This chapter contains scenes that graphically depict coerced adult/youth sexual contact. Some people may find this material objectionable. This chapter gives further understanding and insight into the background of a major antagonist character. Readers wishing to avoid such material are encouraged to skip this chapter.
The next day at school, Zach and Trevor and what happened at the assembly were the talk of the school. There was also quite a bit of speculation about Zach and Trevor, but no one asked, and they did not act in any way other than the way they always had as best friends. Zach continued to heal, and within another week the cast came off, and he looked and acted like himself, with just a couple of extra scars.
At the Stanhope estate an envelope arrived for Mr. Stanhope. Inside were a digital camera SD card and a note.
Mr. Stanhope, Here are the pictures you wanted. Let me know if you need anything else? Jim
Ian took the card and went over to his computer and plugged the card into a slot on the computer. The pictures came up and he looked at the boy in the picture. The boy was good looking, and the hair and eyes matched what had been described to him. He looked through all the pictures and studied them intently. They showed the boy in question by himself, in various clothes, school clothes, shorts, sometimes with no shirt on. There were even some kind of dark shots that showed the boy asleep; the covers were kicked off showing him laying in bed wearing just a pair of briefs. There were also pictures of him in his baseball uniform and with some other boys, but with three boys in particular. Ian noticed the blond boy in the pictures, and there was something about the boy that gave him a strange feeling. Maybe it was the eyes; they seemed to almost glow in the picture, because they were such a bright blue. After he removed the card, he sat back and thought for a few minutes before he picked up the phone and dialed a number. The phone rang a couple of times before it was answered.
"Hello, James. I have received the package and your description is accurate, I am interested. Please do what you need to do and get him to us as soon as you can."
"Of course. I have a few more things to clear up, but I should be able to get him to you by the end of May at the latest."
"That is fine. You will be well compensated for this, and if he is everything that I hope for, you will get a bonus."
"Thanks you, sir. Should I try to get him to you sooner?"
"No. Take the necessary time. You must cover your tracks also. The timetable that you have proposed is adequate. Contact me when you are ready."
Ian hung up as a young man of about twenty five years old entered the room. He was about six feet tall and 175 pounds, with long brown hair and light brown eyes. Behind him walked a boy who looked to be around twelve or thirteen, with red hair, blue eyes, a little over five feet tall and around 110 pounds or so. He was dressed in shorts and a polo shirt. The young man patted the boy on the butt and directed him to a chair across the room. The man walked over and sat down across from Ian. Ian smiled in greeting.
"So, father, what are you smiling about?"
"William, I may have found someone to be your companion."
"Really? Who is it?"
"Someone that James has found down in Southern California. He appears to fit the bill for you."
"May I see?"
Ian handed him the digital card and William went over to the computer and inserted it into the card reader. He sat there for several minutes as he looked through the pictures. He looked at his father when he was finished.
"I agree, father. He looks just right. His hair and eye color and age look perfect."
"I have asked James to procure him."
"Soon, by the end of May at the latest. James needs to be sure his trail is well covered so that nothing can get back to us."
"Of course. What do you think?"
"I agree with you, I think we have found the right one."
The two men talked for several minutes while the red-haired boy sat fidgeting across the room completely bored. William finally got up.
"Cameron, go find Greg. We have some errands to run."
The boy nodded and hurried off. Ian concentrated on the boy as he and his son left the room and frowned a little before he let out a little sigh and got back to work.
That night, in a large sitting chamber upstairs, William and Cameron were sitting on a couch and watching a large plasma TV that was inset into the wall. Cameron had taken his shoes and socks off, and was sitting at the other end of the couch with his feet tucked under him. William turned off the TV. He got up and walked over to where Cameron was sitting. He reached his hand down for Cameron's hand. Cameron put his hand up; William took it and gently pulled him up from his seat. Cameron stood up and he was led to a door. William opened the door and motioned for Cameron to precede him. On the other side of the door was a large bedroom. William closed the door and came up behind Cameron. He reached around him, wrapped his arms around him and licked along his ear and neck. He kissed the boy on the cheek and neck. William turned Cameron around and reached for the bottom of the polo shirt he was wearing. Cameron obediently lifted his arms as William took off his shirt. William caressed Cameron's bare torso. He rubbed his chest and shoulders, and moved his hands lower until he reached the top of the boy's shorts. William unsnapped Cameron's shorts and slowly lowered the zipper. He pulled the boy's shorts open to reveal the red bikini briefs that the boy was wearing. William moved around in front and kneeled in front of Cameron as he lowered the shorts and continued to touch the boy. As hard as he tried, Cameron couldn't stop himself from the feelings that William's touch built in him. William was concentrating on his task and did not see the closed eyes with tears at their edges and the gritted teeth of the boy. William stopped after he had aroused the boy and hooked his hands in the boy's briefs and pulled them down.
He helped Cameron step out of the clothes until he was completely naked in front of him. William continued his ministrations, which elicited a little moan that the boy couldn't stop himself from letting out. William smiled and stood up. William took off his shirt and stood before the boy. Cameron looked up and then started to unbuckle the man's belt and opened his pants. He pulled the pants down, revealing the same kind of briefs that the boy wore, only they were blue. Cameron slowly put his hands on the waistband of the briefs and gently pulled them down. The man took the boy's hand and led him to the bed. Cameron got up on the bed and lay on his back. William crawled up on the bed with him and started to kiss him and run his hands all over his body. Cameron could not stop the feelings that he got as the touch of the man aroused him even more. As the man concentrated on his body, the boy closed his eyes and tried to control the tears as he endured another night of humiliation. William noticed none of this as he continued his ministrations as he felt the lust that he felt for the boy build. The boy silently prayed.
Please God, help me. Please send someone to come and save me from this evil bastard. Please I'm begging you.
The boys' baseball team continued to do well, and Trevor did some more pitching for the team. He did well but did not dominate like he had that one day; still he ended up with four wins and no losses by the end of the season. Trevor, Zach, Jared and Jeremy ended up on the All Star team, as well as their friend Gary, but their team lost an early game in one of the tournaments and did not advance further. Still all in all, it was a good baseball season for the boys.
The preparations for the wedding continued as well. After a lot of discussion, and because neither of them subscribed to any particular religion, they asked Sean to perform the ceremony for them. They decided that it would be held outside, and that the wedding party would wear traditional Cheyenne clothing. The wedding party consisted of the bride and groom, Tom as best man, Terry as maid of honor, and Trevor as the ring bearer. Zach, Jared and Jeremy were the ushers. All of them would be dressed in traditional clothing as well. Back in Montana, Sean and Shayna started working on the clothes for all of the wedding party. One day in May, when Jake felt like getting away from all the wedding preparation, he shanghaied Trevor for a short drive. They went to get something to eat at Wendy's. During lunch Jake received a call, and after they ate lunch, Jake told Trevor that he wanted to show him something. They drove into a neighborhood and soon enough Trevor recognized the area as somewhere near Zach and Jared's house. Jake made a turn and Trevor realized this was the street that the Brownings lived on. A half a block down from the Browning home at the end of the cul-de-sac, Jake pulled into the driveway of a large two-story house, next to a BMW. He stopped the jeep and they got out. Trevor followed but was puzzled. Jake went up to the door and rang the bell. A man came to the door.
"Hi, Jake. I'm glad you were available."
He held out his hand and Jake took it.
"Hey, Andy. May I introduce my son Trevor?"
"Good afternoon, young man." He and Trevor shook hands.
"Well, come on in and I'll show you around."
They followed Andy into the house; Trevor leaned near to Jake and whispered, "What are we doing here, Dad?"
"Just wait, you'll see."
They continued to follow Andy into the empty house.
"Jake, as we discussed, it is a fairly large home, around four thousand square feet. Follow me upstairs"
They followed Andy upstairs and he showed them the five bedrooms and two bathrooms that were upstairs.
"There are five bedrooms up here. The master bedroom is at the end of the hall and has one of the bathrooms attached to it, and the other bathroom is between the two bedrooms facing the front of the house. The four other bedrooms, as you can see, are of good size, not small closet=like rooms. So you have the two bathrooms upstairs and one downstairs. There is a balcony that runs across the back of the house. Two of the bedrooms look towards the front of the house. The master bedroom at the end of the hall also looks toward the front of the house. The other two bedrooms have sliding glass doors out to the balcony, and the balcony has a set of stairs down to the backyard."
Jake nodded as they looked in each of the upstairs rooms and bathrooms. Andy led them back downstairs.
"Of course downstairs we have the kitchen, dining room, a large living room and a bonus room that can easily be turned into a home office, with a bathroom just off the living room and a fireplace here in the living room."
He walked them around the bottom floor. Trevor was no longer puzzled and was smiling now. Andy led them to the door that led to the garage.
"The garage is big enough for three cars, or you can use part of it for a workshop or storage."
Jake and Trevor looked inside and followed Andy as he headed to the backyard. He opened the sliding glass door and they followed him outside as he started pointing out everything.
"As you can see, there is a large swimming pool, about fifteen by thirty, with a diving board. Over there is the spa. The patio area has a large built-in barbeque grill and has a shade built over it. Plenty of area for a pet to run around in, as well. There is a tall privacy fence all around the property. This property was put together from two properties; the first owner wanted a large house and large yard for his kids, and so he bought both properties before building in the 60s. This house was redone and expanded by the present owners in the 80s so that it is more compatible with modern appliances. So what do you think?"
"It looks real nice, Andy. What do you think, Trevor?"
"Does this mean we're going to live here?"
"Well, that depends?"
"You. Your mom has already seen it and she liked it, so we were just waiting on your approval."
"This is way cool. So you're really going to buy this?"
"That is the plan, as long as you are okay with it."
"Okay? This is more than okay. I already know what room I want for my bedroom."
"Andy, I guess that means we'll take it."
"Excellent. How about we get the paperwork signed on Monday, If you and Sandy can make it?"
"We can be there at four in the afternoon, is that okay?"
"That will do."
They walked back out to the front and Andy locked the door. They waved goodbye to him as they got in the Jeep and drove back home. Jake pulled into his driveway, but they both went across the street to Trevor's house. They waved to Terry as she pulled out. Once inside Trevor found his mother sitting in the living room.
"Hi, honey, where'd you guys get off to?"
"We went to have lunch and Jake showed me the house."
"So do you like it?"
"It's awesome; I already know which room I want."
"I like it too."
"We'll meet Andy at his office at four on Monday. Is that still good for you?"
"Yes, that's fine. I've already cleared it with my boss."
"When do we move in?"
"It will take about a month until everything's ready, so we will probably be able to get things moved in right before the wedding. We will have everything here and ready for us to move in right after your mom and I get back from our honeymoon. So we will be all moved in there about a week after the wedding. While we're gone, you'll be over at Tom and Terry's house. I'm sure you have no objection to that."
"Woohoo, all right!"
"Also, I have to ask you to promise that you won't tell Zach or Jared about the house. We want to surprise all of them, since we're going to be neighbors soon.
Neither of the adults wanted to cook so they went out for dinner. All through dinner they talked of what plans they had for the house. On Monday the paperwork was filled out and the process was started.
At the office Tuesday morning, Jake looked up at the sound of a knock on his open door. He looked up and saw Jeff Gant and Tom at the door. Jake motioned for them to come in.
"Hey, guys, what's up?"
"Jake, Jeff may be onto something here."
"Remember that one from back East, James Harvey."
"Yeah. What have you got, Jeff?"
"Well Jake, I've run into a lot of dead ends, but I finally got a hit on a feeler. He knows how to cover his tracks or he has help from someone. I think I have a line on him, and I'm pretty sure he is out here in this area. I've heard rumors that he runs with some sleazy people. I may be able to get a picture of him soon, and a location. This can help us track him down. I'm just waiting on the follow-up call from some sources I have developed."
"That's good news. Maybe we can finally put this case to rest and give some information to Mr. Hornung. Good work, Jeff."
"Sure thing; as soon as I can get any more, I'll let you know."
Jeff left and Jake and Tom got back to work.
At school on Wednesday, Jeremy asked to talk to the guys after school. They agreed and met at the bleachers for the baseball diamond. Jeremy looked a little nervous, but calmed down when Jared sat next to him and put his arm around him.
"So bud, what's wrong? You know you can tell us."
"Thanks. I'm kind of worried. It has to do with Roger, you know, the guy that my mom is dating. He has started to make me feel weird, you know, uncomfortable."
"Well, I started thinking it was because he was dating my mom and I was a little jealous, but it was more than that. Sometimes I would catch him looking at me with a funny look.'
"What kind of look?"
'I know this sounds kinda goofy, but like I was his next meal. I coulda sworn he was going to start drooling."
"Yech. Do you think he's like a pervert or something?"
"I don't know, but he's stayed overnight a couple of times and I think he came in my room. I wasn't sure, but it was like I dreamed it or something and I thought I heard something out in the hall. He's always touching me too, rubbing my shoulder or back, sometimes he pats my butt for no reason. He's really starting to creep me out. I don't know for sure, but there is something about him that I don't like. It's like he changed over the last few months or something."
"Have you said anything to your mom?"
"No. I tried once, but she starting talking about how glad she was that me and Roger were getting along. She told me that Roger said that he really liked me and thinks that I would make any man a great son. It was kinda gross the way she was talking about how great Roger was, so I figured she wouldn't believe me. I mean, I have no proof, just feelings about him, and that wouldn't be good enough. My mom really likes the attention she gets. He buys her nice stuff, and they go out to shows and dances at nice places."
"That sucks. Are you sure you aren't imagining things. He seemed pretty normal when I've seen him."
"I think when he is around a lot of other people he kinda puts on a show to appear normal, but when it's just us, my mom and me, well, sometimes he lets his guard down, I guess, and I see what I call the real Roger, and it scares me a little."
"Hey, why don't we come over this Saturday and poke around a bit. Maybe there is something he's left at your house that we might find."
"I guess that would be okay. My mom is working from the afternoon until almost closing, so if you want to come over about 5:00, if your parents say it is okay, she's giving me money to order pizza, so we could have pizza and look around."
"Sorry, guys, we can't. Zach and I have a dentist appointment, and then we're going over to visit some cousins."
"Then it will just be you and me, Jeremy. I'm sure my mom won't mind. I'll just tell her I'm going over to your house and we're going to have pizza. More pizza for us."
"Okay, cool. Thanks, guys; this means a lot to me."
"Like we said earlier to Luke, friends watch each other's backs."
"Yeah, all for one and one for all."
"Which one of us is D'Artagnan?"
The boys laughed as they went back to get their bikes and headed for home.
On Saturday Jeremy said goodbye to his mom from the living room as he sat watching TV. At about 4:30 the doorbell rang. He got up to answer it and he opened the door with a smile on his face to greet Trevor. His smile dropped immediately when he saw Roger smiling at him from the other side of the door.
"Hey, Jeremy, I called your mom about something, and as we were talking she mentioned that you were home alone, so I thought I'd come by and make sure you're okay."
"I'm fine, thanks, uh, Roger, but I'm fine. So I guess I'll see you later."
Jeremy started to close the door, but Roger's foot stopped it. Jeremy started to get frightened and froze for a moment, which was all the time that Roger needed to give the door a firm push, which knocked Jeremy to the floor. Roger quickly entered the house. He closed and locked the door behind him. He reached down to Jeremy and lifted him up. He looked at Jeremy with the hunger in his eyes that Jeremy had seen flashes of in the past; now it was right out there for anyone to see, if they had been there. Jeremy started to struggle and kick; he wiggled free. He ran towards the back door, but before he got very far, Roger tackled him to the ground. He had the wind knocked out of him and was stunned as the bigger man got up off the floor. Roger grabbed him and carried him into Jeremy's room at the back of the house. He threw him face down on the bed and got on top of him. He held him down while he took some nylon rope out of his jacket pocket and tied Jeremy's hands behind him. As Jeremy started to get his wind back, he looked over his shoulder and started to scream. Roger stuffed a handkerchief in his mouth and tied another handkerchief around his head so that it would hold the first handkerchief in his mouth. Jeremy was whimpering and tears were running down his face. Roger flipped him on his back and took more rope out. He tied the pieces to Jeremy's ankles and then tied them to the bed posts spreading his legs apart. He took more rope and, after untying Jeremy's hands and kneeling on his arms to hold them down, he tied his wrists. Jeremy tried to struggle, and Roger hit him across the face, which stunned him once again. He quickly tied the pieces of rope to the headboard. Jeremy was now lying spread-eagled on the bed; he tried to struggle and Roger looked down on him and smiled evilly.
"Well, little buddy, it's time we get real well acquainted."
Jeremy tried to scream through the gag, but he made very little noise. Roger reached into his pocket and took out a knife and a small bottle. Jeremy's eyes got wide and more tears leaked out as he began to cry more.
"Oh, don't worry about the knife. I'm not going to hurt you with it; you'll be just fine. It's just that I can't see what I want to see with all those clothes in the way, and since you're a little tied up, you can't very well take them off yourself, but first I've got a little something for you."
He took the bottle and opened it. He put one hand behind Jeremy's head and held the bottle under Jeremy's nose. Jeremy tried to move his head to the side, but Roger grabbed a big handful of hair and pulled hard; this made Jeremy suck in air from the pain, and he inhaled what was in the bottle.
"There, good boy, just breathe a little in and everything will be easier for everyone. In fact you will probably enjoy it."
Roger held the bottle against Jeremy's nose so that Jeremy could not help but breathe the fumes in. After he had breathed in the fumes from the bottle a couple of times, Roger recapped the bottle and put it on the bedside table. Jeremy started to look dazed and his eyes were a little glassy. Roger picked up the knife and started to cut Jeremy's clothes off. Soon he had him completely naked. Roger stood over the boy and grinned with lust shining in his eyes. He started to rub himself through his pants. Then he stopped and started to unbutton his shirt. When the doorbell rang, he stopped what he was doing and had a look of panic.
Did someone hear his struggle with the boy and call the police? He didn't think they could, but maybe.
He hurried through the house and carefully looked out the window. He didn't see any police cars, just a bike near the front porch. He went to the door and took a deep breath to calm down his racing heart. He made sure his clothes were straight and looked in place. Then he smoothed his hair and put on a smile before he opened the door. Standing there was Trevor with a surprised look on his face.
"Uh, hi, Mr. Smith. Jeremy invited me over to have pizza and watch TV. I didn't know you were going to be here."
"Yeah, kind of a last minute thing, Denise asked me to look in on you guys and see if everything is okay. I just got here. Jeremy's in his room; why don't you go on back?"
Trevor was a little nervous as he walked by Roger. He noticed that Roger looked a little flushed and nervous. He gave Roger a careful look.
"Is everything okay, Mr. Smith?"
"Yeah, sure. Come on; I'll let Jeremy know you're here, and then I'll be on my way."
Roger led the way. He called out as they neared the room.
"Jeremy, your friend Trevor is here!"
Trevor's view was blocked by Roger in the doorway, and before he realized what was going on, Roger turned, grabbed him and put a hand over his mouth. Then he dragged him into the room. When he was pulled in the room, Trevor could see Jeremy's naked body tied to the bed. Trevor noticed that Jeremy's eyes looked strange. Trevor bit Roger's palm; Roger stifled a yelp and hit Trevor in the face several times, which stunned him for a moment. Roger dragged Trevor over to the bed and grabbed the bottle. He got the cap off and held it under Trevor's nose, and put his hand back over Trevor's mouth, so that Trevor had to breathe through his nose. Trevor took a couple of big breaths of the vapors, and his eyes started to roll back. Roger held it there a little longer and Trevor passed out. Roger eased him to the ground and started to tie him up; then he stopped and leered at the good looking boy. He quickly stripped Trevor's clothes off of him and then tied him up, looking down on his body. He chuckled a little.
"Once I'm done trying out your friend, I think I'll give you a try too. You are just perfect. Too bad you didn't meet the requirements of Mr. Stanhope. You're better looking than Jeremy here, but Jeremy has what he wants, so I guess I'll just enjoy you and disappear for a while. No one will find a trace of Roger Smith. Now it's time for some fun."
Roger stood up and looked down at Jeremy. Jeremy was still glassy eyed. Roger started to remove his clothes, and when he was naked he sat down on the side of the bed and started to caress Jeremy all over. He gently ran his hands all over his body, and slowly moved his hand down below the boy's waist. He started to touch him; soon the effect of the drug and the touching had Jeremy aroused. Roger continued touching him; the touch elicited some moans from Jeremy in his drugged state. Roger smiled and picked up his pants. Reaching into his pants pocket, he took a tube of KY out of the pocket. He took a pillow and put it under Jeremy's butt, lifting him up to get better access to his bottom. He spread some KY on his finger and started rubbing it around. The feeling made Jeremy moan louder and squirm. Roger pushed his finger through the resistance of his sphincter and worked more of the KY into Jeremy. Jeremy's moans were getting louder and more urgent. Roger worked another finger inside and Jeremy was bucking up and down. Roger worked a third one in and hit Jeremy's prostate, causing Jeremy to scream through the gag and tense his entire body, arching his body up at the pelvis and causing the boy to have an inadvertent orgasm. Afterwards Jeremy's body relaxed back and Roger could feel the muscle relax. Using his other hand, he got some more KY and smeared it on himself, and then he maneuvered himself between the boy's legs, and then quickly entered the boy. With constant pressure, he was soon in position. When this started, Jeremy seemed to come out of the daze he was in as the pain of being violated by the bastard hit him hard. He screamed in pain through the gag and looked down at what the man was doing to him. He started to thrash around, but the man only smiled wider.
"Go ahead and move around a lot; it makes it more fun."
Jeremy bucked and screamed, as he tried to throw the man off, as the man entered him. He rolled his head to the side and noticed Trevor, naked, tied up on the ground. You could hear him scream Trevor's name through his gag, but that only got Roger's attention and Roger looked at where Jeremy was looking. He too looked down at Trevor and smiled back at Jeremy.
"He's next, buddy. Then you and I are going on a little trip. But first some fun time."
The man had continued with the assault. Jeremy closed his eyes and screamed into the gag; his tears flowed freely. Roger looked down at the boy as he waited a moment before he started to move in and out of the boy. He started slow and then sped up his assault, until the sound of flesh meeting flesh filled the room. Jeremy's body shook with the force of the assault. Roger's eyes were closed as he raped the boy, holding tight to the boy's hips, his fingers digging into the tender flesh. Jeremy opened his tear filled eyes and looked at his friend. His eyes widened as he saw Trevor start to move and open his eyes. Trevor looked up and locked eyes with the frightened Jeremy. Jeremy quickly looked at Roger, whose eyes were closed as he enjoyed the feelings he was having. Jeremy looked back at Trevor, who was shaking his head to clear it. When he lifted his head back up, his eyes seemed much clearer, and Jeremy saw the determination and anger in them. Trevor's eyes seemed to glow and he lifted his hands to his face and made a shushing motion to Jeremy. He looked around and saw Jeremy's baseball bat nearby. It must have been knocked down in Trevor's struggle with Roger. Trevor moved slowly, and watched Roger as he leaned over and grabbed the bat with both hands. He then moved carefully and slowly until he was near the bed, making sure that the bat did not drag on the ground or hit anything. Then he carefully got his bound legs under him, and he stood up using the bat as a support. His balance was off a little bit as he stood behind Roger and lifted the bat. Jeremy looked at Roger and then at Trevor. Trevor brought the bat up and swung it down hitting Roger in the back. He swung again and this time hit him in the head. He hit Roger again as he slumped over on top of Jeremy and the bat hit his shoulders. Trevor dropped the bat and pushed Roger off of Jeremy. Trevor hobbled closer to Jeremy. Jeremy was crying as Trevor quickly got the gag out of Jeremy's mouth.
"Oh Trevor, help me, it hurts so much."
"Hang on, Jer. I'm here. I've gotta..."
"Trev, use his knife; it's there on the table."
Trevor grabbed the knife and cut himself loose before he freed Jeremy. Jeremy grabbed onto Trevor and sobbed. Trevor comforted him for a few minutes, and then he helped Jeremy get some shorts on, before he dressed himself. There were some groans from the other side of the bed, and the boys looked at each other in fright. They grabbed each other's hand and ran out of the house, leaving the front door partially open behind them. They started to run. It was now dusk and most people were in their homes having dinner. All Trevor could think of was "I've got to get to Jake." The two half-dressed crying stumbling boys with bits of rope hanging off their arms and legs ran as if a monster was chasing them, which as far as they were concerned he was. They finally got to Jake's, and Trevor reached into his shorts for the keys. They weren't there. He let Jeremy sit down and searched all his pockets. Nothing; the keys were missing. Trevor helped Jeremy get up and they went around to the gate and let themselves into the backyard. Dee came running and saw them come stumbling around from the side of the house. Dee sensed something was not right and whined. They stumbled over to one of the lounge chairs and fell into it. Trevor gathered Jeremy into his arms, and he reached out to Dee and petted him.
"Dee, you gotta protect us till Dad gets here. We need Dad, we need him. Protect us, Dee."
Trevor looked into Dee's amber eyes and his bright blue eyes glowed, Dee seemed to nod and then Trevor gave a faint smile and closed his eyes, as he passed out as the adrenaline rush left him. His arms were clasped around the equally unconscious Jeremy. Dee went over to the gate that the boys had just come through and pushed it closed until he heard the latch click. Then he walked over to the boys and sat on guard next to them. He moved his head back and forth watching everywhere. He stayed between the two boys and whatever was chasing them.
Back at Jeremy's house, Roger slowly got to his feet and shook his head to clear it. When he was standing up, he put his hand to the back of his head and winced. There was some blood on his hand when he pulled it away and looked at it.
"Goddammit. That fucking kid. He's dead when I get my hands on him! Fuck, my head hurts!"
He looked around the room; he was still a little groggy and stumbled to where his clothes were laying, and he picked them up slowly and got dressed. While he was putting his shoes on, he saw a key chain on the floor. He picked it up and saw "Sandy" engraved on it. He frowned for a moment as he tried to think what it meant, and then it dawned on him that this must be Trevor's house keys, because he remembered that Sandy was the name of Trevor's mom. He finished putting his shoes on and put the key chain in his pocket. He looked at the time; it was almost seven pm. He closed the door behind him and went out to his car. He got in and drove calmly over to Trevor's house. He kept his eyes open, in case he found the boys somewhere between the two houses. He saw that Trevor's house looked dark. He drove past it and parked a few doors down. He got out of the car, and after he looked around he walked to Trevor's house. He looked across the street and saw that Jake's house was dark as well. He took the key chain out of his pocket and studied it. He neared the door and he saw that there was a steady red light on the key fob. He pushed one of the buttons near the unlit light and he saw it flash and then burn steady green as the red light went out. He grinned and went to the door, and tried the most likely of the keys. He found the right one and unlocked the door. He quickly looked around and slipped in, locking the door behind him. He started to carefully move around the house, looking for evidence of the two boys. He got back to Trevor's room and found nothing. He started back towards the front of the house when he saw headlights in the living room window and the sound of a car coming up the drive. He quickly hid near the front door and grabbed a small statue off of a table. After a few moments he heard someone coming up the walk to the door. The steps paused outside the door. He heard a muffled voice on the other side of the door.
"That's funny. I could've sworn I set the alarm. Ah well, with everything going on in my mind, I probably forgot."
He heard the key turn in the lock and the door slowly opened. Sandy came in the house and pushed the door closed. Before she could turn toward Roger, he brought the small statue down on her head. Sandy fell to the floor. Roger looked down and, taking the statue with him, he went back outside, closing the door behind him. He hurried to his car and drove back to Denise's house. He went into Jeremy's room and looked at the mess. Jeremy's cut-off clothes were on the floor, as were most of Trevor's clothes. There was blood on the bed and pillow that had been under Jeremy. He started to pick things up, and then he heard the front door open. He hid in Jeremy's closet.
"Jeremy, honey, I'm home. It wasn't too busy, so I didn't need to stay for the overtime. I hope you saved me some pizza. Jeremy? Jeremy, where are you?"
Denise walked through the house as she looked around. She came to the closed door of Jeremy's room and knocked.
"Jeremy? Are you in there, honey?"
There was no answer and she slowly turned the knob and opened the door. She entered and went inside. She noticed clothes on the floor and frowned.
"Jeremy, can you please pick up th... what happened to this room, it's a me... "
She stopped as she took in the state of the room. She walked toward the bed with her mouth opened in surprise. She noted the bits of rope tied to the bed and the cut up remains of Jeremy's clothes. She then noticed the blood on the bed and pillow, and she started to take in a breath to scream. A hand clamped over her mouth and she felt a sharp pain low in her back. She fell to the ground and before the blackness claimed her, she saw Roger stand over here with a bloody knife. Roger looked down at Denise.
"You weren't the one I wanted; your son Jeremy was the one, but the little bastard got away. Rest assured, I'll get him. He's worth a lot of money to me. Bye, bitch."
He wiped the knife clean on her blouse and then turned to grab the bottle he had used to knock the boys out and got out of the house, locking it behind him. He hurried to his car and quickly pulled away. Roger Smith had to disappear that night. Everything was ready. It took him fifteen minutes to get to his apartment in Long Beach. He got everything he needed and that would leave any clues about him packed and in his car. He drove up the coast a little to Redondo Beach and went to a studio apartment near the beach that he had prepared as a safe house ahead of time. The original plan would have been to take Jeremy here, but that was screwed up now. He cleaned up and lay down to get some rest before he planned his next move.
Jake pulled into his driveway about seven-thirty pm and started for his house, but he stopped for some reason and looked across the street to Sandy's and Trevor's house. He saw her car in the driveway, but no lights were on in the house. There was something about the house that made it look empty. He walked across the street and as he neared the door, something inside him told him to move carefully. He took his copy of Sandy's house keys out and saw that the green light was on. He moved to the door and tried the knob. It turned and he opened the door. The light from a street lamp shone in the door onto the form of Sandy lying on the floor. Jake threw the door open and dropped to her side. He felt for a pulse and let out a sigh of relief, and then after he made sure that she was breathing, he took out his cell and dialed 911.
"911 operator, what is your emergency?"
"Hello, this is Jake MacLaren. I am calling to report an assault. I found my fiancée Sandy Garrity unconscious in her living room."
"Okay, Mr. MacLaren, can you give me the address?"
"Yes, 3155 Autry Ave."
"Okay, I have sheriffs and paramedics on the way. They should be there shortly."
Jake went back to Sandy's side and knelt by her. Suddenly he looked up with fear in his eyes.
"Shit, Trevor. Trevor! Trevor, are you here?"
He ran through the house. He searched through the house as he headed to Trevor's room and found no one. He went back to Sandy as he heard the sirens approach. He made sure she was okay and then went to the door and waited for them to pull up. When they got there, he gestured for them to hurry.
"Hurry up, she's in here. I found her unconscious and she hasn't woken up yet."
The paramedics grabbed their bags and hurried up the lawn. The lights and sirens had drawn curious neighbors out of their houses. He started to follow the paramedics and was stopped by a shout behind him.
He turned around and saw Rick Bonelli walking toward him from the Sheriff's car.
"Rick, you caught the call?"
"Yeah, I heard your name on the radio and since I was nearby, I took it."
The two friends shook hands and then Rick took out his notebook.
"What happened, Jake?"
"I just got home a few minutes ago and had parked the jeep at my house over there."
He pointed and Rick looked across the street before he turned his attention back to Jake.
"I remembered that I needed to tell Sandy something, so I walked across the street here. As I got near the house, I got a weird vibe and moved a little more carefully. I checked my keychain here..." He pulled it out and showed it to Rick. "...and saw that the alarm was off, but there weren't any lights on in the house. So I tried the door and found it was unlocked, so I pushed it open and found Sandy on the floor."
"Okay, why do you have a keychain with her alarm control on it?"
"Oh shit, you don't know, do you? Sandy's my fiancée."
"Your fiancée? That's awesome, man, congratulations. I hope you send me an invitation to the wedding."
"Well, first I hope she's all right."
"Yeah, sorry, man. So you found her, anything else that you noticed?"
"No, and now I have another problem. I need to find my son."
"Son, you have a son? Boy, you have been busy since you left the department!."
"No, sorry. He's not my son officially, at least not yet. He's Sandy's son Trevor. He wasn't in the house, so I'm going to make some calls and try to find out where he is. He's probably at one of his friend's houses. Do you need me for anything else? I've gotta find him and make sure he's okay and knows about his mom."
"No, I'll get the report written up, call it in, and they'll send some investigators over to take a look for prints and evidence. Go ahead and see how she's doing."
Jake walked over to where the paramedics were working on her. By the time Jake came over to them, they had gotten her onto a gurney and were wheeling her out to the ambulance. Jake closed the front door of the house and locked it, setting the alarm. He waved to Rick as he crossed the street. He turned off the alarm and went into his house. He walked over to the phone and started looking through its directory for Jeremy's number, when at the back door he saw Dee barking and jumping against the door. Jake waved him down, but Dee wouldn't stop. So Jake walked to the door, unlocked it and opened the sliding glass door.
"Dammit, DeeOhGee, what the he... "
He saw the two half-naked boys out cold on the lounge. He dropped the phone and ran to the front door. He ran outside and saw the Paramedics just backing out and his friend Rick sitting in his front seat writing.
Rick looked up and Jake pointed at the paramedics. Rick got out of his car.
"RICK, I FOUND THE BOY. STOP THE PARAMEDICS; HE'S IN MY BACK YARD AND IT LOOKS LIKE HIS FRIEND IS WITH HIM, THEY BOTH LOOK HURT!"
Rick ran to the side of the paramedics' ambulance and stopped them, pointing toward Jake's house. They pulled into the driveway there. Jake waited for them as one of the paramedics and Rick hurried into the house, following Jake to the backyard. Jake turned the outside lights on and then ran to the side of the boys. He saw that Trevor held Jeremy in front of him; both of them had bruises on their faces and they were dressed only in shorts. Jake put his hand on Trevor's shoulder, which roused him. He blinked his eyes and looked up at Jake and his eyes widened.
"Da... DAD! Thank god! You gotta help Jeremy; he's been hurt bad."
"How are you, son?"
"I think I'm okay."
Trevor started to get up and staggered a little. Jake caught him and eased him to another lounge chair. Rick was calling for another ambulance when Jake noticed blood on the front of Trevor's shorts.
"Trevor! Are you hurt? There's blood on the front of your shorts!"
This got the attention of the paramedic and Rick. Trevor looked down and then started to shake his head.
"It's not mine, Dad! It's Jeremy's."
The paramedic and the Sheriff carefully rolled Jeremy up and saw blood soaking the seat of his shorts.
He reached for the radio mic on his shoulder and started talking.
"This is Deputy Bonelli. We've got two boys age... ?"
"Twelve years old. One has apparent blood soaking the seat of his pants; we need an ambulance right now. Both of the boys have multiple bruises and cuts on their faces."
Trevor was clinging to Jake as they worked on Jeremy. The paramedic got some oxygen on Jeremy and an IV started. Soon another siren was heard as another ambulance approached. Rick got up and ran to the front door to direct them. They came out back and took over so that the first paramedics could get Sandy to the hospital. They quickly got Jeremy on the gurney. One of them took a look at Trevor and saw that he appeared okay other than some bruises.
"Where are they taking them, Rick?"
"Okay, we'll follow you. I'll take Trevor with me."
"Good enough. You follow right behind me; we'll be going code three."
"Got it. I'll be on your tail. Trev, I'm going to get you to the hospital. We'll be right behind Jeremy. Okay?"
Jake locked the door to the house and got Trevor settled in the seat. He ran around and jumped into the driver's side, got the jeep started and backed out. He nodded to Rick and they took off with the lights and sirens blaring. It only took a few minutes before they turned into the emergency entrance of the hospital. Jake parked near the emergency entrance, jumped out and picked Trevor up. He carried him behind Jeremy's gurney as they entered the door. They were taken to the trauma room and it started to get a little crowded. For the first time, Trevor saw that his mom was one of the patients.
"Mom?! What happened to my mom, Dad!? What happened?!"
"Shh, honey, calm down. She was knocked out, but I think she's going to be fine. Calm down and let them make sure you're okay."
Trevor settled down and let the nurses work on him. Other medical people were working on Jeremy and Sandy. The medical team gently ushered Jake out of the room. Trevor was given a quick assessment and they saw that he was not badly injured, so they moved him out of the trauma room and into a regular ER room nearby. When Jake saw Trevor being brought out of the room, he followed him. When the nurse got him settled, Trevor reached out a hand and Jake took it. Jake placed his other hand on the top of Trevor's head, gently stroking his hair as he tried to comfort him. The nurse finished getting him settled and tilted the head of his bed up, so he was no longer lying flat. Trevor closed his eyes and lay there, trying to keep his tears under control.
In the trauma room, Sandy slowly came to and looked around, seeing the medical team working around her. A nurse looked down at her and smiled.
"Hello, Sandy. Glad to see you're awake. How are you feeling?"
"Like someone used my head for a baseball."
"You've got quite a bump. Let me get the doc."
The nurse walked away and returned shortly with a man in scrubs and a long white coat.
"Hi Sandy. I'm Dr. Collins; we're going to send you for a CT Scan to make sure your head is okay. If the scan is negative, then we'll move you into a regular ER room where your other son is now."
"Trevor? He's here? Has he been hurt?"
"No, no. Nothing to worry about. He has some scrapes, cuts and bruises like he was in a fight, but otherwise he's okay. He's in another room with your husband."
"Oh, good, Jake's with him. All right, doc, let's get this show on the road so that I can be with my son."
"To put your mind at ease, we're taking good care of the other son."
"My other son?"
"The boy that was brought in behind you... he's not your son?"
"No, Trevor is my only son. What's the boy's name?"
He looked over at a table nearby. "Jeremy Davis."
"Jeremy? God, what happened to him."
"So you know him?"
"Yes, he's one of my son's best friends. What happened to him?"
"Well, I was working on your son and you. There is another group working on Jeremy, so I don't know. He looked like he was beaten up, but other than that I don't know. But let's get that scan done and out of the way."
They took her to the scanner while the other team continued to work on Jeremy. They had cut the shorts off him, so that they could assess the damage. The removed clothes were put in a bag, along with the remains of the ropes that were still on Jeremy's wrists and ankles, and taken out to Rick Bonelli, who took possession of them as evidence. After some x-rays showed no evident damage, like broken bones or anything like that, they slowly turned him up on his side so that the doctor could examine his backside. He could see a lot of dried blood in the area, as well as some fresh blood on the sheet under him. When he examined the area once it has been cleaned up, he could see a bad tear on the outside of the sphincter and suspected that there was probably more damage on the inside. He gave the order to send Jeremy to surgery to repair the damage. Jeremy started to stir and they sedated him to keep him calm. He was taken to surgery as soon as they could.
In Trevor's room, Jake and Trevor waited. Jake looked at Trevor, but Trevor had his eyes closed as he lay there. Jake gently stroked his hair and held his hand. Trevor had a strong grip on Jake's hand, which let him know that Trevor was aware of his love and support. Thirty minutes later another gurney was moved in the room, and Trevor opened his eyes and he saw his mom was being brought in.
"Mom!? Are you okay?"
She waved to him. The orderly and nurse got her situated next to Trevor and raised her head up. She smiled over to Jake and Trevor.
"Mom, are you okay?"
Jake moved so that he was in between the two of them. He gave Sandy a quick kiss, but let Trevor quickly reclaim his hand.
"I think so. I just have a headache. They said Jeremy was in there. What happ..."
Rick Bonelli walked into the room with another older officer wearing sergeant stripes on his sleeve. Jake stood up and shook hands with him.
"Alex, how are you?"
"Doing fine, Jake. Rick tells me you're getting married finally."
"Yes sir, this is Sandy Garrity and her son Trevor."
"Very nice to meet you both, but I wish it were under better circumstances. Can I ask you folks some questions? We need to find out what happened."
'Trevor, do you think you can answer some questions?"
Trevor nodded as Alex took out notebook and pen.
"Sure, Dad, I can. It was Roger."
"Roger? Roger Smith?"
"Yes. He did that to Jeremy."
"Trevor, let's start at the beginning."
"A couple of days ago Jeremy asked me to come over to his house this evening. His mom was going to be working a little later than normal, and we were going to have some pizza and watch a movie. When I got there, Roger answered the door."
"Who is this Roger?"
"He's the boyfriend of Jeremy's mother."
"Okay, go on."
"He invited me in and led me to Jeremy's room. When I got in the room, I saw Jeremy tied to the bed naked and gagged. His eyes looked funny. Before I could do anything Roger grabbed me and hit me a couple of times, and then I smelled something kind of mediciney and I think it knocked me out for a little while... "
"Wait a moment." He turned to Rick. "Rick, go and ask the doctor to make sure they get a full tox screen on the blood of both of the boys." He turned back to Trevor. "Okay, go ahead."
"When I woke up, I looked..."
His chin started to quiver a little and he took a few deep breaths to control himself. He gripped Jake's hand harder.
"He... Roger was r... ra... raping Jeremy. I was tied up and Jeremy noticed me waking up. Jeremy's baseball bat was nearby, and so as quiet as I could, I grabbed it and snuck up behind Roger and hit him a couple of times with it. I must have finally hit him right and he fell on top of Jeremy. I pushed him off of Jeremy and the bed. I got the gag out of Jeremy's mouth and he pointed out Roger's knife on the table. I grabbed the knife and cut myself free. I cut Jeremy free and helped him get some shorts on, and I put mine on and we heard Roger groaning, so we ran. All I could think of was to get to Jake. I knew he would protect us."
"Good instincts there. Go ahead."
"I got to Jake's and that's when I noticed I didn't have my keys, so I went around to the backyard and Jeremy and I lay down on the lounge chair, while Dee stood guard on us."
"Oh, okay." He motioned for Trevor to go on.
"So we lay down on the lounge chairs and just fell asleep."
"Okay. That was very brave of you. You probably saved Jeremy's life. Do you know Jeremy's address?"
"4457 Montair in Lakewood."
He turned to his radio mic.
"Dispatch, go ahead."
"This is 5 Adam. We need a unit dispatched to 4457 Montair in Lakewood. They should approach with caution. Male suspect may be on the premises and may be armed and dangerous."
He turned back to them and looked at Sandy.
"Okay, Mrs. Garrity. Can you tell me anything?"
"Not too much. I came home and went into the house. I had just closed the door when I saw a dark shape out of the corner of my eye and felt a sharp pain in my head. The next thing I remember was waking up here."
"Thanks. Anything you want to add, Jake."
"I came home, I saw Sandy's car in the drive but no lights on, it gave me a funny feeling, so I went over there, went in and found Sandy on the floor and called 911. Once the paramedics had her ready to go, I went back across the street to my house to make some calls and see where Trevor was, and Dee was making a racket in the backyard. I went out back there and found the boys in the back. I ran back outside and got everybody to help, and here we are."
"Okay, thanks everybody. Trevor, you were very brave. Jake, talk to ya later.'
The officers left the room and Jake turned back to his family and, seeing the tears flowing on Trevor's face, Jake gathered him in his arms as the boy finally let go and started crying. Jake held him close and did what he could to soothe him. Sandy could only watch as Jake comforted Trevor as he held the crying boy. It took Trevor several minutes to finally get it all out. He pulled back a little and looked Jake in the eyes and smiled. Jake smoothed his hair from his eyes and gently wiped the tears from his face with a part of the sheet from the bed.
"Better now, bud?"
Trevor nodded and sniffed a couple of times. Jake reached over and handed him some tissue so he could blow his nose. He handed it back to Jake, who made a face and held it with two fingers before he threw it in the trash can nearby. Trevor grinned a little. They continued to sit there for the next half hour until Dr. Collins came in smiling. Jake had an arm around Trevor and was holding Sandy's hand in his.
"How's everyone feeling?"
Jake looked between Trevor and Sandy and nodded to the doctor.
"As well as can be expected, doc."
"Well I'm pleased to tell you that you're going to be getting out of here soon. Mrs. Garrity, you probably only have a mild concussion, but no fracture or any apparent damage to your brain. We're going to let you get out of here, but if you get any dizziness, double vision, anything unusual like that, I want you to come right back here."
"Thanks. My headache only feels like someone is using drumsticks instead of sledgehammers."
The doctor chuckled at her remark.
"I don't think I need to give you a prescription for anything more powerful than Tylenol or something like that. It will probably be better by tomorrow. Just remember if you have any of those symptoms I mentioned, get back here quick so we can make sure everything is okay. I'm going to go get the discharge orders written up and you can get out of here."
The doctor turned to leave and was stopped by Trevor.
"Doctor, can you... uh... tell me how Jeremy is doing?"
He turned around and walked over to the side of Trevor's bed.
"He was taken to surgery and is still in there. I think he'll be out within the hour. I haven't heard anything yet, so he'll probably be fine. Okay?'
"Okay, thank you, sir."
The doctor left. They sat there for a few minutes more, when Jake saw Alex at the door motioning for Jake to come outside the room. Jake excused himself and left the room. He followed Alex down the hall to an empty room.
"What's up, Alex?"
"Jake, I've got some bad news and didn't want to say anything in front of the boy. You know we sent a unit to the Davis boy's home. They found a woman I'm guessing is his mother. She was found in the boy's bedroom, apparently stabbed to death. They said there was more than enough evidence to support what your boy said. Forensics has been called out. Do you know anything about the boy's family?"
"Not a whole lot. His father has been out of the picture a very long time. I've never even heard his name. I don't know anything else really."
"Okay. The detectives will see what they can do about finding anything about any other family. I really feel sorry for the kid. I hope we find someone or he goes into the system."
"Yeah, if I can be of any help, let me know."
"Sure. Go on back with your family."
They shook hands and Jake slowly walked back to the room. He saw Dr. Collins and went up to him.
"Doctor, can I ask you a question about Jeremy Davis?"
"Sure, Mr. MacLaren."
"When he gets out of surgery, can we see him?"
"Well, he'll probably be pretty well sedated. He'll probably sleep through the night, so it would probably be better in the morning. So I'd advise that you guys go home and get some rest and come back in the morning."
When he got back to the room he saw the curtain was drawn around Sandy's bed and Trevor was sitting on the edge of his bed, dressed in hospital pajama bottoms and a hospital gown top with some hospital socks.
"Mom's getting dressed."
"Jake, what about Jeremy? He's going to be all alone here. Has anyone called his mom?"
Jake closed his eyes for a minute and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Trevor looked at him in alarm.
"Dad! What's wrong?"
"Let's wait for your mom."
"I'll be right out."
A few moments later, Sandy came out wearing a set of scrubs.
"The nurse gave this to me to wear and these socks."
She sat on the edge of the bed and bent over to put the socks on, and then she sat back up, she put her hand to her head.
"Ohh, not a good idea."
"Hang on, I'll get 'em."
Jake quickly knelt down and put the socks on her feet. When he stood up, he gave her a quick kiss.
"I'm so glad you guys are okay. Seeing you two hurt like that really scared me. I was afraid I could lose you. And what happened to Jeremy really pisses me off. If I find that bastard, he's going to wish the police found him first, because anyone who messes with kids like that doesn't deserve to live. I'm going to have the company start searching for him and I want... "
"Jake, honey, calm down. It's okay, he's going to be okay."
"Yeah, dad, he'll be fine, his friends will be there, and besides his mom will take care of him."
Jake put his arms around both of them and they felt him shake a little. They pulled back from him with alarm to see tears on his face.
"There's been, uh, another problem. As soon as they knew about Jeremy, they sent a unit to his house. They, uh... found Denise there. She's apparently been killed."
"My sentiments exactly."
Trevor buried his face in Jake's chest. Sandy reached over with an arm and hugged Trevor. They stayed like that for a few minutes before Jake spoke again.
"Guys, I was thinking. If you don't mind, would it be all right if we try to take care of Jeremy? Right now, he's headed for the foster care system with no relatives anywhere, so after I heard about Denise, I thought this might be a good idea, but both of you have to agree."
Trevor pulled his face out of Jake's chest and looked at his Mom and Jake with a hopeful look.
"We gotta, mom. He's all alone now, he needs us."
She smiled at him and nodded.
"I think that's a great idea. Tomorrow morning I'll call Keith, my boss, and see what he can do to help us."
"Well, we can't leave him all alone now, can we?"
The nurse came back in with their paperwork, followed by an orderly with a wheelchair. After everything was signed, they got Sandy in the wheelchair and pushed her outside to Jake's jeep. They saw Alex sitting in his car writing. Jake got Sandy and Trevor in the jeep and then walked over to Alex's car. Alex looked up when he Jake neared him.
"Hey, Jake. You getting out of here?"
"Yeah, they released Sandy and Trevor, so we're going to go home, so they can get some rest."
"Good. Jake, do you think that you could do me a favor and confirm the identity of the woman at the Davis house as Ms. Davis."
"After you take them home, can you come over to the house?"
"Yeah, I will."
"Good, I'll meet you over there."
Jake went back to his jeep and headed for home. When he got there he pulled into the Garrity driveway. They went into the house and he helped Sandy get to her bedroom, Trevor followed them. Jake directed her to lie down and rest.
"I've got to go somewhere for a little bit, but I'll be right back. Trevor, you look after your mom. I'll see you in a little while."
He gave Sandy a kiss goodbye and hugged Trevor. Trevor got up on the bed beside his mom and they turned on the TV. Jake got back into his jeep and drove over to Jeremy's house. He saw Alex talking to someone by the coroner's van. Alex nodded to Jake and motioned him over. Jake came over and they unzipped the body bag, uncovering Denise's face. Jake nodded and they covered her back up. Alex and Jake stepped back.
"When the officers got here, they found the door locked and after no answers they kicked it in. They searched the house and found Ms. Davis in what is apparently Jeremy's room. She was lying on the floor near the bed in a pool of blood, already dead. There was blood on the boy's bed and on a pillow in the middle of the bed. The remnants of some rope were still tied to the bedposts and there was some other rope on the floor that appeared to be cut."
"Alex, can you let me know anything you can about this? I'd appreciate it. Jeremy apparently doesn't have anyone else, so we're going to try to get custody of him and take care of him."
"Good idea. I'll let you know what I can."
"Okay, thanks. I gotta get back to my two patients."
"Thanks for your help. Oh yeah, Jake, one more thing. We will have a deputy outside Jeremy's room. This Roger Smith may want to try to tie up loose ends, so we're going to be real careful. I thought you oughta know, since you're doing what you can for the kid."
"Thanks again, Alex. See ya."
"Hey, don't forget the invite."
"Yeah, not a problem. Bye."
Jake waved and got back into his jeep to drive back home. He thought about what Alex said about Roger. When he got to his house, he went inside first, grabbed one of his guns out of the safe and checked that it had a full magazine, and got Dee from the backyard. He and Dee headed over to Trevor's house and they went in. Jake heard the TV coming from Sandy's room. When he looked in, he saw Trevor and Sandy asleep. He looked at them for a few moments. He started to get tears in his eyes as he looked at them. He was very grateful that the two people that he loved the most were still here with him. Dee gave a little whine and pawed at Jake's leg. Jake looked down and smiled as he petted him. Sandy woke at the sound and saw Jake standing there. She smiled as Jake entered the room and turned off the TV. He walked over to Sandy's side and leaned down and kissed her. He looked at Trevor, drawing her eyes to where he was looking; she looked back up and smiled for a moment as she saw some anger come into his eyes.
"Jake, are you all right?"
Jake closed his eyes, took a deep breath and slowly let it out as he ran his fingers through his hair before looking back at the pair on the bed. The anger had gone from his eyes and was replaced with an old sorrow.
"Sorry, bad memories."
"Maybe you should talk about it."
"I don't know if I should; they're not the kind of stories for mixed company."
"I'm pretty good at listening if you would like to talk."
"Don't you think you should get some more rest?"
"No, I don't feel much like it right now. Besides, my head is pounding a bit."
"I'll get you something for that."
She nodded and watched as Jake walked over to a window and looked out for a few moments. When he turned around, he looked like he had made a decision.
"Okay, since we are going to be married, this is something I should tell you about. First, I'm going to take Trevor to his room. Then I'll come back and we can talk."
She nodded. Jake walked over and lifted Trevor up. Trevor opened his eyes and saw that Jake was carrying him, Dee followed close behind. He smiled and lay his head down, as he wrapped his arms around Jake's neck and closed his eyes again. Jake carried him to his bed and laid him down. Trevor opened his eyes again and looked at Jake.
"Will you stay with me tonight, Dad, please?"
"You bet. I'll be here. You're safe now, buddy."
"I know I am always safe with you. I love you, Dad."
"I love you too, Son. Now try to get some rest. I'm going to make a couple of phone calls, talk to your mom for a little while, and then I'll be back, okay? Until then Dee will be right here."
Trevor nodded and Jake ruffled his hair before getting up. Trevor closed his eyes. Jake looked at Dee, and gave him a silent 'Stay' command. Dee lay down on the floor next to Trevor's bed as Jake left the room. Feeling better now that there was someone guarding the boy, he picked up the phone from its cradle and went into the kitchen as he dialed a number.
"Hi, is this Zach or Jared? This is your Uncle Jake; can I talk to your dad?"
"It's Zach. Hi, Uncle Jake, hang on a sec, I'll get him."
Jake heard Zach put the phone down and call to his dad.
Muffled sounds: "Dad, Uncle Jake for you."
Pause. "Hey, Jake, what's happening."
"Hey, Tom. Do you have a few minutes?"
Tom heard the weariness in Jake's voice.
"Hey, bud, what's happening; I can tell something's wrong."
"Yeah, a lot. We just got back from the hospital..."
"Hospital! Are Sandy and Trevor okay!?"
At the Browning house, when Tom said 'hospital', he immediately got the attention of his family. They looked at him with worry in their eyes.
"Yeah, they're okay. A little banged and bruised, but okay."
"Good, but what the hell happened?"
"I'll tell you the whole thing in the morning, but the gist of it is this. Jeremy was attacked this evening, and Trevor got caught in the middle of it and was hurt as well, just not as badly, thank god. Sandy was also attacked here at her house separately, but I think it was the same person who did it, while looking for Trevor and probably Jeremy. Jeremy was hurt pretty bad and is at Long Beach Memorial right now. Also... Denise was killed."
"Son of a bitch! That sucks big time. Do you know who the fucker is that did it?"
"Yeah, it was Roger, Denise's boyfriend."
"That slimy bastard! I thought there was something about him I didn't like. He always seemed a bit vague about things when you asked him anything specific."
"Yeah, anyway, I called to let you know and make a request."
"Sure, okay, what do you need?"
"I want a couple of our guys here at Sandy's for security at least for now. Because for right now they don't know where Roger is; he got away and may come after them, especially Trevor or Jeremy."
"I agree. I'll make some calls and get some people out there AS... AF... P. You all right, you want me to come over?"
"No, I'm fine. I've got Dee here with us and I have one of my guns with me. I'll be staying here tonight at least, and maybe for the next couple of days, then we'll let our guys do most of the guarding. Why don't you guys come over tomorrow morning?"
"Sounds good. Okay, I'll talk to you in the morning."
"Thanks, buddy. See ya tomorrow."
When Tom hung up the phone, he was inundated with questions.
"What happened? Who's hurt? Is Trevor okay?"
He put his hands up to quiet them down and they soon subsided.
"Okay, here it is, or at least as much as I know. Jeremy and Trevor were apparently attacked, I think at Jeremy's house. Jeremy's mom was killed and Trevor's mom was hurt also somehow. Jeremy is still in the hospital; Trevor and Sandy are at home... "
"Calm down, son. I think Jeremy is going to be all right. Jake and Dee are at Sandy's house watching over Trevor and Sandy. Jake wants a couple of our guys to do some security over there for a little while. He didn't tell me much more than that; he sounded pretty worn out on the phone. He said he'd tell us more in the morning."
They calmed down a bit after that. Zach put his arm around Jared's shoulder and they went to their room where he and Zach lay down and comforted each other.
Back at Trevor's house Jake went back to Trevor's room and tucked him in. Once he was sure everything was fine, he went to Sandy's room where she was watching the TV news. He went and picked up a chair that was near the window. He turned it toward the bed and took a seat. Sandy shut off the TV and looked at him. He sat with his head bowed, gathering his thoughts before he began.
"It started back during Desert Shield when Tom and I were on a mission with our SEAL Team in southern Iraq."
"This is what Terry was talking about concerning you and kids being hurt, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it's why I hate to see kids hurt, especially like that. It was in February 1991, just a few days before Desert Storm was about to start, and we were gathering information near Basra..."
The SEAL Team Platoon was moving slowly through the night. They were making their way amongst some low hills as they neared their target. They finally stopped in a wadi. Lt. Merryman signaled for the platoon to gather. As the platoon gathered near the officer, he studied his map and compass, looking around and conferring with Lt. JG Sims and Chief Michaels. Once everyone was near he started.
"Okay, guys. We have about one klick to go until we get to the target's house. Our contact Rashid Alrahalla, is an informant with intel for this region. When we get there, MacLaren, find a covering position. Browning and Chambers, find some high ground to provide an over watch position and sweep the area with your scope. The rest will move forward on my command. Once we reach the house, I will signal you, MacLaren, and you move up and find a position to provide cover and security down the road that leads to the house. Everyone clear? Good, let's go."
The platoon moved forward through the wadi. They finally made their way to the edge of the hills. Lt. Merryman and Chief Michaels crawled to the top of a small hill and looked over the top. Below them they saw some wheat fields surrounding a farm house with a couple of outbuildings. There was a road that ran south about two klicks where it joined a larger road that headed in the direction of Basra. There was also a small grove of date palms near the house. Some of them provided shade in front of the house. They could see a small truck outside the house. There were lights on in the house. Chief Michaels studied the area and tapped the Lieutenant on the shoulder. Once he had his attention, he pointed to an irrigation ditch about 100 yards from the farmhouse. The Lieutenant nodded and the Chief backed down the hill to get the rest of the platoon and bring them up the hill. Once they were all there, silent signals pointed to each of the men and where they were to deploy. He got an acknowledgement from each person. He had Browning and Chambers stay at the top. Tom set his sniper rifle up with the bipod extended. PO [Petty Officer – author] Chambers set his M-16 near and took out his binoculars. When everyone was set, the Lieutenant gave the signal to move forward, and they made their way down the hill using the scrub and rocks as cover. After about twenty minutes of careful movement, they made their way to the irrigation ditch. Jake set himself up at the south end of the ditch, where he could cover the house and the road. The Lieutenant and his picked group of four who were to approach the house started to get up and move toward the house when they heard the sound of a truck turn off the main road from Basra. At the same time Merryman heard Chambers' voice on the tactical mike.
"Skip, we got a jeep and a truck that just turned on the road, heading this way. Probably Iraqi military."
"Roger. Okay, everyone stay put and stay frosty. Let's see how this plays out."
He heard several answering clicks from the platoon members as he and his team jumped back into the ditch. They watched as the truck made its way up the road. Within a short time, the jeep pulled up in front of the farmhouse and two Iraqi officers and two sergeants get out. One of the officers walked to the back of the truck and gave some orders. Fifteen soldiers came out of the truck and took positions around the house. The officers and a couple of men went to the door just as it was opened by a man who appeared to be in his late thirties. As they reached the door, the man started to ask questions and one of the officers drew his pistol and hit him on the head, causing to him to fall back into the house. The two officers followed by the two soldiers entered the house. There were the sounds of yelling, objects breaking and some screams, including the higher pitched voices of children.
Soon the soldiers reappeared outside and pushed the man, his wife and their three children. One of them was a boy of about thirteen or fourteen, a girl who appeared to be a year or two younger, and another boy about eight or nine. Everyone was barefoot as they were all pushed roughly outside near the two military vehicles until they were within the light cast by the truck and jeep. The woman had the children clinging to her. One of the officers pushed the man to the side and he stood there as the officer shouted at him, waving his pistol. The man said nothing, standing defiantly before the officer. The officer pointed his pistol at his head and yelled some more as the woman and children cried and screamed. The man closed his eyes, trembling slightly. The officer held that pose for a few moments and then took a calculating look at the man and then back at his family. He slowly started to smile evilly. He lowered his arm and shouted some orders. The other officer and the sergeants from the jeep went over to the woman and ripped the children away from her. The officer gave some orders and some of the other soldiers pointed the guns at the man and woman as the officer holstered his pistol. Among the SEALs there were some low growls and grinding teeth as they watched the scene before them.
The man's children were now separated from their mother. One of the sergeants was holding the girl, while the other younger officer and another soldier had the older boy and the other sergeant was holding the younger boy. The girl and younger boy were both crying. The teenager was trying not to cry and stood defiantly like his father, but he was trembling and tears ran down his face as he barely controlled the fear he obviously felt. The officer walked over to the younger boy and grabbed his t-shirt, and with one swift jerk he ripped it off the boy, and left him standing in just his shorts. The officer looked back at the man, and there was pleading in the man's eyes. The officer then ripped the shorts off the boy, leaving him standing in just his underwear. The officer moved over to the older boy, and without saying anything he ripped the t-shirt. The boy started to struggle; the officer hit him a couple of times before he stripped his shorts off, which left him in the same state as his brother.
The officer's smile grew wider as he moved towards the girl. As he neared the girl, the woman tried to break free of the soldiers holding her and the girl started to scream. The officer grabbed the neck of her dress and with a powerful jerk ripped it down the front and tore it off of her, throwing it to the side. She was left standing in just a pair of panties and she tried to cover her small budding breasts with her hands. The man and the woman had both dropped to their knees and begged the soldiers, as they held their hands out in front of them in supplication. The officer walked over to the man and kicked him in the face, which caused him to fall back stunned. The officer then walked over to the girl and moved her hands out of the way. He grabbed both of her breasts and squeezed them cruelly as he tried to kiss her. She jerked her head around and tried to evade him. The officer grabbed her and threw her to the ground. The wind was knocked out of her. He nodded to the sergeants and the younger officer as he moved his body over the girl. He grabbed her panties and ripped them off of her. The younger boy was thrown onto his stomach and his briefs were ripped off. The teenager started to struggle against the younger officer and the soldier who was holding him. The boy got an arm free and hit the officer in the face. The officer hit him in the stomach, which caused him to double over and gasp for breath as the soldier ripped his underwear off of him, and then he threw him to the ground. The soldier then held him down as he started to struggle again. At this time the man and woman were pleading with the soldiers. The soldiers hit the adults to quiet them.
Over at the platoon position, Jake was seeing red and PO Ransom looked in concern at the sound of growling that came from Jake. He looked over and saw a vision of an angered Cheyenne warrior crouched there. Out in the field, the teenager got a surprised look on his face and he looked directly at Jake; somehow he could see and hear him out there in the dark. Jake could not take the pleading look in the boy's eyes as their gazes locked across the distance. Jake's muscles tensed as he gripped his SAW [Squad Automatic Weapon – author]. The officers and sergeants were starting to unbutton their pants when Jake launched himself from the ditch with a loud screeching Cheyenne war cry as he charged the group of soldiers. He started firing from the hip as he ran at them. His war cry and the attack left everyone on both sides stunned for a few moments. His first shots took out the sergeant and the younger officer crouched over the teenage boy. Tom was the first of the SEAL Team to recover and he quickly looked through his scope and fired, taking out the older officer who was kneeling over the girl lying on her back. He fell to the ground pinning the girl beneath him. The parents dropped to the ground and covered their heads as the soldiers started to bring their weapons to bear on Jake. The two boys cowered on the ground as they clasped their hands to their ears and heads as the firing started to intensify. Some of the other Seals had started to charge after Jake with their own roars of anger. Jake was running directly toward the teenage boy as he felt two sharp punches, one in his thigh and another high up on the right upper side of his chest, along with several tugs on his fatigues. He didn't slow down. He did not even feel the wetness start to spread on his chest and thigh as he continued his calculated burst fire, taking out one soldier after another. The sound of firing filled the farm yard with the occasional louder single shot sound of Tom's sniper rifle as it fired, followed by another soldier dropping dead. Within a few minutes, all of the Iraqi soldiers were down as Jake collapsed next to the boy.
"Cease Fire! Cease Fire!"
Lt. Merryman was waving his hand at his throat in a cut gesture as he yelled the command. The firing dropped off and the only sounds left were the cries of the family. Jake was lying on the ground as he tried to catch his breath with his eyes closed. He started to feel the pain of the two wounds as he heard movement near him. He felt his head lifted off the ground and settled in a lap. He opened his eyes and looked into the tear filled eyes of the teenage boy, who stroked his cheek and smiled at him. He gave him a return smile and reached up to pat the boy's cheek. PO Lawson ran over and knelt next to Jake. He ripped Jake's BDU [Battle Dress Utilities – author] jacket open and inspected the wound.
"Someone check his leg."
Tom had dropped to Jake's side and quickly ripped open the pant leg and inspected the wound.
"I don't think the artery's hit."
"Good, here. Tie it on tight."
The corpsman tossed a battle dressing to him and then returned to the shoulder wound. The family had now gathered together, except the naked teenager who continued to hold Jake's head in his lap as he was worked on. The corpsman got him bandaged up and with Tom's help got him to his feet. The corpsman and Tom supported him as they walked him to the house. The boy followed behind. Once in the house, they laid Jake on a couch. The boy stayed right by his side holding his hand, even when his father tried to get him to come away and get dressed. He eventually brought the boy some pants, and he put them on and then reclaimed Jake's hand while he sat on the floor next to him, gazing at him with worry. Jake smiled at him and gave the boy's hand a reassuring squeeze, which brought out a smile in return. The man looked at the five men in the house, Lt. Merryman, Jake, Tom, PO Ransom and PO Williams and smiled his greeting.
"My friends, may Allah bless you all. You have saved my family. Peace be upon you in this house; whatever I have that you wish is yours. Allahu Akbar!"
"Thank you, sir, but are you Mr. Alrahalla?"
"I am. This is my wife, Amira, my daughter Shada and my youngest son Yusuf, and sitting there next to your man is Rahim."
"Nice to meet you all. Mr Alrahalla, I was told that you have information for us."
"Yes, of course, come with me."
"You guys stay here and watch Jake. He going to be okay, Lawson?"
"Yes sir, he's one tough Indian."
"Good, 'cause I'm going to kick his ass later."
"I'll hold him, sir."
"Thanks, Browning. I'll probably need the help."
"Yes sir, as long as I get to kick it a couple of times too."
"Be my guest."
The Lieutenant followed the man into the room as Tom cracked his knuckles and looked warningly at Jake. The woman went to the kitchen followed by the girl to make some tea.
"Sir, is it true what he said?"
Jake looked at the boy who sat on the ground beside him.
"Is what true, my friend?"
"Is it true that you are a red Indian?"
"Rahim, he didn't get his haircut until he became a sailor. I've seen the pictures of him when he was a boy. You could see him riding across the plains, long hair flowing behind him on his horse and taking scalps."
Jake started to laugh and then winced, which caused Tom and Lawson to laugh. They went to the kitchen to wash Jake's blood off their hands.
"Ow, it hurts to laugh. Yes, my friend, it is true, but only partly. I'm only part Indian."
"I have seen the Indians in movies riding on their horses. Do you have a horse?"
"Yes, back at home at my dad's ranch."
"What is a ranch?"
"It is kind of like your farm here, only we raise cows and horses instead of crops."
"Oh yes, I have seen those on the movies too."
The boy laid his head against Jake's arm. Yusuf came and sat next to his brother. Jake stroked the teenager's head with his free hand. He felt the boy tremble a little and he shifted himself around, wincing as he did so, and lifted the boy's chin. The boy had tears running down his face. Jake smiled at him and wiped the tears from his face. The boy got up on his knees and then leaned across Jake to hug him and started to cry. Jake hugged him back, and tried to calm him down.
"Shhh. It's all right, everything's fine, you'll be fine now too. Shhh, buddy, everything's all right."
The boy finally calmed down and backed off of Jake. He leaned down and kissed Jake on each cheek and then on the lips, before he sat back down next to him. Yusuf then got up and did the same thing. Jake smiled and closed his eyes to rest for a little. An hour later, Lawson roused Jake, and he and Tom helped him outside. The bodies of the Iraqi soldiers had been thrown into the back of the truck. Jake and Lawson make their way over to the Jeep.
"May Allah bless you and keep you safe."
"Same to you. We'll be back soon enough. Thank you for your help."
The woman came over and kissed Jake on the cheeks, followed by Shada and Yusuf. Jake couldn't bend down so Lawson lifted the boy up so that he could also deliver a kiss on Jake's cheek. Rahim then moved forward and wrapped his arms around Jake. Jake leaned down and kissed the top of his head and patted his back.
"I will not forget you, sir. You saved the life of me and my family. I will ask Allah to watch over you."
"Thanks, Rahim, bye, bud."
Rahim went back to his family.
"... and we took the jeep and truck, hid the bodies in a wadi about 20 miles away. I never saw the family again. But after that, I could never stand to hear or see kids getting hurt like that."
"Did you get in trouble for doing that?"
"Yeah, just a little though. I was the only one hurt, so they decided instead of putting me in the brig, they decided to give me a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for it. Anyway when I joined the Sheriffs, it was the same thing; I saw too many kids hurt, and finally when Tom asked me to join him in the security business, I decided to quit the department. It was just too tough with all the hurt kids I've seen. I haven't regretted it once."
Sandy started to yawn.
"Shit, Sandy, I'm sorry, you should be resting."
"It's all right. I'm glad you told me. It proves even more to me that you are the perfect man for me. Are you going to stay?"
"I don't know about the perfect part, and I guess you'll find out about that soon enough. Yeah, I'm going to go stay with Trevor; he asked me to stay with him."
She waved him away.
"Go on then. I'll see you in the morning."
Jake got up and went to her side, giving her a kiss before he left the room, shutting off the light. He made his way to Trevor's room. Before lying down on the bed beside Trevor, he took his gun out from the back of his jeans and laid it on the bedside table and then lay down next to Trevor. He carefully snaked his arm behind Trevor's head and Trevor opened his eyes and snuggled closer when he saw it was Jake. He rested his head on Jake's shoulder and laid his arm across Jake's chest. Trevor closed his eyes and as Jake watched, he quickly fell asleep. Once he heard the slow regular breaths of the boy, he carefully scooted down a little more and cradled Trevor as he fell asleep.