"Welcome to the Lancaster Academy," Dylan said offering Kris his hand.
"Thank you," Kris replied shaking Dylan's hand and then Jesse's.
"Dylan and Jesse graduated last year," Charlie explained. "But they decided to take a gap year and work at the school."
Jesse nodded. "It's not a common thing in the states, but more so abroad. After secondary school, kids take a year or so to work or travel and try to find themselves and explore before heading to college and becoming an adult."
"Yeah, some people don't know what they want to study or what they want to be when they grow up." Dylan grinned. "In our case, I graduated a year early, when I was barely seventeen, so we decided to take a year off and work. I work for the Office of Student Affairs. I'm the Resident Assistant for this floor. I give new student orientation and perspective student tours and I help with the freshman mentor program."
"Dylan's the best RA in the whole school," Charlie offered.
Dylan laughed. "I don't know that I'd go that far. I just remember what it was like to be a student here. I let you guys have the freedom you need as long as you follow the rules. My door is always open any time day or night. Jesse's not officially an RA, but he's my roommate and he is on staff, so he's always willing to help out as well."
"What do you do, Jesse?" Kris asked.
"I'm the Assistant Coach for the Equestrian Team and one of the Riding Instructors."
"Do you ride?"
"I did when I was a kid. My mom signed me up for lessons, but when my parents started shuffling me off to boarding schools, I had to stop."
"Well, the riding program started the year that Dylan and I enrolled here; it's a small but very competitive team. You can take lessons to fulfill your PE requirements."
"Sounds like something I'll have to look into."
"Anytime you want a tour of the facilities let me know."
"Did Charlie tell you he's our resident 'merman'?" Dylan laughed.
"No," Kris replied.
"Uh huh. He's the star of the swimming and diving team. You've never seen anything like him in the water."
"Stop," Charlie barked with a sly grin. "You all are embarrassing me. Why don't you tell him how you guys won the New England Regional Show Jumping Championship last year?"
"Shit! You guys could give someone an inferiority complex," Kris laughed.
Jesse grinned. "Don't worry about it, Kris. We all have something we're good at; sometimes it just takes us longer to find it."
Kris nodded and smiled.
"Well, we just wanted to introduce ourselves," Dylan said. "We're right next door if you need anything. We've got to run, but you're in great hands with Charlie. Since you're coming in a couple weeks into the semester, I thought we could do your orientation one-on-one tomorrow morning; that way you'll be all set to start classes on Monday."
"How about ten? I'm sure Charlie will show you around some today, but that will give me time to do the formal tour and get you situated as far as where your classes are and everything else."
"I'll see you then," Dylan said as he and Jesse left.
"They seem like nice guys," Kris said after the older boys had left.
"They're awesome," Charlie replied. "Dylan was my mentor last year when I was a freshman. Most of the seniors look at the mentor program as a chore; they meet with you once a week for the first month like they are supposed to and then once a month after that, but Dylan went so far beyond that. He was there whenever I needed him; he included me, made sure I met people, got invited to clubs and meetings, kept up with my classes and was a sounding board whenever I needed it. He and Jesse became really good friends to me."
Charlie smiled wide and nodded. "They even managed to get me on a horse. I had only ever been on one once in my life--a pony ride, really. They always intimidated me, cuz I'm not the biggest guy in the world. Not only did they get me on one, but they made me ride Jesse's horse, Jupiter."
"Is he big?"
"Over seventeen hands."
"Seventeen hands?!?!" Kris exclaimed. "That's huge."
"I know, right?" Charlie laughed. "But, Jesse said if I could jump off a 10-meter board then I shouldn't have a problem on Jupe."
Kris rolled his eyes. "Uh huh."
"That's what I said. But it was cool. Jupe's actually a sweetheart. Once I got going, I had a great time. Jesse offered to give me lessons, but if something happened, coach would kill me," Charlie laughed. "But, seriously, those guys are like brothers to me. They are always there for all of us. I'm close to them, because of Dylan being my mentor last year, but they help all the guys on the floor. If you need anything, you go to them."
"Does anyone bother them about being…?"
Kris blushed and nodded.
Charlie shook his head. "No. I guess when they first got here, there were a couple of guys who gave them grief and there was some trouble, but ever since I've been here, they've been two of the most popular guys around. This is an all-boys school, so it's not completely out of the question for there to be gay students here. If anything, Dylan and Jesse being so out and so visible and so confident has helped lots of other kids."
"Sure. Look at the way they introduced themselves just now. Dylan didn't call Jesse his 'roommate' or his 'friend' or anything else, he called him his 'boyfriend'. They are always upfront and honest, never ashamed of who they are. People see that and realize it's normal. They're just two boys who happen to be committed to each other," Charlie explained. "They sure helped me."
"When I got here, I was questioning who I was and all the feelings I was having. My dad is old school; he's not homophobic or anything, but he's not easy to talk to either and talking to my mother is just not an option. When I first met Dylan, it was just one-on-one. He was so nice, friendly and normal. I had been meeting with him for a couple of weeks before I met Jesse. The first time he introduced me to Jesse he did the same thing he did today, called him his 'boyfriend'. It was like I was hit by a bolt of lightning…I realized that if these two guys could be in love with each other then it probably wasn't such a bad thing. I started talking to Dylan and then both of them about it. We had some pretty long and involved conversations, but I've accepted who I am and I'm happy with myself."
"So you're gay, too?" Kris whispered.
"Yup. I'm not as out as Dylan and Jesse, but I'll answer honestly if asked," Charlie answered. "Is that a problem?"
"No, no, not at all," Kris said standing up. He paced back and forth across the room.
"Kris, are you ok?" Charlie asked. He stood up and walked over to Kris. He put his hand on Kris' arm.
Kris again felt a cool, calm flow over him. He turned to face Charlie.
Charlie looked up and saw a tear falling down Kris' cheek.
"Hey, what's the matter?"
Kris shook his head. "Actually, everything is good. For the first time in a long time, I think everything is going to be really good."
Alex lay in bed, his arms wrapped around Dyson's chest, while Dyson's head lay on Alex's shoulder. He had been awake for a few hours. It was taking all his strength to not let Dyson's dreams and fears creep into his mind. He didn't know how Benji had done this for years. They had a lot of work to do.
Dyson began to stir. He rolled off of Alex and blinked a few times before focusing on Alex's grinning face.
"Morning, sleepy head," Alex said.
"Morning," Dyson mumbled.
Dyson sat up and stretched his long arms over his head. Alex's eyes traveled over his tight pecs and washboard abs.
"Better than I have in a week," Dyson said more coherently.
"What time is it?" Dyson asked, lying back down.
"About 7:30," Alex replied. "Benji and Oliver are probably up or getting up about now, especially if they are headed to the barn. The dads are probably sleeping in, since it's Saturday. None of the stores are gonna open till nine or so, so you can sleep some more or take a shower and we can grab something to eat."
"Well, I'm up. I don't think I could sleep more if I tried, but a shower sounds good. I just don't have anything to wear."
"I can take care of that. You go and take a shower; I'll get you some more clothes," Alex offered.
"Something a little longer this time?"
Alex flashed a big smile. "I can't help it that you're a tall one. I'll see if I have a pair of Bermudas or clam diggers or something." He rubbed his hand along Dyson's bare thigh, letting it inch closer and close to his crotch. "But hasn't anyone ever warned you about hiding your light under a bushel?"
Dyson grinned and shook his head. "Has anyone ever told you, you're incorrigible?"
"Every teacher I've had since kindergarten," Alex laughed as he continued to his ministrations on Dyson's leg.
"Alex…" Dyson sighed.
Alex looked up, his deep brown eyes locking with Dyson's green ones. There were no words exchanged as Alex slid over Dyson's body and hovered, his face millimeters above Dyson's.
Alex gently lowered his face and his lips came to rest on Dyson's.
For all his sexual experience, Alex had never felt a kiss so gentle, meaningful and caring in his young life.
Alex pulled away and rolled over on his back.
Dyson propped himself up and looked down at Alex. "Did I do something wrong?"
"Wrong? God, no," Alex whispered. "Dice, I've been with other people…LOTS of other people, but you just made me feel like a virgin. You made me feel so special."
"You're kidding. That was actually my first time."
"You've never even kissed someone before and you did that to me?!" Alex exclaimed bolting upright.
Dyson sat up and nodded. "Is that wrong?"
"No, but if you did that to me with your first kiss, anything else might be dangerous." Alex grinned. "But it could be fun to find out." He rolled off the bed. "Why don't you hop in the shower and I'll run to Benji's room and see what he's got. He tends to have more 'conservative' clothes than I do." He laughed as he ran out of the room in nothing but his bikini briefs.
Dyson chuckled and shook his head. He rose from the bed and padded over to the bathroom.
Alex stopped outside of Benji's bedroom.
"Benji, you decent?"
Alex opened the door.
Benji and Oliver were sitting on the bed pulling on their paddock boots. Both were dressed in jeans and t-shirts.
"Hey, I figured you two would already be gone."
"We will be in a few minutes," Benji replied. "What's up?"
"Do you have a pair of Bermuda shorts or Clam Diggers that I can lend to Dyson? My stuff is too short for him."
"I think so," Benji said as he walked over to his dresser. He rummaged around for a moment and pulled out a pair of dark-blue shorts. "These should work. They come down to below my knees so they should work for him." He tossed them to Alex.
"What time are you guys heading out?"
"Probably around eight-thirty or so," Alex said. "Most places will open around nine. I think I'll take him to the mall first, get him set with clothes and stuff, then we can worry about the computers."
"Why don't you go do the computer stuff first?" Oliver suggested. "Given what Dyson knows, that should be pretty straightforward and easy. Benji and I should be done by noon and we could meet you at the mall, grab some lunch and then do some shopping."
"Sounds like a plan," Alex replied. "We'll meet you at PF Chang's at one."
Benji nodded. "Ok."
Alex left the room and ran to his. He grabbed a t-shirt and some underwear for Dyson and threw them on top of the shorts that Benji had lent him. He peeled off his underwear and ran into his bathroom and took a quick shower. He dried off quickly and ran back into his bedroom.
He pulled on a fresh pair of bikinis, a well-worn pair of black denim shorts that barely covered his ass cheeks and a black sleeveless t-shirt. He slipped his feet into a pair of flip-flops and scooped up the clothes for Dyson and ran back to the guest room.
"Déjà vu," Alex whistled as he walked in to find Dyson standing in the middle of the room with a towel wrapped around his waist.
"Well, if I had clothes…" Dyson grinned.
"Sorry. I got you some shorts from Benji and then I took a quick shower myself." He handed the clothes to Dyson.
"Thanks," Dyson said as he placed the clothes on the bed.
Alex watched in disappointment as Dyson slid the pair of briefs he had lent him up under the towel and then took the towel off.
"Tease," Alex pouted as he sat on the bed.
Dyson grinned. "I didn't realize I was supposed to be giving you a show," he laughed as he finished getting dressed. He walked over to the dresser and looked in the mirror. He ran his fingers through his hair.
Alex walked over and stood behind him. "The bleach-blond thing really isn't you, Dice."
"I know, but it was a rush decision."
Alex thought a minute. "How long do you think it will take to get the computer stuff?"
"If they have what I need, about a half-hour or forty-five minutes," Dyson replied. "I know exactly what I need: either they have it or they don't."
"Cool. We're meeting Benji and Oliver for lunch at one and then going shopping for clothes and stuff for you; that will give us a couple of hours to kill. I might have an idea about that."
Dyson walked over to the drawer where he had left his gun and other weapons.
"What are you doing?" Alex asked.
"I was thinking about it; I need to tell your dads about the gun and other stuff and I need to be carrying," Dyson explained. "I'm licensed and it's all legal. You guys have your powers, but Oliver's aren't defensive or offensive; if something happens, I need to be able to help you."
Alex nodded. "Ok, but I know how they feel about guns, so be prepared for an argument."
Dyson nodded. "I know, but I'd rather be up front than have them find out some other way."
The two walked down to the kitchen. Alex was surprised to find his fathers seated at the counter having coffee.
"You two are up early," he said.
"We're going over to meet with Oliver's parents," Damon said.
"Why?" Alex asked.
"Well, let's see…their son has been spending lots of time with ours, we haven't met them, it would be nice to at least touch base…and, oh yeah, we need to explain the little thing about their son being paranormal," Kai answered.
"Are you sure you want to do that?" Dyson asked.
Damon nodded. "I think we need to. If Oliver's father is a historian, he must have some idea about their family history. Even if it's just considered family lore. Kai and I talked about it last night and if the situation was reversed, we'd want to know. It's not like they can do anything about it, but Oliver is their son and they've got to suspect something after what Benji did to his mother."
"What did he do?" Dyson asked.
Alex explained about Benji's 'detoxing' of Oliver's mother.
"Wow," Dyson sighed.
"Uh, huh," Alex nodded.
"While we're on the subject of 'disclosure', there's something I need to tell you," Dyson said. "Or show you."
"What's that?" Damon asked.
Dyson reached behind his back and pulled his pistol from out of his waistband and placed it on the counter in front of him.
"Shit! Is that loaded?" Kai asked.
"Yes," Dyson replied. "Alex saw it last night when it fell out of my bag and I left it in a drawer unloaded all night. He said I shouldn't tell you about it since you didn't like guns, but after thinking about it, I decided I needed to be honest with you."
"Why do you have it?"
"As I explained to Alex, I don't have powers to protect myself. Since this all began, my father's order have been the observers, the recorders, but when my father found me I had already been living on the streets. I already knew how to fight and use my brain and my fists. He was starting to think there might be danger coming, so he had me trained in martial arts and the use of various weapon, including firearms."
"Are you carrying more than that gun?" Damon asked.
"Right now, on me, I only have that Glock," Dyson replied. "I do have knives with me as well. It was all I had time to grab."
"You won't be able to bring that to school."
"I know. I'll have to figure something out."
"I can't say either of us like it or even agree with it," Damon said. "But we understand. We're trusting you, Dyson. Part of it's a gut feeling and part of it's Benji's scan of you. Just please be careful."
Dyson nodded. "I always am."
"So what are you guys doing today?" Kai asked.
"We're gonna head out to the Computer Warehouse around eight-thirty; they should have everything Dice needs right there," Alex answered. "Then head to the mall. I have a few errands to take care of before we meet Benji and Oliver for lunch and then we are getting this one outfitted--he can't wear our shorts forever."
Kai laughed as he looked between the two boys. Dyson was at least three to four inches taller than Alex.
"Why do I think you probably got those from Benji?"
Dyson grinned. "Cuz this one's looked like 'Daisy Dukes' on me."
Alex shrugged. "I thought they were cute."
Dyson shook his head and laughed. "Why do I get the feeling you've spent a lot of time in the principal's office?"
Damon laughed. "Alex, he's got your number."
"Dad, you're supposed to be defending me."
"I would…if he was wrong," Damon replied.
"Keep picking on me, buddy and you'll be cuddling up to your pillow tonight," Alex said smirking at Dyson.
Dyson was taking a sip of orange juice which ended up going down his windpipe. He began coughing and choking. Juice sprayed out of his mouth and nose. Alex ran over and started slapping him on the back.
"Breathe!" Alex ordered.
Dyson caught his breath and looked sheepishly at Kai and Damon who were grinning at him.
"Sorry," he said quietly. "Nothing happened, really."
"We know, Dyson," Kai answered. "Benji let us know last night after he helped you that Alex was staying with you; it's ok. Whatever happened or didn't happen is between you and Alex and will stay that way unless you need to talk to us about it, ok?"
"Good," Kai said as he and Damon stood up. "We need to get going."
"We'll see you guys later," Damon said. "Alex, Benji took my car with him, so you could take his truck to load the computer stuff into."
Damon and Kai left.
"Sorry, about that, Dice," Alex said.
"It's ok, it just freaked me out a little bit; most parents wouldn't be that cool about something like that."
"My dads aren't 'most parents'."
"I've noticed," Dyson replied. "Do you know how lucky you are?"
"Oh, yeah." Alex nodded. "I'm gonna run upstairs and get you a clean shirt since that one's a mess."
Benji and Oliver had finished feeding and swapping out the horses that needed to be moved from the fields to the barn and vice versa and were now in the process of cleaning stalls and leaving the evening feedings in the empty stalls. They had started at opposite ends of the barn.
Benji was making good time. He had been doing this for so long that he was pretty much on autopilot. He was about halfway down the hall when he heard Oliver's frantic voice.
He dropped his muck rake and raced down the aisle until he found Oliver inside one of the stalls. He was standing next to a buckskin mare. Oliver was running his hand up and down the mare's neck. She was biting at her stomach and appeared to be in distress.
"Oh, Jewel!" Benji cried walking into the stall. "She's collicking."
Oliver nodded. "I started doing the stall next door and I could 'hear' her in my head. She's in so much pain. I'm trying to keep her calm, but I don't know enough about what my powers do. I don't know how to 'talk' to her."
Benji reached around the side of the stall door and grabbed the mare's halter and lead. "We need to get her moving and keep her on her feet," he said. "Just do what you're doing, keep her calm. It's the same as when my telepathy started: I didn't really know what to do, I just went on instinct. She's acting calmer than any horse I've ever seen with colic, so you're doing something right."
Benji slipped the halter onto Jewel and slowly led her out into the barn aisle. He slowly walked her around in circles while Oliver kept his hand on her neck and back.
Oliver could feel her pain, discomfort and fear. He tried to let her know that he and Benji were doing everything they could to help her and make her well.
"Oliver, can you feel it?" Benji asked as he stopped walking.
"I don't follow."
"We're still learning what your powers can do--mine too, I guess," Benji explained. "I was curious how deep you could scan her. I know you can feel her emotions and pain and you can essentially talk or communicate with her, but can you feel the blockage that's causing the colic? Not necessarily physically, but can she tell you where the pain is coming from?"
"I'm not sure. Let me try," Oliver replied.
He closed his eyes and ran his hand along Jewel's neck and down her side. He gently stroked her back and ran his other hand along her belly. He stopped at one spot and slowly moved his hand over that spot several times.
He opened his eyes and looked at Benji. "Here."
Benji walked over to Oliver and placed his hand on the spot Oliver was pointing to.
"I wish Alex was here; I want to try something, but he has a better control of his telekinesis than I do."
"When did you get the telekinesis?"
Benji shrugged. "A few days ago, about the same time as the empathy stuff started. I didn't say anything because I wasn't sure and everything was so overwhelming. I figured I'd wait a few more days and then say something."
"So what do you want to try?"
"Well, my powers work on people and yours on animals…what if we link?"
Benji took Oliver's hand.
"I can link with you telepathically. You use your powers to keep her calm and guide me to the blockage. I'll try to move it and we can see if I can use the empathic powers on her, too."
"Worth a try."
"Ok here goes."
Both boys closed their eyes; they held hands and each had their free hand on the mare's side.
It took Benji a moment to adjust to the alien feelings coming from the horse. He was used to human thoughts, but the horse's were more primal and less complex than a person's. Once he had adjusted he let Oliver take the lead and followed him to the spot where the pain was strongest for Jewel.
"I'm flying a little blind here. I'm going to try to gently probe and see if I can feel the blockage."
Benji scanned along the mare's intestinal track gently probing as he went. After a few minutes he felt a resistance.
"I found it."
Concentrating on the spot, Benji took the hand that held Oliver's and pressed both hands flat against the mare's side. He knew he could not move the whole blockage as it would just create more problems; the best solution would be to break it down and let it pass through her system. It would take more time, but in the long run would be better and far less painful for Jewel.
"I'm going to try to help you keep her calm and help with her pain while I work on the blockage."
"Keep your mind open and just let my powers flow through you into her. Your mind is better suited to communicate with her and she can understand you."
Oliver felt the hand that was under Benji's start to get warm. He could feel Jewel's pain entering him through his other hand.
Benji was doing double duty. Pulling the pain from Oliver and working little by little to break down the blockage. He finally felt the last of it slide away. He probed a bit further to make sure nothing else was there.
"How's she doing?"
On cue, the boys heard the familiar sound of the mare emptying her bowels. Both opened their eyes and started laughing.
"Well, I guess that worked," Benji said.
"What worked?" Dale asked as she walked into the barn.
Startled, both boys turned around quickly.
Benji smiled. "Hey, Dale. Oliver found Jewel in her stall and she was just starting to colic. We got her out and walking. I was about to call you, but I guess the walking worked as you can see," he nodded at the deposit that had been left on the barn floor.
Dale laughed. "Good job, boys. Let's keep her in her stall today and make sure she has plenty of water. I'll tell the kids this afternoon not to use her for lessons or trails and to keep an eye on her."
"I'll take her back," Oliver said. "I need to finish up the stalls."
"Leave the ones you guys haven't finished," Dale instructed as Oliver led Jewel away. "I've got a couple of kids that should be here in about a half an hour. They're coming on weekends to trade work for lessons and riding time."
"Are you firing us?" Benji said with an exaggerated frown.
Dale barked out a laugh. "You little shit. You know I wouldn't do that. I just figured you guys could do more lessons and training and have more time for yourselves," she winked at Benji.
Benji hugged the stout woman. "Is it that obvious?"
"Benji-Boy, I've been waiting for you to find someone forever. The first day you brought Oliver here, I knew he was that someone. You've spent enough time hiding here. You need to start having some fun, like that rascal brother of yours."
"I always have fun here, you know that."
"I know you do and I want you around here as long as I'm walking and talking but I want you and Oliver to spend time together and not just cleaning stalls." She hugged Benji tight and kissed his cheek. "Now go find that boy of yours; the weather's gorgeous, you need to get out on those trails."
"Thanks, Dale. I love you."
"Love you, too, sweetie."
Damon and Kai were greeted at the door by a tall distinguished-looking man. He appeared to be in his mid-fifties, he had thinning grey hair, hazel eyes and wore thick glasses. He had on a white long-sleeved dress shirt and a navy-blue tie and navy-blue trousers.
Damon thought he looked every bit the stereotypical British professor.
"Gentlemen, welcome," the man greeted them cheerfully. "Come in, come in. You must be Mr. Abercrombie and Mr. Martin; I'm Trevor Mills, Oliver's father."
"Nice to finally meet you, but please, I'm Damon and he's Kai."
Trevor smiled broadly. "And I'm Trevor, please come into the study." He gestured for them to follow him. "I'm sorry my wife's not here; she had several appointments she couldn't reschedule. She was quite disappointed; she's been wanting to meet you. She's quite fond of your boy, Benjamin."
The room they entered was large and cluttered. Three of the walls were floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled to overflowing. There was a large desk in front of a picture window and two wingback chairs facing the desk.
Trevor moved behind the desk. "Please sit, sit," he said motioning towards the chairs.
Kai and Damon sat down.
"I can't tell you both how much my wife and I appreciate your taking such an interest in Oliver. He was rather hesitant about making this big move and meeting Benjamin was a godsend for him. He talks about him nonstop and he's such a nice boy, you've lots to be proud of."
"Thank you," Kai replied. "Oliver's more than welcome at our place. I know he's only known our boys for a short time, but he's already one of the family. He's a great kid."
"Boys? I thought it was just Benjamin."
"No; actually, Benji has a twin brother, Alex," Damon stated.
"Twins...Oliver never mentioned that and I've never met him, are the two not close?"
Kai laughed. "Actually, just the opposite--Benji and Alex are best friends. You've never seen two brothers so close, but they're very different as well. Alex is the outgoing athlete; he plays lacrosse, can be a wise guy, but he's a good kid. Benji is quiet, studious; he loves horses, which I guess is how he and Oliver got put together in the first place. He's just got the gentlest soul."
"And I would assume that since he has grown up with two fathers, Alex does not have a problem with Oliver and Benji's relationship."
"Not at all," Damon answered. "As Kai said, the twins are best friends and Alex has always been Benji's biggest supporter. Benji came out to us when he was fourteen, but Oliver is his first boyfriend. I don't think anyone is happier about that than Alex. Of course, I think a big part of that is Oliver's shared interest in horses, which to Alex means he doesn't have to ride with Benji as much." He and Kai laughed.
Trevor nodded. "Another item I have to thank Benji for. I had thought it would take Oliver a while to find an appropriate place to ride and even longer to find a new horse. He was quite upset to leave his old horse back in England, but the old boy would not have adjusted well to the California climate. Yet, after a day, Oliver comes home excited beyond words that he has found a new barn and a new horse."
"Dale Kennet, the woman who owns the stables, has been a friend of the family for years," Damon explained. "She and Benji are particularly close; I think she sees Benji as the grandson she never had. Benji's been going there since he was eight. She keeps a close eye on the kids and runs a tight ship, but she loves them all."
"Oliver has had nothing but wonderful things to say about her and the barn," Trevor replied. "It's made his mother and me so happy to see him adjust so quickly and make such close friends."
"Well, that was one of the reasons we wanted to get together this morning," Kai said. "We thought it was time that we at least met, since it looks like Benji and Oliver are going to be spending so much time together; probably Alex as well. We figured you'd at least want to meet Benji's parents."
Trevor smiled. "I'm very happy you called and we are having the chance to meet, but having met Benjamin and seen the influence he's had on Oliver in just a short time, I had no doubt that his parents must be good people as well."
"Thank you," Damon nodded. "There is another reason we wanted to touch base. This one may seem a bit more unusual."
"Oliver mentioned that you were a historian."
"Yes, my focus is on the Roman Empire, but I study many of the classic periods," Trevor replied. "That's what brought us to Los Angeles. I was offered a research position at the University of Southern California; they've recently received several research grants and needed a few more researchers."
"What do you know of your family history?" Damon asked.
"That's a rather curious question. Actually, not much. My parents both passed away when I was at University. I was an only child and don't have much in the way of an extended family. I never really had much interest in genealogy."
"Do you recall ever hearing any family stories or legends? They may have even seemed like bedtime stories, about ancestors having superhuman or paranormal abilities."
"No, I can't say…" Trevor stopped and his eyes glazed over for a moment. "Actually, now that you mention it, there was a story my grandfather would tell me when I was a small boy about a young man hundreds of years ago who could speak with animals. I was probably four or five and he would weave these fantastic tales about this young man. I haven't thought about it in years. My grandfather passed away when I was seven and my father was not one for fairy tales." He looked at Damon and Kai. "May I ask what's behind these unusual questions?"
"It's a long, complicated story and it may seem hard to believe, but it is all true," Damon stated. He then spent the next forty-five minutes relating the story of the Abercrombies and what Dyson had told them about the other families and the prophecy.
When Damon had finished, Trevor leaned back in his chair. He took off his glasses and set them on the desk and squeezed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.
"So, you mean to tell me, your sons and mine have these powers and there are still two other boys out there with paranormal powers as well?"
"Yes," Kai answered. "From what Dyson told us last night, when all five boys are brought together, the boys' powers will be at their strongest."
"Incredible," Trevor exhaled. "A few days ago, my first instinct would probably have been to have both of you committed, but I knew there had to be some reason for my wife's sudden change. After years of depression, alcoholism, melancholy all of the rehabs and doctors, for her to turn around like she did overnight, it had to have been more than just a change in attitude. It's like she's the woman I married." He shook his head. "How serious is the danger the boys are in?"
"We don't know at this point," Damon replied. "We do know that Dyson's father was killed, but it looks like he shook the people who did it. Since they haven't shown up here, his father was probably their only lead to the boys. We're taking steps to hide Dyson's identity and he's going to work on locating the other two boys and then we'll go from there."
"And we don't know what the 'endgame' for this is?"
"No. According to Dyson, the prophecy simply says that the chosen five will be brought together and their powers restored."
"Well, perhaps once Dyson has his papers and computers set up I could sit down with him and look over everything; maybe a fresh set of eyes could see something that might have been missed."
Damon nodded. "That would probably be a good idea, especially given your background. I'm sure Dyson would appreciate it. He and Alex are out getting the computer equipment now, but I'll run that by him this weekend."
"Very good, I'm very curious to learn more about this prophecy."
Alex and Dyson had arrived at the Computer Warehouse about five minutes before they opened. Alex was impressed with Dyson's knowledge. They were the first customers in the store and within thirty minutes, Dyson, with the help of a young salesman, had located all of the equipment he needed.
Dave, the salesman, was grinning to himself. He was a college student and only worked on the weekends. The other salesmen usually grabbed the customers who looked like big spenders and left the kids looking for laptops and video games for him. When they all saw Dyson and Alex enter they assumed that the two boys were simply looking for the newest X-Box game, so they sent Dave to help them.
When one of the senior salesmen heard Dyson rattling off the list of items he was looking for, he tried to push into the conversation and make the sale, but Dyson let him know that he felt that Dave was more than capable of helping him.
Dave knew the commission from this sale would take care of his rent and utilities for the month and still leave him more wiggle room than he usually had.
"Did you need us to deliver any of the equipment?" Dave offered. "We have techs that can set it up. Actually, I do it a couple nights of week for the store."
"We're good as far as taking it with us," Alex replied.
"I should be ok setting it up, but it might not hurt to have an extra set of hands," Dyson said. "I'm not sure how Alex or his brother are with computers."
"I know how to turn it on," Alex volunteered with a grin.
Dyson rolled his eyes. "What time do you get off?" he asked Dave.
"I'm off here at 4. Normally, I work on Sundays, but with the holiday weekend we're closed tomorrow."
"Are you free tomorrow?"
"Sure. I was planning to spend some time with my boyfriend; being in school we don't get a whole lot of time together."
"Is he a computer guy too?" Alex asked.
Dave grinned. "No. Actually, he's a music major."
"Then you definitely need to bring him over," Alex smiled. "He can hang with my pop while you guys work on the computers and then we can have a cookout or something."
"Is your father in the music industry?"
"Yeah, something like that," Alex replied.