Castle Roland

The Apprentice

by Sahypo

In Progress

Chapter 32

Posted: 31 Mar 16

The Apprentice

Copyright © by Sahypo

The morning dawned early as usual, and Timmy got up before William again, and caught a shower with Isaac like they usually always did. William was awake in bed as Timmy came back to the room, and William watched Timmy dress carefully. He noticed the asymmetry of Timmy's scrotum, and the foreskin that didn't look like Isaac's or the books in the school library science and biology section. Those same books had planted the seeds of worry in Timmy's mind too, until he and Isaac searched the internet and found the answers Timmy had been seeking. William had been forming questions in his mind about Timmy's anatomy too, but was not ready to bring these thoughts up with his new friend and mentor.

Instead, he rolled over on his side and threw the blankets back, exposing his small nude frame, and sat up in the bed.

"Timmy?" William said as Timmy combed out his hair. He always needed a haircut, it seemed.

"What's up?" Timmy responded.

"I enjoyed our talk last night, and the back scratch was great...thanks." The boy said.

"I'm glad you trusted me enough to talk about things, William." Timmy responded. "And I like giving the scratches."

"Do you scratch Sean like that too?"



"Yeah, sure."


"He likes them too, yes. Do you need a shower before school?"

William nodded. "Will you wash my hair like you did yesterday?"

"No, I'm already dressed, but I will next time if you ask me." Timmy replied.

"Okay, next time, then." William said, and suddenly threw his arms around Timmy.

"Whoa, what's this for, big guy?" Timmy wondered, trapped by a naked kid hugging him tight.

"I um, I didn't know what to expect when I got here, and um, I was afraid you and Sean were mean or something when you came up to the car and um...I wanted to run but I was too scared."

Timmy didn't know what to say, so he rubbed William's back and let the child continue to squeeze him like a boa constrictor. Suddenly, he heard gasps as William tried to breathe between sobs, and felt his young captor shaking a bit. Timmy knew that things had finally "hit" William, and the trauma of last Sunday was manifesting itself.

"Aw, William. We knew what you had been through was bad, but we didn't know what was in your head or what you saw...I'm sorry you felt afraid, but we knew you were scared out of your wits and needed some quiet time...I really didn't know what to say to make you feel better...I figured I couldn't say anything to help, so we just kept you busy with the bed and your clothes and stuff. I figured when you were needing to talk that you would."

William sniffed and sobbed as he clung to Timmy.

"You all right? Got to get that shower now if you want it. We can talk all night tonight if you want."

"It did help...I mean keeping me busy and stuff." William admitted as he let Timmy go and stood up and padded out of the room. He needed to pee. He turned the shower water on, and got in the tub when the water came on, and relaxed his bladder and watched the stream arc out of his small acorn. He took a quick shower and dried off, and found Timmy had left the room when he returned to get dressed. He heard Timmy and Sean at the kitchen table talking and rushed to get dressed to join them.

Timmy had a bowl of cereal set out for William and told him to eat fast. His bus would be less than 15 minutes. The boys sat and talked about school and Timmy reminded William that Isaac would pick them up, and not to board his bus in the afternoon.

"I won't forget, promise." William said with his characteristic seriousness. Timmy looked at Sean and said, "I am going to meet his mom and Wesley today."

"What about me? I wanna go too!" Sean whined.

"Aw, Jesus, don't do that..." Timmy clucked. "You know how I hate to see you beg."

"I'll show you beggin'..." Sean grinned, as he reached into Timmy's lap and made hand motions like he was masturbating his friend at the same time he tried to put his tongue in Timmy's ear, putting great emphasis on each action. "Please, oh please, can I go, Timmy?" Sean whined in the most irritating voice he could come up with, as William completely cracked up laughing at the scene. Timmy turned bright red, embarrassed that Sean was doing that in front of William. He squirmed to avoid Sean's tongue as air blasted out the fourteen year old's mouth as he laughed.

"I'm not sure our guest needs to see that, neighbor." Timmy said, as Sean cackled and William almost had milk running out of his nose. Finally getting under control, William

tried to save Sean's honor, if there was such a thing.

"Don't worry, the kids in my school do this too" William stated, making the fist motion so familiar to boys. He understood this gesture made other kids laugh, but if truth was to be told, William had no clue as to how one actually did such a thing...Another one of the questions he would ask when the time was right.

Isaac popped out of the woodwork and padded into the kitchen in a pair of briefs to fetch coffee. He farted in the kitchen, igniting a new round of laughter around the kitchen table.

"Good morning, love you too!" Sean cracked, as Isaac grunted. He couldn't figure out what made him so tired the last few days, like he was dead on his feet. He sat down at the table, and poured some cereal.

"Change of plans. Sean wants to go with us this afternoon." Timmy said.

"Okay...what time do you get out?" Isaac asked.

"3:45" Sean stated. "I'll skip the last hour, it's PE." Sean hated that period, even though he was no longer one of the late bloomers. Maybe he would feel better about the class next semester, when he was on more of an even playing field physically with the other boys.

Isaac did some math in his head and told Sean he would get him at 3:45, but Timmy and William should just take the bus home, since there was almost an hour difference in the three school's bus times. They both got out of school at 3:30, whereas Sean's last class ended at 4:35.

Isaac didn't say anything to the boys, but decided to drop by Doctor Selden's office when it opened. His lack of energy and strength was beginning to worry him.

"Isaac? Doc will see you now." Delilah smiled as she held the door open and Isaac left the waiting room. He was intercepted by a nurse and weighed, then shown to a room.

"You've been feeling out of sorts and run down, it says." She stated.

"The last few days, yes." Isaac admitted.

She patted the table and Isaac sat on the end as she cuffed his right arm and began to squeeze the bulb. A minute later, she had her readings and announced

"This is a bit low, but nothing to worry about. Unbutton your shirt, please."

Isaac complied and sat there as she attached skin electrodes for a 12 lead EKG hookup. It took longer to connect the wires than it did to run Isaac's EKG for a minute. She yanked the tape out of the printer with Isaac's cardio traces and put it in the chart, and began to pull the electrodes off Isaac's body, leaving little red circles on his skin. She then took Isaac's temp and it was elevated.

"Do you feel feverish?"

"Not really, no."

"You're temp is 99.5. Its a bit elevated."

Doctor Selden came in just at that moment. "Hello, Isaac, how are you and the family?"

"They are doing fine, doc, Thanks. I'm a bit rundown and feeling crummy the last few days. Waking up exhausted."

" long has this been going on now?"

"Three, four days?" Isaac guessed.

"Well, your blood pressure is good, which it always was, your EKG looks normal, and your temp is up a snick. Lets have a listen."

Isaac eased his shirt off and Doc ran his stethoscope over his chest and back, picking up the tell-tale signs of fluid in a patient's lungs. he continued to listen for borborygmus, or gut sounds. Satisfied that the stethoscope had told him all it could, Doc decided on a course of action.

"Have you been having allergies or a chest cold lately, Isaac?"

Isaac nodded "Yes...I've had congestion the last few days"

"All righty, then. Let's get some blood drawn and we'll go from there." Doc Selden nodded to the nurse, and she left the room to get a blood draw tray with vaccu-tainers

and the special sleeved doubled ended needle. A minute later, and three containers held samples of Isaac's blood. Selden's office was next door to a commercial high volume lab for medical and drug tests. Once the samples had been dropped off in a tray that was for "patient waiting" testing, it would take about 15 minutes to get the information Doc Selden needed to confirm his diagnosis.

As expected, Isaac had an elevated white cell count in addition to the temperature reading, indicating that he was fighting an infection. Doc diagnosed him with a low grade pneumonia and gave his patient some advice.

"You have a touch of pneumonia, young man. The antibiotic I will prescribe will help, but expect to feel crummy a bit longer. Now, are you allergic to penicillin, Isaac?"

"I'm not sure I ever had penicillin, Doc." Isaac answered, not knowing for sure.

"If you had, I probably gave it to you....lemme check." Isaac's history was about an inch thick. Doc Selden had been Isaac's primary physician since he was a week old, so if Isaac had been on any medication, it should be in the file.

"Ah, here it were seven...probably had a touch of the same bug. All right...I am....going to put you on.......Amoxycillin." Doc said as he wrote a prescription. "I'm going to give you some samples, because I want you on this immediately, and you are to stay on these pills until you run out of them, no matter what, understand?"

Isaac nodded "Yes, Sir"

"Good....'cause if you stop before you are done, you could have a breakthrough, where your infection comes back."

"Yes, Sir, I've heard about that." Isaac replied.

"You can put your shirt on, and I do hope you feel better soon, Isaac." Doc said with a smile. "Delilah will take care of your paperwork." Doc ushered Isaac out of the exam room and ducked into his office to write a prescription for Isaac. He kept a closet full of drug samples, and grabbed a handful of sample packs to get Isaac started.

"Go ahead and take one of these now, and then one in the morning, one at night, for three weeks. Now, if you don't see any improvement in two days, or you get worse, call me right away. We might have to put you on something else."

"Right, Doc. Thanks." Isaac replied.

"I'll be seeing you, then, take care." Doc said as he put the script on the counter and pulled the chart for his next patient. Delilah scheduled Isaac to be back in for a check in two weeks, and Isaac was free to go. He went to his ten o'clock class and didn't feel like lunch, so he decided to drop the script off on the way home and sleep until William's bus came. He would wait on Timmy's bus then take the boys to the high school and get Sean.

He didn't realize how bushed he was until he was awakened by William when he got home.

"Isaac, are you okay? You're still in bed...Are you sick?" William wondered. The black squirrel eyes were wide.

"Oh, hey, big guy. Yeah, I've got a touch of something. I went to the doctor this morning and got a prescription."

"You aren't going to die, are you?" William asked, cracking a grin.

"You little twerp....I got your dying right here!" Isaac said, grabbing William and pulling the boy on to the bed and tickling him as William began to giggle and shriek. They continued to tussle for a few minutes until William relaxed, worn out from the struggle. Isaac didn't want to push his breathing either at the moment, so they lay on the bed, William on top the covers fully dressed in his school clothes, and Isaac in briefs under the covers.

William regained his wind and flopped down on Isaac straddling him and trying to hold the older boy's wrists down. Seventy pounds of ten year old wasn't quite enough, and Isaac easily pinned William's wrists together and began to tickle the boy again with his free hand.

"Now what are you going to do, Mister?" Isaac teased.

"Scream!" William giggled, and began cackling with laughter as Isaac went after the smooth little belly and skinny ribs. "Stop! stop! you're gonna make me pee, for real!" William protested, and Isaac let him go.

"Didn't you go at school before you got on the bus?" Isaac asked.

William got off the bed and went into Isaac's bathroom. He didn't bother with the door, pulled his jeans down in front and let fly. "I don't like to go at school that much." he said, as his stream came to an end and he pulled his pants and briefs back up and flushed.

"Any reason why?" Isaac asked gently.

"Umm, once these two big kids pulled my pants down and laughed at my weenie." William said.

"Sounds to me like they had issues themselves." Isaac said.

"What do you mean?" William said, sitting on Isaac again.

"Well a lot of times when kids pick on other kids and make fun of them, they have things they don't like about themselves...Either that, or they just did it because they wanted to see your weenie."


"Sometimes boys are curious about other boy's weenies at your age, William."

"Oh" William replied absorbing this. "Is that bad?"

"No, as long as you don't let curiosity make you do things that you shouldn't...those boys were wrong to pull your pants down. But what goes on in your head is yours as long as it doesn't hurt other people. Does that make sense?"

"Yes....they didn't beat me up or nothing like that." William added.

"Would you have chosen to show them your weenie and have them laugh at it?" Isaac asked, pointing out that William didn't have a choice in the matter.

"No" William replied.

"Then what they did was wrong, wasn't it?" Isaac asked, delivering his closing argument.

"Um, yeah, I guess so."

"We all have choices between right and wrong, and how we treat people in our lives is the most important thing, William."

William leaned forward and hugged Isaac before he got off of him, and said "Can I watch TV until Timmy gets here?"

"Yeah...I got to get up anyway and get moving." Isaac said. His nap hadn't really made him feel a lot better, and hopefully the hospital visit wouldn't be too much of a drain. He put his clothes back on as the television played in the living room and William would laugh at something from time to time. Timmy's arrival was announced by the thud of his book bag on the floor, and the sound of the front door closing.

"Hey, little man!" Timmy greeted William. "Whatcha watching?"

"Some show about lizards and stuff" William said, not taking his eyes off the program. The film crew was chasing some sort of large goanna in Australia through the bush. William just knew this couldn't end well. Someone was bound to get in a sticker bush or bitten by the goanna or catch poison ivy.

Timmy sat next to William and they watched the show for a minute. William turned to Timmy and said "Isaac's sick. He went to the doctor today."

"Okay, thanks" Timmy said, getting up off the couch to find his brother. Isaac was getting dressed slowly in the master bedroom and Timmy walked in.

"You look like shit, Isaac. Are you okay?"

"I feel about the way I look...Doc says I'm working on pneumonia, gave me some pills."

"Do you want to call off the hospital stop today?" Timmy asked.

"No....I don't feel that bad...and William was counting on you and Sean going." Isaac said.

"Okay, well...I guess we cut it short if you need to come home." Timmy said.

"I'll be fine. I'm not feeling any worse than I did this morning. I'm sure I'll make it."

They locked up and headed to the high school and found Sean sitting out on the steps at the pass through for the busses. Timmy and William rode in the back seat of the Golf so Sean could jump in and go. On the way to the hospital, Timmy leaned forward in the back seat and asked.

"Isaac, when do you think I could start to learn to drive?" Isaac and Sean turned around in their seats and looked at Timmy.

"Uh, you got a while to go, Sport. Is there any rush?"

"No, not really, but I'm thinking the old green car is just going to rot sitting there."

Timmy's old Pontiac had been in front of the house since Timmy inherited it. Isaac had removed the car's battery and brought it in the garage where it sat next to the battery for the blue Porsche.

"Well, when I feel better, maybe we can take it up to the park and you can start some lessons." Isaac said.

"Cool, thanks, Isaac." Timmy said as they arrived at the hospital.

Once off the elevator, Isaac spied Melanie at the nurses station and made his way over.

"Hey guys! I see you all came this time." Sean walked over and gave his mother a big hug, and William looked a bit surprised until he remembered that Melanie was Sean's mom. "Hi there, Mister William!" Melanie beamed, her warmth infectious. William blushed "Hi!"

"Isaac, you no lookie so good!" Melanie teased.

"Actually, I wonder if you have a mask...I'm on antibiotics for mild pneumonia. I'm sure I shouldn't be here, but I didn't want to disappoint William."

"Sure... I'll get you one, stay right here...And I'll be keeping an eye on you too. If you don't start getting better, I'll take you back to the doc, Isaac."

Melanie disappeared around a corner, and came back a moment later with a surgical mask she helped Isaac put on.

"Thanks Melanie. I hope I don't spread this." Isaac said.

"The mask is more for your protection. I wouldn't spend a lot of time up here until you're well." Melanie advised.

Isaac nodded. "Let's do this, folks" he said to the boys and they made their way to Claire's room.

William whispered quietly "Remember, mom has a broken jaw." Sean and Timmy weren't quite sure why he told them that until Claire spoke.

Sean and Timmy filed in after William and he made introductions. "Mom, this is Timmy, Isaac's brother, and Sean, our friend. Timmy and Sean shook Claire's hand and greeted her, and Timmy moved a chair over so Isaac could sit. Claire watched this, noting the mask Isaac was wearing.

"Isaac, are you all right?"

"I'm a little off my feed at the moment, nothing to worry about, ma'am."

Timmy and Sean climbed into the other chair together, trying to perch on the arms, as William stood next to his mother on the opposite side of the bed.

"Well, with three boys to watch, you must...." Claire began. William broke in

"Timmy makes sure me and Sean get our homework done and I get on the bus in the morning and stuff."

"Where do you go to school, Timmy?" Claire wondered.

"I'm in the magnet program at Central Middle." Timmy answered.

"How about you, Sean?"

"Freshmen, Central High. Timmy's a lot smarter than me." Sean said, roughing up Timmy's hair. Timmy blew sticks of wayward hair out of eyes as Sean and William giggled.

"Yeah, but you should hear Sean play music. He's truly gifted." Timmy replied. "They don't know what to do with him in the music department."

After some more small talk, Claire asked William if he would go see Wesley. She wanted to talk to Isaac and Timmy alone. Sean offered to take William up, which William gratefully accepted. He still felt somewhat fearful of getting lost in the huge building, although he knew the way.

"Has William begun to talk about what happened that night?" Claire asked. Timmy looked to Isaac, who nodded.

"Yes ma'am. He has been asking me about anger, and whether it's right to hate people." Timmy said, and Claire's heart sank.

"I know he means me....I've screwed up so badly." she said.

"We also talked about choices and burdens...that if he chooses to hate its going to be hard work, and it will eat him up." Timmy said. "I'm expecting him to be angry and need to talk about that too. When he wants to, we will."

"How old are you?" Claire asked.

"Twelve" Timmy replied.

"How did you learn these things, son?"

"I had a lot of reasons to hate...I had to learn to choose not to." Timmy said, looking down into his hands.

"Who helped you learn that?"

"Isaac it's my turn to pay it forward with William." Timmy said, his eyes glistening. Isaac came over to stand behind the chair and rub Timmy's shoulders as the boy wiped his eyes. Claire could see that she was witnessing something special, the way Sean and Timmy had built each other up, and the bond that Isaac and Timmy had.

"William is going to be okay, ma'am. He talks to me, and he isn't holding things in."

"How was he the first night, the night it happened?" Claire asked.

"He had bad dreams right away, so he slept next to me. We talked about the bad dreams I used to have when Isaac would stay with me, and that we wouldn't let anything happen to him. That first night was bad. He didn't sleep at all, until like Tuesday night."

"Thank you for being there with him....I hope he's putting something on when he sleeps." Claire worried.

Timmy didn't have the heart to tell her that her ten year old had no concern about being seen in the buff, and from what she said, it seems that the boys usually didn't have anything on when they slept...

"Um, the only problem we are gonna have with William is giving him back...We are all pretty attached to him already." Isaac said, which made Claire try to smile.

"Thank God Detective Walsh made a good choice when he suggested you." Claire replied.

Isaac leaned down and spoke to Timmy. "Could I talk to Claire for minute...I will be up to see Wesley in a few minutes."

"Here, you should sit, bro." Timmy said, relinquishing the chair for Isaac.

"I won't be long." Isaac said. Timmy nodded as he walked to the door and left.

"Claire, I would like to take William on some outings that I have planned for the boys, and wonder if you were okay with that."

"That would be wonderful...Would William need money for that?" Claire wondered.

"No, the county check will take care of that. Does William have a savings account yet?"

"No, why?" Claire wondered.

"Okay, I opened one for William at my bank. The reimbursements that the county will send will be put in there, minus what he spends...I want to teach him some basic money skills while he is with us."

"Oh, that's wonderful. Thank you so much Isaac. It's such a relief not having to worry about William."

"Well, we enjoy having him so much too." Isaac replied.

"Isaac, if this is none of my business tell me, but what did happen to Timmy?"

"It's okay. He won't mind if I tell you. Um, his mother was murdered when he was a baby. Spent the next eleven years living with a man who abused him, and allowed others to do that too. I met him a little over a year ago, and took him in as his guardian when the man threw him out in the street ...I had him sign the document and we never looked back."

"Dear God in Heaven..." Claire's jaw would have been open if it weren't wired.

"So Jack, the man, died of cancer this summer, and my parents filed for adoption. We got him about a week ago. His adoption was final the Friday before the uh, incident occurred at your house."

"He does know a thing or two about hate, I guess. So this...Jack... was not his father?"

"No, Jack took his mother in, and kept Timmy after she disappeared. We know Jack didn't kill her. Timmy's real father came forward to find Timmy after her murder was solved, and they have a relationship now."

"Really, even though Timmy was adopted into your family?"

"Yes, ma'am. Timmy has two families now. You see, his father didn't know about Timmy until this year. He had started a family of his own, Timmy's step brothers. He respected Timmy's wishes to go ahead with the adoption, so it all worked out. All of us are Timmy's extended family now."

"I still can't believe this man just threw that boy out and basically gave him to you."

Isaac rested his chin on his knuckles, his elbows on his knees and replied

"Claire, Jack was dying, and I'm sure he knew he was. The night he threw Timmy's clothes on the porch, he knew Timmy was with me that day, and that I would never just leave him. I'm sure that he was completely desperate and did what he did to make sure Timmy had a home. Timmy had to work through eleven years of abuse and ...well...shit to forgive Jack, but he did. He's also forgiven his mother's killer."

Claire didn't say anything for a few moments as she digested all this.

"He's in the magnet program, he said? You think of kids like him being all screwed up and going in the wrong direction."

"Yes, ma'am. His courses are college level. I can't even read his homework. I have enough trouble with mine. And, he was pretty screwed up when he found me."

"What do you do, Isaac?"

"I'm in college full time studying for aviation mechanic, and I manage my parent's rental properties. We bought the house next to mine and when Sean moved here from New York his mother rented it."

"Sean and Timmy are very close?"

"Like brothers. Sean had problems too, and they have been good for each other."

"I can certainly see that....Isaac? Would you do something for me?" Claire asked.

"If I can. What is it?"

"Would you ask Timmy if he is interested in tutoring Wesley and being paid? I'm afraid Wesley is going to lose the school year and get held back unless he can keep up with his class."

"I will certainly ask him, and let you know."

"Great, thanks. By the way, what kind of outings have you planned?" Claire asked.

"Oh...yeah...I am going to take the boys on a steam railroad excursion, and also some things here in town, like laser tag, bowling and miniature golf. And whatever else I come up with to keep them busy."

"That sounds great, Isaac." Claire said. "He would love to do all those things."

"Yes, ma'am" Isaac replied "Please don't tell William...I take Timmy places and don't tell him where we're going until we got there. The surprise is always his favorite part of the trip."

"I wouldn't say a word." Claire replied.

"I'll let you rest now." Isaac said.

"Thanks, Isaac. Bye for now."

Isaac took her hand and gave it a light squeeze. "Bye, Claire." He left the room. It was time for dinner on the floor.

Isaac found the boys gathered around Wesley's bed, talking and looking at the orthopedic appliances in Wesley's right arm and shoulder. Wesley had half a head of hair, and decided to ask that his head be shaved. It would be a clean break from a past he no longer cared to remember. He was asking William if they could bring him a hat when they came again.

Isaac said that he would come up with something, and conveyed Claire's proposal to Timmy and Wesley.

"This would be like a job, then?" Timmy asked.

"She said she would pay you, yeah." Isaac replied. "How do you feel about this, Wesley?"

"I do got to get caught up...but I'm right handed. How am I going to write?" Wesley wondered.

"Timmy would probably have to write your responses until they pin your arm. I understand that you should be able to write once they do that." Isaac said.

"I know I have to have surgery again" Wesley said. He didn't sound enthused about the thought. "I'm sure we can figure all this out."

"The other issue is how do I get to and from here every day." Timmy said.

"Let's talk to your school about all that. They probably have a plan for things like this." Isaac suggested. The boys decided that was a good idea, just as the afternoon nurse brought Wesley's evening meal. Isaac gave Timmy a high sign that they should be going, and the boys said their goodbyes and left Wesley with his Salisbury steak and sides. On the way to the elevator, Timmy asked Isaac

"How are you holding up?"

"I feel like hammered fish poop, but I'll make it." Isaac replied, cracking up the boys. William looked up at Isaac when he quit laughing and said

"I wish you felt better, Isaac."

"Thank you, William. I sure wish I did too. Do you guys know what this little turd asked me this afternoon?"

Timmy and Sean shook their heads


"No, what?"

"You're not going to die, are you? Like I owe him money or something!" William giggled at being told on, and Timmy and Sean found that quite funny as well.

Once the boys were buckled in and on the way home, thoughts turned to dinner, and Isaac was in no shape to cook. "Should we order pizzas?" he suggested. At once a huge discussion ensued as to who liked which toppings. In the end, it was decided to get supremes with all the toppings, and Sean and Timmy promised to pull off the "little black diddlywhacker thingies" that William didn't like.

"You mean the olives" Timmy stated.

"That's what I said!" William replied, cracking the older boys up.

"We'll take those...will that work?" Sean asked.

"Yeah! Everything else is good." William replied.

"Good. Me and Sean'll fight over the olives." Timmy promised.

"Maybe I want his olives, too." Isaac suggested, watching for the faces in the rear view mirror.

"Oh, uh, sure, ...That's cool" Sean stumbled. Timmy also tried to act as if they weren't going to cut Isaac out of the loot, as Isaac grinned and looked at William in the front seat, and gave the little boy a wink. William smiled as he caught on. Isaac really could care less one way or the other about olives. He just wanted to mess with the audience.

Once they got home and out of the car, Isaac dialed the local pizzeria, Sabatini's. The owner's daughter was manning the phones this evening and verified Isaac's address and took his order for two large supremes, with olives on half of one, and on all of the other pizza.

"Twenty six dollars, Sir and about Thirty two minutes."

"Awesome, thanks" Isaac said, ending the call.

"Well, this should be would be better if Peter was here." Sean observed. William's eyebrows pinched as the question showed on his face. Isaac chuckled. William hadn't been there the last time the pizza boy came.

Timmy smiled at William and said, "You'll see."

When the pizza arrived, a teenage boy about seventeen years old pulled up in front of the house in a green Geo Metro that was clearly entering a second lifetime. This was one of those cars that a kid would pay a hundred bucks for, as long as it ran for a job like this. It was also good for tips; people would tip better than they would a driver in nice wheels. Blue eyed, dark hair that needed a cut. Lightly built and average height, he was a kid

not likely to stand out in a crowd of teenagers.

The boys had been watching the street, and Isaac went out to pay the driver and collect the pies from the hot pouch. William didn't understand what was so interesting about a business transaction on the sidewalk, but stood next to Sean and Timmy in the doorway.

The boy thanked Isaac, and left, as Isaac returned to the front door and the boys let him through.

"Definitely an eight." Isaac stated. "Very cute, not too tall...built just right. Nice eyes."

"Yeah, Peter would definitely have scored him high." Timmy agreed.

"Why?" William asked.

"Peter likes to rate the pizza boys on how cute they are." Sean explained.

"You guys are nuts...boys aren't cute." William protested.

"Oh yes they are, why look at this one here!" Timmy said as he grabbed William and began to wrestle him, going for the ticklish rib spots. Sean joined in as William began to screech and laugh as the two bigger boys dragged him over to the couch and began to work him over, tickling the neck, underarms, ribs and feet after Sean relieved him of his shoes.

"I think this one is super cute, right, Sean?" William had completely lost any chance of controlling what was happening, and was for the most part riding this out, laughing his head off and screaming.

"He sure is...but he makes so much noise for such a little thing!" Sean replied "Stinky feet, too."

William cackled and tried to poke his foot at Sean, who countered by grabbing the leg and tickling behind the knee.

"Hey, we have another winner, Timmy! The knees are ticklish too!" Sean said.

"Man this sure is good pizza." Isaac said from the kitchen table. Instantly Sean and Timmy released William and left him panting on the couch, completely spent.

"That's not out." William complained as he got up and made his way to the table.

"Survival of the fittest!" Timmy said.

"Yeah, if you run with the big dogs, you're gonna get fur on the couch." Sean proclaimed.

Every one turned to stare at him.

"Huh?" Isaac said.

"Wha...?" was Williams' reaction

"What the hell does that even mean?" Timmy asked as Isaac began to laugh hard. He had to get up from the table as he began to cough. He was reminded to take his antibiotics.

"You know, the thing about if you can't run with the big dogs,....that one." Sean asked.

"Stay on the porch" William finished. "It's "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch." Wesley says that a lot when we wrestle."

"That's it....See, he's cute and smart, too." Sean replied.

"I'm not cute!" William protested. It was Isaac who decided to step in and calm down the argument over the virtues of cuteness.

"Now William, just say "Thank you, Sean". Little boys your age are cute, and very soon that will go away, so enjoy it while it lasts. In a few years you'll be all bumpy and ugly like these two." William giggled at that.

"We are not bumpy!" Timmy protested. "I only have two zits, and Sean's got...Like four!"

"Thanks, just said I'm twice as bumpy as you are." Sean teased.

"Well, Isaac did say ugly, too..." Timmy poked back.

"Just you wait, bumpy dog!" Sean cracked, as William laughed and Isaac shook his head.

The rest of the pizza disappeared quickly and the boys quickly began the day's homework assignments. William had decided to work math tonight, and had no trouble with ratios and proportions. He was soon finished, leaving Timmy and Sean to writing assignments.

After William left the table, Sean nudged Timmy under the table with a knee. "We missed our Sunday evening update."

"I know. Wanna take care of that?"

Sean nodded. Timmy got up from the table and walked into the living room. "Hey William, do you like bubble bath?" he asked.

"Sure!" William responded. He was already off the couch, heading for the bathroom.

"That was easy" Timmy mouthed to Sean, as he followed the child into the bathroom and found some bubble bath, probably left over from when Isaac was William's age. The boy had already undressed and stood there waiting for the water to fill as Timmy poured a couple capfuls of the soap into the water.

He left a towel on the toilet, gathered the dirty clothes and left William to enjoy his bath. After leaving the clothes in the washer, he gathered Sean in the kitchen and said "let's go." Less than a minute later, they eased the back door on Sean's house open and slipped in, going straight back to Sean's room. He turned on the small stereo tuned to a local FM station. Melanie was working an evenings schedule, and Sean wouldn't see her until around 10:30. He took out the measuring tape and camera, and pulled his shoes off. Lowering his zipper, he dropped his jeans and stepped out of them, as Timmy began to stroke him through his briefs. Timmy hooked his fingers in the briefs and slid them down Sean's thighs, exposing his boyhood. Standing behind Sean, Timmy worked his friend's

erection until Sean said it was ready. Timmy picked up the camera and held it while Sean readied the tape across the top of his organ, and Timmy took the photo.

Sean wrapped the tape around his shaft to measure the girth, and another photo was taken to document it.

"Same as last time?" Timmy asked.

"Yeah, I think so. Let me check" Sean said, opening the file on his computer for his journal. "No change from the week before." He entered today's figures and the date, then closed the file and deleted the pictures from the camera. Turning to Timmy, he pulled Timmy's zipper down, and lay on the bed. After Timmy got his pants down, he lay down next to Sean, and the friends began to masturbate each other to climax. It didn't take long for either of them to release several days of sexual tension.

"I guess we should be getting back before William misses us." Sean said.

"Yeah, that wouldn't do." Timmy agreed.

They cleaned up with some of Sean's laundry, got dressed and went back to Timmy's living room. William was still in the bath, and Timmy looked in on him. The entire tub was filled with bubbles, and only William's face was visible.

"Doing all right, little man?" Timmy asked. William flashed a thumbs up and Timmy slipped back out. "Make sure you wash your hair, too."

"I will."

William played in the bath until the water began to get cooler, then opened the drain and stood up, watching the bubbles slide down his body. Turning on the water, he adjusted the temperature to suit, and began a shower to wash his hair. When he finished, he wrapped up in the towel and headed to the living room, and wedged himself between Timmy and Sean, who were sharing a bowl of popcorn watching TV.

"Oooh! Popcorn!" William's eyes grew wide.

"Extra butter, too" Sean reported, as William dug in. Timmy got up and came back with more ice tea for him and Sean, and a fresh glass for William.

"So what was going on in the back yard when I was in the bathtub?" William wondered, as Sean and Timmy looked at each other.

"The back yard?" Timmy asked.

"Yeah, I could hear you guys walking in the grass back there." William said, matter of fact.

"Oh, well, me and Timmy robbed a bank and decided to check on the money." Sean said in a serious deadpan. "It's hidden under my bed."

"It isn't anymore, Mister he knows all about it." Timmy protested. William began to giggle

"You two are so full of...." William never got to finish the sentence before the boys attacked from both sides, tickling William in the ribs and around the neck.

"Sean, I was just getting to kind of like him, and now you spilled the beans and we're just gonna have to bump him off."

"Yeah, it's too bad, ain't it." Sean agreed as they tickled the boy into exhaustion. He flopped on to the floor on his back and the towel fell open, exposing himself to Sean's view. He recovered quickly and rearranged the towel around him self and sat back on the couch between the older boys.

"Ain't shy, is he?" Sean asked.

"Not a bit" Timmy replied, as William giggled and had more popcorn.

What Timmy said had a large kernel of truth to it. William had fit in like he had always belonged here.

In another twenty minutes, Timmy began to hear a small strange noise come and go at intervals, and realized that William was asleep and just beginning to snore.

"I think this one has had it." Timmy whispered, as he stood up and leaned over to pull William up into a fireman's carry. Thank God he's not a fat kid, Timmy thought as he carried William down the hall to his room. He whipped the bedding to one side and poured William into the bed, removing the towel as he covered the child. William didn't wake up.

Sean had followed Timmy down the hall, and stood in the doorway. "I think I'm gonna go practice some stuff I been working on." Sean said, referring to songs he was learning to play. "I'll see you in the morning."

"Cool bro...see ya." Timmy replied, as Sean went back down the hall and out the patio door. Timmy took his clothes off and started the shower. He climbed in and stood in the heat enjoying the spray for a good ten minutes until he started going through the motions of washing his hair. He heard noises outside the shower curtain and peeked through the crack to see William standing at the sink in the nude, brushing his teeth. The shower must have woken him up, Timmy thought. William finished brushing, and Timmy could hear him, as he put the toilet lid down. Timmy peeked out again to see William sitting there, waiting for Timmy, as if he wanted something. Timmy finished the shower, turned the water off, and William was still there when he opened the curtain and reached for a towel.

"Want a penny?" Timmy asked.

"What?" William answered, confused.

"I'll give you a penny for your thoughts." Timmy replied, holding an imaginary penny between his fingers out to William. William reached over and took the "penny"

"Oh, I get it.....Um,, like how long do I get to stay here and stuff?" William asked. Timmy thought about this for a minute, then answered. "Is everything okay, William, are you happy? Is there anything you need to tell us?"

"Oh, nothing like that no, I love it here with you guys." William said.

"You will be here as long as it takes for your mom and Wesley to get well enough to take care of you again...There's no rush." Timmy promised.

"Okay" William said.

"Are you afraid that you might be moved to another place, or something like that?" Timmy ventured.

"One of the kids at school had to go to nine different homes." William admitted. This had been on his mind a lot from the moment Walsh had taken him out of his mother's house.

"I think Mister Walsh brought you here so that wouldn't happen, William. I'm pretty sure you're not going anywhere except back home when the time comes. That's what he told Isaac when he asked us if you could stay here."

Okay" William repeated.

"Are you still nervous about going home when you go?" Timmy asked, trying to make sure that William had a chance to get at whatever it was he needed to talk about.

"Um, maybe a little...I'm gonna give mom a chance." William declared.

"You know, you guys don't live more than about six or eight blocks from here, right?" Timmy observed, and William nodded his head.


"So you can always come here if you want to, or if you need to. If something bad happens, you and Wesley book it out of there and come here. You can always do that."

Timmy sat on the edge of the tub and the two boys were at close to the same eye level now.

"Really?" William asked.

"Look, William, everybody needs help sometime. If there's trouble you can come here, always. Anything else bothering you?"

William shook his head. "If anything does bother you, let's talk about it?" Timmy offered.

"We will, yeah." William assured him.

"Good" Timmy said as he started to get up.

"Um, won't get mad if I ask you something?" William wondered.

"Not for asking a question, no. What do you want to know?"

"Okay, um, you see this?" William asked, pointing to the small pink vertical orifice at the tip of his circumcised acorn.


"You don't have this on yours, right?" William wondered.

"No, it's not like yours, William."

"So....where does the pee come out?" the boy inquired. Timmy stood and lifted his organ to give William a clear view of the underside of his glans and spread the lobes of his cock-head exposing the urethra. William's eyes were wide with wonder and he quietly said "Wow!" slowly.

"It's right down there, William. That's where it comes out." William reached out a finger, then hesitated.

"It's okay" Timmy assured William and the boy touched the open urethra.

"Is it always kinda wet and shiny inside there like that?' William asked.

"Uh-huh, but its pretty much covered."

"What happened to it?" William wanted to know.

"Some boys are born like this, William. I am one of them." Timmy replied.

"What happened to the other one?" William asked, pointing to Timmy's scrotum. It was obvious that William had noticed the lone testicle earlier when he had seen Timmy in Isaac's shower the other morning.

"Born with that too, William." Timmy replied.

"Is there lots of boys born with just one?" William wondered.

"No, but I do have a friend the same way. You've been wanting to ask about this stuff, haven't you?"

"Yeah, but I guess I was afraid to, a little." William confessed.

"It wasn't that bad, was it?" Timmy asked.

"No...!" William giggled.

"William, there's no reason to be afraid of anything here. We can talk about whatever it is, right?"

William nodded. .

"Ready to go to bed?" The boy nodded and stood up, his butt sticking to the smooth toilet lid causing it to make a loud clack as it popped free and dropped onto its stops. Timmy hung the towel on the bar and followed William across the hall into his room.

William hopped into bed as Timmy fished a pair of briefs out of a drawer and slipped them on. In minutes, they were both out like a light.

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