Back in Washington, DC, James Stouffer had been disciplined and demoted to a desk job and had to undergo additional training before he would be allowed to go back out into the field. His punishment wouldn't have been so severe if it hadn't been for the portable camera Mr. Thomas had set up that morning, to monitor Collin. That camera caught Agent Stouffer pulling his gun, and then Mr. Thomas tackling the man to the floor. It was found that there was no reason for him to have drawn his gun, as a growling dog posed no threat that warranted such action.
Agent Stouffer continued to bide his time and searched for any information that came across his desk indicating person or persons unknown were out there looking to confirm the boy, Collin, was indeed dead. The only reports about the boy he did see were that no viewing occurred before the funeral, because of the water damage to the body. Agent Stouffer figured these people would want positive identification and if he found out who those people might be he vowed he would surely contact them and make a deal. The deal being, take out the boy, the man and that damn DOG!
The night of the dinner, Mary and Ryan arrived on time, but to a houseful of strange people, some who were wearing guns. Ken took them into his Study and he and Agent Campbell explained what was going on. After about 30 minutes, they had agreed to keep quiet about Collin and then Ken called the youth down to meet them.
Collin entered the room wearing Ryan's old clothes and Ryan did a double take.
"Dude you're wearing my duds!" exclaimed Ryan.
"Calm down, Ryan. Collin came to me naked as the day he was born and seeing you had left a few things here, I told him he could wear those old things of yours. If they were special things, you'd have never left them here!" announced Ken.
"Yea, you're right, Mr. Ken. I left them here in case I needed a quick change after I finished working around the beach or docks and didn't want to go home. It's cool, Collin. They are a bit big on ya though but if ya stay here too long you'll out grow them and I mean quick. That is unless Mr. Ken cooks. With his cooking skills you'll starve to death as he can't even boil water without burning it," and everyone laughed at that.
"Ha, ha, ha squirt, just wait until payday and see how well I can burn the money I owe you then," chuckled Ken at the now surprised Ryan.
Dinner was a cordial affair with the boys talking about what all teenage males talk about, cars and girls. The adults continued to discuss the situation and needed to again calm Mary down about the danger her son might be exposed to while there, visiting. The boys agreed to stay in touch and Ryan would visit when he could after school or after he finished his duties around the estate. That conversation got Ken to thinking about Collin getting caught up on school as well, and mentioned getting a tutor. Again, Agent Campbell found himself having to approve another person into the circle of knowledgeable people whose circumference was getting wider by the day.
Mr. Ken's third ten day temporary foster care license was about to expire and Judy Turner was exasperated over the continuing events surrounding one Collin Wilkinson. Doc Powers called Miss Judy to ask her about giving Mr. Thomas permanent Foster Parent status so he could continue with Collin's mental recovery long after his physical healing. She was not happy about that request, but she knew she was fighting a losing battle, for now. She figured she would grant the request under the provision that Mr. Thomas attend the required Foster Parent Training Course and that she got the opportunity to talk to the teenager. Miss Judy then decided that once the FBI and the Sherriff's matters were cleared up she would whisk Collin away. Then she would feel even with both the doctor and Mr. Ken.
It was close to five weeks now since Collin came to Three Finger Cove and he was still reluctant to discuss any details about his kidnappers and how he got so badly injured. Ken would sit and often talk to the lad and make small talk with him and did find out some things from random comments Collin made. Agent Campbell was being pressed by his bosses for more information and he was going to have to play 'hard-ball' with the youngster if he didn't begin to cooperate. Ken got Phillip to let him continue to try to pry that out of the boy, as he has already had some rapport with the youth.
"Collin ... you know you soon will have to begin to talk about what happened to you, don't you? I know it will be difficult, but ... well these people here are trying to help you. With your help, they can get those men who kidnapped you and who ... who killed your parents. ... Please, Collin, talk to me. Let me help you so we can get you back on track with your life. ... What'd you say, huh?"
The lad sat down next to Ken and leaned into the man and began to softly cry. He didn't say anything; he didn't have to, as Ken understood. Mr. Thomas knew that the pain of having to relive all those months in captivity and the night of the kidnapping all over again was going to be the most difficult time in that boy's life, ever!
He recognized the boy just wasn't up to that, yet, but he also knew the pressure the authorities were under to solve the crimes and arrest the men who did all that. Ken decided to try to get the lad focused and ask simple questions in order to get the answers without upsetting the youth too much. He knew the camera was still working and they could use that as the record.
"Collin ... I know you really don't want to talk about all those things, but maybe you can give me something I can give Agent Campbell. It might be easier if it is just us talking and not a bunch of strangers right now. Do you think that would work?"
"Yea ... I guess so. When I close my eyes, I can still see my ... my parents fighting with the men ... trying to keep me from being taken out the front door. Dad had this stick ... he kept in the front hall closet and got it out and ... and he started to hit the man who held my right arm. There was a third guy ... dad didn't see him come up behind him ... the man ... the man hit him over the head and that knocked the stick away. Then my mom ... she picked up the stick and jabbed the guy holding my left arm in his nuts. That pissed him off as it hurt him real bad. It seemed like it was taking a long time ... but I was also struggling to get away and ... and I almost did and then mom and dad got up to fight the men some more.
"The guy who mom hit with the stick ... he got out his gun and ... and began to shoot. The noise was terrible and ... and then I saw both mom and dad ... laying on the floor ... they were ... they were bleeding all over and I fought to get to them and I did get away but ... but they pulled me away from my mom and dragged me out to their van. The van ... was some sort of delivery van. That's how they got in. They ... they just shot them for no reason!" And at that revelation, the teen cried all out.
When Collin composed himself, he continued, "They had me and because mom and dad ... had fought them they ... they killed them." The boy couldn't stand to say another word, as he began to cry out loud again after hearing his own words he had just revealed to Mr. Ken.
Ken did his best to soothe the sobbing teenager. He pulled the boy closer into his body and just let him cry it out. He knew this was probably the first time the boy ever said those words about the abduction and killings and was now hurting deep inside for the loss of his folks. It took about 15 minutes for Collin to recover enough that Ken felt he could ask other questions.
"Collin ... Did you get to see the men's faces? Did you know who they were? Ever meet or see them before?"
"Mr. Ken, I ... I think I remember seeing the one man before. It ... it looked like the same delivery van that had been to the house a few times before. It was bright blue. The same guy was driving all the time and he drove it that day."
"Do you remember his name? Anything about the guy you remember, that if you saw his face again you might recognize it? I ask that because they can bring in these mug shot books for you to look through. Or, they could bring in a police artist who could make a sketch of the man or men."
"I think the name on his tag said, Mark. There was no last name," said Collin.
"Collin ... can you tell me something, anything, about the night you were hurt? ... I know it will be difficult, painful even ... but ... well I would like to be able to understand how you got all those injuries. When I saw you lying there in all that blood that night I ... I began to pray you would be able to survive. I cried not knowing if I was going to be able to save you." Even now, at his own disclosure, Mr. Ken Thomas had tears come to his eyes. Collin heard the man sniffle and he knew the man was reliving a very sad night for him, too. The lad hugged the man some to let him know he knew how he felt.
"I'm sorry, Collin. Just like you, it ...it is difficult looking back at what could have been. I knew that night ... that I didn't have all the right equipment and ... I was afraid that ... that I'd lose you. ... Even Chief here was doing her own sort of crying for you, too." Ken reached out and scratched Chief behind her ears which she truly loved.
The two just sat there for quite some time. Ken knew Collin was thinking back to that day at least and hopefully back to all those days of captivity. The lad, thinking in his own mind, felt comfortable being held by Ken. He felt he hit it off with the man right from the beginning. Ken, on the other hand, figured it was because he was still so young himself, young enough that he could be the boy's older brother, rather than the adult he is, that he could better communicate with the teen. Maybe, he continued to wonder, 'was that why the boy stayed close, most of the time.'
"Little brother, what are you thinking about. Huh?" spoke up Ken Thomas.
When Collin heard him called 'little brother' he looked up to Ken and said, "Thanks for calling me that. You're not like the others. They all act like ... like what they want is more important than what I want or ... or maybe need. You have always been kind to me, you're not pushy. When I've been around you ... you don't seem to mind me being there like most adults. Even my parents would send me away, like ... I would learn something I wasn't supposed to.
"Being here has been nice, sort ah. I am glad they let me stay with you. I know if I had been in a regular hospital there would have been bossy nurses and lots of policemen asking me questions all the time. I really don't want to talk about what happened to me, Mr. Ken. I am ashamed of what they did to me." The lad began to cry again, and he leaned into Mr. Ken, as the thoughts of what happened to him came flooding back.
All Ken could do was hold and comfort the lad as best he could. Again, he put one hand on the boys back and began to give it a light rub to help the boy relax. It must have worked, as Collin began to hug Ken back.
"Mr. Ken ... will I have to tell ... you know tell everyone what they did? You know everything?"
"Collin, I know you will have to tell a few people. Mr. Campbell, for one! He is the lead investigator, and then probably the District Attorney, because he will be prosecuting the men when they are caught. I will say though that I believe the first time will be the hardest for you, because you will be hearing yourself saying the words of what they did. Hearing the words verses thinking them will most likely embarrass you. Maybe if you talk to me about it first, then when you do tell them, it won't be too difficult as you will be sort of used to it by then. ...
"You know you did nothing wrong, don't you? ... Whatever they made you do or they did to you wasn't your choice. No one will ever look down upon you as if you knowingly asked for that. I hope you truly understand that, Collin. I, for one, don't ... nor will I ever ... blame you for anything that happened!" said Ken, trying to console the teenager.
"I know, but ... it's just that ... well people always look at what you did and they ... they kinda use that against you. Kids at school will know. I know they will tease me and ... and mock me and I know I'll be miserable. I don't know if I will be able to handle all that. Can you see that ... what I am saying?" asked the pleading teenager.
"Yes, it wasn't that long ago that I was in high school and experienced exactly what you said and meant. But that is the way all kids act, no matter what the age. But you are a freshman, or are supposed to be and at that age, you begin to understand things better. Maybe it won't be so bad. But I do understand where you are coming from!"
Collin sat there a few minutes then said, "Sophomore."
"Sophomore, what's that Collin?" asked Mr. Ken.
"I'm a sophomore not a freshman in high school. I'll be 16 next March and the way I started grade school made it so I will graduate right after I turn 18."
"Okay, that is good to know so when we finally get you back into school; we'll know where to start you. You know, I think Ryan is a sophomore, too. I'll have to ask him," answered Ken.
"Yea, he is a sophomore. I asked him when I first met him. I like him, too. He's as easy going as you are and he's fun to talk to, too. I hope I can go to the same high school as he does ... when I get to go," responded Collin as he eagerly looked up to the young man.
"Yea, I bet you'd like that. Ryan is a nice lad. I've known him ever since I began building Three Finger Cove. Of course, I didn't call it that in the beginning. Ryan was always here watching what they did, so I hired him to take pictures and videos every day of what they accomplished and had him e-mail them to me. I was still in college and couldn't get back all the time, so ... well Ryan became my eyes and ears," said Ken.
"I bet he really enjoyed doing that for you. He really likes you and looks up to you as his ... well his older Brother. I hope I didn't spoil anything; there ... it's just that ... well you ARE kinda like an older brother. I knew exactly what he meant when he said that to me about you. I was lucky to be washed ashore by your house. ... Thanks!"
"No problem, Collin, do you think you could, you know, maybe tell me about those men who kidnapped you. You know ... where they took you, what they did, how they fed you. Anything that you can remember will be helpful and ... well, I bet as we talk about this you will tend to remember more and more. ... Ok? Start whenever you are ready." When he finished speaking, he just sat back, in the hopes that Collin would begin to talk and tell him stuff and of course get it on tape for Agent Campbell.
"At first, the men didn't do anything," quietly began Collin. ... "They kept moving me around. I was blindfolded the entire time. I ... I don't think I ever stayed in one place more than a few days. I never knew what day it was or ... or whether it was day or night. Most times I'd ... I'd hear them talking about how they messed up and ... and their big boss ... he ... he wasn't too happy at all that my parents were no longer alive to receive the ransom note. ... I knew they had been shot, my parents, but I had prayed that they were both in the hospital and that was why they couldn't respond. I had prayed for that for a very long time.
"Then one night ... the guy who my mom hit with the stick came into the room. He began to tell me how bad it hurt to get hit like that and he was going to let me feel what it was like. I got scared, really, really scared! I still had my blindfold on and could only hear where he was. Then I sensed he was close and he grabbed ... grabbed my ... my dick and stuff through my pants. It hurt, Mr. Ken! It really hurt. He kept squeezing and squeezing ... I began to yell loud and the other man came in and made him stop. My hands were tied behind my back. I couldn't fight him, other than to try to move away but ... but he had me.
"The guy who came in and stopped the other guy came to me and said he'd make me feel better and he opened my pants and began to rub my ... my dick and balls, Mr. Ken. At first it felt good, because the ache ... it was going away. But then ... then he opened my underwear and pulled out my ... my stuff and began to stroke me. I hadn't ... you know did anything for all that time they had me and ... and my ... my dick got hard real fast Mr. Ken. ...
"The man ... he continued to stroke me up and down and it felt real good. I couldn't help it. The feelings ... they came up ... up so fast that ... that I shot my ... my ... my sperm all over. ... The man ... he cleaned it up ... with his mouth. I never had anyone put my dick in their mouth before and ... and it felt ... felt real good. Then he put my pants back on and told me not to say anything to any of the others. So ... I didn't! Was that wrong, Mr. Ken? I know he shouldn't have touched me that way, but ... but was it wrong to enjoy that, even though I didn't ask for it ... you know ... to happen?"
"No it wasn't wrong to enjoy the feelings you had during the manipulations of your equipment, Collin. You are fifteen and ... and you knew what he was doing as you had done that to yourself, loads of times, I am sure. The body needs to satisfy itself and you know when those feelings come to you ... you take care of it first chance you get. Just because he did that to you and you enjoyed the end result doesn't make YOU a bad person. There was nothing you could have done. Your arms were tied and YOU were at his mercy! You should never believe at any time that you are to BLAME, never! You do understand that, Collin? Don't you?" Collin kinda nodded his head.
They had talked now for over an hour and a half and Mr. Ken felt they needed to get out and about, so they walked down to the Theater and put on a movie. Ken had a favorite lounge chair that was wide and it reclined too. Collin asked him if it would be Okay for him to sit with him. Ken just patted the seat and Collin sat down and cuddled up to the man. Chief was there, too, as she went just about anywhere 'her boy' went and settled herself on the floor next to them.
Later that evening in his Study, Mr. Thomas played back the conversation he had with Collin for Agent Campbell. Phillip was very happy that he was now getting some information, and he thanked Ken for what he had done. He asked if he was going to still talk with the boy and gave him some questions to try and pose to the lad. Ken told Phil that he would do his part as he wanted those men caught, tried and 'hung' for what they did to that boy.
The next day, Mr. Thomas went out in the county to do his 'good deeds' for the Governor. Things were beginning to wind down as cleanup was in full swing. Even though he wasn't needed all that much anymore, many church groups and other civic organizations were still after him to address their members. He declined most of them but with some prodding from his friend the Governor, he did accept the ones the Governor felt were important contacts.
At one of the meetings, someone asked about his attending the Foster Care Training program and wanted to know why. They asked if he had taken in a wayward child from the storm. The question initially took Mr. Ken for a loop. He wondered if someone had seen Collin or heard reports that a boy was living at his house. His face gave a puzzled look to the people in attendance, and they saw that and pressed him for a reply. Lucky for Ken, he had been around too many other public officials and heard how they answered so he just made something up.
Ken told the group that after seeing so many injured kids and families in dire need he felt it was imperative that he learn what he could, and that maybe one day he could help a young child in need. He mentioned CPS, and unintentionally mentioned Miss Judy Turner as his contact, and said that people should get involved if even for a short time until families could be reunited. That satisfied the people and Ken felt relief that the 'cat wasn't out of the bag' over Collin.
Ken and Collin had more talks over the next week and Collin began to open up more and more. Ken found out the names of the other two men, Dean and Ross. He also found out that it was a PAC (Package Air Center) Delivery Van after Collin had a dream the night before. The teen also told him he remembered the men talking about a man named, Henry Lewis. The two were forming a closer 'older brother - younger brother' relationship and Ken used that to his advantage to get his charge to talk about his ordeal.
It might have been wrong to do that to the boy, but Ken felt overall his talking about it would help him eventually get through it in the end. Mr. Thomas considered that when it came time for Collin to talk to the right doctors, his openness now would help him talk about it later. At least that was what Ken was hoping for.
Agent Campbell now had first names and a full name and the possibility that one works for the PAC Delivery Company. He was elated and so was his boss back in Washington D.C. Ken continued to keep his talks with Collin light, allowing the boy to offer information rather than demanding he tell him something.
Then one night, while sitting together in the Theater watching a recent release, out of the blue, Collin began to tell Mr. Ken about what the men did to him. The boy didn't look into Ken's eyes while he talked. He was ashamed of what they did to him, but he knew he had to tell his 'new' Big Brother. Collin talked as if he wanted to get it out, but he did not want to see how someone was reacting toward what they were hearing. Lucky for Ken, he had positioned one of the portable cameras in the Theater after they had gone there a few times. The two talked a lot in that room and he was afraid he'd miss an important conversation, so he positioned one there.
"Bro," Collin began, but without looking into his face, "one night ... I was laying on this mattress ... that they had for me. Two of the men came into the room ... and untied me and took off my blindfold. They ... took off all my clothes. The men then said they were going to have ... a little fun and they began to take their clothes off too. I was so scared. I ... I kinda thought I knew what they were going to do but ... but it wasn't until they began to do it ... that I knew. They ... they raped me that night! ... They forced their ... their dicks into me and, and shot their cream into my ass. ...
"The guy who sucked me before he ... he put something like oil into my ass and that helped but it still hurt like hell anyway. One of them ... he held me down while the other ... while the other one fucked me! They took turns. ... I can't remember how many times they raped me that night or day but when they finally finished off inside me for their last time ... then left me there crying ... from all the pain. I ... I couldn't move. I was so exhausted and in such pain. It was worse than the time I couldn't, you know ... poop, and when I finally pushed it out the burning was terrible. This was ... was one hundred times worse!
"After that night, or day, I'm not really sure; they did it to me again. They did it the same way. They shared me! ... This didn't happen every night but it began to be regular. It was as if when the third guy would go away ... they would use me for their sex. Bro, I ... I got ... got to liking it. The feelings, that is. At first, I didn't get ... you know hard. It wasn't until ... maybe, the sixth or seventh time, that I began to ... you know ... get hard. Those earlier times it still hurt but by then it began to ... to feel Okay when they did it. I didn't look forward to what they did, but at the end they also ... ah ... they got me off too. ... It was at least something ... and when they did use me for sex that next day I got better food to eat. It was like a ... a reward.
"I lost track of the days and time and I didn't even know what season of year it was. It was a few weeks after school let out for the summer when they took me away. They kept me guessing what was happening and ... and teasing me that I would be going home ... soon. The third guy finally found out what they had been doing to me when he was gone. It wasn't until that last night, the night of the storm, that he, too, had ... sex with me. He said he'd never done that with a guy, let alone a young boy, but now was his chance as that was the last time he was ever going to see me. I knew right then that they intended to kill me.
"I fought them as best I could, but ... but there were three of them and they held me down. The third guy, Ross, when he undressed, I saw his dick was huge. He didn't wait for ... for Dean to lube me up he just forced his big dick into me. I began to scream as loud as I could. The pain was unbearable. The other two tried to calm me down but once he was inside, he began to pull out all the way and push back in. Each time ... it hurt worse. I knew it when he came inside me as he stopped and just glowed. As he pulled away I saw all the blood on his dick and I knew he had hurt me real bad. He told the other two to hurry up and fuck me because the storm was peaking and they needed to finish the job. I don't remember too much after that. It wasn't until I was in a boat out on the lake that I kinda woke up.
"Mark had been given the task of killing me. He said ... he told me it would look as if I had drowned because he would make sure I took in lots of water into my lungs. He had this knife and he told me to get up and go to the side of the boat. As I got up I ... I knew I had nothing to lose ... so I began to fight him. I went after the knife and he cut my arms and I felt my hands get cut too. But I still fought him. He ... he slipped on my blood ... which was all over the bottom of the boat. I was able to get the knife away and ... and I cut his side.
"He fought me hard after that as I must have hurt him bad. ... He got the knife back ... and tried to stab me. He kinda did twice and those ... those are the cuts in my stomach. I was able to pull back as he lunged so I knew he hadn't cut too deep. Then a huge gust of wind came up and I was blown overboard into the cold water. It felt like ... like it was freezing. I thought to myself that now I'd drown anyway ... it was so fucking cold.
"I don't know how I was able to get to your place from where we were in the lake. It couldn't have been too far away; otherwise I'd have drowned wouldn't I? ... I bet if I could go along the side of the lake I could find the place where he took me to ... to kill me, Mr. Ken. Sometimes ... from up in my window upstairs ... I would look out and try to make out where I was. There is something familiar about that other side ... but it is too far for me to make it out very good.
"Do you think we could use your biggest boat at the dock and ... and, you know, go out there? Do you think ... do you think Mr. Campbell will let me? I am sure I can find it. As Mark drug me down the slope, I ... I remember seeing some large boulders or rocks that were jutting out. I think if I saw them again I ... I'd know about where we were. It might give the cops some more ideas."
This time Collin looked up into Ken's face and with hope in his eyes and said, "What do you think, Mr. Ken? Do you think you can convince him to let me try that? I want to do something, Mr. Ken. I ... I need to do something ta ... to make this nightmare go away! Please ask him to let me do this!" and Collin crawled into Ken's arms as best he could for comfort and began to cry his heart out. He had just told someone what he had refused to tell anyone for the last five or six weeks. He felt dirty and wanted to crawl into the nearest dark hole.
Ken let the boy cry himself to sleep. When he knew the lad was fully asleep, he went directly to find Agent Campbell and took him to the Study so he could hear what the boy had just revealed.
Phillip Campbell cried as he heard the account the boy had just given to Ken. It took him ten minutes to get himself situated after hearing the details the boy had just disclosed.
Even though it was late, he called his boss in Washington who was very pleased now they had almost the full story. Ken went back to the boy who was still sleeping. Chief yawned at him as he entered the room and went to him to be scratched behind her ears.
The two sat there watching the sleeping teenager who just minutes ago had divulged the worse part of his life. Ken then sat down and cried, hard too. He needed to wash the pain of listening to the boy's story out of his system so he could be strong for the lad when he woke up.