A Chance Encounter

by Jason Finigan

This story is set in an alternate reality, and assumes the technology and capabilities of this reality's 23rd century are present in modern-day society.

Portions of this story contain copyrighted characters from other authors. Fictional organizations, situations, and characters from "Out of the Past" are copyright © by Dark Star and are used with permission. Clan Short is copyright © 2004-2008 CSU Productions; all rights reserved

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. This story may contain scenes which involve sexual situations between young males. If this type of material is offensive to you, or it is not legal for you to be reading this type of material, please do not read any further. This story is copyright © 2007-2008 by Jason Finigan, all rights reserved. Please do not copy this story for distribution or post on any online server without the author's permission. Please send all your comments to: jasonfinigan@yahoo.com.

From the last chapter:

"S... Simon?" the boy stuttered.

"Kyle? Is that really you?" I asked the boy who was staring up at me with wonder.

"Uh huh! It is you isn't it, Simon? I mean, I'm not dreaming this?"

"It's me little buddy," I said, grinning from ear to ear. Suddenly without warning the boy stood up from where he was sitting and ran into me, his arms circling around me and holding me tight. I could feel my shirt getting wet as the young boy began to cry on my chest. I too was crying now, holding onto this little angel who I had thought I would never see again.

"I missed you so much, Simon," the boy cried. I knew what it was the boy was feeling, because I was feeling the same way as well. Pure intense joy and happiness.

"I missed you too, Kyle. I have missed you so much," I said, kissing the top of the boy's head, while the other two boys, the man, and Terry looked on.

Chapter 14

"I never thought I'd see you again, little buddy," I told Kyle. "I was so sorry to hear about what happened to your mom. I wish I could have been there for you."

"I wish you were too," he said softly.

"Oh, I'm sorry. My name's Simon," I said, looking up at the man Kyle was with, and held out my hand to him. "I used to babysit Kyle here a couple years back."

"Hi, Simon," the man said, shaking my hand warmly. "Kyle has actually told me a lot about you. You made quite an impression on him, and I think it helped him a bit when he lost his mother. I'd like to thank you for that. I'm Ryan Hunter, Kyle's new foster dad."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Sir," I said, smiling at Ryan.

"And these other little ones are Kyle's foster brothers. The older one there sitting beside Kyle is Greg, and the youngest one, who you saw me helping, is Adam."

"Hey guys," I said.

"Hey," Greg answered.

"Hi," Adam said timidly

"Ah, and this here is Jason," Ryan said, introducing us to a man who had just walked up to the table with an ice cream cone in his hand. "Jason, I'd like you to meet, Simon. Simon used to babysit Kyle when Kyle was still living with his mother."

"Hi, Simon. It's very nice to meet you." Jason then turned to face the boy who was introduced as Adam, and gave him the ice cream cone he had brought over. "There you go, Adam."

"Thanks, Pop," Adam said happily, holding onto the ice cream as if he was afraid he'd drop it again.

"Pop?" I asked, looking at Ryan.

"Yes. Jason is actually my boyfriend, and my boys have taken to calling him that now," Ryan said.

"Oh wow! It's really nice to meet you guys," I said. "I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Terry."

"You have a boyfriend, Simon? I didn't know you were gay," Kyle said, looking in shock at both Terry and me.

"Yeah," I said, blushing slightly. "I met him a few days ago up at Algonquin Park. And I didn't really think I was gay until Terry and I fell in love with each other. You're okay with that aren't you, Kyle?"

"Uh huh," Kyle said, smiling at me. "I think it's really cool!"

"Well, thank you, Kyle," I said, laughing.

"Why don't you sit and join us," Ryan suggested. "We were just having some ice cream before going to look around the mall."

"I'd love to," I said, then turned to Terry. "What do you say, Babe?"

"Sounds like a good idea. It's really warm out there, and an Ice cream sounds like a good idea," Terry replied.

"We'll be right back, okay?" I said, making sure that they'd still be here when Terry and I got back, which I was assured of when Kyle nodded his head at me.

"Wow, what do you think of that?" Terry asked me as we left to go to Dairy Queen.

"I'm actually dumbfounded. I never expected Kyle's new father to be gay, but I think it's really neat," I answered him.


"Okay, what do you want to get?" I asked Terry.

"A Blizzard. I love those," he replied.

"Mmm, definitely!" I said, agreeing with him. "I think I'll get one of those too."

"What do you think of Smarties in your Blizzard?" Terry asked me.

"Sounds really good, Babe," I said. "I've never tried that one before. I usually get Oreo Cookie."

"You don't know what you're missing then," Terry said, smiling at me.

"Nope, but I'll find out in a minute," I said, ordering two Blizzards from the person at the desk. It took several minutes for her to make them, but once they were done, she handed them to us, and we made our way back to the tables where Kyle and his new family were sitting.

"Told you we wouldn't be long," I said, taking a seat beside Kyle.

"Uh huh," Kyle said, smiling up at me.

"Gosh, this Blizzard is going to hit the spot," Terry said.

"You said it, Babe."

"Hey, Simon. There's something I need to tell you," Kyle said. Whatever it was must have been serious, because I could see him begin to fidget slightly like he used to when he got nervous about something.

"Well, you know you can tell me anything, Kyle," I assured him, hoping that he'd be comfortable with me still to tell me whatever it was on his mind.

"Greg's my boyfriend," Kyle blurted out. The moment those words left his mouth, I found myself staring at Kyle, and I'm sure my eyes were practically popping out of their sockets. Of all the things Kyle could have told me, this was the last thing I had expected him to say. It didn't take me long to recover from the shock of what he said, though, and soon I began to smile, putting down my Blizzard, and reaching over to give him the biggest hug I could.

"Way to go. I bet the two of you are really going to be happy. The two of you look so cute together," I said, making both Kyle and Greg blush really bad.

"Thanks," Kyle said shyly.

"Well, this is a cause for celebration," Terry said. "Definitely worth more ice cream!"

"Yeah!" Kyle exclaimed excitedly.

"Okay, but only one more for each of you," Ryan said, smiling at his boys. "Finish what you have now, and we'll get you some more. Simon and Terry, I'm guessing you guys are going to get another Blizzard?"

"Yes, I think so," I said, looking over at Terry who nodded his head in agreement.

"Okay then, they're on me," Ryan said.

"Thanks, Mr. Hunter," Terry said.

"Please, call me Ryan, okay boys?" he said to us. We both nodded our heads since at that moment we had both taken a spoon full of our Blizzards and put them in our mouths.

We ate together in silence for the most part. I glanced over at Kyle every now and then, seeing that Kyle was also looking back at me. All I could do was think back to when I was babysitting him, and all the things we used to do together. I think we played every game he had at least a hundred times, and watched his favorite movies enough times that I could recite each one word for word. Now he had a larger family, and I wondered if I'd get the chance to babysit him again. He now had a boyfriend, but he was still only ten years old; still a kid who could get into all kinds of mischief.

"So, Ryan," I said, speaking up suddenly. "You're these three boys' foster father? How'd you meet each other?" I asked.

"That is a really long story," Ryan sighed. "Basically I met Kyle on the beach. He'd run away from the group home he was at and was living on the streets."

"Oh, Kyle. I'm so sorry. I really wish I'd known, and I could have done something," I said to Kyle. Tears were threatening to well up in my eyes as I imagined the pain he must have gone through being alone like that.

"It's okay, Simon," Kyle said. "Dad found me first and I'm glad he did. He's treated me like his son since the first day we met. I was scared of him at first, 'cause I thought he was going to take me back to the home, but he showed me that he loved me and cared about me, and made it so I didn't have to go back there."

"Well, I'm really glad he did, Kyle," I said, and I meant it.

"Anyways, after I met Kyle, I learned about Greg, Kyle's best friend in the home, and I was able to make an arrangement to let Kyle see him. We had a bit of a disagreement with the director of the home, but since my company donates the majority of the home's funds, I was able to convince the director to let Kyle see Greg. Anna Jacobs, who is the Executive Director of the Halton Children's Aid Society, also came to the home, and I think that helped a great deal as well.

"Kyle led us to the floor he used to live on, and in the hallway was Greg, just getting out of his room. You should have seen the two of them when they first saw each other. It was the most sweet thing I'd ever seen in my life. I knew right then that I had to find some way to let these two stay together. That's when we learned about Adam. Adam was really shy, but had grown very attached to Greg. There wasn't any way I could stand to see any of them taken away from each other, so I told Anna that I wanted to foster Greg and Adam as well. And we've been living together ever since," Ryan finished.

"That is really sweet," Terry said. "You guys are so lucky."

"Uh huh," Kyle replied, agreeing with him. "So what about you and Terry? How did you guys meet and become boyfriends?" Kyle asked me.

"We literally ran into each other," I said, laughing with Terry.

"What do you mean?" Kyle asked.

"Well, my parents had dragged me up to Algonquin Park to do some camping. At first I wasn't too thrilled with that idea. The last time we went there I had no fun at all, and was pretty sore from all the walking my parents made me do. Shortly after we got up there, they told me that they wanted things to be different, that they wanted to spend more time with me, which made me really happy. I mean, my parents used to work so much that a lot of the times I was left home alone. So, after they told me that, I was a lot happier, and was just on my way to get some water for my parents when I bumped into Terry. We both ended up on our butts," I said.

"Yeah, it was really funny," Terry said, laughing slightly.

"Yep, we ended up visiting each other's campsites, and when I saw how hot it was at Terry's campsite I invited him to sleep in my tent since it was under some trees and wasn't so hot. Terry's whole family ended up moving their tents to our campsite, and Terry slept in my tent that night. That was the night that we came out to each other, and admitted that we had feelings for one another. We've been together since."

"And I couldn't be happier," Terry said, putting his arm around me.

"Neither could I, Honey," I said.

"That sounds so perfect," Jason said wiping a tear from his eye. "The two of you definitely look as though you belong with each other. How did your families take it?"

"Actually, that's the best part. They were fine with it. My Uncle Tim is gay, and he got married to his husband, five years ago. His name's Darryl," I replied.

"And my family surprised me. I didn't know anyone in our family who was gay, but my parents told me that I had an Uncle I never knew about who was gay. It was really cool how okay they were with Simon and me being boyfriends," Terry said.

"Yeah, they were so cool with it that they came down to our house from the park, and are planning on buying the house across the street from us, so we'll always be able to see each other," I said.

"My Dad just got a job working for a computer consulting firm here in Burlington, and he didn't want to commute all the way from where we used to live, which was in Kitchener. My Mom is a teacher, and she said she was getting a transfer to a high school in Burlington. I don't think she's been told which school she'll be teaching in though," Terry said.

"Hey, Terry, wouldn't it be funny if we went to the same school that your mother was teaching at?" I asked him.

"Oh man! I never thought of that," Terry said, laughing.

"Terry, you said that your father was recently hired by a computer firm here in Burlington?" Ryan asked.


"You don't happen to know which one do you?"

"Um, I'm not sure, but I think it was called Hunter Computer Consulting," Terry replied, after a second of thinking.

"Well, it is a small world after all," Ryan said.

"What do you mean?" Terry asked.

"That just happens to be the firm that I own," Ryan replied.

"Oh wow! I didn't know that. That is so cool. My parents are here with Simon's parents. We were all supposed to meet here in the food court at about one this afternoon for lunch. Maybe you could join us," Terry suggested.

"Yeah, then you could meet our Uncles too, and Terry's sister," Simon said.

"I think we'd like that," Ryan said, looking at his three sons. "Now, are we ready for that second ice cream?" he asked, to which everyone, including myself, nodded their heads.

"Yes please," Adam said, causing us all to look over at him. Kyle suddenly burst out laughing, followed by Greg. Terry and I pretty soon joined in as we saw the sight before us. It was both funny and cute at the same time. There was Adam, sitting happily in his chair, his ice cream cone was gone, but he had chocolate all over his face and hands.

"What?" Adam asked, confused as to why people were laughing at him.

"Come on, Adam," Ryan said, getting up from his chair. "Let's get you to the bathroom so we can clean up some of that chocolate."

"Huh?" Adam said, still confused.

"Honey, I think you're wearing half your ice cream on your face," Jason said, smiling at Adam.

"Oh," Adam said, suddenly getting at what people were laughing at, and he too began to giggle slightly.

"The chocolate monster," I said, playfully poking Adam in his ribs which made him giggle some more. Ryan and Adam left together to the bathrooms, while Jason led the rest of us back over to Dairy Queen where he ordered ice creams for the three young ones, and a couple more Blizzards for Terry and me. We each helped carry everything back to the table, where Ryan and Adam were waiting for us, having just returned from the bathrooms. We each took a seat, and after everyone had their ice cream, began to eat and talk amongst ourselves. Greg and Kyle were talking to Terry and me, learning all they could about us, and we in turn were learning about them. Kyle and I had a lot to catch up on and we even were able to talk about the things that we used to do together. Kyle brought up the time we made the sand castles on the beach. Those were really good days, and I hoped that we'd get to enjoy more of those soon.

Pretty soon we had all finished our ice cream, and it was time to go our separate ways. I was a little sad at that because I didn't want to see Simon leave.

"Don't worry, Kyle," Ryan said. "We'll be seeing them again at lunch time," he assured me.

"Okay," Kyle said, and came up to me to give me a hug. Neither of us wanted to let go, but we couldn't stay there forever. Kyle eventually did, and I let go at the same time. He then went over to give Terry a hug as well. Terry and I then left the food court. We still had to go to HMV, since Terry wanted to look at some movies, and we didn't have as much time as we would have had we not run into Kyle and his family.

"You know what I'm thinking, Simon?" Terry asked me.

"No, silly. I can't read minds," I replied, laughing slightly.

"Goof ball," Terry said, jabbing me lightly in the side of my ribs. "No, I was thinking about how many people there were in Burlington who are Gay. I mean, there's our Uncles, and you and I, and now the kid you used to babysit came out to you and has a boyfriend, and his father has a boyfriend as well."

"Yeah. It's like a whole new world. It seems like everywhere we turn we're meeting someone else who's gay, or who has a friend who is."

"You know, I was thinking about the camping we did up in Algonquin Park," I told him.

"What about it?" he asked.

"Well, do you remember how the park ranger told us that we had to keep how we feel about each other private?"

"Yeah, it's so not fair. I saw lots of guys kissing their girlfriends at the beach when we were there," Terry said, obviously not impressed. I couldn't blame him. I wasn't either.

"I was just wondering if there is a camp that lets people like us be ourselves," I said.

"I don't know. You think our parents would? Or maybe your Uncles?" he asked me.

"They're your uncles too, don't forget, and they might. We'll have to ask them when we run into them," I said.

"Cool. I hope there is. I hate not being able to hold your hand in public like those two over there are," he said, pointing to a man and a woman walking towards us, holding each other's hands.

"Like our parents told us, people fear what they don't understand. Just look at what happened when that man got all our neighbors out to protest against us in front of your house," Terry reminded me.

"Yeah, but it was fun to put him in his place, wasn't it?" I said.

"Oh, yeah!" Terry agreed.

We walked into HMV, and it was packed with shoppers as usual. The first thing Terry did was to head over to the new release section.

"What movie were you looking for, Hon?" I asked him.

"I was wanting to see if the new Aliens Vrs. Predator movie had come out yet," he said, looking over the movies on the shelves.

"Yep, there it is," I said, pointing to a display in the center in the isle.

"Oh cool. I have the first one, and it was pretty good. I heard some of the people in my class say this new one wasn't that good, but I like all the Aliens movies," he said, picking a copy up.

"I've never seen it actually. I guess that means we get to watch it together for the first time."

"Yep, pretty cool huh?" he asked me.

"The best, Babe," I said, putting my hand briefly on his shoulder and giving it a gentle squeeze. Continuing with our browsing, Terry managed to find a couple more DVDs that he wanted to pick up, and I found one that caught my eye. The only problem was, I didn't have enough money to get it, since we still had to have lunch with Kyle and his new family.

"What's wrong, Simon?" Terry asked me.

"Well, I wanted to get this DVD, but I just have enough for lunch. Oh well. I'll pick it up when I get my first paycheck from Nelson."

"Nope," Terry said, picking up the DVD I had been looking at. "We'll get it now. I've got enough to get it."

"You don't have to do that, though, Hon," I said.

"I know. I want to. For the best boyfriend a guy could have," Terry said, smiling at me.

"If I could I'd hug and kiss you right here and right now, Babe," I told him, doing all I could to restrain myself from doing just that right here in the store.

"I'll take a rain check," he said suggestively.

"Definitely," I said. Together we went to the counter to pay for our movies. It seems that every single day I'm with Terry, I fall deeper and deeper in love. There's nothing I wouldn't do for him. I just knew I had to find a way to get him that job at Nelson so that we could spend as much time together as we could. But that meant that I first had to talk to our parents about getting Terry his First Aid certification.

"So what do you want to do next? We still have another hour before it's time to have lunch," Terry asked me.

"I don't know. We're both pretty low on cash, so how about we go look for our parents and see what they're up to. I want to tell them all about seeing Kyle again, and telling them all about his new family."

"Sounds like a plan to me, Babe. Let's go," he said, and together we went off in search of our family.

Knowing mine as I do, I bet they were in Sears, which is where I led Terry. Sears was located on the opposite side of the mall from where HMV was, so we had quite a walk ahead of us. Maybe it's just me, but every time they build a new mall, they just keep getting bigger and bigger. I remember my father telling me how the Square One mall in Mississauga even had street signs to help people tell where they were.

After navigating our way through the growing mass of shoppers, we finally made it to Sears. The first place I wanted to check was the seasonal department. Every summer, my father always went through that department to see if he could find something new for the next camping trip. It kind of surprised me at that moment that he had picked up my tent from Canadian Tire, rather than from Sears.

Sure enough, our families were in the seasonal department. I could see my father talking to David about some camping stove that he had found. Emily and Sam were looking pretty bored, both of them holding hands with each other, and with their mothers.

"Hey, Dad," I said, letting them know that we were there.

"Hi, Simon. I see you boys did some shopping," my father said, noticing the bags we were carrying in our hands.

"Yeah, Dad," I said. "But that's not all. You're not going to believe who we ran into down in the food court."

"Who was that, Honey?" my mother asked.


"Not the Kyle you used to babysit," my mother said.

"Yep, that's the one. I couldn't believe it. And that's not all. He has a new family now, and he's really happy!" I said excitedly.

"Whoa there, Simon. Slow down a bit. Why don't you start from the beginning." My father suggested.

"Well, Terry and I were just on our way to HMV and we were walking through the food court when I saw a something that made me stop. Sitting at a table was a man with three children. I thought one of the children looked familiar to me, so we made our way towards them. Up close there was no denying it, it was definitely Kyle. He was a little older, of course, but he hadn't changed at all. And when he saw me he jumped out of his chair, and into my arms. The two of us were standing there holding on to each other and crying." I said, the memory of our reunion still fresh in my mind, and making my eyes well up with some very happy tears.

"It was so sweet, you should have been there," Terry said.

"Oh, I bet it was beautiful," my mother said. I could see that her eyes were also getting a little moist.

"It was, Mom," I said.

"What about this man, and the two other children he was with?" my father asked.

"Well, remember how you said that Kyle was put into a group home?" I asked, to which my father gave me his answer by nodding his head. "Well, he ran away from there because something happened to him. So he was living on the streets for like two months before this man found him, and took him to his home. That man ended up becoming Kyle's new foster father, and those two other children are his foster brothers. Actually one of them was a friend of his when they were in the group home together."

"Sounds like he's had a rough time," my mother said.

"Yeah, but you should see him now. He's really happy living with Ryan and his new brothers," I said.

"Tell them the rest, Simon," Terry said, prodding me along.

"The rest? There's more?" my father asked.

"Uh huh. It seems that this Ryan has a boyfriend, and guess what, so does Kyle," I said happily.

"Isn't Kyle a little young to know if he's gay or not?" my mother asked.

"Mom," I said, rolling my eyes. "I knew I was different from my friends when I was eight years old, I just didn't know what to call it then. I'm guessing it's the same with Kyle."

"Oh my," Kathy said.

"It's not so difficult to believe," Dale said, speaking up. "In my job helping children with hearing problems, I've encountered some children who were definitely maturing early. There was one girl who was already showing signs of entering puberty, and yet she was only eight years old."

"You find that sometimes with animals as well. I've known some of my client's livestock to begin developing faster than normal, though it's more difficult to tell with them unless you know what you're looking for," Tim said.

"Yep," I said. "There is one other thing."

"What's that?" my father asked.

"I told them that we were all going to be at the food court for lunch, and they said they'd meet us there."

"Oh, that would be really nice," my mother said. "It's been so long since we've seen Kyle."

"Well, if we're going to be meeting them there, we'd better get to the food court," my father said, looking at his watch. "It's almost twelve-thirty now."

We all made our way out of Sears, and into the mall itself. We must have been a sight. Two teenagers, two young girls, and a bunch of adults all walking together. I'm surprised people were able to find a way around us. Eventually we found our way to the food court, which was getting pretty busy. I spotted some tables near the A&W restaurant, and hurried over to them. There were four all together, and no one was sitting at them yet. I wanted to get to them before anyone else did so we'd all have a place to sit. Sitting down at the tables, we waited for Kyle and his new family to arrive.

As it turned out, we didn't have to wait long. Coming towards us, with Kyle leading the way, Kyle's family entered the food court, and upon seeing us, made their way over to our tables. I got up off my chair to meet Kyle half way.

"Hey, Kyle," I said, gathering him up into a hug. I felt him return the hug, even though he was carrying a large plastic bag in his hand.

"Hi, Simon," Kyle said.

"Hey, Greg, Adam," I said, hugging each of them in turn.

"Nice to see you again, Simon," Ryan said, shaking my hand.

"Likewise," I said simply.

"Hey guys," Terry said, giving each of the young boys a hug.

"So, I guess some introductions are in order," my father said, standing up from where he was sitting. "My name is Craig Campbell, and I am Simon's father," he said, shaking both Ryan's and Jason's hands.

"I'm Ryan Hunter, and this is my boyfriend, Jason Pierce," Ryan said.

"Yes, Simon did say something about Kyle's new father having a boyfriend. It's really nice to meet you. This is my wife, Anna," Craig said, and Anna stood up to shake Ryan's and Jason's hands as well. "And these are Simon's Uncles, Tim, and Darryl."

"Very nice to meet you, Ryan. And I have to say, you have a really handsome boyfriend," Tim said, shaking Ryan's hand. Jason was standing slightly behind Ryan, and I could see that Tim's compliment had made him blush, which I thought was really cute.

"Down, Babe," Darryl said, tapping the back of Tim's head with the palm of his head. "Yeesh. What am I going to do with you?" he wondered aloud.

"Love me?" Tim suggested.

"You know it," Darryl said, and gave Tim a quick kiss right there in the food court.

"Oh wow!" Kyle exclaimed. "Are you two boyfriends?" he asked them.

"And which one are you, little one?" Tim asked Kyle.

"I'm Kyle, that's my Dad and Pop over there," he said, pointing to Ryan and Jason.

"Well, Kyle, it's really nice to meet you. And no, Darryl's not my boyfriend. He's my husband. We got married five years ago."

"Oh cool! You're the Uncles that Simon was telling us about."

"Yep, that would be us," Darryl said, laughing.

"Talking about us again are you, Simon?" Tim asked, looking back at me.

"Yep, but only good things, Uncle," I replied.

"Smart man," Tim said, to which pretty much everyone laughed at.

"Next we have David Long, and his wife Kathy," Craig said, indicating Terry's parents who were sitting at the table next to us. "And that is their daughter, Emily," he said, pointing her out to them. Both Emily and Sam were sitting with Sam's mother at another table and were at that moment busy working on one of my old colouring books. "You already know their son, Terry."

"Nice to meet you all," Jason said.

"Oh, I think we've already met once before," David said.

"Really?" Jason asked.

"Yes, didn't you used to work at Future Shop here in Burlington?"

"Up until recently, yes," Jason said. "I'm sorry I can't remember you, I'm really terrible with faces," he admitted.

"You do pretty well with mine," Ryan said.

"That's because I wake up next to you every morning now," Jason said.

"Beside David, is his brother and Terry's and Emily's uncle, Dale. Finally we have Pam McKendrick, and her daughter Sam," Craig said, finishing with the introductions.

"Very nice to meet you all," Ryan said.

"If you need to say something to Sam, make sure she can see your face when you speak." I told them.

"Why's that, Simon?" Kyle asked me.

"It's because Sam is deaf and she can't hear you speak. She can read your lips and she understands sign language. Her mother and I as well as Terry's Uncle know how to read sign language too, so if she says something, one of us will let you know what she says, okay?"

"Okay," Kyle replied. He then looked at Emily, who had noticed that Kyle was looking at her. "Hi Sam, I'm Kyle," he said, which made her smile seeing that he had made sure she could see his face when he spoke.

"Hi, Kyle. You want to colour with us?" Sam signed to Kyle.

"What did she say, Simon?" Kyle asked me.

"She said hi, and wants to know if you'd like to colour with her."

"Sure, but can my brothers colour too?" Kyle asked her, to which she nodded her head. Kyle, Greg and Adam then went over to the table where the girls were sitting. Terry and I decided to join them and let the adults talk amongst each other. We found some chairs nearby, and sat down at the table with the kids, watching them all work on the picture in the colouring book.

"Simon tells us that you found Kyle living on the streets. He's only ten years old. How did he end up on the streets?" Craig asked Ryan.

"I can't go into details, Craig, but I can tell you that he was hurt in the group home he was placed in, and ran away from there about two months ago," Ryan replied.

"Oh, how awful!" Anna exclaimed. "He's okay now though isn't he?"

"Yes, he's perfectly all right. My doctor gave him a full check up, and made sure that he wasn't permanently hurt. I'm still waiting on one of the tests, but I'm thinking that it'll turn out okay."

"That's really good to hear. Simon was a wreck when he heard the news about Kyle. He cried for several days afterwards," Craig said.

"From what Kyle has told me of Simon, they had a really special friendship," Ryan said.

"Yes, they certainly did. Did you know that Kyle's mother wanted to hire Simon on as a live in nanny?" Craig asked.

"No. You're joking," Ryan said laughing.

"Nope, it's true," Craig said, laughing with him.

"Well, for all he's been through, I think he's adjusted really well. He even had a part to play in getting Jason and I together," Ryan said.

"Really?" Kathy asked, speaking up for the first time.

"Yeah, Ryan told me that he was so out of it that after dropping me off at my apartment one day, that instead of pulling out of the parking lot, they just sat in the car for several minutes."

"Oh, love at first sight, huh?" Kathy asked.

"Something like that. The next day Ryan picked me up for supper, and we had a really nice evening together. I ended up staying the night, and I have to tell you, that was the best night's sleep I'd had in a long time," Jason said.

"Sure, I bet," David said, laughing.

"Whatever," Jason said, laughing along with him.

"So what were you all planning to do today?" Kathy asked Ryan.

"Well, we're just finishing up here. Lunch today will be the last thing we do at this mall, then I have to go grocery shopping so that we have some food for dinner tonight. Actually, Adam is going to get to see his older brother for the first time since they were separated," Ryan said.

"Why were they separated? I thought they kept siblings together when they need a new home?" Craig asked.

"Normally they do, but this time it was just a matter of available space. The family that is fostering Adam's brother could only take one of them in, so that meant Adam had to go to a group home."

"A group home isn't a place for children their age though," Anna said. "What they need is a family that will show them love, and help them through some of the things they've gone through in life."

"That's my thinking as well, and it's a project that I'm seriously considering. My company actually donates a lot of money to that particular group home, and I didn't like how it was being run."

"You own your own company? Which one? I might have heard of it," Craig asked.

"I'm the owner of Hunter Computer Consulting here in Burlington," Ryan replied.

"You are?" David asked.


"I just got hired by your company a short time ago," David explained.

"Actually, I think I heard Terry say something along those lines," Ryan said. "How are you liking it so far? I'm sorry I didn't recognize you, I don't get to the office very often. For obvious reasons," he said, looking at Kyle and his brothers as they helped Emily and Sam with the colouring book.

"I haven't started yet. I start next Monday actually."

"I'm sure you'll really like working with us. The people who are there are more like family than co-workers," Ryan said.

"Sounds like the kind of working environment I'll like very much," David said.

"Next time I'm in the office, come see me. I like to get to know at least a little about the employees that work with me."

"I'll be sure to do that," David said.

"I do have a question for you though, Ryan," Craig said.

"What is that, Craig?"

"Now that Simon and Kyle have found each other again, what are we going to do to make sure that they can still see each other?"

"That's a good question, Craig. And it's actually one I brought up with Kyle's social worker today. I'd really want to work something out so that they can stay in touch," Ryan said.

"Where abouts do you live?"

"I'm on Lakeshore, just west of Guelph Line," Ryan said.

"Then you're not too far from us. We're just off Ontario Street."

"I know where that is, that's close to downtown isn't it?" Ryan asked.

"Yes it is," Craig said.

"Well, there is one idea I had in mind if you're up to it, and if Simon is willing of course. I'd like your opinion on this as well, David," Ryan said.

"I'm all ears," Craig said.

"Same here," David said, curious as to why Ryan would ask for his opinion.

"What would the two of you say if I asked Simon and Terry to babysit for us some times?" Ryan asked.

"I'd say you'd have some very happy boys on your hands," Craig said.

"Definitely," David added.

Editor's Notes:

Well, it has been quite a while since we had a chapter of this wonderful story. It was nice that Kyle and Simon found each other again. I wonder what kind of wonderful adventures are going to come along for the boys. I am very pleased with the way the stories have meshed. Let's hope there will be more new chapters very soon. Thanks Jason for giving us a new chapter.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher