Subject: Who will catch my fall?
Chapter 9: (M/b, b/b, abusive situations, no sex)
WARNING: This story contains descriptions of abusive acts, both physical and sexual in nature, involving MINOR boys. I wish to explain that this story is not true! Further, it is not intended to promote illegal acts against minors, but to educate people as to what a minor child has to do in order to survive in a severely abusive environment they are trapped in. One of the most famous examples of this was Steven Stayner, who was kidnapped at age 7 and severely abused for 7 years that included physical, sexual, and mental abuse. I have had the privilege of working with a number of boys like him, and I consider all of them to be extremely brave. Many people still believe that children who stay with an abuser/captor do so because they want to. This is utterly untrue, and is proven through numerous interviews, behavioral, and psychological studies conducted with these victims. A young child does not have the same ability to cope with stressful situations as an adult would because they have not had the privilege of time and experience that an adult has. Therefore, they rely more on their basic instincts, and learn quickly what they need to do in order to survive. Thus, when they are removed from that abusive situation they also have an extremely hard time adjusting to their new environment because they are not familiar with trust, caring, and compassion. These are the emotions the child has to learn once they are put into a new non-abusive environment. People assume that these emotions are natural. Many do not realize that all of our human emotions are learned.
The following story is a work of fiction, however it does incorporate actual events that I learned from various victims I counseled over the years. I also do not encourage others to perform any kind of abusive or sexual act with minors. If the subject of Man/boy sex, child abuse, and/or rape of minors offends you, or this material is illegal to possess material of this nature in your place of residence, or if you are under the legal age to possess such material, do not read further!
By downloading this story: "You implicitly declare and affirm under penalties of perjury that you are not a minor or in the company of a minor and are entitled to have access to material intended for mature, responsible members of society capable of making decisions about the content of documents they wish to read." The story is copyrighted under my pseudonym, Snwdemon. A copy has been placed in these archives for your enjoyment. The story cannot be used to derive monetary gain. However, if you want to place a copy of this story in your free access archives please email me for my permission. The story cannot be placed in archives that require payment for access, or be printed and distributed in any form that requires payment either directly or indirectly. Any similarity to individuals, living, or dead, is completely accidental. Reference is also made in context to some locations, businesses, characters, and people to define the story line. No other implication about the true sexuality or actions of the people, businesses, or places mentioned is intended.
Recap from Chapter 8:
"How are you feeling now Ari?" John asked him as he gently brushed Ari's sweat drenched hair out of his face.
"I'm hot, then cold," Ari said weakly.
"That is because the medicine is beginning to work making your fever go away. Your breathing sounds a bit better too." John told him with a warm smile.
"My mouth is so dry, and I'm thirsty. Can I have some water please?" Ari asked him in a soft, but hoarse whisper.
"Sure honey, but how about some apple juice instead?" Sara asked him as she kissed his small hand. Ari nodded and she left to get it for him. Ari then looked at John with a questioning expression.
"Did you really mean it?" He asked. Since his mind was a bit preoccupied, Ari's question caught him off guard.
"Mean what Ari?" John asked with confusion.
"That you want me to stay with you and Devon?" Ari asked him while his eyes showed a glimmer of hope in them. John thought for a moment before answering him.
"No, I don't want you to just stay with us. What I want is for you to get well, and to come home and be Devon's brother, ok?" John asked him. Ari managed a weak little smile and said, "I want that too. Dev and me, we made a promise to take care of each other when I came to live with Pop. So we already are brothers."
"Well now it's different because the only way you can be Devon's brother now is if you become my son first, just as Devon has chosen to do." John told him with a serious expression that let Ari know the importance of what he was asking him.
"You really mean it? You really want to adopt me too?" Ari asked him in disbelief as his eyes opened wide.
"Yes I really do, if you want me to be your dad. See I lost my family six years ago, and I never thought I would have another one until I met Devon, and now you. You are a special little boy, and I would be proud to be your father, and Sara feels the same way too because she is going to be Devon's legal guardian so that she can be his mom. She will be proud to be your mom too, if you want her to be." John told him as he held Ari's small hand in his own as Sara stepped up beside John. She had come back into the room and overheard everything John said. She nodded her head in agreement when Ari looked at her for confirmation of what he just heard. Then his eyes filled and his tears spilled down his face.
"Yes, I do too cause now I will have a family again and won't be alone anymore. It's a very bad thing to be all alone," Ari said softly as his bottom lip trembled, and then both John and Sara were there to wipe away his tears.
"Well you are not alone anymore, welcome home son," was all Ari heard from John and then Sara as they both hugged him and kissed away his tears.
End of Chapter 8
I want to thank Miguel Sanchez, Nashua, and RJ for proofing this chapter.
December 13, 1995 (just after midnight)
Devon woke up in the mostly dark room when he heard Ari cry out. Gritting his teeth from his pain, he managed to shoulder himself up into a sitting position until he could see Ari. Now he could see that Ari was having a nightmare, so he called out to him hoping to wake him up, but Ari just began to cry as his night terrors took hold of him.
"No Pop! Please don't...I promise to be good," Ari said before he cried out again from the unseen blow as he relived this moment. When Devon heard him mention Pop, he sat up completely. He called out softly to Ari again, but still received no response, so he maneuvered himself over to the side of the bed before carefully swinging his legs down to the floor, and stopped for a moment as the waves of pain made the room spin.
"No Pop! Devon didn't do anything...stop it...you're hurting him!" Ari said through his tears as he wrestled with these painful memories. Hearing this infused Devon with strength as he shook off the pain, and looked over at Ari who was now semi-twisted in the sheet. Using the bed for support, Devon managed to balance himself onto his good right leg, which still trembled almost violently. Devon paused for a few moments until he adjusted to the pain and stress levels before looking around him. He saw his crutch leaning against the night table, but he knew that he would not be able to get over to Ari using his crutch alone. Therefore, he searched around him to see what he could use to help him when his eyes stopped on the small bedside serving table.
The table was a standard serving table with wheels with adjustable height. It was designed to slide underneath the bed while the tabletop extended over the bed to allow the patient to use it for their meals, or for whatever else they needed to use it for, but it probably was not designed for what Devon was thinking. After lowering its height to its lowest position, Devon used it to support him as he leaned across it as he held on tightly with his left arm, and used his good right leg to push it like a skateboard across the open space separating his and Ari's bed. When he got to Ari's bed, Devon sat on the bed before managing to get into the bed next to him. When Ari cried out again, Devon wrapped his left arm around Ari before kissing his fever hot face and talking softly to him.
"It's ok Ari, I'm here, and I won't let anything hurt you. Pop is gone now, and he cannot hurt us anymore. It's ok, I'm here now," he said softly as Ari's struggles ceased as Devon continued to hug him close and kiss him. After a few moments, Ari's eyes opened, and he quickly buried his face into Devon's chest as his soft sobs escaped.
"He can't hurt us anymore Ari...he can't hurt us anymore." Devon said softly as his own tears began to slip down his face. Both of them cried together as they hugged each other, while both of them tried to comfort the other until they cried themselves back to sleep. John and Sara found them that way about an hour later when they came to check on them. Sara was a little surprised with Devon being in bed with Ari at first until she saw the small table and realized how he managed to use it. However, John got her attention, and pointed out to her how both of them were positioned in the bed with each other. Devon was lying on his back with Ari cuddled up on his left side with his head lying on Devon's bare chest. Devon's left arm was wrapped protectively around Ari, who was carefully embracing Devon in the same protective manner. While Devon was slightly bigger in physical size than Ari, both boys looked much younger than their actual ages.
"They really do love each other, don't they?" Sara asked John in a quiet whisper.
"Yes, they do. They had nobody else except each other when they lived with Jefferies, and I don't think that there is any way to separate them without causing severe emotional damage to both of them now." John told her as they watched both boys sleep.
"I want to come with you in the morning to the court house, if you don't mind." Sara told him.
"I don't mind, and it will help both of them if we go together. I need to ask this Sara, not because I want to, but because of those two boys in that bed who are going to be my sons. If you have any doubts at all about making this commitment, then I don't think it would be wise to let matters proceed further because they have been hurt enough already. So tell me, are you ready to take this step?" He asked her in a soft, but serious tone of voice.
"Of course I have doubts John. I have doubts about everything where you are concerned," she said honestly.
"That is not what I meant so forget about me, and think about just those two boys and answer my question." He said in a slightly exacerbated tone. However, she was quick to reply.
"I have no doubts about them; they need me, and I need them. We are now stuck with each other, but I doubt it if they will mind though." She said just as serious as John was. Her answer seemed to relieve John as he continued to watch Devon and Ari sleep. He took a couple of deep breaths to ease away his tension before he looked away. When he finally looked over at Sara, he had a little smile on his face.
"I'm glad, and I really didn't mean that literally. I mean the part where I said to forget about me." He said a bit sheepishly as he winked at her causing her to snicker softly.
"Come on, let's get out of here before we wake them up," he said to her as he held out his hand. She took it quietly and followed him out of the room.
December 13, 1995
When Devon woke up in pain, it was already morning and Ari had been awake for almost a half an hour. His fever had broken, and his pajamas were soaked with his sweat, but he still felt weak. Devon could feel the wetness against his exposed skin, but he was in too much pain really to care about that wetness at that moment. He groaned, and gingerly eased his left arm out from under Ari before immediately cradling his still injured right arm.
"You ok Dev?" Ari asked him worriedly as he sat up onto his elbow.
"No, everything hurts, but I will be ok once I get my medicine. Is dad or Sara here?" Devon asked him as he opened his eyes a little, and saw Ari's worried face.
"No. Should I call the nurse?" Ari asked and Devon nodded. He looked around until he found the call button and pushed it before turning his attention back to Devon.
"How are you feeling this morning, and why are you all wet?" Devon asked him as he winced in pain before trying to reposition himself into a more comfortable position in the bed.
"I...I don't know. Do you think I peed in the bed again?" Ari asked him worriedly. Devon remembered back when Ari had done that right after he came to live with them. Pop had beaten Ari for almost an hour, and made Ari scrub the entire room for punishment, and then Pop had beaten him for allowing it to happen. Ari had wet the bed again on more than a half of a dozen other occasions after that, but Devon always managed to get the bed changed, and had Ari cleaned up and Pop never found out he had done so.
"No, you didn't unless you peed on the pillow too this time. I think your fever went away because you are no longer burning up." Devon told him, and Ari relaxed almost immediately. He had been sick before, and had taken care of Devon when he was sick too, so he understood what Devon meant. Then the duty nurse knocked and came in followed by John and Sara. The nurse asked them what they needed, but Devon was in too much pain to answer while Ari was too scared. John came along side of her, and reached over and felt Ari's forehead with his hand. Ari flinched when John reached for him, but then he remembered what happened the night before and relaxed. John just gave him a warm smile before speaking to the nurse.
"I believe his fever is down because he is soaked, and Devon needs his pain medication. Also, can you bring me some zinc oxide ointment, some clean sheets, and a change of clothes for both of them too?" He asked the nurse, and then told her their clothing sizes before Sara said something to her. She said yes and then left the room. "Sara, help me with Devon because the bedding needs to be changed."
"I would say so because this little guy is drenched. Now you just wait a second while we move Devon, and then I will help you out of those wet pj's ok." She told Ari and then John before kissing Ari on his still damp forehead. Ari nodded and smiled at her as she moved around the bed next to Devon.
"All right Devon, grab hold around my neck, and then I am going to hand you to Sara. Are you ready son?" John asked him as Devon wrapped his left arm around John's neck before gritting his teeth and nodding. Other than a small gasp, Devon did not cry out as John gently lifted him up and handed him to Sara, and she quickly transferred him to his own bed. She had just covered him up when the nurse returned with their medicines and the other things John had asked for. Sara gave Devon a shot instead of his pain medication, and then had him take the rest of his medications. The nurse went over and took Ari's temperature, and listened to his chest for a moment before writing everything down onto his chart. Finally, she had Ari take the liquid medicine she brought him and gave him some juice to wash it down with before leaving after John declined her offer of help in changing the bedding.
"How are you feeling this morning son?" John asked Ari.
"I feel a lot better Dad, and I think I had a bad dream but Devon made everything ok." Ari said, and Devon sat up with a surprised look on his face.
"What?" He exclaimed with a questioning look mixed with unimaginable hope as he stared at John and Ari.
"That's right; he was zonked at the time, wasn't he. Well, I think that you should explain things to your brother." John said to Ari with a gentle smile on his face. Ari looked at John, and then over to Devon.
"It's true Dev, they said that I couldn't stay with you unless I became your brother for real. But, to be your brother, they said that I had to be their son, so I said yes. Now we will be brothers forever." Ari said as tears slid down his face as he spoke to Devon. Devon began to cry too as he told him, and he looked at John first who nodded in agreement, then at Sara who did the same. Then he hugged Sara as tightly as he could when she sat down next to him.
"Thank you mom and dad," was all he could say before burying his face into Sara's shoulder, and crying while John embraced Ari who did the same thing. It did not take John and Sara long to quiet them down afterwards, and then John reminded all of them that they needed to have both of them cleaned up and ready to see the judge.
"But Ari can't go, he's still sick, so what will happen with him?" Devon said once John told them this.
"We know Devon, and both of us discussed it after we found you two asleep together early this morning. Speaking of which, we would like to know how you managed to do that, but it can wait until later. Anyway, we both discussed it, and it was decided that the best thing would be for the judge to come here instead of us going to the courthouse since Ari is still sick. The judge of the orphan's court will be here at noon, so that only gives us two hours to get both of you cleaned up and fed before we make everything official. Ari, the judge told me that since Devon's adoption is special, then he would also treat yours the same way. What this means is that once he signs the paperwork today, then it will be official and you will be our son and Devon will be your brother. There will be no going back if you change your mind later because we will be your parents as soon as he signs the order, but I doubt that you want to change your mind do you?" John asked him, and Ari shook his head no, as he looked at Devon with a smile. Then he frowned, and he looked at John.
"What do you mean by special? The social worker back home told me that it would take three years for me to be adopted, so why is it different here?" Ari asked John out of confusion and curiosity because this was completely different from what was explained to him by Miss Clay back in Tennessee after his parents were killed. That was before he was placed in the boy's home where his life became a nightmare.
"Well son, it is a really long story, and I will tell it to you after the judge leaves, I promise. However, to sum things up quickly, Devon's adoption today is special because he cannot wait three years for the normal adoption process. That is because I found out that Pop had kidnapped him when he was only 4 years old after killing the family that was adopting him. See, Devon is an orphan too just like you are, but he was born in Ukraine, which is a different country a long way from here. His birth name is really Anatoly Kostov, and he is only 11 years old because yesterday was his real birthday. Since Devon was not born in this country, then the only way he can stay here is if he is adopted first. The government will then grant him US citizenship that will finalize his adoption. Do you understand now Ari?" John asked him after explaining everything.
"I think so. Devon isn't 15 and his birthday was yesterday instead of next month right?" Ari asked him as his small face became worried.
"That's right; Devon is just over a year older than you are. That is why he is so much smaller than other 15 almost 16-year-old boys are. In addition, he should only be in the fourth or fifth grade instead of the eighth grade. Bill, or Pop, he told everyone that Devon was held back for two years, but that was a lie. Devon is actually doing the schoolwork of a kid who is three years ahead of him. That is why he always has trouble doing the work." John told him in response to his questions. "Look son, I promise to explain everything and answer all of your questions later on, but for now we need to get both of you ready and feed you before you meet with the judge."
"It is ok Ari; I told you that Sara and Dad are like me. They will never break their promises to you," Devon told him. Obviously, Ari believed anything Devon told him. Yet, at the same time, John could clearly see that Ari was the most outgoing and trusting of him and Devon.
"And none of this will make you change your minds? You both still want me to be your son?" Ari asked John seriously.
"Yes son, we will not change our minds ever, I promise," he said while Sara just nodded her head along with John. This made Ari cry again, but he cried happy tears.
"Now, let's get you cleaned up," John told him once he kissed Ari's tears away. Ari told him that he needed to go, so John carried him to the bathroom, and then cleaned him up once he was done before removing all of his wet clothes, placing him into the tub, and bathing him. Once he finished, John carried Ari back to his bed wrapped in towels before pulling the privacy curtain closed, while Sara took care of Devon. Then John dried him before applying more ointment to his groin and backside, which looked much better. Once he had Ari bathed and redressed in clean underwear and pj's, John had him brush his teeth before scooping him up into his arms and moving him over to Devon's bed and placing him in the bed with Devon who was now fully dressed in pj's too.
Next, John and Sara stripped the linens off Ari's bed before remaking it, and transferring him back to it. When they had finished this, Sara left, but reappeared a few minutes later pushing a food-serving cart with four trays. She came in and sat their food onto the serving tables while John adjusted their beds into a sitting position. Both he and Sara sat in between them, using the serving cart as their table. Before they were allowed to eat, John had them join hands and he said a prayer of thanks first. This was something new to them, but Devon and Ari did not mind at all. Being naturally curious, Ari asked him why he did this.
"Your parents never did this before they were killed in the accident?" John asked him, and Ari shook his head no with a sad expression on his face. John looked at him, and then at Devon who was equally interested in this, but unable to ask because of what Bill had done to him.
"Well, it is quite simple. Both of you have heard about religion, the bible, and God right?" He asked them, but their responses were split with Devon shaking his head no, and Ari shaking his head yes. "Ok, I will try and explain it quickly for you and Devon. In school, they teach you how we supposedly evolved from apes into humans. However, in the bible, it tells us that God created us in his own image. Some people believe in evolution, as they teach you in school, while others believe in the Bible and God as I do. In the bible, it says that since God created this world, and everything in it, that we should give thanks to him in the form of prayers. By doing this, it shows him our faith and belief in him, which is a good thing. If you would like to learn, both Sara and I, we will be happy to teach both of you all about God and the bible after you both get well." John told them both, and they both nodded in agreement. Then John told them to eat before their food got cold as he sat down next to Sara. It made both of them smile as they watched Devon and Ari devour their breakfasts, and then she had the nurse bring them each a protein shake while she and John finished eating their own breakfasts. When they had finished, Jerry came in with Juan.
"Top o' the mornin' to ye all," Jerry said in his lilting Irish brogue.
"Hi Uncle Jerry," Devon said as Jerry bent down and hugged him.
"Hi yerself, laddie; me sees that ye be wide eyed an' bushy tailed, so me takes it that ye be feeling better today?" Jerry asked him making him giggle as he blushed prettily.
"Yeah, I do feel a lot better this morning. Dad and Sara gave me a surprise birthday gift this morning too that also made me feel a lot better." Devon told him with a happy smile.
"Oh, did they now? And would ye be carein' to share yer good fortune with yer Uncle Jerry now?" Jerry asked him as he kissed Devon on his forehead. Devon nodded and looked at John first, and then at Ari, before looking back at Jerry with happy tears in his eyes.
"They gave me a brother," Devon told him with a content smile.
"Did they now? Well, ye know that getting a brother is a very important gift. Now ye will have much responsibility as a big brother. It will be yer job to corrupt the lad from his innocent ways, don ye know." Jerry told him with a wink and a smile, and Devon nodded and hugged him tightly again before letting Jerry stand up. Then Jerry went over to John and gave him a raised eyebrow look. John just nodded in agreement with what Devon had told him, and then Jerry smiled and nodded before shaking his hand.
"Congratulations John," he said as he shook hands.
"Thanks Jerry, now would you like to meet the newest member of our family?" John asked him, and Jerry nodded, and he did not miss the meaning of `our family' either as he glanced at Sara. Then John came over and sat down next to Ari, who was shyly trying to hide behind Sara.
"It is all right Ari; I want you to meet my best friend Jerry. He is a very nice man who has a bad habit of teaching boys how to pee with no hands or to write their names in the snow as they pee, but I think you will like him." John told him making him laugh.
"Tis' a right o' passage for a boy to learn these things, just like breakin' wind or belching Danny boy!" Jerry said with a silly grin making Ari giggle even more. Then Jerry held out his big paw to Ari as he spoke. "Well laddie, me thinks ye has the luck o' the Irish. Tis' not everyday that a lad finds new parents and a big brother the like o' these three, an' me thinks that ye will be extremely happy as a part o' this clan too. I be Jerry O'Malley, and me can see that ye be a fine young lad. Ye can call me anything ye like except calling me late for dinner!" Jerry told him with a wink as the giggling Ari took his hand and shook it.
"Ok Jerry, um, I'm Ari." He said shyly as he blushed and giggled. Jerry then stood up again and looked at John, and he dropped the Irish brogue when he spoke this time.
"Well my friend, I couldn't be happier for you. I know it was supposed to be a surprise, but I need to spoil it. It is about the house that was donated. It is not being given to Devon." Jerry said to him causing John to look questioningly at his friend.
"The house is being given to you, so you will have a home to take Ari and Devon once they leave here. There is plenty of room for all of you, and now we will practically be neighbors." He said and John frowned for a moment before his face changed to one of surprise and gratitude.
"This house wouldn't be a brick, two story home with 4-bedrooms located on Granger Ave, now would it?" John asked him suspiciously, and Jerry smiled at him and nodded. John knew this house because he had been there many times before Jerry's mother had passed away two years ago. Since then, the house had been rented out, but had been empty for the last 3 months. "I appreciate this Jerry, but that is your parents' home, and I don't think I can accept it."
"Now wait a second John, I knew you would say this, but you have just gone from being a single widower to having an instant family with two good sons who both deserve their own rooms. It is a good neighborhood with good schools, and I was planning to sell it since we have no use for it. That house holds many happy memories there for my family. While she is a little older now, she is still a good home that will give these two boys many of the happy memories that they deserve as they grow up. Therefore, I am going to insist, because that house was not built to be empty without young boys running through it. So accept it and let these boys turn it back into the happy home that I remember ok?" Jerry told him as the love he had for John and now his new family showed on Jerry's face. John let a single tear slide down his face as he looked at his long time friend who had done so much for him.
"I will Jerry, and I will never be able to repay you and Jeanne for everything you have done for me." John told him with tears in his eyes as he hugged Jerry.
"You deserve this John, because you are a good man, and these boys are the luckiest boys in the world to have found you. So don't let me or them down." Jerry told him as he clapped John on his should after they separated. Jerry then looked at Sara, and leaned close to John, but spoke loud enough for her to overhear while winking at her. "Ye also have found a good lassie, and if I were ye I wouldn't let her get away."
"I know that too my friend, but I will leave that decision up to her." John told him with a smile. Then he looked over to Juan and waved him over. "Boys, this here is my friend Juan Rivera."
"Hey, you are the guy from TV," Ari said as he recognized Juan.
"That's right young man, but I am also your father's friend too." Juan said as he shook hands with Ari before going over and sitting next to Devon who hugged him. "And how are you feeling this morning Devon?"
"Ok I guess, but I'm hurting more today. I think it's because of all the moving around I did yesterday." Devon told him.
"I know, but it will get better as you rest. Remember, you did a great thing besides saving Ari. You exposed one of the most secretive pedophile rings in the country. Now both of you will save many other kids from going through the pain you both had to go through." Juan told him and Ari. "Right now, you both need to rest and get well, then all of us can talk, and you can tell us everything you know about this, ok?" Juan asked them and both of them nodded in silent agreement. They all talked with each other, and Devon and Ari both began to doze after twenty minutes had past. However, the Orphan's Judge arrived with a stenographer and John woke them up.
"It's time boys, now this is Judge Orndorf, and he would like to talk to both of you first." John told them as both Ari and Devon rubbed their eyes.
"Hello Devon; hello Ari, I am Judge Albert Orndorf, and I am in charge of the Orphan's Court here in Seattle. I know that both of you are still recovering so I will be as brief as possible. I just need to ask each of you a few questions is all before I make my ruling. I will start with you first Devon. I will need to address you by your birth name, so do not worry about it." He said after shaking each of their hands and then sitting in a chair next to Devon. He waited until the stenographer was ready before beginning.
"I am the honorable Judge Albert Orndorf, the date is December 13, 1995, the time is 12:10 PM, and I am about to hear the petitions of adoption and legal guardianship in regards to the child Anatoly Kostov, made by one John Anthony Roberts and Sara Kimberly Radcliff. Let the record show that this proceeding is being witnessed by Gerald Sean O'Malley, and Juan DeJesus Rivera. The child Anatoly Kostov, also known as Devon Doe, will be addressed as Devon during these proceedings. Now Devon, I know you understand the difference between the truth and a lie, and I want your promise to tell me nothing but the truth, understood?" He asked Devon.
"I do, I promise to tell the truth sir." Devon said quietly.
"Good, let the record show that the child has been duly sworn," he said to the stenographer who was recording everything. "Now Devon, is it your desire that this man, John Anthony Roberts, be your parent and legal guardian?" He asked him and Devon just nodded. "You need to speak your answer Devon so my clerk here can record them for the record. Now do you need me to repeat the question?"
"So your answer to my question is?"
"Yes sir, I do."
"And it is your desire that this woman, Sara Kimberly Radcliff, be your legal guardian also?"
"Now then, has anyone told you to do this, coerced, bribed, or threatened you in any way so you would answer this way?"
"Has Mr. Roberts or Sara Radcliff told you what to say, or offered you something in exchange for you agreeing to this petition?"
"No, they would never do that. They love me, and they are the only people who have ever cared! I love them too; why are you asking me these things?"
"Now, don't upset yourself Devon, I am just asking these questions because I need to show that nobody has coerced or pressured you into this adoption against your will is all. Do you understand?" The judge asked him after explaining.
"Yes sir," Devon said as he relaxed again.
"Good, now I just have two more questions for you, and then we are done. Is it your desire to have Mr. Roberts to be your parent and legal guardian, and for Sara Radcliff to be your legal guardian also?"
"Yes sir, more than anything."
"And you will obey both of them, and allow them to make all legal decisions for you in the future until you reach the age of majority?"
"Um, I don't understand sir."
"What don't you understand?"
"The last part sir, what do you mean when I reach the age of majority?"
"What I meant was until you reach the age of 18. When you turn 18, then you are considered an adult under the law. Do you understand now Devon?"
"Yes sir, I understand now. Yes, I do."
"Thank you Anatoly, the only thing I need to ask you is by which name you would like to go by in the future."
"Devon Anatoly Roberts."
"So be it. Let the record show that I approve this application of adoption, and that it is the order of this court in regards to the child Anatoly Kostov that John Anthony Roberts be allowed to adopt this child and be granted parental and custodial guardianship. Let the record show that it is the order of this court that Sara Kimberly Radcliff also be granted legal co-guardianship over the child Anatoly Kostov. Finally, let the record show that it is so ordered by this court that the child's name be changed to Devon Anatoly Roberts. It is so ordered on this 13th day of December, 1995." Judge Orndorf said to his stenographer, and then he said to Devon as he stood up while John came over and sat beside him on the bed. "We are finished Devon, they are now your parents in the eyes of the law. Congratulations."
"Thank you sir," Devon said while crying tears of happiness. John and Sara just hugged him as Devon cried softly for a few moments while the stenographer moved her equipment over next to Ari's bed. Once everything was ready, John kissed Devon, and got up and moved over to sit next to Ari. The Judge asked Ari the same questions he had asked Devon, and Ari answered the same as Devon did. Then the judge made his ruling, and it was done, they were now a family, and Ari's reaction was the same as Devon had been. The judge excused himself, and thanked Jerry and Juan for witnessing the proceedings before he left. Then Jerry and Juan congratulated them before excusing themselves, and also leaving. John then picked up Ari, carried him over to Devon, and put him in the bed next to him, and they cried even harder as they hugged each other tightly. Devon and Ari continued to cry until they had cried themselves to sleep while John and Sara cried with them as they comforted them. This is what they had dreamed of, and prayed for when they lived with Pop, and now it was a reality. It just overwhelmed them, and quickly drained away the little strength they had, and they fell asleep embracing each other. John and Sara tenderly wiped their faces, and John spoke with the duty nurse while Sara fixed her makeup. Then they both met Jerry in the lobby of Bayside, then they left with him, and headed over to the new house. John and Sara walked through their new home with Jerry, and made their plans for what furniture and stuff they needed. John told her that he would be busy with work so that it would be up to her to take care of things for the first couple of weeks after the boys came home. Then John introduced Sara to Jeanne, and she told them that they had to stay for dinner because Juan was coming over with his wife. John agreed, but said that he wanted to call the hospital just in case the boys were awake.
They were, and John spoke to Devon, and told him that he and Sara would be back in a couple of hours. Devon was fine, and told him that he would take care of Ari until they got back. Then as an after thought, he sheepishly asked if John could bring them something sweet for dessert as long as it was not jello. John told him that he would, and reminded Devon to call the nurse if he was in pain, and not to lay there and suffer. He had Devon promise him, which he did reluctantly after complaining that he did not want to bother the nurse, so John spoke with Ari and told him to call the nurse if Devon was in pain even if Devon told him not to. John talked to them for another five minutes before he finally felt that things would be ok and hung up after an extended goodbye. By the time he got off the phone, Juan had arrived with his wife Connie. This was the first time John had met her, but he knew that his friend had remarried after his first wife committed suicide. The introductions were made and Jerry mixed everyone drinks before Jeanne came out, and said that dinner was ready so they all went and sat down in the dining room.
"How are the boys doing? Juan told me about this morning's events, and I hope you do not mind. However, I think all of us here have been just as worried about what would happen to them." Connie asked Sara and John, who were sitting next to each other across from Juan and Connie, while Jerry and Jeanne sat on the ends facing each other.
"It was pretty emotional for all of us, and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. However, it quickly drained the boys, and we left after they had cried themselves to sleep so we could take care of business. John just spoke to them just as you arrived, so he would know how they are at the moment." Sara explained as Jeanne served the salad.
"They were up and watching cartoons when I called. I think Devon is really getting tired of being in the hospital though because he asked me to bring them some dessert as long as it was not jello. It surprised me because I usually have to drag everything out of him, and he will not complain about anything no matter how bad it is. I told him to call the nurse if he was in pain, but he told me that he did not want to bother her because she might get mad if she was busy. He is so afraid of upsetting someone if he asks for anything even if he is pain, so he stays silent and suffers. Therefore, I spoke with Ari, who worries so much about Devon, and I told him to call the nurse even if Devon says not to. I will pick them up some ice cream or something on the way back to the hospital once we leave here." John told them all.
"Oh nonsense John, I will send them some of my peach cobbler and strawberry shortcake. You can take it to them, and tomorrow, I will bring them some of my fried chicken for dinner. I am just glad to see them hungry after all that they have been through. Jerry said that they are frightfully thin for their ages." Jeanne told him, and John thanked her knowing that both Devon and Ari would love her cooking.
"See, I told you that I had the best wife a man could want. She knows that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Jerry said making them all laugh.
"You can say that again, and we can all see that you've not missed many meals too." Juan told him as they laughed even more. Things continued like this through the rest of the dinner, and dessert. Sara now could see why John spoke about Jerry and Jeanne almost as if he was speaking about his parents, and she quickly liked them too. After they ate, she and Connie helped Jeanne clean up leaving the men alone to talk. They talked while they cleaned the kitchen, and their conversation quickly came to the topic of her relationship with John. Sara felt comfortable enough with her two new friends to confide in them.
"Yes, I do like him, and I know that I could love him if he would let me, but when he gets close, sometimes he just stops and takes a step back. At other times, it is as if he is distant and preoccupied, but then unexpectedly he tells me that he really likes me, and would like to get to know me better. This was our first date, if you can believe it. It is just so confusing, and he is so complicated that I am afraid to push harder because I do not want to scare him away." Sara admitted to them as she dried the dishes and Jeanne put them away.
"Well Sara, all I can say is this, if he did not want to take things to a more intimate level, and shared the same feelings that you have for him, then you would not be here right now. See, John has never really dated anyone before. He met his wife Lori in the 6th grade, he dated her throughout high school, and married her a week after he graduated. They both knew that they would get married one day when they were Devon's age, and neither of them wanted to, or had the desire to date someone else. Therefore, he is learning how to do this for the first time in his life. Just be patient, open, and honest with him, and he will come around. Since Lori was killed, he has not even thought about dating anyone until he met you in the hospital after Devon's surgery. We all know how Devon has touched him, but John has talked to us about you almost as much as he has about Devon." Jeanne told her. Connie did not know enough about him except what Juan had told her, and she asked Jeanne what had happened to John's family. Jeanne told them about the accident, of how John was crushed by his wife, and daughter's deaths. Then she told them how they had helped John rebuild his life afterwards.
"He's a good man with a good heart. I think that you already know that though because of how he is with those boys. It was Devon though who touched him the most, because he reminds John about Katie so much. That boy brought him back to life, and he needs them as much as they need him." Jeanne said as they finished up.
"I don't think it was just Devon though, because I can see that you and Jerry helped him too. He respects and loves both of you, so do not sell out, and say that it was just Devon. I know Devon has a gift, but he didn't do it all by himself." Sara told her. Jeanne just thanked her then suggested that they go out with the men. Once they joined them, John spoke up to all of them.
"I need to ask all of you a favor, and your advice. As you know, Devon was given a lot of money after the incident on Thanksgiving. Well, I am going to be busy with this case, but I need some help. Sara needs access to that money in order for her to get what the boys will need, and to get what we will need for the new house. That way everything will be ready for them when they are able to come home. However, I need to pick trustees that will manage Devon's trust, and it cannot be Sara or me. Therefore, I am asking that you four serve as the trustees to Devon's trust fund." John said to them.
"Well you already know our answer John. Jeanne and I will be happy to do it," Jerry told his longtime friend.
"We would also be honored to do this too, John," both Connie and Juan said.
"Thanks, this is one less detail that we need to worry about," John said to them as he held Sara's hand.
Everyone talked for another half hour, and then John excused himself and said that he and Sara should get back to the hospital. Jean had wrapped up two plates that contained her peach cobbler and strawberry shortcake for Ari and Devon. They all said their goodbyes, and Juan and Connie left at the same time as John and Sara did. John and Sara talked during the ride back to the hospital, and she thanked John for a wonderful evening. John kissed her after they got out of the car, then they took the dessert that Jeanne had sent to Devon and Ari. They found both of them sleeping together again, but they woke up as soon as John and Sara entered the room.
"Hi there, you guys feeling better?" John asked as Sara and he sat on opposite sides of the bed.
"A little, but Ari's hot again." Devon said with a yawn. Sara and John felt his forehead and could feel that his fever had come back. Sara called the duty nurse and asked if it would be ok to give Ari and Devon their medicine early. The nurse said it would be fine and left. She returned in a few minutes with their medicines, and they took it. Then John told them that Jeanne had sent them some dessert, and both of them were excited, and devoured it quickly.
"That was good, wasn't it Dev?" Ari asked him as he wiped his mouth.
"Yeah, it was great. We will thank Aunt Jeanne when we see her after we go home." Devon said in response with a smile.
"No, you can thank her tomorrow, because she is making you dinner and bringing it to you. I hope you guys like fried chicken." He told them and both Devon and Ari nodded enthusiastically.
"Now, look you two, I think the doctors will allow you to go home in the next couple of days. When that happens, then I will come and help Sara and we will take you home. I will stay until things are situated, but then I have to go back to work. So don't drive Sara batty while I'm gone ok." John told them, and they both nodded.
"Its ok dad, Ari can help me if Sara is busy, and I will help him." Devon told him and Ari nodded his agreement while hugging Devon.
"I won't do it until you two have settled in at home, but then we are going to have some long talks together. I have been putting them off until you both were better, but I cannot do that much longer. I know it will be hard for you, but you will have to tell me what you remember and answer my questions. Sara and I will both be there with you when we do this along with Juan, and my Captain. However, I do not want you to worry about it until then, just worry about getting better so we can all go home. Does that plan sound acceptable to you guys?" John said to them, and both of their faces saddened a bit.
"Ok Dad, we promise...don't we Dev?" Ari said solemnly.
"Yeah, I promise too Dad," Devon said with a touch of reluctance in his voice.
"It will be ok, and I promise that neither of you will be in trouble. So do not worry about it because it is still a long way off. Now let's get your teeth brushed and then its lights out." John told them as he hugged and kissed each of them along with Sara to reassure them. They had them both use the bathroom, and then brush their teeth. John put some more ointment on Ari after he peed while Devon had Sara help him out of his pj's. John and Sara had noticed that Devon preferred as little clothing as possible when he slept. John knew why, because Devon had told him how Bill Jefferies had never allowed him to wear anything, or even to use a blanket when he slept. John knew that this was because Jefferies did this so he could sexually molest Devon. He was not sure if Jefferies had molested Ari though, but he knew about what Jefferies had done to Devon.
It did not take long for the medicine to work, and both of them were drowsy again by the time John and Sara got them back into bed. It did not take long before both of them were asleep again. John and Sara kissed them both good night after they were asleep. Then the duty nurse brought in a rollaway bed, and helped set it up for them. John took the rollaway bed, while Sara slept in Ari's bed. Again, she thanked John for a wonderful evening, and John kissed her one more time before they both went to bed themselves.
End of Chapter 9
Endnote: As all of you can see in this chapter, I am choosing some true events in this story. The most important fact is the "Blue Orchid Club." The club turned out to be the largest pedophile sex ring, kiddie porn operation, and child trafficking ring in US history. This was just one of the cases that I had worked on during my career, and it is by far the most publicized case when I was working as a forensic psychologist or criminal profiler. It was the toughest case that I participated in, being both emotionally and mentally taxing on most of us due to the abuse many of the children had suffered. Other than my adapting some details to fit with the story, almost everything I will provide about the investigation will be fact. In addition, I want to clarify one small detail in this chapter. When John refers to "a rabbit getting hit by a car" in the story, it refers to the state park in Seattle where over 20,000 rabbits roam free. Back in the 80's, some people abandoned their pet rabbits in the park. Of course, they mated and bred with the wild rabbits too. In 1990, the rabbit population had grown to the point where the local and state officials were going to allow them to be hunted, trapped, and killed in order to remove them. However, the public rallied to protect the rabbits and won, and a law was passed protecting the rabbits in that park. I've been to the park, and everyone I met all loved seeing the mostly domesticated rabbits that roam freely there. While the rabbit population is still a problem, the rabbits have now become one of the tourist attractions in the city. Therefore, if you ever happen to be in the Seattle area, you should visit the park. Thanks again to everyone for their patience, and God Bless. Damion
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