At breakfast, all the boys could talk about were the coins their 'dad' gave them last night. Momma Maria heard them talking about them, so she asked the boys about the coins. It was Kevin who told her that 'Dad Ken' bought the coins at some sort of clearance and gave one to each of them last night. The older twin then held up the slightly larger than a silver dollar sized coin for Momma Maria to see.
Mr. Ken made sure the boys had hats to go along with their jackets that morning. He told them winter begins in three weeks and they needed to start dressing properly. He told them they also needed gloves for when the weather got really cold in January and February.
Mr. Chris arrived as he usually did sometime between 8 and 9 AM. Mr. Ken gave him the freedom to make his hours as long as his responsibilities were attended to and his contracts were up to date. When the man arrived, he went directly to the coffee pot and got his first cup of Coffee.
As Mr. Chris sat down, Mr. Ken said, "Chris, my package arrived while I was at Collin's"
"Great. Was it what you expected?" asked Chris Dominions.
"Yes, and they are already in use," replied a smiling and proud Mr. Ken.
"Wow! You have already put them out into operation? Can you tell me what they are?" asked an astonished Mr. Chris
Mr. Ken did him one better. The Cove's owner brought out his own coin to show his Estate Manager, Mr. Chris. The Cove's owner then explained what the coin was all about and that he had one for him and the rest of his family. Mr. Chris said he wasn't so sure he and his family needed that state-of-the-art security stuff. Mr. Ken then explained to him these were in the developmental stage and he had them to test. Mr. Ken then explained what he planned to do for the test.
Dan Fischer called while the two men were talking. He told his friend he had learned some things about Grace Turnsten. Hearing that, Mr. Ken told Chris he'd get back with him later. The owner of The Cove put the call on hold until he got to his Study where it was more private and he could talk openly.
As Mr. Ken became freed up, he asked, "OK, Dan, what do you have for me?"
"Ken, Grace Turnsten, a 32 year old woman, blonde, brown, 5 foot 5, and weighs approximately 110 pounds. She was bailed out by a friend who also tried to bail out Lincoln, but he didn't have the required cash or collateral," revealed Lt. Fischer.
"Dan, did they get the name of the man and an address Grace would be living at until her trial?" quickly asked Mr. Ken.
"The man's name is Carter, Carter Dunlapman," said Dan. "He brought $10,000.00 cash to make bail for Grace. But he needed another $25,000.00 for Lincoln, so he left only with Grace. They went to the impound lot and he paid almost $600.00 in wrecker and storage fees to retrieve the vehicle she and Lincoln were arrested in at the hospital."
"Where is she living, Dan?" asked Ken Thomas.
"She put on her release form the address they were staying at before being arrested. She has to remain at the residence until her trail or get permission from the courts to change addresses," answered Dan Fischer.
"Dan ... this is probably something you can't answer, but ... well, my curiosity is up. So, do we know where she is getting the money from to pay her rent?" asked Mr. Ken.
"That is the $64,000.00 question, Ken," started Dan. "We suppose Carter is paying. We did a thorough search of the house they were staying in and we found no link to any of the robberies or excess cash monies. Oh, I shouldn't have told you that, so please don't repeat that to anyone. I got caught up in the moment and it just slipped out."
"Dan, I take it you are investigating this Carter Dunlapman, then?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Ken that is one thing I know I can't comment on. I know you are concerned about Matthew and we will do everything to ensure he stays safe. Do you know if his mom has applied to get visitation rights yet?" continued Dan.
"I haven't heard. I'm sure Ms. Judy will let me know if she stops by to see someone for the paperwork," replied Mr. Ken.
The two men completed their call and Mr. Ken decided to clean up for the day. He knew he needed to visit his construction projects, so that was where he was headed after he got ready. But before the man could get out of the Study, Mr. Chris stopped by.
"Mr. Ken, I found voicemails on my answering machine from three companies who want to bid on your project. They all want to survey the area before giving you their final quote. I returned all their calls and they said they could stop by later today or tomorrow," revealed Chris Dominions.
"Chris, we need to ensure they are not here while the kids are here. And, they can NOT place any markers anywhere in the field. So, I think one or two can stop by today. One before lunch and one after and the other one can stop by tomorrow morning. Or you can reverse that.
"It is good we have three companies interested in this project. Let them know I want to sign a contract before the Holidays with construction to being no later than 2 January. Since you already gave them the specs for the job, they should be ready to present their proposals pretty soon after they survey the site.
"Tell them up front if they cannot meet that schedule then they shouldn't waste their or my time. I also want to see the project done in a reasonable timeframe. Well, I guess they would understand that if I am wanting construction to begin so quickly," replied The Cove's Owner.
"Oh, by the way, just so you know, after I get cleaned up, I plan to visit the construction projects out at the lake. I'll be gone until about the time the kids come home. If anything important comes up, of course, call me. Wayne is supposed to take Kyle to see Doctor Doug this afternoon. Anything else for me, Chris?" finished Mr. Ken.
"Well, you do need to select the bands for the kids New Year's Eve party. And, you need to contact people to work all three Holiday parties," replied the Estate Manager.
"Yes, yes I do. Okay. As for the bands, look through the files for this year's 4th of July Picnic and last year's New Year's Eve party. Give them all a call to see if they are available. I'll talk about choosing the band later with the boys.
"As for the party helpers check the Christmas folders, too. The individuals I am interested in asking are the high school and now college kids who worked for me before. Make me a list of who they were and their phone numbers. I'll make a few phone calls tonight after dinner. But, I see I have my work cut out for me, the boss, who is supposed to have the employees do the grunt work," laughed Mr. Ken.
"Oh, before we forget. Get with Wayne and get going on that Holiday trip to Six Flags. I would like a firm date by Friday. That way we can plan with the boy's friends and their parents. That will give us 2½ weeks to get the rest of the chaperones.
"I already have two in the Sullivan's and two with Dan and Doug Jennings. Remember, we have Matthew and his three friends and maybe a few more before we go," added Mr. Ken to Chris' list of things to do.
Over at school, the big talk was about everyone's Thanksgiving week. Everyone had to tell how big their Thanksgiving turkey was and how much they ate. Some had traveled over the Holiday week and told of their airplane flights on very crowded airplanes. A few even took a cruise out of Galveston and they told how nice it was to be warm for a few days and how they swam in the Gulf of Mexico.
Kevin was looking at the coin 'Dad Ken' gave him, during lunch when Terran saw it. Of course the boy had to ask about it. When Sam saw his best friend talking to Kevin, and they were looking at something, he had to go over and see what it was.
Soon, Isaac, Nathan, Grant, and the rest of Kevin and Kyle's friends were all over looking at Kevin's coin. They all had to touch it and look it over. One of the boys said it looked like a silver dollar, but it seemed it was a little bigger and heavier. Kevin had no response to that as he'd never seen a silver dollar, nor had Mr. Ken talked to them about the weight of the coin.
"Why does it weigh so much? Is it real silver, or is it made of something else?" asked Eli.
"I don't know," replied Kevin. "Mr. Ken gave each of us one last night. They came while we were away at Collin's for Thanksgiving. He told us it was some sort of commemorative coin and that he bought a whole bunch of them.
"Mr. Ken told us they were left over from something and he bought a whole bunch because he liked the outline of the state and its flag on it and wanted them to pass out to people," replied Kevin.
Kyle was talking to Matthew, and his friends, when he saw his twin was talking to all of their friends. He decided he'd better go over there and make sure his brother didn't say the wrong thing. Matthew, Brant, Ryan and Noah followed along.
The two young Covers arrived where Kevin was, just in time to hear him say, "...liked the outline of the state and its flag on it and wanted them to pass out to people."
Matthew also heard what Kevin said and he looked up to Kyle and said he was going to find Robert or Charles and would be right back. The lad's friends stuck around to find out what that was all about
Kyle, and Matthew's friends, joined the big gaggle of boys. It was Grant who asked if Mr. Ken had decided to give all of them one. Kevin didn't have an answer and just stood there not knowing what to say. Kyle spoke up and told everyone that their 'dad' didn't tell them to whom he was going to give them to.
That was about the time when Robert, Charles and Matthew and some of the older Cover's friends, came over to where Kevin and Kyle were. Robert heard Kyle's response and quickly spoke up and said, "Our dad didn't tell us who he got them for.
"But ... you do know Christmas is coming up and ... well, I do not know this for sure, but I bet he gives them out as Christmas presents to certain people he knows. You know like the people who work for him and Mr. Dan and maybe some of the politicians he knows. Now, that does not mean you guys won't get one, but we just don't know who my dad will give them to. They sure are neat, aren't they?" chuckled the teen Cover.
Other kids saw the big group of 10-13 year old friends congregating and decided to go over there, too. Now, that many boys gathered, when they usually don't, got Mr. Chassen's attention. Being too far away to hear what was going on he walked over there.
"Hey, let us see that coin. It sure looks pretty neat," Mr. Dan Chassen heard a boy ask.
"Oh, hi, Mr. Chassen," said Charles. "Everyone wants to see the coin our 'dad' gave us after Thanksgiving. I guess it was some sort of Thanksgiving gift. They sure look nice, don't they?"
Robert held out his coin for Mr. Chassen to look at. The schoolteacher looked the coin over and mentioned it felt a bit heavier than a silver dollar, but seeing it was larger than a silver dollar and a commemorative, at that, was probably why it felt that much heavier. He also speculated it might be made from cheaper, heavier materials. That answered some of the boy's questions and just then the first after lunch bell rang.
Mr. Wayne stopped by the school and signed-out Kyle to take him to his appointment with Doctor Doug. They talked about the coin and what happened at school. Mr. Wayne reminded the boy what his 'dad' said about the coins, so he told the youngster to make sure he tells Mr. Ken how he saw what happened.
It was while Mr. Ken was finished checking on his construction projects over at the lake that Grace Turnsten showed up once again at the Main Gate. She wasn't belligerent at all this time. She was cordial and polity asked if she could see her son. The guard told her she needed a court-approved order that said she could visit with her son.
The guard, knowing that Mr. Thomas was off the property, called Mr. Chris and told him that Ms. Turnsten was up at the Main Gate and would he want to talk to her. Mr. Chris asked the guard to tell him more about the woman. He learned the woman tried three times before to see her son and threatened to ram the gates. Hearing that, Mr. Chris told the guard to ask the woman to leave and return with the proper paperwork.
While Mr. Chris and the guard were talking, Mr. Ken came to the Main Gate. He saw a vehicle blocking the Entrance and wondered what that was all about. He pulled his car to the other side and got out to talk to the guards. By that time all three security guards were there.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Thomas," offered one of the guards.
"What do we have here gentlemen?" asked Mr. Ken.
"This woman keeps coming to talk to her son, sir. We were told not to allow her in until she had a court order to see her child. We reminded her of that. She was actually very civil this time around. We did call Mr. Chris, but he didn't want to talk to the woman," explained the lead guard.
"Okay, I'll take it from here," said Mr. Ken.
Then turning to the woman, "Mrs. Turnsten," was all he got out before she spoke up.
"So, you know my name? And who may you be? Another of these boot lickers, but off duty?" replied Grace Turnsten.
"No ma'am. My name is Ken Thomas. I own this estate," answered Mr. Ken.
"So, tell me why I can't talk to my son? I haven't done anything wrong. I just want to talk to him. I want to make sure he is safe and is being well fed and isn't being abused or anything," asked Grace.
Mr. Ken inwardly laughed because he knew exactly what the score was.
"Well, Mrs. Turnsten, as you can see there are armed guards, so you should realize you son is safe. I can tell you he is being well fed and I'd have to say he's put on a few pounds. I also bought him a full wardrobe of new clothes for school and play, so he is well clothed. As for you not having done anything wrong, well ... you are awaiting trial ... which ..., which is why your son is living here ...
"And, you can't talk to him, as the guards told you tonight and the other day, until you get the court order allowing for supervised visits. Oh, by the way he isn't being hit or beaten like the way he was found. He now has four 'brothers' to talk with and play with, so I'd say your son is in very good hands," was how Mr. Ken answered Grace Turnsten's questions.
"What do you mean saying I hit my son? I'll tell you I took good care of him and gave him the best of food and clothes. He deserves to be living with me and not some rich bastard who will turn him against his mother," angrily replied Grace.
"Mrs. Turnsten ... I have no intentions of arguing this with you. Somehow ... you learned your son was living here, but the fact remains ... that the courts assigned him to live here until they dispose of you ... err, your case.
"Now ... I suggest you stop by Children's Protective Service and obtain the paperwork you need to fill out. Then, you take it to the Juvenile Court and request they approve supervised visits. Until you do that ... you will not visit with your son here, or anywhere else.
"Mrs. Turnsten ... I'm asking you nicely not to return here without that paperwork. The guards, who work for me, I am now directing them to call the Sheriff's office and have you charged with trespassing the next time you show up here without the court order for the supervised visits.
"You were lucky the other night the Deputy didn't arrest you. If he had, your bail would have been revoked and you'd never get the chance to visit with your son until after your trial. Now ... please leave ... and do as I asked.
"Until then, you cannot visit with your son," finished Mr. Ken. He got into his vehicle, waved at the woman, and had the guards lower the bollards and open the other side of the Main Gate, so he could drive in.
Grace Turnsten was livid at what the man told her. She thought to herself, "How dare he blame me for Matthew's beatings. The boy deserved all of them for being a bad boy." She also felt the man was intentionally keeping her from talking to Matthew and was being disrespectful to her by talking to her in the way he had.
Grace Turnsten threw the middle finger of fate towards the man as he drove through the gate. She angrily walked around to her vehicle and got in and started the engine. She thought about driving through the gate, but knew those steel pipes sticking up would stop her dead in her tracks.
As the woman drove away from Three Finger Cove, she decided she'd go talk to Carter to see what he could do to help her see her son. She also thought she'd ask him if he could figure out a way to get that man, Mr. High-and-Mighty, out of the way. She smiled at that thought.
"I'm sorry for not telling you about Grace Turnsten, Chris. It seems she somehow learned that Matthew was living here. Jules called me on Friday while I was down at Collin's to tell me she threatened to ram the Main Gate in order to talk to her son.
"I arrived just as she was still talking to the guards. At least all three were there. I guess they knew about her and prepared for the worst. Anyway, I told her she wouldn't get to meet and talk to her son until she had a court approved supervised visitation order in her hands. Even when she does, I will delay it until we can get a court-approved observer to set up the date and time. To be honest with you, I hope she never gets that order," explained Mr. Ken.
"Thank you for that heads up, boss. I didn't associate her last name to Matthew for some reason. I guess since I don't deal with boys all that often and even then I don't use their last names. Maybe I should become better acquainted with them, then.
"Anyway, I'm glad you called me to come talk to you," said Mr. Chris. "So you know, all three contractors will stop by tomorrow. They told me they knew one other and said they'd all be here about 10 AM tomorrow. They asked if you could be there. Two of them said they want to talk to you about the design and about some changes they would suggest. I told them to stop by and I'd ask you to be there, and, if you weren't, then I'd stand in and take their suggestions to you," finished Mr. Chris.
"Did any of them tell you what sort of additions or changes they would like to suggest?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Yes, one contractor did. He said he thought a covered shelter might be appropriate since the house will be so far away if bad weather comes up, and the kids wait until the last minute to find shelter. He also suggested you add restrooms and a storage closet for supplies," replied Mr. Chris.
"You know what, Chris? Those are two great suggestions. I wished I had thought about them when I had my construction group draw up those plans. I wonder if I can add those without changing the original plan.
"Chris, I will be there tomorrow to talk to the contractors. I want to hear what suggestions all of them may have. Thank you for your hard work on this project. I sure hope it will be all worth it," said Mr. Ken, as he patted the man on his back.
"Mr. Ken ... before I go, Jules Diamond also called. He said you two were supposed to review what happened at the Main Gate while you were gone. I told him where you were, so he said he'd try to contact you first thing in the morning. Does this have anything to do with Matthew's mom?" asked Mr. Chris.
"Yes, Chris ... she made a spectacle of herself and almost got arrested. I'll wait for Jules' call. Thanks for that heads-up," replied Mr. Ken.
Kyle and Mr. Wayne returned to The Cove before the rest of the Cover boys did. That usually happened as their doctor appointments were in the early afternoon and finished well before the school day was over. Chief was happy when one of her boys returned early, so she could get some much needed ear scratches. Kyle gave her some and then he and the Estate Master headed for the Study.
"'Dad', 'dad'," called out Kyle, as he and Mr. Wayne headed to the study.
"I'm here, Kyle, as I usually am ... when I'm home," called out Mr. Ken.
The two entered the Study and Kyle went over to Mr. Ken and hugged the man. He and Mr. Wayne then took a seat.
"'Dad', like you said, the kids at school saw the coins and they had loads of questions. Kevin had a hard time answering a question that we didn't plan on," said Kyle.
"What was the question?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Well, someone asked Kev about the weight of the coin," started the young twin. "They said it felt heavier than a silver dollar and wondered what it was made of. Lucky for Kev, Mr. Chassen came over because there were a lot of us gathered together, and some were just our classmates.
"The teacher came over to see what was going on. Robert gave him his coin to look at. Mr. Chassen said it felt heavier than a silver dollar, but because it was a commemorative coin and was bigger that a silver coin it was probably made out of some cheap metal."
"Anything else, Kyle?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Not that I can remember, Mr. Ken," replied Kyle.
"Thank you Kyle for telling me that. I'll talk with your 'brothers' when they get home from school," said Mr. Ken. "Go see if Momma will let you have your snack early."
"No, she won't. We've tried that before and unless one of us is sick, or we're not around, she told us we'd have to wait for all of our 'brothers' to be there," replied Kyle.
"OK, take Chief with you and both of you go and stay out of trouble. It's cold out there, but you could still use the ramps while your 'brothers' aren't here. Or, you can go start your homework," offered 'dad' Ken.
After Kyle left the Study, with Chief following close behind, Mr. Ken told Wayne about the contractors stopping by tomorrow to talk about his next Three Finger Cove project. He asked his Estate Master to be there at 10 AM, too, so he could meet the contractors, as he would be his project manager for the construction.
Mr. Ken also told Mr. Wayne that Jules Diamond would probably be there after lunch and he'd like him to be there as well. The two additionally talked about who would take Robert to his doctor appointment tomorrow. Mr. Wayne volunteered telling his employer, "It was either that or being told to do it." The two men had a good laugh over that.
When the rest of the boys came in from school, they went directly to the Study. As they rushed in, Matthew joined his 'brothers'. Then all the boys started talking at once trying to tell their 'dad' what happened at school with the coin. Mr. Ken invited the boys to quiet down and take a seat. He asked Robert to tell him what happened.
"Dad, Kevin should tell you first. It all started with him," replied the teen.
"OK, Kevin, tell me and Mr. Wayne what brought all this on," asked 'dad' Ken.
"'Dad', all my and Kyle's friends came over to me and asked me some questions about the coin that I didn't have any answers for. They asked me if it was a silver dollar. I've never seen a silver dollar. Then, they asked why it was so heavy and was it real silver. That's something we didn't talk about last night.
"I did tell them what you said. I told them you gave each of us a commemorative coin and that you bought a bunch of them. I told them they were left over from something and because it had the outline of the State of Texas on one side and the Texas State Flag on the other you up bought what was left over," explained
Kyle quickly spoke up telling Mr. Ken, "'Dad', I was talking to Matthew and his friends when I saw Kevin talking to a bunch of our friends. We quickly went over and when we heard Kev say something about what was on either side of the coin. Matthew said he was going to look for Robert and Charles.
"Then Grant asked if you were going to give all of them a coin. I told them I didn't know who were going to get one. That's when my other 'brothers' came over to us," finished Kyle.
"OK, dad, now I can tell you what I said," started out the teenager. "I heard what Kyle said, so I told them you didn't tell us who would get them. I did say something about Christmas coming up, but didn't know who was going to get a coin.
"I also said something about you giving them out as presents to certain people. I told them people like your politician friends and Mr. Dan and the people who work for you. But, I qualified to them that it didn't mean they were going to get one, too.
"Mr. Chassen ... he saw more kids come over to us. He told us he wanted to know why there were so many kids from age 10 to 13 gathered up together. I told him about the coin and let him look at mine. He looked it over, said something about it being heavy and seeing it was a commemorative coin it was probably made from cheaper, heavier materials. It was then the lunch bell rang. Dad ... did I say the wrong thing?" finished up Robert.
Mr. Ken sat back, thinking of what his 'boys' told him about the coin and what happened at school. He decided that knowing what the boys said or didn't wasn't of any consequence, since he was going to try to get all his 'son's' friends one, as well. He just wondered if he could find the time and pass them out before Christmas. He told himself that if he couldn't before Christmas, he would try doing it during the Holiday school break.
"Boys, why don't you go get your snack before Momma Maria comes looking for you. By the way, I haven't told her about the coin, but she knows of it from your conversation at the breakfast table. Now, go get your after school snack," suggested Dad' Ken.
After dinner, Mr. Ken asked Matthew to stop by his Study before going up to do his homework. The Cove's owner told the boy about meeting his mom that afternoon. The man told the youngster that he reminded his mom, she had to fill out the forms requesting supervised visits with him, before she could talk with him. Mr. Ken finished up by telling the young Cover that he told his mom to take the papers, she was to get from Ms. Judy's work, to the juvenile courts, file them and wait for them to act on them.
Matthew thanked Mr. Ken for talking him and telling him what was happening with his mom. He asked what chance his mom had in getting the visits and Mr. Ken said it was up to the judge. Mr. Ken asked the boy what he thought about the visits and all Matthew could say was, that he didn't know.
Mr. Wayne left before the boys came down to the Study after they finished their homework. Matthew was disappointed Mr. Wayne had left, so he just sat in the leather chair by himself.
Mr. Ken told the boys about his visit to the lakeside construction projects and how far along they'd gotten. He told the young Covers that he'd try to take them out there during the Holidays if there is any time left. He also told them Mr. Chris and Mr. Wayne were still working on their Holiday trip to Six Flags.
Hearing that pumped the boys up and they asked if they could tell their friends. Mr. Ken said he saw no problem as he'd already talked the Sullivan's to be chaperones for that trip, as well. Mr. Ken told them he hoped to have a firm date by Friday. Their 'dad' also told them they'd hopefully have a bigger bus next time now that Matthew and his friends were added.
Mr. Ken reminded Robert about his doctor appointment tomorrow and that Mr. Wayne would be at the school to pick him up. The man then took the time to remind the rest of the boys as to when they each had their appointment with Doctor Doug that week.
The boys asked some questions about the Holiday parties and what they would be doing. Mr. Ken told them he'd already answered that question for them. But, their 'dad' decided to tell them again. He told them the first Holiday Party, was for the neighbors and special friends. Hearing that, Matthew asked if would be able to invite his friends.
Mr. Ken told the youngster that many of his friends live in the area already and would be automatically invited. 'Dad' Ken did tell the boys if they have any friends living out of the area, like the Longgers, he would let them invite them after they coordinated with him. That put a smile on Matthew's face.
Mr. Ken then told his 'boys' they would be the junior hosts for the party and would answer questions anyone may have. The man told them that most of the people have been to at least one of the Holiday Parties, so they shouldn't be asking questions about the shootout. 'Dad' Ken told the boys they would be allowed to wear one of their colorful vest, if they wanted, for that party.
For the main Holiday Party on Saturday night, Mr. Ken told them they would all be sort of on a 'stage'. He explained the invitees are important people he deals with and they all know he helps boys, like themselves, and would be watching to see what type of boys they were. He did tell them Collin should be there and if they had questions and they couldn't find him they can go to their older 'brother'.
The twins wanted to know about the New Year's Eve Party, but Mr. Ken told them it was much too early to discuss that and he wanted to wait until they got closer. Then, saying that, reminded him he needed to talk to Chris about the prizes he was going to offer the high schoolers building the Toy Soldiers/Nutcrackers. He made a paper note for himself and placed it square in the middle of his desk.
Mr. Ken looked at the time and saw it was getting late, so he told the boys to get their bedtime snack and head up to bed. The boys reluctantly walked out of the Study. As they walked out of his domain, Mr. Ken yelled to the boys he'd walk upstairs, later, and say 'good night' to them.
Mr. Ken suddenly realized he should have mentioned them helping him choose the band for the New Year's Eve Party. The man made another note to himself and placed it with the other one square in the middle of his desk.
It was a quiet evening in The Cove household that night.
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