped off, I saw it... that's when I saw just how hurt Christopher really was...

In my rage, during my uncontrollable, gut wrenching, chest squeezing nightmare of hate, a hate I'd never known or experienced before... I body slammed him, and, at the same time, my arms, fists and rage all came out, all over him... it was coursing through each and every blood vessel in my body...

Then I saw a gun lying on the deck floor... Mark saw it, too, but Timmy got to it first...

At the same time, Seth manhandled me into the air, and there was nothing more I could do... he was carrying me to the railing... but then Timmy, using a voice I'd never before heard, said, "Make my day motherfucker!" Then I heard the distinctive click of the hammer head.

Seth stopped.

"Put him down, easy like... I've wanted to do this to you for a very long time. Mark, if you so much as twitch, I will blow your fucking head off. Take your hands off of Joey. Do it now."

When Seth put me to the floor, very easy like, I walked to Dad where he and Joey were.

The look in Timmy's eyes showed me just how much he hated my brothers... those pieces of shit protoplasm that linked us. But why? Where had they met before?

Dad said to Mark and Seth, "I do not condone violence of any sort. This is very unlike him, but under the circumstances... I want you two to stand in the corner, and don't move."

Joey said, "Timmy's got a hair trigger finger... you done crossed him. He's, now, your worst nightmare."

"You won't get away with this..." Mark spat.

Timmy wiggled the gun... normally, it would be way too big for him... but he was handling it like a professional.

When Mark and Seth complied with Dad's orders, Dad walked to Timmy, then carefully and reverently took the weapon away from him, and then pulled Timmy into his arms... sorta... his eyes were on Mark and Seth, never leaving them out of his sight, nor were they out of the gun sights.

Sirens... lots of them... from every direction... Timmy giggled, saying to the two lost brothers, "Gotcha!"

Mom walked out, Dad quickly said to her, "Honey, go back in the house, please... a lot is going to be happening very quickly very soon... take the boys inside... please..."

Defying Dad's orders, Mom exited the house, walked to Joey, took hold of his arm, put her other arm around his waist, and then Joey walked, normally, into the house with her, with Timmy on his other side.

I wasn't finished, yet.

"Mark, it was you who destroyed our family, not Christopher. I hope you rot in hell. Dad, there is a whole lot to be told in court... how he molested our brother, Christopher, until he cracked, how he gave Chris drugs, and other stuff... to make him quiet... Mark, Joey had to carry a gun around – to keep us safe from Christopher. You don't know it, but Joey thought he had to do some really rotten things to keep groceries on our table, and a place for us to sleep at night. Where were you? Joey mistakenly thinks you watched out for Christopher... but I know better. I used to sit in Christopher's room after you and Seth got done with him... with a knife in my hands – Dad's big butcher knife – I never could get the balls to slice you... I blame myself in a lot of ways..."

Timmy, unbeknownst to me, had walked to my side. He put an arm around my back, and said, "Don't blame yourself, Nathan... these pieces of shit aren't anything like you... I have a lot to say in court, too... those fuckers are going to have a lot of boyfriends, I'm sure, aren't they, Dad?"

And then, all hell broke loose.

Cops came out from everywhere... no less than 8 guns were pointed toward Dad, drawn, and at the ready.

Clearly, it was a standoff for maybe a minute or two. Dad raised the weapon toward the perfectly clear blue sky, uncocked it, and then pointed it away from us and the house, then handed it to the officer, butt first.

Dad told them the little bit he knew about what Mark and Seth's history.

One of the officers said that they had been looking for the two 'suspects', and that the FBI, and, even, Interpol had warrants... they wouldn't say for what... only that they'd been under investigation for over a year.

Mark and Seth were placed into custody, and taken away in handcuffs. As they were led down the stairs, I said, "You killed Christopher. You killed our brother. I hope you rot in hell."

Finally, the secrets were out. Finally, Christopher was freed. Finally, our brother, Christoper, received The Redemption. Rest your soul, bro. I love you.

*-* Book 2, The End *-*

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