The man took a deep breath to consolidate his thoughts and then, when he felt ready, Ken said, "At first, I want to preface this by saying even though we studied this in college, I might misstate something, since, it's been some time since I read any of this. But, I will try my best to give you the best answer I can at this time. If you feel there might be more to it then, together, we can use the computer to research it some more. Will you be okay with that, Robert?"
Robert said he understood that his 'dad' might not have all the answers but was confident the man could remember enough that would help him understand.
"Well, here goes," began Ken Thomas.
"I believe there are a couple of reasons why men want to have sex with young boys. Some researchers think that pedophilia, that's the name that is used to label what sex with a person under thirteen by an adult is called, is the result of having been sexually abused as a child. The person may have been molested, or had the same types of things done to them, as happened to you, by an adult when he was young and thus believes it is 'Okay' to continue doing that when he is older. He believes that since an adult did it with him when he was young it is okay for him to do it, as an adult, too with a young boy who is about the age he was when it happened to him."
"Still, I believe I once read that various researchers attribute pedophilia to an arrested emotional development; that is, the person is attracted to children because he or she has never matured mentally, or psychologically, into an adult as they were growing up. Those people continue to act as a youngster even though they are much older than the children they have sex with."
"This is thought to happen because their parents didn't teach them or give them enough attention about the rights and wrongs while maturing. Since they never matured, they aren't fully aware of that and they further believe their actions are okay, since they are behaving as kids."
"Another example is the need to dominate a sexual partner. Since children are smaller and usually weaker than adults, they may be regarded as nonthreatening potential partners. They are the bully and want to make you do, sexually, what they feel makes them feel good. Lastly, others think that it derives from the person's interactions with parents during their early years of life. Almost like the previous one, I explained.
"'Son', what those men had, as I see it, was possibly a psychosexual disorder. They fantasized that having sex with young lads, such as yourself, was an exclusive means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification. Sexual release it is also called. Robert, pedophilia is defined by mental health professionals as a mental disorder, but it is also a criminal act. That's why your dad and the other men were arrested and are awaiting trial."
"Of course, there could be a myriad of other reasons but those are the ones that I can readily think of. Do you have anything else?" asked Mr. Ken
"But, what about my mom? Why was she arrested too? She didn't have sex with me!" asked the twelve year old.
"Well, I can't say for certain but … I believe, they might be charging her as an accomplice. That's someone who knows about something illegal going on, and doesn't report it. She very well may have been enjoying the money your dad was receiving from the men who had sex with you so … that may also be why they took her into custody as well. Maybe, I can have my lawyer check into it for you if that's what you want to know?"
"Thanks 'dad', they may have told me those things before but hearing it from you made more sense tonight." Robert then gave his dad the biggest hug ever.
It had been a long night. Longer than Ken had figured, that's for sure. They had been at their little talk for a little over two and a half hours and they both were tired. Their tiredness didn't come from being sleepy but from all the sitting and talking and thinking they had done.
"Robert, thank you so much for opening up to me tonight. I feel I am getting to know you better and more about you each day I am around you. I am very, very happy you are now a part of my life! … I know you must be tired. It has been a long night. But, what say you and I go out to Dairy Queen and get us a nice ice cream sundae to celebrate our very productive Tuesday night chat?"
"Yeah, let's!" enthusiastically replied Robert.
Wednesday at school, even before the first bell, the day began with Robert's buddies asking him what he and Mr. Ken had planned to do for the upcoming Spring Break week. Robert didn't know what to tell them as Mr. Ken never said anything to him but then he remembered he never mentioned it to his new 'dad', so how could he ever plan on something for them to do.
Chuck became the first to tell how his family planned to go camping in their 5th Wheel RV down to Port Aransas, on the Gulf of Mexico, from Saturday to the following Sunday. He told Robert, and the rest of his friends, that the Spring Breakers will also be down there and there would be lots of Spring Break type shenanigans going on. He then told them some of the things he'd seen on previous camping trips when they were there for Spring Break.
Brad then spoke up and told everybody that his family was headed to Disneyland, out in California. He told them they were staying at the Grand Californian, for 4 days, and they would be going to both Disneyland and California Adventure. He mentioned they'd already seen Walt Disney World and this was something new for them. He said he couldn't wait until Sunday when they would fly out. He said his parents were also going to try to take them to see Universal Studios, if there was time. Brad was so stoked.
When the boys asked Gordon where he was going, he just told them he and his family were going to visit relatives. He didn't elaborate and he didn't sound too happy, either.
Josh began to tell everyone what his family had planned but then the first bell rang and everyone went to their homeroom and got into their seats to begin the day's classwork.
Robert sat in class that morning, daydreaming about what he'd love to do for Spring Break. He heard so many of his previous classmates telling their Spring Break stories that he sort of felt left out now that he was living with Mr. Ken. Suddenly, he got called on and didn't know the answer. He hadn't even heard the question. The teacher asked why he wasn't paying attention and he told her the truth; that he was daydreaming about Spring Break.
Some of his classmates laughed at him for answering the way he did but the teacher told them to hush. She told Robert she appreciated his honesty and asked him if he wanted her to repeat the question. When she did, Robert did know the answer. That brought another praise from his teacher, for at least knowing his studies, in comparison to some of the 'other' students. Some of his close buddies patted him on the back when the teacher wasn't looking.
At lunch, the guys sat together and they continued to tell one another what they had planned for Spring Break. They let Josh go first since he didn't get to even start telling his plans the first bell.
Josh told his friends that he was staying close to home, but not too close. His buds asked him what he meant, so he told them. He explained the family always got season passes to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Schlitterbahn but that this year they got Sea World season passes instead of Six Flags. He told the group that they would go down to San Antonio to visit Sea World but were also staying downtown and would go to the Witte Museum, visit the Riverwalk and, of course, the Alamo, which he'd seen a gazillion times he told them.
It was Cody Orbauch who got into the act next, and told everyone what he was going to do. He said he was going on a 7-day cruise, out of Galveston, and that they were going to Key West, Freeport and Nassau. He told his buddies they were leaving on the Carnival Magic and had a cabin with a balcony and were going to be pretty high up. He then told them the Magic had this ropes course that you got to do sixteen different challenging courses on and that he'd done it when they were on a different cruise, but the same ship, last year.
He continued to explain that from the ground, the Sky Course doesn't look so bad: That it was composed of eight sections that dangle 15 feet over the mini-golf course but that you were also 150 feet off the water which you could plainly see from the high platforms. He explained they put you into a harness and hook you to a steel track. That's so if you do fall you won't 'Hit the Deck'" laughed Cody, as he said that. "It's loads of fun!"
Logan Anderson was next to tell his Spring Break plans. He mentioned his family was traveling out to the Grand Canyon. He told his pals he'd always wanted to go there, even if he has to do it with a bunch of girls. Everyone knew Logan would be with not only his mom but also his two older sisters. They knew he hated being in a house, with only women but he was stuck.
Robert and Eric listened intently to their friends talk about what they planned for the upcoming Spring Break. Looking over to Eric, Brad asked him what he had planned.
Eric just sat there like a 'deer in the headlights'. He knew they never went on a Spring Break trip as his mom was always so busy working with Child Protective Services, so he didn't know what to say. But, he told the guys the truth, like Robert did earlier in class that he'd never gone on a Spring Break trip, because of where his mom worked. He said kids are always being brought into the system and Spring Break was a busy time for his mom.
Some of the other people who'd been listening to the guys tell their plans, sort of laughed at what Eric said. All Eric did was shrug his shoulders.
Not satisfied, Brad spoke up and said to Eric, "I thought that Mr. Ken, you know, would take you and Robert on one of those fantastic trips he's taken you on in the past. I'm surprised he hasn't said anything to either of you yet, and time is going by fast if he wants to make any plans to stay somewhere."
"Nope," Eric quickly replied. Then a few moments later Eric said, "Mr. Ken's been busy with a new hotel and office building project out at the lake. Plus some of his companies are also saying they might go out on strike, so he's been busy with working on those details. I guess he just forgot about Spring Break."
"How do you know so much about what my 'dad' is doing?" asked an aggravated Robert. "He's never told me any of that!"
"Chill Robert, Mr. Ken and my mom talk a lot and when I asked her if she knew if he planned to take you on a trip she told me all that. I'm sorry if he hasn't told you any of that but if you ask him what he does all day while you are at school, I bet he'd tell you," retorted Eric.
It was then the bell rang indicating Lunch was over and the lads had to get back to class.
That afternoon after school, Robert walked into Mr. Ken's Study and sat down. He watched some of what his 'dad' was doing and then asked, "What are you doing 'dad'?"
"Oh, sorry Robert, I didn't hear you come in. Well, what I am working on are the final plans for that hotel and office building I want to build," replied Mr. Ken.
"Is that the one over at the lake?" asked Robert.
"Why … yes it is. How did you know about that?" asked the perplexed man.
"Oh, the guys at school today," Robert began … "they were talking about what they were going to do for Spring Break next week, and when they asked Eric what he had planned he told them nothing. Then Brad asked him if you had anything planned for us, me and Eric, since you've taken Eric on some great trips in the past."
Ken Thomas knew he needed to keep his Spring Break plans still a secret so he acted surprised and answered, "Oh … is Spring Break next week, already? Gee, I am sorry Robert. I totally forgot all about when it was. I guess, I'll have to see what I can do in such short notice. What did some of your friends tell you they were going to do?"
Robert then told him everything that Chuck, Cody, Logan, Brad, and Josh all said at school today. He tried to lay it on thick about all the places and things those friends were going to do next week. Mr. Ken knew from the way the boy told him about what his friends' planned that the lad was a bit miffed that he wasn't going on any trip next week. So, he needed to try and change the subject.
"So … you're sort of interested in what I am doing in my Study, 'son'?" began 'dad' Ken. "You never seemed too interested before so why the sudden interest," asked the man not knowing what Eric said at school earlier that day.
Robert knew he never was too interested in what his 'dad' did in his Study, but at the tone of the man's voice when he asked why he was so interested, his eyes began to leak.
The tears weren't too noticeable to Mr. Ken but when he heard the telltale signs of a sniff or two he knew that the boy was hurting inside so he immediately went to the lad.
"Robert … what brought on those tears my 'son'?" sincerely asked the man.
The boy looked into his 'dad's eyes and said, "Its … it's just that Eric … he knew you were working on the hotel and office building and that you were … were having to work on some contract or something and that the men … they might go out on strike. Why did he know all that stuff and … and, I didn't?" now openly cried the lad.
"Robert, Robert … I told you before you could come into my Study and watch what I do and ask me questions, if you wanted to, but … well, you never did show any real interest. So, I figured, at your age, you just weren't ready to get too involved with what I do. I know we talked about me buying old amusement parks and reviving them but nothing other than that. I'm sorry Eric knew something that you didn't but … may I ask … how did Eric know?" Mr. Ken asked that question as he was now perplexed how Eric could know any of that stuff.
The boy, through his sniffles, said, "Wh … when Brad asked Eric about his … his plans and then if you had any plans for us, Eric … he told the guys what he did about the … the hotel and office building and the strike. Then, well, I … I sort of asked him how he knew and I didn't. He … he told me that you and Ms. Judy talk a lot and ... and he heard it from her."
"Oh … now I understand. Thank you for straightening that out for me. I knew I never talked to Eric about the things I'm doing in here, but … well, that causes a problem then doesn't it?" asked Mr. Ken.
"What problem is that?" simply asked Robert.
"Well, that I either have to stop talking to Ms. Judy about what I am doing or I need to START talking to you more about what I AM doing!" explained 'dad' Ken. "What do you think about that, my 'son'?"
The twelve year old sat there thinking for a few seconds than replied, "No 'dad' … you still need to talk to Ms. Judy, but I know I would like to know more about what you do, and what you are doing. Do you think you can do some of that tonight after dinner?"
"Consider it done!" immediately replied Mr. Ken.
With that, Robert jumped into the man's lap and the two hugged.
The rest of the week went by fast for those who were looking forward to their Spring Break plans and sort of slow for those that didn't have any plans, as such. Robert and Eric fell into that last category.
Friday, after school, Mr. Ken took Robert aside and told him they needed to go shopping after dinner. When the lad asked him why he had to go, the man would only say that he needed to see what was being bought and decide what color it should be.
Later, at The Mall, 'dad' and 'son' walked into a department store and headed directly to the luggage section. Robert's eyes got big as he asked, "Why are you buying luggage? I thought you had lots of luggage already?"
Mr. Ken simply replied, "I do … but YOU don't!" Then smiled.
"Yes I do, 'dad'. You bought me new bags back when we went to visit the battleship and submarine. Don't you remember?" teased Robert.
"Come to think of it, yes, I did get you some luggage, didn't I? Oh well, but while we're here let's get you the third piece, the carry-on. People use this piece when they fly commercially. It allows them to take some personal items on-board with them, and, in case their luggage gets lost, they have a few things to tide them over," recovered Mr. Ken.
After getting over the shock his 'dad' thought he needed luggage, Robert knew that his 'dad' had to have planned something for this Spring Break, but wanted to surprise him. With that in mind, he went through the motions and closely looked at all the carry-on pieces and choose one that matched the color he already had, the dark green. Before the two left The Mall, Mr. Ken asked his 'son' if he needed any new clothes. Robert readily agreed and they picked up a few more spring and summer items for the lad.
On the way home, Robert tried all he could to get the man to tell him where they were going but all Mr. Ken would say was that they would be leaving in the morning and that they needed to pack tonight, and fast, since it was getting late.
Over at Eric's house, he knew his mom didn't have any Spring Break plans for them, but when he saw his mom was packing his luggage he wanted to know the reason.
"Mom … why are you packing my bags?" asked Eric.
"Well, all I can tell you is that Mr. Ken … he asked me if he could take you with him and Robert. He asked me today, at the last minute NO LESS, so here I am packing your stuff. I sure wish he'd given me more notice," Ms. Judy said, while laying it on thick for Eric's sake.
"He did! We are? Whoopee!!" was all Judy Turner heard, as her boy yelled at the top of his lungs.
Eric began to pester his mom to find out what she knew about where they were going. After not getting any answers, he decided to call Robert. The phone at The Cove rang and rang but no one answered. Eric wondered if they may have left without him.
"Mom … do you think they … they may have left already and … ahh … forgot to pick me up? I called over there but no one answers the phone," lamented Eric.
"NO, they didn't forget you. I wouldn't let them … after he got me to let you go at the last minute. If he did leave you, after having to pack your bags at the last minute, I'd kill him!" answered Judy, again laying it on thick for the boy's sake.
"My bet is they went out to get Robert some clothes or luggage. Serves him right for waiting until the last minute to decide to go somewhere. He'll not only have to pack his stuff but Robert's as well. I sure hope he isn't driving tomorrow because he will be one tired man after packing for two."
"So, do you really don't know or have any idea where he is taking us?" coyly asked Eric, again.
"No, I told you I don't. He said it would be just as big a surprise to me as it would be for you two. Now, go get me your tighty-withies out of your dresser drawer," ordered Ms. Judy.
As Eric went to get his underwear, he said to his mom, "Mom … why can't I wear boxer briefs like my Big Bros did? Even Robert wears them and … well, none of the guys wear those, those white briefs any more. Will you at least buy me those the next time I need underwear?" When his mom didn't respond, Eric asked again. "Mom … about boxer briefs … the next time … for me? … Okay?"
Judy turned and looked at her son, and then smiled, and pulled him into a hug. "Yes, my ever growing up son; I'll buy you them the next time. And, you know what? I may even take you with me so you can decide what type you want, and what color. Then YOU can carry all the bags for me."
"Thanks mom, you're the greatest!" Eric said, as he hugged his mom back.
Over at The Cove, 'dad' and 'son' were up in Robert's room, packing. Mr. Ken showed the boy how to pack his bags and what to put where, so everything fit. The man had even brought up some large plastic Ziploc bags for Robert to use, to place his shoes in so they didn't dirty anything. It took them the better part of two hours to get all the clothes, and incidentals, Mr. Ken wanted Robert to take with him, packed. Lucky for him, he had already packed his bags earlier in the day. He wanted to have lots of time to show Robert how to pack and to help him get it right.
"'Dad' … will you please tell me where we're going?" pleaded Robert.
"No 'son' it won't be a surprise if I tell you," quickly replied Mr. Ken.
"Ahh 'dad' you're no fun," said the twelve year old.
"No fun am I? I'll show you how much fun I can be!" And with those spoken words, Mr. Ken attacked his 'son' and began tickling him.
"No, no don't tickle me too much, or else I'll pee my pants," yelled Robert.
"So… your bathroom is just across the hall and I want to see if you really will pee you pants," teased 'dad' Ken.
"No, no, please don't do it," pleaded Robert.
With that last plea, Mr. Ken stopped tickling the boy and the two of them rested on the bed. Robert used the lull to catch his breath but after he did he attacked his new 'dad'.
"Now, it is my turn to tickle you!" yelled the lad, as he jumped on top of his 'dad', and began to try to tickle the man.
"Hey … you're NOT ticklish, are you?" asked Robert.
"Oh, I am ticklish alright, but you'll never know where," teased Mr. Ken.
"See … I told you you're no fun," squealed Robert. Then, as he no sooner got that out, Mr. Ken began to tickle him all over.
It was close to eleven o'clock at night when Mr. Ken told Robert he needed to get cleaned up and into bed as 6 AM came pretty early.
"Six o'clock in the morning? What about my beauty sleep?" the youngster teased.
"Yes, six o'clock in the morning! I already set your alarm clock to make sure you'll be up. And, when the alarm goes off, don't dawdle. Get cleaned up and ready and dressed and I'll meet you downstairs. And, if you take too long you won't get any breakfast. Now go pee and hop into bed," finished Mr. Ken, as he gave one last hug to his new 'son'.