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:
(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
Sean Andersen - 16-yr old teenager living in Virginia
Jacob - young hunky policeman who has recently befriended the boys
Jorge Montero - new character
Dr. Worthington (at the hospital)
“Grady Phillips is Chief of Emergency Medicine here at UH. He reports that Robert appears to be stable; his vital signs are ok, and he’s reacting well to the meds he was given to counter the so-called knock-out drugs. Dr. James, the on-board flight surgeon, says he responding to questions and is back in touch with reality, so to speak.”
“Thank God they found him when they did! I don’t want to even think about the alternatives. Who would do such a thing, to anyone, let alone a teenager?” Dorothy said obviously still shaken by the fact that Robert was taken from her.
The ringing of the phone interrupted the moment. It was Grady informing me that the chopper would be landing in about 10 minutes. Tanner was gone so fast I could barely remember the door opening and shutting behind him. The rest of the group was hot on his heels, obviously going to the roof to meet Robert once he got off the chopper. I walked over to Dorothy, kissed her lightly, took her hand. We walked out of the room heading to the emergency room, anxious to see our Robert.
When his Dad turned the Towncar into the horseshoe-shaped driveway in front of their house, Robert immediately spotted a large banner with WELCOME HOME, ROBERT & KYLE above the entrance way to the foyer. A small crowd of well-wishers that included close neighbors and friends greeted him and Kyle with hugs, tears of joy and relief.
The dining room table was brimming with a wide of assortment of goodies. It didn’t take long for the teenagers to do some SERIOUS damage to the array of entrees, veggies and desserts. It was apparent that Robert’s and Kyle’s appetite had not been damaged. Karl, their housekeeper and chef, had outdone himself – again.
The adults did their part to appreciate Karl’s efforts also. Very little food would be left to put away for another day.
The crew -- Tanner, Kyle, Robert, Katy, and Kirk -- soon joined Jacob, the young policeman that had recently become a good friend of the family, and Luis and Deter (the neighbors whose farm bordered the Worthington property) in the game room.
At first the conversation was somewhat awkward. Several were verbally tiptoeing around the “topic de jour”, that being the kidnapping/rescue, not knowing how Robert, and, for that matter, Kyle would react. Nervous glances with much looking at the floor became the main activity.
Finally, Robert, who was sitting between Tanner and Kyle, whispered something in Kyle’s ear. He then grippedTanner’s hand tighter and spoke as Kyle grinned.
“Guys, did Kyle and I mention to you the little incident that happened to us on the way to school a few days ago? It seems that …
Kyle interrupted, “Yea, some wiseasses attempted a Edgar Alan Poe Buried Alive Halloween prank on Robert.”
We both laughed and a communal sigh of relief was heard in the room.
I continued, “Look, guys-- and Katy -- Kyle and I rehashed this whole thing over and over again while we were in the hospital. It has helped us to talk openly about what happened. I know that I’m lucky to be alive -- well, we both are. But, because of the crap they were giving me to keep me sedated, I don’t remember very much about how it all came down and almost none about being in the box underground. And, for that I’m thankful.”
“I guess what we’re trying to say is don’t be concerned about talking about it around us. I’m definitely not freaking out and Kyle’s okay too. Now to change the subject…”
I turned to our neighbors. “Deter, Luis. Tell us about the class reunion. Were there any surprises?”
“Surprises? Yea, one could say that.”
I looked at Deter as my eyes misted over a bit before I continued. He moved closed to me on the sofa and put his arm around my shoulder in a show of support.
“You remember last week when you guys asked us about how we met, how our relationship developed? Well, I mentioned that I dated a girl named Susan Anderson for a while, but that she and her family moved to California. We lost touch with each other after that, but by then Deter and I were an item, secretly, of course.”
“I also told you all that she and I had unprotected sex several times but that she was on the pill. Well, when Deter and I were visiting our best high school buddies Randy and Tim, and their wives, of course, at the reunion, Randy informed me that he had received information that the reason Susan and her family moved to California was not solely because of her father’s job situation. She was pregnant. Guys … I’m a father! … Evidently, I’ve been a father since I was sixteen and did NOT know it until last week! Can you believe that!? Me, a father!”
Deter hugged me again, giving me a light kiss on the cheek in reassurance of his love for me. Aside from the collective gasp from the rest of the room, the silence for a moment was eerie as each of them processed the news.
The mood was broken by the phone ringing. Robert answered it.
Robert: Hello. . . This is Robert.
Sean: Hi, this is Sean Andersen. I hope I’m not bothering you, but I wanted to call and check on you.
Robert: Holy shit!!! opp! Sorry, Mom. THE Sean Anderson? Hey there, Sean. Thanks for calling, Dude! It’s awfully nice of you. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here talking with my buds, much less still breathing. What can I say, man; you saved my life. I think I owe you my first born, or a kidney, my left nut or something!”
We both laughed. Kyle, hearing only one side of the conversation, punched me in the shoulder.
Robert: All kidding aside, Dude, you’re my hero!
Sean: Buddy, it was just luck that I happened to be exploring a bit in those woods or I wouldn’t have seen that van. Funny, when I first got a glimpse of you on that stretcher, I had the feeling that I knew you or, at least, I had seen you somewhere before. You know how something gets stuck in your mind and you keep going over and over it until it about drives ya nuts? Well, I finally remember why you looked familiar.”
Robert: We’ve met before? Sorry, but I don’t remember.
Sean: Dude, we’ve run against each other in track. I’m a junior at Central High. And, you attend James Mason High, right? That explains why I just knew I had at least seen you before.
Robert: If you go to Central, why were you down there in the boonies near Franklin? Not that I’m complaining or anything.
Sean: Very simple. I was pulling one of my regular weekend visits with my granny. I try to get down there often to help her with the yard chores and stuff. My gramps died two years ago and she’s kinda lonely. I love going down there, though.
Robert: Cool! Where are ya now? Home?
Sean: Yup. And, guess what? We live only 6 blocks from you. Your parents gave me your address when I visited you in the hospital. You were so out of it I don’t think you will remember me stopping by. Anyway, our house is less than a block from the school district line. That’s why you and I attend different schools.
Robert: Sean, you got something going on important right now? We’re having a little welcome home party here at the house. Can you drop by? It would be great having the hero over to join in our celebration. I’m serious, Dude. Can you make it?
Sean: I think I can. Let me check with the ‘rents first. You’re sure it’s ok for me to crash the party?
Robert: Wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll hold on while you check with your folks. … You can? GREAT! See ya in a few!! Bye.
“That was Sean, the guy that called the rescue squad; he lives about 5 to 10 minutes from here; he’s coming over the join our little party. Dudes, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be alive, you know.
Kirk asked, “ I saw him when he visited you in the hospital; but are we supposed to know him? I don’t remember that name and he lives so close by.”
“No,” I answered. “He attends Central High; says he thought he recognized me when I was being hoisted onto the rescue chopper. Apparently, you and I have run track against him. I’m going to let Mom and Dad know he’s coming over. They’ll definitely want to meet him.
Katy commented wryly, “Do I sense an additional member possibly being added to the family crew?
I said, “Perhaps a bit premature, dear lady, but let’s see what’s he’s like. He really sounded kinda cool on the phone, though.”
Tanner interjected, “Regardless of what he’s like, we all owe him a debt of gratitude – even if he turns out to be a complete asshole!”
We all laughed at Tanner’s comment, then the conversation returned to Luis’ surprising news.
“Luis, the phone interrupted your story.” Kirk said. “Do you know anything more than what you’ve already told us?”
“A little bit. It seems that Susan kept in touch with Judy Stein, one of her girl friends from our old high school, for a while after moving to California. She swore Judy to secrecy so no one back home until recently was aware of Susan’s situation.”
“Judy found out that Susan was pregnant and had become estranged from her family before the baby was born. I did find out that the Susan was living in Forestdale, a small town about an hour’s drive south of L.A. when she gave birth. After that, Judy completely lost touch with her.”
“Are you going to pursue this any further? I mean, have you and Deter …? Tanner stuttered.
“If you mean have we discussed what we might consider
doing, then, yes, we have,”
I continued, “For the sake of argument, If he were 18, there would be no legal obstacles to contacting him; however, because he presently is a legal minor, it would be illegal for us to make overtures to him without parental or guardian consent.”
“May I?” Deter interrupted. “As of this morning, Luis and I have engaged the services of a very professional and reputable investigative agency that specializes in finding ‘lost’ or ‘unknown’ family or relatives. The gentleman we talked with today told us that such searches used to take a lot of time usually. However, with the Internet and so many legal databases online now, satisfactory results usually come much quicker and at a much lower cost -- not that that makes any difference in this case.”
Deter turned to me and said, “You go ahead and continue, babe.”
“As Deter said, we’ve hired a real pro and hope to have some answers soon. One of his investigators was to go to Richmond this afternoon to interview a list of folks we provided that includes Judy Stein, Randy and Tim. The agency has operatives on the West Coast so they’ll begin their snooping once they get the results of the Richmond interviews.
Tanner asks, “How did you come to pick that particular agency?”
“Good question. One of the pets that I treat belongs to the chief of security for the University. I consulted with him. Greg -- that’s his name -- said that the agency is above reproach and very professional. From our perspective I think we’ve hired the best gumshoe money can buy in this area.”
“Gumshoe?” Robert questioned.
I answered, “ Yea, Gumshoe. It’s a slang term for a private detective. Deter and I are fans of the old-time who-done-it pulp novels and movies from the ’30s, ‘40s and early ‘50s. Some of the cable channels show those late at night.
I turned to Deter and continued, “Remember, babe? We watched one of those Sam Spade mysteries starring Humphrey Bogart the weekend before last.”
“Wasn’t that the The Maltese Falcon? Deter answered.
“Right. Bogart played lots of gumshoes during his long film career, but I like his Sam Slade character the best,” I added.
Our conversation was sidetracked when we heard the doorbell ring. Robert sprinted from the game room to answer the door while Deter and I returned to the den for more food and conversation with the “adults”.
“Guys and -- Katy (she flipped me off)! This is Sean Andersen, the fellow who’s responsible for my being here tonight alive and well.”
“Sean, this is Tanner, my oldest brother, and Kyle, the red-headed step child and "baby" brother.”
Sean laughed as Kyle mouthed, "Fuck YOU!"
“And this is Kirk, my best friend since before I can remember and his big sister Ka…”
“Hello Kay,” Sean said cutting me off as he took her hand and flashed the most charming grin I think I have ever seen in my life to this point.
“It’s Katy,” she said blushing.
“Wow, an even more beautiful name that doesn’t do you justice,” Sean said never breaking his gaze. Katie blushed even deeper.
I gave a wink to Tanner and Kirk as we saw Kyle fuming.
“Hi, I’m Kyle!” he said stepping up beside Katy and, in a gesture of ownership, put an arm around Katy while offering Sean his hand again.
“He knows, Dude. You guys met at the hospital, remember?” I said, feigning ignorance.
If looks could kill…
Tanner and Kirk, even Katy laughed. I knew I was in trouble.
“Damn, the best ones are always taken,” Sean said as he shook Kyle’s hand again.
“Dude, go grab yourself some food, then I’ll re-introduce you to my parents and the rest of our friends upstairs..”
Sean immediately made himself at home with a plate piled full of goodies and some delicious steaming hot chocolate that Karl had prepared. We had slipped a little Bailey’s Creame in for, how shall I say it, -- ah, yes … flavoring!
“Dude, Your mom is awesome!” He said on his return to the basement.
“Yeah, she’s a special lady.”
As Sean stuffed his face, we all talked awhile I explained how each person there fit into the weave of our family matrix.
About the time his stomach had registered FULL, Deter and Luis returned to meet the latest arrival to the festivities.
“Sean, meet Luis and Deter Guilliard-Temples. They own the farm that borders on the back side of our land. Luis has a small animal vet practice and Deter works with his family business. When I was younger I used to spend more time over at their spread messing with all the animals that claim their home there than I did at my house. Luis was my equestrian instructor back when I competed in the various horse riding event around the state,” I stated.
“Nice to meet the fellow who’s responsible for seeing that Robert is here alive and well,” Deter said as he shook Sean’s hand firmly.
“I’m just glad I happened to be at the right place at the right time,” Sean responded somewhat shyly.
Luis quipped, “Yea, I don’t know what we’d do without our extra farm hand; he fits right in with all our other “animals” in the barn.”
“HEY, not nice!” I blurted out as I cuffed the back of Deter’s head while joining in the banter.
“Robert tells us that you live in the neighborhood, so to speak,” Luis said. “Do you like to ride?”
“Yea, I do like to ride, but I’ve never had any lessons and have ridden probably less than a dozen times in my life,” Sean responded.
“We’d love to have you come over and join us sometime, even if Robert’s not with you.”
Sean quipped, “Thanks, but be very careful. I just may take you up on your kind offer.”
Luis handed him a business card while saying, “Here’s my office and home phone number. Just give us a call. I’ll have Robert phone you if he can find time to take you out also. Contrary to appearances, he’s not a total screw up; Robert is a pretty decent riding instructor, believe it or not.”
Everyone laughed… personally I didn’t see what was so funny.
Luis continued, “Sean, are your parents Judy and Mark Andersen, by any chance?”
“Why, yes, they are? Do you know them?”
“You have a dog named Sampson and two cats by the name of Butch and Lucy, right?” Luis questioned.
Sean laughed and responded, “Yup, my sister named her cat Lucy. Who the hell names a cat Lucy? Ahh, you’re our vet, I gather.”
“That’s right. I’ve been seeing your pets since Sampson was about 6 weeks old. And, he’s how old now?”
“Sam is about 4 now, I think. … What a small world. I can’t wait to tell my mom and dad about meeting you and Deter.”
“Please send them our regards, also,” Deter said. “If memory serves me correctly, we’ve been to several Christmas parties at your home. If fact, I believe we received an invitation just this week for this year’s party. We’re looking forward to attending. It’ll be extra special now that we’ve met you and for what you did for Robert. He’s like a snotty little brother to us. We don’t know how to thank you.”
Pausing for a moment, Sean awkwardly hummed and hawed before asking Luis, “Are you and Deter life partners, by any chance?”
Sean quickly added, “If I’m being out of place and too personal, I’m sorry. I noticed your hyphenated last names and just assumed …”
Deter took Luis’ hand in his as he answered, “Yes, we are. We’ve been together since high school. I hope you don’t have a problem …”
“NO, not at all,” Sean responded immediately. “My best friend in school is gay, but he’s not out except to a few of us. He’s also my next door neighbor. We’ve been like brothers since we were two; I’m just a month younger than him. Hell, I’ve had to have his back more than a few times at school and he’s done the same for me more times than I can count.”
“ Wow, it’s awesome to have a friend in your corner like that; they’re hard to come by. You have to come visit us soon, Sean, and your buddy, too. We’ve got several horses that are great with beginners,” Luis said.
Turning to Deter, Luis continued, “Babe, it’s getting late and we’ve both got work tomorrow. Let’s go say our goodbye’s and head home. AND, don’t start singing Happy Trails to You in that high Dale Evans voice as we make our grand exit! I should have cut off your wine supply an hour ago!”
“Kiss my cowboy ass, Roy Rogers!” Deter quipped on their way out!!!
Everyone had either gone to bed or gone home. I was just coming back into my room towel drying my hair. Tanner was there sitting on the edge of the bed.
He stood up as he noticed my entering. ‘Damn, Robert, you’re a lucky boy,’ I said to myself as my eyes trailed up and down his body. He was shirtless and wearing jogging pants. He had shaved his treasure trail so his abs were smooth and defined. I swear he has the most perfect chest I’ve ever seen wide and rock solid. It must have been cold in the room because his nipples were hard (more fun to play with later on.)
I was naked just coming from the shower. I dropped the towel and came closer to Tanner. His expression didn’t change. He looked at me as if he were deep in thought, almost sad. He just stared at me; eyes grazing over my body head to toe (and not in that I-just-want-to-eat-you-up kind of way)
It was almost as if he were trying to memorize every feature of my body. I stepped closer. There was a tear in his eye. I reached up and brushed it away. He grabbed my hand and kissed my palm softly. Another tear rolled down his cheek.
"What’s the matter, baby?" I asked more than a little concerned.
“It’s you…You’re just so damn perfect.” Another streamed from his other eye. “And I…I don’t deserve you!”
The damn broke. Tanner sank to his knees. He wrapped his arms around my lower body and pressed his face against my stomach. The tears never stopped. I was thoroughly confused.
“What good am I, baby? What good am I when I can’t protect the two most important people in the world to me, Chase? What kind of older brother am I to you and Kyle when I can’t even keep you safe going to school? How can I deserve to be your boyfriend when I failed at being your man and defending you? I don’t deserve you, baby."
I wiggled free of his embrace and got on my knees as well.
“Tanner, there is nothing you could have done…but you know this. There is nothing anyone could have done. It’s not your fault…and you know that too. If you’re going to blame your self, you should blame Mom and Dad because they are my parents and they couldn’t stop this from happening. And you could blame Kirk and Katy because they are my best friends and they should have not let this happen. What’s the real problem?”
Then before he said it; it hit me.
“You don’t understand, Chase…you could have …died. First Mom… Dad…then if …if you and Kyle… ”
He began crying again. I put my arms around him and he held me for dear life as he lamented, “Is this my punishment for something? Is this God’s way punishing me for being…”
“Tanner,” I whispered. “It was God that led you to me, and gave us the courage to tell each other how we feel. It was God that helped me realize how much in love with you I really am. Baby, God brought me back to you.”
Tanner broke away from our embrace and looked into my eyes. I smiled at him through the tears that had fell from my eyes. “I love you, Robert Chase Worthington. You’re my heart,” Tanner said and kissed my nose.
“You’d better, Tanner!!”
We both smiled and looked in each other’s eyes for the longest time.
Tanner finally got off the floor lifted me in his arms and lay me on the bed. He stripped off his jogging pants and lay spooned behind me naked. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed my neck. “Good night, my love.” He said.
I drifted right to sleep. I had never felt more safe in my entire life.
Jorge was also a member of the ACC Academic team having maintained a GPA of 3.75 (out of a 4-point system) in his Architectural major -- he was planning to eventually study for an advanced degree in restoration architecture. The source of much family pride, Jorge was the first member of his second generation immigrant family (from Spain) to attend college.
But life as Jorge knew it collapsed that past February when Jorge was accused by a co-ed student at the university of aggravated assault and rape with intent to kill. He was now serving a 30-year prison sentence. Even though the victim stated that the assailant wore a mask, she was persuasive enough to convince a jury of her peers that this hulk of a man had brutalized and raped her without showing any mercy.
She was the only daughter of one of the University’s vice-presidents and a prominent family of long standing in the community, both politically and socially. In fact, she was engaged to one of his fellow teammates. That fact pretty much lost him the support of his fellow jocks
The County District Attorney had seen the trail as an opportunity to enhance his political image in the state as he had aspirations of becoming the youngest governor in the state in 150 years.
The media frenzy was immediate and demanded that justice be done. The community was out for revenge, and a lynch mob mentality was rampant in the courthouse system. No local attorney would take the case to represent this second generation Spanish jock; and thus, his family, with their very meager means, managed to hire a young attorney fresh out of law school who had no experience representing a client accused of such a heinous crime.
Jorge had maintained his innocence from the beginning, but his life and trail were caught up in whirlwind of local outrage that one of their own had by violated by an outsider, the son of a damn migrant worker.
The jury had found Jorge guilty in a short, but very public trail, and the judge had sentenced him to 30 years in prison – to be served at the one maximum security prison in the state.
Jorge knew his family could not afford the cost of legal representation for an appeal so he became determined to make the best of the horrible turn of events in his life. Prison officials had assigned him the work detail as the assistant manager of the prison gym and athletic program. He was a model prisoner and thus was resigned to serving his sentence unless a lenient parole board granted him early freedom 20 years from now
Jorge ironically thought himself lucky. His intimidating size and strength had protected him from physical harassment from all except a few violent prisoners who wanted to make a name for themselves by taking on this wet, behind-the-ears-to-prison-life rookie. To their permanent regret, they had learned the hard way that this once potential professional NFL/AFL linebacker was someone not to fuck around with.
It was during that December afternoon tag football game being attended and played by prisoners from Cell block A and B that Jorge overheard segments of a conversation as Hank Steadman was bragging to two of his cronies that the bitch judge who has refused to grant him a hearing was about to get her “come-upance”, as he put it.
Jorge took the comments as typical shit from the mouth of Hank Steadman – Steadman had a reputation among his fellow inmates as a real mean prick and loudmouth. It was not until two days later when Jorge was watching the evening news in the cell block’s TV room/lounge that his attention was drawn to a story about a judge’s kid being kidnapped and rescued. It seems that the three kidnappers had been killed in a collusion with an 18-wheeler soon after the kid had been buried alive in southern Virginia.
The thoughts of being buried alive conjured up some unpleasant memories of Jorge’s childhood. . He remembered the nightmares he suffered for a long time after reading Poe’s “Premature Burial”. His body shivered as he thought of what that kid must have gone through, and he became incredibly angry. Having remembered Steadman’s bragging on the athletic field, he asked his supervisor at the gym to make an appointment for him to see the warden the next day.
Following that meeting the warden immediately notified the necessary authorities. Warden Hughes remembered that his assistant warden for Administration had told him of his having to inform Steadman of the death of his brother Max just two days ago. Steadman had gone berserk the assistant warden stated. Big Bad Hank was placed in solitary under a medical watch.
-- end of Chapter 26 --