Tanner & Robert
by Eagle & Cody
This story is a fantasy of my own creation. The characters are not real; they were born of my imagination. If a consensual relationship between two of-age males bothers you, then do not read further. If you are under the legal age in your area, stop reading now. Any similarities between a character and a real person, living or dead, are purely coincidental. Any actions the reader takes as a result of reading this story are not the responsibility of the author.
You may not reproduce, post, or distribute this story in any way without the author's expressed written permission. You may print out one copy or save one copy of this story for your own viewing and entertainment. By reading further, you implicitly are agreeing to the above guidelines.
Many thanks go to Jason for volunteering his time and expertise to edit this story. Comments from readers are encouraged. Cody and I appreciate your constructive criticism and remarks. Please send your comments to:
email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
(All flamers will be ignored!)
This story is dedicated in loving memory to Steven Simmons of Sidney, Australia, who, without question (according to him), was T&R's biggest fan. Steven died on May 19, 2002, at age 21, from complications associated with childhood onset diabetes.
Cast of Characters
(appearing in this episode)
Robert Chaise Worthington, III - 16-yr. old, one of the two central characters
Justice Dorothy Worthington - Justice of State Supreme Court and mother to Robert, Tanner, and Kyle
Dr. Robert Worthington, II - Doctor and College professor and father to Robert, Tanner, and Kyle
Tanner David Kingston - half-brother to Robert, the other central character
Kyle Kingston - Tanner's brother
Hank - criminal in prison
Max - brother to Hank, criminal also
Aggie - fellow criminal along with Max (new)
Sean Andersen - 16-yr old teenager living in Virginia (new)
A dark cloud slowly began lifting from my puzzled semi-consciousness as an awareness of sensations around me meandered slowly into my head. A dank, musty scent of rotting and putrid earthiness filled me nostrils, enticing me to a more intense awareness of my surroundings.
I felt my eyelids slowly move apart but no light greeted me. Rather, there was only total darkness -- like waking up in a misty cypress swamp down in Georgia. When I attempted to rub my eyes with my hands, I became acutely aware that my arms were restricted to only slight movement by my side.
Trying to move my legs or bend them at the knee resulted in the same fate. It was then that I realized that I was boxed in and had only a very limited degree of movement available to my body.
Only the smell of cool fresh air above my nose linked me with the outside world.
An overwhelming feeling of terror entered my consciousness. My greatest fear was realized; I was buried alive!
University Hospital, Suite 220, Tuesday, noontime
"Mom, it happened so fast! One minute we were driving to school and the next moment these two vans ran us off the road. When I came too, I realized that I must have hit my head on the passenger door and blood was everywhere... And ... and ... Robert ...MOM ... he was gone!" I sobbed.
I could see the terrified look in her face. I knew it was every thing she could do to hold her emotions in -- to be strong for me.
"Kyle, what's important right at this moment is that you're ok," Mom whispered as she hugged me gently.
`How can this woman be so strong I thought, while right now I'm slowly dying,' I thought.
Mom continued, "The police and FBI have already called in the big guns. Every officer in the state is on alert now. It's just that...that... we don't know what we're looking for."
But, then I realized that she was finally losing it. Mom sat on the bed and I held her close to me. We rocked gently as she broke down and cried. Dad turned his back and stared outside the window. The anger, and hurt, and utter sense of helplessness poured out of his eyes almost making me feel the hell he was going through -- the hell we were all experiencing at different levels.
"How long was I out? Anybody know?" I finally asked after a time of dead silence.
Dad responded gently, "From what we can tell -- and this is just an educated guess -- you and Robert left the house about 7:45. The wrecked car, with you in it, was discovered about 8:10. The med techs told us that you never regained consciousness during the trip to the ER. You were out for about 2 hours, in fact. Kyle, you really had us scared to death, bubba. You don't know how glad we are that you're alright," Dad said softly ruffling my hair.
"That was quite a blow to your right temple; however, the X-rays and MRI indicates no significant trauma. However, you may have some mean headaches for the next couple of days. I'll let you come home tomorrow," Dad continued.
Mom looked up and smiled sweetly at me. "Thank God you're ok, baby boy! Knowing that you're OK is giving me so much hope right now. You mean so much to me -- to both of us, Kyle."
Mom's hand cupped the side of my face and wiped away a tear as it fell from my eyes. I love this woman so much because I know she genuinely loves me. I love her so much because she reminds me so much of my real mom. More than any little trinket or personal item I could have brought with me from California, my new mom Dorothy is the one thing I look at and know mom is still watching over me.
I'm convinced that somehow Mom sent Dorothy to me to take care of me, to love me, and help me keep my fiery temper in check. My new mom is so good to me when she doesn't have to be. And, now she's hurting for her other son, yet there's nothing I can do for her.
Tears appeared in my eyes as thoughts of Robert re-entered my consciousness.
"But why would they take Robert and not me? I mean ... Mom, Dad, ... has Robert been kid ... kidnapped?" I asked cautiously, not wanting to make this any harder on them than possible.
'Maybe by not saying it would keep it from being true,' I said in my mind.
"Honey, right now we just don't know. The authorities are acting under the presumption that this is an abduction," Mom said, with tears in her eyes.
Fuck, I made it worse!
Dad added, "If it is, we have not heard from the kidnappers. We're really working this whole situation kinda blindfolded as yet."
Flashback to previous day (Monday)
Outside the small Virginia town of Franklin (an hour's drive from Norfolk)
"Not much deeper, Aggie. The box only has to be about five or six feet from its top to the surface. Once we get the kid in here and buried, no one will ever find him. Hell, even if they did, there'll be no trail leading back to us. Screw the cops and that Worthington bitch!" Max stated.
"Yea, I know. But I like the boss's idea about using the pipe so that air can get in. It'll only prolong how long the sucker lives; hell, can you imagine starving to death like he's gonna? And leaving a water bottle was a stroke of evil genius," replied Aggie.
"Too bad, ain't it!" Max responded as he laughed. "Just glad it's him and not me. Just the thought of being buried alive gives me the willies."
Aggie asked, "You think the Worthington's are gonna come up with that kinda money that quick?"
"Shit, it don't matter no way. My brother wants revenge more that the money. Now, take me, I want the cash." Max replied.
"Well, that oughta do it! Let's drop the box in one more time just to check that it fits and is deep enough. Don't want no last minute fuckups," said Aggie as they finished the grave preparation.
"It fits; now get this shit cleaned up, cover it with brush, and let's get the fuck out of here. I know there's no one around for miles out in this desolate swamp, but we ain't taking no chances of some asshole stumbling on it out here huntin' or somethin'," Max stated after a few moments of working with the casket-like wooden box.
Max and Aggie put their tools in the truck, and checked out the gravesite once more to make sure they had left nothing in the way of clues. Even the footprints from their boots would be of no help to the authorities if they ever found the site because they wore slick rubber covers with no pattern over their boots.
The drive out of the swamp was on an old logging road that had not been used for many years. The land belonged to Max's uncle, but it was never used by anyone in the family. In fact, most family members weren't aware of its existence.
The old road also served as a boundary marker for the eastern edge of the property that bordered on the Andersen estate which was being used as a wildlife preserve. It was rare for animals to encounter humans in this wilderness but not unheard of.
'There's that truck I saw this morning coming out now. I wonder what the hell it's doing down here,' I thought.
'If I had the time right now, I'd go check out what was going on down there. Looks like they were digging up something. Anyway, gotta get these pecans back to Grandma before she has a hizzyfit'.
I chuckled loudly as I thought about Granny and those fabulous pecan pies she was gonna make for me. Man, does she ever spoil her one and only grandson, and do I like it! Ha!'
'I'll come back tomorrow morning and finish gathering the rest of the pecans -- getting too darn dark to see well enough anyway.'
Flash back continues --
Tuesday morning, Charlottsville
Robert's car -- on the way to school
"Robert, it's a good thing you woke me up this morning or else I'd still be in bed. I've got a get another alarm clock; that one just doesn't do the job,' I said.
Robert laughed and said, "Kyle, you dickhead, it would work if you would remember to turn the alarm on -- DUH."
"I guess so, but don't they make one that can turn itself on when the owner is some dumbass like me?" I retorted.
Something caught my attention in the passenger-side rearview mirror. There were two vans coming up behind us fast. For a moment I thought the first one was going to slam into us, but it quickly darted out around us. Directly behind it came the other van. Just as I started to say something to Robert and I felt something impact our car.
"Shit, man! That fool in the van just tried to push us off the road. Hold on!" Robert shouted.
"That fucker!" I shouted as my anger built.
However, just as Robert sped up, the first van pulled around us, cut back in sharply and began slowing down quickly, making us slow down also. At the same time the second van had pulled along side and began shoving us off the road.
At that point I remember Robert losing control of the car resulting in our ramming into a wooden fence along a recently plowed field and coming to an abrupt stop. Just as I was coming out of being dazed by the impact, three guys wearing ski mask quickly approached the car.
The two larger guys opened the driver's side door, placed a cloth pad over Robert's bleeding face. The car immediately filled with that "hospital" smell as my face was soon covered too. My world went black.
"Whatta we do with that other kid? Just leave'm?" Aggie asked as we tossed the unconscious `Robert' brat in the rear of my van.
"Hell, yea; leave him! He can't identify us. Now let's get the shit outa here before someone comes along being too fucking nosy for their own good," I snapped.
`Dumb ass,' I thought. `I had already gone over what to do in case there was more than one in the car with the Worthington kid. Stupid shit!'
"Gene, hurry up and shut the damn door and let's head to Franklin. Aggie, We'll leave your van at your sister's house on the way, JUST LIKE WE PLANNED IT, dickhead."
"OK, OK. Don't go getting your shit in an uproar, for fuck's sake! I was just asking. Cheez !" Aggie responded lamely.
"The sooner we get this sucker buried in the ground the better I'm gonna feel. We'll call Hank then and let him know everything went according to plan." I answered. "Wouldn't you like to see the expression the their faces when that bitch gets the ransom note? Ha."
Back to Present
Dr. Worthington (Kyle's hospital room)
"Where is Tanner? Has anyone been able to reach him on his cell phone?" I asked.
Dorothy responded, "He started his job at the hospital today remember, sweetie? You know he can't have his phone on while at work. He reminded me of that just last night. During Tanner's orientation last week the hospital human resources director was very adamant about not using one's cell phone."
"You're right, I'm sorry -- just forgot," I said.
Kyle interrupted, "Dad, just have him paged. I hear the orderlies being paged all the time. You can do that right?"
I picked up the phone in Kyle's room, dialed the paging operator and said, "Judy, this Dr. Worthington. Would you please page Tanner Worthington and have him come to room 601. Thanks for your assistance."
Within 5 minutes there was a knock on the door and then Tanner walked in. When he saw Kyle sitting in the bed and Dorothy and me, he turned paled and weak-kneed.
"Oh God...Kyle, what ... why ... Mom, Dad?" Tanner managed to squeak out amid his confusion?
I moved over towards Tanner and answered, "Kyle was injured in car accident. He' s okay, maybe a slight concussion and bruised up a bit. He'll be released ...
"Accident, my ass! We were run off the road, Tanner," interrupted Kyle, with tears pouring down his face.
Dorothy held his hand and brushed a stray hair from his face instantly he was calmed down again.
"Sorry, Mom, Dad, didn't mean to burst out at you like that!"
Before anyone could respond to Kyle, Tanner turned to Dorothy and asked, "What about Robert? Weren't they riding to school together this morning?"
"Honey, sit down!" Dorothy said in a motherly voice.
"WHERE'S ROBERT" shouted Tanner. "He's not ... not ..." All the color left of his face. I knew he was thinking the worst. "OH GOD!"
Dorothy continued with a quivering voice as she tried to maintain her composure, "Son, Robert's been kidnapped."
"NO!" he said hearing none of what we were telling him. "He was riding with Kyle. Right, Kyle??"
Kyle looked away undoubtedly feeling like he could have done more.
"Robert wouldn't leave me without a fight! Kyle, I know you wouldn't let anyone take him from me! You guys have it WRONG!!!"
I moved closer to Tanner and gently placed my hand on his shoulder. "It's true, son; Robert's gone," I said trying my best to console him.
"KIDNAPPED?" shouted Tanner again. "Kyle?" he asked looking to his little brother for answers.
Dorothy was again in tears seeing Tanner's reaction. Kyle had his arm around her taking care of her. I thanked God for him at that moment. I don't think we would be able to get through it if it were all left up to me to take care of both of us.
"Bro, three men in two vans ran Robert's car off the road and used some kind of knockout chemical agent -- Dad thinks it was probably ether. They took Robert and left me in the car injured. There was nothing I could do!" Kyle said trying to hold it together. "I wish to God there was something I could have done to change things, but there was nothing I could do, Bro; you have to believe me!"
I interrupted, "Luckily someone came along very shortly after they made their getaway and stopped to render assistance. Whoever it was called 911."
Anger built up in Tanner's eyes displaying a look I have never seen before or since on a living human being. "They could have fuckin' killed you!" Tanner growled. His rage almost tangible now. "They took Chaise!!" he shouted.
"DAMN!" Tanner exclaimed as he sent his fist flying right through the nearest wall, making a big hole. He cocked back to send his other fist in the same path, but I caught it just in time.
His face took on a new expression. The anger faded; the hurt, and sadness, and all other emotion escaped him. I held my son as his body collapsed into mine. Tears streamed from his emotionless eyes.
"My life...my love...my heart" he said as if he were in another place. "My life...my love...my heart" he repeated again and again.
"Tanner?...Tanner?" I called trying to reach my lifeless son as he lie in my arms. He looked up at me as if he didn't know who I was, then passed out!
I picked up the bleeding hand and what appeared to be 2 broken fingers; however, at that point, Tanner was feeling no physical pain, only emotional and mental torment. He had shut out the rest of the world completely by then.
Flashback to earlier in the day (Tuesday)
"Aggie, you and Gene grab the kid and put him in the box. And, make sure he's still out. I don't want no shit going on while we're gettin' him in the box and burying it. After that, I don't give a shit."
"He's still out cold, MAX, but I'll give him one more whiff of this stuff. He won't be waking up `til we're long outa here and he's six feet under," Gene said.
"Ok, now let's lower this crate into the ground... good ... that's got it. Aggie, start shoveling the dirt back in while Gene and and check to make sure we're not leaving any evidence or shit. The sooner we get outa here, the better I'm gonna feel."
`Damn! There's that truck again. As soon as I get back from town and running these errands Grannie asked me to do, I'm going to check out why the sudden interest in that old well site. Huummm, it's almost noon now. I should be back here in a couple of hours or so,' I thought.
"Betcha I've come upon some moonshiners or pot growers. I better be careful when I get back here just to make sure no one is around," I said out loud. "Come to think of it, I'd better bring REX, the wonder dog with me. Ha"
-- end of Chapter 24 --