It had been a long and tiring week. Lance was tired of fighting with people especially those he had thought of as friends or family. His parents weren’t rich per say but they were influential. They had clout. His so called friends were living life for titles and power. He couldn’t stand it; his week had been going very well until he got together with Steven at the beginning of the week, when Steven got him drunk. So drunk he confessed his love for Steven. What had started as a good week ended just as fast as it had started. Lance was packed up by Stevens servant and ushered to his parents car, where their driver drove him home and dumped him at the end of his driveway, just as someone would dump their trash.
Monday was just as eventful. Upon arrival at school he went to stand with his friends to see they knew or not. Knowing was such an understatement. He was told to get away from them because they didn’t know him. His entire day was a disaster either from other students whispering about him, or tripping him, shoulder checking or worse. But nothing compared to when he arrived home. After stepping off the bus he knew something was up considering most of his stuff was pilled up on the lawn.
“Mom, what's going on?” Lance asked as he walked up to his mother.
Turning to look at him with sad eyes. “Your father has arranged for you to move in with your aunt Jess. Honey, I still love you but your father is being beyond unreasonable. He’s afraid your going to cause him issues with his friends, if you stay here.”
“Why is my stuff in the lawn?” Lance asked softly.
“Your father is removing your taint from the house. Before you infect the family.” his mother said as she started to cry.
“Your aunt Jess should be here shortly and she said ya’ll would be packed up within an hour.” His father said as he approached. “Once your packed, I don’t want you to ever return.” then just as soon as he appeared he was gone.
“Mom, where is my computer?” Lance asked with tears running down his face.
Donna turned slowly and pointed at a pile of scrap, “I tried to stop him but I was too late.”
At that moment Lance noticed the bruise on his mothers neck. “Did he hurt you mom?”
“Honey, I’ll be fine. Just promise me you’ll listen to Aunt Jess. She will protect you like you are her own.” Donna reached out to pull her son into a hug. “Ah, your Aunt’s here.” Donna broke the hug and pointed to the U-haul and three muddy pickup trucks.
Jess was watching the exits and spotted the one she needed. “There we go. Won’t be long till you get to meet your cousin Lance.”
“Mom, he’s not really my cousin since you adopted me.” Trevor stated looking out the window.
“Trev, are you my son?” Jess asked knowing Trevor was afraid of getting displaced do to a blood family member coming to live with them.
“Yes, but he is blood family. And well I’m also not what most families want either.” Trevor said with a tremble to his voice.
“Boy, I have told you many times, over and over. You love who you love!” Jess said wondering if she would ever get him to crack his shell. “I’m just hoping you and Lance can be friends. He has gone through a lot this week.”
“I can’t guarantee anything Mom, but I’ll try.” Trevor said with a smile forming on his face. “Holy crap, who lives there?” Trevor asked as they pulled up to what he could only suspect was a three story mansion.
“Lance, up until an hour ago.” Jess said with a sad smile as she looked at everything in the yard. “Lets get him loaded up and on the road home.”
Getting out of the U-haul Jess looked at her other sons pulling up in their trucks. Once they were out. “Guys, go grab the bags and totes and start packing up his stuff. I’m gonna check on him and we will do the introductions once we are back at the hotel.”
The guys looked around, followed by a chorus of “Yes, mom” was heard as they started packing everything up.
Jess walked over to Donna and hugged her sister and then almost lost her temper. “Did he do this to you?”
“I’ll just say I fell down the stairs and you can piece it together.” Donna’s sad smile told it all.
“Do I have to get rid of him for you?” Jess asked above a whisper.
“What good would that do? I need you to take care of my son, not get arrested for killing that bastard I’m married too.” Donna said with fresh tears rolling. “I went earlier and took care of this for you.” Donna handed over an envelope, you’ll need this to register him for school and to be able to take him to the doctor.”
“How did you get all of the custody paper work so fast.” Jess asked perplexed looking at all the paper work.
“It was easier since I have been working on custody paper work for a little over three months. I had a suspicion something like this was going to happen sooner or later.” Donna said smiling at Lance who was totally lost watching strangers picking up his stuff and sorting it.
Jess noticed a look on Jake’s face as he walked up. “Donna let me go see what Jake needs I’ll be right back.”
“Jake, honey what's wrong?” Jess asked looking at her oldest son.
“Mom, can I PLEASE go beat the shit out of his sperm donor? He broke, ripped or pissed on anything he thought would hurt his son.” Jake asked looking visibly pissed.
“No, hun. Just go ahead and gather it all up and we will break the news to Lance and then once we get to the hotel we can take him to get some clothes and any thing else you think he will need.” Jess said and then pull her oldest in for a hug to try and calm him down.
“Mom, I’m sure he will experience culture shock. He don’t have any work clothes or outdoor clothes.” Jake said shaking his head. “I’m just hoping we don’t scare him, hell even Trevor is bigger than him.”
“He will be fine. I know y’all may look like a troop of big hicks but when it comes to family, I know we will pull him in just fine.” Jess said looking over to Lance who had sat down on the driveway and had begun to cry as his mother had been escorted inside by the bastard.
“Mom, do you see what I see?” Jake said looking over to Trevor.
Trevor looked at this cute guy who just broke down and his heart melted. Slowly before he had even noticed. He began walking over to this guy. In moments he was kneeling in front of him. “Hey cutie, are you alright?” he took in a sharp breath as he realized what he said.
Without looking up, “My life is falling apart. There is nothing salvageable in all the stuff on the lawn, I knew my father would trash my stuff. I’m alone all my friends dumped me. I’m about to move in with family, I have never met.” Lance let out a devastated wail, before continuing. “I just wish I was dead. My best friend told me when I kissed him, all fags need to die.”
Trevor gently scooped up Lance and walked over to the nearest truck bed and sat down gently rocking Lance. “No, I really don’t want you to give up and give those bastards what they want. Just calm down and sit here for as long as you need, while we clean this up and get you relocated.” Trevor just leaned in and began rocking Lance and whispering encouraging words to him as they sat there.
Trevor looked up from holding Lance to notice, his new brothers and mother had stopped to look at him with a smile. Finally understanding he was part of the family not just an added burden. Nodding to them he watched as they all turned and went back to cleaning up the mess. After a few moments he could tell Lance was sleeping, he wondered if he had slept since this all began.
Curt walked up to Trevor to check on them and noticed his cousin was out cold. “Hey Trevor, you done good. Lets go ahead and load him up in the backseat of Jake’s truck and you can sit with him to make sure he’s alright.” smiling as he watched Trevor gently begin moving to keep from waking up Lance.
Robin, walked over to his mother once they had everything cleaned up. “Mom we are done here. Where shall we go now?” Robin said still upset because they couldn’t go beat the crap out of Lances sperm donor.
“Lets head over to the Denny’s we stopped at earlier today and then we can go by the Walmart and grab him some clean clothes so he will have something clean for tomorrow. Then we will hit the hotel get a good nights rest and start our drive home after we empty the U-haul and drop it off.” Jess said looking over to Jake’s truck where Curt and Jake were looking in the backseat while playfully teasing each other.
Robin looked over to his brothers smiled and then let out a low whistle. “Come on guys, Denny’s from earlier and then Walmart, followed by hotel.” Smiling he watched his brothers separate and head to their trucks to begin the drive.
“Jake are you all right you seem tense” Trevor asked from the backseat as he continued to play with Lances hair.
“I’m just hoping Lances father never steps foot in our neck of the woods.” Jake said in a cold fury “He will never make it out of the hollow alive or dead.”
“Guys, as much as you would like to remove him from the world, it would cause me to lose you.” Lance said at a whisper. “I can’t loose the last of my family after coming to get my runt ass.”
“Lance, we won’t be going anywhere. We protect one another, ask Trevor later how we work?” Jake said with emphasis although at a low level. “We’re here!”
With the announcement Lance sat up and immediately wanted to run away.
“Why are you shaking?” Trevor asked Lance.
“Y’all can go in; I’ll wait right here.” Lance said mostly in to Trevor’s chest.
“Please tell me what's wrong?” Trevor asked softly while Jake went and let Jess know there might be a problem with dinner here.
“Steven is here” Lance said slowly pointing to his ex best friend.
Jake walked back to the truck to see if Lance would go in. “We can eat here and I promise nothing will happen or we can go find another restaurant” Jake said eyeing the young man.
Denny’s moments earlier
“Guys maybe we should pack up and go.” Steven said looking at the U-haul with disgust. “Looks like a Hillbilly rampage is about to occur.”
“Oh, for the love of it Steven, can’t you just learn to keep stuff to yourself?” Mark asked looking over to the new comers. “Don’t you think you started enough shit this week?”
“I’m with Mark, I think you’ve fucked up enough lives this month.” James said noticing what Mark was staring at.
“So what one less fag in the school, besides he knew I didn’t like them. He should have just keep his cool and not said shit.” rolling his eyes, Steven caught what had their attention. “Really, can’t even have a meal without him here too.”
“Look, your ruining the mood here why don’t you pack up and go home, if it’s not too much trouble for you?” James said hoping he would take the hint.
“Fine whatever, just don’t call me when you need a ride home.” Steven said as he got up. As he walked toward the door he suddenly thought he should shoulder check his ex best friend.
Just as he got into range of Lance, a few things happened. Jake walked in front of Steven daring the shrimp to try it and everyone else surrounded Lance. Trevor walked up behind Lance slowly wrapping his arms over Lance’s chest in a very protective stance.
Jake stood there looking down at this lowlife piece of shit. “Excuse me, but how about backing away from my cousin before you need to have your braces removed from your ass!” Jake said loud enough to get the managers attention and cause Steven to pale.
“Whatever, he ain't worth my time.” Steven spoke as he turned and passed everyone on his way out.
Everyone turned in time to see the manager walk over to the door and put the closed sign up. “I’m sorry y’all had to see him. He’s the owners son and a real piece of work.” He stated as he ushered the new group to one of the larger tables. “I’ll be right back, I need to call them.”
“Howdy, Janet. I just wanted to give you a heads up, he’s at it again and he left his friends here again.” Dan said barely above a whisper as to not cause more of a scene than Steven had.
“Dan, I be there shortly and don’t let them wander off.” Janet said without giving reference to which group she had meant. “Bye, for now.”
Dan just hung up the receiver with a chuckle and went back to check on his customers.
Mark and James watched as the large group walked past them, the look of terror in Lance’s eyes made them both regret the actions of the clique and for not standing up for him, when he really needed them.
“Mark, I really think we need to talk to them.” James said as he looked to the table thinking about his actions over the last week.
“James, I don’t think they will let us” Mark said pointing to the pack of brothers who keep stealing glances their way.
“I really think we need to take the chance.” James said as he stood up and grabbed his brothers hand.
“Hey!, looks like we are about to have visitors” Curt said while gently putting an elbow in Jake’s ribs.
“Wow, they really look scared. Maybe we should smile?” Jake said as he put an exaggerated smile on his face. Instantly he stopped when he realized instead of disarming the duo, he might have made them crap themselves as they really started walking funny.
“Jake, when you smile with the predatory grin it tends to scare, normal people.” Robin said while sliding over to make room for the newcomers. Then thinking better of it he stood up walked over to the duo. “Hello, I get the feeling ya’ll might know our cousin. Come on over and join the group. We don’t tend to bite newcomers.” Robin said letting out a chuckle at the end. “Unless, you like it!”
“Really, Robin you just had to go and make em blush!” Trevor said looking between Lance and the duo walking over. Lance wasn’t even watching them just looking at his menu and humming like he was trying to find his happy place.
“Hey guy, sit down take a load off. Then when your ready we can talk about whatever is on your minds.” Jess said looking at the newcomers who sat down next to Robin.
James found his voice first. “Um, we really need to apologize for not standing up for Lance. We are suppose to be his friends and we sure haven’t acted like it this week.” James said first with an even voice and slowly progressed in to a shaky voice and tears running down his face.
“James is right, friends are meant to be there when the shit hits the fan.” Mark said with tears rolling down his face looking at his lap.
Lance surprised everyone when he stood up walked around to them and hugged them both. “How could you even think of standing up to him when he is always flaunting his homophobia around?” Lance said while dragging Trevor over. “This is Trevor, he is part of my new family.”
Shocked he had been singled out and confused as to why; all Trevor could muster was a faint “Hello”
Jess looked out the window at a car pulling in sideways like their asses were on fire. “Robin, looks like we might need another table” Jess said pointing at the three people trying to get out of the car at once.
“Mom, surely they aren’t here for anyone at this table.” Robin said watching as Lance tried to actively hug the stuffings out of James and Mark.
The manager walked up to the table and asked “Excuse me, but would it be alright if we added a couple more tables so everyone can be more comfortable?” Dan said watching Jess who was busy watching the three people trying to unlock the door.
“If you don’t mind, I don’t have a problem adding more tables and chairs.” Jess said gently so the guys knew everything would be fine and not go on the defensive.
Once all the tables and chairs were in place the manager introduced himself. “By the way my name is Dan, Dan Henry and those two are my stepson’s.”Dan said pointing to Mark and James. “This is my future wife Tilly Markson.”
“They are your son’s is the proper introduction. I don’t want to hear the word step in any introductions. You are their father for all intents a purposes.” Tilly said while hugging her husband to be and
continuing the introductions. “This is Janet and Jacob Murdock, they are the parents of the arrogant teenager who just left.”
“We are sorry if our son has caused any trouble. We haven’t got a clue whats got in to him.” Jacob said then noticed Lance staring at him. “Lance, why are you here?”
Everyone at the table watched as Lance’s face turned to a blotchy spotted red color and began getting upset. “What am I doing here! I HAVE BEEN KICKED OUT OF MY HOME BECAUSE OF YOUR SON!!! I HAVE NOTHING BECAUSE OF HIM AND MY FATHER!” Lance got out before Trevor turned him around and gave him a hug and kissed his forehead to get him to stop screaming.
“Our U-haul is full of everything he owned, but his father ruined all of it.” Jess said as she knelt beside Trevor and Lance, slowly bringing Lance in to a hug. “I’m his Aunt Jess, we will be taking him with us back to Hedley Hollow. His mother apparently figured something like this would happen.”
Janet, looked around the restaurant noticing it was just themselves, “Jacob, would you and Dan go ahead and fix us up a nice filling meal.” while waving around the table. “Jess, can I borrow you once your charge has untangled himself from you?”
“Jess, I’m fine. See what she needs.” Lance said weakly as he went back to sit down, except he crawled in to Trevor’s lap to seek comfort.
“Trevor, you’re lucky.” Mark said just above a whisper.
Jake got up walked around the table to Mark, and pulled him into a bear hug and whispered into his ear. “Your day will come along and you will have the person you need and want. But just remember they haven’t made anything official.” pointing to the two hugging each other for dear life.
Jess turned in time to see Curt had pulled James into a warm hug of friendship.
Jess, Janet and Tilly stood looking into the truck. “Just makes me want to go drop him in a fucking New York rat infested tunnel, covered in rat food.” Tilly said looking at Lance’s worldly possessions lying trashed in containers.
“Janet, go ahead and start making a list of sizes and we can go tomorrow and get him some clothes.” Tilly said while trying to keep her feelings in check.
“We are planning on getting him some temporary clothes tonight at the local Wal-mart. But we will be taking him Saturday to get his new wardrobe for the Hollow, boots, flannel shirts and work pants.” Jess said causing the other two parents to stop and look at her like she had two heads. “I just wish we knew someone who could retrieve his files off his computer.” pointing at the scrap in a box.
“We can have Dan look at it tonight, he ran his own computer shop up until last year.” Tilly said her look bouncing between rage looking at the computer and dreaminess thinking about Dan. “He may seem like a simple guy, but he is so much more. I just love him and the boys absolutely love him to death.”
After twenty minutes Dan came out the back door of the restaurant, “Wash up and lets all enjoy a good meal.” Dan said while looking at the mess in the U-haul. He spotted the computer sitting to the side. “Please tell me this isn’t his computer? He saved up for over a year to purchase it.” Dan said visibly pissed off.
“Actually, it is his computer we were going to see if you could salvage any of his files off of it?” Tilly said as she walked up and gave Dan a hug.
“I have all of the specs for his system on my server at the house. Plus we had set him up with an online backup when he purchased the system. If it was connected to the service still we should be able to restore all of his files and regain access to all his accounts.” Dan said causing everyone to have a deer in headlights look. “Sorry forgot y’all don’t speak geek.”
“Just let me know what we owe you, once you have a look at it.” Jess said with a smile.
“Not so fast. If there is a bill we have it covered.” Jacob said from the door. “Our son caused this, we have this and its final.”
“Lets go in and eat before the boys come get us.” Jess said knowing Jake would be next out the door.
“Hey, once we have Lance setup and adjusted to the hollow do y’all want to come and spend a week visiting.” Jake asked with a grin showing. He was thinking how these two brothers could use some time to visit their friend and give their parents some space so they could bond as husband and wife.
“Really, you mean it?” Mark squealed as he ran for Jake. “So we could hang out and learn about where Lance will be living.”
“Little dude, he wouldn’t has ask if he didn’t mean it.” Curt said, getting a curious look from everyone.
“Surfer does not sound right coming from you, Brother.” Robin said with a twisted look on his face.
“I’m sorry, just figured I try something different.” Curt said softly, as a brief flash of hurt showed on his face.
“Curt, I wasn’t trying to hurt your feelings. It just sounds oddly forced.” Robin said as he walked around the table and hugged his brother. Only to be surprised when James, Mark, Lance and Trevor joined the hug.
“I can’t wait till we get back to the Hollow. Lance you will love the horses and you’ll love all the neighbors.” Trevor said while holding on to Lance. “Besides, they might have the expansion on the house finished when we get back.”
“Horses, we had some up until the bastard made us sell them.” Lance said with excitement, slowly turning to sadness as he remembered watching his horses being taken away. “I miss Lucky and Numbers.”
Jake noticed the odd look crossing Trevor’s face, and held his finger up to shush Trevor from saying what he was thinking.
“Lance when we get back you can have any two horses you want, you just have to be willing to help take care of them.” Jake said while still hugging Mark whom made himself at home in his lap.
“Jake, he took care of Lucky and Numbers by himself before the bastard got rid of the horses.” Mark said shyly then added. “We helped too until we were told we couldn’t come over.”
“I’ve been wanting to know why that is?” Lance asked Mark who turned around and hugged Jake more.
Jake looked down to Mark on his chest. “We can talk about it later.” while shaking his head toward Lance who became very concerned.
Dan walked out of the kitchen looked at the table. “Guys I could use some help getting dinner on the table.” Instantly, James and Mark went to help their Dad, followed by Jake, Robin and Curt.
“What would you like us to do Dad” James said causing Dan to smile brightly.
“If you and your brother will set up plates, silverware and glasses” Sure thing Dad; Mark said causing him to smile even brighter.
“What can I help with?” Curt asked causing Dan to jump a little bit.
“If you will put these metal table protectors evenly over the tables so everyone can have a pan in front of them so we wont be ferrying food back and forth all night.” Dan said explaining to Curt.
“I can definitely do it, we have the same set of these at the house.” Curt said smiling as to not cause the shorter man to jump.
“Jake, If you will take these containers and place them on the table. We will begin bringing out the main dish.” Dan pointed to Jacob and Tilly.
“Robin, we put together several pitchers of drinks. If you can bring those over to the table.” Jacob said as he walked past Robin smiling.
“Mom, what are we having tonight?” Mark asked suspecting he already knew.
“Spaghetti and meatballs, toast and any beverage sitting on the table you would like.” Tilly said with a smile as she watched Lance look right at her. “We thought Lance would enjoy having his favorite meal to help cheer him up.”
“I don’t think we have enough people for this much Spaghetti.” Lance said while waving his hand at the six large pots.
“Nonsense, four bottomless pit teenagers, three big hick brothers and five famished adults, we can finish it all up safely.” Jess said pointing to each group.
Jess slowly pulled Jake’s truck in to the parking spot wishing she had brought her Jeep. “We’re here, Come on lets go inside get checked in and cleaned up and hit the hay.”
“Mom, I’ll carry him in.” Jake said looking at Lance who was so exhausted he had passed out.
“Curt, make sure we get all our necessities out and in the rooms.” Jess said hoping to get everyone in and ready to sleep shortly.
Walking in Jess had a bad feeling just looking at everyone standing in the lobby. Walking up to the counter she noticed the front desk clerk looked highly stressed. “Hello, My name is Jess Hedley. I have a reservation for six.”
“Yes, let me have a look.” The young man said while checking the computer. “Hopefully the system hasn’t overbooked your group too.”
Jess put a hand up to her boys to keep them quite and let them know there might be a problem.
“Ah, here it is. Looks like your rooms have been upgraded by the owner. Your actually in the Blue Suite on the tenth floor.” The young clerk said while making the keys. “You will need to scan your key on the elevator as well as your suite door.”
Slightly confused Jess asked “Who owns the hotel? How much will our room cost now?”
“Mr Murdock called earlier and asked for the rooms to be upgraded and comped.” Daniel said looking at the notes. “He said not to argue and enjoy your stay.”
“Daniel, would Mr Murdock be a Jacob Murdock?” Jess asked with a knowing smile.
“Yes, his name is Jacob. He also wanted me to give you this envelope. Open it when your in the room.” Daniel said hoping she would comply.
Once they had arrived at their suite Jess decided to open the envelope inside was a note typed out presumably by the front desk clerk and nearly two thousand dollars. Jess started reading the note aloud.
We have returned the U-haul to our company and refunded your deposit and payment. We have also comped your rooms for tonight. Plus we felt Lance needed help getting settled in. After talking with Dan and Tilly, we feel Lance is going to need a few friends around for the next several days, Now you can say no and we will understand. But, we feel he will need emotional support a lot of it. Plus this cash will help with clothing and anything you think he will need. Just remember Dan is building him a computer to replace his setup, so he will need a computer desk and chair.
Call us at the number we gave you any time.
Janet and Jacob Murdock”
Jess looked over to Lance to find he was out cold and latched on to Jake. Trevor was just taking photo’s of them. Robin was out cold on the couch. “Curt, Trevor do y’all want to ride to the Wal-mart with me to get some clothes for him?”
“I’m in” Trevor said simply.
“It’s already nine so we better hurry, especially since they aren’t twenty four hour anymore.” Curt said being the realist.
“Curt let’s take your truck.” Jess said wanting to ride a smooth ride.
“Mom, you can drive.” Curt said tossing her the keys.
Wal-mart fifteen minutes later
“Guys while we are here you have a list remember to purchase a size above and below and the actual size. Because we don’t know how the clothes will fit him. Plus, I am going to see about a computer desk and chair to have shipped to the house.” Jess said handing them both a list “Also if you see something you think he would want snap a photo of it and we will decide together.”
“Got it” Curt said as he grabbed a buggy and almost marched to the men’s clothing section.
“What limit would you like me to stop at?” Trevor said looking at Jess timidly.
“Trev, your card will allow you to spend fifteen thousand, however I really don’t expect you to purchase that much stuff. But, I do expect you to purchase whatever you think he will need for at least a week. Then once we get home and he gets accustomed to the hollow we will go as a family and really let loose on everything he needs.”
Trevor walked over to Jess and wrapped her in a hug. “Thank you, for being here for him and me, mom.”
Arrival to Hedley Hollow
Jake pulled off the old state road and turned down a narrow road. “Lance welcome to Hedley Hollow.” Jake said rather loudly in an attempt to wake up the sleeping Lance.
“huh, what… I swear I got an A on it…” Lance said groggily while almost squeezing the air out of Trevor.
“Jake, don’t” Trevor winced out as he began rubbing circles on Lance’s back. “God, I would have never thought he would have a grip so strong.”
Jake looked in the mirror at Trevor’s face and stated softly “looks like we have a lot of work to do. He’s probably going to jump anytime someone talks to him.” Jake said while thinking about how loud everyone talks at the ranch. “See if you can wake him up without too much work.”
Jess looked over at the field to the right and remember the horses. “Son, go ahead and put on the flasher and pull over by the fence. We can at least introduce him to our horses.”
Trevor was shocked as Lance sat straight up at the mention of horses. “Horse’s, I love horse’s. How many do you have?”
“We currently have twenty three. But we are expecting one to be born soon.” Jess said with a smile.
Once the truck pulled up to a stop. Lance was out the door like a rocket it didn’t matter the sun was just starting to rise. He was up on the fence. “How do you call your horses?”
“Mom, normally whistles for them.” Trevor said slightly gloomy.
“Why do you sound so sad?” Lance looked over to his new protector.
“I can’t whistle” Trevor said while kicking his boot at the fence.
The world seemed to come to a halt as Lance let out the loudest ear splitting whistle Trevor had ever heard. “Well at least we will never need to get you a rape whistle.” Robin said holding his ears. Then realizing he said it aloud. “Um, forget I said it.”
“Robin, really son he maybe small but he will never need to fear anyone touching him.” Jess said shaking her head. “Remember, Jake is wanting him to workout with you.”
All chatter stopped as Trevor was almost knocked down as Lance scrambled across the fence. Screaming at the top of his lungs running. “Lucky, Oh my god! Is it you? This can’t be!” he slowed down once the horse was in ten feet of him. Walking up slowly he began walking around this horse. His horse, Lucky. He was so preoccupied hugging Lucky, he didn’t notice Numbers walking up till she put her nose on his neck. He spun around slowly and took in this lovely wonderful horse. “Numbers, oh my goodness, I’ve missed you so much!”
Jess walked up to the fence and told the brothers to wait for her and Trevor to return. She crossed the fence like an expert and walked up to Trevor who was at a loss for words. “He will still want you. He just got his best friends back.” Jess said as she patted Trevor’s shoulder. “Come on lets go check on him because we still have to get him settled in and take care of morning duties.”
They arrived beside Lance at the same time as a young colt. “Well now I don’t have to ask Tom about if she carried.” Trevor mumbled quietly looking at the colt.
Lance turned around as Numbers went over and began inspecting her baby. “Who is this?” Lance first asked Numbers and then spun around waiting for someone to answer.
Jess bumped Trevor to get him to answer. Lance caught the exchange and walked over to Trevor. “What were you planning on naming this little one?” Lance asked gently while holding Trevor’s hand in his hand in his while rubbing it.
“I had thought of naming it Hadley. But they were your horses first so it wouldn’t be right for me to name it.” Trevor said quietly looking at the ground.
Lance attempted to raise Trevor’s chin, but as he leaned forward while standing on his tiptoes he fell forward into Trevor. This in turn caused Trevor to loose his footing and balance, causing them both to fall. Trevor of course landed on his back in horse shit, with Lance sitting on his stomach. Soon as the laughter from the fence started it stopped with one look from Jess.
“I just wanted to tell you, I liked the name. But it appears we will need a shower.” Lance said with an apologetic smile. Turning toward Jess, Lance noticed she was already back at the fence and the three brothers looked like they were all in trouble.
“I could so get use to having you with me like this.” Trevor said with a small smile and a glimmer in his eyes. “Minus the pile of shit I’m laying in.”
“Two things, the colt will be named Hadley and when we get home, do I get to help give you a shower for making you dirty?” Lance said with a bright flush on his face.
Without warning the fence line broke out with a chorus. “Yes, I knew it. Did he actually ask?”
Lance slowly got up and tried to help Trevor up only to fall on his ass in a pile of shit with Trevor on top of him. “Guys, we might need a little help.” Trevor said with a chuckle while checking to make sure he didn’t crush Lance.
First, Jake walked over to help Trevor up. Followed by Robin assisting Lance up. “Ya’ll are riding on the tailgate till we get back to the house.” Jake said while looking the two over. “Trevor, Lance remember one thing. We will never disown you for being gay, we will never hate you for being who you are.”
“We love you both, just listen to each other and try not to hurt one another.” Robin said as he went to pat Trevor’s back and then remembering he was covered in horse shit and stopped just in time.
Jess walked up hugged Lance. “And there ain’t no one in this community who will pick on the two of you for being yourselves.”
“Guys, go hop on the tailgate of Curt’s truck. Just in case you fall off, no one accidentally gets run over” Jess said trying to stifle the giggles she was fighting looking at the two of them holding hands walking to the truck covered in fresh shit. “Remember when we get to the house strip before entering.”
Curt put the tailgate down on his truck. “Remember, Hold on to this rope to help from falling out.” Curt said wondering if he would need to pick them up a few times.
Curt hopped back in the truck and eased back up on to the road. “So, I been meaning to ask, would you be interested in dating?” Trevor asked looking down for a brief moment then looking in to Lances eyes.
“I’m very interested in dating you.” Lance said still holding his gaze. “But are you sure? We have only just met?”
“I really like you Lance and I know its very sudden.” Trevor said as the bile started biting the back of his throat.
“Yes.” Lance simply stated while squeezing Trevor’s hand.
Just as suddenly as the truck had started moving, it seemed as if no time had passed and they were stopping.
“Trevor, go get showered and take Lance. Try to hurry and not play too much.” Jess said then realized it might have sounded too harsh by the looks she got from them both.
Walking to the back door Trevor stopped at the Mud rack and began striping, as he got about half way through he realized Lance wasn’t moving or striping. “Come on I don’t bite and you need a shower too.”
“Do you want to go first?” Lance asked timidly while holding on to his underwear like his life depended on it.
“We can go together or I can strip and then strip you, if you don’t mind?” Trevor said with a thumb in his waist band.
Before anything else could be said Lance stepped toward Trevor and gently tugged his own underwear down as if presenting himself for inspection. Trevor could see the fear hidden behind those wonderful blue eyes. Taking the hint he to removed his underwear and presented himself. Gently, Trevor pulled Lance in to a hug and then calmly stated. “Calm down, remember we are here for a shower, maybe a little more, maybe not.” When they entered the shower is when Trevor spotted it. “Honey, what is this scar from” as he ran his finger down Lance’s back. The response was instant as Lance began to quake.
“I wasn’t listening to him at the barn. I was petting the horses instead of listening.” Lance said as he started to slide down the shower wall in a ball.
“MOM!” thundered through out the house as Trevor sat down and pulled Lance into his lap.
A moment later Curt knocked on the door. “Is everything alright?” he said winded.
“NO, please get MOM!” Trevor spoke the fear in his voice evident. Just as the memories of his abusive father started slamming into his mind. He shook his mind free of it and started telling Lance calming phrases to see if he would come out of whatever hellscape his mind had retreated too.
A moment passed and foot steps could be heard running up the stairs. “Trevor, can I come in?” Jess said quietly.
“Mom, come on in, I know you’ve seen me in the buff.” Trevor said still rocking Lance when he noticed he was out cold.
She entered the bathroom slowly as not to scare Lance and then realized he was out cold again. “What happened? Did he fall or something else?” she said looking at Trevor with a thin smirk.
“Nothing of the sort Mom, we had just entered the shower when I noticed this scar and I just blurted out the question of what it was before thinking. He said he wasn’t listening.” Trevor began hiccuping as he continued to tell Jess. “Do you think his father was like mine?”
Jess was beginning to see red. How could she have not suspected Lance had been ruffed up just like her sister. “I’m calling Dr Willis over.” Jess stated then pulled out her flip phone and began to dial. “Hey, Martin is there any chance you can come over and bring your evidence kit?” She started nodding like he was standing next to her talking. “Oh and ask Robbie to come over too.” Once the call was finished she looked at Trevor. “Lets get him all washed up. Do you need me to help or have you got him?”
“I think I can get him all cleaned up, if you can hand me a washcloth I’ll get started.” Trevor said slowly rubbing Lances stomach and asking him to wake up.
Jess was sitting on the porch swing looking at Hadley running around playing with his mother while trying to keep her temper from exploding. “How in the world, can she ask me to not act on her husbands treatment of people?” Jess said to no one other than the wind.
“Mom, whats wrong? You never sit on this porch without a reason.” Jake asked as him and his brothers all walked up the steps and took a seat around her.
“Trevor asked about a scar on Lances back.” Jess said while looking down and rubbing her temples. “He said he wasn’t listening and then sat in the shower and curled up in a ball.”
“Did you call Martin?” Jake asked as his veins began to pulse in his forehead.
“Yes, as well as Robbie” Jess spoke as if on auto pilot. “They will be here shortly.”
“I have a feeling, we might need to call Tilly. Just because of how Mark and James behaved at the restaurant.” Curt said remembering how they both were terrified. “Remember, how they both freaked out about helping with the horses.”
“I’ll talk to Tilly and Dan when they arrive later with James and Mark.” Jess said still rubbing her temples. Jess turned toward the driveway and noticed Lucky standing at the edge of the fence. “I get the feeling Lucky knows what's going on.” Jess said pointing at Lucky.
Minivan to Nowhere
Mark was occupied looking out the window, watching the trees fly by as Dan drove them to the Hollow. James looked at all the bags in the back row seats thinking about everything Lance had been through over the last few days. “Mom, how much further?”
“To be honest the GPS shows another ten minutes till we get there.” Tilly said while looking out the window. “But the way Dan is hauling ass, I think more like three minutes.”
“You say it like I’m the only one who drives this fast.” Dan said teasing Tilly, knowing she had some big tickets for her driving.
“I sure your about to get yourself a ticket now!” Tilly said pointing at the Police car heading their way.
“Let me go ahead and pull over.” Dan said slightly upset.
The officer pulled up beside them and rolled down the window. “Ya’ll folks aren’t from around here.” the sheriff said looking at Dan with a smile. “Where are you heading to?”
“We are heading to Hedley Hollow.” Dan said a little shocked. “To Jess Hedley’s place.”
“You missed the turn about a mile and a half back. Go ahead and whip a u-turn and follow me, and do try and keep up.” The sheriff said knowing they might have a little trouble.
“Alright, I can keep up.” Dan said with a grin.
Everyone looked up when the driveway alarm went off twice in a row. “You don’t think they took separate cars again?” Curtis asked walking toward the monitor
“Nah, Martins car is in the shop.” Jake said looking up the driveway.
“I recognize Martin and Robbie in the first car.” Curt said while adjusting the camera view. “Ma, Tilly, Dan and the boys are here.”
“Good, Jake go check on Trevor and Lance see if they are presentable.” Jess said while still rubbing her temples. “I swear, I just want to yank Fenwick through a shredder by his balls.”
“Wow mom, tell us how you really feel.” Robin said trying to ease his moms tension.
“Robin, I’ll tell you later when we don’t have the sheriff here.” Jess said still upset.
“You’re dried off now, so let see if anything fits” Trevor said pointing his arm around at the bags.
“Trevor, I sorry your having to keep up with me.” Lance said still in his depressed stupor.
Trevor walked up and gently raised Lance’s face up so they could see eye to eye. “Lance, I care about you. I would walk through the fires of hell to be with you. Please stop shutting me out, I am here with you from now until you’ve grown tired of me.” Trevor spoke gently while looking directly in to Lance’s eyes.
A flicker of a smile briefly flashed across Lance’s face. “I will try to not shut you out any more, it’s just difficult considering everything which has went on over the last few days. I really want us to be boy friends.” Lance stumbled over his words. “Lets seal it with a kiss.”
Trevor bent down and Lance leaned forward just as their lips touched the door swung open. “Whoops, sorry guys. Looks like I need to practice knocking.” Jake said noticing they weren’t even paying him any attention.
As the kiss broke. Lance noticed Jake smiling at the door, like the bird which ate the canary. “Um, Jake.” Lance started then remembered he was still standing in his birthday suit. “Guess, I better get dressed.”
“Might be advisable, we have company in bound.” Jake said still smiling at the two of them. “Tilly and her bunch are chasing the sheriff down the driveway at ninety miles per hour.”
“How do you know how fast?” Lance asked allowed.
“The ranch has a camera system to alert us of any one slipping in from the back entrance.” Trevor said realizing he had cut off Jake.
“Exactly, however it is a little more complicated than a camera system.” Jake said with a devilish grin. “Our system can track people from the time they enter the property till the time they leave. Either here on the ranch or in the hollow.”
“So your saying this system has an analytics processor.” Lance said causing Jake to look lost.
“Yes, you are correct. This system is a prototype of the system our company sells.” Jake said with a little surprise. “Before we get in to an all day conversation about the system, remember we have visitors in bound. So get dressed.” Jake said and walked out of the room.
“Wonder if Martin is ready to kiss the ground yet?” Curt asked looking at the two vehicles approaching extremely fast.
“More than likely cause Robbie’s signature stunt is the blues brothers parking job.” Jess said watching as Robbie spun the truck in to the spot only to be followed by Dan imitating the maneuver in a minivan. “Tilly might need a stiff drink to follow that parking job.”
Everyone was quite while watching to see who was going to win the hurl off first. The surprise was Tilly and the boys where laughing like they were at an amusement park and Dr Martin was sitting very calm in the truck.
As Martin stepped out of the truck. “Robbie, I think your losing your touch.”
“Nah, you’ve just become accustomed to my excellent driving.” Robbie said as he unfolded out of the vehicle.
“Robbie, you need to ask the Sheriff for T-tops for your truck.” Robin said trying to figure out how he was able to drive with out his head rubbing the roof.
“Don’t worry about it, the way he keeps driving she may just give him a motorcycle and be done with it.” Martin joked hoping he didn’t go to far.
“To bad there isn’t a drag strip near by and a couple of cars available to race, I am sure my husband to be would love to race.” Tilly said pointing to Dan.
“We will see if we can arrange it later, right now I need to have a conversation with y’all” Jess said pointing to Dan and Tilly.
Jess led them into the room and closed the door. “Look, there is no way to gently say this; Lance has signs of physical abuse on his back and all the signs are there for verbal abuse.” Jess said swiftly and took a calming breath while holding up her hand as a sign to let her finish. “We are concerned your boys may have gotten ruffed up by the bastard too. They are showing some of the same signs, which Lance has shown over the last twelve hours.”
Dan turned to Tilly so he could follow her lead. “So you think Fenwick did something to our boys too?”
“Last night at Dinner both James and Mark were holding on for dear life to my sons. Most teens don’t react to new people by latching on.” Jess said trying to be delicate. “Lance has latched on to and claimed Trevor as his boyfriend or guardian.”
There was a knock at the door. “Mom, Martin is ready when you are.” Jake said loud enough to be heard through the door.
“I’m having our local doctor check out Lance today for signs of abuse, I know its not my place to ask but would you like him to check your boys over?” Jess asked afraid she was going to make enemies of her new friends.
“Jess, if anyone else would have asked I would have packed my wife to be and my sons up and left. But, lets ask them if they would be comfortable being checked out.” Dan said in a confident voice while looking straight in to Tilly’s eyes.
“I Second it. Lets call them in and see if they are up to being checked out?” Tilly said with pride beaming at her to be husband.
Jess got up from her chair and pressed a button on the mantle. “Jake will you bring Lance, James, and Mark upstairs please.”
“Sure thing mom.” Jake responded over the speaker. Moments later the boys were knocking on the door.
“Hey guys we have a few questions for y’all?” Jess said watching as everyone grabbed a seat. “So Lance after your breakdown earlier I called for Doctor Martin to come and check you over for signs of abuse. But, Jake suggested since James and Mark where showing signs last night we should have them checked over too. But you can say no if you want too.”
“Mom,” James started but then started hiccuping so Mark began.
“He can check us, but promise you won’t disown us afterwards?” Mark stated then copied his brother and claimed Jake’s other leg and leaned in for a hug.
“Oh, honey. We won’t disown anyone over something like this.” Tilly said instantly gaining her a lap full of kids.
“Can Trevor stay with me for the inspection?” Lance almost whispered.
“Normally, I would discourage it. But, it may help Trevor as well.” Jake said looking to his mother as if daring her to say no.
Jess knocked on the door to get Doc Martins attention. “Martin, they are ready and Lance has asked if Trevor could be with him?”
“Jess, as long as they understand Sheriff Robbie will be in here as well.” Martin said hoping she understood this could get very embarrassing.
“They understand. The rest of us will be walking around the property to give you space to work.” Jess said knowing this could get very stressful.
Meanwhile, on the fiftieth floor of Fenwick Enterprises
Looking up from a stack of paperwork Patrick noticed his wife standing in his office doorway. “What in the world has brought you here?” Patrick asked amazed his wife had the gall to show up here.
“I figured you would like to go to lunch with me. So we can talk.” Donna said not letting his tone bother her.
“Really, I was thinking we should just get a divorce.” Patrick said while looking over to his secretary. “Especially since we don’t have any kids and you cant have anymore.”
“Well if you want the divorce then you lose the position with this company as stated on our prenup.” Donna flashed a smile then started walking toward the elevator. “Or perhaps you would take me up on the lunch offer.”
Letting out an exasperated sigh Patrick got up and followed his wife to the elevator. “Karen; Cancel all my calls till I get back!”
As they entered the elevator Donna scanned her card twice and smiled a large shit eating grin at her husband. “So I hope you enjoy the last elevator ride ever!”
Patrick turned to run out, as the elevator slammed the doors shut. He watched as all the lights for the floors turned red and then heard the elevator breaks lock in to position. Once it locked then the motor fired up and the floor indicator showed the elevator was moving. “What have you done?” Patrick nearly screamed.
“I am only doing what needs to be done. I am tired of being your punching bag. And I damn well will not allow you to hurt anyone else again. Once the elevator shows its at the basement the emergency brakes will release and we will freefall, ending your life and mine.” Donna said calmly while looking at the indicator. “Three, Two, One, Ground, Basement…”
“You have to be one stupid bitch to believe you can kill us in this smart building!” Patrick screamed as he felt the brakes start to release.
“Who programmed the building sweetheart?” Donna said as the elevator began to plummet.
The elevator began to pick up speed as Donna and Patrick began to float in air.
The alarm system began wailing as an announcement began playing. “Everyone please exit the lobby if you are near Elevator C. This is not a Drill Please Exit the Lobby.”
Shortly after the sound of an explosion rocked the lobby.
Field Looking at the Horses
“Wow, I can’t believe how beautiful it is out here.” Tilly said as they walked through the pasture and down to the spring.
“To bad there isn’t a Denny’s down here in the hollow, I could always transfer if there was.” Dan said causing Tilly to look at him sideways.
“If you really want to consider moving here, I’ll build you a restaurant to run.” Tilly said then giggle at Dan’s expression.
“What do you mean?” Dan turned to Tilly “Surely we can’t afford to?”
“Yes, we can. Honey, I have tried to tell you several times but sit down.”
Dan found a nice rock and sat down and looked back to Tilly.
“Honey, I own three companies. A cruise ship company, a solar farm and an amusement park. We can move up here and we can start a restaurant or a computer business or anything else you could think of to run.” Tilly said trying to get the man she loves to understand.
“So you wouldn’t be mad if I wanted to run a small family diner in the middle of town?” Dan said with a smile and tears running down his cheeks.
“But do you think the boys would want to move up here?” Jess asked knowing the answer.
“We will ask once the doctor is finished with their exams and once we have found out how much crap the boys have been through?” Dan said remembering his sons were being examined.
The peace was ended as Jess’s phone started going off. “Let me get this.” Jess said and answered the phone. “Hello, this is Jess Hedley” after a few moments Jess’s knees became weak and Dan ran to catch her. “Yes, call me once you have all the details.”