Castle Roland

The Apprentice

by Sahypo

In Progress

Chapter 10

Posted: 15 Oct 15

The Apprentice

Copyright © by Sahypo

Isaac's parents arrived around 11 o'clock and pulled up as Timmy was in the front yard trimming weeds with an electric trimmer, wearing tennis shoes and shorts. Isaac's mother got out of the car, and crossed the yard to speak to Timmy, as Isaac's father got out and fetched luggage from the trunk. Isaac came out of the house and rushed to help his father, giving him a big hug and asking him how the trip went. They wrangled the luggage into the house, and put it in Isaac's room for now.

Outside, Isaac's mother smiled at the sweaty boy, and asked "Timmy?". Timmy put the weed eater down and replied "Yes, ma'am." She was thin and blond with blue eyes, and not much taller than Timmy, probably about 5'6". Timmy had been growing some lately, not just in his nether regions, as Isaac had been doing a much better job of feeding Timmy, and he had put on weight and begun to fill out. He was still shorter than most kids his age, but he was slowly becoming more normal and average for his height and weight.

"Oh, I am so excited to meet you" she said in a faint southern accent. "Isaac has told us so much about you. My name is Lizabeth, short for Elizabeth".

Timmy said "Hi" and smiled and shook her hand. Lizabeth had not failed to notice the faint light, raised marks on Timmy's tanned torso, but didn't let her expression betray what she was thinking. She suggested they go in the house where Timmy could meet Isaac's father. They went inside and found Isaac and his father talking in the kitchen. They had brought the boys some groceries and Isaac was busy loading the fridge while his father sorted the freezer stuff from the fridge stuff from the pantry stuff.

"Pat, this is Timmy" Lizabeth announced, as Isaac's father put down what he was doing and turned to greet Timmy. Isaac and his mother then hugged and exchanged greetings.

"I see you have met Timmy." Isaac said and his mother nodded smiling. Isaac's father then went over to Timmy with his arms wide open.

"Hey Timmy! My name is Pat. Lizabeth and I have been looking forward to meeting you for a long time now." He pulled Timmy into a hug, which somewhat surprised Timmy, but he didn't resist. Pat also could feel old scars on Timmy's back under his fingers, and like Lizabeth, he kept his reactions hidden. He broke the hug with Timmy, and Timmy replied

"I was a little nervous about this, but I'm happy to meet you both" Pat and Lizabeth looked at each other, and Pat said,

"I know you are, and that's natural, Timmy, but there is no need to be nervous around us. We learned a lot about you from Isaac and you have nothing to be afraid of here. I want you to know that you can talk to us about anything and everything. There are no secrets in this family, and you are part of this family, understand?"

"Yes, sir" Timmy said. He knew where Isaac got it from now, his Dad was just like him, or rather Isaac had followed in his father's footsteps. He was kind and made Timmy feel comfortable right away, just as Isaac had.

Pat was about 5'9", and 150 pounds. He was a slightly built man, and had coal black hair and brown eyes. Like Isaac, he could have almost passed for asian, had they not had western facial features, and Isaac's blue eyes.

Pat suggested that they decamp to the family diner, and have the noon meal before they had to talk about more important issues later in the privacy of the house. Timmy changed clothes and they were ready to go.

Pat and Lizabeth took the boys out and they enjoyed a true family get together, while the boys brought them up to speed on the latest things, like Timmy's trip to the Wiedemer farm, the plane flight, and the places Isaac had taken him in the last few months. Isaac saved the more serious tales for the house, and soon they paid the bill and left the restaurant. Pat stopped at the 7-11 and bought a six pack of an imported beer that he and Isaac had shared a taste for in the past. None of them was a drinker by any stretch of the imagination, but Isaac had been brought up to drink if he wanted to, but never to hide it, or mix drinking with driving or riding in cars with others who were drunk. Pat and Lizabeth never made drinking a big deal with their adolescent son, and at times they would all have a beer during the evening meal. It was how they lived.

Once back at the house, Lizabeth inquired about any papers that Timmy had, like a birth certificate and shots records, and so on. Isaac had helped Timmy go through the bags of stuff he had brought with him, and had put the documents Timmy had in a folder. They went into Timmy's room for some privacy, and he gave her the file. Timmy came with a birth certificate and a very old shot record. He showed those to his mother, and she made some mental notes about there being no named father, and asked about his mother. Isaac related to her the developments in the case of the missing person found at the river, and also that Jack was now dying. She asked if Timmy knew about this, and Isaac said he did, and she could talk to him about anything without giving something away that Timmy shouldn't hear.

She stepped out in the hallway, and saw that Pat was on the couch talking to Timmy, although she could not see the boy from this angle. She stepped back in Timmy's bedroom and inquired about the scars on Timmy's sides and back.

"Mom, I know that in the past he was beaten and burned with cigarettes. He doesn't make a big deal out of it, but I am sure it probably is. When I first met him, he would flinch if you got too close to him or made a sudden move. He has come such a long way from what he was then, you would not have known him. He's up fifteen pounds at least, and he can actually make jokes and has quite a sense of humor that I never saw at first."

"How is he coping emotionally" She asked.

"He still has night terrors and some social situations can be intimidating for him, but he's having the nightmares less and less, and getting more adept at making friends. He's never trusted anyone before."

"What kind of nightmares does he have?"

"Mainly being beaten and abused. He spent a lot of nights with me at first, and he cried a lot then as well. It's been a process, Mom. He's making good progress."

"Has he been sexually abused?"

"He says no….He says he has never been touched in the wrong way. I believe him, and there is a good reason to think he would never let that happen."

"How so? You did mention that he has some medical issues…"

"Yes, he has one testicle, and Doc Selden said he should be checked to make sure the missing one is really missing, and not undescended. He also has a slight deformity of his penis, that involves the opening and foreskin, but it isn't a problem for him."

"Wow, you too have gotten close, haven't you?" Lizabeth said, teasing Isaac..

"Ah…Yeah…Timmy insisted that he didn't want to keep any secrets. It was his decision to tell me about these things. I paid for a check up for him out of pocket to make sure he was healthy. We read up on the risks of testicles that may still be inside."

"Yes, I heard that can be a cancer concern…but I'm sure Timmy has coverage through the county children's medical services, even if he and Jack were indigent." she said.

"I hadn't thought of that, Mom" Isaac said.

"Does he know you're gay?" Lizabeth asked.

"Yes, I told him and we had a long talk about that subject… He is very mature and just came out and asked because he wanted to know…He's like that. Don't let it surprise you

if he gets real serious and wants to know something." Isaac said.

"I think Pat and I should have a chat with him and get to know him a lot better" Lizabeth said.

"That's a great idea, Mom" Isaac concurred.

Isaac excused himself and said he had to run some errands, and took Timmy's folder with him. After he left, Liz and Pat sat down with Timmy on the couch and began to ask him about his life and in turn, shared information with Timmy as well. He told them about things that made them shudder, like the time Jack had passed out and some of his buddies had been in the house, and how one of the drunks had burned Timmy with cigarettes when he refused to drink whisky with the man. He was 6 years old. He managed to escape the house and hid in the bushes ten doors down, until it got dark. He snuck inside the strange house through the basement sliding door which was unlocked. He fell asleep on the floor by the door until noises upstairs the next morning woke him up, and he bolted before the homeowners could discover him. Another time, he was walking through the front room, and paused to look at the television, blocking the view of another member of Jack's collection of drunks, and the man slapped him so hard his right eye had blood streaks across the white of the eye. He also told them about the naked woman on the toilet, and how he would sometimes last eat on Friday at school, then not again until he went back on Monday. There was a lot of other stuff that he told them, and more that he did not.

Pat and Lizabeth quizzed him about school, and found that Timmy was actually almost an honor student, his grades were excellent for any child, let alone one that was for the most part homeless. He told them his gifts were in math and science, and he had read all of Isaac's technical college books a few times, just for something to do. He told them about the day Isaac got him clothes, and the cell phone, and how he used it the day he was brutalized at school. He told them that he wished he was big enough to protect other kids from bullies as well.

Lizabeth thought to herself My God, this kid has been royally screwed over in the lottery of life, and he wants to help other kids? This child is truly special…

'No body ever stood up for me like Isaac does…He thinks of everything, and he's made every day special since I met him…He takes me places to do things that I never did before, like hitting balls with a bat, and bowling and going to the water slide park…He never tells me where we're going, so it's always a surprise. I even flew a plane with one of his friends…that was totally cool!...he really is my big brother now, and I love him very much." Timmy said

It was time for Lizabeth to let Timmy in on some things too.

"Timmy, Isaac thinks the world of you, and he loves you very much too. He cried when he told us about the time you broke the plate, and you thought he was going to beat you. Isaac doesn't have the first clue about meanness, Timmy. As far as we know, he has never raised a hand to anyone in his life, and as kind and loving as he is, he will never be as strong as you have had to be all your life. He admires you deeply and tells us that you inspire him with your spirit and good heart."

"He told me that too, once " Timmy said in a quiet voice. "I didn't think he actually meant that, I'm just a kid". By this time, he was tightly wedged between Pat and Lizabeth, and enjoying the closeness that he had always craved.

"Isaac generally doesn't say things he doesn't mean, Timmy." Pat said. They sat quiet for a few moments, before Timmy broke the silence,

"I want to thank you guys"

"What for, Timmy"?

"Well….I know that you send Isaac the money that we live on, and Isaac buys me things I need, even when it meant he had to do without other things. I had no underwear and two pairs of socks when I came here, and now I can actually pick out stuff I want to wear every day. My feet used to kill me 'cause my shoes were too small, and I still tried to wear the damn things…I just never had good clothes and shoes before, so thanks…"

Pat spoke now.

"Timmy, we know Isaac's heart well enough to trust him and back him 100% when he told us about you, and said it was his duty to help you. We are going to make this work with him, and I don't want you to ever worry about money or having enough to eat. Lizabeth and I and Isaac stand together on this, and we want you to be happy, safe here, and healthy. I know there have been some terrible things in your life, but that is in the past, and we hope you are able to heal from some of that. You don't have to worry about having the rug pulled out from under you, or being disrespected as a human being and abused. The only thing we are going to ask of you is that you continue to do well in school like you have, and stay away from people and things that are not good to be around…like drunks and drugs."

"I don't have any friends like that….other than Isaac and Scott, I don't have friends at all" Timmy told them.

"Scott's the boy who invited you to his farm the other day, right?" Lizabeth asked.

"Yes, I got to drive Scott's pickup truck too. In two weeks I'm going back, they are going to take me fishing and to a campout"

"How old is Scott, Timmy?" Lizabeth was curious

"Just turned 13" Timmy replied.

"And he was driving?" Lizabeth was having some concern over this.

"We both were…we took turns" Timmy replied, matter of fact. "They have 6000 acres of land, and we sure went all over that place." Pat and Lizabeth looked at each other in relief.

"So you stayed on the property the whole time?" she asked

"Of course….Wh-a….oh, you thought we were on the highway or something?" he giggled.

Now totally comprehending, Lizabeth began tickling Timmy, and said "Giggle at me, will you? I'll make you giggle, little boy!" she teased. Pat laughed and joined in as Timmy began to shriek and screech with laughter,

"Hey, I resemble that "little" stuff!" Timmy yelped as the tickle attack continued and he laughed and screamed and struggled, but never tried to get completely away from his tormentors. Pat pulled the boys shoes and socks off, to get at the soles of Timmy's feet, as

Lizabeth kept working on the youngster's ears and neck, moving to his ribs to make him bring his hands down

Just at that moment, Isaac came through the door, and saw the mayhem under way and said, "The wounded fish has attracted sharks, and more sharks are coming! It looks like curtains for the wounded fish!" as he joined his parents in the assault on Timmy's tickle spots. After a few more minutes of ear shattering screams, Timmy went limp, exhausted, and the Daniels family, his family now, let him up for air.

"Being…..the wounded……fish…!" Timmy heaved out in gasps, as everyone laughed. He hugged on Lizabeth for a long moment with his eyes closed, and said "But it was kind of fun to be eaten by the sharks." Lizabeth chuckled as she squeezed Timmy tight in the embrace. She was already beyond getting attached to the boy.

Soon it was time to start working on the evening meal, so Isaac and his mother talked in the kitchen as they worked, while Timmy and Pat watched TV together and bonded a bit more.

"Is he a bit touchy about his height?" Lizabeth asked.

"Oh, he got on you about the "L" word, I see" Isaac laughed. "Yeah, I call him "big guy" unless he's hurting over something and then it's "little buddy", but any other time….no!"

Lizabeth found that funny, and very charming. Isaac continued.

"He had a boat load of self image issues and lack of confidence. I'm sure his physical differences have something to do with that, but he's coming around. He is very affectionate, and loyal to people he trusts, but learning to trust is hard for him."

Lizabeth was pensive as she wondered "After all that kid has been through, why isn't he hard and bitter, headed down the wrong path?"

"First of all, I don't think he's made that way…Second, we talk about anger and forgiveness a lot, and I have been really trying to keep him positive and looking forward rather than dwell on the past."

"Oh by the way, he has an appointment with Doctor Selden on Tuesday, and Delilah said he did have county children's aid, and they do take it." Isaac said. "I also stopped by the hospital and got him and his mother's records, what they had. I thought it might be important to have those for Tuesday."

"That's good thinking…Was there anything there that might be of concern?"

"Probably not…you can take a look at them and tell me if you see any issues" Isaac said.

Lizabeth looked through the sheets on the counter and saw the attending doctor's notes to "recommend circumcision to mother". She snorted as she read that, remembering how she had politely but firmly declined to have Isaac's penis altered when he was born. She also saw the doctor's description of "incomplete foreskin", which didn't make sense…what did that mean, she wondered.

"Is he circumcised?" she asked

"No, but he doesn't have a normal foreskin, either…It sits on top of the penis like a convertible top, it's not like mine and dads. Most boys with hypospadias have one like that." Isaac explained.

Pat had grown up in a family who didn't believe in the letting of blood, although he had never practiced the stricter teachings of the faith once he was old enough to choose, so he had been spared the customary snip.

Timmy was lucky that a wise nurse had seen the doctor's note and warned Tiffany not to circumcise him, because the foreskin might be needed when she decided to have Timmy's defect repaired. Circumstances being what they were for her and Timmy at the time, that repair never took place, and she was worried about being charged for the circumcision.

She was bouncing from man to man, and now she was homeless and giving birth. She needed a place to be, and in her list of shack-ups, Jack had the most going on. He had a house, job and car. Never mind that she had told the hospital staff that she wasn't sure who the father was…they said they could leave that blank empty for the time being.

"Hypos… what?" Lizabeth asked, unfamiliar with the term.

"Hypospadias…It's the deformity that I told you about…his pee-hole is lower than the regular place…" Isaac said. "We looked it up on the internet after he told me about it."

"Okay, I think I have heard of that, now that I think of it. One of the women at the office was talking about her son having something like that. She was talking about surgery for her kid, though…You said this isn't a problem for Timmy?" Lizabeth asked.

"Timmy's is very minor…he didn't even know it was abnormal until a couple of boys at school exposed themselves, and he saw them." Isaac said.

"It must have been a shock for him to find out that way" she mused.

"He was in a funk for three weeks over that…kept moping around like something was on his mind. I didn't push him, but I let him know he could talk to me about whatever it was, and finally he did. He stopped moping and hasn't talked about it lately, so I guess he's fine for now." Isaac said.

"I'm just glad you are here for him, Isaac. Your dad and I are very proud of you, and we love you." Lizabeth and Isaac hugged, and Timmy saw them and sneaked into the kitchen in bare feet, and pounced on them with his own hug, giggling.

"Gotcha!" he cried "What are you guys making for supper?" Timmy asked.

"Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables and salad" Isaac told him. "You can set the table, big guy". Timmy broke the hug and set about the task.

"How are the potatoes coming?" Lizabeth asked, as Isaac whipped them with a whisk.

"Almost done" Isaac said.

After the meal, Timmy and Isaac cleared the table and Pat broke out a deck of cards and asked if everyone wanted to play a game of spades. Timmy had not heard of it, so they went through a practice hand, teaching Timmy the rules of the game, and some strategies to use. In the actual game, Timmy picked it up quickly, and made some shrewd bids, and

did quite well. Spades can be a long game, and they took an hour and a half before the first player, Lizabeth, reached a score of 300.

After the card game, Pat asked Timmy if he played chess. Timmy had never had anyone ask him to play before, so he jumped at the chance, even though he admitted

"No, sir, you will have to teach me that, too" Pat smiled and called to Isaac,

"Isaac, do you still have a chess set?"

"Uh…yeah, dad. I'll get it down." Isaac said as he walked to the hall closet and pulled an old cardboard box off the top shelf and brought it to his father. "Once you break him in good, I want to play the winner!" he said, and left them to the lesson.

Pat explained the pieces and how to set them up, and what moves each piece was allowed. Timmy picked the basics up quickly. He was deeply interested in the strategy, and quickly got the hang of it. He made a few beginner's mistakes, but Pat noted that he didn't repeat any of his missteps. He got harder and harder to beat each time they played, and Pat knew that eventually he would be as good as Isaac. Pat was a very good player, but Isaac could probably win seven out of ten games on any given night. He wondered if Isaac would find Timmy challenging as well.

By the time Pat and Timmy had decided to call it a day, it almost 10 o'clock and all of them were ready for bed. Timmy put the chess set back in the box, and said to Pat "To be continued, Mister!" with a turd-eating grin on his face.

Pat smiled and squeezed Timmy in a hug, and replied "Bring it!" Timmy giggled and said

"Good night, and thanks for me teaching me the games."

"Anytime! Good night, Timmy" and went to join Lizabeth in Isaac's room. Isaac was already undressed in Timmy's room as Timmy came in and began to strip for bed. Timmy turned the light off and got in his bed and snuggled up to Isaac, loving the feel of Isaac's warm smooth skin on his own body.

"Well, what do you think of them?" Isaac asked.

"They are wonderful, just like you said. I think they like me, too." Timmy said.

"If you only knew how much…" Isaac replied.

"Good night, big brother…I love you" Timmy said.

"I love you too, little buddy" Isaac said, noting that Timmy didn't object to the "L" word this time.

The next morning was Saturday, and Pat had plans for the boys. Lizabeth had plans as well, and when the men left the house, she set out on her own errands.

Pat took the boys out to play mini golf, something Timmy had never heard of. Timmy was full of wonder at the new experience, and Pat was beginning to understand the isolation that Timmy lived under, that Isaac was already familiar with. He was like a kid from Siberia suddenly let loose in New York City. There were six different courses in the same park, and Timmy was insistent that they play them all. He didn't want to miss a single hole. None of the holes was all that good, and the balls wandered and took off in unexpected directions, but it added to the challenge and made the occasional lucky shot or hole in one all that more satisfying.

After the first three courses, they broke for lunch at the concession stand and ate under a large pavilion as a surprise storm came through and a heavy rain fell for half an hour. They had nothing pressing to do, so they waited the storm out and resumed play on the fourth course. Most of the people had left when the storm blew up, so they now enjoyed an almost empty golf park. They could now take their time, without other golfers coming up behind them, and had stopped keeping score on the second course. Timmy would take several tries on the more challenging holes, intent on "cracking the code" and figuring out the secret. He said "Wait, up guys, I think I got this one now" more than once. Isaac and Pat just grinned and shook their heads each time.

"You would think he's playing the Master's the way he's into this" Isaac observed.

"For all we know, he might be playing the Masters in a few years" Pat said.

'Oh, I'm not going to bet against it" Isaac laughed.

Meanwhile, across town, Lizabeth stopped in at the main library branch and filled out the form to get Timmy his own library card, and checked out some novels for him on disk. She picked a collection of classic literature from Twain, Hemingway, Dickens, Hugo, as well as books on flying and airplanes. She tried to key in on things that he had told her and Pat. Her next stop was to find an inexpensive laptop at the big box electronics store, so he had a computer to use and read the library disks on. She selected a model that was upgradeable, so he would be able to use it for a long time, tried out a demonstrator and made her purchase.

She had taken a look at the clothes that Isaac had bought for Timmy, and knew he went for the basics, because of his budget. She bought a few more pull-on shirts, a dress shirt, pants, slacks and shorts, and dress shoes for Timmy. She knew he was in size nine shoes now, and decided to hedge her bets and buy tens in case he grew before he had an occasion to wear the shoes. She knew that breaking in new shoes that were too small was a bitch, and she remembered what he had said about the shoes he had when he met Isaac.

She felt herself momentarily getting angry at the thought of a child living like this…she knew Isaac had felt it too, recalling how he choked up at the diner the last time she and Pat had come to visit. While it was hard for them to fathom Timmy's past, she knew it had been much harder to be the one to live that past.

After a moment indulging her emotions, she told herself "Get your shit together lady, you're in Target, for crying out loud. It wouldn't be proper form to melt down in such a classy place." That brought a smile to her lips and her mood lifted as she pushed the cart to checkout.

She got home before the boys, and laid out the new clothes on Timmy's bed, and set the laptop box on the desk next to Isaac's computer. She turned on the computer and logged into her email account and caught up on messages from the office. After disposing of that business, she decided to look up the word Isaac had spoken last night when they discussed Timmy's medical needs, and found the sites Isaac and Timmy had surfed the night Timmy had let Isaac see his body.

Lizabeth had seen only a few penises in her life, mainly those of a few boyfriends from college, and her husband and son. She was fascinated to know that this difference in anatomy existed, and was shocked to see how severe some cases of hypospadias could be. She hoped her co-worker's son wasn't in that category. This was quite an eye-opener for her, and she was glad to read in the text article next to the pictures that Timmy's version would not cause him problems. There was a picture of "hooded foreskin", and she now understood Isaac's description of Timmy's prepuce.

She followed the history links and found the sites for cryptorchidism, or hidden testicles that the boys had found, and read up on this condition as well. After another 15 minutes of reading, she felt she was up to speed on these issues. She gave silent thanks that Isaac had been so normal, and she wondered how Tiffany must have felt when Timmy was born, and was told "There seems to be a little problem…"

She made herself a salad and tuna sandwich and puttered around with laundry and a little cleaning while she waited for the men to return. Isaac was a fastidious housekeeper, and always told Timmy that its easier to maintain clean if you don't let little messes get big. There wasn't a lot for her to do, so she decided to set up Timmy's laptop and make sure the library disks were in a compatible format. The teenage sales boy at the box store said they were, and she made picked the geekiest looking kid there, figuring he would be the one to know…. Soon, she had verified that the e-books would open, and put the laptop on the kitchen table.

An hour later, three slightly sunburnt males came in the house, and Lizabeth asked "How was the mini golf?"

Timmy gushed about how fun it was, and all the neat obstacles and miniature village pieces, and went on and on, as Isaac and Pat looked on and smiled.

'So, you didn't like it?" Lizabeth teased.

Timmy rolled his eyes and said "Mom, pl…" before stopping himself with a shocked expression on his face. "Oh God! I'm sorry, I didn't….."

"It's okay, Timmy. It's more than okay, if that's what you want to call me" Lizabeth said, and pulled Timmy into a hug.

"Thanks. I would like that" Timmy said. They held the embrace for a bit as Timmy closed his eyes and considered the idea of having a mother for the first time in his life. Soon, he let her go, and looked up.

"Cool, you got a laptop" Timmy observed, looking at the computer on the kitchen table over Lizabeth's shoulder.

"Nope…it's not mine. Pat, is it yours?" she asked, winking at Pat, because Timmy couldn't see her face from this angle.

"Why no, it's not mine, either. Isaac, do you have a laptop?"

"Not mine, dad". Isaac said, just waiting for his mother to play this one out.

" Then I guess it must be your laptop, Timmy" Lizabeth said. Isaac and his father held back smiles, waiting for Timmy's reaction.

Timmy looked at them, not saying anything, as tears welled up in his eyes. "I can't believe this…really? It's really mine?"

"Yup, and I got you this and some books on disk to read", giving Timmy the newly minted library card. He snorted back some tears and snot, and wiped his eyes and said

"Thank you so much. This is so cool…I don't know what to say to all this. Thank you"

Lizabeth handed him a paper towel

"You earned it, I think. Here, you don't want to drip on it" she said, making Timmy laugh.

He got himself together and sat down to check out the laptop. They had some computers at school, but this one was his, and he was used to an older operating system and programs at school that were made for teaching. Isaac and Pat stood behind him and answered the questions Timmy asked, and was soon navigating the files and programs that the store had loaded.

Lizabeth pulled Isaac aside and said "Have him try out the clothes on his bed when he gets done on the computer, and the shoes." Isaac nodded and they went back to what they were doing.

Timmy explored the new computer for a bit, and since there was no internet connection or game software loaded, he powered it down and followed Isaac when the older boy called him to his bedroom. Timmy found the new clothes laid out on his bed and yelled "Thank you, Mom!" making sure she could hear him. A moment later she stood in the bedroom doorway and replied "You're welcome, son! Try all those on for me so I know they fit."

"Okay" He said as he began to remove his shoes and shirt.

"I guess I better get out of here before I see too much" she teased, and closed the door, leaving Timmy to try on the clothing with Isaac.

"Isaac, you gotta have the best folks in the world" Timmy said, standing in his underwear, trying on shirts.

"Well, they're your folks too now, little buddy." Isaac reminded him.

"Gosh, I can't believe this is for real sometimes….and I got your "little buddy" hangin', big brother!" Timmy teased as he grabbed the small bulge in his briefs and shook it for Isaac's benefit.

"I guess you are getting bigger, I have to admit" Isaac said.

"It's grown a half inch since I met you" Timmy informed Isaac, who was a bit intrigued to hear this. He had noticed a difference the night they came back from visiting Jack, and Timmy had gotten an erection from the tickling he received. Timmy basically confirmed what Isaac had suspected. He wasn't that surprised, because Timmy was in the midst of puberty, but the rate that he was maturing wasn't expected.

"You've been measuring yourself?" he asked.

"Yup, since it started growing when I was eleven" Timmy announced. "Didn't you do that too?" he wondered.

"Yeah, I did for a while until it stayed the same each time." Isaac said.

"So, when did it quit getting bigger?" Timmy inquired.

"16? I guess, yeah about the time I started to drive" Isaac answered.

"Do you ever wish it was bigger than it is?" Timmy was in one of those moods where he wanted to know things, and Isaac was always patient with him, like the time Timmy asked him if he was gay.

"Are you implying that I'm too small?" Isaac teased. Timmy knew Isaac was messing with him, but his question was seriously meant.

"No, I didn't mean it that way…I just wonder how you feel about it…I'm not sure how I feel about my things either…" Timmy said. Jeez, this child is 12 going on 28, Isaac thought. He took advantage of the teaching moment and answered him this way,

"Not really. I can't change it, so it's not worth thinking about, Timmy. Besides, we all have to use what were given in life. I might not have a big dick, but I AM Greek god handsome, if I do say so, my own self," making Timmy laugh as Isaac pantomimed a spoiled, narcissistic person. He would make a great actor with his impersonations and impressions. But it did give Timmy something to think about. He obviously would rather be like other boys and men, but that wasn't what God chose for him, any more than Isaac could have a bigger penis. "I'm certainly not going to let any insecurity over it keep me from enjoying intimacy with someone, when I find the right one. Besides that, there are guys smaller than me out there too…I might wind up being the partner with the big one."

Isaac paused, but Timmy waited for him to continue.

"Let me put it this way. I know you and Scott connected. I could see how you looked at each other when you came back from that pond…he accepted you as you are, the way you are, right?"

"Yes" Timmy said.

"And you shared your secret with him the way you shared it with me, correct?" Isaac asked.

"Yes" Timmy confirmed. Isaac had figured it out, as Timmy had expected he probably would. There really were no secrets in this house.

"How did it go?" Isaac asked.

"It was awesome, Isaac. Just awesome…It was amazing to feel him react to what I was doing…what he did to me was pretty good too."

"That's my point…none of what you are self-conscious about really matters with someone who is really into you." That wrapped up this heart to heart conversation for now, but Timmy continued to think about what Isaac said for a long time.

Lizabeth and Pat had to head back home the next day, which was Sunday. They rose and the four of them had breakfast together, and the boys helped them load the car. Isaac promised to let them know the results of Timmy's upcoming ultrasound as soon as they had news. Timmy hugged his new parents and told them he was the luckiest kid ever. They said their goodbyes and drove off.

Monday arrived and Isaac received a call from Detective Walsh

"Hello, Isaac? Ron Walsh.."

"Yes, sir, good morning!" Isaac replied.

"Isaac, I got hold of the folks that found Tiffany's remains and they said that it would be fine with them if Timmy stopped by to meet their grandson."

"Oh, that's great, Mister Walsh! I can't wait to tell him."

"Are you busy today? They could see you this afternoon if you can make it"

"We had no plans at all for today, actually" Isaac replied.

"Can you copy down an address?" Detective Walsh asked.

"Yes, sir, ready…" and Walsh gave him an address on the east side of town, not far from the river bridge where the little boy made the grisly discovery.

"Thanks so much for asking them for Timmy." Isaac said

"It's my pleasure to do something for a great kid like Timmy. I have to deal with the rotten ass ones usually. He's a rock star, Isaac…take care of him."

"You can count on that, sir."

"Umm, Isaac?…you are in school for….?" Walsh probed.

"I'm in my first year of aircraft mechanic's training." Isaac answered.

"Oh, right, here it is…" Walsh said, which puzzled Isaac…did Walsh have a file going on him or something? "When you get out with your licenses next year, would you swing by the PD and look me up?" Walsh was definitely doing research on him, as Isaac felt that Walsh knew more about his career choice than he was letting on.

"Umm, sure, I will do that."

"Okie dokie, well, tell Timmy I said hi, and take care, Isaac."

"You too, sir, bye" Isaac said. After the call ended, Isaac stared at his phone a moment, wondering if it held any clues as to what that was about. But right now, the boys had a mission.

"Timmy! Timmy!" Isaac called.

Timmy burst out of the bathroom and ran to the front door, naked and soaking wet, with a look of confusion on his face

"What? Is something wrong? I'm in the shower…" he said, stating the obvious. Isaac laughed and said

"No, Nothing's wrong, but the people from the river that you wanted to see said it was okay for us to come over and meet them."

"Oh…uh, okay, lemme, uh… finish up and uh…get ready…when do we leave?" Timmy was visibly nervous and fluttering, so Isaac slowed him down a little.

"Relax, you got time, they want us to come over after lunch. Go take your shower." Timmy turned around and Isaac watched his smooth, firm little globes as he padded back to the bathroom, putting a smile on his face.

They decided to eat out before making their appointment, and they went to a local landmark that had been making the best burgers and real milk shakes for over 50 years. The place was owned by the grandson of the man who started the business, and he had inherited it from his father, so this business had become the oldest continually operated business in town, securing the first place after the Chevrolet dealer closed doors seven years back. Now new cars were being sold by mega-dealerships, and the smaller, rural operations were being eaten up by corporations that owned auto malls across the country.

Timmy was quiet during lunch and didn't say much. Isaac looked at him and tried to engage his eyes, but he was trying to look intent on his burger.

"A penny for your thoughts, little brother" Isaac gently said, urging Timmy to "barf up" what was on his mind. The expression always made Timmy laugh, and he said

"I'm just nervous, I guess. Wondering what they are like…" Timmy admitted.

"They're just regular real people who go fishing, Timmy. That's all. If it's too much, we'll just go….seeing Jack was a hell of a lot harder than this will be, and you handled that like a champ, Champ."

'I guess so, thanks…" Timmy said.

"De nada" Isaac answered.

"Usted habla espanol bien" Timmy replied. (you speak Spanish well)

"No realmente, carnicero el idioma" Isaac countered. (Not really, I butcher the language)

"Holy Shit, Isaac!" Timmy said, obviously impressed.

"I had Mrs. Mendoza for Spanish too" Isaac confessed.

They headed over to the address Isaac had written down, and pulled up to neatly kept older light blue bungalow with white trim and a pale yellow porch floor. It was a bright and cheery place. They walked up on the porch and knocked on the wooden screen door.

An elderly woman came to the door and said

"You must be the people Detective Walsh sent! Come on in" as she opened the screen door and ushered Timmy and Isaac inside.

"Yes, ma'am, this is Timmy Billings, and my name is Isaac Daniels. We are pleased to meet you."

"My name is Mary Williams, my husband is Fred, and Brandon is my grandson. Can I get you boys anything to drink?"

"Oh, no, ma'am, I'm fine, thank you" Isaac said, followed by Timmy "I'm good, thanks"

"Fred!…Brandon!…We have company!" she called out toward the back door and kitchen. "They're in the back shed messing with their fishing stuff"

In a moment, an elderly man and a small boy came into the living room and introductions were made. Isaac and Timmy stood to shake hands with the man and boy and thanked them for agreeing to meet with Timmy.

The Williams' had been informed by Detective Walsh that the remains the little boy found were those of Timmy's mother, and Fred spoke first.

"Timmy, Brandon and I are pleased to meet you, and I am very sorry for your loss, son."

Brandon was shy and sat next to his grandfather on the couch facing the one that Timmy and Isaac occupied. Mary held court from her big chair, and followed the conversation with interest.

"Thank you, sir…I had been expecting to get that news most of my life, so it wasn't a shock when they told me. I'm glad it's over and I can stop waiting for her to come back for me, so I wanted to see you and thank you for giving me that." Timmy said. The old man was taken back a bit by Timmy's maturity, he hadn't been sure what to expect, but Timmy was putting them all at ease.

"How long have you been waiting, Timmy?" he wondered.

"She disappeared before I was old enough to remember her at all, almost eleven years or so?" he answered

'How old are you, son?" Fred asked

"I'm twelve, Mister Williams" Timmy said.

"She's been ….away… since you were a baby, then."

"Yes, exactly. It was just me and my father after that." Timmy explained. Fred addressed Isaac,

"So, Isaac, are you Timmy's extended family?" Fred asked

"Yes, sir, I suppose you could say that, although we are not actually kin…I'm Timmy's legal guardian…his dad is ill and no longer able to take care of Timmy" Isaac said, deftly handling that one…

"As far as I'm concerned, Isaac is my big brother…simple as that" Timmy stated.

"We sure hope your dad gets well, then, Timmy." Fred offered.

"Me too, thanks" Timmy said, not wanting to go into the truth at the moment. Isaac didn't elaborate either, much to Timmy's relief.

"Ummm, could you tell me how it happened when you found ….her" Timmy asked.

Mrs. Williams stammered, "Oh, uh, I'm-"

"It's OK, I really want to know…" Timmy began to say

"Oh, honey, it's not that…you see, little Brandon actually made the discovery….Brandon, are you okay with telling Timmy about it, honey?"

Timmy felt guilty and selfish that he hadn't considered the possibility that the little boy may have been traumatized by his experience.

"Brandon, you don't have to if you can't do it. It's okay" Timmy said. They were all surprised when Brandon got up and moved over to the other couch and sat with Timmy.

"I'll tell you" the small boy said. Timmy put his arm around Brandon's shoulder, and the child did not mind or move away. Mary and Fred exchanged glances, as it was unusual for little Brandon to take to new people so rapidly.

"Me and grampa were down at our spot under the bridge fishing. We wuddn't catchin'

nuthin', and I had to pee" Brandon giggled and Mary turned scarlet and put her face in her hands as he told them that, and Isaac cracked up silently watching her and Fred's reactions.

The boy continued "So I went down the bank so the cars wuddn't see me peein' and I looked down and seen a shiny thing in the mud. When I bent down to see what it was, there were ….." the child trailed off, not sure what to say.

"Bones?" Timmy helped him along.

Brandon looked up in Timmy's eyes and nodded.

"That must have been scary, huh?" Timmy said, comforting the little boy, who nodded again.

"It rattled him pretty badly, I'm afraid" Mary said.

"I'm sorry you had to see that, Brandon. Do you feel better now that you told me about it?" Timmy asked.

"Yes" Brandon replied. "I'm real sorry it was your mom, Timmy" he said very quietly.

"Brandon, you don't know how much it means to me to finally know. Thank you so much for being brave enough to tell me the story" Timmy said as he pulled Brandon into a hug.

"Are you gonna be all right?"

"Yup!" Brandon replied. "Can I go play now?"

"Sure, go on" Fred said

"See you guys, bye!' Brandon said excited, as he got up to leave.

"Bye, Brandon!" Isaac and Timmy called out almost in unison.

"My, I have never seen him take to someone like he has to you, Timmy!" Mary remarked.

"I just hope that didn't stir up bad things for him, ma'am" Timmy said. "I'm really grateful that he wanted to talk to me about it."

"I think it did him a lot of good, actually. He had bad dreams for a while after it happened, and he never talked about that day with us afterward…I think he really did want to talk, and you were the trigger he needed." Fred surmised.

Timmy could certainly relate to the bad dreams; he hoped getting Brandon to open up helped with those. It was time to take their leave, and they thanked the Williams' again for agreeing to see them. Isaac and Mrs. Williams exchanged phone numbers and Timmy offered to come visit Brandon again if the little boy wanted that.

On the way back home, Isaac asked Timmy if he was okay. Timmy replied, "Yes, I think so….I really do" he smiled, leaned over the console and gave Isaac a peck on the right cheek as Isaac drove.

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