Castle Roland

Chapter 22

Published: 22 Aug 16

Tales from Bentonville

By David Lee
Copyright © 2005, 2016

While most of the rest of Bentonville was being entertained by the football playoffs, John Tracewell was recovering from his wounds. He didn't know what lay in store for him in the courts, but he knew that he was grateful to be alive. He was also thankful for Dan, or Danny Boy as he sometimes called him. Dan had camped in his hospital room for several days until their parents forced him to go back to school. At least Dan had been there through the worst of it.

John had a lot of time to think about his life and where it was headed. He had been certain that Sheriff Larkin would have him cuffed to the bed, but instead, the officer had taken his word that he would not try to flee. The man had even arranged for John to get some counseling from a psychiatrist, Lori Evans, who was donating time to work with people who couldn't afford expensive sessions with a private shrink.

At the outset, John was cynically sure that she was only interested in doing charity work so she could get a tax break, but he soon learned that she was sincere in wanting to help. After holding back a lot, he began to trust her enough to let a few things slip out.

On one occasion, Dan was visiting him when she came in. She said that she would return another time, but John insisted that she stay. He told her that he had nothing to hide from his younger bro. He might not have been so eager for her to continue if he had had any idea what this session was going to unleash.

For some reason, John began to talk about their childhood. He mentioned "Uncle Marv" who was a former neighbor who always volunteered to baby-sit with his brother and him when they were young. The conversation made Dan uncomfortable. He began to perspire as it continued. Suddenly, he ran for the bathroom and threw up.

Lori sensed that there was a connection between the mention of this Marv, and the reaction that Dan had had. When he returned to the room, she asked him if she could try to get to the root of his problem. He agreed to her request to put him into a mild hypnotic state.

Before she began, she pulled out a recording device from her bag and entered the date as well as the names of the guys she was working with.

When Dan was relaxed and sitting with his eyes closed, Lori asked him to go back to when he was six years old and Marv was baby-sitting. Dan's voice became child-like as he talked.

"Do you like it when Marv is your baby-sitter?" she asked.

"No, I don't like the games we play," the little voice admitted.

"What kind of games are they?"

"I'm not supposed to tell or he'll hurt my pee-pee with his cigarette," the boy blurted out.

"Marv can't hurt you anymore. John and I will protect you. You can tell us."

As Dan began to cry, John had to fight to stay stoic.

"I thought Marv only did that to me," John exclaimed. "He promised to leave Danny alone if I let him do it to me."

"Wait, let Danny tell it for himself. We don't want to influence what he is saying."

"Come on, Danny; tell us what Marv made you do."

"He made me lick his pee-pee. It didn't taste good. And he pushed it into my mouth. It hurt a lot because it's so big. He made be drink his juice and I threw up. I'm a bad boy and I'm going to Hell. He said I would!"

"No, Danny, you're not a bad boy. Marv made you do it. You had no choice. You are going to be fine. John and I are going to take care of you."

Lori wiped at her eyes as she continued to talk to the "six-year-old Danny". She kept assuring him that he was a good boy and that he had done nothing wrong. After he had calmed down, she brought him back to a fully-awake state.

"How do you feel now, Dan?" she asked.

"I feel a lot better," he sighed. "I'm glad that you took me to that beach in my mind. I feel so much more peaceful now."

"Do you know what you told us?" she continued.

"No, did I say something stupid?"

"Not at all. Do you want to hear it?"

Dan nodded his assent and Lori Evans began to play back the conversation. Dan listened in disbelief at first. His eyes widened. Then tears began to run down his cheeks. John reached over and squeezed his hand.

"That fucking asshole!" John exclaimed. "Oh, I'm sorry, ma'am."

"Don't apologize," she said. "I agree with you a hundred percent!"

"I believe that what you boys have discovered today is going to help both of you change the direction of your lives. This is just the first step. It isn't a miracle cure; I'm not Dr. Phil," she quipped. "But I'm going to submit this recording as evidence in your up-coming trial, John. It just might have some bearing on why you have done some of the things you have that got you into this whole mess in the first place."

After Ms. Evans left, John and Dan sat without speaking for a long time. After a while, John broke the silence by telling Dan that he really didn't know that Marv was using him too. But, he did remember the times when Danny would have nightmares and crawl in bed with him. Dan confessed that he had blocked the whole experience from his conscious mind until today. He had only now faced the demons of his childhood. He already felt like a different person for having done so. He thought that he might know why the two of them had gone after Jerry in the way that they had. John nodded thoughtfully. The sad smiles that the brothers exchanged, when Darrin came to pick Dan up, were genuine and went all the way up to their eyes.

Darrin visited John a couple of times when Dan couldn't. There were always reasons to go to the Iowa City area. Darrin wanted to look at some sporting equipment at the Coralridge Mall. It wasn't much of a drive from there to University Hospital. Of course, he didn't really need to make the trip at all, but he found himself wanting to visit John. John's parents were so cold that they didn't make any effort to spend much time with him and Darrin couldn't stand seeing the younger man lying in his bed without someone to look in on him.

Darrin's family wouldn't have left him alone even if he had murdered someone. And yet, they had left him. He swallowed hard. He wasn't going on that road today. He had shed enough tears.

On his first visit alone, he was surprised to hear the sounds of Jazz music wafting from John's room. Darrin assumed that someone else must be occupying the room, but that was not the case.

John seemed embarrassed about being caught listening to that genre of music until Darrin expressed his love of it. For the rest of the visit, they talked about their favorite performers. The time passed so rapidly that neither was aware of it.

When he left, Darrin promised to bring back some CDs for John to hear. John felt better for a few minutes that day.

Thanksgiving was approaching and many kids in Bentonville were excited. Some were looking forward to hunting. Some simply wanted a few days away from school. And others were anticipating the arrival of family.

Colt was looking forward to seeing both of his biological parents. Greta had invited Sharon and her boyfriend to the family gathering as well as Wade and Roger. All seemed to be comfortable with sharing the holiday and were eager to come.

Greta had the boys out at the lake-side cottage cleaning and preparing what foods could be made ahead. They loved working with her out in that beautiful place which was already beginning to have a special meaning for them.

On Wednesday, Sharon Squires and Dwayne Holtz arrived at Greta's house. Colt nearly squeezed the life out of his mother as he greeted her at the door. He had grown since she had seen him in August. He was more mature-looking as well. Sharon beamed in pride as she introduced him to the man she had been dating.

Colt gave Dwayne a firm handshake and then turned to introduce him to Dane who was standing behind him. Dane had agreed with Colton that they would be up-front with Sharon's boyfriend about their relationship, so he was not surprised about what happened next.

"It's nice to meet you, Dwayne. I want you to meet my boyfriend, Dane."

Dwayne didn't hesitate as he shook Dane's offered hand.

"I'm delighted to meet both of you," he said.

Colton decided then and there that he liked the man his mother was dating. There had been no sign of disgust or dislike. That was totally kewl! Dane sensed it too, though the two didn't have a chance to discuss it for a while.

Wade and Roger showed up about an hour later. They arrived just before dinner was to be served. Traffic in the Avenue of the Saints had been heavier than they had anticipated.

Dinner was at DJ's house that evening. Greta hadn't left all of the preparations to her pregnant daughter-in-law, however. She had made several of the dishes with the aid of the boys.

All of the extended family visited over coffee and dessert after the meal. It was fun to see how well Dwayne fit in. Colton had a feeling that he would be gaining a step-father in the near future. This guy seemed okay.

When it came time for bed, no one was sure about accommodations. Greta didn't want to presume that Sharon was sleeping with Dwayne, but she didn't want to act like a prude if that was the arrangement. The problem was settled when Sharon announced that she would like to stay with Ellen and DJ if that was okay and that Dwayne could stay with Greta and get better acquainted with Colt in the process.

After Wade, Roger, Dwayne, Colt, and Dane had accompanied Greta back to her house; the guys sat up a bit longer getting to know each other. Colton got brave and asked the question that was on the minds of all of the adults. Since he wasn't hampered by "maturity," he spoke his mind.

"So, are you serious about my mother?"

"Yes, I am. I am falling in love with her and I hope that you'll approve of my dating her. When I commit, it will be forever."

"Yeah, well why would you care what I think?"

"You are her son. She loves you more than anyone else in this world. I know that I'll have to be happy with second place. I hope that you'll let me be that at least."

"Hell, Dwayne, you had better be first place in her heart. I'm her son, but I know that you can make her happy if you're good to her. And you'd better be good to her or you'll answer to me!"

"Aye, aye, sir!" Dwayne responded.

Everyone laughed at the ardor of Colt's demands. Colt laughed too, but he meant what he had said.

The following morning, most of the family went to the lake cottage in three vehicles. There was a ton of food to take and the preparations began early. Greta and the boys were already there when the rest arrived. The smell of roasting turkey and dressing filled the air. One could gain five pounds by sniffing the aroma!

Dinner was served around 1:00 to make sure that it was over in time for the football fans to have their chance at watching some games. Cleanup fell mostly to the younger women as the guys congregated in the living room glued to the TV.

Back in Bentonville, Joel's parents, Ward and Janis Teague and his brother, Jake, had arrived for the holiday with his grandparents. To say the least, the gathering was not as laid-back and cordial as the one that Greta was hosting.

From the outset, Joel's father was acting like an ass. He had sidled up to his older son and whispered in his ear: "How's my favorite fag?" No one else had heard it, but Joel's grandfather had figured it wasn't something good because of the way Joel's body had stiffened.

The early conversation centered on Joel and his social life in the new surroundings. His mother was delighted to know that he had taken a girl to the Halloween dance. His father raised an eyebrow when he heard.

"Well, maybe this was the best move for you. I'm glad you had a real date. It kind of makes you see that you were mixed up about being gay."

Until that moment, Joel's orientation had not been discussed with his grandparents although the elder people had suspected the reason for his sudden sojourn with them.

"No," Joel responded. "It just made me realize more than ever that I am not into girls."

Then turning to his grandparents, he continued.

"I'm sorry I wasn't exactly honest with you."

"No need to be sorry," Rhys said gently. "We love you dearly whatever your preferences. Our love is unconditional."

Jane smiled and nodded her agreement.

"Well, that does it!" Joel's father shouted. "You're going back with us and I am sending you away to a school that will straighten you out."

"I won't go! You can't make me."

"I can, and I will!"

"Not so fast," Rhys interjected softy. "Let's be reasonable. Joel can remain with us."

"Butt out, old man! You can't stop me either."

"Ah, but I can and I will," Rhys stated evenly mimicking his son-in-law's words. "Don't you remember those papers I had drawn up so that we could be Joel's guardians in case of emergencies? You should have read them more carefully. For a man who runs a major company, you are way too gullible."

"What are you taking about?"

"Only the fact that Jane and I have full and irrevocable custody of Joel until he reaches majority age. Read your copy for yourself. It's all there and it's perfectly legal. We had an idea that you were trying to micromanage this boy's life so we decided to intervene."

"I've got a host of lawyers and a ton of money," boasted the younger man. "We'll see how irrevocable this document is!"

"And Jane and I have enough money to keep this in the courts until Joel reaches 18. I know that your parents will help us if we ask. We are vacationing with them in Belize after Christmas."

By this time Joel's father was pacing the floor and his mother was looking aghast at her parents. The smirk on Joel's younger brother's face, which had been there several minutes, was beginning to fade.

Ever the gracious hostess, Jane announced that there was time for a drink before dinner. Her son-in-law didn't want to socialize with his in-laws, but needed a drink badly enough to take her up on the offer. Rhys made it weak enough not to get the man intoxicated, but hopefully strong enough to take the edge off of his anger.

Despite the alcohol, dinner was a tense affair. The only ones who had much appetite were the grandparents and the boys. Rhys and Jane had lived long enough to take the present situation in stride. They were winning in any event. The teenagers were perpetually hungry. Joel was celebrating in his mind.

After dinner, just as Joel was thinking that the storm might be over, Ward started up again.

"What are you doing with Joel when you're off in Belize? How do I know that he'll be taken care of?"

"Oh, he will be going with us. It was supposed to be a surprise for Jake and him. They are both invited while you and Janis go to the south of Spain as you usually do. Your parents have booked a three-bedroom condo near the beach. I know there won't be lots of excitement for the boys, but there is deep-sea diving, snorkeling, swimming, and I'm sure there will be some other young people on the beach for volleyball and such."

Jake spoke up for the first time, "Does that mean I have to share a bedroom with my faggot brother?"

"No, my dear," Jane answered sweetly. "You may sleep on the sofa or stay home."

"Well, I'm not going!"

"I'm sorry that you feel that way. Are you sure you won't reconsider?"

"I'm sure! I don't have to go, do I Dad?"

"Of course not, son, we'll find something else for you to do. You can stay with your friends at the ski lodge like we had planned."

"Well," Jane said. "Joel, you will have to see if someone will use the extra plane ticket. Do you think that your friend, Alex would like to go with us? We aren't going until the day after Christmas, so he wouldn't miss the holiday with his family."

Joel felt a flush of relief, joy, and anticipation. He hadn't wanted to spend the time with his brother. He had hated the idea of Jake's going. But the possibility of spending a week with Alex on the beach, in the water, in the bedroom...; that seemed like a dream come true!

He raced up to his room for privacy and punched Alex's number on his cell phone. Alex answered his cell after one ring.

"Oh, cool, I was hoping that we would get to talk over Thanksgiving. I thought that with your family there I probably wouldn't hear from you for a few days."

"Alex, man, I've got good news and bad. My parents hate me. I suppose that's the bad news. The good news is that I'm going to Belize the day after Christmas with my grandparents and my bratty brother doesn't want to go so we have an extra plane ticket and room in the condo. Do you have a passport and do you think that your parents would let you go?"

"Whoa, Dude, how much is the ticket. I'll have to see what I have in my account. My passport is up to date because we were in Europe last summer."

"You won't have to pay for the ticket. We already have it and it's probably too late to get even a partial refund. Don't sweat it. My grandparents are loaded and they made the offer for me to take a friend."

"Okay, I really want to go, but I'll have to talk it over with Allen first. And, I think if your grandmother called my mother that it might carry more weight than if you and I talk to the 'rents."

"That's cool. I really hope you can go."

"I do too! Oh, by the way, why do your parents hate you?"

"It's a family thing. I'll tell you later sometime when it doesn't hurt as much."

"Sorry, Joel, it was none of my business. I just want you to know that I do care and that you can share anything with me - really."

Joel signed off smiling at Alex's last words. He wondered just how much Alex did care. Oh, he felt close to that hunk. For a moment he basked in the warmth of Alex's comments.

Within the hour, Joel felt his cell vibrate in his pocket. He had been sitting in the family room with the rest of his family trying to remain civil though his guts were in a knot. He stepped into the hall to answer it before the musical tone played three notes.

"Hey, can you go?" he asked upon seeing who was calling.

"Yeah! As far as Allen is concerned it's fine. We talked it over. He says that as twins we need to make sure that we are also individuals. He says that if he would get the opportunity for a trip like that with his girlfriend's family, he knows that I would expect him to go."

After he had phrased it that way, Alex cringed. Would Joel think that he had told his twin that Joel was his boyfriend? He talked on, trying to dig himself out of the hole. He gulped for air before continuing.

"Uh, her family is the only one we know with that kind of money in this place beside you, if you know what I mean," he said weakly.

Joel was smiling on the other end. He hoped that the slip Alex had made was truly a Freudian one. He prayed that it meant that Alex cared from him a lot.

"Yeah, I know what you're saying," Joel responded. "I'll get Grandma to call your mom. Is it too late tonight?"

"No, that would be fine. I can't wait to start working on them to let me go!"

When Alex's mom answered the phone a few minutes later, it was evident that the call was from Joel's grandmother. Alex strained to hear his mother's side of the conversation.

"Oh, Mrs. Masterson, how nice to hear from you. Okay, Jane, it is. We're having just our family. I suppose you have a houseful. True. Yes, they are good friends. Oh my, that is very exciting. I'm sure it will be no surprise to Alex. No doubt the two have talked it over. I'm guessing that he will be delighted to go. How much do we need to send for the ticket? Really, that is far too generous. Well, yes, I guess we would. Are you sure? We need to think of some way to get even with you. Yes, I'll tell him. I'm betting that he is within earshot as we speak. Thanks again. Goodbye."

"ALEX." She called after hanging up the phone.

Alex grinned as he tried to pretend that he hadn't heard her.

In his bed that night, Joel lay naked thinking of Alex. He could envision the stud in his bed. He dreamed of being together on the beach in Belize. He fantasized about sucking each other off. His imagination was so active that he brought himself to a dry orgasm without touching his penis. Moments later, a few frantic strokes completed the job. Joel kicked back the covers in the nick of time. The first volley hit his chin. Each succeeding blast left a trail moving closer to the source of the explosion. It took several Kleenexes to soak up the majority of the juice. The rest would be left to dry on his abs.

A little way across town, Allen was listening to the sounds of his brother doing something similar. Allen figured that Alex was thinking of Joel. He hoped that Joel wouldn't out Alex if he found out about him. Joel was hard to read. He might be gay and he might not. The guys had certainly become close since Joel was tutoring Alex. Whatever happened, Allen was going to protect his twin at all costs.

A moan escaped Alex's throat; he couldn't keep as quiet as he wanted to. Neither could Allen who was now sporting a raging hardon from knowing what Alex was doing. Alex froze in place as Allen turned on the light by his bed.

Allen then pulled a bottle of hand lotion out of the drawer of the nightstand. He poured some into his right hand and tossed the bottle to Alex.

"Here Bro, this will make your job easier."

Then Allen did something totally unexpected. He pulled back the covers on Alex's bed and crawled in beside him.

"It's okay, Alex. We're not going to do each other, but we both need this a lot. No reason we can't watch."

Alex sighed in pleasure as his twin's left hip came into contact with his right one. He sensed a mutual caring and a mutual lust. The physical contact along with the visual stimulation put them both over the edge quickly. Each produced enough cum to populate a small county.

Allen ran to the bathroom after a quick check of the hall. He came back with two warm, damp wash cloths for cleanup. As the boys were drifting off to sleep a few minutes later, Allen said that he hoped Alex would get some real loving in Belize. Alex blushed with pleasure in the darkened room. Once again, he was aware of the fact that he and his brother could almost get inside each other's heads.

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