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  1. Kindar

    Chapter 49

    The Missing Son 49 Patrick opened his eyes. I was awake, maybe. His eyes were open, so he had to be awake. He didn't feel awake. Or rather his body didn't feel normal, it was vibrating. The light was low, or maybe not. The intensity seemed to shift. He was looking at an unfamiliar ceiling. It was either white, gray or yellow, or maybe it was some sort of high-tech color changing paint. He started giggling. That would be something cool. Someone moved against him, and he realized he was feeling multiple someones. He chuckled to himself. Right, the orgy. Someone wrapped a hand on his cock, no, it was too warm, that was a mouth. That felt nice. He closed his eyes and enjoyed being sucked on. He scratched his stomach; the fur was matted together. He raised his head. It wasn't just there; his fur was mated all over his front. Right, all the licking cum off him has left its mark. Now that he'd moved his head, he was more confident he was awake. And his bladder was informing him he should take a trip to the bathroom. He rested his head back and waited until Adam was done blowing him. Once he was done Adam just turned on his side and snuggled up to their father. Had his brother given him a sleep blowjob? Patrick wouldn't be surprised. He was pretty sure nothing could surprise him anymore when it came to his family and sex. He carefully untangled himself from Arthur who was hugging him on his left, and Aaron on his right. He pulled his legs out from whoever was sleeping on top of them. he could only see his back, ass and tail, but he thought that was Alex. He stood, to his body's protestations. Joints creaked, cracked and popped as he stretched. He stepped off the cushions and his ass hurt, as did his jaw, had it gotten dislocated at some point? His cock buzzed and his balls were sore. How the fuck had he survived the night? Oh, right. He was an Orr. Sex super-powers. That was the only explanation. No normal guy could have survived this orgy. He counted how many guys were there, eleven. Eleven guys had fucked him, more than once, and he'd fucked all of them at least once. He'd also been sucked off more times than he remembered. Yeah, it had to be that. He has sex super powers now. He was about to head for the bathroom, but smelled coffee and decided his bladder could wait until he got caffeine in him. "Can I get one of those?" he asked his father. The tiger at the counter looked over his shoulder. "Sure. just milk, right?" "Yeah." He took out another cup, filled it and added the milk before handing it to him. "How are you feeling?" Patrick took a long swallow and sighed. "I'll let you know when reality settles back in. I think I'm high." His father tilted an ear in his direction, sipping his own coffee. "Every inch of my body is vibrating, and I've pretty much worked out that I've developed super powers. sexual powers." "That would be some fun powers to have." "What are you talking about? I'm pretty sure you have them too. each and every member of this family. One big super sex team." He looked at his father for some sort of confirmation, but only received an enigmatic smile. They sipped their coffee in silence for a moment, then Patrick asked. "Dad, what's the deal with Damian?" okay, that settled it, he was high. It was the only way he'd dared asked about him. "What do you mean?" "Well, Aaron hates his guts, Adam is terrified of him. One moment Damian is all charming, and the next he's like something out of a horror movie." His father looked at him for long enough that Patrick considered sitting down, but he didn't think his ass could take the hard surface. His father shook his head. "I don't think this is the right time for it." Patrick sighed. "Dad, Arthur wouldn't tell me because he said I had to be comfortable with the family having sex together. Well, unless you've missed the banners, I'm pretty damn comfortable with that idea now. I mean Adam went camping with him even when the idea scared him." "He had to agree to go to see under the hood of my brother's car." "Dad, you do realize that makes no sense, right? It's just a car. I know Adam loves them, but still." His father sighed. "Alright. First off, you need to know my brother's a genius." "Okay, so he's smart." His father shook his head. "No, Einstein was smart, but compared to my brother he was a simpleton." "Who's Einstein?" Patrick asked. His father stared at him, "Relativity? E=Mc square?" Patrick shrugged. "How about Hawkins?" Patrick thought about it. "That's the black hole guy, right?" "Good enough. that guy is also a simpleton next to Damian. When he was eight, they threw all the IQ tests at him, and he aced them all. After that they started giving him math problems to solve. He solved them all, and I'm talking Math even I don't get, and I was really good at it. The bottom line is that no one knows how smart Damian is." "Then why isn't he a scientist? If he's so smart why is he just running a company?" "Science doesn't hold his interest. It isn't interesting to him. And you should remember his company is a multinational corporation, not exactly a simple thing to run." "Okay, but still..." His father nodded. "The other thing you need to know is that he's a psychopath." "What do you mean?" "A psychopath, he doesn't have any empathy for other people. He doesn't actually care for any of us." "No, you're wrong. I've seen him around you guys. Sure he can be cold, but he loves the lot of you." "It's an act, all of it." Patrick frowned as he remembered something. He'd read an article about criminals a while back. "wait, psychopaths, those are the guys who..." The words slipped away as another memory came back to him. he felt the cup slip from his hand... * * * * * He was sitting in a car, trying to get out. "You're not getting out of the car unless I let you." The voice had been cold, dispassionate. The cold, calculating, blue eyes were looking at him, through him. "What are you going to do to me?" Patrick had asked, certain he was about to die. * * * * * He was shaking. Someone was holding him. "Oh fuck, of fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck." Someone was repeating over and over. "everything's okay Patrick," his father said. "You're safe." It was him. He'd been the one saying it. "I was in his car. I was alone with him. Oh God, He could have killed me. I would have disappeared and no one would have known." The arms tighten around him. "You're safe Patrick. None of that would have happened." He pushed his father away. "How the fuck can you say that? He's a psychopath. He could have cut me in little pieces and not given a damn." He stopped talking as he realized his foot was wet. His father said something, but Patrick didn't hear him, his foot was partially in a pool of liquid. It was coffee, medium brown, but there was another liquid slowly mixing in with it. Then he noticed the inside of his leg was wet. Then he caught the scent. "I pissed myself." "What?" Patrick looked at his father. He was numb. "He said that would happen once I'd learn about him." The anger came back. "How can you let a man like that in your house? Around your kids? How can you put them in danger like that?" He paused. "What the fuck did he do to Adam?" His father grabbed him by the shoulders. "Patrick, you have to understand. Damian isn't a threat to you, or anyone in this family." "How can you know that?" "Because he promised our father he would look after us." Patrick remembered Damian telling him that. "But you said he doesn't actually care about anyone." "He doesn't, but promises are sacred to him. He never breaks them. As you interact with him, you'll notice he almost never makes any, but if he does, he keeps them. That's how he's able to function. "But aren't psychopath liars and killers?" "They don't have to be. Damian doesn't like violence. He considers it a failure on his part if he has to resort to it." His father guided him out of the kitchen. "Let's get you in the shower." "What about the mess?" "I'll clean it up afterward. Don't worry about it." "If he looks out for you, why are you all afraid of him?" Patrick asked once they were next to the shower. "Because, while he will never hurt one of us physically, he can be emotionally brutal." His father turned the water on. "He doesn't like it when we limit ourselves, so he tends to take it upon himself to resolve what he perceives as being a problem." "Did he do that to you?" His father started shaking his head, but then his eyes became distant. "Yes, he did." "What did he do?" "He forced me to break out of my shell when I was a kid." "Are you okay?" His father shook himself. "I'm fine, I hadn't thought about that time in a long while." "He's never going to get to do that to me." Patrick got under the water. He sighed. "That's a lie, isn't it? If he decides to do something to me, I won't be able to stop him, will I?" His father held him. He didn't say anything. There was nothing he could say.
  2. Kindar

    Chapter 44

    The Missing Son 44 Patrick swam around a little, one of the guys, a lithe ermine by the name of Terry, he was one of Aaron's friend, showed him how to do the breast stroke, and Patrick practiced that. When he grew tired, he joined the game of, he had no idea what they were playing, in the shallower end of the pool. They simply hit the beach ball in the air, and scrambled to make sure it didn't get in the water. More than once someone sitting around the pool had to kick it back to them. At one point, Patrick felt eyes on him and he turned. One of the girls sitting with Adam in the hot tub was looking at him, and whispering something to his brother. Adam chuckled, shook his head and they leaned close to talk some more. He decided she was just curious about him and Patrick went back to the game, in time to have the ball hit him in the face. When the game 'ended', which seemed to mean most were done with the pool, only three were still hitting the ball to each other, Patrick did a few laps and then hooked his arms on the edge and let himself float. He'd never realized before how much he enjoyed being in the water. The sense of speed he got when doing the breast stroke was exhilarating, like he imagined flying might feel like. Adam jumped in the water in front of him. He shook his head as he surfaced. "one more minute in there and I was going to be cooked enough to be on the menu." Patrick chuckled. "You and your friends seemed to be having a good talk, although I think I was the subject of it." "That was Samantha, that's the lioness, and yeah, she was asking if she could watch us fuck." Patrick sputtered. "What?" He looked around and lowered his voice, even though there was no one near them. "She knows?" Those still in the pool were sitting in the shallow end, except for someone doing laps under water. Patrick had seen the form move, but hadn't paid attention enough to know who that was. "Yeah, she does." "Does everyone know? I mean that you guys sleep together?" "Nah. She and Julie are the only ones of my friends who know. Julie was the bear on my other side. They're cool with it. Well Sam keeps wanting watch us having sex, but none of us are that exhibitionist." "How did she find out then?" Adam sank and resurfaced. "I was at her place last year, she'd gone to get us some sodas. Alex called me and we were making plans. I had him on speaker because I didn't feel like digging for my clip, and we were kind of blatant about what we were going to do once I got home. I didn't hear her come and she caught me saying I was going to plow Anakin's ass until he begged for mercy. After that it was kind of hard to deny it." "And she what? just accepted it?" Adam chuckled. "It helps that most parents know our dads are lovers as well as brothers. I think some of them suspect about us too, but no one's asked." Patrick shook his head. This level of tolerance was a lot more than he'd expected. "And how did Julie find out?" Adam sighed. "Sam told her. When I found out I made it clear to both of them that if they told anyone else, they were going to lose me as their technical advisor. I don't mind being suspected of incest, but having it advertised for me isn't cool." "What do you advise them on?" "They have a comic online, Ultimate Speed. It's a mix between a racing and spy story. The main character is a race car driver, so they always have him in these cool cars, but before I started helping them, they weren't very accurate." "And she's not holding your secret over your head?" Patrick noted that the lap swimmer was coming their way, from the deep end to the shallow one. "No. They're both nice girls. Sam's didn't tell Julie for malicious reasons, they are just close friend and talk a lot. She was sorry about it when she realized how pissed I was. Julie promised she wouldn't tell anyone and both have kept their word." The swimmer was getting close enough Patrick could tell he'd pass between him and Adam. "I guess that's good." He was closer now, Patrick could see orange and stripes, so it was someone from his family, he hadn't seen any other tigers at the party. "I'd be terrified she would rev...." With a choked scream Patrick clamored up and out of the pool. "He groped me." The form was still for a moment then swimming again. Adam grin lasted, until a few moment after the swimmer stood. they could only see his back, but he was one of the adults. "Are you okay?" Patrick asked. only three of the adults were tigers, and their fathers were still at the grill. "Yeah, I'm fine. I just didn't realize it was him." Patrick wanted to press him, to find out what Damian had done to him, but Adam had made it clear he didn't want to talk about it, so all he could do was be there for him, for when he was ready. Patrick sat down on the edge, watching Damian shake himself then walk out of the pool. The asshole didn't even have the decency to look at him and acknowledge what he'd done. "So how does your advising for the story work?" He asked, to distract Adam. "You draw the cars? you give them technical sheets?" Adam looked away from Damian. "No. Julie writes the scripts, usually they'll use the same cars for one arc, she'll tell me what she wants them to do, like how fast they'll need to go, what kind of turns they'll take on what conditions and I'll give Sam a list of cars that fit. Every so often I go to Sam's place and help her with the more technical details. I can't 'draw' but technical drawing is completely different." "So, you go to her place?" "Yeah, she lives ten miles away, I mean I really don't need to go. I could just send her the drawings, but if gives me an excuse to be at her place." Patrick eyed his brother. "Why would you need an excuse to be there?" Adam smiled. "I sleep with her dad." "You what?" Patrick barely thought to keep his voice down. He glanced around, the lioness was seated with a lot of the women, and he located the lion at a table with other guys. "why?" Adam shrugged. "He needs it. Trust me, Charles' marriage has been falling apart for years. The first time I went there I wandered around the house and found him in the basement in the process of getting drunk. Fiona, Sam's mother, she's been cheating on him for years. I have no idea why, because he's fucking great in bed." "Does Samantha know?" Adam shook his head. "No. That, I don't think she'd be okay with. wouldn't matter that since we've started fucking Charles pretty much stopped drinking. He said he'd stick it out until Samantha moved out." "So you're saving their marriage?" "No, but it's making it so that Sam will have a dad around. I mean, that's not why I'm doing it. He needs the sex and I'm giving it to him, but I'm happy that a side effect of it means Sam has a dad. I'd hate for her to lose him." Adam looked at Patrick. "Shit. I'm sorry." Patrick shook his head. "It's okay. I'm okay with my memories of my 'father' not being real. I mean they were just stories to start with, the fact they weren't even true stories doesn't bother me anymore. I got the better deal, I have two fathers now." Patrick stood. "I'm done with swimming." "Okay. I'm going to do a few more laps before getting out" Patrick snagged a burger as his father put it on a plate. he added ketchup, mustard and onions to it. "Patrick," his father said. "once you're done eating it, can you go get more chairs out of the storage room?" "Sure, where's the storage room?" "In the basement. it's the door in front of the one leading to the garage." "okay." He took the next burger, put mustard in it and relish and took it to his mother, who was deep in conversation with the one guy sitting with the woman, a bear, probably Julie's father. He gave his mother the plate. "Here mom." "Oh, thank you Patrick." "You need something to drink?" "No, I'm good." She indicated the glass that was still half full of wine, by the smell of it. "Oh my, Margarette," a zebra said. "Your son of such a sweet boy. You don't see mine checking if I need anything. He's just like his father, only thinking about himself." "I'm sure he isn't that bad," his mother replied, as Patrick left them. He really wasn't interested in listening to parents talk about their children. He finished his burger and went down the stairs, then down the hall. He had his hand on the knob when he caught motion in the partially open door leading to the garage. "Come on Anakin. Just this once." It was Damian's voice, it had this cold quality to it that made it very distinctive. Patrick thought about not paying attention to them, getting the chairs and leaving, but he didn't like the idea of Damian being alone with one of his brothers. "No uncle. Absolutely not!" Patrick crept closer, the gap was just large enough to let him confirm the two of them were alone. Damian had his back to the door and Anakin was partially obscured by the adult "Come on Anakin, you know you're going to love it." He was running a finger along Anakin's cheek. Anakin shoved the hand away. "I said no! damn it. This is the friend and family party. you know the rule." Damian snorted. "Rules smrules. Patrick got to fuck." "It's different for him." "Why should he be the only one? Come on, you know how great I am, but the only time I've gotten to fuck you is when we have an orgy. I want some one on one quality time with you." He moved closer, but Anakin pushed him away. "no, do you hear me? It isn't going to happen. The only way you'll ever get to have sex with me one on one is if you're dead and on a slab." Anakin gasped, his hand covering his mouth. "Oh my God, I'm sorry uncle. I'm so sorry." He started crying and Damian pulled him in a hug. "It's okay Anakin." "No it's not. I'm sorry, I didn't mean it." "Yes, Anakin, you did." "no, I can't mean it. I can't want to have sex with dead guys, that's wrong." Damian pulled him at arm's length and placed his hands on each side of his face and looked him in the eyes. "Never think that Anakin, do you hear me? Sex is never wrong, so long as you're not forcing it on your partner." "But they're dead." "Have they told you to stop?" "Well, no, but..." "no buts Anakin. In this family we don't feel shame over sex, ever." Anakin nodded and dried his eyes. "How did you find out?" "That isn't important." "Does anyone else know?" "I haven't told you fathers." "Thanks." "You should be the one to tell them." "I will." "Good. now, I need you to promise something. I want you to promise me you'll never resort to killing someone to satisfy yourself." Anakin chuckled. "like I'd ever do that." "I'm serious Anakin, Promise me." "I... I promise, uncle Damian." Damian hugged him. "Good boy." They stayed like that for a time, then Anakin untangled himself and disappeared in the back of the garage, a moment later a door closed. In the silence Patrick tried to figure out exactly what had happened. At least Damian, his uncle, hadn't done anything to his brother. He turned to the storage door. "So? you learn anything?" Patrick froze and turned back to the garage door. Damian still had his back to him. he looked over his shoulder at Patrick. "Well?" Patrick took a step back. how the fuck had he known he was there? He regained control of himself and entered the garage. "I've learned you like pushing people's buttons." On his right was a door. that must have been the door Anakin went through. "And that you're never going to get me alone in a room." Damian took the few steps separating them with a smile that worried Patrick. His uncle put a hand on the door. "Oh Patrick, I'd be careful how you say that. I might just think it's a challenge." Patrick wanted to tell him to just try it, but something stopped him. he remembered those cold blue eyes looking into him. A shudder shook him and he realized that all his uncle had to do was close the door and he'd be at his mercy. His uncle nodded at him and walked by to exit. Patrick grabbed his arm. "What the fuck is your deal?" Patrick was terrified of him but he wouldn't let that rule him. Gray/blue eyes looked at him. "Have you pissed yourself yet?" "What? of course not." What the fuck was that about? Damian shrugged. "Another time then." he pulled his arm out of Patrick's grip and left. Patrick watched his back until he disappeared up the stairs, then he went to the door Anakin had to have taken. he almost opened it but considered that if Anakin had just wanted to leave the basement, he'd have exited by the door Patrick had been in. He didn't know what was behind this door, but it might be a place Anakin felt safe in. He couldn't barge in and risk disturbing that. He knocked. "Go away. I don't want to talk to you." "It's Patrick." The reply wasn't immediate. "Come in." The door opened to a dark room. There was some light, but the walls were black, as was the carpet, the desk, the dresser and the bed, sheets and all. Anakin was seated on the bed. This wasn't just a safe place, this was Anakin's bedroom. On the wall were posters, horror movies, and some that might be music bands, but they looked like they belonged in a horror movie of their own. He caught the poster for 'Back from the Dead' and shuddered. He'd seen that movie when he was twelve. It had scared the shit out of him. "I didn't mean to eaves drop on you a Damian. Are you okay?" After a moment Anakin nodded. "I'm just shaken. trust uncle Damian to get me to admit something I've been denying even to myself. I just wish he hadn't been so harsh about it." Patrick sat next to him. "He does sound like a dick sometime." Anakin sighed. "Believe it or not, he does mean well. Not that it helps stop the shakes. He's just not the most socially adept at times." That was putting it mildly Patrick thought. "So you haven't had sex with him?" "I have, during the family gatherings. Just not one on one." "Why not?" "He gives me the creeps. I know he's family, and he's a great top, or bottom, he's great pretty much no matter what. I just don't want to be with him without anyone else around. If I'd know he was in the garage waiting for me I'd have stayed in my room. At least he respects closed doors in our house." "I get the feeling that wouldn't have helped. He seemed to get his way no matter what." "Yeah, I guess he does." Anakin rested his head on Patrick's shoulder. "Fuck," he whispered. Patrick put an arm around him. "So, dead guys, huh?" Anakin looked up at him. "You don't really sound as freaked out by that as you should." "I know, right?" Patrick chuckled. "I mean, finding out Adam sleeps with married guy unnerved me more than this. Everyone in this family has eccentricities, right? I wonder what mine is. Although in your case." Patrick waved a hand around the room. "I can't say I'm all that surprised." Anakin looked at the posters, black skulls on the dresser and desk and chuckled. "I guess I have been telegraphing it." Patrick tighten his arm around his brother. "You going to be okay?" "Yeah. I'm just going to have to figure out a way to work around dead guys. I could become a mortician." "Or a coroner." Anakin laughed. "Somehow I think they'd see me having sex with a corpse as tampering with evidence." "I guess that's true." Patrick stood. "If you want to go to the hall, you can take that door." Anakin pointed to the wall in front of them and Patrick squinted. he barely made out the outline. He looked around wondering where the door to the bathroom was, He had to have one, every one of his other brother had his own bathroom. "Just how often have you missed the door trying to leave?" "never," Anakin answered proudly, then chuckled. "I need to go back to the storage room. Dad needs more chairs." "Let me help you." Anakin stood and then hugged Patrick. "Thanks for checking up on me." "You're welcome." he kissed the top of his brother's head.
  3. Kindar

    Chapter 41

    The Missing Son 41 "Hey dad." Patrick had waited until ten AM to call, he remembered one of them mentioning they usually took a break from programing around that time. "Hey son," his father huffed. The background sounds were loud, but Patrick couldn't make them out. "I was wondering if I could drop by tomorrow, I'd like to hang out." "Danny, wait up." the voice was muffled, then clear. "Sorry, I wish we could, but we're running to catch a plane. Aguiron arranged for everyone working with their new system to meet so we could exchange ideas and methods." "Oh, that's cool." Patrick managed to keep his disappointment out of his voice. "When are you coming back?" "In two weeks." "Oh." This time the disappointment sounded through. "I'm really sorry." "No, no, that's okay." "We'll arrange something when we get back." "Yeah, I'll see you then." * * * * * Patrick put the paint brush in the bucket and answered his phone. "Hey dad." "Hi son. Just wanted to let you know we're back, so you can come by whenever you want." "Cool, I'll..." Patrick looked at the can of paint at his feet, the room he was in. "Shit." "What's wrong?" "I promised Misses Arlington I'd help her paint the rooms in her houses this week." "There's always this weekend?" "I can't. Joey's gotten a notice from the city. Someone informed them he has a lot of stuff that doesn't qualify as appliances or larger, so he needs to clear that. we're doing it over the weekend. It'll have to be next week at some point. I doubt I'll take all of next week to finish her houses." "We're not going to be here next week. We're going to a game designer convention in Seattle." "Fuck," Patrick sighed. "Are you okay?" "Yeah, I was just looking forward to hanging out with the two of you." I'm ready damn it! I want to be naked in bed with both of you. I want to feel your hands roaming over me, I want you to hold me. I want to feel you inside me! "I'm sure we'll manage it at some point." "I know. I better get back to work. She isn't paying me to talk on the phone. I love you dad." "I love you to son." * * * * * "Hi Patrick, It's Donald. Just wanted to let you know that something came up, we met with a game company out of Germany at the convention and they are flying us to their headquarter for a week to discuss a game they want us to make for them. I know I said we'd hangout after the convention. I'm really sorry, we'll make it up to you. We love you." Patrick sighed. He'd been in the shower when his father called, getting paint out of his fur. If he thought God got involved in their lives Patrick might think He was trying to tell him something. Patrick had considered asking one of his brothers to be his first, but as much as he loved them, and he knew they loved him, it wasn't one of them he wanted for his first time, it was his father. Donald had been right, there would be time later. He couldn't find much enthusiasm for painting after that. * * * * * Patrick couldn't believe he was here. Not only in the village, but in a sex toy shop. He tried to act nonchalant, like he belonged, but he was sure everyone would notice how red his ears were as he walked between the aisles. It had taken him a few days to decide to come here after his father's message, long enough to finish painting Misses Arlington's last house. She had six rental properties, and yet still lived in the same area he did. He'd think she made enough from them to afford a better neighborhood. He was here to buy a dildo. He was standing before a large display of them. He had no idea there were so many different kinds. Small ones, large ones, way too large ones. There was an entire section with dildoes based on animal penises. Who in Hell (sorry) could want to put a quad's cock up his ass? At this point he felt like he could melt ice just by standing near it. it wasn't just his ears that were burning anymore. He reached for a small one, after all, he'd never taken one, he should start with that, right? Except that what he wanted was to get used to it for when he had sex with his father. He remembered how well his father filled that speedo. A small one certainly wouldn't be enough. A large one? He thought the bulge had looked rather large, but the dildo he was looking at was sort of intimidating. He settled on the medium sized one and headed for the register. There were two guys in front of him, one was a beaver wearing a mesh shirt that was far too small for him, his brown fur poking out of the mesh in tuffs, the jeans were at least one size too small, making his gut flow over it. He was holding a box under an arm, and Patrick glanced at the picture. It was a dildo, that was clear, but the box had to be two feet long. Patrick looked straight ahead. He found he didn't want to know what someone might do with that. The other one was a thin otter, in a pink shirt, and tight shorts that clearly defined his ass. When he walked away he moved like a woman. If Patrick hadn't heard his deep voice, he's have thought that was a woman. The beaver paid and it was Patrick's turn. He put the dildo on the counter and tried to come up for a reason to explain why he was buying it. "You want to get some lube with that?" "What?" The cashier gave him a bored expression. "We have a special on lube this week. sixteen-ounce bottle for twenty-five dollars." What would he do with it? Was that a good price? was that too much? should he buy more? Shit he was taking too long and holding up the line. "okay, sure. I'll take one." The cashier took a bottle from under the counter put that in a bag with the dildo and gave Patrick his total. He paid and left in a hurry, certain the others in the story were watching him, and commenting. During the bus trip back home, he kept trying to figure out a way to hold the bag so no one could tell what was in it, but he was still sure he heard snickering as he got out. He was panting by the time he entered the house. "There you are." Patrick jumped. "Mom!" he cleared his throat, moving the bag behind him. "Mom, what are you doing home?" "There was a departmental meeting, and we were allowed to go home. I was expecting you to be here, you said you didn't have any work today?" "I, err, didn't feel like being cooped up in the house. I went out for a walk." His mother nodded, and he noticed her leaning aside. Was she trying to see the bag? He turned slightly. "Do you need my help with something? was that why you expected me here?" She hid a smile. Had she figured out what was in the bag? She couldn't have, she'd be furious. "No, no. But now that you're here, how about we go do the groceries?" "Okay, let me... go change. I'll be right back." "Right." Another smile. "Change. I'll be waiting here. don't take too long." Patrick hurried past her, using his body to hide the bag. In his room he took the dildo out of its packaging and shoved it in his underwear drawer with the bottle of lube. He looked around his room trying to figure out what to do with the packaging, then shoved that in the drawer too. he'd throw it out on his way to the bar on Friday. With a quick prayer to God so his mother wouldn't come in his room and rummage around his things he joined her, and they headed out. * * * * * Patrick moved his food around the plate. he'd made the meatloaf, so he should be eating it, but he didn't have any appetite. "What's wrong honey?" Patrick looked up at his mother. "Sorry. Nothing, not really." he sighed. "It's just that I've been wanting to hang out with dad for a few weeks, and we can't make it happen. With the jobs I've been taking in the area, and the stuff relating to theirs we can't seem to be available at the same time." She reached across the table and put a hand on his. "I'm sorry to hear that, but your birthday's in less than three weeks. If nothing else, you'll be seeing him at the party." Patrick's mouth dropped. The party. he'd completely forgotten about it. It... It would be perfect. He could sleep with them on his birthday, it would be the perfect birthday present he could have. He smiled. "I'm glad the thought is making you feel better." He squeezed her hand. "Thanks mom." He looked at his food and found his appetite had returned.
  4. Kindar

    Chapter 40

    The Missing Son 40 January brought frigid weather, but also a present for Patrick's mother. She got the floor supervisor position. It came with a five dollar raise, and every employee got a two dollar raise. She started the new year with seven more dollar an hour. Patrick was over joyed for her. He suggested that with that she could finally stop working at the dinner. He couldn't get her to leave that job, but she did agree to think about working less there. * * * * * Patrick tightened the jacket close to him. The wind was bitterly cold and he wished he had the winter coat his quad counterpart gained in the winter. After two weeks the weather was still much below normal for January, fortunately the forecast said the temperatures would go up to normal over the next week. Patrick couldn't wait. The jacket was new to him, He'd bought it at goodwill since his old one was only good for rags anymore. This one was a little longer, and not faded yet. Whoever had donated it hadn't made much use of it. The first thing he noticed as he walked closer was that the rooster sign above the door had been fixed and was lit. Its plumage was in pastels, which Patrick wouldn't have expected considering how low key the bar was. He entered and a few heads turned his way before going back to their drink or conversation. He looked around making his way to the bar, trying to see if there was a jaguar. He didn't see him there, he would have liked to thank him, maybe get to know him and see what happened. He'd decided it was time for him to find someone to have sex with. He'd be nineteen in a few months and while he didn't hold with virginity being something wrong, or sacred, he felt it was time he knew why his family seemed to enjoy it so much, and he'd thought the jaguar might have been the right one to do that with. The place was a little more crowded this time, but someone left the bar as he reached it and Patrick too the stool. "What do you want?" The thin brown bear behind the bar asked. "A coke, unless you have any orange soda." The bear frowned as he reached for a glass, looked at Patrick then shrugged, filling it with coke. Patrick paid with his card, the novelty still with him. It had been a few months now, but he didn't quite believe he had enough money to warrant a bank account and a card. Patrick sipped his drink, glancing at the guys to his left and right. There was a dog with frizzy gray fur on one side, muzzle buried in his beer and a Dalmatian on the other talking with an Otter. Patrick realized he had no idea how to start. How did he go about finding a guy to have sex with? He realized that the meat markets of the gay village might have been a better place to make that happen, but the idea of going there crept him out. The frizzy dog drained his beer and left. A moose took his place, ordering a scotch. After the drink arrived Patrick tried to talk to him, but the moose turned to the other guy and began an animated conversation. Patrick shrugged to himself. "You're new to this whole thing, aren't you?" the bartender asked. Patrick chuckled. "How can you tell?" "The uncertainly when you look at another guy, this aborted attempt to talk with him." he paused, and looked at him. "Although I could swear I've seen you before." "I came in the late spring, might have been early summer. I had some dog drape himself over me and grab my ass. I freaked and left." "Right, you asked for an orange soda. That's why it seemed familiar. I remember he chased you, I hope he didn't come on too strong. Harold's self-restraint is the first thing to go once he starts drinking, but he isn't a bad guy." "He grabbed my crotch after I told him to leave me alone, so I decked him." Patrick was amused at the bear's wince in sympathy. "That would explain why you didn't come back." Patrick nodded. "Not long after I left a jaguar came in, do you know who that was?" "A jaguar? I don't remember one, and I don't have one among my regulars. Sorry." "It's okay, it was a shot in the dark anyway." "So, what brought you back?" Patrick looked in his glass and drained it. "Well, I was hoping to find someone to have sex with for the first time." The bear looked at him before refilling the glass. Patrick tried to object. "Don't worry I'm not charging you for this one. You've never had sex and you came here?" Patrick nodded. "Kid, this isn't that kind of bar." "I know. that's why I came here instead of going to the village. I figured I'd talk to someone for a while then he'd invite me home and... you know." "Shit kid, you don't want your first time to be with a stranger. Isn't there any guys you know that can help you?" Patrick thought of his family, and his fathers manifested in his mind. "Yeah, but I'd like to know what I'm doing beforehand," The bartender chuckled. "Kid, you're not going to learn what do to from a stranger, trust me on that. The guys here, they aren't looking to teach you anything, they don't care enough about you. You want your first time to be with someone who does care. If he loves you that's even better." "But what is he going to think when I fumble about?" "Hopefully you've told him ahead of time he's your first, and if he doesn't understand, then he doesn't care about you and he's in it just for himself." "It wouldn't be like that." "Then you should have your first time with him, not one of these drunks." "You know Yurick," the dalmatian said over his shoulder. "You keep calling us drunks and we're going to stop coming to this hole in the wall of an establishment?" "And where else are you going to go Brad?" The dalmatian shrugged. "Guess you're right. You're stuck with us." He looked at Patrick. "But you should listen to him. He might not have any manners, but on this he's right." Patrick wasn't all that sure. "Look," the dalmatian said, reading Patrick's expression. "When I was about your age I got curious about my sexuality. I went to an underage club, back then you couldn't get in a bar until you were twenty-one. Like you I didn't know what do to, but still this guy found me, we got friendly, he was really good looking, and he knew a lot of other guys in the club. He convinced me to accompany him to the bathroom, where he forced himself on me." He stopped for a moment, then drained his beer. "You want another one?" the bear asked. Brad shook his head. "Get me a coffee." He looked at Patrick again. "It was a good decade until I was even able to think about looking at a guy again." Patrick thought about it while Yurick brought the coffee. "Okay, but you've gone through that, so you wouldn't treat me that way, would you?" Brad opened his mouth, but it was the jackal next to him who spoke. "Sure, but if he did, I'd kill him." The dalmatian smiled. "That's Gary, my husband." Patrick's ears burned. "I'm so sorry, I didn't know. If I'd known I wouldn't have suggested it." The jackal grinned. "No need to panic, kid. I knew Bradley wasn't going to do anything. But you should learn from what he went through." Brad nodded. "And don't think that because some guy went through a bad first time he isn't going to be an asshole on your first time. If you don't know the guy, he could be anything, and trust me, the odds of him being an asshole are a lot higher then him being a caring guy." "And on that maudlin note," Gary said, "it's time for us to go home. Whatever you decide kid, good luck." The Jackal rubbed the Dalmatian's head. "come on hun." Patrick watched them leave, hand in hand, then turned back to his empty glass. "You want another one?" Yurick asked. Patrick shook his head. "I'll have a coffee, two cream." The bear came back with it and Patrick used an errant umbrella to stir it. "How about you?" he asked. "How was your first time?" The bear shook his head. "You don't want to use me as an example. I was sucking cock way back in high school. I was something of a slut back then." "Then you'd be able to show me how sex works, right?" Yurick shrugged. "Sure, but come on kid, do you really want me to be your first? You've only just met me and we haven't even talked for half an hour." Patrick wanted to say yes, but the image of his father holding him came to him again. Would they understand is lack of experience? They did love him, and they knew he hadn't had sex before. He shook his head. "I guess not. Thanks for talking me out of it." "You're welcome. contrary to popular belief, it isn't because I own a gay bar that I want to bang every guy in it." Patrick nodded then a though popped in his head, and out of his mouth. "If this wasn't my first time, if I was a regular here, would you want to have sex with me?" "Kid, I'm old enough to be your father." The image of the bear and him playing catch in the park jumped in his mind, and then they were making out against a tree, the Bear's hand down Patrick's pants. Patrick swallowed, where the hell (sorry) had that come from. "Yeah, I guess I'm kind of young for you." But his cock was making it clear to Patrick the bear was not too old for him. He nursed his coffee until his erection went away, then he thanked the bear again and went home.
  5. Kindar

    Chapter 39

    The Missing Son 39 "Patrick," His mother said in breathless surprise, "I can't accept that." She'd just unwrapped the gift he'd put on her plate. Patrick smiled as he sliced the ham. Like previous years, this Christmas dinner was a simple thing. He and his mom, with a roasted ham. "You needed a new phone, mom." He'd bought it a few days ago and kept it in his underwear drawer. "But," She held the phone in her hand, sand colored, not a scratch on it. "How much did you pay for it?" He put the plate on the table and kissed the top of her head. "Don't worry about that, mom. You deserve it." It wasn't a top of the line, he couldn't afford that, not that he would have bought such an expensive phone. It was mid-range. he'd paid extra for the warranty, she wouldn't have to worry about anything happening to it, damage or theft. He took the bread out of the oven, where he'd left it to stay warm. "I'll help you set it up after we've eaten. It's holo capable, with a display that can go up to fifteen inch in full light. It has more processing power than the computer in my room, so you won't have to borrow it anymore. And you won't have to worry about the battery running down in the middle of the day. There's also an ear clip included." "Patrick, I didn't get you anything." "You already got me the best present I could ask for." He said putting a bottle of wine on the table. Two weeks before, his father invited them to go skating, and she'd agreed. It wasn't the first time they invited her to a family activity, but she'd always found excuses not to go. Patrick tried to convince her, but he didn't push once she protested. They'd taken the bus downtown to the outdoor rink, and his family welcomed her. She'd been uncomfortable, but polite. She didn't put on skates. she sat on a bench on the side and watched them. Patrick didn't see any of them discuss it, but one of his brothers was always seated with her. Between trying to stay on his feet while his fathers helped him get the hang of it, and ending up on his ass, Patrick saw Albert talking with her, paper and pen in hand. Then it was Adam. He was so stunned to see her with Aiden, laughing, he skated right into a hippopotamus family, before ended up on his ass again. With profuse apologies on his part and laughter on theirs they helped him up and he went back to tittering about. His fathers skated circles around him, forward and backward. They'd learned to skate back in Pittsburgh, they told him, in their youth, they spent most winter weekend at the local rink on skates and picking up guys. His brothers were better skaters than he was, but nowhere near as good as their fathers, except for Anakin, who did a lot of roller skating. Patrick sat down and put his hands together. "Thank you, God, for this food, for the gifts you give us and the family around us. Amen." "Amen," his mother echoed, and then they ate. In the middle of the meal, his phone buzzed. he checked it quickly, a file from his father. He'd check it once they were done eating. * * * * * Patrick sat on his bed with his phone on his lap, the display at eye level. He dried his eyes and played the video his family sent him again. His fathers were seated on the couch, with Arthur on one side, Aiden on the other. Alex, Aaron, Adam and Albert standing behind, and Anakin seated on the floor. They were wearing sweatpants and wool sweater in green red and white with animal designs on them. "Hi Patrick," his father said. "So, you made it clear you didn't want us spending money on you this Christmas, so we spent money on us, and bought these sweaters in your honor." "Yeah," Adam said, "You should be honored we're wearing anything at all." Alex smacked his brother behind the head. "Don't listen to him." His fathers shook their heads. "Anyway. Back when we were kids we'd go caroling around the neighborhoods, we thought we'd do that for you." "We even brought an actual star to sing with us!" Adam exclaimed. Patrick had been curious as to whom he'd meant, but then chuckled when he realized he meant Aiden. The started with Silent Night, harmonizing perfectly. Then on to Joy to the World, The Holy and the Ivy, Do you hear What I hear, and then they fell silent. A moment later Aiden sang quietly a song Patrick hadn't recognized. The lyrics told of a child searching the world, guided by a star, looking for his family. halfway through it, Patrick started crying as he realized the song was about him. When Aiden stopped singing Patrick noticed his brothers' and his fathers' eyes were wet too. "Merry Christmas Patrick," His father said. "And happy baby Jesus day!" Adam winced when Aaron smacked him, then his legs were kicked out from under him and his brothers piled on top of him. Laughter resounded as the video ended. Patrick restarted it and paused it immediately, looking at his family. he wished he as with them right now, but he'd be going to midnight mass in a few hours, not that he was looking forward to that, and he wasn't sure he was ready to participate in the kind of celebrating he expected his fathers and brothers to indulged in, not quite yet. He put the ear clip in place and called them, hoping they weren't in the middle of anything too ... vigorous. "Merry Christmas Patrick," his father said and a chorus of greetings resounded. "Merry Christmas dad. Thanks for the video, it was amazing." "You're welcome. we wanted to do something special for you." "It was. Tell Aiden I loved his song." Patrick found his eyes getting wet again. His father must have done something to indicate what he'd said because there were cheers. "I wish you were here to celebrate with us." "I wish I was too." Patrick chuckled. "Although I think I'd probably be mortified to see all of you naked in a pile." The hard-on he got at that image told him he might be closer to being ready than he thought. "Don't worry, if you were here, we'd have a more accepted celebration." Patrick was silent for a moment, trying to understand how he felt about his family's willingness to change their ways for him. "No dad. When I'll be celebrating with you, it's going to be because I'm ready to celebrate the way you do it." He smiled. "the way an Orr does." It was his father's turn to be silent. "I look forward to that day." Me too, Patrick thought. "I'll let you get back to it. Oh, and tell Adam that technically, it's Baby Jesus Birthday day." His father laughed. "I'll pass along the message." Patrick disconnected the call and went back to looking at the image of his family. He captured the image and transfered it to the frame on his bedside table. * * * * * Patrick walked up the steps to the church next to his mother. If she hadn't insisted he wouldn't be here. She'd played on his guilt a little. After all, she'd made effort to get along with his father, and she hadn't asked that he go to the Sunday services. The least he could do was come to the midnight mass with her, even if he didn't want to have anything to do with Father Durony. Like he did at every Christmas mass, the priest was standing by the door, greeting everyone. Patrick though about finding a different door, but his mother held his hand. "Margarette, I'm so glad you could come," Father Durony said, shaking her hands. "I'd never miss midnight mass, Father." "I know you wouldn't." She went in and it was Patrick's turn. The priest startled on seeing him. "Father," was all Patrick said. "Patrick." Patrick didn't offer his hand, nor did the priest. They stared for a moment, during which Patrick thought he caught some contempt in the priest's eyes, and Patrick went in. The mass was good. Father Durony spoke of Jesus's birth, of the magis, seeking him out, of how his birth brought hope to all of God's children, even those who turned his back on Him. Patrick thought that was directed at him, but the priest was wrong. Patrick hadn't turned his back on God, just on Father Durony's church. It was the first year he didn't feel closer to God by the time the service was over.
  6. Kindar

    Chapter 38

    The Missing Son 38 With fall's arrival he didn't get to see his family as much. His brothers went back to school, even Aaron decided on another year, instead of enlisting. They all got together every few weekends to play football or baseball at the park. Patrick tried to get his mother to join them, but she declined, using her job at the diner as an excuse. * * * * * "Patrick?" His mother asked, knocking on his bedroom door. "can I talk to you for a moment?" "Sure." Patrick turned off the display on his phone and set it on the bedside table. She entered, looking around and shaking her head at the clutter before focusing on him. "It's about your father." It had been a month and a half since the dinner, and she hadn't said a word about it. He hadn't pushed, he knew she wasn't comfortable with the subject. "I've been thinking, and... I mean, I think we should invite him, well them, for thanksgiving." "Their whole family?" Patrick was surprise she was making the offer. "No, no. Just him, and his brother, of course. We couldn't fit all of them, how many children did they say they have?" "Seven." She shook her head. "Right, no, we definitely couldn't fit all of them." "Are you sure it's a good idea? They could be celebrating Thanksgiving with their family." "Yes, you're right, what was I thinking?" She turned to leave. "Wait, I'll call and ask them." If she was inviting them, that was clear progress and he didn't want to discourage her outright. She gave him a weak smile. "Alright." Then left his room. Patrick wondered what had brought that on, she hadn't shown any interest in spending time with them before. he shrugged, just happy she did, and called his father. "Hi dad." "Hi son, what's up?" "Well, my mom wanted to know if the two of you would be interested in having thanksgiving dinner with us." "She invited us?" "Yeah, I was surprised too." "I'd like to, considering she's making the effort, but I'm going to have to check with the kids. We usually go all out as a family on that day." "I understand." "Let me call you back in an hour or so, they're all working on school work right now." "Sure." And hour later his father called back. "Me and Donny are all good to go. The kids are insisting we go, they really want your mom to come to the birthday party and if that's what it takes to make her comfortable, they are all for it." "I'll tell my mom, and we'll see you both on the 26th." * * * * * The meal was simpler this time, since his mother had to work the noon shift at the dinner. Chicken with stuffing out of a box, store bought bread, but the cranberry sauce was home made. His fathers only brought one bottle of white wine, as he's asked. For dessert it was going to be a chocolate cake with a choice of maple walnut ice cream, his favorite, or vanilla. They were in the middle of the meal, with his mother regaling them about a customer who demanded to have the whole thanksgiving experience at the dinner, when someone knocked at the door. She'd been telling them how He'd gotten into a shouting match with the cook because they couldn't do the stuffing to go with his turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. She stopped talking and looked down the hall. "Did you invite anyone else Patrick?" she asked, then looked at Donald, how was wearing a purple button-down shirt and Daniel, how had a plain white one. "We didn't, promise." Daniel said. Patrick went to stand but she waved him down. "I'll get it." Donald chuckled bitterly. "I guess even here you aren't immune from the door to door sellers." "Looks like it," Patrick replied. "Maybe we should have a talk with Dam," Daniel said, "have him outlaw the act." Patrick stared at his father, mouth open. "He's kidding," Donald reassured Patrick. "Anyway, it isn't something Damian is going make happen." They exchanged a look that made Patrick question that statement. Okay, just who the- "Father Durony! What are you doing here?" Patrick cursed under his breath. "Hello Margarette," The priest answered. "This year I decided to visit all my parishioner on this special day and help them give thanks." "Ahh, that's very good of you, Father, but..." "No need to thank me, Margarette, it's simply my duty to my flock." Footsteps moved toward the kitchen, the hard-sole shoes of Father Durony clacking on the old wooden floor in the hall. "Patrick, how are you," the old ram said as he entered the room. "Oh, you have guests, I had no idea." "Yes," Margarette said, just behind him. "That is Donald, this is Daniel. They are, err, friends of the family." "I am so glad to meet you. Which church do you go to?" "We're from the other side of the city," Daniel said amicably. "I doubt you've heard of it." He gave his brother a warning glance. "I hope your pastor takes good care of you and your soul." His mother pleaded with Patrick, mouthing 'I didn't know.' Patrick gave her a small nod. He believed her, but he had trouble believing the priest was here by accident. "And you Patrick," the priest continued, either unaware, of ignoring the looks being exchanged. "How have you been." "I've been okay." "I'm glad to hear it. Have you seen your father since we last talk? Have you been able to talk with him about his sins, and how to get back on the Path?" Daniel gave Patrick a questioning look, but Patrick was looking at Donald, whose face was hardening. It was his mother who spoke up. "Father, please. this isn't the place for such talk." "Of course, please accept my apology." His mother nodded. "Patrick, why don't you go get an extra chair for Father Durony." Patrick stood out of reflex, even if he didn't want the priest to stay. They had a couple of old foldout chairs in the linen closet down the hall. "Please Patrick, no need to bother, I won't be staying. How about I lead us in a short prayer to give thanks?" His mother forced a smile, "of course." Father Durony closed his eyes and brought his hands together. Donald opened his mouth, but closed it again at Daniel's glare. "We thank you, our heavenly Father, for the food you give us, for the time you allow us to spend with our family and friends and we ask that you give us the strength to withstand temptation. Amen." "Amen," Patrick and his mother echoed. Father Durony eyed Patrick's fathers. "I don't believe I heard you say Amen." Daniel smiled at the priest. "We didn't feel it was needed." It was clear to Patrick Donald was keeping his mouth shut through will power. "At least please tell me you joined in the prayer. It was the Christian thing to do." "Alright, why don't you shut up." Donald erupted. "Donald!" his mother exclaimed. "Dad," Patrick warned. Even before the silence fell Patrick realized he'd made things worse. Father Durony was the first one to find his voice. "So, you're the sinner." He turned to Daniel. "How can you let your brother carry on living in sin? don't you care at all for his soul?" "Shut the fuck up." Donald growled. "What me and Danny chose to do behind closed door is none of your fucking business." "Don't you dare take that tone of voice with me. I'm the voice of God. You will show me respect." "Like Hell I will after you spoke to me that way. You get what you throw out, you can't swallow it you keep your muzzle shut." "Can't you get it through your thick skull that I'm trying to save your immortal soul?" Father Durony screamed. "Bullshit!" Donald was on his feet, fingers almost jabbing at the ram's muzzle. "You're just hoping to make yourself feel better by trying to make me feel bad. Well I got news for you. We're perfectly fine with who we are, so you're going to have to get your cheap kicks somewhere else." Father Durony swatted the finger aside. "If you think I'm going to let your heathen ways infect Patrick's soul..." "Silence!" Patrick's roar stunned everyone into it. "dad, sit down." Patrick stood. "Patrick." "Sit your ass the fuck down." Donald's expression was pained as he sat. The priest smiled in victory, but that lasted only until Patrick grabbed him by the collar. "And you're getting the fuck out of my mother's house." He dragged him to the door and it was only with effort that he didn't throw him out. "Patrick, I implore that you listen to me." "Shut up Durony. There's nothing you can say that I want to hear." "But that man is a danger to your soul." "No. He's my father. You're the danger here. I'm done listening to your bigoted opinions. I can't stop my mom from going to church, but I fucking hope that after your display she's going to know better than to think that anything you have to say comes from Gods." "I am God's voice on Earth." "Bullshit. God doesn't speak of intolerance and bigotry. He speaks of love and tolerance. You're the bigoted one, and you're hiding behind God." "You are making a dangerous mistake young man, in letting that... person in your life. He will drag you off the Path." Patrick wanted to scream at him to leave his family alone, but he found he didn't have the strength anymore. He didn't want to spend any more time arguing with this bigot. He sighed. "You know what father? I'm going to pray for you and hope you eventually find God's love. Now go home." The ram huffed as if what Patrick had said was an insult, turned and left. Patrick didn't watch him go he went back in and gently closed the door behind himself. He took his seat at the table and joined the others in the loud silence. When his mother spoke he voice was tentative. "Patrick I swear I didn't know he was coming here." "I know, mom. I'm guessing Old Dame Lambert saw we had guests and reported it to him." They were silent for a moment again. Then she placed a hand on Donald's and Daniel's. "I am truly sorry you had to be subjected to such hate." She took a breath. "I don't know how I feel about you living in..." she stopped herself. "About you being gay, but I know you're a good person, and that you wouldn't do anything to hurt Patrick, our son." Daniel nodded. Donald sighed. "I'm sorry I lost my temper. I shouldn't have let him get to me like that." His mother smiled. "Well, I have to say it wasn't entirely unexpected. Patrick does have your temper." That made them chuckle, and they set about continuing the meal.
  7. Kindar

    Chapter 37

    The Missing Son 37 Patrick leaned against the wall and watched his mother work. He couldn't help chuckling. He'd never seen his mom put so much effort in a meal. He'd gotten up at ten to the sound of her cleaning the house, and the moment he stepped out of his bedroom she gave him a list of ingredients to go buy. When he'd come back she had her cooking gloves and apron on and she set to work. He'd offered to help, but other than peeling potatoes and chopping vegetables she wouldn't let him in the kitchen. He'd watched her make bread, and a cake. He wasn't sure if that was the last time his mother had baked, but he had a memory from when he was six or seven. It was Christmas, for some reason she didn't work that day. They had spent the day making bread, cookies and cakes. He'd helped as best as he could, even improvising gloves to avoid leaving fur in the bread dough. He smiled at the memory. "Patrick, can you make sure the bowls and plates are clean?" "Sure thing mom." He knew they were, since he'd been the one to do the dishes last night, but he washed everything again, both to please her and to have something to do. After drying them he set the table. A moment later his mother sat down. "All done. The roast is resting, the bread is going to be ready in twenty minutes. the soup is..." "Mom, I know, I watched you do all of it." "I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed cooking." "Well, you should try to do more." She shook her head. "No, tonight is a special occasion. I can't afford to take the time off to cook." She smiled at him. "Once I retire. I finally have a retirement plan that will let me do that." Patrick considered things for a moment. "You know. with the odd jobs I've been picking up in Richard's neighborhood, we probably have enough money for you to quit the waitressing job." She placed a hand over his. "No Patrick, that's your money. We can split the groceries and bill, but it's your money. " "Mom, I can..." "No, Patrick. What these last few weeks have made me realize is that you are an adult now. You need to have your own things, that means your own money so you can buy things you want." Want? He didn't want anything that required money, did he? "Now, go change into something more presentable." He looked at what he was wearing, jeans and is wife beater. "This is fine." "Patrick, we are having guests, put your church shirt on." She stood and headed to her room. It was his fathers, not the president that was coming over. Still, he went to his room and pulled out the shirt he wore when he went to church, then looked at his jeans. They were faded in places and almost worn through in others. He probably had a pair in better condition. He found one, a black pair that wasn't quite as worn. Dressed he headed back to the kitchen. As the timer beeped his mother came out wearing her best dress, a gray and gold summer dress that went down to her knees. He almost commented, and would have made a fool of himself, but there was a knock at the door. "I'll get it," he said. He opened the door and his greeting died on his lips. His fathers were standing before him, wearing brown slacks. One had a black shirt on, the other an orange one. "Hi Patrick," one of them, in the black shirt, said. Patrick shook his head. "Sorry, you're wearing different colors." "It was Danny's idea," Donald said, nodding to his brother in the black shirt. "I thought it might make things easier on your mother." "I'm sure it will, come on in." "We weren't sure what we'd eat," Donald said, showing the bottle he was holding. "So we brought a bottle of red and one of white." Daniel raised his bottle. "Thanks." Patrick took the bottles and eyed them suspiciously. "Don't worry," Daniel whispered. "They aren't expensive." They took the few steps taking them to the kitchen. His mother was fidgeting next to the table. "Mom, you remember Daniel and Donald," he said, indicating them, and then placing the bottles on the counter. "Yes," she replied, "welcome to our home." She hesitated before offering her hand. Daniel took it. "It's a pleasure to see you again, Margarette." "Yes, it is," Donald said when he shook her hand, although he didn't sound as enthusiastic as his brother. "Please, have a seat." She indicated the table. "Patrick, you too." "I can help serve the food." "Go sit down, I'll take care of that." She took the bottle from him. "I'm afraid we don't have wine glasses, I hope normal ones will do." "That'll be fine," Donald replied. Patrick took a can of orange soda out of the fridge before sitting down. His mother place an empty glass before him and then glasses half full with red wine before Daniel and Donald and her place. She collected the bowls and filled them with soup. They ate in silence for a long moment. Patrick tried to find a way to break the uncomfortable silence, but it was Daniel who did it. "Where do you work, Margarette?" "I work at Olympic Mattress, it's a mattress factory. I'm a team supervisor. I also work at a diner a few blocks away." "Two jobs?" Donald said. "That can't be easy." "It can get tiring, but we do what we have to. Actually, today I should have..." she paused, then shook her head. "That isn't important. But that might chance soon, I decided to apply to the position of floor supervisor when it opens." Patrick looked up. "Really? I didn't know that." "I'm not sure when it will happen," She said, "and I can't be certain I'll get it, but I want to try." "That's great, mom." "I hope you get it," Donald said, raising his glass to her. "What does being a team supervisor entails?" Daniel asked. "It mostly mean I make sure my team works efficiently, if one of them had a problem I help them resolve it. But me and the other supervisor have started polling everyone for ideas on how to improve the work flow. We take an hour every week to refine our choices, and at the end of the month we present the best one to management." "Are they receptive?" Donald asked, "Very much so. Last month we suggested a new layout for the sewing machines that will help the flow of production. When we came back after that weekend, a quarter of the floor had been rearranged, and two teams are working on it." Donald finished his soup. "Why didn't they do all of them?" "The layout isn't proven, so they don't want to risk disrupting the entire production. They are going to leave it like this for six month, to give everyone on that line the time to get used to it, then they are going to compare it to the rest of the floor." She took the bowls away and brought the roast to the table. She offered the knife to Donald, and he sliced it while she place the salad on the table and cut the bread. "That's really impressive," Daniel commented. "Me and Donny aren't exactly team players." "What do you do?" she asked. "We're computer game designers." "And you do well?" "Well enough," Donald said. "They made Castle Crash," Patrick said. His mother's eyes grew wide. "To be honest," Daniel said, "it hit it big after we sold it. And it would never have become as successful if we'd kept it. We don't do a lot of marketing." "Or try to gouge the player base," Donald grumbled. "What do you mean?" Patrick asked. Daniel finished his piece of roast. "The company we sold it to made it so a lot of the big bonus can only be bought with cash, instead of earned through play. That isn't the way we do things, but I have to give them this, the controversy did have everyone talking about it for a while." Margarette buttered her bread. "don't you have to work with others to make games?" "Not really," Donald said. "Sometime we have to hire someone for part of the game, like the music, but they are working for us, not with us." Daniel took over. "Our current game has us working more closely with others because we've been hired to make it for a new game system, so there's a lot of conversation, but even that isn't really working with a team. We do our part, test it with the system. If it doesn't work they decide if they want to adjust the system or the game." Donald looked thoughtful for a moment. "You know, I think the last time we worked as part of a team was in high school." Daniel nodded. "Our senior year, chemistry." "Right. We were teamed up with... That wolf guy, the one who was on the baseball team, and this cow, I think. Anyway, yeah, that was a disaster." "What happened?" Patrick asked. "The project was about demonstrating an exothermic reaction." "So, being the down to earth, dependable teens that we were," Daniel continued, "we decided to make a fertilizer bomb." "You what?" Margarette exclaimed. "Just a small one." Donald nodded. "And the ingredients weren't in a sealed container, they were on a board so we figured there wasn't going to be a 'bang'." "Because of that I'm guessing there was one," Patrick said. "It was more of a loud 'paf'," Daniel said. "A lot of smoke and heat." "And singed fur, don't forget that." Donald chuckled. "Danny was the one who lit it so he was right next to it when it went off. He ended up on his ass." "Did you get hurt?" Margarette asked. "No, just my fur that got singed. for about two months my face fur was uneven. Donny was the one really troubled by it." "Why?" "We're twins. We've always looked alike, and for the first-time people could tell us apart easily. I wanted to shave my fur to match him, but dad wouldn't let me. I think that was the only time I was really angry at him." "He knew you wouldn't be able to do it." "I know, but I was still pissed at him." Margarette nodded. "It isn't always easy to do what we think is the best for our children," she said thoughtfully. Daniel raised his glass. "Amen to that." Donald joined it. "Very much so." Margarette looked at them surprised before lifting her glass. They looked at Patrick. who chuckled and raised his own. "How about I get back to you in twenty years or so." He drained his glass. "Do you want more?" he pointed at the empty glasses. "Who's driving?" Donald asked. "I will, go ahead. I'll have water." "Mom?" "Sure, why not. I have the afternoon shift tomorrow." He filled both the glasses halfway, then rinsed Daniel's and filled it with water from the fridge. he got himself another soda. Margarette got praises for the food, and the banana walnut cake impressed Donald so much he asked for the recipe. They talked for a while after they were done eating, until Margarette let out a yawn, which spread to everyone else. Donald and Daniel stood to leave, and Margarette called to them. "Patrick told me that you've invited him to celebrate his birthday at your house." "We'd like for both of you to come," Daniel replied. "Who is going to be there?" They looked at each other. Donald was the one who spoke. "Well, the kids invite their friends, and the parents come too." "How many people are we talking about?" "Possibly close to seventy-five." "And what will be happening?" "we have a pool, so swimming, talking, someone usually starts a volley ball game. If the weather isn't on our side we'll be inside. we have a few game consoles." Margarette nodded. "Alright, We'll think about it." Donald nodded. "That's all we can ask for." Patrick escorted them outside, where they hugged. Patrick found he didn't want to let go of them, holding both close to him and breathing in their scents. They kept their arms around him, and he stayed like that until he started to feel aroused. He let go of them. "No matter what my mom decides, I'll be there." "We're looking forward to it." They turned to leave. "You two drive safely." "No worries there," Donald replied. "Slow-mo here is the one driving." "You had that extra glass of wine, now you pay the price." his brother said. Patrick smiled and watched them walk away. He watched their ass and tails until they got in their car. He stayed outside for a time to give his heart time to settle before going in. "Mom," he said, entering the kitchen, "go to bed, I'll clean up." She put plates in the sink. "It's okay. I can take care of this." "Mom, you spent the day cooking. It's my turn. Go to bed." "Are you sure?" "I am." He hugged his mother. "Thank you for doing this. I love you mom." "I love you too Patrick."
  8. Kindar

    Chapter 36

    The Missing Son 36 Patrick didn't go directly to his mother's house. She wouldn't be home until five thirty, and he didn't want to be there alone. He walked the neighborhood, nodding to the people he saw. He had no doubt the old rhino would call his mom, she was always poking her nose into other people's business, but for once he didn't care. Mister Omaka was watering his roses and they talked for a bit. The ocelot had worried something had happened to Patrick, and he explained about the fight with his mother and staying at a friend's place. Patrick promised he'd let him know how the talk with his mother went. At five forty-five he headed back. His mother would be waiting for him and it would be unfair to let her worry needlessly. The door opened with its usual creaking. "Patrick?" his mother called. "Yeah, it's me." He put his jacket in the closet before heading to the kitchen. He stopped in the opening, she wasn't alone at the table, an older ram was seated across the table from her. "Hello Patrick," Father Durony said. "Would you take a seat?" Patrick didn't move. "Why are you here?" "I am here because your mother asked me to come." What was his mother doing involving the priest in this? He looked at her, but she was looking at the table. "She explained the argument that lead to you walking out." "Yeah, so?" "Please Patrick, sit down." Patrick didn't move immediately. He wanted to yell at his mother, this was a private matter, but that wouldn't help anything, specially not before father Durony. He took the closest chair and sat down. The ram looked at him, one eye was going cloudy. "Patrick, I want you to know that I'm not here to pursue any agenda. Your mother told me that she opposes you seeing your father, and I told her she was wrong." Patrick couldn't stop his ears from moving forward. "I would never advocate for a son to be kept away from his father unless there were safety issues." His mother opened her mouth, but the ram raised a hand. "Margarette, you agreed to let me talk." She looked at the table again. Father Durony looked at Patrick again. "Now, your mother has some concerns. Is it true that your father lives in sin?" Patrick considered going into details about what he knew his fathers got up to with his brothers. It might be good to see the old ram shocked, it might even send him off screaming. But the priest was being reasonable, for now. "He's gay, he and his husband are raising their kids." He kept things vague. He doubted his mother had given details. "She said you have visited them." "A few times now." "Have they done anything to you?" What was he talking about? "Have they tried to touch you inappropriately?" Patrick laughed at the old ram. "Of course not." "Patrick, please, this is serious." Patrick got his laughter under control. If only this priest had an inkling of how well behaved his family had been with him. "No, they have not done anything inappropriate. They are good people, and my brothers are pretty fun to hang out with." "That's a relief. And your brothers, are they... normal?" It was with some effort that Patrick kept his features neutral. "Normal?" "You know." "How the Hell," Sorry, "would I know that?" "You must have talked about it with them." Like there was any chance Patrick was going to discuss that with him. "Maybe you go about asking your family members about their sexual preferences, father, but I don't. I've gone swimming with them, I've played cards, and we've talked about life. And just so you know, if they had told me about their sex life, I wouldn't tell you." "Patrick, I'm asking out of concern." Patrick barely stopped the snort. "I don't care. I don't see them coming here to go to church, so that isn't any of your business." Father Durony raised his hands. "Alright. You are right, they aren't my parishioners. That is between them and their priests." He folded his hands before him. "Is it true they claimed that you are gay?" "They did." Patrick prepared himself for the next question. "And are you?" "No," he lied. The ram peered into his eyes and Patrick maintain the gaze. "Good," the priest said. "I'm proud of you for resisting temptation." It was a good thing his hands were out of view because they clenched. Resisting temptation? The ram smiled. "I'm happy to say that you have my blessing to continue seeing your father." His blessing? Like Patrick needed that. Just who the Hell (sorry) did he think he was? "And hopefully, with your guidance you can help him see the error of his ways, and guide him back on the Path." The ram stood. "I will leave the two of you to continue talking." With all his self-control Patrick stood without shoving the table out of his way. He hoped the priest wasn't going to say anything more because Patrick was inches from throwing him out of the house. Instead he escorted him to the door. "God be with you," the priest said and he stepped outside. Patrick forced the words out. "And He with you, father." Patrick was certain now he didn't want to have anything to do with Father Durony and his church. he closed the door and went to the bathroom. He rubbed water in his face. He needed to calm down. he couldn't let loose the anger the priest had stirred on his mother. He toweled his face dry and went back to the kitchen, taking the chair father Durony vacated. Patrick sat down opposite his mother. He waited of a moment in case she had something to say. When she didn't he did. "I want to make something clear, mom. I'm done tolerating your narrow-minded point of view." She looked up. "What does that mean?" "It means I don't want to hear anything about this sin bullshit." Her eye went wide. "Patrick, they..." "Stop." "Patrick." "I'm warning you mom, stop." They were both silent for a long time. "If you expect me to like him because he's your father, Well I don't." "Mom, you don't even know them." "I know all I need to know." She crossed her arms over her chest. "How can you? all you know about them is that they're gay." "That's enough. I could never like someone like that." The statement hurt enough that he almost told her he was gay, but he stopped himself. He wasn't ready for that argument. "Fine, then I'm out of here." "What?" "What do you want me to do mom? I told you, I'm not dealing with this anymore. You want to be some intolerant woman, fine, you be that, but I have no interest in being around someone like that." "I'm not..." "Bullshit. You hate my dad because he doesn't fit your narrow definition of perfection. one thing that you've decided is a sin, and he isn't fit to be around. Well, let me point out something. You lie, and lying is a sin, and if I remember my bible correctly it's actually mentioned in the ten commandment, While being gay isn't. So you tell me who between you and them are in deeper shit." "Patrick, I'm sorry I lied to you. I'm trying to protect you, don't you see that?" "I'm not a child anymore mom. I don't need your protection." He stood. "And to make it clear. They are not the reason I'm leaving this house. You are." He turned to head out of the kitchen. "Patrick, don't go." He turned and looked at her. "Please. Don't abandon me." "Why should I stay mom? so I can listen to more of your intolerant bullshit about people you're not even willing to get to know?" She winced. "Please Patrick, I'll try." "Try what?" "I'll try to get to know them, somehow. Just stay." Patrick sat back down. "Are you serious?" She nodded. "Alright. Then lets invite them to dinner." "What? we can't do that?" "Why not?" "They're..." she shut her mouth before Patrick could say anything. "Mom, they are my father. If you want to be part of my family, that means you're going to have to interact with them. If all you can do is explode anytime they are around, I'm not going to be around. You need to realize that, and you need to decide what you're willing to do about it, because I've made my decision." She nodded. "Patrick, do you have any idea what you're asking?" "yes, that you stop seeing them as this one thing and start seeing them as people. Mom, by inviting them here, we're in control of the environment. This is your house. They will respect that, I will make sure of it." She looked around the kitchen. "This place is a mess. What are we going to cook? I can't afford the kind of food they're used to." "Then we make them our kind of food. I'll pitch in so we have enough for four." She looked at him, uncertainty in her eyes. "When do you want to do it?" "Soon. Friday would give us the rest of the week to prepare." She shook her head. "I work Friday, I can't have anything done in just an hour. but I can take Saturday off. I'll owe Beatrice a shift, but I can manage that. That's going to give me the day to clean this place and prepare the meal." "Alright." "If I do this, you're going to stay?" Patrick took his mother's hands in his. "Mom, I want this to happen because I want to stay here." Her smile was uncertain, but it was there.
  9. Kindar

    Chapter 35

    The Missing Son 35 Patrick growled as he nearly wrenched the shutter off its hinges, and even worse, he almost threw it to the ground. He forced himself to put it down gently. It had cost Mister Michaud three hundred dollar, he couldn't just toss it about because he couldn't focus. He had to admit he couldn't do this, not right now. He kept thinking back to Adam's scared expression and Damian's smirk. He'd hoped that a couple of days distance would have allowed him to put that behind him as much as he could, but he was still furious that someone would hurt his brother. He placed the shutter back in the box with its twin, closed it and took that to the shed. Then he knocked on the house's back door. The late forty badger opened it. "Yes Patrique?" "Is it okay if I put up the shutters tomorrow? I have some family issues on my mind and I can't concentrate." "Of course, Of course. Dat is perfectly fine," he replied in his slight French accent. "How much should I pay you now?" "Nothing. You can pay me tomorrow, once I've finished the work." "Are you certain?" "Yeah. I'll be back about the same time." "Very well. I will see you tomorrow." The badger closed the door. Patrick took his phone out. He needed to resolve this and the only he could was to have a serious talk with Damian, with his uncle. He accessed the directory and did a search for Damian Orr, tiger, to get his address, his name didn't come up. Nothing came up at all. He remembered the difficulty Rich had had in finding his father's address, and Damian had said something to the effect he shouldn't have been able to find anything. If he wasn't in the directory, he could find him on the web, he had before. He switched to a general search, and like the other time there was a lot of results, all linked to the business world. He called up a result that had a picture, and that stony expression with those blue gray eyes looked back at him. The article talked about him and his corporation, Diamond Enterprise. Right, Patrick remembered the name from the card. The company was the fourth largest multinational corporation in the world, and the largest privately owned one. The article called Damian Orr one of the most influential person of the twenty-first century. Alright, so he couldn't find his home address, but his company had to have a listing. A quick search got him that. And Damian had to be there at some time. it wasn't even noon yet. Once he was downtown lunch time would be over. He could find him there and have that talk. * * * * * okay, Patrick thought, this might be a little more difficult than he'd expected. He looked at the tall glass building. He wasn't sure why he'd expected something less imposing, after all it was a multinational corporation. Walking by the two entrances showed him they had guards in the lobby. They wouldn't let someone like him in that way. He was going to need a different way in. * * * * * The phone on his desk ringed, but it wasn't its usual sound. it was the one that said the call was on his private line. Damian looked at the incoming number then answered. "Hello August." "Mister Orr," the person on the other end said. "We might have a problem." Damian leaned back in his chair. "Go on." "The guy you're having us follow, he's at your door step." "He's welcome to come in, my company has an open door policy." "Yeah, well, from the report my guys just sent me, he's not looking to come in the front door. He walked around the building a few times and now he's at the mouth of an alley across the street from one of the parking entrances." "Which one?" There was a moment of silence. "The one on the south west side." "Alright. Tell your people not to follow him inside the building." "Sir, is that wise? If he found out you're having him watched he might be looking for retribution." "Don't be ridiculous, August. Even if he knew about you, why would he seek retribution for being protected?" The horse on the other end didn't say anything. "Look, I appreciate the concern, but I have my own security people, they can handle him if he causes problems." "Alright sir." Damian disconnected the call and stood. He knew why his nephew was here, although he didn't understand why he didn't walk in through the entrance like everyone else. He left his office and stopped by Alice's desk. "I need to look into something, I should be back before my three O'clock." "Yes, Mister Orr. Should I contact you if something comes up?" "Only if it's an emergency." "Yes, Mister Orr." Damian took the stairs down four floors and went to the security office. The large room was well lit, with a wall of screen and six security officers manning them. Damian stood next to the koala in the second left chair. He glanced at the control board and caught the reflection of his name tag. Damian had read every employee's file, but he couldn't remember every individual name. "Willis, please bring up the camera looking out from the south west parking entrance." The koala looked up in surprise, then did as he was told. The closest screen to them switched and they looked out on the street. The alley was in darkness and he couldn't see his nephew hiding there. "Call the guard at the booth, on his personal phone." The koala only had a moment of hesitation before bringing up the guards' schedule, then he inputted the number. Damian asked for the handset once that was done. "Phillip, this is Damian Orr." "Sure, Okay." Damian didn't say anything. He expected not to be recognized immediately, the bobcat had no reason to expect a call from him, and while Damian didn't demand attention and salutes, he wanted to be certain the guard knew who he was talking to before giving him his orders. "oh shit," the bobcat said and there was the sound of a chair being shoved away. "Sir, Mister Orr, sir, I'm sorry. What can I do for you." "I want you to go to the bathroom, and stay there until you are told to return to your post." "Err, sir?" Damian had hoped that he could avoid this uncertainty once the guard realized who he was talking with. "Please don't asked me to repeat myself Philip." "Sir, that's going to leave this entrance unguarded." Damian approved of this reaction. People who obeyed blindly were easier to manipulate. Damian handed the handset to the koala. "Phil, it's Will. it's okay, we have the entrance on the screen. Do what the boss says." * * * * * Patrick had been standing in the shadows for ten minutes trying to figure out how to get in unnoticed. He wanted to catch Damian unprepared. He'd decided he was going to wait for a large enough vehicle, something like a delivery truck, then quickly run across the road and use that to hide him from the guard. He was waiting for that when the guard left the booth and walked deeper in the building. Where was he doing? How long would he be gone? he couldn't waste this opportunity. he made sure the road was clear and ran across it. He stopped by the booth to make sure the guard wouldn't see him from where ever he was, and dashed for the closest column. He hid behind the column closest to the stairwell door, once the guard was back in his booth he'd go in and... then what? He didn't know where Damian's office was, and he couldn't wander the halls, he'd be noticed. He didn't look like anyone here. he didn't even know if Damian was here today. It would be a waste if he was caught and Damian wasn't even here. How could he find out? There had to be a directory screen somewhere, he could use that and call his office. They might not tell him. Patrick leaned his head back on the concrete column and looked around at the cars around him. Wait, cars. He knew which car Damian drove. It was distinctive enough he'd be able to tell if it was here. * * * * * Damian watched his nephew hurry between the cars looking them over. "What is he doing? checking if there's anything worth stealing in them?" The Koala asked. The others glanced their way and then went back to their screens That wasn't what his nephew was doing. he wasn't looking in the cars, he was giving them a quick look over. He wasn't seeing if one was worth stealing, Patrick didn't know how to drive, and he was too honest to steal cars. The only thing he could be doing was trying to find a specific car, and in this garage, there was only one car he could be looking for. Patrick was fortunate that the car he was looking for was indeed parked here, even though it wasn't Damian's regular car. Damian watched as Patrick moved through the garage, heading away from the booth and toward the ramp going down to the next level. "Call Philip." The koala entered the number and handed him the handset. "Philip, this is Damian." "Yes sir." "You can return to the booth. On your way there, you might catch a glimpse of a young tiger among the cars. You will ignore him." "Err, yes sir." Damian handed the handset back and followed his nephew from one screen to the next. He was less furtive on the second level once he noticed there were no guards, but he had to hide a few times when people walked to their cars, or parked and entered the building. At no time did his nephew try to avoid the camera, or even looked around to see where they were. Living in his low-class neighborhood, reading fantasy novels, not watching entertainment shows, and hardly having any presence online his nephew was sorely unprepared for the modern world. Damian would have to remedy that at some point. Finally, his nephew reached the third parking level. The car he was looking for was in GK-36. If he moved at the same speed he had on the second level, even considering the odds of interruptions were lower, the cars on that level were mostly long-term parking, it would take him ten minutes to get close enough to notice it. "Shut down all the cameras on the third sub level." "Sir?" Damian didn't say anything. He didn't even look at the koala. If he had to repeat himself to get this done he needed to replace him. One by one the screens showing the third sub level went dark. "Leave them down until I tell you to bring them back up." "Yes sir." Damian hurried to the stairs on the other side of the building. those would let him see the car from the door. He'd be able to plan his arrival that way. * * * * * Patrick had no trouble identifying the car at a distance, it was silver, and stood out among darker color cars. Closer he confirmed it didn't have a model name. He looked around and located the elevator. He needed a hiding place that would let him keep an eye on it while not being seen. He found it between two large cars further back. He sat down, took out his phone and settled in to read, keeping an ear for the ding of the elevator doors opening. Twenty pages later it wasn't the ding that pulled him out, but the click clack of shoes on the concrete. Patrick checked the time, not even two. Someone was leaving early. He peeked up and quickly lowered himself. It was Damian. Fear gripped him for a moment. He had no business doing this, he was just a school drop out from the bad side of the city, but then he remembered Adam's face as he ran through the dining room. he put his phone away and gritted his teeth. He stood. "Damian," he growled. Damian stopped, looked around for a moment, searching for him, then saw him. "Patrick? What are you doing here?" The surprise in his tone was clear and Patrick smiled. "You and I need to have a talk." He stepped out from behind the car and walked to his uncle. Damian crossed his arms over his chest. "Really? about what?" "You know damn well about what." Patrick's fists were clenched at his sides. Damian shook his head. "No. I'm afraid I don't." "Adam." he growled again. Damian canted his head to the side. "Adam? What about him?" "What did you do to him?" his growl was deepening. "I didn't do anything to him." "Liar. someone doesn't have the fear Adam had on his face unless someone hurt him really bad." Damian leveled his gaze him Patrick. "Patrick. Stand down before you do something you will regret." Patrick screamed. Not words, just anger. He didn't realize his fist was flying at Damian until it stopped so suddenly his arm hurt. The shock killed his anger. Damian was holding Patrick's wrist. "Do not ever attack me again, Patrick." Patrick tried to pull, but he couldn't. Damian's arm didn't even move. "You are family, and I'm not allowed to hurt you, but I would make you regret it." Patrick pulled left and right and Damian's arms didn't move. he pulled back as hard as he could, just as Damian opened his hand and Patrick fell back on his ass. He looked up, pissed, as Damian took a step toward him then crouched down. They studied each other. "What happened to the wise young man who was afraid of me?" "He found out you're a fucking bully to gets off on hurting kids." Patrick spat. Damian's thoughtful expression didn't change. "I don't." "Right," Patrick snorted. "Then what happened to Adam?" "It isn't my place to say." "And Aaron? I've seen the hate he has for you. what did you do to him?" "It isn't my place to speak to that either," Damian said, except this time Patrick thought he heard something in his voice, regret? "So, what? you get off on people being afraid of you? Well I'm not. You think your money's scary? you think because you can buy anything and anyone we should be afraid of you? Well, I've got news for you. Some of us don't give a damn how rich you are." Damian didn't say anything, his gaze unwaveringly on him. "Why are you so angry, Patrick." "Why the fuck do you think? You hurt my brothers, your own nephews. You have any idea how sick that is?" "You've barely known them for three months." "What does that have to do with anything? there's my family. They're yours! how could you hurt them like that?" "I didn't. I'm not allowed to hurt them." "What the fuck does that mean?" Damian took a moment to reply. "If I explained it to you, would you understand? Would you even try to understand?" Patrick looked at him, mouth open, why did he sound pained? He started to ask him what was wrong, but his phone buzzing interrupted him. He ignored it, but Damian looked at his jacket's pocket. "How long are you going to let her suffer?" How did he know it was his mother? Patrick had no doubt it was her, she'd been trying to reach him multiple times a day, but how did he know? "Why do you care?" "I have to look after my family. That includes you. You need your mother. You're angry at her, but you won't be able to resolve that if you don't talk with her. The chasm will only get larger and larger, and it will hurt you. If you wait too long, you may not be able to fix things anymore." "Why do you even care?" Damian stood. "I made a promise, Patrick. I believe that you understand how important promises are." Patrick found himself nodding. Damian turned to leave, then stopped. "I know that with the life you've lived you know that things are complicated, but some things are even more complicated than you can imagine. Go home Patrick." He left him alone. Patrick sat there for a while trying to understand what Damian had meant, but in the end, he had to admit defeat, he just wasn't smart enough to figure it out. He stood and took out his phone, looked at yet another entry for a missed call with his mother's number tagged to it. He spent more time thinking, about what Damian had said, about how he felt about that guy, and his mother, what he wanted out of life. then he sent her a message. 'I'll be home for dinner.'
  10. Kindar

    Chapter 34

    The Missing Son 34 Patrick didn't know how long he was going to stay this time, and he had no intention of taking advantage of Richard's generosity. He spent Sunday walking around that neighborhood looking for any type of small jobs he could do. It was slightly higher class than where his mom lived and he made some money mowing lawns, washing windows and started painting one house, with the promise he'd be back every day until it was finished. With Don paying him after work, and the money he made doing odd jobs, Patrick had to get a bank account. It proved simpler than he expected, he did it online, and all they required was his ID number. He picked a local branch, so he could make deposits now, instead of having to wait the two days until his card arrived. When she called him for the first time, he had a moment of concern about his mother, wondering if she'd have enough money without his income. He pushed the though aside, she didn't care about what he wanted, he wasn't going to care about her either. He didn't answer. He spent the week doing odd jobs when Joey didn't need him at the junkyard. That Saturday his family invited him to a picnic, which he accepted. It was a fun day, they played football, five versus five, with a dad on each team. A few times he found himself in a pileup, and his father's comment about why he liked football would surface and he found that he agreed, having guys on top of him did feel nice. At least until he remembered they were his brothers and fathers, then he was just uncomfortable. When they stopped playing Patrick lay down, and within moments his brothers were snuggled up to him, lying next to him, Aaron and Anakin were half draped over him, Arthur next to him. For a moment he wasn't sure how he felt about it, but none of them said or did anything other than lie and look at the sky, so he enjoyed the closeness. "Alright everyone, lunch is served." Patrick raised his head to see his fathers bringing two large boxes the closest table. Everyone was off him and running to them. Patrick went slower, watching them jostle each other playfully. For a moment he wished he could experience that, then joined them, staying on the outskirt. They had dug out plates and patters of sandwiches, a lot of platters. His father looked at him. "I hope you're not going to be disappointed, but these were catered. We didn't feel like spending hours preparing them." "Do you normally prepare the food yourselves?" "No they don't," Alex said. "Yeah, they get us to do it," Adam added. "We made it clear to them if they pulled that on us again," Aaron continued. "We were going to tie them up and leave them at home," Arthur finished. His fathers looked at one another. "You know," one said. "I think they've picked up," the other continued. "This bad habit of finishing each other's sentence." "From you." Patrick looked at everyone. "do you guys do this kind of thing often?" "Not as often," one started. "As you'd think," the other finished. "This is going to get annoying fast," Patrick said. His father chuckled. "Don't worry, we're done." "For now," the other added, and got a light slap upside the head. "Don't contradict me Danny, I'm the oldest." "No you're not, I was born a full minute before you." "Did not." "Did too." They went back and forth. Patrick stared at them then at his brothers who were rolling their eyes. "And we're supposed to be the teens in this family," Arthur commented. Silence fell and Patrick looked at his fathers, who were kissing. He blushed. He wasn't the kind of lecherous kissing he'd seen when he checked the pornos online, but it wasn't chaste either. It was kind of hot he found himself thinking. "There," Danny said, "We've made up." "Like you two need an excuse to kiss like that." Albert said. Patrick was sure he caught a hungry look in his brothers, and he knew it wasn't for food. He knew his brothers had sex together, but no one brought that up around him. And suddenly he knew they also did it with their fathers. He had no idea what to think of that, he was... he was... jealous? He couldn't be, they were his fathers. He pushed that thought to the side. He couldn't deal with that right now. He was here to enjoy time with his family, not freak out. The moment passed and everyone piled up food on plates and sat on the ground. Patrick looked around plate in hand, and his gaze fell on his fathers, seated together, and his brothers in twos and threes. for a moment he hesitated in choosing a place to sit, then went to his fathers. They made a space between them for him to sit. Patrick was extremely conscious of their legs touching, and snippets of his dreams came back to him. His fathers, naked, embracing him. he looked at his family again, and they looked like normal guys, brothers talking and laughing, fathers discussing their programing, and he told himself he'd imagined the sexual hunger he'd seen there. He was projecting his subconscious desires on them, that's what had happened. * * * * * Patrick was trying to read the latest Iluminar novel. Now that he had his own money he hadn't had to wait for it to become available on the lending site, he'd bought it. His phone was on his lap, projecting it at eye level. He'd reread the fifth page for the third time. Jaremis, the illegitimate son of Duren'El'Tig, the hero of the first three novels, had just found him to inform him his mother had died. Duren had just held his son and cried, telling him he wished he'd been there for him as he grew up. The scene kept bringing his fathers back to his mind, and the dreams he'd had. He wished he had someone to talk with about it, try to make sense of it. He couldn't bring it up with Mother Rosetta, as tolerant as she was, he didn't think she'd approve of this. Joey would probably be okay, but Patrick wasn't comfortable talking about his fathers to him, he didn't know why, but it felt wrong. Natalia might understand, he had no idea how witches felt about incest. He closed the book and did a search for father/son incest, and quickly decided the net wasn't the place to look. the top three links were sites for guys looking for sex, the next five were popular porn videos of fathers having sex with their sons, and after that more of the same, with written stories thrown in. It was clear a lot of guys got off on that, but that didn't help him figure out how he should feel about it. He looked at the tent in his pants. Other than turned on. He put his phone away. He was going to sleep on it. He didn't have an answer by morning, or by the end of the week, or even two weeks later when he showed up unannounced to his father's house. He should have called, he thought, after pressing the buzzer. There was no telling what he was interrupting. The door opened and Aiden stared at him. He was wearing sweatpants, his fur was ruffled and he smelled. Yeah, no telling what he was interrupting. "Pat, hi. We... We weren't expecting you to come over." "I know. I'm sorry. I just wanted to see you guys." Aiden looked over his shoulder. "It might take a bit for everyone to... err... finish what they're doing." He moved out of the way to let Patrick in. "Don't rush them. I should have called. I'll wait in the living room, unless that's where it's happening." He remembered his first time here, the mess in the living room. Now he knew what had been going on there. "We're in Albert's room." Aiden's ears turned read. "Sorry, I didn't mean to say that." Patrick chuckled. "It's okay, I sort of figured that's what you guys would be up to." "You're okay with it?" "I'm okay with you guys doing it. I'm not joining in." Aiden nodded. "Do you want me to setup the game system?" "Nah, I have a book." Aiden hesitated when they reached the living room. Patrick shooed him away. "You go finish it. Don't rush it on my account." He watched his brother step away and turn the corner to go up the stairs. Aiden was smaller and not as wide shouldered, but he had good muscles on him. For a moment Patrick considered following up the stairs. He freely admitted to wondering what it would be like to be with his brothers, but he wasn't comfortable with the idea. He stretched on the couch, and read. Ten minute later his had a message form his father. the ID was D/D. He hadn't been joking when he said they had the same number. 'Just learned you were visiting, we're going to be home in in time for lunch, in a meeting. Are you staying for dinner?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'I have no plans tonight.' 'Staying the night?' Patrick thought about it. Thought for longer than he expected. It would be nice to sleep under the same roof as his family, in rooms near him, probably wishing they could be with him. 'No, I'm not quite comfortable with the idea yet.' He knew they wouldn't pressure him, but that wasn't what he was afraid of. 'okay. the kids should have lunch ready when we arrive. love you.' Patrick smiled at the words floating before him. 'love you two.' He went back to his reading, but caught the scent of wet fur. He looked behind him, Arthur was standing there, wearing jeans and a worn t-shirt with 'I heart Geeks' on it. "You shouldn't have rushed it," Patrick said, sitting up. "I didn't we'd been at it for a while when you got here. The others are going to be down soon." he sat next to Patrick. "Dad's going to be here in a couple of hours. he said you'd be making lunch. I was expecting them to order something." "We usually cook lunch over the summer." "You enjoy cooking?" "No. nothing's set to my height." "Oh, yeah. I'm surprised dad didn't make sure it would be." "It'd be too much trouble. There's only one of me, and eight of them." "I'm guessing when you get your place it's all going to be your size, and when we visit we'll have to crouch down to walk through doorways, sit on the floor to eat with you." "And sleep on the floor, with your legs to your chest because the guest bedroom will be extra small," Arthur added with a chuckle. "and you won't fit in the shower." "Why won't he fit?" Alex asked, joining them. "We're talking about how much trouble normal size people will have in my house." Alex sat on the floor, between Patrick's legs. "Really?" The others joined them before Arthur could expand on it. "What do you guy want to make?" Aaron asked. "No idea. what's do we have?" Anakin asked. "Not much, grocery is later today." "That means we have to scrounge the shelves for something to eat." "Come on," Patrick said, "you guys can't be that hard off on food." "Oh there's stuff," Albert said, "Just not enough of any one thing to make enough to feed everyone." "It can't be that bad." "Yeah? you try making a meal out of a few of eggs, some potatoes, left over ground beef, carrots, beets and cheese," Aiden said. "Is that what's in the fridge?" Patrick asked. "It was this morning when I looked in it." "Do you have any flour?" Patrick asked. "Sure." "Butter, salt and pepper?" "Of course." Patrick looked at them. "And you can't make a meal out of that?" Blank stares regarded him. "You guys are lucky you're rich. you'd die in my part of town." He got up. "come on, I'm going to give you a course in survival cooking." He spent the afternoon showing them how to turn what they had into a hearty meal. during that time, he found out that Adam was off camping with Damian. By the time their fathers arrived they had turned the flours and eggs into pasta, sautéed the vegetables they had and made a sauce from a few cans of mushroom soup they found in the back of the pantry. Their fathers brought up cases of soda, including one of orange soda. They sat down to eat. Patrick bowed his head and silently gave thanks, surprised they waited for him to be done before starting in on their food. * * * * * After the meal was over they cleared the table and the dishes went into the washer. Then, to Patrick's surprise, they turned the top of the table into a gaming surface. It had looked like dark varnished wood while they ate on it, it had even felt like it, but now it was a dark screen with a list of game. "State of the art textured enabled screen," his father said. "So, what are we playing?" "We haven't played poker in a while," Aiden suggested. "It's going to have to be plain regular poker, with Patrick here," his father replied. "I don't mind," was Aiden's answer, and the others nodded. "Okay, everyone has their phones?" Patrick pulled out his. "Does everything turn into sex with you guys?" The question was out before he could stop it, but he surprised himself at the genuine curiosity behind it. "Nah," Arthur answered, looking at the transparent display over his hand. "But strip poker is a favorite of ours. I'll be right back. I'm going to need a standard phone for this." He ran up the stairs. "If I find out you're cheating," Alex said, looking at Albert who was putting on wrap around glasses, "I am so beating your ass." Albert rolled his eyes. "Like I need any help beating you." He gestured in the air and Patrick guessed he was interacting with what he saw in his glasses. "You know how to play poker?" Anakin asked. "Sure, but I'm used to playing with cards. Not with my phone." Don was a big fan of the game and on really quiet evenings he'd pull out the deck of cards and they'd pass the time playing it. Anakin showed him how to connect his phone to the table so he could see his cards and then the few commands he'd need. Arthur came back with a phone from his box and sat next to Patrick. "What are we playing for?" Patrick asked. "I can't really play for money." They looked around. "Right," their father said. "If we're not playing for clothes, we need something else." Their other father went through the game's options. "there, it comes with a currency option. we'll use that." Five thousand dollars appeared on the bottom of Patrick's phone. Even knowing the amount was fictitious, he asked for the game to start with a low ante. They agreed to start at twenty-five dollars. It quickly became apparent to Patrick his family didn't play to win. He wasn't a great player, but he was racking up the wins. He got the distinct impression that when they played for clothing, they wanted to end up naked as fast as possible. They were on the tenth game, which looked to be Patrick's eighth win, it was down to him and Albert, and he had three kings, when the garage door rumbled open. "Adam's back," Aiden said. Patrick called, and they showed their hands. Albert had a straight. Anakin randomized the deck and passed the cards. Patrick looked up from his phone as heavy footsteps stumped up the stairs. Adam appeared, and ran to the other stairs, disappearing before anyone could say anything. Patrick only realized what the expression on his face had been moments later. It had been fear. Not long after that Damian appeared, an unconcerned smile on his face. Patrick looked at him, then the other stairwell, and back. Adam had been camping with him. Patrick growled as he climbed over the table to reach him. With curses his brothers got out of the way. As he landed on the other side his fathers grabbed him. "Let go of me! that son of a bitch did something to Adam!" "Patrick," his father said, "calm down." Damian studied Patrick with an amused expression. "Fuck calming down." He struggled in his fathers' grasp. He was going to wipe that smug smile of his face. "Damian, leave!" "But I just got here." "Leave my house, Dam, now!" "Alright, fine." The tiger went back down the stairs. "No! You can't let him get away with what he did!" Patrick struggled harder, but his brothers joined in to restrain him. They only released him once the garage door had rumbled close. Patrick turned and stared at them. "How the fuck could you let him leave!" "Patrick, you need to calm down," his father said. "I'm not fucking calming down. he did something to my brother and you just let him walk out of here." "Patrick, please. You don't understand." "Then fucking explain it to me. And don't give me anything of that I need to have sex with the lot of you before I'm going to be ready." His fathers looked at him with a confused expression. "I said he'd have to be comfortable having sex with us first," Arthur said. His father sighed. "Patrick, it's complicated, but Arthur's right." He stared at them. He could clearly see the pain on their face. How could they not want to go after him and make him pay? He caught Aaron's angry expression and something clicked. He'd also suffered at Damian's hands, that was the reason for his animosity. He was the only one who looked like he'd want to make Damian pay, but he hadn't gone after him, he'd also stopped Patrick. what kind of hold did Damian have over them? Patrick swore and went up the stairs. He knocked softly on Adam's door. "Go away!" "It's Patrick." There was a moment of silence. "Just go away, please." "Adam, what happened? What did he do to you?" Another silence. "I don't want to talk about it." Patrick seriously considered breaking down the door. His fist was raised, before he realized that wouldn't resolve anything. He took a moment to calm himself. "Adam, I want you to know that if you ever need to talk to someone, I'm here." "Thanks." He leaned his head on the door. "If he ever touches you again, I want you to tell me, okay? No one hurts my brother. do you hear me? Absolutely no one." "Pat, don't do anything." Adam sounded closer to the door. "I'm not afraid of him." Adam's next words were soft enough Patrick wasn't sure he heard them correctly. "You should be." Then he heard Adam move away from the door. Patrick wanted to scream at him. There was nine of them, how could they let one person cow them like that. he spun on his heel and went down the stairs. He grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair and his phone off the table, daring any of them to comment. They were his family, but as he left he despised each and every one of them.
  11. Kindar

    Chapter 33

    The Missing Son 33 Patrick prepared dinner while his mother rested from her day at the diner. He'd spent the day trying to figure out how he was going to tell her about the invitation. He didn't want this to turn into an argument. It was a simple meal, ground beef with potatoes, carrots and onions. They ate in silence, or rather his mother ate, he pushed his food around. His appetite hadn't shown up, and the way his stomach was churning, it wasn't going to. He took his plate to the counter and rummaged through the drawer for a piece of foil. He found one that was large enough for his plate, and put that in the fridge. He leaned back against the counter. "Mom." He'd been trying to find a way to ease into it, but hadn't been able to. "Dad wants us to celebrate my nineteenth birthday with them." "What?" Patrick let her get over the surprise. "How did they ask you? Did they call? how did they get your number?" "No mom, they didn't call." "Did they show up here? I can't believe they dared come here after I threw them out." Patrick wondered what she was remembering. She hadn't thrown them out, and he knew that if they'd come a second time they would have told him about it. "No mom, they didn't come here." "Then how did they invite you? did they send you a message?" "No, I spent the day with them yesterday." "What! Why did you do that? don't you realize they're no good for you?" "They're my father." Patrick kept his tone calm. His mother was working off antiquated beliefs. It wasn't her fault. He wasn't going to lose his temper. "I don't care that one of them is your father. I don't want you to have anything to do with them. They can only be a bad influence on you." Deep breaths. "They are both my fathers. And they aren't trying to influence me. All we did was go to a baseball game and play catch in the park." "I don't care. It's just a ploy. I know they're going to try to take you away from me." "Damn it mom!" Breathe. "They don't want to take me away, they just want me to be part of their family." "Right, their family of perverts." "Oh, get off it mom!" Patrick shut up. Damn it, he promised himself he wasn't going to lose it. "They're gay, they aren't perverts. And their sons, my brothers, they're nice guys." "And how do you know that?" Patrick signed. "Because they've all visited me. They're nice. One's a singer, a pretty popular one online too. One's into mechanics, one's a painter. They're all fun to be around. And It would be nice to have a party for once." "I don't care. I don't like them." "Mom, you don't even know them." "I know everything I need to know about them." "Fine." Patrick took out his phone. "I'll tell them it's just going to be me." "Absolutely not! I forbid you to have anything to do with those fags." Patrick only realized he threw his phone when it exploded against the wall, behind his mother. She winced and stared at him. "Don't you ever refer to my father that way," he growled. "Patrick." "Did you fucking ear me mom?" He stepped to the table and glared at her. "You are never going to say that about my father ever again." "Patrick," she repeated in a severe tone. "You are not going to use that kind of language in my house." He put his hands on the table and leaned in. "Fuck you, mom. You want me to use respectful language with you? Then you're going to fucking show respect to my father." He didn't give her time to say anything. I went to his room and put clothing in a bag. He grabbed the phone Arthur gave him and pocketed it. On his way out, he stopped by the kitchen. "I'm leaving. Don't bother calling me I'm not going to take your calls. When you figure out what it means to be a Christian, send me a message and I might call you back." He left her there with a dismayed look on her face. He was proud of himself for not slamming the door. * * * * * Patrick knocked on the door and Richard yelled for him to come in. He'd called as soon as he'd left the house. For a moment he'd considered calling his father, but it would be impractical. He couldn't ask one of them to drive him here each time he needed to work. The first thing that he noticed was that the door wasn't locked. Richard never left his door unlocked. Then, the living room was clean. "Rich, what's going on?" The rat poked his head out of the kitchen and Patrick motioned to the clean space. "Oh, yeah, I've been keeping the place clean." "And the door wasn't locked." "You were coming, it was easier to leave it unlocked." "You've never done that before." "I'm on medication now. It's keeping my paranoia under control. Also, off caffeine, that's helping too." "I didn't know you had that problem, I'm glad you've resolved it." "It's thanks to you again. That company you hooked up with, they have an in-house doctor, when they hired me he checked me up, had some blood tests done, scans. Turns out I have a slight chemical imbalance. The meds are fixing that. So, another fight with you mom?" "It didn't get to that, I left first. I'm fed up with her intolerance." "Well, you know you're welcome here as long as you want. And you won't have to share my bed. The guest bedroom actually usable now that I've thrown out all the crap I'd accumulated there." "Okay, and thanks again."
  12. Kindar

    Chapter 32

    The Missing Son 32 July saw the weather cooling down, and all of Patrick's brother visiting him at one time or another. Even showing up at the bar as a group, where Jen couldn't stop swooning over them, and Arthur had most of the women in the bar, staff and customer fussing over him. By the time the month was almost over only two people hadn't visited him, and Patrick wondered why. He hadn't asked his brothers to inquire, because he didn't want them caught in the middle if this was something serious. He hoped it wasn't as he entered the number. "Hi dad, it's Patrick." There was a moment of silence, in which he heard a chair being moved and creak. "Hi Patrick, how is it going?" "I'm okay, you?" "We're good. The kids have mentioned how fun the bar is." Patrick almost commented on it, but stopped himself. He didn't want to do small talk. "Dad, how come you haven't come over?" "We didn't want to force ourselves on you." Patrick chuckled. "Forcing themselves on me seemed to be the other's plans." "Yes, well, they're your brothers, your age. I expect it's easier to have them around you without feeling like you're being pressured. We worried that if we showed up, or called, you'd feel obligated to spend time with us." "I'd like to hang out with you dad." "Really? Great... err, just me, or Danny too?" "What? Both of you, of course? Sorry, I've been trying to get in the habit of thinking of your two as two distinct people, but I keep falling back to one." "It's okay, I don't mind. What do you want to do?" Patrick hesitated. "Father/son stuff." Donald chuckled. "Okay, anything slightly more specific?" "Not really. Maybe go in the park and play ball. Do you have any ideas?" "I do, but you'd have to be willing to let us pay for it." Patrick cringed. He really didn't want to say no to him. "Nothing too extravagant, okay?" "It won't be, I was thinking we could go see a baseball game. We'll get some of the middle seats, those aren't really expensive." "Sure, that'd be fine." "Good, when do you want to go?" "Weekdays work best for me." "How about tomorrow." "Yeah, that doesn't get in the way of your work?" "No, but let me check with Danny in case I forgot something." The call was silent for a moment. "Nope, we're good for tomorrow, and he says the Giants have a game with some losing team from the east coast, so it probably won't be busy. We can be at your place around ten, the game starts at eleven." "I'd rather you pick me up at the bar where I work." He messaged him the address. "I don't want to run the risk of a neighbor noticing you and reporting to my mom." "Alright. We'll see you then." * * * * * His father was out of the car as soon as it stopped moving and hugging him. "It's good to see you again." "You too dad." His other father was more casual about it, but his hug was as tight. "We've missed you." "I've missed you too." "So, ready for a baseball game?" "You bet." On the drive to the stadium his fathers talked about the game they were working on, a fully immersing adventure for the Aguiron Room system. They talked about the problems they were having since they needed to learn a new way of coding, as well as having to figure out how to handle a 360 world that was there all the time. It all went over Patrick's head but he let them talk, enjoying listening to them, their enthusiasm, their love for making games. He'd always wanted his father to be someone happy, who loved what he did. The parking was deserted, and looking over the seating as they took theirs, Patrick saw no more than twenty people. "Even for a weekday game, I expected there to be more people," he said. "The team hasn't been winning, so people aren't making time for them, and the Yankees haven't had a great year either, so this isn't much of a draw." His father stood. "Donny, Patrick, want anything special from the stand? I'm getting food." "I don't even know what they serve." "Don't worry about it then, I'll get you typical baseball food." "And I'll have the same." When his father returned with the food, two baskets with sausages rolls and one with drinks, the space above their head, over the field erupted with static and then holo images of the diamond, the stands and various area of the field as the stadium camera people setup their equipment. His father passed the drinks first, and Patrick smelled the beer as his father took it. He was relieved not to smell alcohol from his cup, and was pleasantly surprised when his first sip tasted of orange soda. He hadn't expected them to remember. His father then sat and reached past Patrick to handed a roll to his father. the bun holding the sausage was covered in so much chili, sauerkraut, ketchup, mustard, relish that he couldn't see the sausage. Patrick was amazed none of dripped as it was passed before him. His looked the same. He took it gingerly, taking a moment to decide on the best way to attack it, then bit into it. His fathers laughed as the topping spilled over the bun and onto his hands. His father put a pile of napkins on Patrick's lap. "No way to avoid the mess, so don't worry about it." The other basket had more rolls and when they finished those the game began. Patrick leaned back and watched the first pitches, and the Yankee's batter walked to first base. His initial thought was this was going to be boring, but he didn't mind. He was here to spend time with his fathers, the game was incidental. By the end of the first inning he was leaning forward, watching the holo as the Giant's batter was struck out. there hadn't been any points, after that first walk there had been three consecutive outs on each side. In the middle of the third inning Patrick found himself standing. "oh come On! Is that guy blind or bribed? That ball was over the plate, that's a strike!" He realized he'd screamed it and blushed. His father grinned at him and Patrick sat back down. "Why is the umpire even there? there should be sensors in the plate and around the batter," he grumbled, "the results would be much more accurate." His father patted his leg. "Tradition. Screaming at the umpire for screwing up is as much part of the game as sitting back and watching it. I didn't realize you were this passionate." "I didn't know either. This is the first time I've bothered watching a game." His father smiled. "Well, looks like he's another one who takes after you Danny." Daniel chuckles. "You're passionate about baseball?" "Football's my game, but he means a sport fan." "What's there to enjoy about football?" Daniel grinned. "Guys piling on top of one another, putting their hands between each other's legs? It isn't so much the game they are playing, it's the things I can imagine them doing." Patrick found himself imagining, and blushed. "okay, I get the appeal now." He squirmed in his seat and focused on the game to get his mind off the images his father had put in his head. Patrick surprised himself each time he jumped to his feet to argue a decision. It wasn't that he felt he shouldn't be doing it, he enjoyed rooting for his team, but the game wasn't even that interesting. Both teams were bad, the one point the Giant got was because of errors on the part of the Yankees. He was unusually pleased when the game ended with that point being the only one awarded. "That was fun, I'm going to have to start watching them at home." They made their way back to the car. "Do you need to get back home right now?" his father asked. "No. So long as I'm at the bar by seven I'm good." "We'll be dropping you off before that. We're going to have to deal with traffic on the way back." "That's fine. If you want to avoid that, you can take me back right now." "Absolutely not. You wanted a father/son day, that's what you're getting. Now get in." They drove to a park and his father took three baseball gloves out of the trunk. They spent the next two hours throwing the ball. Patrick couldn't stop smiling the entire time. When they stopped his father went to get them food. When asked what he wanted, Patrick replied with 'something that isn't messy.' He could still smell the chili in on his hand after washing them. They sat in the grass while waiting. "You didn't ask which one of us is which," his father commented. Patrick shrugged. "It doesn't matter to me. You're my father, both of you. Like I said when we talked yesterday, I have trouble thinking of you as two individuals." His father chuckled. "That would have been when you talked with Donny. He didn't mention that." "I guess this is a case when it might help, but you said the others don't even try to differentiate you anymore." "They don't, but they grew up with us. I didn't expect you to adjust this quickly." "You dress the same, talk the same, I could try to keep track of you when he comes back, but I know I won't be able to, so why even bother." Daniel squeezed his shoulder. "I'm happy you're comfortable with this." "You're my dad. It would take a lot for me to even consider making this difficult." Donald came back with hamburgers, three each. "Condiments are on the side, so you can make it as messy as you like." He proceeded to add one of everything to his first burger. Patrick put onions and mustard. Daniel also put everything on his. "Did you ask him?" Donald asked. "Ask what?" Patrick said. "We're wondering if you'll want to celebrate your nineteenth birthday with us." "That's next year." "I know, but we wanted to give you plenty of warning, because we'd like you to bring your mother." Patrick pulled the burger away from his mouth. "You want me to bring my mom? You do know what she thinks of you two right? Can you imagine her reaction when she finds out the others are gay too?" "She won't know. The kids invite their friends and their parents come too. And there are going to be girls. You can invite some of your friends if you want." Patrick took a bite and used the time to think. "I don't think inviting my friends is a good idea. The shock would be too much for them. As for my mom, I can't promise anything, but I'll talk with her. If I can get her to view you as people instead of walking sins she might come." "We figured it might take time, that's why we're inviting you this early." They finished eating, then threw the ball of a while before they drove Patrick back to the bar. He hugged them tightly before they left.
  13. Kindar

    Chapter 31

    The Missing Son 31 Patrick was sweaty and itchy. the whole week had been hot, a lot hotter than it should be for only a few days into summer. And they kept saying that They'd fixed climate change back in the thirties, Patrick thought gloomily. He grabbed another broken lamp and threw it with the others. The ear clip beeped, letting him know a call was coming in. He'd gotten it after a week of holding the phone to his ear while talking with Arthur. It was well worth the five bucks. He pressed the stud. "Hey Arthur, how is it going?" "Hi Pat," someone he who wasn't Arthur said. "It's Aaron." "Hey Aaron. sorry, Arthur usually calls round this time." "I know. I let him know I'd be monopolizing you today, that is, if you're interested in having lunch together." Patrick grabbed the phone out of his jacket off an intact tall lamp Joey had say was called a Pixar, because of the way it looked. Patrick had no idea what that was supposed to mean, but it was one they could still sell. It was five minutes after noon. "Yeah, I guess I could, but just to warn you. I'm kind of grummy. Sweating and dirt don't mix well. Where do you want to meet?" "Well, I'm standing at the gate of Joey's Junk, being eyed by two canids like I'm on the lunch menu." Patrick had a moment of surprise at Aaron being at the junk yard, then laughed. "That's just Livid and Angry, Joey's pooches. They're harmless. Head to the office, and I'll be there in a few minutes." When Patrick made it there, shirt and jacket in hand, Aaron was seated on the stairs, holding two wrapped sandwiches. "You didn't have to bring food," Patrick chuckled. "we could have gone somewhere." Aaron looked sheepish. "I didn't. Joey introduced himself. When I told him I was your brother and we were going to have lunch he gave me those, then got in a pickup and left." Patrick sat next to his brother. "He usually provides lunch when I work." He took one of the sandwiches. "If you prefer, we can go somewhere, I'll have to grab a quick shower first. I'm not fit for even this area's diners." "It's okay. And I did bring something." Aaron pulled a can from behind him and handed it to Patrick. Orange soda. "I know you don't want us to buy you stuff, but I thought in this heat you might enjoy a drink." He pulled a second one for himself, a strawberry-kiwi soda. "This is fine." He popped the top with a claw. "It's the stuff I couldn't afford at any time in my life that makes me uncomfortable." He took a long swallow, then a large bite of the sandwich. Aaron sipped his soda while looking around. "This is so surreal. I didn't even know a place like this existed." Patrick nodded. "Joey managed to grab the last permit before they passed the recycling act, in... twenty-eight, I think. The others went under because the intake more or less dried up, but Joey specialized in large appliances and other big things that aren't easy to recycle. By the time the recession hit he was the only one left, and people started coming in with smaller stuff. Stuff they should be recycling, but they can't get money for that, and as tight as the economy became they needed even the few pennies Joey gave for what they brought." "The city let him do that?" "Looks like it. even if things are picking up now, people still come. but now we get collectors and people looking to dress up their place for cheap, so he's seeing a return on it." Livid chose that moment to drop herself on her haunches next to Aaron and look at him with baleful eye. She licked her chops. "Don't give her any food. Joey don't let them eat people food, but she keeps trying." Aaron rubbed the black canid between the ears and she panted. "So it's just you and Joey working here then?" "Nah. He has two cousins that come in whenever they feel like it, but this isn't exactly a busy place. He just calls me in when someone brings something big, or when there's something he doesn't want to deal with." Patrick finished his sandwich and soda. "That why I'm here today. He'd got eight years of lamps piled up in the back and he's decided to get rid of the ones too broken to be sold. I've been sorting all morning. When I'm done we're going to shovel that in his pickup and he'll drive it to the recycling center." Aaron nodded and nibbled on his food. "Pat, I hope you're not going to find the question offensive, but how much money do you have?" "Thirty-three bucks and eleven cents." "And that's literally everything you have, right?" "Yeah." "Fuck," Aaron whispered. "I'm sorry, I really thought Alex was trying to pull one over us." "It's okay. I'm kind of surprised no one called to double check." "Not something we wanted to do over the phone." Patrick smiled. "So that's why you're here?" "Only part of it." He looked at the sky. "I've been going through some stuff." "Okay." Patrick waited. "Sorry. This is weird. You're my brother, but at the same time you're not part of my family. You're the only one I could think of to talk with about this." "Shoot." Aaron took a breath. "A couple of years ago something happened to me. Ever since I've had this anger festering inside me. I keep it in check, mostly, the dads haven't realized anything, but I'm pretty sure Arthur suspects, and if he does the others do to. I had to stop competing, because the last time I did my opponent kind of cheated and I lost it on him. I broke his leg." "Why are you keeping it from your fathers? wouldn't they help?" "They'd want to, but they can't. It's complicated." "Okay, what are you hoping to get out of talking with me about it?" "Am I wrong to say you have something of a temper?" Patrick chuckled. "No, you're not." "How do you deal with it?" "I pray, a lot." "Oh." Aaron petted Livid and she rested her head on his lap. "Seriously though, I try to think about what I'm doing. I've learned to noticed the signs I'm about to lose it and I try to catch myself." "So no mantra? no secret recipe to keep in check?" "No. I'm afraid not. Not keeping it bottled up would probably be a good way to start though. And for me, my faith that God hasn't burdened me with something I can't overcome helps." "And that's enough, faith?" "Most days. I have dark days where I curse God. I'm not perfect. Just like the rest of us, I'll falter, step off the Path, but at some point we get back on it. You don't believe in God I take it." "Never really spent any time thinking about it. Historically, my family and the church hasn't gotten along all that well, with us being gay and all." "How far back does it go? I mean everyone being gay." Aaron shrugged. "As far back as we know. Great-grandpa Robert had the family tree done, and it went as far as some guy in France, in the fourteen hundred I think. He was the first one to take the name Orr. According to the stories, we've been persecuted throughout the centuries. We have it good now, none of that phobia anymore, but I think the church's been breed out of us." "You don't need a church to believe in God." "Okay, but how do you deal with science." "What?" "Doesn't the bible say that God created everything? doesn't that mean you can't believe the theory of evolution is real?" "Wow, okay, now you're sounding like one of those Anti-religion extremists." "Sorry, I didn't mean to, but I am curious about it, how do you reconcile religion and science?" "Well, I'm not a scientist, so that isn't really a problem for me, but yes I do believe in science. I do believe that earth is older than what the bible states, and that somewhere in the far past, Livid there and Joey share an ancestor." "Doesn't that go against the bible and the things it teaches?" Patrick shrugged. "It doesn't matter. It wasn't written by God. God doesn't dictate how things are. He set them in motion and he's watching what happens." Aaron was silent for a moment, then he chuckled. "You're a lot more thoughtful about this than I would ever be." "Finding out about you, dad, and being gay has forced me to do a lot of thinking. I wasn't quite that deep when I was seventeen." Aaron nodded. "I'm not really a deep thinker." Patrick put an arm around Aaron's shoulders and pulled against him. "That's okay. Sorry if I couldn't help with your anger." "S'okay, I have a backup plan. I'm going to join the army." "Isn't that a bit extreme?" "I don't think so. That way I can channel my anger into protecting my country." "And here I thought you guys were going to sit on your money and live the easy life." Aaron laughed. "Oh no, we're all going to get jobs." "But your dads have money." "And it's their money. We're living off it now, because we're too young to get jobs." Patrick eyed him. "okay, because we're still in school. Once we leave school we're going to have to come up with our own money." Patrick looked at Aaron eyes wide. "What?" "That sound you just heard, that was my expectations being shattered. I mean, I liked you all, even when I thought you were going to have it easy all your life. You're good guys and I like being around the lot of you, except for Damian. That guys just gives me the creeps. But now.... What?" Aaron looked away. "You're instinct about him are right." "What do you mean?" His brother started to say something, then stopped. He shook his head. "Look, just be careful around him. That's all." Patrick considered the words. "I will." Aaron checked his palm. "Shit, I should probably let you get back to work. I don't want you to get in trouble." "I won't, but I should get back to it." They stood, and Patrick was the one to hug Aaron, much to his brother's surprise. "Thanks for talking with me, and if you ever need to talk again, you have my number." "Thanks for listening. I love you." Patrick didn't know how to reply to that, and by the time he decided he loved him back, Aaron had already left.
  14. Kindar

    Chapter 30

    The Missing Son 30 The phone he bought was ten dollars. The most basic model, Holo, but hardly any customization settings. He didn't get the earclip. A quick call to Richard and both his phone were on the same number and shared the basic functions. He silenced his expensive phone and stashed it in his underwear drawer. Then he gave his number to his mom and prayed that she wouldn't notice it was his name or know how expensive it was to get. He got use to having a phone over the week, putting all the numbers he knew in it, then find out he could get a reader function for it and moved his books to it. He wouldn't have to be at his computer to read anymore. The dreams with his fathers continued for a few more days, then they faded. He still woke up with morning wood, but it wasn't accompanied with erotic dreams anymore. He did find his mind returning to them more often than not, when he took care of it in the shower. After two weeks his friends had his number and Patrick found he had to silence his phone otherwise he kept being bothered by their call, and all they wanted to do was chat. The one person he chatted with every days was Arthur. They spent at least ten minutes talking over lunch. No subjects were off limits except for sex. Patrick found out Arthur was addicted to candy corn, loved Japanese music, despised red bell peppers, was keeping busy over the summer by taking classes and was going to find a cure for dwarfisms. For his part, Patrick told him about making up stories about the father he dreamed he had when a kid, that he liked his music on the quiet side, twentieth century jazz, and some classical composers. He liked all kind of food, not being in a position to afford not eating something. And that one day he'd probably own a bar. * * * * * This Sunday had kept Patrick busy. There had been a group of trouble makers within fifteen minutes of starting. They'd tried to intimidate him, but after the Sarantos, no one could scare him anymore. He dragged them outside two at a time. Then he had to deal with a guy who tried to force one of the new waitress to sit on his lap for some 'quality' time. Another one escorted outside. Then it was a woman who, after one too many, wouldn't leave Patrick alone. She pressed herself on him while he carded the newcomers and glowered at any other women who even smiled at him. He was set to endure her, since she just couldn't take the hint he didn't want her there, then she tried to put a hand in his pants. He almost decked her. That she was a woman made him hesitate, and that Jen pulled her away probably saved him a very embarrassing moment. After that things quieted down and his nerves settled too. Influx had picked up again. The group filled the stairwell and from what he could see a good number were also outside. He quickly checked IDs and they were all legal. Then, as he handed one back the name on it registered. He looked up at the tiger. "Alex?" "Hi, Pat." He put his ID away and moved aside so the others could pass. Patrick couldn't talk with him as he finished checking the group. Finally, once they were all in and crowding the bar he turned to his brother. "What are you doing here?" Patrick looked his brother over, and he actually looked like he belonged here. His jeans were worn, his running shoes scuffed in many places. The only thing that was a little out of place was the jacket he wore over his white shirt. It looked expensive. "I wanted to see where you worked." "How did you even know about it?" "I asked Arthur." Patrick shouldn't have been surprised Arthur had shared their conversations, it wasn't like he hadn't wanted him to, he simply hadn't expected it. "Can you join me for a drink?" Alex asked. Patrick checked his watch. At this hour he had half an hour before the next bus, arrivals should be calm until then. They went to the bar once the group had moved to tables. "Don, this is Alex, one of my brothers." The panda eyed the tiger. "Brother? You never mentioned you had a brother." "It's something recent." Don quirked a smile, but he didn't say anything. He offered his hand. "Well, it's a pleasure to meet you Alex. I'm Don, I run this joint." "Likewise." Alex shook it. "It's a nice place." "Thank you. What can I get you?" "How about an Hawaiian?" "Ahh. I'm afraid I don't carry that beer. It's a little too expensive for my customers." Alex's ears turned red. "I'll have whatever you recommend then." Don poured him a glass from the tap, set it before him and then filled a glass with orange soda for Patrick. "This one's on the house," Don said when Alex tried to pay. "Think of it as a welcome to the family drink." "Thanks." "I'm going to take a break," Patrick said taking his. "Things should be quiet until eleven-ten." "Take as long as you need. I'll have one of the girls cover the door." Patrick led Alex to the last available table. "I guess you can't drink while working," Alex said, indicating the glass. "I don't drink at all. I don't get how Don can after seeing the troubles the drunks can cause in here." He eyes Alex's glass. "You drink much?" "No. I've only been legal for a few months, so I haven't had the occasions. If I go to a club I still go to Gentrify, it's an underage club so no alcohol. As a family we don't really drink much. Dads enjoy a glass of wine here and there, usually on special occasions. I've never seen uncle Damian drink. I've only seen Uncle Dominic drink once, at Grandpa's funeral." "Do any of the others drink?" "Aiden and Albert got plastered once." Alex hesitated, "After we visited you. They got really sick, and I haven't seen them drink anything since. I expect the rest tried it, but they didn't overdo it to the point where we found out." Patrick couldn't stop the smile. "That's right, you guys haven't been around alcohol as long as I have." Alex frowned. "How long have you been around alcohol." "Since I was fourteen." "Does you mom drink?" Alex asked, horrified. "No. That's when I started working here." "How did you manage that?" "I had my growth spurt early, and I was already wide shouldered. I'd gotten a fake ID that said I was eighteen. Don didn't buy it, so I told him I was really seventeen. he didn't buy that either, but he didn't say anything. He tried me out for the night, and I've been here ever since." "Man, When I was fourteen I played video games, and worried about Aramis hooking up with Porthos." "Who?" "They're characters on a show I watched then. I was really into Aramis." "Never had much time for entertainment shows." "Arthur said you read novels." "Lots of fantasies. I'm actually reading more now that I have a phone." He took it out. "What happened to the one Arthur gave you? Aaron's old one?" "It's home. It's too valuable, if the wrong people see it they'd steal it. I got this and linked them." "It isn't that expensive, you know. Arthur mentioned you weren't happy about the number." "Do you know how much it cost?" Alex shrugged. "Sure." Patrick was annoyed at the lack of concern his brother showed. He wished he could get him, all of them to understand how different his world was from theirs. He smiled as he thought of something. "Alex, how much money do you have?" "On me? a couple hundred bucks in cash." "Is that all you have access to?" Alex looked at him suspiciously. "No, why?" "If you need more, how would you do it?" "I'd use my bank card. Pat, why do you need to know that?" Patrick dug in his pocket and dumped its content on the table. He had a five, and three ones neatly folded with not even fifty cents in various coins. "This is all the money I have." Alex look at the bills and coins. "Okay." "Alex, this is 'all' the money I have." His brother looked at him, confused. "I don't have a bank card. I don't have a bank account. Until Don pays me when he closes tonight, this is all the money I have to my name." Alex looked at the bills, then at Patrick. his eyes grew wide. "How? What?" he grabbed the bills and counted them. "How much are you going to get tonight?" "A hundred and fifty, plus whatever Jen and the other waitresses give me" "For the night?" "No, that's for working the weekend. And most of that is going to go to my mom for the bills. I'm going to keep fifty, and most of that is going to be spent on groceries." Alex stared at him, his mouth didn't seem to work for a moment. "How can you do that? What if you want something?" "There aren't any wants in my world, only needs, and those don't always get filled." "Then why were you angry at Arthur? Because of him you have a phone." "It isn't the phone that angered me. If that was it, with the plan, I would have been fine. It's the casual way he threw away," Patrick lowered his voice, "fifty grand on a phone number. You and him act like I would if I'd forgotten a penny on the table. That's what angered me. You have so much money you don't understand what it's worth and how it makes me feel to have that dumped on me without second thoughts." Alex drained his glass. "Shit, I didn't realize." "I know. you and I, we live in different worlds. I want to be part of your family, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to be part of your world." "But you have to work at a job like this. How can you want that when you could have it easier?" "Because that way I know the worth of what I have." "Do I want to know what you think of us?" "You? I like you, I like the guys in our family I've met. well, except for Damian, he kind of gives me the creeps. But like I said, you live in a different world. I'm not going to judge you by the world I live in." Patrick noticed an ermine make a fuss with one of the waitresses. "Excuse me." Patrick went and informed the guy that the staff was to be treated with respect. The ermine tried to get in his face about it, about the amount of money he could spend in this place. That if he didn't leave him alone, he was going to complain to his boss and get him fired. Patrick hadn't planned on laughing in his face, but after the conversation he'd just had with Alex, he couldn't stop himself. Once he stopped he told the guy to feel free to complain, but that he was either going to treat the waitresses with respect or leave. Patrick didn't wait for a reply, just rejoined Alex, but he didn't say anything, keeping his eyes on the ermine. After five minutes of the ermine behaving Patrick stopped focusing on him. Alex was looking in his glass. "You okay?" "Yeah, I'm just realizing a thing about stuff I'm planning to do." Patrick waited for him to elaborate, but he didn't. "What time do you normally leave?" Alex asked. "Between two thirty and three." "Do you mind if I walk with you?" "Of course not. you didn't drive here?" "I did, but I'll come back after." "Okay." Patrick finished his soda. "I should really get back to work." He put the money back in his pocket and stood. Alex stood with him. "I'll get myself another beer." "Well, hello there." A fox holding a tray joined them. "and who are you, handsome?" "Jen, this is my brother, Alex." "Patrick, please tell me he's single." "I am," Alex replied, smiling. "Not that I think it's going to help." "Oh, and why's that?" "I'm gay." "Of course, you are. That's just my luck. You wouldn't happen to have any brothers?" "I do, but they're gay too." Jen look at Patrick. "Are all the guys in your family gay?" Patrick opened his mouth, but then surprise froze him. She patted his shoulder. "Of course, I know." "How?" he asked, baffled. "Oh, you don't scream 'I'm gay', but I've seen too many beautiful women throw themselves at you only to fall flat on their face to think you were straight." "I don't call what that rabbit was doing 'throwing herself at me'." "No, I wasn't including her, she was looking for a lawsuit. but there's been plenty of others." Patrick tried to remember when a woman might have hit on him, but he couldn't. "That's what I mean," The fox said. "That confused look you have. You never even noticed they were doing it." He turned to Alex. "It's good to meet you, Alex. Were you leaving or heading to the bar?" "I was going to the bar." "Can I get you anything?" Alex gave her his glass. "I don't know what this was, Don served it to me, it was on tap." With a nod she left. "Pat, how much tip should I leave?" Patric chuckled and gave his brother a quick primer on tipping before going back to the door. The rest of the night was quiet. One girl came on to him when he refused to let her in because he ID was fake. He paid attention to what she did, and he could remember other women doing similar things before. He suggested she should leave. The customers behaved, so Patrick kept a discreet eye on Alex. He talked with the waitresses who approached him, and they all left disappointed. Jen hadn't told anyone he was gay, and neither did the waitresses who talked to him. They all seemed to enjoy seeing the next one try her luck. As he said he would, Alex nursed his beer for the rest of the night, switching to a soda at last call. With the door locked Patrick rejoined him. "What happens now?" Alex asked. "They finish their drinks and leave. You've never closed a bar before?" Alex chuckled. "I think the longest I've stayed at the club was two hours. Once I'd found a partner or two, there wasn't any point in staying." Patrick looked at him, then his ears reddened. "Oh." "I'm heading out," Jen said, "Here you go." She handed Patrick sixty dollars. Patrick pocketed it. "You're leaving early tonight." "Yeah. Bonnie's been sick and waking up at all hours. My sister's watching her, but she shouldn't have to deal with that any longer than she has to." She pulled Alex out of his chair and hugged him. "It was a pleasure meeting you." "Likewise. I hope Bonnie gets well soon." "Thanks. See you on Friday, Patrick." The fox sashayed away, drawing the eyes of everyone except the two tigers. "Bonnie's her daughter," Patrick explained at Alex's quizzical look. "One year old now. The father just up and left a couple of weeks in the pregnancy. No one knows where he went to, which is fortunate for him. A few of us would have had words with him." Alex nodded. Mary appeared next to them. "Patrick, Don wants to see you." "Thanks. I'll be right back." The panda was behind his desk and handed him an envelope as soon as he entered. "You can take off if you want." "Are you sure? There's still a lot of people here." He pocketed the envelope. "It's fine, if some of them start something, I'm still able to knock heads together. You go and enjoy some time with your brother." "Thanks, see you Friday." Patrick grabbed his jacket on the way out and nodded to the stairs when Alex looked his way. "Normally I'd be one of the last one to leave, but Don figures I should spend time with you." "That's pretty nice of him." "Yeah, he's a good guy. I don't know what you want to do. Normally I just walk home, but if you have any ideas I'm game." "Do you mind if I walk with you?" "No, but didn't you say your car was parked around here?" "Yeah, I'll come back for it afterward." "Are you really sure? This isn't exactly a safe neighborhood." "That's okay. I might not be a black belt like Aaron, but I've gone a few rounds with the fighting game. I can hold my own." Patrick thought it over then started walking. "I'm only agreeing to it because the gangs have been rounded up. It's a lot safer now." "Yeah, that was quite a coup for the commissioner, wasn't it?" "I guess. She seemed pretty happy with the results and I'm guessing her popularity is going up." "Yeah, she really wanted to clean up the city, that was what motivated her to become commissioner." Patrick chuckled. "You sound like you know her." "Oh no, but I met her, when I was twelve. Dads went to a fund raising for her campaign. The theme was protecting the children, so they brought us. I got to shake her hand." "She made quite an impression it sounds like." "Yeah. I kind of decided then I wanted to do what she did." "Run the police?" "No, be a cop." "You're going to be a police officer?" "Yeah, I'm joining the academy in September." "Wow. I didn't expect that. I figured you'd go in programing like dad." "No way. I couldn't do that. I had a mandatory computer class in my freshman year and I was so bored. No. I want to help out people, keep them safe." "Does dad know about that?" Alex glanced at him. "What?" Patrick asked. "You said 'dad', singular. you said the same a moment ago, and I think you did a few times at the bar." Patrick blushed. "Oh, yeah. I keep finding myself thinking of them as one person. I know there's two of them, obviously, but they look the same, dress the same they even talk the same. When I'm not around them, they just blend into one person." "That's cool. I was just worried that you were still fixated on having just one father." "Oh, no. I wouldn't have it any other way anymore." The memory of his dreams resurfaced and Patrick had to rearrange himself discreetly. "But yeah, they know. They're concerned, police work isn't exactly the safest job, but they're supportive." He sighed. "of course, I'm not sure if that's going to last once they find out I want to work on this side of the city." "Why would you want that? Wouldn't it be better in your area? there's hardly any officers around here. Before they were rounded up the gangs owned the neighborhood, but even now, I don't think I saw one police car drive the streets all week." "That's kind of why. I know the precincts in this area don't get much money and hardly no one wants to work here, so that makes it the perfect place to make a difference. My part of town is fully covered, everyone wants to work there, I wouldn't matter, I'd be one among hundreds. Here I'd be able to make an actual difference." "We could certainly use you." Before Patrick could say more there was a yell ahead, and they saw a form run out of a house. Patrick took off after him. He didn't even think to warn Alex. An old skunk was in the doorway screaming after the thief. Mister Woo then had a coughing fit. Patrick redoubled his effort and caught up to the squirrel. He grabbed the collar and stopped, yanking the youth off his feet. "Let go! let go of me!" The squirrel tried to get out of the shirt, but Patrick pull him up and wrapped his arm around his neck. Patrick was stunned for a moment as the Squirrel's face came into the light. "Xavier?" Then he saw the large, thick book, he was holding. "Xavier Patrosky, what the Hell," sorry, "Are you doing with mister Woo's stamp collection?" Alex arrived next to him, but Patrick ignored him. Xavier was struggling as hard as the fourteen-year-old could. He slammed the heel of his foot on Patrick's, and while the tiger winced at the pain he didn't let him go, barely restraining an impulse to tighten his arm around the neck. "Let go of me!" "Not until you tell me what you're up to?" "What do you care?" "Kid, I beat up those two bullies who were trying to force you to rob the convenience store with them last year. I did that because you were screaming your head off for them to leave you alone. What happened to you not wanting to steal?" The Squirrel continued to try to escape him. "Things change, okay? Unlike you I'm not going to be stuck in this hellhole all my life. I'm going to go places." "Yeah, you are. You're going to go return this and apologize." "Fuck you!" Patrick felt like smacking the kid, but then he remembered Alex. He turned so they faced him. "Xavier, say hello to my brother, Alex." "What are you talking about, you don't have any brothers." "It's a recent change. Now, Alex is a police officer. So, your choices are very simple. We go see Mister Woo, you return his book and you apologize, or I give you to him, and you go to prison. You wanted to go places, well prison is most definitely out of here." Alex showed momentary surprise, then his face hardened. The squirrel looked at Alex with fear and then hardened his face too. "You wouldn't dare," he stated. "Xavier, when have you ever known me to be afraid of getting in the way of someone hurting the neighborhood?" "I'm fourteen. You can't send me to prison." "Sure I can," Alex said, trying to sound tough. "I can charge you as an adult if the damage you caused is high enough." Patrick had to bite back a laugh at the very exaggerated attitude, but Xavier cringed. "It's just a book," the squirrel said with defiance. "The old man you stole it from looked like he was having a heart attack. If he gets injured, or even dies as a consequence of your theft that gets added to your sentence." Xavier started shaking. "I don't want to go to prison." "Then you know what you have to do." Patrick released his neck, but took hold of his collar again, and led him back to the house. The skunk, whose fur was almost uniformly white in the poor light watched them approaching. "Well?" Patrick asked Xavier, once they stood before him. The squirrel looked up at the tiger, who nodded to the skunk. Resigned Xavier looked at the ground as he offered the large book back. "I'm sorry." Mister Woo grabbed and cradled the book in his arms. "Mister Sanders, it was fortunate you were close by." He looked at the other tiger. "And who's that?" Alex offered his hand. "Orr, sir, Officer Alexander Orr." The old skunk looked at him dubious, and Alex winked. "Now," Alex continued. "I know your property has been returned, but it's still within your right to press charges. This young man did steal your collection." The skunk tightened his arms around the book and glared at the squirrel. "Depending on the assessed value of your collection, this squirrel could find himself in juvenile detention, at the very least, for a few years." Xavier looked up in horror. "Or," Patrick said, "I'm sure we can reach a more amiable way for Xavier to make reparation." The old man considered the squirrel for a moment. "Well, my house could do with a fresh coat of paint." "You can't be serious?" Xavier complained. "I am." "If you don't want to do that," Alex said, "we can proceed with pressing charges." "No!" "So, you'll paint this man's house?" Xavier sighed. "Yeah." "Good. When do you want him to start?" "Tomorrow, ten am." "Alright. Let me give you my number, if he doesn't show up let me know and I'll pick him up. I know a judge who really doesn't like people who break their words." The skunk took out his phone and Alex gave him his number. "So, you'll be here at ten?" Patrick. The squirrel looked at him, dejected. "Yeah, I will." "Alright. Now go home, and I better never catch you stealing anything, got that?" The squirrel ran off the moment Patrick let him go. They watched him until he vanished in the darkness. Mister Woo looked at Alex. "Are you really a police officer?" Alex smiled. "No, not yet anyway." "Alex is my brother," Patrick said. The skunk looked at him, dubious. "I found out about him and my father a few days after my birthday." Mister Woo looked Alex over and then at Patrick. "What are you doing still living here then?" "This is my home. I'm not going to abandon it." They wished him a good night and went back to their walking. "That stuff about him being charged as an adult, was that true?" Alex shook his head. "No. I was just looking to scare him. I mean I know there's cases where it can happen, but I doubt it would apply for something like this. Out of curiosity, what would you have done if he'd asked to see my badge?" Patrick laughed. "No idea. I'm just glad you played along." "Happy I could help. So, you're the area's guardian angel?" "No, but I'm not going to stand by and let a thief by if I can stop him. God gave me good running legs and strength, I'm going to use that to help the neighborhood." "Hmmm, you very much a Christian, aren't you?" "Yeah. Is that a problem for you?" "Nah, But I guess it does explain your initial reaction to us being gay." "Yeah, but it doesn't excuse it. I didn't realize it then, but I was raised with a rather narrow-minded version of what Christianity is about. Finding out about your family forced me to break out of that. I'm still working through some of it, but I don't think I'll be running off screaming at the mention of gay sex anymore." "Have you done it?" "No. I don't think I'm ready for that yet. I still have this sense that sex has to be with someone you love, so I can't see myself just hooking up." "I'm not going to disagree there, if you love the guy you're with it's definitely better." They were quiet for a time, until Patrick noticed Alex was scanning the shadows. "Is something thing wrong?" "No, why?" "You're acting like you're looking for someone hiding in the shadows." "oh, no. that's not it." "What is it then?" Alex took a moment to reply. "Well, Arthur said you didn't really like talking about sexual stuff." "He's right, so don't give me the gory details, but at least tell me why you're peering into the shadows so much." "You know how everyone in our family has an eccentricity, right?" "Yeah, I remember Aaron liking older guys." Alex nodded. "Well, mine is semi-public sex, and I've been noticing a lot of nooks where I could bring a guy and have some fun." Alex shivered. "Wouldn't that be dangerous? What if you get caught? I don't think indecent exposure will look good on your application to the police academy." Alex shrugged. "That's part of the thrill. Doing it while being quiet enough, not moving so much you give away what's happening." He almost said something but closed his mouth. Patrick looked at him, but Alex shook his head. "You asked not to get the details." "Thanks for the restraint then." Patrick pointed to the house. "There it is." "I guess this is where we have to part ways." "Yeah, as much as I'd like to, I can't invite you in. Mom would freak." Alex hugged Patrick. "Thanks for letting me hang out with you." Patrick needed a moment to get over the surprise, then hugged him back. "Hey, it was my pleasure. Hopefully we'll be able to do it again at some point." "Definitely." they let go. "You take care, Pat." "You too Alex." He watched his brother walk away for a moment before heading to his house.
  15. Kindar

    Chapter 29

    The Missing Son 29 "Hey Don," Patrick said as he peeked in the panda's office. "I have a phone, you want the number?" "'bout time you got one, give it to me." The panda took his out. "728-7425" "And you're going to keep it on you?" Patrick pulled it out of his pocket. "Yeah." "Good. Could mean more work for you if I can reach you at a moment's notice. By the way, Malcolm did a decent job, but I'd prefer you don't abandon your post like that. You and the girls have a good working relationship." "Don't worry. That was a one-time thing." He went and sat at the bottom of the stairs. The night was quiet, the customers behaved, the two guys who tried to get in with fake IDs didn't make a fuss when he caught them. The next morning, he woke up to another dream with his fathers. He'd been walking by their room, the door partially opened, and he'd heard their grunting. He looked in and they were having sex. The one on the bottom looked at him and invited him in. Patrick joined them, and then he was lying between them, both grinding against him. He felt one of them enter him, and he woke up. His cock was hard. He had a sense that if he hadn't woken up just then, a moment later he would have been in the throw of an orgasm. His cock wouldn't be ignored. He needed to cum. For one moment he wasn't sure he should do it, since he knew he'd think of his fathers, but decided it didn't matter, he wasn't hurting anyone. Once showered and dressed he had a quick breakfast and headed to the junkyard, where he gave Joey his number. The bulldog entered it in his phone, then had a perplexed expression. "Huh. Just how did you score this number?" "It's just the one I got, why?" "It's your name. Check it. if you punch your name, it matches to the numbers you gave me." Joey was right, Patrick hadn't noticed before. "So how did you manage that?" Patrick shrugged. "My brother got it for me." "He must have paid a lot for it." "What do you mean?" "You know numbers are assigned randomly, right?" Patrick shrugged. He'd never thought about it. "Well, if you want specific numbers, like to spell a name, you have to pay. The more numbers you need, the more expensive it is, and on top of that the more numbers you want, the less chances are it's even going to be available. Your name needs all the numbers, that means there's only one of it in our area code. You were doubly lucky, you had someone willing to spend the money and it was available." "How much money are you talking about?" "I don't know for the full number, but when I got mine for this place I wanted it to have Joey, or Junk in it. Four digits would have cost me five grand, and that was ten years ago." Patrick cursed. He didn't want them spending money on him. He headed for the door. "Hey, since your here, you want to work?" "Yeah, just give me a minute, I need to make a call." He stepped outside and called Arthur. "Hi Patrick," his brother said. "Arthur, why did you-" "Arthur can't answer his phone right now, he is in his," There was a hiccup, "biology," another hiccup, "class. I've made a note of your call and unless this is an emergency, I will notify him as soon as his class ends. Is this an emergency?" "No." He disconnected. Joey walked out of the office. "Ready?" "Tell me it's heavy lifting. I need to burn off some anger." "It is. I have a client coming in the afternoon who is looking to get some old Westinhome appliances for one of his customers. He said he'd probably take whatever I have that's in good condition. Since you're here I figure we can start sorting them right now, make it easier for him, and make sure he takes as many of them as I have, and not just what he can reach while he's here." Patrick was happy to do the work. It was almost noon when his phone buzzed. He was hot, sweaty, but at least no longer angry. It was Arthur. "Hi Arthur." "Hey Pat. Sorry I didn't call back sooner, but I only have five minutes to get from one class to the next I didn't want to run the risk I'd have to cut your call short." "It's probably for the best. I might have bit your head off earlier." "What's wrong?" "I know about my phone number." "What do you mean?" "Don't play dumb Arthur. If you're going to try to pull one over on me have the decency of owning up to it when you're caught." Arthur sighed. "So it's your name, what's the big deal?" "I know it wasn't cheap." "So?" "Damn it, Arthur. I don't want you spending that kind of money on me. How much was it?" "I don't know." "Arthur." "I mean it. I don't know. I just requested it, and it's going to be on the next bill." "You're getting our dad to foot the bill?" "They're not going to mind." "How the H..." Patrick shut up. Arthur was silent while he forced himself to calm down. "Arthur. How can you know they won't mind?" "For one thing we all have personalized numbers, so it makes sense you have one too and I doubt they're even going to notice it on there." "How can they miss extra thousands on their phone bill?" "Okay, fine, they're going to see it, but they won't care, it isn't like fifty grands is a lot of money." Patrick couldn't believe what he'd just heard. With that kind of money, he could buy his moms house, she wouldn't have to pay rent anymore. it would be one less bill she'd have to worry about. He went to speak, but he wasn't holding his phone. It was in the dirt. he picked it up. "Never again. Do you hear me?" he growled. "You are never going to spend money on me again, do you hear me?" "Pat..." "No Arthur. You are going to swear to me you're not ever going to spend money on me like that." Arthur was silent. "How about for Christmas?" "No, not for Christmas, not for my birthday, not for fucking give money to you brother day. Never. Swear it." "I swear." In the silence that followed Patrick thought he could hear Arthur sniffle. "I'm sorry." Patrick hadn't meant to hurt him. "I know, but Arthur, you need to understand that I don't see money the way you do. I have to scrounge for every dollar I have. When you dump something like this on me, it makes me feel like you're trying to buy my affection." "I'm not." "I know, but that's how it feels to me, I can't help that. I don't want this need to pay you back to conflict with my desire to be part of your family." Patrick breathed silently, trying to figure something. "If I change my number for one that's free, will you get the money back?" "No, it's billed on activation, and since you've used it I don't think we could even convince them it was a mistake." "Alright, I'm stuck with it, I'll find a way to deal with this. I've had to deal with much worse than having a number I can't afford. Just do me a favor, tell the others, okay? I don't want to have to go through something like this with each one of them." "I will. I'm sorry." "It's okay. You made a mistake, I know it. God knows I've made my share of them. I'm not really angry Arthur, this was just a shock." "Okay." His brother didn't sound like himself. "Arthur, how about I call you tomorrow? You don't have classes at this time, right?" "You don't have to. You don't have to feel obligated to talk with me." "I'm not. I really like you, and I'd like to talk with you again. How about we chat every day?" "Really? you'd like to talk every day?" "Yes, I want to get to know my brother and what better way than talking for that to happen?" "Yes, Sure. I'd love that. it couldn't always be at this time, on Thursdays I have a class at this hour, I have to take a late lunch on that day." "Okay, so I'll call later on Thursdays." "Actually, let me send you my schedule, that way you won't have to remember." "Arthur, It's okay." His phone beeped to inform him he'd received a message. Patrick chuckled. "Shit, I have to go. My chemistry partner needs my help. Thank you for understanding Pat, and I'm really sorry." "It's okay. I'll talk with you tomorrow." The call disconnected. Patrick looked at his phone. Fifty thousand dollar. This thing was worth fifty thousand dollar. Shit, he couldn't walk about with it. It looked like it was worth a lot of money. now he really had to buy himself a phone, something cheap. He'd have to call Rich to find out how to redirect the calls. He gingerly put the phone his in jacket and moved that further away. He didn't want to risk breaking it.
  16. Kindar

    Chapter 28

    The Missing Son 28 "How did it go?" Patrick asked once the door closed. He checked on the meatloaf, it would be done in a few minutes. His mother didn't answer immediately. He heard her take off her shoes before she came into the kitchen carrying her suitcase. The smile she gave him was hesitant. "I passed the course." She sat down. "You don't sound as happy about it as I thought you would." "I am." She forced her smile larger. "It's just. They already promoted me and four others to team supervisors. I'm just stunned and a bit nervous. I got the news when the bus dropped us off at the factory." "You'll be great mom." Now her smile was genuine. "Thank you. I'm going to be on probation for three months, after that they'll decide if I'm staying there or going back to the floor. Regardless, I'm getting a fifty-cent raise. If I become a supervisor permanently, it'll be another dollar and a half." "Two bucks an hour?" Patrick sat down. An extra eighty dollars a week could mean much better food, not going hungry as much. "Yes. With that, you wouldn't have to worry about working at the junkyard." Patrick hadn't thought of that. "Or you could slow down at the diner." "I suppose. You know I don't really like you working there, there are so many chances you could get hurt." "Mom, we're careful, and I like working there. I probably would even if Joey didn't pay me, so focus on yourself. It's your money, try to make your life a little better." She nodded. "Or we could continue as we are and improve things over all. Get us some news clothes, buy fresher food. We could get you your own phone." Patrick almost stammered. "Ahh, mom, don't." "Why not? you shouldn't have to rely on mine all the time." "I'm used to it. I'm fine. I really don't need one. I mean, really, you don't have to leave it at home. I don't spend that much time here, and my friends don't really bother calling me." "I don't know. I'd feel a little better if you had one." Patrick went to the oven to prevent himself from fidgeting. What was he going to do if she just bought him a phone? He couldn't stop her from doing that, it was her money. The meatloaf was done. "I'll buy one." The words were out of his mouth as the thought struck. He put the loaf on the stove and put the sheet of foil over it. "I can do that," she said, "I don't want you worrying about bills." Patrick already spent most of his time worrying about them, but he didn't tell her that. "I know, but if it's going to be my phone, I should be the one buying it, and I should buy my own plan." "Patrick, that's forty-five dollars. It's half that if I just add you to mine." "I know, but I'm eighteen. I think it's time I start having bills of my own." He tried to be casual about it. he had to convince her to let him do that. He didn't want to have her spend money on a phone he'd never use. She couldn't afford to waste that money. When he turned to put plates on the table she was looking at him, beaming. "Oh, I get it now." Patrick almost dropped the plates. "Wh... what? I just mean..." Her smile became brighter. "I know what you mean. Come on Patrick, I'm your mother I know how you think." Patrick put the plates on the table, because he knew he was going to drop them if he didn't. What had he let slip? She couldn't know about his phone. Had one of the neighbors noticed Albert dropping him off and told her? They couldn't have, it had been really late, and she wouldn't be smiling if they had. She almost laughed. "Patrick, it's okay. I get it, you don't want me to find out about the girls you're calling." The who? She thought? He almost told her that wasn't what he meant at all. His mouth was open, but he stopped the words form coming out. "You're right," she said, not quite stiffing the laugh this time. "You're old enough to have your own phone and not have to worry about me figuring out if you're seeing someone. My worry is if you're going to be able to afford it." He had to get his brain to work again. He couldn't just stare at her. "I... err... yes, I can. I mean, I wouldn't give you as much as before since I'd be using part of it to pay for the phone, but I can probably get more work at the junkyard to make up the difference." He closed his mouth to stop the babbling. He was probably going to reveal everything if he kept talking. He busied himself with setting the table. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you," she said as he put the meatloaf on the table. "That's not it," he replied. he had control of his voice now, and his mind. "I just didn't realize you knew." The lie tasted like ash. His tongue was dry. he drank two glass of water and it didn't help much. She put a hand over his. "Patrick, it's okay. I'm not going to be that mother who needs to know everything you do, but if you ever feel like introducing one of them to me..." she left the offer hang there. Patrick nodded. He couldn't bring himself to say anything. he didn't think he'd be able to get another lie to pass his lips.
  17. Kindar

    Chapter 27

    The Missing Son 27 Patrick knocked on the door, then remembered the buzzer. He didn't have the time to consider pressing it. The door flew open and a small tiger latched himself to him. "Hi Arthur." He hugged him back. "I'm so glad you came back." "I'm sorry I hurt you." Arthur took a step back. He was only wearing knee length shorts. "It's not your fault, I'm just happy your here." Patrick looked in the hallway. no one was there. "Are you always the one who answers the door?" "No, but this time I was by the window looking for you. I almost reached the door before you knocked." Patrick chuckled. "Where's everyone else then?" "In the pool. Come on." But before Arthur could pull him in, their father joined them. he had sweat pants on. "Hi Patrick." "Hi dad." They hugged. When they stepped back Arthur was grinning wide. Their father ruffled the short tiger's hair. "Go join your brothers. Patrick needs to change, we'll join you after." Arthur glared at his father and rearranged his hair. He hugged Patrick again then ran off. His father put a small ball of cloth in Patrick's hand. "That should fit you." Patrick unruffled it. It was black and smaller than his briefs. "You're joking." "What? It's Lycra, so even if it's a little too small it stretches. Aaron volunteered it." "Maybe I should just go in my underwear." His dad chuckled. "Just try it on. you'll see Speedos are very comfortable." He opened a door a few steps away to a bathroom the size of Patrick's bedroom. Patrick looked at what he was holding dubiously. There was no way that would fit him. Still he went in and closed the door. The room had the same dark floor with gray walls. a sink, toilet and large shower stall. He shook his head in disbelief. A shower by the entrance. He guessed it was useful when coming it dirty. On the back of the door was a full-length mirror. Taking another look at the swimsuit he undressed and put it on. "Shit." His father had been right, it stretched, but it was hugging his form so tightly it was showing every detail of his junk. He rearranged himself a few times until his cock no longer showed so much detail. "Dad? I don't think this is a good idea." "How about you show me?" Patrick opened the door. "Looks good on you." "Dad, it shows everything." His father looked him over critically and Patrick felt his ears heat up. "No, it doesn't. It just hints at what you have. There's nothing wrong with that." "Dad, that isn't hinting. I wouldn't be showing much more if I was naked." His father reached for him, hesitated and then put his hands on both of Patrick's shoulders. "Son. You have a beautiful body, you should show it, even flaunt it a little." "Isn't the point of flaunting getting someone's interest? Everyone here related to me. I'm not sure that's a good idea to have that happen here." "Among family is the perfect place for you to get comfortable wearing it." "I didn't see Arthur wearing something like this, or you. This is starting to feel like you're tr..." Patrick lost track of what he was going to say as his father stepped out of the sweatpants and showed he was wearing a yellow and green stripped Speedo. Patrick quickly looked away when he realized his father hadn't tried to keep the details of his package from showing. "Arthur had his shorts on to avoid freaking you out. Come on, let get to the pool. you can leave your clothes in there." Patrick hesitated only a moment before following his father. "Fuck, feels like I'm naked." "You'll get use to that." Patrick wasn't so sure. He was too distracted by how it felt to pay any attentions to the frames on the wall again. The patio door in the kitchen led to the backyard. Patrick stopped on the threshold, taking it in. It was gigantic. his whole block could fit in this yard. The grass was green and well cared for, not the patchwork most of the front yards in his neighborhood were. The pool in the middle of it. That pool was at least three times the size of his house. Everyone in the yard, except for him and his father were in the pool. "How deep is it?" Patrick asked. "Thirty feet at the diving board. two at the shallow end, going down to four for a few feet, then five. After that it levels at six for three quarter of the pool. It drops quickly after that. Danny is the diving fan." They had a diving board just above the water and another one maybe twenty feet in the air. "Come on. Let's join everyone." His father ran to the deeper side and plunged in. Patrick stepped in at the shallow end and walked until he was at the five feet zone. The water was cool, but not as cold as he'd expected. As soon as he got comfortable there he was mobbed, dragged under the water lifted back up hugged and limbs accidentally bushed against his crotch multiple times. "Alright guys, give him room to breathe. we don't want to send him running off in terror again." Patrick laughed. He didn't think his family could do anything that would scare him. They tried to get him to the deeper end, where they started a water fight, but Patrick declined the invitation, holding on to the edge and letting himself float. One of his brothers swam by him twice then stopped. Patrick studied him. "Aiden, right?" "Yep." He pushed himself off the side, swam under water to the other, came up for air and returned to Patrick. "You don't know how to swim, do you?" "No." "I kind of figured since you didn't have a swimsuit. You want me to show you?" "I don't think there's any way I can learn how you do it." Aiden chuckled. "That's pretty advanced stuff. we've been swimming since we were three. But I can show you basic stuff, the waving and kicking to keep you afloat in place and the quad paddle. Those two are so basic that if you don't panic when falling in the water you start doing one or the other almost automatically." Wanting to do something with one of his brother, instead of staying on the outside, Patrick agreed and Aiden had him moving about the pool in short order. Everyone then joined in, doing quad paddle races, and endurance test by swimming in place. That lasted for almost an hour before they decided to call it a draw. After that was a game of water polo with an inflated beach ball. Which had them climbing on over the others at times and the ball outside the pool more often than in it. At some point someone cursed and everyone scrambled away. Not knowing what was going on Patrick was still looking around when his father jumped off the twenty feet high diving board. Patrick looked at him mesmerized, not quite understanding what it meant when the tiger made himself into a ball. The water explosion when he impacted hit Patrick hard enough that for a moment he couldn't find his footing. When he surfaced again coughing his father was swimming in his direction. "Can someone go get me a swimsuit? This shredded another one." Patrick looked down and couldn't see any green or yellow. He tried to work out how he'd hit for the swimsuit to be destroyed. The only thing he came up with made him wince. "Didn't that hurt?" "Not anymore." Patrick almost asked what he meant but decided he didn't want to know. "Come on guys. we have a guest. I'm not stepping out of the pool without a swimsuit." Someone went inside. Patrick looked around and noticed someone else was missing. "Where..." he searched for the term to use in his case and then shrugged. "Where's dad?" "He went to deal with dinner." "What are we having?" "Dinner's here!" the other adult said, stepping out of the house with a tall stack of pizza boxes. He put them on the table and spread them, opening them. "Danny, Patrick, aren't you coming?" "Not naked I'm not," Daniel replied. Donald looked like he would comment, glanced at Patrick and nodded. "Right, I'll go get it." "Anakin's already gone, he should be back... there he is." Anakin threw the red and black Speedo in the pool then grabbed a pizza slice. Daniel swam to it, grabbed it and sank under water. Patrick waited for him to come back up, looking around when he hadn't after a minute. he screamed in surprise as he felt himself lifted in the air. Daniel broke the surface his head between Patrick's legs and his son's knees on his shoulder. he tried to straighten but lost his balance and both of them fall backward in the water. They resurfaced, sputtering water. "Okay, not doing that again," Daniel commented, turning to check on Patrick. "You okay." "Other than almost having a heart attack, sure." "You're way too young for one of those. come on, let's go eat before there's nothing left." "Dominos?" Patrick asked on seeing the logo on the boxes. "What's wrong with Dominos?" Adam asked. "You guys are rich and you ordered Dominos?" "It's good pizza," Albert said, finishing his slice and taking another one from a different box. "And if you pay more for pizza than this, you enter 'gourmet' territory, and that stuff's crap." "Watch it Alex," Aaron said between bites. "Patrick maybe a foodie." Patrick laughed. "I'm way too poor to be a foodie. I've had more than one breakfast where I had to put water in my cereal. What's the selection?" There was a moment of uncomfortable silence then Donald said. "There's two of everything, so don't worry about it." He looked at Daniel. "Really? Anakin, you grabbed those for him?" Anakin finished chewing. "He didn't specify." Donald looked down at his swimsuit then Daniel's. "What's there to drink?" "Albert, you and Adam go grab a few cases," Daniel said. "Do you have any preference?" He asked Patrick. "Do you have any orange?" That earned him a few disgusted faces. "No. I'm afraid we don't." "I'll have whatever they bring then." Patrick quickly ate a slice of meat lovers then had a second one. Donald followed Albert inside and came back out a minute after he and Adam brought cases of coke, root beer, sierra mist, and grape out. His fathers stood one next to another and again matched fully. The ten of them decimated the pizzas, except for the two vegetarians, they lounged on the grass for a time. Patrick found himself with Arthur snuggled out against his side and Aaron's head on his thigh. For a moment he wasn't sure how he felt about it, but then he figured it was innocent enough. After half an hour Adam and Anakin stood. "We're going inside to play Battle Crowd. Who's coming?" Patrick didn't move, neither did Arthur or Aaron. "Are you guys coming in?" Albert asked. "Maybe in a bit," Arthur replied. "I'm enjoying this." "Okay. Be nice then." He went inside. Patrick wondered what he meant by that. "I hope it's okay," Arthur said. "You're really comfortable to snuggle with." He had a hand on Patrick's chest and was tracing circles in his fur with a finger. "It is. I've never done this before. I like it." Aaron repositioned himself so he was lying against Patrick's other side. "Never? not even with your mom?" "Sure, when I was a kid, but now? It would just be weird." "It isn't weird," Arthur offered. "Snuggling is always nice." "Are you saying you snuggle with your dads?" "Or course," Aaron answered. "We all do. Sometime we'll watch a movie in their room and we'll all pile on, a big snuggle pile, all together. And that pretty much always becomes..." He stopped talking. Patrick looked down to catch Arthur giving Aaron a warning glare. "Always fun." Aaron said. Patrick rested his head back and looked at the sky. "Yeah, I guess it could be nice." He liked the image of his fathers holding him tightly between them. He closed his eyes for a moment, and came awake when he felt Arthur move away. "Sorry," the small tiger said. "I didn't mean to wake you, but it's getting chilly and I don't have as thick fur as you do. I'm going inside." The sun was at the horizon, with the sky darkening. Patrick could feel the chill too. "I didn't mean to fall asleep. I'll go in too." "I guess that means I'm going in," Aaron said standing and offering his hand to Patrick. As soon as they entered the kitchen they heard exclamation of joy and anger from the living room. Aaron ran there. Patrick and Arthur ran after him. The couches were moved to the edge of the room, freeing the center for the four tigers standing there, one of his fathers, Alex, Albert and Anakin. They were facing the large screen and making gestures at it. The three seated screamed encouragement. "What are they doing?" Patrick asked moving behind the couch. On the screen characters were moving around on a field striking each other. "It's Battle Crowd," his father answered. "Okay, but where are the controllers?" "On their hands and legs. Come on Danny! how can you let your son trounce you like that?" Daniel swore at Donald, and while his father laughed, Patrick's ears burned. He paid attention to the players and he could see they had rings at all their joints on their fingers, on each wrist and ankles. "I've never seen a game controlled that way." "It's a new system by Aguiron. It isn't on the market yet." "I guess that's an advantage of being rich." Donald laughed. "no, it's the advantage of designing a game for it. They had to let us have one so we could test it." "You make games?" "Yeah, didn't you see the framed covers on the wall?" "I didn't pay attention to them." "All games we made. This new game is more challenging to make since it's... Danny! watch out!" Donald winced and Patrick looked at the screen in time to see a character disappear in the distance. "I thought you were good at that game, you're being shown up by your children, that's not very adult of you." Daniel glanced over his shoulder then back at the screen when his character reappeared. "You keep dissing my playing and I'm going to kick your ass later." "The way you're playing, I'll be the one to..." Donald didn't finish what he was going to say. He looked at Patrick, then back to the game. "Anyway. The Aguiron Room is more than the controls. It's a projection system that lets you play a game in three dimensions." He pointed to multiple small boxes around the room at the top of the walls. "Yeah, but for playing Battle Crowd it sucks," Anakin said. "Aaron kept kicking my ass." "You kept moving in front of me." Aaron replied. Patrick looked at Donald, not understanding what they meant. "Crowd isn't made for the Room, so it didn't convert very well, made it tough to judge distances and on top of that, we started moving with the characters, instead of standing in place. That's what lead to being kicked and punched." The game ended, and Anakin was proclaimed the winner. The players changed and Daniel flopped down next to Donald. he looked up at Patrick. "Do you want to play?" Patrick looked at Arthur, Adam, Aaron and Aiden getting ready. "I'll pass. I'm not much for video games." He watched them play, joining in the cheering. Watching the game was surprisingly engaging. Anakin seemed the be the best player, with Arthur a close second. An hour later a car honked repeatedly on the driveway. Aiden ran to the window and peered outside. "It's uncle Damian! Adam! he has a new car!" Adam quickly took off the control rings and dropped them on floor before running off. The other players cursed and Anakin jumped in, awkwardly putting the rings on as he tried to keep the character from being killed. As interesting as the game was, Patrick was more curious as to what would make Adam run like that. He followed him down stairs, and a corridor ending at a large garage. A silver car was stopping next to a blue sedan. there was another car next to that, a sportier dark red model. On the other side of the garage sat two minivans with still space for three more cars. Patrick looked at the silver car while Adam studied it carefully. He didn't know anything about cars, but Patrick could see some odd things about this one, for one thing it didn't have any logos, model, brand or manufacturer names on it. The door lifted open and Damian stepped out. He left it open while he watched Adam. Adam ran a hand over the side. "Okay, this is from a GT-R." He crouched and studied it. "The 2814?" Damian nodded. Adam opened the passenger side door, observing it as it lifted. "I think the doors are original, I can't think of any models that has doors that look like this, but the opening system is obviously inspired by Ferrari." He ran his fingers along the side as he walked to the back. "That's off the F-Type, the one made in 2019" "I didn't think you'd get that," Damian commented. Adam stood behind the trunk and studied it. He frowned leaned in close and ran a hand over it. Curious as to what caught his attention Patrick moved closer. he didn't see anything unusual, the surface was smooth, without any imperfections. "Why don't you have a spoiler? This is a sport design, what's the point if you don't have a spoiler. I expected it to be recessed, but there's nothing here." Damian raised his key chain and pressed a button. The top of the trunk shimmered, making Patrick back up a step. Then the surface melted up and into the shape of a spoiler. "Oh, my, God!" Adam exclaimed. "This is amazing." The shimmering stopped and the spoiler looked solid and to be an integral part of the trunk. Adam touched it with a finger, then used his hand to push on it. It didn't move. "How is that done? Nanotech?" Damian nodded. "I didn't realize anyone had gotten that level of control." Adam continued around the car, ending up in front of the hood. "What engine is in it? It is the Tesla XP? Or the Edison MAX? And whose turbo is in it? GE?" Damian didn't say anything, he simply kept his gaze on Adam. "Come on, you have to tell me. At least give me a hint? Is it an original design? Please, just open the hood." Adam was jumping form foot to foot. "How about I make you a deal?" Adam stopped moving. He looked at the car and back to his uncle. "What? What kind of deal?" Patrick felt his hackles rise at the worry in Adam's voice. He fought the urge to interpose himself between the two. He didn't know what this was about, maybe it was normal? Damian placed a hand on Adam's shoulder. "We go camping for a week, just the two of us. I'm thinking this summer, once you're done with your classes." Adams ears folded back. "A week?" His tail stood still, between his legs. For a moment Patrick thought he was going to bolt. "You don't have to give me an answer right now. I'm going to be here all night. Just think it over." Adam nodded and headed back to the hall in a daze, Damian a few steps behind him. Patrick grabbed his arm, forcing the older tiger to stop. "What the fuck was that about?" Patrick whispered between clenched teeth so Adam wouldn't hear. Damian looked at the hand holding his arm. "Patrick, let go of me." Patrick thought about tightening his grip. He didn't like how this guy was ordering him about. Then those cold blue eyes bore into him and he let him go. "Thank you." Damian straightened his sleeve. "Now, what did you mean?" Patrick looked to make sure Adam had gone up the stairs. "You just offered to go camping with him, so why does he look like he's headed for the electric chair?" "Ah, that." Damian smiled, and Patrick had to hold down a shudder at that mirthless smile. Damian ran a finger down Patrick's cheek. "You can always come camping with me and find out." "Absolutely not!" Patrick's father said, hurrying along the corridor. Damian looked him over. His father was still only wearing this speedo, just like he was, Patrick realized and suddenly felt naked. "And why not? He's old enough to make his own decisions." "Because he has no idea what he'd be getting into. I saw the state Adam is in, I don't like it, but he knows what's in store. Patrick doesn't" "Look." Damian pointed a finger at him, paused, studied him, then cursed. "Which one are you?" "Daniel." "Wait," Patrick said. "You can't tell them apart either?" "No." Damian growled. "The only time I know which one's which is when we're having sex." "Damian," Daniel warned. While Patrick stared. "You have sex with them?" "Damian." Daniel's tone was hard this time. "Of course," Damian replied, ignoring his brother. "How else should brothers show their loves for each other?" He canted his head at Patrick. "How do you think the kids do it?" "This is just fucking great," Daniel grumbled at Patrick's sick expression. He reached for him but Patrick bolted out of the room. "You just had to go and say that, didn't you?" Damian took a step back, raised his hand in a pacifying gesture. "How was I to know he was going to react that way?" "Don't bullshit me. You knew exactly how he was going to react. You don't love us, so you said that specifically to get a reaction out of him." Damian kept his face still for a moment. He had been rather blatant about it, hadn't he? Then he smiled. "Okay, you got me." "Damn it Dam. Why? Why did you go and do that? he's getting comfortable around us." Damian considered multiple expression to express his annoyance and settled on rolling his eyes. "Of course, he is. Look at you, wearing a swimsuit. Alex told me how you wouldn't get out of the pool because you were naked. I'm guessing everyone upstairs is behaving, keeping their hands to themselves? If I let you take it at a comfortable speed, Daniel, Patrick is going to go to his grave a virgin. He hasn't even had sex yet." "How do you know that?" Daniel's eyes went wide. "You're having him followed?" Damian stared at him. Didn't his brother know him? "Really? That comes as a surprise to you? What did you think I'd do? Close my eyes and hope for the best? This is my family we are talking about. I am not going to leave anything to chance." "I told you we would handle it! Damn it." he tuned. "I need to go check on him." Damian grabbed his arm. His brother wasn't the right person to deal with Patrick at this time, he could comfort him, tell him how Damian was blunt and had no tack, that he shouldn't think too much about what had been said. "Let one of the kids handle this." Damian already knew which of his nephews would go see to Patrick. They were now close enough the harsh truths would be easier to absorb. Daniel glared at him. He pulled once to try to get out of Damian's grip, but it wasn't enough. he didn't try a second time. * * * * * Patrick was bent over the bowl, but he hadn't thrown up. He was grateful for that, but he didn't move, his stomach still felt like it might decide to heave at any moment. When his stomach finally calmed down enough he believed it wouldn't rebel he closed the cover and sat on the floor, leaning against the wall. What the fuck had he gotten himself into? His clothes were by the door, he could get dressed and leave. they wouldn't stop him. Someone knocked. "It's busy." "I know. It' Arthur, can I come in?" Patrick thought about it. He wasn't sure he wanted to see any of them right now, but Arthur had been nice to him. maybe it was because he was so much smaller than the others, but Patrick felt safer with him. "Sure." Patrick was in the process of standing when the door opened. "Do you have a key?" Arthur looked at the handle. "No, it wasn't locked." Patrick stared at it. He'd forgotten to lock it? He had been in a hurry to make it to the bowl. He sat back down. his eyes fell on the large shower stall, only now he noted the entire family could fit in it. He stopped that image from forming, he didn't want to think about that. "Are you okay?" Arthur sat next to him and rested his head against Patrick's side. Patrick placed an arm over his shoulders. "Not really. No offense, but your family's crazy, you know that?" Arthur shrugged. "I guess it can look that way, unless you grow up in this environment." "And you're okay with it?" "What are we talking about at this moment?" "Your fathers and your uncle." "Ah, so it's finding out they have sex that sent you in here?" Patrick rested his head against the wall. "No. It was a shock, but I think I could have accepted it. It didn't trigger the reaction learning you guys do it too did." He paused. "How can you do that?" "Why shouldn't we? "Because it's wrong." "Says who?" "The..." He'd been about to say the bible, but after as many conversations about it with Mother Rosetta they'd had, he knew it wasn't much of an argument. He tried to come up with something better. "Everyone!" was all he found, and he knew that was as lame as it got. "Why?" "Because you're brothers, damn it!" Arthur looked up at him. "Patrick. I'm going to say something, and I want you to keep in mind it isn't a judgment on how your mother raised you, okay?" Patrick nodded. Arthur took a deep breath. "My, our, fathers, they raised us not to have any hang-ups about our sexuality. we've had sex for a long time. Way longer than you're comfortable knowing. I love my brothers, so I have sex with them. For us, it's as simple as that. we don't see anything wrong with it. Actually, it's people like you out there that we don't get. Why do you feel there has to be so much baggage when it comes to sex?" Patrick couldn't answer. He knew, deep down inside him, that it was wrong for them to have sex, but he couldn't say why. "I guess you guys are expecting me to just jump in bed with you?" "No. we'd never want you to be forced into it." Arthur smiled at him. "What we hope for is that you'll reach a point where you're comfortable with that, because we love you Patrick. You're our brother and we love you. We would love to be able to show you how much." He stretched and kissed Patrick's cheek. Patrick was surprised at the gesture. No one but his mother had ever kissed him. His ears warmed. "Do you think you're going to be able to continue hanging out with us? Or do you prefer going home?" Patrick thought it over. If he left now, he'd be able to go to the bar, work and earn some money. but what did that say about him? Yes, he was uncomfortable about how his fathers and his brothers lived their lives, but it was theirs to live, right? Did he want to be one of those guys who judged others even though what they did didn't harm anyone? No. he didn't. he also didn't want to let discomfort dictate how he acted around his family. He squeezed Arthur's shoulder. "I'm staying. Your uncle Damian isn't the most sensitive guy out there, is he?" Arthur chuckled. "That's putting it mildly." "You guys all have eccentricities. What's his?" Arthur shook his head. "No, you're not ready for that, thrust me on that. You're not comfortable with the idea of us having sex together, you're not ready to know that about him." "It has something to do with the camping trip, doesn't it?" Arthur looked him in the eyes. "Patrick, if you press this you're going to run away screaming. Uncle Damian is more extreme than the rest of us. That's all I'm going to say." The seriousness in Arthur's face and voice took Patrick aback. "Alright." They were quiet for a time. "Can I ask you something?" Arthur asked. "Of course." "How come you don't have a phone?" "I've got one at home." "But that's your mother's, not yours." Patrick nodded. "We can't afford more than one." "Is it really that expensive?" "Don't you know?" "We have a family plan and our dads pay for it. I never thought to ask how much it was." Arthur was silent for a moment, then he got up. "I have an idea. Come with me." "Where?" Patrick followed him. "My room. I have something for you there." The walked by the living room, where the others were still playing. Patrick then stopped by the frames. "So, these are games your dads made?" "Our dads, yeah." Patrick counted fifteen frames. most of the pictures were in bright colors with simple graphics. One was called Mountain top, showed a very simply mountain with a goat climbing it. The one next to it had a more detailed image in darker colors and was called Undertow. "That's a lot of games." Patrick indicated he was ready to move again. "Most of the games they create are pretty simple, so they can come up with three or four a year. The one they're making for the new system is more complex, they've been working on it for almost a year already." They went up the stairs, and there were more frames on that wall. Patrick checked the titles, not that he knew them, he didn't play. He stopped moving. "They made Castle Crash?" "Yeah, that was one of their big success. Have you played it?" "No. I don't have a phone, remember? But a few of my friends play it." under the picture was a number, thirty-three million. "It's still being played? Wow." "What's the number?" "That's how much they got for the game when they sold it." "They sell them?" "Sure. They wait until the game's popularity peeks and then sell it. I guess they miscalculated with CC if people are still playing it." Patrick counted twelve frames, and while the Castle Crash had the largest number by far, none of them were below three million. Arthur lead Patrick in a large room. Patrick chuckled as he realized his house could fit in it. "What's funny?" "Sorry. It's becoming a game to use my house as a way to measure the rooms in yours." The shelves lining the walls didn't go up above five feet and were filled with paper books, electronic component, clothing and a clear, unmarked bottle. The bed was larger than king size. A desk had a really impressive system, and on the opposite side was a closet, taking up almost the whole wall, except for a door next to it. Arthur pulled a box that was in the floor, under the lowest shelf. "I hope it isn't making you uncomfortable." "Not anymore." He looked at some of the book titles. "But when I came here before, I was really put off by the size of the place." Advance Bio chemistry, Programing, physics, Electrical schematics. "You like science I take it." "Yeah. what about you?" "Never really thought about it. Most of my reading is fantasy" "I'm not much of a fiction reader. Aiden is though. I did try the Iluminar Cycle, but I couldn't finish the first book, it was too boring." "Yeah, a lot of the first two books is world building and setup. I forced myself through it because everyone I knew who'd read the series raved about how good it got on book three, but that you needed the first two to get a sense of what was going on." "I didn't know. Aiden left his reader out and that was the one on it, so I tried it." He pulled a hand size rectangle out of the box. "There, that'll work." Patrick was about to ask what that was when he realized it was a phone. Arthur turned it on and the air above it filled with icons. He searched through them, swiping over to the next page, then the one after that. Finding what he was looking for he activated it and went on doing... Patrick had no idea what Arthur was doing now. Satisfied with what the holographic display showed him the small tiger moved on to another function. "What number do you want?" Patrick looked at him. "number for what?" "Your phone. I'm setting it up, you need a number." Patrick couldn't say anything for a moment. "I can't afford one, I told you." "I've set it to be on the family plan, you won't have to worry about it." "I can't accept that. I'd never be able to repay it." Arthur shut the display down and looked at him. "You don't have to worry about repaying anything. I doubt dad's even going to notice it, if they do they aren't going to mind." "But that can't be cheap." "Look around Patrick, money isn't something we're short on here." "That doesn't mean you can go and waste it!" Patrick eyed the door and thought about getting out. He wasn't worth it. Arthur looked at him and what Patrick was eying. He stood and gently took the taller tiger's hand. "Pat, it wouldn't be a waste if it means I could call you." "You don't get it," he whispered. "I don't get to have stuff like that. It probably costs more than I've earned in my entire life." "Maybe, but it isn't worth anything in my old phone box, is it? It would mean a lot to me if you had it. I know it would mean a lot to the others too. It isn't like we can call you on your mother's phone." Patrick looked at it, in Arthur's hand. It was black, the length of his hand from wrist to finger tips, and a little narrower than the width of his hand. "Do you have a lot of old phones?" he asked. "Yeah." Arthur chuckled. "Every time someone upgrades I take the old one and throw it in here." "Why?" "Dunno. I guess I'm something of a packer. This was Aaron's phone. It's last year's model. It doesn't have the clip, because Aaron left that in his pocket when he washed his clothes and it was ruined." "So, your dads just bought him a new one?" Arthur laughed. "Oh no. Aaron had to work to get a new phone. This one still works fine, but he just couldn't live without the clip, and they'd come out with a newer model, so he had to have that." "So, he had to 'work' for it?" "Yeah." "I see." Patrick squirmed a little. he didn't like the image that was forming in his mind of how the phone had been worked off. Arthur looked up at him quizzically and caught him as he glanced at the bed and away. "Wait, what? No, no, not with sex. He had to repaint every room in the house." Patrick could breathe again. He pulled the chair away from the desk and sat in it, his knees coming up very high. he stretched his legs out. "Pat, sex isn't a currency. It's something you do with someone you like because you like doing it. We don't use it as an incentive, although I guess if our dads wanted to prohibit it as a punishment it would be really effective." He thought about it for a moment. "Except they'd have to call the guys we know at school, as well as all the guys we could possibly hookup with there." Patrick stared at him. "You guys don't just have sex together?" As soon as he said that he realized the idea of them having sex outside their family bothered him a little. "Of course not. That'd get boring." "And you have sex at school?" "No. That's against the rules." Patrick saw the glint in Arthur's eyes and found he was smiling. "And you always obey the rules, right?" "Mostly. I did almost get caught under the bleachers having sex with Zack. I also know Aaron and the school's janitor have done it more than once in a closet." Patrick's ears were burning, but he watched Arthur and the casual way he was talking about it. "You're making me realize that for someone who's never done it, I have a lot of baggage when it comes to sex." Arthur opened his mouth, then closed it. He turned his head but stopped before he was looking at the bed. Patrick realized what his brother hadn't said, and he found he was strangely touched at what he'd though to offer. "Thanks for the offer, and for not saying it, but I'm not ready for that." Arthur nodded, then brought up the phone. "We got side tracked. Are you okay with getting this phone?" Patrick nodded. He couldn't see himself disappointing Arthur again. It was only an object, he'd learn to deal with it, even if it meant hardly ever using it. "Okay, so what number do you want?" "It doesn't matter to me." "Okay." Arthur brought the display back up and went to work, by the time he was done he was grinning. "okay, it's setup. This is the phone function." He swiped to the previous page. "That's the calendar." he had to search through multiple pages to find the next icon. "This is your number's list." He activated it and a lot of numbers came up. "Right, I'm going to clean that up. I don't think you want all of Aaron's buddies." With a few gestures there was only one number left. "That's your number." Patrick nodded. "What are all the other icons for?" "They're functions Aaron installed." "Can you remove them? I just want to have the phone function." "I can't remove what came already installed, but the rest's easy." A few more gestures and only eight icons were left. Arthur pointed to the up. "Those are your management functions." "I'm familiar with them. Mom's phone isn't holo, but it has those." "Okay, hold this." Arthur handed him the phone. Then he flicked his hand open and a holographic display appeared over his hand. Arthur quickly went through pages and functions until he had a list of numbers up. He grabbed them and threw them at Patrick's phone. Eight new numbers appeared in the list. As he watched names added themselves to the numbers. "Those are our numbers." Arthur said. Patrick looked at the display floating over Arthur's hand. "Where's your phone?" Arthur tapped the thin band at his wrist. "I have the wearable version of it." Patrick had noticed it before but thought it was just a bracelet. Arthur closed his hand and the display vanished. Patrick studied the numbers on his phone. "What are you doing?" "I'm memorizing the numbers." "You don't have to do that. That's why they're in the phone." "Yeah, but what if I lose it, or forget it at home. If I know the numbers I can borrow someone's phone and still call." Arthur gave him a surprised look. Obviously, that had never occurred to him. When Patrick was done he showed him how to turn the display off. "Do you have a charge plate?" "Yeah, the one that came with mom's phone." "So it's a few years old?" "Yeah, six." Arthur went to the shelves and pulled a plate among all those staked there. "I have no idea what kind of range they had six years ago. This is the one that came with Aaron's phone. It's got a hundred fifty feet of range. That should be enough." Patrick looked around the room. "so you have one per room? do all the room have one?" "Oh no. The entire house is wired for remote charging." Patrick eyed the box of phone. "So those are all being charged?" "Except for the bottom ones, they needed to be plugged in the wall back then, the rest, sure." "Isn't that a waste of energy?" "Considering we can have up to eight cars in the garage being charged, a box of old phones won't really be noticed." Patrick shook his head. It was still wasteful. He didn't say anything, it was their money they were spending. "How about we join the others?" Patrick looked for a place to put his new phone and was reminded again he was only wearing a very tight swimsuit. He couldn't believe how natural it felt when no one drew attention to the fact he was pretty much naked. "Where are your clothes?" "In the bathroom you found me in." "We can drop it off there before joining the others." They exited the room and walked by a partially opened door. Moaning and groaning came from it. With a quiet curse Arthur quickly closed the door. Patrick stared at it. "That was...?" "Our dads. It's their room. they're usually better at closing the door." Patrick wasn't really listening to him. His fathers were in there doing it, having sex. He swallowed and marched to the stairs. Arthur rushed after him. "Are you leaving?" Patrick shook his head, repeating to himself that he wasn't going to let what his fathers did in the privacy of their room chase him away. While studiously not thinking about the thing he really wanted to do, which was go peek in that room and see what they were doing. Back in the living room three of his brothers were playing, the other three on the couch, watching them while snuggled together. Patrick noted theirs hands were caressing each other in a way that was definitely more than casual. That stopped when Arthur cleared his throat. "There you are." Albert said. "We through the folks kidnapped you." "No, I gave Pat Aaron's old phone, and I had to set it up." Patrick nodded, his gaze on the guys' crotch, the way the swimsuits showed everything made it even more clear what the intent of the caressing had been. There was a cheer and he looked up, ears burning. "Alright, we'll finally be able to call you. what's your number?" "I'll give it to you later," Arthur said. Not wanting to look at his brothers again, he looked around the room, and realized Damian wasn't there. "Where's Damian?" "He went with the folks." Adam said. "To their room?" Patrick said in surprise. Adam hesitated. "Y, yeah?" "They forgot to close their door," Arthur said. "We heard what they were up to." His brothers looked at Patrick with concern, but he didn't pay attention to them. He was reeling at the realization Damian was having sex with his fathers. He'd said as much in the garage. something else bothered him, underneath the shock, Patrick was a little jealous of him. He forced the feelings aside. He didn't want to deal with that right now. He wanted to spend time with his brothers, with his family. he couldn't do that if he dwelt on what happened behind closed doors or when he wasn't in the room. He answered the worried looks with a forced smile. "I'm not leaving. I don't have any rights to dictates what happens in their room. But, is there any chance we can all put on something a little less revealing? I get you guys are really comfortable with yourselves, but being able to see how... err... excited you are is kind of uncomfortable." With a series of curses the guys on the couch covered themselves before running off. The ones standing laughed. "I wouldn't laugh too much," Patrick said. "You might not be, err... hard, but you aren't leaving much to the imagination." "Sorry," Albert said, trying to act casual as he covered himself. "We didn't mean to make you uncomfortable." "It's okay," Patrick tried to be casual too. "Most of the time I kind of forgot about it, it's just here and there that I get reminded we're not wearing much, and some of you really shouldn't be wearing something that tight." Aaron tilted his head. "What do you mean, some of us? You also fill yours nicely." Patrick blushed hard and was happy the couch hid his lower half. The idea they had ogled him during the day made him uncomfortable. He very much wanted to leave, to retreat to the safety of his mother's house. But again, he forced himself to stay and think. They had looked him over, but he hadn't noticed it and they hadn't made any sort of comments about it until he brought it up. He came out of his thought when someone draped sweat pants over his shoulder. He put them on quickly and felt much less exposed after. Everyone else was also less self-conscious now. "How about we get back to the game?" Albert said. "Patrick, how about you join in?" Patrick shook his head. "I don't really see the point of it." "It's fun," Adam said. "I have fun watching you guys play. I'm not interested in trying it." "Actually," Aaron said. "You fight, right?" "Please tell me you aren't planning on sparring with him," Aiden said. "Of course not. So, do you fight?" "No, of course not." "But you were attacked and won, so you have to be pretty good." "I was shot, and I defended myself. If it wasn't for my friends I'd probably ended up dead. Look, I'll fight if I have to defend myself, but I don't like it. I don't like hurting other people." "Okay. I wasn't thinking of having you fight me or one of us, but the system has a fighting game. You against a virtual opponent. I'd love to see how you measure up against it." "I doubt I'm any good." "Let's find out. Come over here." Patrick hesitated before walking around the couch. Aaron had him put on the controls on his hands. He hadn't noticed when the others were using them, but each ring was linked to the other one on the finger by a thin wire. Aaron also placed arm bands on his forearms, biceps, ankle, top of his calves and thighs. "You guys weren't using that." "CC doesn't really use arm and leg movements. just foot forward and back to move. everything is in the finger motion. For the fighting game it uses more points. The projectors also have sensor that tracks out your body, but they can't do fine details." He moved to the side and a blocky male figure appeared with no features. It had a fist extended in front of itself. "Put your main hand on his fist. It's a calibration thing." Patrick did it and his hand went through it. "Is it suppose to do that?" "Yeah. We don't have a sensory suit. Just put your hand where you see his and hold it there. He'll move once he's calibrated. The game uses a point system. the more vital a spot you hit the more point it's worth. Forearms and shins don't have any value." "So I use that to block." "The points you've accumulated shows above his head. When it resets it's because you've advanced to the next level. It gets progressively more difficult." "I don't know any fighting styles, is that going to cause problems?" "No, the game has enough learning capability that it will adapt to challenge you." The opponent took a step back and brought his hands up. "It's ready, have at it." Aaron moved to the side Patrick stood there, waiting for it to make the first move. "You have to attack it to get it started." Patrick reminded himself it was a game, he wasn't going to hurt anyone by starting this fight. He punched it, it moved back and responded. He hadn't expected the punch and it struck him in the side. the fist stopped as if it had made contact, but he didn't feel anything. When he struck it again it dodged, he expected it and hit it hard across the jaw to knock it out. His fist went through the head and he lost his balance. "You okay?" Anakin asked. "Yeah, didn't expect that." "You don't have to make actual contact, if you get about an inch from the image it counts." "Okay, got it." He punched at it, not putting any force in the blow, just aiming it. he struck it a few times in succession, easily blocking of avoiding it's blows. Then it started avoiding more of his. He focused on what he felt were the holes in its defenses and got in more blows. After that it had him on the defensive for a time. At some point Patrick stopped thinking. he used his fists, knees, feet, elbows to attack it and it countered faster and faster. He was sweating, but he was enjoying himself, forgetting it was just an image, but still knowing it wasn't a real person. They exchanged blows after blows until Patrick found he couldn't keep up with it and it stuck him in the chest a quick half dozen time. There was a chime and his opponent disappeared. "What happened?" Patrick asked, panting. No one answered. He looked at them, and they were staring at him, his fathers and Damian included. "What?" "I thought you said you didn't know how to fight." Alex said. "I don't." "You made it to level eight." "Okay, is that good?" "Level eight would be purple belt if you want a martial art analog," his father said. "I still don't know what that means." "You know what a black belt means, right?" Aaron asked. "Sure, the guy's a master." "Not really, he's proficient and can move on to the advance stuff. Think of it as having enough schooling in something to get a job. Purple puts you only two belts away from getting a black one. Considering you said you didn't know how to fight, that's really impressive." "I guess I do know how to fight a bit, I've been attacked enough over the years. I just never thought about it as 'knowing' how to fight, you know? What?" he asked Damian, who was watching him carefully. "You adapted very quickly to changes your opponent threw at you. It only got the best of you once your stamina ran out." "Okay." "If you build up your endurance, you'll be able to last longer." "Ignore him," his father said. "Dam's always analyzing everything." Patrick noticed their fur were wet. they'd taken a shower after they were done. they must have arrived close to when he lost. How long had the fight gone on? "Are you going to spend the night?" his other father asked. "Ah, no. I want to head home at some point." "Are you sure? we can find you a bed to sleep in." "You may have to lock the door," Damian added. "Dam," his father warned. Damian rolled his eyes. "He has a very fuckable body, and you're all thinking it." "Damian, that's enough. If you can't behave I'm going to ask you to leave." Damian sighed. "Fine, I'm sorry." "No, you're not," Aaron mumbled. Patrick had a moment of discomfort, but by now he was used to dealing with them, well, pushing it to the side to be dealt with later. "I'm going to take that as a compliment," he said, which earned him surprised looks. "That doesn't mean I'll take you up on it. I'm not sure I'd be able to deal with spending the night, even if I locked the door." "Alright. What time do you need to be home?" "At some point tonight, maybe even in the morning. So long as I can sleep before working tomorrow night I'll be fine." "How does working nights affect your studies?" His father asked. Patrick froze in the middle of removing the armbands. His ears burned. "I'm not in school." he whispered, focusing on taking off the controls. "Why not?" His father's tone was very casual. Patrick handed the bands and controls to Arthur and sat next to him. "Look. I dropped out in my freshman year because even with working three jobs my mom could barely pay the bills. I had to get a job." "Have you thought about going back?" "After missing four years? No. I'd be an old man compared to the kids there." "You could take the equivalence tests. you might need a few remedials, but you could probably catch up to your age group in a year or so." "And how do I pay for all that?" "The test's free I think." Patrick shrugged. "I don't see the point in going through that since I can't afford to pay for school." His father placed a hand on his shoulder. "We could pay for that." "No. I'd have to explain where it came from to my mom, and there's no way she'd accept that." "I could arrange it so she wouldn't know it came from them," Damian offered. "Right, like you could hide that." "I can be very sneaky when I want." Patrick shook his head. "Look. I'm okay with the life I have. Especially now that you're in it. Just accept that, okay?" "Alright. Just know that if you ever change your mind, we'll be here to help you." His fathers hugged him, and they went back to playing games. Patrick watched, always having two of his brothers snuggling up to him. It was late in the night when things quieted down. They talked about games, books and shows, whiles snuggling. Somehow Patrick found himself seated on the floor, Aiden behind him, Arthur between his legs, Alex on one side and Albert on the other. Eventually, some of them started falling asleep and they called an end to the night. Damian offered to drive Patrick home, but he refused vehemently. He was never getting in a car with him again. Albert volunteered. Everyone hugged him before they were willing to let him go. He dressed and Arthur hugged him again. In the garage Patrick saw that the hood on Damian's car was up. He guessed that Adam was going to go camping with him, whatever that meant. The ride was quiet and comfortable. Albert talked about his drawings and paintings, and made Patrick promise to check them out the next time he visited. They hugged again at Patrick's house, and then he went to bed. * * * * * Patrick walked into the living room. The large room was empty, the screen on the wall was off. Where had everyone gone? He'd just left it for a moment to... What had he gone to do again? He couldn't remember. He went to the couch. The controllers were on it, so they had to be close by, right? He turned to leave planning to check the rest of the house. He froze. His brothers were on the other side of the room, naked, gyrating and rubbing against each other, looking at him invitingly. He swallowed hard and took a step back into someone. he spun and looked into his father golden eyes. The older tiger ran a finger down Patrick's cheek. "I'm so happy you've agreed to become part of our family. We are going to make you so happy." Someone leaned into him from the back, hugging him, his hands rubbing his stomach and then lower. "You are such a handsome guy." His other father whispered in his ear. A hand cupped Patrick's balls, and another rubbed his cock. He felt good, but why was he naked? He felt a cock press between his cheeks, moving back and forth. "Whenever you're ready," His father said, "we will be here for you." And he kissed him. * * * * * Patrick woke with a gasp. He had trouble breathing and his heart was beating a mile a second. What the fuck had that been about? His fathers touching him like that? At the memory his cock twitched and he realized his crotch was wet. He lifted the covers and stared at the cum there. He couldn't believe it. He was eighteen years old. He hadn't cum in his sleep since he'd started masturbating. He swallowed hard as he felt those hands against him again. And realized he wished it hadn't been a dream.
  18. Kindar

    Chapter 11

    "Seth!" I yelled at the top of my lungs kicking the door off its hinges. The first thing I saw was the couch so I tenderly placed Walter's body on it, then I fell to my knees and cried. The trek back here took longer than my search because my balls hurt so much I couldn't run. I didn't even consider stopping to relieve the pressure; I deserved the pain for getting Walter killed. After a while the tears stopped enough for me to realize Seth still wasn't there. I cursed under my breath and headed to his lab. I would have loved to stomp there, but my balls wouldn't let me. I found him at his workbench, working on something small. I pulled him of his seat and held him against the wall. "Damn it Seth, didn't you hear me calling you?" Seth's eyes were unfocussed and his fingers were moving before him like he was still working on something. I dropped him and went to the kitchen where I knew he kept more joints. I had to go through half the cupboards, most of which ended up with ripped off doors, before I found a box of them. Seth was back at his workbench when I came back and I had to go through his pockets to find the lighter. The first few puffs were shallow as he kept working, the next ones deepened and he grabbed the second joint out of my hand. After that he was able to light them himself so all I could do was pace while I waited for him to be high enough to notice the world. That took ten excruciating long minutes. He grabbed his stomach and bent over. "Man, I'm famished. How long have I been working?" I didn't give him time to reach for his watch I grabbed him by the collar and lifted him. "I want you to call them." "Huh? Call who?" "The wish catcher guys you used to work for." "What? I don't know how, I don't have anything to do with them anymore." I pulled him close and glared at him. "Don't fuck with me Seth. I know they wouldn't have let you go without giving you a way to contact them, so you're going to go find it and then you're going to call them, do you get that?" "Yeah, yeah, I get it. I'll look for . . . Man, what happened to your arm?" I shook him to get his gaze back to my face. "Focus on what's important Seth. That call is all that matters, not my arm, just that call." My arm was now covered with bleeding scabs as every time I moved it the dried blood broke. It looked pretty bad, and didn't' smell all that great either. I let him go and followed him to his bedroom, where he started looking through a file cabinet. "Why do you want me to call them anyway?" "I need them to lock me up and throw away the key." "Why'd you want them to do that?" "Because I killed Walter." Seth started at me. "You what?" "You heard me. I killed him, D.E.A.D. dead." Seth grabbed the phone and dialed. "This is Seth Burnsteng. I have a wisher here who says he killed someone. No, I don't think he's dangerous, he's turning himself him. Yeah, that's him. Well, that's what he said. Ok, we'll be waiting for you." I'd heard what I wanted to hear so I headed to the living room. I picked up Walter and cradled him in my arms as I sat down to wait, constantly apologizing to him for getting him killed. I could feel Seth on the side, but he wasn't important right now. "I thought you said you killed him," Seth said after a minute of silence. "I might as well. I shouldn't have gotten him mixed up in this and I should have kept on going with him to look for that woman. If I'd done that he would still be alive." "You didn't do this," Seth said with such certainty that I found myself baring my teeth at him and growling. He took a step back and I went back to focusing on Walter. Seth made another call. "It's Seth again. You're going to have to bring more people, the Actress is here. No, not at my place but somewhere in the area, she's the one committed the murder. Yes I'm sure; I still remember the bodies she left in the eighties. Yes, he's been in a fight with her. Yes, I think he'll still want you to take him in." Seth sat on the other end of the couch and wisely kept quiet. * * * * * The cot I was lying on was cold and uncomfortable. My arm was bandaged and numb, my balls were in so much pain that even breathing hurt and my stomach had been screaming at me for the last two days. The cell I was in could have been the same one they put me in before for all I knew. I didn't care; I just wish they would turn on the force field and forget about me. Instead I got a doctor checking on my arm every day. He said that he was sure they would be able to reattach my skin back to my arm. I didn't care about that, as far as I was concerned what they should be doing is ripping every inch of my skin off so I'd feel the pain Walter felt. Someone also brought me food three times a day, but I didn't eat any of it. I didn't want anything to lessen the pain I felt. I hadn't even jerked off since finding Walter; I didn't deserve any kind of relief. I was going through the hundredth way I could have saved Walter when someone stopped in front of my cell. The doctor had already changed the bandages on my arm this morning and it was too early for the lunch tray "Hello Mister Benton." The voice sounded familiar, strong and commanding, but also soothing; like someone's grandfather. I glanced at him and recognized the man who'd questioned us the previous time I was here. I turned on my side, with my back to him; my arm and balls protested. "What do you want?" I asked bitterly. "I wanted to thank you for helping us find the Actress. She disappeared eleven years ago and if not for you she might have gone on killing with impunity." "And how did I help you do that? I don't even remember where that damned cave is." "We found it by backtracking where you had been using the tracker that we implanted in you." The surprise made me sit up and then bend over as my balls really complained. I glared at the older man. "You put a tracker in me?" "Yes, you and your friends, except for Mister Marcozy; we couldn't find a way to pierce his skin." "Wait a minute, if you've known where I was all this time how cone I've been walking free all this time?" "Because at no time were you a prisoner, Mister Benton. You didn't kill anyone in your escape and once outside you kept a low profile so we had no need to retrieve you, or your friends. "And now that the actress is on her way here your arm should be fixed up soon." The mention of my arm made me look at it and brought visions of Walter's corpse. "Is something wrong? I thought the news would lighten your mood, not darken it." "If you really want to do something for me, find a way to bring Walter back." "I'm sorry, but there are things which are beyond us." "That's what I thought." I lied back down and curled up. "Just turn the force field back on and leave me alone." "I won't do that, Mister Benton, you're not a prisoner." "I'm a monster," I said softly blinking as tears fell, "and a murderer. I shouldn't be allowed to be free." "No, you are neither of those things." "What am I then?" "You are a young man who went through a horrible experience, but it's my hope that something good can come from it." "What good could ever come from someone's death?" "You've seen what a Wisher can do now, so maybe you can work with us to stop the others like her, to make sure no one else suffers like you did." I didn't say anything, I didn't know what to think of the offer. "All I ask is that you think about it; your life isn't over and you certainly shouldn't be spending it in this cell." He turned to leave and then stopped. "Oh, and Seth asked me to bring you this," he placed a watch the table by the door and then left. * * * * * The dinner time crowd was thinning when the man entered the diner. He put his hat and overcoat on the rack and tucked his briefcase under the booth's table. The waitress gave him her best smile and admired his muscular frame as she brought him the menu. The man ordered the special and asked for the paper. He read it slowly as he ate. He smiled to the waitress when she refilled his cup and politely turned her down when she started flirting; she was pretty enough, being a petite brunette and close to his age, but she wasn't his style. Time passed, people came and went while he continued to read the paper and ordered the occasional piece of pie. When he finished the paper he folded it and set it aside before looking up for the waitress. The woman who came to his table was older, in her mid fifties and had light brown hair, cut short. "Can I get you a refill, Hun?" "Yes please," the man said with a smile, handing her his cup. "Did your wife kick you out?" She asked him putting his full cup down. "What? No, what makes you think that?" "The cook told me you got his just after dinner time and you've been reading that paper all evening. I'd expect a good looking man like you to have someone he'd be in a hurry to go back to." "Actually, I was waiting for someone." "Who?" "You, Anna. Would you mind sitting down?" She raised an eyebrow before looking around, most tables were empty and the other waitress could deal with the few customers at the counter. "Why are you waiting for me?" she asked as she sat. "Because I need your help." He wrapped his hands around his cup and looked at it for a moment. "I did something horrible - I didn't mean to, but someone is suffering because of it." He looked at her. "I need you to undo my last wish." She frowned. "Wish? I don't understand Hun, how can you making a wish hurt someone? And how could I help?" "Please Anna, don't insult my intelligence, I know exactly what you are. In fact it was so easy to figure it out that I'm amazed no one else has yet." "I'm a woman who's getting to old to be a waitress?" "You're the one who's been granting wishes." Anna started to laugh, but the seriousness with which he was watching her made here put her hand over your mouth to stop. "Oh honey," she said once she got the giggles under control, "if I could grant wishes would I really work here?" "You look exactly like you did when you started working here ten years ago." "I exercise regularly and my hair color has been coming out of a bottle for longer than I've been working here." "Since you started here there's been an increase in unusual things happening in the city. I've also gone through the archives of the people chasing me and they've been able to figure out that everyone who had their wish granted had dealt with people in the service industries a few days before it happened. I'm willing to bet you were at all of those." Her expression softened as his hardened; she wrapped her hands around his. "Oh honey, I don't know what's happened that hurt you so much, but wishes don't come true. Even if they did, I'm sure there'd be some kind of rule that prevents them from just being undone." His eyes tightened. "So you're not going to help me." "I can't help you Hun, If you did something, you need to take responsibility for that and fix it." "Fine." He stood and threw a couple of twenties on the table. He grabbed his coat and hat and stormed out of the diner. He pulled his cell phone out of a pocket once he was across the road. "You should have helped me," he mumbled as he kept walking and dialed a number, "now I'm going to have to show you that we're just too dangerous to have around." The flash of the diner exploding momentarily sharpened his shadow on the ground and the shockwave almost made him loose his balance. "I promise you Anna, I'm not going to stop until you've undone this."
  19. Kindar

    Chapter 10

    "Hey Walt!" I watched as Walter turned and jumped with his eyes wide like saucers. It would have been funny if he hadn't been close to the edge. He caught himself on a larger rock and held on to it for support with a hand while the other went to his chest. "You ok man?" I asked as I went to him, "sorry about that, I didn't mean to startle you." "I am quite well," he replied still watching me, "I simply need a moment to catch my breath." "Ok, so what happened? You didn't come back for dinner last night and you didn't call I was worried sick about you." I wasn't able to keep my anger completely out of my tone. "I do not know what you are talking about, nothing happened." "Come on, this is me. We both know you've been annoyed at me because I preferred staying at the cabin to coming on this treks with you, but maybe you can have the decency of telling me what's wrong instead of letting me squirm or giving me this cool treatment." "I truly apologize for not treating you properly," he said looking me over hungrily, "I do not know what could have come over me to mistreat someone like you such, but I can promise that it will not happen again." "You sure you're ok?" I asked because he was really speaking weird. I still couldn't help puffing up my chest at the look and compliment. "I can assure you that I am quite well." "Good, then how about we take care of my problem and then head back?" "There is something I need to show you before hand," Walter said as he turned and headed up the mountain. I stood there for a moment too surprised to move. What could be more important than taking care of my balls? "Walter, wait up!" I started after him as well as I could on the rock side and with hurting balls. He didn't slow down. I watched him enter an opening in the rock. The crevice wasn't too big; I had to turn sideways in place to fit. I caught up to him at the entrance of a cave lit by fire light. "Go in," he said, "I am certain you will find it wondrous." I eyed him dubiously. I didn't see what could be so wonderful about a cave, but went in anyway. At first glance it wasn't impressive, it was pretty big, but that was about it. "What's supposed to be so wonderful about this?" I asked still looking around. "Go further along the back, you will see it." I rolled my eyes, maybe he was doing that to keep punishing me. Or maybe he had a bed set up in the back? The first thing that caught my eye was a set of chains set in the rock wall. I grabbed one and gave it a tug it was solidly anchored in there. "How long do you think these have been there?" I asked just as I noticed the skeleton on the ground next to them. "Are these things real?" I bent down to pick up one of the bone. "Oh, quite real." I turned to look at Walter just in time to see him swing something large at my head. I went down seeing stars. I tried to stand up with a groan, but he hit me again and things went dark. I remember a lot of flashes of consciousness, always followed by stars and then darkness. The last few also came with pain in my right arm. When I finally woke fully it was with a groan that made my head hurt. Being shot in the head hadn't hurt this badly. "Good, you are finally awake," Walter said, "You must look at this, it is simply wondrous." Getting my eyes to open took more work than I could have guessed; my eyelids felt like they had hundred pounds weights attached to them. And when they did open it didn't help much. Everything was moving around. I closed them before I threw up. Once my stomach settled I tried again, this time they were lighter and the world stood still. I was able to lift my head and Walter was standing in front of me, but there was something wrong with him, there was something orange and black over his right arm. "What happened Walter?" I asked, having trouble stringing the words together. "Is this not simply wondrous?" he asked me, shoving his orange and black covered arm. It moved too quickly and my eyes wouldn't focus on it. "Walter! What the *fuck* happened!" I don't think I'd ever yelled that loud ever. Walter backpedaled while the echo bounced off the walls for a few seconds. I groaned as my head kept on ringing for a few more. "My, my, what powerful lungs you must have to yell like that. Your roar must be magnificent. I cannot wait to find out what it must be like to roar." "You're not making any sense," I said as my head dropped. "I must say that while you certainly are a captive audience," he chuckled lightly, "you are not the most astute one I have had." "So sue me. Just tell me what's going on." "Why would I want to bring in a lawyer into this? They are a despicable breed which I doubt time has improved." I took deep breath in the following silence trying to clear my head. Walter wasn't acting like himself, maybe he'd hit his head or something, although that didn't explain what ever was on his arm. I don't know why it didn't occurred to me before that, but I only then tried to move, to find my arms were chained. I was chained to the wall. I looked at the iron manacle on my left wrist and the solid chain holding me. When I check my right wrist I found that something else was wrong. There was no orange and black fur, and there was, was this dark red masses that wriggled as I pulled on the chain. I've never denied being among the slowest to catch a clue, but as I looked back to Walter I did get it. He was wearing my fur on his right arm. "I see that you are understanding the situation," he said with a smile, "I must say that this is a most wondrous chance, I have never played the Beast before; although I did play Belle in my youth. The actor who played the Beast was quite dreadful, he ruined the show for all of us. He could never be menacing. I will show them all how the role should be played. I will be a monstrous Beast, as he should have been." "Walter, what are you talking about, and what are you doing with my fur." I just wanted to scream at him to start make sense, but I didn't think my head would survive another outburst. Walter stopped moving about and looked at himself. "Ah, yes, I must not get ahead of myself, I am still wearing my previous role." He looked in a darkened corner before walking to me. He pulled out a dirty knife. "I am afraid this will hurt, but please roar with the pain, I wish to know what the proper timbre is for it." I looked at his green eyes and as the wrongness of them hit me he started slicing the fur off my shoulder off. I grated my teeth, who ever that was I didn't want to give him the satisfaction to hear me scream, but I only lasted a couple of seconds of moaning before the pain became too much. "I do wish you had roared instead," the sadist who looked like Walter said, "but you will have many more occasions to do so." Panting I forced myself to look at him. He applied the patch of fur on his shoulder and it melded to the fur that was already there. I noticed that it didn't stick to his skin, instead it floated above it, keeping the shape of my muscles. "I have never had such an easy time putting on a skin before," he said with glee, "I also have never worn one that could heal itself." He ran the knife over his arm, leaving a bloody gash that closed moments later. I had to look away. I didn't feel any of the pain from that, but it still looked like it was my arm getting cut. I saw a human form leaning against the wall in the corner I happen to look in. Even in the bad light I could tell there was something wrong with it. The body was uniformly dark, the light barely reflected on it and it was staring ahead with dead steel grey eyes. "Oh my Gods," I let out quietly. "Ah yes, him," the Walter lookalike said. "I must say that he was not the participating audience that you are. He must have died before I was even halfway done." I stared at him. I couldn't believe how casual he was about this. "You murdered him you son of a bitch!" I pulled on my chains as hard as I could. "I did no such thing," the impostor said offended, "I simply took over his role. Regardless he was a bad actor. I could tell that he was hardly doing anything with his part." "He was a person," I growled with another pull, I thought I felt it give a little. "He was someone I cared about." "He was the Belle to your Beast?" he said with surprise, but then his face turn to disgust. "That is sick. Everyone knows Belle is played by a woman." He turned and walked away. "I will have to find a woman to play my Belle. That could prove to be a challenge, there are not many woman around here. Tell me," he said facing me again, "how were you able to attract your Belle?" He pointed dismissively to Walter's corpse. For a moment I literally saw red but I forced myself to calm down, I'd only have one shot and I had to think clearly to make it count. "Come here and I'll tell you." He didn't even hesitate and as he stood before me I pulled on my chain and broke it from the wall. My fist landed on his shoulder hard enough to crumble him to the ground. I turned and wrapped the other chain around my hand, doing my best to ignore my skinless hand, and gave a hard pull. I tumbled back with the ease with which the anchor gave out. "You need to know your role," he said nursing his fur covered shoulder, "you are the helpless prisoner, not the hero." "I'm rewriting the script," I spat and lounged at him. "Ah!" he stepped out of my way. "Scripts are for hacks. The real actor knows his character through and through. He does not need a piece of paper to tell him what he should be doing." "Fine," I said as I turned to face him, "since you're the monster in this act of yours what do you think's going to happen?" He gave me the most sincere smile I'd seen. "Why, the monster kills the hero of course." He rushed me and punched me in the stomach before I could react. He punched me with his right fist, my right fist, and I flew off the floor to hit the wall. I was as surprised as he was. By the time I was able to pull myself up he was still staring at his fist. I didn't give him time to stop. I tackled him and punched him as hard as I could until he wasn't moving anymore. When I stopped his face wasn't recognizable as Walter anymore. I stood and my anger flared again when I looked at him. I kicked him and he went flying in the darkness. I had to force myself to turn and look at Walter's corpse. I had trouble breathing as walked to it. I fell to my knees before him. "I'm so sorry," I told him as he looked at me accusingly. "I should never have dragged you here. It's all my fault.
  20. Kindar

    Chapter 09

    After three days Seth had a working prototype. The hardware for it filled the entire unused bedroom, I had to stand on a platform, and not move from it, but it worked. It created an image around me that moved as I did. It wasn't what I had expected. Seth said he'd be able to fix the size problem. Seth hadn't said anything when he realized we weren't using the second guest bedroom. When I'd brought our stuff in I put Walter's there, but he wouldn't have anything to do with the idea of sleeping in separate rooms. "No fucking way I'm going to be sneaking around while I'm here," he said. "Be reasonable, we're his guest. We can't go around offending him." "I don't fucking care if he can't deal with it. I'm not going to act like the guy you're trying to hide from your parents." "Alright, alright," I felt he was trying to get a Seth to throw us out or something. It didn't work. Either he was too stoned or busy with the work to notice, or having lived through the free love movement he just didn't care. Walter only brought three suits with him; the alpha wolf, the submissive fox and the playful Dalmatian. That first night he put on the wolf suit and put me in my place. He slept in the suit, holding me tightly and the next morning he took me again. He didn't asked, he just turned me on my stomach and fucked me. He used the wolf suit more than the others. I could tell he was doing it because he was angry at being here, but I couldn't figure out why. He also wouldn't tell me what was wrong, even once it was obvious Seth wasn't trying to string me along. We fell into a routine of sex in the morning, breakfast and then Walter would drive to 'town'. He'd come back for dinner we'd hang out, have sex again and go to sleep. While Walter was out I'd jog around in the woods, or chop firewood for Seth, even cutting down a tree when I ran out. I also toked up a time or two; Seth left me his box of joints. Seth would get up even before us and get right to work. At ten I'd get him to smoke so he could eat, again for dinner and then so he could sleep. When he wasn't stoned he was either in his workroom designing a component or in the bedroom assembling it. His basement was full of parts, it looked like a hardware store on steroid. If he couldn't find what he needed he ordered it. After two weeks he'd managed to shrink it down to half the size of the room. "You know, this isn't exactly how I thought you'd be doing this," I told him over lunch. "I thought you'd whip up something in half a day and be done." "That's not how I worded my wish," he replied, " 'I wish I was able to build stuff and make them better.' That's what I said. So I have to start with building something I'm already able to and then I can take it apart and see how to make it better." "You still remember the wish you made?" I asked, impressed. "You don't forget something that changes your life like that. One day I'm a failed mechanic trying to get drunk at the local bar and wishing I could fix stuff, the next day I'm taking my Boss' car apart and rebuilding it with better struts, better gas millage lower emissions an tons of other improvements. "He sold my designs to car manufacturers and then asked me to keep making more. I didn't know how to stop so I did that for ten years, until the wish catchers found me." "What happened after that?" "They helped me get my wish under control." He lifted the joint he was smoking. "Then I lived for a while before going back to work for them. I was there for a decade or so then I had enough and came here." "They let you go? Just like that?" "Well, they tried to convince me to stay, offered me more money, better labs, but once I made it clear I didn't want any of that they let me go." "Just like that, no threats to you or your family if you didn't work for them, no blackmail no incarceration?" "Course not," Seth said with a chuckle, "just a few exec every few month dropping by with a suitcase filled with money and something they wanted me to build. It took them six years to finally get the message that I was never going to say yes. "I mean really, what am I going to do with more money than I already have?" "Did you ever regret doing it?" "Making the wish?" I nodded. "No," he answered after thinking about it for a moment. "I never really did. I don't think any of us ever does." "You've met other people like us." "I've worked for the organization in charge of stopping us from blowing up the world, so yeah, you're not the first Wisher I've met. Everyone of them liked what they were. Sometime they liked too much." "I don't think I'm liking it all that much." "You're still new at this, give it time and you'll probably find that's what you've always wanted." Two weeks later it was the size of a backpack. "Did you guys know that tourists have been disappearing around here for the last decade?" Walter asked over dinner. He hadn't really warmed up to Seth, but at least he was engaging in conversation and getting the groceries. "Hikers have been over estimating their abilities for a lot more than a decade," Seth said before biting into his burger. I'd gotten tired of the frozen pizza or noodle and sauce mixes that were Seth mainstay so I'd gotten Walter to pickup all we needed for burgers and I set up a grill to cook them. "Maybe but there's be a lot more in the last decade than before, almost a hundred on this side of the mountain alone." "That does sound like a lot," I said between bites and Seth nodded in agreement. "Have you ever helped look for any of them?" "No, I let the Rangers deal with that. I'm sure you've realized by now that I don't really leave this place." Walter was silent for the rest of the meal. Once we were back in our room he put on his fox suit and submitted to me. It was an evening of slow lovemaking. "I think we should help look for her," Walter said as we snuggled afterward. "Look for who?" "A hiker went missing not far from here a few days ago." "I don't think the rescue teams are going to be really happy to see someone like me among them." Even tired and in the afterglow I could still see where he was going. "They're short of man power so they aren't so much teams, more like groups and couples. We don't have to do it with them. We can go just the two of us you can sniff around and maybe we'll get lucky." I started chuckling as the thought of getting lucky in the woods with Walter bounced in my head. "Ok," I said once I calmed down, "I'll check in with Seth in the morning." Walter tensed. "We don't need to run what we do by him." "I have to. He needs me to help him snap out of it so he can eat." Walter didn't acknowledge what I'd said. "Walter," I said softly, "these wishes aren't fairytales. They come with problems. I need sex because of them and Seth's wish came with an obsession to build things. If he's not stoned all he does is build. He won't eat or sleep until he falls unconscious from exhaustion. I have to let him know so we can change the schedule to give us enough time to search." "Ok. Jim, I . . ." "Yes?" "Never mind," he said with a shake of the head, "it isn't important." I kissed the back of his neck even if he probably couldn't feel it though the suit. "Ok, sleep well." * * * * * "Is it lunch time already?" Seth asked after smoking his first join. "No, more like breakfast. Me and Walter are going to go out to help with the search. We're going to be back for dinner." "Are you sure that's wise? If one of the rescue parties sees you it could start a bigfoot hunt." "We'll be careful. I think Walter just wants to do something useful instead of waiting for you to be done." "Then I better keep working while you guys are out." "Are you going to be ok?" "Yeah. I'll eat now, that should keep me going until you get back." "We'll see you tonight then." * * * * * "Ok, this looks right," Walter said as looked around. It had taken most of the morning walking through the woods to reach the path. We could have been there sooner, but we, ahem, took our time getting there. "This is about where she was seen for the last time by another hiker." "So what do we do?" "Well, I was hoping you'd be able to sniff out where she went." "I'm pretty sure I need to know what she smells like," I said with a chuckle. I still sniff the air. I could differentiate between human and animal smells now, but not individual humans, except for me and Walter, and maybe Seth, I might be able to track him if I had to. "I hadn't thought of that," Walter said dejected. "Hey, it doesn't mean we can't look for her," I said giving him a hug, "it just means you can't use me as your own personal bloodhound." That cheered him up. We left the trails for the rangers and other search parties and searched deeper in the woods. Walter was serious about the search, but I was having more fun frolicking around with him and avoiding people. And he didn't protest too much to the Frolicking. We did that for more than a week before I got bored with it. I encouraged Walter to continue since it made him feel like he was doing something useful. "Are you sure you don't want to come?" he asked me the next morning after I made my decision. "Yeah, I'm not exactly having fun doing that anymore." "It isn't about having fun Jim. A woman's missing and we're trying to find her." "And you can still do that, just without me. It's not like I'm all that useful out there. Hell, without me you'll be able to join the official search parties." I could see the disappointment in his eyes, but he did go, and kept going every morning, to return sometime after dinner. Seth continued to make progress, but it was slowing down. The further ahead the technology became the more work it took. On the fourth day after Walter started searching on his own he didn't come back. I didn't worry too much as cleaned the dishes, he could have gotten delayed on his way back, but as the sky turned dark I did worry. Walter would have called if something had happened to prevent him from coming back, he had Seth's number. I spent the night pacing and sleeping on his fits. As soon as Seth got up I shoved a lit joint in his mouth. "Walter didn't come back last night," I said as soon as he was able to focus on me, "I'm going out to look for him." "I'm sure he's ok, he probably searched too late and had to go back to town with the others." "He would have called; something wrong." I went to our room and buried my nose in his wolf suit. I knew I could pick out his smell out of anything by now, but I wanted to make sure it was fresh in my mind. "I'll be back once I find him," I said as I left his cabin. I could already feel the ghost of blue balls starting. Following his trail to the path was easy, his smell was strong since he always took the same route. Once there things became a little more complicated His scent went in all directions. I knew it well enough now that I could make out slight variation in strength so I used that to try to determine which trail was the most recent, I had a few false start, but on the third time I had what I thought was the freshest one. I followed it up the mountain for an hour, the wood thinned out and the ground became rocky. My heart skipped with joy when I saw him standing on the escarpment.
  21. Kindar

    Chapter 08

    Getting to Stampton, Colorado took two weeks. The first week was for preparation. Walter bought a three year old Caravan. He had his mechanic tune it up, remove the middle row so I'd be able to sit down and tint the windows so I wouldn't have to worry about being seen. Yeah, Walter volunteered himself to drive me to Stampton, for which I was grateful. I had no idea how I was going to convince him to do it. Wilma said he just wasn't willing to let me get away. We bought supplies and tried to work out where Seth's house was, unfortunately Stampton wasn't so much a town as a collection of buildings spread over twenty square miles. There were no up to date maps anywhere online, even Google didn't have anything more than the two major roads going through the area. The other week was spent driving, and getting lost. The GPS was no use what so ever since we couldn't put the address in, and even using it to get to the closest town got us turned around more often than not. I'm a public transit kind of guy, I don't even have my license and Walter hadn't driven outside the city before now. When we did get to Stampton itself we discovered why Google didn't have any of the road's names. They didn't have any. When Walter asked for directions he'd get something like 'drive a few miles and then make a left at the old oak tree' or, 'drive past Jensen's cottage and make a right up the hill, you can't miss it'. Or course we missed it. We spent half the day driving around before finally getting to Seth's house. I have to say it wasn't a bad drive, the trees were magnificent. Like I said I'd never been out of the city before and city parks had noting on this. The trees were so dense they formed a wall on each side of the road. I'd never seen so many different kinds of greens and browns. We even saw a few deer and a bear. Seth's place was a log cabin, a large log cabin, built up along the slope of the mountain. Walter stopped the Caravan behind an old Ford at the bottom of the stairs heading up to the cabin. Before the car was turned off a man came out and down the stairs. The only thing I could think of as I watched him was hippy. He had long gray hair with a multicolor headband keeping it out of his thin face. He was wearing a deer skin jacket and pants. "Hey man, you lost or something?" he said as he reach the bottom. "Not anymore," Walter replied, "are you Seth Burnsteng?" "Yeah, That'd be me, why're you asking?" "A friend of mine wants to talk with you." I took a deep breath and stepped out of the car. "Whoa, that's a gnarly look," Seth said, "How'd you get it?" "I made a wish," I answered. The smell of marijuana hung heavily around him. "That's cool, made one too, a long time ago. I try not to make them anymore. Come on up," he said as he started up the stairs, "I got sometime in the oven." Walter cast a glance at me and I shrugged. I hadn't known what to expect, but an invitation to dinner hadn't really been it. Seth's cabin was clean; certainly not what I expected from a pot head. In front of the large bay window was a table with a large variety of plants, tomatoes, strawberries lettuce and I was pretty sure I recognized at two marijuana plants. There was a clean ashtray on a corner of the table, and no spilled dirt anywhere on it or around it. Wood was neatly stacked next to the stone fireplace. A couch and two chairs were arranged around a coffee table which also had a clean ashtray. Seth took a joint from a pocket and lit it. "You guys wanna drag?" "No thanks," I replied. I smoked once in a while, but right now I felt I needed to keep a clear head. "Certainly not," Walter answered. He was rather straight laced when it came to smoking. "You're high, aren't you?" "Hell yeah, only way I can hear myself think." He started chuckling as he headed to the other room. I followed him in the kitchen where he was pulling a baking pan with a dozen mini pizzas on it out of the over. "Help yourself to them," he said as he stacked half of them on a plate and devouring the first one before I moved. "Where's the power coming from?" I asked as I took a pizza. The stove and fridges were electric and I hadn't seen any electrical towers on the way here. "I got a generator in the back. You wanna something to drink?" He opened the fridge. "I have water, water and some more water." "Water sounds good," I said. "You must go through a lot of gas if it's the only source of power you have." "Don't use gas," Seth said as he took three glasses out of a cabinet, "It's nuclear." "Isn't having a nuclear reactor a rather dangerous thing?" Walter asked from the doorway. I'd explained to him that Seth was some sort of super inventor and he must have taken it more seriously then I had because he didn't show any surprise at the news. "Nah, fusion's perfectly safe." Seth filled the glasses and handed one of them to me. "Wait, you have a fusion reactor in the back of your cabin?" "Yeah, I built it, twenty years ago I think." He lit up another joint. "Then why don't we have anything that's run by fusion?" Walter asked. I realized that his lack of surprise might not be because he believed him, but rather because he didn't. "Because whoever I gave the plant to would have a lot of power and I don't trust people to use that power well. That's why I live here. I got tired of being asked to build stuff that gave some form of power or another to people." He looked at me sadly. "You're here to ask me to make you something aren't you?" "Yeah, I need something to hide the way I look." "That's it?" he asked in surprise, "No super weapon to stop wars, no devise to end world hunger? Just a gizmo so you can look normal?" I nodded. "I can do that," Seth said as he extinguished his joint, "I'll start on it once I've sobered up." Walter indicated I should follow him and we went outside. "Are you sure you can trust him?" he asked. "He seems like an ok guy." "That's not what I mean, the guy claims to have a fusion reactor. Do you know what'd do if I could build one of those? I'd sell the rights and retire. I think he's a fake, hell we already know he's a junky." "I was incarcerated behind a force field he built, I believe him about the reactor. We can ask him to show it to us if that'll convince you. As for why he hasn't sold it and made millions. You heard him, he doesn't trust people. Not everyone's driven by money you know." "Ok, but what if he calls the people who are after you, he used to work for them, remember?" I did, and it did worry me a little, but what else could I do? "I don't have a choice. He's the only person who can give me a normal life." I could tell Walter wasn't really satisfied, but he dropped it. I went back inside and found Seth in a workroom on the second floor. He was unrolling paper over a drafting table. The room was as orderly as the kitchen and living room. The tools were in their place, there was no dust anywhere and, I also noticed, no ashtrays. When he noticed me in the doorway Seth handed me a joint. "I appreciate the offer," I told him, "but I really don't think I should be lighting up." "It isn't for you. That's for me. No matter what I'm doing at ten you light it up and get me to smoke it." "Why?" "Because I'm going to work myself to death on your gizmo if I don't force myself to stop once in a while. That's going to cloud my head just enough to I can think about other stuff, like sleep and food." "How long until you start to work?" "It'll probably be a couple of hours until I'm down. There two bedrooms at the end of the hall you can use." "Thanks. While you wait to sober up do you mind showing us your reactor? Walter's curious about it." "Who's Walter?" "My friend. I'm Jim by the way." "I'm Seth," he said presenting his hand, "and yeah I can so it to you." The reactor turned out to be rather unimpressive, at least the five feet we could see. Seth explained that most of it was buried about fifty feet down. What was exposed was a cylinder about ten feet in diameter with readouts and controls on it. It looked high-tech; that's about all I got from it. "I expected a fusion reactor to be bigger," Walter commented. "I don't need that much power," Seth answered with a chuckle before taking a granola bar out of his pocket. "It's got the fusion chamber, the turbine, water circulation and scrubbing system and capacitors. It also has a regulation system so I won't blow up my appliances." "How do you change the fuel rods?" Walter asked. "Man, it's fusion. I'm not going to have to refuel it for another fifty years or so." "Fine, and how are you going to do that when it happens." "Walter," I said as I grabbed his arm, "there's no need to interrogate him." "Actually I think there is, I haven't actually seen anything really special. For all I know he's just a fake." "It's ok man," Seth said as he folded the wrapping of his finished granola bar, "I don't need to convince him of anything. I know what I can do, that's all that matters. And whenever I need to change the core I'll just shut it down, give it a week to cool down and then build something to take it out." "Leave it alone Walter. I'm the one who needs his help, not you. I don't need any convincing that he can help me." "Fine, I'll be at the car," he said. He wasn't happy about it, I could see it in his eyes. "I'm sorry about that," I told Seth once Walter was out of sight, "I don't know why he was so hard." "S'ok man, Dealing with us Wishers isn't easy on those who aren't used to it. Hasn't been long since you made yours, has it?" "Only a few weeks, you?" "I don't know, what year is this?" He took out a pocket watch. "Already? Man it's been over fifty years now." "You lost track of time?" "Yeah, it's easy to do up here living on your own. I'm going to go throw something in the oven, you hungry?" "I'm ok, thanks. I'm going to go look in on Walter and bring some stuff to the rooms." * * * * * Walter was sitting in the car watching me come down the steps. He didn't get out, or even lower the window when I stood next to it. I knocked on it and he took his time lowering it. "You ok?" I asked him. "Course I'm ok," he answered bluntly. "I'm not the most enlightened guy around, but I can tell you're not. What's the problem?" "How can you just trust this guy, we don't know anything about him?" "I don't have much of a choice, he's the only one who can give me a normal life." He looked away from me when I said that. "That's why we shouldn't trust him," he said when he looked at me again. His features were set to neutral, but I knew him well enough to smell the hurt coming from him, but I had no idea what it was about. "You're in a perfect situation to be taken advantage of." "Seth hasn't even asked for anything. He's a nice guy." "No one's that nice," Walter grumbled, "Look you said it yourself, he's worked for the people who are after you. He's probably planning on stringing you along until they get here. I think we should go back home." I studied him for a moment. "Where is *that* coming from?" "I don't know," he answered with a shrug, "I'm just getting a bad feeling about this." I reached through the window and placed my hand on his arm. "Lets give him a few days, if it looks like he's trying to waste out time then we'll leave." "All right," he said with some reluctance.
  22. Kindar

    Chapter 05

    I hesitated in front of the door. It was glossy white, freshly painted like the porch. It was one thing to believe my friends would be ok with the way I looked; it was another one completely to put it to the test. I steeled myself and knocked. There was silence. I prayed that they were home and knocked again. "Hold on to your fucking horses," came a Wilma's voices from somewhere deeper in the house. The door opened. "Ok, what's you want?" Wilma was a small woman at five-four. I never used 'petite' to describe her be cause she had quite the set of curves on her body. Her blond hair was tied back in a pony tail, she didn't have any make up on as usual. She was wearing an old faded t-shirt, pink with an arrow on it pointing up 'my eyes are up there' was written underneath. I'd gotten her the shirt two years ago for her birthday, she always like showing off her breast so I figured it would help her play on that. I'd accidently picked one that was a size too small. She'd never complained about it. Purple sweat pants completed her ensemble, except for the cherry lollipop she was holding in her hand. "It's me, Jim. Can I come in? She looked at me for a moment. "Jim Benton?" I nodded and she moved away from the door with a surprised expression. I quickly stepped in, in case she changed her mind and closed the door on me. I closed it behind me. Wilma and Walter owned the house together. They were brother and sister, twins actually. I'd known them for almost ten years now, not long after I'd discovered he furry community. They had been the first furries I'd come across on the net who turned out to be local to me. Wilma looked me over and her expression slowly turned from surprised to suspicious, but before she could say anything Walter poked his head in the entryway. "Who was that sis?" He asked before even looking in, and then "Whoa, cool fursuit." While these two were twins, they looked nothing alike. Where Wilma was small and full of curves, Walter was a good six inch taller and very angular. Her voice was sweet and his usually sounded like his throat was full of sand paper. He was gay, she wasn't. About the only things they had in common where the blond hair, although his was curly, and steel grey eyes. I looked at Wilma, "I'll explain later," and walked to Walter, throwing him over my shoulder and heading directly to his bedroom. * * * * * I was looking at the ceiling, completely awake. Only two hours of sleep after our marathon session and I was fully rested. Chock another one to my increased healing I guess. I carefully untangled myself from Walter and went to the attached bathroom. He kept on sleeping soundly as I moved from under him. Walter had taken no time to get over the realization I wasn't wearing a fursuit. He had a thing for fursuits, in fact he couldn't have sex if one wasn't involved. I'd hoped that realizing I was the real thing would push his buttons, and I hadn't been disappointed. My need for sex had been dealt with after the first time, but my desire hadn't, which was a good thing because he wasn't going to let me rest until he'd explored every part of my new body. I locked the other door, the one leading to his sister's bedroom, and got in the shower. I went through almost all of his shampoo in the process and had to use a comb to tease the dried cum out of my fur. I had suspected I had more stamina now, as well as a faster recharge, but I'd never known that Walter could cum so often. Those previous times when we'd have sex we'd cum once and we were both done. This time it happened so often that I lost track. I had to clean my fur out of the drain three times during my shower to prevent the water from overflowing the lip. One more thing I'd have to get used to, although since I had a bath/shower at home I could let the water rise until I was done. Drying myself I went through all the towels in their linen closet. I was going to have to invest in some heavy duty blow dryers when I got back home. My chain of thought derailed. *If* I got back home. For a moment I'd forgotten that I was on the run from a secret government agency bent on throwing me in a cell and forgetting about me. As real as I knew it was, I still felt like I was in a bad sci-fi movie. Once I was dry I piled up the towels and got dressed. Walter slept through it, even when I bumped into the dresser and left two inches long skid marks on the wood floor. I rubbed one of them with my foot, barely feeling the scoring in the varnish through my thick pad. I'd deal with that once Walter was awake, maybe offer to pay to get it fixed. I didn't expect him to make a big deal of it, but I was still going to offer. I grabbed the towels and headed to their laundry room in the basement. Wilma wasn't in the living room or kitchen as I came down the stairs. I wondered if she's gone out. I could smell her in the room as well as the nuances in her smell, but I had no idea what those meant. I went down the other set of stairs and caught the sound of her breathing. Half the basement was her training room, which consisted of the floor being covered by mats. I saw her eyes turned in my direction as I reached the floor, but she didn't stop going through the movements. I admired her focus. I don't think I could have kept on doing what I was doing if something as freaky as me walked into the same room. I went to the other side of the room, where the washer was and dumped the towels in it. I started it and looked for the soap while it filled. After that I considered going back up, but I still owed Wilma an explanation. I sat down on the floor and leaned back against the washer as I waited for her to finish. She didn't hurry on my account. It was thirty minutes before she came to a gentle stop. "So I didn't imagine you," she said as she stood still, eyes closed. I shook my head. "No," I then added. "I'm sorry for barging in like that, but I'm in a bit of a bad spot and you were the only ones I could think of who might help." "You mean Walter," her voice was colder than I'd ever heard it, "if I hadn't been surprised I'd have thrown you right out." I nodded and looked at the floor. She was right; as strong as I am she could have sent me flying out that door without much effort. She was a black belt in Tea-Kon-do. My ears heated up in shame and splayed against my skull. "I'm sorry." "It's too late now. It's obvious Walt digs you." "I'm sorry," I said again. "Stop saying you're sorry Jim," She sounded annoyed now. "It's obvious you needed to take care of it, and it's not like I'm your type." I thought I heard her smile at that and looked up. She was wearing her Gi now, loosely tied so that the opening showed the curve of her breasts. She wasn't doing that for me. She probably didn't even realize she was showing herself off like that; or this being Wilma, maybe she did, even if she knew it had no effect on me. "What happened to you?" she asked, looking straight at me. I gave her a quick rundown; the wish, waking up like that, the police, waking up in the cell, escaping. I even mentioned the blue balls. She looked at me without saying anything. "I know," I added, "sounds like the plot to a bad movie." "So that was you this morning," she said instead. "Me where?" "There was something on TV this morning about a group of robber with one of them in a fursuit." I leaned my head back against the washer just as it buzzed and stopped shaking. "So now I'm a thief too." "If they're a secret organization, they can't just come out and say what really happened. Come on, cheer up, you're the only furry I know who's gotten his wish and become a real one. You had to know there was going to be repercussions." "I didn't know it was going to come real," there was only a small amount of anger behind my voice, over all I really did enjoy what I'd become. "If I'd known what would happen I'd have been a bit more careful." She grinned at me. "You an over-sexed furry? Who'd have thunk it." "Very funny," I said dryly. "Come on, it isn't so bad anymore, is it? Walter's going to be happy to help keep you libido down. You're a dream come true for him. After what you two've been up to you must be hungry. Throw the towels in the dryer. I'll be in the kitchen. Oh, are you purely carnivorous now?" "I don't know." My stomach growled loudly and I realized that with everything that had happened, I hadn't eaten anything since getting up in the morning. Even with all the stress, how had I managed to go more than 24 hours without even feeling hungry? "We'll have you try a few things and see how you react to them." After that she went up the stairs.
  23. Kindar

    Chapter 01

    "Wait," Pat said as the waitress put our coffees on the table, "I thought we said only three wishes." Jess looked at him as he reached for the sugar. "That was only three, honey." He raised a finger. "I'd want to be able to turn into a gorgeous woman." A second finger. "As her I'd have a wondrous voice; so that when I spoke everyone would listen." A third finger. "And when I'd sing my voice would be so beautiful it would make men and women alike cry with joy." Jess could already do a pretty good looking woman, he constantly came third or fourth the drag queen competitions, I guess it weighed on him more than he let on. And his woman's voice wasn't that bad either, although it came across more like that old aunt of yours who spent her entire life smoking rather than a diva. "How about that part about having the straight guys fall in love with you?" Pat asked as he poured three of the creamer container in his cup. Pat was a radio tech; he was the one who made the morning crew's show so fun to listen to. He was also a gear head. His basement had more electronic parts than the radio station he worked for had ever owned, and while he never admitted it to anyone, even us, I was pretty sure he was the pirate broadcaster the local stations kept complaining about. Jess smiled at him his sweetest smile, the one that even without makeup made him look more like a woman then a man. "That wasn't a wish dear, just a side effect of the body and the voice." He took a long sip of his coffee while piercing Pat with a gaze. "What are your wishes dear? Lets see if you enjoy having me poking holes through them as much as you seem to liked doing it to me." Pat nodded, "so, nothing like wishing for world peace, right?" "Yep," Answered Mike leaning back in the corner of the booth. He took a quick sip of his coffee; he drank it black, like me. "They have to be completely selfish wishes, only for you." "Ok, I'd want to be rich." Jess raised a thin eyebrow. "That's creative." Pat shrugged, "this isn't a creativity contest, it's just us wishing." "How rich?" Harry asked while Pat and Jess silently stared each other down. "Huh?" was Pat's only response as he broke the staring contest. "How much money is rich?" Harry asked the question slowly, as if he was still trying to formulate it as he asked it. Which might not be too far from the truth; Harry wasn't the smartest person at the table. He couldn't hide that he was a jock. In fact his nickname from the other football player his team in college was 'Harry har har' because they could tell jokes at his expense and be certain he wouldn't get them. Neither one of us really looked like he fitted with the other three, but for completely opposite reasons. Maybe that was why we were both sitting at the end of the table, ready to make a quick escape if our presence became too much for the others to bear. Harry weighed at least forty pounds more than I did, but he was almost pure muscle while I . . . wasn't. "Harry's right," said Mike, "Father Fred would happily argue that just by knowing the four of us you're already richer than anyone. How much money would you need to consider yourself rich?" Pat looked surprised at the question. He thought about it while he finished his coffee. "A hundred million," he then stated. "That doesn't sound like all that much," Jess said, to which Pat simply shrugged. He didn't reply, instead looking at Harry. Harry's face was scrunched in concentration as he tried to figure out how much money that was. Math certainly wasn't his strength, in fact it wasn't even on the list of what his strength was, but he'd get there eventually, and we gave him as much time as he needed to make it. He finally looked at Pat eyes wide in surprise. "Wow, that's a lot of money." Pat smiled, "well, it's enough. Even in this current economy I could get a four percent return on it, so that's four million a year to live off. Yeah, I think that would be enough. Oh, and no hidden clause about the money being stolen or anything like that. It's all legal." Jess looked at Mike, "What do you think, honey, is that a second wish?" Mike shook his head and signaled their waitress for a refill. "Nah, it's a conditional added to the first wish, just like people crying when they hear you sing." Jess nodded, satisfied. "Next wish?" "I'd want to understand machines, be able to know how they work and what's wrong with them with only a look." He stopped and his face lit up. "Scratch that. I want to be able to talk with machines of all kind, talk and have them respond to me and me only and get them to do what ever I want." "Woh there," Mike exclaimed raising a hand. "I'm willing to grand you the revision of your wish, but that's a hell of a lot more than just a conditional. You can either talk to machines of have them obey you. Not both." Yeah, Mike was the lawyer of the group, bar accredited and all that. Pat shrugged, "ok then my second wish is that I talk to machines and they respond, and my third is that they obey me. Your turn." "Easy. I'd be Superman." On top of being pretty smart and a lawyer, Mike was a comic book geek. "no no no, you can't wish that." Jess exclaimed. "Yeah," Pat agreed, "your boyfriend's right. If you didn't let me put talking and controlling in one wish, there's no way you can get everything superman does in one either." "Ok, ok." Mike said with a smile, "Then I'd be invulnerable and super strong." "What's the third one?" Pat asked. "I'd be super handsome." He struck a pose, straightening up, fists on his sides and a wide smile showing his white teeth. It didn't have quite the effect it has on comicbook covers since he was still sitting down. While the rest of us shook our heads and tried not to laugh, even Harry though that was pretty absurd since Mike was already a pretty good looking guy, Jess mimed a ray of light hitting mike's teeth and then said "bling," splaying his finger as if the light was reflecting off it. "Brendan Fraser," I said without even thinking, "As DJ in Loony tunes, back in action." Pat groaned "God that was a bad movie." "It wasn't that bad," I said. "I liked it." Harry Agreed. Pat smiled sweetly at the jock, "you would, it was right at your level." Jess threw Pat a warning glare, which he ignored, while Harry nodded in agreement with Pat. Jess didn't have to bother with it since he knew as well as the rest of us Pat would never intentionally hurt Harry. These two were a pretty serious item for a while. That was actually how the four of them had first met Harry. We'd gone to the football state championship, not really because we'd really cared about it, but because it was held at our school, and the dean made it clear those who didn't go and support our team wouldn't like the consequences. I actually enjoyed the game. It was one of those guilty pleasures I'd normally allow myself when alone, watching a sport game and wondering what my life would have been like if I'd been a jock instead of an overweight geek. Our team did win, so everyone went celebrating, which meant the school grounds were deserted. We used the opportunity to enjoy one of our favorite spot in peace for ones. It was the outdoor eating area just off the lunchroom. We'd meet up there everyday to eat together and talk about what ever we felt like talking. So that's where we were when this almost six foot six jock came walking toward us with a hand behind his back. We'd never been bothered by anyone because we were gay before. We kept mainly to ourselves, not that we were outcast, but we'd never felt a need to force others to socialize with us so we had a small circle of straight friends, but most of the time it was just he four of us. The tension went up the closer he got. It didn't take long for us to recognize him, The star quarterback's face was plastered all over the place, especially after it was revealed that he'd been drafted by a professional team. I have to say that the first thing that popped in my head was that he was here to get some cheap thrill by beating up a bunch of fags to add to his victory. So you can imagine my surprise when he presented Pat a bouquet of flowers. They were field flowers, he'd picked them on his way. He'd been trying to work up the courage to approach Pat for months now and the high from the victory had been what finally gave him the confidence to do it. They were together for almost three years, and then things cooled down and eventually they broke up. Neither ever said why, but we suspected it had a lot to do with Harry being constantly on the road, but after that they were just best friends, with benefits. "What would you wish for Harry?" Jess asked. "I'd wish to be smart," Harry answered immediately, "Really smart. Smarter than the four of you . . . put together." He'd been giving this a lot of thought, a whole lot of thoughts. "Ok, that works, what's your second wish?" Jess asked. That seemed to stump Harry. He'd spent so much time thinking about being smart he hadn't bothered thinking about anything else. "Well?" Jess insisted. "Give him a break," Pat said, "It's not like he has to come up with them this very minutes." "Well, we have to play by the rules." "The rules don't say anything about that," Pat countered "It's implied." "Bullshit," Pat said, you could hear in the way he said that one word he was getting angry. He turned to Mike. "Does he or doesn't he have to give them all right now?" Mike tended to be our arbiter when it came to settling our dispute. His background in law gave him an advantage plus he was also pretty fair. Of course because of that getting into an argument with him was almost impossible. "No, he doesn't. The rules only state that he has to come up with them, no time frame was mentioned with we came up with them." Mike looked at Harry. "So no hurry, when ever you think about them just tell us. Your turn Jim." I didn't answer immediately, instead giving our waitress time to refill my cup. "I'd want a Wolverine level healing ability," I then said "A what now?" Jess asked. "Wolverine is a comic book character," Mike answered. Considering those two lived together I would have thought he would have known about Wolverine. "He heals almost instantaneously; he can't get sick or be poisoned. Is that what you mean?" I nodded. "The next one would be to have an out of control sex drive." Pat rolled his eyes. "Here we go again." "What?" I asked. "You're always complaining about your low sex drive and yet anytime someone lets you, you have your hands in their pants." There were nods of agreement around the table. "That's got nothing to do with being horny, I'm just being playful. The guy can then walk away and it doesn't bother me. I'd love to know what it's like to be really horny all the time." "That sounds pretty disruptive," our waitress commented as she handed Mike his cup back. I hadn't really paid attention to her before now. "What do you mean?" Her tag said her name was Anna. She looked to be about my height with short light brown hair. She looked to be in her early fifties, but my gut was telling me she wasn't older than forty five. "Well, if you're that horny all the time how are you going to do things like go to work?" "Oh," I was a bit crestfallen, I hadn't thought of that. I turned to Pat. "Look, have you ever reached the point where you need to have sex so much it hurts?" Pat looked at Harry before saying, "yes, I have." The tone had been conversational, but I noticed Harry looking away. "Well, that's what I'd like to experience. So, if I don't have sex in," I was going to say a week, but this was just a game so why not make it a little more impressive, "twenty four hours then I'd reach that point." "Count yourself lucky it's only a game, then," Jess said, "that's called having blue balls, and it isn't pleasant." "When did you ever have blue balls?" Mike asked. Jess smiled at him and patted his hand, "that was before you, dear." He looked back at me, "what's the third one?" "Wait," Pat said. "How about jerking off? Would that fix the problem?" I thought about it, it would certainly be an easy out. "No. It would take the edge off, but the only way to reset the clock would be to have the kind of sex that requires two people or more and not just sucking off. I'm talking full contact, name screaming, cock in . . ." "Watch the language Jim," Mike said, "we're in public." He indicated Anna with a nod of the head. She was still standing next to our table, coffee pot in hand. "Don't mind me dears, with the things I've heard, and seen, in my life you can't offend me. And you're the last customers here so you don't have to worry about anyone else either." I looked around to confirm that we were indeed the only ones left. I looked at my watch; it was past three am. Had we really been here for almost two hours? "Still, we get the picture," Jess said. "So what's your third wish?" "I'd be a tiger," I said softly. I had the image in my head. It was an image I'd spent years constructing, more as a dream lover than as a look for myself, but if I was given the choice that's what I'd want. Close to Harry's height and build, but with more defined muscles and a tail; a tiger's head, muzzle, ears, whiskers and all. The whole body would be covered in fur, cropped close to the skin for most except the head and belly. It lead to a thick cock almost nine inches long. It was human looking, except for sensitive barbs under the gland. The hands and feet were also mostly human, but with retractable claws. "What do you mean a tiger?" Pat asked. "You know, a tiger," I said sharply, "I'd walk on two legs but I'd look like a tiger." If I had been more sober I would have found a more innocuous wish, my furry fetish wasn't something that I normally brought up, even among my best friends. We might be drinking coffee now, but there had been a lot of alcohol consumption at the club. "Like those drawings you get off the net?" Mike asked with a hint of disdain in his voice. "Yes, like those," I answered, exasperated. For all the comics Mike read he couldn't conceive of sexualizing them. When he'd accidently found some of the drawings and stories I'd printed out as jerk off material he'd been thoroughly disgusted. What he'd told me then had really hurt and it was almost six month before we talked again. The others also knew about my thing for furries, and they shared similar reactions to Mike, if nowhere near as extreme. "Look. I'm sorry I brought it up, ok. If you want I'll make another wish." "No," Harry said, "it's ok." The four of us looked at him. "I don't get it, but you do, so that makes it ok." Jess placed a hand over one of Harry's. "Wisely said, we all have things that we normally keep to ourselves. That's part of being human." He finished his coffee. "I think we should head out. I, at least, need my beauty sleep if I'm to dazzle the crowd at the show tonight. You'll be coming, right?" "I can't," Harry said sadly, "I have to fly out for training Sunday morning. I have to be rested and sober." The rest of us agreed that we would be there, paid our bill and went our separate ways. Well, I did. Jess and Mike left hand in hand, and Pat and Harry left together. I sighed as I watched the two pairs walk away and thought that I should have wished for a boyfriend instead. I chuckled, not that it would change anything since it was just a silly game. I was the only one riding the very late bus, and the driver eyed me suspiciously until I got off near my apartment building. The building was completely silent as I entered it. The guard barely looked up from his news paper as I crossed the lobby to the elevators. Once in my apartment I made a beeline to the bathroom, and then to the bedroom. Barely moments after getting out of my clothes I was unconscious on the bed, happy that I didn't have to get up for work today.
  24. Kindar

    Chapter 07

    "We're here," Walter said softly. I poked my head up and looked out the window. We were parked across the street from a boarded up office building. I looked around at what had been the city's industrial sector fifteen years ago and saw the devastation that the new rail system brought when they setup their terminal on the other side of the city. Every building I could see was boarded up and in an advanced state of disrepair. I'd known it was abandoned, everyone knew about it, but I hadn't realized just how bad it had become. This felt like a ghost town, but if I looked back the way we came I could see traffic in the distance. How could a place simply die like this while being this close to the city? It was rather depressing. "Where to now?" Walter asked. "The message said to go to the parking lot." I tried to sit up, but Walter's Mini hadn't been built for someone my size. There was a parking lot on each side of the building but I couldn't see any cars. Walter headed for the one ahead of us. It took two and a half week for the advertising "looking to sell five calico kitten" to show up on Craig's list. Strangely enough it didn't really make me feel any better. I went from worrying about the others having been caught to worrying about if this was a trap. Walter spent an hour trying to calm me down and when that didn't work Wilma dragged me downstairs to practice. When she was done with me I was just too exhausted to worry so I finally read the message and deciphered it. I was planning on coming here alone, but Walter asked how I was going to cross the city without attracting any attention. So he volunteered himself to drive me. "Do you think he meant the underground parking?" Walter asked as he pointed to the open garage door. We were at the back of the building and there was still no car in sight. "Could be." I checked the clock on the dash; it was already ten minutes past the meeting time. "Or they are really late. We might as well check it." Walter put the car into gear and entered the building. The first level looked like someone had gone to war. There were multiple burned wrecks that had once been cars, one of them looked like it had been smashed against a pylon. Considering recent events I started wondering if something more than the new rail terminal had happened here. I shoved that thought in a dark corner quickly. I really didn't want to know, I already had enough trouble as it was. It wasn't easy to keep them buried as Walter drove around the on his way to the next ramp down. There was a car smashed sideways against a wall. An explosion had sent it flying there I told myself to keep the paranoia at bay. There was enough debris around as well as scorch marks on the floor ceiling and pylons to make that probable. The second level was nowhere near the disaster zone the first one had been. It made seeing the four guys standing in the middle of it next to two cars easy. "Stop here," I told Walter as we reached the bottom of the ramp. "Why? They are way over there." "Because right now I can't vouch for your safety," I answered as I tried to extricate myself out of the back seat without breaking anything. "I thought they were your friends." Walter got out of the car and went to the passenger side to fold the seat forward. I got out and stretched, making every joint pop. "They are, but after what we've been through I don't know what state of mind they are in. Especially Mike, he was in a really foul mood the last time I saw him and he's strong enough to rip your car in half. So just stay here, ok?" Walter looked at the group and then nodded. I could see the worry on his face. "Don't worry, I'll be fine." I heard him get back in the car as I headed toward my friends. "Who's that?" Mike asked. He was leaning against the Camaro he and his dad had rebuilt when he was a teenager. "He's a friend of mine," I answered. I didn't say anything about the car but I didn't think it was really smart of him to be driving his own car. "He is one of those furries?" he asked with some disdain. "Okay," Jess said as he interposed himself between us, "before you get this old argument started how about we try to work our way out the jam we're in?" "That would be a smart thing to do," Pat said. He was leaning against Harry with an arm wrapped around his. They looked sweet like that, but my feelings were mixed. I was happy for them that they had been able to reconnect through this, but it was also a reminded that I was still alone. "How have you guys been?" I asked. "We've been ok," Jess said, "we're staying with my folks. Mike told them we were renovating the house, that'll give us a month or so before they start figuring out something's wrong." "We've been moving around," Harry said, "staying at different hotels. How about you Jim?" "I'm managing. I've been at my friend's place," I answered thumbing the car over my shoulder, "but I think his sister is getting tired of having me there." "How are you paying for the hotel?" Mike asked before I could. We couldn't touch our bank account without giving away where we were. "I just tell the ATM to give me money," Pat said, "never use the same ATM twice so they can't catch it." "How long are you going to be able to keep that up?" I asked. "No forever," Harry answered, "eventually they are going to wise up to it. And it doesn't solve the rest of our problems, all of us." "Ok, so you have a plan?" Mike asked. "Yeah, I do. I've started building new identities for the four of us. We'll have to move away, but we'll be free. The only thing is we'll have to avoid attracting attention again." "That'd be why you're not bothering with a new identity for me," I stated, "There's no way I can avoid attracting attention." That sucked, I was going to spend the rest of my life in hiding. "Actually, for you I have something better." Harry handed me a folded piece of paper. "What is it?" I asked as I took it. "It's the address of one Seth Burnsteng." "Who is that?" I opened the paper and looked at the address, "And where the hell is Stampton, Colorado?" "Seth is the guy who put the force field in their prison. He's the one who can build anything he can imagine. Stampton is a fair bit south west of Denver in the mountains." "Ok, so what am I suppose to do?" "Go see him and convince him to help you. He can make you a device that will let you look human." I was silent. Looking human would be good, it would let me have a normal life. "How did you find out where he lives?" Mike asked. "I hacked their computers." Harry said. "How the hell did you manage that?" "It's surprisingly easy to do when you have someone who can tell machines what to do," Pat answered. "Are you sure it isn't a trap? Maybe they let you get the information so they could capture Jim." "No," Harry replied with confidence, almost arrogance, "They have no idea that we hacked them. I was extremely careful and with Pat's help we covered up our tracks." We were all silent after that. "Jess, are you ok?" I asked. He'd been unusually quiet. "Is this the only way? I mean do we really have to leave the city and become someone else." "It pretty much is for us," Pat said, "They might not know about you, but they caught us so they know everything about us. We need to disappear if we want a change at a normal life." Jess nodded. "I don't want to seem selfish here, but I still have my family, my parents. I don't know how I feel about abandoning them." "Are you saying you don't want to come with me?" Mike asked. "Oh honey, of course I want to come with you. But if I just disappear my parents are going to freak out. Of all of us I was the only one fortunate enough to be accepted by his parents for who he was, dresses and all. They stood by me, I owe it to them to not just vanish." Mike hugged his boyfriend gently. "He's right," I said, "My mom kicked me out when she caught me and my best friend fooling around. I care about her about as much as she cares about me, but Jess' folks have been good to all of us." "I'll stay then," Mike said kissing jess' forehead "And do what, stay hidden under the stairs? I can't ask you to do that, love." "I'm strong enough to deal with them if they ever show up." "You'd be putting his family in danger if you do that," Harry pointed out. "He's right. I'm going to go with you, but I'll tell my parents. They won't tell anyone." "So this is it, isn't it?" I said after a few moments of uncomfortable silence. "We're going our separate ways forever." "Yeah," Mike said, "I guess this is goodbye." He hugged me. "I'm sorry for giving you a hard time about the furry stuff." "That's ok," I said hugging him back, "you wouldn't be you if you weren't at least a little intolerant." "You know, it's not too late for me to smack you to the other side of town if you want." "Oh, will you two stop it," Jess said pulled Mike away from me and hugging me tightly. "I'm going to miss you Jim," he said crying. "I'm going to miss you to. I wish I'd gotten to get to see one of the new and improved Jessie Star's shows." "Just keep an eye on the TV," he said with a smile, "you're going to see me there." I hugged Harry and Pat. "You two take care of each other, okay?" "You be careful," Harry replied, "I'll keep an eye on Craig's list so if you need help at any point just send a message and I'll do whatever I can." "Hopefully it won't get to that, but thanks." I turned around before I started crying too. "Let's go." I said as I crammed myself in the back of Walter's Mini. "Is everything ok?" "No," I replied as I watched my four friends, "but it's the best I can hope for right now."
  25. Kindar

    Chapter 06

    I looked up as I heard Walter fall out of bed, it sounded painful. He ran to his door, and then back to the bed. A moment later he ran out of his bedroom "Wilma!" he yelled as he started down the stairs. "Wilma, you'll never believe the dream I had. It was so intense it felt real." He skidded to a stop in the kitchen's opening, dressed only in his boxers "Spare me," Wilma replied without looking up from the bacon she was frying, "Your lurid dreams don't interest me." I don't think he heard her. He was too busy staring at me as I looked at him with half a bagel in my mouth, well, muzzle. "You're real, I didn't dream you." I chewed a few times and swallowed. "I'd have thought still feeling what we did earlier would have told you it wasn't a dream." Walter turned beet red. It was interesting to see that his entire body blushed. And I smiled in pride as I noticed the tent forming in his shorts. He noticed where I was looking and smiled back before sitting at the breakfast table. "What are you doing?" he asked waving at all the food on the table. "Well," I stabbed a sunny side up egg with my fork and dragged it in the other half of my bagel. "It started as a test to see what food I could still eat, but Wilma kind of got carried away." Once I was up from the basement Wilma sat me and started preparing food. She didn't just hand me a fruit or a vegetable, she prepared an entire fruit salad. Wilma pretty much only had one vice, I didn't count being able to easily seduce men as a vice, just a talent, she loved to cook. She really, REALLY, loved it. That lollypop she'd been sucking on when I got here? She'd made it herself. She'd made everything on the table too, the Caesar salad, the steaks, the eggs, the orange rosemary chicken, well, that was reheated but she'd still made it. Even the bagel was one of her recipes. She didn't care to eat most of it. She just enjoyed cooking it, and always cooked enough to feed an army. How Walter could manage to only weight two hundred pounds escaped me. Walter scooped some of the fruit salad in a bowl. "How is it coming?" "Well, I haven't had a reaction to anything she's fed me yet so I'm guessing I didn't turn into a complete carnivore." "That's good," he said around a spoonful of fruit, "you already like meat well enough." "Very funny," I said forcing a dry laugh. Walter chuckled once and then got serious. "Seriously 'tho, what's your plan?" I put my fork on my plate I was almost full from eating a bit of everything Wilma had put on the table, and the reminder of the situation I was in took care of the rest. "I don't know. I'm hoping you'll let me stay here while I wait for my friends to contact me." "Of course you can stay," he said earnestly. "Do I get a say in this?" Wilma asked as he put a plate of bacon on the table. It smelled really good, but my stomach rebelled at the thought of eating anymore. "Of course you do," Walter said in a slightly offended tone, "It's your house too. I just hope you aren't planning on kicking Jim out when he's in trouble. And sit down, you've cooked enough for today." Wilma looked at the stove and forced herself to turn away from it. "Of course not," she said once she was sitting, "I just want to make sure you're not thinking with your cock." "I'd never . . . .." Wilma snorted. "Come on Walt, he's a living fursuit. You get a boner just looking at him. I'm amazed you haven't tried to hang him up in your closet with the other suits yet." Walter looked down as he blushed. I couldn't believe he'd actually thought about doing it. "Just try it, and we'll see who ends up hung in the closet." I was spared a reply by Walter's phone ringing. He ran to the other room and picked it up. I listened in just long enough to figure out it was someone who wanted to buy a house. Walter was a real estate agent, and a pretty successful one at that which was how he could afford all the fursuits in his closet. I tuned out the conversation and looked at Wilma who was nibbling on a lettuce leaf. "Ah, is there any way you can teach me some of what you know?" "You're not talking cooking here, are you?" I shook my head. "You know that Tai Chi isn't really used for fighting, right?" I chuckled. "Come on, I've seen you take down guys bigger and stronger than you. You can't tell me that all it's good for is relaxing." She stood and started putting away the food. "Why do you want to learn?" "You know the situation I'm in. I have people after me. As strong as I am, I don't know how to fight. What good am I going to be to anyone if all I'm doing if flailing around?" She looked at me over her shoulder. "Well, I can teach you the basics." "Is there any way we can jump over the basic and go directly to the kick ass stuff?" She turned and folded her arms over her chest. "Look Jim, if all you want to do is fight then just close your fists and swing it at the person you want to hit. Tai Chi isn't something you can learn over night. I was five years old when I started learning and fifteen before I even could think about asking to learn the combat side of the art. "I'm willing to teach you, but you need to accept that this isn't a movie. I can't give you three word of encouragement and turn you into a master martial artist. It's going to take time for you to learn." I nodded. "Time I probably don't have." I got up and helped Wilma put the food in plastic containers while I thought about it. Was it worth starting on something that could take me decades to learn if I didn't know I'd be around for that long? Thinking that way I realized that no one knew they'd be around for even a decade. Even without the wish I could step outside my building tomorrow and be hit by a car. The future was never certain, that didn't stop most people from starting something that would take years to finish. While we put the food away in silence Walter finished his call and went to his room. When he came back he was dressed in a dark blue suit with a blood red tie. "I'll be back in a few hours," he said before kissing his sister on the cheek. "That was quick," she replied. "Yeah, the client already had a list of the houses she wants to look at today so I just had to pull their listing and a few extra ones for comparison." He grabs papers from his office and put them in the suitcase next to the door. "Don't disappear while I'm away," he told me. "Got nowhere to go so I'll be here," I replied. "Good." And he was out the door. I spent the next two hours in their basement with Wilma teaching me posture and a few Tai Chi motions. I felt silly and self conscious. Even when she moved as slowly as she could I couldn't match her. She told me not to worry about it, but my pride still took a beating. It was just moving, I should be able to do it easy. "Dancing's just moving too," she said when I snarled at myself for missing a step, "but not everyone can dance well. Some are naturals and the rest need to practice. You need to practice. So take a few breath to calm yourself and lets get back to it." When she called a stop to it I was tired. Not the tired you got from running until you were out of breath, but the one from having to focus on each and every movement you made. I flopped down on the couch while Wilma busied herself in the kitchen. A few minutes later she offered me a glass of lemonade. She didn't stay, as nice as she was we didn't' have much in common. I was a cat, she was a mouse, one that would throw me across the room if I stepped out of line, but a mouse none the less. It was funny how species division within the community tended to reflect a real difference of interest in the real world. Sure, not all mice were meek and fearful, as Wilma proved, and not all foxes were sluts, but when you checked we didn't often find predator socializing with prey. Walter came back home tired but happy. His client had liked the houses. I gave him a backrub, which proved to be more challenging than before due to my claws. After that Walter wanted to have sex, so he spent twenty minutes deciding which suit he wanted to wear. Walter didn't have a specific specie, he was the specie of whatever suit he happened to wear. Each of them also had a history and personality he adopted while he wore them. I'd asked him once how he'd come up with all of them and his reply was that the suit just told him. I never understood how he could just come up with that from looking at a fursuit. He came out of his closet wearing his wolf suit. Its short fur was ash grey with a lighter mane, almost silver. There was some padding under the fur making Walter look bulkier. The wolf's head covered his head entirely. Dark grey triangular ears with silver tip on top, yellow coloured eyes which I knew from wearing it once before were transparent and a long muzzle make him look completely inhuman. His hands had black claws at the end of the fingers and black pad on the palm. From having asked around I knew a suit like this cost over a thousand dollars, the fur didn't feel synthetic and the proportions weren't exaggerated. It took a lot of work to get a suit that didn't end up looking like a cartoon character or a sport mascot. The only thing breaking the illusion was Walter's erect pink cock and balls against the grey fur. Walter had tried to find a way to get a sheath made to give his cock a look that would match the suit, but no one had managed to make one that both looked right and that he could have sex with so he made do without. When he wore the wolf Walter was in charge. The wolf was the Alpha of the pack, the one who made the decision, the one who dominated. I did stop him from turning the camera on. Walter argued that we'd filmed ourselves during sex before, but I'd always been wearing a suit then. This was me now. I wasn't going to make a spectacle of myself. He took out his disappointment on me. It was a rather fun night.

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