Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Robert
Book II

by Chowhound


Chapter 15

Published: 13 Aug 15

Three Finger Cove – Robert

Copyright © 2012 - 2015
by Chowhound
All rights reserved

It was the last Saturday in January and the boys had been at it all day. They rode their skateboards up and down the 'street' in front of the Cove and tried all the board tricks they knew or could come up with. Enjoying all the fun they had that day, time got away from them and it was now getting dark and they were tired, hungry and cold.

The lads all sought the relative comfort of the inside while Robert sought out Mr. Ken to ask him if the guys could spend the night. Getting permission, Robert told his friends to quickly call their parents to ask if they could spend the night. Eric called first and immediately got his mom's OK. Brad called next telling his mom that Mrs. Turner said Eric could spend the night but to no avail. He told everyone his mom told him he'd been gone all day and she wanted him home. Then both Chuck and Gordon made their phone calls home but got essentially the same answer. "Get home now!" was how they explained it. The same went for Cody Orbauch and Steven Zuckermann, too.

So Robert and Eric said their goodbyes to their friends and went to find Mr. Ken.

Mr. Ken heard the lads talking as they approached his Study but was surprised to see only two boys enter and sit down in the leather seats with the most dejected faces he had ever seen, especially on Robert.

"So guys, where's the rest of the herd?" Mr. Ken said to the two boys.

Not getting a response, Mr. Ken then said, "Robert?" "What's going on?" I thought you all were going to have a sleep over?"

"We were, but NoooOho", Robert answered in the most sarcastic way he could come up with, "their mothers said they had to get home! They were gone too long today and didn't check in," he bemoaned.

Mr. Ken met the boys before at previous get-togethers at the Cove and when they came over to skateboard with Robert, but still did not feel he knew them all that well yet. He had observed that they were all very polite, witty in a preteen sort of way, and they all got along with each other as though they all knew one another since childhood. He was surprised, though, to hear the lads hadn't called home at all during the day to check in. Not once had he heard them come inside to use the Entrance Foyer phone but he figured they all had cell phones like most kids these days did to make such calls. He made a mental note to himself to ask the lads about them and to find out did he need to get a cell phone for his new charge, Robert.

Not knowing what was going to happen, now that the others weren't staying, he wanted to know if Eric was going to stay anyway, so he looked over at Robert and said, "What plans do you have now? Is Eric going to spend the night anyway? If Eric is staying what should we do for dinner?" Ken added that last question knowing that an empty stomach, on a growing boy, would most definitely get him a response.

After hearing the questions, Robert looked over at Eric trying to eke out an answer but only got a shrug so Robert knew it was up to him to say something.

"Yea, da …ahh …Mr. Ken," Robert began, "Eric's gonna spend the night if it's OK with you and I think pizza is good for a Saturday night dinner. What do you think, Eric?"

"Sure, anything you say!" came from Eric, who said it with a great big smile.

"Are you sure your mom won't mind your staying when the rest of the gang isn't?" asked Mr. Ken, as he looked over to Eric.

"Yes, sir," Eric responded, "she said it would be nice to have a peaceful night at home for a change, or something like that, so I know she'd be OK with me staying. And besides, I've stayed here lots of times, before, remember?"

"Yes, your 'big brothers' made sure you got your chance to stay over didn't they?" laughed the man. "Well, okay, then that's settled! So why don't you boys run upstairs and wash up and wash your face and make sure you wash those hands 'all the way up to your elbows' so we can at least keep the top of the table clean while we eat," laughed out Mr. Ken. "And let's go in about 15-20 minutes", he continued, as the lads jumped up and ran out the door just as he finished. Not to be left behind, Robert's constant companion, Chief, quickly followed right behind the lads.

"And NO running in the house!" the man yelled, as loud as he could, knowing the boys were probably already half way up the stairs by then.

The boys went directly to Robert's bathroom, since Mr. Ken explained it was designed for boys to use, and began the ritual most boys hated, getting cleaned up to go out. Even though they knew they were going out to eat they thought they were clean enough but they knew Mr. Ken would only send them back upstairs to do it again if they didn't at least look clean to him. They decided it was best to do it right, the first time, and get it over with.

As the 'best' friends got cleaned up they talked about the 'other' bathroom they knew was on that floor.

"Eric," began Robert, "you've been over here a lot of times but … have you ever used the girls bathroom, or seen anyone else use it?"

'No, I never used it but I know the California Boys used it when they stayed here that one time. You know your bathroom has four shower heads but with Collin and Ryan and the four guys from San Diego here … it would be too crowded for all of them to get cleaned up at the same time. Mr. Ken told the teenagers to use the 'girls' bathroom," explained Eric.

"But do you know why he had one made for boys and one for girls," Robert wanted to know.

"No, I don't know the answer to your question. Ryan might. You gotta remember … I was only ten, going on eleven back then, and I never even thought about it. I always used this bathroom with Collin and Ryan," replied Eric.

"You mean … you took showers … with your 'big brothers'? Weren't you embarrassed to let them see you … your, you know, your dick? Did they make you take your showers with them?" a surprised Robert just had to ask.

"Well … it's kinda a long story but … you remember me telling you about the New Year Swim Party we had … where all the guys saw each other when they got changed. Well, they'd seen me then and I'd seen them and when it came time to shower they reminded me of that and it was easy since they already knew I had a small penis, that's the word I used back then, and they had really big ones that had loads of hair all over," answered Eric.

Robert thought back to when he was ten and his being naked with all those older men doing all those sexual 'games', as they called them, and realized that what Eric did wasn't any different to what he'd done. Acknowledging to himself how similar Eric's encounter was to his, he remarked, "Damn Eric, that was a brave thing to do, but I guess when you tell it that way it does seem … well, right. I mean you were with your 'big brothers' and all."

"Yea, now come on and finish up. Mr. Ken's waiting for us and I'm hungry," an annoyed Eric said.

Finished, the two lads hurried downstairs only to hear Mr. Ken bellow, "Please, NO running boys and especially down the stairs. I don't want you to slip and fall the rest of the way down!"

The two friends stopped in their tracks, looked at each other, and immediately they both got to giggling as they slowly finished walking down to join Mr. Ken at the ornate front door.

Mr. Ken opened the Foyer door, indicating to the boys to go out first. Then Mr. Ken set the alarm, closed the large door and followed the lads to the Escalade parked out on the circular driveway.

Approaching the vehicle, Mr. Ken heard the lads squabbling over who was going to sit up front when he heard Eric yell "Shotgun!" immediately halting the dispute. Now, he wondered what would happen as Robert always sat up front with him. This was the first time Robert had to deal with someone else sitting in the most prestigious seat in the car to a boy, the right front seat.

Mr. Ken looked over at Robert, who sort of had a dejected look on his face but, when he heard him say, "OK, but I get it on the return trip," he knew Robert would be alright. Both boys laughed at each other and they went to their respective seats while Mr. Ken shook his head a little and smiled and then climbed in behind the wheel. He told the kids to "Buckle up" and away they went.

Not knowing where to take the boys, as they were still a bit too disheveled to go to a really nice place, he asked the lads where they would like to go.


"NO, Burger King®!"

"Nuttah, Carl's®!"

"How about Chinese?"

"McDonalds®" one of them said and then, after a short pause to look at one another, they both said in unison, "NOT!!" The two laughed so hard even Mr. Ken got in a laugh or two.

"I thought you said Saturday night was a good pizza night, Robert," Mr. Ken spoke up, as the laughing began to die down between the two friends.

"Yea", they both chimed in and then Eric said, "Let's go to Mr. Gatti's®! I heard the place is really neat."

Quickly, Mr. Ken remembered where Mr. Gatti's® was, because he visited it once before with Collin, and began driving in that direction. Once there, he paid for the three of them and the boys began playfully pushing and shoving each other to be the first one to get their plate. They then began to fill it up with pizza.

Mr. Ken knew Mr. Gatti's® was a pizza chain restaurant similar to Peter Piper Pizza® or Chucky Cheese Pizza® or even CiCi's Pizza® where they served lots of different types of pizza at a cheap price. That was extremely fortunate considering how much pizza a growing boy could eat. The exception here was there were lots of amusement games in the back area the kids could play and win coupons they can exchange later for prizes.

Watching the two loading their plates, Mr. Ken remembered back to bringing Collin here when the teenager had lived with him almost two years ago, now, before the 16 year old was sent, more like 'shanghaied' he felt, to go live with his fraternal Grandmother. 'Oh, well', Mr. Ken thought to himself. He knew he shouldn't dwell on that memory too long.

The man then got his own plate and went to the spaghetti bar to get some fettuccini noodles and meat sauce. He then picked up two pieces of pepperoni and pineapple pizza and stopped at the refreshments bar for a Cherry Coke drink before joining the boys at a table.

Surprisingly, to Mr. Ken, the three of them had a nice conversation talking about the previous week's happenings. What little they were actually able to discuss in between the lad's continuous returns to the pizza and soda bars to fill up those 'hollow' legs twelve year old boys seem to have.

Seeing them eating so much made Mr. Ken think about the coming months and the probability of a growth spurt for the boys, especially Robert, and then the onset of puberty. 'Sheesh', he thought to himself. 'What am I going to do now? Guess I'll just go with the flow and play it by ear and go on instinct. Of course, I can use my own experience from when it happened to me'; he silently pondered and then laughed to himself.

Both boys were looking at Mr. Ken as he seemed to be way out in 'left field'. They figured he was thinking about something, but they couldn't figure out what it was for the life of them. Suddenly, Mr. Ken's eyes unfocused and he saw the two good friends staring at him and he said, "What?" "What!"

Everyone laughed, including Mr. Ken, and they all continued to eat more pizza.

Soon, the two young buddies where stuffed and wanted to go play some games in the back area of the restaurant. Looking at each other, they were silently asking each other the question of who was going to ask Mr. Ken if they could go play the games now and most importantly WHO was going to ask for the all-important – money!

Robert realized Mr. Ken was his 'Da…', err Foster Parent and knew it was up to him to ask.

"Da … err … ah … Mr. Ken can we have some money to go play the games in the back? We'll be good! We won't get into trouble, will we Eric?" he said, while looking to Eric for some support from his friend.

Laughing out loud, Mr. Ken said, "I was wondering when you were going to ask me about playing the games and asking for some money. How much do you think you'll need? I've only ever been here once before, so I don't really remember how much it costs. I do remember you got a plastic credit card sized gaming piece you loaded with money so you could play the games without having to constantly reach into your pocket for money. Go find out for me will you and let me know. Okay, fellas?"

The two scrambled out of their chairs almost knocking them over in their rush to find out how much money they needed to play the games. Mr. Ken just smiled over the antics of the two BEST friends.

Rushing back, the two buddies both tried to tell Mr. Ken what was what but they kept talking over each other so that it was hard for Mr. Ken to decipher what was being said. So, to put a stop to it, he put up both hands in a mock 'I give up!' pose and both preteens stopped talking and caught their breath.

"Good!" Mr. Ken said, happy the verbal assault was over. "Now, which one of you is going to tell me how much it is going to cost me?"

Both lads looked at each other again looking for which one was going to tell him when Robert told Mr. Ken that the Mr. Gatti's cards cost ten dollars each but that you got an extra $2.50 when you bought $10.00 in credit, at one time, so it was a real bargain and then Eric spoke up reemphasized the 'bargain' part of the deal.

Mr. Ken laughed to himself again over the antics of the boys. He stood up, retrieved his wallet and pulled out two ten dollar bills and gave one to each of them. Both thanked him and hurriedly left him standing there alone to fend again for himself.

Sitting down, Mr. Ken heard some laughing from a nearby table and looked over and saw a gentleman, who looked to be in his mid-to-late thirties, now smiling at him. Smiling back to the man, he shrugged his shoulders and took a drink of his soda.

The nearby man then said, "My two do that to me every time we come here, so don't feel too bad about it!"

Mr. Ken smiled back and told the guy that this was only his second time in there and he wasn't sure of what to do or how to do it. And that he only knew it was a cheap place to fill up a growing kid.


'What', Mr. Ken said to himself.

Again he heard "Harry", a little louder this time and looked over to the man as the guy motioned for him to come over and sit at his table.

Getting up and grabbing his drink he said, "Ken" to the man and walked over and sat down at the man's table. As Ken sat, Harry extended his hand and they shook hands and laughed simultaneously.

Harry began by saying, "I couldn't help but notice your two running off like they did. They acted like my two do at times and then when they came back and you couldn't understand a word they were saying I had to laugh even more. Are they twins" Harry continued, "they look to be about the same age but they sure aren't identical."

"No, they aren't mine", Ken said to Harry.

"What?" Harry responded while laughing.

"Oh, sorry, I mean they aren't mine as in biological but they are mine in a way. Wait! No, that's not right. Let me see if I can explain it so you can understand."

"Are you their Uncle … or something?" asked Harry.

"No … not really', said Ken.

"Wow, sounds complicated. You're not their father … and you're not their uncle, so what else is there? You just borrow or maybe rent a few kids for the night. Hey, if you do that I've got two you can have … any time you want them, for FREE even!" exclaimed Harry, while he continued laughing hardily at Ken. He did, though, feel to himself the questions were way out of line, but he was now curious about the young man and the two boys.

"No, No, it's nothing like it sounds but … well, I can understand your thinking, that by the way, I answered you. Let me try this again. The two boys are with me tonight but they are sleeping over but they'll be in a bedroom … oh, but not mine. Huh? What did I just say? I think I'm digging my hole deeper the more I try to explain," Ken said, as he blushed while at the same time felt flustered that he couldn't explain himself to his new, he hoped, friend.

Laughing, Harry asked, "Let me get this straight. You got two kids. But they're not yours. They're sleeping over tonight but not in your room. Have I got that right so far?"

Ken nodded to Harry and the man continued, "And the hole you're digging is your grave if the Misses finds out?" And with that, Harry broke out with the most boisterous laugh anyone had ever heard. Wiping his eyes from laughing so hard and then finally settling down some, Harry then said to Ken, "Why don't you start at the beginning, instead of in the middle, and maybe this time you can figure it out, too."

"Thanks … I think" responded Ken, laughing as well AND especially to the 'Mrs.' comment.

"Okay, here goes. I'm a Foster dad to Robert and he and his friend Eric are the two high spirited boys with me tonight. Robert is the slightly taller one and you can see he has darker skin than Eric."

"I didn't think you were old enough to have boys at your young age, what … you're like twenty-five, but you just never know these days what science can come up with!" Harry offered.

Thinking to himself before saying any more, Ken knew he didn't explain it very well at all and that was an understatement if there ever was one. Now, with his thinking cap on, Ken started again.

"A few weeks back my friend, Ms. Judy Turner, from CPS, Child Protective Services, called me and asked if I could foster a young boy of twelve. She told me the boy was having troubles at his last home and was in his third placement home and it hadn't been a year since he came into the system. She sounded desperate. I know, I know I'm young. Sheesh … but I have some 'standing' with the lady, so … a foster parent I became none-the-less."

"You see … two years ago I fostered a then 15 year old because he was … well … ahh … he needed to be in a private setting because of the situation he was in. The authorities felt it was best if he stayed with me since he was comfortable around me already and we had sort of connected. I really don't want to get into all that right now, but because I had 'standing' with CPS that they asked me to foster Robert."

"Wait … wait, I know who you are! I thought I recognized you but … well, I wasn't too sure when I saw you with those two younger lads. But now that you mentioned having a 15 year old, I know who you are. You're Ken Thomas … Mr. Ken to everyone around here," happily announced Harry.

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