This story is posted for the exclusive enjoyment of readers of the Nifty Archive. While you are free to make a personal copy, no copy of this manuscript may be published, copied, posted to another web site, or otherwise disseminated without express permission from the author.

The contents of this story are fictional. Any resemblance of characters to living or lived persons is strictly coincidental. Certain characters engage in sexual acts which may or may not be legal in the state or country in which a reader may reside. Any reader with objections to graphic descriptions of sexual encounters between males who may not have reached the legal age of consent, or whose local, regional, state or national jurisprudence prohibits such descriptions, should not read further.

Chapter XVII

Tuesday, July 6, 1993

Brad was the first to say anything after Gutierrez went out the door, but I don't remember what it was. I was too busy wondering if the gun had been bought deliberately to kill Mom and Dad. Why else would someone -- Susie, apparently -- forge Brad's signature and use his ID to buy a gun? It was bought last year, so had Susie planned the whole thing? Alone? It was hard to imagine that little slip of a thing . . . doing anything unless . . .

"She had help," I said aloud, not really realizing that I was speaking. Brad looked at me a little funny.

"That's what I just said," he murmured. "No way Susie could have tied Mom and Dad up on her own."

"Who?" I couldn't think of anyone at the company, and Susie wasn't married.

"She's got her brother up in Fresno," said Brad.

"James?" I said. "He's not the kind of guy I'd imagine . .  ." I'd never met her brother, but Susie had shown me a picture of him from some newspaper or other, where he'd got promoted to some position with his company. He's, fat, bald and gray.

"Neither is she," Brad interrupted. "But she's the one that bought the gun."

"And died by it," said Jeremy.

"What's he doing out there?" said William, peering out the window.

I looked through the door, and saw Gutierrez and a guy in a white coverall like Daniel Saw was wearing when he was doing his snooping in the kitchen.

It wasn't Saw, though. This guy was black, looked to be six and a half feet tall, and had a shiny bald pate. He was using a spray can, just like a tagger's weapon, to mist what looked like water on the side door to the garage. He wore goggles that looked like the night vision things you see in army movies.

"Looking for fingerprints, " said Boo. She only glanced out the window a second before she said that. I'd only seen movies where they use a paintbrush, so it was news to me. Once again, Boo knew a lot more than I thought your average housekeeper would. Throckmorton and Becky didn't even react.

"They'll only find mine," said Brad. "I opened the door."

"So did I, this morning," said Boo. The phone rang, again, and she grabbed it. As soon as she said "hello," she looked at us with her eyebrows lifted, and we knew it was another of "those" calls.

"We'll have to give them copies of our prints as well, I suppose," said William from behind me. He'd come into the room silently, and startled me a little - he was no more than two feet from me, and I'd heard nothing.

"How come?" Jeremy said, draining his orange juice.

"They'll have to have ours to eliminate them from what they find," William said.


I looked at Throckmorton.

"William is right," he said. "Everyone should give a full set, just to keep the air clear."

As if on cue, another white clad figure came around the side of the house towards the back door, carrying a plastic briefcase thing. It was Saw. I opened the door for him just as he got to the top of the steps.

"Hello, Tim," he said on seeing me. "How you doing?"

"We'll make it," I said glumly.

"I need to ask everyone in the house to give us full sets of prints," he said, holding up the case. "Won't take a minute." He walked into the kitchen and put the case on the counter, next to the sink. "Hello everyone."

I looked at Throckmorton. He nodded at me, enough to reaffirm it was okay. Becky just sat, kind of mute, looking at Saw.

"This is completely clean," Saw launched into his sales pitch. "It's a simple scanner, takes the information directly onto a floppy disk so we can load it into the mainframe. Makes elimination of your prints from all the ones we find a lot easier." He opened the case and lifted the lid. It looked like a photocopier top, glass top, all that stuff underneath.

Brad and I went over and heard his explanation of how it worked. I only followed a little of it. Basically, it was just what it looked like -- a photocopier, except it didn't make paper copies. He plugged it in one of the counter sockets, and a little orange light went on. There was the sound of a fan, just like on a PC, and a couple of clicking noises, then the light went out.

"Who's first?" Saw said. "It's really simple. You just put your hand on the glass like this." He put his hand spread-eagle on the countertop. The palm was raised up so the thumb was flat.

I moved to the head of the line of two.

"What about Bobby?" said Brad as I put my right hand on the glass. This blue light bar started moving from left to right under the black fabric but rubbery thingy that went over my hand. It was silver underneath where it lay on the glass.

"Oh shi . . . ndler!" I said, almost moving my hand and spoiling the shot.

"Who's Bobby?" asked Jeremy from behind Brad, watching the light bar. The black cover didn't do much to cover the light, with the hand in it's funny "crab" position.

"Susie's son," Brad said, just as a "click" came from the machine.

I went to switch hands when Saw lifted up the cover, but he pushed my hand aside for a second while he wiped the glass with a yellow tinged cloth. It smelled of some sort of cleaner.

"Bobby's got no dad, never did," Brad said. "He just came along when I was nine or ten. I think Susie got into trouble, but Dad never told us, and I never asked her."

"We better tell Gutierrez," I said as I put my other hand on the glass and the light bar started again. Saw was writing out my name on the second line of a floppy label. The first line read "Weston 930706."


"What will happen to him, now?" I asked idly. "You think you have problems, until someone else has them worse."

"How's that?" Jeremy asked, as Brad moved into place for his prints.

"Bobby has no older brother, no Mom, no Dad, no nothing." Brad said as he put his hand on the glass. "He's got his uncle James and his wife up in Eureka, but I don't think James and Susie got along. Susie said something once about him never having seen Bobby when I asked if he'd be coming down for Bobby's birthday party, last March."

"Shall I tell him?" I asked Brad.

"Yeah, go ahead."

"I may just have gotten another case," said Becky from behind me.

I went out the back door and looked for Gutierrez, but saw no one. I headed for the garage side door, and was about to open it, when I caught a glint of light from my left, and looked to see the black guy spraying his mist on the Bentley. Jeremy was going to have kittens.

"Looking for me?" said Gutierrez from behind me. I must have been more tense than I felt, because I jumped a little.

"Uh, yeah," I said, wheeling to face him. He'd come out of the garage without a sound. "Susie has a kid. He's got no dad. He's only eight or nine." I prattled like a twit.

Gutierrez pulled a portable radio out of his pocket. This sounds ridiculous, because cell phones are everywhere now, but I was fascinated. It was the size of a handset on a regular telephone. He said something into the radio, like a code word or something, and apparently got an instant response that I couldn't hear, because he started talking almost right away..

"Any word from the unit that went to the Westley residence?" He waited a second, then said "Tell 'em that there's a kid . . . hold on." Gutierrez looked at me. "What's his name?"

"Bobby." I noticed for the first time that Gutierrez had a flesh tone walkman speaker in his right ear, a wire snaking down to his collar. Had he had it there before?

"Bobby," repeated Gutierrez. "Eight years old. Use gloves. Four." Gutierrez put the radio away.

"Gloves?" I asked. What the heck would they need gloves for?

"Just an expression," smiled Gutierrez back. "Kid gloves, you know? It means be kind and gentle."

I felt dumb for thinking that the cops would knock on the door with gloves on.

"Becky, I mean Mrs. Houston, thinks she'll have another case."

"Single mom, huh?"

"Yeah." I was impressed that he picked that up so quickly.

We started towards the back door, and the radio beeped. Gutierrez hauled it out of his pocket again and said his code word, damned if I can remember what it was, then "go ahead." He listened, then pursed his lips and sighed. "No doubts?"

I opened the door and waited for him to finish, looking at Jeremy as he got his prints taken. He looked like a kid with a new toy, despite the beard. Boo was on the phone, again.

"Okay, tell 'em you'll call in the coats." Gutierrez said, then followed me into the kitchen. "They use gloves?" he said, and waited for an answer, then said "four" and put the radio away.

Everyone looked at him, including Jeremy, whose hand was under the black cloth.

"We've got ourselves a major mess, here," said Gutierrez to Throckmorton.

"Now what?" Throckmorton said.

"Our unit found Ms. Westley's kid on his bed, face down, shot in the head. Dead for at least a couple of days."

We all sort of stood there, not knowing what to say. Boo had heard too. She said something into the phone, then hung up.

"Detective Gutierrez, I think we ought to move Brad and Tim out of here," said Jeremy.

"No!" said Throckmorton, with an edge to his voice that made everyone sit up. "I will not allow the boys to be put at further risk. They stay here." He put his voice back into lawyer mode. "Detective Gutierrez is right. They are more easily protected here."

Jeremy shrugged his shoulders and made way for William to take his turn on the machine after the yellow cloth passed.

"I'm going to ask to put a man inside, as well as outside tonight," said Gutierrez.

"That won't be necessary," said Throckmorton. "Mrs. Holmes can handle anything that comes up."

Now I was totally confused.

"Licensed?" asked Gutierrez, looking at Boo.

"Twelve years," said Boo. "Recertified in January."

"What are you talking about?" Brad jumped in.

"Mrs. Holmes is not just your housekeeper," said Throckmorton. "She is your bodyguard."
"I don't understand," said Brad.

"Becky and I agreed that as long as the murders remained unsolved, we should have a high level of personal protection for you two," he said, nodding at me. "Mrs. Holmes was recommended by a close friend in the FBI as the best available."

I looked at Boo, who was suddenly an entirely different person. It had been there all along, of course, I just hadn't picked up on it. She knew things. She moved with a grace that belied her bulk. She was up at six and awake at midnight. But she can cook, too. Plus, I like her. Wow.

"Who?" asked Gutierrez.

"Ron Cutter," said Throckmorton. "Known him for years."

"Same here," said Gutierrez. "You take responsibility?"


"Okay," said Gutierrez. "Gotta go. Daniel will finish up here. The car is in place." He turned to Brad. Not me, Brad. "I do not want you to leave the house until the funeral, then I want you both to come directly back here. Mrs. Holmes will stay with you at all times, ride in the car with you, whatever. Officer Munoz will be with you tomorrow."

Great. The creepy one. I gave Brad a look that said "ugh!" and he nodded.

Saw finished his work, and bundled his toy up in the case, leaving by the back door. Becky had some information to get for the court hearing on custody, mostly how long we'd known Throckmorton, whether we'd feel comfortable having him as temporary guardian, that kind of stuff. Becky then said she had to get down to the office, but would see us tomorrow at the church, and left.

Throckmorton left a few minutes later, after going through the arrangements for the funeral, confirming that the list of invitees had been handled, all that sort of stuff. He admonished us to stay inside the house for the umpteenth time.

"Do you pack a piece?" said Brad to her, as we got a glass of milk and some sliced fruit.

"Of course," said Boo. "Now, let's get dinner planned. How does roast chicken sound? Safeway had a sale on whole fryers, and I picked up a couple."

I wanted to ask her where she hid her "piece," but I figure that would let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. I looked at her pants suits often enough, but I never saw a hint of it. She made a list of things she'd have to get from the store, since there were five mouths to feed instead of three. Jeremy and William volunteered to go get the groceries at the Safeway on the other side of the park, and all of a sudden we were alone with Boo.

"Boo, do you think we could really be in danger, or is this just . . . in case?" Brad said as he carried the glasses and bowls to the sink. Boo intercepted him and took the things out of his hands.

"Mr. Throckmorton was worried from the outset," said Boo. "Somebody killed your folks, stole your car out of your own garage while you were asleep, and tried to set you up for a woman's death. Her eight year old kid is found dead in his bed at home. I'd say that was pretty real."

"But why?" Brad asked, not really expecting an answer, I thought. "We don't know from shit what's going on in Dad's company!"

"Nice talk," said Boo.

"Oops!" said Brad. "Sorry, Boo. I don't usually use that word."

"Bull. It slipped out too easily. You mind your tongue around me, I'll mind mine around you. Deal?"

"Deal," said Brad, a little no, a lot chastened.

"As for the company, you two own it, now, I guess," she said, rinsing the glasses and bowls and loading them in the dishwasher. "From what I read in the paper, the company is worth a lot of money. People will do a lot of bad for a little money, and much worse for a lot."

The telephone rang again, and Boo got it on the second ring.

"Hello, Weston residence," she said, and listened intently for a minute, then put her hand over the mouthpiece.

"Brad, I think you two need to take this call in your father's office," she said in a low voice. "Its Mr. Garibaldi, and he needs to speak to both of you."

Brad nodded, and he and I went into the office to put on the speakerphone.

"Hello Mr. Garibaldi," Brad said once the mike was lit.

"Hello Brad. You there, Tim?"

"Yeah," I said. "Hi Mr. Garibaldi."

"We better go by Dave and Brad and Tim from here on," said Dave. You guys own 80% of this business, and if we're going to keep it going, we'll have to be pretty thick."

"Okay," Brad said, giving me a look that said `I don't think I'm going to like this,' then continued, "we'll need all the help we can get."

"We need to reassure our clients that the business will proceed on an even keel, guys," he said. "I want to draft a letter to send out to all our customers and creditors. You know,  that the business will continue as before. I think we should all three sign it."

"I agree," said Brad. I nodded my head. I wished our "telephone" was working, so we could discuss it all as it went, instead of using signals.

"Okay I bring it around this afternoon?"

"Sure," Brad said. "We're not going anywhere."

"Be there around five, then," he said. "There are a couple of other issues we'll need to deal with before . . . Thursday. Got an hour?"

"Sure, Brad said.

"Dave, have you heard?" I asked without thinking.

"Heard what?"

"About Susie?"

"What about her?"

"She's dead, Dave," said Brad. "They found her this morning near Chico in the trunk of my car. Burned to a crisp."

"Susie! My God! What an awful way to . . . " he was silent for a moment. "In your car?"

"Yeah. She was shot through the head. Just like Mom and Dad."

"They found the gun," I added. "A 357 Magnum."


"In the car," Brad clarified. "She bought it last year."


"No. Murder."

"Oh, shit."

"Yeah," I said. "It gets worse. They found Bobby at home on his bed. Same thing, back of the head."

"Bobby! He's only eight!"

"Yeah," Brad said. "Its . . . not good." Brad had tears in his eyes, threatening to well over. I loved him for that.

"You guys have . . . someone to watch out for you?"

"Yeah," Brad said softly into the phone. "Throckmorton's a rock."



"Listen . . . Brad?"


"You got the key to your dad's desk?"

"I know where it is."

Would you open it and get the checkbook out of the left-hand drawer?"


Brad got the key from under the potted plant a Grape Ivy mom rescued from the black hands of a drug store, I think and twisted it in the lock in the center drawer, then opened the left-hand drawer. There was a big spiral notebook sort of checkbook inside it.

"Got it," said Brad.

"What's the last check number written?"

Brad turned to the first page with a check still attached, and read out "11736, dated July the First, payable to . . . me . . . for $9,000-"


"June the Twenty Eighth," said Brad. "But Dave, I don't know anything about that money!"

"What's the previous check read?"

"Uh, number 11735 on June thirteenth, for $9,525- to . . . it looks like . . . Harris, Wolf and Cornish . . . something like that."

Dad does not have the greatest handwriting on earth, especially when he's in a hurry.
 "Okay, thanks. See you at five," he said. "I may be a couple of minutes late, if there's lots of traffic. You guys need anything?"

"No, we're okay," Brad said.

There was a click as Dave rang off.

Brad and I looked at each other for a second, more questions than answers.

"I never got a check from Dad," said Brad.

"Any more in the checkbook made out to you?"

Brad paged back, me looking over his shoulder. There weren't many no more than one or two a month. There was a $9,000- check payable to me on April 1, and another in the same amount to Brad on January 4.

Brad looked up at me I was standing beside him, a little behind. I couldn't resist planting a wet one on his lips.

"You think they were for us, or for somebody else?" I asked, just before he pulled me down for another. I started out sitting on the arm of the chair, then scooted over so I was sitting on his lap, my legs over the arm. His arms around me made me feel a lot better, a lot less alone inside.

"Who else?"

"Well, if Susie was using your I.D. when she bought a gun, maybe she opened a bank account, too."

"What about the check made out to you?"

"She opened two?"

"Why would Dad be making checks out to you and me and giving them to her?"

"Blackmail?" I said automatically.

"Oh, please! Get real!" Brad spit out at me. "Dad wouldn't have fooled around with her!."

"Yeah, she's not the most attractive," I mused. "But what if . . . " I had this awful thought.


"What if Bobby was our half brother?"

"Oh, shit! Never happen!"

"Yeah, I suppose," I said. "But what's the money all about?"

"We can ask Dave when he gets here. Right now, I got something else I want to talk to you about," he said, putting his lips to my eyebrow.


"Let's play some more chess."

Hello! Anybody home in there? Duh . . .

His hands began to move over my body, sending those little electric tingles all over and through me, and I lifted my lips up to his, opening my mouth to him, tasting the Brad flavor, vanilla and fruit, his lips and mine hermetically sealing out the world.

His hand went under my shorts, and scooted under my boxers, and he grasped my balls tenderly. My dick was off to the left, not yet hard, and it just felt . . . so intimate.

"Did you lock the door?" I asked somewhere in between getting out of the chair and getting naked.

He didn't stop doing what he was doing to my ear with his tongue, just sort of moaned, which I took for a "yes" as I managed to get his belt buckle undone. Its hard to get your fingers to coordinate when you're having a mini ear orgasm.

My Birks were snagged in my shorts, and I lost my balance as I tried to shake them off and get Brad's polo shirt over his head. I went to take a step to get back in balance, but of course with the shorts wrapped around my feet, that didn't work for shit, and I lurched into Brad. Him being blind and trapped with the shirt half over his head, tried to take a step back, just as his shorts fell below his knees. Fortunately, the chair was out of the way as we tumbled in a heap on the floor, side by side, both of us with our shorts now wrapped around our feet, like a pair of two-legged bulls at a rodeo.

What the hell, the carpet was soft, and we had too much on our minds to realize how ridiculous we must have looked. I managed to get his Polo over the top of his head, at the same time as he yanked my boxers down, and our mouths reconnected. I can never remember how my shirt gets off it's almost as if he pushes a button and it evaporates.

He snagged my shorts and boxers with his foot, and pulled then down and off, the Birks unable to withstand the onslaught. I returned the favor as he grabbed my butt in both his hands and ground into me, as if he was going to plow his dick right through my groin to get in there. I can't remember where my hands were, but who cares?

He rolled us over on his back, and I moved my lips to his Adam's apple, then the hollow under his neck, sliding down his body, his dick as hard as a baseball bat under me, snagging for a second on my belly button when I was nibbling on his chin. I felt his lube making him slip up my chest as I worked my way down, and then snag again under my jaw, trying to get under my tongue.

I scooted down onto the carpet, between his legs, and lifted my head to do a thorough inspection of the finest piece of prime meat ever brought to market. I held him firmly at the base, and pecked at the lube that he had burbling up, letting it cover my lips, drawing into strands like big spider webs when I pulled back to admire the beauty of it all. The head has these little bumps that smooth out when it expanded as I squeezed the blood vessels shut at the base, and the pink got rosy from the extra blood. His veins stood out on the top, like the ones you see on your arms, not dark blue, but pale under the pink skin, defined, thick and "pumped."

His hands on my head massaged, tender, not pushing or pulling, just gently rubbing. A drop of lube pearled up in the slit, which I opened a little by squeezing gently top and bottom, watching the lube expand, rise from the hole, like a dome. I tickled the underside of the head with my tongue, coaxing more of the lube, making his shiver. I think he was moaning, but there was a rush of blood in my ears, so I heard little.

My tongue found the path under the head, where the taut skin is like a guidepost to the well, and I watched as the tip of my tongue touched the almost-globe of his sweet lube, and it flowed onto my tongue. I pulled some into my mouth and tasted, and it was like Chateau d'Yquem, sweet, buttery, viscous.

I couldn't hold back any longer, and my lips surrounded the slit, the whole glob of nectar swept into my mouth, the head following, resting on my tongue for a millisecond on its path to my throat. My lips went over the crown of the head, and I chewed a little through my lips, pressing more of the lube onto my tongue. He moaned, definitely moaned, I felt the vibration. Then I watched his golden brown pubes as I moved down the length of his shaft, trying to touch them to my nose, but not able to do it at this angle, because my throat was almost perpendicular to the shaft. When the head hit the back of my throat, I was still inches and inches away from the curls.

I pulled back slowly, grasping the column firmly with my lips, and more lube was forced up the tube under his dick, coating my tongue more, making his whole shaft slippery and sweet. I began tickling the underside with my tongue as I reversed course again, and he shuddered under the assault, his hands gripping my head more now firmly. But still not pushing or pulling, just going along for the ride.

I wanted his sperm, I was about to get them all. I could feel his excitement, his legs beginning to vibrate under my assault, then he stopped the movement of my head, and rolled us a little, so I was on my side and he on his, his legs moving a little away from me, my head tilting up, and my throat opening aligning itself with the direction of his shaft. His hands went to my butt, massaging, his fingers seeking out my entrance, finding it and slowly pushing into me.

He moved slowly into my mouth, into my throat, and past the crook, right down into me, and I watched as his pubes got closer and closer to my nose, touched the tip, and then tickled my top lip. My forehead was against his tummy, pushing it in. I inhaled the perfume with a tiny sniff, the path to my lungs now blocked, but my nose still able to detect his musky perfume, slightly acid from the day's heat and exertions.

He fucked his glorious column into me no more than two or three times, when I felt the expansion of the tube under his dick with my tongue, and he grunted a muffled shout, his legs shaking like the chairs in one of those wonderful cinemas with two thousand speakers, and I pulled him all the way into me, my face crammed into his groin, his dick throbbing mightily as he emptied his sperm directly into my stomach. I massaged he balls, tickled under the sac, put a finger against his hole, and felt him shudder repeatedly. I was running out of breath, but I wanted all of him, and waited until the last possible moment before pulling back to gasp some air through my nose, nursing on his head, rewarded with another spurt of his sperm, the flavor as rich and wonderful as ever, despite coming from near the bottom of the barrel.

He shuddered some more, and said softly, "I love you, Loon."

I wished we could talk of our love in our heads while our mouths were full. Can't have it all, I guess. I kept nursing and swallowing, but no more came out.

There was a soft knock on the door, and I about spat Brad out from both ends from the surprise.

"Brad?" came Boo's voice. "Tim?"

"Yeah, Boo?" Brad said. He's got more composure than me. I couldn't get my vocal chords unraveled.

"You guys awake?"

"Yeah, just looking through the books."

"Mr. Garibaldi's here."

"What?" I jumped to my feet and grabbed at my shorts. My erection deflated, but too slowly for my taste.

"He said you were expecting him."

"Oh, right. Be right there!" Brad was on his feet as well. "Won't take a minute!" His dick was still at half mast, but I'd cleaned him out pretty good -- there was no drooling going on.

I looked at the clock. It was five past five. We'd gone into the office at four, something like that. How had all that time evaporated?

Fortunately, polo's, shorts and Birks take no time to throw on, and we took no more than a minute to get decent. I looked at Brad, and reached over to push his hair into place. We walked out and down the hall to the family room

"Hi, Dave," Brad said. Dave was standing with his back to us, looking at Boo. As he turned, I noticed Boo with a look of surprise on her face. She was looking at my legs. I didn't look down, not yet. Score one for growing composure.

"Hiya, guys," Dave said, a serious look on his broad, freckled and wholesome broad face. "I got lucky with the traffic, sorry if I interrupted anything."

"No, not at all," Brad lied effortlessly. Well, I guess it was sort of the truth, I mean, he'd registered `empty.' "We took a look through the checkbook, then got to talking."

There he goes again. Tells the truth all bent up, and it sounds absolutely true. i wonder how long it will take me to learn to do that?

"Right," said Dave. He looked at Brad's neck kind of funny, then pulled a few pieces of paper out of a briefcase that sat on the breakfast table. "Shall we go over this?"

We sat down at the table, in a sort of triangle, and I took the offered piece of paper. As Dave passed one to Brad, I looked at Brad's neck. He had a faint -- but unmistakable -- hickey just below the Adam's apple . . .