Dear Diary

Chapter 4


Mrs. Amee slowly and carefully removed her arm from under Dixon's head. She hadn't slept a wink, but she didn't feel tired at all. She would have been awake and staring at Dixon even if she hadn't been holding him all night. He had woken up a few times hurting, but the nurse had come in and given him something that put him right back out. The old woman had been so anxious to see the boy yesterday that she hadn't asked much about his care. She wanted to remedy that today. She made her way out to the nurse's station and first asked for some aspirin for her sore arm and shoulder.

"You held him all night didn't you?" the morning nurse asked. "You shouldn't be doing that at either of your ages. It's bad for you and it spoils him." Mrs. Amee started to reply, but she saw the smile on the nurse's face. "I've read the boy's file," the woman said. "If I just got one of my little ones back after that long, I wouldn't be able to let go of them either. I'm about to take a break, if you'd like to step down the hall a couple of doors with me, I'll sneak you into the nurses' lounge for some coffee and maybe an aspirin for those aches and pains as long as you don't turn me in for dispensing medicine without a license."

"I'd be happy to join you for a cup," Mrs. Amee said. "I won't say a word about the arthritis if you don't. I would hate for that sweet boy to think that I was hurting from holding him last night. I was just so excited over seeing him yesterday; I don't think I could have stood not to hold him in my arms for another minute." Just then the two women heard mumbling coming from down the hall.

"…my son; I don't see why I can't at least be in the room." It was the young boy that Mrs. Amee had talked to on the phone at first. "Do rounds he says. We've only got two patients."

"Well, you seem to be in a fine mood this morning, Just Jerry," Mrs. Amee teased the boy. "What has you looking so grumpy?"

"I just haven't had a very good morning," the boy answered. "I want to be somewhere else, but I can't because my friends won't let me. They said I would be annoying. I'm not annoying. I'm never annoying. I'm one of the nicest guys I know." He looked up to see the smirks on the two women's faces. "I'm sorry; I should be asking you questions, not the other way around. How is Dixon doing this morning?"

"He needed pain medication a couple of times last night, but he seems to be sleeping just fine right now," the nurse answered.

"I can't thank you and Marc enough, Jerry," Mrs. Amee told the boy seriously. "I don't know what I can ever do to repay you. I never thought I would see that boy again."

"We just did what needed to be done," Jerry said shyly. "Dixon should be fine physically in a few more days. He will need lots of love to help him emotionally, though." He looked up at the old woman as he added, "Somehow I don't think that will be a problem, though."

"It certainly won't," Mrs. Amee agreed with a smile. "The whole family is waiting for him to come home again." She grew more serious as she asked, "What can you tell me about his injuries? What did that woman do to him?"

"Well, there was some damage to his arms and chest where she cut him with the knife as they struggled." Jerry informed her. "He will have some itching around those areas as they start to heal today." Here he began to get a little nervous at the topic. "The worst injury of course was to his… well, I mean she…."

"Then what that idiot sheriff told me was true?" Mrs. Amee interrupted him, much to Jerry's relief. "She really did cut him there?"

"Doctor, I know it isn't exactly allowed, but perhaps Mrs. Amee could read Dixon's charts?" the nurse suggested. "The situation could remain more private that way and she would have a better understanding of the extent of his trauma."

"I think under these circumstances, we could allow that," Jerry agreed gratefully. The nurse quickly retrieved the files from the station. Jerry watched then as the old woman began to read the reports in the file. He saw the anger, the pain, the sorrow, and the hatred each take their turn on her face. "I understand the woman was taken into custody," he pointed out.

"Well, that damn fool they call a sheriff said that since the boy was removed from his jurisdiction, there was little evidence to conflict with her story that he attacked her and that she acted in self defense," Mrs. Amee told Jerry and the nurse.

"Self defense!" the nurse cried. "How could they possibly call what she did to that little angel as self defense?"

"We'll see about that," Jerry vowed coldly.

"Jerry, I didn't finish reading this, but I have to ask now," Mrs. Amee began. "Is Dixon… well, I mean what were you able to do about..? This says that she put his… Did she really microwave them?" When Jerry nodded, unable to speak to answer the question, the old woman swayed a bit. The nurse put out a hand to steady her. "I'm alright. I just can't believe a human being could be so evil." She looked back at Jerry expectantly.

"We were able to retrieve the… separated appendages," Jerry started telling her. "They were in no condition to be reattached of course. Then again his body was too messed up to accept them if they had been. We were able to get a DNA pattern from them, though, which was used to replicate new…. well, to replace what he had lost."

"So, he's still a boy down there?" Mrs. Amee asked delicately.

"Yes, he may or may not look exactly the same, but the genetic structure is identical," Jerry assured her.

"What do you mean he may not look the same?"

"Well, the damage she did to his… umm… well, we couldn't tell if he had been circumcised or not," Jerry stuttered while blushing profusely.

"He wasn't the last time I changed one of his diapers," Mrs. Amee answered. "Surely she wouldn't have done that to him at that late age?"

"You wouldn't think she would have done any of the stuff she did to him," the nurse pointed out.

"Mamee?" they all heard Dixon call out.

"I'm right here, Little D," she called as she rushed back to his room.

"How are you feeling this morning, Dixon?" Jerry asked as he walked in with the nurse.

"I'm still sore and itchy all over, and my…." he blushed hotly as he looked at his great grandmother and the nurse and then stared at the wall across the room from them. "Well, it still really hurts… down there."

"Would you ladies step out of the room for a moment?" Jerry asked them. "I need to examine Dixon."

"Dude, you're going to look at… at me naked?"

"Would you rather Nurse Patty do the exam?" Jerry asked seriously. "I mean she's a grownup if that's the problem."

"But she's a woman," Dixon protested as he blushed even more than he had a moment earlier.

"Ok, no women," Jerry agreed with a giggle. "If you don't want her because she's a woman, why don't you want me to examine you? I am a doctor."

"Do I have to say it?" Dixon whined slightly. When he saw Jerry still waiting, he sighed and continued. "The only other boy who has ever touched me down there is Jessie."

"Well, actually that's not true," Jerry corrected him. "Marc, Chris and I have all had to touch you because we were operating on you there," Jerry was trying his best to sound professional and grownup, even though as a boy himself, he could understand Dixon's embarrassment completely.

"You did?" Dixon blushed yet again and pulled the covers up a little higher to his chin. "Oh, I guess you would have had to since you're the doctor," he admitted sheepishly. "I kinda didn't think about that. You guys are like my age. I always thought doctors were like really old, like forty or something."

"I wouldn't say that too loud if I were you," Jerry laughed. "Marc and Danny would gladly throw you in the pool or the ocean. Mrs. Amee might help them. She's almost as old as Marc."

"Wait a minute, Marc as in the guy that was in here with you yesterday?" Jerry nodded. "He didn't look but maybe a year older than me. Oh, wait! I remember now. You said he was an android."

"Yep, he's the original," Jerry explained as he proceeded with the examination. Keeping the patient's mind off what he was doing really did work. "Of course, I guess you should say that Danny is the first one. He became an android years before Marc was developed."

"Who's Danny?" Dixon asked as he also tried not to think about the cute little blond that was touching and inspecting his privates.

"Danny is the head of the Clan Short Artificial Intelligence Division," Jerry answered. "He is out on business with the clan patriarch right now, so you won't be able to meet him just yet. The youngest android around here is my son, Joey. Hopefully he will be back up and about today. He had to have…. well, so I won't bore you with all of the technical stuff, he needed some work done, but he should be better today."

"Is that why you seem more nervous and jittery today?"

"What makes you think I'm nervous?" Jerry asked innocently.

"Well, it's either that or you're perving on me, 'cause you've changed that bandage four times now," Dixon said with a slight blush; his being slight only in comparison to the one that suddenly lit up Jerry's face.

"I'm sorry," Jerry gasped. "I'm not... um.. perving on you, I swear. It really is Joey. I don't see why they won't at least let me in the room where he is being worked on," he growled grumpily. He jumped as he heard Dixon take a sharp breath. "Are you hurting? Did I do something?"

"No, it wasn't you," Dixon assured him. He was looking down the bed. "It looks so real, but it doesn't look like me."

"It is real, Dixon," Jerry told him firmly. "What you see was developed from your own genetic structure. That's really you, just like you were."

"No, it's not," Dixon insisted. "I didn't look like that at all."

"Oh crap, you were circumcised!" Jerry blurted. "We couldn't tell from your... well, we couldn't tell. We can fix that easily enough if you really want to look like you did."

"That's ok," Dixon said quickly. "I can live with it, I guess. I've been cut enough lately," he added softly.

"Well, this is more natural," Jerry offered supportively. "There will be more feeling in the area now thanks to all the extra nerve endings you had lost. We just didn't know you had been done that way. I'm sorry if it upset you." He thought for a moment before mumbling under his breath, "get one of the twins to check into that." Before he could say or do anything else, his communicator beeped.

"Barnes to Dr. Owens," a voice said. To Dixon, it sounded like another guy about his age. He was starting to wonder if Nurse Patty was the only adult on the whole staff.

"Jerry here. What's up Noah?"

"Dr. Owens, I need you to report to the cafeteria as soon as possible," the person called Noah announced.

"Is something wrong?" Jerry asked. Dixon could see and hear the worry in his young doctor.

"There's a former patient that needs your attention, doctor," Noah answered. It sounded to Dixon as if this Noah was laughing about something. "Would you care to speak with him?"

"Um... Sure," Jerry responded.

"Go ahead, say hi." Noah said to someone obviously with him.

"Daddy?" It was a little kid's voice. "Daddy, you godda come down an ged some food an I wanna see you."

"Joey? Omigod! JOEY!" Jerry shouted. "I'm on my way! Omigod! I gotta go..." Jerry shut off the communicator abruptly. He looked at Dixon and said, "My son's a Joey. I mean my Joey's a son. I mean… I need to go now if you need anything just let one of the nurses know."

"Go see your kid, dude," Dixon laughed at his young friend as the little doctor literally tore out of the room. The excitement that Jerry showed only made him more acutely aware that the person he wanted to see that badly was nowhere near him. Dixon was still crying a few minutes later when Mrs. Amee walked back into the room.

"What's wrong, Little D?" she asked quickly. "Are you still hurting?"

"Yeah, but medicine can't fix this," Dixon whispered.

"Well, how about a hug and a cuddle?" the old woman asked softly. "You and I have a lot of years of cuddles to catch up on, and probably not much time to do it in."

"What do you mean?" the boy asked, sitting up quickly, grimacing at the pain that caused him, but more concerned for the woman he had already come to love.

"Don't worry about me. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon," she assured him as if she had read his mind. "I just know how boys are. It won't be long before you decide you're too grown up to cuddle with an old lady."

"I'll never get too old to cuddle with you, Mamee," Dixon vowed. A commotion outside the room distracted them from their embrace.

Mrs. Amee stepped out into the hall and saw Annie Mae practically running through the building.

"Amee! Amee! You got to get Little D out of this place!" Annie Mae was saying as she hurried up to her friend. "You can't let them robot monsters kill that baby!"

"Annie Mae! What in the world has gotten into you?" Mrs. Amee gasped.

"Them damn machines, they don't know nothing about caring for people," Annie Mae snapped. "Don't let another human die at their hands."

"Annie Mae Parker! I'm surprised at you!" Mrs. Amee barked. "If it weren't for these wonderful boys…."

"They ain't boys! They're monsters, murdering back stabbing machines that fool you into thinking they're people," Annie Mae continued to rant. "Have you forgot that it was one of their kind that let your momma and your brother die right in front of you?"

"Doug didn't let anyone die," Mrs. Amee corrected. "The influenza killed my mother and my brother, just like it killed your Papa and your brother and sisters. Doug did everything he could to save all of us."

"He murdered my family," Annie Mae insisted. "Then he took off so we couldn't make him pay for what he done."

"Annie Mae, we will discuss this at home," Mrs. Amee said firmly. "You don't know the all the facts."

"I know enough to know I won't never trust another one of them robots as long as I live," she snarled as she turned away and left the building.

"I am sorry about that outburst," Mrs. Amee apologized to Nurse Patty who was standing nearby. "All these years and I have never seen this side of Annie Mae. She is normally a very loving, and level headed person."

"I'm just glad none of the boys heard her," the nurse replied. "Doctors or not, they're still kids too. I wouldn't have wanted them to hear that."

"I agree," Mrs. Amee said somewhat absently as she stared down the hall that her life long friend had just stormed through.

"Why don't I call down to the cafeteria and order you something to eat?" the nurse offered changing the subject. "Dixon is still on a soft food diet for today, but I could get you practically anything you want. The kitchen staff here is top notch. They were the catering staff for my niece's wedding a few weeks ago."

"The kitchen staff here runs a catering business on the side?" Mrs. Amee questioned.

"No, they were a catering firm before they took on the hospital," Nurse Patty responded. "Mrs. Owens is a world class caterer. She's the best in the area."

"Did you say Owens? Would that be Mary Stewart Owens?" When the nurse nodded, Mrs. Amee smiled. "She was a student of mine before I retired from teaching. I would love to see her again. I wouldn't want to eat in front of Little D if he can't join me, anyway. I'll just tell him where I'm going." When she peeked back into the room however, she saw that Dixon had fallen back to sleep again. "Poor baby, he needs the rest," she murmured as she closed the door and went back to the nurses' station. "If he wakes up, let him know where I am and tell him I won't stay long."

"I will, Mrs. Amee," Nurse Patty replied. "You go have a nice visit and an even better meal."

"All right you two, someone made bail for you," the guard announced to Jason and Philip. "Get up here and put your hands out so I can cuff you."

"Uncle Jimmy, you don't need the cuffs," Jason said as he stood up.

"Don't call me that, you fag," the officer snapped. "If your parents knew about this, they would be turning over in their graves."

"My parents did know about Philip and me," Jason returned. "They were both very supportive, and I know they would feel the same way about Jessie and Dixon."

"Well, if Jessie is queer, he won't be wanting to hang around with Dixon anymore," the man the Blankenship boys had known all of their lives said harshly. "After his momma got done with him, Dixon is going to be called Dixie from now on."

"What do you mean?" Philip asked.

"I mean she castrated the kid," Officer Dupuis said with a laugh. "According to the doc in the emergency room and the statement they got from your faggot brother last night, she chopped off his penis and then ripped his balls out by the roots. If that weren't enough, she stuck the whole mess into the microwave and tried to feed it to Jessie."

"Oh my god, those poor kids," Philip moaned. Jason ran for the toilet in the cell and promptly threw up.

"Hey, have you been drinking on top of everything else we've got on you?" the officer called out.

"You have nothing on either of us," Philip snapped. "We have never done anything out of line with either of those boys."

"That ain't what Ms. Pickhinke had to say about it."

"You're going to take the word of a woman who attacked and mutilated her own child over these boys, when you've known one of them his whole life?" The officer and the two boys turned to see Philip's father walking toward them.

"I told you to wait out there," the officer ordered.

"And I told you that as the attorney for these boys, you can't keep me out of here," Mr. Peltier replied. "Now stand aside and let my clients out of there."

"You may be a high powered lawyer, Peltier, but not even you are going to be able to get these two out of the trouble they're in," the policeman taunted.

"Don't bet on it," Mr. Peltier told him coldly. "Jason, Philip, let's get going. I need to fill you in on what's happened; as much of it as I can anyway."

"Is what Unc… he said true?" Jason asked his friend's father. "Did she really hurt Dixon like that and try to…. Oh God, I can't even say it without getting sick again."

"I'm afraid that everything he said was true, boys," Mr. Peltier said quietly. "I have to warn you, though, the news I have to tell you isn't going to be good, Jason."

"I have to ask one question first, Mr. Peltier," Jason insisted. "Do you believe that we did anything to the boys?"

"I never did for a minute, Jason," the man responded instantly. "Philip is my son. I know he would never be capable of hurting a child. He feels guilty for killing bugs."

"DAD!" Philip cried out.

"He's got you there, baby," Jason giggled.

"You may not be my son, but you are basically my son in law, and I want to think that I know you pretty well by now as well," the man told Jason. "If I had thought you were guilty, you would need to stay in that cell to be protected from me."

"That means a lot to me, Mr. Peltier," Jason told the man. "Thank you."

"You just keep my son happy and that will be thanks enough," the lawyer told him. He took a few steps and then turned to face Jason again. "Oh and one other thing, and this is the very last time I will ever tell you this."

"What sir?" Jason asked nervously as he saw the serious look on the man's face.

"If you don't stop calling me sir and Mr. Peltier, I will be tempted to put you back in that cell where I just found you," Philip's father said as sternly as he could before breaking into a smile at the bewildered face of his son's lover. "If I know my son at all, you are a permanent part of my family by now, or soon will be. You can start calling me Madison, or if you're comfortable with it, my friends call me Sonny."

"Would it be all right if I called you Dad?" Jason asked quietly after a glance at Philip.

"I wouldn't ever want to try to take the place of your father, Jason," Sonny Peltier began. He looked over at Philip as well and saw the tears just at the edge of his son's eyes as Philip gazed with love at Jason. "Then again, if you're comfortable with that, I think it would be very appropriate. Let's go see Mom and start trying to fight these backwoods idiot rednecks. Oops, did I say that out loud?" The three of them all laughed as they got into Sonny's car and left the parking lot.

Dixon awoke from yet another nightmare. He had suffered with them his whole life, but this one was worse than usual. He had been plagued with dreams that his mother was hurting him for most of his life, but now that she actually had, it seemed to have made the dreams worse. Worst of all, she had tried to hurt Jessie as well. That was what this dream had been about.

Dixon and Jessie were on the sofa at Jesse's apartment, kissing. That much had been nice. All of a sudden, Dixon's mother had stormed into the room screaming at them. She grabbed Dixon and began hacking away at him with a knife. Jessie tried to stop her, but she hit him and Dixon watched helplessly as his boyfriend was thrown off of the sofa and into the plate glass door. He saw the glass shattering around Jessie as he fell through the door.

Dixon woke up crying. He just wanted someone to tell him if Jessie was all right. What if Jessie didn't want to see him again? What if he told Dixon that he never wanted to see him again? For that matter, what if he couldn't see him. No one had told him what his mother did to Jessie after he had blacked out. Perhaps Jessie was hurt too. He began to cry with worry for his boyfriend. His tears kept him from hearing the commotion in the hallway outside his room. He did hear the door to his room being opened, however, and looked up to see a little boy walking into the room.

"Casey. Dhewe's a boy in hewe and he cwyin," The little boy whispered as he began to enter the room.

"Joey! No!" A voice outside whispered loudly as Joey walked right into the room.

"Awe you ok?" Joey asked softly. Dixon looked up and forced a smile.

"Yeah, I guess so," Dixon replied. "How long have you been out there?"

"Not long, we were just walking by," An older boy answered as he entered the room. "Sorry, He took off before I could stop him," he added.

"It's no problem," Dixon said, still trying his best to fake a smile. "Who are you guys?"

"I'm KC and this is my little brother Joey," KC said and Joey's face lit right up when he heard him say little brother.

"I'm Dixon."

"Awe you sick?" Joey asked slowly walking over to the bed. "Cause my Daddy can hewp make id beddew."

"Who's your Daddy?" Dixon asked tilting his head.

"Dr. Owens," KC answered for Joey.

"Oh," Dixon said as he looked across the room out the window. His smile became a little more genuine as he recalled seeing Jerry run out of his room earlier. "Yeah, I met him. He seems real nice."

"How come you wewe cwyin?" Joey asked as he finally reached the bed and carefully touched Dixon's hand.

"Cause I'm scared for someone," He replied looking at the small hand covering his own now. "A friend of mine."

"Is youw fwiend in dhe hospidaw doo?" Joey asked opening his eyes wide.

"I don't know where he is, if he's ok or anything," Dixon said as Joey climbed up onto the bed and wrapped his arms around his new friend, tears beginning to well up in his own eyes.

"How come you're cryin? You don't even know who I'm talkin bout. If you did, you may not even want to talk to me no more," Dixon replied with a confused expression.

"Cause you wewe cwyin. When peopwe cwy id means somedhing huwds." Joey sniffled and hugged tightly into Dixon's chest.

"But I'm not hurting right now," Dixon replied, wrapping his arm around Joey and looking at KC, still a little confused.

"Not on the outside," KC stated as he sat on the foot of the bed. "Joey's had a rough few days I think. Today is a happier day for him and I think seeing someone sad on his happy day just doesn't seem right to him." He continued with a warm smile. "Your friend, is he someone our family can help with maybe?"

"I don't know," Dixon replied, his eyes filling up once again. "I'm scared to even ask."

"Is he youw boyfwiend?" Joey asked innocently, causing Dixon to inhale sharply.

"If he is dude, it's cool," KC said still smiling.

"Yeah," Dixon confessed. "But you gotta swear not to tell anyone," he added quickly, looking toward the open door. "No one knows about Jessie and I think it might cause trouble or somethin."

"Dwoubwe? How can wovin someone cause dwoubwe?" Joey asked as he reached up and wiped a stray tear off Dixon's cheek.

"Cause my Mom..." Dixon froze in mid sentence. "...the woman who called herself my Mom hurt me for it. I don't want him getting hurt like that."

"I can't promise anything," KC said patting Dixon's foot through the blankets. "Our family is really good at helping from what I've seen here."

"I wanna meed youw boyfwiend someday," Joey said with a smile.

"You can see it really doesn't make a difference, gay or not I mean," KC said with a smile. "If you tell us who he is, maybe we can talk to our family and find out if we can help."

"Dhen you can smiwe!" Joey said with a squeeze.

"Hard to smile when you're confined to a bed," Dixon replied. "But I'll try."

"Dhink of somedhing fun. Dhad'ww make you smiwe," Joey grinned.

"Yeah. If I ever have a bad day I just jump on my board and ride til I'm in a better mood," KC said with a grin. "If it's raining, I think of new tricks I wanna try. I can't actually ride but, for a little while I imagine I'm on my deck and it does the same thing for me."

"I'd kill to be able to get on a skateboard right now. It sounds like fun," Dixon replied closing his eyes and finally smiling, having his smile rapidly fade. "I don't even own one anymore." His mom had forgotten it on one of their many moves. He wasn't even sure where it had been left.

"We'll have to buy you a new one then," Mrs. Amee said as she entered the room.

"Hi Mamee," Dixon said as he opened his eyes and smiling at her expression when he once again called her something she had to have assumed she would never hear again. "Guys, this is my Great Grandmother."

"Hi Ma'am," KC said as he stood up. "I'm KC and that's my little brother up on the bed with Dixon."

"I'm Joey!" Joey said finally releasing Dixon and smiling. "Dixon wooked wike he needed fwiends so we came in and sdawded dawkin," Joey said as the old woman walked around the bed and after placing kisses on both Dixon's and his own forehead, sat down in the chair near the nightstand.

"That was very nice of you, young man," she said looking at Joey more carefully. "Well I'll be!" she exclaimed with a laugh. "One blue eye and one green." She smiled and sat back. "That's something you don't often see."

"I dhink id's coow." Joey said with a grin.

"It sure is that," The woman smiled and replied.

"Casey, I'm geddin diwed," Joey almost whined as he hugged Dixon one more time and carefully slid off of the bed.

"Dixon, we're in the next room if you need company. Cool?" KC said as he smiled and waved. "Remember, think of something fun." He smiled and said, "It was nice meeting you Ma'am."

"You can call me Mrs. Amee, or Mamee," The older woman said with a smile. "You boys be sure to come back and visit, ok?"

"We will," KC said with a smile as the two waved and stepped into the hall, nearly colliding with Jerry and an older teen.

"They seemed very nice," Mrs. Amee observed. "I don't remember them making androids that small, though."

"What do you mean androids?" Dixon asked.

"Both of those boys were androids," she explained simply. "You can tell if you've been around them enough."

"That little kid was a machine?" Dixon asked in shock.

"Not you too," Mrs. Amee gasped. "I don't know yet how that woman raised you, but I will not put up with intolerance and discrimination towards anyone."

"I'm sorry," Dixon whimpered suddenly. He began to curl into a little ball and cry. "Please don't hurt me. I won't do it again."

"SHHHH, Little D," the old woman cooed as she got up as fast as she could and crossed to the bed. "I'm the one that's sorry. I shouldn't have said that so vehemently." She cradled the rocking and crying boy in her arms and stroked his hair and his back. "Well, I guess now I understand how she brought you up," she said in a whisper. "If I ever lay eyes on that woman, she'll regret the day she ever crossed paths with the Whatleys and the Wiggins."

Dixon couldn't seem to calm down however. He was trying to, but it was as if something in his brain had been opened. He suddenly began to remember all the things his mother had done to him over the years. He remembered the times that he was told to wash the dishes, but when she inspected them they weren't clean enough to suit her. She backhanded Dixon across the room. There were also the times that he was told to vacuum the floors, but if the vacuum made a noise when it picked something up, she would start beating him again. She would accuse him of trying to break her expensive machine. He would have to go without supper those nights. The mornings after she would hit him, she would wake him up by dangling a pocket watch in front of him and speaking in a weird monotone voice. She would tell him how much she loved him, and only wanted him to be a good boy. She then would tell him what to tell anyone if they asked about why he was sore or bruised.

Mrs. Amee became concerned when Dixon wouldn't settle down after a couple of minutes of her trying to calm him. She would have pushed the nurse's call button, but she couldn't reach it on the other side of the bed without letting go of Dixon. He seemed to need her touch at the moment. Her comforting nature won out and she resisted the urge to ask to have the boy medicated. Finally, he stopped crying and when she looked down, she realized that it was once again due to his falling asleep. Somehow she knew that this had something to do with that useless waste of a human being that had stolen Dixon from his true family. That woman had better hope that she never leaves the confines of a jail while Amee Whatley Wiggins draws breath. There would be hell to pay for what she had done to this little angel.

The old woman lost track of time as she sat holding her great grandson. She was aware when Melvin came into the room. He tried to apologize for his mother-in-law, but Mrs. Amee stopped him.

"Melvin, I've known Annie Mae since the day she was born," she told the man. "From that day to this one, there was ever only one person who could get her to see reason when she got her head of steam up about something. Unfortunately, that was her twin sister, who died from influenza when we were all still girls." She would have said more, but there was a light tapping at the door. This roused Dixon as well.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to bother you," KC said just above a whisper as Dixon, Mrs. Amee, and Melvin all looked up to see him and the teen he had bumped into when leaving the room earlier.

"Oh, come on in sweetie," Mrs. Amee said with a wide smile. "And who's this handsome young man with you?"

"I'm with security Ma'am," the uniformed teen replied. "Lieutenant Scott Shannon. I'm actually in charge right now."

"Cool," Dixon said as he looked at KC and smiled. "You got friends high up, huh?"

"I got friends all over," KC said as he carefully walked over to the side of the bed. "Including right here," he continued with a smile as he took a skateboard and placed it next to Dixon. "I want you to have this."

Dixon looked at the skateboard and then quickly up at KC. "No way, I can't take that. I mean we only just met... You don't have to do that, really," Dixon sputtered.

"I want you to have it. It's still in good shape. I stopped riding it when I built my other one," KC said with a smile. "It's been good to me, so I know it'll be good to you," he added with a smile. "Look, no cracks or chips or nuthin," KC said with a laugh. "Trust me, there should be too with what I put this board through. It's definitely broken in."

"Wow, I don't even know what to say," Dixon said as he looked at the deck and ran his fingers across it.

"Say when we're both better you'll ride with me once, Ok?" KC said with a smile.

Dixon looked at his Great Grandmother, who nodded her head with a huge smile before he looked back at KC. "Thanks KC, Yeah, that'd be so cool."

"Sweet," KC said as he looked around the room. "Now I gotta get back to bed before they get the rest of security after me," he got out with a giggle. "C'mon warden," he laughed as he led Scott back out of the room. "See you all later."

To Be Continued ...


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