Three Finger Cove: Billy ~ Book Six

Chapter Ten

When Billy woke the next morning, he felt great. He realized The Cove wasn't like any other foster home he'd been in before. Here he found a real home, with five boys that were like his real 'brothers'. And, he had a foster dad who didn't treat him like an added mouth to feed. He'd never felt anything like this even when he lived with his mom, dad and then stepdad.

When the older teen got out of bed, he saw that Chief was gone and the door wasn't fully closed. Now he understood Robert's warning about the resident pet.

The teen had his morning friend standing straight up, so he decided to put his underwear on before heading out into the hallway. He didn't want to embarrass his 'brothers', and by default himself as he did that first morning he was there.

When the newest Cover walked into the bathroom to rid himself of excess fluid, he looked to see who was in the shower. He saw all of his 'brothers' were getting their showers. He knew there were only four showerheads and if he wanted to shower, they would definitely have to share as two 'brothers' were already sharing.

"Come on and join us," called out Kyle. We're almost finished."

"There's enough room for six in here," added Charles.

Billy shrugged off his briefs and joined his 'brothers' in the shower. Matthew moved aside to allow the new Cover to get wet and begin to wash up. Kevin and Kyle both rinsed off and walked out of the room to dry off, letting the remaining four to have their own showerhead.

"Thanks guys, for making room for me," offered Billy, as the twins walked out to towel off.

"Hey, Billy, 'dad' and Mr. Wayne said they'd show us what was done on the Skate Park today, after our friends get here. Are you going to go up there with us?" asked Mathew.

"I don't know. Mr. Ken is taking me out to get all new clothes, today. I've been looking forward to this ever since he told me he would do that," replied Billy.

"Yea, but you have all afternoon to get clothes. But you've never seen what the skate park looks like other than the picture and from your room. 'Dad' won't let us go up there unless he, Mr. Wayne or Mr. Chris goes up there with us," said an enthusiastic Matthew.

"From my room, I can see the construction zone. It looks like they have the big bowl finished. But what is that other thing going up next to it?" asked Billy.

"Oh, that is going to be a picnic pavilion. It'll have men and women's restrooms. A closet for bathroom supplies. There'll be another room for a freezer to hold the burgers and dogs and enough room to store the sodas and buns and other accessories. There's going to be a huge grill and wash sink and a drying rack for the cooking utensils," replied Robert.

"And there will be loads of seating for all of us, too" added Matthew.

"Yea, maybe I could go up there and see it firsthand. Then, Mr. Ken and I could go out for my clothes," answered back Billy.

"Oh, and Billy, make sure our 'dad' gets you your suitcases, too," spoke up Robert.

"Suitcases?" asked Billy.

"Yea, every new boy to The Cove gets a 3-day weekend trip with him. It is usually only within Texas, but it is fun to do something without all your 'brothers' hanging around," revealed Charles.

"Where'd he take you guys?" asked Billy.

Robert spoke first and told him about his trip to Houston and the Battleship Texas, Seawolf Park and Moody Gardens. Charles spoke up and told his new 'brother' about his trip to the Texas Rangers' Ballpark for a night game, Six Flags Over Texas, The Dallas World Aquarium, and SpeedZone.

Matthew went next and told Billy 'dad' Ken took him to watch the Dallas Mavericks versus the Houston Rockets basketball game, the Dallas Aquarium, Speed Zone and the Museum of the American Railroad.

Robert then told his newest 'brother' his dad took Kevin and Kyle to Houston to attend a Houston Rockets basketball game, the Houston Zoo, the Aquarium, Moody Gardens and the Battleship Texas.

"Wow! Those sound like awesome trips. Where do you think he'll take me?" innocently asked Billy.

"You have to help choose where you want to go," said Robert.

"Yea, he made me figure out where I wanted to go, as well as the twins and Matthew," spoke up Charles. "I got my idea from Mr. Dan. Oh, you've never met Mr. Dan, yet, have you? He's a County Sheriff's Lieutenant who has known our 'dad' well before any of us got here. He stayed with us while he recovered from a gunshot wound, he received last summer. It was fun to have him here. Mr. Wayne hadn't yet been hired to be our Estate Master, yet."

"Yea, he'll pick a 3-day weekend and you need to know where you want to go before that," added Robert. "The next 3-day weekend coming up is Memorial Day, but I wouldn't plan on that weekend. Dad hopes to have the skate park finished by then, and I bet he'll have a big party if it is."

"Hey, you guys, you're going to melt in there and you're using up all the hot water," laughed Kevin, as he yelled into the bathroom, to get his 'brothers' on the move.

The twins arrived in the Kitchen Nook long before their 'brothers' did. Mr. Ken asked them where the rest of the brood was and Kyle told them they were talking in the shower when they last saw them. Twelve minutes later the four missing boys arrived in the Nook.

"Cutting it kind of close, aren't we boys?" said a smiling 'dad' Ken.

Robert, Charles and Matthew got in line to give their 'dad' a hug. Billy watched what the boys did. Then, when Matthew finished with his hug, Billy looked at 'dad' Ken and went over to him as well and got a hug.

Billy decided to have cereal that morning. He got himself a bowl and had to decide if he wanted cornflakes or frosted mini shredded wheat. He chose the cornflakes, but before he poured the milk over the bowl of cereal, he got a banana and cut it up into his bowl. Kyle asked him if he could put a couple of pieces into his bowl. With a smile, Billy did just that.

After a few spoonful's, Kyle thanked Billy for teaching him a new way to eat his cereal. The twin then asked how he did it without cutting himself. Billy pulled out the knife he used and Told Kyle it was a butter knife and he could do it just as easily as he had. The two bumped fists and Billy got down to having his breakfast.

Mr. Ken watched the two interact and he was thankful the new Cover was doing his best to integrate into the family. It was only the teen's fourth day and already he was making a statement that he wanted to be a Cover and would treat his 'brothers' as if they were his actual brothers.

When the Covers' friends arrived, as they normally do at noon, they were all anxious about seeing the progress on the new skate park. When they saw Mr. Wayne arrive, they got even more eager to see the construction site.

Mr. Ken and Bill talked about the tour and Bill agreed to wait to go shopping until it was over. He told his foster dad that his 'brothers' told him he needed to see what was accomplished, first hand, so he could look forward to the finished project.

Mr. Wayne entered the Study just as the two Covers were going out to the Parking Corral. Mr. Ken told his Estate Master they needed to take the boys up to the worksite and show them what had been completed. Mr. Ken told Wayne he was then taking Bill clothes shopping and the fort would be his.

As soon as the older Covers came outside, the boys all clapped. Billy took advantage of the applause and said, "Thank you, thank you; I'll be here all week." Then he bowed. The boys all booed him and then laughed. Mr. Ken saw that Bill was trying hard to win over all the boys and that told him Bill would definitely work out as a Cover.

The two men led the boys up to the construction site. The boys were ecstatic they were seeing all the work that had been accomplished up until then. They stopped at the Pavilion first. Mr. Wayne showed them where the restrooms, the closet, food storage room and where the grill and oversized double sink would be located.

He told them the next thing to be done was the support beams and then the roof and after that, they'd outfit the rooms. Mr. Wayne did remind the Cover boys they needed to search for the right tables and chairs to complete the Pavilion.

The large group walked over to the skate park and they were all amazed at what the contractor had accomplished, so far. Mr. Ken told the boys the skate park was on schedule and if there were no major delays, due to weather, it should be ready by 1 June and hopefully sooner.

The boys used their phones to take pictures of what they saw. They wanted to share them with their families and some of their friends at school. As the group walked down the slight rise many of the boys thanked Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne for taking them to see the construction and explaining to them what they saw. The majority of the boys told the men they hoped the weather would cooperate.

Mr. Ken told Bill to go drain his dragon and then meet him in the garage. When the new Cover came to the garage, his foster dad had him load into the F-150 King Ranch truck. Mr. Ken told him it would just be them and they didn't need a 12- passenger van. As the two Covers drove out the Main Gate, Bill waved back at the boys.

As the two Covers drove to The Mall, Bill asked Mr. Ken to tell him more about the guards and how they came about. Mr. Ken sighed at the questions, but figured he needed to be open and honest with the teen so he began.

"Bill, I've had guards at The Cove off and on because of some situations. You probably heard of the shootout a few years back. I used them then. Then, there was the time when someone was watching Collin, so I hired the security company again to make sure no one would do something stupid.

"It wasn't until after a bunch of men tried to kidnap the boys and their friends as they went Trick-or-Treating that I brought them back. Then ... after Matthew's mom tried to kidnap him and then his mom's friends also tried to get control of the boy was when I added to the security.

"Bill ... each boy, including you, are here because ... because of something their parents did. Sometimes the parents, or their associates, try to keep the child from telling their full story to anyone in authority by kidnapping them or ... ah, or maybe try to ... ahh ... this is difficult Bill... . But sometimes people are out to do ... do bodily harm to them," somberly finished Mr. Ken.

"Am I ... could I ... you know ... get hurt living there, Mr. Ken?" asked a rattled Bill.

"Bill ... to be honest with you ... I don't think so. All but one incident happened outside of The Cove. And the thing that happened inside the grounds occurred when I didn't have the security in place... .

"Bill ... if because of your step-dad's and mom's drug dealings ... and people out there want to get back at them, or even with them, then you could be at risk... . If you know of such people, then I want you to tell Mr. Wayne or me. We can't help you or protect you better if we don't know what to expect," revealed Mr. Ken.

"Mr. Ken ... I ... I already told the police what I knew. They asked me that same question. I told them ... I told them the people who I'd consider a threat were in that gun battle and are either dead or have been arrested. The thing is ... I never met and don't know all of my mom's and 'Greaser's' contacts, and she never had strangers stop by the house when I was there," replied Bill.

"Just know Bill, I can't help you without knowing who or what to look for. It may be that there are no people out there who want to get to you, and I truly hope that is the case. Oh, and Bill ... I ask you not to tell any of your friends what I just told you about the guards. All they need to know is ever since the attempted Halloween kidnapping, I am taking precautions. Will you do that for me and your 'brothers'?" asked Mr. Ken.

"Can I ... can I ask you about Collin and... and what ...what happened to his parents?" said Bill.

"Well, it is in the newspaper archives, so ... I guess it won't hurt. The simple answer is ... he watched his parents being gunned down ... in front of him. They... they then kidnapped him hoping they could get a huge ransom because of his parent's wealth.

"The thing was... they found out where he was living after he washed up on my Patio during that huge storm a few years back and ... and they attacked The Cove the day after Thanksgiving in an attempt to either kidnap him again or ... or ... kill him.

"And ... there is something else you will eventually hear. And, that is ... is that I ... I was shot by a rogue FBI agent down in the Great Room.

"Many people call me a hero for taking a bullet for my foster son. In actuality, I was in the right place at the wrong time, or however, you want to look at it. But people will believe what they hear. At one Holiday party, my friend Judge Adam Richards got out in front of everyone and told a story and that solidified it, even more, that I was a 'hero'.

"I don't feel like a hero. I did go out into the house with my gun, though, trying to defend my foster son and my property. The rogue agent and I, earlier, had some differences of opinion on how they would protect Collin in my house. He was eventually removed from the case and... and he was sent back to Washington. He was pissed, to say the least.

"He joined the bad guys and ... and he was the only man to enter the house. Unfortunately, he heard a noise. That was me trying to get into a better position to take him down when he shot in my direction. The bullet ... well, it found me.

"It was Chief ... she was the one who took the gunman down. Since I was shot, he called for the elevator so he and I could go searching together through the house, looking for Collin. It was when the elevator door opened that ... that Chief jumped out on him like white on rice.

"Chief grabbed his gun hand and wrestled the gun away from him and almost tore his hand off before the police came in to check what the shot was all about. The rest as they say is history," finished a smiling Mr. Ken.

"Now ... what say we go into the stores and buy you some new clothes, young man," offered Mr. Ken, as they had been sitting in the parking lot for the past few minutes while the man told the story.

Over at The Cove, the boys talked about what they saw in the construction zone before going skating. They asked Mr. Wayne what the contractor would do next. Mr. Wayne told the boys the contractor had a work schedule and was moving along very well to that point. The Estate Master told the boys that with the biggest bowl completed the rest of the park would go along faster now.

Mr. Wayne told the boys the other bowls already had their rebar in place as well as some of the other obstacles. The man did remind the boys there were two whole months yet to go and the contractor wants to finish as soon as he could, so he could go on to other projects he has on his schedule.

The boys didn't like what they heard, but they also understood they had to wait until it, the Cove Skate Park, was finished. They thanked Mr. Wayne for talking to them and then headed over to skate.

The two shopping Covers walked through The Mall. Mr. Ken encouraged Bill to look through the young men's clothes, in each store, to get an idea of what was available. The foster dad reminded Bill that with spring already there and summer fast on its heels, the lad needed to decide what look he wanted. After some discussion, Bill decided he should look to the future and not at the present, so he decided to look at the summer offerings.

The two Covers eventually wound up at JC Penney's where the other Cover boys got the majority of their clothes. Mr. Ken told Bill to go where he wanted and he'd follow along.

Bill stopped at the polo shirts and decided to try on a few sizes and colors. He asked Mr. Ken for his opinion and the man told him the slightly larger size looked better on him and would allow him to grow into them as he wasn't finished growing yet. Bill smiled at the advice.

The two Covers headed over to look at the pants next. Bill looked at a few different styles and tried on a few of the pants he liked. Bill asked Mr. Ken's opinion. The owner of the Cove and the person who would pay the bill advised Bill that with summer coming along he probably only needed one, but no more than two pairs of pants.

Mr. Ken suggested Bill get a nice pair for special occasions and one pair for school. Then, Mr. Ken added the boy could use his older pants to mix and match with the new shirts he'd get to fill in when necessary.

The foster dad also recommended the teen get at least four pairs of shorts for school and the summer around The Cove. Bill smiled knowing the man was going to spend a ton of money and he wasn't even batting an eye at the cost.

After buying six short-sleeved polo shirts, two pairs of pants and five pairs of shorts, since Bill didn't have any new ones, the Covers walked over to the shoe department. Mr. Ken told the boy to get two pair of sneakers. One for school and going out and one pair he'd use around The Cove. Bill enjoyed looking at all the different styles. He chose two different brands and styles and added them to the growing pile.

"Bill, do you like boxers or briefs?" simply asked Mr. Ken.

"Well, I've never had boxers before, but ... well I like what my 'brothers' have and ... and I would really like to try those if I may," replied Bill.

Socks were next on the list of clothes items Mr. Ken wanted Bill to choose. Bill wasn't too sure if he should get knee-highs or ankle huggers. The teen's foster dad suggested he get some of each, but enough for use with both pants and shorts.

Bill added four packages of 4-packs of boxer briefs and two 6-packs of the different styles of socks to add to the pile. Mr. Ken then asked Bill if there was anything else that he needed. Bill told the man he needed a swimsuit and suitcases and would like to get a pair of sleeping shorts like his 'brothers' have and also a nice sleeping t-shirt. Mr. Ken smiled at the last item mentioned.

"So, Bill, I can understand the swimsuit, but tell me ... where did the suitcase come from?" asked the smiling foster dad

"Well, my 'brothers' ... they told me not to forget to tell you I needed a suitcase. They told me that you would eventually take me on a 3-day trip somewhere inside Texas and I'd better be ready," replied Bill.

"Oh, I see," said a still smiling Mr. Ken. "OK, let's head over to the suitcase aisle. I guess it is better we get them now than at the last minute before we leave. But I will be honest with you, Bill. Right now, there are no open 3-day weekends on my schedule. I am hoping over the Memorial Day weekend the skate park will be finished and I hope to have a Grand Opening Party then. Please don't tell your 'brothers'," replied Mr. Ken.

"They already told me they figured you'd have a big party for the opening of the Cove Skate Park," answered a smiling Bill.

"They've already figured me out, huh?" returned Mr. Ken. The two-headed to look at the suitcases and then back to get a swimsuit

As Mr. Ken paid for all the clothes and added items Bill needed, the man told his newest Cover they would stop at a pharmacy box store to get his toiletries, or they could go to Walmart or Target for them. Bill told the man they each sold the same items and he felt it would save him a few dollars if they went to Walmart for them. That was where they headed next.

"Bill, did you get everything you needed?" asked Mr. Ken. The man then added, "There is one last stop we need to make."

When Mr. Ken and Bill returned to The Cove, all the kids were beginning to walk up the rise to the Main Gate. Mr. Ken stopped the truck at the gate, so the parents who were there to retrieve their boys could meet the newest Cover.

The two Covers got out of the vehicle and walked over to where the parents were waiting for their sons.

"I want you all to meet someone. He is our newest Cover. Parents, meet Bill. Bill meet the parents of a good number of the boys who come here to skate and swim," announced Mr. Ken.

The parents came over to introduce themselves to Bill. The teen was overwhelmed by meeting the parents. He was glad they weren't all there. The meet and greet lasted about fifteen minutes when Mr. Ken told the group they needed to unpack the vehicle and go off to dinner.

The Cover boys helped unload the truck and take everything down to the laundry room. They saw their new 'brother' had also gotten a new skateboard and told him he needed to try it out before they went to dinner.

When all the new clothes were down in the laundry room, Mr. Ken and Bill took all the tags off. Since there were four High-Efficiency Washing and Drying machines there, Mr. Ken showed Bill how to load the machines and to keep the loads even.

The owner of The Cove then showed the new Cover how to add detergent and set the wash cycle for the type of clothes. Mr. Ken had Bill start the first machine. With that done, Mr. Ken had Bill set up the next three machines and get them started, too.

"Boys, let's head up to the Study to talk some before heading out to dinner," announced 'dad' Ken.

Once up in the study, Mr. Ken asked the boys about their day with their friends. They told him the standard tales of what they did and who the cook was that day. When the boys were talked out, Mr. Ken had a few things to tell them.

"Boys ... next Saturday will be The Coves' Annual Easter Egg Roll. All of us will be up and ready to go by 10 a.m. More about that later. Another item I need to tell you about is that Easter Sunday will be a Family Day. That means you need to tell your friends that The Cove will not be opened to visitors that day," got out 'dad' Ken, before the moaning and groaning began.

"Boys ... we need to have some family time, and that is the day I've chosen. Get over it! There is one more item ... that ... well, that I need to tell you. And ... I know you will not like it, but again, deal with it. The day after Easter ... I will be heading back east to visit all four of my amusement parks.

"They're opening their parks Easter weekend and I want to see what the opening weekend results are and to look over the parks' new rides I've ordered and that have been installed. Mr. Wayne will be here standing in for me and his word is mine. Remember that.

"Now ... are there any questions?" finished 'dad' Ken.

"Do you have to go?" asked a somber Matthew.

"Yes, Matthew, I have businesses to run and I have to visit them occasionally to keep them on their toes. I also want to see how Jason is handling his new assignment at Crystal Lake. I should be home Friday night late. Now, we have all next week to be together, so let's make it a rousing success," said Mr. Ken, trying to give the boys some reassurance.

Despite 'dad' Ken's announcements, the dinner was lively. The boys had to ask their new 'brother' about his shopping experience. They also wanted to know if their 'dad' made him put back anything he really wanted. Billy told his 'brothers' that all Mr. Ken did was give him some advice that he asked for, and he could either accept or reject it.

The Cover boys all laughed at what Billy just said. They figured he took the easy way and didn't fight for something he really wanted. Billy figured out, from the laughter, what his 'brothers' were thinking. He told himself he'd straighten them out before bed that night.

The Covers did stop at their favorite ice cream place before heading home. Billy got Chief her dish of ice cream before they left. Upon entering The Cove, Chief could smell the ice cream and she figured Billy had it.

The resident pet sat in front of her new master and friend and licked her lips and muzzle waiting for her treat. When Billy didn't put the cup of ice cream down on the floor, Chief stood up and started barking at him. Billy immediately put the cup of ice cream onto the floor and Chief lapped it up quick. The other Covers laughed at the newest Cover for teasing Chief.

The Covers gathered in the Study, as they usually did before ending the day. Chief sat next to Billy who occasionally reached down and scratched behind her ears. The other boys noticed what Billy was doing and realized they should have done that for Chief, too, as they were responsible for her.

"Boys, let's review what we did this weekend and what is in store for us coming up. With the help of your friends, we have the Easter Egg Roll on track for next weekend. Thank you and make sure you thank all your friends again for me tomorrow at school.

"Some of you have appointments next week and Mr. Wayne will come to the school to pick you up for that. I will invite Doctor Doug over for dinner on Wednesday night and then he can meet our newest Cover. I will also make an appointment with Doctor Powers for Bill's physical, which you've all had. That will probably happen on Thursday or Friday. Bill, I'll let you know when I make the appointment.

"Saturday, of course, is the Easter Egg Roll. When you thank your friends for helping this Saturday, Robert please remind your friends I would like them to be here by 10 a.m. We'll all spread the plastic eggs out for the three different groups and we should be done by 11. When that is all finished, I'll assign you which group to watch over, so no kid is barreled over or taken advantage of.

"Once all of the eggs have been picked up, the boys and girls will undoubtedly start opening their eggs to see what they won. That's when the fun will begin. Luckily Bill and Robert color-coded the prizes coupons this year, so we'll have each group go to the area that has their color-winning prize.

"As I mentioned the other day, I want only one winning prize per child. I don't think it is fair for someone to go home with three or even four prizes and someone else goes home with just a few coins and some Easter candy.

"I want to see all of you boys involved on Saturday. And age has nothing to do. Kevin, Kyle and Matthew, you're all old enough to help, too. Does anyone have any questions?" finished 'dad' Ken.

It was quiet in the Study for a minute or two. The boys looked back and forth to one another and Mr. Ken knew they had something they wanted to say, but we're trying to figure out who would be the one to voice it. Then one boy spoke up.

"'Dad', do ... do you really ... do you really have to go for ... for a ... a whole week?" stumbled out Matthew.

'Dad' Ken sat there knowing that the question would eventually come up, and he was ready for it.

"The simple answer is, YES! Boys, with the exception of Bill, you all know I have many ongoing businesses and you even visited three of them last Christmas. You know from when Mr. Dan filled in for me that this was going to happen. I cautioned you before, that these things would happen ... just as it did right after the Holidays.

"We are a family! We have our ups and downs, and you boys ... you have a 'dad' who has many people who depend on him for their livelihood. And, to ensure all of my investments are doing well, requires me to visit each and every one of them, often.

"On this trip ... I will visit all four of my amusement parks. Just so you know ... we will all visit them after school gets out. My next trip out of pocket will be to my manufacturing plant. That's somewhere I should take you this summer, too, so you all know what they produce.

"On the local scene ... there is the hotel which should be opening by the first of May and the office building that is on schedule to open the middle of August. On top of all that, there is the apartment complex I'm building out by Four Corners and the skate park that will hopefully be finished around the first of June.

"Now, boys ... you have got to get used to me being gone. As time moves along, I will be gone more and more and Mr. Wayne will be spending more time with you. When I can take some or all of you, I will, but it will be on a case-by-case basis. I have businesses to run and I enjoy doing so.

"I also enjoy having you six living here. You all bring life and energy to The Cove. And the problems that have followed you are just a part of life. We will all move forward through them and, if necessary, we'll circle the wagons, as well as support one another through thick and thin.

"Sorry for the lecture, boys, but you are getting a little older and, as such, you have to begin to accept some change. Change will be a constant in your lives, now, and as you leave the nest. We can talk about this over time, but, for now, get used to me being gone that Monday after Easter.

"And speaking of Easter, remember to remind your friends that Easter Day is a family day for us. I know how important your friends are to you, but ... we have to be important to one another, as well. I hope we can do more family things this summer, which will mean your friends, will have to find other things to do while we are gone.

"I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but ... well, boys ... as the spring ends and summer arrives, we will all be going in a hundred different directions as we sort of did last year... . Let what I said sink in for a few days or weeks and let's ... let's visit this topic later. OK?

"Now, again, does anyone have any questions?" lastly asked 'dad' Ken.

It was quiet in the Study when 'dad' Ken stopped talking. The boys looked around at each other, but this time Robert spoke up and thanked his dad for talking to them without sugar-coating it. The teenager said he recognized the situation his dad was in having to keep his endeavors working while dealing with all of their individual problems.

Robert told his dad he and his 'brothers' will talk more about what he just told them over the next few days or weeks as they need. The man's son asked his dad to continue to tell them what they needed to hear and not want they wanted to hear.

The boys each hugged their 'dad' before going up to their rooms to relax before going to sleep. Bill hung back as his 'brothers' left the Study.

"Bill ... you have ... you have something on your mind?" asked Mr. Ken.

"Mr. Ken ... to be honest with you I ... I have a lot of things on my mind. Your talk this evening ... it opened my mind. I never looked at life ... the way you set it out for us. As kids ... we look at things more from a 'me' perspective. You told us that things will change and we need to be ready or prepared for that change.

"Mr. Ken ... I've never had anyone, my mom, my dad or my stepdad, tell me what you said tonight. It ... it kind of makes sense and now ... now that I will soon be fifteen it sort of sunk in more than it might have for the twins or even Matthew.

"In just the few days I've been here I ... I've seen things I never believed possible while living in a foster home. I want to thank you for letting me stay, even after you knew who my step-dad was and ... and what he did," finished a teary-eyed Bill.

Mr. Ken grabbed onto the teen and just hugged him and let him deal with what was coursing through this young man's mind. After a minute, or so, Mr. Ken asked Bill if he would be OK. Bill indicated he would be, and then thanked the man one last time before heading up to his room.

Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne talked about what they just saw before heading up the stairs to say good night to the boys.

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