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The Apprentice

by Sahypo

Chapter 28

Eric sat next to Timmy during the celebration meal, and managed to get a short one on one conversation while everyone else was busy talking about several other topics. Timmy teased Eric briefly about his three testicles, even though Eric had explained that what was found was actually a testicle and an accessory, not truly two testicles. He still managed to have his fun with Timmy, Sammy and Scott though.

Eric had undergone his laparoscopic procedure, and like Timmy, it had gone well. Timmy wanted to know how Eric was recovering, and Eric said the itching of the incisions was a minor annoyance, but nothing to write home about. Craig sat on the other side of Timmy, and Eric encouraged the two to get to know each other.

"Anyone else in your family with it?" Craig inquired, referring to hypospadias.

"My grandfather, my dad over there, and my two little brothers. All of us" Timmy replied. "You?"

"Uh-uh, my folks don't know of anyone else in the family." Craig said. "That's crazy that so many of you have it."

"You should have seen everyone's reaction when I asked my dad about it, and told them I did too." Timmy said.

"I bet" Craig responded. He lowered his voice and said "It'll be interesting to see how close we look" giving Timmy a knowing glance.

"Very" Timmy replied with a smile.

Later in the dinner, Eric and Scott conspired to steal Timmy and Craig for the weekend at the farm. The plan was to leave from the restaurant and pick up Timmy's things, then Craig's on the way to the farm. A call to Craig's mother was successful in securing permission for Craig to go, and Don called Gloria to see if it was all right for Eric to return on Sunday. Gloria assured Don that she could manage while the boy got a much needed break. Eric had some things at the farm already, from the time he spent with Don and the boys when Gloria was in the hospital. He could wear some of Scotty's things in a pinch too.

Pat and Lizabeth had met Scott and Sammy during Timmy's first court appearance to read his victim impact statement, and had shared a laugh when they told Scott about the time Timmy told them the two of them were out driving the truck...they could tell that Scott and his brother were good wholesome kids.

Timmy talked to Dennis, and asked if he could stay over with him and Debbie when they moved to help and to spend time with his little brothers. This would be a couple of weeks from now, and everyone thought that was a great idea, and the matter was settled.

Pat ordered a bottle of Champaign, and poured a celebratory toast to Timmy and his two families. After a light hearted tussle over who would get the check the bill was paid and the Kane's left to liberate Robin from their offspring.

Don Wiedemer and all the boys piled into Don's titanic Ford Crew Cab one ton pickup, which the boys had named the General Sherman after the WWII tank. Isaac had agreed to pick Timmy and Craig up on Sunday, and the two vehicle procession made its way back to Isaac and Timmy's house. It took Timmy six minutes to pack his essentials and return to the General Sherman, after leaving Isaac, Pat and Lizabeth with kisses. The scene was repeated at Craig's apartment, but everyone went up to the door to introduce themselves to Craig's mother. Craig must have told her a bit about Timmy, because she congratulated him on his adoption. Timmy wondered what else she knew about him, but she didn't say anything until Craig reappeared with his bag, and Eric and the Wiedemer's had gone out the door. Timmy was bringing up the rear, followed by Craig who kissed his mother. She said to Timmy

"I'm glad you and Craig know that you aren't the only ones."

"Yes, ma'am. My father, grandfather and brothers have it too" Timmy replied with a smile. Craig seemed a bit embarrassed that his mother was discussing his birth defect with one of his peers, so she changed the subject.

"Please make sure Eric has a good time and gets to unwind...He needs to be a kid for a change"

"I think that's why Scotty and Sammy wanted us to come, Mom" Craig replied. She nodded.

"See you Sunday, then" she said, pushing Craig out the door as he giggled and stumbled.

"It was nice meeting you, ma'am" Timmy said, stepping out the door.

"And you too, Timmy...have fun" she said with a wink, completely embarrassing both boys who headed for the General Sherman.

"Shit!...she knows what we were thinking about at the restaurant!" Timmy groused.

"She doesn't care, trust me!" Craig replied. "She's just happy that I met you"

Craig and Timmy sat next to each other with Eric in the back seat of the General Sherman and Don, Sammy and Scott in the front seat. It was good to catch up with friends, as well as making a new one, which seemed to be custom for Timmy's trips to the farm. Once they arrived, a spare bedroom was set up to provide more space, and the five teens settled into tackle football in the yard, with much groping and teasing between Eric, Scott, Sammy and Timmy. When they got tired of the game, the boys showed Craig around the place, and let him whet his curiosity about the equipment and machines and barns and buildings. They let Craig and Timmy drive most of the time, as they went on a scenic excursion to nowhere. Craig, Timmy and Eric thought there was nothing better than being able to live on a farm, but Sammy and Scott assured them that there was a price to pay...They worked as hard as grown men when they were needed, often putting in 18 hour days during planting and harvest times, driving tractors, combines, and grain trucks with their father and uncle.

Since they had just met Craig and didn't want to shock or upset him, the conversations had much less of a sexual overtone than the camping trip last summer. After the evening meal, it was decided to catch showers and each boy took a Navy shower, which is a quick rinse, turn the water off, soap up, rinse off and done. Each person got hot water, and everyone assembled in Scott's room clad in briefs for some video game time.

Craig had been looking over at Timmy, thinking he was absorbed in the game he was playing teamed with Scott, against Eric and Sammy. Timmy had caught Craig's glances out of the corner of his eye, and when his stolen car hit a barricade, Sammy shot him up in the wreckage with a chain gun. He was dead. The game was pretty damned violent, the theme being stealing cars, running from the cops and killing rival gangsters. The boys saw it as entertainment, not a lifestyle to emulate or aspire to.

"I got to take a break, guys" Timmy said, and got up from his seat, and tipped his head to Craig indicating he should follow.

"Should we wait for you, Timmy?" Scott asked.

"Nah, you guys go ahead and play. We'll be back in a while." Timmy said, as a smile crossed Eric's face. Timmy and Craig shut the door and Scott looked at Eric


"They have things in common to talk about" Eric replied, continuing to grin. Scott caught on, but Sammy was slow to catch up.

"Whaddya mean, what things?" Sammy asked, putting the game controller down and turning his full attention to his brother and friend.

"Craig's got the foreskin and peehole thing like Timmy" Scott explained. Sammy was definitely curious upon hearing this...

"You think he would ...?" Sammy began.

"We can always ask him" Eric replied. The boys were sitting on the floor close to each other, and Eric ran a finger under Scott's briefs, and caressed his testicles. Sammy was trading penis gropes with Eric, and Scott was covering ground below his brothers hand on Eric's cock. In a few minutes, Eric had worked each brother's cock out of his briefs, and the boys were enjoying Eric's ministrations on their unfettered erections. Eric shook his head and chuckled

"Goddamn, you two are hung like donkeys! But I love it!" the brothers giggled.

"You're catching up to us, dude" Scott replied, acknowledging Eric's maturation since the summer, from a prepubertal four incher to almost five and a half inches in his hand now.

" have to Tuesday" Sammy groaned, as Eric stroked the full length of the older brother's eight inch erection. Scott's eyes were closed as Eric's other hand flicked and rubbed the glans of the boy's six and a half inch member. Eric began to concentrate his motions at the tip of the brother's cocks, increasing his speed as each boys body language dictated. Scott whispered that he was close, and in seconds began to buck his hips and shot four thick ropes of cum on the floor and his crossed legs.

"Aw...yeah!" Sammy panted as his climax struck moments later and he added his juices to the mess on the floor. The brothers regained their composure, then knelt behind Eric and continued to massage his scrotum and inner thighs and stroke his penis until he reached his limit of endurance and came as well. Scott wiped up the puddle on his floor with a pair of briefs and tossed them into the hamper.

Once in the hall outside Scott's closed door, Timmy and Craig went to the spare room and closed the door.

"Thanks for getting my signal...I was wishing you were in the shower with me" Craig said.

"I was thinking that too when I took mine" Timmy replied, as they faced each other inches apart.

Craig asked "Is it okay if I..." Timmy nodded, and he felt Craig touch the front of his briefs, and reciprocated by caressing the bulge in Craig's underwear .

"I've been waiting to see this since Eric told me about you" Craig said, as he knelt down in front of Timmy. Slipping his fingers into Timmy's waistband, he tugged the underwear down exposing Timmy's wide member and foreskin hood. Craig gave a little gasp as he touched the glans and bent Timmy's penis back to look underneath.

"Oh my God! This is like looking at myself!...I had no idea there were any others."

Craig stood up, giving Timmy easier access to his tool. There was very little talking from that point on, as Timmy rubbed Craig's stirring erection and slipped Craig's briefs down. Craig's cock was every bit as thick as Timmy`s, and the twin of Timmy's in almost every way although longer by more than an inch. Craig and Timmy lay on the bed and study each other in close detail. Soon both boys were at full hardness, as their erections filled each others hand. They continued to work on each other in silence. After ten minutes of pleasure, Craig asked Timmy to speed up, and concentrate his stroking around the head of his cock. As Timmy obliged, Craig gripped Timmy tighter and stroked faster, and in less than a minute both boys climaxed within seconds of one another. After several minutes spent catching their breath, Timmy remarked that Craig was very well hung.

"Thanks. It sure gets looked at a lot" Craig said.

"I bet...It's almost as big as Sammy's" Timmy replied.

"You've seen them?" Craig asked, surprised.

"We went to the pond this summer, swam without shorts" Timmy said, leaving out the other stuff that went on.

"What do they look like?" Craig asked, obviously curious.

"Circumcised and very big" Timmy replied, smiling at the look on Craig's face. "We probably should get back to the game"

"Probably" Craig agreed, as they pulled their briefs up and started back to Scott's room.

"Ummm....I'm not sure how to say or ask....Uh, do those guys like to do more than skinny dip?....Please don't say anything if that's not cool, kay?" Craig stood there looking like he had said way too much, and Timmy looked back at him and smiled.

"It's cool...We did more than skinny dip, Craig. Do you want me to tell them you're interested?" Timmy asked.

"Uh,, what all do you guys do?" Craig wondered, looking very nervous.

"Nothing that you won't be okay with." This seemed to calm Craig a bit. They went back to join the others.

Eric broke the ice first, but was cut off by Timmy

"Me and Sammy and Scott were wondering.."

"Craig would like to, if that's what you were going to ask..." All the boys chuckled at this exchange, and Sammy took his briefs off, followed by the other four.

"Wow, yours does look like Timmy's almost like a twin." Scott said, as the brothers got their first look at their new friend's endowment.

For the rest of the weekend there was plenty of touching, fondling and oral pleasure before the boys fell asleep Friday and Saturday night. It was hard to leave Sammy and Scott on Sunday evening, but the trip back to Craig's and Eric's places was fun, and both boys wished they had more time to spend on the farm. Timmy was eager to see Sean again, and began to feel bad that they had not been able to bring him.

Sean had returned to the house from Dylan's later Friday afternoon after Timmy had gone. Isaac explained to him that the trip to the farm had been a spur of the moment thing, and that if he had been there, he probably could have gone too. Sean wasn't too worried about that, since he was sure Melanie wouldn't have let him go until she had talked to Don, and got to know him a bit first. What was really bothering Sean was how he was going to tell Timmy about Dylan.

Timmy had felt guilty about leaving Sean behind, and as he and Isaac approached the house, hoped Sean wasn't angry or hurt over it.

As they pulled into the driveway, Sean came over to the car and asked calmly how the trip went. He was very subdued to Timmy's way of thinking, and avoided eye contact with Timmy.

"It was spur of the moment, and we looked for your mom to ask if you could come too, but both of you were gone...I'm sorry, Sean...Hope you aren't pissed."

"Oh, no, its good...I'm cool...You had friends before I got here, I understand that." Sean said.

"You sure?"

"Yeah...totally." Sean said.

"Well, I'm going to talk to your mom and set it up so you're going with us on the next trip." Timmy promised.

"Thanks, man. That's cool" Sean said. He never looked Timmy in the eye, and Timmy knew Sean was hiding something, but he let it drop for now. He would pick this up later and if kept after it, Sean would crack like an egg. Timmy knew that he only had to be patient and play it out.

"What are you doing now?" Sean asked.

"I feel like a ride before it gets dark, wanna go?" Timmy asked.

"Yeah, sounds good. Let's go to the store...I'm horny for a slushy" Sean said, heading back to his house to get some money and his bike. Timmy went in and got some bills from his dresser and ran into the garage.

The two boys rode to the convenience store and dispensed their favorite treat, Coke slushies. Neither boy drank soda at either of their homes, so the slushies were a rare indulgence. Sean was unusually subdued and said little, which was out of character for him, and Timmy sat on the sidewalk in front of the store and picked into his slushy with the little red straw with a shovel on one end.

"So have you decided?" Timmy asked.

"Huh? Wh- Decided? Decided what?" Sean asked, confused. He sat down on the pavement next to Timmy.

"When to tell me what's going on...what's bothering you, and keeping you from looking at me...and making you not act like you...Something's up, isn't it?" Timmy asked.

Sean nodded his head, but did not speak.

"Did I do something wrong, Sean?" Timmy asked.

Sean shook his head. "No...I, uh, no." Sean mumbled. He began to get agitated and run his hands through his hair. Timmy could see the stress the boy was under, so he stood up and said,

"We should take this back to the house, right?" Sean nodded and got to his feet, and climbed on his bike and rode off as Timmy mounted his bike. Timmy caught up with Sean after a hundred yards and looked over at his friend, who appeared to be fighting back tears. Timmy sped up and made some yardage on Sean, then pulled an abrupt U turn and rode head on into Sean, forcing him to stop. Timmy clamped his hands over Sean's brakes and looked into his face, waiting for Sean to say something.

"Promise you won't be mad or hate me." Sean whispered quietly as tears flowed down his cheeks and he continued to refuse to look at Timmy.

"Like when have I ever been mad at you, Sean?" Timmy asked. Sean took in a deep breath and exhaled in a long rush of wind. Best get this over with...

"Dylan...Dylan has a major crush on me, and I went to his house when you were in court Friday..." Sean said. "I think I have feelings for him too. I'm sorry." Sean looked down at the ground and muttered. "This fucks up everything, I know."

"Fucks up what?" Timmy asked.

" and me." Sean replied.

Now everything became clear to Timmy, and he finally understood what had Sean's knickers in such a twist. Sean was afraid Timmy would be jealous of his relationship with Dylan and feel that he had betrayed him.

" dingbat! " Timmy said, as he began to laugh..."You were afraid I would be jealous or something?" Sean nodded sheepishly.

"Aw, shit, Sean!" Timmy felt bad now, and picked his words carefully before he continued.

"I don't have a problem with you being with Dylan... You and me are best friends, and nothing changes that. If Dylan's the one you fall in love with, that's cool. Is that what all this is about?"

Sean nodded his head. "I was afraid you would, uh, I don't know...sorry."

"So can I have my best buddy back again, now? You know, the smartass one that jokes and clowns around, makes me laugh and hates math?" Timmy asked. Sean looked up at Timmy and smiled, as Timmy let Sean's brakes go.

They didn't say much to each other on the way back, but Timmy was very busy thinking, considering how lucky he was to have Sean as a friend.

When they got back home, Timmy swung his leg over the bike and stood next to Sean.

"Thanks" Timmy said.

"What for?" Sean asked, confused.

"For being a better friend than I deserve." Timmy observed.

"How do you figure that?" Sean asked, not understanding.

"You spent the last week all twisted up worrying about how to tell me something that isn't even my business to begin with."

"Yeah, um, well..." Sean mumbled, not knowing what to say. Dylan and Sean were sharing what might be an infatuation, but Timmy was Sean's best buddy, mentor and ally. He was so relieved that their friendship was intact. Sean suddenly grabbed Timmy in a hug. The load he felt all weekend was lifted. He let Timmy go, and Timmy put his arm around Sean's shoulders and together they went in the house.

A few blocks away

Once again, the boy hid in the bottom of his closet, hoping no one would remember he was in the house, or come looking for him. Screams and the crash of flying furniture reverberated through the walls of the house as objects and bodies went through drywall. A woman screamed, then stopped as the flat hard sound of a fist hitting flesh echoed three times in quick succession. A male pre-pubescent voice screeched in rage, and the sounds of splintering wood followed, as the almost a teenager tried to stop the man by breaking a chair over his back and head.

"You little fucking bastard!" a man roared, and the boy in the closet heard the sharp crack of wood against his brother's head.

"Thtop it! You'll kill him, Goddamn it!" the woman yelled. She sounded like half her teeth were gone.

"Shut the fuck up, bitch!" the man yelled, and punched her in the face. She moved no more after that.

Suddenly, there was a loud call from outside the house "METRO POLICE SWAT!" and the front door was kicked in, and the boy could hear several heavy sets of boots run into the house. A neighbor must have called the police this time...

"PUT IT DOWN" someone bellowed at the top of his lungs. "DROP IT NOW!!! GET ON THE GOD DAMN FLOOR...NOW!! Other voices yelled. The man had a leg from the kitchen table in his hands raised above his head to take a final, deadly swing at the teenager, just as the police stormed in. William heard his mother's boyfriend scream in rage, the cops yelling "STOP!" then many impossibly loud bangs as three 9mm pistols discharged. The boy heard a huge thump on the floor. His ears rang badly and there was an acrid burning smell and the smoke detector went off. Voices slowly came to him, slowly as the ringing in his ears ebbed a bit, saying things like "Clear!" and "This one's done." "We need two EMS units immediately...and the M.E." along with footsteps in the hall outside his door. There was no more yelling...

The boy began to sob. The police officers in the hall heard the little noises, and set up a tactical entry on the boy's room. They didn't know if another bad actor was in there with the kid. Bursting into the room with guns ready, they flipped the boy's bed into the air to ascertain that no one was under the bed; now they just had to clear the closet.

Soon the closet doors were almost ripped out their tracks, and four cops and four guns were pointing at the boy who was laying in the fetal position on the closet floor. He instinctively screamed and covered his head with his hands. Immediately, four guns were jerked skyward and holstered, as a man bent down and touched the boy gently.

"It's okay son, we're the police. You're safe now. Come on out, now. It's okay, no one will hurt you. What's your name?"

"W- W- William..." the boy said.

"William, you can call me Ron if you like" Detective Walsh said, as he knelt on the floor with the boy.

William sat up and pulled his legs up under him, still huddling in the closet. He was wearing a pair of briefs and a tee shirt. He was about ten years old, and had brown hair and black eyes, which in his state of fright, made him look like a terrified squirrel.

"What happened to my mom and brother?" William asked. Ambulances were on scene and Walsh needed to keep the kid from seeing any of that, of course. "Can I see them?"

"Not right now, William, they are going to the hospital, Okay? I need you to tell me what happened here, can you do that?"

"He's dead, isn't he?" William asked, looking at Walsh with those huge squirrel eyes. Jesus, this kid would be damned hard to lie to, Walsh thought. Those eyes went right through his soul, it seemed.

"I`m sorry, William. He gave us no choice." Walsh said.

William did not seem to have much reaction at all. He heard the shots, and somehow knew the man had died tonight.

"Mom and him got into a huge was real bad...worse than any I remember" William said, staring right into Walsh's eyes.

"There were others?"

William nodded, then shook his head. "Yes, but not like this one."

"Do you know what they were fighting about?" Walsh asked gently.

"Me" the boy said flatly.

A crime scene investigator stuck his head in the door, flipped a thumbs up and nodded to Walsh. It was a signal that the EMS teams and the injured were gone. Crime scene technicians had stretched a sheet in the doorway between the hall and kitchen. Word had gotten to them that the boy was still in the house, and of course, he would have to be removed into protective custody. The less he saw, the better he would be. Walsh nodded quietly to the CSI and said to William,

"Why were they fighting about you?" Walsh asked. William looked down at the floor.

"It's okay, William. You can tell me, I need to know, son."

"He was doing nasty stuff to me and my brother caught him. Mom went crazy and told him she was calling the cops." William looked up at Walsh and continued

"He beat her up and my brother tried to stop him, so he got beat up too. Are they going to die?" William asked.

Walsh got up and leaned out the bedroom door. "Sergeant, do we have anything on the mother and son's medical condition?"

A cop came back down the hallway and looked in and saw William in the bottom of the closet. He looked back at Walsh and said

"Both are critical, the female has a fractured jaw and a concussion, numerous bruises, but she is awake and responsive. The boy is unconscious and going into surgery...he took a hard shot to the head with a table leg or something...they don't know any more than that."

William began to sob, and Walsh went back over to the closet and helped William to a standing position. The boy had peed himself. "What's your brother's name, William?" Walsh fished around in the dresser for a dry pair of briefs and put them on the bed. He went across the hall and got a towel out of the bathroom.

"Wesley...he's twelve." William sobbed. Jesus, what a brave kid Wesley must be. Walsh thought, from the blood and injuries on the dead man, it looked like the kid had put up the fight of his life, and may have lost.

He handed the towel to William and stood in the doorway with his back to the room as William stripped out of the sodden underwear and dried himself before putting on dry briefs.

"William, did you get beaten up tonight?"

The boy shook his head.

"What sort of things was he doing, William?" Walsh asked gently.

Through tears, William told Walsh that the man had been penetrating him with fingers and touching him recently.

"When did Wesley catch him doing this?"


"How old are you, William?"

" Almost e-eleven" the boy stuttered.

"When did he begin doing this?"

"Um, like a month ago?" William replied.

Walsh looked into Williams' eyes and said "It's done, William. No one will do those things to you anymore. I hope you can believe me."

William nodded his head, he wanted to believe what Walsh said. His thoughts turned to a question he wanted to ask.

"Who was it?" the boy asked. "Who shot him? Can you tell them I said thanks?"

The question and the straightforward manner in which the boy asked it took Walsh by surprise- Jesus, this kid is well and truly in shock, Walsh thought. He wondered if Wesley was also a victim. "Um, I don't know who fired, William. That's always investigated but it will take will find out in time, okay?" William nodded.

"William, I have to take you to the hospital, now. We need to make sure you are okay, and you might be able to see your mom. Do you have clean pants?"

William reached down and rummaged through a pile of clothes on the floor. He was a typical boy it seemed, and not a very neat one. He fished out a pair of sweat pants and pulled them on, and slipped into shoes without socks.

Walsh led him out of the room and down the hall. The CSI's had draped a sheet in the doorway from the hall to the kitchen. The man was still laying on the kitchen floor, and would be there for a while as the investigation of this officer involved shooting continued. Eventually the medical examiner would arrive to pick up the body. William had been spared from seeing this, because of the sheet. Walsh felt like the boy had been emotionally overloaded beyond his limits, and this would all hit him hard later. They got in Walsh's Interceptor and Walsh buckled the boy in the front seat. The heavy car was quiet and smooth as they drove to the hospital.

Timmy and Sean lay on the couch in their briefs, watching a movie on TV while Isaac talked to Peter on the phone, on the back patio. Peter was at work, and the boys had just finished up dinner. After a brief conversation, the lovers ended the call, and Isaac returned to the couch, where he sat between Timmy and Sean, and caught up with the movie again.

Walsh and little William walked in through emergency, at a little after six o'clock. Walsh conferred with the admitting nurse and explained that the boy was family of two victims of domestic violence that had arrived earlier, and that he was a recent victim of ongoing sexual assault. They took William back quickly, and explained that he needed to be examined to insure that he had not been injured from the rape...they did not use this term, but William was aware that he had been raped, and knew that he had to go through this process now that the police knew what had happened. Thankfully, the examination was not that awful, and when it was over, he asked to see his mother.

Walsh took him to the fourth floor, and the charge nurse on duty came out to meet them.

"Honey, she looks pretty bad right now, but she's okay and you can talk to her. She might not be all there because she's on some powerful pain killers, okay?"

William nodded, and the nurse led them to a room. Seeing his mother's swollen face, and black eyes, William burst into tears.

"I'm sorry, mommy, it's all my fault." the boy blubbered.

William's mother couldn't see, as her eyes were swollen shut, but she lifted a hand and reached for William. He took his mother's hand and she tried to speak through bruised lips and missing teeth. The man had truly knocked the living shit out of the woman.

"No, baby, this isn't your fault...this is all on him, Willy, all of it." she said. It seemed to exhaust her.

"I should have known that mother fucker was up to no damn good, baby" she said.

It was the first time William had ever heard his moderately religious mother curse, let alone use such choice invective. William had heard this word from some black kids at school, and sometimes from his mother's drunk or drugged boyfreind. He had never watched any thing other than PG rated television or movies...his mother's way of protecting her son. She had no way of knowing until now, that the boy had lost his innocence already.

She had shacked up with a drunk, and realized too late the price she and her sons had paid to live with one. Finding out that the man she thought she "loved" was sodomizing William sent her over the edge and she would have called the cops out if the neighbors hadn't done it first. In the end, it probably saved her and her older son's life, although that wasn't too clear at this point.

"Where is Wesley?" she asked.

"Your other son, ma'am?" the nurse asked.


"He is in surgery right now, miss. His skull and collarbone and arm was broken. He has a significant head injury in addition to several broken ribs"

"Oh, dear God. Is he going to live?"

"He's in surgery, and they are doing all they can for him. If anything changes, I'll make sure you know, ma'am." the nurse said.

"Thank you." she said, as the nurse left to begin her rounds. "William, are you all right? How did you get here?"

"Yeah, mom, I'm okay. A cop drove me here."

"Detective Ron Walsh, Metro PD, ma'am. It's good to meet you, although I wish it were under better circumstances"

"Claire Hussmann. Thanks for getting there before the son of a bitch went after William again. Is he dead?"

"He was, um...pronounced at the scene, yes, ma'am."

"Make sure you thank the guy who pulled the trigger" Claire said, as Walsh's mouth dropped open, and he looked at William. William looked back at him with those huge black squirrel eyes, eyes that held no fear or hate, no real emotion at all.

Upstairs in the operating theater, Wesley had arrived unresponsive, and unable to breathe on his own. The EMT's had bagged and ventilated him all the way to the hospital. Hospital staff took over, and kept him respirated as he was rushed through the CAT scanner, which revealed a large bleed on the left side of his brain. He was immediately rushed to surgery, and the team was successful in stopping the bleeding. It was now a waiting game, keeping the boy alive until the swelling resolved. He was going back to surgery to set his broken bones, and would be taken to ICU to recover. He was on a ventilator, had a central line and a urinary catheter in place. The scan revealed that bones in the left side of his face were broken, but these could wait until he was more stable.

"Mister Walsh, what happens now for William? He can't stay at the house by himself."

"No ma'am...We will put him in protective services until you can manage."

"Please don't put him in the system in CPS. Anything but that. Is there someplace he can stay where he won't be shuffled around?" she asked.

Walsh thought for a few minutes, and said. "Lemme think about this, okay? I will be back in a few minutes, ma'am"

Claire nodded, and Walsh walked out of the room and went to the nurses station. He conferred with the duty nurse

"How long would you guess it would be until Mrs. Hussmann is able to leave, and take care of her son?" Walsh asked.

"At least ten days here in her case...she has internal injuries that are watch and wait for now, but if she starts to bleed internally and crashes, she goes right to surgery...she'll be in surgery for her face and jaw in an hour or two, when the craniofacial surgeon gets here...and her boy, he's going to be long term if he survives. He went to surgery on arrival for a brain bleed, and he's still in surgery...he will be in surgery for the clavicle and arm too, from what I heard. His head injury could still kill him anytime until the swelling resolves. I don't know what else to tell you." the nurse said. "They will both have a long recovery once they leave here."

"Thanks, you have been immensely helpful" Walsh said.

"Can you say that in front of my boss?" the nurse joked. Walsh laughed and went back to Claire's room. Before he went in, he fished out his phone, and dialed a number.

Isaac's phone rang. At first, he thought Peter was calling. Instead, it was Detective Walsh.


"Isaac? Hi, it's Walsh. How are you and Timmy?

"Oh, hey Detective! We're super! The adoption went through and it's a done deal! We're still getting used to it being over."

"Oh, I'm so glad to hear that, it's wonderful news...Congratulations! Listen, I hate to ask this, but I need some help"

"Sounds serious! What can we do for you?"

"...Yeah. I need a place to stay for a kid." Walsh said...Isaac absorbed that and wondered what sort of kid Walsh was talking about, a baby, or a gang banger, or what.

"How old a kid?"

He's ten." Walsh stepped out of the room and moved down the hall.

"Isaac, we rolled on a bad one tonight. A guy beat up the kid's mom and brother pretty bad...we had to shoot him to keep the brother from being killed. We don't know if the brother will make it."

"Oh, sweet Jesus, did he see all this?"

"No...thank God. He was hiding in his closet when we got there."

"Oh, man"

"This kid is physically okay but mentally...he's batshit in shock"

"I would be too...Does he know the guy is..."?

"Dead? yes, he knows"

"How long does he need to stay?"

"At least ten days, but maybe several weeks. We don`t know the status of his brother right now, and his mother will be recovering from her injuries while trying to rehabilitate him."

Timmy and Sean had been listening to at least half the conversation, and gave Isaac thumbs up. Isaac said

"Sure, we can do this. Are you bringing him by tonight?"

"Yes, Isaac. You remember Roger the case worker?"


"I'm going to get him plugged in on this, and you will get assistance from the county to cover the cost, so this isn't on your dime...also, this boy lives about six blocks from you, so I assume he can go to school from your house, if you're in the same district".

"Yes, this is all the same district, no problems there."

"Okay, great...Thanks, Isaac. I'll let his mother know."

"What time will you be here?" Isaac wondered.

"Say an hour at the longest?" Walsh suggested.

"We will be here whenever you make it, See you then. Take Care" Isaac said.

"You too, and thanks" Walsh said, and ended the call.

Isaac looked at Timmy and Sean, and announced that a house guest would be joining them.

Walsh walked back into the room, and found William asleep leaning over the bed, gripping his mother's hand. Claire was almost asleep again, when the pain killer in her line had been turned up slightly during the nurse's latest rounds. Walsh was able to rouse her long enough to tell her

"Mrs. Hussmann, I have found a place for William that is close to your house, so William can go to school as usual, and the people there will keep William safe and secure, and he won't be in the system. They just completed an adoption process, so they have been screened and investigated...I will ask the case worker that did the adoption to set it up so William will be there the whole time and not moved around." Walsh took the woman's hand and said

"We will talk again later a lot more, ma'am. I'll take William and get him fed and into a bed for now." Walsh left his cards on the table next to the bed so she would be able to contact him. The nurse's station also had his number as well.

"Thank you", she mumbled and drifted off to sleep again. Walsh gently patted William until he woke up, and looked at Walsh.

"Come on, big guy, lets let your momma rest. I'm going to take you someplace safe to stay for a few days until everything gets worked out. Come on." Walsh said, as he led William out into the hall and to the nurses station.

Walsh leaned across the counter and whispered to the duty nurse. "The kid's been through a hell of an evening and has to spend the night in a strange place. Is there anything you have that will make it easier for him to sleep?"

"Sure" the nurse replied. "This will dry him out a bit, but give it 20 minutes and he'll be out like a light" as she dispensed some prescription strength Benadryl caplets and put them in a small paper envelope. "Just give him one at bedtime."

"Thanks so much! See you around" Walsh said as he guided the child to the elevator, and they made their way out of the lobby. They walked out to Walsh's black Ford Interceptor.

"Where are we going?" William wondered.

"To a place with good food, a warm bed, and nice people." Walsh said. "You'll be safe, and go to school like usual, and stay with some friends of mine until your mom comes home. Are you hungry?"

"Uh-uh" William said in a tiny voice, even though he hadn`t eaten since midday, before the incident went down. "What about my brother?"

"William...Listen...He has serious injuries, okay? They are working on him. I won't lie to's going to be hour by hour until whatever happens happens. I'm sorry...there just isn't anything else to tell you."

"It's my fault..." William said again, as Walsh unlocked the car and let William in. Walsh bent down to get the seatbelt put on his young passenger and carefully chose his words.

"That's not true, William...This is not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. Someone else, who knew right from wrong, chose to do wrong, and chose to do wrong to you. This is not your fault, William. Please try hard to understand that it's never your fault when you don't have the power to stop something bad, okay? You didn't make this happen. He chose to make this happen. Does that make sense?"

William nodded. "Yes" he said. "But Wesley may die and..." he trailed off.

"William, you would'nt have been able to stop Wesley trying to protect you and your mom any more than you could have stopped this guy. You know that, don't you?"

William nodded his head. "I guess so..."

Walsh knew this wasn't having any effect at the moment. This kid would need intensive therapy for a long time. There was some value in letting William hear out loud that this wasn't his fault. Hearing others verbalize it made it harder for William to internalize his feelings of guilt into "truth".

"Look....William....this is a bad time right now, and it seems like the world is ending. But it isn't, and you won't go through all this by yourself. There will be people who are going to help you and Wesley and your mom get your lives back to normal. You are going to need help getting through things and it helps to talk about what you feel. This is going to be hard for you, but don't try to be brave and bottle stuff up inside. It's a lot worse that way, hear me?"

"I'll, we're going to somebody's house?" William asked.

"Yeah, Isaac and Timmy live close to you, and they are friends so you will be staying with them until your mom gets out of the hospital, okay?"

"What about my stuff?" William wondered.

"That reminds me, thanks " Walsh said, as he made a call.

"William, was that your closet that I found you in?" Walsh asked. William nodded his head. Walsh talked into his cell phone to an officer on the scene at William's house.

"Yeah, Cassie? Listen, can you all bag up the clothes in the room where we found the younger boy hiding? Yes, he's with me, and I don't want him coming inside...I will be there in a few minutes to grab them...thanks a bunch, Cassie. Yup, you too." Walsh ended the call. The police would be there several more hours gathering forensic evidence, before sealing the scene.

Walsh's next call was to Roger with CPS. Roger was out of the office at this hour of the evening, but some weird tones and noises let Walsh know his call was being transferred.

"Roger? Hey, Walsh here. Sorry to bust in on your dinner and all...I need to pick you up on the way"

Fifteen minutes later, Walsh and Roger arrived at Isaac's house with William and the bag of clothes in Walsh's trunk. William looked small and frightened in the car, as Timmy and Sean met the car.

"Hi, Timmy! Congratulations on your adoption, big guy." Walsh said, as he got out of the car and hugged Timmy.

"Thanks, Mister Walsh" Timmy replied.

"I want you guys to meet William Hussmann, he's ten, and he needs some friends and a safe home for a while." Walsh said.

Sean opened the door and let the boy out "William, I'm Sean. Timmy's my best friend, I live next door." William shook Sean's hand, as Timmy came over.

"William, I'm Timmy, good to meet you." the boys shook hands, and Timmy put a hand on William's shoulder. "Let me show you your room, okay?" William nodded, and the boys began to go into the house.

Walsh stood next to Sean and said, "Would you take Williams' things in, please, Sean?"

"Oh, um, yes sir, sure" Sean said, grabbing the bag of clothes from the trunk of the car.

Roger was in the house talking to Isaac with some papers, and they looked up as William came through the door with Timmy. Timmy walked the boy over to Isaac, and said

"William, this is my big brother Isaac.."

"Hey, William, it's good to have you with us...have you eaten anything?" Isaac asked.

William shook his head, too shy to speak for now.

"Do you like lasagna?"

William nodded. "Okay, I'll make you a plate. Is Timmy showing you around?"

William nodded again, and Timmy said "I'm going to show him his room and get his clothes and stuff straightened out." Isaac nodded and said

"Great, thanks, Timmy" as Timmy led William off down the hall. Timmy and Sean had found the portable air bed in Melanie's garage and brought it to the spare room after Walsh called, but from the looks of the bag, a few of Timmy's drawers and some closet space would be all that was needed until they could score a used dresser at the thrift store.

Soon, the three boys were sorting and putting William's clothes away. They couldn't tell which was clean with all the obviously dirty items mixed in, and the boys concluded that the bag was filled in a hurry with everything visible on the floor of Williams room.

William watched in amazement as the air bed took shape and unfolded, looking like a mechanical centipede as the supports unfolded and locked in place.

"Let's get you some sheets and blankets" Timmy said, as William looked up at Timmy with the huge black squirrel eyes. His lips trembled and he looked panicked, then began to cry.

"William?" Timmy asked, as Sean rubbed the boys shoulders from behind. "What is it, William?" Sean asked.

"My...umm ..Is my brother going to die?" William gasped out as he collapsed into grief and began sobbing. Sean and Timmy sat him down on the bed, and Timmy looked at Sean. They knew basically what happened, but they had no idea of the magnitude of the violence William had been so close to this evening.

Timmy and Sean sat with the boy and rubbed his back as he cried himself out and got his composure back a bit.

"What did they tell you so far?" Timmy asked.

William sniffed and snorted and tried to talk, cry, and drip snot at the same time.

"Ummm...uh, he uh, got lots of broken....bones and his.....brain is his skull and ....they had him in .....surg-gery....."

"All we can do is wait and you pray, William?" Timmy asked, looking over at Sean.

"Hey, Don't look at me, I'm Jewish!" Sean joked, and William and Timmy both broke up laughing at that.

William took Sean and Timmy's hands in his, and bowed his head. Sean nervously watched the other two close their eyes and listened as William said,

"God, please don't let my brother die....It's not his fault and I should be where he is now. Amen"

Timmy was too stunned to say "Amen", and asked,

"Uh, wait a minute, what does that mean?" They were interrupted by Isaac coming in to tell William the lasagna was ready, and led William out to the kitchen table. Sean and Timmy stared at each other for a few moments, and Sean asked

"I wonder what the hell he meant by that?"

They went out to find Walsh and Roger, William and Isaac sitting at the table, and the two older men got up to leave.

"Isaac, if you need anything, just give me a call" Roger said. "I'll have his mother sign the guardianship in the morning, but for now, you are a duly appointed emergency foster parent, and if you let the school know where he is temporarily, that should be all that is needed in the next day or so."

"Yes, Sir, I will drive him there in the morning and talk to the principal." Isaac replied.

Roger and Isaac shook hands, and Roger said "We really appreciate your help here."

"I'm just glad I can do it" Isaac replied.

"Take care, Isaac" Walsh said, and both men shook Isaac's hand as they went out the door. "I will call if I hear anything from the hospital, okay?" Walsh said. Sean and Timmy both high-fived Walsh to say goodbye, and each boy got his hair tussled in return.

"Yes, doesn't matter what time it is if you do" Isaac said, looking back at the table where William was watching and listening. Isaac closed the door and went back the kitchen and dished out another portion lasagna for William as Timmy watched.

"The first thing I ever ate here was lasagna" Timmy mused, as William looked confused.

Isaac replied, "Yeah, it sure was....seems like a thousand years ago."

They waited until William finished his lasagna and Isaac asked, "William, what would you like to do?"

"Could I have a bath?" William asked, remembering that he had wet himself, and even though he had dried off and put on dry clothes, he still felt like clammy piss on his skin.

Timmy said, "Sure, I'll run one for him and show him where the towels are." William followed Timmy to the hall bath, and Timmy got a towel and shampoo and a new bar of soap.

"This is going to be your bathroom now, so why don't you get your toothbrush and put it in here?"

"Umm, I don't think we found one in my stuff" William whispered. Timmy turned the hot water on, and said

"Okay, we got some new ones around here." He left to find a toothbrush in the master bathroom. When he came back, warm water was flowing and he brought on some cold to mix as William watched.

"Why don't you feel this and see if its how you like it?" Timmy suggested. William put his hand in, and suggested

"Hotter, please"

Timmy motioned to William to adjust the knobs, which the boy did.

"William, while you are in here, I'm going to wash your stuff. I'll bring you a robe, and just leave these clothes on the floor in the hall."


"If you need anything, yell for me, okay?" Timmy said. William nodded and pulled his shirt off as Timmy closed the door. William shucked his pants and underwear, then poked the pile of clothes out the door for Timmy to collect. He sat in the tub and lay down, putting his feet on the wall above the water valves, so he could sink his head under the water. He liked to do this, just float in the tub and listen to the silence. His life had gone to hell when his mother decided to move this latest boyfriend in with them. He knew he shouldn't hate her, but he did blame her for what had happened.

The man had begun sneaking into William's room and masturbating him while he thought William was asleep. His technique was rough, and he sometimes did it too long, causing Williams penis to hurt and turn red. When William said he wanted the man to stop, he threatened to beat William up. William wondered how the man would be able to do that without leaving marks or clues, but decided he would rather not find out, so he stayed quiet. The man had decided that putting a finger in Williams' ass was more interesting, and began to groom the boy for anal sex.

Wesley forgot the rule about drinking liquid right before bed, and had to get up to urinate. He heard strange noises in Williams' room and peeked through the crack in the door to see his mother's boyfriend doing things to William that he did not understand. Wesley peed and went back to bed, then told his mother what he saw in the morning.

The conversation crushed her. Wesley was a child who took his mother's faith seriously and had never lied about anything. He was the last person on earth that would make up a story, even though he and his brother did not like the man, or approve of him living in their house. The confrontation and tragic events that followed when his mother came home from work this afternoon were now done, and William blamed himself as victims often do.

He also knew that he would never forgive himself if Wesley died. He never expected Wesley to take on an adult to protect him, that was insane. He also never realized how much Wesley loved him, and in kind, how much he loved Wesley. As he lay there silently the events of the day began to rush in on him and he felt tears roll down his cheeks. He shook himself back to reality and hoped Timmy or Isaac couldn't hear him. He quickly washed his hair and soaped up, rinsed and drained the tub. He wanted to get out of the bathroom as quickly as possible. He didn't want to be alone.

He wrapped the towel around himself and went back out to find Timmy sitting at the table talking to Isaac. Walsh and Roger had briefed Isaac on what had gone down at William's house, and now Isaac was telling Timmy what he knew. Timmy saw William coming up the hall in the towel and said

"Oh, buddy, I'm sorry. I forgot about the robe. Lemme get it." Timmy went to retrieve a terry cloth robe that usually only was worn to answer the door when he had nothing else on. Bringing it to William, he draped it over the boy's shoulders. William let the towel drop and tied the robe closed. It was big on him, but mostly too long. William took the towel back to the bathroom and put it on the bar.

When he came back, Isaac asked

"Would you like some hot cocoa, William?" William nodded and sat down, and watched quietly as Isaac got up to make a batch.

"We should talk about some things now." Isaac said.

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