Three Finger Cove: Billy ~ Book Six

Chapter Twenty-Five

The Covers slept well, that is, until about 2 a.m., when Mr. Ken's cell phone began to ring. The man wasn't sure of what he was hearing, as he was in a very deep sleep at the time.

Chief heard the ringing of the cell phone, but ignored it until it rang the third time. When the phone rang a fourth time Chief was up at Billy's door and opened it. As the resident pet entered the hallway, she began to bark as she raced down it to the main stairs to head down to Mr. Ken's private bedroom.

Mr. Ken finally answered the phone and all he heard was a person crying. Then, the person began to say something after the man asked who it was a few times.

"'Dad', 'dad' its ... its ... its mom," cried the person on the other end of the phone call. "She, she's hurting really bad," the person got out as he continued to cry hard. "I ... I ... I didn't know what to do so ... so, so I called 911. The ambulance ... they should be here in a few minutes, I hope," said the youngster as he continued to cry. "Dad', I'm, I'm scared," said a crying and almost hysterical teen that Mr. Ken recognized now as being Eric.

Chief's barking woke up Billy, as his bedroom door was now wide open. When he went out in the hallway, to see where Chief had gone, Robert opened his bedroom door and asked Billy why Chief was all riled up.

Billy told his 'brother' he didn't know. He told the other teen that Chief suddenly opened the door and headed down the hall towards the stairs. Robert said they should try to find out why Chief was barking so late at night. The two teenagers headed to the stairs and then walked down calling out Chief's name.

"Eric, I'll get there as fast as I can. Let me get dressed and I'll be right over, 'son'," said Mr. Ken, in as calming a voice as he could muster.

It was then that Mr. Ken heard Billy and Robert calling out Chief's name. Chief then barked some more.

"In here boys," called out 'dad' Ken. "Chief's in here with me. Come on in while I get dressed."

The two teens entered the master bedroom and saw Chief was bouncing around at Mr. Ken's feet as the man was putting on his pants.

"Dad, what's happening?" asked Robert.

"Robert ... that call was from Eric. Ms. Judy ... she is very sick. Eric called the ambulance and then he called me. I'm going over there and see what I can do," replied Mr. Ken.

"I want to go with you!" stated Robert.

"NO! What I mean to say is that ... that I need you and Bill here to watch over your 'brothers', while I am gone. Bill will be fifteen in two days and you'll be fourteen in about two months and you two should be responsible enough to hold down the fort. If there is a problem, call the Main Gate guard. If it is a major problem, call Mr. Wayne.

"I'll probably take Eric to the hospital, since he is too young to ride in the ambulance with his mom. When things settle down there, I'll bring him here. Don't wait up for us. It could be five or six o'clock before we get back here. And, I won't make Eric go to school in the morning. He'll be too upset and too tired to focus during class," answered the teen's dad.

Robert was disappointed at hearing he couldn't go and be with his Best Friend. He and Billy stayed in the bedroom talking to Mr. Ken as he finished dressing. The man then thanked Chief for coming to tell him about the cell phone ringing and he told the teens to go back to bed.

Mr. Ken added that if he wasn't here when they came down for breakfast, they should tell their other 'brothers' what happened. Mr. Ken quickly rushed out of his bedroom and headed to the garage to select a vehicle to drive over to the Turner's.

Billy and Robert headed back up the stairs. Chief took the opportunity to go outside and relieve her bladder. She caught up to them as they came out of the bathroom after relieving the pressure in their own bladders. It was then that Charles came out of his bedroom and seeing the two older teens asked them why his two older 'brothers' were out in the hall together.

Robert explained about Chief barking as she raced down the hall and stairs, how he and Billy decided to find out why Chief did that, so early in the morning. The teen told his pre-teen 'brother' about Eric's frantic phone call that his mom was very sick and had called 911. Robert told his 'brother' that the ambulance was taking Ms. Judy to the hospital and their 'dad' was headed over there to be with Eric.

Charles asked Robert why he didn't go with their 'dad'. Robert told his 'brother' that his dad wanted him and Billy to stay here and watch over them and that he had to go to school in the morning.

Billy added that Mr. Ken would bring Eric there, after they learn what was wrong with Ms. Judy. Charles said goodnight to the two teens and then headed back to his bed. The two teens weren't far behind.

When Mr. Ken arrived at the Turner's home, he found the ambulance already there. The man went looking for Eric to see if the teen had a better idea of what was happening. When Eric saw the man he jumped into his arms and began to cry.

Mr. Ken was able to talk to Judy Turner before the ambulance took her to the hospital. He learned from the woman that she thought it was a gallbladder attack, but wouldn't know for sure until the doctors did a work up on her. The woman was concerned for Eric and asked Ken Thomas to take care of her son until she was better. Of, course, Mr. Ken said he would.

The man and teen locked up the house before heading over to the hospital emergency room to check on the teen's mom. When they arrived, they wouldn't let Eric see his mom as they were doing some tests, but told him he could talk to her after they were finished.

A still tearful Eric hung onto his surrogate 'dad' like butter on bread. The teen was visibly upset over what was happening to his mom and he had no earthly idea what would happen to him if his mom didn't survive. Just thinking about all that had the teen in constant turmoil and hanging on to Mr. Ken gave him something concrete to hold on to, and feel safe.

About an hour after they arrived, the nurse came and got Mr. Ken and Eric and took them to see Ms. Judy. When they got to the cordoned off area where Ms. Judy was, they were appalled by how she looked.

"Mom, mom are you going to be OK?" asked a still tearful Eric.

"Yes, I'm going to be OK, my son. Right now, ... I am worn out and very tired. They did a bunch of tests and then they gave me something to take away the pain. The doctor should be here soon to tell me what they found and what they will do to relieve the problem.

"Can I be here when he tells you what happened to you?" asked the scared Eric.

It was going on 4:30 a.m. when the Emergency Room doctor came to talk to Ms. Judy. She asked if her son could listen in so he knew what was wrong and what they would do. The ER doctor had no problem in letting Eric and Mr. Ken, thinking he was her husband, to listen to what he had to say.

"Mrs. Turner, all the tests, a CBC, ultrasound, CT and X-ray all point towards a gallbladder attack. So, now we know what we are dealing with. We, here in the ER, don't do the surgery. You will be referred to a gastroenterologist and he will talk to you about what type of procedure he'd recommend to fix the problem," advised the ER Doctor.

"Will I stay in the hospital until I see him or her?" asked Ms. Judy.

"I'd recommend you stay here until your gallbladder problem is fully resolved. If his schedule is open enough, he could do the surgery later today. There are two types of surgery. The Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, what the Doctors also call the 'keyhole surgery', is the less obtrusive and you could go home the next day. Recovery is usually ten days to two weeks afterwards. I'll let him explain both procedures when he talks to you," explained the ER Doctor.

"Honey, you've got school in the morning. Go with Mr. Ken and stay with him until I get back on my feet," said a very tired Judy Turner.

Eric hugged his mom as tears still flowed down his cheeks. When the teen moved away, Mr. Ken grabbed the woman's hand and told her he'd watch over Eric until she was ready to have him back. Eric then went back and gave his mom a kiss before he and Mr. Ken left the woman in the good hands of the ER nurses and doctors.

It was 5:30 a.m. when Mr. Ken and Eric returned to The Cove. Mr. Ken told the teen to sleep in Robert's room and not to worry about getting up and going to school. The man did tell the teen, that his Best Friend would be going to school, though.

Eric hugged Mr. Ken and thanked him for coming to help him and now taking care of him. The man told the teen that they would go over to the house later and get enough clothes for him for four or five days.

When Eric opened Robert's bedroom door, Robert immediately heard it and knew it was Eric. The teen jumped out of bed and greeted his Best Friend in the best way he knew how. Eric quickly stripped down and climbed into the same bed as his Best Friend.

Breakfast was a bit muted for the five Cover boys. They saw their 'dad' was dragging that morning and knew why from what Robert told them in the shower. The boys did continue to talk about all the things that would happen in the next month and then over the summer. They all told their 'dad' they were looking forward to it all.

It was Matthew who asked his 'dad' what was wrong with Ms. Judy. 'Dad' Ken told the boys she had a gallbladder attack and would require surgery. He also told the boys that Eric was sleeping up in Robert's room and would be staying with them until Ms. Judy got back on her feet.

A yawning 'Dad' Ken then added he would go back to the amusement parks in August before the office building opens and they would be invited. He added they could also stay home if only one or two decided to go with him. Hearing that put a smile on the boys' faces.

As the five boys left to catch the School Bus, Billy was getting ready for school, himself. He again relished the big shower and the privacy it provided him. When he was clean, he dried himself and headed to his bedroom to get dressed for school.

"Good morning, Mr. Ken," offered Billy, as he entered the Kitchen Nook. The teenager also said good morning to Momma Maria and Chief. He then took care of Chief's needs before sitting down to breakfast. He, too, noticed how tired looking the man was that morning and knew it was because of Eric's call.

"Mr. Ken ... is everything going to be alright for Ms. Judy?" asked the teenager.

"Yes, she is in good hands. She will need surgery and about ten days of recovery, but overall, she'll be OK," replied the owner of The Cove.

Billy took a few bites of his breakfast and then said, "Mr. Ken ... are you always that busy like you told us last night. You know ... all the trips and picnics you've planned?" asked Billy, with his mouth full.

"Bill, to be honest with you, the answer is ... no! If you boys weren't here ... there would be no skate park, Labor Day Picnic or extended trips to the amusement parks and much more. I'd still have the 4th of July Picnic, hotel and office building openings and my other endeavors to deal with, though. Why do you ask?" asked Mr. Ken.

"Well, it just seems like there is ... like there is always something going on here. If it weren't for my having to go to the School Board Meeting, that would give you more time to deal with your business concerns," replied Billy.

"Bill ... I wouldn't have it any other way!" said a yawning Mr. Ken. "You boys bring life to The Cove and ... and you keep me on my toes. Also, my life ... it would be boring as hell, if it weren't for you boys. It also helps me stay focused on my projects and I am not only doing them for just me ... I find myself doing them for ... US!"

Hearing that made Billy smile. He found himself more relaxed and content with his situation. Mr. Ken seemed to be honest with him every time they talked. He never felt as if he was being lied to, either. He hoped, when he was older, and on his own, he'd still be able to call The Cove his 'home'.

Billy's friends met the Cover at school as they had before. Gabe and Jamie were there and of course, they wanted to know if they could come over that weekend. Billy told them he only gave their names and home phone numbers to Mr. Ken the night before, and he wouldn't know until tomorrow at the earliest, but most likely by Friday.

Billy then told them he had to ask them some questions and he wanted to ask them away from the others. Jamie said he'd go first, so the two friends walked away. When Jamie was finished answering the questions, he went back to the group. Gabe then walked over to where Billy was standing. The two talked and had a few laughs as Billy asked his questions.

"What was so funny?" asked Jamie.

"I asked Billy if his younger brothers were afraid to let him see them nude. My two younger brothers are so afraid of their own shadows, let alone let anyone see them in their underwear," answered a laughing Gabe.

"How old are your brothers?" asked Brett.

"Well, Xavier is already twelve and Damian will be twelve in August. They're only about ten months apart. They've both seen me in my briefs and a few times naked, when they were younger. All they did was laugh and run away," explained Gabe.

"I told Gabe that if his brothers ever came over to The Cove, they'd get over their shyness really quick as all the boys change together in the Men's Locker Room," laughed Billy.

Brett and Kaden agreed, as they said they saw almost forty lads in different stages of dress when they swam at The Cove. Kaden even added that the younger boys didn't care, but was told the first time or two they were a bit embarrassed to change in front of so many boys of different ages.

"How old are the boys?" asked Jamie? "I bet my brothers wouldn't be embarrassed. Jonathan just turned eleven and Jameson is twelve. They take showers together when they don't get out of bed on time to get ready for school. So, I know they'd fit right in with Billy's brothers."

"Guys, remember, my 'brothers' are not related to me at all. They are all foster boys, like me, and only the twins, Kevin and Kyle, are related by blood. But we all call one another 'brother' as it is easier and it feels good to have them as my 'brothers,' which was something I never had," offered Billy.

It was then the first bell rang telling the students to come inside and head to their homerooms. The six teens said they'd see one another at lunch and then headed to their assigned homerooms.

A still yawning Mr. Ken told his Estate's Manager and Master what happened early that morning. They said they were wondering why the man looked so worn out. It was while they were talking that The Cove's owner received a phone call.

When the man answered the call, he learned it was his lawyer, Bill Jackson. The two talked and the observers got bits and pieces of the conversation. From what they heard; they understood the call was about Charles.

When their employer hung up the phone, he addressed his two employees and said, "I take it you know the call was about Charles. Well, Bill called to tell me that tomorrow they would finally hold a hearing to see if his mom's parental rights to him would be terminated.

"Bill said Gina could demand her son be present and if so, he might be called to testify. Bill said he'd let me know if I should bring Charles there tomorrow, just in case. I am glad that this is finally moving forward. Charles needs to know what his future holds for him, so he can settle down and no longer worry about where he'll be," finished Mr. Ken.

"You still plan on adopting him, don't you boss?" said Mr. Chris.

"Yes, yes I do. And, I've told him as much. And, either his mom giving up her parental rights to him, or the courts taking them away are the only thing that has held it up to this point. Now, I need to decide if I should tell him or wait until the hearing is over. Of course, if Bill tells me to bring him tomorrow then I will have to," offered Mr. Ken.

"Have you thought about what you are going to give him as his adoption gift?" asked Mr. Chris.

"Yes, I have and it won't be a keychain," laughed Mr. Ken. "I was thinking of a plaque made out of steel that said, 'My Dad's the original Cover and now I am a true Cover, too', or something like that," explained Mr. Ken.

The two Estate employees looked at one another and smiled at what the plaque would mean to the soon to be teenager. The two men asked a few questions and Mr. Ken asked Chris if his metalworking friend could make something like that for him. The owner of The Cove suggested it be painted black with the letters cut out so it would look good hanging on the bedroom wall. Mr. Chris agreed and said he'd need the exact wording and when it needed to be done.

Stewart Russell also called that morning to set up a meeting for later that evening to discuss their plan of defense for Thursday's School Board Meeting. Mr. Ken suggested they meet with Bill at 7 p.m. and their meeting was set for later that evening.

Eric came down to the Kitchen Nook around 10 a.m. Momma Maria knew about the lad and as soon as she saw the boy she asked him what he wanted for breakfast. Eric told her to fix whatever was the easiest for her.

The woman smiled and about twelve minutes later the woman placed pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs in front of The Cove's guest. She also offered the teen milk or orange juice and the boy asked for milk.

As the teen ate, Mr. Chris and Mr. Wayne came into the Nook for a cup of fresh hot coffee. They assured the boy his mom would be okay after the surgery and for him to just rest and relax at The Cove until she was ready for him to come home.

Mr. Ken came into the Kitchen Nook intent on getting a cup of hot coffee, but when he saw Eric, he asked him how he was doing. The teen said he got a few hours of sleep and felt pretty good. The teen then told his host he looked terrible and that he should try to get a few more hours of rest before he falls over from exhaustion.

Mr. Ken thought about what the teen had said and, after a few moments, the owner of The Cove told everyone that was what he was going to try to do just that. He told the men not to wake him unless the house was on fire.

The owner of The Cove, and their employer, told them not to let him sleep past 3 o'clock, though. Before leaving, Mr. Ken reminded Wayne to take Bill to see Doctor Doug that afternoon. The man then put down his coffee cup and left the Nook for his private retreat.

Eric went back upstairs to get his shower. He had a few changes of clothes there, so he wouldn't have to borrow Robert's. When the teen was ready for the day, he used his Best Friend's computer to search for information on everything gallbladder. When he was finished searching, he was satisfied that what the doctor told his mom and him was correct.

Ms. Judy did call The Cove around lunchtime. When Mr. Chris answered, he told the woman that Mr. Ken went to catch up on his beauty sleep and unless it was earth shattering, he'd take a message.

Ms. Judy told the Estate Manager she had spoken to the doctor and told Mr. Chris the doctor had an opening in his schedule and there was a surgical room available. Ms. Judy told the man that the surgery was scheduled for 4 p.m. and to let Eric know, as well.

At the high school, Billy met all of his friends at the lunch line. They all got what they wanted to eat and found an empty table to sit at, eat and talk. Gabe and Jamie asked more about The Cove and expressed how much they hoped their friend's foster dad would allow them to come over that weekend.

Lonnie told Gabe and Jamie that when Mr. Ken met his mom the man told her that as long as he, Lonnie, didn't cause trouble and helped when asked he could come over any time Billy was there. That surprised the two new friends and they wanted, now more than ever, to be invited over to The Cove.

Brett told the two new teens that Mr. Ken told them as long as they took the Texas Boater Safety Course and passed it they could drive the three personal watercraft. Hearing that put another smile on both Jamie and Gabe's faces.

Gabe told the other teens that as Boy Scouts they had already taken the course, but he didn't remember if they got a course completion certificate at the end. Jamie said he remembered taking the all-day course and that he did get a piece of paper, but they were twelve at the time and didn't know if it would count.

Billy told the group Mr. Chris was checking when the next all-day course would be held and he was definitely going to be there. He told the other teens they needed to check the schedule and try to take it with him. Kaden spoke up and asked why he couldn't let them know when the next class was. Billy told him to use his own computer and find it out for himself.

Kaden began to argue that if Mr. Chris was doing the research then why Billy couldn't share it. Billy said that Mr. Chris was a very busy man and he didn't know when he would get around to doing that. Billy then gave his group a quick rundown of what Mr. Ken had planned for The Cove and his 'boys', and told them that Mr. Chris was involved in making it all happen.

Billy finished by saying that was why they all needed to find out for themselves when the next boating course was and added they should tell him. The after-lunch bell rang just as the Cover ended his defense of why they needed to check the schedule for themselves. The six teens then headed to their afternoon classes.

Mr. Ken woke up from his much-needed nap and looked at the clock radio to find out the time. Seeing it was just past 2 p.m. he decided to get out of bed and take a shower to fully awaken for the rest of the day.

"There's our sleepyhead," teased Mr. Chris, who was joined in his laughter by Mr. Wayne, Momma Maria, and Eric.

"Boy, I sure needed that," offered Mr. Ken. "I feel much better, now, too."

Momma Maria told her employer to sit. She then brought over a sandwich and asked him if he wanted plain white, chocolate or vanilla milk, or coffee. The man opted for the vanilla milk.

As Mr. Ken ate his late lunch, Mr. Chris filled him in on the phone calls he'd received while his boss was resting. Mr. Ken was pleasantly surprised to hear Ms. Judy's surgery would be around 4 p.m. and he told Eric they would head over to the hospital in about forty minutes.

Mr. Chris also told his employer that his lawyer, Bill Jackson called and strongly suggested that Charles be at the courthouse tomorrow at 9 a.m. Mr. Ken thought about that request and then pulled out his cell phone and called Bill Jackson.

"Bill, hey, I hear you want Charles at the hearing in the morning. To make it easier to get Charles out of school can you deliver a subpoena there? The secretary, Jane Andrews, is always making trouble for my 'boys', and me, so that piece of paper should keep her quiet. At least I hope it will," explained Mr. Ken.

The two men decided to meet at the school at 8 a.m. the next morning. They figured that would give them enough time to retrieve Charles and get to the courthouse on time.

Eric listened to Mr. Ken's side of the conversation and was curious why Charles had to go to the courthouse tomorrow, so he asked. Mr. Ken explained that his mom was going to have a hearing on whether or not her parental rights to Charles would remain, or would she have them terminated by the court.

Eric asked if Charles' mom lost her parental rights to her son if that meant Mr. Ken could adopt the pre-teen. Mr. Ken smiled and told the teen that is what he is hoping to do. Eric smiled, too, and told the owner of The Cove he wished him good luck tomorrow.

Before they left, Mr. Ken told Momma Maria that he and Eric might not be home in time for dinner. The man told the woman not to wait on them and they'd eat leftovers when they finally got home. Momma said she understood and would proceed as usual and would make up plates for them and have them in the warming oven.

It was close to 3 p.m. when the two Covers left The Cove to go over to the hospital to see Ms. Judy before her surgery. Eric was anxious about the surgery, but he was confident that everything would work out after doing all the research he'd done earlier that day.

The two Covers were able to visit with Judy Turner before they took her to the pre-op room in order to have her ready for the doctor and thus her surgery. Eric got the chance to hug and kiss his mom before they wheeled her away. After she left, the teen turned to Mr. Ken and cried on his shoulder. Mr. Ken pulled the boy into him and let the teen cry as much as he needed to in order to wash the unknown out of his mind.

Billy returned home before his 'brothers' did because of his Doctor Doug appointment. But his 'brothers' weren't too far behind. When Robert returned, he went looking for his Best Friend, Eric. When Robert couldn't find him, Mr. Chris told the teen that his dad and Eric went over to the hospital because Ms. Judy had her surgery scheduled for 4 p.m.

Robert was beside himself that he missed seeing his Best friend. He asked Mr. Wayne if he'd take him over to the hospital to be with Eric and his dad. Mr. Wayne called his boss to see if that would be OK, as they might not be back in time for dinner. Mr. Ken told Wayne it would be OK, and to tell Momma that Robert wouldn't return until he and Eric did.

Robert arrived at the hospital and his dad and Best Friend were waiting for him. Mr. Wayne told the trio he'd see them later and returned home to The Cove. Mr. Ken, Eric, and Robert headed over to the surgical waiting area to await word on Ms. Judy.

The other Cover boys were disappointed they couldn't go over to the hospital, as well. They figured Eric was their friend, too, and Ms. Judy was responsible for all of them being at The Cove.

The boys tried to argue with Mr. Wayne that he should take them over to the hospital, as well. But the Estate Master told the boys Mr. Ken didn't need them there as this was all about Ms. Judy and her son Eric.

The younger boys began to argue some more, but Billy stepped in and told them the surgery could take three or four hours and they would be bored. He added they all needed to work on their homework, so when their 'dad' and 'brothers' returned they could talk with them about Ms. Judy and her surgery, as their homework would be finished.

Billy also decided to have his snack with his 'brothers' now, since he was home early. Matthew was disappointed his older 'brother' wasn't going to wait until later, but even Kevin said it should be OK just this once. Matthew relented and agreed to sit down to their snack.

Momma Maria was inwardly happy the boys agreed to have their snack now. She didn't mind having Bill's snack ready when he came home because he usually didn't come home until an hour after the other boys.

Mr. Ken took the two teens to the cafeteria to get a drink and a quick bite to eat. They knew the surgery would take about two hours and he told them there was nothing they could do until Ms. Judy came out of the recovery room. They talked about the morning phone call and what happened after Mr. Ken went over to the Turner's home.

As the three sat at the table eating their snack, Eric said to Robert that Charles had to go to court tomorrow. That stunned the Cover teen, so he asked his dad if that was true. Mr. Ken explained why he and Charles had to be at the courthouse the next day. Hearing that put a big smile on Robert's face.

As the Cover boys ate their after school snack, they talked, told jokes, and had fun as Matthew and Billy had done the times they had their late snack together. Kevin remarked that was what they had done yesterday as he and Billy and Matthew had their snack late. The older twin then asked why they never had that much fun when they eat their snack after they return from school.

Billy spoke up and told them they are probably so used to eating and heading over to the Study to see Mr. Ken that they forgot to have fun. He told his 'brothers' that all they did was talk about what happened at school and told some very lame jokes, and that made their snack time feel so much better than they remembered.

The boys all agreed they only came to the Kitchen Nook to have their snack and they forgot to talk and have fun while doing it. Charles said they used to talk about the day and what happened at school, but for some reason, they stopped doing that and just ate their Momma Maria snack and then headed to the Study to talk to their 'dad'.

It was then that Mr. Wayne remembered that Stewart Russell was supposed to be there at 7 p.m. He quickly called Mr. Ken to remind him of that meeting about Bill and their defense at tomorrow's School Board Meeting.

Mr. Ken told Wayne that if he wasn't there for him to take the meeting and discuss what Stewart wants to do at the hearing. Mr. Ken reminded Wayne that he was the one who initiated the appeal and would be front and center at the School Board Meeting. Mr. Wayne didn't want to hear that, but he had been warned that was what Mr. Ken had wanted, so he had the opportunity to support and defend the boys.

It was just past 6:30 p.m. when Ms. Judy was wheeled out of the recovery room and taken to her patient room. When she was settled, about fifteen minutes later, the nurse allowed the 'family' to visit with her.

The woman was still a bit groggy from the anesthesia, but she was awake enough to know who was there. She called her son over and the two hugged. She told him not to worry about her and to go with Mr. Ken and to stay with him until she was home. Eric kissed her before leaving his mom for the night.

When the three Covers returned to The Cove, as promised, Momma Maria had their dinners waiting in the warming oven for them. The Cover boys, knowing their 'dad' and 'brothers' were home, went to the Kitchen Nook to talk to them. All of the Cover boys were there except Billy. He and Mr. Wayne were meeting with Billy's lawyer to discuss the following day's School Board Meeting.

After the Covers ate, 'dad' Ken called Charles over to him and the two went into the Butler's Pantry to talk. Charles was initially afraid that he'd done something wrong, but when he heard they were going to court tomorrow to see if his mom's parental rights would be terminated, he was elated. The pre-teen hugged the man and told him he couldn't wait.

While 'dad' Ken and Charles talked, Eric and Robert told their 'brothers' what it was all about. The three younger Covers were happy for their older 'brother' and hoped he could be adopted by their 'dad'.

Mr. Ken finally went into the Study to listen to what Stewart Russell had planned for Bill's appeal of his suspension in front of the entire School Board the next evening. The meeting lasted until after 9 o'clock and the other Cover boys weren't invited into the meeting.

It wasn't until after Mr. Russell left that Billy learned that Charles was going to the courthouse to learn if his mom's parental rights would be terminated. Billy hugged his pre-teen 'brother' and wished him good luck tomorrow.

The Covers had a quick meeting to talk over anything that was pressing and couldn't wait until tomorrow. 'Dad' Ken also reminded the boys they would have a slightly earlier dinner tomorrow before they all went to the School Board hearing. After that, the man sent the boys up to bed.

A few minutes later, Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne went upstairs to say goodnight to all of the boys. Mr. Ken spent a few extra minutes with Eric in order to ensure the teen was settled and no longer worried for his mom. The man hugged Eric longer than he did his son, Robert. The 'dad' then told the boys not to stay up talking all night, as they both had school in the morning.

Mr. Wayne departed The Cove about 10 o'clock that evening and told his employer he'd be over at his normal time. Mr. Ken reminded him to take Kyle to visit Doctor Doug and he'd catch up with him when he and Charles got back from the courthouse.

That night all of the Covers slept very well and there were no phone calls, this time, to wake them up.

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