Protecting David-Finding Christopher
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From the previous chapter:
“Yeah. When I was…well, you know, before I knew you, I had to hide something, so nobody’d get it and I check on it whenever I can…I just wanted to check on it again…make sure it’s okay. Could I do that? It wouldn’t take long, just a couple a seconds.”
I knew he was lying. It was a little boy lie, the kind that you tell and you think you’re being so subtle that nobody would ever know but in fact almost any adult would know you were lying. But I also knew that it must be important.
Protecting David-Finding Christopher 15
When I woke the next morning I felt Larry’s hands on either side of my head and when I opened my eyes I was staring up into his. When I thought about it I could feel the insides of my thighs pressing against the outside of his and the heat from his body was radiating down against my chest although we weren’t touching.
I whispered, “G’morning.”
I squeezed my legs against his and said, “You kinda got me at a disadvantage.”
Ignoring that, he said softly, “I hate it when you go away.”
“I missed you too.”
“I spent the whole fucking day turning to see your reaction to stuff…only you weren’t there.”
“You got me now.”
He grinned. “I know.” He cradled my head in his hands and kissed me slowly and I relaxed from a tension that I hadn’t even realized was there.
A moment later he broke the kiss and took my right hand and put it in between us and onto his cock. It was rock hard and flat up against his stomach.
I whispered, “I guess you are glad to see me.”
He lowered his head slightly and kissed the tip of my nose. “Despite what you’ve got you fingers wrapped around, it’s not really all about sex.”
I asked softly, “You don’t wanna have sex?”
He laughed. “Ohhhh yeah, I do but it’s not just about that. It’s more like just being a part of you….us…you know….being together.” He made a face. “I guess that sounds idiotic.”
I touched his face and then dug my fingers into his thick hair. “No it doesn’t. I feel the same way. I think about you all the time, even yesterday talking to those guys you’d flash into my brain and I think, “What the fuck am I doing here when he’s there?”
He grinned. “So we’re agreed? You’re just gonna stay home and take care of me?”
I gently pulled his cock down and lined it up. “I’d lose my mind.” I gently bit his chin. “And you’d get sick of me. This is better. Absence making the heart grow fonder and all that shit.”
He groaned from what I was doing to his dick. “Shit! I can’t talk you into that, huh?”
“No…but you got me sold on this.”
Later, still lying in bed, Larry told me about Chris.
“He had a great time. A guy from Disney met us and took us around, so that was cool. But then, like once an hour or so, Chris’d get this look, like he’d just remembered something and he’d go all internal for awhile, then it’d be over. And he reminded me that we promised to give him an allowance. I gave him thirty bucks. I really have no idea how much a kid should get. We need to ask somebody. What do kids have to pay for?”
“Damned if I know. But I got an allowance when I was in grade school. The amount would be all wrong for today though. I had to buy my lunches at school and stuff like that and believe me, David had it figured to the penny. Then if I wanted a CD or something I was suppose to pay for that too but I could usually con Mark into buying it for me. As I remember, most of the money went for lunches. That was the steady expense and there wasn’t anyway to con Mark into buying those.”
“But I think we gotta give him enough that he can save a little and have some sense of being independent. As far as what else is bothering him, we’ll find that out later today.”
Larry said, “I was gonna go straight from the airport to my office but if you think that there’s gonna be a problem…..”
“I’ll take Mei, that’d be best anyway. This can’t be all that serious, I think I would know if it was. It’s probably just something he’s inflated beyond all reality.”
Mrs. Nielsen had put out a buffet for breakfast and Mark was helping Chris load up his plate when Larry and I got there. I ended up sitting on one side of David with Larry on the other side of him.
David said, “I was tempted to stay up last night to see how your meeting went yesterday but Chris had pretty much worn us out. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.”
“It went great and you’ll never believe who was there…Henry Casteel. I made him an offer. He supposed to be calling me today.
David had stopped eating and said, “That’s the guy I told you about! What do you want him to do?”
“I’d like to quietly put him on a couple of boards. Anyway, that’s what I suggested. But he could also go into a situation and size it up for us.”
I looked at Larry and said, “If David shows up, a lotta time the price of things goes up…or people start freakin out and figure he’s gonna do something terrible with their company.”
Mark looked at Larry, grinned and said, “Cause, of course, David is such a Barracuda.”
David ruffled Chris’s hair. “Hey, I’m tougher than I look!”
On the plane, Mei, like she usually does, sat up front and read. Once we leveled off I went up and sat with her. I explained about what Chris had told me and what I thought about it and then what Larry thought about it.
She said, “Will you take him where he wants to go?”
I nodded. “Yes…it’s important to him whatever it is. But I want you with us.”
She nodded yes and smiled slightly. “I get feeling that your poor old mother will be running through ghettos today.” We both grinned at the thought of her being either poor or old.
I laughed. “Get one of the young guys to go with us. Then you can stay home and knit or something.”
She shook her head and laughed. “Aeeeyah, you have no mercies. No…better if I do it. Sometimes mens know only to shoot or beat up. Womans better with little boy. He never lead you into danger so isn’t trouble like that. Sonthing else, danger maybe for him. That much more possible. Don worry, I ready.”
Larry and I exchanged glances as Chris went through the same behavior that Larry had described from his day at Disney.
The weather, when we landed in Denver, was lousy but then the beginning of September in Colorado can be anyone’s guess and today, when we stepped out of the plane, it felt like forty degrees.
Larry and I both thanked the crew and then Larry was picked up by an intern from his office and Mei, Chris and myself got into an SUV driven by one of the security guys from the house.
Chris looked like he could jump out of his skin and by the time we got home he was saying, “Do we gotta go inside or should we maybe just go? If we go in we just gotta come out again. It’d be a waste of time.” We did however go inside while Mei changed clothes and I peed and changed briefcases.
Chris said, “How come you gotta change briefcases? Aren’t they the same thing, they look identical?”
I said, “Well, the cases themselves are the same but this one has all the stuff I need for the shelter and since we’re gonna stop there I figured I might need it.”
“Are we gonna be at the shelter for a long time?”
“Nah, maybe fifteen minutes.”
Then he looked like he got an idea. “Maybe I should take a city bus from the shelter and then I could meet ya downtown at your office. Then we wouldn’t waste any time.” It was one of those ideas that seems so reasonable when you’re ten and I could even remember myself making a similar argument to my two amused dads when I was that age.
“That’s okay, Chris, I don’t mind the time.”
He sighed. “Okay.”
When we got to the shelter I put Mei and Chris in my office and wandered down the hallway to Ann’s office. I tapped on the door and then peeked in. Ann was just lifting her head and obviously she had been crying.
I hunkered down next to her. “Ann, what the fuck is the matter? Shit woman, you’re a lesbian! Lesbians don’t cry! They make other people cry.” That brought an attempt at a smile.
She shook her head. “Shows what you fucking know about lesbians!” She grabbed a tissue and blotted her eyes.
“It’s nothing really, Alex! Just…just the stupid shit that I been dealing with my whole life. Bills! Fucking bills!” She tilted back in her chair and put a foot up on the edge of the desk.
I said softly, “Know why you’re up to your ass in bills?”
She shook her head.
“Cause you give all your money away. Ann, we’ve talked and talked and talked about this.” Then I got an idea. “Here, gimme those bills!” I held out my hand.
“No, Alex! I don’t want you payin my bills!”
“I’m not gonna pay em. Well, kinda not. I’m just saying, let my office manage your money. We’ll pay your bills and give you an allowance and then if there’s anything left, we’ll invest it. We do it all the time. Mostly it’s for rich people but we can do it for you too. You’ll be surprised, my people are great at this. You’ve got more money than you realize.”
“Alex, you’d need to do something like the loafs and the fishes. There’s nothing there and something from nothing means I’m in trouble.”
“Ann…trust me. My guys’ll renegotiate with your creditors and we’ll get low interest financing and before you know it you’ll be solvent.” It was all bullshit but I hoped she’d buy it.
“You can really do that?”
“We do it all the time.”
“What’s it cost? I don’t want a handout. You must charge people.”
“Just a small percentage, like two percent.”
“Hey if you’re making a couple million a year it’s a lot.”
“But they’d do it for me?”
“What do I have to do?”
“Just gimme your bills. Somebody from the office’ll call. You’ll probably need to sign stuff but we can get started without that.”
“They’ll have to do something right away, Alex. Some of those are way past due. They’re threatening me with law suits.”
“Not a problem.”
She really wanted to believe. “Okay.” Then in a rush she pushed her stack of bills over to me. “Take the fuckin things! God I hate bills!” Then. “Just two percent, right?”
I went back to my office. Mei and Chris were sitting reading magazines. Well, Mei was but Chris was just staring at the page and jiggling his leg up and down. I logged in to the computer paid some of the shelters bills and logged out.
I looked up and said, “You guys ready to roll?” Chris was up and halfway down the hall by the time Mei stood up.
Chris was sitting in the front passenger seat and directing me as I drove. We went past the edge of his old neighborhood and about a mile further on. Just as we were crossing over a small bridge he sat forward.
“Right here, Alex! Just as we leave the bridge, turn right, there’s a place to park…kinda.”
“Kinda,” was right. It was a small gravel covered area that was overgrown with weeds that scraped the bottom of the car when I pulled in and parked.
Chris grabbed the door handle. “I’ll be right back, you don’t gotta come with or nothin!”
Mei gave him a twenty foot head start and then she was out and following. A small pistol had slipped into her hand. I was right behind her.
The dirt path that Chris had taken was wide enough for a little kid but an adult had to basically crash through the growth of tall weeds. We were headed down towards the river under the bridge.
Mei stopped me as we began to approach the bridge. Up ahead of us the weeds stopped thirty feet from the bridge and we watched as Chris walked under the bridge and over to a large cardboard box that must have, at one time, held something like a refrigerator.
We could hear him talking, trying to persuade someone and then we heard crying. I yelled to Chris, “Chris get out here! Now!”
His head snapped up and he looked into the box and then back at me. He started to cry and then yelled into the box at whoever was crying, “Will you just stop! Shut up! It’s so annoying!” He looked again at me and there seemed to be a plea for understanding on his face.
I yelled again, “Come here now, Chris!” I wasn’t really mad but I needed him to do it.
He moved out from under the bridge but then stopped. The tears were streaming down his face and he seemed be on the edge of collapse. He yelled through his sobs, “I don’t know what to do anymore!!” He made a gesture of futility towards the box. “I can’t help em……I don’t know what to do….it’s gonna be so cold tonight.”
I started walking towards him. I spoke softly, “Bring them to me, Chris. I’ll take care of them.” I looked past Chris as two small blond heads looked up over the top of the box.
Chris ran to me and held onto my shirt. “They don’t got nobody! I shoulda told ya but
I held his head to my chest and said, “It’s okay. I’m not mad and we’ve got plenty of room. Go get em.”
Mei was already looking the boys over but Chris ran over and grabbed them. They came out of the box hand in hand. They were apparently twins in that I sure couldn’t have told them apart and they had a good grip on each other. Tears were streaming down their faces as Chris pushed them over to me while talking quietly in their ears. Finally when they got about five feet away he said loudly, “Stop that damn crying!”
I hunkered down in front of the twins and they stared at me with wide eyes. I said softly, “How old are you boys?”
They said together in amazingly deep and heavily accented voices, “We’re six!”
“Where are you boys from?”
They answered proudly, “We’re from Texas, Sir!”
“Do you fellas have any parents?”
They looked at each other and several different emotions played across their faces. “We don’t think so, Sir.” They looked at each other again for a split second. “Our mama’s dead and probably our pop too.”
“How long you been living under the bridge?”
They both looked at Chris, he looked exhausted but finally said, “It’s been about six weeks. I shoulda told ya right off. I shoulda but I was afraid you’d kick me out.” He put his hand to his eyes for a moment. “I used to get money…from those guys that CC knew. I bought em sleeping bags and canned goods, soup and stuff. I didn’t’ figure on it getting this cold this early. Their dad’s girlfriend brought em here and dumped em after their dad was killed.” He looked down at the boys. “Well, we think killed. Just pulled over into that spot we parked in and kicked em out.”
I looked at Mei. “Put the boys in the car, would you?”
When the boys were in the car I put my arm over Chris’s shoulders. “Any more surprises?”
He looked up at me. “You’re kickin me out, right?”
I grinned at him and shook my head. “Like we told you Chris, this is a done deal. And for the record, I’m proud of you. But from now on just tell me!”
Then he really started to cry but it didn’t last too long. Finally he looked up at me and said, “What are you gonna do with em?”
I sighed. “Well, first we’re gonna go down to my office because there is some stuff I absolutely have to do. They can take showers there and get cleaned up. Then we gotta talk to lawyers.”
He was looking up at me with a worried look. I laughed and said, “Then, hopefully, we’ll take em home.” He finally smiled.
Connie came out of her office and stared at me and the boys.
“Connie, I need someone to go get clothes for these guys and also someone to go down to that little restaurant on the corner and get about eight orders of that great stew they’ve got.”
She finally closed her mouth and said, “Wha..what kind of clothes?”
“Everything but I’ve got no clue what their sizes are. But we need pants, shirts, underwear, shoes, socks and anything else they can think of. Send a car with them so they can manage the packages.”
Also get Stanner’s office on the line and have em get someone over here pronto. Tell em it’ll be basically the same deal as it was with Chris. Then call that guy at the governor’s office and tell him we need the same deal all over again.”
“Chris and I are gonna clean these guys up so if they get back with the food have em set it up in the kitchen area.”
I looked down at the twins and said, “You guys are hungry, right?”
“Yes, Sir, we sure are!”
Then. “Oh my God! What are your names?”
One boy pointed to the other. “He’s Andy and I’m Aiden, Sir!”
Connie said, “Alex! Alex, you gotta tell me more than that! There’s gonna be questions.”
Mei and I herded the boys over to my office door. “Mei, show Chris where the boys can shower.”
I went with Connie into her office and basically laid out what had happened. “I’m certain they’re telling the truth but of course we’ll need to verify it all. That’ll take time and I don’t want the boys in some sort of home. I want them with us.”
Connie grinned. “It’s gonna look like a pattern.”
I shook my head. “I sure as hell hope not. I still haven’t told Larry.”
“How will he react?”
I thought about it for a moment. “Well..I think he’ll react well.”
I fished Ann’s bills out of my briefcase. “Assign someone to this, they’re Ann’s bills. Just pay the damn things off but I don’t want her to know that so I need someone to figure out what her finances would look like if we were handling her money. We’re gonna have to lie to her.”
“Alex, why does she have this much trouble with her bills?”
I laughed. “She gives all her money away! I’ve told her time and again that if she has someone who needs help the trust will pay but she still does this.”
I tried to call Larry but he was in meetings that his secretary didn’t want to interrupt.
When I checked on the boys Mei was sitting in a chair outside the bathroom.
She was smiling. “They kick me out. No womans allowed.”
The steam in the bathroom was thick but soon two little boys wrapped in towels emerged from the mist. Chris was stripped down to his underwear and he was soaked.
Chris said, “They’re finally clean. I figured it’d take forever the way it was caked on.”
The twins looked like little angels, hungry little angels. I checked outside and found the while the food had arrived the clothing hadn’t.
“Okay, guys, this is the plan. You’re gonna stay wrapped in towels and we’re gonna go eat in the room across the hall.”
They both panicked. “There’s girls out there!”
“They won’t be in the kitchen.” This didn’t look like it was gonna work but then Chris jumped in.
“Couldn’t they just sit in your office on that one sofa? They could eat on that coffee table.” That, of course, made sense and we did it.
The guy at the governor’s office called and more or less said that he could keep this up longer that we could, especially at a half million a pop. Stanner’s guys headed over to the courthouse and got us temporary custody and around four o’clock I herded the now well dressed twins along with Chris and Mei into my car and we headed home.
When Larry saw three little boys march into the house instead of one he looked at me with a faint smile on his face and said, “You didn’t have those this morning did ya?”
I put the boys in the family room dragged Larry into the office and explained. “So are you mad?”
Larry grinned. “You haven’t fallen out of love with me right?”
He hugged me and rested his chin on my shoulder. “Alex, we got a shit load of room and money….and I like kids.” Then. “There’s not more is there?”