Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Robert
Book II

by Chowhound


Chapter 6

Published: 11 Jun 15

Three Finger Cove – Robert

Copyright © 2012 - 2015
by Chowhound
All rights reserved

That night as Robert prepared to go to bed, he sat on the edge of his bed thinking about all that happened during the day.

He remembered how much fun he had being with his new foster dad and getting new clothes and going out to eat. He thought about how good the food there was compared to the self-serve breakfast he had and the over cooked chicken or hot dogs and beans he often had at his other foster homes. He thought about how Momma Maria made breakfast 'special' just for him and that dinner was awesome, too. He was also happy with himself that he hugged Momma Maria just as Mr. Ken did. He could never remember ever giving his mother a hug after she made a good meal nor did he ever remember seeing his dad hug her either.

He reflected on what Mr. Ken said about having to tell him everything he had to do, or was made to do, knowing how embarrassed he was going to be telling those things. He was also surprised that his 'new' foster dad gave him the opportunity to say what wanted to or ask questions or even choose what clothes he wanted to wear. He also remembered back at the laughs they had together and that the man, Mr. Ken, never got angry at him for anything.

He then looked back on all the crying he did that day and what had caused him to cry. He knew he cried when those men took him and began doing those sexual things to him and he knew he cried when he tried to get his parents not to send him with them anymore. He remembered crying when they came and took him away and placed him in is his first foster home. Then he cried after the man there began his nightly visits to his room and made him do those same things each and every night.

He played though his mind what the next foster house was like for him. Him having to do all that bible reading and learning and having to go to church three times a week. At least that man didn't do anything sexual with him but he sure made him remember his 'sins' and how he had to repent for those 'sins'. The man kept telling him he was just as guilty as the ones who 'done' it. He smiled at remembering the man always used the word 'done' and not 'did' when he told him about those 'sins.

He thought back to the last foster home he was sent to and how happy he was, initially, that there were other kids in the house. He figured he would be safe there, from all the things he had had to do, because the other boys would tell if something did happen. But then the not much older boys began to tease him about being so small in stature and small in the sexual equipment area too. They used to strip his clothes from him and hide them. Then, the older teens made him sleep with them at night and then made him fondle them and then eventually have to masturbate them and in the end he had to perform oral sex on them.

Now he was in another foster home but he could sense that there was something definitely different about the place. He couldn't say what is was exactly about Three Finger Cove, that made him feel good about the 'new' home, but maybe it was how Mr. Ken treated him. He liked that the man hugged him close when he had cried and was always trying to console him over what was causing him his discomfort. And he never once tried to touch him where he wasn't supposed to. But, he was also concerned about why he was sent to live with a single man. Sure the man hadn't done anything to suggest that he would want to have sex with him but he would be vigilant and at the first attempt he would fight like the dickens to protect himself.

As he yawned, as sleep was beginning to wear him down it was then, after looking back over the past many months that he knew why he cried so much that day. It was because all those past horrible memories over shadowed the good feelings he was beginning to feel being in this new home. He knew he had endured so much during these past 2 ½ years that they weren't going to allow him to ever be happy again and it was those memories that began to creep into what Mr. Ken was trying to do for him.

Then, just as sleep was overtaking him, and knowing how much he was liking his new 'home', Robert reminded himself he had to 'fight' to protect himself if the man ever came into his bedroom and tried to do anything to him. And then, before long, he fell fast asleep.

The next morning Robert woke up with a start. He looked around and didn't remember where he was at first. Then things began to come back to him and he relaxed and fell back onto the mattress with a feeling of relief. He still didn't have a clock in his room so he decided to get out of bed and get cleaned up and go downstairs for breakfast.

He had slept in one of his new t-shirts and with a pair of the new boxer briefs on and when he stood up he looked down and then felt the way they fit him. He liked the way they felt on him so he picked up another pair and took them with him to get his shower

As Robert walked out into the corridor, wearing only his t-shirt and briefs, Mildred was just getting off the elevator and saw him 'prancing' around in his underwear. She immediately flew at him and began hitting him across his head and body and yelled that he looked disgusting and sinful for allowing a woman to see him in such a state.

She kept at him as he fought his way to the bathroom. Luckily, she didn't follow him in and he looked into the mirror to see if she had done any damage. Thinking to himself "Phew, I need to remember that there are women in this house and I need to wear something between my room and here." Robert then began his morning ritual of peeing, pooping and showering.

Finished with his morning ablutions, Robert sneaked a peek out the bathroom door to make sure Ms. Johnston was nowhere in sight. He didn't want to get caught again in his underwear, since that's all he had on right then. Seeing the coast was clear, he ran to his bedroom and closed the door. He laughed to himself over the way he got there but then looked into his closet and chose what to wear that day.

"Good morning, sport," called out Mr. Ken, as Robert entered the kitchen.

"Good morning to you, too, Mr. Ken," and seeing momma Maria was there as well, he said "Good morning to you as well, Momma Maria."

Momma Maria smiled at receiving the lad's 'good morning' and walked a glass of orange juice to the boy. She then asked, "Whats wouldss you likes for breksfest youngs sir?"

Robert wasn't used to anyone asking him what he wanted for breakfast so he just replied back to the woman, "I can help myself if you'll show me where everything is."

"Oh, nos my youngs-ster, etts my jobs heres to makes yous your breksfest and Momma Maria loves to make especials meals for hers especial peoples," replied Maria.

Robert just looked at her and then at Mr. Ken not knowing what he should do.

Mr. Ken saw the lad's consternation and told the lad to just tell Momma what he would like to eat. She explained, if it was something she couldn't make in a few minutes she would say so and have it ready for the next time he sat down to eat breakfast.

Robert nodded that he understood and began to tell Momma Maria that what he had just yesterday would be okay with him.

Momma smiled back at the lad and walked over to the stove to begin fixing the boy his breakfast.

"So, did you sleep well last night," asked Mr. Ken.

"Yes … ahh yes sir, I did," corrected Robert.

"That's good to hear. Sleeping in a strange bed in a strange place can sometimes cause someone to have a fitful night. I'm glad you're not, but if you ever do … you make sure to let me know. I don't want your school work to suffer because you can't sleep," explained Mr. Ken.

"Thank you for telling me that," replied the twelve year old.

As Mr. Ken continued to read the morning newspaper, Robert looked out over the lake. It was then that Chief decided she wanted some 'lovin'' so she snuck under the boys hand and nudged it with her snout. Instinctively, Robert knew she wanted her ears scratched so he put both of his hands to work scratching behind both of Chief's ears. Chief sat right down and closed her eyes and she put on a smile that told the pre-teen he was doing an excellent job.

"I see you know how to give Chief some 'lovin''," commented the Cove's owner.

"And, oh by the way, Chief," spoke up Mr. Ken, as Chief looked in his direction. "Yes, you … why are you not staying with your boy, huh?"

Chief looked down like she had done something wrong and then she slowly walked over to her owner. As she stood next the Mr. Ken, and continued to look down, the man reached down to her muzzle and lifted her face up and said, "No, you didn't do anything wrong, but I think Robert there would love to have you as a roommate, don't you think?"

Chief, knowing she wasn't in any trouble, smiled the way she does and replied with a "WooF" and went back to Robert and placed her front paws on his lap and began to 'kiss' him.

"I love you, too, girl," said Robert, as he received the dog's affections. "And, I'll be glad to have you as my roommate. Shake!"

Chief immediately sat down in front of the boy and offered her right paw to him. Robert was astonished by the dog's action but knew she wanted to shake. He took her offered paw with his right hand and shook it like he would any other person he'd meet. When they finished, Momma Maria came over to the table and placed both the man's and the lad's breakfast in front of them. Then, just as yesterday, the two ate in silence.

After he finished his morning meal, Ken Thomas thanked Maria for the meal and then looked to Robert and asked him to meet him in his Study.

Mr. Ken heard the patter of Chief's paws hit the wood floors as she and hopefully Robert approached the Study. A second or two later both Chief and her 'boy' entered the Study.

"Good morning again, Robert, what do you have planned for today, if anything, seeing you really don't know your way around," asked the man.

Robert thought for a few moments and replied, "I thought I'd walk around the outside of the house and see what's out there and maybe walk down to the beach and dock to see what's there. I'm hoping Chief will come with me."

"Woof, woof," replied Chief, saying she would.

"You know I never finished showing you all around the inside of the Cove. Would you like me to finish that with you today?" inquired Mr. Ken.

"Yeah, I'd like that. I think you mentioned a swimming pool and I'd sure like to see that and now that I have a bathing suit ah … ahh maybe I could test it out," answered Robert.

Mr. Ken heard what Robert said about 'testing it out' and then got this mischievous gleam in his face and replied, "Oh, I think you could test your bathing suit out by just trying it on in your bedroom, don't you?"

Robert saw the smile in the man's face and said, "Ahh, you know what I mean! I meant I could test the pool water to see if it is safe for me and my … well, hopefully my new friends," smiled the lad.

"Yes, I knew that was what you meant but … that wasn't what you said," teased Mr. Ken.

"Yea, yea I saw that look on your face, so I knew you were going to mix up my words on me," laughed Robert, back at the man.

Both man and pre-teen had to laugh at their exchange.

"So, what do you want to do first; walk around outside or finish the inside grand tour? Let me say that if you go outside, I'll just work on my projects until you're ready to come back inside, or if we do the tour first I'll just work on my projects after that. Keep in mind that although I have an indoor pool I don't allow anyone to swim alone. That went for Collin and Ryan when they were here so will it apply to you, too," fully explained the Cove's owner.

"Okay, I think that is a safe thing to do, so I agree with you. But … well … ah … maybe you could swim with me later?" asked Robert, in a roundabout way.

"Sure, I think I'd like that. I haven't been swimming since Thanksgiving when we had the big Thanksgiving Dinner here. The boys wanted to swim and of course I couldn't refuse my 'little bros', now, could I? As for this Holiday, we didn't have a Winter Swim because Collin needed to get back home and finish working on some projects for school. He'll graduate this May as will Ryan. So with only Eric left, his mom said he didn't need to, well, you know how mom's get when they think you're going to be a pain in the butt for an adult. … But, yes, a swim later would be nice."

"Okay, then I'll go out and walk around and see what the house looks like from the back and maybe I'll walk around the neighborhood and see if I can meet any of the kids there," replied Robert.

"Sounds like a plan," Mr. Ken replied back to the lad, and to Chief he said, "You watch out for Robert, you hear. He's new here and we don't want him to get lost now do we?"

"Woof, woof, woof," replied Chief, who then took Robert's hand in her mouth and began to pull him to the open doorway.

Robert laughed at what Chief was doing and said "C'ya" as he walked out of the Study.

Robert got his winter coat out of the hall closet and began to walk out the front door when Ms. Johnston came rushing over and told him in no uncertain terms were he to use the front door.

Robert didn't like Mildred Johnston because of the 'bad' interactions he already had with the woman and instinctively, without thinking said, "Why?"

Mildred immediately slapped the boy and reminded him "That she ran Three Finger Cove and he'll do as she says and he WILL speak to her with respect as she had told him the other night." "Now, hear me and hear me good … I am NOT someone to be trifled with so you best to remember! Do you understand you … you impudent whelp!"

Robert had stood there staring at the woman while he rubbed his face from the slap. He knew he had to answer her, particularly if he wanted to get out of the house so he said, "Yes, ma'am, I understand."

"Ensure you do!" replied Millie, and walked away.

"Come on Chief, let's get out of here." "Woof!"

Robert went through the kitchen, out into the garage and exited the house through the side door there. He looked over the high wall there that helped make up the lower patio area and knew he needed to either walk around to the front of the house or around that large wall that went on for some distance. He chose the front door way.

Mr. Ken saw the boy and his dog pass by his Study windows and he waved to them and in-turn they waved back.

Robert wasn't prepared to see the view he had as he continued past the corner of the house. He could not only see the house continued on for some distance, but he saw the end of the beach and a walkway leading around to the backside of the Cove. Continuing on past the back-end corner, the lad was astonished at the sight before him.

"Geez, Chief … would you look at that?" the astonished lad spoke out loud.

"Woof, woof!" added Chief.

"I agree girl, this place is just awesome. Just look at the size of that beach … and the breakwater out there and … and the docks and the size of those boats," commented Robert, as he continued to walk towards the things he saw. But, as he walked up the steps of the first dock, he got an unexpected surprise.

"Who are you?" asked a now cautious Robert.

"NO … the Question IS … WHO are YOU?" replied the older teen. "You're on Private Property here … so you better move your ass out of here!"

Robert immediately got scared and at first began to walk but then began to run away but stopped because he saw Chief go up to the teenager and get her ears scratched.

"Hey, leave my dog alone!" yelled Robert, as he turned back to retrieve Chief. He wanted to go and tell Mr. Ken someone was fooling around on the docks and boats.

"Your DOG ... that's a laugh!" yelled the teen. "This here is Chief … and his owner is the man who owns Three Finger Cove. So, you better get your ass out of here before I call Mr. Ken, and tell him he has a trespasser who is trying to steal Chief."

"I am NOT trying to steal Chief am I girl?" angrily replied Robert. "Come on Chief … let's go tell Mr. Ken he has someone messing with his boats."

Chief promptly went to Robert and as the duo began to walk away the teenager yelled, "Stop! Wait a minute, who really are you?"

"Well … if you have to know … my names Bobb … err, Robert and I live here!"

"You live here … that's another laugh. Mr. Ken lives here alone."

"No, he doesn't … as Chief lives here, too, and so now do I! Now, it's your turn … who are you … and why are you messing around with Mr. Ken's docks and boats?" now yelled a serious Robert, back at the teen.

"I'm Ryan … and I take care of Mr. Ken's boats and docks and the beach here. … Now that you know who I am … you better get a move on and leave this property."

"You … you're Ryan?" asked an uncertain Robert. "Mr. Ken did tell me some about a guy named Ryan … and he did tell me something about him and that he takes care of the beach and his boats. But, if you are the guy, then you can tell me who your 'little brother' is so I know you ARE the REAL Ryan!"

"Enough of this shit," yelled Ryan, as he pulled out his cell phone and pressed one button. "We'll see who is who around here and I hope Mr. Ken calls that night watchman on you so he can take care of you like he did Chief here. Ain't that right Chief?"


"That's not a word, ain't, mister. And, I hope you are calling my foster dad so he can kick your butt out of here instead of me," countered Robert.

At hearing the words 'foster dad', Ryan closed his cell phone and looked at the lad.

"Mr. Ken has … he has another foster kid? He never told me anything about having another foster kid. When did you get here?" asked Ryan, just as his cell phone rang.

"Hello. … … Oh, hi Mr. Ken. … … Yea, I was calling to tell you that you have a trespasser ... down at the docks, but he says he's your foster kid. Is that true Mr. Ken? … … Oh, he is is he? My word … you never thought you'd ever get another kid did you Mr. Ken? … … Yea, okay. … I'll be nice. … … Thanks Mr. Ken, I'll tell 'em. Bye."

"Well, well … you sure are Mr. Ken's NEW foster kid. He told me to be nice and to show you around now that I'm out here. He thought I was coming over tomorrow, Saturday, to check out the docks and boats. So … what do you say we begin this conversation all over again, huh, sport?" explained Ryan.

"My name's not Sport, it's Robert, but yea … we can start all over … that is … if you want to?" smiled the lad, seeing if the teen likes to have a laugh as much as Mr. ken does.

Ryan walked over to the pre-teen as Robert was speaking and, as the twelve year old finished talking and smiled, Ryan knew the kid was going to be fun to have around.

"Yes … I want to," replied Ryan, as he stuck out his hand and smiled, too.

Ryan asked the new kid some questions about when he got there and what room he picked and how he liked it so far.

Robert just told him the basics about his being there and then explained how much he loved the food and that he was going to love staying there even if it was only for two weeks.

"Two weeks? I thought you'd stay with Mr. Ken for a longer period than that?" asked a quizzical Ryan.

"Yea, well, Mr. Ken said he'd like for me to give him and Chief two weeks to see if I'd like it here. If I don't, he told me that I could leave and Ms. Turner would find me another place to live.

"Well, which room did you take?"

When Ryan asked about that, Robert explained what Mildred did that first night and how Mr. Ken allowed him to change rooms the following day. He told the teen he eventually took the room he, Ryan, and Collin used. Then the lad told the older teen how Millie had slapped him in front of Mr. Ken.

"Well, shit … what was that all about, then?" asked the high school senior.

Robert explained how Mildred accused him of lying and that she was going to slap him again and that Mr. Ken had grabbed her hand and stopped her. The lad also explained about the quick argument the two adults had and how Mildred stormed out of the room.

"That figures, that … that old battle-axe would do that. She doesn't like me nor Collin and we had to make sure she didn't do anything to Eric, as he couldn't defend himself as good as we can. But, now with you here, Eric will probably be over here more so he'll, and so will you, have to learn how to defend yourselves against her."

Seeing the look in Ryan's eyes as he spoke, Robert asked, "You don't like her, do you?"

"Who do you mean?" asked Ryan.

"Who do you think … Ms. Johnston, the old battle-axe, you called her," laughed Robert.

"Yea, I guess you could say that. She … she thinks she owns the place and … and she has these ancient concepts about kids and that 'they should be seen and NOT heard' and are 'not to speak unless spoken to." What bullshit! She also has these beady-looking eyes that make her look like she's hiding or up to something. Even Collin doesn't like her and we've both told our 'Big Bro' how we feel."

"Your 'Big Bro'?" asked the newbie.

"Oh, yea, sorry, that's Mr. Ken. He calls us his 'little brothers, and we call him our 'big brother' well, actually 'Big Bro' is what we say. You don't like her either, do ya?" explained Ryan.

"No, I don't like her … and if I do leave here it WILL be because of HER! … She caught me going across the hall to the bathroom dressed in only my briefs and t-shirt this morning and she beat me across my body and head as I ran to the door. Lucky for me she didn't hurt me, well physically, but she hurt me, you know, inside. I don't need any more shit to happen to me." And Robert left that unexplained.

The two boys sat on the bench at the dock for a while, immersed in their own thoughts. Ryan was the first to stir who then asked Robert if he was ready to see the rest of the outside of Three Finger Cove.

Ryan began the tour by opening up and showing Robert both of the boats and then explained the basics of getting them unbuttoned and ready for use. He explained the reason for the U-shaped dock and that the beach actually was sand all the way out to the breakwater. Ryan also told the lad about all the fun they have on the lake, during the warmer months, and using the WaveRunner's. Robert heard all about the 4th of July Picnics and about the many Holiday parties there are and what sort of people attend.

Robert asked about the shootout and Ryan was surprised the lad knew anything about it. When Robert explained how he listened to the radio that entire day hoping to find out more information, Ryan went ahead and showed the boy where all the important events of the day happened. Robert was wide eyed during the tour and didn't ask too many questions.

They didn't hear the approach of Mr. Ken until Chief barked. The two boys turned and saw Mr. Ken headed in their direction.

"So, Robert," began Mr. Ken, "is Ryan doing a good job showing you around and is he answering all of your questions?"

"Yes, sir, he is doing a good job. He just finished showing me the important places during the shootout. Now, I'll be able to answer many of the questions if people ask me about that day," replied the man's new foster son with a big smile on his face.

"So, what brings you out here, Mr. Ken?" asked the teenager.

"Oh, I got tired of looking through all those papers Uncle Andy sent me, and besides I needed some fresh air myself. We sure are lucky the day turned out as nice as it did."

"I see the Christmas decorations are still up, Mr. Ken," said Ryan.

"Yes, they called and said they'd be here tomorrow and Sunday, hoping to get the majority, if not all, of them down and taken away. If this weather remains for the weekend, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't, but, we'll see," answered the man.

The three of them continued to walk around the outside of the Cove as Mr. Ken and Ryan pointed out other points of interest. Robert saw where Chief found Collin out on the patio at the height of that Hundred Year Storm. Mr. Ken pointed out the men and women's restrooms located under the garage area and explained that they were for when they had parties outside. He further explained they kept people from having to traipse through the Great Room to get to those relief facilities.

The trio, plus Chief, continued to walk around the house and they wound up at the Guard House, at the front entrance to the property. They showed Robert all the TV monitors located inside there and told him how the guard, once there is one, can access any of the numerable outside cameras as he needed. Robert was spellbound when it came to that explanation as he played back in his mind the events he remembered of that fateful day Mr. Ken was shot.

As they began to walk down the slight rise to the Cottage Robert spoke up and said, "It was just out about here that, I guess, it was Collin who came running out of the house saying there was somebody else inside."

"How do you know that?" asked a perplexed Ryan.

Robert explained how he was riveted to the radio, and later the TV, that day trying to get as much about the shooting as he could. He said he recognized the area from the video the cameraman shot that day as Collin came running out to the deputy sheriff.

"I must have seen that particular footage five or six times they played it so much that evening. It was like the news people had finally found something new they could talk about and talk they did. They didn't stop until the news guys showed some video and pictures shot 'on scene'," said Robert. "Then after that they replayed the entire days' actions over and over. That's what I remember about that day." It was then Robert learned it was Ryan who took all the still pictures the different news groups and TV stations used.

The three continued to walk back towards the house and along the way the Cottage House and four-car garage and parking area were explained to Robert. Then it was time for a late lunch.

"Eets abouts times yous guys came if for yous lenches," berated Momma Maria, of the three 'men' who came in from the cold.

"I'm sorry Momma, that we are late. We were showing Robert the outside of the house and the grounds and it was such a nice day the time ... well, time just got away from us," apologized Mr. Ken.

"Yes, I'm sorry we are late, Momma Maria," said Robert.

"Suck up," said Ryan, under his breath, to Robert who only stuck his tongue out back at him. Then the two lads laughed at each other. Ken Thomas saw the exchange and just sat back and smiled at the antics of the two boys.

"I's made yous tomato soups and toasted chesses sanweeches," stated Maria. "Yous luckys I can keep thems warms fors yous."

The man, the teen and the pre-teen all sat there enjoying a wonderful and warming up meal. The three talked more about the outside of Three Finger Cove until Robert asked, "Why is it called 'Three Finger Cove'?"

A big smile came to Ryan as he likes to explain the reason and show how you can tell.

"After we finish eating," began Ryan, "I'll take you upstairs to your room and explain it to you."

"Thanks," was all Robert said.

When the three had finished eating, Mr. Ken asked the boys to meet him back in his Study when they were finished upstairs. The lads agreed and headed upstairs to Robert's room.

"Geez … it's like old home week looking out again through this window. This, I am sure you know by now is THEE best 'room with a view', well, except maybe for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook eat-in area we just came from," announced Ryan. "Which room did the battle-axe put you in? Let me guess … the one on the other side at the end?"

"Yes, how did you know?" conceded Robert.

"Because, I know this house inside and out; I took all the pictures and videos while they built the house and I must have walked through it two hundred times, at least, while it was being finished. I must have looked out each of the 'children's bedrooms' fifty or more times before I chose this room to be mine," replied Ryan.

"Why'd you get your own room, Ryan? You're not related to Mr. Ken are you?" inquired Robert.

"No, I'm not, but … well, Mr. Ken let me chose a room as a perk for all I did for the man while the house was being built. I was only about a year older than you are now when Mr. Ken gave me that privilege. My mom fought against it, at first, but she had gotten to know my Big Bro by the time they finished the house and she knew she could trust him totally. Besides, she got the contract to decorate the entire inside of the house when the time came. She did a good job, didn't she?" finished Ryan.

"Yes, I like the way the house looks inside. It's not too frilly is it?" answered the pre-teen.

"That's the way Mr. Ken wanted her to outfit it. He told her what percentage of male to female attributes to put into each room. That way there are things in every room that will appeal to both men and women," explained Ryan.

"Oh, okay … so, tell me … why this place is called Three Finger Cove," asked Robert.

"Okay, come here and look out the window. Now take your left hand and hold it up to the shore line. Place your thumb at the beach, your first finger at the first dock and your second or middle finger at the left dock. Now close your other fingers under some and see that they cover the rest of the shore line to the left. Now, hold your hand steady and see if it doesn't sort of resemble the entire shore line," explained Ryan. "Thus, Three Finger Cove; the thumb, the first finger, and then the middle finger forming the name of the place," the teen added.

"Yea … yes it does. Geez, you'd never know it if someone didn't tell you, err me. Thanks Ryan. … Don't you think we should get down to the Study and see what Mr. Ken wants to talk to us about?" asked Robert.

"Yea, okay, let's go," said Ryan as he started towards the door and opened it.

"And what are YOU doing upstairs in the family bedroom area," boomed Mildred Johnston, as she saw Ryan was coming out the door.

Robert, upon hearing Ms. Johnston at his bedroom door, went over and said, "He is here as my guest. THAT is WHAT he is doing here!"

"Don't you sass me, you, you ungrateful whelp. Remember, I run this household and what I say goes. And you do NOT bring anyone up to your room without me knowing about it and you do NOT ever close this door when you are not alone. Do YOU understand ME, Bobby?" angrily announced Mildred, while knowing she was getting under Robert's skin by called him Bobby.

Robert got hot under the collar when he heard Ms. Johnston call him Bobby and he angrily announced to the woman, "My NAME is Robert! That is the name that MR. KEN said I would use."

Ryan just stood there watching and listening to the encounter before him. He knew Mildred Johnston hated him and Collin and Eric and accosted them by the same sort of condescending or arrogant speech towards himself and his 'brothers'.

Mildred did not allow any child to talk back to her for any reason and got ready to slap the boy but thought better of it knowing there was a witness. So, instead she told Ryan to 'Get OUT' and for Robert to 'Remain in his room until she said otherwise.'

Both boys just looked at her like she was crazy.

Ryan secretly said to himself, "I am sure glad I'll be away at college soon, and I won't have to put up with her too much longer."

Robert didn't have any real thoughts, one way or another, but what he did know was that Mr. Ken had said he and Ryan were to meet him in his Study, when they were finished upstairs. But seeing Mildred Johnston standing in the doorway he wasn't sure what he should do.

Ryan, being older and already having had run-ins with the 'battle-axe' before wasn't scared and showed his resolve by saying, "If you will excuse us, Mr. Ken told us to meet him in his Study." And with that, he pushed his way passed Mildred but stopped a few steps away when he didn't see Robert following him.

"Robert … Mr. Ken is waiting," called out the teenager.

"Yes … I'm coming," announced the pre-teen, and he too then pushed his way past the old woman.

This action just infuriated Mildred Johnston and as Robert made his way to Ryan and then to the stairs she yelled, "You get BACK here you impudent boy."

Robert and Ryan both ignored her and continued down the stairs.

Seeing the boys were totally ignoring her, she bellowed again, "Didn't YOU HEAR ME BOBBY? I said YOU were to STAY IN YOUR ROOM! Now Get BACK HERE!"

As the lads entered the Study and began to sit down, Mr. Ken asked, "What was that all about?"

Ryan took the lead, being older and feeling he needed to protect Robert just as he would Eric, explained what transpired at Robert's bedroom door. Meanwhile, Robert was thinking to himself, "Two weeks was going to be too long if that woman continues to act that way towards me."

While Mr. Ken and Robert continued to discuss the situation that occurred upstairs, Robert just sat there staring and thinking and not paying attention to what was being said. Before long, Mr. Ken noticed that Robert wasn't paying attention to their conversation and that he had a distant look to his face. Knowing that look never portended a 'good' sign, he tried to get Robert out of his 'funk' and join in the discussion.

"Robert … ROBERT," called Mr. Ken.

"Wha, what?" asked the pre-teen, as he jumped back from his deep thoughts.

"I wanted to hear your side of what happened upstairs a few minutes ago. How about telling me how you saw what happened," asked Mr. Ken.

"I don't know … I … well, I just don't understand why she would be standing outside my bedroom door, and why she waited there. I bet she listened to what we were saying and wanted to catch us doing something she didn't approve of. I know she doesn't like me and the feeling is mutual."

"Now, now Robert, Mildred comes highly recommended by some of the best families of Texas. It could be you're just not used to the methods she uses?" asked Mr. Ken.

"No … it isn't that. You saw what she did to me yesterday. She slapped me and was going to do it again if you hadn't stopped her. She acts like a tyrant and sneaks around like she did this morning," answered Robert.

What do you mean, "… like she did this morning'?

"Oh, well, okay … I was going to the bathroom, this morning, to get cleaned up and as I stepped out my door she was on me and yelling that I was disgusting and sinful and hit me the whole time it took me to get to the bathroom. I was surprised she didn't follow me in there," responded Robert.

"Then, there she was … standing outside my door when Ryan opened it for us to come down here and yelled she ran this household and whatever she said goes. She also said I couldn't bring anyone up to MY room without getting her approval first. I don't know if I could stand very much more of her," angrily stated Robert.

While the lad was telling his story, Ryan's cell phone rang. It was his mother asking him where he was and telling him that it was time he came home. As Robert finished saying what he had to say, Ryan told Mr. Ken and Robert that he had to go. He welcomed Robert to the 'family' and shook his hand and said he'd see the boy later. Then he was off.

Mr. Ken saw the teenager to the door, the front door, and thanked the teen for his help in getting Robert to be a part of the 'family' as Ryan called it. As he returned to his Study, he knew something was wrong when he saw Chief's front paws and muzzle resting on the lads lap and the boy had his head hanging low and seemed to be crying. The man shook his head and wondered what he may have gotten into. He told himself that as the 'adult' there, it was his responsibility to make things right.

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