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:

"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.

Chapter 15

I really couldn't tell what it was that my parents, and Kyle's new dad were talking about. It most likely had something do with with Kyle, I guessed, since Ryan was doing most of the talking. That much I could see.

"Can you pass the blue for me, Simon?" Kyle asked me, making me lose my train of thought.

"Sure, here you go," I said, handing him the blue crayon that was in front of me.

"Thanks," Kyle said gleefully. It is always so easy to make someone who's Kyle's age happy. I couldn't understand why so many people don't know how to be around children. Since I was sixteen, I kind of knew what it felt like, since to most people, I was old enough not to be called a child, but still young enough that they didn't quite see me as an equal; an adult. Not that I had that problem with my Uncles, or even my parents now for that matter.

And now I had this new job with the pool, and I was going to help Terry pass his First Aid Certification so he too could get a job at the pool, and we could still be together.

On top of everything there was Kyle, and his new family. Who would have thought that in all of the places I would run into him again, after so many years of not seeing each other, that it would be in this mall, and today. It was so perfect. Each of our family's was here, and it was the perfect way for everyone to get to know one another. My parents certainly were hitting it off right away with Ryan and his boyfriend, Jason.

Looking back over at Kyle, I began to think of what will happen when we leave the mall. I hoped that I would still be able to see him. But seeing him here today, made me feel a whole lot better. Before I didn't know what had happened to him since his home had burned down. And now I can see that he ended up in a family who loves him, and with a foster brother who also happened to be his boyfriend as well.

Terry was having a blast with his sister, and her new friend, my next door neighbour's daughter, Sam. In the short time those two little girls had known one another, they had become very close. I could see that Emily was even beginning to pick up a few gestures in sign language. That sight alone made it impossible for me to not smile. I knew that Sam had gone so long without a close friend, and now here was Emily, playing with Sam, doing everything she can to make Sam happy. Now I could see that my boyfriend's big heart ran in the family.

Reaching over to him, I couldn't help but give him a quick hug. It made him stop what he was doing and look over at me.

"What's that for?" he whispered.

"For being you. And for being my boyfriend," I said.

"If we weren't in the mall right now, I'd give you a big hug and kiss," he said, smiling at me, his face blushing slightly.

"I'll take a rain check?" I suggested.

"Count on it, my love," he whispered back, and reached over to grasp my hand. Briefly squeezing it a bit, he let it go, and returned his attention to his sister, who was trying to get him to pass her the red crayon that was next to me.

"Well, boys," my father said, standing up from the table the adults were sitting at. "Time for us to get going. We still have a few more things to look at before we head back home."

"Okay, Dad," I said, realizing that the time was up, and that I'd have to say goodbye to Kyle.

Sam's mother had already closed the colouring book, and was in the process of getting all the crayons gathered up. Of course, Kyle and his brothers had to help, which ensured that a number of crayons ended up on the floor. I couldn't help but laugh at the sight, as it's the same thing that happened with me and Kyle on the many times we had been colouring in one of his books, and his mother had told us that it was time to put it away. She did manage to get the crayons all put away, however, with Kyle putting the last one in the bag.

"Well, Kyle. I guess this is it. It was really nice to be able to see you again. And I am really happy that you found a new family who loves you," I said to him.

"Thanks, Simon," he said. I could tell he didn't want me to go, just by how his eyes seemed to get a little moist. Quite honestly, I was having a difficult time keeping myself from crying as well. I knew just what Kyle must have been feeling at that moment, since I was feeling the same way myself.

Before I knew it, I had a sobbing ten year old boy, looking up at me with his arms held up in front of me. There was no way I could let this little angel down, and I reached down to lift him up, holding him just as I used to when he was younger. He was much taller now than he was then, and certainly weighed much more, but I didn't care. The tears that I had tried so hard to hold back, rolled freely down my cheeks, but I had the biggest smile on my face, as I told him how much I loved him.

"I love you too, Simon," I heard his little voice say in my ears. I slowly let him down, and he let go of me, but still held onto my hand. "Am I going to get to see you again?" he asked me.

"I don't know, Kyle. But I'd like that very much," I told him honestly.

"Well you just might get that chance," Ryan's voice said from behind me?

"Excuse me?" I asked, not quite certain I had heard him right.

"Simon, Terry. I'd like to ask you both something. I've already talked to your parents, and they've agreed. Would it be possible that you could babysit for Jason and me?" Ryan asked.

Well, I don't think I had to be asked a second time, and before he had even finished his sentence, I blurted out with a loud, "Yes!"

"Well, I think that's one vote in favour," Ryan said, smiling over at my parents, and dramatically wiggling his finger in his ear as if to restore his hearing.

"Can I?" Terry asked, looking over at his parents.

"This is up to you Terry. Ryan suggested asking the both of you, since you are so close. I know Simon has babysit before, but you haven't. Are you sure you're up to it?" David asked.

"Yeah, I am. And what I don't know, Simon can teach me," Terry said, his face absolutely beaming with joy.

"Great, it's settled then," Ryan said.

"You hear that buddy?" I asked Kyle. "I'm going to come babysit you again!"

"You are? For real?" he asked me, his eyes wide in bewilderment.

"Mhmm. That's what your father said," I told him.

"Daddy, Simon's going to babysit me?" Kyle asked Ryan.

"Yes he is. And your brothers as well. And Terry is going to help him," Ryan said, nodding his head at the same time.

"Cooooool!" Kyle exclaimed excitedly, and jumped back in my arms. He reacted so fast, I almost wasn't able to maintain my balance, but I managed to steady myself. It is so hard to stay upright when you have an excited, bouncing young boy in your arms. Say what you will though, it was all worth it. In my heart, I knew I had that part of my family that I'd lost back again.

"When?" I asked, looking back over at Ryan.

"Well, we'll discuss arrangements in the next day or two. There are a few things that I want to take care of, and once that's done, I'd like to sit down with you and Terry and work something out. Do you have another job that you are working at?" he asked me.

"Well, I just got a job as the head lifeguard at Nelson Park," I told him.

"Congratulations. That is definitely a very good job."

"Yeah, and Simon told me he was going to help me get my First Aid Certification so I could apply for a job there as well. I don't have a job at the moment, though."

"Don't worry, Terry. To get hired as a head lifeguard means Simon knows what he's doing. You couldn't learn from a better person to qualify for your First Aid. "I can see both you boys are going to be very happy this summer. Jason and I won't ask you to babysit when you have to work at the pool. Just bring your schedules to us, and we'll see what arrangements can be made. Oh, and by the way. My Uncle will also be looking after the children when you two won't be able to."

"Cool. Thank you Mr. Hunter," I said, which was echoed by Terry.

"You're very welcome boys. Now we need to get going ourselves. There's lots I and my boys have to do today before dinner," Ryan said.

"Okay, well, looks like I'll see you soon, Kyle," I said, giving him another hug.

"Yep. Bye for now, Simon. Luv you."

"Love you too, squirt," I said before letting him go.

"Bye, Terry. You be good to Simon. He's my bestest friend," Kyle said seriously to Terry.

"Don't you worry, Kyle. I'll make sure I take good care of him. After all, wouldn't be a good boyfriend to him if I didn't, now would I?" Terry said, smiling down at Kyle.

"Nope!" Kyle agreed, giggling slightly. He then wrapped his arms around Terry, giving him a very loving hug, and one that was returned by Terry. It was so neat to see how Terry was around Kyle and his brothers. My love for him just kept growing and growing.

Letting him go, Kyle joined the rest of his brothers, who were gathered around Ryan and Jason. They were just about to leave, when Adam suddenly left them, and jumped up at me. It was all I could do to get my arms around him to catch him in mid leap. Still the collision caused me to back up slightly, and I felt some of the air in my lungs escape.

"Whoah, there little guy," I said to the little boy who was holding onto me very tightly.

"Luv you," his little voice whispered in my ears, just like Kyle did before.

"I love you too, Adam. You be good for your brothers and your Dads, okay?" I told him.

"Okay," he said, releasing his grip on me, and sliding back down to the ground. He then turned to Terry, and raised his arms to him, obviously wanting to be picked up. Terry bent forward to pick up the little boy, and Adam held onto him in a tight hug. I watched as Adam whispered something into Terry's ear, and saw his smile get even bigger. Soon, Adam let Terry go, and once again slid back down to the ground, then joined the rest of his family.

Greg was next, coming up to me, and giving me a very nice, but reserved hug. He repeated the same hug with Terry, and like with me, didn't say anything. He too returned to his family, and I saw him reach over to Kyle and the two of them held each other's hands. I did see, however, the slight smile Greg gave me, just before they turned to leave the food court.

"I think Greg's had a very hard life," Terry said to me, watching them leave.

"Yeah. I could tell that too. We just need to be careful around him, and make sure he sees that we just want him to be happy. I'm sure he'll learn to trust us. And I'm sure Kyle will help with that as well," I replied.

"That is one very special kid."

"Yes, and I am so happy that he's okay, and happy."

"Gee, I couldn't tell," Terry laughed.

Shaking my head, Terry and I turned to our families and together we all left the food court.

"Is there anything more you boys needed to get?" my father asked.

"Oh, just about the whole HMV store," I said. Trying to keep a straight face, even though I wanted to laugh at my own little joke.

"Funny, guy," my father said, smiling, and shaking his head.

"Actually, Craig. I wouldn't mind popping into HMV for a bit before we leave," Uncle Darryl said.

"Sure thing. We might as well all go," my father said.

Together we made our way through the growing mass of people now in the mall. The afternoons in the mall are always crowded during the summer. Sometimes I liked to come here during the week after school when it's not so busy. Most people are still at work, and not too many teens hang out at the malls, except of course for the odd group of girls from the nearby Catholic school. I still wondered how they can get away with wearing those skirts so far up their legs. It's almost obscene, and some of those girls couldn't have been any older than twelve or so.

HMV had become more busy since we had left it earlier in the morning. Most of the people were hovering near the CD section, but a good number of them were browsing the many shelves of DVDs. Uncle Darryl made his way straight for the TV show section, and started skimming over the rows of DVDs. Everything from the old Addams Family TV show was there to Zena: Warrior Princess. The selection was so large, it actually took up a good part of one wall.

I'd seen most of the shows on TV, especially the old 'Battlestar Galactica' series, as well as episodes of Stargate SG-1. But I even saw some old TV Shows that I used to watch when I was younger, like the original Dr. Who series. I couldn't believe they actually had DVDs of that show. It was pretty corny, but at the time it was really neat. I always sat at the TV the next day to watch the continuation of the show, since they were mostly shown in four parts, each one lasting half an hour.

After some searching, Uncle Darryl finally found what he was looking for, picking up a DVD from the M.A.S.H. series. I remembered that one as well, and the antics of the medical doctors in that show. Many of them actually had me laughing quite a bit. That Hawkeye was really funny, and I just loved Radar. He was so cute.

"Uncle Darryl, I thought you had the whole series of that show," I said, remembering the last time he'd brought over his M.A.S.H. Collection.

"Nope. I still had one more to get. And this one has the most famous episode of all, the final episode."

"I don't think I've seen that," I said.

"Well, if you're interested, we'll watch it so you can," he said.

"Sure. It was a pretty funny show," I told him.

"That is was. But I bet you didn't know that it was actually based on a real life M.A.S.H. Unit."

"No I didn't, really?" I asked, slightly surprised. "So all those characters were actual people then?"

"Yes they were. Of course, the show was designed as a comedy so obviously a lot of their antics aren't real, but for the most part most of the characters are real. They only made subtle changes."

"Like what?" I asked him.

"Well, do you remember Klinger?"

"Yes," I said, laughing a bit, since he was one character you couldn't miss in the show. "He's the one that kept dressing up in women's clothes to try and get out of the army."

"Yep, he's the one. Well, they changed that character slightly. The real Klinger actually wanted to stay in the army, but it was the army that wanted him out."

"Buy why would they want to kick him out?" I asked.

"Because the real Klinger was gay," my Uncle replied.

"He was?" I asked, astounded at what I'd just been told.

"Yes. But back in the seventies they couldn't very well have a main character who was gay, so they made the character the way you saw him on TV."

"Well, that's stupid. Who cares if he was gay or not?" Terry asked.

"Unfortunately, the U.S. Government. You have to understand Terry, that the U.S. Has a very ugly history of prejudice. Not that Canada was any better, but we're certainly far ahead of the U.S. on civil rights issues."

"Wow!" I exclaimed. "Do you think you could bring over your DVDs so we could watch them?" I asked.

"Of course, Simon," Uncle Darryl said. He went to the front counter to pay for his DVD, and then we all left the store.

"So what do you want to do now, Babe?" Terry asked me.

"I don't know. I guess I'll need to go see when I start my job with Nelson," I replied.

"Yeah. Didn't your Dad say there was a letter?"

"Yeah, he did," I said, and then turned to look back at my father. "Hey Dad. Where's that letter from Nelson, the one that said I got the new job?" I asked him.

"It's in the office, why?" he asked me.

"Well, I need to know when Nelson wants me to start," I told him.

"That's a good idea, Son. I'll get it for you when we get back home," he said.


"I guess that means I'll need to start studying for my First Aid Certification real soon," Terry pointed out to me.

"Yeah. But don't worry. I still have my old book from the last time I took the course, so I'll be able to teach you a lot. You'll have a head start on some of the people at the course."

"Cool. Is it hard?" he asked me.

"Nah. Not really. Most of it's common sense, but you will learn things that you never thought of before."

We got home more quickly than it took to get to the mall, but something was definitely up, as when we pulled into our street, I noticed a white car sitting on our driveway. My father noticed it too, and slowed down a bit. My guess he was trying to do what we all were doing at that moment; trying to figure out who it was that was in our driveway. As we got closer, I could clearly see some letters on the side of the car, and I also noticed that it had emergency lights on top of it.

"Dad, what's going on? That looks like a police car in our driveway," I told him.

"Not quite, Son. But close. It looks like it's a Court Summons vehicle," my father said, parking the car along the side of the road, just in front of our driveway. Everyone started climbing out of the car, just as Mrs. McKendrick parked her car in her driveway. Dale parked his car behind us, which was followed by Terry's parent's car.

"What's going on Craig?" David asked my father, as he got out of the car to meet us.

"I don't know, David. But I'm going to find out," he said. My father then walked up the driveway to the car that was parked there. Suddenly the door opened, and a person I thought was a police officer climbed out of his vehicle. He said a few things to my father, then got back in the car, and started it up. Slowly the car backed down the driveway until it was on the street, and pretty soon it was driving off leaving all of us to stare after it in puzzlement.

Terry and I hurried up to my father, and we were closely followed by everyone else. Mrs. McKendrick, and my Uncles joined us from her car, and we all stopped next to my father.

"What is it, Dad?" I asked. Who was that officer, and what did he give you?"

"That, Son, was an officer from the courts, and what he gave me looks like a summons." Seeing that I was a little confused, he continued, "You see, Son, when someone is required to go to court as a witness, the court will send an officer to send what is called a Summons. Basically it tells whoever the recipient is to appear at a certain court on a certain date, at a certain time."

"Oh, so that is what you got?" I asked.

"I don't know. I haven't opened up the envelope yet."

"Why don't we all go inside. You can open it up there, Dear," my mother suggested.

"Good idea," my father said, agreeing with her. "The whole neighbourhood doesn't need to know what this is about."

Each and every one of us were soon gathered in the living room. There wasn't enough places for people to sit, so some had to stand while they watched my father open up the envelope. Practically everyone in the room held their breath, myself included.

As my father read the contents of the envelop, I saw as his face became more and more angry. Never before had I seen him become as angry as he looked now. It was a look I hoped I'd never see on his face again. Whatever it was that he was reading, had obviously made him very upset. My mother was beside him, and put her hand on his shoulder, while she looked over to try and find out for herself what was making her husband so mad.

"I don't believe it. I damn well don't believe it!" my father exclaimed, swearing for the first time in a long while.

"Honey, the kids," my mother pointed out.

"Well you read it, and tell me how you'd react to this garbage!" my father said, practically throwing the letter into my mother's hands. She began to read it herself, and like my father, began to take on a very angry look.

"Of all the rotten, no good, downright nasty..." my mother started.

"Mom, what is it?" I asked, looking between my mother and father. My father was so upset he was sitting down in his chair, shaking his head back and forth. Whatever it was, I knew had to be really bad for them both to be reacting like this.

"That damn, Mr. Powell is suing us under the Charter of Rights for religious discrimination, defamation of character, and harassment!" my father said, looking up at me.

"WHAT?!" Terry and I both exclaimed at the same time. "He's suing us?" I asked.

"Yes. Specifically, he's suing myself, your mother, Terry, and you. And he's suing us for a total of five million dollars in damages!"

"Dad, can he do that?" I asked, suddenly very afraid. "What are we going to do?" I was very close to tears at that moment.

"I don't know, Son. I know I need to call my lawyer right away!" my father said. He walked over to the phone, and started punching in some numbers.

"I'm scared, Simon," Terry said, holding on to me.

"Terry, don't worry. None of us are going to let anyone hurt you boys," David said, coming around to the two of us. He knelt down in front of us and put a hand on each of our shoulders.

"No matter what happens, no one in this room is going to let that man do anything to hurt you. He's just trying to save his own worthless behind right now. He knows he's in trouble, and instead of putting the blame on himself, where it belongs, he's lashing out at you boys. Well we're not going to let him."

"But he's going after Mom and Dad too," I said, tears already beginning to fall from my eyes.

"That's why your Dad has a lawyer, Simon. And if his lawyer can't do anything, he or she will probably recommend the best lawyer possible who can fight these kinds of lawsuits." He then stood up and walked over to my mother and whispered in here ear, "Anna, why don't you get out that letter Craig was talking about, the one from the Pool. It might help these boys get their minds off what's going on."

"That's a good idea, David. I'll be right back," she said. I had only heard what my mother said, and with that she left the room, and went into the kitchen. I could hear a drawer being opened and then closed. My mother then returned, and she was holding an envelope in here hand. Instead of going back to stand with my father and David, she headed for us, holding out the envelope in front of her.

"Here, Simon. While we're waiting for your father to get off the phone with our lawyer, you might as well read this. It's from Nelson Park," she said, handing the envelope to me.

"But the lawsuit..." I tried to say, and was stopped by my mother. "You let us worry about that right now. Just because that windbag of a man is too much of a coward to admit his own mistakes, doesn't mean you have to stop doing what you like doing."

I couldn't help myself, and smile at her because of the description she gave that man. It suited him. Even Terry had cracked a small smile. Despite my uncertainty and fear about the lawsuit, I knew that she was right. Life goes on. And there was no way I was going to let that man ruin mine or Terry's.

Opening the envelope, I took out the letter that was inside. Unfolding it, I read what it said inside.

Dear Mr. Campbell,

It is with great pleasure, that I officially accept your application for the lifeguarding position at Nelson Park this season.

We have gone over your application, and verified your references. I was quite impressed by your qualifications, as no other applicant this year has the same level of First Aid training. Your enclosed certificate from St. John's Ambulance is more than enough proof for us to determine that you would be suitable for the position as head lifeguard.

Please find enclosed a complete schedule for the hours we would require your services. As you will note, the pool will open the second week of July, and we will need to see you at the park the day before for orientation and to get your badge.

Also, I would like to point out that we have two more positions to fill this year, and if you have a friend, or know someone who would be suitable to be a lifeguard this year, please let us know.

If you have any questions at all, you can contact me directly at the number listed below.

Thank you for your interest in this position, and we look forward to working with you soon.

Sincerely, yours,

Lesley Green,
Athletic Director
Nelson Municipal Park

"Oh wow, Babe!" Terry said, happily. "Your father wasn't kidding. They really did want you as their head lifeguard."

"Yeah, and they also told me that there are a couple more positions to be filled. That means if you want to work there with me, we're going to need to get you certified really soon," I said, reading the letter again, just to make sure I hadn't missed anything the first time.

"Dad, when can I do it? When can I get certified?" he asked David.

"Well, Terry. I guess I can give St. John's a call and see if there is an opening available," he said, smiling at his son.

"I can't wait to work there!" I said, excited.

"We know," David said, laughing lightly.

I looked over at my father, and saw that he was now talking to someone on the other end. I hoped it was his lawyer, and I hoped that whoever it was he was talking to was able to do something about Mr. Powell.

* * *

"Good afternoon, Mr. Wade's office," Lance's secretary said, answering the phone.

"Yes, good afternoon. My name is Craig Campbell. Is Arnold in today?"

"Just one moment, Mr. Campbell. He's in his office. I'll transfer you," he said.

"Thank you."

"Craig, my friend. How are you doing this afternoon? How is that family of yours?" Arnold said, picking up the phone.

"Until a few minutes ago, lousy," Craig said.

"I'm sorry to hear that," Arnold replied. "What can I do for you today?"

"My family and I, and a few friends, just got back from shopping, and when we got home, there was a police car from the Summons division, parked in our driveway."

"A Summons car, you say," Arnold said, sitting up in his chair, and grabbing a pen and a notebook from his desk.

"Yes. Apparently, my family, as well as a member of my friend's family is being sued under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Act for religious discrimination, defamation of character, and harassment," Craig said.

"Whoah, slow down a second. Maybe you had better tell me what started all of this," Arnold said. He then covered the mouthpiece of the phone with his hand, and looked up at his door. "Jim, you'd better clear my schedule for today. Something's come up," he called out to his secretary.

"Just after Simon got out of school, we took him up to Algonquin Park for a weekend of camping."

"Oh, you didn't," Arnold groaned. "Do you remember what happened the last time you did that? I don't think your son talked to you for a week afterwards."

"I know. And I wanted to make this trip different. He wasn't happy to go, but we went anyways. As it turns out, Simon had a very wonderful time. He actually made a friend up there, and did some fishing. Actually, his friend's whole family is with us here now."

"Sounds like you've been having quite the party. And you didn't invite me?" Arnold asked, with a mock hurt tone of voice.

"You know what they say about inviting your lawyers to parties, Arnold," Craig said, laughing slightly despite the seriousness of the call.

"Okay, so you went to this camp with Simon, and he had a good time this time."

"Yes. But I need to tell you something. Simon came out to us," Craig said.

"Oh about time! I was wondering when he'd come out. Oh wait! Don't tell me. This friend he made... he likes him."

"You got it, Arnold. They're officially boyfriends, and his family is very accepting of their son, and Simon being together."

"Okay, so sounds like everything was going pretty good then. What happened to make all that change?" Arnold asked.

"During the camp, they ran into a man who had some very religious beliefs about homosexuality.

"Oh, I hate people like that," Arnold said, frowning at what he was hearing so far.

"Yes. So do we. He tried to have us removed from the park, claiming that Simon and Terry were performing a sexual act in the public wash rooms," Craig continued.

"I have to ask this, Craig. Were they?"

"No. They were simply standing in front of the urinals, taking care of their business when they leaned over to give each other a kiss."

"Okay, continue. So this man... what's his name by the way?" Arnold asked.

"His name is Frank Powell. From what I've learned he used to be a priest and belonged to the Baptist Church here in Burlington, but was defrocked sometime last year. My brother suggest that he might now belong to a group called the Fundamentalist Church of Christ."

"Okay," Arnold said, making some notes in his notebook. "Please continue."

"Well, he started talking about how homosexuality was a sin, and how my son and his new boyfriend was an abomination. The Park Ranger, who was there to investigate his complaint, told Mr. Powell to leave and that if he continued with the complaint he'd be the one tossed out of the park. Things returned to normal from then on, and on Sunday we left, followed by Terry's, that's Simon's boyfriend's name, family. Then just the other day, we saw Mr. Powell again, but this time he was in front of our house. He must have followed us from the park, because there's no other way he'd have known where we were. We were going to confront him, but he took off. Later he returned, but he had other people with him. Some of them were neighbours of ours. They were carrying signs condemning homosexuality, and were gathering out in front of our house. The police were called, and he was arrested. And now we find out that he's suing us. I need help, my friend,"

"I agree with you entirely," Arnold said. "This isn't the type of case that I'm used to dealing with though, and you'd be better off talking to a lawyer I know who is an ace when it comes to these kinds of cases."

"Anything you could do for us, we'd greatly appreciate, Arnold," Craig said.

"Look, I can certainly put you in touch with that lawyer friend of mine. She really does do a top notch job with Charter cases, but I think I might have a better idea as to how we can solve this, and quite possibly not even involve the courts."

"How? The only thing I can think of is to fight this in court," Craig said.

"That's not entirely correct," Arnold replied.

"Okay, you have my full attention now, Arnold. Just what is it you're trying to get at here?"

"In Canada, the courts are primarily responsible for criminal and civil cases, such as this one is. But by the time this case would wind down through the courts, you'd have spent a fortune in lawyers fees. You and the rest of the family would be under so much stress that it would start affecting your lives, and possibly even your relationship with one another. I know. I've seen it before. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's to see families torn apart because of the courts. No. We have to avoid the courts at all cost."

"Arnold, please just get on with it," Craig said impatiently. "What is it you are suggesting?"

"Have you ever heard of the Safe Haven Act?"

Editor's Notes:

It was nice that Kyle came out of the past and showed up in Simon's life again. Now let me see, hmmmm, Safe Haven Act, I seem to have heard of that somewhere before. Actually I really have heard of it, but I can't actually say much right now, because it would be considered a spoiler. I hope everyone is good at swimming. It might just come in handy later on. Just because I know something about the Safe Haven Act doesn't mean I can reveal what I know. Let's just say that there are a lot of things that compound the situation, and that the people that are involved are indeed very good people. I will say no more about it, though, since I may have said too much already. I shall not Teri any longer on this subject. It is getting a little warm in here, I wonder if i should see if I can turn on that AC Fan and cool things down a little? If my Memories serve me correctly, there are one or two things that are important. I could go on about it for a long time. Seriously, This was a great chapter and that was a very interesting, if not heartrending, ending.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

CSU Continuity Note:

Well, I am officially impressed with where this story is going and how well Jason has linked this one in with a) his other stories and b) CSU in general. Well done, Jason! I am not, however, impressed with the ending... a semi-cliff? Dear dear me! Come on, where's the next chapter, boyo!


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