Castle Roland


by Eric Aune


Chapter 23

Published: 8 Apr 14

Early the next morning Eric got a call from the station house that the detective investigating the case would like to talk to Josh about what had happened. When Josh came downstairs, Eric told him about it. Eric called them back and told them that he and Josh would be down there at ten.

At ten Eric and Josh left for the police station. Upon arrival, Eric took Josh with him through the police officer's entrance and led him to the detective's division office. Inside he asked for Detective Peter Bostick and was directed to his desk. The man that he assumed was Detective Bostick looked up as Eric neared him and stood up to shake hands with he and Josh.

"Officer Barrett, Detective Bostick."

"Good morning Detective. This is my nephew Josh."

"Hello Josh. Why don't we go into the interview room?"

Eric nodded and Peter grabbed a notepad and led the way to the room. He opened the door for them and motioned for them to have a seat. He asked if they would like anything and they declined. He sat down across from them and opened his notepad.

"Okay Josh….it's okay to call you Josh?"

Josh nodded and Peter gave him a friendly smile.

"Okay Josh. I need to ask you a few questions about what happened. Um…you know about your father?"

Josh dropped his head and nodded. Peter gave him a sympathetic look.

"I'm very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you feel, but I am sorry."

"Thank you, sir."

"Can you tell me in your own words what happened on December 31st at your home?"

Josh paused a moment before beginning his story, while he talked the detective occasionally asked him to clarify something that he had said. Josh continued up to the point of when his dad came in his room with the gun.

"…that's the last thing I remember until I woke up in the hospital after being in surgery."

"Thank you Josh, I don't think there is anything else that I need. Again, I'm sorry this happened and I hope everything will be okay for you."

"Thank you, sir. I think it will be"

Peter got up and opened the door for them. He walked them out to the front.

"Josh, could I ask you to wait here for a moment, I need to talk to your Uncle for a moment."

Josh nodded and sat down. Peter motioned for Eric to follow him and walked with him back to his desk. He picked up a folder and opened it and removed a picture.

"Officer Barrett. I wanted to show you this. It's a picture of Mister Stuart's left hand."

Eric looked at the picture. It showed Derrick's hand and he saw that the hand was red and badly blistered. He handed the picture back and looked at the detective. "His hand looks like he burned it."

"Yes. Josh didn't say anything about it, and we're not sure how he did it. It's like he held his hand over a flame or something. His blood alcohol was .18, more than double the legal limit, and we're guessing he burned it on the stove at some point. He was probably so anesthetized that he didn't even realize he burned it. I just wanted to tell you about it because it was unusual, just in case Josh remembers something about it later."

"Thank you Detective. Is that it then?"

"Yes, thank you for coming down. I wish you and Josh good luck."

Eric nodded and left the room and went to collect Josh. His next stop was the funeral home. When he pulled up he looked over at Josh. "I'm just going to go in and drop off a suit of your father's for the funeral and see to the arrangements. I hadn't had much chance to talk to you about what you wanted to do about your father. Do you have any preferences?"

"Not really, only that he be buried near my mom, if that was possible."

"Alright, I found some papers of his that showed that he had planned for this. Well, not this precisely, but just in case something happened to him. From what I saw, he had already arranged a plot next to your mom, so I'll take care of everything, unless you want to come in."

Josh shook his head. Eric squeezed his shoulder as he got out. He grabbed the package he had put in the back of the Jeep and went inside. He returned half an hour later. Josh had dozed off, so when Eric got in he woke up. Eric started the Jeep and they headed back home.

Later Josh was watching TV when the phone rang. Eric answered it and brought it over to Josh.

"It's Jamie."

Josh smiled as he took the handset and got up from the couch in the den to go into the living room for some privacy.

"Hey Jamie…I'm okay…now. Hey, have you or Dylan talked to Ian?...I want to talk to him, but I don't know what to say…yeah, that might be a way…Would you call and ask him? How about Friday?...I would but my dad's funeral is on Saturday…just my uncle and me at the graveside…No we don't want a lot of people…you don't have to…thanks Jamie, that means a lot…okay, let me know about Saturday…You could stay the night if you want since you're going with us…okay talk to you later…love you too, bye."

He brought the handset back in the den and hung it up.

"May I have some of my friends come visit on Friday, and Jamie said he wants to come with us on Saturday if it's okay. If it's okay, I suggested he spend the night."

"Sure. I understand. I know what he means to you. I take it you're more than friends?"

Josh thought about denying it, but Eric quickly quelled any anxiety. "Josh. I don't care who you like. You are my family and that's it. You are all the family I have left and I would never throw you away because of something as unimportant like that. Well unimportant to me. If Jamie is the person you like, then he is always welcome here. He cares very deeply for you as well."

Josh went to his uncle and hugged him. He sat down on the couch again.

"So, it's okay for Jamie to stay over?"

"Yes, and I know that this may be embarrassing, but I hope you're being careful and you're not rushing into anything before either of you are ready. Don't rush it, be good friends first before you bring lots of sex into the relationship."

As he spoke Josh's face turned crimson and he looked down. Eric saw that, but he didn't stop. He wanted to make sure that Josh got the message. "Now, I won't outright forbid you two being together that way, but I caution you to wait, that would be my preference. Believe me, I know it may feel hard, or rather difficult…" Eric gave a little smile and Josh blushed, " wait to…go all the way, but it's better. Just don't rush to grow up. Be a kid for a while yet."

Josh couldn't trust himself to speak, so he nodded instead. Eric nodded and turned to the TV.

Over at Jamie's house he went to his room and pulled his cell phone out to call Ian.

"Hey Ian…he's doing okay, thanks for asking…Josh asked me to call you and invite you over to his uncle's house on Friday for an afternoon barbecue and hanging out in the hot tub…Yeah, I'm sure it would be okay for Logan to come over too…Okay cool. I'll let him know…he said that he was going to ask Dylan too…His uncle has a pool too, but it might be a bit cool for that, but I guess if you want to it might be okay… Maybe Josh can ask his uncle to heat it up some…sure okay see you guys then…bye."

He finished the call and then called Dylan.

"Hey Dylan, did Josh call you yet?...oh cool…yeah, Ian and Logan are coming too…Yeah, I want to see what they say about that too…I don't know, but I hope they'll tell us…Sure. See you there…bye."

Jamie really wished Friday would get here soon. He so wanted to be with Josh right now. He left his room to ask Maggie and Tom about spending the night at Josh's house so that he could go to the funeral with him. He found them sitting in the living room with Shane and Mark.

"Maggie and Tom can I ask you something?"

They both looked over at Jamie. "Of course, what do you need?"

"Josh is having a barbecue at his house Friday and I'd like to stay overnight because Saturday is his Dad's funeral and I wanted to go with him."

"Oh, that's very kind of you, Jamie, to be there for your friend. Of course you can. How are you getting over there?"

"Probably ride my bike over there."

"Jamie, it might be better if one of us takes you over there."

"I guess, but I didn't want to impose."

"Do you mind taking him over there Tom?"

"I would be happy to, Jamie. What time on Friday?"

"Oh, I didn't ask, but I think it would be okay to be there at one. That way I can help Josh and his uncle get everything ready for the barbecue."

"One huh, sorry I'll be at work. Maggie can take you though, as long as it's okay with Josh's uncle."

"It's okay."

"Alrighty then, will you need one of us to pick you up on Saturday?"

"No, I'm sure Josh's uncle will give me a ride back here. Thanks Tom. Thanks Maggie."

"Okay, but if you need a ride home, just call and one of us will pick you up. No problem."

Jamie went back to his bedroom to play some games for a little while before heading to bed. Shane and Mark came and joined him for a little while before it was their bed time. The three boys had good time together. Jamie was in a good mood.

The next day or two had Jamie filled with anticipation of getting a chance to spend the night with his boyfriend. He seemed to be fidgeting all the time. Maggie remarked on it once or twice and Jamie would then settle down, soon though he was antsy again. The thing that did calm him down some was talking to Josh on the phone at night before he went to sleep.

Friday finally arrived and Jamie seemed to be watching the clock every few minutes. Shane and Mark were able to distract him for a little while by getting Jamie outside to play catch. He got into the game and he lost track of time so that it wasn't until Maggie came outside to remind him it was time that he had forgotten about it.

"Jamie, it's fifteen to one. You ready to go? Boy's put your things away so we can get going"

"Oh yeah, thanks Maggie."

Shane and Mark followed Jamie into the house and put their gloves and the ball away. Once Jamie was back in the living room with his bag they all headed out to the car.

They all piled into the car and it wasn't long before Maggie had pulled up in front of Eric's house. She waited while Jamie got his suit and backpack out of the back seat.

"Tell Josh, we're sorry about his dad."

"Thanks little brothers. I'll tell him."

She watched as Jamie walked up to the house. When the door opened, Jamie turned to wave goodbye to Maggie and the boys, who returned it before pulling away.

Eric stood to the side as he welcomed Jamie. He told him that Josh was up in his room and Jamie went upstairs. He found Josh lying on the bed with ear buds from his Ipod in his ears. His eyes were closed as he listened to the music and swayed his head back and forth to the music. Jamie just peeked into the room and watched Josh for a little bit before he carefully crept into the room. He was about to pounce on Josh when someone poked him in the back. He practically jumped out of his skin.


Josh's eyes popped open and he saw Jamie standing there facing toward the door with his hand on his chest as he tried to calm down. Rolling on the floor near the doorway was Dylan holding his sides as he laughed at Jamie. In the hall was Ethan who was also laughing.

"That…was not…funny."

Jamie was trying to scowl at Dylan but he really couldn't, "Dickhead."

Josh by that time had made his way over to his boyfriend and gave him a peck on the cheek. Any thought of being mad at Dylan left him completely and he turned to Josh with a smile and kissed him back, but on the lips. Josh kissed him back until Dylan cleared his throat. They had sheepish looks on their faces.


"It's okay.

"So when did you guys get here, Dylan?"

"About fifteen minutes ago. We were in the bathroom cleaning up when you came upstairs. When I saw that you didn't know I was there, I couldn't help myself. Sorry."

"C'mon, let's go see if my Uncle needs help with anything. Then we can get in the spa for a while."

The other boys agreed and they went downstairs. Eric put the four to work helping get the food and drinks ready. There wasn't really much to do, so they were done pretty quickly and sat down to watch TV. Twenty minutes later the doorbell rang. Josh started to get up a little too fast and he put his hand down to his side and winced a little. Jamie saw it and put his hand on his arm to stop him from moving.

"Stay put, I'll get it."

Josh nodded as Jamie got up and went to the door. When he opened it, Ian and Logan were standing on the other side.

"Hi guys, c'mon in."

"What about our bikes?"

"Oh, uh, bring them over to the garage and I'll open it. You can put 'em in there."


They wheeled them around to the garage and waited until the door opened. Once it started moving up, they ducked inside as soon as it was high enough. Jamie closed it and led them inside the house and into the living room where the others were sitting.

"Hi Josh, hi Dylan, hello, Mister Barrett."

"Hi boys, welcome to my home."

"Uncle Eric, is it okay if we get in the spa for awhile?"

"Josh, what about your stitches?"

"I'll use that tape stuff that covers it up. Jamie can help me."

Eric looked at his nephew with a raised eyebrow that told Josh that he wasn't sure whether it was a good idea or not."

"I promise that I'll get out if it hurts or anything and I won't stay in there long."

Eric still wasn't sure whether it was a good idea or not to let him get in the spa, but he finally nodded.

"Okay boys, go get your suits on and I'll go turn it on for you guys. Josh, be careful. I don't want to have to bring you to the hospital. Jamie, and you others, I expect that you will watch out for him. I know he's healing up pretty well according to the doctor, and I don't want to jeopardize that, so take care."

The boys nodded agreement. Jamie helped Josh up from the couch, and the six boys went upstairs to Josh's room. They opened their bags and stripped off their clothes so that they could put their suits on.

"Jamie, will you come into the bathroom with me and help me put the tape on? That's where we have the supplies."

Jamie nodded and followed Josh to the bathroom. They both carried their suits with them, dressed in just their Levis. Once in the bathroom, they finished undressing and put their suits on. Then with Jamie's help, he got the bandage off. The surgery incision looked good as far as they could tell. Josh went through the cabinets and got the stuff out. He took some gauze out and put it over the incision on front and handed another to Jamie. He told him how to cover the incision scar on his back. Then Josh gave Jamie the tape. It was about three inches wide and with Josh's instructions, Jamie was able to put the tape on so that it completely covered the gauze on Josh, front and back.

"I usually don't like to use this stuff because it's really hard to take off and it hurts when I do. But it should keep the bandage covered pretty well. Let's go."

The tape was like a second skin completely covering the bandages so that they were protected. They left the bathroom and went to Josh's room to drop their clothes off. Dylan and the others weren't there so they figured that they were downstairs, maybe they were out in the spa already. They went out the sliding glass door and saw that Eric and the four boys were already out there.

Eric was leaning against the side talking to the boys. He looked over at the Josh and Jamie as they came out the door and smiled. He looked Josh's bandage over and nodded. "Okay, be careful now."

Jamie climbed in and both he and Eric helped Josh get in to the spa. It took them a few moments for them to lower themselves into the spa due to the water temperature, but finally they got themselves comfortable. Josh looked at his uncle, "Are you going get in with us, Uncle Eric?"

"No, I'm going to go watch the Cotton Bowl. I'll leave you guys alone. Remember keep an eye on Josh, he's still healing."

He turned and went into the house. The boys leaned back, closed their eyes and relaxed. There was little talking for a few minutes as they reveled in the relaxing water. Occasionally one of the boys would shift a little to position their backs near a water jet. While moving, Josh sucked in a breath because he moved wrong and there was some pain. The others opened their eyes and looked at him with concern.

"Are you okay, Josh?"

"I just moved wrong Jamie, that's all. It's okay now."

Jamie and Josh settled back and closed their eyes once again. Ian and Logan exchanged a look and Logan gave a slight nod. That nod told Ian that Logan had his back. He gave a slight nod back and turned to Josh.

"I think I can finish what I started, if you would like Josh."

Josh and Jamie both opened their eyes and looked at Ian. Josh sat up, carefully this time and looked at Ian. "What do you mean?"

"If you allow me, I will finish what I started at the hospital."

"What are going to do?"

"I didn't finish…healing you, and I think I can take all the hurt away, if…you want me to."

Josh looked at him without saying anything for a few moments before nodding. Ian got up from his seat and moved over to Josh's side.

"Will it hurt?"

"No. If it didn't hurt before it won't now."

Josh nodded and Ian placed his hands on Josh, one over each surgery site. He closed his eyes and let his mind reach out to his friend. He was nervous because he knew that the others would want to ask him about what he was doing and he hoped that they would not become afraid of him. He focused and soon he was able to feel all the places where there was still healing to be done. He went to each spot that he found and joined the injured areas together until they were whole and unbroken. It took him several minutes to find every spot. When he was done, he moved back to where he had been sitting next to Logan. As he sat back down, he felt dizzy and leaned back against the side of the spa. He let his head rest back and closed his eye as the dizziness hit him.

Josh sat up and started moving around a bit. He twisted to the left and then to the right, until he was satisfied that there was no pain at all.

Jamie watched him move, keeping an eye out for any sign of pain or discomfort.

Josh looked at Ian in wonder. "Dude, how did you do that?"

Ian didn't say anything for a few moments as he was still getting over the dizziness and a little bit of fatigue as well. He held up his hand to forestall Josh saying anything else. "Give me a minute and I'll tell you what I know or think."

"Ian, you okay?"

Ian opened his eyes and turned to the side to look at Logan who was obviously concerned. He gave him a smile and reached out to caress the side of his cheek.

"Yeah Logan, I'm okay, it was just a little tiring. There was still a lot to fix."

Logan brought his hand up and took Ian's hand in his and squeezed it. He held his hand as Ian closed his eyes and leaned back against the side of the spa again. The others were silent as they waited. Each lost in his own thoughts. Dylan could feel the anticipation that the others had. None of them had of course missed the interaction between Ian and Logan. He could tell that one thing that changed for some of the guys was the fear he had felt from them over the last few months that had to do with being found out as gay was. Although Ian had some fear of being rejected as a freak. Finally Ian opened his eyes and lifted his head up as he sat up straighter. He looked at the others with some concern. He was looking for any indication that they thought of him as a disgust or fright. None of them looked at him with hostility or disgust, the things that he was most worried about. But there was curiosity and even some awe, especially in the case of Josh.

"Sorry guys, when I do that, I get a little dizzy and tired."

"If you want to go lie down Dude, that's cool. We can talk later, but wow…"

Ian gave Josh a dismissive wave. "Naw Josh. It's cool. I'm still a little tired, but the dizziness is gone now. I know you guys want to know how I did this or even what I did. To tell the truth, I don't really know."

"But…how long have you been, um…been able to heal people? I mean that is what you did to me, right. You healed me."

"Yeah, as far as I can tell. I healed you."

"And you don't know how you do it?"

"Not really. I'll try to explain the best that I can. Um, I am somehow able to sort of send my mind, I guess, into another person and find the place that doesn't feel right. I don't know how, but I seem to be able to just know what's wrong and I sort of make it right."

"How long have you been doing this?"

"I…well, Logan and I discovered I could do it, just a few months ago. You remember when Sean got hurt in the bathroom. The day we met you guys and had lunch with you?"

They all nodded.

"Well, that was the first time. I think Sean's nose was actually broken and I accidently healed it while we were holding tissues to his nose to stop the bleeding. It surprised me when it happened."

"Am I the first person that you purposely tried to heal?"

Ian shook his head.

"No, I've done it two other times. One was when Logan got hurt in PE. His wrist was broken I think, or at least that's what it felt like and I fixed it. The other time was when numbnuts here…" He pointed his thumb at Logan with a look of mock disgust, "…wanted me to test this gift and he cut his hand with a knife and I had to heal that."

Logan blushed as Ian looked at him while he rolled his eyes.

"Hey, I said I was sorry. I agreed it was dumb, okay?"

"I know, but I like to remind you, so you don't do it again."

Logan smiled and then leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. Ian looked at the others.

"In case that wasn't clear, Ian and I are gay and we're together."

Jamie and Josh glanced at each other for a moment and then they raised their joined hands out of the water, "Us too."

There was some surprise and the four of them looked at Dylan and Ethan. They didn't hesitate and both of them nodded with a smile.

"Well that's six of us and unless I'm really off base, I think Sean and Dakota are a couple, too. I don't know for certain but I think they are, at least the signs point to it."

"They are."

They all looked at Dylan who had said that. He looked a little nervous but he was nodding.

"How do you know? Did they tell you?"

"Um, no, but I can tell." Dylan glanced at Ethan before continuing. "I guess since Ian is being truthful, I will too. Just give me a minute."

Dylan felt Ethan's hand squeeze his as he closed his eyes and pushed out a feeling of happiness. There was some resistance, but not much and when he opened his eyes to look at his friends, he saw smiles on all their faces. He quit pushing the feeling and although the smiles lingered a little, he could feel their surprise as they realized that while they were happy to be among friends, this feeling that they had just experienced was beyond that.

Jamie looked at Dylan, "Did you do that?"

Dylan nodded.

"Do it again."

Dylan didn't close his eyes this time as he tried for a different feeling. He thought about it for a few moments and then he got an evil smile on his face. Ethan started giggling, when he read what Dylan was thinking. The other four looked at Ethan with suspicion and then all of their faces, including Ethan's, changed.

"Holy shit!"

All of them looked down at their laps as they felt what Dylan was sending to them. They all turned red.

"Dude, stop, please, before I make a mess."

Dylan smiled at Josh and pulled the feeling back. The others were trying to will those feelings aside and they looked at Dylan with some of the same awe.

"Man that was intense. How did you do that?"

"I looked it up, it's called Empathy. Supposedly there are others who can do it. I can tell what people are feeling and what I can do is a little more rare, according to what I've read, I can make people feel things."

"Wow, Dude. How come you never told me about this?"

"Josh, I only found out about it a few weeks ago and I've been trying to understand it myself. Just a short time ago I found out that I could make someone else feel what I wanted them to feel and it's a little scary. I've been doing a lot of research online about it and I can see that if someone was bad, he could do some very bad things with that ability. Can you imagine what someone could do with what I just did?"

The others were silent for a little bit as they thought about it and they were soon nodding as they realized the power someone could have over another if they could do what Dylan had just done. They were glad that Dylan was the kind of person that he was. Jamie was thinking what it would be like if someone like Ricky Mendes had the kind of power and he shuddered.

Ethan glanced at him and made a quick decision, "Yeah Jamie, that would suck."

Jamie looked at him puzzled, "What would suck?"

Ethan paused a moment before answering him, knowing that he wanted the others to know too, "If Ricky could do that."

He looked at Jamie waiting for his reaction. Jamie's face remained puzzled and then his eyes widened, "You heard me, didn't you?"

Ethan nodded, "I did."

"You can read minds?"

Ethan bit his lip before nodding. Except for Dylan, the others looked at him with some concern. Ethan figured he better say something before they all freaked out on him.

"I can, if I concentrate on a person and also I sometimes can get a flash of a surface thought from someone. I heard what you thought because your guard was down, so to speak. Just so you know I do not go probing into your minds, guys. For some reason I can only pick up stray surface thoughts from you guys, including Sean and Dakota. Something stops me from going deeper. Not that I have gone digging I swear to you, but the eight of us are different than most people. You guys seem to have some kind of block to my gift. I've been doing some research as well to understand this. Have you guys read any Science Fiction or watched any such movies, you know like Star Trek?"

There were a couple of nods.

"Well, I've always liked it and in books where they talk about mind readers, it's always considered wrong to read someone's mind without their permission. So I don't go around doing that, because I think it's wrong and not my business. These stories also say that you can tell if someone is lying if they tell you mind to mind. With your permission I'd like to prove that."

Except for Dylan, the others exchanged nervous glances and they hesitated. Dylan looked at them and saw the looks, he thought he should say something, "Guys, I swear, you can trust Ethan."

They considered what he said before giving tentative nods. Ethan looked at them and then closed his eyes to let his mind reach out. When he thought he had connected to all of them, he


< You are all girls. >

He heard some giggles both mentally and out loud which made him smile.

< I swear that I have not and will not read your mind unless you give me permission. However, if you’re thinking loudly, I might pick it up, but I swear I will never use what I hear to embarrass you. You are all my closest friends and that includes Sean and Dakota. I would never do anything to break your trust. >

He opened his eyes and looked at the others. They all smiled at him and one by one moved over and hugged him before resuming their seat.

"That was cool. I could tell you were telling the truth. When you said we were girls. It was almost like there was this alarm in my head saying 'LIE, LIE, LIE', but when you said that, there was only a feeling that I knew that you were being completely honest."

"I mean that, you guys are my best friends."

"Well, if this is going to be confession time, I might as well chime in as well."

They looked at Logan now with surprise and he nodded.

"Yeah, me too, I seem to have some sort of gift as well. I found out about it when Sean was hurt. When me and Ian were heading to lunch, I sort of saw something about a kid being hurt and that he was in the bathroom. I had Ian follow me and we found Sean. That's really the only time that's happened that I know of. So I guess that is sort of something."

"What about the paper from your Dad's student?"

Logan looked at Ian and he nodded after a moment.

"Yeah, I forgot about that. One day as Ian was leaving my house he saw a paper lying on the grass next to my Dad's car and picked it up. He glanced at it before handing it to me. When I took it, I saw sort of a vision, I guess, of a college guy who was looking at the bumper of a car and scowling. He was holding a paper that looked like the paper that Ian had found. It was only for a moment but the name of the guy on the paper was a Mexican name and the guy I saw looked like he might be Mexican. It wasn't much but I guess that's part of the same thing. Oh, and I felt something wrong the night Josh got hurt, that was why I called Dylan that day."

Logan shrugged as the others looked at him.

"Damn, I feel left out. All you guys have some sort of…I don't know, power or gift or something and it seems like Jamie and I don't have anything."

Then Josh looked over at Jamie with a raised eyebrow, "Unless my boyfriend has been hiding something from me?"

Jamie shook his head, "As far as I know, I got nothing."

Josh nodded and turned back to his friends, before he could say anything Eric called out to them. "Guys! You should probably go get dried off and dressed, I'm going to get the barbecue going soon and it will be a little cold to be out there in your wet suits."

"Okay Uncle Eric." Josh turned to the others, "I guess we should get dressed."

They agreed and started getting out. As soon as they stepped out of the water, goose bumps rose on their skin and their teeth gave involuntary chatters. They quickly grabbed their towels and wiped most of the water off before wrapping them around themselves as they hurried inside and up to Josh's room. Upstairs they took turns in the bathroom taking their suits off, wringing them out and putting them inside the tub so they weren't all on the floor. Josh had told them that they could put the suits and towels in the dryer when they went back downstairs.

Once dressed they trooped back downstairs and Josh led them to where the dryer was and once it was loaded they started the dry cycle. They helped get everything they would need outside while Eric manned the barbecue. They ate their fill and then helped clean up, making short work of it. They sat in the den for a little while before it was time for everyone to start heading home. They got their now dry suits and towels and headed back up to Josh's room.

"Should we tell Sean and Dakota about this?"

They thought about it and Jamie nodded, "I think so. They are our friends, besides, maybe they have superpowers too."

The others laughed and Josh threw a pillow at him. Once they had all of their stuff, he and Jamie followed the others down to the garage. They stopped and thanked Eric for having them over. They went into the garage and retrieved their bikes. Josh opened the door and they waved goodbye to their friends as they rode away.

They went back into the den for a little while to watch some TV. Eric popped some popcorn for all of them while they watched TV until it was getting late, so they said goodnight to Eric and headed up to bed. Upstairs, they took a shower to wash the traces of chlorine off and then removed the bandages off of Josh. Underneath the bandage all they saw was healed skin. There was a faint line that could be seen underneath the stitches. The stitches were still there, but other than that, Josh appeared to be all healed. Jamie confirmed that the incision on his back looked exactly the same. The black stitches were there but they were like decoration now, rather than having to hold anything together.

"I guess I need to see if Uncle Eric can get me to the doctor's soon, so he can take the stitches out."

Jamie agreed and the two boys headed into the bedroom. In bed, Josh soon showed Jamie that he didn't hurt anywhere. They only needed to try to keep the noise down. When they were finished, they cleaned up and then snuggled up close to each other and soon were both asleep.

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