Chapter 6


This story has sexual content, if this offends you,stop reading now. Sex is not the major topic of this story. If erotic stories are banned where you live, leave this site immediately before you are arrested (you were warned), or if you are deemed to be underage by your government and too young to read this then you should leave now (in either case go look up the names of these people and be sure to vote against them when you are old enough).

This story is fiction. That means I made it up. As the author I may make real life problems disappear with a sentence or two. If you think you recognize yourself or anyone you know it is pure chance, go by a lottery ticket this could be your lucky day.

Copyright 2006: str8mayb –– that means the story is copyrighted by me in 2006. Do not re-post without my written permission.

There is also sexual child abuse in this story. It is not described in detail. It is in no way meant as a turn on but as an explanation and motivation, to the characters. The author is appalled by this type of behavior and in absolutely no way condones it. Where possible the guilty do suffer, one of the perks of fiction, the bad guys lose. Although this is posted in Adult – Youth do not expect hot sex.

I hope you enjoy. E-mail to

Keep reading and enjoy.



Chapter 6

I heard Travis screaming as the elevator doors opened and Mitch took off like a shot. I wasn't far behind. When I got to the room, Special Agent Dukman was backing away from the bed, with Mitch beating him on the back and Travis screaming incoherently. I grabbed Dukman and pulled him away and then told Mitch, "See to your brother."

When I had the FBI agent out in the hall, I finally released my not so gentle grasp of his arm. "Dukman, what the fuck do you think you are doing!?!"

"My job! I was trying to question a witness."

"A minor, without parental consent. Are you nuts? No defense attorney in the world would miss getting anything you found out, thrown out of court so damn fast it would break the sound barrier."

"I know my job!"

"Well, Numb Nuts, you better brush up on the law. I'm not a lawyer and even I know that much. Now you listen carefully to what I am going to tell you; you are not to be in a room with either of my boys, unless I am present and give you permission to be there. Is that clear, Special Agent (as in special child)?"

He glared at me, and then stomped down the hall, mumbling something under his breath. He was about as happy with me as I was with him.

I re-entered Travis's room. Mitch had climbed onto the bed and was holding a sobbing Travis. I sat on the edge of the bed on the other side. "He's gone, now, Travis. He'd better not come back, unless I'm here and unless it is okay with you."

Travis looked at me; there was hope and distrust in his eyes. "I want you to know that I have already come to love you. You and Mitch are somehow twins and I certainly love him and how could I not love you too? In Time you will come to trust me. I understand that now is not the time. Just keep trusting Mitch. He will let you know if you should trust something or not."

Travis closed his eyes and held onto Mitch for awhile. When he calmed down, his breakfast arrived and the nurse came to check him. She checked his vital signs and said the doctors would be very happy. When she left, Travis devoured his breakfast like it was the best food he ever ate. I thought it was sad, because it probably was the best food he ever ate. Just wait till Martha gets a hold of him.

Dr. Turnman arrived first and Gave Travis a good checkup. "Travis, I am very impressed with your progress. You are healing much better than we hoped. There doesn't seem to be any infection in the wounds anymore and the cuts and scrapes are almost gone."

"Thanks, Doc. My dick doesn't hurt anymore either, but my ass is still a little sore." Travis told him, matter-of-factly.

"Would you rather I check those than Dr. Hastings."

"Wouldn't you?"

"When I was nine? Oh, yeah!" Dr. Turnman removed the band of gauze that was wrapped around Travis's penis. The ring came off. The skin was the bright pink of a newly healed incision. There was no scab left. "This is remarkable. I haven't ever seen healing this fast."

"Kewl, thanks Mitch. I couldn't have done it without your help." Travis said. The boys shared a smile that communicated volumes. Unfortunately it was in a language I couldn't read.

I had noticed that Mitch was asking for his pain pills again, but hadn't thought a lot about that. Now Dr. Turnman and I were looking at Mitch. "Ah, well, I just sort of take some of his hurt, and make it go away from him."

"That's why you started back on the Vicodin?" I asked.

"Yeah, it hurt to walk when my feet and ankles got all red." Mitch added.

Dr. Turnman shook his head, "I wouldn't believe this if I didn't see the proof with my own eyes. Lee, be sure to let Dr. Billings know about this. I remember reading something about psychic healing somewhere, but she probably knows more than I do about it. This is absolutely incredible."

Things moved pretty quickly from here. Travis spent four days in the hospital and everyone was amazed at how quickly he was recovering. Dr. Billings was very interested in what the boys were doing. Travis helped heal Mitch's circumcision to show it could work both ways.

Our schedule was the same each day. We got up each morning, had breakfast, packed up, went and spent the day at the hospital. We left when they kicked us out, about 8:00 at night. The fifth morning Travis was excited when we arrived. "I'm getting out of here today! They are sending me to Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation. Doc Turnman explained it to me and said he would be back to talk with you."

Mitch gave Travis a big hug, "That's such good news."

By lunch time, Travis had been moved to the PT&R Center. He was sharing the room with a sixteen year old boy who had lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. Andy was his name and he was one angry unhappy kid. It seemed to me he needed some pretty heavy duty counseling, besides the prosthetic limb and training. He barely spoke to us at all.

At lunch time they shooed us out and told us we could come visit on Saturday. Basically, they said, we would be a 'distraction' until then. Mitch didn't like that news, but I think we convinced him that if it were what was best for Travis, he would reluctantly agree.

While we waited for Saturday, Mitch continued his studies. I worked the Math and Science and Martha enjoyed the social studies and English. Saturday after lunch, the three of us went to visit Travis. He was very happy to see us. Andy at least said hi, this time, before he turned to face the wall again. We got Travis in his wheelchair and he gave us a tour of the place, pointing out all the interesting highlights. We were in the recreation area when a nurse came over and brought a man up to us.

"Hello, my name is Nick Regnad. I am a private investigator. Mr. Fred Clemets has hired me to check into the backgrounds of your two boys, here."

We shook hands and he joined us. "So far, the biggest connection between the boys I can find, is fire. There are WAY too many similarities in the two fires, for them to be a coincidence. Both used the same brand and grade of gasoline. The fires were started with a propane feed, into the house vents and sparked remotely. There have been a series of fires, using this M.O. And all of them except these, were definitely Mob related."

Both boys were giving Mr. Regnad their complete attention. "I picked the guy out of a bunch of pictures, the FBI guy showed me." Mitch said.

Travis added looking at Mitch, "Yeah, that's the guy!"

Mr. Regnad looked back and forth at the two boys.

"Every Tuesday he would come over when Mommy was gone and my father would make me let him do things to me. He kept making me call him Daddy." Mitch said.

"Oh, fuck, it was Thursday nights for me. I hated calling that shit head Daddy. And it hurt so damn bad every time he fucked my ass." Travis nearly cried at the memories.

"You say Agent Dukman has his picture?" Nick asked, dangerously.

"Yeah, he had a bunch of them and he had me look at them and I pointed him out. He said something about him being the one my father was prostituting." Mitch said.

"Prosecuting." I clarified, for Nick.

"Ah, Lets see, I think I might have a snapshot of him here." He pulled out his digital camera and gave it to Mitch who began viewing the pictures. After about fifteen both boys said in unison, "That's him."

Nick looked at the picture, "Ah, Dr. Dummesel, himself. I never thought I'd be involved in a case this big. Do either of you boys know if your real parents had any problems getting you?"

Mitch said, "I remember Mommy saying something about how it was better having Billy, cause my real Daddy had been important."

Mr. Regnad looked puzzled for a second, "Ah, impotent! Okay, then I have a direction to go, now. I'd like to interview the boys again, sometime, when you feel they can handle it, Mr. Harris."

Travis was watching us very carefully.

Mitch said, "Mr. Regnad could come over to the house and we could talk, couldn't he, Dad? Aunt Martha?"

I looked at Martha, and she was grinning and nodding her head. She met my eyes and there was laughter there. "Mr. Regnad, or can I call you Nick? Why don't you plan to come over tomorrow afternoon, and stay for dinner?"

"That would be very nice, Mrs. Lawrence, would four o'clock be acceptable?" Nick asked.

I nodded and Martha said, "Only if you call me Martha."

"Very good, then I'll see you all tomorrow. It was very nice meeting you," Nick shook my hand. He had a nice warm, firm grip. He then offered his hand to Mitch.

Mitch accepted and shook hands, then he smiled. Travis drew back, so Nick then left. Mitch said to Travis, "We can trust him. He's a good man and he will help us a lot."

"You got all that from that handshake?" I asked.

"Ah..... yeah." he was blushing and looked quite uncomfortable.

"You mean you can't tell about somebody when you touch them?" Travis asked.

"Not that much, anyway." I replied.

"I wish I didn't, Damn it. I could always tell how much the bastard, enjoyed hurting me and how he would kinda explode when he wet himself or on me. That white stuff was gross." Travis explained.

Martha, instead of being offended, pulled Travis from his wheelchair onto her lap and hugged him. He seemed to just melt into her arms. Mitch and I watched as Travis relaxed.

"Wow, Dad he's happy. He hasn't been happy in a very long time." Mitch whispered to me.

"Yes I know and our job is to make him happy and safe, as much as we can." I replied.

Sadly, it wasn't long before the announcement came over the PA, that visiting hours were over. Reluctantly, Martha put Travis back in the chair and wheeled him back towards his room.

When we entered, Travis said, "Hey, Andy, we're back."

Andy mumbled something and turned away again.

Mitch said, "Travis, is he like that all the time?"

"Yeah, pretty much. He really has it tough. Lost his leg and he hasn't had any visitors or calls. You guys call twice a day at least and he hasn't had a single one all week."

Andy remained facing the wall. He gave no indication that he heard anything we said.

Martha gave Travis a hug and Mitch followed. I went to him and asked softly, "You ready for a hug from me, Son?"

His look was all the answer I needed. I was not going to force myself on a kid that feared even touching me. I gently patted his shoulder and we left. At the desk, we were told Travis's rehabilitation schedule and that after tomorrow, it would be a week until we could see him again.

On the way home, we discussed Travis and his progress and how well he was doing. We then, talked about tomorrow and Martha suggested that Mitch and I go visit and she would stay home and prepare a nice dinner for our guest.

The next morning, Mitch, Martha and I attended the early service at the Presbyterian Church. I dropped Martha off, back at the house and Mitch and I headed back to the Rehabilitation Center. Travis was waiting and Andy was facing the wall. He didn't respond when we talked to him. We spent a few hours with Travis and by the time we left he let me give him a hug. When I released him he looked at me questioningly.

I thought I knew what was on his mind so I said, "That's right, Travis, I don't want that stuff from you. I just want to love you like a father should love his son."

He nodded and smiled at me. I felt like I had just seen a major breakthrough.

I was surprised when we arrived home to see Linda's car in the drive. When we entered the house it smelled heavenly. I went directly to the kitchen and there was Linda up to her elbows in flour and dough. Martha was giving her instructions on bread making.

I checked the oven and there was a large pork roast baking. On the stove top, were sour kraut, broccoli, and potatoes, for mashed potatoes? Martha and Linda were making yeast rolls and an apple crisp was prepared and waiting to be baked.

I couldn't resist, "What no baked beans?"

Linda glared at me and Martha mumbled something about having raised three boys and not being crazy.

I beat a hasty retreat, before I was floured and popped into the oven. Mitch and I changed into more comfortable clothes then went into the dining room and set the table. Then we straightened the den. When we finished that chore, Mitch turned on the PS2 and started zapping space zombies.

At four o'clock sharp the doorbell rang. I answered it and showed Nick to the den. I offered to fix him a drink, he just wanted a coke. I went to get it from the kitchen. When I returned, Mitch had turned off the PS2 and was explaining to Mr. Regnad how we had found Travis. I stood there and listened for a minute. Nick was great; he led Mitch with questions and let him be the hero of the story. I was also surprised at just how much Mitch knew about what had happened. I guess I needed reminding just how very smart a nine year old could be.

I entered and handed Nick his glass of Coke, and was soon in the conversation with Nick and Mitch. I too forgot that this was a fact gathering interview. Martha and Linda entered and announced that dinner would be ready in about thirty minutes. Soon they were explaining where they fit into the picture.

Martha went back into the kitchen, to mash the potatoes and we were soon sitting down to a marvelous feast. Our dinner conversation was about some of the cases Mr. Regnad had been involved in. Nick recalled, with some humor, that he had been involved, many years ago in that terrible Anselmo Peddaraskie case in Los Angeles.

"Yeah, Sgt. Bradshaw is still pissed at me over that. Every year at Christmas, he sends me a pickle." Nick grinned.

He had been very important in the case last summer in the next county about the crooked sheriff. It was the evidence Nick had collected that resulted in the sheriff receiving the sentence that he deserved. Linda joked that a friendly judge didn't hurt.

"Yeah, a friendly judge didn't hurt a young kid get a bad marriage annulled after two years either." I commented. We all laughed because the friendly judge was Linda's brother.

"I wasn't that young, Nick, I married Jerry Thompson right after we graduated from college. He was an economics major and I was a sociology major. I started working for the State, working my butt off to save children. Jerry got more and more disgusted with my leaving at all hours, "just to save a damned snot nosed kid", and not being around for him to have his way with me and to wash his socks. I was never sure which of those bothered him more. My brother explained to him that an annulment would be far less costly to him, than my suing for divorce."

"He had been running around on Linda for a while, and I had seen him several times with young 'ladies'," I said, gritting my teeth. "I told Linda about it. I guess it wasn't really a surprise to you, was it?"

"Not at all, I had known he was doing everyone that would lie down for two minutes, for quite a while, which was one of the reasons I had not given him anything to speak of for some time. I had no intention of getting a nasty disease from him." she snapped.

"Judge James Kelper is your brother? Well that explains a lot. I wondered how those adoptions I worked on, for Mr. Clemets went through so quickly. So how do you fit in with Mr. Harris?" Nick asked.

Linda smiled, "I've known Lee since grade school. We even went to the same college, but he was a (fakes a gag) Math Major."

"Hey, be nice or no desert." I threatened. We all laughed.

After desert, which was out of this world, Nick, Mitch and I went back into the den. Nick said, "Mitch you have been a great help today. I may want to talk some more but I have all I need for now."

"Aren't you going to ask a bunch of stuff about the fire?" Mitch asked.

"No, not at this time anyway. Inspector Brown is working that case and I try to stay out of active cases as much as possible. I have a feeling though, that Agent Dukman, the damned idiot, and I may be on a collision course. He has his own idea of what the rules should be, but he is far too stupid to get it right. I can only hope his bungling doesn't screw it up for the rest of us." Nick shook our hands and left, saying his good byes to the ladies in the kitchen. Linda thanked him, and Martha hugged him, and told him she was glad he was on the case, and he blushed a shade of red, I had never seen before.

Pretty soon, Martha and Linda joined us in the den. Linda spoke up, "Lee, I know you have quite a bit to handle, what with Travis's situation and all, but Martha seems to think you can handle it."

"Why do I feel like I've been had?" I asked the room in general.

"Because you have?" Linda answered. "Really, though, what I would like to ask, is would you be willing to take Andy, when he is released from rehab?"

"Andy? Travis's roommate? The kid hasn't said word one to us. I don't think he's said much to Travis either." I told her.

"That's true. Dr. Billings has taken him on, Pro Bono."

"I don't know, he really isn't communicating." I repeated.

"Well, Travis is getting him to talk a little, and Lisa would like to keep them together. On top of that, he has nowhere else to go. In the motorcycle accident where he lost his lower leg, his father was killed. His mother died when he was young, from some sort of cancer. We have not been able to find any other family." Linda told us, and, although she tried to hide it, I saw tears welling up in her eyes.

Mitch hugged me and said, "We gotta, do it Dad. He needs us." Ginger whined and Max howled from outside. Martha smiled and nodded.

Yup, I'd been had, but it felt very right, somehow.

Monday morning was quite eventful. Special Agent Dukman came to interrogate Mitch again. I sat quietly while he asked his questions. When he started fishing for details of the sexual abuse, I almost stepped in, but Mitch didn't seem very upset. He said, matter-of-factly, "I didn't want any of that. I had to do it or be beaten. I know that, because I did refuse once, and was beaten half senseless. The fat Bas....sorry, I mean guy, that wanted me to call him 'Daddy' knew how to really hurt me and not leave any bruises. He would stick things in my butt and squeeze my peter till it hurt like hell. He said he would put his dick in me, soon. I really didn't want that, and then there was the fire, so I was safe from the fu...Oh, I'm sorry, I almost said fucker, Oh shit I said it, but Travis wasn't so lucky." Dukman seemed to run out of questions at that and soon left. I managed to keep a straight face and didn't say a word about his language, just went and gave him a huge hug.

Next, I got a call from the Rehabilitation Center. The burn specialist was very excited about Travis's progress. He said he had been surprised that Travis was on a low dose of morphine and now he was backing off that to oral Vicodin and Demerol. He said the burns were healing faster than he had ever seen. He had thought it would take months for Travis to be ready to come home, but now, it looked like maybe two weeks. He said God was at work, and this was as close to a miracle as he had ever seen.

Mitch was definitely excited by the news.

Martha wanted us to go grocery shopping, then, to get what we needed for our Thanksgiving feast. From the amount of things we bought, it sure looked like it was certainly going to be a feast. We loaded the cart with the usual turkey and all the fixings, sweet potatoes, dark brown sugar, cranberry sauce, (Mitch insisted that we get the jellied kind, without the 'nasty bumps' in it), green beans, cream of mushroom soup and French fried onions, a bag of flour, yeast, five pounds of real honest to God butter, and a couple of loaves of bread, for the stuffing. Mitch had his own ideas, as well, for a Thanksgiving feast. There were graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows that he had put in. I sneaked in several bags of chocolate chips (NO FISH OIL).

After unloading the groceries and filling the freezer, we had lunch. Then it was time for Mitch to work on his lessons. When we were finished he asked if it was cold enough to build a fire in the fireplace. I, of course, knew why he wanted a fire. I had to smile, as I told him to go get some wood and kindling. He whooped and was off like a shot.

We soon had a nice fire going and it was hard to make Mitch wait to do his s'mores. Finally there was a nice bed of coals and I produced a BBQ fork for each of us to toast our marshmallows with. Martha joined us and we had a wonderful time ruining our appetites for dinner.

Tuesday was pretty uneventful.

Wednesday the local paper had headlines about the Chairman of the school board calling kids names. I was sure glad we lived in another county and were home schooling. I read the article and one of the boys involved was the son of the guy that now owned Haven Enterprises. I had to wonder if the Chairman of the school board had any idea what he had started, or was he just stupid. Having grown up in this area I knew the Chairman was a cousin to that dimwit sheriff that ended up in jail. So just stupid was my guess.

I had just finished reading the paper when I got a phone call from some guy from Haven Enterprises, wanting to know if I was interested in joining some home school group. I said I'd think about it but wouldn't be able to until after the first of the year. He said that would be fine and he would call me back.

Now that was an interesting coincidence. The chairman of the school board was really STUPID. It seemed to me, Richards was once again getting his kids out of harm's way, so they could dismantle the whole rotten system. I could see it happening. Damn, I sure wanted to be a part of this. I wondered what I could do, though, with this bum back of mine. Oh well that's another story, maybe I'll get into it later.

I heard Mitch give a whoop in the kitchen and come running into the den with Ginger close behind. He did a flying leap onto the arm of my chair and then wrapped his arms around my neck in a wonderful hug. He had learned early that he couldn't just leap into my lap, but the chair was fair game. Ginger jumped up next to me, then curled up onto my lap. Her little paws missed the important targets. She looked up at me and I think she was smiling.

"Hey, Dad. I finished my lessons with Aunt Martha. She said if we did yours then after lunch she would help me make some real chocolate chip cookies. She promises no fishy taste! So can we do them now, huh, Pleeeaaaaasssseeeeee?"

How could I resist that, a kid wanting to do math? I told him, "Get the CD on the coffee table and put it in your computer. Now do the lessons with today's date. I'm right here if you have questions." He loved it when I did the lessons on the computer. I tried to make it like the computer was teaching him, and he could carry on a 'conversation' with it. He had even named the computer 'Philip,' when I asked him why that name, he said 'because it was the computer's name.' God, kids are wonderful, I hoped he would always have that rich imagination.

That afternoon, the house was full of the wonderful smell of cookies baking. They were delicious and not a trace of fish. Mitch brought me a plate and he had chocolate smeared around his mouth. I didn't even want to know how many nice warm cookies it took to get that look.

About three thirty I got a call from the rehabilitation center. They said Travis was doing very well and was cleared for an overnight visit Saturday night. I asked about Andy and was told he wasn't quite ready, yet. I was told to come early Saturday and they would fill us in on how to care for Travis for the weekend.

Mitch reminded me of the Scout meeting, tonight. He came to dinner in his uniform, subtle, the kid was subtle. Later at the meeting, Mr. Little and I got to talking, I mentioned having Travis's twin brother in the rehabilitation center. During the conversation, I mentioned Andy Rolyat. I thought I had said something wrong by the shocked reaction I got.

"Andy is in Rehab? After his accident it was like he disappeared. The hospital wouldn't give us any information because; we weren't family, so we couldn't visit. We assumed he had gone with other family members." Mike Little said.

"He has no other family. As a matter of fact he will be coming to live with me when he is released." I told him.

"Can we visit?" The Scoutmaster asked.

"Oh, that would be wonderful. He hasn't talked to anyone since we have been there. You would be just the medicine he needs. I think he is feeling abandoned," I told him.

"Well he certainly wasn't. I'll clear that up. He was, I mean is, one of my best Scouts, I certainly don't want to loose him. He was Den Chief for the first year Webelos. That should work out well, so he will be working with your boys. I'll call some boys and see what we can pull together for him this weekend."

We discussed the visitor's hours; what Andy was going through, and what he had yet to do. I told Mr. Little, that Andy's prosthetic leg had come in, but he hadn't even looked at it, let alone tried it on. It was still in its packing box.

At the end of the meeting, Mitch was quite excited about having completed more requirements towards his activity pins, and he said he only had a couple more to do, on a two of them.

On Friday, Martha spent the day baking; taking the time today to turn out tons of tremendously tempting and tantalizing treats for Travis to taste and treasure at the table at tea time tomorrow. (Sorry about that, no I'm not, tough to top that.) Mitch and I did her the favor of being her official taste testers. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it, so both of us made the sacrifice. By the time she was finished, there were cakes, pies and cookies everywhere. The only thing missing at that point was our appetites for dinner that night. We managed to find room for sandwiches later though; Travis was really in for a treat, if Martha could keep Mitch and I away from them till he had a chance at them. I saw her looking for a padlock for the kitchen door. After dinner Mitch went to his room and after an hour or so he called me. I went back.

"Dad, see I got the room all fixed up for Travis. I pushed the bed over so there is room for his wheelchair. I changed the sheets and cleaned up the bathroom. I even made some room in my dresser for his stuff." Mitch was so excited about having Travis come home.

"I think he will be thrilled with it. We'll find out if he wants separate beds or if sharing is okay with him, and then we will need to get him his own dresser. I think for this visit we could bring the old TV in here for you guys and you can bring the PS2 back here, but Sunday night it goes." I told him.

"Way cool, Dad. Where is the old TV you're talking about. Can I carry it or do we need help?"

"I think the two of us can handle it. It's the one in my bedroom. Clean off the top of the dresser then come over and help me carry it."

Martha had been passing by, at just the wrong moment, it seemed.

"You'll do no such thing, Raymond Lee Harris, Mitch and I will carry it. If you hurt your back doing something stupid like that, Mister Super Hero, you'll get no sympathy from me. That's for sure." She punctuated it with her loving smile, though, so I just nodded and let her and Mitch do it. I knew when I was out gunned, and of course she was all too right. After all, that was one of the reasons I needed to have someone else there, to help lift the things I wasn't supposed to pick up.

'Damn, she sounded just like my mom, and...wait a minute, how did she find out my first name?' I thought. No one has called me that since my mom did that, that time I was thirteen, and I had that medical problem after doing that certain thing so much, but that's another story. I'll let someone else get into that one.

Mitch giggled and swept the stuff from the top of his dresser, into the top drawer. Then he raced by me, into my bedroom to help Martha get the TV into his room. He then grabbed the PS2, unhooked it from the big TV and soon had it set up in his room. When it was bed time, he climbed up in my chair with me. "Dad? Can I sleep with you tonight, so I don't mess up our bed and it will be nice for Travis?"

Martha smiled at his question. I nodded, "Of course you can, son. Just try not to kick me out in the middle of the night."

"Dad, you're weird, but I love you." He kissed me then Martha and he and Ginger disappeared down the hall.

"Lee, you are a natural father. The boys are so lucky to have you in their lives." Martha told me.

I blushed and didn't have a come-back. I felt like I was the lucky one.

At five o'clock Saturday morning, I awoke to the world shaking. No it was just Mitch. He was excited and wanted to go get Travis. I explained,"Son, we have to wait until eight o'clock."

Mitch told me, "That really sucks. Opps, sorry Dad."

I laughed and we got up. After my shower, I went to make a pot of coffee for Martha and me. Ginger was scratching to come back in. Max was right there by the door, wagging his tail and looking excited about something. It was almost like he knew something big was happening.

Martha came into the kitchen and started our breakfast, French toast and bacon. Mitch was not happy with how slowly time was passing, although, of course, it didn't affect his ability to consume his weight in food.

Finally, I gave in, and we headed for the rehabilitation center. Martha had brought along a plastic container full of my chocolate chip cookies, for Andy. I was a good boy and didn't whimper or sulk...much. We arrived just before eight and the nurse was ready for us. She took fifteen minutes to go over everything with us and check us out with the different medications, to make sure we knew how to care for Mitch's feet. She was so excited about his progress and told us that they would be measuring his feet for special support shoes early next week.

We finally got to go to Travis's room. He and Andy were talking when we entered. I waved and said, "Hi, Andy."

He grumbled something and faced the wall.

Mitch and Travis stared at each other, then Mitch whispered to me, "Andy is still pretty mad, and feeling all alone."

As Martha and Mitch were getting Travis ready, I took the box of cookies over to Andy. I laid it on his lap. "We brought you some homemade cookies. I'm hoping you will be happy, coming home with us, when you are released."

His head shot around and he stared at me. "You? Why?"

"Sure. Well, for one thing, we have the room, and for another thing, the doctors think you and Travis are good for each other." I said.

"I don't deserve it." Andy said.

Martha advanced across the room like Macarthur across the Philippines. "Now you listen to me, young man," she boomed, "you stop that kind of talk right now. Now, I baked these cookies yesterday and they are good, just ask Mitch; he ate about a hundred of them. Now, where is your new leg the nurse told us about?"

He pointed to the closet, opened the box and took a cookie. He nibbled a little. Paused and then took a big bite. Martha grinned. "My chocolate chip cookies work every time." I grinned. Andy didn't respond other than taking another cookie.

Martha retrieved the long thin box from the closet. "My," she said, "this is so much better than that thing you had on last week. Come on, son, let's get you dressed, and ready for you visitors."

"I ain't gonna have no visitors. Nobody gives a crap about me, no more." He cried, making his usual move to turn to face the wall.

"Well, that is just not true." Martha snapped at him, "In the first place, we care about you, so your premise falls to pieces from the start, but we certainly are not the only ones who care about you.

Martha wouldn't let him turn to the wall this time. She had his pajama top off of him and had Mitch retrieve his clothes. Before he knew what was happening, he was dressed in a clean T-shirt and jeans. Martha had his prosthesis on him and, his tennis shoes were neatly tied. She neatly fixed his hair and kissed him lightly on his cheek. He looked like a different boy. As he sat there you would never know his left ankle and foot were not real.

Travis looked at Andy, "That is great Andy. I bet you'll be ready for school and all, real soon, huh?"

Andy just looked at his feet and shook his head. I am sure I wasn't supposed to see the tears that welled up in his eyes, as we turned to leave.

"Well, we got to go, now, you take care, Bro. See ya tomorrow." Travis said.

As we left, I saw Andy put his legs back on the bed, and he gave us a little smile and a wave.

Travis was all eyes, as we got to Martha's van. We soon had him buckled in, with Mitch sitting right next to him, with his arm around Travis. He was very quiet, as we drove home. I heard him sigh, as we passed the road that would have taken him to his old house, it was certainly never a home. Mitch grabbed his brother into a hug, as tightly as he could, without hurting him, "Don't worry, Trav, you will NEVER have to go back to a place like that, ever again. I promise."

"Thanks, bro." Was Travis's reply. The two twins held each other the whole rest of the trip. When we pulled up to the house, Max was barking, which was unusual for him. We got Travis into his chair, and wheeled him in the house. I hadn't really needed the ramp to the front door before, but it sure was handy today. Ginger greeted us and made a big deal over Travis, but she eventually returned to Mitch's side, with her tail moving like a living propeller. We showed Travis around the house and ended in his and Mitch's bedroom.

"Wow, this is your room?"

"No, silly, it's our room."

"You're willing to share a room with me, after all the stuff I've done, really?"

I pulled Travis's chair around and knelt down in front of him. "Travis, you haven't done anything wrong, sweetheart. You were forced to do many things, but you had no control over that. Your brother loves you, and sharing the room was HIS idea."

"Yeah, we're twins and we share everything, besides I love you, silly"

Martha and I left the room to let them work it out. We made a pot of coffee and Martha started working her kitchen magic for lunch. Ginger came into the kitchen and wanted out.

I opened the door and Max barged passed me into the house, something he had never done before. I gave chase, and Martha scolded me about leaving the door open and letting the cold in. She must have closed it herself though, cause it was closed, and I know I didn't think to do it.

Max made a bee line for the boys' room. I was terrified he would knock Travis out of his chair. I needn't have worried. I entered the room and Mitch was sitting up on the bed, Travis was wide eyed, staring at Max, and Max was sitting next to Travis, looking, for all the world, to be guarding HIS boy.

I went to get Max, and as I reached for his collar, he emitted a low throaty rumbling growl. I had never heard a sound like that come from him before. I could tell he was serious. Then Max licked Travis's hand.

"Oh my God," Travis gasped. "That was...was...something. It was almost like the first time we touched, Mitch." Travis stared into Max's eyes and began petting him. "I choose you, too."

This was totally weird; Max had never acted like this with Mitch.

Travis said, "You scared me, doggy. I thought you were a big old white horse when you fist ran in here."

My dream flashed through my memory. I said to Max, "Okay, you can stay, Max, but one accident and out you go. Oh, and you need a bath if you're going to live with us, in here."

Max actually nodded his head, and whined at the mention of a bath. He then put his paws on the arms of Travis's chair and licked him again, good and proper this time. He really likes you Travis. He has never been that friendly with anyone before. I think he is going to be your friend.

Mitch introduced them, "Travis this is Max, he's the one that found you and took us to rescue you.

* * * Meanwhile at the Rehabilitation Center * * *

Andy was sitting on his bed admiring how good the permanent prosthesis looked. There was a knock on the door and he looked up. It was Nick Stokely the Senior Patrol Leader from his Scout Troop.

"Hey, Andy?"

"Nick? What in the world are you doing here?"

"Duh. Coming to visit my friend." Nick pulled up a chair. "Man we were so worried about you. It was like you just disappeared. We all went to your Dad's funeral, but nobody knew anything about you. Then one of the Cub Scout dads told Mr. Little where you were. Let me tell you I am sure glad we found you. So what's happening, obviously the rumor about you losing a leg is wrong."

Andy was overwhelmed; the Scouts had been trying to find him? They had gone to his Dad's funeral for him. Could it be they actually cared about him? "Oh, God, Nick...So much has happened, he pulled up his pants leg to show him it was prosthesis. Oh shit, I'm sorry..." He began to cry.

Nick went to Andy and hugged him. "It's okay, dude. You've been through Hell. Just know that we all love you. We're all brothers in Scouting, remember. We all want to have you back in Scouts and School and all."

As Andy got himself under control, there was a commotion in the hallway, and about half of the Richards clan entered. Moe, the youngest ran to Andy, "Andy, Andy! We missed you. When you coming back, we really want you back!"

Neal, the Patrol Leader of the new boy patrol, came forward, "Hi Andy. I hope you're feeling better," he gave Andy a card that was signed by all the boys from Haven. Andy was speechless; all he could do was hug each boy as they came forward.

For the entire day, Scout after Scout came to visit. By the time visitor's hours were over, every member of Troop 316 had come and spent some time with Andy, except Mr. Little and his son Matt. Somehow Andy knew they would be by tomorrow.

End Note:

There we have it. Travis has made it home for the first time. Max has moved inside. I wonder if the bed is big enough for both boys and dogs. Andy has some more problems, but hopefully the Scouts have helped him begin the healing process. I wonder if I can get invited to Thanksgiving dinner, yum.

If you are interested try going to FIRE is posted there before here on Nifty. Also my other stories are there too.

Let me know what you think.

Editor's Note:

If Mitch thinks time was passing slowly, I'm editing one of DarkStar's stories; I think he is up to chapter 185 in the story, it's still the same CENSORED afternoon, not counting the cross-overs and the 42 multi chapter flashbacks. Of course the story has been on hold for six months, until the other story he is doing a cross over with is ready with its next chapter. This is taking longer than the CENSORED court scene.

Now I have to send this to the world's most talented dragon, 'Goos' to edit out the mistakes I missed, or made. He has my commas, he's invented a new game called 'catch the boo-boo.' (TSL's not going to like that, Yogi. Yeah, I know, hand me Aunt Martha's pic-a-nic basket)

Darryl aka Radio Rancher

Fort Chief Editor's Notes:

Things are getting very interesting for Lee, Mitch and now Travis. Agent Dukman is a ??? I am not sure if I can find a word to describe him. Lee seems to have been infected with AAKD and it looks incurable. This story keeps getting more and more interesting with every chapter. Please keep up the great work St8mayb.