Play Maker
The Queen of Gay Romance”


This is my disclaimer for 2009 folks! As you know, I change them, so please read and smile!

This is a fictional character. I'll say that until I'm blue in the face and yet, someone will write to me and tell me I've got something wrong, or he/she is that character, or they're going to sue me because their client has a family member with that name.

I can put disclaimers on a story all day long and still, I get someone who is just about nuts who will do the above paragraph. It makes no sense to me, but apparently, there are people who take themselves so seriously they want to be a fictional character. Well to those of you who choose to be that way, go read someone else's story and be a fuck-tional character.

By the way, if you're reading this to jack off. I'll smile and you hold it in your hand and read until the end. If you've spilled a load, I bet it wasn't reading a scene here! Everyone else who knows my writing is probably laughing their asses off right about now...I know I'm chuckling!

If you can hold it in your hand and type, then please BY ALL MEANS write me an email and send a photo of it. I want to see the man's appendage which can write, type, and just plain want to know it better!

If your appendage says it's straight, get a clue and get to a different site. If you're that confused, go to your search engine and type in Mental Health Help and seek the one in your area. Your appendage has my permission to cut and paste.

Just to make it an official disclaimer, if you're above the age of 18...great. If you're 118, super great...put a napkin over the keyboard and you won't get any drool on it. If you're under the age of 18, please find the off switch on your computer and press it. It'll make your day and mine a lot brighter. If you come back to this site when it reboots, please repeat until you lose interest. If it takes more than once, get a clue you dumb fuck!

Notes From Retta:

This story is written mostly as a retro piece. I intentionally made sure some prices were lower and I made sure the older stars were used in the piece. You need to realize this was written in the era of Bush I (around 1991). I did it from memory, so sue me if it's not completely accurate.

Chapter Thirteen:

Jake, it's murder.”

What is?”

What you had done out there.”

He died?”

You know damned well he died.”

Hmmm, you make it sound like he was in the building. Did you put him there?”

He wasn't in the building?!”

Grant, stop judging me from what the police say. If you'd been along for the ride, you'd heard the plan. Instead, you're too fucking busy telling the police what I'm doing.

Now, you just think through our conversation and you realize I didn't corroborate or deny anything. All I'm saying is you really need to work on getting back on the same page with me.”

I want to do that. You keep shutting me out.”

You fucking keep saying you're telling! Now, think back to when you were kids and realize what happened to kids who went in and told all the fucking time. They tended to stay in because no one would play with them.”

Where are we going?”

Like it, or not, I'm going over by the college and looking to see if any houses are for sale. If they are, I'll make note of the addresses so we can schedule appointments to look at them.

IF by chance that's not in your plan to do so with me, then you realize I'll buy that house without you and get my things moved. IF you want it, you better step on the trolley because it's moving down that street.”

You going to keep me in the dark?”

You going to tell?”

It takes trust.”

If you'd shown'd gotten it. I'll keep it under my hat for a while.”

I turned at Williams Street and headed for Concannon.

Where are we going now?”

Motel to drop you off. If I've got to live alone, I'll start this now.”

GO look at the houses.”

You need to realize I'm not going to do it just because you tell me to do it. You seem to think I'm a speaker outside a fucking fast food restaurant. Orders don't just go through me and get followed. I've got a mind and I've got to protect myself.

You and the authorities all think just because I'm below the age of eighteen, I'm going to follow orders and go blindly to slaughter. I've survived well without you and I'll make it to the future without you if that should be what I need to do in order to prove it.”

I don't order you around all the time.”

No, you intimidate you're either going to tell, or you're going to run with the enemy. I'm sorry, but if you're on my team, you fight for my team. The second I see you go over to the other side again, I'll snatch my jersey off your back so you don't pollute my colors again.”

When's this going to end?”

I don't know and I can't tell you. Since that's the question, you stay at the motel until then, and I'll see if it happens before I get drafted into the pros. If not, I'll be back after retirement. IF you still don't want to stop the bullshit, I'll see you in your casket and realize you finally found happiness.”

You're cutting me loose?!”

Unlike my dad, I'll tell you to your face I'm leaving. Now, if you cause me problems in this, you realize I'm most likely not going to be put away in a home without a fight.”

Who else is there?”

I locked all the wheels up and slid to the side of the street. “Get out. When you see that seat empty, you realize there doesn't HAVE TO BE anyone else for me to not have to put up with bullshit.

You think you can stack the deck and you think I'll be made to play, or else. Realize if the deck is stacked, I can always refrain from looking at the cards and get up from the table. I'll do my own thing.”

So this is the way it's going to be?”

For our relationship, yes. For the football team, no. You'll still get to get your thing off and order me around, but you realize the second I think it's personal, I'll walk. You fucking well don't coach tennis and I don't need you.”

You'll need me to get to the pros.”

Oops, sorry, I bet you I don't. I can sell my stocks and buy a team. If you fuck with my stocks, I'll fuck with all you own and see you in hell before it's all said and done.”

IT's always about your stocks. I'm SICK of your stocks.”

LISTEN Up dick head, those stocks are what separates me from being made to do everyone's bidding. You might not like I rely on them for security, but that's the way it'll go until they're gone and I've got that team bought.”

Start the car and drive.”

That seat's not empty yet. You can walk.

I give rides to considerate people and not people who think so lowly of me. I might point out when you walk through that intersection over there, that point is where I got those stocks and lost the one person who could say no to you just the same. And, if by chance you feel a hard bump on your ass walking out there, you might think about it being a ghost kicking you for giving up what you prayed for.”

I don't want to lose you.”

Well, you did. I'm not a possession and I'm not a trained trick pony. I can stand up for myself and I can do for myself too. All the rest of the people around here might not be in that position, but this one took you on your own merits. I'm just sorry you thought you have to think that way in order to have a relationship.” I paused and said, “One final thing, I'm thankful my dad was straight now. He'd probably been your puppet and been miserable.”

Kick someone when they're down.”

If the truth kicks your ass, realize your ass needed kicking!”

I'm getting out and going to the motel. It's evident things aren't getting better between us tonight.”

Tomorrow, if you would, make that call about selling the wine. I'll need the house emptied before I move.”

I'll see you tomorrow.”

When you get a chance, come get your things. Otherwise, I'll leave them.”

You've got it in your mind you're moving on without me?”

Yup. It's the way it happens. I lived before you and I'll live until we manage to get it together.”

Saturday, you've got a date with my parents.”

I'm not going back on that deal. He keeps his word and I keep mine. She keeps her word too, but she's a hopeless romantic. She'll think I'll take you back as things stand. Rather than dragging it all out, I'll leave you that to tell them. IF you do, tell them the truth.”

I stopped and stared forward.

Can I have a kiss?”

I started to say no and then grandma's words and what I did before she died came back to haunt me. “Yeah, I never told my grandma I loved her before I left that night and didn't kiss her and hug her one last time. I'll not make that mistake twice.”

I leaned over and hugged him. I looked into his eyes and said, “I love you, but I can't do this with you as it stands. When we get down the road, it'll be different and I'll be back to see if it's changed.”

You'll find someone else.”

No, sadly, I'm going to be too focused. If you find someone else, I'll be happy to meet him and show him it can be done without strings.”

I started to lean back and opened his door. “There you go.”

Could I get a ride back to the house to get my truck?”

No. My life is going on from this point now, not when it's convenient for you.”

I heard my grandma's voice in the back of my mind. “Do unto others.”

Ok, I'll take you. Don't think it's because I'm bending. I'm doing unto you as I'd want done unto me. Now, you ride over there and don't say a thing about anything you see and where I stop. If I hear a peep, I'll pull over and the car won't move until you're out and walking.”


I started the car and he shut the door. I pulled away and drove down to the next cross street and went towards the college. About two blocks away from the college, I saw her. Tall, stately, elegant, and proud. Limestone with huge ornate stained glass topped windows and a wonderful rounded corner front porch. Two stories with a tall attic dormer to the front. Just enough gingerbread to let everyone know she's Victorian, but not garish.

I pulled over and wrote down the address and the real estate company. I drove up the street and noted two more.

Through it all, he never said anything. I drove home and pulled into the garage. When I shut the car off, I said, “Take what you need with you. You've got a key and I'm not totally kicking you out. The sofa is your bed here and not the guest bedroom...know that so you don't think I want you comfortable in us being apart.”

You know where I'll be if you need anyone. If you need an attorney, call Mike, don't call me.”

I'll do that. I'll say the same back.”

I got out of the car and went into the house. He came in and I said, “Tomorrow, I'm looking at that house. If it's decent, I'm buying it.”

I thought you were interested if we were doing it together.”

No, I'll not be a guest in your home when I go play ball. I'll need a place for me even without you in my life.”

My name's on your bank account, you'll not get money to pay for it.”

Don't try a power play against me. I'm not in the mood to play.”

My responsibility is to see you don't spend your money foolishly.”

If you think investing in a house is foolish, guess again. There's not a judge who will rule for you...unless they're on your payroll. But then again, in this town, he could be your family and owe you for sending him to college.

Just the same, if I want a house and you fight me on it, realize I'll take that as an act of war.”

He shook his head, “It's always about your security being threatened.”

I might have inferior experience, but do you have the amount of time on the defense I've got? IF so, fuck with me and I'll go on the offensive. You'll be surprised how much I can damage and how fast it can happen.”

I'll take your stocks with me.”

I nodded, “Ok, that's your right. Go get them and realize there's not a door out of the house in there.”

What's that mean?”

In all this time, you apparently thought the only weapon my grandpa had was that old 45. I've got each and every other one of them still in their hiding spots and the second you put your hand on those stocks, those stocks and you will be blown off that end of the house. I can sell them without the certificates and you know it.”

I walked over and opened up the hidden compartment in the roll top desk. I took out the grenade and palmed it.

Open secret now. Move that direction and I'll throw it that direction. Your truck is the other direction and my suggestion is to go get in it.”

You're always bordering on the edge of sanity.”

You're always fucking with me to see if I'm afraid of going there. Maybe you really need to think about what happens when I get there.”

I'll let Sherry know you're living alone.”

Good, I'll let Mike Musselman know I need emancipated. We'll hash it out in court with restraining orders.”

I'll need to get some of my things.”

Nope, I drew the line. You go that direction, I'll throw this fucking thing.”

I pulled the pin and said, “Ok, when I let my finger off this lever, it's seven seconds to hell. See if you can get any clothes in that seven seconds.”

I'll leave.”

I thought you'd see I meant it when I told you I'm not your puppet. Just realize the second you make the phone call to Sherry, I'll get called and I'll be sure to tell her you need arrested for having sex with a minor. You'll lose your coaching position and you'll most likely have to endure some humiliation in this town when the arrest is made.”

What do you expect me to do?”

Keep your name on the dotted line and us live separately. If you can't, or won't keep that end of the agreement, then get a clue I absolutely don't need you to survive.”

He didn't say anything. He went to the garage door and through it. I put the pin back in the grenade and put it in the hall closet under the loose board under the stack of bed linens.

My cell phone rang. “Hello?”

I'll be over tomorrow to get my things.”

Stocks are already moved to where you won't get them. I'll have my bank account closed tomorrow. You'll not threaten it twice.”

No need for that.”

Too late. You only threaten if it's crossed your mind. Me leaving it open would be a tactical error.”

Be at school tomorrow.”

I will. It's not like I can't make calls from there.”

I'm going to miss you.”

I hope so. I also hope in that thinking, you'll see things weren't going to change.”

That house over there is too big for one person.”

It's not really the house. It's the status and the positioning of it. It's also the yard and I'll have it when I play ball.”

I'm not going to give you a hard time on the team.”

If you do, I hope it's warranted. If not, I'll have the team aware it's a personal choice you made and everyone will make complaints. You're the one who wanted the 'one for all and all for one' concept. It's now going to be happening.”

I'm getting off here. Bring a black shirt for me tomorrow. All mine are at your house.”

I'll do that. Any thing else you need?”

You to hold me, but I'll make it.”

Get a dog. They take commands well and keep the other side of the bed warm.”

Anything you'd like to say?”

If you need a friend, I'll be here. Respect me and I'll respect you. If you can't, or won't do that, realize the door has two sides on it. One side says 'Welcome', but the other side says 'Thanks'. Your station has that on it's door, but it's not meant for home.”

I'm hanging up now.”

Good night.”

Good night, I do love you.”

I know you do in your own way. Unfortunately, it's not what I'm needing. I love you too.”

Don't be a stranger.”

I'm not. My life's got a pattern to it and unless I'm kicked out of your gym out there and out of your life, I'm going to be there.”

You're welcome there.”

Good night.”

Good night.”

I hung up and looked around, “Grandma, I'm ready to move on with life. It's not this house which has me needing to do it, but all my feelings.”

I locked the doors and windows and went through the house shutting off the lights. When I finally got to the bedroom, I undressed and got under the covers. As soon as I got in, I realized the sheets had his smell on them. I wondered if his out there had mine on them. I doubted it because he had maid service.

As I lay there, I thought about all the things which happened today. It was incredibly long and complex. Football practice seemed weeks ago and not just hours.

I felt the presence before I saw it. It sat on the edge of my bed. I stared over and didn't see anything. I realized it had to be a ghost, but wondered who it was.

His eyes showed themselves for a moment and I realized it was Jared. I flipped back the covers and said, “Get in.”

I felt him get in, but there weren't any impressions on the sheets. I threw the covers back and said, “Thanks for being here.”

I felt the kiss upon my cheek and heard a faint, “Get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a longer day.”

I'm going to miss you.”

You'll be here all too soon.”

I'm going to die?”

You'll live a long and happy life while there. You need to realize it's all relative. If you look at the beginning of a long and happy life, you'll think it's going to take forever. When you're at the end, you'll wonder how it could've went by so fast.”

You died young.”

I died in my time. I didn't want to go, but there wasn't anything I could do.”

Did you go to Heaven?”

We all do silly!”

Some don't.”

Yeah they do. I'm not understanding the concept, but there are those closer to the divine light than others. It's like stones in a gravitational pull around a planet. There are other planets, so don't think there's only one choice. Each belief system has their own. Those who are closer to the principles are closer to the light. Those who err get to be there, but they're further away.”

What happens about the ever burning fires of hell?”

When the day of redemption happens, those who didn't believe period will be burned up when the earth burns. Even if you don't follow all the principles, you still believe, so it's saving Grace is what keeps you from burning.”

Ok, I get it.”

Don't do anything more than what you're doing. Right now, you're on the same level as me. It'd make me feel bad if you weren't.”

I've got to get justice achieved.”

It will be, but not in the way you hoped.”

What's that mean?”

I can't say.”

You'll be there for me when I need you?”


How are my parents?”

They welcomed me and even welcomed my sister. Your dad nodded at Tom, but Tom immediately went to a different level.”

Was it your dad who killed you?”

Don't think about that.”

I've got to.”

My parents err just like everyone else. You need to realize there's no real ratings system according to sin.”


Think about our sins as being weights which weigh you down and become our burden. In life, they're there and they weigh us down. In death, that weight is what spins you out to the far realms of where you belong away from the divine entity. Also realize there's no masculine or feminine form for God. It's shown itself in both forms as well as animal.”


Yeah, if you think of it, it's all there.”

What do you mean?”

In the stable, there was Joseph, Mary, and Jesus....Man, Woman, and Child. Trinity. Now, if you really want to think of it, there were other trinities there too... human, animal, and divine. There was form, matter, and substance. There was planetary, space, and stars.

It's all a trinity. If you look at it, there's always a trinity. Things you think about as only having two sides, really have three.”

I'm not following.”

For example, take sin. There's Right, wrong, and what?”


How does one either do right or wrong?”

They do it.”

They choose to do it. There's choice or thought.”

That's too complex.”

No it's not. I'm telling you this for a reason. Right now, I'm in this bed because you've got your way, and he's got his way. Then, there's the other way which is the common ground. You're not seeing it, but he's not seeing it either. You know you're needing it to be there and he even realizes it to a point, but what you've got confused is a point there.”

Ok, tell me where I'm wrong.”

Look at it as something really simple.”


Let's use M&M's. It's simple and you'll understand it.”

Fine, plain or peanut?”

Who knows. Which do you prefer?”

It depends upon the day.”

I heard a chuckle. “Ok, let's just say they're plain.”


Now, he's got M&M's, you've got them, and the store's got them. Trinity.”


Now, when things are going right in your relationship, you're content in sharing them. You even reach out and hand him some. He does the same, but when you get upset, you're upset, you close up your bag and tell him no more.”


And yet, you want him and even expect him to share his. Is that right?”

I guess you're right.”

In a relationship, realize there's going to be days when you're going to be giving them more than you're receiving them. Just realize one thing, and it'll get you through the tough times.”

What's that?”

The store always has M&M's. They don't run out, so give what you've got and don't think he's not afraid he's going to run out when you're taking more than what you're giving. One day, he'll realize there's more where that came from but the one thing you'll realize is with love, you're getting one thing and that's M&M's in abundance and he is too. It's only when you shut the bag you're needing to realize you're depriving yourself as well as him. When giving stops, you're not giving to yourself either.”

I get it now.”

That's God's love in all things. When you get to the end of life, you'll realize that not one time did you actually go without unless you shut yourself off from them.”

Is that why they say to forgive your enemies? To keep the flow going?”

IF you keep the flow going, your enemies aren't really your enemies. Forgiveness happens to a certain point, and maybe it's not with that person you'll receive your M&M's, but maybe you'll get a different flavor.”


Flavors. Realize they've got a lot of neat things coming soon where you've got choices besides just plain, peanut, or chocolate.”

Oh man!”

I might've said too much there.”

Nope, that just told me I need to buy stock in that company!”

He giggled.

Don't give up on anything or anyone.”

I'll try not.”

You're going to have a lot of joy in life. Just remember through disappointments, anger, frustration, and even pain, there's joy through it all.”


Today, you had a lot of things happen. Did you still have people there who made it enjoyable?”


And they had you. You shared things with others, but you also had individual pain, losses, and other things. You still found joy, and that's where it is in the trinity concept.”

I need to stop thinking about those things. I'll be up all night wondering about it all.”

Ok, but I needed to tell you that.”

Are my parents doing fine over there?”

Yeah, they're wonderfully amazing.”

I wish I could've gotten to know them.”

You did. You also had to do things separately because it wasn't in the plan for you.”

I would've rather had them.”

You're not understanding the plan.”

What's not to understand about that!”

Time concepts. When you're over here, you'll see the amount of time you lived and it'll seem like a flash of light like a blip on a strobe light. It's there and it's over with, but it's not the only one you'll have.”


Yeah, but what you'll find is over here, time is so ever present, people choose to bask in it and then, go to the other dimensions in order to learn. That's why we have ourselves around each other for the time we've got each other.”


Ok, look at it. Do you think there's a small hint we've got our time on the earth when others are there at the same time?”

I never thought about it.”

WE choose to go because while some are there to learn lessons, others are there to teach lessons.”


It's up to us to receive what we can from both experiences. Whether, you are teaching, learning, or whatever, it's a part of the educational experience.”

Ok, so some people are here to learn from us and others are here to teach us. SO, why don't they stick around?”

In order to make room for another to do their part, you've got to have some taken away. Yeah, it's painful, but I was there to teach you something, but also there to teach my parent's something, and even all the other people.”

I never thought about that.”

It's always there. Some day, it's going to hit you and when you figure it out, you'll think of me and it'll be amazing.”

What am I supposed to be in this life?”


No, I mean occupational!”

What do you want to be? It's your call. Do you take what is a natural gift, or do you take an unknown gift, or do you take a learned gift?”


Natural gifts. You've got so many. There are those you focus upon, but it's all relevant.”

What's that mean?”

Ok, think about it. Ten years ago, was what you're interested in now, your main focus then?”


Will it be in the future?”

I don't know.”

Probably not. I mean, even if you play sports, some day you're not going to be able to play like now. You'll have learned other things, or, you'll learn to use talents or gifts you've got already.”

What are those?”

You read fast. You'd be a great editor. You also can design wonderful conceptual plans for buildings. But, you also have the managing ability to successfully make a business thrive.”

That's true.”

But, there are some whose main focus is to learn what their talent is.”

So that's like collegic things?”

Yeah, but not all things are like that.”

I'm not following.”

Did you learn to ride a bike in school? Will you teach a kid to ride a bike in school? Will they even have bikes in the future? Or, will something else take their place? It's all relative and an evolvement.”


Yeah, but when you go out there, you'll realize even the earth is evolving and will end some day.”

Probably not in my time.”

No, but that's what I need to show you. Take a look at the earth and it'll tell you how fast something happens.”


I could tell you to think about cavemen, and you'd think of them.”


Think about a castle and King Arthur.”


Today and how the town is now.”


You just went through almost ten to fifteen thousand years. Now, how fast will the next to fifteen thousand years seem to you?”


Yeah, because it's not a concept you know while there. On this plane, it's but a blink and we see all sorts of things changing.”


Yeah, have you ever seen a falling star?”


See how fast it goes?”


That star might've been around for a million years, but when it's gone, it's gone. It's a part of it's evolvement, but it's merged into something else.”


If you saw it, it merged with the earth's plane.”

Ok, this is too deep and way too much science.”

It's not just science, but history, math, and all the subjects. Don't be afraid to learn about anything, but don't be afraid to share it either.

A lot of people love learning but are afraid to teach. Other's love teaching, but are afraid to learn. Learn to walk on the beach and have your feet in the water as you walk. You'll realize the water comes up and you're in it. It goes back and you're out of it. It's wet, it's dry. It's life and you're experiencing rather than letting it slip by.”

Thanks. How will he and I get back together, or when?”

Did you not just learn what I told you? You've got to experience it. It's the ocean. You're moving and walking, and it's rolling in and rolling out. Teach and be taught. Love and forgive. Share and care. Adore and be adored.”

I need to call him.”

You need sleep. I've kept you awake long enough.”

I've got to teach him to love me.”

You've got to be patient. You expect to teach people to learn to love you like you serve a tennis ball. You slam it over there and have no patience.

How would you feel if you were on that side? Would you want time to learn how to hit it? Or, would you just give up and walk off the court. What you're doing is you're walking off the court because you're not patient enough to teach him how to do it. It takes time.”

So slow down?”

Can I say something which is going to be different for you?”


When you play tennis, you're neither teaching or learning. You're showing and that's it. The other person has no chance to learn to hit it, so you're not teaching and they're not learning. You're showing them you can serve the ball and that's it. They're along for the ride to show others you can serve a ball. I must say you can't have found that very gratifying.”

It paid good.”

Did you enjoy it?”

The money?”

The game.”

It was a competition, it wasn't a friendly game.”

What about friendly games? Do you play those?”


Hmmm, you want to condemn someone for murdering when they show someone they can kill. You watch and see the other person die and you feel sorry for them. Don't you think some watch you in a tennis match and pity the person you're playing and view you as you view a killer?”

Do they?”

It's not fun and it's not entertaining to see someone humiliated to the ends out there. It's entertaining to see skill applied, but it's not entertaining to see total annihilation. The Roman's enjoyed that, but as you can see, it served to be so entertaining the Forum is a ruins instead of an active and thriving venue.”

I guess I never thought about it.”

And you should also wonder if that's why football was introduced into your life because you weren't using it to be your best.”

But I was.”

No, you were using it to be the best 'worst' you could be. While you were doing it, others were having to be the worst best they could be. How would you have felt facing you out there?”

Not real good.”

Think about that when you deal with others who are so overpowering at things you face. Ask yourself if there's something you could teach them and if they won't listen, if there's something you can do to teach others in order to be better about themselves.”

So, what does that mean?”

You found the niche. Do you think people weren't studying you to see if there were flaws, weaknesses, or errors you made? And, if there were, when were they going to utilize those against you? Are you lucky you found football? Or, are you lucky you learned this from me because it saved you pain and humiliation?”

I'll only use tennis to have friendly games from now on.”

Use it to form friendships also. One person out there is craving your friendship and you keep thinking he's an asshole. Maybe he's put back because he doesn't like you either.”


That's all I'm allowed to say. I'm told to leave you be and let you get rest.”

I loved you.”

Lay right here. I'll be your pillow.”

You're not as warm as Grant.”

You're still as warm as you were.”

I don't remember sleeping on you.”

I do.”

Good night.”

Umm hmmm.”

You're not going to say it?”

No, where I'm at, it's both day and night all over the world. IS it a good night? Or, is that just relative to your location? ”

Ok, Mr Scientist mixed with philosopher.”

He chuckled.

I asked, “Why is it you can stay here but my parents couldn't?”

You can see me. No one else can.”

That's going to be weird. Can they hear you?”


You're going to get me into trouble.”

No I'm not.”

Just you wait, you're going to say something about someone and I'll crack up at the wrong time. Then, I'll be in trouble.”

I can't say anything bad.”

Why are you down here?”

I sort of took the job as your guardian angel.”

What does that get me?”

Exactly that, I'll be your guardian.”

You'll tell me when I'm in danger?”

Not exactly.”

It doesn't sound good then.”

You'll enjoy it.”

I've got a question.”


Can you read my mind or people's thoughts?”


Oh. I thought you would have powers like that.”

I'm not a God. They probably have that power, but I don't.”

Well, you're still new to all this. Maybe you've got it but don't know you've got it.”

What are you saying?”

I've got it with some people, but it would have been really nice to have it with you.”

I'll check.”

Check to see if you can speak with my parents and have us communicate. I'd like to know what they think about things. Also, what about my grandma?”

I saw her, but she's handling some project.”


She's got a project she's working on.”

Man, you'd think she'd relax a little!”

She welcomed me really well.”

Great, I'm glad she greeted you.”

Go to sleep.”

My mind is just running rampant.”

I understand. It's not hard to do when you realize you're able to speak with someone.”

He put his hand upon my head as I lay with my face upon his chest. In no time at all, I was asleep.

The next morning, I woke up and had a package of instant oatmeal prepared before Grant arrived.

I heard the door open and yelled, “In the kitchen!”

It's ok to come in?”


You feeling better?”


Wanna talk?”

Let me talk and it'll be the last time I intentionally attempt to dominate a conversation.”


Grant, with the exception of some things, we've not been doing it right. I've been selfish, you've been selfish, and we've got to realize communication is where we've got to make it stronger.

I'm willing to try if you try. You need to seriously think about it because I'm not going to allow you to keep telling me to do things.”

I'll go get my clothes.”


He gave me a wary look. “You're not going to attempt to stop me?”

Nope. Just realize until that condition is met, I'll do things on my own.”

I don't feel I've been selfish.”

Well, I'm not going to argue and tell you, you have, but I'm not going to be dominated either. Do you need help packing?”, I can get it.”


No fighting me?”

Nope, leave what is mine alone and get yours. If you refuse to play by those rules, I'll have you arrested for what you take.”

What about the things we bought together?”

Bring it in and I'll either pay you for half of it, or I'll expect you to pay me for half. There's not that much stuff in that category, so it should be easy.”

I stood up from the table and took my bowl to the sink. “The coffee is good this morning, do you want some?”

No, I've got to go in to the school.”

Remember with an abbreviated schedule, your class schedule won't be the same.”

How long is it going to be until first hour is over?”

The bell for second period will probably ring at nine am. Rather than hour long sessions, they'll have them twenty minutes long.”

Are you wearing your jersey?”

I'll wear it but not because my loyalties are with the team.”

What's that mean?”

It means just as soon as I can get emancipated, I'll be selling my stocks and doing some investments. One of those will be a football team.”

I'd like to talk you out of it.”

It's probably not be a good thing to try.” I made a shoo-ing motion with my hand. “Get to going, I've got to call Mr Musselman to get him on that.”

He shook his head like the didn't like the idea.

I hit speed dial on my phone and Mike answered, “Hello?”



Jake here, I need to get you to working on my emancipation.”

It's filed.”

When did you do that?”

The morning after everything over at the snack shack.”

Good thing. How long will it take?”

I'm not sure, the judge could take an afternoon to sign the paper, or he could take several months. It pretty much is up to him once it parks on his desk.”

Ok, I guess there's no need in worrying about it if it can't be helped. One other thing I want you to do is to represent me in looking at a house.”

You and Grant moving?”

Grant moved out last night. He's here now, but we're giving ourselves some space.”


Don't worry about it. I'm being civil, but when civility runs out, I'll take it legal in a heartbeat. It'd make it a lot easier if the emancipation were through, but just the same, that's not an issue I'm going to worry over.”

What's that about?”

Personal issues. It's not much which can be helped. It takes changing on both our parts, but until he's ready for those changes, I'm not going to entertain the thought of being together any longer. Well, we're together, but just not living together.”

That sounds strange.”

He says he wants me and I want him, but now isn't the time for it. I'm not wanting to break up and I don't think he is either. It's just some things have got to change.”

Do you think counselling would help?”

It's not me. It's him. He's used to things being his way and telling me what to do. I'm not willing to go that route anymore. I'm not a dog and I don't need to feel like I've got to perform tricks in order to be with him.”

That's a rather loaded subject.”

Yup, but he needs to realize I'm not one of his employees and I don't have to do it his way in order to be gotten along with. I have an opinion in this too and sometimes, I'll say no if my needs aren't being met.”

What's the underlying cause of this?”

Exactly what I said. I could give a mountain of examples, but the end result is I've got to do what I want to do and rather than jumping through hoops where he's involved, I'll do it my own way.”

He's making you jump through hoops?”

Mike, money has advantages. Being rich affords me some privileges. I can either jump through hoops for him, or I can go out and make my own way. If he thinks he can hold me with the team being over my head, then I can do some stock trading and reinvestments, and buy a football team. That's the end goal and all the rest are just ways for me to get there.”

Is that what you want?”

Yeah. One other thing I'd like you to look into is getting a call made to the auction house up there in New York about selling all this wine in my basement.”

I'll call them and see if they'll do it.” He paused and asked, “Have you seen the morning news?”

No, I'm not interested in seeing what they say about Jared's parents. The end result doesn't change.”

No, this is about Ronnie Brown.”

What's he got to say about anything?”

He went into his garage last night and blew it up with himself in it.”

Hmmm, are you ready for a news flash as my attorney?”


He's not dead. He wasn't even in the garage.”

Where's he at?”

I don't know, but I know what I told you. I know he's being held and interrogated and then, he'll be delivered to the police.”

Cover yourself.”

Already well done on that.”

Video tape the interrogation.”

I can't say if it'll be done, or not. What I do know is he tampered with my car last night and it was video taped not only by my car, but by the hospital's surveillance cameras. Then, I found out the police are waiting to get more evidence before they make their arrest. I told them if I got to him first he'd be taken my way and if they took him first, they could have him their way. Needless to say, my phone calls got action quicker.”

Who has him?”


It's best you don't tell me. I have a suspicion who it is.”

You're probably correct, but I do know all of them have alibis. No one is hung out to dry on this. Speaking of hanging out to dry, you need to contact St. Louis and get Mark Evans off the case.”

You know his real name?”

I know more about what he's doing than you probably care to know. What I do know is he's contacting others who are off the case and giving out case information.

Now, what I'll do is I'll use my connection in Kansas City with the phone company and I'll get you a call log of the calls he's made, but the one where it's not a bank but asks for a pass code, he punched in 7. It gave him a balance of nearly a hundred thousand dollars.”

You have him bugged?”

No, as my attorney, I'll tell you there are some people I can pick up what they think and tell you what they're doing just as well as conversations they're having. Last night, I picked up him making a phone call and him telling the other person involved how he and I had sex and what all I supposedly did with him. When he hung up on that call, he called that account phone number and punched in the number seven.”

Can you remember the numbers?”

Yeah, both were 314 area code. The first was 743-8831. The second was 642-4235-7.”

I've got those wrote down.”

When you list your reasons as to why I want him off the case, you tell the supervisor I'd prefer to have both of them off the case. Jimmy got punched in the face last night and he threatened to have me thrown in jail.”

What for?!”

He said the people who matter got protection, but those who didn't matter didn't. Needless to say, Jared died without police protection. If he dare wants to make a fuss about it today, I'll have a press conference about what was said complete with witness and video proof.”

Do you think it was frayed nerves and tempers last night?”

It could be, but the threat shouldn't have been put out there as a form of retribution. Unfortunately, once again, Grant sided with someone other than me, and that's when we parted ways.”

Ok, now I know a reason.”

There are a lot of reasons. It seems he's always ready to throw me to the wolves, but never ready to keep me from being devoured. When that changes, I'll give it another try.”

I looked at the clock and said, “I really need to get off the phone. It's time for me to roar to school and I've got to go over and pick up Aaron on the way.”

Is Robbie being better?”

I don't know, but I'm going to make more of an effort with him. If he treats me bad, I'll tell him I'm going to make the effort whether he likes me, or not.”

If he attempts to treat you bad, back off of him and give me a call. I've decided to have things changing for him at home if it continues.”

Ok, I'll do that.”

Here's what I mean to be exact. Even if you say hello, good morning, or whatever and he sneers, you give me that call. He doesn't even have to say anything to be disrespectful. He's to know you made an effort and it's up to him to be respectful in return.”

I think it's just he doesn't want to be seen talking to certain people.”

Well, you think about it how I'm seeing it. There's going to come a day when he's a partner in this law firm and he'll lose us clients if they think badly of him from school. With what you and Grant've done in those investments, he needs to know that could all be shut off and he'd not share in it.”

I'm already there. We've not had vote out elections yet, but his name would've been on my list.”

We've not been real clear about all those.”

I'll tell you we've been clear, but no one is really interested.”

When were you clear?”

You guys are invited to our functions. It's to the point we've decided you guys just don't want to come. I've already gotten others invited into the group because there's too many excuses going around.”

I know we had something planned.”

Yeah, two months in a row with a month notice, and you couldn't give a lot of money your priority. All I can say is it must not mean much to you and it definitely must be something you think will get handed over without participation.

This wasn't a free hand out. It was an enticement to continue friendships of old. No one's interested, but hey, that's you guys faults. I've got people who show to these things each and every month without being in for a cent.”

I'll have a family meeting about it.”

Nah, you just think about it. If your family meeting is sitting around a bunch of people who can't treat me right no matter what and you begging them to go slumming so I can hand over a bunch of money to them, realize I'll tell them to their faces when their hands are out, it's just not happening that way. It's about friendships and trying to reconnect, if you've got no desire to be there, then you don't.”

I'm rather embarrassed.”

I understand. You've been great. I can't say Robbie's been great and wouldn't know your wife or daughter if they came up and spit on me.

Don't think I'm down on just you either. Eric's been great and I like him. His wife and kids aren't around, but I guess that doesn't matter. Dan's been there and Roger's been there, but Dan's not even in the group. I think that's wrong because he's genuinely making an effort.”

I looked over and Grant was standing there glaring at me.

Well, I'm getting the death ray looks from Grant. I guess I said too much. Just the same, you know what I think now and it's nothing to do with any of Grant's damned money.”

He chuckled, “You're better for him than he realizes.”

I certainly hope he will some day. Everyone else sees it, but him.”

I'll get to work on everything for you.”

I appreciate it. I'll call to check in with you periodically throughout the day. You might give that judge a call and tell him I'm a taxpayer too.”

I'll do that!”

Thanks again.”

I hung up and Grant said, “That, I didn't appreciate at all.”

Oh well, if my name's not going to be on the Christmas cards, I could give a care less.”

You think your name's not going to be on my Christmas cards?”

I know they won't be now. When your Christmas cards are yours instead of ours and my name's nothing but an add on, you definitely need to keep mine off there.”

I was waiting to tell you I'm packed. I'm glad it's done now.”

Ok, leave your keys over there on the counter and we'll get to school.”

I'm keeping a key.”

Keep the one to the garage and your garage opener. I want the one to the front and the rear. When I buy this other house, you can have a key to it.”

You sure you're going to get that off?”

My emancipation is on the judge's desk as we speak. He'll be reminded I'm waiting patiently and a taxpayer in this county. If that doesn't get it sooner, I hope you give him better deals than he'll get at my car dealer.”

What's that mean?”

The man takes his time signing off on paper because it gives him a little power trip. Imagine if he comes out to the dealer and I make him wait on the paperwork for his wife's new Cadillac for the same amount of time it took to get a paper signed. He'll learn others in this town don't have to bow down to kiss anything to get respect.”

He's spending money at the dealer.”

I'm spending money to get emancipated.”

Mike's doing it free.”

You're likely right. I doubt if I'd give him any of the money.”

You just messed that up.”

Not really. His wife and kids aren't going to come. I said I'd try with Robbie, but it takes two to make it happen. He's hardly making efforts.”

You just made it so he's going to be doing it.”

Listen, if he does it for that reason, he's a whore. I know, you know, and his dad knows the reason he did it. You and his dad might choose to delude yourselves into believing he had a miraculous transformation, but I'll stand there and tell you what I see. Maybe that's the way you see people treat you with your money, but me, I'd rather deal with people who are real to me.”

You keep forgetting you've got money too.”

Nope, I'm not forgetting. I guess someone does treat me different because he keeps trying to take it away from me...that would be you. Now that you know the emancipation is on the judge's desk, you might think twice because I'm moving forward with life and when I do, I'll treat people real and will keep those who were real with me around.”

Maybe I tried. You throw it out there like it's something I didn't do.”

You did it. Yup, you sure did!” I stood up and grabbed my book bag. “Liar. You expect me to side with you on it? Then, you think again. Your friend Eric is the only one. All the rest either they left, or you left them. All it would've taken was a simple phone call to tell you they weren't friends.”

What's that mean!”

WE made calls. They didn't bother coming. To me, that says they're not a friend.

Now, was there a reason they didn't? Or, was there too much space and time between? A valued friendship keeps being cultivated because both sides want it.”

Is that what I should do?”

I can't even begin to tell you on that. If it had been Chris, I'd've called and said, “Hey, you missed Thursday night, don't do it again. I make time for you and I expect the same. IF he does it again, I hang that friendship up. It's that simple. I've done it with the man who shares my bed, I can do it with whomever, whenever, and wherever.”

So all I was to you is a point made!”

If that's what you see, then that's what it was.

I can tell you until I'm blue in the face it's not working and not to do something again, but you stand there thinking I'm going to keep tolerating the abuse you delve out.”

I don't abuse you!”

I gave him a cold steely stare. When I spoke, I spoke slowly. “Spoken by someone totally in denial. IF I pulled half of what you pulled on me, you'd swear I hated your guts!

You view what you do as “loving” me. Well guess what, being called a liar isn't conducive to a 'loving' relationship. Being told you're going to run to the authorities each time you don't get your way isn't 'loving'... when you know it's a fear of mine.

Lastly, you thinking I'm going to shack up with you when you want control isn't going to happen. It's not what I require in a 'loving' relationship, and you're now on that side of the door.

Abuse doesn't have to be with fists Grant! You can mess with someone mentally and it's way more effective than beating them up. Little words, little actions, and little things are all what you do.

I'm a liar. You're a tattle tale, and you're going to take away my security. It's designed to put me on the defensive and finally, when I drew a line and told you enough was enough, I'm being a petulant child.

Now, you see the emancipation papers are on the judge's desk and you're about to lose all that control. You're like, “Holy shit! He really meant it! I guess I gotta change or I'll lose him. Well, I'll try to get him back into line the only way I know, and that'll work.

Well, it doesn't work, it didn't work, and it's going to take more than that in order to love me.”

What do I have to do?”

Change. Realize I'm not someone who has to owe you something, use you, or be dictated to by you in order to have you around me. Those things aren't love. It's owing and it's conditional.

I want to share things with you and I want to have us on an equal level. You've got that with your friends who you have around, and yet, you put them in positions where they've GOT to owe you.

Last night, I got shown by Jared how it must be to deal with me on an tennis court. It didn't make me feel good. He told me I needed to change.

I'm doing it, but he also told me I needed to be patient. What I'll tell you is patience is something I'm willing to give IF the other person is showing effort. You keep drawing that line in the sand and telling me I've got to change and you're not moving. Well, I've drawn a line too. Either we agree on different terms than what we've built this relationship upon, or we've got to separate until agreement to change happens. I'm willing to wait, but for your information, there's not anyone else in my life. Yes, I did share my bed with something last night, but it was Jared...and no, it wasn't in that manner, he talks more than you and he doesn't snore. Well, he's not as warm as you and smell as good as you, and well, he teaches lessons which gets my brain to feeling like it's in overload.”

My cell phone rang. “Hello?”

Aaron's voice asked, “Did you forget me?”

No, I'm on my way. Grant and I are arguing, so I had to stick around here. I'll be right there.”

I hung up.

We're not arguing.”

Well, we're not exactly agreeing.”

I'll think on it.”

Ok, at least that's a bit of effort.”

What did he teach you?”

That even when we're thinking we're real great, others are likely seeing us as total assholes. He also taught me I need to share M&M's with you and buy a helluva lot of stock in that company.”


Flavors. He said they're going to have flavored ones instead of plain and peanut soon.”


Yeah, isn't that cool!”

I don't have the shelf space.”

You need to make that area different anyways. I'd knock out that center display where you put the popular brands of cigarettes and make it so it's candy. You're not getting paid promotional money for that display, so put it for something which would get you more variety for kids.”

I'm thinking about rebuilding the building.”

If you do, you'll make more money, but you'll tend to want to have less profitable items in it.”

I want to have more of a convenience store atmosphere.”

Can I offer a suggestion?”


Put up a row of windows where your guys can have stools. They're inside and your customers can see they're still going to be there. If you get rid of the guys, you've given away your business, so don't think you can do it.”

I was thinking about it.”

You're not batting a thousand today with the brilliant ideas. Do whatever you want because it's yours, but when you see all your customers up town buying gas at that station who suddenly has a line of guys pumping gas, you realize you handed that man your business. Just let me know what you're going to do so I can be that man.”

You think that's the reason everyone comes out there?”

Gas is cheaper, cigarettes are cheaper. Well, everything's cheaper because you don't have city taxes, but it's the novelty of what the guys do which keeps those people in their cars is what has them really driving out there.

If it were me, I'd concentrate on a bigger building which does the same. I'd NOT go for the convenience, but I would get the restrooms inside and would make it so there were huge stacks of cases of your discount soft drinks.”

I was thinking about phasing those out too.”

Who's advising you on this?! Whoever it is, has to be in your family and they've got to be as dumb as all the rest. The building idea is good, but all the rest you've thought out is just too against what built your business to even get you any money.”

I thought of it. It's been on my mind for a long time, but I've just not done it.”

Was it at a family reunion where the collective thought was in the realm of stupidity? And how, how in the world of such total dumb asses did your parents have you? They're brilliant people, but all of you kids just seem like your brains got sucked out at birth.”

He smiled, “I'll give my parents the compliment, but for your information, I must've done something right since I've made it a success beyond what my dad did.”

You didn't fuck with it! That's what you did! Now you're wanting to make feather pillows and roast the goose which lays golden eggs, and I'm telling you all she's wanting is a new house. I'm NOT telling you to go the direction of what you're contemplating.”

I'll think on it.”

Think on it and do some surveys with your customers. When you see the horrified looks on their faces, you ask them if they'd go to another station which offered the same treatments within the city limits and you ask them if they'd gladly pay the city taxes for that convenience. When they do, you think about it but get back with me on it because I'll be needing to buy a large piece of land on Morley so I can go into competition to keep the money flowing into our coffers instead of someone else's.”

He gave me a strange look. “You realize you said it was our coffers.”

Yeah, we're not split up. I'm just waiting for you to come to your senses and share M&M's.”

Can we talk tonight?”

Yeah, after the game, I'll be in the hot tub out at the gym and really needing a rub down. If you'd give me one, I'll appreciate it. If not, let me know now and I'll have someone hired to be there.”

I'll do it. I want us to talk.”

I'll be there. You know they like to knock me around in those games.”

Don't feel like you're the only one. All of them feel like that.”

Do you make the hot tub available to all the guys?”

They know it's out there.”

I'll tell them. They might listen better when they feel terrible. It seems to work for you. Now, I need to go get Aaron.”

Why doesn't he drive to school.”

He's like Grandma, he likes looking at the Jimmy, but he sure doesn't want to waste it. By the way, it's already got rust showing on it...”


You heard me, the metal is lousy on those trucks. Now, do I offer body work for it? Or, do I sit back and let him not drive it and see a truck rusting in a dry garage.”

Show me some time. IF that's what's happening, it's going to be a huge issue.”

There's a spot above the driver's rear wheel well which is already an open rust spot. The tailgate has a corner which is bubbling.”

Order another one just like what he's got and get it down there to that undercoating place and get it undercoated. Be sure to take the one which is rusting down there so they know we're going to start undercoating all of them through them before they go onto the lot. We can't have people spending that much money and seeing it rust out before they get done paying for it.”

Will do, you might call Jack out there and tell him to get appointments made.”

I said, “I'll see you tonight.”

Without giving him a kiss, I went to the garage and got in my car. I looked at the clock and realized I had eight minutes to get driven across town and back to school before the first bell rang. I'd cut it way to short.

When I picked up Aaron, he smiled at me and said, “Arguing with Grant?”

Well, things are changing. We're still together, but we're separated until he decides I'm a part of this relationship. He's going to be living at the motel and I'm looking at another house.”

Which house?”

Got a few minutes?”

No, you made it so we're going to be rushing.”

There's a house two blocks out of our way I could show you which is for sale. I'm having Mr Fussleman make the appointment for me to look at it. IF I like it, I'm buying it.”

What about Grant?”

What about him?”

Isn't that heading the wrong direction for you two to stay together?”

No, it further emphasizes the point that with or without him, I'm going to live my own life.”

Is that one of your problems?”

Yeah, I get ordered around like a dog and I don't like it.”

I get treated that way by my dad. I know what you mean.”

Well, this is by someone who's supposed to be my partner. Partnership, to me, means sharing and not being dictated to and ordered around.”

You think that's how he treats you? He speaks highly of you when you're not around.”

When I'm around, I get treated bad. Maybe he'll find himself speaking highly of me a lot now because I'm sure not going to be around someone who treats me that badly.”

He paused and said, “Don't make us late, but go drive by that house.”

Thanks.” I said smiling. “You'll see it's beautiful.”

I turned and drove up the street towards the college. I pulled over in front of it and pointed. I saw a flyer rack on the real estate sign I didn't see last night. I got out and got two.

When I got back in the car, I handed one to him and began to drive to school. We pulled in and instantly had to rush to get going.

At home room, I opened my flyer and looked at the photographs of the rooms. Each one was incredibly amazing. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned. It was a girl.


That house is in my neighborhood.”

Do you know who owns it?”

An old lady. Her husband died.”

It's a beautiful house. Have you heard anything bad about it?”

Nah, it's expensive though.”

It says a hundred and thirty nine thousand.”

That's a lot of money.”

Yeah, but it's sure nice.” I pulled on my antenna and quickly dialed Mr Musselman.


Jake here, I've got a flyer on that house. When you call the real estate people, tell them I can view it tomorrow afternoon.”

What's the address?”

649 Tulip Drive.”

Nice neighborhood. I like it down there.”

I smiled. “Tell the agent, I'm prepared to make an offer and tell my banker, I'll need to have that much money available to spend.”

You're certain about this?”

The flyer is in my hand. I need to see if the roof needs updating, and the furnace, but everything else is a go.”

Ok, I've got a call in to Sotheby's. They're going to call me back.”

I appreciate it.”

I hung up and the girl said, “You have that much money!”

Yeah, I inherited a bunch from my grandma's estate.”

It's terrible about what happened to Jared, isn't it.”

Yeah, I'm going to miss him.”

I think he was like you. I can't say for certain, but he was.”

I can't say.”

I've heard about you.”

From who?”

I can't say.”

Well, I am.”

I think that's neat. At least you're honest about it.”

Can't hide it. It'd give me away when I didn't date around.”

That must stink you can't have a boyfriend.”

I can have a boyfriend!”

She smiled, “No, what I meant is I can walk up and down the halls with mine. I can go out with him and to football games and be seen holding his hand. You can't.”

I chuckled, “If I was holding my boyfriend's hand during a football game, not much ball would be getting played!”

She laughed, “I guess you're right!”

Besides, he's older.”


Yeah, so if he was walking up and down the halls with me, they'd probably call the police.”

She smiled, “Well, you know what I mean...”

Prom sucks, but we've talked about it and we've decided instead of me going to proms, we'll go on a special date to places where we can dance together. The only one I'll probably have to go to is Homecoming next week.”

Do you have a date for that?”

No, it'd be unfaithful to him and using a girl for it. I'm not going to do that.”

Why do you have to go to the Homecoming Prom?”

I've been told I'll most likely be the King of it.”


Yeah, so I've got to show up in order to dance with the Queen. Otherwise, I'd gladly go to Kansas City with him.”

You could go with him on Saturday night.”

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to see if he's available.”

Who is it?”

I can't say. Because he's older and I'm younger, he could get into trouble.”

That's not right. I know a lot of girls who date older boys.”

It's the law. If a girl was seventeen and a day before her eighteenth birthday and the boy she's dating just had his eighteenth yesterday, he'd go to jail tonight and have to go to prison. It's stupid.” [The law used to be that way. Now it's five years. I went to prison on this law.]

That is dumb.”

The laws for our state are really dumb. If a boy kissed you and put his hands below your neck to hug you, it's called sexual abuse through sodomy. Our sodomy law states anything below the neck is sodomy.”


I sit next to you at a football game. We touch thighs, it's sodomy. The law is so open, it's being broken by everyone. And yet, they don't arrest. BUT, if they chose to, they could and you'd go to prison.”

So me tapping you on the shoulder is sodomy?”

Yeah, pats on the back...sodomy.”

I thought sodomy was sexual!”

Nope, when the law was written, they left it deliberately open with the word unnatural. It didn't even include sex.”


Unnatural. If you beat me with a stick, I guess that's something from nature, so that could be done. Do it with your hand, and it's unnatural.” I smiled, “But, I could say you're a part of nature and I'm a part of nature and fight it.”

She smiled, “You need to speak with Robbie. He knows the law.”

He doesn't like me. I've tried to speak with him.”

I'll tell him to speak with you.”

Don't bother. It's the way he looks at me which tells me he's not interested.”

How's he look at you?”

Like week old tuna fish sandwiches. I told his dad about it and he told me to give him another shot and see if it changed. If it doesn't, then I'm to call him and let him know.”

You know his dad?”

Yeah, that's who I just called. He's my attorney.”

You MUST have a LOT of money if he's your private attorney. Robbie told me his dad isn't anyone's attorney unless they're really wealthy. Well, he said the only person he knows who is a client of his dad's is Grant Oberling.”

Well, you now know someone else who's a client of his dad.”

Do you know them any other way?”

Grant Oberling is my guardian until I'm emancipated. The judge has it on his desk, but is dragging his feet on it.”


I don't know, but I sure hope he doesn't ever try coming out and buying a Cadillac. I'll see his paperwork gets drug through as slow as mine. If it's a gift for his wife, then she's not going to be happy.”

Hang on, can I use your phone?”


She took my phone and dialed, “Daddy, there's a guy here who says his paperwork is on your desk. He says you're dragging your feet on it and the day you ever want to buy a Cadillac, he'll drag your paperwork through just as slow as you're being about it. Yeah, hang on.” She looked at me and asked, “What's your name?”

Jake Martin.”

Jake Martin. He's supposed to be really wealthy and has Mr Musselman as a private lawyer, so....really? Well, he's sitting here next to me and is planning on buying that house of Mrs Watson's.

Yeah, he's able to call Mr Musselman when he wants and I heard him tell him to get the money and everything. Ok, I'll tell him you've got the paperwork in front of you now. Ok, bye!”

She hung up and smiled, “You had no idea he was my dad, did you?”

No, but thanks. It helps me a lot.”

How's it help you?”

With Grant as my guardian, he seems to want to refuse doing some things for me. With me being emancipated, I can sell my own stocks, and buy houses, and whatever.”

You have stocks?”

Yeah, but I'm going to see about selling some and buying a football team. If I can get that done, I'll be assured I get to play pro ball.”

Man! You're rich!”

Shhhhh, say it a little louder and everyone will know!”

She laughed, “You're cute, it's a shame you're gay.”

Well, that should have really let all the ones who were turned to see who was rich know I'm also gay!”

She laughed, “He's taken guys, you can keep your girlfriends.”

I laughed, “There are a few of those around...let me tell you.”


Yeah, it's sad, but that's how they do it.”

Who are they?”

Won't say. Wouldn't say if I knew, and won't say because it's not be right.”

I've suspected Robbie is.”


I can tell he doesn't like to do some things.”

I sort of smiled and said, “Ask him to share M&M's. If he eats one from between your teeth, he's possibly straight.”

She chuckled, “Or, he could be doing it to make me think he's straight.”

Ok, then get vienna sausages. If he's straight, he's going to refuse to do it unless he really loves you. If he gets close and suddenly has the compulsion to suck it, you've got your answer and he can't deny it.”

She laughed, “You're terrible!”

No, terrible would be telling you secrets without offering to buy you a can.”

She laughed and the bell rang for our first hour class.

I got up and went out. On the way, I saw Robbie. He sneered, and I mentally said, 'Sneer One Asshole'.

At the first hour class, quite a few football players all came to where I was sitting. We sat together and the teacher came in. “I'm sorry, but you boys are going to have to remove your jerseys. I don't allow those in my classroom.”

I stood up and said, “We'll need a pass to the office. You can write us up, but whatever you do, you be sure to let me know of the player who removes his jersey and you keep it. I'll be back for it because I don't want that man on my team.”

All the guys stood and I said, “Anyone who supports our team should've stood. I guess you can say you have team spirit, but when it comes down to it, you're not really for our team.”

A few people stood and I said, “Ma'am, add their names to the list.”

You're creating a disturbance!”

The disturbance will be created when I get to the office and Principal Jackson doesn't come here and tell you the jersey leaves another player's body the second you're out of here.”

I can and WILL do what I want in my class room.”

I suggest you to rethink sexually harassing me in the future. I feel violated you asked me to remove my clothes in front of everyone, and I really feel violated you're a sexist and only chose to ask the boys to do it. Did you ask the cheerleaders to remove their team colors? No, so it's a sexist sexual harassment suit we'll file.”

Pendergrass smiled, “I'd like to see it.”

The teacher yelled, “You get out of here!”

Give me my pass and I'll gladly remove myself. I'm not violating any rules so your messed up rule will stand.”

She started to yell and I said, “Mrs Brown....Oh, now I get it...”

I pulled out my cell phone and dialed Superintendant Wilson's phone number, “Hello?”

Jake Martin here, I'm being sent to the office because Mrs Brown is sexually harassing me and telling me to remove my clothes. I refused to do so, as did a lot of other boys who refused and some students who think it's demeaning for us to have to...”

I'll be right there!”

Good, my next call is to my attorney.”

Pendergrass smiled, “Jake, you're stirring the shit man!”

She's not mad at us over the uniforms, it's at me for a reason and I know what it is.”

What is it?”

Things which go boom in the night.”


See, I told you.”

Pendergrass looked startled.

I said, “I said I'd leave when I got the pass. Now lower your tone of voice or I'll be sure to note on my lawsuit you used the tone in a threatening manner which makes the sexual harrassment a Class B felony instead of a C.”

She headed towards me and shoved me.

Ma'am, that was your biggest mistake so far. Now you have definitely lost your job and there won't be any pay while you face your charges.”

She slapped my face and I said, “That's another count of assault, so keep going.”

I handed my cell phone to Pendergrass and said, “Hit 1 and hold it until it dials. When Mike answers it, you tell him to get to the school as I've just been assaulted repeatedly by a teacher.”

Who's that?”

The Prosecuting Attorney.”


He dialed and she had me backed into a corner. “You little shit, you think you can kill us all, don't you?”

Ma'am, I have no real idea what you're saying. You've clearly got issues, but not getting that pass into my hand is compounding them.”

The door flew open and Principal Jackson came rushing in, “MRS BROWN! Remove yourself from that student immediately!”

She backed up and I said, “YOU're witness to what's been happening. Just remember when the lawsuit happens.”

Pendergrass turned to Principal Jackson, “She's lost it. She was beating him up and mentioning something about killing us all.”

Principal Jackson said, “Anyone who's involved in this, please stay here. I need to get statements. Mrs. Brown, please remove yourself to my office.”

He turned to us and said, “You're NOT being punished. I could remove you, but leaving her here is jeopardizing everyone. Jake, get to the student nurse for your eye.”

My eye?”

I reached up and touched my eye. I held out my hand and saw the blood. “Why am I bleeding?”

Pendergrass said, “I'll walk with him. She cut his eye with her ring. I saw it, and I'll make a statement about what I saw and heard.”

I went out and said, “Hand me my phone.”

He handed me the phone and I dialed Grant's cell phone. I knew he had his first hour open, but would have other classes soon.


I'm on my way to the nurse's office. Mrs Brown just assaulted me.”


She beat me up.”

You ok?”

MY eye is bleeding. I've called Mike and told him to get here.”

Oh man, I'll be right there.”

You've got class. Besides, my emancipation papers are signed.”

I'm on my way.”


I hung up and saw the blood on my cell phone. “Damn, I got blood on my cell phone.”

Pendergrass said, “She went nuts!”

Ronnie Brown blew himself up in his garage last night. I wonder if they're related.”

You think?”

I don't know, but I know some guys need to learn how to throw punches from her. She should've been the boxing coach.”

We don't have a boxing team.”

Well, she could've taught it.”

He chuckled, “At least you have grounds for all sorts of things.”

Nah, we've got grounds for it. We all were subjected to it. I just got beat up because she knew I'd call my lawyer.”

I about started laughing because I thought it was a joke and then, when I heard what you said, I really almost started laughing because I never once thought it was sexual.

When you made mention of us being asked to remove our clothes, I saw you had her in your sites and were correct. Not in any time when we were ever told about sexual harassment did I think it was that.” he said chuckling.

Grant and I had a talk once about it. We realized how easily someone could put their self into that compromising position. That's why you guys got those vests at the City Limits to wear. We realized if you took off your shirts, it might be a hot day, but unknowingly, you might've just got him a charge made against him. You being underage, he's responsible.”

Man, I never thought about that!”

That's why you can't work out while on the clock. He'd love for you to be able to do it, but as your employer, it could be used against him. Rather than have it happen, he's covering himself.

What's interesting is we talked about how sexual situations happen and how people unknowingly hand over control. You being a student and she being a teacher, she's in the role of authority and can ask you to do things where you feel threatened if you don't.

That's why I made certain to tell her I wanted a pass to go to the office and to go ahead and write us up. I knew she was being put on guard to back down and she rightly could've backed off and admitted she made a mistake. Instead, she went nuts.”

Well, you didn't make it easy for her. Your mouth opened up and didn't stop.”

She didn't back off. She had her warning and didn't do it.”

We went into the nurse and the nurse immediately went into action. Grant came rushing in and said, “You ok?”


What happened?”

Mrs Brown told us to take off our jerseys. I told the guys to all stand up and anyone else who supported the team to go with us to the office. She started filling out a 'write up' and I made mention about it being sexual harassment us being asked to remove our clothing.

She told me to leave and I told her I would with the pass because I wasn't going to violate a rule so she would have something to get me into trouble with.

Then, she said something else and I told Pendergrass she wasn't asking cheerleaders to remove their uniforms, so she was a sexist. She came over and shoved me and then, started making statements about killing us all or something like that.

Before I knew what was happening, I had him with my phone calling Mike and I was in the corner with her beating me up. Principal Jackson came in and removed her from me and told me to go to the nurse. Until then, I didn't realize I was cut.”

Ok, I've got to get to the office.”

Grant, don't speak on my behalf. If you do, you're going to side with her and have them thinking I won't be suing. Mike's on his way.”

He gave me a look like he was pissed. “I'm on your side on this!”

Well, I wasn't going to take the chance. You've managed to side against me on everything else, so I wasn't letting it happen this time.”

Is that how you see it?”

Look at the snack shack. I have to do things and you side against me. Last night, you sided against me. You wonder why I want you away from me? And now, you suddenly want to be in the thick of things. With your track record, I sure don't want you messing it up.”

You might need stitches. There's absolutely no excuse for that!”

You had video when I got thrown across the hood of my car and yet, everyone else was in the right because you were afraid of his dad. You sold me out because of your fears.”

I've got to go see she's fired.”

Tell Mr Musselman where I am when he gets here. I'll tell him I want us all to be able to sue her.”

You were the one beaten up.”

I was a part of a group of my team mates who were all sexually harassed. We'll stand on that merit.

Yeah, I got beaten up, but after she had me beaten unconscious, do you think she would've turned around and told them to return to their seats? OR, would they've been told to remove other clothing?

She lost it plain and simple. She was using force to get her way, and that's the pretense of what can be attested.

Everyone else is going to write statements to what was said and nothing said can make sense if it's thought of differently because of what happened to Ronnie Brown.”

What's that got to do with it?”

Her name's Mrs Brown. IS she his wife? Sister-in-law? You tell me!”

DO you think that's why she did it?”

Of course not! I know and you know when we're here, we're to forget everything else and us using a personal situation to affect others is our own actions. She made the request we removed our clothes, so that's sexual harassment.”

He smiled a small smile. “Ok, I'm remembering our conversation. You're right.”

Thanks. Now, see the Principal knows I'm not out of the game tonight over this.”


Grant! No cursing. Just do it because there's nothing more than I want right now is to pound Hannibal's ass into the dust for not allowing our school to grieve over Jared's death.”

The nurse looked surprised, “They WHAT!”

Grant stood there and I pointed at the door. “Go! I'll tell her.”

Ok, but let me know you're ok.”

I will.”

He left and I said, “He's my guardian. That's why he was here.

Last night, when we found out Jared was dead, our team came together and we called everyone in.

We wanted a memorial service tonight instead of a game. When Grant called Hannibal's coach, the man refused to do it. Apparently, he thinks he'll have an advantage if we're crying.

What the man should be thinking is we're going to be pissed and stomping his guys into the ground mercilessly over his decision.”

I'll be there. I had no idea that's what happened. That's almost unsportsmanlike!”

Yeah, and when we have that memorial service during half time, we're going to make mention as to why we're playing the game and that comment is going to probably have our whole stadium filled with hating that coach. I bet you from that point on, our people will be savoring each fallen man.”

That's brilliant on you guys part, but I heard what happened to that boy and his sister.”

I did too.”

My friend is an emergency room nurse. She said she's seen all sorts of car wrecks and everything, but seeing his injuries was the worst she's seen.”

I know. I was there.”

You were!”

Yeah. A friend and I went out on a double date. His date lives up the street from Jared and when I saw the ambulance down there, I went down. The ambulance left, but they didn't take his sister's body.

The cop on the scene went because I called him. He called me because he was the only person on the scene and had two suspects in the house with him. He saw the blood, gore, and stuff and didn't start gagging until he found her. That's when he said she'd been hacked all to pieces.”

He was just as bad. Fingers, eyes, and pieces were just cut off.”

Yeah, but he's in a better place. Just be thankful for that.”

His parents sure won't be there.”

They won't be, but who's to say? I know the man is a direct suspect in my parent's deaths as was Ronnie Brown.”


Yeah, they do that to Jared and Tom Colburn and Tom confessed. Then later, Ronnie committed suicide, so you go figure that out.”

I heard he blew himself up in his house. My husband is on the fire department. I didn't know why, but now it makes sense.”

All the rats flee when the ship's sinking.”

I don't seem to remember your parents, did they go to school here?”

Yeah, they graduated in the Class of '72.”

Oh, I graduated in '76.”

That would've been with my dad's little sister.”



She scrunched her face.

I said, “Yeah, you don't need to say it. I have my own opinions.”

I can't say anything.”

Just the same, I can and DO use my opinion.”

Who raised you?”

My mom's mom. My aunt and my uncle both couldn't or I should say, WOULDN'T raise me. It's probably for the best. She would've not had enough time to pay attention to me since the mirror only showed her reflection and my uncle probably would've had me dead from snakebite in his church.”

He goes to one of those churches?!”

Yeah, I had to go once when I was five years old and they chased me around with a poisonous snake.

They said I was filled with the devil because I was afraid. When I peed my pants, they said the devil left my body.

I'll tell you I was that afraid because the guy was chasing me and I went to grab onto a guy's leg and there was a snake wrapped around it.”

Oh dear!”

Yeah, my grandma sort of came unglued when she found out. That was the last time I ever got allowed to go to my uncle's for the weekend.”

So Grant Oberling is raising you now?”

Yeah, but I kicked him out. I got emancipated this morning, so I'm my own person.”

I heard what you said to him.”

Every bit was true.”

You were speaking from hurt and disappointment instead of anger, I could tell it in your voice.”

I love him, but about the time I need to count on him, he's not there. He thinks I should count on him, but it's strange. About the time I don't count on him, he's suddenly there.”

Maybe he's learned a lesson?”

I doubt it. I'd love to believe he has, but I'm not so certain.”

Can you afford to make it on your own?”

Yeah, I was left very well off financially.”

But telling the richest man in town to take a hike wasn't real smart.”

Ma'am, I'm the richest in town. He's the second richest. Just because my money isn't invested here doesn't mean he's got more.”


As I said, I was left very well off financially.”

You don't seem rich.”

If it means being a 'sell out' as to what people think of you, then I'll never act like him. I'd rather know my friends are my friends and know I can stand up for what's right instead of what someone else thinks.”

He didn't do that?”

There's a man in town here who is rumored to be mafia. His son beats on me and damages my car and phone and suddenly, Grant wanted to smooth it over. I stood up to the guy and now, both he and his son are friends. The good side of it is Grant's a friend to the man too and now sees it was just a rumor.”

She smiled, “I understand.”

Good, just don't ever judge people by their rumors. You might be wrong.”

Mike Musselman came in, “You ok?”

Yeah, did Grant tell you what I wanted done?”

No, he was busy telling the Principal he had to fire the woman. He told me to go see for myself and I left. I figured he had the man in a cold sweat, I didn't need to add to problems.”

She sexually harassed a bunch of us football players. She told us to take off our jerseys. Yeah, we had clothes on underneath, but she doesn't ever ask cheerleaders to remove their uniforms. So, I told the guys to all take a pass to the office and she kept making remarks. I made remarks and then, the lady shoved me and began beating me up.”

I heard that. I'm glad you handed that guy your cell phone.”

Thanks for coming out.”

How much do you want to sue for?”

I don't know. Make sure it's enough it never happens again. Get the guys something is all I ask. For me, get her fired since she laid a hand on me. IF I can't play ball tonight, you see she gets charges...lots and lots of charges and don't let her get bailed out until Monday.”

You struck up a nice friend this morning I hear.”

Yeah, I had no clue. She's a real sweet girl.”

Did you see Robbie?”


He nice?”

Can't say, if you count the face he made when he saw me as nice, I'd say he had Cinnamon Life cereal and drank too much orange juice. Maybe that's why the face got made.”

He chuckled, “You're being too nice on him.”

I'm going to try and try. Now, I've got to ask you a question.”

What's that?”

I can't prove it, but it's a suspicion...What would you do if you found out your son was gay?”


I've not saw it, but his girlfriend says she suspects. As you know my mom suspected with Roger. If that's true, then you need to know that might be why he pushes me away.”

If he's gay, that's fine. I'll deal with it and adjust. That doesn't excuse him being unkind to anyone.”

I need to ask another question of you.”

What's that?”

Does he know I'm a client of yours?”


You might sort of let it slip. Maybe you could do it in a way as such tomorrow you have him go with you while I'm looking at the house. You sort of fill him in on my situation, financial and about you getting my emancipation today.

Then, you tell him everything about how I got to be that way without saying one word to him about my name. When he's really interested, you then tell him together with Grant, we've invested quite a bit of money for a lot of people and have made everyone wealthy. And then, lastly, you tell him I've secured us a whole friggin' continent for us to invest in and that I'm ready to invest without him if he makes one remark, facial expression, or whatever.”

You know, that might work.”

You'd be betting on a losing horse's ass and you know it. If you think he'll change, you're wrong and let me tell you where you'd be wrong.

Tomorrow afternoon, you're going to psych him out and then, you're going to show up at that house. He's going to be expecting someone who's older and whom he's not met. When he sees me, he's going to think I'm slumming and probably, just maybe, he's going to think I'm robbing the place because that's what low life's like me do.

He'll make that face and he'll probably make a remark to you about what he thinks. That's when you'll really yank his chain so hard his head will come back out through the horse's ass he is.

When it's choking him, I stand and smile and hold out my hand. I'll be nice, but you will know, he'll know, and I'll know he likely could have lost you a client had I not already known you and know you're a decent guy.”

I appreciate it.”

I think he might be a decent guy too, but he's got his judge's robe on a few years too soon.”

He'll never make it.”

Oh, don't think that because you'd be wrong. He'll make it that far and he'll even make it to the state's supreme court.”


I told you I could see things about people and that's what I'm seeing. Now, will he do it with that attitude? Or, does he need to have it removed in order for the eye's of justice to have a blindfold on? In fact, you might tell him after we get me that house the story of why she's got a blindfold.”

I'll do that.”

I'm not going to say anything about him being a horse's ass in front of him. I don't want you to do it either. I want to see if he suddenly makes better decisions, or if he thinks he can let it slide to treat me badly later. If the story about lady justice and that doesn't make it through his skull, then we'll figure something else out.”

You're being too kind to him. I'll tell you now, I've spoken with his mother and we're in agreement he should be made to have everything taken from him and him having to earn it all back through acts of kindness.”

That's a good plan, but it'd be exactly act. Acts of kindness, as you know, come from the heart, not from being made to do them in a manner for them to be rewarded.”

What then?”

Can I suggest something and have you and your wife think about it?”


What does he know about law?”

I'm not sure.”

I'll tell you now, I know law. I know our city's charter and our state statutes. The reason I bring it up is you might see it differently when I tell you we could have him as your partner a whole lot sooner than you imagined.”

How's that?”

Look under the requirements for anything in our state involving the law. It says “ to be knowledgeable in the law”. It doesn't state “Said applicant must be a graduate from said such and such school of law”


Well, even to take the Bar exam, you must be 'knowledgeable in the law' and not a graduate from the schools. That means you can not have attended a school of law and still be allowed to take that exam.”


Yeah, now, how do you learn the law?”

I went to school and became an understudy.”

Yeah, and you probably learned more as an understudy than you did in school. School teaches you theories and somewhat about why things are done, but it doesn't teach you how each court requires different things. Right?”

Yeah, it's quite complex.”

I've read it, I sure know. I also know there's a lot of legal stuff which even courts and lawyers disagree upon.

What I mean is there's one judge here in the state who is a judge and he requires a certain weight of paper and format of writing. However, what happens when that ruling is appealed and it's taken to the appellate division where they require a different weight of paper and format? Does it suddenly mean all those rulings from that one court get overturned and dismissed based upon something which wasn't on the paper, but based on the paper alone? And if so, could I appeal the appellate decision to the supreme court on that merit alone? If so, would I win? And if I did, would that mean their rulings were all baseless?”

Oh man.”

Yeah, I look for flaws when I study those things. It'd be like me telling you I can't have you in my car race because you own a Ford. And then, if you were thrown out and my race was held, the leader being told he could advance to another race, but when they got there, they were told only Dodge's got allowed and your race to get there isn't worth anything in my eyes.”

I'm seeing it, but what's this mean?”

I'm willing to have an experiment. I'm willing to put myself into the race with one horse's ass because I think he's going to probably be told by you after he fails all the tests he's got to make a decision.

Now, what I'm proposing is he move into a bedroom at that house and we hold law camp. He'll think you're being unfair and he'll think you're being a jerk and know what he thinks of me already.

What I think is you should tell him he's got to make it through law camp in order to get his college tuition covered. What he won't know is him making it through that camp is he won't NEED that tuition because he'll have passed his bar exam already.”


Yeah, we'll go take it and pass.”

How do you know?”

Do yourself a favor and have your secretary call the Wolfner Library and ask if they have the bar exam exams there. When she gets told they do, but they're reference material and can't be checked out, you'll know I hold the key to us going down there and writing those things out by hand and we're actually studying the exams we'll be taking. He'll pass the thing because he'll have studied it to the point of knowing all the variations of it.”

That's cheating!”

No it isn't! It's called getting to study the test you studied hard and worried and fretted over before hand. Now, would you have studied the thing had you known it was legal to do so?”


BUT, is it ethical? Well, that's probably not so up on that list, but it's legal. That's our judicial system...she wears blindfolds, so we can do it.

Now, do you think I'll let him out of law camp without knowing the laws inside and out? Do you think I'll not have him quizzed and knowing a whole lotta loopholes, technical points, and ways in which he can be the best in his field? If you think so, then please think again. I think he's a horse's ass and I'll be willing to bet you he'll make it too if you think about it happening.”

Why are you doing this?”

No particular reason except I find your friendship extremely valuable. You're a great guy and I can see my dad enjoying a friendship with you. That's not saying my dad wouldn't come out with air freshener if your son walked in the door.”

You don't care for him.”

I don't like people LIKE him. An afghan hound has less nose than the one Robbie looks down to see me. He does so because somewhere along the line, he's not realized it's not cool. He's probably done it so much and so often, he's got everyone hoodwinked to the way he is. BUT, with him learning lessons and him realizing even the scum sucker can teach him valuable lessons, he'll find a way of realizing the good in everyone.”

I'll talk with my wife. I like why you're doing it.”

You gotta make him believe you don't want him as a part of your law firm when that time comes. I'll tell you he'll be disappointing to you at first because you're going to see I'm right on a lot of fronts, but don't give up faith because I'll also get him to where he's proud of himself and someone you can be proud to know.”

I think you could.”

What's funny about this is I'll be a lawyer too after all this. Between me owning a car lot and having a lawyer's shingle, I just can't think of any other ways to be less reputable.”

We all laughed. He came over and said, “Son, Jeff would've been damned proud of you. I think it's interesting because you've got so much potential, you could be anything.”

I know, I've been told that. Now, what I need to ask you is something you're just going to be blown out of the water on.”

What's that?”

Starting tomorrow, you're going to hold my stocks. I'll tell you now they're way up there in value. I'll tell you some of the things are so highly valued that by the time you've done an appraisal of them, you're going to realize you just undervalued me because they went up a whole lot more while you were doing it.”


When it's said and done, and you've got that appraisal, I want you to start looking for a football team for me to purchase and a bank who will front me the loan with those stocks for collateral. I'm not selling them to do it, but I'll most certainly use them to gain me what I want.”

That could be really expensive.”

Yup, but you also know if it's actually worth what I'm paying, then I can get that much if it needs to sell.”

You're probably right.”

One thing I want you to do is to take that K-mart stock and sell. I've been meaning to do it, but just haven't gotten it done. It'll probably make them a bit weak with us selling it all, but you might ask Warren Buffet if he wants to have a look at it. If not, float it to Kirk Kerkorian or Michael Milliken. They can afford chunks of a company and that's how it'd be best for me to sell.

When you get that sold, you turn that money right back into M&M/Mars.”


I got it from a huge source they're coming out with flavored M&M's. Don't ask me the flavors, but plain and peanut aren't going to be the only ones much longer.”

Hmmm, that'd mean they'd have a lot more to offer and it'd be able to compete against more things like Skittles and possibly candy bars.”

You know, I'd like to see them have coconut ones. [You heard it first here folks! When this story was written, they were still a year from release. They're released now.] It's like little PeterPaul candy bars without being huge and making you feel like you've had a mouth full of coconut.”

You'd have if you ate the whole bag.”

Yeah, but you'd eat it slower and it'd make you feel like you had more for longer. What's going to be neat is you could have a whole variety of them in a party mix.”

The nurse smiled, “That'd be wonderful. I could think of a flavor which would be nice. Just think of a S'mores candy bar in that little size...marshmallow and graham cracker in chocolate with a little shell. No melty mess all over your hands and something which would be nice to eat.”

Grant smiled, “I'll work on getting the stock sold for you and get you that stock bought.”

See how much the whole company is worth? If it's worth a lot, then get what you can, but if it's not, then buy the company.”


When you leave out of here...ask Grant what I'm worth. I'll tell you I'm not responsible for it all, but Grandma did know how to invest.”


Yeah, Grant did the check on them and I guess he was blown away.”

That good?”

Yeah, for the money she invested, she got a world of good stock and the amounts of it would stagger you. Now, did you hear back from that auction company?”

They're sending a man. They asked if there were a lot of them and I told them you had a bunch.”

Tell them it's going to take about two box cars to haul it up there. I'll keep a bottle of each case, but I bet you I still sell a bunch of the stuff.”

How much is there?”

Everyone thinks it's got to be a hundred thousand bottles. The whole basement is filled full of the stuff.”

They asked about an inventory.”

Tell them we'll take the inventory as we pull it out of the house. I'll take my bottle from each box at the time and that way, I can move it to the new house and they can get it out of the old house. With some luck, I'll be able to buy the new house with it.”

He said some varieties and vintages are worth a lot.”

My grandpa bought very good. I do know that.”

You're probably sitting on a mountain of money.”

When Grant and I put it back together, we'll crack open a bottle of it a week and sit together while we're sipping it. It'll be nice.”

He smiled, “You know, that sounds like something which we could all do which wouldn't cost a lot of money and yet, it'd be romantic.”

My grandma and grandpa did that once a week and they lasted some forty plus years. His advantage of it was he bought an entire case of the stuff and only used one bottle.”

You're saying the entire basement is full of the stuff?”

Floor to ceiling wall to wall with almost all the space used. There's an area about twelve by twelve I use for computers, but it got full, so I now store them upstairs.”

I'll have to see it.”

I've spoken with a few guys from the football team and they've agreed to help me move it out. I figure if we get all the guys together for a chain gang of handing it one to another up the steps and out, we can take that inventory and load the truck in a few hours.

The plus side of it is I can have a pizza party for everyone and can sort of write it off to the experience of sharing with the guys and maybe if I play my cards right, I can get them to move me at the same time!”

He laughed, “Man, you'd be moved real fast.”

You might see where that lady, Mrs Watson is planning on moving. It might be she's thinking about moving to a smaller house and we'd be able to trade.”

Ooh, that's sort of a mess legally.”

I'll buy her house and then, she can buy mine. I know her's is worth more than mine, but the end result is I get that house over there. It's beautiful.”

Where is it again?”

From what I hear, that judge lives right up the street. It's 649 Tulip.”

I'll drive by and see it.”

It's limestone with the huge rounded front porch and the wrought iron railing with the humps and points.”

The nurse said, “Oh my, I know which one you're talking about! I went to school with a boy who lived there! It's got a pool out back.”

I saw that on the flyer. It said it's got large rooms and from the photos, I see it looks real nice.”

The woodwork inside is amazing. A man who ran the shoe factory here built it. It's got an amazing Tiffany stained glass window in there.”


Yes, it's something the man's wife wanted and when they received it, they realized the thing was just too large to put it up on the attic as a dormer. Instead, they put the window inside along the hallway and all the prisms in it now catch the lights and really make it amazing.”

It makes me want to view it all the more hearing about it.”

I know it's been for sale for a while, but times are so bad, no one's been able to afford it.”

I really like it out of the three I saw up for sale over there.”

Mike asked, “Will Grant want to move there?”

I don't know. I'm not buying it for him. With the way it's going, either we'll live together some day, or we won't. If I wait around and run my life for what he might not do, I'm being an idiot. Instead, I'll live my own life and he'll realize I can make it without him.”

He shook his head, “This is more about what he did the other night at the snack shack.”

That and a few other things since then. He's not been my best advocate.”

That's why I started doing the emancipation. I knew legally he'd be in hot water, and you'd want to be your own person whichever way it went.”

I'm glad you did it. I'm not completely cutting the strings, but he's got to change before I'll agree to ever live with him again.”

She put a dab of an ointment on my eye and said, “Sugar, you're speaking well enough a blind man can see between the lines and vague enough there's a lot of doubt. It's the tone of your voice which tells me your heart is involved.”


She smiled and turned to Mike, “If your son's as big of a horse's ass as he says, he won't go for this wonderful boy. If he does, be thankful you've got him for a son-in-law because you two get along wonderfully.”

He smiled, “It'd be nice, but my son can be difficult.”

Why's that?” she asked sounding more concerned than accusatory.

I gave in to them all too often.

Until he told me Robbie was a horse's ass, I didn't see it. Then, I started paying attention to what Robbie said in front of me and realized I raised someone who was the sort I didn't even like in college. You know, the sort who was in the Muffy & Buffy set who played tennis at the club and only wore argyle and drank aperitif.” He held up his little finger and I smiled inwardly.

She nodded, “Sounds spoiled.”

He is, but I didn't intend on him being that way. I wanted him to have a good life and to have the benefits of what we earned.”

She nodded, “I know, that's where it's disappointing. You intended on him not winding up that way and now, it sounds as if the only way to save him from himself is to get him grounded and learning to be self sufficient. This one here has had to learn it and look at all his riches which he's been thrown?

Had those riches been bestowed upon your son, or many others, he'd be an asshole of a higher class. It would've been used to grind down others but this boy uses his to reach up and all around himself to help. His problem is he loves and it sounds as if those he loves need to take time to think about what they have more often.”

She placed a band aid on my eyebrow and said, “I'm not telling you that you can't play ball. What I'd suggest is to put something slick on that bandage so an errant thumb doesn't get in to rip it off or that wound back open.”

She turned to Mike and said, “You need to have the arresting officer take a look at that woman's diamond on her ring. I'm willing to bet she made that puncture with it.

That means a closed fist punch did it and had it been an inch lower, she'd've blinded him. I took photographs of the wound and that's why I'm suggesting you have them look at her ring. I might be wrong, but you might be arresting for a slap session when she worked with a closed fist. That to me isn't only inexcusable, but criminal.”

He nodded, “I'll get on it.”

I said, “Mike, let's finish this conversation about Robbie so you can know where I'm headed with it. Ok?'


I'm not headed into this with him becoming my lover in mind. That's not my intention.

My intention was for the bigger picture of him needing a starting point in being an attorney and me realizing with what I've got coming in the future. With me being as rich as I am and with the football team, I'm going to need an attorney who can devote a lot of time to my needs. Yeah, I know it's presumptuous, but it'd be foolhardy for me to get into this without thinking I won't need an attorney.”

I agree.”

With Robbie, yeah, he's not a prize stallion right now, but he's got parts of the horse's anatomy to work with and at least he'd know horse flesh when he saw it on a contract.”

He smiled

And, if he saw I had faith in him when he wasn't much to work with, he'd know I'd have faith in him for the duration.”

I appreciate it. Your compassion is a real quality of yours I like.”

Thanks. Not many fathers would appreciate their chip off the old block being called a horse's ass, but maybe I can buy a football team where it's got a horse as it's figure head.”

He laughed, “That would be humorous.”

Yeah, but just the same, I'll take whatever team I can get. Just don't have me waiting for one until I'm old and gray in order to get one.”

I'll do some checking. You'd be amazed at how lawyers can get the word around when they want.”

I appreciate it. Now, if they can be moved, let's get them moved to St. Louis. The Cards should've never moved away, but they didn't ask the fans.”

What's your priority when playing?”


Let me put it a different way...If I told you I had team a and team b, what would you want me to judge them on so I'd know more what you were looking for?”

Closeness to here. I'm buying a house here. I want to live here. I can fly in and out to Kansas City and it'd only take an hour to do it.

If I've got to go to Chicago, that flight is longer, but it's sure no flight to Miami, New York, or Los Angeles. I don't want that because it'd have me living on a jet instead of in that house and without love around me.”

What if it takes longer for Grant to come around?”

Then it takes longer. If I find someone else, I'll find someone else. We've spoken about that already and I know he'll wait and I know I'll wait too if needed. If not, then I wish him well, and I know we can salvage the friendship and what we like about each other. I do love him, I just can't have someone ordering me around like I'm a fool.”

He nodded, “I understand. You're not saying it's irrepairable, you just saying a separation is what you want. Do you want to consider counseling?”

No, there's no time. We've talked about counseling with me, and that's why I'm glad we got out from under that black cloud.

It's pissed me off time and time again when people would rather say I'm crazy and then judge me as crazy to not want counseling.

Well, I'm not crazy. I'm a kid whose parents died. I'm someone who doesn't trust easily and I'm someone who has had someone he trusted not be there when he needed him, but when he thinks it'd look bad on him, he's there in a flash.”


Yeah, I said it. That's what I think and between you and me, I wonder if his name wasn't on the line if he'd not had me in front of that school board. I wonder if he would've trucked ass across this school campus to see if I was ok.”

I think he cares. I think he's a bit leery.”

Yeah, but ask me if Grant would be sitting in here getting patched up and I'll tell you I'd be sitting here because the second that woman threw a punch, she would've gotten me instead of him because I would have taken it gladly. That's how close I'd be if he were in trouble.”

He nodded, “I think you're quite right.”

The nurse said, “I know you would be hon. Your tone of voice just said it all again.”

I stood up off the exam table and said, “Would you do me a favor?”

What's that?”

See if they've got a face shield for a helmet down at the Mizzou field house? Tell them I'll buy it, I just want to make sure there's no errant fingers getting in. IF they can't get through the plastic, then they won't rip this off. My face might be on a Wheaties box, or on some billboard someplace someday hawking something and I sure want them to see my gorgeous looks instead of a jagged scar!” I said smiling really big.

Everyone laughed. The nurse came over and said, “Hon, it's not ethical, but you're getting a hug. If you ever need to talk, you feel free to come and I'll give you all the time in the world.”

Thanks. You're a sweetheart. I'm glad you didn't judge me.”

I couldn't. You're like a son with how sweet you are.”

That comment sort of really brought stinging tears to my eyes. Mike saw and hugged me. He said, “I know, it hurts.”

It does, but I wish I'd gotten to know her.”

The nurse said, “Oh honey, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings!”

You didn't, it's nice to think someone would have been happy having me for a son even though my mama didn't get to raise me.”

She saw my eyes and instantly her face crumpled, “That monster needs to pay. He took parents away from a kid whose only need in this world is for parents and the only need he desires, won't be ever be met.”

Mike nodded, “We've been getting the charges filed for everything. We think it's more likely we can get all them to stick if they're fighting them all at once.”

I nodded, “I need to speak with you privately.”

He turned, “Can we use this office for a moment?”

Sure dear, I've got to pass in this paperwork, so use it while I'm out.”

She left and I said, “Ronnie Brown is being interrogated. When they've got him questioned and it videotaped, they're delivering him to the police station naked and hogtied.”

No, you tell them when they're done to give me a call and I'll put out a press release stating he's willing to turn himself in and we'll get him. That way, there's no chance he'll be speaking to any press about what happened to him.”

Well, don't let them believe him when he does say anything.”

I'm not, in fact, I'll press charges myself on the explosion out there and the jeopardizing the welfare of all the people who live around him. That explosion has bits and pieces of his shop embedded into the walls of houses five blocks up the street!”

Man! I saw the fire ball, but that had to be amazing!”

Between you and me, what did they use?”

Some stuff which they learned to make in Vietnam. It's got laundry soap and paint thinner in it. They also used acetylene from his torch set and the two combined really blew it up.”

What was the rubber stuff they used?”


There's rubber stuff all over the place. The state fire marshall can't even tell me what it was. He's fascinated because it's all over the place.”

I'll have to ask. I wasn't told about anything rubber.”

It's blue, pink, yellow, and red. There's strips of the stuff all over the place.”

You sure it's rubber?”

Yeah, it's like those rubber balls at Walmart were blown all to hell.”


You definitely weren't involved.”

No, I was at the hospital parking lot dealing with my cut brake line he cut. He was there because the hospital's security tape showed him there. My video from my car also shows him doing it on numerous heads.”

I'll need that tape.”

I'll get you a portion of it. You can't have it all because it also shows me beating up your cop.”

He mentioned that in his report.”

Yeah, and did he request his partner be taken off the case?”


Get him off the case or I'll take it to press conference. That man made those calls and he lied about me. If he has the nuts to think I won't barrel a football to them tonight, he won't have them when he leaves the field. I'll tell you that. For telling it wrong, Jimmy's going to be dealt his own issues.”

He smiled, “They'll know I told you.”

They'll know I suspect because Mark Evans wasn't removed from the case. They'll definitely will have to pull him if I put it out on the KOMU sports announcement they'll run of the memorial service.”

Don't do that.”

Mike, don't ask me that. If I were your daughter and you had an officer out there saying he fucked her and called a pimp to tell her how she not only came, but came and begged him for more, you'd not be held off him. I heard that man say that about me and I'll tell you most directly, he'll not get laid for a while without an ice pack.

What's even more fucked up is that man's going to be out there retelling that lie each and every time I make a touch down on that pro team. He's harming my reputation and he's jeopardized the case.”

I'll call his superior. Because it's not something we can verify, then it's suspect.”

Speaking of that, why is it Jimmy wears a wire and he doesn't? I was told he's had sex on the job so often, they pulled it off him. Is that true?”

Let me ask. I was told he had a wire in his car.”

Well, he made those phone calls while driving that car. Get that tape and if he's on that tape bragging he fucked me, you press charges against him on those brags because I wasn't emancipated until this morning.”

He smiled, “I got him. I'll get that tape.”

Thank you. Now, tell Jimmy's supervisor he got punched in the face because he said Jared didn't matter and I received protection because I mattered. You tell him to listen to that tape and he'll hear what was said. He'll also hear what I did to test them and if I was yelling so loudly when I was getting fucked, I'm sure Jimmy's mic would've picked something up.”

I'll get it.” He stared at me and asked, “What's with the accusations of sex in the first place?”

I didn't trust them to not say something or arrest Grant for what he and I have, or had together. So, I told them I'd base it on an interview session in another room.”

You had sex with them?”

Listen! I'll tell you!

The first thing is I wanted to see if there was a wire. A wire picks up us telling on ourselves. It tells me to be quiet around them and to never trust a thing I say around them. If I can't be myself in my own home, they're not going to be in it.

They can sit out in their car in the garage for all I care, but not in the house.

So, Jimmy got really defensive about taking his clothes off. I knew he had a wire. When he took his time really about taking his pants off, I knew there wasn't only one, but two there. The alternate side of everything is Mark Evans didn't have a problem whatsoever ripping them off.

If you notice, I'm saying his name and saving Blake's name because if he's not off the case, I'll start using that name in everything...just bet me I won't.”

That won't be necessary.”

It's not that I don't trust you, but I got told by Jimmy he was pulling him off the case last night. Needless to say, it didn't happen. Well, Jimmy also got told what I'd do tonight if it didn't happen and I'm definitely going to keep my word.

Just you wait because as soon as he goes down on the field, I'm going over and letting him know what I said and I'm going to let him know what I didn't do. Don't be surprised if I don't stomp that cup with my spikes. He'll be off the field and shoved to last string if I got to put him there in front of the whole school!”

I'll make calls.”

DO what you gotta because as I think about it more, I'm getting more and more pissed. Just the same, I told you what I did, so I'm telling you.

With Jimmy, I took his clothing to the bathroom and interviewed him in the office. He folded when I licked his bottom lip and he became putty when I nibbled his earlobe and neck. I jacked him and he came. As soon as he touched my body in return, I had my insurance.”

Ok, you were going for insurance.”

Yeah, he breaks the law twice by having something sexual with me, it's no longer a set up of blaming it on me. Yeah, I crossed the line first, but once he officially crossed it, then he's in.

Now, what happened there was I started getting all sorts of images with him. Not only do I have his life, I've got his entire sexual history and his kid's life. I've got a girl in the picture who got pregnant and her running out as soon as she dropped the kid. I've got his mama using him for money and taking most of his pay.

I've got that, and I've got him having the hots for a neighborhood girl with a spanish name who goes by a shortened name of 'nita. Then, I get him having fantasies in two weeks about him jacking off thinking about me and what happens when he goes home.

IF he goes home and he doesn't go to his kid first, or if he takes anymore undercover assignments, he dies when his kid is fourteen. Those dominoes are set in place and that's it, the kid's a ticking time bomb and the detonation is set into motion by the setting of it at that time.

If he goes home and treats that kid like he's the only person he's thought of while he's been gone, then his kid loves him and together they build a relationship with 'nita as the mom. Life is cool and he dies in a car wreck when he's old.”

You saw all this?”

Yeah, even down to the sixty percent of his checks he gives his mom for the care of his son. That's off the top, not after taxes are taken out, so you see what he's left with.”


Yeah, so I'm telling him all this and boom, Mark Evans comes in next.

I tell him to get out of his clothes and quicker than a stripper, he's got them off. Phase one wires and as fast as those clothes sailed into the air, there's not a chance there's a mic anywhere in them.”

Was there?”

No, Jimmy gave me his background and sexual promiscuity later and because I can read Jimmy, I know it was the truth.”

Ok, so his chucked his clothes and...”

And, he was on me like fire on gasoline. I started to move towards him and he's like already moving in on me and laying things on me which blew my socks off.

One thing leads to another and he went down on me. It's the single most fantastic head I've ever gotten, and the insurance is bought, but the thing about it is I totally ditched the insurance and went down on him. We went to the floor in a sixty nine and about the time he hit the back of my throat, Grant's knocking on the door telling me we've got to get to the hospital.

With that, I regained and I was up, dressed, and had his clothes back to him.

Now, here's where it gets weird is Blake already went to the hospital. Grant, me, and Mark are there. I wanted to update Grant, so I tell him we're taking my car so Mark's got to drive his.

We leave at the same time and yet, when we get to the hospital, we're there about fifteen minutes at least before Mark even begins to show. In fact, I've went to speak to Jimmy and that's when I've got the sensation of hearing him being announced he's arriving before I see him. Then, I hear him making the phone call, see the numbers in my head he dialed and hear him telling the guy what sex we supposedly had.”

It is different than what you said?”

A helluva lot different. Now, I'll tell you as good as he was, I probably would have been there singing at the top of my lungs for him not to stop til he got enough, but the fact is he lied because he never got a damned thing.”

I'll check into it. That car tape is going to be interesting.”

The other phone call was a bank of some sort. I don't know because he never put in a bank account number. All he did was dialed 7 and it gave him a balance.”

I'll get you an explanation of that. That sounds like a whole lotta money in an account.”

Here, let's call it.”


Why not?”

It could point things back to you.”

Yeah, and?”

It could set things up to where your protector becomes someone trying to kill you.”

He's not my protector. The second he stays on this case after school, that's the second I really begin to become lethal to his nads.”

I'll do what I can.”

I trust you, but know I'm going to be doing what I can also. Nuts will hit the cracker and although I don't know how fast I can throw a football, it's safe to tell you I'm going to be doing my best to make that one sail as fast as I can.”

You going to be ok?”


He leaned into me and gave me another hug. “Had you been mine, there'd be no way in hell you'd been in that other room with those guys.”

Had I been yours, we'd already had them arrested. You ARE the prosecutor.”

He laughed, “Man, I can't believe I said that!”

I stopped and he suddenly looked at me.

MmmmMike .”


I got shit flashing before my eyes like a shit machine gun.

IT's like all your cases are flying, your sex life is flying, your time with my dad out there behind that tar kettle. Up in the loft when you got that scar on your left right below you right ass cheek, and man, your wife is lucky.

Jeez, the shit you pull off with her and chain orgasms is nearly making me climb the headboard. I can definitely see she isn't faking.

What the hell? You have a built on french tickler? It's like you have an uncircumsized dick but there's two splits which makes it pull back and rub all sorts of areas.”

You need to stop now.”

No, I'm seeing things. Hang on. Robbie. Robbie's definitely yours, but uh huh, we gotta stop him. NO!”


Get him. He's not here anymore. He's at a house. It's Jared's garage! He's hanging himself! GO!”

He looked at me and I said, “GO!!!”

Is he alive?”

I don't know. You need to get there. I'm not seeing the end of it. Maybe you stop him.”

Call an ambulance and get it over there.”

I dialed 911. “911, Please state your emergency.”

This is Jake Martin, Mike Musselman just told me to call you and tell you to get an ambulance to the Riefsdel residence over on Myra Street. His son is there and trying to hang himself.”

Please stay on the line.”

Ma'am, I don't know anything more than that. I'm at school and he just ran out of here. Please send an ambulance.”

Why'd he tell you to call?”

I've got a cell phone in my hand. He ran out and told me to call as he was running.”

Ok, this is the Prosecuting Attorney?”

Ma'am, if that ambulance gets there before him, it might be them who saves that kid's life. IF it doesn't, he'll be the one saving the kid. IF you never send the damned thing, then we don't really need to know if he's a father of a dead kid, or the prosecutor. The end result is his son is dead. Now move that ambulance.”

One moment please.”

I heard a click and then, I heard a voice. “This is Sheriff Dan Rodenheim. State your emergency.”

My emergency is your staff isn't sending an ambulance to where I told you. Your emergency is that man is a lawyer and will sue the fuck out of the county when he gets told I'm getting jacked on this phone call.

Your ambulance board's emergency is my guardian is the one who donated that ambulance who didn't roll. Now, with that said, do you want to know if I'm going to see another cop car, sheriff's car, or anything ever gets donated to your departments again?”

You're not the one who donates those.”

Grant Oberling is and if you don't believe I've got his short and curlies on speed dial, you need to check again. I'll have him on the line in about three seconds. When he gets told I'm being jacked, he's also getting told YOU sir, are going to have my money backing your opposition. AM I CLEAR?”

Where are you located now?”

At the high school walking from the nurse's office into the Principal's office to let Grant take the phone. Just you wait.”

I went into the Principal's office and held out the phone. “Sheriff's on the line. Mike's son is hanging himself over at Jared's house but 911 wants to hold up on that because they think I won't set hell into motion on them.”


I said it once to you, I've said it three times to them. Robbie is hanging himself over in Jared's garage. Mike told me to call 911 and they're not rolling an ambulance. The bitch who's dispatching handed me off to the Sheriff and now, he thinks I'm jacking him.”

Grant got on the phone, “Dan, roll everything to the Riefsdel's house. Trust me, if Jake said it's needed, you're probably too late.”

He hung up and said, “Come on!”

I turned to the Principal and said, “I'll be back. I'm allowed to play. We've got to go save Robbie.”

We ran down the hall and out to the parking lot. We hopped in my 'vette and I laid rubber out of the parking lot and up to the corner. At Morley, I took the two lane section and used both sides passing cars on each side. When it became four lane, I put the metal to the pedal and got us to Williams where a broadslide around the corner put us up onto the center concrete median. We did much the same thing at Concannon and the corner saw us doing seventy miles an hour around it.

That led to the straight away of Concannon. It's about two miles long and flat and straight as a drag strip. The 'vette topped out and I saw a fire truck come around the corner in my rear view mirror. At Dewey, I turned and made it relatively sanely. Another short turn got us onto Myra where I saw Mike just exiting his car.

We slid to a stop and I hopped out. We ran to the garage and I pointed at the door. Grant opened it and I dove under the bigger door. I looked up to hitching feet. My dive knocked the chair out from under him.

Grant dove for him and I stood up his hitching legs with over my shoulders and I was face first in Robbie's wet pants.

Play Maker


Notes From Retta:

To those who have been patient and have waited for the chapters to be posted, I would like to Thank you. If you'd like to see the upcoming chapters, please email me and I'll send them to you. I've already given a lot of people the chapters and have no qualms about sending them if you'd like to read them sooner.

Thanks for your interest in the story.

This story wouldn't be possible without a good person by the name of Wes. Fortunately, he downloaded it while it was still able to be gotten on the Google Groups site.

For those of you who know, my Google Groups site is shit. Please don't get that confused with “the shit”, but just plain shit.

It seems you can upload a chapter to the site and it will promptly lose the thing. When you go to click on it, you will get an error message which states the page you've navigated to is no longer available. Needless to say, I'm not please because their customer service sucks.

I'd lost the first twenty five chapters of the story, so without Wes having them, I'd be fucked. Thankfully, he had them, so he gets a great BIG HUGE Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

From My Keyboard To Your Heart,


Copyright Notice - Copyright © 2008 by RettaMichaels

The author, RettaMichaels copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be edited, changed, or duplicated in any form, media [ known or unknown ], without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. RettaMichaels does NOT give editorial consent in order for this to be published. If it is deemed unpublishable in it's context, permission much be granted before publication or changes occur.

Trademark Notice – 2008 by RettaMichaels

“From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,”'Retta”,“RettaMichaels”.“Retta”,“Rhett”, and “Rhette” are all Trademark of RettaVonnMichaels L.L.C. None of these trademarks may be used, or authorized without consent.

Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons, locations, or incidents is purely coincidental.