The next 36 hours went fast for everyone. The boys enjoyed a nice dinner the evening before with 'mom' Mary as they filled her in on what they were doing the past week or so. They described to her their hunt for the bands for New Year's Eve and how Bro found his by chance. They even told her about Cheri and her kisses and then how she bruised Ryan's ego when he asked her to the Teen Dance. The lads also talked about Collin starting school and him meeting more and more people to have as friends. Collin also talked openly about his feelings and how he felt about his parents dying the way they did. He also discussed how his whole life had changed for the better except for the things that happened to make it all possible. Their conversation was a rare event for Mary. Her 'boys' were letting her into their lives, and she sat there and savored the moment for all it was worth.
The boys met up with their dates the next day and the four teens enjoyed their day at the Mall. They walked around and talked about things which were important to teenagers. Shelley and Collin even held hands after a while and became very good friends as the day progressed. The foursome then went to a movie and decided to sit in the back. Collin had never been out on any kind of 'date' before and he was surprised at how outgoing his date was, there in the darkened theater. Even though it was their first time together, she eventually got him to kiss her right there in the movie theater. She was even so bold to even use her hand and slide it up and down inside his thigh making his manhood swell to unwanted proportions. She even lightly scratched it with her nail a time or two.
Collin thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of having a 'girlfriend' and even allowed himself to 'cop a feel' when the lighting was dark enough. Afterwards, the four shared a nice dinner at one of the Mall restaurants to be out of sight of any of their friends' prying eyes. They walked their dinner off and then shared ice cream sundaes and then their wonderful day came to an end. Their evening ended with passionate frontal kisses which made the boys keep their hands in their pockets afterwards.
Over at Three Finger Cove, Ken thought he would enjoy the solitude of no one around so he decided to sit back and relax to a good book that first night home alone. Even Chief was relaxed as a dog can be and quietly sat beside her master. Occasionally, she would stand up and stretch and then nuzzle Ken's hand for a head and ear scratch and then lie right back down at his feet. After the first hour, Ken found it more and more difficult to concentrate on his book. The house was just too quiet. Three months of having a teenager around made Ken realize there was more to life than just having money. His new 'little bro' had an effect on him and he found himself not enjoying the emptiness he was now feeling. He needed to get his mind off what he felt right then so he went to his Study and worked on plans for the 'Four Corners' property, as he began to call it, and worked long into the night.
Ken found the emptiness even harder the next day and busied himself in anything and everything he could fathom. Even though it was in the middle of the Holidays, he made calls all over to inquire about some financially strapped amusement park or some other store or factory he thought he'd like to own. Some of the calls were 'busy calls' just to keep him occupied. Other calls were business related and focused on future ventures he was considering. Ken finished his day with Chief by his side as they walked outside around the property. As he walked, his mind was a jumble of emotions as he pondered over the last three months and future events he knew he would have very little control over. He walked and silently prayed he could do right by Collin. Somehow, he managed to get through those first 24 hours. He just hoped he could manage the next twelve.
The lads talked well into the night about their good fortunes that day at the Mall. As they each talked about the day, they came to realize they held very pretty dates on their arms and who seemed to enjoy being with them as well. Collin was in a daze from all that he experienced. Having never been on a date, this first foray gave him a new outlook on the opposite sex. He was beginning to look at girls as a wonderful and new exciting facet of life and he wanted to learn more about them. The boys exchanged stories of their 'conquests' in the theater and they laughed hard over how Collin reacted to their making out in the back row. Then their tiredness overtook them and they fell fast asleep.
Over at Three Finger Cove, it remained quiet. Ken and Chief retired early for the night but it wasn't long after that Ken found himself back in his Study working. But even that became foreign to him as his mind kept replaying the past three months over and over again. He was able to use those reflections to understand how he saw how much he came to 'love' having his new charge, Collin, around him. The sun was just coming up when Ken felt the pangs of sleepiness and went back to bed.
Two teenaged boys each had their own full colored dream going on the next morning when they were rudely awakened by none other than 'mom'! Luckily for them, they still had their mid sections covered; otherwise they may have had to pick her off the floor from seeing their hard poles standing up so strong and tall. Ryan complained it was still the Holidays and they needed their sleep. Mary yelled back at him that it was after ten in the morning and Collin had to be back at TFC by 12 noon and for them to get up. Unfortunately, Collin did have to meet the band so they could set up for the dance later that evening, so the boys got out of bed. Without even a thought they walked together to the bathroom to get rid of their morning wood. As they did that, Mary just happened to turn and saw their backsides as they entered the bathroom. She couldn't help herself so she whistled at them as they closed the door.
Collin got back to Three Finger Cove just in time. The Ramblin' Rockers had arrived and were about to ring the doorbell when Collin yelled over to them. As the Rockers came around to the 4-car garage where the Teen's dance was to be held, Mr. Ken's band, Country Cousins, drove up. Not seeing Mr. Ken anywhere, Collin went ahead and showed them where to set up in the Great Room in front of the huge windows. He then went back to the Rockers and showed them the layout and the electrical connections and answered any questions they had. Collin then checked on the Cousins and showed them what they needed to know and answered any of their questions as well.
By now, Chief heard all the noise and came out of the bedroom and jumped up on Collin and began to lick him and welcome him back home. Collin scratched her head and ears some and asked her to go get Mr. Ken. A few minutes later, a still sleepy Ken came out wondering what all the fuss was about. Looking down into the Great Room and seeing the band was there setting up, he woke up real fast.
"Good afternoon, Bro," spoke up Collin, "glad you could make it." And Collin began to laugh at the man for just getting up.
Ken yawned and then shot Collin the finger and then laughed as he told the band he'd be right back. A few minutes later Ken came downstairs dressed and holding a hot cup of fresh made coffee. Momma Maria had come through again. Mr. Ken offered the band members some and accepting, he asked Collin to ask Maria to bring 5 more cups.
Collin laughed at his Bro because of the gesture and headed out to the garage through the kitchen after he spoke to Momma Maria. His band was now doing a sound check and they weren't too pleased with the reverberations from the closed garage doors. Collin went over and opened the doors and when the band tried again they were rewarded with much better sound quality. The Rockers played for about 45 minutes and decided to call a break and talk to Collin for a bit.
"So, Collin, how do you like living here?" asked Jack Stoudt, the band's leader.
"I love it here. Mr. Ken has been the greatest Big Bro anyone could ever have."
"This place is gi-normous," offered Ethan.
"You haven't seen the half of it. Let's walk outside and over to the side and then you'll get an idea of how big this place really is."
"Geez, would you look at that shore line. Is that his dock and are they his boats?" an excited Aston Williams asked, as he continued to scan the property.
"Yes, that is his dock and those are his boats for sure. Ryan is the one who takes care of them," explained Collin.
"Does he own all of that land over towards that tree as well, or is it just the immediate area he owns?" asked Aston again.
"From what I understand, Mr. Thomas owns 17+ acres here. It consists of the Guard Shack and Entrance area and that which follows both rock fences he had built, over there and up there. Everything inside those walls is his land. Pretty kewl don't cha think?" answered Collin.
"Collin," spoke up a meek sounding Brent Kelly, "can we see where, you know ... ah ... where the shootout took place? If we can't then we'll understand. It’s just that I've ... well we've seen some of the pictures on TV and all but ... but it's like ... well, I'm kinda here and so close and ... well I am just curious if you know what I mean."
"Yes, Brent, is it? I know what you are saying. Actually, you're the first person that I know of who has asked to see anything. Ryan was the one who took all those pictures you saw and was here, like, right after it was all over. Really though, there isn't all that much to see. But if you have a few minutes I'll show you what I can."
Collin then took them down to the back side of the house and from off the patio he showed the band members the bullet holes in the walls and of course where the bullets went thru the huge glass triple-pane windows. He walked them around to where there was still a huge piece of plywood filling in for the window Agent Stouffer broke out in order to get inside. The boys walked around the north side of the house and Collin showed them where the FBI agents were shot. As they walked to the front of the house, Collin explained that the front door had already been replaced but that was a temporary door until the original door was repaired and refitted back in place.
"Thank you, Collin, for taking the time to show us everything. It has to be difficult living here knowing that those guys came here to kill you," spoke Brent.
"Actually, I guess I am lucky in a way. You know ... I guess I should be scared to live here where I could have died, but ... well Mr. Ken took a bullet for me that day. I owe him so much." When Collin said what he did about the bullet, all four teens looked at one other. They heard something again that was not revealed to the public.
Collin continued, "And he has been like an 'older brother' to me and did so much so I could, would live. If he hadn't treated me and saved my life the night of that bad storm, none of this would have ever happened. Guess you guys didn't know that. And I guess I should stop telling you what happened here. The DA is gonna be pissed if he begins to hear stories out in the public. Sorry, guys, but again I need to ask you to NOT say anything to anyone."
The four astonished boys all thanked Collin again for the special tour and his retelling something more about the shoot out and how he feels about living there at Three Finger Cove.
"Oh, one more question if we can," came from Ethan. "Why does he call this place Three Finger Cove?"
Collin laughed at the question because it was the same thing he asked Ryan one day up in his back side bedroom. Collin walked the boys back down towards the shore and explained to them how Ryan had explained it to him more than three months ago. The lads listened as he had them use their hands to see the correlation between their hands and the estates name. As the five of them walked back up to where their vehicles were parked, three of them still had their left hand folded into the shape and held it out front of them still amazed at the simplicity of the name. They all shook hands and Collin told them to get some rest before their big show later that night. The older teens drove off and Collin went back inside looking for his Big Bro.
Mr. Ken was answering some questions Mr. Leech had when he saw Collin come down the stairs. He excused himself and went over to his 'little bro' and gave the lad a hug.
"You showed the guys some of what happened?" he asked.
"Yea, they kinda asked. You know they are the first ones who ever asked me about the shootout. Even with all the kids who were here for the two Christmas parties, they were the first ones curious enough to even ask. You're not mad at me for doing that are ya?" a worried Collin asked his guardian.
"No, I'm not mad at you, Collin. Maybe doing that will help you deal with this when it comes time for you to testify at the trials," answered Ken, as he continued to hug the boy.
"Thanks, but I may have said more than I should have. I had to ask them not to tell anyone again about what I told them."
"What was it that you said?" a curious Mr. Ken asked.
"Well, I said something about you taking a bullet for me and how you saved my life that night of the bad storm. I hope I didn't say too much and get in trouble with the DA," an even more worried Collin confessed.
"Collin, we'll just have to deal with it as it comes. I know how hard it is to keep it all in and at times you will want to speak out. Maybe after this weekend we can sit down with the DA and see if we can't let you make some statements to the press so you can get used to the press and reporters and the notoriety of who you are. Why don't you think about that and let me know. So, how did your get together with Shelley go?"
"Bro, I never went on a date before, and I thought it was wonderful. Shelley was wonderful and open and she seemed so honest. We held hands after a while and her hand was so soft and smooth. We went to a movie and ... and ... ah we even kissed a few times during the darker scenes. We went to a restaurant for dinner to stay out of their other friends prying eyes. Then before we said good night, we shared an ice cream sundae and we kissed some more before they had to leave. Bro, thank you for letting me go." With that Collin hugged the man even tighter as his way of thanking him for giving him this time to be a teenager.
"Thanks, Tiger, it means a lot to me that you had such a good time and learned so much. You know, buddy, it's going on three and we both need to rest up before we get ready to pick up our dates. How about making sure Chief has clean water and some food. Then head off to rest up. I'll make sure you're up by seven? That'll give you four hours to catch some Zs. That Ok with you?"
Just then Russell, from the Country Cousins band, came over and asked if Collin was the boy he saw on TV. He explained how the newscasters broke into his favorite show to run tape of a young boy yelling to the sheriff there was someone else in the house. He said the lad looked just like the boy who the reporters caught on their cameras and the name is the same.
Collin and Mr. Ken looked at one another and with a slight nod of his head Collin said that he was the boy. Russell reached over and shook the boys hand and complemented him on how quick he was to act and get the officer to respond and call for the Red Alert. Russell told them how he admired him and then he heard that someone else was caught and they asked for you to be brought there. He added that it took some, and he was going to say 'balls' but thought best not too and said instead, unique courage to go back in there not knowing what you would meet. "I was hoping I'd get to shake your hand sometime and now that I'm here I'm glad to have met you and got to actually shake your hand!" Then he added, "You're a hero; do you know that?" By then the rest of the band had come over and heard what was being said and they also asked to shake Collin's hand.
"Thank you for saying all that but I'm no hero, I was just so scared. Mr. Ken was in the hospital. He's the hero. He took a bullet for me and, oh shit, I did it again Mr. Ken." The men all laughed at Collin and he turned beet red. Ken reached over to the teen and pulled him to his side.
"Guys, Collin has been asked by the DA not to tell anyone what happened here that day. But he keeps finding himself in situations like this, talking to people and he just forgets," explained Ken. "So, I need to ask you guys to not spread what he just told you. It will come out eventually and we hope after the New Year, he can hold a press conference and tell some of his story. In the meantime, guys, can you please help him out here," an apologetic Mr. Ken asked the men.
The men said they would honor the request and that they needed to get home and relax before the evenings dance. They all shook Collin's hand one more time and walked up the stairs and out the front door. Ken and Collin exchanged one last hug and Collin went to take care of Chief and he was off to bed. Ken looked around some and then he too, set off for the master bedroom suite for a quick nap before he had to get up and Collin as well.
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