Three Finger Cove: Billy ~ Book Six

Chapter Fifty~One

A good portion of the afternoon session of the trial was over and George Morris was going to try to get through his questioning of Kyle before the judge ended the day's testimony. The DA wanted the defense lawyer to ask his questions, so the twins would not have to be in court tomorrow.

District Attorney Morris asked the standard questions that qualified who Kyle Parchsons was for the court. The DA then asked him to tell the court about the night of the attempted kidnaping.

Kyle started by telling the court how he and his 'brothers', and their friends, walked up and down the street and they would take turns going up to the houses, which had their porch lights on and say "Trick-or-Treat" and get fists full of candy.

The younger twin told how once in a while they'd tell the people they were out "Begging for candy", as his 'dad', Mr. Ken Thomas, called it, and the people would laugh and give them more for being 'honest'. That caused the jurors and the court observers to chuckle a bit at the telling.

Kyle then told how Mr. Gene and Mr. George told them that Lieutenant Matthias and Sergeant Roberts would soon be joining them as a white van and now a white step van had been following them and they were afraid the four men in it might be up to no good.

Kyle continued and told how they continued to walk up the street and stop at the houses and get candy. The twin said they were all scared, but they knew they had four armed men, their Security detail and the two Sheriff Deputies, who told them that if nothing happened by the top of the street then it was all a false alarm.

Kyle got into his telling and described how Cody got mad that he got the 'pity' handout at one house when he told the lady he was getting tired and she gave him all her candy. That then at one house the man dumped all of his candy into Kevin's Jack-O-Lantern container which spilled all over the porch and all the boys started to grab what they could.

Kyle told other stories of their Trick-or-Treating shenanigans as they each tried to outdo one another and get the most candy handouts at the next house, almost forgetting that there were four men who might be out to take him and his brother away.

Kyle said they started to get ahead of the men as they raced to see who could get the next house first. He told the court it was then the large white step van came out of nowhere with its high beams blinding them and heading straight towards them, on an angle to block them from getting away.

Kyle explained how he heard someone yell, "Run!" and they all scattered. The younger twin continued and said he saw his twin couldn't run because of the big clown shoes he was wearing. He said he saw a man put a long pillowcase-like bag over his brother's head, pick him up and carry him to the back of the van. "I tried to get the man to let my brother go, but then another man picked me up and took me to the back of the van, too."

"Then you should have seen Mr. Gene and Mr. George come after those two guys who had me and Kevin. Mr. George grabbed the man who had me from behind and almost squeezed the air out of him. Mr. Gene did the same to the man who had Kev.

"I got that pillowcase, or whatever it was, off my brother and Mr. Gene and Mr. George got on top of the men and they pulled out these plastic ties and tied their hands behind their backs. This all happened before the other cops got there. We all know Mr. Gene and Mr. George are big men, but you should have seen how fast they took care of those two men."

As Kyle told his story, the courtroom listened with rapt attention. They'd heard Kevin's telling of what happened that fateful evening, but Kyle seemed to put more detail and feeling into what he conveyed and it made the listener see themselves right there with him. The courtroom observers almost applauded when the twin finished with his very descriptive testimony.

Mr. McKenners, Julian Hankers' attorney, sat at his table for a full minute before he stood up to ask Kyle some questions. The man strode over to the witness stand and as he began to open his mouth to ask his first question he stopped, looked back at his client, then turned to Kyle and said, "I have no questions", and then quickly walked back to his seat.

Kyle Parchsons was told he could step down from the witness stand and go back to his seat.

All the Covers had big smiles on their faces as Kyle got off the witness stand. Kevin even greeted his twin with a big hug when the boy came to his seat. The twins' friends also shook his hand for how well he did on the stand.

DA Morris, knowing it was getting late, asked the judge if he could call one more witness. He told the judge that he wanted to get the students back into class. George Morris added that the other six witnesses would be available to the court with a days' notice if he could get this one last witness to be heard.

"And why is this last witness so important to you, Mr. Morris?" asked the judge.

"Your Honor ... I wish to call ... the other boy that Julian Hankers was out to kidnap that evening ... Robert Harrison," replied DA George Morris.

Upon hearing the name, the people seated behind the railing began to whisper to one another. The judge didn't appreciate the interruption and gaveled them to be quiet. The judge looked at the time and then thought about his conversation with Judge Rossenburger.

"This is quite out of the ordinary, but as it was pointed out, these boys are coming up to the end of their school year and they do need to be in class in order to prepare to take their end of year exams and that dreadful STAAR test. So, I will permit it. Call you next witness Mr. DA," announced the judge.

The bailiff called Robert Harrison to the stand.

Robert reluctantly walked to the front of the courtroom and to the witness stand. The bailiff swore him in and the teenager took his seat. DA George Morris asked him the same questions he asked Kevin and Kyle to introduce him to the court and present him to the jurors.

"Robert, we heard Kevin and Kyle's descriptions of what happened the night of Thirty-One October of last year. We also heard Stanley Vahnn's account of the night that four men attempted to kidnap nine boys, one of which was you.

"Can you tell this court why... why you believe you ... why you were singled out to be included in being abducted ... along with Kevin and Kyle Parchsons?" directly asked George Morris

"The question is why ... why would Julian Hankers want to kidnap you, and not one of the other seven boys? Do you know Julian Hankers? Have you ever met the man?" asked the DA in follow-on questions.

Robert sat there for a few moments trying to decide how he wanted to answer the questions. He figured he knew the answer, but he wanted to choose how in-depth he wanted to go.

"Robert," said the DA, to get the teen to start his answer when the boy just sat there.

"Oh, sorry. I was thinking through what you asked me. I ahh ... I don't know the man. I only ... I only saw the man once and that was the night he came to The Cove and tried to take the twins away with some sort of paperwork. But my dad wouldn't let him have them.

"Mr. Dan was, oh, Mr. Dan is Sherriff's Lieutenant Dan Fischer, and he was there that night and saw the whole thing. The next time I saw Mr. Hankers was the night we were out Trick-or-Treating when he came at us in that white step van," replied Robert.

"What about your thoughts on why you think Julian Hankers singled you out, along with the Parchsons twins, to try to kidnap you?" again asked DA Morris.

"I object," stood up and yelled Mr. McKenners, "There is no way the teenager could know why my client wanted to kidnap him."

"I disagree, your Honor," countered DA Morris. "Julian Hankers was a friend of Kevin and Kyle Parchsons' dad and ... and there could have been a connection between Robert and Mr. Parchsons and I am exploring that possibility. We won't know until the witness gets the opportunity to answer that question your Honor."

"I disagree, your Honor. This is a fishing expedition and a waste of the court's time. It is just an attempt by the District Attorney to implement my client in something he knows nothing about," opposed Hankers' lawyer.

"I'll allow the witness to answer the question. He either knows Mr. Parchsons or he doesn't and if he does then he may know why he was singled out to be taken," ruled the judge.

"Robert ... please tell the court why you believe you may have been singled out, from the other seven boys, to be taken along with the Parchsons twins," repeated DA George Morris.

Robert felt like he was placed between a rock and a hard place. He was hoping this information wouldn't come out until he was almost out of high school and here, he was not even in high school.

"I ahhh ... I know ... Parker Parchsons ... from a long time ago," answered Robert Arthur Harrison Thomas.

A hush descended on the courtroom. Kevin and Kyle immediately looked at 'dad' Ken to see if he knew about what their 'brother' just announced in court. The other boys looked back and forth at one another as if a big secret was just revealed to them.

"Robert ... can you further explain what you mean by, your knowing a Mr. Parker Parchsons and why ... and why he may want you kidnapped?" asked DA Morris.

"Ahh, my dad, my real dad, that is, who is now in prison, had dealings with Mr. Parchsons and ... well, he may not have wanted me around to testify against him. I understand that ... that he was arrested and... and is awaiting trial in another county," answered Robert.

"Do you have any idea what he was arrested for?" asked the DA.

"No, sir I do not," replied Robert.

"Robert ... do you know what dealings he had with your dad, your biological dad, that ... that may necessitate Mr. Parchsons wanting you kidnapped?" asked George Morris.

Robert looked over to his new dad, who shook his head to indicate for him not to answer. Robert then looked back to the DA and said, "I'd prefer not to answer that question without the advice of counsel."

A murmur erupted throughout the observers in the courtroom upon Robert's refusal to answer the DA's question. They sensed a revelation could be forthcoming that could open up another unheard saga in this intriguing trial of four men attempting to kidnap nine boys in order to get to three of them.

"No, Robert, you must answer the question, if you know the answer" countered the DA.

"No, I won't. I don't see why I have to be here," shot back Robert.

It was then Stewart Russell stood up and told the judge he was the attorney for Robert Harrison Thomas and he saw no reason for his client to answer that particular question at this time as it had no bearing on the present trial.

The lawyer stated that if his client was called to testify at Parker Parchsons trial down in Bandera County he would indeed encourage his client to answer that question, but he felt that answering it now served no purpose other than to take the current trial where it wasn't headed in the first place.

The judge gaveled the courtroom to be quiet. He then called Stewart Russell, the DA and Hankers lawyer back into his chambers for a conference. After those three men left the courtroom, Robert went to his dad with tears in his eyes.

As Robert and his dad hugged, Kyle asked, "You knew our dad? Is that why ... is that why you didn't want to go back to visit our mom and dad after that first time?"

Robert broke away from the hug, with his dad, and looked at his 'brothers' and told them he knew their dad back when he was ten and eleven years old. He told them it was a long story and that the courtroom wasn't the right time or place for them to talk about it.

David, Josh, Cody and Gordon heard what their friend told the twins and they wondered if they'd ever hear the full story. Eric and Charles didn't have to wonder, as they already knew it from being Robert's Best Friend and 'brother'.

The three lawyers came back into the courtroom quickly followed by the bailiff who called out, "All rise! The judge then came into the courtroom and sat behind his bench.

"Will the witness please retake the stand," asked the judge.

When Robert was seated, the judge began to speak. "It was agreed in chambers that the witness doesn't need to answer the question about what dealings Parker Parchsons had with the witness's biological father.

"We decided the response would have no bearing on this case whatsoever and only cause the trial to potentially to go off in a direction not intended. The prosecution will continue with his questioning and then the defense counsel will ask his questions. Proceed."

"Robert ... we heard Kevin and Kyle's account of how they saw what happened on the night of Thirty-One October. Is there any detail you wish to add to that evening?" asked DA Morris.

Robert thought back to what he heard Kevin and Kyle say in court. He then tried to remember what he saw and heard that fateful night those four men scared him, his 'brothers' and his friends to no end.

"Well, what the twins didn't know was that ... was that I had seen the first smaller van following us and I called my dad to tell him. I told him I told Mr. Gene and Mr. George. Then, when I noticed the larger step van, I called him again. It was then he told me that Lieutenant Matthias and Sergeant Roberts would be joining us in case it was Julian Hankers trying to abduct the twins. I had no idea at that time the man wanted to take me, too," replied Robert.

"Other than that, I think the twins explained what happened that night pretty well," added the Cover teen.

DA Morris said he was finished with his questioning of the witness and it was the defense lawyers turn to ask his questions.

"Robert ... you told the court you only saw my client that one time, at night, so ... how could you be so certain it was my client that night in the van?' asked Mr. McKenners.

"I didn't just see him for a moment. Julian Hankers was outside the Main Gate for ten or fifteen minutes, so I got a good look at him. So, I knew who he was when I saw him in the van that night," directly replied Robert.

"So, you weren't scared?" asked the lawyer.

"You bet your as ... ahh, your butt I was scared. That was why I called my dad. I wanted him to know that Hankers was there and I was afraid he was there to take my 'brothers' away," quickly answered Robert.

"So, who are these 'brothers' you keep mentioning? I thought you were an only child, Robert?" asked a smiling Mr. McKenners.

"That's right, I am an only child, but at The Cove, all of us foster boys ... we call one another 'brother', but now that I and Charles were adopted by Mr. Thomas, we are brothers," reacted Robert.

"Who was it that the twins said, "Run!"?" asked the lawyer.

"I did," said Robert.

"Then why was it Kyle who tried to free his brother and not you their older 'brother'?" asked the man.

"When I told everyone to run, I ran in a different direction than they did. I didn't think about Kevin having those big clown feet on that would hinder his escape. Lucky for us all, my dad had hired Mr. Gene and Mr. George to walk with us that night. They saw what was happening and they took care of the man who grabbed Kevin," Robert justified himself.

"But why was it your dad didn't walk with you that night? Was he afraid to do so?" smirked the lawyer.

"My dad was not afraid. Ever since he built Three Finger Cove, he personally passed out Trick-or-Treat candy to the local boys and girls and he wanted to do so that night. But he knew Julian Hankers was out there and that he could try something that he eventually did.

"Mr. Gene and Mr. George are retired Sheriff Deputies that work for Jules Diamond Security, and they have worked for my dad ever since my older 'brother' Collin lived at The Cove. He knew with those two men watching over us we would be well taken care of if anything happened," countered Robert.

"But they needed two additional Sheriff Deputies with them and some additional Deputies that came in from the top of the street, didn't they," commented Mr. McKenners, in a boast of sorts.

"And you think that Mr. Gene and George should have protected us against those four men all by themselves? And they didn't know if they had weapons and what they would do to take all of us kids away as they did change the size of their vehicle. Get real! Where did Mr. Hankers get you for a lawyer?" laughed Robert, which caused the spectators in the courtroom to laugh right along with him.

The judge gaveled the courtroom to be quiet.

The defense lawyer then realized he let his mouth speak before he engaged his brain as he forgot he was in court talking to a teenager and not out at the mall back talking to some smart-alecky kid.

The defense lawyer then decided he had no more questions for the witness.

Even though it was going on 5 o'clock, the judge announced that when court reconvened tomorrow at 9 a.m. the first witness would be the continuation of Jerome Bredshaws testimony. He further stated that he would be followed by Danny Zackerson who took a plea bargain and agreed to testify for the prosecution.

What caught the boys off guard was the Judges' following pronouncement. "I want to thank the rest of the boys, their parents and families, for their time spent attending these proceedings. With school almost at an end, this court has decided that if there is a need for your testimony it will give you a half-day notice to be here in order to give your account of the events that occurred on that Thirty-First of October of last year.

"The court never knows how long a person's testimony will take and, in this case, the first witness seemed to have first-hand knowledge of the events that led up to the attempted kidnapping, and his questioning took a very long time. That said, this court is adjourned until 9 a.m. tomorrow," finished the judge, who then gaveled the court out of session.

At The Cove, Billy, Matthew and Mr. Wayne were all concerned that the rest of the Covers weren't home yet. They hadn't heard anything from any of them. Mr. Wayne had to reassure the boys that everything would be OK as if something went wrong Mr. Ken would have called. Just then the phone did ring.

After Mr. Wayne got off the phone call, he told the boys that court went long so that Kevin, Kyle and Robert could all testify. The Estate Master explained that the rest of the boys would be on-call to testify if the court needed them to add their account of what happened that night of the attempted kidnapping. The man finished by telling the boys the rest of the family would be home in time for dinner.

When the Covers entered the house after they returned from the courthouse, they were very boisterous knowing they didn't have to go back unless the judge called for them. Momma Maria had to hug all the boys, and since they were all back together, she decided to serve dinner early.

As the Covers ate, they talked about the trial and that way Mr. Wayne, Momma Maria, Billy and Matthew got an idea of what happened in the courtroom. What was not mentioned was that Robert knew Kevin and Kyle's dad from before he even knew them.

When dinner was over, the Covers headed to the Study, as they usually did, to talk about the day and what was coming up for them and The Cove. Since they already talked about the day, they talked about what they all should look forward to in the coming week.

"Boys, the contractor will be installing the tables and benches in the Pavilion, the bike racks and trash cans will essentially finish off the Pavilion this week and the beginning of next week. We should also see the new golf carts I ordered, so we can more easily resupply the closet for your barbeques.

Momma won't have easy access to that storage area, so you will also be responsible for telling her what to buy and when she gets it, you'll have to take it up there and store it yourselves. You may have to create a checklist so you don't forget something, but we can cross that bridge when we get there.

You will see the biggest changes to the skate park in the next few days. There will be the lighting, the landscaping and maybe the sun shade sails installed. The construction trailer won't be removed until after the punch list is completed, though," finished 'dad' Ken.

"What's a punch list?" asked Kyle

"A punch list is the final list of little things that need to be done to finish up the project. Mr. Wayne and I will walk around the skate park and the Pavilion to see if there is something out of place or not done according to specs. We'll make a list, give it to the contractor and he'll make it right. If you boys see something that doesn't look right tell us and will get it fixed," explained 'dad' Ken.

"Will we get to drive the golf carts?" asked Matthew.

"I don't see why not. But boys, these are not play toys. I'll show you how I want them driven, and if you don't drive them that way then you won't drive them again. Also, your friends aren't to drive them, period! The only exception will be Eric, but he's one of your 'brothers' so I guess he won't count," chuckled 'dad' Ken.

When the meeting in the Study was over the boys began to walk out and up to their rooms. But as they began to walk up the stairs, Mr. Ken called back, Robert, Kevin and Kyle. Billy asked Charles what that was all about, but Charles told him that if it is important, they'll tell him in due time.

Charles knew what that meeting was going to be all about. He didn't want Billy to know because it would be breaking his dad's Rule about telling why his 'brothers' were in the system. The teen knew it was up to his 'brothers' when and what to tell Billy about what was being said in that meeting.

After the boys, Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne were seated back in the Study, Mr. Ken said, "Boys ... Robert said something in court today that had Kyle asking ... that if he knew your dad. I think I'll let Robert tell you his story."

Robert knew this meeting was coming. His dad told him back in the courtroom he would have to own up to what he said on the witness stand and the sooner the better. So, when his dad told him the floor was his he looked at the twins and started to tell them his tale.

"Kevin, Kyle ... my dad, my biological dad, when I turned ten, he ... he began to rent me out to men who used me for ... sex. At first, it wasn't bad sex. It was more like tickling and then sleeping in my underwear and then it moved onto showering. Eventually ... eventually it turned into sex games with oral sex being done on me and me doing it to them.

"Anyway, one of the men ... who I did that stuff with was ... was your ... dad. I think after my dad was arrested; your dad took ... I think he took over from him and began doing what he did. My dad made lots of money using me and ... and I think that was why ... why your dad started using you, Kevin.

"I'm sure he started slow with you, like my dad did with me, and he was building you up for bigger and bigger things. I'll bet that was why Julian ... why Julian paid him that $5000.00 and why he had those phony papers made up, so he could get control over you and Kyle.

"The accident, I bet, caused his house of cards to come crashing down just like my dad's did when a housekeeper accidentally hit a button on a tape machine and my face came up on the TV screen. I know what you are going through Kevin. And in some sense what you are going through, too, Kyle.

"Your dad ... he took me out a number of times before my dad was caught. I never thought in a million years I'd ever see him again, but that day in the hospital room, I ... I was taken by surprise when I heard his voice. Even though I couldn't see his face through the mask all that well I was certain who he was.

"When we went to your house, to get your things that day, I looked all over for a picture of him, so I could be sure it was him. I had hoped this day would never come that I had to tell you that I ... that I actually knew your dad. I ... I don't know what else I can tell you," finished Robert.

Kevin sat there staring at Robert. No one in the room knew what he was thinking. Even his twin brother, who usually talks to him using their 'twin talk' hadn't a clue what was going through his mind.

Then all of a sudden, Kevin leaped from his chair and hugged Robert and cried.

"Why did our dads do this to us?" cried Kevin. "I liked it at first because ...because I thought my dad was paying more attention to me than he was Kyle. But ... but now I find out that ... that all he was doing it for was for ... for the money. And the money he made, he ...he never ... he never spent on me or my twin," continued to cry the older twin, as Robert hugged his 'brother'.

"That's the same thing that happened to me," offered Robert, as he continued to hug his 'brother', Kevin. "But at least the men ... they gave me things and took me places and most of them gave me money that my mom put away for me," added the teenager.

"Can I and Kyle ... can we ever move forward from this?" asked Kevin, through his tears.

"I have; not fully, though. But I have begun to put this all behind me, Kevin. My parents, at least ... they agreed to put me up for adoption and Mr. Ken, as you know, adopted me. And, one day I need to find a way to forgive my parents, somehow, for ruining my childhood. I have visited my mom once, but not my dad, yet.

"I had hoped this day, you learning that I knew your dad, would never come ... but I knew, deep down, one day it would. Now, I'll need to push past this, what's happening now with your dad, and his being arrested. I may have to testify at his trial about knowing him and ... and I am not looking forward to that at all.

"The only thing that came out of all this was that I did get some money, after the courts sold off my parent's house and other things and all my parents bills were paid, if that is any consolation," deadpanned Robert.

Kyle listened to everything being said. Yes, he wasn't the one who had been 'rented' out as his twin was, but he was involved in this as much as his twin was. He just wanted to know how he could help his twin, so they both could put that all behind them.

"'Dad', what can Kev and I do, like Robert, to put this all behind us?' asked Kyle.

"Kyle, Kevin ... only time will tell, actually. As for Robert, when he came here, I was able to help him through some of his hard times, as I've been able to help you through some of yours. We will have to work through those rough times as they come along, like this one, and hope for a better outcome each and every time. Let's get through this trial first," suggested 'dad' Ken.

"But ... but what about our friends who... who heard Robert say he knew our dad?" asked Kyle, with hope in his eyes.

"Hmmm, if they say something to you at school tomorrow ... just tell them that you learning that Robert knew your dad was just as big a surprise to you as it was to them. If they persist, tell them you're talking to your 'brother' about it, but until you're ready they won't ever know the entire story. Remind them that you are in the CPS system for a reason and just leave it at that.

"Robert, if they ask you, you just tell them you knew him when you were ten, and through your dad. You never thought you'd ever meet up with him ever again, let alone his sons. And, leave it at that," recommended the teenager's dad.

They decided to have a group hug before the boys went up to their bedrooms.

Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne talked about what was said in the Study just then. To the Estate Master, it was a mind-blowing revelation that Robert once knew the twin's dad, and that was his own biological dad who rented him to the twin's father for sex. The man wondered how the teen was able to deal with knowing the twins were the sons of one of the men who sexually abused him, back when he was ten and eleven years old. The two men talked about just that.

Upstairs, Billy went to Robert's room when he heard his three 'brothers' come up the stairs. He wanted to ask him what the meeting was all about. Robert was vague about it at first, but in the end, he told him that it had to do with why they were living at The Cove and he wasn't going to talk about it. That it was something that affected the three of them and it wasn't for him to say.

Billy was disappointed at hearing that. But he knew Mr. Ken's rule about the boys revealing anything about the reason why they are living at The Cove. He knew he would just have to wait and see if he would ever be told what the meeting was all about, and the real reason why the twins and Robert are living at The Cove.

Mr. Ken and Mr. Wayne did come upstairs to say goodnight to the boys. They started at Matthew's room and worked their way to Billy's. Matthew also asked about the special meeting that went on in the Study, but 'dad' Ken reminded him about the rule, that it was up to his 'brothers' to tell him, if they wanted him to know.

At Billy's room, it was the same story. Billy said he understood, but added that it was hard to know some parts of the reason his 'brothers' are living there, but not all of the story. Mr. Ken told the teenager that some of the story may be embarrassing to the boys, and that when they get older, they may not feel that way and might tell him. Billy accepted that answer.

The Covers slept well that night knowing the next day they would all be back on their normal Cover schedule.

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