Mending Wounded Hearts

Chapter 3

The two Dads and I talked for a while and I discovered that Stan’s wife would be joining them in the morning and they would proceed to San Diego for the attractions there.

Dale’s story was a bit different. Danny was his son from a first marriage. His wife had been institutionalized, probably for life, after having a breakdown. He remarried and a few months after the second girl was born, his wife explained that she was a lesbian and ran off with her best friend, who had been a bridesmaid in their wedding. They were on good terms now and he couldn’t really see holding her actions against her. He couldn’t ask her to deny who she was, they both would have been miserable. He and the kids were flying to Boston for their wedding; wild.

I told them about my wife and our boys and then Maurice. I also told them how I came to be in the company of Kelly.

"And I thought we had a rough trip," said Stan.

Both men thanked me for sharing the room with them.

Continuing, I shared that when we were traveling through Europe with five little boys, we received a lot of kindness from some very good people, all strangers. This just helps balance the karmic scales a bit.

I announced an intention to take a shower and head for bed. Dale said he would collect his boy and do the same. When we went in to check, both boys were cuddled up tight under the covers with the TV still going.

"If it’s okay with you, we don’t have to disturb them, it looks like they could both use a little comfort.

Dale agreed and told me if Danny got to be too much to send him out to him. I bade him goodnight and headed for the shower.

I slept well until one a.m. I heard Kelly moaning and thought he was having a bad dream. He was flat on his back with his head rocked back and just as I reached out to rouse him, he arched his back and covered his mouth as he groaned in apparent ecstasy. I glanced toward his middle and saw a shape that fit the description of a young boy’s head. Just as I was about to close my eyes, Kelly rolled his head my way and locked eyes with me. I smiled at him and put a finger to my lips, and then closed my eyes and nodded off.

When I woke up again at four, I was wide awake. I shaved, dressed and placed a note on Kelly’s now fully charged phone. I went to the lobby and got a cab to long term parking and collected my pick-up. The valet was in awe of my truck; it IS impressive.

If you’re not into trucks, skip ahead. It’s a Dodge Diesel, quad cab, four wheel drive, one ton with single wheels in the back. What makes it impressive is the way it’s set up. It has an evil looking, custom winch bumper up front and matching rear unit. The bumpers, step bars and the lower quarter of the truck are sprayed with Linex coating. I spend a lot of time on back roads; this beast is designed to keep going, so it’s no pavement princess and hardly ever clean. In addition, it has an overhead light bar and small Ventura County Sheriff’s emblems on the doors and tailgate. It was enough to give the valet a chubby.

I headed back to the room around five-thirty and promptly interrupted the boys in my bed in the middle of another session, this one mutual. They never heard me open the door. They were nearly done when I entered and when they had returned to their side by side cuddling position, I said, "Good morning boys. If you’re going to do this sort of thing, you really should lock the door." Stunned silence followed.

I heard Danny sob, "Are you going to tell my Dad?"

"Not my job," I replied, "but you should probably talk to him about the way you feel about other boys. He seems pretty cool and I think he’d understand. I doubt if he needs details of your encounters just a general outline will do I think."

"Lyle would kick the shit out of me if he knew. Please don’t tell him or my mom. She can’t keep anything private. Lyle will find out and beat me to death."

Both boys were sitting on the edge of the bed and I sat next to Kelly and put my arm around his shoulders.

"If Lyle ever raises his hand to you, call me immediately. I don’t know the man, but I’ve heard him in the background and I don’t like him. He sounds like a scumbag."

"He is, sometimes he makes me go outside so he can do my mom and once I couldn’t go out because of the rain and he just did it to her right in front of me. My mom just does whatever he says when they’re high."

I made a mental note to cull Lyle from the herd by means of incarceration. I would get to work on that with some guys from the department.

Do you guys need a bit more private time? I have a couple of things to do downstairs. I’m very sorry if I embarrassed you, and Danny I won’t say a word to your Dad; but I really think you should tell him when you get back from your trip. He got up and hugged my neck and said he would.

"When you guys are done be sure and brush your teeth and rinse your privates so they don’t itch all day."

I picked up my laptop and Kelly’s clothes and headed down stairs to the laundry area. I was completely alone and was able to send a couple of emails to friends and a detective friend in Oxnard, where Lyle was ensconced.

I sent another to my neighbors to see if anything was amiss at my place. I thanked them for letting little Wade feed my dogs and cat.

Wade is a nice kid and he has adopted me as sort of an uncle and we've become pretty close. His folks are nice people who own a riding school and stables across the highway. I didn’t have a horse when I bought the place and I went over to consult with them about a rental and eventually boarding a couple for me. On my way over I saw riders crossing the highway and even though the speed is reduced at the crossing, it still seemed dangerous to me. So I asked Dennis, who happens to be Wade’s dad about it. He said for years they had an agreement with the people across the road for the use of the tunnel that runs under the highway. But one day they found it chained shut and couldn’t get hold of the owners to ask why. The county put in a flashing light and lowered the speed limit but it was still dangerous. Dennis said he didn’t know what got into the old guy, but they don’t have any legal right to use the tunnel. It was just convenient to reach the public trails.

I told Dennis that I think I could help with that if he would show me the tunnel and if he had bolt cutters he should bring them. He and I and little Wade, who at the time was actually quite small, hopped onto his Gator and went to see what we could do. It didn’t take long and we were in front of the tunnel entrance. I grabbed the bolt cutters and dispatched a rusty lock to the scrap pile. I told Dennis, I received about five pounds of padlock keys. The guy must have had stock in Master locks or something. I’ve never bothered trying the keys. I just cut locks when I need to get past a gate.

"Wait, you’re the new owner? Dennis asked.

"Rob McKenna at your service," I replied.

We passed through the tunnel and other than a buildup of branches and leaves, everything seemed okay.

"Consider this tunnel open," I pronounced.

"Thanks Rob, this is really great, I worry so much about people having to cross here.

"There was never any reason to close this off. There is a perfectly good stock gate across the road to my place. It wouldn’t stop a determined thief, but neither would blocking the tunnel.

I’m guessing this is the work of the real estate people who listed the place or rather failed to. I picked it up before they even got a For Sale sign up. I had a guy watching for acreage in this area and he let me know the moment it came up. I beat out a Korean Church summer camp and the Scientologists for it. I just made an acceptable offer and signed before the others could get their Rep. through the door. I had a lot of remodeling done to the house to accommodate visiting kids and grandkids. You and the Mrs. should come by and see it. I’ll get a combo lock on the stock gate and the Fire Dept is coming out to install key boxes on the frontage road. Give me your number and I’ll send you the combo. I have some things to tend to legalwise for the property, and I’ll have the lawyer draw up an easement agreement so this can’t happen again.

Just one thing, you might want to text me or make some noise if you’re coming over, I tend to wander around with little to nothing in the way of clothes, so unless you want a shock, a little warning is in order."

Dennis began to chuckle.

"What’s funny," I asked.

"Wade honey, hop down and show Rob your tan lines. Wade looked perplexed but hopped down. "But Daddy?"

"It’s okay, Son" said Dennis.

Wade shucked his pants down and showed me he had no tan lines and it dawned on me.

"Okay I get it, well you can pull those up or kick them off, it’s okay with me." I said, and offered my hand to Dennis.

Wade pulled his cargo shorts over his shoes and tossed them in the back of the gator, then climbed on his dad’s lap.

"If we’re not open we’re usually naked. Cammie and I raised Wade to appreciate the sun and let him grow up without body shame. We have a high fence around the house, but we don’t always stay behind it."

"That’s not a problem for me; you guys should come over for a swim and hit the Jacuzzi. You can meet the dogs and see the house. I have a decent wine cellar and I love to see what people like to drink."                                        

"That sounds cool, let’s go in so you can meet Cammie and we can tell her about the tunnel."

"Cammie, we have a guest," Dennis called.

A young woman around thirty rose from a lawn chair and walked over. She was very attractive and not wearing a thing.

"This is Rob, he bought the old Schoffield place and we just came back from cutting the lock on the tunnel. It’s wide open and he’s going to grant us an easement so it can’t be locked up again."

Cammie squealed and hugged her husband and then hugged me as well and I hugged her back.

"Oh I’m sorry; I forgot I wasn’t wearing anything."

"Not a problem," I said, "I don’t have any tan lines either."

She giggled again. "I’ve seen a lot of construction gear over there in the last few months. Did you build a new house?" asked Cammie.

"No, I remodeled the old one and added a few, um… thousand square feet. It’s about seventy-eight hundred now. I’ve invited you and your family to join me for a swim and a tour if you want. But be warned, I have a lot of pictures of kids and grandkids."