Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Charles
Book III

by Chowhound

In Progress

Chapter 7

Posted: 6 Oct 16

Three Finger Cove - Charles

Copyright © 2016 by Chowhound
All Rights Reserved

From Previous Chapter:

The two teenagers finished their conversation and their lunch and headed to the Go-Karts. The operator of the small race cars knew both lads from them being with the owner, many, many times. He knew to let the boys have their fun and maybe advance their position in line to make sure the 'big guy' was happy. The teens didn't ask for any special treatment and they never told the man they knew who the owner was and were pleasantly surprised when the man gave them a few 'special' favors.

After each lad won two races each, they headed over to the Putt-Putt to try their luck there. At first they started out as competitors. By the fifth hole they began to fool around with their shots on the hole and by the twelfth hole they forgot about the game and began having fun like good friends do. They never talked about what they had discussed in the Diner. At the end of the game, they decided not to play again but to head over to Dairy Queen for a medium Blizzard. While they enjoyed their cold concoction, Collin's phone rang

When District Attorney George Morris, Sheriff Matthew Barnes and Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer left Three Finger Cove that afternoon, they all headed to police headquarters to plan their surveillance on the locations Charles gave them on one Lawrence 'Smokey' Masson, not that long ago. They had to make sure Smokey was indeed at one of those locations and then they needed to decide on how they would take him down.

While that was all going on, Detective Sergeant Matthias was back at Three Finger Cove getting more information from Charles. His demeanor was much less stressful than that of DA Morris and Charles was thankful for that.

"Charles," began a sitting Detective Matthias, "would you please tell us everything you can about Smokey Masson's places of business, his hidey holes, meeting locations, drop points, and maybe who his suppliers and other drug contacts were."

Charles thought for a few moments and then closed his eyes and began to relive what he knew. He then began to tell Detectives Matthias and Roberts what he hoped they wanted and needed to hear.

"My mom used to go out at all hours of the night and ... she'd leave me home alone. I was only ten years old, and it was scary to be home alone. She always thought I was fast asleep, but … but I could tell when she was getting ready to go out on one of her late night runs. She drank, like I guess many adults, but … when she drank a lot more than usual, I knew something was up. It wasn't long after she started doing that that Smokey began to date my mom. A couple of months after that, he moved in with us.

"He treated me nice. He'd take me out on his motorcycle to get ice cream and to the movies, sometimes. He even took me to a semi-pro ball game once. But every time we'd go somewhere, he'd … meet up with someone. I never took notice, but then … I kept seeing the same faces. He noticed that I would look at the faces and … after that he stopped taking me anywhere.

"My mom was already using drugs when they met. But, I think it was him who got her hooked onto the bigger, more expensive drugs. I could tell when she used the stronger drugs. She wouldn't be as ... she didn't act like my mom used to. It wasn't too bad at first, but … over time it got worse. Then she and Smokey used to fight. They started off yelling at each other, but then … then it got worse … he began to hit her. She didn't go to work anymore but the rent still needed to be paid. The electric bill would come and she'd get Smokey to pay it and the rent and all the other bills. It was then Smokey began to use her to deliver drugs for him.

"Mom did that for quite some time … then, I think Smokey got tired of her, since she stopped taking care of herself. My mom was a very pretty woman. Guys would take a second look at her when we were out together. She had long flowing hair and her eyes were beautiful, but … then … she stopped taking care of herself anymore. That was one of the things they argued about. Then, Smokey stopped coming home every night. Then …he'd show up once a week and after that, he'd stop by when he needed her to do something for him. That's what got her caught and I got placed into the System.

"It was while my mom was told to do the drops for Smokey that she'd began going out late at night. But, she got so strung out on the drugs Smokey supplied her with; she could barely drive let alone drop the packages off … or place them in the hiding places. She had to talk to the men who she'd meet up with and that was and that was when she began taking me with her. There were times I'd have to meet with the people and take brown paper bags that eventually I figured were full of money. I never did open them since they were sealed, but Smokey … one time opened one and slipped out a bunch of one hundred dollar bills and he gave them to my mom.

"Sometimes on Saturday, my mom … she'd make me go with her when she had to make a drug deal. That's when I met Spider, Butcher, Greaser and Chickee. I didn't meet them all at once but over time they were the ones who delivered either the drugs, or the money, or both. I never met anyone else, but I know there were more people involved. At least that was how I felt since … well … my mom didn't have to do a drop every night of the week."

"Charles, can you tell us where some of the places were, that you took the drugs to, or even met the people you mentioned?" asked Detective Roberts.

"Yeah, I can do one better. Give me a laptop and I'll Google Map the places for you," offered Charles.

As Charles typed in the places into the Google Maps Search Engine for the two remaining detectives, Bill, Stew, and Ken all talked about what everything would eventually mean for the boy and ultimately Three Finger Cove.

"Ken, I hope you realize that until this Smokey character is caught, everyone associated with The Cove is potentially in danger," suggested Bill Jackson.

"Yeah … I had those same thoughts as I listened to the boy telling his story about his mom. The kid really knows far too much for Smokey to let the boy live. I'm glad I had Jules send over 24/7 armed protection, but I may need more fire-power before this is all over. And, well I'm not afraid to tell you all that I don't relish the thought of having another, ahh, fire-fight here at The Cove. On top of all that … I have to think about all the kids who frequent here and play on the skateboard ramps," promulgated Ken Thomas.

Bill suggested the man close down the ramps for the foreseeable future and not to open them until Smokey and his thugs are behind bars. The lawyer also suggested he consider removing Charles from the premises and relinquishing the lad back to CPS for a different placement. Bill reasoned that not only was Ken at risk but that Robert would be in grave danger for as long as Charles remained on the property.

"Guys … I can't … NO … I won't abandon this boy. Through no fault of his own, he's been placed into this situation. I am sure we can get him placed into the witness protection program if necessary, but … I won't send him away after we've … I've supported him this far. Bill … I'd ask you to make some calls about the witness protection. Stew … I'd ask you to talk to Judy Turner and Judge Richards and advise them of the situation and get their feedback," explained Ken Thomas, on the things he wanted to do for Charles.

The detectives were ecstatic over the wealth of information Charles was able to get them on Smokey's operation. They now had a large number of drop sites, meeting locations and hiding places that Smokey used. The locations, along with the names of Smokey's associates, two of which were currently in police custody over the weapons charge and the assault on a police officer from Thursday night, gave the police a fighting chance they could wrap up that drug dealer and his remaining associates and many more people associated with the drug trade in the lower county.

Sheriff Detective Sergeant Brandt Matthias and Sheriff Detective William Roberts couldn't contain their joy over what Charles had given them and they decided to end the interview. They conferred with Mr. Thomas about the possibility of resuming the discussion if they needed more evidence with which to hold against Smokey Masson and his minions. Mr. Ken readily agreed, knowing how difficult the process was, especially on a young child. He also hoped that there would be no further need for the boy to reveal anything else about his past. The two detectives gathered up their materials and tapes, made a phone call to their boss and then left The Cove.

Charles was very happy the police didn't ask him about what Smokey meant by having some 'fun' with him. He knew he would have been thoroughly embarrassed if he was made to describe the acts he was forced to do and perform with the Satan's Devils and some of their friends. He remembered how his mom couldn't pay the rent, or the other bills any longer, and begged Smokey to help find her a way to pay her bills. He heard them talking one night but he couldn't hear what was said. It wasn't until the weekend that he learned he would be going with Smokey for the whole weekend.

Charles remembered how it was over that weekend that Smokey introduced him to the joys of male sex. The man taught him how to make himself feel real good. Then, Smokey taught him how he could do the same for him and make him feel real good, too. They also took showers together and helped one another feel real good. Charles was mesmerized over the feeling and the excitement he felt by doing something 'naughty' and blushed anytime he thought about it.

Charles remembered that Smokey and he did the same thing a few weekends in a row but then one weekend Smokey taught him all about male oral sex. Smokey showed him the new way to make someone feel real good after their shower one morning. Charles remembered how Smokey told him that since they had washed real well, that morning, he would show him something new. The man took the boy to the big bed and then introduced him to oral sex by performing the deed on the boy first. Then, it was Charles' turn. Charles said he wasn't too sure he wanted to do that but Smokey assured him that everything was very clean and that he needed to know about oral sex for when he got older. So, Charles tried it. The lad wasn't all that keen over what he did but he did see how the man responded to the manipulation and felt he was sharing something unique.

After doing oral sex the following weekend, too, it was during the weekend after that that Smokey introduced him to anal sex. The trouble about it was that Charles didn't remember it. All he remembered when he went home that Sunday was his butt hole was really sore. He figured he fell off the bed at some time and hit his bottom which was why it hurt. Little did he know that Smokey had put some knock-out drops in his drink and when the boy was out cold, Smokey mounted him.

The following weekend Smokey didn't use as much of the drug and Charles was more aware of what was done to him, but he didn't fully understand the whole thing. Again, Charles went home with a sore bottom. It was during the weekend after that when Charles was forced to perform oral sex and also have anal sex with the other men in Smokey's gang. He could hardly walk when he got home that Sunday night. His mom was so stung out on her drugs she couldn't have cared less about what her son had to endure.

It was also during that time that Charles had to help out his mom when she'd deliver or pick up drugs and/or money. It was because of how Smokey began to treat him sexually, that he made himself remember all the places he went and the faces of the people who were the primaries in Smokey's drug business. Charles had hoped that the knowledge he gained would come in handy one day. And that day was now, today.

Shortly after the detectives left, Bill, Stew and Doctor Doug also decided to leave. The men all agreed that the day had been an interesting one and they were all glad they had the opportunity to listen in and observe the proceedings. And, as they all walked out the front door, they kidded their friend Ken that their bill would be in the mail come Monday.

Foster dad Ken figured Charles might be a bit hungry, so he asked the lad if he wanted something to eat. The man offered to cook something for the lad or take him out to the Four Corner's Diner. Charles opted for the Diner.

For a late Friday afternoon, the Four Corner's Diner wasn't very busy. Ken Thomas enjoyed it when the Diner was less crowded, like that day, as he felt more relaxed there, then. The two diners' took a booth near the corner and waited for the waitress to arrive.

"So, Charles … did you get to go out to eat very often? I ask only so I know if I need to explain how this all works, or not," explained Mr. Ken.

Charles looked up and saw the man was serious about whether he knew what to or not to do, so he replied, "Well, we didn't have that much money … so my mom didn't take me out as much as I would have liked. When Smokey was living with us, he'd take me out for ice cream, and stuff, I did get to eat at a few Diners like this one. We used to go to a place called Denny's."

"Whatit'llbegents?" quickly said their waitress, as she approached their booth.

Charles smiled at what he heard and had to put his hand to his mouth to keep from laughing out loud. Mr. Ken saw what the lad did and he began to laugh, too, but caught himself, with only a smile. He then asked the waitress to give them a few minutes since this was the boy's first time there.

"Do all the waitresses talk that fast?" asked a smiling Charles, after the woman left them.

"That's part of the charm when you come to a Diner, Charles" began foster dad Ken. "The waitresses talk fast, serve coffee with a smile all the while chewing their gum. Then, when it's time to serve you your food, they'll slide your plate along the table so that it stops just right in front of you. These ladies are real good at what they do and people enjoy their act and some people come in just to watch how these ladies work."

"I've never been to a place that does that … so, I guess I'll have to watch and see how they do it," said still smiling Charles, as he looked around the Diner to see what the waitresses were doing.

The waitress gave the two new diners a few minutes and then went back to the booth to see if they were ready to order.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Ken," said the waitress. "You two ready to order? Should I bring your usual, boss?"

"Hi there, Jeannie, yes, why don't you bring my usual, but with a coke instead of coffee," replied Mr. Ken. "Charles do you know what you want but can't find it on the menu?"

"Yes, sir … I know I'd like a hamburger with cheese and bacon. If I may," answered Charles.

"Do you want that 'on the hoof', or as a 'hockey puck', smothered in 'wax' and 'walked through the garden' and do you also want some 'frog sticks' along with some flavored 'swamp water' with that?" asked Jeanie.

Charles got a big question mark on his face when he heard what the waitress just said and looked to his foster dad for an explanation.

Mr. Ken laughed at the lad and then asked Jeanie to decipher what she had just said.

"Oh … so you don't know Diner Speak do you kid?" smiled Jeanie. "I only asked you if you wanted your hamburger 'on the hoof', or rare; as a 'hockey puck', or well done; and if you wanted it smothered in 'wax', or cheese; and 'walked through the garden' which means did you want lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion,. Lastly, I asked if you wanted French fries which are also known as 'frog sticks', and if you want 'flavored swamp water', which is half-n-half lemonade mixed with iced tea, or a soda, simple iced tea or anything else to drink with your meal.

"I could have also asked you if you wanted a Grunt 'C.B', through the garden. That is translated as a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and onion. As for ordering a soda, I could have also asked if you wanted carbonated water, flavored and colored. So, what will it be kid?" smiled Jeanie, as she chewed and smacked her gum all the while she talked.

"Mr. Ken … can I just ask for a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a coke?" asked a still flummoxed Charles.

"Jeanie … please … what he said and my usual," requested Mr. Ken.

"Sure, boss … he's a cutie. Is he Robert's brother?" replied Jeanie.

"You could say that, Jeanie and … ahh, would you bring our drinks first, please," replied Mr. Ken.

"Why did she call you 'boss'? 'da', err Mr. Ken. "Was it because you are the older person of us, or was it because it was a term she used to denote you as a customer?" Charles wanted to know.

"Well, Charles, she called me 'boss' because … I AM the Boss!" responded Mr. Ken, with a big smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes.

Charles had only been at The Cove for less than forty-eight hours and hadn't been fully exposed to Mr. Ken's sometimes twisted sense of humor, and double-speak, so he didn't know that Mr. Ken had actually told him the truth, but in a roundabout way. Charles remained clueless and he sat in the booth still wondering about all the strange words and their meanings.

The waitress brought them their drinks and as she did she slid them across the table with the correct one stopping directly in front of the person who ordered it. As Charles saw what the waitress did, he was amazed and bemused over it. But that didn't stop him from taking a drink from the glass.

Charles thanked Mr. Ken for what he'd done for him, so far. He told the man he wouldn't have known what he would have done if he was out on his own. Charles then asked if his being at Three Finger Cove was going to cause problems for Robert since Smokey said he'd be back for him. All Mr. Ken told the pre-teen was that he shouldn't worry about it for now and that they would discuss it more after he had a better idea of what Larry Masson and his crowd could and would do.

The two hungry Covers waited about twelve minutes for their meals to arrive. Again, Jeanie slid their meals to stop just in front of the correct customer.

"Will you want desert when you're finished, Boss?" asked Jeanie.

"I'm not sure yet, Jeanie. Let's wait until we are through before you bring the Desert Menu," replied Mr. Ken.

"Sure, Boss," said Jeanie and then walked away.

The man and boy dug into their meals and they didn't talk much as they ate. About half-way through their meal, Jeanie came over and refreshed their drink and asked the 'Boss' again if there was anything else they needed.

That time the use of the term 'Boss' got the better of Charles and before the woman walked away, the lad asked, "Why is it you call Mr. Ken, "boss'? Is it because he's the primary customer of the two of us, or is that a term you use for all male customers?"

Jeanie looked at Mr. Ken to see if she should answer the lad's question. Then getting a quick nod from the man she said to Charles, "No, young man, I don't use the term 'boss' for anyone but for the Boss."

Charles looked at the waitress with the Big Question in his face and said, "Huh."

"He doesn't know does he, Mr. Ken?" quickly asked Jeanie.

"Would you like to tell him, or … would you want me to?" Mr. Ken asked of Jeanie.

Jeanie indicated she would like to tell the lad the news, so she looked at the boy and said, "Young sir … I call Mr. Ken here 'Boss' because … well, he actually owns the place." Then Jeanie put a big smile on her face, after she said that, and then walked away to give Mr. Ken the chance to explain what she said.

But before Mr. Ken could say anything, Charles asked, "You really own this Diner?"

"Yes, Charles, I own not only this Diner, but the restaurant on the other side," smiled Ken Thomas, as he looked at his young charge. "And, young sir, you're lucky. You found out after only living with me for less than two days. Robert, on the other hand, I think it took him about a month, or so, before he learned that piece of information."

"I bet you own a lot of things, don't you Mr. Ken," matter-of-factly said Charles.

"Yes, Charles, I'm guilty. I not only own these eateries but I also own the Go-Kart Track and the Putt-Putt and the gas station. I actually own all of the surrounding lands and I hope to soon own the remaining acreage. So … do you have any questions for me?" finished Mr. Ken.

Charles just sat there thinking through the information he was just made aware of. Then the lad smiled and said, "You really own all those things?"

"Yes, I actually do. So … what do you think about that?" asked Mr. Ken.

"I think it's neat. We can play miniature golf any time we want and we can go to head of the line at the Go-Kart Track. That's gonna be awesome," replied Charles.

"Well, actually, Charles … we don't go to the head of the line and I still pay when I enjoy the Putt-Putt and race cars and even here when we eat," explained Mr. Ken.

"But, you own them. Why do you have to pay?" seriously asked Charles.

"Well, you see, Charles … they are places of business and … well, they have to account for the number of plays, like at the Putt-Putt, and, at the Go-Kart Track, they have to account for the amount of gas and maintenance they use and do over there. If I go there and short them … by not paying, their bottom line will affect my profits and my return on my investment. So, I pay … just like everyone else," smiled Mr. Ken, as he explained it to the youngster.

"It also looks good when the other paying customers see me paying, too. Even in here, when we leave, I'll pay my bill. And, Charles … if you decide to stay with me, after those two weeks I asked you to give me … you too will be expected to pay your own way if you come here with your buddies and or girlfriends." Ken Thomas then watched the look on his new foster son's face as what he just told him sunk in.

"You really mean it?" quickly asked Charles.

"Mean what?" asked Mr. Ken.

"That, I can ... that I can come here with my friends, after two weeks, if I am still living with you and Robert?" asked Charles, with a big smile and the look of hope on his face.

"Yes, you can, but … we need to get through this Smokey thing first. We'll need to work closely with the Sheriff and his deputies to help them find and apprehend Mr. Masson and his cronies. And, in the meantime I'll need you to stay close to the house and when you're out you'll have a body guard with you. Let me reiterate that. You WILL have a body guard while you are outside. You got that, Charles," said a very serious Mr. Ken.

Charles just stared at his foster dad for a few moments and then he said to him, "What about Robert? What about my other 'brothers'? Will they all have body guards … too?"

Mr. Ken got out of his seat and moved around to sit next to Charles. He then grabbed the boy in a big hug and told the lad that everything would be okay. That he would take care of his 'brothers' too, and do whatever was needed to make them all safe. Charles saw the determination in the man's face and then leaned into the hug and began to lightly cry.

Mr. Ken paid their bill and the two headed out to the F-150. Once there, Ken Tomas pulled out his cell phone and made a call. Charles didn't hear the other side of the conversation but he knew from what his foster dad said that his 'brothers', Collin and Robert, would be meeting them back at Three Finger Cove.

The four Covers met in Mr. Ken's Study and they discussed what happened during the meeting with the DA and Sheriff earlier that day. Then, Mr. Ken told them about the need for them to each have a body guard. That revelation almost brought about World War Three.

"Mr. Ken," began an emotional Collin, "I was here when you did that the first time and someone still got into the house and HE shot you! No matter how many FBI guys and local policemen you had they still assaulted The Cove and they almost killed you. I could never forgive myself if you try this again and this time they succeed. I think we all should head down to my house and stay inside until Sheriff Barnes captures this Smokey guy."

"I agree with Collin, 'dad'," spoke up Robert. "I only heard what happened and saw the aftermath on the TV after they attacked Three Finger Cove, but if … if what Collin says can happen again … I … I don't want to lose you after I just got me a new 'dad'." Then with that said, Robert burst down and cried hard.

'Dad' Ken moved to his 'son' and the two slid down to the floor as they hugged one another tight.

While 'dad' and 'son' hugged, Charles got up and walked over to them and then looking down at them said, "Mr. Ken … if it wasn't for me … you all wouldn't have to worry about being killed. I know … I know Smokey wants me, but … if I am not here then … then you can't be shot and maybe killed. Maybe I could go with Collin … you know … to his house and hide out until this is all over!"

"No, Charles, I can't let you place Grammy and the staff at Collin's home in jeopardy. This house has lots of hiding places and escape routes and we'd all be better off staying in here. Let me call Sheriff Barnes and find out what they are planning to do to catch Larry Masson. Then we can make plans. Okay?" suggested Mr. Ken.

Getting nods from all the lads, Ken Thomas picked up his phone, placed it on speaker, and called Sheriff Barnes. The operator at Sheriff's Headquarters wouldn't put the call through so Ken called Dan.

When the phone was answered, Mr. Ken said, "Dan don't hang up, it's Mr. Ken. I tried to call Barnes but they wouldn't put me through."

"Whose all there," asked Dan Fischer?

"Just the four of us … Collin, Robert, Charles and me are in my Study." Just then Chief barked a few times and Mr. Ken had to revise the number to five in the Study. … "Can you tell me what your plans are," asked the owner of The Cove.

"Well, we're … they're going to send out undercover officers to the most likely places, that Charles identified, and try to find Masson. Matter of fact ... the undercover officers are already on their way," replied Deputy Fischer.

"Dan … the boys, well, Charles actually, is afraid he's placed us all jeopardy and … and he wants to go into hiding. I told him I have lots of places here he, we, can all hide in and they'd never find us. But … well … I wanted to talk to Barnes and get his reassurance for Charles that he'd do everything in his power to catch this madman and put him away for EVER!" explained Ken Thomas.

"Ken … are we on speakerphone?" asked Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer.

"Yes, Dan … all the boys can hear what you're telling me. I wanted them to hear this first hand so they knew what was happening, first hand," explained Ken Thomas.

"Okay … here's what I'm going to do. I'm going into the Command Post to check on the operation. When I have something to tell you, I'll call you back. In the meantime, I'd tell your armed guards to get reinforcements there as a precaution. We all believe this Smokey guy knows that Charles is probably holed up there and I personally believe he would probably try to get back there to get him. Mr. Ken … I'm not holding back any punches, here, so you take care and be ready to act," spelled out Dan Fischer.

"Thank you, Dan … I ... we'll be waiting for your call. Bye." Then, Mr. Ken hung up the phone.

Ken Thomas then called Jules Diamond to tell him what was happening and told him to get as many armed security people as he could to The Cove, as fast as he could. He explained the situation and then he hung up to let the man do his job.

"Boys ... now we wait. In the meantime ... Collin … would you show Charles your hiding place so he knows where he can go to hide if push comes to shove?" directed Mr. Ken.

The three 'brothers' all headed out of the Study and headed down to the Basement level and the hiding room behind the electrical panel. When they got there, Robert asked if he could show his new 'brother' how it worked. Twenty seconds later, Robert had the hiding place door opened and asked Charles to walk inside. Charles' eyes went wide when he saw how the place was hidden in plain sight. Then, once he was inside the room, he was amazed that it had not only had a bed, it also had a restroom and lots of food. Collin then sat down with his two 'brothers' and told them what he did while he was waiting inside for Mr. Ken to come get him.

After a few minutes, Robert told his two 'brothers' he was going to check back with his 'dad' to see if he'd heard any news about the stake-out. He winked at Collin to let him know that might be a good time to talk to Charles as he had planned.

As soon as Robert left the room, Collin looked at Charles and told the youngster he wanted to talk to him before he left the next day. Charles was curious as to why, so he said he was 'game'.

"Charles," began Collin, "I wanted to sit down and talk to you … about what happened to you. Not just what happened the other day, but … but what happened back when you were living with your mom and then possibly at that other foster home."

Charles started to get defensive over what Collin wanted to talk to him about but Collin calmed him down by saying he knew what the young boy went through.

"Charles, those men … the ones who kidnapped me ... they did to me … what I bet happened to you," said Collin.

Charles' eyes got wide at hearing what his new 'big brother' just said, and meekly asked, "Did they … ahh, did they do something to your, you know, your … your butt?"

"Yes, Charles, they did … all four of them!" replied Collin. "And, once they started … it happened just about every night."

"Only four? I had Smokey and his gang plus a few others take turns with me … and it hurt, too," Charles blurted out, as be began to cry.

Collin knew he needed to calm the lad down and he knew exactly what to do. He grabbed the pre-teen in a big hug and began to rub the lad's back. He then talked softly to the youngster.

"Charles … I know exactly what you went through. The first time … the first time it happened to me … Mark … he was the guy who also shot and killed my parents … this one night … when the boss man went out for something to eat … Mark used the time to …. Mark used that … he used that time to rape me. Lucky for me, the other kidnapper, Dean, felt sorry for me afterwards and gave me something to help deaden the pain in my ass."

Collin then went and told the lad just about everything that happened to him. He began with him seeing his parents defending him and then being shot down, to his continuously being raped to the night of the big storm when they tried to kill him, that first time.

While Collin was bringing back those horrible memories, he sort of stared at the wall and Charles saw the pain in his big 'brother's eyes. It was towards the end of what Collin revealed the young lad saw a few tears begin to streak down the teenager's cheeks. It was then he knew Collin had experienced what he had and maybe worse. Charles then pulled Collin into his own hug to try to comfort the older teen.

The two 'brothers' hugged one another for a few moments, and then Collin pulled back some and said, "Thank you", to Charles through his tears. They then pulled back into their hug but this time Charles had tears of his own flowing down his cheeks, too.

The two boys stayed in their hug for about five minutes. Collin then pulled back, once more, and said, "Charles … I wanted to talk to you as a 'brother' and not as an adult type. I went through the humiliation of being raped countless times during my captivity. Only Mr. Ken, Doctor Doug and … well, now you know that. I hope you will try and keep that just to yourself.

"I take it Smokey Masson did the same to you. I also believe those older teens at the foster home you and Robert were at together made you do some sexual things with them. I want you to know … it was all against your will and I hope you can work through the pain and the humiliation and then move on to healing. I can be there for you … not as your doctor, but as someone who understands and can listen to you. You know … be there when you need a friendly ear to talk with.

"Robert and I … we've talked some, you know, when he visited me at my home. Before he left, I gave him my cell number so he could just call me if he ever needed to talk about what happened to him, or if he just wanted to talk. We both shared some things … some things we never shared with anyone else. I'm not saying I want you and me to do that, but …. I do want you to know that besides Robert you can talk to and trust me, too.

"I also want you think about giving Mr. Ken that same … I would encourage you to trust … to trust Mr. Ken … as Robert and I have. You saw that big sofa looking lounger down in the Theater. He and I used to sit there, together. It was there … there that I shared what happened to me. We'd lie there watching a movie and eventually I would begin to tell him some things.

"By the time the summer arrived, my Big Bro, that's Mr. Ken … he knew virtually everything that happened to me during the whole time the kidnappers held me. And you know what? I've never known him to share anything I've told him with anyone else, including Ms. Judy, Eric's mom. She is the Director of Children's Protective Services and is supposed to know these things, but she still doesn't.

"Of course Doctor Doug also knows everything that happened to me and let me tell you … Doctor Doug is one of the finest men you'll get to know. I want to encourage you to not be embarrassed about anything you have to tell him. He works exclusively with kids and he's heard it all and probably worse. … What I'm trying to say here Charles is … well, that there are people who will be there help you to learn … to learn how to deal with the shit you've been made to endure. They will do what they need to do to help you. They will help you work through it all. Mr. Ken, if you decide to stay after the two weeks he's given you, will be your primary contact and I hope you will begin to open up to him. Talk with Robert, if you're not sure how to do that. As for Robert … he can tell you how it happened, for him, how he told his new 'dad' everything he had to do.

"You know I have to go back home tomorrow. I'm going to talk to Mr. Ken about getting you a cell phone within a few days of my leaving. If he doesn't … you have Robert call me and I'll get one sent to you. I want you to be able to call me anytime you need a 'big brother' to talk to. I also want you to have it as a safety device for where ever you go.

"For now … we have to get you through this crazy shit dealing with Masson," finished up Collin.

The two sat there facing one another, neither saying a word. It was after a minute or two that Charles took a deep breath, let some of it out, and began to speak.

"Do you really mean it? That I can … I can call you any time I want and we can talk … even if it doesn't have to do with the sex things Smokey made me do with him and lots of other people," Charles wanted to know.

"Yes, Charles … ask Robert, he'll tell you that we've talked about his friends, the skateboard ramps and he and Eric … Oh, I …I probably shouldn't have said anything about that. Just pretend you didn't hear that," smiled Collin.

"Yea, I kinda figured that the first night when we all went to bed. I could tell they were best friends as they both wanted to be alone in Robert's bedroom. I just hope I can find a friend as good as Eric is to Robert," replied Charles.

"Ahh, Collin … can I ask you what you think about, you know, Mr. Ken calling me Charles? Do you think I should continue to have people call me Charles, or do you think I should go back to being called Charlie?" asked Charles out of the blue.

Collin sat there for a few moments, trying to decide how he should respond. He figured Charles wanted him to make the decision about his name, for him, but Collin knew the pre-teen needed to start making an effort at creating his new 'life' so he decided to say just that.

"Charles … Mr. Ken is giving you an opportunity at creating a new 'life' for yourself here at The Cove. Part of that means you'll have the freedom to choose between a number of things, as time goes on. The first opportunity he is giving you is to let you make the decision about the name you want people to call you. You've only been here two days and personally … I don't believe it is a long enough period that can give you the experience you need to make that decision. Granted, hearing the name Charles, after hearing Charlie for twelve plus years, is as bit odd, but you need to give it time. And, maybe, just maybe, your friends may come up with something you hadn't thought of," explained Collin.

"A name other than Charles?" asked an excited Charles. "Like what?"

"That … well, that I do not know, but … but you've got to give it time and before long I bet … yeah, my bet is that your friends will either like the name Charles or maybe they'll come up with a name like, 'Jerk' or Scumbag", even," teased Collin, with a big smile on his face.

Charles knew he was being teased so he decided to respond, "You really mean it? Those would be neat names to have!" replied Charles, then smiled real big as he leaned into a hug with Collin.

"Thank you, Collin, for taking the time to talk to me. It's been a long time since anyone took an interest in me, you know, to sit down and talk to me about anything, not just the stuff that happened to me," said Charles, as he hugged his 'big brother'.

"I bet Mr. Ken would have loved to have sat down with you some, but, you know, with the carnival and all and then the attempted kidnapping … he really hasn't had the time to spend with you. You've got to give him the time to sort through what's happening now and then he'll make the time for you," suggested Collin.

"Yea, I bet you're right. He told me he was going to take me shopping for new clothes and he even reminded me we were going to go right after the interview but … well, I told the Sheriff where I thought Smokey might go and he and the DA, guy, they left, right away. Then we heard, after Mr. Ken talked with that Deputy Sheriff, that they have a plan to capture Smokey. You were there; you heard it. … Is there anything else you want to talk to me about?"

"No, I think you got the gist of what I wanted to tell you. What say we catch up with Robert and find out what Mr. Ken may or may not have found out," replied Collin.

The two lads left the SAFE ROOM but before they went upstairs, they closed it up so no one could ever tell there was a secret room behind the false electrical panel.

As Collin and Charles entered the Study, they saw Robert and Chief were there. They also saw that Robert was enjoying a coke and a cookie, or two, and Chief was just lying by the lad's chair.

"Hey, Mr. Ken … how can we get something to drink and eat like Robert has," joked Collin.

Mr. Ken looked up and smiled then replied, "Well … first … you walk out of this room. Then … you walk to the kitchen and open the refrigerator. Get out your drink of choice. Then, you go to where Momma Maria keeps the cookies and you take the number you want. After that, you need to decide if you are going to enjoy your finds there, in the Kitchen Nook, or you're going to bring them back here and make a mess," teased the owner of The Cove.

"Come on Charles," said Collin, as he tugged at the younger lad's shoulder, "let me show you the stuff you need to know if you never want to go hungry in this house." Collin then laughed and the two 'brothers' walked out of the Study.

Seven to eight minutes later, Collin and Charles returned to Mr. Ken's Study each carrying a coke and three or four cookies. They also brought a few dog treats for Chief, which she began to enjoy. The lads then sat down in one of those very soft leather chairs to enjoy their own snacks.

To Mr. Ken, it was obvious the boys were back from all the commotion they made with their talking to Chief and sitting down. The man looked up, but especially at Collin, and smiling said, "Did you bring me any?"

Collin didn't have a chance to answer because the phone rang. It was Dan Fischer.

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