Eric and Timmy put their air mattresses side by side and lay on them talking quietly, so they wouldn't wake Scott and Sammy. They both enjoyed the view of the brother's long penises. Timmy and Eric told each other about their lives, and they learned that they had a lot of similarities, not only in that they shared a birth condition. Eric confided in Timmy that he was often terribly lonely, and that he was so glad Scott had decided to invite both of them to camp on the same weekend.
Eric told Timmy he had decided to try running track, to fit in with the athletes. When he ran, he could think and go into his own little world, and didn't have to worry about screwing up and costing his team a game, which would be worse than death. He also did like exercise, but running would get him out of the calisthenics drills the non-athlete students had to endure. Eric was also attracted to boys, and he had now had access to the locker room, where his classmates would be dressing and showering. It fed his budding sexual fantasies, much as the activities that he participated in with the Wiedemer brothers did. He loved performing oral sex on them almost more than receiving it; the larger boys response to his technique was highly gratifying, and Eric enjoyed the gentle control that he was able to exert over his willing subjects when he pleasured them. Now he wanted to pleasure Timmy the way Scott and Sammy already had, and he lay on his mattress, facing Timmy, and slowly stroking his fingers up an down Timmy's chest and belly, then moving to his creamy smooth inner thighs, and gently feeling closer and closer to Timmy's pubes, then up almost to his scrotum. Timmy was fully erect, and his mild curvature was on display. Eric touched and ran his fingers all over Timmy's hard member. He spent extra time and attention on Timmy's little flap of foreskin, and asked Timmy how that felt.
"You can do that all day and night if you like!" Timmy said, making Eric laugh and redouble his touching and rubbing. After a few minutes of this, Eric moved on, and began to trace Timmy's peehole opening below the glans, and worked the precum now flowing slowly from Timmy's cock around the area of the hole, as Timmy noticeably stiffened in Eric's fingers. Eric took note of this second new area that he found caused a reaction, and slowly searched the rest of his friends penis for more erogenous zones.
Timmy's eyes were closed as he lay back on the air mattress, his right leg pulled up, as Eric lay to his left, and continued to work on Timmy. Timmy's left hand found Eric's hard penis, and returned the favor, gently working the corona and glans of Eric's cut unit, careful to judge how far Eric's skin could move without being painful. Eric assured Timmy that it wouldn't hurt unless too much friction was applied. He said his penis had always been on the tight side, but was easing some as it began to grow.
Timmy moved and repositioned himself so his face was above Eric's crotch, and began to wet Eric's hard penis with his tongue, before taking in the blonde's entire four inch length. Eric's penis was slender, and Timmy was working the entire shaft of the organ. He could see the barest faint traces of darkening tiny hairs on the base of Eric's cock, so faint and indistinct that they were invisible if one was talking to the boy face to face and looked down. Eric did not have long to wait for visible signs of puberty to appear. He would probably go back to school in the fall, no longer one of the hairless kids.
Timmy continued to work the erection in his mouth, and Eric swiveled around to get under Timmy, and pulled Timmy into the position that he wanted, with Timmy's thick cock directly over his lips. He licked Timmy's piss hole and Timmy lowered his wide member into Eric's mouth, and the boys settled into a slow and satisfying soixante-neuf.
Eric came first, and Timmy felt and tasted a few drops of a salty substance, and knew Eric was no longer cumming dry. Eric felt the slug of liquid travel the length of his urethra for the first time as well. Eric sped up and gripped Timmy's glans tighter with his lips, and Timmy bucked and surged as his spent his seed in Eric's warm wet mouth. Eric swallowed the cum and decided it wasn't bad at all. It had a different taste than Scott's or Sammy's, which surprised him. He had been pretty sure all cum tasted the same. The boys laid back to catch their breath and looked at each other. There was no need for words, as they could see in each other's eyes acknowledgment of Eric's step toward manhood.
The four boys spent the weekend playing games, swimming, eating food cooked on the fire, and of course, more relief of sexual tensions, each boy enjoying the other three as they paired up in various combinations over the next two days.
When Sunday arrived, the boys struck camp and packed the truck, then went swimming for a while before they got into the truck and rode back to the house naked. They dressed as soon as the truck stopped inside the equipment shed, and the boys set about putting the gear away, and Timmy and Eric put their bags on the front porch. Don would run Eric home this afternoon, saving his grandmother the trip. Eric and Timmy exchanged contact information, and Eric asked Timmy if he used his version of instant messenger. Timmy promised to install it on the laptop so they could keep in contact. Isaac arrived around three o'clock and stayed for an hour talking to everyone, and had a chance to chat with Eric a little, although the boy was extremely shy and introverted, they managed to make him part of the conversation. Timmy had told Eric about his relationship with Isaac and his family, and Eric opened up to Isaac, knowing Timmy trusted and loved him. Eric wished he had a male figure in his life too, and even though he couldn't say it, he looked at Don as a surrogate father during the times he visited the farm. He had no way of knowing how much that relationship would deepen, and not so long from now.
Soon, it was time to go, and Timmy thanked his hosts for a wonderful time, and he and Isaac said their goodbyes and left.
On the way home, Timmy surprised Isaac by telling him about Eric's single testicle. Isaac marveled that two boys like him and Eric would meet, given the odds, and that these two boys would somehow discover this fact about each other, while giving Timmy a sideways glance with raised eyebrows. Timmy just grinned and let Isaac figure that out on his own, although he put all the blame on Scott for setting up the meeting… Sweet Scotty, what a thoughtful kid…
Isaac told Timmy that he had called and scheduled the surgery for the first week of the next month. Timmy nodded and said that sounded fine, and the boys were home in forty five minutes. Timmy stripped in the house, displaying his over all tan to Isaac, who wondered if the boys had spent the entire time nude… Timmy confirmed that, which came as no surprise to Isaac.
He dumped his bag in the wash machine and ran the load along with some of Isaac's things, and went to his laptop and sent Eric a test message on his email service. He then called Angie, and talked to her about everything that had happened in the time since he had called her the night of his visit to her house. She was taken aback by the sheer volume of things that he was dealing with, but was glad to hear that he sounded better and happy. She laughed when he told her he now had a car to take her out in, she just needed to wait until he could reach the pedals… and get a drivers license. He told her about the surgery coming the week after he went to court and she asked him if either of those things made him nervous, and he told it they did, but it didn't do any good to be nervous, so he was going to try not to be.
After their call ended, Angie left her phone on the bed, and went to take a shower. Dylan heard his sister start the water in the bathroom, cracked the door to her room to make sure she was in the shower, then stole into the room and picked up her phone. He accessed the memory and found Timmy's number. He closed the phone and put it on the bed and backed silently out of the room and closed the door.
About an hour later, Eric answered Timmy's email and sent a reply, along with a photo of his very tanned crotch, erection and testicle, taken while sitting on the closed toilet seat. Timmy giggled, and wrote back, asking him how he took the photo and sent it. He had never done that before, of course, since before he got the laptop from Lizabeth, he only had access to computers in public places like his school. He also asked Eric to help him get the instant messenger working. He sent that, and waited for Eric to reply.
Eric sent a well written set of instructions, and soon Timmy was downloading a popular internet calling and messaging utility and had it installed and running on the laptop. He sent Eric a message, which was immediately answered. They chatted back and forth a bit, then Eric said he had to leave, since it was time for dinner, and then he had to take a bath. He had to be careful because his computer was in the living room, and his grandmother might be able to see what he was doing while she watched television.
There was not a lot of privacy in the house, unless he was in his bed or the bathroom basically. He really didn't mind, since he loved his grandmother and they were very close, but he wasn't a small boy anymore, and began to feel hemmed in at times.
His grandmother read romance novels in her chair, often long after Eric had gone to bed. She would never let him read them, since she thought the steamy sex would corrupt the child, and he wasn't old enough for such things. Of course, Eric had snuck some books into his room years ago and found the depictions of steamy sex pretty tame. He supposed that there was a reason that those novels were written for women.
He did enjoy the weekly trips to the used bookstore, where she bought the next batch, and traded in her old ones for 50 cents each store credit. Eric would find other treasures like books on electronics, computers, medicine, space, and nature. You never knew what someone would drop off, and Eric would usually snatch some obscure text off the shelf, just sure that he gotten there in time to score that copy of Gemstone Geology of Tanzania before someone else beat him to it. As a result, he had one of the strangest collections of books of any 12 year old in the state of Texas.
Eric had been a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, from a very early age.
Once, when Eric was four, he had seen Christmas snow globe manger scenes at a store… the kind with liquid inside that "snows" when shaken. As other shoppers were admiring the various snow globes on sale, Eric suddenly said
"Grandma, that's just wrong! Everyone knows it don't snow in Bethlehem."
"Doesn't snow in Bethlehem, honey" she corrected.
Several shoppers stared at Eric, looked at the snow globes, and back at Eric. They put the globes back on the shelf and walked away as Eric's grandmother dragged him down the aisle, before he got into anything else. She didn't let him see that she was smiling; the little shit was so much smarter than most adults she knew. She wondered what he would be coming up with by the time he was eight.
The next day, Isaac's phone rang and he answered the call
"Mister Daniels?" the lady asked
"This is Isaac Daniels" Isaac replied.
"My name is Gloria Calloway… my grandson Eric met your Timmy last weekend at Don Wiedemer's farm."
"Yes, Ma'am, I'm pleased to meet you" Isaac said "Eric's a wonderful kid"
"Thank you, and Eric talks very highly of Timmy as well, and you also, Isaac. We both know how hard it is to raise a boy by ourselves. I called to ask you something. Eric was born like Timmy, with a missing testicle, Mister Daniels."
"Oh, it's Isaac please, and Timmy told me about Eric. How can I help you?"
"I would like to take Eric to see your urologist. I don't know one, and I need to get Eric looked at."
Isaac gave Gloria the information to contact Dr. French, and also Doctor Selden and Delilah. They talked a bit more, and the call ended.
The next day, Isaac and Detective Walsh confirmed the time that Walsh would be by to pick them up for the Timmy's address to the court. Isaac called Don and let him know the time and department that the sentencing would take place. Timmy had been busy writing what he wanted to say, and refused Isaac's offer to proofread. He appreciated Isaac's offer, but he didn't want Isaac to know the contents until he spoke in court. Isaac had no desire to interfere with Timmy's wishes, so he stayed well clear of Timmy's room when he was working. Isaac had kept Pat and Lizabeth informed of the developments as they happened, and they would be in court that morning. It was Friday, and the sentencing hearing was scheduled for 10 Monday morning. Isaac and Timmy caught a movie and went bowling Saturday, and played mini golf again Sunday. Timmy had decided to stop writing and re-writing drafts, and just take an outline with him to court, as he was getting so "close to the problem" that he couldn't think straight. Isaac laid him on the living room floor face down on the couch cushions and massaged him for an hour until he finally went to sleep after the evening meal. The kid was wound up tighter than a clock spring and needed to relax. He napped for two hours, then got up and crawled into Isaac's bed, and was fast asleep when Isaac turned in at 10 pm.
He got under the covers with Timmy, who curled into a ball with his back to Isaac's chest, and pulled Isaac closer around him.
"Want a penny?" Isaac asked.
Timmy didn't open his eyes, but answered Isaac "I'm just wondering how scary this is going to be tomorrow."
"Try not to see it that way… everyone in that courtroom is going to be on your side tomorrow… just talk straight from the heart, there's no right or wrong… This is your time, Timmy to say how you feel… It's going to be your day." Isaac said.
"Okay… " Timmy said, still apprehensive, but Isaac made it sound less frightening.
"I'm going to be with you the whole time, right next to you too." Isaac promised. "Listen, you want to get up early in the morning and do IHOP? Detective Walsh has to get us there before ten, so we should be good if we are here at nine to meet him."
"Sounds great to me, Isaac."
"I'm going to get us up at six then" Isaac said, and slid out of bed to set his clock.
The boys got up and took their ritual shower together, dressed in slacks and jackets and were out of the house by 6:45. They returned to the house at 8:15, and Walsh knocked on the door at quarter after nine. They got into Walsh's Ford Police Interceptor and Isaac let Timmy ride shotgun as the black car made its way through the streets of downtown, and disappeared under the courthouse into the police garage. There were black and whites, and other unmarked cars similar to Walsh's and various cops, detectives, sheriffs deputies, and prosecutors milling around going in and coming out of the basement courthouse access. They went into the double sliding glass doors, and Walsh walked the boys through security screening, and they got on an elevator and rode to the third floor.
The elevator doors opened, and they walked down the hall to department 58, criminal courts division, where Judge Bailey would impose sentence on Larry. The bailiff at the courtroom door recognized and greeted Walsh, and was introduced to Timmy and Isaac. The bailiff laughed and said
"Timmy's a popular guy, Detective Walsh! About a half dozen people have asked if he was here yet! They're all inside already." as he held the courtroom door open and they walked in.
Timmy was shocked to find Don, Scott, Sammy and Eric in the gallery, as well as Pat and Lizabeth Daniels. He went and greeted each one, and said he was really surprised to see them. Introductions were made all around, then Don said that Gloria Calloway, Eric's grandmother, had suffered a mild stroke Friday evening and was in the hospital here in town. Eric would be staying on the farm until she was able to return home. Timmy and the Daniels' expressed the desire to see her if she could have visitors, and Don assured them she would like that.
After a few moments more, the bailiff at the door walked down the aisle and in a loud clear voice said
"All ye with business before this court, rise for the honorable Judge Russell Bailey, this proceeding is now in session".
A large black man in his late fifties, with gold frame glasses strode out of the chambers in a black robe, and took the bench, and sat down.
The bailiff addressed the gallery "You may be seated". Detective Walsh took Timmy and Isaac to the prosecution table, and sat the two between him and John Atteboro, who was representing the people. The public defender sat alone at the defense table.
A door on the side of the courtroom opened, and two jail bailiffs entered the courtroom with a prisoner in an orange jump suit. His hands were shackled in front of him to a chain that ran around the waist of the jumpsuit, and his ankles were similarly shackled with ankle cuffs and a chain that allowed him to walk. He was led to the defense table and sat into a chair next to the public defender. One of the bailiffs attached a padlock to the chains between the prisoners feet, short choking them so the man could no longer move his feet more than a few inches. The prisoner briefly looked around at the people in the courtroom, then kept his gaze to the front.
This was the first time Timmy had ever seen the man who confessed to killing his mother. He wasn't sure how he was supposed to feel. He wanted to give in to hate and anger, scream and lash out, but Isaac's words about a burden that would suck the life out of him kept coming back.. He looked at Maynard, and decided that even a killer could look ordinary, and knowing the man would be doing a long time in prison, he wondered if the murderer had regrets.
Judge Bailey now spoke. " This proceding has been convened for the sentencing of Larry Wayne Maynard, having plead guilty to one count of Capital murder, with the aggravating circumstance of murder to further the operation of a continuing criminal enterprise. It is the understanding of the court that the people have waived the death penalty in exchange for a guilty plea, and a complete elocution by the accused to the details of the murder. Is there any person present before the court who wishes to be heard before this court imposes sentence?"
John Atteboro rose and said "There is, your honor." as he motioned Timmy to his feet.
Judge Bailey acknowledged Timmy and said "Son, please state your full name before you begin. The floor is now yours."
Timmy cleared his throat and began
"Your honor, my name is Timothy Nathan Billings, and the victim in this case was my mother, Tiffany Billings." He looked at Maynard and said very calmly
"When my mother stole your drugs, you decided to kill her. You had a lot more drugs come through your hands after that, but I only had one mother, and you took her from me. You stole something from me that I couldn't replace. You sentenced me to a childhood without a mother, and with an abusive father. I can't say that my mother would have been a fit parent, as she abandoned me with a man who beat and abused and burned me, but I never got a chance to find out anything about her, and never will. You took any choice I had away. I waited for her to remember me and come back. I used to think it was because she hated me, and didn't care. Now that I know what happened, I can forgive her, and beg her to forgive me for hating her all this time."
Timmy was beginning to break down as he finished, and hoped that people could understand him through the distortion his emotions caused in his voice.
A lot of people in the courtroom were dabbing their eyes, and Timmy didn't see most of them, since they were seated behind him in the gallery. Judge Bailey and his bailiff were trying to keep it together, and Maynard sat with his head down. Timmy knew he was listening. He gathered himself and continued.
"For me that long wait is over. I now know that my mother was dead by the time I was two years old. I also know that your long wait is just beginning. But I want you to know that I am okay, and doing fine. For the last seven months I have lived with people who love me, and I am no longer being abused. I am growing stronger and happier every day as the lessons of love they teach me are changing my life. Someday soon, I will come back to court and ask that I be allowed to take their name as my own." Pat and Lizabeth both gasped in surprise, and Isaac blinked at that one too. Timmy put his hands on Isaac's shoulders, still seated, as he continued. "and make this guy who has given me so much, my big brother in the eyes of the law."
"I also want to tell you that I do not hate you… I am not strong enough to carry hate in my soul, and I refuse to let it corrode and poison my heart, when there is so much to live for. Even though there is no earthly way you can replace what you took from me, I know that if you have any conscience at all, you must be bothered that you took a life. I hope that you are never able to forget that as long as you live.
I am going to move on and forward, and I forgive you for what you have done." Timmy turned to the judge.
"I would like to thank you, your honor for allowing me to speak."
The courtroom was absolutely silent for a long moment, and Judge Bailey spoke at last.
"Does any other person present wish to address these proceedings?" There was no sound in the courtroom. "Mister Maynard, would you like to address the court at this time?"
Larry stood and said "Yes, your honor" Judge Bailey nodded and Maynard stood and began to speak
"I do regret what I did, and I am sorry. I wasn't making good decisions, and didn't think about the lives I screwed up with what I done… I had a lot of time to think about this with my mind clean, and I do think about what I did every day. I'm sorry… and I thank you for forgiving me, even though I don't deserve it. I do wish I could give you your mom back."
"That's it, your honor" Maynard said as finished speaking. The public defender then stood at her client's side.
"Larry Wayne Maynard, this court sentences you to life in prison without the possibility of parole, for the murder of Tiffany Billings. You will serve this sentence concurrently with your present sentence.
Had there not been a plea bargain with the people in place, and had the victim not sought mercy on you in his statement to the court, my inclination would have been to sentence you to death by lethal injection. … you are hereby immediately remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections." "
"This proceeding is adjourned" the judge swung the gavel once, and stood and whispered something to the bailiff.
"All rise!" the bailiff ordered, and the people in the courtroom stood as the judge walked out of the courtroom and into his chambers. The jail bailiffs led Larry out of court, and as Timmy and Isaac began to leave, the bailiff approached them and said "The judge would like to see you in his chambers, please." he gathered Pat and Lizabeth, Isaac and Timmy and led them to the back of the bench and into the judges chambers. There was a look of barely contained chaos to the room, which was lined with shelves full of Black's Law , a popular and widely used legal reference, and Texas State Statutes and myriad other volumes. A large table occupied one corner of Bailey's office, and was stacked 3 feet high with folders and briefs. He had two clerks that worked at that table, who were not present for the meeting with Timmy and the Daniels. Judge Bailey was in casual dress, having taken the robe off, and waved them into some old fashioned stuffed leather chairs, and sat down behind a huge antique desk.
"I'm Russ Bailey, and I'm glad to meet you". Timmy introduced the judge to Isaac, Pat and Lizabeth.
"Timmy, that was one of the most moving statements that has ever been read in my court, and not just because of what you said to Mr. Maynard, but what it said about you, son."
Timmy blushed and smiled, but didn't say anything. Bailey continued. "Were you suggesting that the Daniels' adopt you, Timmy?"
"Yes, your honor… that's exactly what I wanted to ask them." Timmy replied.
"So how did you come to be with the Daniels family?"
"My dad threw me out of the house one night, and I went to live with Isaac...he got my dad to sign a legal guardianship, so I have been with Isaac ever since. He got sick and gave Isaac power of attorney before he died of liver cancer, two weeks ago."
"I'm sorry, son… Isaac, what do you do?" the judge asked
"I'm a full time student at Technical College and I manage and maintain rental properties for my parents, your Honor." Isaac said.
"What is your field of study, Isaac?" Bailey wondered.
"Aviation Maintenance Management, your Honor" Isaac said.
"Then you know Mr. Connors over there" the judge said, and Isaac thought it funny that the judge referred to his faculty advisor as "Mister." Judge Bailey must have a lot of respect for Mr. Connors as well…
"Oh, yes, of course, your Honor." Isaac said. "I was Mr. Weaver's student in high school auto shop as well, and he told me that he and Mr. Connors had something to do with child advocacy in court?"
"Yes, they do, Isaac. They volunteer to represent the interests of children in court who are in the system for whatever reason. The fact that they both know you would help speed the adoption process once you all talk about it and decide to take that step" he said, looking at Pat and Lizabeth.
Lizabeth spoke next "We were a little surprised that Timmy wanted to be adopted so… soon. We thought it might take a little longer for him to bring it up. We think it's great and are very happy about it."
The judge said "Well, I want to help all I can; I normally don't do family court cases, but if you choose to adopt Timmy, I would love to handle the case. I will be looking for it on the calendar"
"What kind of process is involved, your Honor?" Pat asked.
"Well, since Timmy is old enough to make his wishes known, and he isn't in the county foster home system and is living with the family he wants to be adopted into, it would be a matter of background checks on you folks, and a home study and interviews. Once those pass muster, we stand in court and make it official. If Timmy was an infant or in the foster home program, it would take a lot longer. You can get the forms you need to get started down at family court on the second floor."
"Well, it seems our family has a big step to discuss." Isaac said to no one in particular.
"Well, my friends, I have a hearing coming up in about three minutes ago!' Judge Bailey joked, looking at the clock on his desk. "Timmy, you are a remarkable young man, and it was my pleasure to meet you and your family. I am sorry for your losses; it sounds like this has been one heck of a summer for all of you."
"It has, Judge Bailey… thank you." Timmy said, as hands were shaken all around and they all left the chambers and went their separate ways. Isaac quickly called Don to find out where Eric's grandmother was hospitalized, and then Detective Walsh to let him know that they had a ride back with Isaac's parents.
"Tell Timmy that I was very proud of him, please." Walsh asked
"I will, Sir, thanks" Isaac said as he ended the call.
"Timmy, Detective Walsh asked me to tell you that he was very impressed and proud of you in court."
"I thought you were absolutely wonderful" Lizabeth said. "I think the judge was trying not to cry, too."
The family crowded into the elevator and Pat pushed the button for the second floor. They found the office for family court and went inside. A few people were seated in chairs waiting to be seen, and a few minutes later a young woman asked them if they had an appointment. Pat stepped over to the counter and said
"No Ma'am, we are here to pick up some forms for adoption."
"Oh, okay!" the young clerk replied "Is the child in the county foster home system?"
"No, he isn't"
"And is he presently living with you and in your care?"
"Yes, he is."
"What is the status of his biological parents?"
"Deceased, my son Isaac executed a guardianship with the boy's father before he passed. His mother has been dead for ten years."
"That makes things easier in a way… Is Isaac adopting this person… " the clerk wondered. By now Isaac, Timmy and Lizabeth were standing with Pat, and the girl started putting the faces together "Isaac?"
"Correct, it's nice to meet you… and this is Timmy. I think Mom and Dad intend to adopt him, actually." Isaac replied.
"Okay, I know what you need now." She said, scooping up forms out of various cubbies on the counter. "I will need these forms back with Timmy's birth certificate, all of your Social Security numbers, and every one will need to be fingerprinted at the police station as well. Once that is all turned in, there is a background check run on the family and Timmy's, and you will be interviewed by the Children's court people, they come to do a home study, and talk to Timmy's teacher's. Timmy talks to the judge, and once all of that is done and everything clears, you get to stand in court and get your new name and family, Timmy!"
"That's awesome!" Timmy exclaimed.
"I'm happy for you, Timmy! If there are any questions, you can call me." the clerk said, slipping her business card into the envelope with the forms. "Any other questions for me?" she bubbled.
"Not right at the moment… thanks so much for you help. I thought this would be a long drawn out process." Pat said.
"Not really. Once you turn the forms back into us, there is a wait for Children's Court to do its thing, but we are talking about maybe 90 days, give or take a month, because Timmy doesn't have to be placed. He's done that work for us when he picked Isaac." she teased, winking at Isaac.
"That's actually pretty accurate." Isaac said. If she only knew, Isaac thought. Then it occurred to him that she probably had seen more broken kids needing good families than she should have to… "You must really enjoy helping put families together." Isaac observed.
"I was adopted, too, and that's why I decided to do this … " she said.
"That's great that you found your calling and get to do what you love" Lizabeth said.
"It is and I'm blessed" the girl said.
"So are we" Isaac said, putting his hand on Timmy's shoulder and giving the boy a squeeze into his side.
"You're a lucky boy, Timmy!" she said.
'I sure am!" Timmy said looking up at Pat and Isaac and Lizabeth. With that, they thanked the clerk and left the courthouse. They walked several blocks to find their car, and Lizabeth spoke to Timmy on the way to the hospital.
"Timmy, we're sorry we didn't talk to you sooner about adoption, we weren't sure how you felt about that, or whether you were ready to discuss it."
"That's okay, I was thinking about asking you guys for some time now, and just didn't know when to bring it up… I decided on doing it this way 'cause I do want to look forward and leave the past behind like I said… and now that I have no family… "
"You have this family, remember" Pat said
"I'm sorry, dad, I meant biological family, not that… "
"It's okay, it's my fault. I misunderstood your point, Timmy." Pat broke in, it took a minute for everyone to realize that Timmy had called Pat "dad" for the first time.
"And thank you." Pat said, looking at Timmy's eyes in the rearview mirror. Timmy gave Pat a puzzled look, and Pat said "You just called me "dad"… thanks."
"I guess I did… dad" Timmy said, which made the other three chuckle.
Arrival at the hospital took another ten minutes, and as they walked to the parking garage elevator, Pat and Lizabeth walked with Timmy between them, their arms around him. They found the room Eric's grandmother was in, and Scotty, Sammy and Eric rushed to greet Timmy, and congratulate him on his address to the court. Introductions were made between Gloria, and the Daniels, and Timmy when the boys let him escape for a moment.
Gloria had sustained a minor stroke, and although she was weak on her left side, she was able to walk with difficulty and speak, although not as clearly as she had before. Eric had the presence of mind to know something was terribly wrong with Gloria, when she spoke gibberish to him and the left side of her face wouldn't move. He called 911, and then Don Wiedemer, who rushed into town and met Eric and Gloria in emergency. He had taken Eric back to the boys house to gather his things, and then to the farm for the last two days. This was the first time he had been able to talk to Gloria in relaxed fashion since that hectic night, and assured her that no matter what happened, Eric was safe and being looked after. She learned that Isaac was Timmy's guardian, and suggested that it might be a good idea to make a written agreement with Don, in case the unforeseen happened. Isaac discussed his decision to ask Jack to legally make Isaac responsible for Timmy, and she was relieved to find that it wasn't a terribly complicated process. Isaac left the room and inquired about this at the nurses station, and the charge nurse made a call, spoke briefly, and hung up. She turned back to Isaac and said that a patient relations specialist would be by to see them shortly. Isaac went back to the room, and as promised, a young man with a briefcase, probably an attorney fresh out of school knocked on the door, and came in the room.
"Hello, I'm Andy from patient relations… how has everything been so far, Mrs. Calloway?"
"Very good, thanks." Gloria said, rubber lipped, like a person who just left the dentist after a root canal.
"Let us know if we can do anything better, okay?" he waited for Gloria to nod, and continued "I understand that you would like to have some things documented and notarized?"
She nodded again, and Don said "She would like a limited, conditional guardianship for her grandson, in the event that she became totally disabled or incompetent to care for him, and also a DNR."
"Yes" Gloria concurred.
"Okay, we can certainly do that for you. I have forms in this laptop, we'll fill them out and zip these off to the printer and then I will witness your signatures. Mrs. Calloway, did you bring ID when you were brought in?"
Eric jumped in and said "Yes, I took it with us when the ambulance came." fishing it out of his pocket… he had worn the same pants the last three days. He produced Gloria's drivers license and insurance cards.
"Don't you lose that stuff, Eric" she warned.
'I'm going to leave it at home" Eric promised. She nodded her assent and Andy began asking Don, Gloria and Eric information for the forms. The DNR just needed her name, and the guardianship was almost identical to the one Isaac had printed off the internet and signed with Jack. Soon, Andy was finished, and got up to retrieve the pages out of the printer in the nurses station. He came back in the room, and separated the papers, handling the guardianship first. "This is a limited conditional grant of guardianship of one Eric Brendan Calloway, a minor child, to one Donald Alfred Wiedemer, to commence if one Gloria Alden Calloway, the grandmother of the minor child, shall become incapacitated, or incompetent and unable to properly care for the named minor child, and shall end at such time she is no longer incapacitated or incompetent and unable to properly care for the named minor child, or one or both parties to the agreement wishes to terminate the agreement. Is this satisfactory and suitable?"
Gloria and Don nodded, and Andy indicated the places Don should sign, on four copies. Don and Gloria would each receive two notarized copies of the document. Don signed the papers, and Andy helped Gloria by holding the papers so she could sign them with just her right hand, which had been unaffected by the stroke. Andy affixed his notary seal to the documents using an embosser which left a raised seal on the papers. He had Don sign his notaries log, and fill out a blank for his address and phone number, but did that for Gloria, so as not to overtax her. He signed the blanks in the stamp for his signature and handed the documents to Don and gave Gloria's copies to Eric, when she gestured toward the boy.
"Gloria, this is a standard DNR order. It says that you have given us a directive not to resuscitate, should you suffer an arrest or other sudden incapacitation. It states that you are aware that should such an event happen during the time this order is in effect, that you will be allowed to expire in a natural way, and that your relatives and family members are aware of your wishes." he put the document on the tray table and let Gloria read it. After a few minutes to study the fine print, Gloria signed the DNR and Andy again notarized it with his seal. This document he placed in his briefcase.
"The original DNR will placed in your medical file, which is hospital procedure. Everyone who treats you in this facility has to familiarize themselves with your file first, and the DNR is always up front in the patient file to make sure your wishes are honored."
"Can I help you with anything else at this time?" Andy asked.
"I think that was it, Andy. Thank you so much for coming by." Don said. Andy shook Don's hand and said he was welcome. He then addressed Gloria,
"I hope you recover soon, Mrs. Calloway, and if there is anything we can assist you with to make this a great stay, let your nurse know and I will come by, okay?" he said taking her right hand in his. She nodded and whispered "Thank you… "
"Allright, bye for now.' Andy said as he left the room.
Gloria looked at Don, and said "I feel much better now that is done." Don nodded in agreement. Now they had a plan for Eric, if needed. Don took Gloria's hand and nodded at Eric and said "Everything will work out, Gloria, let's take things one day at a time as you get back on your feet, okay?"
The boys were excited to hear that Pat and Lizabeth had agreed to legally adopt Timmy, and wanted to know all about that, and Pat explained the process briefly.
After another twenty minutes, Gloria seemed to flag, and Timmy and the Daniels decided to leave and let her rest. Don said that they would stay with her a few more hours, since it would be several days before they could make the trip to visit again. Pat and Lizabeth would be leaving in the morning. They had come down to be with Timmy in court today, and would be back for the closing of the deal on the new rental house, and to be with Timmy on the day of his surgery, in less than ten days. They wished Gloria well, and took their leave.
Back at the house, Lizabeth took the adoption forms the clerk packed in the envelope out, and began making notes in pencil. She would take the forms to work with her in the law firm and print the information professionally. She also had resources to research information needed by the Children's Court. Isaac could call Detective Walsh and get himself and Timmy fingerprinted, and Isaac already had hospital records on Timmy, Tiffany, and he had been able to find almost nothing on Jack. He hoped what they did know would suffice for the required family health history report.
Isaac had been busy settling Jack's tiny estate. He had gone to the bank and had Timmy's name put on the account… they had wanted to raise a stink because Timmy didn't have or didn't know his Social Security number. Isaac had Jack's will, and the power of attorney, so they finally relented. Jack had a small life insurance policy he had kept up after losing his job when he broke his back. It would pay a little over seven thousand dollars, enough to settle Jack's outstanding debts, pay for his cremation, and put something away for Timmy.
Isaac shut off gas, water, trash, and electricity on the 30th, which gave him two days to hire the company his father used for cleaning rentals between tenants to clean Jack's house, so Timmy would receive Jack' deposit funds. Isaac transferred Jack's mail to his address, in case any unpaid bills were received.
Isaac settled with the funeral home that had cremated Jack's body, and drove over to give the keys to the door to the owner of the cleaning service, an old friend of the family. Pat had contracted with him since the days when the Daniels had one house rented, and he and Lizabeth rented an apartment to live in, because it was advantageous for them to do so for business and tax reasons. Finally, Isaac had driven to Jack's former home to collect the mail piling up on the front porch. Most of it was junk, but some of it Isaac marked "Return to Sender, Addressee Deceased." and put it in a public mail drop.
Lizabeth told Isaac to hold onto all Jack's bills and receipts for items that Isaac paid on his estates bills, for the next tax year. She notified the IRS and Social Security Administration that Jack was dead, and checked Timmy's status; he did have a social security number, but did not know where the card was. He and Isaac had been very careful to go through the house and Jack's things, so they had to have picked it up with the papers and odds and ends they brought home in the boxes. The lady at Social Security said Timmy could apply for a new card if it couldn't be found. He would receive the same number he was issued, since they never change numbers for living people, or reuse numbers when people die.
They never found the card, but there was a tax return that Jack had filed the last year he worked before being hurt. Timmy was listed as Jack's dependant, so his SSN was on the tax form, and Lizabeth penciled that in on the adoption paperwork.
Later that afternoon, Pat gathered Timmy and Isaac and herded them into the car. He said that he needed them to help him with something, and they drove off to the big box home improvement store.
When they arrived, Pat led them into the outdoor section, where the patio furniture and grilles, and lawnmowers were, and they went past that, past the plants and fertilizer, and weed killer, winding up in the pool supply section. Pat was looking for something, and finally found it. It was a 16 foot diameter, 4 foot deep above ground pool with a pump and filter setup, and Pat said he was buying the boys a present to beat the heat with this summer. Timmy and Isaac thanked Pat profusely, and Timmy went to find a store employee, and Isaac went to find a flat cart. The pool came in a large heavy box, and the man in the apron used a handheld zapper to get the barcode, and Pat went with him to the register to pay for the pool, and asked the man to scan a bucket of chlorine tabs as well.
It took Pat and Isaac both to get the box into the trunk of Pat's Grand Marquis, and they had to drive with the trunk open. Timmy lugged the bucket of chlorine tablets into the back seat floor of the sedan, and got in the other side, and they went home, and reversed the process to unload. Pat and Isaac lugged the package around the side of the house and into the back yard, and they dug into the box far enough to liberate the installation instructions, and went in the house to read up in comfort. The yard was pretty level, and clean since Isaac had no animals, and hardly ever did anything in the backyard except mow the grass. Timmy had laid out in the sun a few times, and they grilled with Peter often, but that was pretty much it. The instructions said they should put up the side shells and supports first, then pack the inside corner at the bottom of the sides with sand, to support the liner. Isaac said they would put the sides up and get the sand later, when they needed it, that way they would only handle the heavy sand bags once.
To get started, they went in the yard and decided where the center of the pool should be, and Isaac stuck a large screwdriver in the ground, once the three agreed on the precise location… this was of dire importance, of course. They had Timmy rake the area to make sure there were no rocks or walnuts from the trees on the ground to interfere with the liner.
Pat tied a string around a can of spray paint they found in Isaac's stash of stuff in the garage, and measured exactly eight feet from the screwdriver and tied the string to it. He then slowly walked in a circle, spraying paint on the grass while holding light tension on the string. Timmy laughed and said he looked like he was crazy, painting ants. But, in less than a minute, they had marked a perfect circle 16 feet across in the yard. Now it was time for Isaac and Timmy to begin assembling the walls and posts for the pool. Each end of the wall panels slipped into the posts, and Isaac went through the panels until he found the one that had the holes in it for the pool skimmer and return fittings. He knew where he wanted to put this one, since it would determine the location of the pump and filter, and there was one electrical outlet that would be close enough for the pump cord to reach. They began to assemble the sides at this point, and progressed around the circumference, keeping the panels on the paint line, in a perfect circle.
Once they had finished this, Isaac went back to the store and bought eight 60 pound bags of play sand, which pretty much filled the back of the VW. When he got home, he lifted Timmy over the wall of the pool, and gave him a plastic bucket with as much sand as he could handle, and had the boy pour the sand inside the wall, at the base of the wall panels. They did that until all eight bags were gone, and Isaac was satisfied that their project matched the pictures in the instructions. Isaac and Pat pulled Timmy out of the shell, and unfolded the liner inside, and put him back in, barefoot to begin working the liner into position, evening up the excess all around the sides, and smoothing the liner against the shell wall. When they were all satisfied with the fit of the liner, Pat and Isaac began installing top rail on the upper edge of the shell, trapping the liner and securing it around the perimeter of the pool. Isaac put the water hose inside, and began filling the pool, while Timmy walked around inside, smoothing the liner, and enjoying the cold water on his feet. Pat dug out the hardware for the filter installation, and cut the liner at the openings in the shell wall panel. An inner frame fit inside the pool at the skimmer opening, and bolted through the side panel and liner into the skimmer and filter box; once the screws were tight, the installation was watertight. The return hose had a similar sealed arrangement, and Pat had the installation completed in less than ten minutes.
Timmy had stripped to his underwear by now, and was sitting in a inch of water… It would take five to eight hours to fill the large reservoir. The last step was to install the ladder, so people could get in and out of the pool. Lizabeth brought Pat and Isaac each a cold beer, which they gratefully accepted, having worked up a sweat in the heat. She looked over the side of the pool, to check on her newest child, to see if he was burning. She warned him to be careful in the sun… Isaac was very fair complected, and she always had to watch his exposure to the sun. Timmy was pretty tan at this time of the year, and she figured that he must not burn that easily. Timmy stood there dripping wet in his underwear and confirmed that he almost never got sunburned.
She looked at the boy, and remembered the day she first saw him, weeding the yard without a shirt on, and marveled at how much he had filled out, gotten taller and gained weight. His voice was changing as well, no longer high pitched and childlike; still very much that of a youth, but noticeably more mature also. She went in the house and brought him a towel for when he got out of the pool.
For Isaac, Timmy's maturation wasn't as obvious. Timmy had always been wise beyond his years, and seemed to Isaac to be 12 going on 17. He often forgot the age difference between himself and Timmy, and thought of Timmy as a peer to him and Peter, not as little, or junior or anyway subordinate. Timmy could also be small and vulnerable, when he would seek to be close to Isaac and cuddle with him on the couch or crawl in bed and sleep with Isaac when he felt lonely, or sad, or had one of those tough nights. They were a lot fewer in number and longer apart, and now he slept with Isaac mainly for his company, rather than the feeling of protection he once sought. Even though he was maturing and becoming a man, Timmy still adored Isaac, wanted the older boy to be proud of him, and wanted to be worthy of Isaac's respect.
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