Thanks to everyone who commented on the last chapter. If you are interested in more Tunnel you can come to my website at http://dwedno.altervista.org/  or you can e mail me at dwednomail@hotmail.com for more information. I am always looking for new members to join the forum at my website. There is a link there to click on. It gives you an e-mail when a new chapter comes out and lets you participate in forum chats, comments and polls. Please check it out and join. It's free.  Thanks.  Dwedno.

Chapter 91.                         The Attic.

With the room suddenly too quiet and Tommy well past his REM sleep he awoke to a bright, sunlit room with Jon still asleep next to him. His mind was already racing along as he stretched out his arms and then wiped the sleep from his eyes. There were no usual urges to pee yet so he sat there thinking about everything that happened yesterday and everything that might happen today. He knew the boys would be leaving the mall, he knew that Bryan and the others had to meet Hunter and he knew something was seriously bothering him about Al and everything he learned yesterday. With all this flying through his mind, he didn't even realize that Hunter was missing from the couch across the room from him yet. He focused his thoughts on Al and what Hunter told him, he thought about the satellites that Hunter mentioned when he talked about Al, he knew there was more to learn but he didn't have a clue how much there was or even what there could be.

Tommy couldn't fathom what more there was, for Hunter only touched briefly on everything he discussed with Tommy last night. Truth be told, Tommy wasn't looking forward to another conversation with Hunter. The last one was horrific enough to give him nightmares but he felt that he needed to learn more about what the little beauty went through and what he was capable of. He just hoped that whatever mind-boggling news Hunter told him that he would be able to take it. The things Tommy had learned about Hunter, Al, the Tunnel, the boy in the video, the kind scientist who Hunter said has an evil twin were probably only the tip of the iceberg. An iceberg Tommy was apprehensive about but knew that he needed to know as much as possible to try to keep the others as safe as he could.

Tommy continued to rattle around all these thoughts in his head and then it hit him. Stronger then almost anything before... the attic! It's been over his head the entire time, the locked door at the end of the hall that no one has bothered with since they moved in... the ATTIC! `I have to get in there now!' he thought to himself. `If anyone is monitoring this house it has to be from up there. IT just has to be! I have checked every inch of the rest of this house and nothing seems odd enough to be out of place.' He was trying to reason with himself in his head what could be... `What is up there? Is anything up there?' he thought quietly to himself. `How do I get up there without raising suspicion in the other boys minds not to even mention that some of them will probably want to be with me when I go up there to snoop.' He didn't have those answers but at least he had something to work with and he started to calm some now. His heartbeat slowed as did his breathing now, as he started to think about other things. He wiped a little sweat from his brow. `Wow! That was intense!' he thought. `Guess I'll check Hunter now.'

He glanced over at the couch and it was empty, "Shit, where did he go?" he said aloud.

He quickly got out of bed and started searching the room. The door was still locked so Hunter couldn't have left the room, so that was good. He looked at the clock. 8am... not that many boys were up yet. He narrowed the search to his room now. With all the noise he was making it appeared he woke Jon.

"TJ, what the hell are you doing? What's wrong?"

He stopped and looked at Jon, holding a throw pillow in his hands, who was now sitting up.

"Hunter is missing," he said in a bit of a frenzied voice.

Jon who was still half-asleep took a much more laidback approach.

"TJ, relax, he has to be here some place the door is closed, but I can guarantee you he isn't under that pillow."

Tommy looked at the pillow in his hand and threw it at Jon who was now laughing.

"Yeah I know Jon, you are right, but where is he?"

A muffled sound came from what sounded like the closet. Tommy ran to it and opened the door. There was Hunter laying on the floor, naked, curled up into a ball with a pillow over his head, and shaking a little as he slept. Tommy gently reached over and removed the pillow from over Hunter's head as he realized that the muffled sound that he heard before was the sound of Hunter crying in his sleep.

"See TJ you found him," Jon said nonchalantly lying back stretching on the bed.

"Wake up Hunter," Tommy said softly shaking the little beauty's shoulder.

"Awaiting orders sir," said Hunter with his tear streaked angelic little face as he immediately jumped up and stood at attention. Just as he had every other time Tommy woke him that night.

"Geezus Hunter, why the closet?" said a bewildered, weary Tommy.

"I'm terribly sorry Sir, but as I tried to tell you those pills you kept giving me would never work on me. After the third time taking them, I noticed that you were a little annoyed with me and the other sir was more than a little infuriated with my nightmares. I thought it would be best if I just didn't go back to sleep since my nightmares were bothering you. I tried to stay awake so as not to disturb you but with healing you then your brother I just couldn't," sobbed Hunter. "I really tried Sir, really I did, but I just couldn't do it. Since the other sir," said Hunter dejectedly looking at Jon, "said he just didn't want to hear it anymore, I thought maybe if I went into the closet it would make you happy so that you wouldn't hear it anymore either. I went into the closet and covered my head in the hopes that my nightmares wouldn't disturb you and your friend Sir," Hunter said sadly, as new tears were falling down his cheeks.

Tommy gathered the naked trembling little boy into his arms wondering exactly how good Hunter's hearing was, since Jon had said that to him in a barely audible whisper as they were cuddling together after the last time he woke Hunter up.

"Please don't beat me Sir, I promise I'll do better next time. I won't fail again, I swear," Hunter said in a voice full of fright.

"Its okay Hunter, you didn't do anything wrong," Tommy said tenderly rubbing Hunter's back as he carried the boy over to his bed and set him down on it, "and what did I say about beatings?"

"I won't get anymore beatings now that I'm with you Sir," Hunter said softly, obviously not entirely sure he believed it yet but hopeful that it was the truth.

"That's right no more beatings," Tommy said with a smile hoping that Hunter would believe him as he gave him a little hug and pat on the head.

Tommy was no fool, so he knew that 11 years of training was going to take more than one day to undue. Jon sat up from his stretching and moved over on the bed to sit on the other side of Hunter. Jon, showing some concern, shared a worried look with Tommy after hearing and seeing the obvious fear Hunter was exhibiting.

"Umm, why are you naked Hunter? Didn't you have some clothes on last night?" asked Jon.

Hunter immediately tensed up after that so Jon put his arm around Hunter and gave him a one armed hug.

"Don't worry about it Hunter, I was just wondering," Jon said gently.

"I took them off to go into the closet sir," replied Hunter softly.

"Why?" asked Tommy.

"Clothes bring up bad memories Sir," mumbled Hunter.

"So you would prefer to run around naked then?" asked Jon.

"Yes sir," Hunter said immediately.

"What about the cold, doesn't it bother you?" Tommy asked.

 "Not really Sir, I feel it of course and it still hurts but I have been trained to ignore the temperature. My body can heal itself faster than heat or cold can damage it usually. Only extreme cold or extreme heat really damages me since my body can't repair itself fast enough then."

"There you go Tommy, one of your wishes has been granted, you have your own little nudist in the house," Jon laughed teasing Tommy. "Can you just imagine it Tommy, half the kids in the house drooling after him the other half too embarrassed to look at him," falling back on the bed laughing at the picture that popped into his head.

From the look on Hunter's face, it was clear he had no idea what was so funny or what Jon was talking about. Tommy just looked at Jon, smiled, and shook his head.

"Well wiseass, if you want to show Hunter how to lead by example I wouldn't mind at all," he snapped back snickering.

"Wait a second, what do you mean by `bad memories' Hunter," Jon asked quickly changing the subject.

"We would only be given clothes if we were going to go on a mission sir. The missions weren't very nice usually," Hunter said starting to breathe quickly.

Tommy was sure this was one of those things he should probably know but wasn't going to like, so he decided to put that question off for a bit. Both Jon and Tommy had an arm around Hunter trying to comfort the scared little boy. Jon looked like he was about to question Hunter about the missions but Tommy caught his eye and shook his head a little. Jon understood so he just left it alone. Once Hunter had calmed down some Tommy bent over and gave him a kiss on the forehead.

"Well, once things settle down some, maybe you could run around naked if it made you happy," Tommy finally said.

"Yes Sir," Hunter said enthusiastically.

"Feel better now?" asked Tommy.

"Yes, thank you Sir," Hunter said smiling.

Tommy smiled at the boy, "You're welcome Hunter." Tommy was feeling suddenly better from just looking at the little angel next to him. He didn't understand it but whenever Hunter smiled it was like the sun coming out of the clouds after a storm. It just made him inexplicitly happy for some reason.

"See TJ all that worry for nothing," Jon said now getting out of bed in only his boxers and heading to the bathroom.

"I guess," Tommy said uncertainly.

"Jon can you go grab a wet washcloth for me, I want to wipe Hunter's face off since it's a bit of a mess," Tommy asked.

"Okay Tommy," Jon replied as he went to get one. Jon turned on the warm water and wet down a washcloth as an evil smile crossed his face.

"Think fast," shouted Jon as he threw the washcloth at Tommy. Tommy was still busy with his own thoughts and only had time to lookup to see a washcloth come flying straight at his face. Surprisingly, it didn't hit him. Hunter had reached out just in time to catch it inches before it would have hit Tommy leaving him just sprinkled but otherwise untouched.

"Wow Hunter, that was good I didn't even see your arm move," Jon said as Hunter used the washcloth to wipe his face and chest to get rid of the dried tears.

"You aren't very good at cleaning yourself are you Hunter?" asked Tommy as he looked at how Hunter had missed at least half of the mess.

"I guess not Sir, my cleanliness was never that important before. If I was still dirty after I was told to clean up I would just get hosed down till I was clean enough," Hunter replied.

"Well we won't be hosing you down, maybe occasionally throwing you into our pool though, but I see I will have to teach you how to clean up some," Tommy said as he took the washcloth from Hunter and then wiped his face and chest clean.

"Pool? There is a pool here, I haven't seen it yet Sir, can you please show it to me," said an extremely enthused Hunter.

"Yes I will gladly show you the pool in time, just not right now, okay Hunter?"

"Yes Sir," Hunter said joyously.

"Be back in a bit," Jon said heading back to the bathroom.

Jon shut the door to the bathroom and suddenly the entire house shook violently followed by a huge BOOM.

"What the fuck?" Tommy yelled out.

Jon who barely walked two steps towards the toilet flew out of the bathroom towards Tommy who was rushing towards a window. He pulled back a curtain as Jon reached his side and both boys looked out and saw a huge plume of smoke rise up over part of the city. Their ground view obscured at this point all they could see was smoke. This cloud of smoke appeared to be on the opposite edge of the city, as far as the boys could tell. Clearly, a good three miles or more by best guess, yet the boom was so huge it shook their house all the way up on the hill. Hunter wasn't far behind both boys as he stood there already sure what happened.

"Sir, if I may?"

Tommy turned to him.

"What is it Hunter?"

"Sir that sounded like the propane facility exploding, that is on the edge of town. That's the only thing around and that far away that could cause that size of an explosion, unless someone purposely set off a large bomb, which I doubt. We should be quite safe here as we are far enough away that the falling debris won't reach us. The store itself, the storage tanks around it, and the surrounding area is probably too damaged to save now. The fire will probably burn down a number of structures in that area before it dies out unless you want to try to put it out. I don't recommend doing that unless everyone here has been trained on how to put out large fires as it would be quite dangerous," Hunter said calmly.

Just then, Tommy's phone rang as hysterical kids also began to yell outside his bedroom and came banging on his door.

"Jon you get the phone, I'll calm the kids," he yelled.

"Okay TJ," Jon said.

Tommy opened the door to a hall full of approximately 10 shaken up boys most of them still in their bed clothes which for most of them just consisted of some underwear and a t-shirt.

Shawn immediately jumped into Tommy's arms obviously afraid of what was happening. Luckily, Tommy caught him and just held him gently trying to calm his cutie while talking to the other boys. Tommy was bombarded with questions of "what happened", "did you feel the house shake", "was that an earthquake", "what was that loud sound", "are we in danger here", "was that an explosion", "what should we do". Tommy was just waiting for one of them to say `the sky is falling.'

"Yo... Hey..." Tommy began to wave his free arm to get their attention. "Geeze, okay, everybody just calm down," Tommy shouted mentally kicking himself as he noticed Hunter dive under the bed. "Hold on a sec Cutie," Tommy said to Shawn as he put up his free hand to quiet the others then turned to his bed and said, "I'm sorry for startling you Hunter, come on out from under there please."

"Yes Sir, thank you," mumbled Hunter as he crawled out from under the bed and stood at attention trying to hide behind Tommy obviously still very afraid, getting some very strange looks from the other boys.

"Damn Hunter, a huge explosion rocks the house and you are as calm as can be but I raise my voice and you dive for cover. We are going to have to work on that," Tommy said to Hunter. Turning back to the others Tommy said, "Okay listen up, we are safe here. It was just an old propane plant exploding. We are far enough away so that it won't hurt us and with all the snow, it won't spread too much. Don't forget the river is also in the way of it so there is no chance of it ever making it to us at all. So, we are safe as long as we don't get too close to it. Just in case anyone was thinking about it, no one is going to go anywhere near the fire... I know everyone understands me but I wanted to make it extra clear for this. If you want to watch, you can watch it from the house but no closer," Tommy said as he gently hugged Shawn who was now glued to his side and rubbed his back a little to calm his cutie down a bit.

Tommy looked over the group of boys in front of him and noticed that Danny was holding Chris just like he was with Shawn and the other boys were pressing into each other a little more than was actually necessary. Tommy also found it interesting to see who was standing with whom. He noticed that Billy had his arm around Joey offering him some comfort and getting some in return. The twins were holding hands and on the other side of Jordan was Jeremy. They weren't holding hands or anything like that but there was skin to skin touching between the two of them. Luke was standing in front of Kyle leaning back against him. DJ and Ben were in the back, being the last to arrive at Tommy's door, each standing a little apart from the others. The only one missing was Caleb. After Tommy's reassurance that everything would be okay, everyone started to relax a little and move apart when suddenly another BOOM could be heard. This of course, caused the boys to all move back or even closer to each other. DJ worked his way through the others to stand behind Danny to offer him some support. Danny was trying to be brave for his brother and not show any fear while trying to calm his brother down a bit. The second explosion was really getting to him and he was beginning to lose it himself. Suddenly, he felt DJ's comforting hand on his shoulder helping him to regain control of himself and keep up the brave front for his brother, even though he was so scared he felt like he was going to piss his pants. The boys all started to shout again in fear as Tommy silently cursed the timing of the latest explosion.

"I thought you said we were safe," said Zach.

"Sir," said a calm voice.

"Oh my God, we are all gonna die!" said Joey trembling.

"Sir," the calm voice said again.

"Do something Tommy!" Danny said clearly very afraid. This really pissed off Tommy as he thought `what the hell am I supposed to do about it?' and wanted to say it but knew that certainly wouldn't help right now.

"Sir," came a calm voice a little more urgently.

"What do we do now?" Jeremy asked.

Tommy continued to try to offer some comfort to Shawn as he waited for the other boys to calm down a little until he felt a tug on his shirt and turned to face Hunter.

"What is it Hunter?" said Tommy sharply as the stress was beginning to fray his nerves.

"Sorry Sir, I didn't mean to bother you," said Hunter despondently.

"It's okay Hunter, what is it?" asked Tommy gently.

"Excuse me Sir, but that was just a little gas main going up. One of the gas pipes must have been cracked due to the propane facility explosion. There is still nothing to worry about. We are still safe here," Hunter calmly said to him.

"How do you know what caused that explosion?" asked DJ.

"Well sir, there are only a few things that could cause that size of an explosion and a gas main explosion due to the propane facility exploding is the most logical one. A cracked pipe would require some time to leak out to fill a room and once the fire spread to that room it would explode. This explains the delay in the last explosion. The time between the shockwave from the latest explosion to the time when the sound reached us tells me that we are around 3.5 miles away from the explosion. It was basically the same as the others which tells me that they are close to each other based on one being natural gas explosion and the other being a propane explosion," Hunter said matter-of-factly.

"But there was no shockwave from the second one," said DJ.

"Second? Oh, you must mean the last one. Of course there was sir, didn't you feel it?" asked Hunter serenely as everyone just stared at him like he sprouted a second head.

"But we have gas here won't the fire just follow the pipes until they get to us," asked Ben worriedly.

"No sir, it doesn't work that way. Besides the valves have been shut and most of the gas bled out to prevent any gas explosion from spreading, the gas line up here has been isolated from the rest of the system," replied Hunter.

"How do you know this?" asked Kyle.

"Because I shut those valves and bled the gas out of the lines a couple months back, right after the fires first started sir," said Hunter quietly.

"Why would you do that?" asked Jordy as the boys started to calm down some more.

"Obviously he knew we were living up here and was too afraid to meet us then," Tommy said quickly cutting off Hunter before he had a chance to respond to Jordy. "Isn't that right Hunter?" said Tommy giving his head a little nod.

"Ye... Yes Sir," Hunter said quickly realizing that was how his master wanted him to respond.

"But we are safe now, right?" asked Danny.

"Yes sir," Hunter replied.

"Really?" asked Chris in a tremulous voice.

"Yes little sir, you are safe. The explosions can't hurt you, they are too far away," said Hunter gently.

"Hey why is he naked?" asked Zach suddenly bringing attention to the fact that while most of the boys might have been half naked only Hunter was totally naked. Most of them didn't really notice since they were preoccupied with the explosions and Hunter had a tendency to stand behind Tommy only looking around him at the others when he spoke to them. Now that it had been brought to their attention more than a few of them were really checking him out. A few were even getting a rather embarrassing condition as they were staring at the little perfectly formed angel in front of them.

"Yeah Tommy, what's going on in here? Why is he naked?" said Billy belligerently.

"Leave it alone Billy," said Tommy dangerously, clearly remembering Billy's attitude when he found Shawn and Tommy together after Tommy had rescued Shawn.

"He doesn't like clothes Billy, that's all," said Jon quickly trying to defuse the tense atmosphere that suddenly occurred after Billy's comment.

"If you say so Jon," said Billy.

"Don't be an ass Billy, he told me the same thing yesterday when I was finding some clothes for him," Kyle added.

"Okay, I'm sorry Tommy for that," apologized Billy.

Tommy was still fuming about it then felt a tug on his shirt again and said, "Yes Hunter?"

"I thought you said when someone apologizes to you that you are supposed to say `Thank You'?" said Hunter looking up at Tommy with his innocent sparkling emerald green eyes.

"You are right Hunter, thank you Billy," Tommy said smiling as he put down Shawn and walked over to Billy giving him a hug whispering to him, "I'm sorry too, Billy."

"Awww now isn't that cute," said Jeremy.

"More like ewwww to me," Zack said. This was immediately followed by a gentle backhand from DJ. "I was just teasing," seeing the look on DJ's face as he rubbed his head.

"Okay everyone, back to what you were doing. Go get dressed, eat, or whatever you want," Tommy said waving Kyle over to him.

"How are you feeling Kyle?" asked Tommy once they were sort of alone.

"I feel great TJ, I don't ever remember feeling this good," Kyle whispered.

"Yeah I know exactly what you mean. When Hunter heals someone, he does a real good job of it. Just don't forget to fake it some or we might have some problems," he whispered back.

"Okay TJ, if you still think I have too," replied Kyle.

"You know bro, I'm really happy to have you back," Tommy said hugging his brother.

"Me too TJ, me too," said Kyle hugging his brother back.

As the boys started to break up Tommy asked, "Hey has anyone seen Caleb?"

"Yeah he is still in bed. I told you he could sleep through anything. Guess I was right," giggled Shawn heading off to his room along with everyone else.

"Jon was that Bryan who called?" asked Tommy as the others left his room.

"Who else could it have been silly?" teased Jon.

"So you are going to be like that huh?" Tommy said as he tackled Jon on the bed and started to tickle him.

"St... stop, please stop I gotta pee," said Jon urgently.

"I don't think you are going to get out of this that easily," Tommy said.

"I mean it TJ, if you don't stop I'm gonna piss all over you and your bed," laughed Jon.

"Okay Jon, I guess you win this time," Tommy said as he got off Jon.

Jon immediately got up and headed to the bathroom but not fast enough to get away from Tommy without getting a little swat on his butt. Jon thought about shaking his butt at Tommy as he entered the bathroom but decided that he really needed to go and didn't have the time to play right then. As Jon took care of his pressing need he shouted out to Tommy, "I told Bryan basically everything Hunter said so it's all good over there."

"Thanks Jon," Tommy said back.

Tommy looked around and noticed Hunter still standing by his bed looking at him.

"Well Hunter, we should go borrow some clothes for you so I can bring you to Bryan's house."

"Do I really have to do that Sir? I'm really afraid of people Sir, I mean really, really afraid," Hunter said softly.

"Hunter with what those other people did to you I can understand why you are scared, but this is something we have to do or I'm afraid you will never get past this, it really needs to be done. Bryan and the others at his house are nice people, they won't hurt you and besides I'll be right there with you in case you start to feel threatened," Tommy told him as he sat down on the edge of his bed and hugged Hunter to him reassuring him.

"Yes Sir, I'll do what you say," said Hunter on the verge of tears trying to smile.

"You'll be okay Hunter I'll be with you the whole time. So let's go ask Shawn for some clothes you can borrow. Come on Hunter let's go," Tommy said gently as he led Hunter to Shawn's room.

After knocking on Shawn's door and hearing Shawn say enter Tommy and Hunter went into Shawn's room.

"Hey Cutie," said Tommy, "can I borrow some clothes for Hunter to wear until I get the chance to bring him to the mall to get something?" asked Tommy as Shawn was half way done with putting on his shirt. Tommy noticed that Shawn had stopped moving and looked at him noticing that Shawn was just brazenly staring at Hunter. "Shawnee kid wake-up," laughed Tommy.

"Oh sorry TJ, just... ummm, okay I'll grab a set of clothes for him, gimme a sec," said Shawn as both of them heard Hunter starting to sniff loudly.

"What are you doing Hunter?" asked Tommy.

"Sir, he isn't feeling very well," said Hunter pointing at Caleb.

Tommy immediately went over to the cot that was Caleb's bed and looked at him. Caleb was still asleep but he was sweating and his color wasn't right. So, Tommy gently shook him awake.

"I'm coming Mom," Caleb mumbled, "Oh, hi Tommy. I was just having a real nice dream."

"I'm sorry for waking you and interrupting it but how are you feeling?" asked Tommy.

"Not very good," Caleb said, "I'm a little hot and my body hurts some."

"Shawn can you go get me the thermometer in the bathroom please?" Tommy asked.

"Sure, I'll be right back. Here Hunter catch," said Shawn as he tossed the clothes to him and quickly headed out the door. Moments later, he returned with the thermometer in hand, as Tommy was feeling Caleb's forehead.

"Here you go TJ," Shawn said handing the thermometer to Tommy.

"Okay Caleb, open up please," Tommy asked.

"No, I don't want to," said Caleb.

"Caleb you have two choices, you either open your mouth for this thermometer or I go get the other one and you won't like where it goes. Now you decide but I will be getting your temperature one way or the other, with this one or the rectal one," Tommy told Caleb sternly.

"What's a rekal thingy?" Caleb asked.

"It's rectal thermometer," said Shawn, "and it goes in your butt to take your temperature."

Caleb immediately opened up his mouth and lifted his tongue so Tommy could put the thermometer in his mouth.

Shawn looked over at Hunter and giggled so Tommy looked at him also. Hunter had managed to dress himself with the clothes Shawn had given him but somehow he got all the clothes on backwards or inside out and the little Superman cartoon underwear that Shawn had given him was on the outside of his pants.

"Shawn can you please help him, I need to focus on Caleb for a few more minutes," Tommy said.

"Okay TJ," Shawn said. "Come `ere Hunter I'll help you with that."

As Hunter looked to Tommy seeing him nod his head, he went over to Shawn and let Shawn take off the clothes he had put on. When Shawn had him stripped down, he stepped back a little to just admire him a little more.

"You havin fun with that Shawn, please get him dressed now," said Tommy.

"Sorry TJ," mumbled Shawn as he held the Superman underwear up allowing Hunter to step into them. The higher he raised them the closer it brought him to Hunter's penis allowing him to not only get a perfect view, but to also take in his sweet aroma at the same time. Now only about three inches away from him, Shawn almost let himself touch the tip of Hunter's penis only stopping when he realized Tommy was there. Finally, with the underwear in place Shawn helped Hunter get into the jeans and Superman sweatshirt that he had picked out for him. Hunter just stood there for Shawn moving his arms and legs as Shawn directed seemingly unconcerned with Shawn's behavior. In Shawn's mind this was not only something new, it was someone his age that he just experienced this with and he was liking it more then he ever thought he could.

As the old-fashioned thermometer finally went off Tommy pulled it out of Caleb's mouth.

"100.3, well Caleb looks like you have a little fever so I want you to stay in bed today. I'll tell Ben and he will bring you some food and probably a little medicine to reduce your fever. You can stay here and play your games or read but stay in this room I don't want everyone else to catch it, okay?"

"Okay Tommy, I think I'll just rest a little bit more first," Caleb said.

"Hunter go over there and do your thing," Shawn said, as Hunter looked at Shawn sadly. Shawn whispered, "You know, what you did for Kyle. Go on now, go do it."

Hunter started to dejectedly walk towards Caleb raising a trembling hand blinking back tears. Tommy hadn't really paid attention to what Shawn said but as he saw Hunter approach Caleb, he realized what Shawn must have told him to do.

"Hunter, NO... STOP," Tommy said quickly causing Hunter to immediately stop and snap to attention. "Shawn my room NOW," Tommy snapped. "Sorry Hunter, I want you to go with Shawn. I'll be right there," said Tommy a little more gently.

"Thank you Sir," said a relieved Hunter, as Shawn scampered out of the room as fast as he could.

"Tommy what was that about? What did Hunter do for Kyle?" asked Caleb.

"Don't worry about it Caleb. You just rest now, okay?" Tommy said.

"Okay," said Caleb as he yawned. "Thanks Tommy."

"Thanks for what?" Tommy asked.

"For just being here now, it makes me feel a lot better to just know that you care enough to look out for me. I really wanna give you a hug but I don't want you to get whatever I have, so get outta here, and let me rest," Caleb told Tommy teasingly.

"Okay Caleb, hope you feel better soon," Tommy said as he left the room and went to go deal with Shawn and Hunter.

Tommy entered his room to Shawn sitting on his bed and Hunter standing next to him. He also heard the shower going so he knew he had some time to deal with this before Jon came out. Hunter immediately went over to Tommy and gave him a hug.

"Thank you Sir, thank you for not making me do that," Hunter sobbed a little as he gave his first ever hug to someone.

Tommy was a little startled as he hugged Hunter back realizing that while he had hugged Hunter a bunch of times, Hunter had never really hugged him back. This made Tommy feel extraordinarily happy and proud as he knew he was the first person that Hunter had ever hugged.

"It's okay Hunter," said Tommy, "go sit by Shawn. I want to talk to both of you." Tommy dragged a chair over to them and said, "Shawn what did you tell Hunter to do to Caleb, I hope it's not what I think."

"I told him to go heal Caleb like he did to Kyle," mumbled Shawn. "But I only wanted Caleb healed so that no one else would catch his cold," he added quickly.

"Shawn, what did I tell you yesterday in regards to what Hunter can do?" asked Tommy.

"Not to say anything..., but I whispered it so Caleb wouldn't hear," said Shawn.

"I don't care, either way you were wrong, AND he did hear you Shawn," Tommy said severely.

"I'm sorry TJ, I didn't mean to..."

"I don't care what you meant, you still did it," Tommy said cutting Shawn off mid- sentence while grabbing Shawn by the arms gently to emphasize how important it is for him to understand this.

"If I hadn't stopped him, it would have caused a lot of unnecessary problems that I'm not ready to deal with yet. Shawn, you don't have the authority to tell Hunter to do something like that, you understand me Cutie?"

"Yes sir, I'm sorry, but if he can heal us why not let him?" pouted Shawn. 

"Shawnee, every time he heals someone it hurts him really, really bad."

"What do you mean?" asked Shawn.

"Should I show him Sir," asked Hunter.

"NO!" Tommy barked immediately. "Are you still in pain from yesterday?" he then asked Hunter in a softer voice.

"Yes Sir, it's not as bad anymore but it will take another few days for it to all go away."

Tommy just shook his head, as he still couldn't believe that anyone would go through that much pain for someone they only knew as a stranger. Yet, there he was, sitting right in front of him. Tommy was just grateful that he was there as he would have lost his brother otherwise, which was probably why Tommy was willing to put up with Hunter's other problems. When Hunter's problems started to get to Tommy, he would quickly remind himself about what Hunter did for Kyle. Tommy realized that putting up with it would be an extremely small price to pay for what he had been given in return.

"TJ, what does he mean show me?" asked Shawn.

"I don't understand how he does it Cutie, but somehow he can share this pain he feels with someone else. I know it sounds crazy, but believe me he can do it. I know what it feels like unfortunately, and it really, really hurt me and hurt him even more. I have to make sure you understand that you can't talk about this to the others because this is just something we don't need everyone to know. Shawn, remember how badly you were hurt when I found you? When Hunter heals someone, it hurts him a lot worse than that. I know you wouldn't want him to have to go through that kind of pain just to heal Caleb of a simple cold."

"Worse than that?" said Shawn tremulously. Shawn immediately turned to Hunter and hugged him sobbing, "I'm sorry, I didn't know, I would never have asked you to do that if I did."

"Thank you sir," said Hunter softly surprising Tommy as he hugged Shawn back a little bit, giving Tommy the hope that he was slowly coming out of his shell.

"Hunter why were you going to even do that, didn't I tell you that you weren't supposed to do something someone told you to if it was going to hurt you, unless you thought it was a good idea?"

"Yes Sir, but his order to heal the sick sir wouldn't have damaged me, just caused me some more pain. I thought that having him better would make you happy and healing him would be a good thing. So I thought I should do it and follow his order since it wasn't a bad idea," Hunter said miserably knowing he had come to the wrong conclusion on what he should have done.

"Well at least you thought about it and that's a good start. You didn't come up with the right answer but you'll get there," Tommy said giving Hunter a little smile. "Hunter I'm ordering you to not heal anyone without ME telling you to, except in an emergency."

"Yes Sir, but what would constitute an emergency?" Hunter asked politely.

"If someone is dying and will be dead before you can talk to me about it. Anything less and I want you to wait till you can talk to me first," Tommy replied.

"Yes Sir, I understand."

"Okay Cutie, what do you think would be a good punishment for you?" asked Tommy.

"Punishment?" asked Shawn worriedly.

"Well you did talk about Hunter's healing when I made a big point about not talking about it," Tommy said sadly.

"Yeah I did," said Shawn softly, "how about no dessert tonight?" he added hopefully.

"How about a real spanking?" Tommy said with a serious look on his face.

"You aren't going to do it in front of him are you?" said Shawn worriedly as he got up to stand in front of Tommy starting to unbutton his pants.

Tommy's face suddenly split into a big grin as he grabbed up Shawn and hugged him saying, "Cutie I'm not going to do that to you, I know you feel bad enough about what you did now that you know what it would have done," as he tickled his little cutie a bit.

"You really had me going there TJ," laughed Shawn as he gave Tommy a kiss.

"Shawnee kid, seriously if you do it again though I will have to do something, so please, watch what you say when you talk about Hunter."

"I will TJ," Shawn said soberly.

"Okay Shawn why don't you take Hunter down to get something to eat."

"Yes sir!" said Shawn teasingly as he grabbed Hunter's hand and tried to pull him along but Hunter didn't budge an inch from the bed until Tommy nodded his head at him.

"And Shawn, make sure he actually eats, don't just show him the kitchen and then leave him like you did last night with the shower. Oh, and don't give him anything too messy. I don't want to have to shower him up afterwards like yesterday. I'll be taking him to Bryan's after I talk to Jon for a bit," Tommy shouted out as they headed towards the door.

"Don't worry TJ, I'll take care of him," Shawn called back as he held onto Hunter's hand dragging him down the hall towards the stairs.

Tommy headed into his bathroom as Jon was stepping out of the shower.

"Wow, nice ass," said Tommy happily, as he walked over to him.

"Thanks," he said wiggling a bit, as he turned to face Tommy. "I waited for you hoping you would join me but the water started to get a little cold," Jon said.

"Well I can warm you up some if you want," said Tommy as he moved next to Jon and started kissing him.

"You know you can do that whenever you want with me," Jon said between kisses.

"Damn Jon, you are as horny as ever," Tommy said looking down between them to see Jon's very excited state.

"Well what are you going to do about it, now that you made me like this?"

"I guess I'll just have to take care of that for you," said Tommy as he got down on his knees and started stroking Jon's cock. After a few moments of stroking, Tommy took Jon's cock into his mouth and started sucking immediately starting to taste Jon's precum. Tommy reached around behind and started to stroke Jon's ass, running his finger between his cheeks.

"Ohhhhh, Tommy that is so gooood," Jon gasped.

Tommy popped Jon's cock out of his mouth and licked one of his fingers as he went back to sucking and bobbing on Jon's cock. Tommy's finger found Jon's target and he gently pushed it in, then slowly pulled it out. With his free hand, he started to massage Jon's balls. After only a few moments of all this stimulation, Jon began to shake and filled Tommy's mouth with his sweet cream.

"Damn Jon, that was fast," Tommy said.

"Yeah, I know, but it's been a while and I can't help it. You just make me feel that good," gasped Jon. He smiled coming down from his orgasmic high.

"Anyway, thanks for the special treat. It was a great way to start the day," Tommy said smiling.

"Anytime you are thirsty, just ask and I'll be happy to give you another," said Jon jokingly.

Tommy got up and started doing his usual morning thing as Jon recovered.

"Hey what did take you so long anyway? Wait let me guess Hunter again," Jon said sarcastically.

"No, it wasn't Hunter this time, well at least not totally. I took him to get some clothes and somehow Hunter could smell that Caleb was sick. I checked out Caleb and he did have a little temperature. Then Shawn screwed up and told Hunter to heal Caleb so I had to stop that. Caleb only heard that Hunter did something to Kyle not what, so I left him to fall back asleep and then I had to deal with the other two."

"I hope you made it clear to Shawn how much it hurts Hunter when he does that, if it's even close to what you described I know I wouldn't want to feel it," Jon said as he walked his naked ass out to Tommy's bed and started to get dressed.

"Well it was actually worse than I said. It's just that getting hit in the nads was the closest I could describe it since that was the worst pain I ever experienced until then but I think Shawn understands now."

"Good," Jon said thoughtfully sitting down on the bed to put on his socks.

"Hey what's with the strange look?"

"It's just... I feel really bad about Hunter now. I mean, now that I have had time to think about all that you said last night, about what you learned happened to him. Especially with how I have been treating him, I mean he went to sleep in the closet because of what I said last night. Then this morning he was terrified just because he failed to stay awake. I've never seen anyone that frightened and it kinda got to me. Here I have been jealous of him, then treating him like shit just because he got in the way of me spending time with you. He gave you back Kyle and from what you said last night he gave you back to me after the accident, and look at how I have treated him. I love you TJ, and I know you love me but he needs you a lot more than I do right now. So, I'm not going to get jealous or angry anymore just because you are spending time with him. If you do stuff with him, like you do with Shawn, that's fine too because I know that you really do love me now, no matter what."

Tommy went over and sat next to Jon on the bed.

Then staring into this eyes he said, "That is awesome Jon, because I need you to know more now then ever how much I really love you, with everything that is going on around here and of how proud I am of you," Tommy said as he leaned over, then hugged and kissed Jon.

"Maybe tonight as long as we won't be having sex in your bed he can sleep with us."

"I don't see how that's really going to help with his nightmares waking us up every 30 minutes or so," said Tommy.

"Oh come on TJ, surely you noticed."

"Noticed what?"

"Every time you touched him he quieted down, of course."

"Why didn't you say something last night, then we could have gotten a good nights sleep at least."

"Because I didn't realize it until now but at least I noticed it, unlike someone."

"Hey I had a very stressful day yesterday," Tommy said as he got up, "and I have so much shit to do today that later on I won't even know if I am coming or going, which I had better get started on."

Meanwhile back up the hill at Bryan's house earlier today...

Bryan had already been up for awhile taking care of little Joel while Kate was getting breakfast ready for everyone when the house shook and a huge BOOM was heard. Bryan looked out the window to see a large cloud of smoke go up over the other side of the city. Immediately he grabbed Joel, left his room, and headed towards the kitchen to check on Kate.

"Katie, are you okay?" asked Bryan worriedly.

"Yeah, I'm fine but what was that?" exclaimed Kate.

"I don't know I just saw a bunch of smoke over the city, this could be serious Kate. Here, you hold Joel while I take care of them," Bryan said quickly as he gave Joel to Kate.

Bryan could clearly hear the pandemonium going on upstairs as the frightened boys all started to head out of there rooms. Bryan approached the steps as they appeared at the top.

"Everyone quiet down and listen up," shouted Bryan trying to get their attention. "I don't know what that was but we are safe for right now, so everybody just settle down. Matt you might want to get some clothes on before Katie comes up here and sees you."

The last comment quieted down the others as they all looked at Matt seeing that he was naked. It was clear that he was the only one of the boys that slept naked as most of the others were wearing pajamas. Matt turned red as he had just woken up and run out of his room to find out what had happened without thinking. He quickly ran back to his room and threw some clothes on. Jose and Austin were holding each other for comfort as were Ryan and Todd. All four of them were wearing the matching Santa Claus print pajamas that Kate had made for them on the sewing machine she had found in one of the rooms. Mike was wearing just some boxers and an old t-shirt but looking rather envious of Jose at the moment.

"Let's all head down to the kitchen and sit down while I call Tommy to see if he knows what's going on," Bryan said as Matt returned.

Austin and Jose each ran directly to Kate as soon as they saw her. Kate handed Joel to Matt as he was happily drinking his bottle and hugged both Austin and Jose trying to calm them down some. Ryan and Todd were obviously shaken up but didn't want to show it in front of everyone so they just sat down next to Kate.

"So it's just an old propane plant going up, is that it?" said Bryan into the phone. "We are safe here, right... good," he said. "Everything is okay, we are safe here. It was just some old propane plant on the outskirts of town," Bryan told them as another BOOM could be heard. This was just too much for Ryan and Todd as they suddenly ran over to hold onto Kate. Kate was now trying to offer comfort to the four very frightened boys as Bryan tried to get some answers. Kate had little Austin in her lap crying a little as Ryan and Todd were sitting as close to her as they could while holding on to her and poor Jose had been squeezed out. Bryan waved Jose over to him and put him in his lap trying to comfort the frightened boy as he said, "Jon what was that? Okay I'll hold... So basically, it was just more of the same. Thanks Jon," said Bryan into the phone again. "We are all safe here. Jon said that second explosion was just another building going up so there was still nothing to worry about. The fire is a good 3 miles or more from us so it won't bother us here. He said the propane plant was pretty isolated so there wasn't much else around to catch fire, plus with all the snow it would be difficult for it to spread much. The river is also between us and it so that makes us pretty safe."

"But how do they know what it was?" asked Mike with concern.

"Jon said that Hunter knew what it was and not to worry we are safe up here," Bryan replied.

"But how does he know?" said Mike worriedly.

"He just does, Jon sounded pretty calm, I think we are safe here, so just relax Mike," Bryan told him. "Oh and just so everybody understands I don't want any of you to get any closer to the fire than Tommy's house. So for today no one is to leave the house without permission and then only to go to Tommy's house to play with the other kids."

"Honey, isn't Hunter that new boy Tommy found," asked Kate.

"Yes dear, Tommy is supposed to be bringing him over in a little while after he calms down the kids at his house," said Bryan. "Does anyone know anything about him yet?" asked Bryan.

After hearing the others tell Bryan they knew basically nothing about him Todd spoke up and said, "I talked to Zach a little about him."

"What did he say?" asked Kate.

"Well, he said the kids about the same size as Shawn but he's 11 years old and that he's a bit of a fraidy-cat. I think he said that he has been on his own since the accident."

"Well I can understand him being a little frightened after surviving on his own so I want all of you to be extremely nice to him when he gets here," said Kate.

"Anything else?" asked Bryan.

"Yeah, Zack said that his brother thought he was really cute and that the kid called everyone sir or something like that," added Todd.

"Well, we will all meet him soon enough, so why don't you boys go upstairs and get yourselves ready for the day while I finish breakfast," said Kate.

The other boys headed up to get themselves ready as Bryan took Joel from Matt and went to look outside to watch the cloud of smoke rise over the city as Austin stayed with Kate.

"Will you go up with me please, I don't want to go by myself," asked Austin timidly.

"I'll make you a deal. You help me with breakfast and after I'll take you to my bathroom to give you a bath and get you dressed for the day, sound good?" asked Kate.

Austin thought about it for a bit thinking back to how good but more importantly, how safe he felt when his own Mother used to bathe him so he said, "Okay."

"Good, because you could certainly use a bath," teased Kate making loud sniffing noises as she waved her hand in front of her nose.

"I don't really smell bad do I?" asked Austin worriedly as he tried to smell himself.

Kate reached down and gathered Austin into her arms hugging him as she said, "No you don't, I was just teasing," tickling him a little.

"Do you think Jose or the twins would like to take a bath with me?" asked Austin innocently.

"Jose might but probably not besides he showers almost every morning anyway. I think the twins would rather bathe alone especially if I was going to be in there," Kate laughed hoping that Austin and the others didn't realize why Jose was washing himself almost every morning thinking she should probably have Bryan quietly get a couple more packages of Goodnights for him. Maybe she should have him grab a couple for Austin too as he still wet his bed a couple times a month. Each time he had an accident she had thought about making him wear them to bed but had decided that as long as he didn't do it that often the mattress protector would suffice. Maybe she should talk to him about it since his last accident was only a couple of days ago and she was getting tired of having to do extra laundry because of it.

"Can I bring some toys to play with?" asked Austin interrupting her thoughts.

"Of course you can precious, now let's get to work with breakfast," said Kate.

After a little while, the other boys came down dressed and ready for the day as they helped get the table ready. Austin and Kate brought out the food as the others finished setting the table and sat down. They all happily feasted on the scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausages, and fruit salad that had been prepared for breakfast. Each of the boys had a large glass of milk as Kate and Bryan had a cup of coffee. They all chatted with each other about what they wanted to do that day as Kate and Bryan had worked very hard to make sure that the boys in their house always ate at least two meals together and felt free to talk about whatever during their meals. The fire and explosions cast a bit of a shadow on their happy meal but everyone still seemed to enjoy it and be much more comfortable than they were earlier.

"Okay since Austin and I made the breakfast I think the rest of you can clean up," said Kate once everyone had finished.

Hearing a bunch of groans Bryan said, "Come on guys it the least we can do."

"That's right, and Bryan I expect you to help too, not just supervise," Kate teased getting a fake groan from Bryan and some laughs from the others. "I'm going to take Austin and give him a bath now so you boys be good for Bryan," said Kate as she took Austin by the hand and checked that Joel was still sleeping before heading  to the bathroom.

The other boys gave each other some strange looks after hearing her comment but most of them felt a little jealous of him as they all could remember their own Mother giving them baths when they were little and how good it felt. They then went about cleaning up the kitchen.

In the master bathroom, Kate was getting the water just right as Austin went to get some toys. As he came back, the tub was filling and she helped Austin out of his clothes. She gave him a little look over making sure he didn't have any injuries that she didn't know about as she picked him up and hugged the little naked boy making him giggle.

"Would you like bubbles or no bubbles?" asked Kate to the squirming little boy in her arms.

"Bubbles please!" said Austin just enjoying the attention he was getting.

"Then bubbles you will get," joked Kate as she gently lowered Austin into the huge bathtub and added some bubble bath to the water for him. Kate then sat down just watching Austin play with his toy boats, planes, and little action figures. Which she would have called dolls but knew that boys didn't like to have them called that as a doll was something a girl played with whereas an action figure was something a boy played with, even though they were pretty much the same thing. Kate was just enjoying sitting there with Austin watching him play with his toys feeling very good about herself and really enjoying the intimate time she was spending with the little boy. It was then that she decided that she would do this with him at least once a week until he started to grow some pubic hair as then he would be getting a little too old for it but she would enjoy it while it lasted. She also decided that she would do it with Jose, starting next time he wet his bed so much that he overflowed his Goodnight again, knowing that wouldn't be long. She thought that maybe by giving Jose some extra intimate attention like she was giving Austin right then that he might feel a little better about himself and have his emotional needs better fulfilled. Since she knew she wouldn't be able to bathe the bigger boys to try to make them feel as good and safe as Austin was feeling right now, she tried to think of something else to do for them. She thought about the older boys and decided that she would try to give them more hugs and little kisses to show them that she did love them even if it embarrassed them some, including the boys down the hill. Kate thought about what she could do for the twins when she decided that she could read to them while she held them next to her. She decided that she would have Bryan take her and the twins to the library to pick out some books along with the little boys who Bryan could start to read to. She knew that Bryan really wanted to connect with the boys like she had but was having a really difficult time doing it. She thought maybe with having Bryan helping out bathing Jose and Austin once in a while and reading to the twins some might help him bond with the boys. She hoped that this new plan of hers would take care of the boys' emotional needs and make them happier. She knew they might resist a little but in the end they would do it for her mainly because she wanted them to, being the only Mother around had its advantages. Just then she heard Joel starting to cry and fuss downstairs so she turned to the door and shouted, "Bryan just bring him up to me please, I want to feed him anyway."

"Okay, I'll be right there," Bryan shouted back as he was finishing up changing Joel's diaper. "Here you are Katie," said Bryan as he knocked before walking into the bathroom and handing Joel to her.

"Thanks Honey," said Kate as she gently opened her shirt and bra to give Joel access to her nipple.

"You having a good time there little guy?" asked Bryan.

"Yeah, a real good time," said Austin smiling up at Bryan feeling as content and safe as he could remember ever since the comet.

"Good, I'm glad to hear that," said Bryan as he tousled Austin's hair. "Just give me a call if you need me Kate," Bryan said seeing the look of contentment on Kate's face and thinking how lucky he was to have her.

"Okay Honey," Kate replied looking at her husband with her eyes full of love as she realized just how lucky she was to have him. As Bryan left to look after the others Kate looked down at little Joel suckling happily, she really enjoyed these times being so intimate with her baby boy but knew that soon she would have to start weaning him off. The books she had read said she should stop around one year but wouldn't hurt to go to two years. She noticed that Austin was giving furtive little glances in her direction watching her breastfeed Joel. This caused her to laugh a little as she remembered all of the other boys usually trying to catch a glimpse of her tits when she was breastfeeding Joel around the house.  Finally she said, "Austin its okay if you want to look," making Austin's face turn red in embarrassment. "No I mean it. There is nothing wrong with it. Come over here and watch."

Austin slowly got up and stood next to her in the tub watching Joel have his mid-morning snack as his little 2" pee-pee grew to a nice little 3" erection. Kate noticed it of course but didn't say anything but Austin suddenly sat down in the water to try to hide it and went back to playing with his toys.

"Austin I want to talk to you about something important," Kate began to say.

"What is it?" asked Austin as he stopped playing with his toys for a moment.

"It's about your accidents," Kate said gently seeing Austin suddenly turn even redder with embarrassment. "I'm sorry if this embarrasses you but I think something should be done about it. It's not like you are doing this on purpose, that's why they are called accidents. I'm going to have Bryan pick you up some Goodnights and I want you to start wearing them every night. If you can go an entire month without an accident then you can stop wearing them but until then I want you to wear them, okay," Kate told a distraught Austin.

"But I don't want to wear them, the other boys will make fun of me," Austin cried.

"No they won't, if they know what's good for them. If they do, it will be only once," Kate said in a tone of steel. "Come on Austin, stop crying please," said Kate gathering Austin in her free arm as she continued to breastfeed Joel. "You will grow out of this soon and you will be much happier if you wake up to a nice dry bed rather than a cold, wet one. When we have a problem, the responsible thing to do is to deal with it and for your problem, the responsible solution is to wear Goodnights until it passes. So will you please wear them for me or at least try them?"

"Okay," sniffed Austin, "if you think I should."

"I really do Austin, and I'm proud of you for choosing to be responsible about this," Kate said giving Austin a little kiss on the cheek. This made him feel a lot better about it and he calmed down as he went back to playing with his toys.

As Joel finished his snack Kate asked Austin, "Do you mind if I wash Joel along with you?"

"Umm, no I don't mind."

So, Kate drained some of the water as she added some more hot water to warm it up then undressed Joel and took his diaper off as she gently put him in the bath with Austin. She then played a little with Austin and Joel with the toys making both of them laugh and feel very much loved. Kate made sure to give Austin just as much attention as she was giving Joel to help him feel better about everything. After that, she quickly washed Joel and told Austin to stand up, as she would wash him just as soon as Bryan came to take care of Joel. Seeing Austin was sporting another erection as he stood up to wait for his turn to be washed made Kate smile a little at how Austin was just like Bryan having no control over that particular part of his body.

"Bryan," Kate shouted, "I need you again."

"How can I help you?" Bryan said moments later as he entered the master bath seeing Kate drying off Joel and looking at Austin standing in the tub with his little erection and red face.

"Would you please get Joel dressed now that he is nice and clean," Kate said as she handed Bryan a bundled up little baby boy.

"I'll get right on that," said Bryan smiling as he leaned over to Austin to whisper, "I get like that all the time around her too, so don't worry about it."

Austin smiled at Bryan after that, he felt a lot less embarrassed and self-conscience now. As Kate took the soap in her hands and started to wash up his little body. Kate washed his arms, legs, chest, and back lovingly as she gave him a little massage while she washed him, tickling him a bit, as she washed his tummy and sides. She paid special attention to his neck and his armpits causing him to squirm and laugh. His butt and butt-hole telling him how it was important to make sure he was clean back there. She very gently washed him between his legs and his little sack of balls. Due to Austin's rather erect state he was a little embarrassed again when Kate started to wash between his legs, so Kate talked to him assuring him that he had nothing to be embarrassed about, his little erect pee-pee was perfectly normal and just meant that he was a healthy growing boy. This reassured Austin so that he was no longer as embarrassed to be naked and sporting an erection around her. Kate paid the most attention to his little pee-pee. She was very gentle as she pulled back his foreskin noticing how tight it was, making a mental note to tell Bryan to make sure he would gently stretch it back so as not to hurt Austin when she had him wash him next. She would have to keep an eye on that as there weren't anymore doctors to take care of it if it became a problem. Austin's erect state made it much easier to wash that particular part of Austin's body, as she slowly stretched the foreskin down then let it go, doing this over and over again until she had it far enough back that she could wash the head of his pee-pee. She gave him a little lecture on how important it was for his pee-pee to be clean and that he should try to stretch his foreskin back every now and then, otherwise it could become a problem. Austin was really enjoying his bath, as it felt awesome when Kate washed his bottom and pee-pee but even more important to him was that he felt more loved during this bath than any other time since the comet. He just wished that he could get Kate or Bryan to give him another bath that would make him feel this loved. Kate finished washing him by washing his hair and scrubbing behind his ears. Then she rinsed him off and picked him up out of the tub wrapped up in a big fluffy towel. She dried him off gently giving him playful kisses all over his face making him laugh and giggle as she remembered when her Mother did that for her when she was Austin's age and how loved it made her feel. She then wrapped him up in the towel again and carried him to his room only to open the towel and drop him on his bed causing them both to laugh again. Kate went through his drawers getting him some Spiderman undies, socks, some clean blue jeans, a SpongeBob SquarePants t-shirt, and a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. As she was dressing him, she asked him how he liked his bath. Austin thought it was the best bath he had ever had and he made hints to her that he would like her or Bryan to do it again, which made Kate feel really happy. As she was finishing tying his shoe the doorbell rang.

Meanwhile back at the mall early that morning...

Morning had come after a night of restlessness and wonder about the future, as Cody laid and sat watch in between short naps during the night. It was the best he could manage to do, so he watched many of the boys in the room toss and turn throughout the night. Unsure if the boys were awake or not, he thought about saying something but remained quiet in case they weren't. Denny got up or tried to get up to pee until he finally said something to Cody, asking for help, when he couldn't get up alone. He took a pain pill before going back to sleep. Danny also did the same thing before asking for help, and then got something for his pain too. Cody now sat up and wiped his eyes knowing it was time to get ready to pack what was left, and then get ready to depart what has become `The Mall from Hell'. He checked the time and it was 6:30, he stood up and then headed off to pee himself. After cleaning up in the bathroom, he walked back into the messy main room that he and the others had been calling home now for many months. He looked across the room at the garbage, sleeping bags, and the few mattresses that lay on the floor. The room had a stale, musky, teen-age boy smell to it, as he took a deep breath. Not a stink so much, but more like it needed to be aired out or it needed a window opened. He smiled as he thought about it, and it crossed his mind that would have been something his mom would have done. Then he spoke softly, so as to not startle anyone who might still be sound asleep.

"Okay guys, its morning lets get our stuff together, its time to get up, pack, and leave this place."

One by one, the boys started to stir. Calvin and Phil sat up and stretched out their young, healthy bodies as they stood up. Danny and Denny slowly got up to a seated position, before Phil and Calvin carefully helped each of them up to their feet. Phil handed Danny one of the crutches so he could steady himself and wouldn't fall.

"Look if you guys will get your stuff together, I will go down to the food court and get us one last wonderful breakfast from there," Cody said jokingly.

"Wonderful, huh?" said Denny back to him sarcastically.

"Well, it sure beats the alternative Den," Cody answered.

"Yeah, I guess so," replied Denny.

"I'll help Denny pack," said Phil.

"Yeah and I'll help Danny," Calvin added.

"Great, I'll be back soon," said Cody as he turned to go.

With that, Cody grabbed a gun and headed downstairs. He cautiously poked his head out when he reached the bottom, and after making sure the coast was clear, he headed down the mall towards the food court for probably one of the last times. A few minutes later, he was pulling food from the freezer to microwave it. After a good fifteen minutes of this, he was now packing everything he made into a plastic food bag. The coffee was done brewing awhile ago, so he mixed up a cup of fresh coffee. He then added his sugar and watered down powdered milk, which was all they now had left. Their milk lasted awhile but without a way to get fresh, eventually their frozen stash ran out too. Cody gathered the bag with everything in it in one hand and his coffee in the other, as he started his walk back to the others. A few minutes later, he arrived back at their quarters, and yelled he was there so he wouldn't scare or startle them, as he walked up the steps. Phil met him at the top, took the bag with the food in it to one of the tables, and pulled out everything inside as the others joined him and began to eat. Cody surveyed the room and noticed the boys did well while he was gone, packing or picking up just about everything they wanted or needed. Only his stuff was left to be packed now. As the boys ate, he packed up his belongings and then went to eat his breakfast. They had all the extra stuff downstairs and carried it to the side exit where the RV was parked by 8:30. Then Cody, Phil, and Calvin brought down their own stuff and piled it at the doors. Eventually everything that any of them wanted was downstairs and ready to be packed away inside the RV. Finally, step by step, they helped both injured boys down and to the side doors. As Danny stood there at the exit doors, he watched Phil, Cody, Calvin, and Denny walk back, stand up at the corner of the archway, and look over the mall one last time. After a few minutes of this, it was time to go.

"I guess we have everything now, the only thing left to do is gas up and then follow the directions towards our new life many, many miles up the road," Cody said looking at the three boys next to him. None of them said anything as they turned and walked towards Danny. The boys zipped up their coats as they approached the exit doors, Cody stopped to help Denny as he gently zipped up his coat for him. He then unlocked the exit doors and they helped Denny and Danny outside and into the RV. Cody had started the RV and plow about thirty minutes earlier to warm them up before it was time to leave. It was now warm enough inside the RV to sit comfortably, although there was still a slight chill inside. The heat was cranked up as high as possible for now to help keep it warm with the door opened. Trip after trip the three healthy boys carried all the remaining belongings from the inside of the mall up the few steps and into the RV. After it was all inside, they were ready to go.

"Phil you might as well take these directions and get into the plow," Cody said.

"I will as soon as we are ready. It's going to be lonely up there, so I'm not in a big hurry to get in," Phil said.

"If you want I'll sit with you," said Calvin.

"Thanks that would be great," Phil replied cheerfully.

"Ok then, I am going back in once more, alone, I need a minute guys, then we can leave," replied Cody somberly.

He headed out of the RV shutting the door behind him and went back into the mall as a few of the boys watched through the door window.

"I wonder what that's all about," Denny said curiously.

"Not sure," Phil replied, "Guess he just needs a second."

Cody walked into the main part of the mall. He looked to his left and up at the windows that were the outside of their sleeping quarters, then he looked back towards the main part of the mall.

"Steve, Keith... I don't know if you can hear me or not guys, but I wanted you to know I am sorry I failed both of you and I hope you can forgive me somehow," he yelled out into the mall as tears ran down his face. "I won't fail the others like I did with you guys," said Cody. He walked a few steps towards the end of the mall that the boys had died at and stopped. He took the mall keys that he was holding in his hands and with a mighty toss threw them as far as he could.


He wiped the tears from his face and turned to leave without looking back. He walked out through the doors slamming each back into the wall as hard as he could, nearly breaking the glass in each door with the force he used. Then without hesitating, he opened the door of the RV and headed inside shutting it a bit softer then the others, but still with enough force to make it slam a little.

"Okay, let's get the fuck out of here!" he said, sniffing back tears, in a surly voice as he went to sit behind the wheel of the RV.

The boys were puzzled but none of them bothered him for now about what just happened. It was clear they knew something was wrong, and could easily hear him exit the mall from the noise the doors made slamming into the walls as he left. With that, Phil and Calvin waved to the others, headed out shutting the RV door, and walked up to the plow. A few seconds later, the radio squawked.

"It's Phil, can you hear me okay?"

Cody grabbed the radio on the dash in front of him.

"Yup, I hear you fine, let's roll."

"Okay, here we go," Phil added.

A few seconds later, the plow grinded into first gear and began to inch forward. Cody took the RV out of park and began to follow. Cody grabbed the radio as they neared the mall exit and spoke into it, "Don't forget Phil, we need to gas up before we go too far."

"Right, there is a gas station to my left, let's try that," he said back to Cody.

"Sounds good," replied their leader into the radio.

 It was a sunny and cold day, as typical as winter days in Minnesota were. The wind occasionally whipped, blowing snow past the vehicles as they moved through the parking lot. It was a little warmer today than it was yesterday but still close to zero degrees. The boys pulled out of the mall parking lot and headed towards the gas station a few hundred yards ahead of them.

"Make sure the plow is up and you aren't too close to the pumps when you pull in," came Cody's voice over the walkie-talkie, as they got closer to the pumps.

"Right," Calvin replied to Cody as he grabbed it to reply.

Phil lifted the plow before he rolled through the uneven wind blown four to eight inches of snow under the tall, covered, overhang in front of the gas pumps. He made sure to leave a good amount of space between him and the pumps, as he cautiously pulled in and stopped the truck. He left it running to help keep it warm inside. As he got out into the cold wind from the drivers side of the truck, he was met by Calvin who came around to help. Cody pushed through less deep snow on the other side of the station. The overhang better covered it where he pulled in leaving a lot less snow on the ground there.

"Boy that was a fun ride," Calvin exclaimed.

"You mean I did good?" Phil happily asked.

Cody walked up to join their conversation after parking the RV at the next row of gas pumps across the tarmac from them.

"Yeah, you did great at turning me into a milkshake."

Philly's smile turned upside down as Cody bust out laughing at Calvin's comment.

"Guess you need a little work there Phil," Cody said continuing to chuckle some. "Let's fill up so we can get some road behind us. It's already 9:30," he added.

Phil went over to the gas pump and lifted the nozzle then turned and started to unscrew the oversized cap on the huge side tank.

"WAIT!" What are you doing?" Calvin yelled out suddenly.

"Puttin gas in like we have to," Phil replied.

Grabbing the nozzle Calvin looked at Phil.

"You put that in and we won't be going anywhere!" he powerfully exclaimed.

"What's wrong?" Cody said hearing the ruckus as he walked over to them from a few feet away.

Calvin looked at Cody and said, "He was going to put gas in there Cody, this is a diesel truck."

"Good catch Calvin," Cody commented proudly, as he looked at Calvin and then Phil. Cody grabbed the nozzle and hung it up. He then reached over to the single hose on the other side of the pump and grabbed the dirtier diesel hose. He flipped the lever at the bottom to start the pump's motor. Phil watched Cody not quite sure what happened, since he never really paid much attention in the past when his parents got gas. It was apparent he didn't know diesel from gasoline. Cody put the end into the large hole, said a small prayer, and squeezed the handle hoping he would get something out.

"Sorry guys, I never thought about it. We only used regular gas in our car," Phil said with a puzzled look on his face.

"BINGO!" Cody yelled out.

Fuel started to pump from the hose and this time the boys got lucky on their first try. He knew by now that some of the things in the neighborhood/area wouldn't work, gas pumps being one. Tommy had told and warned him when they talked to be careful of that, and to especially watch what they were doing as they filled up or used any flammable liquids.

"You watch this so is doesn't overflow, do the other side too, remember this has two tanks. I am going to put as much in the RV as I can and then fill the dozen gas cans in the car, then we can go. Please don't spill any, I don't care what we get in the snow, I just don't want to have a problem with any of us getting fuel on our clothes okay?"

"Sure," Phil said.

Both boys cautiously watched the diesel flow from the nozzle with interest as it slowly filled the tank. Each took a turn looking into the oversized hole that topped the tank. Finally, Phil yelled over to Cody.

"This side is at the top Cody how do I get the other side done?" shouted Phil.

"If you have enough hose slide it under the truck, if not then you are going to have to turn the truck around and do the other side," he yelled over from the RV.

Cody watched briefly as Phil put the hose on the ground and attempted to push it thru the snow and under the truck. That battle lasted all of thirty-seconds before Phil gave up and put the hose back before getting in to turn the truck around. Both boys watched the truck buck and then slowly roll forward as Phil once again did his best to drive it. He turned it around without much trouble and soon was filling the other side. Meanwhile, Cody called Calvin over to help him with the gas containers and now he was almost done filling them. One by one, he filled each container until he had twelve of them on the ground in front of him. They ranged from two to five gallons. He then took the larger ones to the trunk of the SUV and then put the rest on top of the tarp that covered the back seat. He then draped a blanket over the front two seats and put the remaining four containers on them, two on each. He then counted the gas, so he knew what he had. 25 gallons in the trunk in five containers and the remaining seven each held three gallons for a total of 21 in them. The potential time bomb of 46 extra gallons of gas would help a lot if they got in trouble not to mention that he filled the car tank with as much as it would take. All in all the car, RV, and gas containers took 150 gallons of gas. The plow took 32 gallons of diesel filled to the rim on both sides of the two 50 gallon tanks. The boys went inside to see if there was anything they would take from the mini-mart and came out with a few bags of munches and anything else that looked edible. They were back on the road just before 10am with Phil leading the way with the plow down, and the RV towing the gas-filled car behind him... More on them tonight.

Flashback to Tommy's house after he headed downstairs...

As Tommy headed into the kitchen he saw Shawn and Hunter sitting at the table finishing up some scrambled eggs and toast along with a pile of dishes on the counter. Tommy grabbed a chair and pulled it next to Shawn as he quickly grabbed Shawn's last piece of toast and took a bite out of it.

"Hey that was mine," exclaimed Shawn.

"And it's very good too," laughed Tommy bending over and giving Shawn a kiss. Tommy noticed that Hunter had immediately put his arm around his food and was stuffing it in his mouth as quick as he could. "Slow down Hunter no one is going to take your food. I was just playing with Shawn," Tommy said getting a little laugh out of Shawn.

"Yes Sir," Hunter said around a mouthful of food, once again slowly eating his food.

"Oh, I told Ben about Caleb and he said he would take care of it for you," Shawn said.

"Thanks Cutie, that was real nice of you," Tommy said as he leaned over to give Shawn a hug.

"Did you make the eggs?" Tommy asked Shawn.

"Yep," said Shawn proudly, "but Ben helped."

"Good because I don't think I want you to be cooking on your own yet," Tommy said.

"That's just what Ben said," laughed Shawn. "Hey Hunter, why don't you show TJ what I taught you," said Shawn.

"You taught him something?" asked Tommy incredulously.

"Of course I did, watch he can eat with a fork now," Shawn said proudly.

"Wait, you are teaching him table manners?" Tommy asked.

"Yeah, what's wrong with that?" said Shawn indigently.

"Well yours aren't exactly much better than his," Tommy said teasingly, taking a significant look at Shawn's shirt and seeing all the crumbs of food on it.

"Oh come on...," laughed Shawn giving Tommy a little shove.

"Oh I'm so wounded," Tommy played. "Sorry, I love you," said Tommy as he reached over and gave Shawn a hug and kiss.

"Okay Hunter, show him," said Shawn pleased with the attention Tommy was giving him.

They both watched as Hunter used his fork to very gently spear a hunk of scrambled egg then as he slowly raised it up to his mouth trying hard not to spill any. As Hunter managed to get the rather large sized hunk of egg into his mouth and started chewing it with his mouth closed. Shawn started to clap.

"Very good Hunter, and you too Shawn," Tommy said appreciatively, "but why go so slow why doesn't he just stab it?"

"No," said Shawn immediately. "I tried that the first time and he stabbed the egg all right but his fork went straight through his plate and the table. No one else was here luckily, so I cleaned it up and gave him the paper plate instead. That's why I told him to go slow so he doesn't break any more dishes or makes anymore holes in the table," Shawn said pointing to four little holes off to the side of Hunter that went clear through.

"I'm really sorry about that Sir," said Hunter trembling a little.

"It's okay Hunter it was an accident, you aren't in trouble," said Tommy smiling knowing he was going to have to get some wood putty to fill those holes up.

Shawn leaned over and whispered into Tommy's ear, "He was really afraid when it happened, he thought I was gonna beat him or something."

"Shawn don't whisper in front of Hunter it isn't polite and he heard you anyway," Tommy said.

"But I said it really quietly..." said Shawn.

"Hunter you heard every word he said didn't you?" asked Tommy interrupting Shawn.

"Yes Sir, not only did I hear what the sir said but I can also hear that one of the sirs has just been flatulent as he went into the shower upstairs," Hunter said carefully cutting his toast into four pieces.

"Flatulent? You mean farted?" Shawn said as he made a face as if he smelled it.

"Farted sir, I don't quite recall ever using that word, but I do understand what you mean, yes he farted sir," said Hunter with a straight face, causing both Shawn and Tommy to laugh aloud.

As both boys regained control of their hysterics Shawn spoke up.

"TJ, why would Hunter think that?" asked Shawn.

"Think what Cutie?"

"That I would beat him," said Shawn.

"Cutie you don't want to know, I know and I really wish that I didn't," Tommy said quietly.

"That bad huh," said Shawn with surprise.

"Worse, believe me it's much worse. Cutie you have enough nightmares I don't want you to have anymore so let's not talk about that anymore, okay?" Tommy said watching Hunter try to get the last quarter of a piece of toast into his mouth without spilling a crumb. "Hunter just cut that in half then eat it."

"Yes Sir," replied Hunter doing just that.

"Okay Hunter since you are done eating let's clean up your dishes," Tommy said as he rinsed out the pan Shawn had used to make the eggs. Tommy then showed Hunter how to rinse off his dishes and put them into the dishwasher. Tommy looked at Hunter and took a wet washcloth to clean up the food that Hunter had somehow managed to get plastered over his hands and face.

"Hey can Hunter borrow your shoes and jacket since he doesn't have any of his own yet?" Tommy asked Shawn.

"Sure TJ, here are the shoes and my jacket is in the closet by the door," said Shawn taking off his shoes and handing them to Tommy.

"You mean it's actually where it belongs?" said Tommy incredulously.

"Yes it is, surprising isn't it," laughed Shawn sticking his tongue out at Tommy.

"Thanks Cutie, you have fun playing I'm going to take Hunter over to Bryan's now," Tommy said as he finished putting Shawn's shoes on Hunter which were actually a very good fit.

"You too TJ," Shawn said as he headed out to the game room.

Once Tommy had Hunter dressed and ready to go he stuck his head into the game room and said, "When I get back I expect those other dishes to be rinsed and inside the dishwasher or somebody's going to be in trouble." Hearing some grumbling accents Tommy took Hunter by the hand and walked him to the garage, then put him in the truck, belting him in. Once Tommy was in the truck, he opened the garage door and slowly backed out of the drive.

"Excuse me Sir."

"Yes Hunter?"

"You really should have your seatbelt on Sir. If you had been wearing it yesterday you wouldn't have been hurt nearly as bad."

"You're right. You're a good boy Hunter. Thanks," Tommy said as he put his seatbelt on and smiled at Hunter.

"You are welcome Sir," Hunter said smiling back, making Tommy's heart ache with joy for some reason.

As Tommy drove up the hill, Hunter became very quiet. Once it was obvious which house they were headed to Hunter just started screaming and curled into a little ball on the seat next to Tommy. Tommy immediately stopped the truck and pulled over. He raised the steering wheel up, unbuckled Hunter, and then quickly pulled him into his lap.

"Hunter it's okay, what's wrong?" Tommy said apprehensively as he rocked Hunter in his lap trying to understand what Hunter was saying.

"I'm sorry Sir, I didn't mean it, please forgive me Sir, whatever I did I'll never do again, don't send me back there, you said I was a good boy, I wasn't bad, don't send me back to the bad room, PLEASE SIR PLEASE, I'm sorry," Hunter sobbed disconsolately rambling on.

"Hunter calm down nothing is going to happen to you, you are a good boy, what are you talking about?" said Tommy.

"Hunter is a good boy, Hunter will fix whatever Hunter did wrong, Master said Hunter good boy not bad, please don't send Hunter back to the bad room, no hurt Hunter, Hunter good boy, Hunter obey, Hunter do whatever Master want just don't send to bad room, Hunter is so sorry Master," Hunter wailed.

Hunter's cries just tore into Tommy's heart. He had never heard such anguish and pain. Never in Tommy's life had he seen such abject terror as he saw in Hunter's eyes right then and he fervently prayed that he would never see it again. Hunter's starting to talk about himself in the third person really started to freak Tommy out as he worried about Hunter's sanity. Then a rage started to burn within Tommy as he thought of the people who did this to Hunter and how badly they must have treated him to get him like this. At that moment, Tommy would have gladly killed every last one of them with his bare hands for what they must have done to Hunter. How anyone could have treated a poor little angel like Hunter must have been to get him to this condition was beyond Tommy's understanding, but he knew if he ever found one of them alive, he would kill them without a moment's remorse. As Hunter kept crying and babbling Tommy cried out in his mind screaming `help' since he couldn't do it without making Hunter even worse, if that was possible. `Stop him Tommy, stop him, quickly before it is too late,' came a strangely familiar voice inside Tommy's head.

"Hunter, STOP IT," Tommy ordered him forcefully as Hunter immediately quieted down and trembled looking at Tommy. "Hunter you are safe, you are not going to the bad room, I am right here, nothing bad is going to happen to you. Nod your head if you understand me," Tommy commanded. After getting a little nod from Hunter Tommy continued, "Now I want you to slowly tell me why you are so afraid," Tommy told Hunter.

"House... tunnel... bad room," Hunter whimpered as he held tightly onto Tommy making his ribs start to ache.

"Hunter... too tight... please, not so hard!" Tommy said gasping for breath.

"Sorry Sir," Hunter sobbed releasing his hold on Tommy.

"That house has a tunnel that leads to the bad room? Is that right Hunter?" Tommy asked a little more gently, grateful that Hunter was at least able to make some sense now. The pieces finally clicked together in Tommy's head, as he understood that Bryan's house must have been the house of the scientist who used to take Hunter to the bad room. After getting another nod Tommy said forcefully, "Hunter, look at me. You are NOT going to the bad room, and even if you did go to the bad room nothing bad would happen to YOU. I WON'T allow it. You are going to be all right Hunter. I won't let anything bad happen to you."

"Yes Sir," mumbled Hunter softly causing a surge of joy to go through Tommy, as his little angel seemed to be on the way back.

Tommy just held Hunter in his arms gently rocking him, rubbing his back, kissing his head and saying, "it's okay, you are safe with me," over and over again as Hunter continued to recover from his meltdown. Tommy thought in his head `Trevor is that you?' After not hearing anything, Tommy just went back to trying to comfort Hunter deciding it must have been his imagination.

After awhile Hunter calmed down enough for Tommy to talk to him again.

"Hunter, are you okay now?" asked Tommy gently.

"Yes Sir," Hunter said hesitantly.

"You understand that you aren't going to the bad room, right?"

"Yes Sir, not going to bad room, I'm a good boy."

"That's right, you are a good boy, but we are still going to go into the house and meet Bryan and his family, okay?"

"Yes Sir, important DO this, no let fear stop me."

"Good boy, now they don't know about the tunnel and bad room so I don't want you to say anything about them, or the extraordinary things you can do, okay?" asked Tommy grabbing some tissues he had in the car and started to gently wipe Hunter's face.

"Yes Sir, I understand."

"Good, then let's go meet them," said Tommy as he helped Hunter into his seat and drove the little ways to Bryan's house.

They got out of the truck walked up close to the door and stopped. Tommy turned to look at Hunter who had stopped a few feet behind him. Hunter took a deep breath and then took the last few steps to Bryan's front door. Tommy reached out and pushed the doorbell.

Meanwhile back on the farm...

It was shortly after 8am as Cameron and Chase were busy finishing feeding and cleaning up after the animals on their farm. Chance was making some breakfast for everyone when suddenly a soft boom could be heard off in the distance.

"Cam, what was that?" asked Chase a little worried.

"I don't know, but let's go find out," Cameron replied as he put down the shovel he had been using and headed towards the door. As he got to the door, he grabbed the shotgun he carried around with him whenever he left the house.

"Do you think it could have been one of the cows lying down and knocking down something?" Chase asked hopefully.

"No Chase, it didn't sound right for that," said Cameron, as he double checked that the shotgun was loaded and ready to be used. Twice, since the time Tommy and Shawn had been there and a half-baked showed up, Cameron had to deal with a half-baked stumbling onto their farm. He had been able to scare one of them off, as it had been injured somehow earlier, the other he had been forced to kill. Having grown up on the farm, and being used to helping kill the animals with his Dad, Cameron just saw killing the half-baked as putting down a sick animal so he lost very little sleep over it. He had taken to patrolling the farm at least once a day, but had not seen the injured one or any evidence of it around since. He did stumble on a group of five half-baked once but luckily, they had all been dead. Being an experienced hunter, due to his Father's demanding that he accompany him on his own hunts, he looked around and could have sworn that he saw a child's bare footprint in the snow but was unable to follow it more than a few steps around the bodies before he lost the track. When he went by that area a few days later, the bodies were gone, so he just assumed that some animals had dragged them off. All this had been putting Cameron on edge lately and he had been snapping at his brothers a little more than he really should have.

"Chase stay behind me and give Chance a call, tell him we are gonna check out that noise and for him to secure the house," Cameron said sharply.

"Okay Cam," Chase said as he grabbed his walkie-talkie that they used to communicate to each other around the farm. "Chance you there?" Chase said.

"What is it Chase?" Chance responded.

"Did you hear a noise?" asked Chase.

"Yeah, I thought it was just you guys tipping the cows again."

"No it wasn't us, Cam and I are gonna check it out. Cam wants you to secure the house."

"Okay, you guys be careful and call me if you need some backup," Chance said worriedly.

"You know it," said Chase as he quietly followed his big brother out of the barn. They looked around a bit then Chase gasped and pointed. Cameron looked and saw a huge column of smoke rise into the air from the direction of the city.

"Well, it looks like something must have blow up in the city but we better check around to just be sure. Call Chance back and tell him," Cameron told Chase.

"Are we safe here Cam?" Chase asked trembling a little.

Cameron turned to look at his brother and said, "Yep, we are safe here. That's quite a few miles away from us so don't worry," giving his little brother a quick hug to reassure him.

 "Thanks Cam," Chase said hugging his brother back. "Chance everything is okay," Chase said into the walkie-talkie.

"Good, so what was it?"

"Something blew up in the city, but it's too far away to bother us here."

"Well that's good to hear," the walk-talkie squawked back.

"Tell me about it, I was so scared I almost shit my pants," laughed Chase. "We are just gonna finish looking around to just be sure, so we will be done in a few minutes. The food better be ready, since I'm really hungry now," Chase joked.

"It's ready, you little pig. I'll see you guys soon," Chance said, "Chance out."

"Chase out."

"You know you guys annoy the piss out of me when you do that," Cameron said annoyingly to Chase.

"Why do you think we do it!" he teased back as he put some distance between himself and his brother for a second, as to not get hit if Cameron decided to swing at him for his wiseass response. He then hooked the walkie-talkie back to his belt and followed closely behind Cameron, as they finished looking around the farm. Everything seemed to be in order so they headed back to the house for some food.

Once they got in Cameron said, "you guys go eat I need to call DJ to make sure they are okay." Cameron had been really worried about his lover once he saw the smoke but he needed to first make sure his little brothers were safe before he could give DJ a call.

Cameron called DJ and waited for him to answer but he didn't get one. Cameron was really starting to freak a little as he tried again to call DJ moments later.

"DJ, are you alright?" blurted Cameron after the first ring when DJ finally answered.

"Oh thank God it's you Cam. Yeah, we are fine here but are you guys okay?" DJ said quickly.

"Yeah, everyone here is safe but what happened? We heard a small boom and then a cloud of smoke over by you."

"Do you remember that old propane plant on the outskirts of town?"

"Of course, my Dad used to take us there to fill up on propane sometimes."

"Well it somehow blew-up," said DJ.

"Really, but you guys are okay right?" asked Cameron worriedly.

"We are fine, just a little shook up about it but otherwise okay. Some of the little guys are still afraid especially after the second explosion."

"Second, we only heard one."

"Well, you guys are probably too far away to have heard the second one, it was a lot smaller than the first," said DJ.

"I'm really happy to find out that you are safe. I was really worried about you."

"Well if you were so worried why did it take you so long to call?" asked DJ.

"Hey I called just as soon as I made sure my brothers were safe, why didn't you call me?" Cameron said indignantly.

"Well I would have but I have been tearing apart my room looking for my phone. I tried calling your home phone from ours but it wouldn't connect for some reason and I didn't remember your cell number. If you hadn't called I would probably be still looking for it."

"Oh I'm sorry. I should have told you that the home phone isn't working anymore. A tree fell on the line and broke it and I don't know how to fix that. So where was your phone hiding?"

"I found it in my shoe under my bed," DJ mumbled. "I don't know how it got there but if you didn't call it probably would have been awhile before I found it."

"Why didn't you just borrow Tommy's phone?" asked Cameron.

"I would have but he had already left with Hunter to go over to Bryan's."

"Hunter? Who's that?"

"That's right, you don't know about him yet. Well, Tommy found him yesterday when he was trying to get some medicine for Kyle."

"What happened to Kyle?" asked Cameron with extreme concern.

"From what Ben said he somehow got poisoned over in the greenhouse."

"Poisoned! Oh my God, is he okay," Cameron said in a panic.

"Yeah, he's okay now. Ben thought for sure that he was gonna die but whatever Tommy found must have been pretty good as he looks and acts fine now, just a little tired sometimes," said DJ nonchalantly.

"Wow, I'm glad that Kyle is doing okay but tell me about Hunter."

"Well he's about the same size as Shawn but he's 11 years old. He has a mop of black hair and the greenest eyes I have ever seen. He's also very afraid for some reason. He has been on his own since the comet until Tommy found him yesterday. So, I guess his being afraid is understandable. He also calls everyone sir, though he says it differently when he talks to Tommy somehow."

"Well he sounds nice enough and if I had been all alone since the comet I would be a little afraid too," Cameron said.

"Oh yeah, he doesn't like to wear clothes for some reason," DJ said laughing a little thinking about the scene in Tommy's room, which once again started blood to flow to his lower region, causing him to adjust himself.

"Maybe he was raised as a nudist before the comet?"

"Maybe, but there is something else about him, just a strange feeling I get when I'm by him, like there is something a little off about him."

"Well if the roads aren't too bad I'll pack up the boys and come visit you tomorrow. Then we can meet him and hopefully my little brothers can play with the boys there and we can spend some quality time together in your room," suggested Cameron.

"Now that sounds like a real good idea. I have really wanted to get together with you again," DJ said huskily.

"Me too," replied Cameron. "If you two don't stop that I'm gonna spank both your asses," Cameron suddenly shouted to the kitchen. "Well I better go as I can hear my brothers shouting about something in the kitchen. Probably about who got a bigger piece of the ham. I will see you soon, love you."

"Love you too," DJ said quietly, "bye."

Back over at Bryan's house...

"Hi Tommy, and you must be Hunter. Welcome to our home," Bryan said smiling.

"Yes sir," Hunter replied quietly.

"Thanks Bryan, how is everyone over here?" Tommy asked as he ushered Hunter in and helped take off his jacket.

"A little shaken up, especially Austin and Jose but otherwise we are okay," Bryan said as he closed the door and took their jackets to hang up. "Hey everybody, come on down, we have guests," Bryan shouted up the stairs startling Joel and making him cry. "You would think I would know better by now," said Bryan, mentally kicking himself in the butt. "You guys take a seat while I take care of little Joel. You know he was the only one who took the explosions in town without a bother," laughed Bryan.

"Hunter was the only one who wasn't scared in our house and Caleb. Caleb only because he slept through both," joked Tommy.

"He must be able to sleep through anything then," laughed Bryan.

"That's just what Shawn said," Tommy chuckled.

Tommy sat down on the couch and motioned for Hunter to sit next to him as he heard the boys upstairs leaving their rooms and come down to the living room where he was. As they came down, they gave little waves to Hunter and said "hi" to Tommy. Ryan went so far as to go over to Tommy and give him a hug, which made Tommy feel pretty good. Kate was the last one to come down carrying Austin in her arms. Tommy could see the stress in their faces but could see out of all of them only Austin seemed okay. He figured that Kate's holding him was causing that since Bryan said Austin was really afraid earlier.

"Well everyone, this is Hunter. I found him while I was on my way back from getting some medicine for Kyle," Tommy started to say.

"We heard about how bad Kyle was. Is he actually doing okay?" Kate said interrupting Tommy.

"He wasn't that bad and the medicine seems to have made him better now. What you heard was probably exaggerated. You know how easily that happens. I was really freaked out about it, but I'm better now," said Tommy easily.

"Oh that's so good to hear, we were really worried about him," Kate said, "sorry for interrupting you."

"That's okay Kate," Tommy said smiling, "well Hunter is 11 and as far as I know, he has been alone since the comet. I have kinda adopted him so he will be staying in my house. I guess it's time for the formal introductions." Taking Hunter by the hand Tommy led him over by Kate and said, "Hunter this pretty lady is Kate, she is kinda the mom of the neighborhood."

"Hello ma'am, I'm honored to make your acquaintance," said Hunter politely.

"Well it is an honor to meet you too," Kate said blushing from Tommy's comment and taken aback a bit from Hunter's formality. "Aren't you just the cutest thing," Kate said smiling as she reached out and gently touched Hunter's face causing Hunter to gasp a little, take a step back towards Tommy, and tighten up in fear. "I'm sorry Hunter, I didn't mean to scare you," said Kate gently, worried for the little angel in front of her.

"It's okay Hunter, you are safe, just relax," Tommy said gently calming Hunter down.

"Yes Sir," Hunter said to Tommy and "Thank you ma'am," to Kate as the atmosphere in the room relaxed a little from the sudden tenseness of moments before. "She is pregnant Sir," Hunter blurted out to Tommy getting startling gasps from the others.

"Is that true Katie," asked Bryan suddenly.

"Yes dear, it's true. I just found out this morning. I was going to tell you tonight but how did he know?" said Kate in a perplexed and shocked tone.

"Congratulations Kate and you too Bryan, I'm so happy for you," Tommy said quickly. The rest of the boys all cheered and congratulated them also as Tommy was thankful that it pulled attention away from how Hunter knew. After things calmed down a bit Tommy continued the introductions.

"The little guy in Kate's lap is Austin and that is Jose sitting by her feet," Tommy said.

"It is good to meet you sirs," Hunter said to them.

"Hi Hunter," said Jose as Austin said, "Hi," and waved to him.

"Over here are the twins from this house Ryan and Todd," said Tommy pointing to each in turn.

"Hello sirs, it is nice to meet the two of you," said Hunter politely.

"Hiiii Hunterrrr," said Ryan weirdly, as he adjusting himself, getting a strange look from his brother and a few others. Todd however, just said, "Hello there," as a few of the others laughed.

"This is Mike," Tommy said.

"Hello sir," said Hunter uncertainly.

"Hi there Hunter," Mike said devouring the little angel with his eyes.

"Over here is Matt," Tommy said quickly not sure he liked how Mike was looking at Hunter.

"It is an honor to finally meet you sir," Hunter said to Matt.

"Nice to meet you too Hunter," Matt said holding out his hand to Hunter with a puzzled look on his face.

Hunter surprised Tommy by slowly taking a step forward and quickly shaking Matt's hand before he quickly stepped back to be right by Tommy's side touching him for comfort.

"You have already met Kate's husband, Bryan," Tommy said smiling to Hunter.

"I am honored to meet you sir, thank you for welcoming me into your home," Hunter said warmly.

"You are very welcome Hunter and this little fussy bundle of joy is my son Joel," Bryan said kneeling down in front of Hunter showing him the baby. As Hunter stared down at the baby, a strange expression came over his face. Joel was just staring right back at Hunter cooing and giggling a little as he stopped fussing as soon as he saw Hunter. "Looks like Joel likes you Hunter," Bryan said smiling at one of the most beautiful boys he had ever seen. Bryan had the sudden thought that if he was 9 years younger and was interested in other boys, Hunter would definitely be someone he would want to get to know better that way.

"Hunter, you look like you haven't seen a little baby before," said Kate smiling as Bryan got back up to sit in his chair with Joel.

"I haven't' ma'am, at least none still alive," Hunter said matter-of-factly. Hearing the gasps of the others, he knew that he screwed up again and shouldn't have said that. Feeling Tommy's comforting hand on his shoulder he calmed down some after tensing up from his mistake.

"Well then, I made a chocolate cake to welcome you so why don't we go to the kitchen/dinning room and have some with a little ice cream," Kate said quickly changing the subject.

As everyone got up and headed over there, Hunter whispered to Tommy, "What's `ice cream'?"

"It's good, I think you will like it," Tommy whispered back.

"What kind of ice cream would you like Hunter, I have some vanilla or strawberry here," asked Kate as the others all sat around the table and Bryan put Joel in his highchair.

"I don't know, ma'am," Hunter said sadly.

"What did you say dear?" Kate said as she got out the dishes for everyone and handed Bryan the knife to cut the cake.

"He's never had ice cream before Kate, so why don't you give him a little of each," Tommy said getting some gasps of disbelief from the other boys.

Kate fixed the plates of cake and ice cream for everyone after asking what each boy wanted, and then she and Bryan handed them out to everyone. They all enjoyed the snack very much and Hunter did try to eat slowly as Shawn taught him in the beginning. After seeing Joel using his hands and fingers to eat his cake and ice cream Hunter put down the spoon and dove in with his own. After seeing Hunter eat, Kate got up and put one of Joel's bibs on him to try to keep the mess to a minimum, causing some of the boys to giggle. After most of the boys had at least two servings and Hunter had five, since Kate kept giving him more, all the cake and ice cream was gone. Tommy was a little embarrassed with Hunter's table manners but Kate and Bryan didn't seem to mind at all, though the other boys were a little startled by how Hunter fed himself. In the end, it was a toss up between Joel and Hunter as to who was the messier. They both had cake and melted ice cream all over themselves. Kate just handed a wet cloth to both Bryan and Tommy as they started to clean up Joel and Hunter. Kate got a washcloth for herself, and went to help Tommy clean up Hunter's hair. He had gotten some in it when he was licking his and Tommy's plate clean, as he grabbed Tommy's plate before Tommy could stop him.

"You know Tommy; his hair is getting a little long. You should bring him over next time one of the boys needs a trim and I'll do his too," Kate said thoughtfully feeling Hunter's hair. "I have never felt hair so soft and look how thick it is, I would do it now but I know you want to get back to your brother," said Kate smiling down at Hunter as she and Tommy finished wiping him clean.

"I'll do that Kate," Tommy said, "thank you for having us over, and especially for the cake and ice cream. You're right, its well past noon, we better be getting back home. Come on Hunter let's go get you in your jacket," said Tommy giving Kate a hug and extra congratulation on her upcoming pregnancy before he headed for the door.

"Oh Tommy wait," shouted Kate from the kitchen. "I made a cake for Kyle after I heard he was doing better. It's not much, but I just didn't know what else to do," she said a little embarrassed. "It's a big sheet cake, so all your boys should be able to have some but make sure Kyle gets the biggest piece. Someone was supposed to bring it over last night but he forgot," Kate said giving Todd a fake mean look.

"Sorry I forgot Kate, I didn't mean it," Todd said.

"That's okay honey, it happens," Kate said, smiling at Todd. Then to the other boys she said, "and if you boys are over there when they serve it, don't take any unless there is enough for all of Tommy's boys since you just had some," getting some response from them.

"Thanks Kate, the boys will really appreciate it and congratulations again on the new baby. Here Hunter can you put this in the truck and get yourself in, I'll be right there," seeing that Bryan wanted to talk to him. "What is it Bryan," once they were alone.

"Is he okay?" asked Bryan. "It's just with what he said earlier and his lack of most social skills, I'm a little worried about him and I know Kate is. How did he know Kate was pregnant?"

"Lucky guess?" said Tommy lamely clearly seeing that Bryan didn't believe that for a minute.

"If you say so Tommy," Bryan said.

"Don't worry Bryan he's gonna be okay. I'll look after him."

"I know you will Tommy but we both want you to know if you need any help just ask and we will be there for you, and that goes for any of your boys, not just Hunter," Bryan said kindly.

"Thanks Bryan, that really means a lot to me and I really appreciate it. If I think I need any help I'll give you a call and that goes for you too if you need any help with your boys I'm just a call away."

"Thanks Tommy, I'll do that. You will know right after Kate, I promise. I still have a long ways to go before I get even close to the relationship that you have with your boys," said Bryan bemusedly thinking of Kate's pregnancy.

"You will get there Bryan, just be patient with them. It takes time to earn their trust," said Tommy as he thought `it doesn't hurt to save their lives too.'

"Oh before I forget, I talked to Cody earlier today and they are on their way. Denny isn't doing very well but Danny seems to be on the mend. They found a big plow truck, which they are going to use to clear the road for the RV they are taking along with a SUV they are towing behind. Hopefully, they will be here in a couple days. Kate and I feel terrible about what's happened to them. We keep telling each other that we should have taken them all with us and not left half of them."

"Don't beat yourself up about it, what's done is done. Once they get here we can just concentrate on getting Denny and Danny better," though Tommy couldn't have agreed more with Bryan, they really should have brought them all. "Well I better go now, I'll see ya later."

After Tommy had gotten in his truck he turned to Hunter as he said, "You heard what Bryan and I were saying didn't you?"

"Yes Sir," Hunter replied.

"Hunter exactly how good is your hearing?"

"If I pay attention to it I can tell you what each of their heart rates are Sir."

"And if you don't pay attention?"

"Then I can hear your heartbeat but not theirs, but if you wanted I could repeat what they are saying Sir."

"What about the boys in our home?"

"No Sir, that's too far but I can tell you what they are talking about a little if I concentrate real hard."

Tommy was quiet for a bit as he pulled out of Bryan's drive and started back to his house when he pulled over and looked at Hunter again.

"Hunter before yesterday had you ever used a fork or spoon to eat your food?" Tommy asked suddenly.

"No Sir," replied Hunter. "I had always just used my hands and mouth to eat the food I was given or what I could catch."

"Were you given much food?"

"No Sir, we had to fight with each other most of the time to get some food and we didn't have much time so we had to eat fast or go hungry. I didn't like the fighting so I went hungry a lot. Sometimes they would let us outside and we were able to eat whatever we could catch with our hands as long as no one else saw us. They usually had a lot of people looking for us, but as long as we weren't seen, we could eat what we caught. Those were good times because I would always catch more than even I could eat. So I shared my extra with the boys and girls who couldn't hunt as well as I could, even though they would beat me when they caught me doing that, which they usually did."

"What did you catch Hunter?"

"It depended on where we were Sir. Sometimes it was fish, squirrels, rabbits, rats, snakes. You know little animals like that. Other times it would be deer, wolves, and sometimes a bear or other large animal. One time, they took a couple of us and we attacked a pride of lions. I liked crawling and petting them as they tried to knock me off. I really didn't like killing them, even if we got to eat them afterwards."

As Tommy thought about that for a while he said, "Hunter when I first saw you I got into an accident, what really happened?"

"Well Sir, you lost control of your vehicle and slammed into a huge snow bank. I then went to see you and saw that you were hurt very bad. You would have died within a couple of hours without serious medical attention. Even then, you would have been paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of your life, probably. I then healed you and then dragged your vehicle out of the snow bank and into the middle of the road. After that, I pushed out the major dents in your truck and straightened your steering wheel. The pain was too much for me then and I passed out in front of your door. We both came too and after a few questions you said that you would take care of me," said Hunter suddenly happy and giving Tommy a big smile making Tommy's heart just melt as he felt suddenly exuberant and hugged the boy for saving his life.

"I want to thank you for telling me and saving my life Hunter, as you know a lot of the boys count on me so... I can't even imagine how things would have turned out otherwise."

"You are welcome Sir. I was glad to help, though I think you have done far more for me than I could have done for you. Especially since you are pretty much the first person I have been with who said they wouldn't beat me and has actually done what they have said."

"How come you didn't pass out right away, like you did with Kyle when you healed me?"

"You weren't as bad off as he had been Sir, and you were the first one I had healed. Whereas, he was the second one I healed in a very short period of time. His healing was much more extensive and more painful which is why I passed out immediately after I healed the young sir."

"Why didn't I have that period of tiredness like Kyle did?"

"I had time to do it slowly with you Sir, that's why you passed out in the beginning but didn't feel it afterwards. With your brother Sir, I had only moments left to heal him or let him die, so I had to do it all at once."

"I am curious, how strong are you?"

"Strong enough to pull your truck out of a snow bank Sir," Hunter replied vaguely.

"Hunter, how good are you at picking locks?" Tommy asked suddenly.

"Very good Sir," Hunter said confidently.

"What would you need to pick a lock for me?"

"It depends on the situation sir. If it was just a simple mechanical lock I would just need a paper clip but if it's more complicated like an electromechanical lock I might need a little more than that Sir."

"Do you think you could open a door in the house for me, but not let anyone else know about it?"

"Easily Sir," said Hunter boldly.

"Good, when we get home I want you to pick the lock on the door at the end of the hall opposite from my door, but don't let anyone see you doing it. Then I want you to come get me and together we will go up into the attic to look around some. Hopefully without the others learning," Tommy said thinking he should make an appearance so no one can question what he is about to do.

"Very well Sir."

Tommy then started driving the rest of the way back home. He and Hunter got out of the truck and went into the house. Tommy went into the kitchen carrying Kyle's cake as Hunter went to take care of the door. When Shawn came into the kitchen to get a glass of water he immediately jumped into Tommy's arms.

"Hey TJ, I missed you," Shawn said hugging Tommy tightly.

"I wasn't gone that long Cutie," laughed Tommy giving Shawn a kiss.

"Long enough... Oh cool cake!" said Shawn excitedly as he ran over to it and dipped his finger into the frosting.

"Shawn stop that, Kate made that cake special for Kyle," Tommy said sharply.

"Sorry TJ," said Shawn as he licked off the frosting on his finger looking like he just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, making Tommy laugh at him.

"That's okay Shawn. Just put the foil back over it to keep it fresh. We will eat it after dinner," Tommy told him surprised to see Hunter back already. After seeing a little nod from Hunter, Tommy knew everything was ready.

"What are you doing Shawn?" asked Tommy.

"We just started another game tournament when Ryan and Todd came over. I could ask if they would restart it so you and Hunter can join us if you want to," offered Shawn.

"That's okay Cutie, you go have fun playing your game, you know I don't like playing them that much," Tommy said.

"Okay TJ, see you later," Shawn said as he headed off to the game room.

"Here Hunter drink this, I'll be back in a few minutes," Tommy said as he handed him a glass of milk. "And drink it slowly so you don't spill it all over yourself."

"Yes Sir," Hunter said.

Tommy then went to the game room to see most of the boys there cheering or booing as Jon and Billy were battling it out in some martial arts game. Since everything seemed fine, he left them there and went to his brother's room. After knocking and hearing Kyle say, "come in," Tommy entered. Sitting on the floor there in the outer room were Luke and Kyle playing some shooter game as Patches snored on the couch.

"Hey bro, what's up?" asked Kyle.

"Just checking up on you, how you feelin?"

"Great, probably as good as you feel. Maybe we should have Hunter heal everyone once in awhile to make sure no one gets sick," Kyle said smiling at his brother.

"Yeah that's a good idea. He could start with Caleb since he's... got... a... cold..." Luke trailed off seeing the look on Tommy's face. "I guess not, huh?"

"Guys don't ever say that again please. You don't understand, when Hunter heals someone else it hurts him more than you can imagine. He's had a hard enough life, we don't need to make his life more painful if we can prevent it," said Tommy feeling suddenly very sad.

"Are you okay Thomas?" Kyle asked suddenly concerned for his brother.

"Yeah Kyle, I'll be okay, I got a lot on my mind right now. I just wanted to check on you, make sure you were doing alright," Tommy said tiredly.

"Did everything go okay at Bryan's?" asked Luke with concern.

"Pretty much, he made a few mistakes but nothing too big. Oh Kate's pregnant again," Tommy said.

"That's great, isn't it?" asked Luke seeing the sad look on Tommy's face.

"Yeah Luke, it is," Tommy said smiling at Luke. "Well I gotta do some stuff you guys take it easy. I'll check on you later Kyle."

"Okay TJ," Kyle said going back to playing his game with Luke. Kyle knew something was bothering his brother and he figured it had something to do with Hunter. He would wait a little bit to give Tommy some time to tell him on his own before he confronted Tommy with it.

Tommy left his brother's room running into DJ who was coming in from outside. DJ told him that the smoke over the city was all but gone now. He acknowledged that with a thank you but nothing more as he walked by causing DJ to wonder what was wrong, but he decided to leave it go for now. Tommy disappeared into the kitchen and out of DJ's sight. Tommy got Hunter, and then headed upstairs. Instead of heading towards the attic door Tommy instead turned the other way and went to Shawn's door. He knocked and hearing Caleb say, "Come in" entered the room followed by Hunter.

"Hi Tommy," Caleb said smiling. "Oh sorry Hunter, I didn't see you behind Tommy," said Caleb.

"Thank you sir," Hunter replied.

"Hi, I just wanted to check up on you to make sure you are doing okay," Tommy said.

"I'm doing better than this morning. Ben was up here a little while ago and said my temperature has gone down. He also brought me some lunch, which was really nice of him. It's kinda boring just getting stuck in here though."

"I know Caleb, but if you don't have a temperature tomorrow then you can go back to your usual routine, otherwise you are stuck here for another day."

"Well I hope I'm better tomorrow then, as I don't want to spend another day alone again," Caleb said sadly.

"So do I Caleb but I better go so I don't catch anything," Tommy said leaving the room.

After closing the door Tommy turned to Hunter and whispered, "Is it safe to go up there now?"

Hunter closed his eyes for a moment and said, "Yes Sir, the sick sir is the only other person upstairs and he is lying down again. All the others are downstairs and seem to be busy playing."

"Okay then let's go," Tommy said as he and Hunter quietly walked down the hallway to the attic door. Tommy gently opened the door so that it wouldn't squeak and flipped the light-switch on. Hunter headed up to the attic, as Tommy quietly locked the door shut behind him. They climbed the stairs until it opened up into a rather large attic. Tommy could easily stand up in it and walk around. The ceiling, while sloped, was finished so that you didn't see the rafters. The floor was actually covered in carpet. The entire room was very nice with a window and about a 20 foot square of usable space. The opposite wall from the stairs was covered up but had a little door in it. As Tommy worked his way to the door, he saw that beyond it were some boards and the rest of the unfinished attic. Inside the room were a sleeper couch, a couple empty dressers, a few chairs, and a bunch of boxes. Tommy started looking through things as Hunter sat in the chair and watched. As Tommy was going through his third box of miscellaneous stuff, he glanced at Hunter to see him curled up on the chair fast asleep. The only problem was that Hunter was apparently having another nightmare whimpering, "No... please stop... I'm not a bad boy anymore..." so Tommy went over to him and said gently, "Wake up Hunter, you are having a nightmare."

This of course, caused Hunter to jump up and say, "Awaiting orders sir." Realizing that he had fallen asleep Hunter quickly added, "I'm sorry Sir, I know I didn't have permission to rest. It won't happen again," standing at attention trembling a little in fear.

"That's okay Hunter, you are now allowed to rest when you are tired, understand?"

"Yes Sir, you really mean that when I get tired I can rest and won't get in trouble for it?" Hunter replied in a tone of disbelief.

"That's right Hunter, you won't get in trouble for being tired and needing rest anymore. Now help me move these boxes over by the couch."

"Yes Sir," Hunter said happily, making Tommy feel very good.

Once all the boxes and a rather heavy chest that Tommy found buried under the boxes, that Hunter picked up and carried with apparent ease, were situated how Tommy liked he sat down on the couch and motioned for Hunter to sit next to him.

"Okay Hunter, you can take a nap next to me while I go through these boxes," Tommy told Hunter kindly. "There is something I want you to understand starting right now. I want you to know, I appreciate how you call me sir but I think its time to change it. When we go back down into the house I want you to spend the day observing the other boys and how they act. Now, I want to make it clear that you do not have to act like them, but at the same time, I want you to realize that how they act is what I would call normal. I think its time for you to try to act more normal now and the first part of that is going to be learned by watching the other boys for a while, okay Hunter?"

"Yes Sir, thank you Sir," he said to Tommy.

"Let's start there first Hunter by trying to cut back on how many times you call me sir."

"Yes Sir, I will try," said Hunter smiling at Tommy making his heart fill with joy.

Tommy watched as Hunter curled into a ball next to him and fell asleep in moments. He marveled at how the little angel could fall asleep so fast and just watched him sleep for a while. Tommy was feeling more content just watching Hunter sleep than he had in quite some time. He then started going through the remaining boxes looking at old photos, going though old clothes many that were still in rather good shape just about 100 years out of style Tommy thought, and other keepsakes. Tommy noticed that Jon was right. The entire time Tommy was sitting there touching Hunter, the little angel didn't squirm or cry out in fear or pain at all. Except, for one time, when Tommy had to get up to grab a box that was out of his reach but as soon as he sat down again and was touching Hunter the little boy calmed down. Tommy again felt a great anger at the people who must have done this to Hunter but he calmed down as he watched the boy sleep. After about two hours of going through the boxes all that was left was the chest. Tommy looked in the chest and saw a drawer filled with old legal papers but when he looked under it, he saw why the chest was so heavy. Taking up the bottom two-thirds of the chest was a safe. Tommy then turned to his sleeping angel and slowly began to rub his chest.


"Time to wake up little one," Tommy said gently as Hunter's eyes fluttered open. Upon seeing his master before him, Hunter just smiled and looked up at Tommy with adoration. Tommy's heart was filled with a feeling of joy as he gazed down at Hunter realizing that he was starting to fall in love with this strange little boy. "Did you have a nice nap my little angel?" Tommy asked.

"Yes Sir, it was the best rest I have ever had," replied Hunter giving a bigger smile, making Tommy feel even better.

"I'm glad Hunter, you certainly deserved it. Now can you open this for me please," said Tommy nodding at the safe.

"Of course Sir, I would be happy to do that for you," Hunter replied as he climbed out of Tommy's lap. Hunter kneeled down next to the safe and put one hand on the door, the other on the dial, then closed his eyes as he slowly turned the dial.

"Hunter what are you doing?"

"I'm using my fingers to feel when the tumblers fall into place and listening for it but it's much more difficult when I have to talk to you at the same time Sir. I could just rip the door off but that would make a lot of noise and you didn't seem to want the other sirs to know you were up here."

"Oh, sorry," Tommy said softly.

"Thank you Sir," Hunter said back as he turned the handle and opened the safe for Tommy.

"Good boy Hunter thanks," Tommy said moving closer to see what was inside it.

"I'm a good boy Sir," Hunter said happily.

"Yes you are," said Tommy ruffling Hunter's hair as he started pulling things out of the safe. Tommy found a bunch of old jewelry, some stacks of money, more legal papers, and a box filled with video tapes. Tommy took the video tapes and left the rest. Then he and Hunter put the boxes and chest neatly stacked against the far wall. Tommy looked around at the room again and said, "I think this would make for a nice room for Caleb with maybe room for one more after it's cleaned up a bit. What do you think Hunter?"

"You aren't going to put me up here are you Sir?" asked Hunter worriedly.

"No Hunter, you are staying with me."

"Then I think the sick sir might like it and any of the other boys too," Hunter answered happily.

Tommy took one more look around the attic then said, "I guess it isn't up here."

"What are you looking for Sir?"

"I just had an idea that there might be some type of surveillance stuff up here."

"It's behind the little door Sir," said Hunter helpfully.

"Show me Hunter," Tommy said suddenly.

Hunter went over and opened the little door, and pointed into the darkness. Tommy grabbed the flashlight he had found earlier and lighted up the area that Hunter was pointing at. A small black rectangular box was lit up that couldn't have been more than an inch long.

"You could see that?" asked Tommy incredulously.

"Of course Sir, can't you?" asked Hunter perplexedly.

"Well yeah, now that the light is on it," said Tommy.

"Oh, I guess I can see a little better in the dark than you can Sir."

"What is that Hunter?" said Tommy as he thought `a little' the box was in pitch darkness before he lit it up.

"That is a micro satellite transceiver/receiver Sir. It can pick up the wireless signals from multiple audio and video listening devices and send that information via satellite anywhere in the world."

"How do you know that?"

"I have used them before," Hunter said flatly.

"How big would the listening devices be?"

"I have used audio ones that were as small as a couple square millimeters and the video ones just a little bigger Sir."

"So they could be hidden almost anywhere then," Tommy said.

"Yes Sir that is the idea with having them that small."

"Could you find them?"

"Yes Sir, I could find them easily if you wanted me to tear apart the house. If you wanted to spend the time, I could locate them without any damage but it would take a lot longer and be much more difficult. I could even disable them if you ordered me to Sir, though that would slow it down even more," Hunter said calmly.

"Good, then I want you to find and disable them but I don't want you to let the others know that you are doing it," Tommy said.

"Very well Sir."

"Hunter can you disable that first," Tommy said pointing at the box.

"Yes Sir," replied Hunter, as he calmly walked on the rafters over to the box and did something to it that Tommy couldn't see. Then he walked back to Tommy without ever looking at the rafters but never missing his footing.

Tommy grabbed the box of videos and said, "Okay, let's sneak out of here so I can put these in my room."

"Yes Sir," Hunter said closing his eyes for a moment. "There is one sir in the downstairs bathroom, two in your brother's room," as he suddenly blushed for some reason, "the sick one is jumping on the bed, and the rest are in the game room. It's clear to go Sir."

Tommy and Hunter quietly exited the attic, closed and locked the door, then walked down the hallway to Tommy's room. As Tommy ushered Hunter into his room, DJ came up the stairs seeing Tommy with the box of tapes.

"Cool, are you going to watch more videos?" asked DJ.

"No, not now, maybe later," said Tommy.

"Whenever you do it give me a call I would like to see them too."

"Okay DJ, I'll let you know when I am going to watch them."

"Thanks Tom. Ben almost has dinner ready if you are hungry," said DJ as he headed to the upstairs bathroom. Outside darkness was settling in signaling the end of another day.

Tommy then went into his room and put the box of videos in his closet then took Hunter's hand and walked with him downstairs to the kitchen.

"Hi Tommy, dinners about ready if you want to call the boys," said Ben.

"Okay Ben, I'll take care of that."

Tommy went around and told the boys it was time for dinner and the boys from Bryan's house should go home and eat something too. He didn't have too much trouble as the boys were planning on getting together again after dinner to finish their tournament. The boys put their games on pause and went to go wash up only grumbling a bit. Then he and Hunter set the table, as Tommy showed Hunter where everything went, making sure that Hunter had a seat next to him. As the other boys started to sit down, Ben brought out a huge bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. DJ was carrying another huge bowl but this one was filled with fruit salad. Seeing what was for dinner made Tommy rather concerned since Hunter's eating habits were still abysmal. So, Tommy got up, grabbed a spare kitchen garbage bag, and cut three holes in it. Then he had Hunter stand up, as he put the bag over him and popped his head and arms out of the holes. Some of the other boys laughed at Hunter until they saw Tommy's face, then they were suddenly very interested in something on their plates. As the food was passed around, Tommy joined in on the conversations and jokes as he kept an eye on Hunter. Hunter did try to gently stab his food and carefully move it to his mouth but it was taking a long time. He was only occasionally able to get more than a single strand of spaghetti on his fork. Hunter was getting more and more frustrated with it Tommy noticed. Tommy stopped him the first three times Hunter started to use his hands and showed him the correct way to eat it. Eventually, towards the end of the meal, Tommy just decided that Hunter wasn't going to learn how to eat with silverware in a day or two so he gave him permission to use his fingers. Hunter then was able to grab handfuls of spaghetti and fruit stuffing them into his mouth. While the other boys had heard of Hunter's eating habits, actually seeing it was something entirely different. The boys who didn't really know Hunter started to make some snide comments and laugh at him because of how he was eating, especially Zach. Tommy started to get angry again after hearing some of the things a few of the boys were whispering about Hunter. After Hunter had eaten at least twice as much as he had and was finishing licking his plate clean Tommy said, "Thanks for dinner Ben it was great as usual. I better go clean up Hunter now. You guys enjoy the cake Kate made for Kyle." Tommy got up and took Hunter into the kitchen. Seeing the flash of disappointment on Hunter's face when he mentioned the cake Tommy went over to Ben who was also getting the cake ready for the boys and whispered, "can you save a piece for Hunter please, so he can eat it later." Then he took off the garbage bag from Hunter that had actually managed to catch most of the food, except for his hands and face.

"I'll take care of it Tommy, everyone will know not to touch it," whispered Ben back.

Tommy took Hunter upstairs with him and started a shower.

As Hunter got undressed he asked, "Will you wash me again Sir?"

"Don't you think that you can do it on your own this time?"

"Yes Sir," said Hunter sadly, "but I would really like for you to do it. It felt real good inside when you washed me. I hoped that you would do it again but I understand if that's not allowed," Hunter said a little concerned that he had asked for too much.

Tommy looked at Hunter and thought about how this was one of the few things Hunter had showed the courage to actually ask for and said, "Okay Hunter, I'll wash you but nothing else."

"Thank you so much Sir," beamed Hunter causing Tommy to smile.

So, Tommy undressed himself and got into the shower with Hunter, and washed himself up quickly as he gazed down at Hunter. Tommy once again marveled at how beautiful Hunter looked as he finally started to gently wash Hunter's hair thinking `Kate's right his hair is getting a little long'. Tommy kneeled down in his shower as he pulled Hunter close to him. He started to sensuously wash the little angel. Tommy gave Hunter a little massage as he washed his back and butt. Then tickled Hunter as he washed his sides and front, Hunter's laughter was music to Tommy's ears, as he couldn't remember Hunter laughing before. It was one of the sweetest sounds Tommy could ever remember hearing. Tommy was suddenly very happy and proud of himself knowing how much he had helped Hunter to come out of his shell. Tommy looked at Hunter's little 3.5" erection as Hunter looked at him adoringly. Tommy gently pealed back the foreskin and watched as Hunter's little ruby red mushroom head popped out. He very carefully washed it and then rinsed Hunter off.

"All done," said Tommy.

"Thank you Sir," Hunter said suddenly hugging Tommy. "Sir... c... ca..." said Hunter. Screwing up his courage he continued, "Can I do something to make you feel good please?"

"You don't have to do that Hunter, but thank you for offering," Tommy said smiling down at Hunter.

"Yes Sir," Hunter said unhappily.

"Look Hunter I really am sorry if I hurt you and I love that you want to do that to me, but I just don't think I am ready to do that with you after you told me everything that has happened to you. I just don't feel comfortable yet Angel, but I promise that we will real soon. I want nothing more then to make you happy again and for you to really make me feel good, but just not yet okay?"

"Yes sir," smiled Hunter.

Tommy gave Hunter one of his larger shirts to wear as it came down to his knees, while he put on boxers and a t-shirt. Then both of them headed downstairs to Kyle's room. After knocking and getting permission to enter, Tommy went into his brother's room with Hunter trailing behind him.

"Hey bro, what's up?" asked Kyle.

"I was just wondering if you could watch Hunter for a little while for me."

"Sure TJ, are you feeling better now?"

"Yeah Kyle, much better, just a little tired," Tommy said smiling.

"Hey that's supposed to be my line," teased Kyle.

"Well, you can stop faking it tomorrow if you want, besides you weren't very good at it anyway," Tommy teased back.

"Everybody's a critic," laughed Kyle.

"Hey Hunter, why don't you come sit with us, have you ever played any video games?" asked Luke.

"No sir, I haven't played any video games ever," said Hunter looking at Tommy, getting a nod, he scampered over to sit between the two bigger boys.

"Oh Hunter, be a good boy for Kyle and no listening in, understand," Tommy said.

"Yes Sir, I'll be a very good boy for the young sir," Hunter said smiling.

Luke and Kyle shared a look not really understanding Tommy's comment, as he left the room. They then started to tell Hunter what all the buttons did and what the point of the game was.

Tommy then went in search of Jon finding him in the first place he looked, the game room.

"So how are you doing in the tournament Jon," asked Tommy sitting down next to his lover.

"Shawn knocked me out a little while ago, the little monster," Jon said loud enough for Shawn to hear making him giggle and turn to make a silly face at him.

"Do you have time to talk in private then?" asked Tommy quietly.

"For you, always," Jon said softly, "my room or yours?"

"Let's do yours again so if anyone starts to look for me it will be a little harder for them to find me."

"Okay," Jon said as both of the boys headed upstairs and went into Jon's room. "Where's your shadow?" teased Jon.

"Kyle is watching him for me right now," Tommy replied.

It was just after 9pm, as Jon closed and locked his door, he sat down next to Tommy on his bed.

"Had a tough day again, huh?" asked Jon.

"It was terrible Jon. Parts of it were pretty good, but other parts were just awful."

"Well, tell me about the bad parts first then."

"The worse part was when I was taking Hunter over to Bryan's and he had a total meltdown," Tommy said, "It was really bad Jon."

"What happened?" said Jon with concern in his voice.

"He saw Bryan's house and just lost it. He started crying and babbling, begging me not to hurt him. His cries just tore at my heart Jon, I have never heard anything like it before and how he looked was even worse. I have heard the phrase `abject terror' but until today I never saw or knew what it really was," Tommy said shuddering a little. "And then he started to talk about himself in the third person and I was terrified that he was gonna lose his mind. It was the worst thing I have ever seen Jon. I don't know if I'm strong enough for this anymore," Tommy said sounding frightened.

Jon reached out to hug his lover and gave him a gentle kiss as he said, "You aren't alone on this TJ, I'm here to help you anyway I can. If you need me to help out with Hunter, just say the word and I'll do whatever you want."

"Thanks Jon, it means a lot to me to know that you are there for me. Just having you here to unload on is more help than I could ever expect," Tommy said sniffing.

"TJ, you have kept this madhouse together for over 6 months, basically on your own, and then you find Hunter whose problems are worse than everyone else's put together from the sound of it. It's no wonder you are having a difficult time but that's where I can help you. I love you and will be there for you no matter what. You know I'll always be there for you. Kyle would help too if you let him. Just like everyone else in this house, you know we would do anything for you. Shawn especially, as he loves you as much as I do."

"I know Jon, but I don't want the others to really know what has happened to him or what he can really do, at least until I can get used to it myself. I still don't even know what he is," said Tommy.

"If that's what you want TJ, that's what we will do," Jon said. "Anything else bad happen today?"

"His meltdown was the worst, but I really didn't have a good time at dinner tonight."

"I noticed you were a little pissed but didn't know why," Jon said.

"A little pissed, I wanted to smack Zach so hard and Joey too for what they were saying about Hunter. I only heard parts of what they said but it was enough. I know his eating habits are shitty but it's only the fourth fucking time the kid has ever used a fork or spoon. I asked him about it earlier and he said the people who had him never fed him enough and he had to fight over food usually. I think that's why he stuffs himself as fast as he can. He told me, only when they allowed him to go out to hunt did he get enough to eat, by eating whatever animals he could catch, and I didn't get the impression that he bothered to cook any of them," Tommy said a little queasily.

"Doesn't he know he could catch some disease by eating raw meat?" asked Jon as his stomach gave a little lurch.

"I don't know Jon, but I just get the feeling that Hunter has never been sick a day in his life unless someone purposely did it too him, which probably took a lot of doing."

"You're probably right TJ. Hey, why don't you go out and eat with him alone a few times, ya know there won't be any interruptions and no one there to laugh and you can teach him properly that way."

"That's a good idea Jon, I am tired of them making fun of him just because he didn't know any better, that just pisses me off," Tommy said. "Oh, the other thing he did was fuck up over at Bryan's by saying Kate was pregnant before she had a chance to say anything."

"How could he know that?"

"I don't know, but he was right. Kate admitted it, she had learned that morning. I tried to pass it off as a lucky guess but Bryan didn't buy that at all. So I'm worried about that now too."

"I wouldn't worry about Bryan at all. With a new baby on the way, he pretty much has his hands full for awhile, so he won't have any time to worry about Hunter's guessing ability," Jon said confidently.

Tommy continued to unload on Jon telling him about Hunter's hearing, strength, and what really happened at his accident as he finally got around to some of the good things, like being finally able to get into the attic.

"How did you get in there? I thought you didn't know where the key was and I didn't see the door broken down."

"Hunter did it for me by picking the lock. I would have asked you to join us but you were busy playing video games. It's actually pretty nice up there, with a little bit of cleaning I think I will be able to move Caleb up there, and finally get Shawn off my back about his unwelcome guest. I also found another box of tapes in a safe up there. You are welcome to look through them with me tomorrow along with DJ. He saw me with them as I was going in my room so I'll have to let him see them too. Hunter was tired so I had him take a nap and you were right about his calming down if I touch him when he sleeps. Thanks Jon for being here for me, and letting me tell you all this shit. It makes me feel a lot better, I think I will be ready to take on whatever tomorrow throws at us now," Tommy said as he hugged and kissed his lover.

"That's good TJ, you know I'm here whenever you feel like you need to talk," Jon said smiling.

"Well I'm tired, why don't we go find Hunter and then you and I can cuddle up together as the three of us go to bed?"

"I'd love too TJ, but tonight is Shawn's turn."

"What do you two have, a calendar somewhere telling you which night each of you gets to be with me?" joked Tommy.

"No, but that's not a bad idea," Jon laughed. "Actually, he asked me earlier if I minded letting him sleep with you tonight. He seemed a little scared, though was trying not to show it. I said sure he could have you tonight, besides if I didn't he would probably have had a nightmare anyway and just climbed in with us."

"What am I gonna do with Hunter now, with Shawn sleeping in my bed?"

"Well, I took care of that too. I told Shawn about Hunter's nightmares and how he stops crying when you touch him, and he should let Hunter sleep on the other side of you in your bed. Shawn didn't want to but after I told him that I didn't either, which was why he slept on your couch last night. Then I was really embarrassed to tell him that we found him in your closet, and how afraid he was this morning just because he knew his nightmares were bugging us because of that stupid remark I made. Shawn agreed that he should sleep with either the two of you or the two of us until his nightmares go away."

"That's going to make for a difficult time for us to have some fun if Hunter is there too, but I'll think about it."

"We are hoping that he might get used to us also. That way, if one of us wants to do something with you at night, the other can take Hunter so he won't have any nightmares. Plus Hunter could make for some interesting possibilities," smirked Jon.

"You talked about all that with him?" said Tommy in mild disbelief, distracted a bit by the idea of `interesting possibilities'.

"Of course I did. Shawn and I talk about you all the time."

"I guess I don't get any say in this?" Tommy asked.

"Nope, we out voted you two to one, so deal with it," Jon laughed.

"Jon," Tommy said tenderly, "I love you so much. Thank you for doing that for him," as he kissed Jon deeply. Both boys opened their mouths and their tongues met. This of course started other things to get hard and rise briefly, before Jon stopped for a breath and began to talk again.

"Well TJ, I have been feeling real bad all day about how I treated him yesterday and especially last night. So it was the least I could do to try to make it up to him," Jon said between more passionate kisses.

"Jon, I better go and get Hunter and Shawn then. Thank you for listening to me and especially being so understanding towards Hunter," Tommy said as he gave his lover one last kiss before breaking apart and leaving the room.

Back out with the boys from the mall...

"Hey Philly, how's your gas doing?" said the voice over the walkie-talkie.

Phil took his eyes off the road for a second and looked down.

"About half a tank Cody," he replied into the radio.

"Okay," Cody said back. "We should start looking for gas soon, we are about the same. Everything else okay with the snow and truck?" he asked as he followed up the question.

"Yeah, I am getting used to it now. The snow is moving out of the way without a problem. Calvin's asleep next to me and I'm getting hungry Cody. We gonna stop soon?"

"Yes, we have been going about four hours now since our last pee and gas break. We should stop soon, besides its getting dark." He glanced down at the clock on the RV's dash and it said 4pm. "Next gas station pull off into it Phil," Cody continued into his hand held device.

"Okay, sounds good and thanks Cody now that you said it I gotta pee."

Cody laughed, "I think I started something Philly because now Denny and Danny are bitching about the same thing. We should stop shortly, so lets hope we find a gas station really soon and a motel too. Maybe we can get lucky."

"Sounds good... I'll wake Calvin and we can both look for one."

"Okay, I'll give you a yell if anything else happens but I don't want to go too much further with dark setting on."

"Got ya Cody," replied Phil.

The radios grew quiet after that and Cody grabbed for his bag of semi-stale munchies on the floor next to him. About twenty minutes passed and Danny yelled up to Cody in a bit of a distressed voice.

"Hey Cody, I just reached over and felt Denny. He is sweating and not looking too good. His eyes are closed now too, I think he passed out," Danny said to him in a somewhat panicked voice.

"I can't do much for him right now but he is breathing, right?"

"Yeah his belly is going up and down slowly Cody."

"Okay, just watch him closely and when we stop in a bit I will come and check him."

`This is just fucking great!' Cody thought to himself. `I don't want to lose him now! We have been traveling for hours and we hardly got 200 miles behind us,' he said to himself looking down at the odometer and quickly doing the math in his head. The snow, wind, and weight from pulling the car and all the shit they have has eaten their gas up quicker then he anticipated, not that he knew what to expect to begin with.

"We have something ahead," the walkie-talkie suddenly squawked. "Looks like a gas station Cody," Philly said. "We are pulling in," Calvin said loudly over the radio.

Cody grabbed his walkie-talkie, squeezed the button, and yelled, "Okay," into it. `Good, we have to stop because I am really worried about Denny,' he thought to himself. 

They pulled into the gas station and could tell that something was wrong right away.  The truck stopped on one side of the pumps and Cody pulled the RV onto the other side. He got out of the seat and went back to immediately check Denny. He put his hand on his forehead, he was warm to almost hot, and he looked at Danny.

"He's very warm and sweating Dan," said Cody trying to hide his fear.

"I know I felt him before you stopped. This isn't good Cody, is it?" Danny asked back.

"No, not at all," Cody replied softly.

Cody went to the rear of the RV and came back with a cloth. He then went to the cooler on the floor to wet it, as the RV door opened. In walked Phil and Calvin, bringing in a blast of cold air with them.

"What's wrong, what happened?" Calvin immediately exclaimed.

Ignoring Calvin for the moment, he rung out the cloth and put the cold cloth on Denny's head. He then turned to Calvin.

"He has a fever and he passed out a few miles back," he finally replied to Calvin.

"How bad is it?" Phil asked chiming in.

"Too soon to know guys, but I have a feeling his shoulder is causing it," Cody replied in a panicky tone. "Right now, all we can do is try to keep his head cool and body warm... I think. If he gets worse I'll call Bryan or Tommy."

"He's gotta be okay Cody, he's just gotta be," Calvin cried out.

After making him as comfortable as possible, Cody got up and looked at both boys.

"Ready to fill up?" he asked.

"No, we can't Cody, this station is dry. When I tried the pump nothing came out of the hose," Phil said in a defeated tone.

"I had a feeling when we pulled in that was going to happen. Just the way this place looks, I just had that feeling. Okay, then let's get back on the road and check the next station, it's almost dark now. We have to find something soon or else we will wind up sleeping in here tonight. I really don't want to do that," said Cody in a rather hopeless tone.

"Okay, we'll head back into the truck and up the road," Phil said as he turned to go. Calvin was right behind him as they exited the RV.

"I'll be right behind you," Cody replied as they left.

Cody started the RV back up. "Let's hope there is something close by," he said aloud to himself.

They slowly headed out of the gas station and back onto the road. Phil lowered the plow and led the way. They started to climb a rather steep hill and were facing their first real challenge now. Darkness was falling, the road was semi-clear, and the hill was getting more and more vertical as they continued. Phil was doing all of fifteen miles per hour as Cody followed behind him about three car lengths back. He now had the RV's lights on and they brightened up the way nicely as the reflection bounced off the snow covered road. Phil didn't have the plow all the way down to the road surface since nothing but snow was now showing as he followed them up the incline. By the time they reached the top, it was dark but thankfully, they made it without any problem. The road leveled off some and they were once again searching for either gas or a place to stop for the night. They drove on in the dark for about five miles before coming upon a bright sign in the distance. As they got closer, the walkie-talkie squawked. 

"Cody this looks like a motel in front of us, do you want to stop?"

"Yeah Calvin, tell Phil to pull in and find a place to park. We'll get gas tomorrow in the daylight," Cody said back to Calvin with some relief in his voice.

They drove a few hundred yards and turned in to park. It was a Red Roof Inn. Phil parked up near the sign and got out with Calvin as Cody pulled in behind. He waited for them to enter the RV before he turned it off. Then he got up from his seat and went to check Denny. Denny was still warm and basically still out of it.

"After we get a few rooms we can bring him in," he said to the other three wide-awake boys. "Dan, are you okay to stay with him for a little bit?" Cody asked.

"Yeah, I feel pretty good right now. Just leave me a gun close by and I will stay here with Denny. While you, Philly, and Calvin go check out the place," Danny said bravely.

"Okay good," Cody said. "Let's go check this place out and get some keys to a few rooms."

Cody grabbed his gun and made sure Danny, Phil, and Calvin had theirs before he opened the RV door to leave. He then headed out with the other two boys and before going and poked his head back inside.

"Danny, I am going to lock this door just incase," he said.

"Okay, that sounds good," Danny replied.

Cody shut and locked the RV door before the three boys traipsed through the six or more inches of snow and walked a good way to the front office. As Cody glanced in, he noticed there was a light on inside. He opened the door and it was a bit warm and had a musty smell to it, but otherwise the place looked basically undisturbed. The three boys looked around from where they stood at the front door before entering with guns drawn. They then cautiously entered, each checking in a different direction, before they all met back at the clerk's desk. This part of the building was secure and empty.

"Boy, I can't wait for a nice hot shower and a real bed!" Cody said happily with a big smile on his face. "I sure hope I can sleep tonight, I am beat."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," Philly replied.

Cody went behind the desk and grabbed three keys. Room 215, 217, and 219, all three were next to each other and according to the map on the wall right at the top of steps on the second floor.

"Okay let's get back to the RV so we can discuss how we are going to do this and then split up," Cody said.

He headed out from behind the long marble topped counter and followed Phil and Calvin to the front door. Phil pushed the door open and a cold gust of wind gave each of the boys a fast reminder of how cold it still was outside, especially after being in that warm room for a few minutes with their coats still on.

"Wait!" Cody suddenly said.

The three boys stopped in their tracks as Calvin and Phil looked at him.

"What's wrong?" Phil asked in a rather scared voice.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you but I just realized I took the keys for three rooms upstairs because it might have been safer. I am not going to carry Denny and Danny upstairs. We have to go back and get rooms for downstairs."

"Yeah, good idea," Phil said back to Cody.

They entered the office again and Cody again went to check out the keys for three rooms, this time on the first floor.

"Hey Cody, look around and see if any of the rooms have special things in them like a Jacuzzi or hot tub," Phil said to him.

Calvin picked up a paper on the counter and started to read it.

"Hey," he said, "according to this, there are a few rooms with Jacuzzi's in them and a few with hot tubs."

Cody looked for and opened up a notebook on the side of the computer terminal and it had a listing of the rooms.

"According to this, rooms 113, 115, 124, 125 and 126 have built in Jacuzzi's and extra rooms. It says that room 124 and 125 have an attaching door and that might work great for us."

There was a list of other things included but at the moment, he didn't care as long as there was room for everyone. He grabbed the keys for 124, 125, and 126 before they once again headed for the exit. The boys headed back to the RV, Cody unlocked the door to it and they went inside.

"Damn its cold out!" Calvin said.

"Don't remind me," Danny said to him. "Its nice in here, I don't want to go out into that," he added.

The boys grabbed everything they could carry for the first trip as they went and opened the doors to room 124 and 125. The rooms were pretty nice, room 124 had two king beds in it and room 125 actually had two rooms. The main room had two queen beds and the extra room had one more queen in it. There was a TV, refrigerator, of course the Jacuzzi, and a nice size bathroom with a full shower in each room. In two trips, they had everything they wanted from the RV in the rooms. They decided two rooms would be more then enough. They then went back once more to lock up the plow and RV while at the same time helping Danny inside. While Calvin stayed with Danny, Cody and Phil went back and carried the semi awake Denny quickly from the RV into one of the rooms and put him on the queen-sized bed. From there the boys started to undress and get comfortable. Then Cody undressed and checked Denny, as Phil and Calvin each went to shower, one in each of the rooms while Cody tended to Denny, stripping him down to his boxers and checking his wound as Denny finally woke up some.

"Where am I?" he asked with a very groggy voice.

"You are in a motel with us," Cody said to him.

"I'm cold," he said next.

"Sorry, I was getting you ready for bed. You passed out in the RV and got sick on us. We were all really worried."

"Yeah, well my head is pounding and I feel like shit!" Denny said to Cody.

"I bet. You wanna sit up so I can get you under the covers?"

"Yeah, thanks Cody. I can't wait to sleep in a real bed tonight. This feels great."

Cody got him all settled in and put a pillow under his head before pulling the covers up to his chin.

"We'll be in the next room. There is room for all of us so someone will be close by, yell if you need us. I'll check on you before I got to bed." Cody told him.

"Thanks Cody."

With that Denny closed his eyes and almost instantly fell back to sleep. Cody went to get him a wet cloth but realized he would have to go into one of the bathrooms. He knocked on the door and opened it.

"Who's there?" Calvin said.

"It's only me, I need a wash cloth for Denny, can I come in?"

"Sure," Calvin said.

Cody walked into the warm, steamy bathroom and grabbed one of the extra washcloths. He wet it in the sink before heading back to Denny. He put it on Denny's forehead and then watched him for a few minutes before he went back to take care of his own needs. Soon Phil was done showering and it was Cody's turn.

"Cody can I talk to you?" said Danny.

Cody walked over to him. He was sitting on his bed with two pillows behind him and his bad leg on the bed with his other leg over the side and foot on the floor.

"What's up Dan?" Cody asked.

"I don't really know how to ask this but, do you think I can shower with you? It's been a long time since I had one and I really can't do it alone."

Cody immediately had a bunch of thoughts go through his head, including being naked in the shower with this 14 year old wounded, blue eyed, cute boy. Cody was straight, but Danny was cute. He knew he was going to have to help wash the boy and a few weird thoughts were now rolling through his head.

"Sure I guess so," Cody said quickly, not wanting to take too long to reply.

They were in the other room and alone at the moment, so unless one of the boys in the bathroom was listening no one else knew what was about to happen. Phil was now done and out of the bathroom, so it was time to see how interesting this would be for both of them...

Back at Tommy's house...

Tommy went downstairs back to Kyle's room, and knocked on the door. After getting no response, he gently opened the door but didn't see his brother or the other boys anywhere. Tommy then went to the game room to see if they were there.

"Hi Shawn, have you seen Kyle?" asked Tommy.

"Not lately TJ," Shawn said.

"Okay, well I'm gonna go grab Hunter then head to bed, so if you want to join me you need to hurry up."

"Can you call me when you are ready to head up, because I'm done playing, just watching the others now? Billy knocked me out last round," said Shawn with a little wink.

"Sure Cutie, you okay with Hunter sleeping with us, right?" asked Tommy quietly.

"Yeah TJ, I know how scary nightmares can be and Jon explained about Hunter's problem with them. So, if all it takes is for him to sleep with us then that's what we will do."

"Thanks for understanding Cutie, once I find him we will be ready to go," Tommy said as he left to search the rest of the house. Tommy finally found them as he heard someone splashing in the pool.

"Hey bro," said Kyle as he got out of the pool.

"Hi Ky, I thought you guys were going to play video games with him?"

"Luke and I got tired of that real fast," Kyle said cryptically. "Since no one else had bothered to show him around the house we decided it was time. Once he saw the pool, he got really excited and asked if he was allowed to go in. Before I could finish saying yes, he was in the water. He swims better than a fish. I mean he is really good."

"What's with the unusual swimwear?" Tommy asked, looking at his brother in his boxers and Luke in his briefs and Hunter swimming in the nude.

"Well he just tossed his shirt and was in before we could stop him and we didn't mind his choice of swimsuit," Luke giggled. "So we decided not to go get suits and just stripped down to our underwear," said Luke looking a little embarrassed.

"Are you enjoying the water Hunter?" asked Tommy as he kneeled by the side of the pool.

"Yes Sir, I'm having a very good time," Hunter said happily.

"Good, I'm glad to see that," Tommy said once again feeling jubilant seeing his little angel happy.

"Is everything okay now Tommy?" asked Luke standing in the water.

"Sir," Hunter said.

"Why do you ask, Luke?" asked Tommy.

"Sir," said Hunter again.

"Well you just seemed upset earlier and I was a little worried," Luke said.

"Sir," Hunter said one more time.

"Everything is fine now, I just needed a little time to relax from all that has happened recently," Tommy said.

"Sir," Hunter said urgently.

Tommy looked at Hunter and said, "What is it Hunt..." as suddenly he was falling forward into the pool. As Tommy surfaced, he sputtered out the water from his mouth, laughed, and saw Kyle on the floor laughing his ass off and Luke trying not to laugh but failing miserably. He looked around and saw Hunter had moved to the corner of the pool suddenly very afraid.

"Come're Angel," said Tommy holding his arms out to Hunter. Quicker than Tommy thought possible Hunter was in his arms trembling. "It's okay Hunter," Tommy said soothingly, "My brother was just playing with me." Feeling Hunter relax and hearing the other boys finally stop laughing. "Now what was it you wanted to tell me?"

"Sir, I just wanted to warn you that the your brother was sneaking up behind you," Hunter said as Luke and Kyle started giggling quite loudly.

"You just wait Kyle. I can see a warm bowl of water and a wet bed in your future."

"You wouldn't do that to me again, would you?" said Kyle suddenly worried as he sat up, causing Luke to laugh even louder at Kyle's sudden demise.

"Of course not Ky," laughed Tommy, "well maybe I would," he added evilly. "Just wait Ky, when you least expect it I'll get you," Tommy laughed. "Come on Hunter, it's time for us to go to bed," Tommy said as the little boy just clung to him as he walked out of the pool. Tommy grabbed a towel and started to dry himself and Hunter off when he noticed Hunter's shirt was lying on the floor soaked from his falling in. So he just wrapped the towel around Hunter, another around himself then said, "Later Ky, night Luke."

"Night Tommy," they said as they went back to playing in the water.

As Tommy made it to the game room with Hunter trailing behind him, he said, "It's time to go Cutie."

"Okay TJ," said Shawn getting up and then suddenly giggling pointing at Hunter.

"What?" said Tommy turning around, "happened to your towel."

"It fell off Sir," Hunter replied.

"Well go get it and put it back on please."

"Yes Sir," Hunter said scampering off to get the towel, as Tommy watched two of the cutest little buns he had ever seen exit the room. As he came back, it was draped around his shoulders.

"Hunter, why are you wearing your towel like that?" asked Tommy putting his hand over his eyes and shaking his head, as he could hear the other boys in the room start to join Shawn in giggling.

"But Sir, you said to put it on and it's easier to wear it like this, as I don't have to hold on to it," said Hunter a little concerned as some of the other boys started to laugh.

"Hunter, just wrap it around your waist, hold onto it, and let's go," said Tommy heading upstairs as the two boys followed behind him.

As Tommy got into his room, he took out another shirt for Hunter and himself. He then, took off his wet clothes but as he turned around, he got a huge surprise. Shawn was on one side of his bed and Hunter on the other, what surprised him was that both of them were naked.

"Shawn, what are you doing?" asked Tommy.

"When I talked to Jon I asked about Hunter not liking clothes, and he said he was a `nubist' or something."

"Its nudist Shawn," Tommy corrected him.

"Whatever TJ, we don't usually wear clothes to bed either so I just thought we could all try it," said Shawn giving Tommy his best puppy dog face.

"Okay Shawn, if that's what you want to try but first Hunter and I need to get rinsed off real quick since we were in the pool."

So, they went into his bathroom and Tommy started the shower again. He quickly rinsed off Hunter, and then had Shawn dry him off as he rinsed himself off. As Tommy got out and dried off himself, he watched Shawn out of the corner of his eye and noticed that Shawn was paying a great deal of attention to drying off Hunter's erect cock, as he was gently holding Hunter's balls in his other hand. Shawn's face was close enough to Hunter's groin that he could easily lick it if he wanted to.

"Get a good look there Shawn?" teased Tommy.

"Ummm... yeah," Shawn said blushing quickly drying the rest of Hunter off as he just complacently stood there for Shawn. As Shawn finished, Tommy noticed that both boys were sporting cute little erections as they headed towards the bed. With Tommy in the middle, his cutie on one side of him and his angel on the other, Tommy thought he could get used to this, as he slowly drifted off to sleep.

"Hey, wake up sleepyhead," giggled a voice.

"Wh... who is there?" said Tommy sleepily.

"I'll give you three guesses," said the familiar voice.

"What?" asked Tommy.

"Nope, my name isn't `what'," laughed the voice.

"Trevor is that you?"

"Hey you got that pretty quick, very good Tommy, much better than last time," came a laugh in reply as Trevor walked up to Tommy out of the darkness.

"Am I losing my mind?" said Tommy focusing his eyes on Trevor.

"No but Hunter almost did, you did a good job with that. Oh, your cousin was honored when you named Hunter after him," Trevor said, "and your parents send their love."

"Wait? Did I get into another accident?" Tommy asked.

"No silly, you are fine but listen up because I don't have much more time and I have a few things to tell you," said Trevor. "Evil's coming so keep Hunter close by, he can help you a lot more than he already has. I need you to know, that you need to keep close tabs on the boys once they leave the Mall of American too. They could be in danger if they don't do this right. Also, you need to know something very important, someone good, who looks evil, will be coming into your life very soon Tommy. When they do, I will be back again to tell you more. I can't say it now, I am not allowed, but I promise I will be back when the time is right."

"How come you are talking to me now?" asked Tommy.

"Because you are holding Hunter," replied Trevor, "he is a lot more important than he looks."

"What is he?" asked Tommy.

"I probably shouldn't say, but I will give you this hint. He is either the savior or destroyer depending on how you take care of him. Anything more than that you will just have to talk to Al," said Trevor as he disappeared.

"What? What do you mean?" asked Tommy. After a minute of no response, Tommy said, "You can't just say that and leave, that's not fair."

"Okay, then how about this. Don't worry about it too much, I believe in you, I have a lot of faith in you Tommy and so does the big guy, I love you, give my love to the boys if you think they won't believe you are losing your mind, bye till next time," laughed Trevor appearing next to Tommy.

"Oh, almost forgot, you need to wakeup," Trevor said as he slowly disappeared.

As Tommy slowly awoke, he felt Shawn's arm draped across his chest and heard the steady rhythm of his breathing. Tommy felt the other side but no one was there so he opened his eyes and looked. There was Hunter standing at the edge of the bed watching him.

"Hunter, what are you doing? Get your butt back in bed."

"But I have slept my allotted three hours Sir."

"What are you talking about? You slept more than three hours yesterday."

"Yes Sir, but I'm allowed to sleep more than three hours only if I heal someone that day. So tonight, I can only have three hours. My orders won't allow me to have more."

"Fine, I'm giving you new orders. You can sleep as long as you want and only have to get up if I need you. Okay?" Tommy said sleepily.

"I won't get in trouble will I Sir, by sleeping longer?" asked Hunter not quite sure if he should believe his good fortune.

"No Hunter, you won't, you can sleep as long as you like. Now get back in bed and

go to sleep," Tommy told him.

"Thank you Sir, thank you so very much," Hunter sobbed as he immediately got back in the bed and hugged Tommy.

Tommy put his arm around Hunter.

"Good night Hunter," he said leaning over and kissing his sweet angel good night.

"Good night Sir."

Tommy just held him tenderly as they both fell back asleep.

To be continued...

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