Lincoln, The Family I Never Expected

Lincoln-3, Strength

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Installment 3 (Strength)

Part - 1

Two paths in front of me, one that is apparently better than the other. One seemed darker, less favorable while the other drew me in with bright and colorful lights. The shining path just looked so fun, but there was a piercing sound that took my attention to the dark side. I couldn’t quite comprehend what the sound was, but its noise level kept increasing and increasing. The sound was laughter mixed with fear and screams. I was intrigued by it; I wanted to know what the sound was, so I took one step forward, and my heart beat like a drum as sweat filled my palms. I took another step forward and “What the fuck!” I shouted, “that was a dream?”

I looked at the clock, and it read 9:45 in the morning. Operating off 5 hours of sleep was going to be challenging, but I knew it is manageable, it would be just like my days in college studying for business classes. Although in college I wasn’t tasked with keeping up with four boys who were rocked by a tragic event no less than 24 hrs ago. To say this will be difficult, would be an understatement.

I got my lazy butt out of bed and slipped into the bathroom for a quick shower. As the warm water ran down my body, I began to ponder how do I go about this day.

I thought to myself, “First the boys need to wake up and eat breakfast, that would probably be a good start, then do I call Kelly? Or should I tell the boys about their mother and dad? I first need to make sure Lincoln is okay with this, right? Or should I call Kelly first?” My thoughts bounced around, but I knew one thing was a must. Getting the boys to wake up and food put in their tummies.

I turned the shower off and stepped out of the bathroom into the hallway of my master bedroom when I heard, “Wow yours is so way bigger than mine,” giggled a boy. I turned my head in the direction of the sound and saw that it was Clayton standing in the hallway pointing and laughing as he lifted up his shirt to show me his proud tool member.

“Well, you got some growing to do kiddo, one day you’ll be just as big as I am.” I responded while laughing at this adorable boy. I wrapped a towel around my waist and walked over to Clayton and picked him up and asked, “Why are you up so early?”

“I don’t know, I’m still exhausted.” he returned.

“Well Clay, how about you try to sleep in my bed for an extra 30 minutes? I’ll turn the TV on low volume, and you can watch some cartoons and try to fall back asleep?”

“Really?” He asked, “I was never able to do that.”

“Of course you can!” I said as I placed him under the covers and turned the TV on.

“You watching cartoons with me?” Clay inquired

“Not this morning, but I’ll watch some cartoons soon, I need to finish up laundry, so I don’t have a half naked boy flashing his privates!” As I lightly poked his ribs to show I was in a joking tone

“But I like to be nakey!” He giggled

“Of course you do,” I laughed “try to fall asleep for a bit longer. I’ll come wake you when breakfast is ready.”

I quickly got dressed and went to check on the other boys before starting the day. They appeared to be okay, so I went downstairs. I got to the laundry room first and began to transport the damp clothes to the drier. I noticed most of there clothing was old hand me downs and noted that a shopping trip would not be such a bad idea. I turned my attention to breakfast and headed for the refrigerator to check out our supplies. In the fridge, there is carton of eggs, milk, and juice. Given my not so excellent cooking abilities, I decided to go with a simple choice and make scrambled eggs with toast. Cooking scrambled eggs was not complicated and speedy to make, and no later then 20 minutes I had two full plates of eggs and a full plate of toast. I covered the food with foil and proceeded upstairs to wake the boys.

First was to Lincolns room, I walked in and noticed something wasn’t quite right. From afar he looked to be sleeping just fine, but when I got closer, his heavy blanket was thrown off to the side as he had one thing keeping him warm, a thin bed sheet covering him. I gently tapped on his shoulder to wake him up. He slowly came to life and noticed I was standing next to him. His eyes immediately shot down to his groin and quickly covered it with his hands, “Sorry,” he spoke in a dejected tone.

Quickly noticing that he was referring to his erection, I stated “don’t worry about it, it happens to all boys at all ages, it is called a morning wood, or properly known as an erection. All boys get them, and it is nothing to be embarrassed about. And, I had already seen it last night when I gave you a bath, so nothing I haven’t seen already.”

“Oh,” Lincoln responded as he slowly put his hand to the side exposing his hard penis.

“Looks like a tent when the sheet is covering it” I joked, trying to bring some sense of humor.

He laughed, “yeah, it sorta does, that’s funny!”

“Why did you sleep with just the bedsheet?” I asked.

His eyes went to his groin again and whispered: “I peed the bed, and the blanket was soaked.”

“That’s okay, no big deal. Go wash off, and breakfast is ready. Bring the sheets and whatever else is wet down to the laundry room,” I insisted.

“You’re not mad?”

“No, I have no reason to be, now hurry, go wash up. I am going to wake up your brothers,” I replied. With that Lincoln, stepped out of his bed and went in the direction of his bedroom bathroom walking naked with his tool standing straight out. His bruising has not gone away, but he still looked gorgeous. Even though he was on the smaller side, he has an amazing body for a boy, and I figured the girls will be all over him in the future. I left Lincoln to himself and headed to Ryker’s room. Just as I did with Lincoln, I tapped Ryker on the shoulder whispering, “Time to get up, go wash up, and come downstairs for breakfast.”

Ryker returned with a simple, “Okay” and slowly got up out of bed. I went to Jacobs room, to surprisingly see him sitting on the edge of his bed, looking at his scar on his thigh.


I startled him, and he quickly pulled his overly larges t-shirt around his knees.

“Sorry didn’t mean to scare you,” I said walking over and taking place beside him. I put my arm around his shoulder, and he quickly flinched trying to avoid my contact. Noticing it made him uncomfortable, I retracted my arm and stated, “Hey Jacob, you don’t have to tell me about the scar now. In fact, you don’t ever have to tell me, but if you want to talk about it, I just want to let you know I’m here to listen. Now go get washed up, breakfast is ready, okay?”

“Yes Garret,” he replied as he stood up and went to use the bathroom. I got up and left for my room where Clayton was sleeping. As I’m walking, I thought, “that was strange, last night he came up to me and gave me a hug, but now when I initiate contact with him, he reverts back to being more standoffish. Something wasn’t right, but at the moment I knew he wouldn’t open up.

I walked into my room and saw Clayton was laying down but wasn’t asleep, I stated, “Wash up, and come eat!”

“Yes! I was about to die if I didn’t get food,” was all he managed to speak as he went towards the bathroom. I laughed at his exaggeration and walked back down to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of juice and looked at the sports news on my iPad. I was reading about Hockey when Lincoln turned the corner first carrying his sheets. When he dropped the sheets in the laundry room and walked back out into the kitchen, he came over and gave me a hug, it was then that I noticed he didn’t put any clothes back on.

“Thanks for the hug! I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am, why are you naked?” I questioned, as I released his hug.

He laughed, “I like the free feeling.”

“Well Mr. Free feeling, go put some underwear on,” I commanded

“You just said I shouldn’t be embarrassed.”

“You caught me there,” I said pausing for a moment, but continued, “you have an amazing body Lincoln, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed. I truly do not care if you walk around naked, but right now is not a good time to be naked. If someone knocked on the door and saw you standing in the buck, giving me a hug, we would draw some questions. I’m not saying you can’t experience the free feeling of nakedness, but for the time being, keep it in your room. You can be nude as much as you want up there! You understand?”

“Finneeee, I understand, but this won’t last forever will it?” he asked.

“We will address that later” I responded. I gave him a quick hug before giving a gentle pat on his butt to signify to get moving upstairs and get his underwear on.

“Finnnnneeeee, ” he giggled as he took off upstairs.

What was all that about I thought to myself? Was that a test? Was that his way of saying thanks? I was all sorts of confused when my thoughts were interrupted by the voice of 3 small children’s screaming, “Whoa, this place is huge! How do we even get into the kitchen,” as the three boys ran around giggling, taking in this new environment they called home for the night.

“In here guys!” I shouted. All three boys heard my shout and proceeded to run into the kitchen where they each saw empty plates and seats. They quickly filled the empty chairs around the table and Lincoln came back downstairs, fortunately wearing underwear, and filled the last empty plate. The two full plates of scrambled eggs didn’t stand a chance and were devoured in about 5 minutes, I told the boys to clean up the breakfast plates and go watch tv. I needed to make a phone call, and after the phone call we can get an official tour of the house or go shopping, I would let it be there decision.

It was around 11 a.m on Sunday morning when I called Kelly to give an update. I sat in my office and dialed her number, “Hello.” I started…

“Hey Garret, was about to call you but figured y’all may be sleeping still. How did the night go?”

“Anticlimactic” I stated, “but that was a blessing. Gave the boys baths and put them straight to bed. They are all fed this morning waiting for me to finish our phone call. You know something, they love to be naked, I have quickly learned that in our short time,” I told Kelly as I laughed.

“They are prepubescent boys, they would rather be naked than wear clothes, just don’t make them feel uncomfortable.”

“I don’t,” I responded, “but Kelly I am going to need your help with this decision. How do I tell the boys about their parents, I mean I know the boys know their parents are dead, but is there going to be a funeral or has any new information been made available? You need to give me something to work with.”

“I won’t know more about funerals and information until later in the week, bodies still need to go through an autopsy, and that could take a week to complete if not longer,” she reiterated. “Although you do need to tell them, Garret, they may have an idea that they are gone, but they need to hear it officially. Do you want me to come and tell them?”

“No, no, at least they will be able to hear it from me.”

“Good, I think that is a wise move Garret, now what do you plan to do come Monday morning?” She asked.

“What do you mean,”

“Never mind.”

“No, don’t do that shit Kelly,” I responded quickly.

“Well Garret, they need to be in foster care, they need to speak to police, and they need a doctor and mental check-ups. Let the state handle all this, I don’t know why you want to become wrapped up in this situation… you don’t even have kids of your own, are you capable and responsible enough to be in charge of four boys under the age of twelve?”

“First off Kelly, I may be your little brother but don’t ever talk to me like that again. You are damn right I have never raised kids, but who are you to judge my abilities. I am capable of doing all of that, just don’t take them away. It will leave me with a broken heart, and I can not see them put into a shitty care unit like you’ve done with so many kids in the past.”

“Garret, now you know that’s not what I meant. Look I have a job, and my job is important to me, I can’t promise anything, okay? You have temporary access that gets revoked Monday, but I will see if I can extend it. Now, what do you have planned for the rest of the day?” Kelly said, trying to change the topic.

“Taking them shopping for new clothes, or am I not capable of doing that?”

“Don’t get smart with me Garret, I’m just doing my job, okay?” she replied hastily.

“Sorry, sorry, I know I just get worked up. But they desperately need new clothes. First I am going to talk to them about their parents. Then end the night probably watching a movie. Trying to have a calm and relaxing night. One last thing Kelly.”

“What is it?”

“Please don’t tell anyone in the family yet, especially mom and dad. I plan to tell them when I have a better understanding of what is happening. Okay?” I begged.

“Sounds good to me, not my responsibility to tell them. Call me with any issues,” and she hung up the phone.

Part - 2

I had to collect my thoughts before heading out and talking with the boys. This was going to be challenging, if not the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. No one is ever prepared to hear that their parents are gone, and I have to tell 4 boys that exact information. I gathered my thoughts, stood up from my desk, and made my way to the family room.

As I entered, I asked the boys to come sit on the couch with me. Lincoln, was first and sat down on my lap. This visibly annoyed Clayton, so I whispered to Lincoln, “You should probably be next to me okay?”

He looked confused but did not argue, and plopped down on the right side of me while holding my arm. Clayton took Lincoln’s spot, and Ryker took my left side. Jacob wasn’t phased by not being able to sit next to me and took a seat to the left of Ryker.

I cleared my throat and started, “This isn’t easy to hear, and I believe you guys already know most of it.” I felt Lincoln grab my arm tighter, so I looked at him. With tears in his eyes, he nodded his head for me to continue. “Last night, your mother and father passed away. Some angry men broke into your house and their one, and only goal was to cause harm and emotional distress.” I looked around and saw three of the boys starting to cry, while Jacob did not seem phased. I began to speak again, “Now I know that this does not make any sense, but I promise you that when I know more information, I will tell you guys. If you have any questions, please ask me. I will answer all questions to my best ability. If you want to ask me in private, we can do that as well.”

Ryker spoke first through his tears, “What is going to happen to us?”

Oh boy, I thought, ask the one question I don’t have an answer to. But I expressed, “Honestly buddy, I’m not sure. I do not want to make a promise and have to break it. I know I can tell you boys this. One, I would like for you to stay with me, but it is not my decision…… Second thing, I can promise, no matter where you are, you will never ever be feeling this way again. I will make sure of that.” The last two lines were directed more for Lincoln then the rest of them, considering he went through hell and somehow came back.

“I want to stay here and be with you,” said Clayton.

“Me too,” Lincoln spoke through his sobs.

“So do I,” Ryker commented, “are… are we going to be able to see our parents, you know have a funeral or something like that?”

Jacob had heard enough, he bolted upstairs to his room. It was a surprise to everyone. I thought he might be processing all the information differently from the boys, but I wasn’t sure. I took this as an opportunity to show Jacob, I was there for him, and he could trust me.

I looked at the three remaining boys and said, “stay here.”

Standing up from the couch, I placed Clayton where I was sitting, and began the hike upstairs to his bedroom. I reached his door and opened it to peek my head inside. Jacob was again sitting on the edge of his bed looking at his scar.

“Jacob, may I come in please?” I asked

“Yeah,” he whispered. I proceeded to walk into his room and sit down beside him. I wanted to comfort him, but the last time I tried to hug him, he didn’t respond well, so I just sat next to him. Thinking of what to ask him first, “You have any questions for me Jacob?”

“No,” he quickly said.

“Listen, Jacob, I am not going to force you to talk to me. I hated when my mom did that. However, over the years I have found out the talking can help with emotions, make sense of hard situations, and can solve problems. If you want me to let you be, just say so,” I said.

He pondered for a few seconds, and with a deep breath expressed, “Do I have to see them again?”

“Well, I wouldn’t force you if you didn’t want to, but I think it is essential for you to have some closure. Why don’t you want to see them?”

“Because…” was all he responded.

Trying to push a bit further, “Because why?”

I don’t want to,” he roared.

Not knowing whether to push his boundaries or not, I took another leap and asked, “why? You haven’t given me a reason why bud.”

“Because,” he paused, looked at me and the floodgates opened, and I was not prepared for this as his head collapsed into my lap and said, “because my dad didn’t love me! He always said I was different from the boys, I was special, so I deserved special treatment. He said he wouldn’t want to treat the normal brothers this way. At first, I thought it was a good thing, but-but, it wasn’t. He liked to grab me and touch my willy and he umm… Well, when I tried to tell him to stop he would hit me.” He sobbed, “that is how I got this scar on my leg. The last time this happened, I tried to pull away from him, but he grabbed my thigh and clawed away and kept hitting that spot. Now it’s the stupidest reminder of why I’m different and sooooo special,” as he pulled the oversize T-Shirt up to his belly to expose the scar on his thigh.” I let him cry for a minute or two, while I tried to gain control of my emotions as well.

“Jacob…… I am so sorry buddy.” I replied as I wiped a tear from my eye. I rolled his T-Shirt down to cover his privates and pulled his body on to my lap so I could cradle him and started again, “How long has this been happening? Did you tell your mom?”

“Yes, I tried to tell her,” he cried, “but she didn’t believe me, she never believed me. So I stopped telling her, and just tried to avoid contact with him.”

“Jacob, how long has this been happening?”

He bawled, “for like two years.”

I was left speechless, all I could do was cry but I couldn’t. Jacob just opened up to me for the first time, and I had to put a strong face on.

“It’s okay buddy, I’m here for you I promise. I won’t ever do anything like that to you, nor will it ever happen again,” I stated, trying to comfort him. His sobbing was not going away, but it didn’t bother me. He was cradled in my lap and cried for 5 minutes. In those 5 minutes, we didn’t speak one word to each other. I just embraced him and left him to process everything on his own

In the midst of everything, Lincoln must have made his way to the door and was standing in shock as he saw his brother crying. I noticed him and motioned for him to come forward to support his brother. I wasn’t sure what he heard, but it wasn’t my place to ask him. If Jacob wanted to tell Lincoln, then that is up to him, I will always be there to support him if he needs it. Lincoln came over and gave his brother a hug, which caught Jacob off guard. The three of us embraced each other for what seemed to be hours, but only a few minutes. As Jacob began to calm down, I said to the boys, “I am heading downstairs to check on the rest of the crew. You both can come with me or can come down on your own time.”

“We will be down in a little,” Lincoln commented.

Part - 3

An hour or so has passed. Their laundry was done, and all the boys are dressed and ready to go shopping. I have not told the boys we were going to go shopping considering the news I broke to them about 2 hours ago. I have not given them the tour of the house/property either as they have only seen about 50 percent of the property. I decided that shopping was the most important thing on our schedule. So I went to go find the boys.

As they were all sitting in the living room watching TV, still trying to comprehend the news I told them, but I stated, “Alright boys, this may not be what you guys want to do, but we are going to go shopping for some clothes considering you have none here. We are going to buy underwear, socks, pants, shorts, and everything you need. After we go shopping, we’ll watch a movie or TV show! The mall is about 20 minutes away so anyone who has to use the bathroom, go now and we will load up the SUV.”

As expected, I received an unenthusiastic response, “okay.”

With that, I took a towel and cleaning products to the SUV to clean the mud off the seats. It didn’t take long, and soon everyone was in the car, as we left for the mall at 3:15 p.m. The car ride was as enjoyable as their response to go shopping. It did not bother me though, I understand everyone was still taking in the news. Lincoln, seemed to be the most cheerful out of all of them and asked,

“Do we have to try everything on, because that will take forever.”

“Well, you’ll have to try on everything once until we know your size, you’ll be able to pick clothes from your size,” I responded.

“Even socks and underwear?” He questioned.

“Not socks or underwear,” I laughed. “I will just look at the tag on the back of your underwear. I don’t even think they allow people to try on underwear and socks.”

“Okay, good that’d be gross if people tried on underwear,” Lincoln said which caused a chuckle from the other boys.

We rode in silence for five minutes listening to music, until Ryker spoke, “Do I need all new clothes? Because I have some clothes at my house that I like? Are we ever going to be able to go back to the house?”

“You know Ryker, I do not have an answer, but I’ll get one later today,” I stated, knowing I still needed to speak with Kelly about Jacobs past experiences with his dad… Ryker seemed satisfied with the answer.

“Can we get food soon, my stomach might fall apart if I don’t eat,” Clayton exaggerated.

“Do you ever think of anything else but food Clay?” Jacob joked.

“Yeah,” Clayton paused “well sometimes….. but not really, foods the bestest.”

“The greatest, not bestest. Bestest is not a word,” Lincoln said, correcting his brother.

“Well I like the word bestest,” returned Clayton.

“I tried,” Lincoln spoke while giggling.

“To answer your original question,” I started. “We can eat out at a restaurant after we go shopping and get home later at night and not watch a movie or we can get food from the food court, go shop, and then return home to watch a movie before bed, you boys pick.”

“I want to watch a movie before bed!” Ryker stated.

“I’ll do either or,” responded Lincoln.

“Movies!” screamed Clayton.

“A movie is fine with me,” as Jacob responded last.

“Alright, sounds like a plan to me,” I said. The movie conversation ended just as we pulled up into the parking lot of the mall. We decided to stop at the subway for a quick bite to eat. I have not eaten a subway sandwich for years, I got a twelve-inch meatball sub, which turned out to be delicious. After everyone ate their food, we were off to Dicks Sporting Good Store, to buy socks and underwear as well as a few pairs of sweatpants, shoes, shorts, and T-Shirts for each of the boys.

“What size underwear should I get?” Lincoln asked.

“Let me look,” I said, as Lincoln turned around and I pulled the back of his pants down just enough to expose the tag. “Medium for you Lincoln.”

“What kind should I get?” He asked

“Whatever you are comfortable with, boxer briefs are always comfortable, it is like a mix of boxers and briefs,” I replied.

“Okay I will try them,” he stated. I went through this process with each of the boys. Ryker and Jacob were both smalls, while Clayton was extra small. They all followed in their brother’s footsteps and went boxer briefs. I also bought a pack of boxers for each of the boys, just in case they didn’t like the boxer briefs. Our next stop was Nordstrom, where the boys loved this place. There was a really nice sales lady that helped pick out all the boys clothes. They got hoodies, pants, jeans, polo shirts, nicer t-shirts, jackets, and shoes. They were having a field day laughing and having fun, it was nice to see smiles on all of their faces for once. At the end of the shopping spree, I spent nearly thousand dollars for each boy, and it was amazing.

When we were leaving the sales lady pulled me aside and told me, “I have been doing this for 7 years, and not once have I had this much fun at this job. Those boys of yours are balls of light. This was my first day back on the job from losing my husband to cancer, and I wasn’t sure if I could make it through the rest of the day. I just wanted to say thank you for bringing them into the store today, they were so polite and well mannered.”

Somewhat caught off guard by her story, I began “Thank you, they are special boys, and I believe you just earned four new customers anytime they need clothes.”

“No, thank you” she replied.

After hearing from the sales lady, I was proud of how the boys behaved and decided to reward them with a little treat before leaving. We stopped at a pretzel store, called Auntie Anne’s; they have the best cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites. It was a perfect snack/dessert, and the boys seemed to enjoy the pretzels as well. We walked to the Mercedes and put their new clothes in the trunk. We loaded up the car and headed for home.

While driving back to the house, I decided to test the waters and see how the boys were feeling so I stated, “Now I know I recently told all of you about your parents. I don’t want to keep bringing it up, but it is healthy to talk about your feeling and attitudes. Especially talking, I am here for you boys, you understand? If you ever want to talk, just let me know… Now I’m not going to force you guys to tell me your feelings, but if you want to speak, the floor is yours.”

Silence….. so silent, you could hear a pin drop in the car.

Luckily, Ryker began to speak, “I don’t know how to feel, we don’t know a lot of information. But but, I don’t really have any feelings right now.”

“That is okay, you are still processing everything.”

“Yeah but I feel like I should be sadder, but it is hard to be sad when I am around you Garret. You make stuff fun, and I have only been here for a night.” Ryker replied

“Yeaahhh you are tons of fun,” commented Clayton

“Thank you boys, for the kind words, it truly means a lot to me.” I stated, realizing that I don’t want these boys to leave my guardianship.

“I am going to miss mom and dad,” began Lincoln. “I mean they were not always the nicest, and we won’t have to stay locked in our rooms for the majority of the day, but-but, I guess… I guess I don’t know how I feel either.”

“Well, it is okay to have mixed emotions, Y’all are processing so much information and news,” I replied. That seemed to put a damper on that conversation, none of the boys really wanted to talk about it, but that’s okay. We pulled into the garage around 6:30 p.m., I told the boys to go put away all their clothes while I make a quick phone call to Kelly.

Part - 4

I opened the conversation, “Hey Kelly, just calling to check in.”

“Hey Garret, how did it all go?”

“As expected, but I found out some information from Jacob,” I stated. “Apparently the father abused Jacob and only Jacob. Jacob told me ‘his dad would call him special, and he would never treat the normal brothers this way’.

“I find it extremely odd that only Jacob was abused by his father. I mean he may look different but…” Right then and there it clicked in my head.

“Garret, hello, you still there? Hello?” Kelly asked.

“Sorry Kelly, just some wild crazy thought that could be interesting…… Jacob looks different from the rest of the brothers, the dad calls him special…. you think it’s possible that Jacob might have a different dad from the others?”

“Wait, wait, wait… hold on Garret,” she interrupted me. “When did you find out this information about the abuse?”

“Probably about six-seven hours ago, why?” I questioned.

AND YOU’RE TELLING ME THIS INFORMATION NOW?” she screamed! “Garret, are you stupid or something? When you get information like that, you have to report it immediately.”

“Calm down Kelly, it’s not that big of a deal.” I stupidly said.

“Calm down? Seriously? I’m coming to get the boys right now. Clearly, you are incompetent…”

“Now, now, just wait a damn second,” I replied. “Give me a break, I am new to the whole foster care. I admit, it was stupid of me to not tell you right away, but come on, one mistake, and you are going to take them away from me?”

“I don’t know Garret, I know you care about them, but I will have to write this in my report to superiors.”

“Really Kelly?”

“Yes really, you may be my brother, but I still have a job to do, and believe it or not I do care about the kids,” she explained.

With a mocking voice, I said, “I mean, do what you got to do Kelly.”

“Don’t give me that tone, you know I care about my job.” She continued “Now you said something about that dad, correct?”

“Yeah, I was saying I think three boys have one father, while Jacob has a different dad.”

“That wouldn’t make much sense, Jacob is the third child out of four,” Kelly responded. “Normally if a child has a different father, it is the first or last child. Very unusual for one of the middle children to have a different father.”

“Well what if the father didn’t know at the time, I mean Ryker and Jacob are not that far apart in age,” I replied

Kelly mentioned, “It is something to consider, but I wouldn’t get too wrapped up in it. But I’ll take note, and see if there is any backstory to it… anything else happen today?”

“Nope, shopping went well. The boys received positive comments on how well behaved they were. Almost forgot, Ryker wanted me to ask you if they are allowed to go back to the house to collect some stuff?”

“At this point in time? No, they are not. The house is still considered a crime scene as detectives and police are trying to piece information together,” Kelly said.

“Okay, I’ll tell them that. One last question, what is going to happen tomorrow?” I inquired.

“I am not sure, I honestly have no clue,” returned Kelly.

“Well you are helpful,” I joked.

“I try to be,” she replied.

“Alright, well we are going to put a movie on and then after, probably get the boys to bed. They are probably exhausted… goodnight, talk to you tomorrow, love ya,” I said before hanging up the phone. I stepped out of my office and hollered for the boys to come down. One by one I heard footsteps racing down the stairs. Ryker, Jacob, and Clayton all entered the family room. Somewhat surprised Lincoln didn’t come down, I told the boys to search for a movie on Netflix or HBO while I’ll go check on him.”

I began to walk upstairs and peaked my head through his door. I saw him sitting on his bed, he still had some clothes to put away but was just staring into space. To break his stare, I walked in and said, “You okay buddy?”

“Huh, what?” He replied.

“You okay Lincoln?”

“Yeah, I umm, I, I um, I’m fine,” he stuttered.

“Yeah, you sure? I asked.

“Umm, yeah, I don’t really know what happened. I opened the closet door, and I had a flashback to last night. It was so real, it was like I just relived it” said Lincoln.

“Well, what part did you flashback to?” I asked.

Tears started to fill his eyes, and he turned his head away from me, “When I left my brothers, and I went upstairs, and before I got smacked in the head and my dad said I am an embarrassment to the family and a faggot,” he paused, “then I got knocked down, and I see this guy come stand over me. I don’t know what happened next because you called my name.”

“Hey buddy, look at me,” I stated, bringing my hand to his chin to turn his face in my direction. “You are not an embarrassment, anyone would be lucky to have you as a son.”

“But, but, but I am a faggot.” He cried.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because I kissed anoth… another boy” Lincoln stuttered “and my dad saw me.”

“Oh buddy, it is okay! It really is, you are young and experimenting! A lot of boys experiment, as you get older, your preferences might change. But if they don’t, then it is no big deal! It doesn’t matter who or what gender you like. As long as you are happy, and treat others the way you want to be treated, you will never be an embarrassment. If you like the same gender Lincoln, I will support you in that decision 100 percent. You understand?”

Lincoln began to say, “Yeah, but I don’t know, my dad said it was wrong.”

“To some people, liking the same gender is wrong and grotesque, but their views should not affect you though because they don’t know the real Lincoln.” I replied as he was starting to calm down. “Now ignoring hateful people can be difficult, and if you ever run into problems you feel you can’t control, then let me know. I promise to always have your back buddy.”

“Thanks, Garret,” Lincoln said running up to me and giving me a hug.

“Are these flashback things going to keep happening?” Lincoln asked.

“I don’t know buddy, I am not a doctor, but I think you might be suffering some PTSD?”

“What is that?”

I answered, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it doesn’t last forever, but when people go through a highly stressful situation like you did. Sometimes it can trigger flashbacks and mess with the head.”

“You really think I have that?”

“I don’t know, but we can find out this week. I’ll take you to a doctor, and we can get it diagnosed.” I said.

“Alright….. Thanks for being easy to talk to Garret.” He said as he gave me another hug.

“No problem, now head downstairs and help your brothers pick a movie! I will be down shortly, I’m going to get changed into comfortable clothes.”

“Can I go Mr. Free feeling while watching the movie?” Lincoln inquired while laughing his butt off.

Took me a second to realize what he was asking but I replied, “How about….. NO, but you can wear your new underwear if you want to.”

“I like that idea,” Lincoln said, stripping to his birthday suit in front of me.

“You have no shame do you,” I laughed.

“You have seen it before! So it doesn’t matter anymore! And you said I shouldn’t be embarrassed about my body.”

“True true, I did. Carry on.” I said, as I exited Lincoln’s room knowing he won that conversation at the end. As I was walking back to my room, I needed to comprehend everything he told me. As I was changing into comfy clothes, I thought, “First, I dodged the emotional train for the night as I don’t think Lincoln knows he was raped yet, but eventually he most likely will. That might have been the tipping point of emotions for him. Second, he just came out as gay, but he is young, and he could just be experimenting. Either way, I will support him.

I walked out of my bedroom as Lincoln was walking out his.

“Like the underwear,” he said as he struck a pose.

Laughing, I said, “looks good.”


“Yeah, now get your little heinie downstairs,” I joked, as I gently gave a tap on his butt.

“Hey, don’t touch the goods” he giggled while running down the stairs, with his hands covering his butt.

“Lincoln, be careful. The last thing we need is a trip to the emergency room.”

“Yeah yeah,” he commented.

As we reached the family room, the boys seemed to have a movie picked out. The movie was the first Harry Potter Film. To be honest, I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so I was more excited then the boys were.

“Excellent choice.” I said, “one of my favorites!”

Clayton began to speak, “Really, we have never sawed it before” as he walked over to me wanting to be picked up.

I reached down picked up Clayton and walked over to the couch, and spoke “you boys have never seen Harry Potter? I have all the movies on blue-ray, we can watch them all in order.”

“Can we watch them all tonight?” Jacob asked

“Probably not, but we can try to watch one every other night! Sound good?”

“Yes,” Jacob responded.

“Anyone want popcorn before we start,” I asked.

“Yes!” Echoed four boys

Looking at Clayton in my lap, I said to him “want to be my helper?”

“Can I?” He asked enthusiastically

“Absolutely!” I responded

We walked into the kitchen pantry and found the popcorn. I told Clayton to pull out two bags, as I went on the look for two giant bowls. Clayton wanted to push the buttons, so I lifted him up onto the counter so he could reach. 5 minutes later, we walked into the family room with two giant bowls of buttered popcorn. As I sat down, the boys gathered around me. I put my feet up on the table. Clayton sat on my lap sort of laying his head on my chest. Lincoln nudged his head on my left shoulder and hung onto my arm. Ryker put his head on the arm of the couch and his feet on my right thigh, and Jacob sat in between my legs in front of me on the floor with a pillow in front of my groin area to rest his head. To say it was crowded, would be an understatement, but I was loving it all.

When the movie ended, I sent the boys upstairs to go get ready for bed as it was almost 10:30 p.m. I told Lincoln to get a shower since he hasn’t had one in over 24 hours.

Doing my rounds, I went to Clayton’s room first. He was struggling to put his new PJs on which made me chuckle and say, “let me help buddy.”

“Thanks, that was tough,” he said exhaustedly.

“My pleasure” I responded. Clayton walked over to his bed and stepped under the covers. I kissed him on his forehead and told him goodnight.

My next stop was Jacob’s room. When I entered, he was standing in the buck.

“Hey bud, ready for bed,” I asked.

“Yeah, could I get one of your shirts to sleep in again. It was so comfortable?” he questioned.

“Sure, be right back.” I walked back to my room and grabbed a shirt of mine and went back to his room. “Here ya go,” I said tossing it to him. He caught it but set it on his bed, and walked over to me. He gave me a hug which surprised me considering he was naked and said,

“Thank you for believing me today, and thank you for talking to me.”

“Oh Jacob, that’s what I am here for. Don’t forget it either.” I said, as I rubbed his bare back in a circular motion, “you can come to me whenever you need to talk.” I kissed the top of his head and released the hug

“Thanks, goodnight.” He replied

“Goodnight,” I returned.

I went to Ryker’s room after Jacobs, to my surprise he was already sleeping, so I walked over and turned off the bedside lamp and kissed his head goodnight.

As I entered Lincoln’s room, I noticed he didn’t take a shower yet.

“No shower?” I inquired

“I was going to, but then I got scared of having a flashback, I don’t want those, it was terrifying.”

I brought up and idea, “Well bud, you need a shower, how about I can come sit in the bathroom, while you shower and we can talk.”

“Yeah, I like that”

“Alright then,” I said as we walked to the bathroom. Lincoln hopped in the shower and began to speak,

“I want to know more about you Garret.”

“What do you want to know?”

“You have any siblings?” He asked

“Well you met my one sister Kelly, she is the oldest in the family. I have two older brothers, one named Lucas and he is four years older than me and lives in Pittsburgh PA. My other brother’s name is Calvin, he is nine years older than me and lives about 40 minutes away.”

“Wow, you have the same number of siblings as me.”


“Do they have kids?” Lincoln questioned

“Yup, in total, I have six nephews and four nieces.”

“Your family is so big, besides my brothers I don’t have any cousins, aunts, or uncles. I want to meet them.”

“Well, someday I bet you’ll eventually meet them all,” I said

“Are your parents still alive,” inquired Lincoln.

“Yup, they live in Pittsburgh as well. Both my parents are 64.”

“Really!” Lincoln said excitedly “I don’t think I even have grandparents.”

I laughed at his excitement, but asked “Any other questions.”

“Oh yeah, I have plenty,” he said, “Why don’t you have kids?”

“Well that is a long one buddy, I was married to this beautiful woman named Eliza. We dated all through college and were hitched shortly after graduation. I was devoted to my business at the time and did not pay enough attention to her and her needs. She wanted to start a family but, I wasn’t ready to. Unfortunately, she left me for a good friend of mine, and I haven’t heard from her since.”

“I’m sorry” Lincoln whispered, “why didn’t you want kids?”

“I didn’t want to raise kids,” I began. “At the time, I was starting to achieve my career goals and everything was going smooth.”

“Do you want a family now?” Lincoln asked

Knowing he was referring to himself and his brothers, I needed to answer this question well, “Umm, no not really…. ya know, considering I have four boys to look after, at the moment. So adding more kids to the mix is ludicrous.”

“Yeah this number is a good number,” Lincoln laughed.

“Alright, buddy, time to hop out and get to bed.”

“Let me finish getting this shampoo out of my hair,” he returned.

“Alright, I am going to step out and get your bed ready.”

“Sounds good, thanks” replied Lincoln. I stepped out of the bathroom and heard the water shut off quickly. Pulling the covers down to the bottom of the bed, Lincoln stepped out of the bathroom.

“Ready for bed?” I asked

“Yes, can you stay with me like you did with Ryker last night?”

“How did you hear about that?”

“Ryker told me,” he said giggling.

“You have to put underwear on though.”

“Ryker didn’t have underwear on,” he quickly commented.

“Because he didn’t have clean underwear, plus he had a shirt on that covered everything.”

“So if I put a shirt on, that counts?”

“I mean, I don’t understand why this is an argument, you are going to have to put underwear on if you want to cuddle,” I said in a firm tone.

“You can’t make me” he responded loudly.

“Yeah, you are right bud.” I walked over to where he was standing, kissed him on the head and proceeded to walk out the door and said, “goodnight, get some rest.”

“Wait, why are you leaving?”

“Because in my house we don’t raise our voices like that at each other”

“Are you mad? I’m sorry, please don’t be mad?”

“No, I am not mad, but cuddling isn’t going to happen tonight. You overstepped your boundaries, you can’t raise your voice like that to me. I am not mad I promise, but you need to get to sleep.”

“Okay,” he said nervously and hopped into his bed.

“Goodnight Lincoln,” I said

“Goodnight” he reiterated

As I was walking away, I heard a slight whimper from his room but decided to let it go knowing I can address it in the morning. I took a quick shower before I went to bed. I laid down and fell asleep around 12:00 a.m.

Part - 5

My alarm clock rang around 7:45 a.m. Monday morning, My sleep schedule is still adjusted to my previous work life, which in most cases is a good thing. I went downstairs to make a pot of coffee and read the sports article on my iPad. I am a big fan of hockey, so the first section I always check is hockey news for trades, scores, and league standing. I try to go to the Columbus Blue Jackets games as often as I can.

Around 8:30 I heard a knock on my door. I walked over and opened to see who my guest was. When I opened the door, I saw my sister, another lady, and an older looking gentleman.

“Garret” Kelly said, “I am so…”

“Mr. Hamel” the lady spoke, as she interrupted my sister, “I am Laura Deon, your temporary access has been revoked, you can apply through your sister to become a foster care parent, but as of right now you no longer have custody of the kids.”


Laura spoke again, “Where are Lincoln, Ryker, Jacob, and Clayton Barnard? They are to come with us immediately.”

To Be Continued…

Author Notes:

Thank you for reading and following the story! Always enjoy hearing from readers!  
Third and final, the destinations, streets, events, and locations are made up. I use Columbus as a nearby city, but I'm unaware if the addresses listed are real or not. All scores and games are made up in my head. However, most teams are real.