Copyright © 2015 by Eric Aune and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
When Cole woke up, he felt a bit warmer than normal. He looked to his side and realized that it was because he wasn't alone. He saw curly blond hair on the pillow next to him and realized that Cooper had crawled into bed with him sometime during the night. He was careful as he stretched and then got out of bed. He padded into this bathroom to clean up and get ready for the day. When he came out a few moments later with a towel around his waist, he noticed that his bed was empty now and he smiled as he went to his dresser to pull some clothes out to wear.
When he passed his little brother's room, he could faintly hear the shower running in the attached bathroom. That was one thing that they both liked, they each had their own bathroom attached to their bedrooms. He continued downstairs and to the kitchen. He checked his watch and knew that it was early enough that his parents would probably not be up for at least another hour or two. They always slept a bit later after one of their dinner parties, especially if they had had a few drinks. No one else was there because Miss Elaine didn't come in until closer to lunch time on the day after a dinner party, because she was up late making sure everything was cleaned up before she went home.
Cole and Cooper were used to getting their own breakfast most mornings anyway. They usually just had cereal, juice and sometimes toast, since it was quick and easy. When Miss Elaine was here on weekend mornings she cooked breakfast for the two boys and for their parents if they were awake. During the week, she usually just cooked for the adults, since the boys took care of themselves. Wayne and Evelyn Anderson, usually got up about the time the boys were heading to school, so they rarely ate breakfast together.
Cole got a cereal box and the milk out. He put a couple of pieces of toast for each of them in the toaster, two bowls on the breakfast table and filled two glasses with orange juice. When the toast popped up, he slathered butter on them and put them on a plate and placed it between the two bowls. He was just sitting down when Cooper entered the room. Cole gestured to the table and Cooper smiled and went over to his brother to give him a hug. "Thanks for last night Cole. I'm glad you're my brother."
Cole smiled around the mouthful of cereal. Cooper sat down across from Cole and grabbed a piece of toast. He smiled as he tasted the butter soaked bread. "Hmmm. You know just how I like it." Cole looked at his brother. "So what happened last night?"
Cooper gave him a curious look and then it dawned on him and he blushed. "Oh, sorry. I… had a nightmare and didn't want to sleep alone."
"Okay then. Do you remember what it was about?" Cooper shrugged. "Kinda, I don't remember a lot. I was trying to help someone from falling I think, but they were too heavy and they fell down, pulling me with them. Then I woke up."
"Do you remember who it was?" His brother glanced up from his meal and shook his head. "Not sure, but I think it might have been Tyler, but I can't exactly remember. It's kinda hazy." He saw the worry on Cooper's face and decided to change the subject a little. "I thought about what you told me and I think we should go and see grandpa today after school.
Cooper had an apprehensive look on his face. "But what if he hates gays like Dad and those men do. I mean Dad is his son." Cole shook his head. "I don't think he does. Remember they go to a different church. I think Dad is that way because he goes to Doctor Campbell's church and you know the kind of sermons he gives. At least every other sermon is about how God is going to send the gays to hell. We've been with grandma and grandpa and they don't talk like that. They talk more about how we should treat each other right and not say bad things about others just because they're different. Besides grandpa doesn't like a lot of those people that Dad and Mom hang around with. I heard him tell grandma once that he thought all of them were hateful and corrupt and wished that Dad and Mom would wise up before they get taken down with them."
Cooper nodded. "Okay maybe. Should I tell them that I'm gay?" Cole pointed his spoon at his brother. "That is completely up to you. I would never tell anyone. That is yours to say or not. Whatever you decide, I've got your back." Cooper smiled at his brother. "Yeah I know."
Cole finished with his cereal and toast, got up and went to rinse the bowl out and put it into the dishwasher. "Hurry up, and we need to get to school." Cooper was right behind him. "What about Tyler and his dads?"
"Let's talk to grandpa first and see what he says. I thought about it last night after you went to bed and the more I thought about it, the better it sounded to let grandpa know what's being planned. He knows a lot of important people himself, because of all those years running his construction company. He'll know what to do and who to talk to."
The boys put everything away and put all the dishes and utensils into the dishwasher. They grabbed their coats from the closet in the foyer, and picked up their backpacks. They thought they could hear movement upstairs as they went to the garage to get in Cole's truck. When he started the truck and started backing out of the driveway, they heard an announcement on the radio that school was canceled for the day. The brothers looked at each other and Cole said. "I guess we can head over there right now." Cooper nodded and they headed to their grandparent's house.
Their grandparent's house was along the Old Charlotte Pike and only took about fifteen minutes to drive there. The house sat back from the road about two hundred feet, up against a wooded hill. In the front corner of the property closer to the road was a large man made pond that their grandfather had built as a swimming hole. As they pulled into the driveway, they saw that their grandpa was in his garage. It looked like he was working on his car. He waved and picked up a rag to wipe his hands as the boys climbed out of the truck. "Hey boys. What brings you out to the boonies so early in the morning?"
"Hey grandpa. What, we can't come out and visit you? It's not that far of a drive and it seemed like a good idea to drive out here this morning. We were told school would be out today, for some reason, so we decided to head over here." Dwayne didn't miss the look that Cole gave his younger brother as they stepped up and hugged him. He had been changing the oil in the car, so he was careful not to touch them with his hands because of the dirt and oil on them. He stepped back and continued to wipe his hands as he looked at the two boys for a moment before turning around and going back into the garage. He didn't say anything as he got out of the overalls that he used when he was working on his car. He washed his hands in the big sink he had in his workshop, before turning around and looking at the boys. He knew his grandsons and taking in Cooper standing their shifting his weight and biting his lower lip, told him something was going on.
"C'mon in the house and say hello to your grandma." They followed him into the house. "Hey Cora. Look what the cat dragged in."
Their grandmother came out of the kitchen wiping her hands and was all smiles when she saw her grandsons standing there. She held out her arms and they went to her for a hug. "Oohhh, it's so nice of you boys to come out here and visit us old folks, but aren't you supposed to be in school. Are you hungry? I can whip up some of my pancakes if you'd like?"
Cole shook his head. "No grandma. We ate just a little while ago and school is closed today." She waved his protest off. "Nonsense, you're growing boys. It will be no trouble at all." Cole shook his head. "No, really grandma, we're fine. Maybe later."
She looked at them for a few moments, sensing there was something going on. "Okay, but you let me know." Dwayne patted Cole on the back. "I think the boys want to talk to me about something." They looked at him and he just gave them a look that told the boys that he knew something was going on. She nodded. "Well, I'll bring some drinks into the den for you then, so you men can talk."
Dwayne nodded and waved for the boys to follow him. He sat down in his favorite chair and nodded for the boys to take a seat wherever they liked. The boys chose the couch and sat next to each other on the edge of the seat. Dwayne said nothing and waited for them to begin as he noticed that they seemed a little nervous, especially Cooper. He wondered what had happened now.
Cora entered moments later with a pitcher of ice tea and some glasses. She handed them out to everyone and then left to let the men folk talk. Once she was gone, Cole looked at his grandfather. "grandpa, Dad and Mom had one of their dinner parties last night."
Dwayne scowled when he heard that and that seemed to break the tension with Cole a little and he chuckled. That caused his grandpa to smile a little. "Well, you know what I think of that group of idiots that your parents surround themselves with at these parties. I suppose the good Doctor Campbell was there?"
Cole nodded. "Yep and he was just like always. He wants me to come and talk to him after the New Year about working at his church camp as a counselor next summer."
"Is that something you'd like to do?" Cole was emphatic as he shook his head. "No way. There is no way that I would want to be at a camp. I mean yeah it would be kind of cool to work as a counselor at a camp, or I wouldn't mind working at a Boy Scout Camp, but not a church camp and especially not his church camp."
"Whew. For a moment there I thought you'd been corrupted by those idiots at that church." Cole grinned as he shook his head. "No grandpa. That's not going to happen and after what Cooper heard last night, I'd just as soon never go to that church ever again."
Dwayne sat up when he saw the angry look on Cole's face. He glanced over at Cooper and he was surprised to see that it looked like there were tears in the younger boy's eyes. "Hey now, what's going on? I think you better start at the beginning and tell me why you wanted to talk to me this morning."
Cole took a deep breath. "Well last night after we were dismissed as normal, we had dinner in the kitchen with Miss Elaine and then we went upstairs to the game room. After a while we started getting a little hungry so Cooper snuck back downstairs to grab some snacks. He was on his way back upstairs when he heard Doctor Campbell talking in Dad's study. The door was cracked open a little bit and he was curious, so he snuck over to the door and listened to what they were talking about. From what they were saying, there's going to be some bad things happening in town. They were talking about rounding up people and putting them into camps or jail or something like that."
"Camps. What are you talking about?"
"They're talking about putting certain kinds of people in some sort of camps, like prisoners or something." Dwayne frowned at the implications of Cole's words. "What do you mean certain kinds of people?"
"Well, um, gays, activists. Isn't that what they said Coop?" Cooper nodded. "When is this going to happen?" Cole looked at Cooper who still hadn't said anything yet. "C'mon Cooper tell me what you heard."
"It was Dad, Doctor Campbell and a few other guys. They were talking about the President and that he was going to round up… those people and put them in these camps, but Dad said something about Hiller having the right idea."
Dwayne's eyes opened wide when he heard that. "You're father said what?"
"He said something about getting rid of those people."
"Are you sure that's what he said Cooper?"
"That son of a bitch. I knew that being part of that idiot's church was the worst decision he made. Now I know it. My dad fought his way across Europe to destroy that German madman and his 1000 year Reich, now some idiot is bringing that kind of thing here to the US. My Dad told me that he saw what that madman had done to his own people and the people he conquered, when he liberated one of those camps. I won't fucking have that in this country."
Cole and Cooper both looked at their Grandfather in shock. They had heard an occasional damn, shit or son of a bitch, but never in their life had they heard him say the F word. "Gr… grandpa, there's something else."
Dwayne looked at his youngest grandson. He saw that there were tears dripping down Cooper's face. He quickly got up from his chair and sat down next to Cooper and put his arms around the boy. Cooper turned into him and held on tight. Cole rubbed his back. Cora appeared in the room. "Land sakes Dwayne! What is going on in here? I could hear you all the way in the kitchen. And I'm not sure I liked what I was hearing. Now what did you say to my grandson, old man."
Dwayne looked up at his wife. "Sorry dear, but your grandsons just told me something that shocked the hell out of me and I was a little loud. I apparently scared Cooper." He turned back to the boy in his arms. "I'm sorry I scared you Cooper."
Cooper began to shake his head before he pushed himself away from his grandfather and with tears in his eyes, he looked at both of his grandparents. "Pl… please, d… don't hate me, but I… I'm one of those people. The ones that Da… Dad wants to get rid of."
Cora came over and knelt down next to Cooper and put her hand on his cheek and wiped the tear away. "What do you mean, your Dad wants to get rid of you. He doesn't want to get rid of you. You're his son, he loves you." Cooper shook his head. "Not anymore. Not when he finds out."
"Finds out what?" Cooper looked at his brother and Cole nodded for him to go ahead. "I'm gay and they want to get rid of all the gay people. That's what I think Dad was talking about. He said that he wished we could just get rid of all of them like Hiller did."
Cooper hung his head as more tears dripped down. Cole looked at his grandfather's face and he could see that his grandfather's eyes glittered dangerously. "No one gets rid of my grandson. We don't care who you like Cooper. You are now and forever, our grandson, and we love you and when you find the one you like, we'll love him too."
Cooper looked at his grandparents and smiled through his tears. "Thanks grandpa. Thanks grandma." They both hugged him.
A few moments later Cooper continued. "There is someone who I do like." They looked at him and smiled. "Oh really, well you'll have to bring him over so we can meet him."
Cooper hesitated a moment. "He, uh doesn't know. I'm not sure he's like me."
"Oh, I can see how that might be a problem. Is he at least a friend?" Cooper nodded. "Yeah, he's my best friend, since he and his dad's moved here."
"His dad's? So he has two dads?" Cooper nodded again. "Yeah and Doctor Campbell wants to put them on the top of the list to be picked up. He sounded like he really hates them."
"Well that ass…" He saw the look on Cora's face. "I mean that man is one of the most hateful idiots I have ever had the misfortune to meet. And he calls himself Doctor. The man's an idiot, there is no way he could pass a high school spelling exam, let alone earn a Doctorate. He probably tricked someone in the church into thinking that he's a preacher."
"Is there anything you can do grandpa?" Dwayne gave Cooper one last hug before he went back over to his chair and sat down rubbing his chin. "I don't know yet, but I promise you we will figure something out."
"We were going to go over to Tyler's house and talk to his dad's about everything so that they can make plans." Dwayne held up his hand. "Boys, I'd like you to hold off on that and let me think about it some. I'll let you know."
Cole glanced at Cooper and nodded. "Okay grandpa, we'll wait, but I hope we don't have to wait too long. I'm worried about Tyler. They said that they would throw him into the street or put him in an orphanage run by Doctor Campbell, unless he's gay, then they'll put him in one of those camps with his dad's and get rid of him."
Dwayne looked at Cooper and put his hand on his shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. "Well, we won't let that happen. Don't you worry Cooper. We'll do everything we can to keep them safe. Why don't you boys see if you can invite Tyler and his fathers over this afternoon."
Cole nodded. "Okay, unless Mom and Dad have some other plans."
"I'll tell you what. When you boys leave to go over there, I'll give them a call and ask if you boys could visit this afternoon. I'll tell them I heard about school being closed and that since you weren't in school, I could use your help with something. You boys let Tyler and his dads know that I want them to come over. Don't tell them why, but do your best to get them over here. Hopefully I will have some idea of what to do to help them out."
Cole and Cooper seemed a little more relaxed now, but they still were worried. They visited with their grandparents a little more and Dwane asked Cooper a few more things about what he had overheard. They walked the boys out to Cole's truck. Dwayne walked Cooper over to the passenger side. "Son, if you really like this Tyler, then my advice is that you tell him soon." Cooper looked worried. "But what if he's not like that."
Dwayne shrugged like it was no big thing. "Well then you'll know. If he's really your best friend, then no matter what, he'll still be your best friend. A true friend won't drop you. If he does, then he was never a real friend. Do you really think he'd do that?"
Cooper got into the truck and looked at his grandfather and shook his head. "No, Tyler wouldn't do that." Dwayne clapped his hand on Coopers arm that was in the door window. "Then take a chance." Cooper smiled. "Okay grandpa. Thanks."
They left their grandparents house and were back home in a little less than an hour. Their dad was in his study and their mom was in the living room, looking over her schedule and making notes about some things she needed to take care of. She glanced up as they walked by. "Where were you two?"
"Um, we headed to school and found out when we got there that school was canceled for today. So we um, talked with some of our friends and then came back home." She nodded and went back to her paperwork. They went to the kitchen and greeted Miss Elaine and grabbed a soda. As they left the kitchen, their father had come out of his study.
"Boys, your grandfather called me. He would like you two to visit him this afternoon. He said that he needs your help with something. I told him, that I would have you boys go over there this afternoon to help him out."
"Yes Dad." Wayne nodded and went back to his study. The brothers went up to their room to drop their backpacks off. They knew that they needed to go by Tyler's house first and convince him and his parents to go to their grandfather's house. They were talking when Cole got a call on his cell. He saw that it was from Evan.
"Hey Evan, what's up… yeah, sorry, we had an election party yesterday here at the house and we had to get back right after school… I gotta go over to my grandpa's house, but I can come by later when we finish over there… okay, sure I'll be there. I'll call you when I leave my grandpa's. Is it okay for Cooper to come along, cuz we'll be heading for home then… yeah, cool… I'll call ya… see you then."
He closed the phone and looked at Cooper. "Do you mind stopping at Evan's after we leave grandpa's?" Cooper shook his head. "Good, he said he has something important to talk to me about. We may as well head out now. It may take a little time to convince Tyler's dads to come to grandpa's." Cooper nodded.
They went downstairs, their mom saw them. "Where are you boys going?" Cole stopped. "We thought we'd head over to grandpa's now, so that we can help him with whatever he needs our help with." She nodded and went back to her paperwork, dismissing them.
Now they had to go and convince Tyler and his dads to come with them to their grandparent's home. It only took them a few minutes before they pulled into the driveway at Tyler's house. The door opened as they got to it and Tyler's dad, Grant opened the door with a big smile on his face.
"Cole, Cooper, this is a nice surprise. Come on in." Cole shook his hand. "Hi Mister Lindsey. Thanks." Grant closed the door behind him. "Damon, Tyler. We have company."
The two other men of the house came from the kitchen and smiled when they saw their guests. Damon led the way. "Cole and Cooper, what a pleasant surprise. We just had lunch, would you like something to eat or drink?"
"Hey Mister Grayson. Hey Tyler." When Damon reached them, he hugged both of them. Tyler held back a little and seemed to be shuffling his feet a little.
The two younger boys smiled at each other for a moment before looking down. Cole noticed the slight blush on the cheeks of both boys and smiled a little. Maybe his brother's worries were without any foundation. He hoped that what he saw between them was what he thought it was for Cooper's sake. He looked at Damon. "A soda would be great."
Damon smiled. "Coming right up. Why don't you boys have a seat and I'll bring it right out."
Grant led them into the den and waved them to seats. The boys sat on the couch, with Tyler sitting on Cooper's side of the couch. "So boys. What brings you out here today?"
"If you don't mind, could we wait until Mister Grayson comes back?" The smile that was on Grant's face faltered a little at the serious tone in Cole's voice. He nodded and moments later Damon joined them. He handed a glass of coke to each of the boys and sat down on the arm of Grant's chair.
"Okay, we're all here. You sounded pretty serious." Cole nodded. "Mist…"
Grant interrupted him. "Cole, call us Grant and Damon."
"Okay Mi… I mean Grant, um....Cooper and I came here to ask you for a big favor."
Grant looked at Damon and they both shrugged. "Sure Cole. You guys are good friends to Tyler. As long as it's not illegal, I'm sure we can grant your favor."
"Well, can you come with us to our grandparent's house, like right now?" Both men were surprised at the request. "What?"
"My grandfather asked us to bring you guys out to his house this afternoon for a little while." Damon stood up from the arm of the chair and frowned at Cole. "What's this about Cole?"
"I'd like to wait until we're at my grandfathers, but you have to believe me, it's important and I'm asking you to trust me."
The men exchanged a look and they looked at the two boys. Cole had a kind of a pleading look on his face and Cooper looked a little frightened. "Okay, I can tell there's something wrong. Tell us what it is. Are either of you boys in trouble?"
Cole smiled and shook his head. "No, we're not in trouble, but I swear that it's important. Please trust me, it really is important and my grandfather asked us to come here and invite you to his house today."
The men looked at each other and silently came to an agreement. "Okay, we'll go. I can tell something is really bothering you boys and judging by the look on Cooper's face, it's a little scary as well."
Grant stood up from the chair. "Tyler go upstairs and get a jacket, it's a little cool out there." Tyler got up and with a worried look at Cooper he went upstairs. "Where's your grandparent's home Cole?"
"It's east of here on the Old Charlotte Pike. It won't take too long." The man nodded. "Okay, then I guess we should follow you. I know we can't all fit in your truck." Tyler came down the stairs putting his coat on. "Dad, do you mind if I ride with Cooper?"
"Not at all. Okay, Cole, let's get going. We don't want to keep your grandfather waiting."
"Yes sir." They went outside and got into their cars. Cooper scooted over on the bench seat, so that Tyler could climb in next to him. The boys smiled at each other. Cole followed the circular driveway around and started toward the street, Grant's Mercedes following behind them.
As Cooper had told them, it didn't take long for them to arrive. When they drove up to the house, the men looked around at the property and nodded at how it looked. Tyler was looking at the manmade pond. "Hey Cooper, do you guys swim in that."
"Yeah, in the summer we come out here a lot and go swimming. It's cool. We also bring our kayaks out and play kayak jousting."
"That sounds cool. Do you think I could come out here with you sometime?" Cole brought the truck to a stop. "Yeah, that would be cool." The two younger boys smiled at each other. "Great."
Grant and Damon came over to them and Grant put his arm on Tyler's shoulders as he looked around the place. "Your grandfather has a nice place here. How much land does he have?"
"Well they own that next field over there to the east, up to the next road and then to the west almost to that other house and a large part of the hill behind us. He used to own more toward the east, but you see the big house over there with the red roof? Well the people over their bought it and had that house built on the land. My grandpa's company built it for them."
"Your grandfather is in construction?" Cole nodded. "Well he's retired now, but he still is a part owner of the company." Damon looked at the house. "He built this place too?" Cole again nodded. "Yep."
They looked around some more and nodded. "Really nice place. Well I suppose we should go inside."
"Yeah, y'all should come on in. The missus has some pie and drinks for y'all." They turned around and saw Dwayne standing there with his hands in the back pockets of his jeans. Cole went over to him and hugged him. "Hi grandpa. These are Tyler's parents, Grant Lindsey and Damon Grayson."
Dwayne went over and shook the two men's hands. "Nice to meet you both." Cooper pointed at Tyler. "And this is their son Tyler."
Dwayne looked at the dark haired boy for a few moments as he sized him up before he smiled and held out his hand. "Well, Tyler, it's nice to meet you. I've heard good things about you."
"grandpa!" He looked over at Cooper who had a look of disbelief on his face. "Cooper's told me that you two are good friends. I'm glad to meet you."
He patted Tyler on the shoulder and then turned him around and put his arm on his shoulder. "C'mon we got some things to talk about. And talkin's better after pie and ice cream."
He led them into the house with Tyler at his side, asking him about school and things. Cooper followed along behind them shaking his head. Dwayne led them right to the dining room and had Tyler sit next to him. Cooper took the chair on Tyler's other side. He kept looking at his grandfather, trying to send him a message to back off. Cora entered with a tub of ice cream in her hand. Cole introduced everyone and she smiled when she met Tyler, giving him a hug. As everyone sat down, she gave them all slices of apple pie, while Dwayne dished out some ice cream. While they ate, Dwayne asked the two men about what they did for a living.
Cooper leaned over to Tyler. "Sorry about my grandpa." Tyler glanced at Cooper. "What? I think he's kind of cool." Cooper looked over at Dwayne and nodded. "Yeah he is."
When they finished with their pie and ice cream, Dwayne stood up. "Let's go in the den and get comfortable so we can talk." Cora stood up with him. "Would you young men like some coffee? I'll bring it into the den." Both of the men nodded. "Yes Ma'am that would be very nice." She looked at Cole. "Cole, come help me get the drinks."
Cole followed her into the kitchen while everyone else went into the den. Dwayne took a seat in his chair, Cooper and Tyler sat together on the couch while Grant and Damon sat in some of the other chairs. Cole and Cora came in with the drinks and handed them out before sitting down in her chair.
"Well Mister Anderson, I want to thank you for your hospitality. Cole told us you had something important that you needed to talk to us about."
"Did you figure anything out?" Cole asked his grandpa. Dwayne looked at his older grandson and reluctantly shook his head. Cole's face fell. "Sorry, Cole. I thought about it and couldn't think of anything."
Grant and Damon looked back and forth between Cole and his grandfather. "Um, Dwayne, what are you two talking about?"
"Oh, sorry Grant. Cole, why don't you tell them what you told me this morning." Cole rubbed his hands on his pants and started to speak a couple of times. The two men were starting to get a little nervous themselves as they waited for Cole to start.
"Um, Cooper overheard something the other night at an election night party that my parents had at our house. There's, a, uh, plan to round up, um, people, that some people call undesirable and put them in some kind of prison or something."
Grant and Damon looked at the others in the room. "You said undesirables and you invited us over here. So I take it we are some of those undesirables?"
Cole nodded. "Yes sir. I'm afraid so. My father was meeting with some other men in his study and Cooper heard them talking about it. Someone named Robert was telling the group about it."
"Robert? Robert Gallivan?" Cole shrugged and looked at his brother who shook his head and shrugged. "I don't know. Cooper said he's someone who has been at the house before."
Damon looked at Cooper. "Did he have dark hair, graying at the temples and a mustache. Average size, kind of thin?" Cooper nodded.
He looked at Grant and they both nodded. "That's probably Gallivan. He's a huge supporter of Ashwood and his policies, especially those against gays. I have had several lawsuits through the ACLU against some of the policies that he supports. He doesn't like me much, because I've beat him every time, so I can believe he would be behind such a thing. I've been having run-ins with him and his cronies, since June when Ashwood put out that order to take kids away from their gay parents. I'm glad that the Supreme Court spoke up and said that his orders were unconstitutional. Anyway, do you know any of the others?"
Cooper nodded. "Our dad was there and Doctor Campbell from our church."
Both of the men had looks of disgust on their faces. "Figures. That hate monger would be at the center of such a thing. Do you know that so called Doctor, isn't a doctor at all. That's all fake." Dwayne had a bit of a satisfied look on his face as he nodded. "I knew it. I knew that bastard was too stupid to earn a degree. I bet he's not even a Reverend."
"Well, he is, technically. There's some church that you can mail in a fee and they'll send you a certificate saying that you're a preacher." Dwayne shook his head in disbelief. "That can't be real."
"Real enough, although no self-respecting church would hire him to be their preacher. So what do they plan to do with us undesirables?"
"Camps." They looked at Cooper. "They were talking about putting you in camps. This Robert guy was asking Doc… Reverend Campbell if he could put together a list of the people in the area that would be picked up. Campbell mentioned both of you and said you should be at the top of the list." They both shook their heads in disgust. "What about Tyler?"
Cooper looked over at Tyler before he answered. "They didn't seem to care. Although they were talking about orphanages for the kids they took from the gay parents, run by people like Rev… Campbell. Unless…"
Cooper bit his lip as he glanced at Tyler. "Unless what Cooper?"
"Unless, they found out that they were… gay." The two men looked at their son and saw the worry that came to his face. "What would they do then?"
"They'd send them to the same camps. There's um, something else. It was something I heard my dad say. They may use these camps to get rid of those that they arrest."
"Get rid of us? You mean?" Damon couldn't finish the sentence because it was so unthinkable. Cooper nodded. "He said that he wished they could do what Hiller did and that Robert guy sounded like that was possible. He said nothing's off the table."
Grant whistled and shook his head in shock. They both looked at their son for a few moments and he nodded. They nodded back in acknowledgment. "That's a big problem then. If they can get Tyler's adoption records, and I have little doubt they won't get them, it will be easy to find out that… he's gay too. That's why we adopted him."
Grant looked over at Tyler before he continued. Tyler was looking at his feet. Grant let out a sigh. "He was thrown out of his home by his ultra-religious family when they found out he was gay, when he was twelve."
Cooper looked at his friend and put his arm around him. Tyler glanced to his side and saw the look of sympathy that was there. He smiled his thanks to his friend. Cole moved over to Tyler's other side and rubbed his back. He looked across Tyler's back at his brother and looked at him and then down at Tyler. Cooper's eyes widened, but Cole's shrug seemed to say 'Why not?' After a moment he nodded and cleared his throat.
"Um, yeah. Uh, me too." Tyler's head swiveled to his right and his eyes widened. "Really? You're gay?" Cooper smiled and nodded. "Yeah."
Tyler threw his arms around Cooper surprising the boy and rocking him back a little. The others in the room started chuckling a little. The boys realized that they weren't alone and broke apart with bright red faces. "The boys told me about this earlier and they asked me to see if I can come up with a way to help you. Unfortunately I don't know what we can do."
"Well obviously we need to leave here, but where do we go that is safe for us? Do you know when they are going to start arresting people?" Cooper shook his head. "They didn't say exactly, only that it would probably be soon."
"The internet is working kind of strange today, I was trying to do some research and I was having some problems. If the internet was working properly we could probably find out more, but it's not, so I don't know where to go that is safe."
"I think I know someone who might be able to find out." They looked at Cole. "Who?"
"Evan, from the troop. He's into computers and is real good with them. Maybe he knows how to get around some of the problems with the net and can find out something. At our last Scout meeting, he wanted to talk to me about something and was sort of secretive. I'll talk to him and ask if he could find something out."
"Can you trust him?" Cole nodded. "Yeah. I know that I can trust him." Grant nodded. "Okay, try to see what you can find out and let us know."
"I will." Cole checked his watch. He was about to say something, when Dwayne spoke up. "Cole, why don't you call him and ask him to come over here if he can."
"He doesn't drive, at least not yet, he's fifteen. But I could go over to his house and see if I can bring him back here if you want." Dwayne nodded. "Go get him Cole and convince him to come if at all possible. The sooner we can get some clearer information, the better." Cole nodded and stood up to go get Evan. He was pulling his cell out as he went.
"Yes indeed, Mister Anderson. Thank you for everything you're trying to do for us."
"Call me Dwayne."
He looked over where Cooper and Tyler were whispering to each other and were smiling with reddened faces. He gently elbowed Grant and nodded to the two boys. "We may be practically family." Grant looked at the two boys and smiled. "Looks like that might be true."
The two boys looked up and noticed everyone looking at them and they both blushed even more. Everyone saw that the boys were holding hands. When they realized that, they let go as if burned, causing several chuckles and two bright red faces.
Cooper gave Tyler a regretful look. Tyler leaned close. "We need to talk." Cooper nodded. "We can go outside while we wait for Cole to return. Tyler nodded and the two boys stood up. Grant intercepted then and pulled them into a hug, Damon joined the hug. "Dads, leave him alone and don't embarrass him."
"Well, he's practically our son-in-law, so I'm calling in a father's right to hug my son-in-law, so you just hush." He let Cooper go and smiled at him. "You boys go on outside. We'll be in here talking to your grandparents."
Cooper nodded and the two boys left the house. Outside, Tyler asked if they could go look at the swimming hole. Cooper nodded and the two of them walked over there. Cole honked his horn as he left, the two boys waved to him. There were some wooden chairs and benches around the edges of the pond and they chose one of the benches to sit on so they could talk.
Cole had already called Evan to tell him that he was on his way over and drove back the way they had come but took the turn that led to Evan's house. Soon he was pulling into Evan's driveway. Cole rang the doorbell and Evan's dad answered the door. "Well hello Cole. C'mon in, Evan's in his room."
"Thanks Mister Gale." He saw Missus Gale in the living room as they walked by them and down the hall to Evan's room. He saw the door was open and looked in. Evan was sitting at his computer desk and Cole knocked on the door and Evan looked over his shoulder and got up when he saw who it was. "Hey Cole. Glad you came over. Hurry come on in. I have something to show you."
"Okay." Evan held up his hand and got up from the chair to go to his door. He looked into the hall and closed the door. He sat back down at his desk, and called Cole over to his side. When he spoke his voice was low, like he didn't want anyone else, but Cole to hear him. "I've copied some things into a protected file. Let me show you what's really been happening."
"Wait, um, could you do me a favor and come with me?" Evan was curious but gave him a tentative nod. "I guess, but why? Cole glanced at the door. "Do you trust me? I'll tell you once we're in my truck." He looked at Evan's laptop. "And could you bring your laptop?" Evan looked at him and nodded. "Yeah, but why?"
"I need your help with something. Like I said, I'll tell you in the truck. Just trust me." Evan looked at him for a few moments before closing his laptop and putting it and some jump drives that were lying next to it, into his computer bag. "Let's go." Cole got up and led the way out of the house. As they walked by his parents, Evan let them know that he was going with Cole for a little while and would be back later. Cole didn't say anything for a couple of minutes.
"I'm taking you over to my grandpa's house. I need your help with something that we've been talking about. It's real important." Evan nodded. "Can I ask you a question about your grandpa?" Cole glanced at his friend and nodded. "Does your grandfather like President Ashwood." Cole scowled. "Not in this lifetime. He thinks the guys a bigoted idiot. He thinks he's undoing all the good that President Bryce did for this country." Evan let out a breath. "Good."
"Because what I wanted to talk to you about, has to do with him. I've got it on my computer here."
They didn't say anything else until they got to Dwayne's house. As they drove up, the two boys were still sitting on the bench by the pond. When they saw Cole pull in, they waved and got up from the bench and headed to the house. Cole brought Evan into the house and introduced him to everyone. The other boys were right behind them. When everyone was settled, Cole told him what they had been talking about. He looked at Tyler and Cooper who were sitting next to each other and gave them a wink when he found out about them being gay and subject to the upcoming measures. When Cole finished, he pulled his computer out and plugged one of the jump drives into it.
"Mister Grayson, you're right the internet is kinda messed up right now. And there are reasons for that, all pointing to Ashwood. Let me show you some things that have been going on for the last couple of days."
For the next hour, Evan showed them information that had come from the west side of the country. He told them of how Ashwood tried to kill Bryce and his family by using the military to attack them on the base where they had been hiding. They heard about the unknown military force that protected and saved Bryce and his family. He showed them Ashwood's press conference where he told the country about how Bryce and his family were killed. Then he showed them Bryce's answering press conference, while he was covered in the blood of his wife and son after the attack on his family. Bryce told the American people what had really happened. At the end of Bryce's press conference, the evidence that Ashwood was behind everything was also shown. He showed them everything that he had found out about. He said that he had internet contacts that were doing what they could to get all this out. There were some very angry men in the room as he spoke. He also told them the truth about the election. Bryce had won by a huge margin, but Ashwood wasn't conceding.
They continued to ask Evan questions about what he had found out. It was getting late when Cole checked his watch. "It's getting a little late, and we gotta get going." The others checked their watches and nodded. "Yeah, boys that's a good idea." Everyone stood up.
There were hugs and handshakes all around and everyone went outside. Damon asked if they could give Evan a ride home. He wanted to ask him a few more questions on the way home. Cole and Cooper said goodbye to their friends and got in the truck and drove off. He and Tyler shared a hug. Dwayne and Cora waved to everyone as they drove away. Tyler and his parents followed Cole until they had to turn in different directions. They waved as they split up.
Neither brother talked because they were still shocked by what they had learned and were even more scared about Tyler and his family. When he turned off the ignition after they pulled into the drive of their house, the two of them just sat there for a few moments.
"We can't say anything to Mom and Dad about this. Because they'll never believe us and say it is terrorist propaganda by Bryce. Plus they would demand that we told them where we got the information and we could get Evan and everyone in trouble and there is no way, I'm going to do that to our friends, let alone grandma and grandpa."
Cooper nodded and they got out of the truck and went inside. Other than looking up from where she was sitting in front of the TV watching some news show, their mother didn't acknowledge them. She turned back to what she was watching as they went up to their rooms. Cole said he had some homework to finish up before school. Cooper asked if he could hang out in Cole's room while he worked on it and Cole put his arm around his brother and they went into the room. Cooper put on some music and picked up a magazine that was next to his brother's bed while Cole sat at his desk. Sitting there on the desk was his history book. He opened it and began to read through the chapter.
As he read the chapter, an idea began to form and he wrote down some information that he pulled out of the chapter. He sat back in the chair and looked at the notes, nodding to himself. He turned around in the chair and looked at his brother.
"Cooper. In the troop, who would you say are the most trustworthy members, especially those that don't have anything against gays?"
Cooper shrugged and thought about it for a few moments. "Well, Tyler of course, um,… Evan… Tyler's neighbor Noah… Danny Woods and William. Those are the ones that I can think of off hand. Oh and Harlan."
"I know he's almost your age and he's still a 1st Class, but I've never seen him be mean to anyone and a few weeks ago, I saw him stop an older kid from bullying a younger kid outside of school. I know he kind of acts like a loner, but I think he's alright. He knows his stuff."
Cole considered it and nodded. "Yeah, now that I think about it, you're right. He does know his stuff and is a pretty nice guy. He just doesn't apply himself. If he did, he'd probably be up in front with me and be near to making it to Eagle. But why William? He's sorta…"
"A momma's boy?" Cole nodded. "It seems that way and I know he gets kind of whiny at times, but I think it's because of the way his mom treats him. He's said something about it on outings before. I think underneath, he wouldn't be so whiny if his mother treated him like he was thirteen instead of eight."
"Okay, so if you think William is trustworthy then that's good enough for me."
"Why did you want to know?"
"I might have an idea. I want to sleep on it and then talk to Evan tomorrow. I want to see what else he has to say and then I'll talk to grandpa. If, and I say that is a big if, what I have in mind works, it could save a lot of people."
"Aww, c'mon tell me."
"Not yet. I need to think about it some more. After I talk to Evan some more, then I'll tell you."
"Cole, could you drop me off at Tyler's house tomorrow after school, while you talk to Evan?" Cole nodded. "Sure."
"Let's go see what's for dinner and then watch a DVD, unless we can find something on the TV." Cooper agreed and the brothers went downstairs for dinner. While they were sitting down, Cole felt his cell go off. They kept their phones on silent when they were at dinner. As soon as they were excused, they went upstairs and Cole pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked it. He saw that it was a call from Evan. He called Evan back right away.
"Hey Evan. Sorry, was eating dinner and couldn't answer the phone… Skype, yeah, sure....okay, I'll talk to you then."
He closed the phone and went over to his computer and booted it up. When it was up, he pulled Skype up on the computer. Moments after he logged in, he got a video call request from Evan. He accepted it and saw Evan's image on the screen.
"Hey Evan, what's up?"
"I'm sending you a link in the window. Click and open it."
Cole looked in the window and saw a hyperlink. He clicked on it and found himself on a site, unlike any type that he had been on. He saw Evan's name come up and heard him speak: "Log out of Skype now." Cole quickly did as he was asked. "Can you hear me Evan?"
"What is this site?"
"It's a secure site."
"Yeah, it's something that Ashwood's people haven't found yet. There are a group of people around the country that are doing what they can to get the real info out there. The reason I called is because something happened a little while ago in Texas. Click on the link that I'm sending you."
As soon as the link appeared he clicked on it and he saw a video start up. It showed a school and buses lined up outside it. There were large crowds of people outside of the school. They were behind barricades and were shouting at the armed men in front of them.
"What is this Evan?"
Cole continued to watch and then his mouth fell open in shock and surprise as he saw the firefight start. He couldn't believe what he was seeing as he saw the federal agents begin to fire at the crowd of adults. Several of the adults were armed and fired back. In moments there was a huge firefight going on. The agents were firing at the crowd and the crowd was firing back and then the helicopters began to fire and he saw kids being shot down. Then he saw some black armored figures take out several of the agents and run into the school. The video stopped soon after that.
"What the hell was that? Was that real or some movie?'
"That was real. It happened a little while ago in Texas. The agents were working under Ashwood's orders. Hundreds of kids and their parents were killed. The guys in the black armor, who were trying to save the kids, I think they are the same people who saved President Bryce from Ashwood's attempt to kill him. We don't know who they are, but they are on the side of President Bryce. Ashwood is refusing to concede the election that he lost. He ordered the attack on that school and from what my friends have told me, he's probably going to blame it on Bryce in some way."
"Can you record this on a jump drive or DVD or something. I want my grandpa to see this."
"Sure, I'll bring it to school tomorrow."
"Thanks. I'll let you know what he says. Bye, Evan, thanks for letting me know about this."
"K, I'll talk to you at school tomorrow."
Cole found himself logged out of the site and back to looking at his desktop. A voice from just behind him made him jump. "What was that?" Cole jumped and whipped around. Cooper was standing right behind him and he noticed that there were tears in his brother's eyes. He felt his own eyes seemed a bit damp as well.
"Those were kids getting shot." Cole nodded. "Yeah. They were killed by Ashwood's order. I'm going to show this to grandpa tomorrow after school."
"Evan said those guys in black armor were the good guys." Cole nodded. "Yeah, that's what he said. I wish they were around here to take care of Reverend Campbell and his friends, so that Tyler is safe." Cooper nodded. "I'm going to go see if there is anything on TV about this." He got up and went to the game room and turned on the TV.
The two of them watched the TV. Cole was looking for any information about what had happened, but there was not much and there was still no news about who won the election. At about eight thirty they decided to head to bed, there wasn't much on that they wanted to watch. They said goodnight to each other. By eight forty-five, their lights were off and they were in bed. Because they were asleep, neither noticed the LED lights on their digital clocks when they went dark.