Westpoint Tales

by Kiwi

Lost Years - 3

Nicholas & Conrad

"Nicholas! Nicholas, where the hell have you been? You get inside, Young Man! Inside right now! You go to your room and you bloody-well stay there!"

Justin looked at his friend and queried, "Your mother?"

"Yes," Nicholas sighed. "My mother. Drunk again."

"Stop talking to him! Don't you ever talk to him again. Bloody pervert! You heard me Boy! Get inside, right now!"

She grabbed him by the arm and threw him toward the open front door.

"Goodbye Superboy. Thank you."

Nicholas staggered in the door.

"Thank you? Thank you??? What the hell are you thanking him for? You stay away from him. You've only got one thing that he'd be interested in and it's not nice!"

"Mrs. Awatere, you've got it all wrong." Justin tried.

"That's Awatere-Jones to you, Pervert, and don't you forget it! You stay away from my boy. I know what you're after. Filthy Fagot!"

"It's nothing like that. I wouldn't do something like that."

"Of course you fucking would! You bloody Queers are all the same. All preying on good-looking young boys; trying to corrupt them and draw them into your dirty little world."

"I don't know what planet you're from, Lady, but I am not like that and I don't know anyone who is."

"You fucking are! You're all the same. You come anywhere near my boy again and I'll have the law onto you. He is 15. He's just 15. He's underage and that's illegal for what you want to do to him.

And he's Special Needs. He's a Dummy and he needs protecting from the likes of you!"

"Mrs. Awatere-Jones, I would never do anything to hurt Nicholas."

"I know what you'd do and you're not going to get a chance! I'm having a trespass order sworn out on you. If you come anywhere near this house again, if you even set foot in this street, you'll be in court before you know it. Don't think that your friends in the cops will save you - they can't. The law is the law."

"I. . .oh, whatever." Justin walked away. It was a waste of time trying to reason with a drunk. He should know that, he'd lived with enough of them.

Before he turned the corner, he looked back and saw Nicholas, at the window, watching him. Nicholas waved to him and he raised a hand in farewell. This brought a screech from the mother who rushed inside, screaming, and slammed the door.

"Damm. You poor little bugger. Fancy having to live with that."

He walked, sadly, home to tell Billy all about it. He expected that Billy would probably tell him off for getting involved in something like that.

Billy didn't; he just hugged him. "Oh, Sweetcheeks!"

Next morning, Sunday morning, at breakfast, Justin waited until Billy had come in and had his coffee. He'd learnt that that was the wise thing to do. Even Jeremy, at 4 years old, knew that it was best to wait until his father, and his grandmother, had had their morning coffees.

"Sunny, would you take us out for a drive this morning, please?"

"Sure thing. Where do you want to go?"

"Out to your mum's. I want to talk to Ross and Robert."

"Ross and Robert? What are you scheming?"

"Nothing really. I just want to talk to them. They're teenagers, they know that world better than we do now."

"I wouldn't bet on that. But - okay. Are we taking Jeremy with us?"

"Billy! Of course we are. You don't seriously think that it would be safe to arrive at your mum's , on a Sunday, without the number-one Grandson, do you?"

"I don't. That's why I asked. Eat up, Jeremy, we're going out to see your grandmother."

"All right! Thanks, Dads."

"Don't you two let that Cecily Mathieson go spoiling our boy," Kathleen growled. (She was still a bit grumpy then?)

"Wouldn't think of it, grandmother. He gets quite enough spoiling at home."

"You can't spoil a good boy and Jeremy's a very good boy. Aren't you, My Darling?"

"I'm always a good boy, Grandmother." Jeremy smiled his most angelic smile.

"Sure you are, scamp." Justin ruffled his hair. "When anyone's watching, you're good."

"We'll just have to watch him all the time then," said Billy. "Your cousins were ready to thump you last night."

"I'm not scared of Marty and Andy, I'll thump both of them!" Jeremy scowled.

"You will not, Jeremy," said Justin. "You be nice to your cousins, they're the best friends you've got."

"No they're not," Jeremy smiled. "My Daddys are my best friends."

"Pipe down, you Little Greaser!" Billy laughed.

When they arrived out at Billy's mother's house, Lucas and Margaret were already there, getting out of the car with their little ones. The adults greeted each other, but Jeremy only had eyes for the two little boys, aged 1 and 3 years. He squealed delightedly and hugged them both.

"You know, Sunny," Justin smiled at the scene, "the way the Breeders are going, Jeremy's soon going to have more cousins than you've got."

"You might be right, but he's still got some catching-up to do. I've got far more than 8 cousins you know."

"Eight cousins?" Cecily asked.

"Yeah, eight - these two, Jonathan's four twins and his two others."

"It will soon be nine," Lucas said. "That's what we're here to tell you, we're pregnant again."

"Well, that's great Lucas, and Margaret, good news! But it won't be nine, it will be ten or maybe even more. Denise rang last night, she's expecting too and she thinks that it might be twins."

"Really? That's so cool. Congratulations Guys. Told you, Sunny; Jeremy's going to have way more cousins than you've got."

"He's already got eight more than you have, Sweetcheeks."

"He has. I've got no cousins, none at all," Justin sighed.

"Not my fault. Go and talk to Grandmother."

"Can't see her having any more kids, she's way too old."

"Yeah, you can say that out here, but I'll bet you don't say it at home."

"Not bloody likely! Hey Mrs. M., how're you doing? Are Ross and Robert here, I need to talk to them."

"I'm fine, Sweetcheeks. How are you? I think they're still in bed, go and throw them out. Now, where's my cuddle from my No.1 Grandson?"

Jeremy squealed and ran into the house with his grandmother chasing after him.

"The old house is looking good," Justin said. "Great the difference a bit of paint makes."

"It is," Margaret agreed. "Mum's been spending a lot of money on it. Not before time either. Lucas is doing a good job, aren't you, Honey?"

"How am I supposed to answer that?" Lucas laughed. "It's a lot of work, but I'm getting paid for it, so it's all good. Hey Billy. Hello Justin, my friend."

"Hello my First Friend." Justin took a hug. "See you soon, Guys. I'll just go and see if the boys are alive."

He headed for the twins' cottage across the yard.

"Good luck, Justin! Don't get lost in there." Billy went inside to make sure that his mother was coping with the Whirlwind.

"Wake up, Sleepyheads!" Justin burst into the twins' rooms. "It's a great day out there and you're missing it."

Where he stood, in the doorway of the living-room, he could see both of the boys, in their separate beds in their separate rooms in the back of the cottage. They both rolled over and pulled pillows over their heads.

"Fuck off, Superboy! It's way too early."

"Early? This is not early. This is late. What time did you two get home last night?"

"None of your business. You're not our Daddy, you're just Jeremy's."

"Yeah, good job too. Come on, Boys. Rise and shine - I want to talk to you. I need your help."

"You need our help? Well, that's different then." Ross' head emerged from the blankets. "Good morning, Big Brother. What can we do for you?"

"I'll tell you outside in the fresh air. It reeks in here, you smelly lot! Get up and dressed and I'll see you out the front, okay?"

"Okay, okay. We're coming." Robert emerged as well. "Give us two minutes."

"Two minutes and then I'll let Jeremy loose in here."

"We're coming. We're coming!" Four feet hit the floor.

Justin went out and sat on the old couch on the porch outside. He was soon joined by two long, skinny, tousle-haired and sleepy-eyed boys, one with red hair and one blond, but otherwise pretty much identical.

'Billy's clones.'

"Damm. Your mum had good-looking kids."

"Yours didn't do so bad either. What do you want to talk about, Justin?" Ross sat down next to him.

Robert followed, but not before he'd pulled out a packet of cigarettes and lit one.

"Robert, what the hell do you think you're doing?" Justin protested.

"Get off my case," Robert growled. "I like a smoke. If I want one, I'll have one. I'm a smoker."

"I'll tell them that at your funeral. You're not the smoker, the cigarette smokes, you're just the sucker on the end of it."

"You tell him, Superboy. He won't listen to me."

"Yadda, yadda, yadda. I'm not a kid. I'll do what I want."

"You're a bloody idiot, Robert," Justin said, "but I still love you."

"Yeah, yeah. Love you too. What are we talking about?"

"Okay. Can you blow that crap the other way? Nicholas Awatere, do you guys know him? He's 15, nearly your age, you're just a year younger."

"The Dummy? Yeah, we know him." Ross answered.

"He's not a dummy. He's a nice kid and he's my friend. Please don't call him that."

"He's your friend? Isn't everybody?"

"No, not everybody. I wish they were, but some are not."

"I saw him trailing along behind you at the Party in the Park, last night," Ross said. "What do you want to know about him?"

"Nothing really. I think that he told me all I need to know. I walked home with him after the Party. His mother came running out and told me to stay away from him. She's a scary lady. I just want you to give him a message from me when you see him at school tomorrow."

"Of course we will. What message?"

"Thanks. Just tell him not to worry, I'm still his friend and everything will be all right."

"That's all?"

"Yeah, that's all. Oh, and ask him when is the best time to see his mother sober?"

"To see his mother? Justin, what are you planning?"

"Not a lot. Just do it, Boys. Text me what he says, okay?"

"Okay, we'll do that. What else? You didn't come all the way out here for just that."

"Not just pretty faces, are you? Yes, there's something else. Conrad Keenan, tell me about him."

"The Seeker? What do you want to know?"

"Everything. I don't know the kid at all. What do you think of him?"

"Think of him? The Seeker's great, best thing on the radio, ever! Everyone loves the Seeker."

"No, not the Seeker. I want to know about Conrad. What's he like when he's not on the radio?"

"Ooh! Now that's different," Robert whistled. "He's an odd one is young Conrad!"

"Odd? In what way is he odd?"

"In every way."

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