Sierra Inn

Written by Mark The Goodpen

By now I'm sure you know the drill, so I won't bore you with another disclaimer to ignore.

Thank you to everyone who has e-mailed their feedback on this story. You're e-mails let me know I should keep the Sierra Inn in business.

Feedback is always welcome at

My Other Story on Nifty:
Wanting Perfection (Gay Male Adult/Youth)


Sierra Inn
Chapter 22

My parents and I stand in shock, after hearing what Brian said.  I watch, with bated breath, for what my parent's reactions will be.  I remember Dad's skepticism when Brian had started calling me dad, I hope now it will not be so easy for him to be quite as skeptical.  I see Dad's face seemingly frozen in shock for a moment, before his mouth widens into a large grin.  Mom just stares at Brian, a some what blank expression on her face, before I see tears start to form in her eyes.

"You're very welcome," Dad says finally, as he wraps his right arm around Brian's shoulders and gives him a tight squeeze.
"Are you okay?" Brian asks Mom, as Dad releases him from the hug.
"I'm more than okay," Mom says.  "I'm just very happy that you would call me that."
"You're welcome," Brian says, with a large grin on his face.  "Grandma," he adds as he gives Mom a hug.

"That is a very special boy," Dad tells me as we walk towards the parking lot, Brian and Mom following behind us.
"I know," I say with pride.  "He's full of surprises."
"Well I don't usually like surprises," Dad says.  "But that one I liked very much."
"Dad, I'm going to make this work," I say.  Mom may have been the one that actually questioned me earlier, but I know those same questions are lingering in Dad's mind as well.
"Kevin, I know you are," Dad says.  "I see the difference in Brian, from when you first introduced us.  He seems genuinely happy.  And while I didn't always understand why you were doing what you are I know you're going to do your best to make it work.  You've already shown that."
"Thanks," I say, with a little smile.

Brian and I say goodbye to my parents in the parking lot.  I still can not totally believe what Brian did, but I am very glad he did it.  

"I think I surprised them," Brian says with a grin after we have gotten into the car.
"I'd say you did," I say, with a little chuckle as I back out of my parking spot.

The drive back to our apartment after that is silent except for the radio.  Brian seems to lapse back into a state of reflection and I keep playing the scene in the food court over and over in my mind.  When we get home, I help Brian get all of his new clothes hung up in his closet and that is when my cell phone rings.

"Hello, Kevin it's Doris," I hear on the other end of the phone.
"Oh, hi," I say, as I quickly step out of Brian's room and go into my bedroom, shutting the door behind me.
"Kevin, I'm sorry but I don't think I'll be able to have you and Brian over tomorrow," Doris says.
"Doris, if it's too much to cook, I can pick you up and we can go out to eat," I say.
"No, I have something's I need to get done for my friend," Doris says.  "I will be busy all day."
"Well, how about we meet for dinner?' I ask, trying desperately to avoid hurting Brian again like last week.
"Kevin, tomorrow just isn't going to work," Doris says.  "I know Brian will understand.  I'll talk to you soon," she says.
"Doris..." I start, but it's too late, she's already hung up the phone.

I put my cell phone back in my pocket and with a deep breath go back into Brian's room to break the news to him.  When I get into his room he is sitting on the side of his bed facing the closet.

"Grandma doesn't want to see me tomorrow," he says, his tone and the words that come out of his mouth are like knives stabbing my heart.
"Brian, she's just..."
"I know, she's busy," Brian interrupts me, looking down at the ground.
"Hey kiddo, tell you what," I say, desperately wanting to cheer him up.  "Why don't you and I do something special tonight?"
"Like what?" he asks, looking up at me, as I stand near the end of the bed.
"Well how about going to that Mexican place we went to a couple of weeks ago for dinner, and then I don't know maybe heading over to Castles and Coasters?" I ask, referring to a local amusement park with rides, miniature golf and an arcade.
"Really?" Brian asks, sounding surprised.
"Yeah," I say.  "It's been a while since I had a night out.  So what do you think?"
"Cool," Brian says, a little smile coming to his face.
"Then it's a date," I say with a little chuckle.

Brian spends the rest of the afternoon playing on the computer as I park myself on the couch and watch television.  I think about what Dad said about how far Brian has come.  I think about last night and how Brian had finally allowed himself to be emotional about his time on the streets.  The strides he has made, and continues to make absolutely amazes me.  I would like to take credit for some of it, but I have to give him most, if not all of the credit.  When we first met he seemed like a scared little boy, one who didn't trust the people around him as far as he could spit.  I couldn't help but feel sorry for him.  But now, he has shown his strength as well as his vulnerability.  As far as I am concerned he shows strength every time he gets out of bed in the morning and faces what has to be a boat load of horrible memories.  He's shown his vulnerability in being able to cry about what has happened in his short life.  But he had the strength to allow himself to trust again, and I am honored to be the one he trusts that much.

His resilience, his strength have shown brightly and are things that only makes me love him more.  But he was showing those things long before our paths ever crossed.  I don't know how many kids could have lived through the type of night when he lost his parents, and still functioned at all.  He has found away, to not only keep on functioning but thrive.  Maybe it is because he had no choice, but he seems to have an ability to adjust to new situations and find a way to make things work. In the past the only thing I have been proud of has been the Sierra Inn.  I never had any other person to be proud of, and too much of the time I was being too critical even to be proud of myself.  But now, I am so proud of Brian it almost hurts.  I feel like climbing on top of Mt. Everest and shouting to the world how special of a human being Brian is.  I think he deserves it.

"Dad I'm hungry," Brian tells me shaking me from my thoughts, as he turns around on his stool he is sitting on to play on the computer at the breakfast bar.
"Okay then, let's go eat," I say, looking at my watch and realizing it is already five o'clock.

We head to my favorite Mexican restaurant and are quickly seated in a booth in the back corner of the place.  Already knowing what I want, I watch Brian read the menu as though he is studying for the SAT's.  His brow is furrowed, as he looks up and down the long menu.  He looks up at me, catching me staring at him he gives me that sly smirk of his before going back to concentrating on the menu.  A few minutes pass before the waiter comes and takes our orders.

"Brian, that was very nice what you said this afternoon," I say.
"I didn't mean to make her cry," Brian says.
"Well I think she was crying because she was happy," I say, with a smile.
"That's what I thought," Brian says.  "Is it okay that I called them Grandpa and Grandma? I mean is it okay with you?"
"It's more than okay," I say, quickly.  "Brian do you understand that you're part of the family now?"
"Yeah," Brian says a little hesitantly.
"What's wrong?" I ask, picking up on his hesitation.
"But what if..." his voice trails off.  "What if the CPS guy says I can't live with you anymore?" Brian asks.
"It's not going to happen," I say, maybe a little more confidently than I should.  "Brian, you're with me for good, I promise you that.  Mr. Lofton isn't like your old social worker.  He's going to make sure that you stay with me.  So don't worry about that.  Okay?"
"K," Brian says, nodding his head slightly.  "Dad, I love you."
"I love you too, angel," I say, with a smile.

Brian begins to tell me about things that had happened during the week at school, he had forgotten to tell me before.  Mainly he talks about the games of basketball he and Ethan play at lunch.  I have noticed over the last week or so that Ethan seems to be popping up in the conversation more and more.  I can't help but think that Brian might be feeling something more for Ethan than just friendship.  My gaydar doesn't exactly extend to people Brian and Ethan's age, after all I wouldn't have guessed in a million years Brian leaned that way.  But in the little interaction I had with Ethan he seemed to be as straight as they come.  I just hope that Brian isn't setting himself up for disappointment.  When the food comes the conversation ends and I let my mind go blank for once as I just enjoy my meal.

After we finish eating we head to the amusement park.  Brian immediately heads for the arcade, and proceeds to thoroughly beat me in almost every game they have.  Fortunately for me, and my stomach Brian has no interest in the roller coaster, or really any ride.  Instead we stay in the arcade for awhile before heading out to play a round of miniature golf and I finally win at something.  Brian wears a smile almost the entire time we are at the park, in fact I don't think I have ever seen him seem so relaxed.  And as we return our golf clubs and balls the night out seems to be serving as the distraction from Doris's rejection I had hoped it would be.

"Dad," Brian says after we have returned our golf equipment.
"Yeah kiddo."
"Can we go back to the arcade?" he asks.
"Sure," I say.  "But I'm down to my last ten dollars," I say thinking I should have gotten more money out of the ATM.
"Cool," Brian says.  "Thanks, for bringing me here," he says as we start making our way back to the arcade.
"You're very welcome," I say, with a smile.

We spend the next hour in the arcade, and again Brian beats me at everything.  It is only when the park starts to close at midnight at that we head to the car.

"Did you have fun?" I ask as we drive out of the parking lot.  I already know the answer but I just want to hear Brian say it.
"Yeah," Brian says, enthusiastically.
"You must be tired, after all the kicking of my butt you did back there," I say, with a smile.
"No, that was easy," Brian says with a giggle.
"Thanks," I say, not being able to help but laugh myself.

Saturday night turns into Sunday morning, and after sleeping in Brian and I head for the skate park.  I am relieved at how well Brian seems to be doing, he doesn't seem to be depressed about not being able to go to Doris's as I had expected him to be.  We spend most of the morning there, then go to see a movie in the afternoon.  Brian doesn't mention Doris once throughout the day, and I quickly get the impression that what was depression last week has turned into anger this week.  When Monday morning comes, I drop Brian off at school and head back to the Sierra Inn to begin what looks to be a very long week.  When I get to the motel I immediately go back to my office and start working.  After an hour of pounding at responding to all the e-mails that had come in over the weekend Laura comes into the office.

"Kevin there's someone here to see you," she says, her voice sounding a little concerned.
"Who is it?" I ask, looking up from my computer screen.
"It's Julie Harden," Laura says.
"What?" I ask, in shock.  "Why would she..."
"Hello, Mr. Wasdin," Julie says, having come back to my office on her own.
"What are you doing here?" I ask, a little angrily.
"I believe we have some business to discuss," Julie says.  "There has been some developments I believe you need to be aware of."
"I'll be out front, if you need me Kevin," Laura says, before leaving my office.
"What kind of developments?" I ask.
"I have filed a complaint against, CPS," Julie says.  "They had no right to fire me.  There is a mediation meeting at the end of the week."
"Okay," I say.  "I don't understand what that has to do with..."
"Mr. Wasdin, if I win this mediation case, which I will," Julie says.  "I will get my old job back and when I do, I am going to get all the cases I had before."
"I don't think that's going to..."
"It's going to happen," Julie says.  "CPS didn't follow proper procedure when firing me, they are going to have no choice but to let me back in.  And when they do, I will be Brian's social worker again.  And I have already lined up a very nice couple who is just dying to meet him.  I am sure they will make very good parents."
"What?" I ask.  "This isn't possible, you can't just get a job you've been fired from back."
"You can, when the people that fired you didn't follow proper procedure," Julie says.  "Mr. Wasdin, if I were you I would start packing Brian's things.  He is going to be moving by the end of next week."
"He isn't moving anywhere," I respond quickly.  "I have already filed the papers for adoption, Bill Lofton is processing them as we speak."
"Nothing has been made final yet, and wouldn't be for at least a few months still," Julie says, smugly.  "You are still going to need Brian's social worker to sign off on the adoption and by that time I will be Brian's social worker again.  And I'll give one guess as to what I am not going to do."
"I'll believe this when I see it," I say, as I stand up behind my desk.  "I am going to adopt Brian, if I have to fight in every court there is.  And nobody, I mean nobody is going to stop me," I say, angrily.
"You believe what you want," Julie says.  "Call Bill Lofton, he'll tell you the same things I just have.  He'll probably be the first one in line, coming to my defense.  My getting my job back will relieve him of half his work load.  The poor guy has been overworked the last couple of weeks.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to meet with my lawyer.  You have a nice day, Mr. Wasdin.  I'll be speaking with you soon."

And with that she turns and leaves my office.  Without even really letting myself think about what Julie has just told me I quickly call Mr. Lofton and tell him what Julie has just told me.

"Kevin, I honestly don't know what she's talking about," Mr. Lofton says, sounding genuinely confused.  "There is no way once somebody has been fired that they would get their old job back.  Someone could file a wrongful termination suit, but even that wouldn't get them their old position back."
"So what she just said isn't true?" I ask, nervously.
"I don't see how it can be," Mr. Lofton says.  "Let me call my supervisor, she would know if there is any type of mediation case scheduled for this week.  Hold on one second I'll get her on my other line."

I am nervous, but not as much as I would be if I was dealing with anyone other than Julie Harden.  I don't really believe a word that comes out of her mouth, and even though her tone was quite convincing, what she was saying just wasn't believable.  I wait impatiently for Mr. Lofton to come back on the line hoping that my instinct not to believe Julie is right.

"Kevin, take a deep breath," Mr. Lofton says.  "There is no mediation scheduled for this week."
"Thank you," I say, with a big sigh of relief.
"But I am concerned about why Julie would say something like that," Mr. Lofton says.  "Have you told anyone at Brian's school about what is going on with her?"
"No, I haven't," I say.  "But Brian knows not to go with her anyway."
"Well I'm hoping the school would know to ask Julie for a badge," Mr. Lofton says.  "But I can't help but be a little concerned that she is going to pull something."
"What should do?" I ask, suddenly becoming concerned myself.
"I'll go down to Brian's school if you give me the address," Mr. Lofton says.  "I'll explain to them what's going on and that under no circumstances does Julie Harden have authorization to take Brian out of school."
"Do you really think she would try to do that?" I ask.
"Kevin honestly, I don't know what that woman is capable of at this point," Mr. Lofton says.  "If you had told me a month ago that she would have done this much I would have never believed it.  I might be over reacting, I'm not sure, but I just think it's better to be safe than sorry."
"I agree," I say.  "Mr. Lofton, is there anyway that Julie could prevent this adoption?" I ask, nervously.
"She has no authority," Mr. Lofton says.  "And frankly the more she claims to be getting it back, the better it is for you if she does try anything.  It means that any judge worth their weight wouldn't give her the time of day.  Kevin, you have done everything right, and despite what many say the system does work.  You will be rewarded for your efforts.  Trust me."
"Thank you," I say, breathing another sigh of relief.
"Well, I'm going to head to Brian's school," Mr. Lofton says.  "Since I'll be in the neighborhood anyway why don't I drop by your motel and we can get this interview out of the way.  Is that okay?"
"That would be fine," I say.  "I'll see you in a little bit then."
"Okay good," Mr. Lofton says.  "And Kevin, remember to breathe."

I hang up the phone, and rub my hands over my face trying to get myself calmed down.  I can't help but worry that Julie is going to try and do something to stop me from adopting Brian.  I worry even more that she will succeed in doing it.  After a couple of minutes pass Laura comes back into my office.

"Is everything okay?" she asks, as she takes a seat on my couch.
"That bitch is crazy," I say shaking my head.
"What did she do?" Laura asks.
"She said she was going to get her job back, and that she was going to be Brian's social worker again," I say, shaking my head slightly.  "She said that she already had a couple lined up who wants to adopt Brian.  I called Mr. Lofton, she isn't getting her old job back.  As far as the other part, I don't know what's going on there."
"Why would she do that?" Laura asks, sounding as confused as me and Mr. Lofton are.
"I have no clue," I say with a shrug.  "But Mr. Lofton said that there's not even a mediation meeting scheduled for Julie to try to get her job back.  I guess it's not even possible for her to do that.  This whole thing just kind of shook me."
"I'm sure it did," Laura says.  "But it sounds like you really don't have anything to worry about anyway.  I mean nobody's going to listen to that woman now, she's made herself look like an absolute psycho."
"I know she has," I say.  "But she just can be so convincing, she just talks with so much authority.  She had me almost believing her and I know she's a psycho."
"Yeah, but you quickly found out the truth," Laura says.  "And people have a way of showing their true colors.  Something tells me at some point Ms. Harden is going to become a little more transparent."
"Laura, I want this so bad," I say, as I start to think about my life with Brian.
"I know you do," Laura says.  "I can tell, and it's going to happen Kevin.  You have done an amazing job with Brian the past few weeks, and any sane person will see that."
"You think so?" I ask.
"No," Laura says, shaking her head.  "I know so.  Kevin, you just keep what doing what you have been doing and you'll see a year from now CPS, social workers, adoption papers they will all be a thing of the past.  And you'll be getting ready to raise a teenager."
"Well there's something to look forward to," I say, with a little smile.
"I'm you'll be just fine," Laura says.  "Well I better be getting back to work.  Are you going to be okay?"
"Yeah, thanks," I say, giving Laura my most confident smile.
"You're welcome," she says, as she gets off the couch.

It takes me a few minutes but eventually I do sink back into my work, and forget as much as I can about Julie's visit.  It's true after all, I have been doing everything I can to show that I am more than capable of adopting Brian, and giving him the love he deserves.  I just have to hope that I have done enough.

An hour passes with me deep into my work, and I actually am able to forget about Julie's visit.  I even forget that Mr. Lofton is coming to conduct the interview until he is actually standing in the doorway of my office.

"Hello Kevin," he says, bringing me back to the real world.
"Oh hi, Mr. Lofton," I say.  "Have a seat."
"Thanks," he says, as he walks over to the couch.  "And stop with the Mr. Lofton stuff, please call me Bill.  There's no need to be so formal with me."
"Oh, okay Mr.....I mean Bill," I say with a little smile.
"I just came from Brian's school," Bill says.  "They know not to allow anybody but you or I to take Brian out of school."
"Great," I say breathing a sigh of relief.
"Kevin, I know it might be hard not to but don't worry too much about Julie," Bill says.  "I can't say that I know what she is hoping to accomplish really but she will have a very hard time getting anybody to pay attention to what she has to say.  And even if they do listen they probably won't believe her at this point."
"Yeah, I'm starting to see that," I say, with a little sigh.
"Okay then," Bill says as he digs through his brief case and pulls out a small packet of paper.  "This interview to me really is a formality but we need to do it none the less.  Just answer each question honestly and then I'll get out of your hair."
"Sounds like a plan," I say, leaning back in my chair slightly.
"Okay, let's see," he says as he turns the first couple of pages in the packet.  "How long have you been considering adoption?" Bill asks officially beginning the interview.
"Honestly," I say, a little hesitantly.  "Since about a day or two after Brian showed up at the front door here.  Before that I was very happy to essentially live in here."
"Brian has lived through some trauma in his life," Bill reads from the paper on his lap.  "How do you intend to help him deal with his past?"
"Well I've tried to make him feel comfortable talking to me about his past," I say.  "And it seems to have been working."
"Would you consider sending him for therapy?" Bill asks, now looking at me.
"If it became apparent that that's what he needed then of course," I say.

As the interview continues, the questions actually become easier to answer.  At times Bill actually nods in agreement with my answers as he writes them down on his paper.  By the end I am actually feeling like I can handle any question Bill can throw at me.

"Well Kevin, that's it," Bill says after I answer his last question.  "See I told you there was nothing to worry about."
"Yeah that wasn't so bad," I say, with a little sigh of relief.  "So what's next?"
"Well I hope you don't mind," Bill says.  "But I'm going to try to push your case through as quickly as I can.  Since Julie was fired I have been buried in cases and there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to get to all of them.  So I need to kind of rush the easy ones through.  And as far as I'm concerned this is an easy one.  I will be contacting your lawyer, and sending all of your paper work onto the family court.  You should have your day in front of a judge in a month or two."
"What happens in court?" I ask.
"They make the adoption official," Bill says, with a smile.  "Usually the process takes a lot longer but like I said, I need to clear some space on my desk.  I hope you don't mind."
"Not at all," I say, with a smile.
"Good," Bill says, returning my smile.  "In the meantime I will be conducting interviews with your family members and friends.  I have to make sure you have a good support system, and there is a lot of legal paper work your lawyer is going to sift through.  But you hired one of the best, so I'm sure that won't be a problem."
"Does that mean..."
"Kevin as far as I'm concerned this adoption is a done deal," Bill answers my question before I could even finish asking it.
"Oh Bill there is one thing I have been wondering about," I say.  "And this might sound kind of weird but I'd like to know."
"Sure," Bill says.  "What is it?"
"Do you know where Brian's parents are buried?" I ask.  "Just incase Brian ever wants to go visit them or something."
"Let's see I have his file here," Bill says pulling out the over stuffed manila folder from his brief case.  "Sometimes they put that information in the file other times they just...oh yes here it is, Forest Lawn in Scottsdale.  Wow Julie even put a map in here.  Do you want the map, so you know exactly where they are?"
"Yes please," I say.

It is amazing how much can change in a couple of hours.  I went from thinking there was a chance I was going to lose Brian to thinking my adoption of him is essentially a done deal all in the matter of two hours.  With that kind of swing I find myself unable to work.  So for the first time since the Sierra Inn opened I voluntarily cut out of work early, get in my car and start driving east towards Scottsdale.  As I drive I think about how much my life has changed in the past few weeks.  A month ago I was about as self absorbed as you can get.  My entire life centered on my motel, building my business creating success for myself and own benefit.  Then Brian showed up at my front door and everything changed.  For the last few weeks it's been all about Brian, and now I can't imagine it going back to the way it used to be.

There has been something I have been thinking about doing, and hearing Bill say that has far as he is concerned the adoption is a done deal has convinced me to actually do it.  So as the day approaches noon, I pull into Forest Lawn Cemetery.  I follow the map to the back section of the cemetery and park my car along the side.  I slowly walk to the middle of a small section of graves and find Brian's parent's head stones lying next to each other.  I stand there just staring at them for the longest time, then suddenly Brian's fathers name strikes a chord in my memory.  Robert Landers, I have heard that name before.  Then suddenly it hits me...


"Kevin Wasdin," the tall man wearing a black suit calls my name as I sit in the front area of the bank nervously tapping my foot on the ground.  This is the last bank remaining in town that we hadn't hit up for money already.
"Yes!" I say quickly.
"Hi, I'm Robert Landers I'm the small business loan specialist," he says, as he comes over to me and extends his hand.
"Nice to meet you," I say, shaking his hand.
"Come on back to my desk, let's see what I can do for you," he says.

I follow him to a large cubicle in the back corner of the bank.  I sit nervously on a chair facing his desk.  On top of the short file cabinet in back of him I see a picture of him with a woman and a young boy, having had experience with loan specialists I know how to kiss up already.

"Is that your family?" I ask, nodding my head to the picture, as Robert takes a seat behind his desk.
"Yes it is," he says, a proud smile coming to his face.  "That's my wife Amy and my son Brian.  That was at his seventh birthday party back in May."
"He looks like you," I say, now in a full pucker.
"You think so?" Robert asks.  "I've always thought he looked more like my wife.  Well anyway that's enough about my life.  What can I do for you?"
"Well, I'm hoping to build a motel near downtown," I say, taking my business plan out from the brief case I have been carrying around to every bank in town for the last two months.
"How old are you?" Robert asks.
"Twenty three," I say, hesitantly.
"And you're planning to open this motel by yourself?"
"No, I'm part of a group," I say.  "But we've found it better if we go to these types of meetings separately."
"Oh, okay," Robert says.  "Is that your business plan?" he asks, pointing to the portfolio I have in my lap.
"Yes it is," I say, handing him the portfolio.
"Seems like you've done your research," he says as he thumbs through the portfolio.
"Yes we have," I say.  "We hope to cater to truckers passing through town on I-10."
"Have you got any other type of funding?"
"We have secured a few other sources of financing yes," I say, nodding my head.  "We're just needing this one final loan to be able to start construction."
"One minute, I'll be right back," Robert says, as he stands up then leaves the cubicle still as he continues to thumb through the portfolio.

Time seems to be going in slow motion as I wait for him to come back.  One more loan and we can finally start building the motel, we don't even need it to be that much.  I figure it's a good sign that he hasn't laughed in my face yet like the guy at the last bank did a couple of hours ago.

"Mr. Wasdin," I hear Robert say, as he returns about fifteen minutes later.
"Yes," I say, as I watch him take a seat back behind his desk.
"How much were you hoping for?" he asks as he places my business plan back on his desk.
"Well we have most of our financing secured," I say.  "So I would only really need about ten thousand."
"Okay," Robert says as he starts typing away on his computer.  Let's see what I can do for you."
"Thank you," I say with a hopeful deep breath.  "If it helps, I do have perfect credit.  I've always been on time paying my student loans."
"Well that doesn't really help in this case," Robert says.  "But thanks for telling me," he adds as he waits for his computer to finish processing.
"Oh," I say, feeling a little embarrassed.
"Mr. Wasdin, your age does concern me a little bit," Robert says, as he continues to look at his computer.  "But your business plan is quite impressive, your group has really done its homework.  I will approve you for the loan."
"I don't know how to thank you," I say.
"Turn that motel of yours into a success," Robert says.  "That'll be thanks enough."


If it had not been for that loan I would have never been able to start construction on the Sierra Inn.  I can't believe I had actually forgotten about that day at the bank until seeing Brian's father's head stone.  What I can't believe even more is what a small world it really is.  I have never really been that big of a believer in fate but all of a sudden I'm starting to really buy into it.  If it hadn't been for the loan Robert approved me for, the Sierra Inn would have never opened and who knows where Brian would have ended up that night when P.J disappeared on him.  Brian could still be on the streets, or worse.

I stand there in a virtual state of shock for a moment, before remembering what I had come here to do in the first place.  I take a quick look around to ensure there is no one else in the area.

"Mr. and Mrs. Landers," I say slowly as I kneel on the ground in front of their head stones.  "I'm Kevin Wasdin, and I'm going to be adopting your son.  I don't know if I really believe it's possible but maybe you guys already know about what has been going on the last few years with Brian.  He's an incredible boy, and I feel blessed to have him in my life.  If you do know, I'm sure you both are very proud of the strength he has shown.  I don't know how many people could cope with what he has had to and done it so well.  I hope you both know that I really do love your son, and will do everything I can to provide him the best life possible.  I will never try to replace either one of you, and I've already told Brian that.  I just feel it's my job now to look after him, and make sure he becomes the young man he is capable of being, because the world is going to be a lot better place for having him in it.  Please know, that I will give Brian everything he deserves and I hope neither of you are worried about him anymore.  I promise you that no one will ever hurt your son again, not as long as I'm around.  I guess the last thing I want to tell you is thank you, thank you for sending my angel to me."

I know it may seem weird and even I don't know if I really believe if they could hear me or not but I feel like I owed Brian's parents some type of promise.  I want them to know that I will do anything for Brian, and that their son is in good hands with me.  Slowly I get off the ground, and with one last thank you to Mr. Landers I head back to my car.  I drive around town without really knowing where I'm headed for awhile, still in a sort of shock over what I had remembered.  Finally it's time to pick Brian up from school and I wait anxiously in front of my parked car for him to come out of the building.  Finally I see him come out, a huge grin on his face.

"Dad!" he almost shouts as he comes up to me.  "Guess what?"
"What?" I ask as he slams into me, grabbing me into a tight hug which forces the air out of my lungs for a second.
"I made the team!" he says, excitedly.
"Wow!" I say, happily.  With everything that has happened today I forgot Brian was going to find out about the basketball team today.  "Congratulations, son!"

To Be Continued...

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Authors Note: I just wanted to apologize for the slowing in my posting pace recently.  Real life kind of has gotten in the way this past week.  I absolutely promise that this story will continue through its conclusion and will try my best to post at least once a week if not more.  Thank you for your patience.

If you like this story check out my other story on Nifty: Wanting Perfection

Chapter 23 Coming Soon!!