Chapter Two - The Pocket Watch


The Boys of Twillingate Shore

Written by: Shiloh Creek
Email Address:


**DISCLAIMER: I own the rights to this story 100%. This story contains strong sexual content between minors (boy-boy), mature language, and some violence. If you are offended by this sort of material, please do NOT read any further. If you are underage (<18; <21 in some areas), please do NOT read any further. All characters, main setting, and places or people mentioned within Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Dallas, Texas; Salina, Kansas; are completely, 100% fictional. If you find similarities between this story or any characters in this story in comparison to some place or someone in real life or other stories you may have read anywhere else, these circumstances are purely coincidental and do NOT reflect the intentions of the author of this story.**


     Hey everyone. This story is something I've been thinking about lately. I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure this story is genuine and is written well. All comments and criticisms are more than welcome. You can just email me at this email address: If I don't get back to you right away or at all for some reason, don't be offended. I will make an effort to reply to as many emails as I can, but I would like to spend as much of my free time as possible actually writing the story. I appreciate all the emails I received for the first chapter. I certainly wasn't expecting that. Anyway, this second chapter was a little slow honestly, but the main characters are now set up and the story is ready to really take flight after this. I hope you're enjoying the story so far. Thanks!



     "I love you, Jesse," Logan said weakly between sobs.

     Finally, Logan felt one last beat of Jesse's heart. A few seconds later, the machine flatlined. The beeping became one steady, continual hum. Jesse's breathing ceased. The life floated out of his body in a split second. Logan's crying increased as the realization took over him that his brother now gone forever. Logan let go of his brother's hand, turned around, and buried his face in his father's chest, crying with all of his might. Richard, too, was crying softly.


     "Logan, this is Jack Haynes, a dear friend of mine and your grandfather's from Twillingate Shore," Ruth told her grandson. "And this is his son, Cody. You've met both of them before the last time you came to my house, but you were only seven or eight years old back then."

     "Nice to meet you, guys," Logan said respectfully as he shook hands with them.

     "Man, you look just like Jesse did when we were your age," Cody said as he and Logan shook hands. "Me and Jesse hung out together a lot when you guys would come up to Oregon. I don't know if you remember that or not."

     Suddenly, it clicked in Logan's mind exactly who this boy was. He remembered this boy very well now, in fact. He actually never expected to see this boy again, but here he was right in front of him.

     "Oh yeah," Logan said. "Now I remember you. You were the one who helped Jesse lock me up in Grandma's cedar chest the last time we were there."


     "Yeah," Logan said. "I remember a lot..."

     "Oh yeah?"

     "Mmm, yeah, something from the last summer we came out there," Logan said with his arms crossed. "About three years ago, I guess?"

     "What is it?" Cody asked.

     Logan sighed deeply and then let the words come out.

     "I remember seeing you and my brother kissing each other behind the barn."

     Cody's eyes widened suddenly. The two boys stared at each other in total silence for what seemed like forever. Logan couldn't believe he had just let those words slip. He had never spoken of it out loud to anyone before, not even Jesse.

Chapter Two
     "The Pocket Watch"

Three Months Later
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
June, 1998

     Logan stood in his empty bedroom, Jesse's blue monkey in his arms, still finding it difficult to imagine his life away from Baton Rouge, away from his friends, away from Sophia, away from everything he knew and loved. He had been dreading this day ever since Jesse died three months ago. While his grandmother was in town for Jesse's funeral, Logan's father came up with this brilliant plan: Sophia could retire from being a nanny and move to Shreveport to be with her daughter and son-in-law, to help them raise their baby girl, and Logan's dad would give Sophia a twenty year severance pay worth seventy-five percent of her current salary. Richard would sell the Baton Rouge mansion and buy a condominium in Portland, Oregon and work primarily at the Portland office from now on. And Logan would be moving in with his grandmother in Twillingate Shore, Oregon, because Richard's job always required him to be able to travel for business and he said Logan would be better off with his grandmother and the rest of the family in the town he grew up in. Logan was thoroughly pissed off with his father's decision. He absolutely hated the idea of moving to Oregon. He loved Louisiana. He loved Sophia. He loved everything about his life in Baton Rouge. But now he would be moving away from his life and be forced to adapt to the country life his father led as a child. Staring at his empty bedroom, Logan wanted to cry again. But after the past three months, he discovered his tear well had finally dried up. Now, all that was left was anger. His older cousin close to Twillingate Shore was a horrible person. His uncle was a total douche-bag. His aunt was a white trash bitch. They lived in a trailer park in the white trash town down the road from Twillingate Shore called Vernon. His older cousin Gill was a troublemaker to say the very least. Logan loved his grandmother though. She was possibly the sweetest woman in the world up next to Sophia anyway. And it would just be the two of them in his grandmother's big house next to Twillingate Lake. Logan had always enjoyed the summers they spent there. He had been to Twillingate Shore only five times in his entire life, but he had lots of fun each time he was there, the white trash extended family aside that is. It just sucked that he had to give up his entire life here in Baton Rouge to move there permanently though. He would have to spend his twelfth birthday this coming August with his stupid cousin, and probably Cody Haynes, the boy he had told off the day of Jesse's funeral. Richard walked up behind his son, staring at the empty room as well.

     "You about ready?" Richard asked.

     Logan turned around to face his father.

     "Dad, why can't I just go to Portland with you?" Logan asked immediately.

     "Oh, Logan, sport, we've had this talk over and over and over...and over again just for good measure," Richard said. "If I was to let you come to Portland with me, then there would no reason to leave Baton Rouge at all."

     "Then let's not go anywhere at all then, Dad!" Logan argued. "You heard Sophia the other night. She said herself she wishes things didn't have to change so fast."

     "Buddy, she wants to be in Shreveport with her family now," Richard said. "You know she loves you more than anything, but she has a family of her own to take care of. She's getting older, sport, and she wants to be with her family now."

     "Well, why can't you just buy a small house in Shreveport that I can live in with Sophia close to her family?" Logan asked.

     "Logan, we've gone over this a hundred times. Sophia has done her part. She's been working for me for over eighteen years now. And in that amount of time, she hasn't had that many opportunities to be with her family, especially since your mother left the way she did after you were born. Sophia had to stay here all the time and take care of you kids like a mother is supposed to do. She's dealt with more than her fair share and it's her time to be able to relax and enjoy the rest of her life."

     "But I'm going to miss her too much," Logan said, now softly crying. He could've sworn his tear well had dried up by now. He had been crying incessantly since Jesse's death. He couldn't understand how one person could cry that much. He felt like a wimp.

     "Buddy, please don't cry," Richard said as he got down on his knees in front of Logan, holding both of the boys' hands in his own. "I know all of this has been so hard for you, buddy. And it breaks my heart to see you in this much pain."

     "I wanna stay with you and Sophia, Dad," Logan said as he cried angrily. "I don't want to move in with Grandma. I don't wanna be around Uncle Dickweed and Aunt Bitch."

     Richard rolled his eyes at the familiar choice names Logan had used for his sister and his brother-in-law. But he knew it wouldn't be fair to scold him for it though. After all, it was he who had started using those particular names years before. When Jesse was old enough to understand those words, he picked up on it and began calling them that as well. Now Logan was just keeping up the tradition. Perhaps it was Beth's and Dixon's faults for being horrible, white trash people. Or for having names that could be changed into curse words so easily. Richard was beginning to wonder how Logan would be able to deal with living that close to his sister and her brat. Beth was always ridiculing Richard for something. He knew it was always out of jealousy though. Richard had taken his father's advice and gone to college, made something of himself, and was now quite wealthy, just like his own parents were. His younger sister, on the other hand, got pregnant with Gill and then got married at eighteen to Dixon Craig, the known moron who worked at the town garage. As far as Richard knew, Dixon still worked at the garage. He and Beth now had some six or seven pit-bulls and they lived in a mobile home in Vernon, which was a very poor, trashy town. And god only knew what Gill was up to now. He had to be in his early twenties by now.

     "Okay, buddy, let's not refer to your aunt and uncle like that," Richard said.

     Logan's crying began to die down finally. The boy wiped his tears away with the smooth skin of his bare forearm.

     "Dad, why did this have to happen?" the boy asked pathetically, his crying starting up all over again.

     Richard took a deep breath.

     "I don't know," Richard said honestly. "Logan, sometimes, we don't always know why things happen, good or bad. I don't understand why I had to lose one of my boys. I don't understand what happened between me and your mother to make her choose to leave me and the two of you the way she did. I don't understand what I ever did in life to deserve the sweetest, most adorable, loving little boys God ever created as my sons. And I don't understand what I did to deserve Sophia as the nanny of my children, because Lord knows no other woman on this earth could have done a better job helping me raise my boys. Sport, in life, good things and bad things happen all the time. When something horrible is happening to one person, something miraculous is happening to someone else at the same time. The very day we lost Jesse, I spoke to a new father in the cafeteria and his baby girl was born two months premature in the same hospital on the same day. They weren't sure if she would make it or not. I found out later that that little girl made it. She's alive and well today. Something miraculous happened to that family even though we were just down the hallways having to say goodbye to Jesse.
     "My point is, buddy, the wheels of life never stop turning. As my mother, your grandmother, always told me when I was a kid, God never shuts one door without opening another one. I want you to always remember that, buddy. Keep that in your heart. You lost your big brother. It hurts, I know. I've lost my son. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a big brother. Jesse was your hero, wasn't he?"

     Logan nodded, tears streaming down his face endlessly. Richard pulled the boy in and hugged him tightly. Logan wrapped his arms loosely around his dad's neck and cried on his shoulder once again. It pained Richard in ways he could have never imagined to have the endure the sight of his son crying and hurting so badly. He wished beyond his own soul that he could reach into his boy's young heart and simply filter out all the pain for him. The father and son hugged one another tightly inside Logan's empty bedroom for a little while longer until Logan's crying subsided and he was finally able to calm down.


     Sophia was standing inside Jesse's empty room one last time. She knew within the next hour she would have to say goodbye to the Henderson's and move on with her life, which was a feat she wasn't sure she could overcome easily. She just couldn't believe how quickly the last eighteen years had flown by, the like within the blink of an eye. She gazed over at the corner of the room next to the window, where Jesse's colorful beanbag chairs had been lying only a few days before. Her vivid memory was messing with her reality. She could practically see a thirteen year old Jesse on the floor in front of those beanbag chairs, tickling his seven year old brother Logan mercilessly. Logan was laughing so hard that he could barely breathe; that sweet, innocent little boy laugh that could steal the beating heart of any mother listening to it.

     "You want some more tickle torture!?" she could hear Jesse asking the little boy as he continued tickling him.

     "Je-Jesse, p-p-please... stop!" Logan called out between his sweet laugh. "I'll do a-an-anything!!"

     "Uh-oh, the second tickle monster's here!!" Jesse called out enthusiastically, right before stabbing his little brother's armpit with the fingers of his free hand.

     Logan and Jesse were both laughing harder than ever now. Jesse was so busy laughing that he couldn't concentrate on the tickle torture against his brother. Sophia watched this display of brotherly love with a heart full of joy, a deep contentment that could never be relinquished. Jesse and Logan disappeared. The sweet laughs faded away into the ghostly air of the empty bedroom. There was nothing there now. Just a window. An empty bedroom corner. The sun was shining through brightly, which seemed somehow inappropriate. Sophia began to cry softly as she looked at empty bedroom. She reached into her purse and grabbed a tissue out of the side pocket. She dabbed her eyes with the tissue and then blew her nose. So many memories. Where did the time go?

     "Sophia?" came the adorable, familiar voice of Logan from behind her.

     Sophia stuffed the used tissue into her purse pocket and turned around to face Logan and Richard, who were standing side by side in the entrance to Jesse's empty bedroom. My god, Logan's going to look just like his daddy in twenty-five years, Sophia thought to herself. Up until now, she had never noticed just how much the boys resembled their father. Logan would someday stop looking like an adorable little boy with pinchable cheeks. After that, he'd look so handsome and distinguished, just like his father. Sophia sometimes secretly wished she was a little younger than her fifty-six years. Perhaps then she and Richard would have been able to marry and raise the boys together as a happily married couple. But it wasn't meant to be that way. She wasn't in love with Richard. And he wasn't in love with her. Those sorts of things could only work out on movies or in books, not in real life.

     "Oh, there you are, my sweet, darling boy," Sophia said, her charming southern accent seeming all the more strong now. She pulled Logan into her caring arms and they embraced one another with a passion they had never known before with one another. "Oh, I declare, I just can't believe I won't be sending you off on the bus to school in the mornings anymore. Or fixing your lunches. Or washing your clothes. Oh, I'm gonna miss you so much, darling."

     "I'm gonna miss you too, Sophia," Logan said pathetically.

     Sophia broke off the hug, grasped him firmly by the upper arms, and stared affectionately into the young boy's deep, ocean blue eyes.

     "Now, listen, honey," Sophia said. "You come down to Shreveport whenever you can to see me, you hear?"

     "I will, Sophia. I promise."

     "And I gave you my new home phone number, so you best call me at least once or twice a week to let me know how you're doing, you understand?"

     Logan nodded.

     "Yes ma'am. I'll call you every week."

     Sophia pulled the boy in for one more hug. With that, Richard walked over and joined in. This was one of many countless group hugs Sophia had participated in here at the Henderson household. And this would be the very last group hug in this house.


One Hour Later

     Richard, Logan, and Sophia were going through the entire house, making sure that they had everything packed and stuffed into the moving trucks, that they didn't leave anything behind. Richard had arranged for all of Sophia's belongings to be driven to Shreveport and unloaded by movers so she wouldn't have to do anything by herself. Richard had rented the largest moving truck available to drive to Oregon. Fortunately, everything he wanted to take with him was able to fit into the truck, including all of Logan's furniture and belongings that he was taking with him to Twillingate Shore. Richard had also rented a smaller moving truck for Sophia, in which movers would follow her to Shreveport and unload all of her belongings for her. Once they were sure nothing was left behind, the three of them exited the house for the final time. Richard locked the front door and then took the house key from his key ring. With that, he placed his and Sophia's house keys under a large rock in the flower bed for the new owners who would be arriving sometime soon to make this house their own. When Richard turned around, he saw Sophia and Logan standing hand in hand in the front yard staring up at the house together. He walked over and joined them.

     "Well guys, I guess this is it," Richard said.

     "Seems so unreal," Sophia said calmly. She turned around to face Logan, a melancholy smile draped across her face. She gently ran her hand over the boy's smooth cheek and then through his long, blond hair. "You be a good boy, you hear?"

     "I will," Logan said softly.

     "Make sure to eat all of your vegetables at dinner," Sophia said. "Don't be staying up too late on school nights. Wear clean socks every day."

     Logan chuckled.

     "I promise," Logan said.

     Logan leaned in and hugged his nanny tightly, and Sophia hugged him back lovingly. She just couldn't imagine not seeing this sweet boy every day anymore.

     "You show those Oregonians how great of a boy you are, you understand?" Sophia said as she hugged the boy closely.

     Logan simply nodded his head as he continued to hug his nanny. After they finished hugging, Sophia turned around to face Richard. They smiled at one another sadly and then stalwartly embraced one another.

     "Sophia, I don't even know where to start," Richard said as he hugged her. Once the hug ended, they continued to hold one another's hands, both of them staring into each other's eyes.

     "Well, perhaps it'd be better if you didn't," Sophia said as she wiped a few tears from the corners of her eyes. "I don't know how much more of this crying I can take, now."

     "You've done so much for me and my boys," Richard said. "You've been their mother for so long now. I don't even know how to repay you for something like that."

     "Oh, I think the twenty-year severance pay is beyond enough," Sophia said.

     "Oh no, that's the least I can do," Richard said. "If you ever need anything, Sophia, anything at all, you give me a call and I'll be there for you, just like you've been here for me and the boys for all these years."

     With that, Richard and Sophia hugged one more time. Logan sauntered over and joined the two of them in this one final group hug. Afterward, Sophia wiped the tears away from her eyes using a tissue as she took a few steps backward in the direction of her car, the Mercedes that had been Richard's just last week. He had simply given the car to her as bon voyage present.

     "Well, I told Angela I'd be in Shreveport by four," Sophia said with a melancholy chuckle as she moved towards the car, tears still trailing down her rosy cheeks. "At this rate, I'll never get there."

     When she made it to her car, she opened the car door and then looked back at Richard and Logan, that bright smile of hers illuminating the summer sky.

     "I love you both so very much!" Sophia said loud enough for them to hear.

     "We love you too!" Logan said as he waved to her.

     Sophia blew them both a kiss and then sat down in the car. And just like that, she started the car and drove away, the movers in the smaller truck following closely behind her. Logan and Richard stood in the front yard watching as Sophia drove further and further down the street until, finally, she was out of sight.

     "Well, buddy, we better get going," Richard said with a light tap to Logan's bare upper arm. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt. "We have about forty hours of road time ahead of us, so we best get started."

     "Okay," Logan said with a sigh.

     Logan walked over to the passenger side of the large moving-truck. He opened the door and climbed up into the passenger's seat. He didn't sit down yet. He stood on the side, balancing himself on the open door, taking one final look at the house, the house in which had grown up. He could slightly see inside Jesse's bedroom window. He had an almost absolute awareness that Jesse was somehow standing by that window watching them leave. If Jesse was actually standing there, then he and Logan were now looking into each other's eyes. Richard told Logan to get in and shut the door. He was already firing up the ignition of the large truck. Logan sat down in his seat and shut the door, still staring at the house through the window. This was the last time he would ever see the house as his own. If he ever saw it again, it would belong to someone else. It would never be his house again. The truck began to move forward. The house began to fade out of Logan's sight. The truck sped up. Logan stretched his neck around as far as he could to keep his sight locked in on the house. Finally though, the house was completely out of sight, just like Sophia was now completely out of sight. Twenty minutes later, at sixty miles an hour on the highway, Baton Rouge was completely out of sight, with nothing out of ahead of him except the open road that would eventually lead them to his new home - Twillingate Shore.


Dallas, Texas

     Roughly nine hours had passed since Logan was forced to say goodbye to his life in Baton Rouge. Within nine hours, Logan had managed to utter less than five words the entire time. His father had consistently tried to ask him questions or start up a conversation, but Logan rarely responded. The few times he did, he stuck to "yes," "no," or a simple grunt. Now, as they were entering the huge city of Dallas, Texas, both Logan and Richard were getting tired. They had traveled almost non-stop since they left Baton Rouge earlier that afternoon, except to take a couple of bathroom breaks and pick up a quick dinner from McDonalds. Now, midnight was quickly approaching and Richard felt as if he might fall asleep at the wheel if he attempted to keep going.
     Logan's eyes almost began to hurt with all the bright lights around Dallas. He knew Dallas was big, but he didn't remember it being this big. Richard pulled the truck into a hotel parking lot finally. Logan felt so exhausted already. He almost couldn't stomach the idea of traveling all day long tomorrow and at least half a day the day after. Richard parked the moving-truck at the front of the hotel. He told Logan to stay in the truck while he went inside to see about booking them a room for the night. A few minutes later, while Logan was twisting some strands of his longish blond hair with his index finger, just like some girl he'd seen on television doing once, Richard came back to the truck and said he was able to get them a room for the night there. Richard was instructed by the hotel assistant manager to park the large moving-truck to the side of the building next to the side door, so that the truck would be on the hotel's cameras in case anyone decided to try breaking into the truck in the middle of the night. After Richard parked the truck where he had been told to park it, he and Logan grabbed their overnight bags and headed towards the side door of the hotel. The assistant manager was standing just inside waiting for them. A younger man of probably thirty years of age. A hairstyle more appropriate for someone of Logan's age though. Kind of cute in a dorky way, Logan thought to himself.

     "You sure the truck will be okay there all night?" Richard asked the younger man.

     "Oh sure, we've done this many times before," the cute, dorky man said reassuringly. "We have a full night staff here who go in and out constantly and we always have someone upstairs watching the cameras. If anything was to happen, we'd have the cops here quicker than you can say `How bout them Cowboys?'"

     "Right," Richard said awkwardly. "Well, okay then, that sounds fine. What's our room number again?"

     "Oh yes, here's the key to your room," the man said as he handed Richard the plastic key to the hotel room. "Your room number is 1202 on the twelfth floor. Breakfast here starts at seven and ends at eleven. Checkout time is at noon."

     "Great," Richard said. "Thanks for everything, bud."

     With that, Richard and Logan made their way to the elevators. They took the elevator to the twelfth floor and their room was very simple to find, since it just happened to be right across the hallway from the elevators. They went into their room, which was actually much nicer than either of them had expected, particularly Richard who had paid for the room already. There was a big window that overlooked the entire downtown region of Dallas. It was very nice. Logan liked the tall skyscraper with the green lights all the way up and down the corners and on the roof.

     "Wow," Richard said. "The city sure looks beautiful from all the way up here."

     "Yeah," Logan said softly as he sat down on the side of the king-sized bed closest to the window. Richard looked at his son in astonishment.

     "Hmm, you're finally talking to me now?" Richard asked hopefully.

     "No," Logan said simply.

     Richard rolled his eyes.

     "Look, buddy, you know, we only have this trip to Twillingate Shore left together and then we may not see each other again for several months," Richard said as he walked over and sat down next to his son on the bed. "You know? I mean, once I get settled in Portland, I'll be going back to work. Which means I'll be going back to doing a lot of business trips."

     "I know," Logan replied, a hint of an understanding tone in his voice.

     "Sport, I don't want to leave you in Twillingate Shore with us on bad terms, you understand?" Richard said. "I know this whole arrangement is tough. I won't disagree with you on that. And you may not get why I'm doing this to you now, but someday you'll understand. You know, your grandmother's really excited about having you there with her. When I spoke to her on the phone the other day, she was asking me what your favorite desserts are and what kind of games you like to play and all sort of things like that."

     "Really?" Logan asked, seemingly surprised.

     "Yeah, you bet, sport," Richard said. "Your grandmother thinks the world of you. She couldn't be happier that you're coming there to live with her. You know, she's been pretty lonely in that big house of hers all by herself since Grandpa died. This living arrangement will be good for both you and your grandmother, I think."

     Logan didn't respond. He just stared down at his knees intently, as if there were a couple of crickets dancing on them.

     "Dad..." Logan started.

     "What is it, buddy?"

     "I miss Jesse."

     Richard looked at his son sympathetically, wishing he could relieve his son of the pain he was experiencing. He reached over and patted Logan on the back comfortingly, not sure what else to do. There was honestly nothing he could say or do to make the boy feel better. This was simply one of those times in which he would have to let nature run its course. Logan would eventually come to terms with Jesse's death. It would just take some time. After all, Jesse had been such a primary person in this young boy's life. And now he was gone forever, leaving his little brother here to fend for himself.

     Later that night, while Richard was fast asleep in his bed, Logan lay awake in his bed, staring out the window at the well-lit city of Dallas, Jesse's blue monkey cradled safely in his young arms. All Logan could think about was his older brother, his impending new life in Twillingate Shore, having had to part ways with Sophia and eventually with his own father. How had his life changed so drastically so fast? All because of the death of his brother. There was a secret part of Logan that wished he could blame all of this change on his brother, as if Jesse had purposely planned this as some kind of overdo revenge plot that brothers sometimes carried out on one another. He knew that wasn't even remotely close to true, but he sometimes wanted to believe it. At the same time though, he tried everything he knew to hold onto Jesse. If it meant carrying around a stuffed blue monkey everywhere he went, or sleeping next to a pile of Jesse's underwear, or keeping the rolled up pair of socks that he had originally planned on putting on Jesse's feet the night of his accident, he would do all of the above and more with no qualms about any of it. He just missed his brother more than anything.
     Logan was also beginning to wonder how he would face Cody Haynes when he arrived in Twillingate Shore. Obviously, after he had popped off at the older boy the way he did at Jesse's wake three months before, he never thought he would have to see the boy again. Now, he would be living in the same town as him. He was aware that the subject would most likely come up, sooner or later, whether he liked it or not. Perhaps he would be able to make peace with the older boy. After all, before Logan had brought up that particular incident, Cody had tried to be nice to him. He had come upstairs by himself just to make sure Logan was okay. Logan tried not to think about it any longer. He just continued to stare at the bright city of Dallas through the window, holding onto the monkey tightly, until he finally fell asleep.


The Next Evening
Salina, Kansas

     Richard and Logan had somehow managed to travel from Dallas, Texas all the way up to Salina, Kansas, having only taken one stop for lunch and a bathroom break. By the time they arrived into Salina though, both of them were exhausted. It was only four o'clock in the afternoon, but they decided to stop for an early dinner at a small hamburger joint in town. As soon as they walked into the small diner, Logan traipsed off to the bathroom as quick as he could. He had been holding it ever since Oklahoma City. Richard ordered some hamburger baskets for both of them and then took the food over to an isolated booth in the far corner of the small restaurant. Logan came out of the bathroom and joined him at the table within a few minutes.

     "Well, heavens to Betsy, I was beginning to think you'd fallen in, boy," Richard said jokingly as he spread mustard on the hamburger bun with a plastic butter knife.

     Logan just gave him a "whatever" sort of look and took a bite of one of his fries.

     "So, I figure we'll at least try to make it to Denver by tonight and then we'll call it a day," Richard said. "It'll probably be at least another seven or eight hours to Denver. You think you're up for that, buddy?"

     "Sure," Logan said simply. "You're the one driving. I can go to sleep anytime I want to on the road."

     "Yeah, I guess you're right about that," Richard said halfheartedly. "Smart guy. We're running behind schedule though. I told your grandmother we'd be there around seven tomorrow. Doesn't look like we're gonna make it that soon."

     "How long will it take then?" Logan asked before taking a bite of his hamburger.

     "Well, it's about... probably around 1,200 miles from Denver to Twillingate Shore, so we'll probably have to stay at another hotel tomorrow night and just get to your grandmother's on Sunday afternoon at some point," Richard said. "Not sure what I was thinking when I said we could be there by tomorrow. I forgot how much slower we'd have to drive with all this crap we're carrying."

     "Well, that could've been prevented really," Logan said smartly.

     Richard just looked up at his son without saying anything, an expression of near anger draped across his face. Logan took another large bite of his hamburger, almost content that he had managed to tick his dad off a little bit. Any little bit counted to Logan. Richard remained silent. Logan continued to munch on his food.


     Several hours later, as they were nearing the border of Colorado, Richard looked over at his boy. Logan was staring out the window, appearing dismayed in a way Richard had never witnessed from him before. Logan was just staring out the window, up at the fluffy clouds, the sun which was beginning its daily descent behind the edge of the earth. Such a beautiful evening really. How could anyone look so utterly miserable? Richard understood though. He understood better than Logan thought he did. Richard was pretty sure of himself when it came to his decision to move Logan in with his mother. After all, his mother had been so lonely in that house all by herself since Richard's father passed away. Having a grandchild living in the house with her would make her happy, because she would finally have someone to take care of extensively once again. One time when Ruth came down to Baton Rouge for a visit - it was Easter of the year before, if Richard remembered correctly - she confided in Sophia, telling her how much she missed having her children to take care of and now how much she even missed taking care of Paul, Richard's father. Richard's parents had always been the type to argue and fuss and quarrel over everything. It was usually Paul that started the arguments. He was a very confrontational man, belligerent beyond belief. Everyone had always told Paul that his stubbornness would kill him someday. They were right. When Paul had a heart attack, he refused to go to the hospital, claiming that it was just a bad heartburn. Then he died.
     Richard gazed over at Logan again. Even with that half-scowl, half depressed expression draped across his face, Logan was such a beautiful boy. Richard had always thought Logan favored his mother more than himself. After all, even if Danna was a lying, cheating whore, no one could ever deny that she was a complete knockout. There was a point in time when Richard thought of Danna as the most beautiful woman in the world, a goddess among women. Who wouldn't think so? She had long blond hair, deep blue eyes, smooth, milky skin, and a voice that could make Richard go weak at the knees. Logan looked so much like her, Richard thought. Everyone else usually said Logan favored Richard, and in many ways he did, but when Richard looked at his youngest son, he could see more of his mother in him. Richard felt so ashamed that Logan never got to meet his mother. What's more is that Danna didn't give a flying fuck if her boys were dead or alive. Richard had been trying to get a hold of Danna for months now, to let her know that Jesse had died. Why he was putting so much effort into finding her was beyond him really. It's not like she would care all that much anyway, right? She hadn't so much as seen Jesse since he was six years old. What it all boiled down to is that Danna should have never became a mother. Richard wanted kids though. And he wanted kids with Danna. So in part, Richard couldn't help but feel somewhat responsible.
     Feeling that now would be as good a time as any, Richard reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out the golden steam engine pocket watch that had been passed down to him by his father, which had been passed down to Paul by his father, which had been passed down to him by his father, all the way back to the days of the Civil War and the birth of the first locomotives. Richard rolled the golden pocket watch in the palm of his hand as he drove, feeling that it was finally time to give it to Logan. He had originally planned on giving the pocket watch to Jesse when he turned eighteen, because it had always been the tradition to give it to the firstborn son. Richard decided he wouldn't say anything about the watch having been destined to belong to Jesse eventually though. That would give Logan ample enough ammunition in which to eventually claim the watch was only given to him by default. Richard didn't feel particularly inclined to deal with such an accusation, especially since it was technically true.

     "Logan, I have something for you," Richard said.

     Logan turned around and met his father's gaze. Logan immediately saw the pocket watch in his dad's hand. He recognized it automatically. He had seen it in his dad's bedroom countless times, but he had never inquired about it. Richard handed the pocket watch over to his eleven year old son, hoping this would help smooth things over a little. Logan grasped the pocket watch from his father's hand carefully, somewhat surprised at the heaviness of the trinket.

     "Does it work?" Logan asked as he analyzed the finely carved artwork of the piece.

     "Well, not anymore," Richard said. "I haven't been able to find the right battery for it in years. So I gave up and did something different with it. Open it up."

     Logan unhooked the clasp of the pocket watch and opened it up. His eyes widened as soon as he saw what was inside. The watch had been completely removed. It was replaced with a round piece of glass that had a small picture inside; the artistic picture that had stirred up a whole controversy amongst the family, but was somehow always Logan's favorite picture. It was a black and white picture of Logan and Jesse that had been taken when Jesse was fourteen and Logan was eight. They were both sitting on a white platform with a white background, several white sheets on the platform. Both of the boys were completely naked. Jesse was sitting with his legs spread and his knees bent, staring up at the camera with a bright smile on his face, his body angled in just the right way that his private parts were hidden behind his right leg. Logan was sitting Indian style beside his older brother, his hands folded in his lap and one of the sheets positioned in a way that covered his private parts as well. Logan still remembered the day this picture was taken. The college-aged son of one of Richard's best friends was a photography major and he had asked Richard if he could take a semi-nude shot of Logan and Jesse for an arts exhibit he was supposed to be a part of. Richard was a little apprehensive at first, because it seemed wrong somehow, but then he discussed it with the boys to see what their reactions would be. Jesse and Logan both had said they would agree to be a part of it: Jesse because he had a particular appreciation for open-minded arts, and Logan because he always wanted to do whatever his big brother wanted to do. He was only eight years old at this point after all. When the family in Twillingate Shore saw the picture though, all of them went berserk, especially Logan's grandpa. He could still remember hearing his grandfather yell ceaselessly at his dad for letting his grandsons be exposed in such a way, "just to impress a bunch of perverted liberal hippy freaks" as his grandfather had so nicely explained. Ever since then though, that picture had made its way into art exhibits all over Louisiana, making Logan and Jesse famous in a way. Richard had a large print of the picture framed and mounted proudly in the study room at home. Now, here it was, a small rounded copy of that picture sealed up in the space of the pocket watch in which the clock used to be. Logan immediately fell in love with this pocket watch. It would always be a great reminder of his older brother.

     "Now, Logan, that's a family heirloom you have there," Richard said. "You make sure to be extra careful with it. And someday, you can give it to your own son. Whenever you're ready to that is."

     "Thanks, Dad," Logan said softly, but genuinely.

     Richard just smiled at the boy, happy that he could bring Logan out of his shell, if even for just a few minutes.


Two Days Later
Twillingate Shore, Oregon

     Welcome to Twillingate Shore: a beautiful lakeside town with breathtaking views of Lake Twillingate and the mountains and luscious green forests behind it; a perfect environment for city folk to escape away from the usual hustle and bustle of city life. This established town has a population of 2,186. There are two very nice bed & breakfast inns in town right next to the lake, free access to the spectacular Twillingate Lake, and more hiking and biking trails leading up towards the forests and mountains than you can possibly imagine. Aside from Twillingate Shore's natural beauty and charming atmosphere, the town is merely a farming community, full of hard-working families seeking to raise their children in a peaceful town. Enjoy your stay here in Twillingate Shore.
     Richard and Logan drove into Twillingate Shore at about two-thirty on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. From what Logan could see, nothing about downtown Twillingate Shore had changed since the last time he was there three years before. Same little shops, same little neighborhood grocery store, the same three little ma-and-pop cafés, only one fast food restaurant, the small town hall building, the old town square, one bank, one post office, one community center/library, and one small doctor's office. There were tourists here now since it was summertime. Older people mostly though; older people who enjoyed coming to small towns like this one so that they could be reminded of their childhoods, back when cities like Dallas or Portland were relatively small. As much as Logan didn't want to live here, he felt he had to admit there was something warm about this town, a comforting feeling that was seemingly palpable. It was like anyone who came to this town felt that they could easily call it home.
     Richard drove on past the downtown area. Ruth's house was several miles down the road from downtown. After driving past the downtown area a little ways, Richard turned onto Henderson Road, rightfully named years and years before because the Henderson house was the only house on this little gravel road. The gravel road led through the woods for about a mile until it finally came up to the Henderson house. Logan automatically recognized the house. It also looked exactly the same as it did the last time he was here. Surrounded by huge trees, the large, two-story house was built out of stone and dark wood, looking like a very modern age house, but was actually almost seventy years old. To one side of the house, Twillingate Lake sat only about two-hundred feet away. There was a huge wooden dock with Paul's deluxe 20x110 houseboat and big luxury speed boat under a large, protective, corrugated metal boat shelter. From the wooden dock, there was a wooden walkway that led up some stairs to a huge wooden deck that hovered over the water, partially covered by a big pergola. There were a few large picnic tables on that deck. For as long as Logan could remember, they had always had dinners on that deck during family get-togethers. From what Logan understood, most town meetings were held on that deck as well. And several town functions had been held on the double deck houseboat since it was big enough to hold half the townspeople. On the other side of the house, Henderson Road continued on down a little ways towards the barn and the field in which the chickens, cattle, horses, goats, and turkeys stayed.

     "Well, we're finally here, bud," Richard said as he parked the moving-truck.

     "Yeah," Logan responded weakly.

     "You're still not cool with this, huh?" Richard asked.

     Logan just looked over at his father with an annoyed expression.

     "Come now, don't look at me that way," Richard said. "Listen, we just have today left with one another. Then I have to leave for Portland in the morning."

     "I know. Why can't I just come to Portland with you? Just for a few days."

     "Logan, please don't start this. You know I have to go back to work as soon as I get to Portland. I have just two days to get my stuff into the new apartment and then it's back to work for me. And you know what that means. I might have to leave town for a while. You just never know with my job."

     "Fine," Logan said as he gathered his backpack, opened the door, and leaped out, slamming the truck door behind him.

     Richard rolled his eyes.

     As Logan walked towards the house, the front door opened and out came Ruth towards her grandson with her hands already in hug mode. Richard was getting out of the truck. Ruth made it to Logan and immediately gripped him into a big hug. Logan hugged the woman back, actually feeling a little comforted by the excited greeting.

     "Oh my grandson's here to live me, I just can't believe it!" the woman exclaimed as she hugged the small boy tightly, her voice all high pitched and energized. "We are going to have so much fun together this summer, let me tell you! Did you have a good trip up here?"

     "It was okay, Grandma," Logan replied in a raspy voice. Ruth was squeezing him.

     "Mom, you're gonna pop the boy's head off if you squeeze any harder," Richard said from behind, his own backpack slung over his shoulder.

     "Oh, I could just eat this boy up, he's so cute," Ruth said. She finally let go of Logan and then walked over to give her son a hug.

     "How're you doing, handsome?" Ruth asked Richard as they hugged.

     "Oh, I'm doing alright, Mom," Richard said. "I think Logan and I are just about beat after this trip. Let me tell you, it felt like it went on forever."

     "Well, come on in the house, boys," Ruth said as she started towards the large house, motioning for the two of them to follow her. "I've got my world famous pot-roast a'cookin' right now for dinner."

     Richard and Logan followed the woman inside the large house, each of them completely wiped out from the trip.


     Later that evening, after dinner, Ruth, Richard, and Logan got on the houseboat together and went out onto the lake, just the three of them. Twillingate Lake was actually a very big lake. The lake itself had a surface area of a little over 8,000 acres with approximately 70 miles of shoreline, which was massive for a man-made lake in the middle of nowhere. Logan had asked before how deep the lake was, but he got different answers from different people. He had once asked Jesse, and he said the lake was almost as deep as the ocean. Logan believed it at first. He then asked his dad once. Richard had said it's deepest point was about four hundred feet deep. That seemed more accurate. Logan recalled asking his grandpa once when they were on the houseboat with him. His grandpa just told him to jump in and find out for himself.
     Once Richard drove the houseboat into a relatively smooth-sailing area of the lake, he anchored the boat. Logan changed into his swimsuit and decided to go swimming in the lake for a little bit while Richard and Ruth sat on the first level deck at the stern talking and drinking wine where they could still keep an eye on Logan. Logan was wearing two orange floaties around his upper arms. He would jump from the stern of the houseboat into the water, swim around for several minutes, climb back up onto the boat, and then repeat the whole process all over again. Ruth marveled at the young boy's energy as she and Richard sat at the round picnic table drinking their chardonnays.

     "Yeah, you sure you can handle that boy all summer?" Richard asked. "He can get pretty rambunctious when he's all hyped up like that."

     "He's a good boy," Ruth said as she took a sip of her chardonnay. "I don't think I'll have any problems with him. I never had problems with him other summers he stayed here either. Well, at least as long as Jesse didn't concoct any of his schemes."

     Richard chuckled.

     "Oh yeah, Jesse was always very good at doing that," Richard agreed.

     "He was sometimes a handful. But I wouldn't have taken anything for him though. I sure do miss that little boy."

     "I do too, Mom. I do too. And Logan misses him terribly. You know, Mom, Logan actually seems okay right now, but don't feel offended if he seems off or depressed. He's still in the grieving process to be honest."

     "Well, I wouldn't expect anything different than that, honey. Those boys were inseparable really."

     "Yeah. They sure were."

     "It's a nice evening out tonight, huh?"

     "Nice and cool out. It was like ninety degrees when we left Baton Rouge the other day. I've actually missed the climate up here."

     "I know it's certainly not under the best of circumstances, honey, but I'm so very glad to have you back in Oregon, even if your new place is in Portland. At least it's only a couple hundred miles away instead of a couple thousand miles."

     "To be honest, Mom, I think I'm glad to be back home again myself. Louisiana is very nice, but I don't think I could've lived there forever."

     Ruth reached over and placed her hand atop her son's hand lovingly and they both just smiled at one another.

     "Mom, I gotta say - I'm shocked that you've kept this big ol' houseboat," Richard said, changing the subject. "I figured this would be the first thing to go after Dad died."

     "Well, you know, I thought about selling it, of course," Ruth began. "I mean, if I need to, I can sell it for about four hundred thousand dollars now, but you know, this boat was the last thing your father bought before he passed away. Remember, he was just so proud of this boat, like this big honkin' boat was the thing that completed him as a person. After he died, I just couldn't bear the thought of letting it go. I mean, it's already paid for, just like the house, so all I have to do is just keep her afloat."

     "You should think about renting it out to some of the tourists," Richard said. "I noticed the new bed & breakfast down the street. Pretty pricey looking place. I'll bet there are people who come here who would gladly pay a few hundred dollars to rent this boat out for a full day, you know?"

     "Well, the mayor already pays to have different town functions on my houseboat and whatnot, especially when he's trying to make deals with other towns. He usually gives me a few hundred for things like that. In fact, we have a lot of our town meetings on the deck at home since it's so big. And we've had several town get-togethers on this boat. We did that more back when your father first bought it though. It's happened less since he died, but I'd like to start that up again soon. And maybe sometime soon I'll start renting out to tourists for some random price. Not that I need the money or anything, but it certainly wouldn't be a bad thing having some extra money coming in during the summer."

     While Ruth and Richard continuing talking about renting the houseboat out to tourists during the summer, Logan continued to jump in and out of the lake water, swimming until his heart was content. After a couple of hours of swimming, Logan got out of the water, grabbed his beach towel, and headed inside to take a shower in the houseboat's master bathroom, which ironically was much nicer than the master bathroom at the house. From the huge shower stall's window, Logan could see the sunset over the lake, millions upon millions of gold sparkles on the blue water rounding in towards the golden sun in the horizon. It was gorgeous. After Logan's shower, he got dressed and headed down to the houseboat's kitchen on the lower deck, which was also bigger and more luxurious than the kitchen at his grandmother's house. Logan was beginning to wonder why his grandmother didn't just sell the house and live on the boat. This boat had everything: a full-sized kitchen, a living room, a den, a full-sized dining room, a huge stateroom, four full-sized bedrooms, one master bedroom, six bathrooms, three separate outside decks - two on the lower deck and one on the upper deck, a small balcony from the master bedroom, and then of course the captain's room. Logan grabbed an apple from the pantry and a coke from the refrigerator. He then walked out onto the lower deck to join his grandmother and his dad who were still talking.


The Next Morning

     Breakfast had come to an end. Bacon, sausage, fried eggs, hash browns, and chocolate chip pancakes especially made for Logan. But now the time had come for Richard to leave for Portland. He had today and tomorrow to get to Portland and begin having his belongings moved into the new place before having to return to work Wednesday. Once the three of them were finished with breakfast, they walked out together towards the moving-truck. Richard said his goodbyes to his mom, telling her he'd come back to town as soon as he could. After that, he said he wanted some private time to say his goodbyes to Logan. With that, Ruth went back inside the house, leaving Logan and Richard alone outside next to the moving-truck. Richard sat down on the second step of the moving-truck with the driver's side door open and motioned for Logan to perch on his leg. Logan walked over and leaned up against his dad's leg, turning his body around to face his dad.

     "Well, I guess this is it, buddy," Richard said.

     "Yeah, I guess it is," Logan said.

     "You're gonna be alright here, aren't you?" Richard asked enthusiastically.

     Logan shrugged simply.

     "I promise you, you'll be fine here," Richard assured the boy. "You have tons of things to do here. And at least Gill doesn't come around here much anymore."


     A few moments of silence passed by, Logan staring off into space with a depressed, lost expression on his face. The birds were singing loudly within the canopy of tree limbs and abundant leaves above them. The wind was blowing slightly, causing the wind-chimes to harmonize with the birds.

     "Logan, I'm sorry things have been so hard lately," Richard said genuinely. "I never would've imagined something like this happening. But things could be far worse than they are, you know?"

     "I know."

     "Tell you what. Next summer I'll take three or four weeks off work and you, me, and your grandmother will go to Europe, just the three of us. How's that sound?"

     "Sounds good," Logan said, unconvinced.

     "Okay," Richard said, his arms now wrapped loosely around his son's waist. "You make sure to be good for your grandmother. I know I don't really have to tell you that, but you know, it's part of my job description as a dad to say it anyway."

     Logan chuckled lightly.

     "Did I just see a smile on that face?" Richard asked jokingly.

     Without saying another word, Logan wrapped his arms around his father's neck and embraced him tightly. Richard hugged him back just as tightly, rubbing the boy's back as they hugged.

     "I love you, Logan," Richard said.

     "I love you too," Logan said weakly.

     "Now... make sure to, uh... make sure to take care of that pocket watch, okay?"

     "I will, Dad."

     Just like that, the hug ended. Richard kissed the top of his son's head and then ran his fingers through the boy's longish hair. Afterward, Richard stood up and then sat down on the drivers seat in the truck. He shut the door, started he engine up, and then opened the window. By this time, Ruth was walking back outside to wave goodbye.

     "Logan, don't give your grandmother too much trouble," Richard said jokingly from the truck. "Mom, make sure to tie him up in the attic if he gets to be too much of a headache for you."

     "Ah, we'll do something with him," Ruth joked as she ran her fingers through the boy's soft hair. "You call me as soon as you get settled into your place, you hear?"

     "I will, Mom. I love you both very much."

     Richard smiled and then rolled the window back up. He waved a final time. Ruth and Logan waved back at the same time, both of them still standing next to one another. Richard put the truck in reverse, turned the truck around, and drove off down Henderson Road, towards the road that would take him to Portland, away from Twillingate Shore. Logan watched as his father drove away, a cloud of brown dust floating up into the air trailing behind the large moving truck.


     Logan sat alone on the bed in his new room; the room which used to be his father's room when he was a kid. Logan's suitcases and boxes were sitting in a huddled mass in the corner of the room. He hadn't unpacked anything yet. The bed was still unmade since he had woken up several hours before. Richard was long gone now. Ruth was downstairs cleaning out the parakeet cages, so Logan had said he would start unpacking. Sitting alone on the bed, he realized that this was the very first time in his almost twelve years that he didn't have Jesse or Sophia or his father by his side. He just couldn't fathom the changes that had taken place within his life. None of it seemed real. Or possible. Logan found himself wishing that this was all just some horrible dream and he would eventually wake up; that he would wake up, walk down the hallway to his older brother's bedroom, and find Jesse sleeping in his own bed again. He would then crawl into bed with Jesse and just rest alongside the older boy, just like he had done so many stormy nights when he was younger and scared of thunder. He would feel completely safe again with Jesse next to him. Knowing that his brother was within arm's reach would make all the difference.
     A tear escaped Logan's eye, traveling down his cheek and then proceeding to land on his t-shirt. He quickly wiped the moisture away, determined not to allow himself to cry again. There was no way he could let himself cry again. He had spent far too much time crying, which made him feel weak. He sniffled a few times, striving not to permit the lump in his throat to overpower his body again. He was trying to be strong. He felt weak anyway though; feeble and drained in a way he had never known before. He missed Jesse so much. He just wanted to hug his brother one more time, to tell him he loved him. He missed his life in Baton Rouge. He missed Sophia. He was even beginning to miss his father, which was odd for Logan. He was pretty much used to not having his father around much anyway due to the numerous business trips, but now he missed his father.
     Logan got up from the bed and walked over to his suitcases. His backpack was sitting atop the larger suitcases. He unzipped the front pocket of his backpack and pulled the golden pocket watch out that his father had given him. He sat down on the carpet and leaned his back up against the nearby dresser, his knees bent and raised level with his chest. He held the pocket watch in his hands, examining the artwork of the piece for a few seconds. He then unhooked the clasp of the pocket watch and gazed at the old picture in front of him - that same picture of him and Jesse as younger kids that had caused so many bitter polemics and a great deal of controversy within the family. He stared at his older brother's bright, smiling face, which caused Logan to smile back reflexively. Logan began to reflect back on the day that picture was taken. After the picture was taken, Richard had taken the boys out to a nice Italian dinner and then Logan and Jesse spent the evening in Jesse's bedroom playing games on the Super Nintendo. Logan had won a few too many games against his brother that evening and then Jesse gave him a wedgie. Logan missed everything about his brother: his rough-and-tumble attitude, the half-serious-half-joking look he would give Logan right before beating him up, the way he'd hug Logan and give him a little kiss on top of the head every night before bed. Logan continued to stare down at the picture, thinking of nothing but his brother, another single tear managing to break through Logan's determination and slide down his cheek.


     A few hours later, Ruth decided it was time for lunch. Ruth had made them roast beef sandwiches with the leftover meat from the night before. This was one of Logan's absolute favorite lunches. When the sandwiches were made, Logan came to the kitchen table and sat down. His mind was still heavy, but he tried not to let it show in front of his grandmother. He nibbled on his apple slices and potato chips and took a bite of his roast beef sandwich before he noticed something odd - another plate across the table from him that contained two roast beef sandwiches, some chips, and a few apple slices. That seemed like an awful lot of food for his grandmother to eat in one setting. She was a small woman after all. She couldn't have weighed enough to be able to put down that much food. A few seconds later, Ruth came to the table carrying another plate in her hand. This plate had a half of a roast beef sandwich and a few apple slices. Ruth placed the plate down on the side of the table and sat down in front of it, between Logan and that other plate on the other side. Was there a third person joining them for lunch? Did his grandmother think Grandpa was somehow in the house for lunch beyond the grave? Had she completely lost her mind?

     "Grandma..." Logan started.

     "Yes, dear?" Ruth said before taking a sip of her diet coke.

     "Is there someone else here for lunch?" Logan asked.

     "Oh! Yes, I meant to -" Ruth started and was then cut off by the sound of the back door opening.

     The back door opened swiftly. Logan turned around in his seat and looked towards the back door as this mysterious person entered the house. A thin guy wearing a plaid shirt tucked into a pair of tight blue jeans was facing the other way closing the door behind him. He was wearing a cowboy hat and boots. The thin guy turned around. Logan's eyes widened in almost apparent terror.

     "Hey, Ruth, sorry I'm late for lunch. I was just -" Cody Haynes walked into the kitchen and stopped in mid-sentence as he noticed Logan sitting there staring up at him.

     "Cody..." Logan said.

     An awkward silence filled the room. Ruth bore a slightly confused look on her face as she wiped her mouth with her napkin.

     "Hey Logan," Cody said simply.

     Logan sat there with his mouth hanging open slightly, feeling like a dummy.

     "Cody's eating lunch with us, sweetie," Ruth said to her grandson.




NEXT: Chapter Three - "Most Noble Creatures"


Preview of Chapter Three...

     "Logan, honey, I forgot to tell you; Cody here works the farm for me," Ruth said to her grandson before taking a sip of her diet coke. Logan looked over at his grandmother and then over at Cody.

     "He works for you?" Logan asked.

     "Yes he does, and he's terrific at it," Ruth said with a grin on her face.

     "Cody...?" Logan started.

     "Yeah?" Cody acknowledged without taking his eyes off the horses.

     "Umm... I was thinking... I was thinking that, you know, that like, we should... you know... ... you know?" Logan stumbled all over his words. Cody slowly turned his head around to face Logan, a confused expression on his face.

     "No, Logan, can't say I do know," Cody said simply. "Might help if you actually said what you mean, you know?"

     "Yeah... I know," Logan said. "It's just that... well, this is kinda hard for me to say is all. I mean, I was thinking about what I said to you... you know, back in Baton Rouge? The thing about my brother and you? You know..."

     "Well, what is it that you wanna talk about?"