Written By: Justin Case
Edited By: Ed
May 25, 2001
Disclaimer: This story contains sexually graphic language, you must be of legal age to view it. It is a creation of fiction; any similarity to real life is a coincidence. The writer, his editor, and the publisher of this story accept no responsibility for the actions of the reader. This material is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. ©2001JCPCo
SoapBox: Hello, my friends, how are you all doing? I hope you are all safe and sound. This weekend marks the `beginning' of summer here in America; it is Memorial Weekend. I'd like to extend my thoughts and well wishes to the many families of veterans lost to war. May you all have toasty buns at your picnics. Oo, that was bad.
Seriously though, I am still looking for first time writers to help round out my website; you can find the submission guidelines at http://Justinscorner.homestead.com for the details. We even provide the editing.
I want to thank you all for your letters and instant messages; I really love hearing from you all. If you'd like to send me a note the address is Justin69SK@aol.com I answer all my mail.
One last thought. I would like to send all the college graduates a special congratulations from me to you. May you live your dreams and your lives to their fullest. I hope you find happiness in all your endeavors, and your lives are filled with love. Go out into the world with your heads held high, and keep your ideals. Set some examples for all to follow. Most of all, be true to yourselves. As always, but not forever. Just, Justin
The rest of our holiday break from school was pretty spectacular; we spent most of it together. New Year's Eve, we all gathered at my house and watched the ball drop on television. I know it wasn't like going to Times Square, but it was special to us.
About a week after I got all settled in at Sacred Heart and the school routine, something else unexpected happened. I guess I should back up, just a little. My mother finally did get in touch with that German fellow, and we got the picture sent to him. What we didn't know was how my father had been handling the art sales. We were not as business savvy as he was. Here's what happened:
I came home from school one afternoon, there were several cars parked in front of our home; they all had US Government license plates. The only car I recognized was Cassandra Tacano's; her sporty silver Jaguar, which my father's firm had bought for her, was parked right in front of our sidewalk. God, I hated her so much. I was just thankful that I was with Travis.
"What the heck are all these cars?" Travis asked, as we drove past the front of the brownstone, and headed to the parking garage.
"You're asking moi? I just got here too," I reasoned.
"I saw that woman's car," Travis continued with his observations.
"Yeah, and the rest of them look like government cars. I have no idea what's going on, but it doesn't look good. Did you notice the way some of those cars were parked?" I asked him.
"Yeah, looks like they were in a hurry. One of them was almost up on the steps," Travis stated, his voice reflecting some concern.
We walked into my house; Travis followed right behind me. The first thing I saw was a couple of men in dark business suits standing just inside the foyer, and the next thing I noticed were boxes on the floor filled with documents. There seemed to be a lot of activity, but it was quiet. I mean there wasn't a lot of talking, there were several other men, some in suits, some with shirt and tie on, walking up and down the stairs and in and out of my father's study.
Just as I was going to walk into the pink room, one of the men that had been positioned in the foyer asked me who I was, and what I thought I was doing. I told him I lived here, and this was my high school friend. Then without thinking it through, in a very snotty tone, I asked him who he was and what he thought he was doing.
"I'm Agent Fitzpatrick, with the Internal Revenue Service, we're serving a warrant and searching the premises for evidence of tax evasion. You may join your mother in the sitting room, but stay out of our way, unless we call for you," the tall gentleman in the dark suit said, in a rather unpleasant tone.
Just as he said that, I noticed Ms. Tacano coming down the stairs with another one of the feds, looking all chummy. I glared at her as she descended the stairs. You know the old saying, `If looks could kill?' Well, let me tell you, I wished they could have.
I overheard her telling the man she was walking with, "I told Mr. Rogers that these international sales needed to be reported. I don't know what he was thinking, I'm so glad that I could help you, for the firm's sake."
I wanted to vomit. Instead, I slowly guided Travis with me into the reading room. I saw my mother, grandmother, and Helga all looking nervous. My mother and grandmother were seated in the two Queen Anne chairs and Helga was on the sofa.
My mother's soft blue-gray eyes looked tired as she gazed up at me and said, "Oh, Luke, Travis. It's terrible. Apparently, your father sold many more paintings to Mr. Honnikought than we knew of, he never reported the income on our taxes. These men say he was hiding it in your bank account. They told me he only deposited eight thousand dollars at a time and kept it secret. Now Cassandra tells me that, because his estate is valued at more than six hundred thousand dollars, we have to pay a huge inheritance tax. This money was more than two hundred thousand dollars that he had hidden, and there are penalties and back taxes we owe. I don't know what we're going to do. I've called for our attorney, but Mr. Scheck is out of town until tomorrow."
"What? What are you talking about? Certainly we have enough money to pay the taxes." I tried to sound knowledgeable, but didn't really know what I was talking about.
I walked over to my mother and knelt down in front of her. I laid my head on her lap, I was so afraid of what was going to happen. I might not know much about taxes, but I do know that the IRS doesn't mess around. I have seen things on television about how they take people forcibly from their homes and cars. I remembered we had been learning about it in Civics, how the Congress was trying to limit the IRS's powers. I had thoughts of being tossed into the streets.
"Don't worry, Betty. I've known Don Scheck for a long time, he's one of the best tax attorneys in Boston. I'm sure this will all be fine. Just let these men take whatever they want," my grandmother said reassuringly, her voice full of confidence.
"Well, I don't like that Cassandra lady. You should have heard what she was saying out there," Travis volunteered.
"What? What was that woman saying?" Grandmother sat straight up, and asked.
Travis told her what we had heard. I loved the way he used his hands while he talked. I stared at my friend as he blurted out the story. He looked over to me when he was finished; his face had that quizzical look.
"What? Is there something on my face?" Travis turned his attention back to my grandmother as he asked her.
I just chuckled; he's so insecure at times. I was so happy he was my friend. I think that moment might have been one of the defining ones, which made me appreciate him so darn much. His blonde hair hung in his baby blue eyes, and he just looked so innocent.
"Why, no, dear. I just think my grandson finds you so enchanting that he can't keep his eyes off of you," Grandmother said, then she looked over to me and winked.
I began to wonder just how much my grandmother really knew, this was not the first time she winked like that. I just smiled back at her and kept my head in my mother's lap. Sometime soon, I would have to tell them all about Travis and me, but today wasn't the day for that.
"Mrs. Rogers? Should I begin dinner?" Helga finally piped up.
"Mom, can Travis stay for dinner? Please." I looked into her eyes as I asked.
"Yes to both of you. I think I'd like something light, Helga, please don't go too much trouble," Mother's voice softly said.
"I got a better idea, Betty, why don't we all go out to dinner? My treat, let's get out of here for a while," Grandmother said, and began to stand.
"Yes, I think I would that better, Mom. Let's get out of here for a while. What do you say?" I stood up as I asked her, hoping my movements would lead her to go out for dinner.
We all went out to eat; my Grandmother drove. We decided to have Italian, something about being in Boston brings out the Italian in everyone, even the people who aren't. I remember how cold it was that January night as we walked from the car to the quiet restaurant. Travis and I both wore our leather jackets, but the wind was whipping through the city, my hands and face were frozen by the time we walked into the small eatery.
By the time we got back to my house, Travis and I only had an hour before he had to go home. So, we headed straight to my bedroom. The house was somewhat in disarray from the agents' search, but the boxes were all gone. As we walked by my father's office and headed up the stairs, I noticed the drawers to his desk were all left open, and some were even taken out completely and left on the floor. It was as if the government didn't respect our home.
I opened the door to my room; my dresser and closet had all the contents strewn about, and left on the floor. I had never seen my room in such a mess. Even my waste basket had been dumped out, obviously the papers and things in it were searched too. Like I was some kind of common criminal. I felt violated. I gradually looked around my bedroom; then I noticed my computer had been turned on its side. Not the monitor, but the actual computer.
"Those bastards better not have gone through my computer," I vehemently said to Travis.
"Take it easy, Luke. Like your grandmother said, it will all work out. I'm sure. It's not like you have anything to hide, is it?" he reasoned.
"No, I guess you're right. But, what the hell? I mean, did they think I kept tax records on my computer? I'm only a kid, for crying out loud," I explained my thoughts to him.
I felt his arms wrap around me, as he hugged me tightly from behind. I relaxed my body in his arms, and tilted my head back to rub it against his cheek. He made me feel so content. I loved him so much. I reached my hands up and clasped them on his arms. I closed my eyes and listened to his breath as he held me.
"I love you, Luke," he tenderly whispered into my ear.
"I love you too, Travis."
We stood like that for several minutes, silently, as he held me in his arms. He began kissing me on the back of the neck. His hands gently stroked my chest. I kept my eyes closed the whole time.
Finally, I broke the silence; "You know what pisses me off the most?" I asked.
"No, what's that, Buddy?"
"I have to pick all this mess up," I said with some exasperation in my voice.
"I'll help you, if I can wear that outfit over there," Travis said, as he pointed to my light blue shirt with the white collar and the navy pants that I wore with them.
"Sure, what's mine is yours. Just as long as you bring `em back clean," I retorted, as I crossed the room to get the outfit that had been placed on the chair near my closet.
"You're the best," Travis quipped.
"Well, you ain't so bad yourself." I laughed as I handed him the shirt and pants.
We both began putting all my things away. Travis worked on my closet, while I worked on the things that belonged in my dresser. We didn't say much more to each other as we put the things back in their places. We didn't have to; we both knew how we felt about each other. It only took us about a half-hour. I looked up at him, I was on the floor, putting things into my bottom drawer as I put the last of my things away, and he had that look in his eye.
"Hey, I have about twenty minutes. What can we do in twenty minutes?" he said, that devilish tone in his voice I was becoming so accustomed to.
"I don't know. What'd ya have in mind, Buster?" I joked.
"Buster, Buster now, is it?" He really laid the accent on the nickname, as he reached for my hands and pulled me off the floor. "Why don't you come on over here and see?" He continued the silliness as he pulled me to my bed.
"See, see what? What you got?" I laughed, as I let him lead me to the bed.
"I got a big surprise for you," he said, as we tumbled onto my bed.
I reached up and clicked the light switch that was mounted on the wall, just to the right of my headboard. The room went black; I could hear his breathing as it got heavy. I kissed him passionately as I hugged my arms around him. It would be a glorious twenty minutes, I decided. It may even last a little longer.
Well, until the next time, my good friends, that's all I have.
Take care. I hope to hear from you all soon.
Thanks, Ed, for the fine job editing.
As always, but not forever.