The Wind

by Sam Lelliott
© 2012-2013
Your comments are appreciated.

Part 8

No other words were spoken and Tony hung up, went back to his car after locking the house and made his way back to the hospital. He smiled to himself, the first time for an hour and by the time he got to the hospital again he was still angry but almost his old self again.

He parked and made his way back to the ward where the others waited and on seeing him, waved.

Tony Kissed Angela again and the boys wolf whistled slightly out of tune.

"All sorted." Tony said. "Now, let's see if we can all get out of here and take David to visit the house on the hill."

Angela spoke up and said. "Sister said it is alright, same rules as yesterday."

Outside the sun shone brightly and David was very excited having been told about the morning and the house by Jamie and Angela. While he and Jamie sat in the back, Tony drove with Angela alongside. The boys chatted away with Jamie expanding on the house and telling him the wind came again.

David nodded knowingly, he had expected no less. It was just after 2-30pm when they arrived at the house. There was an elderly man standing outside with a young dog at his side. He introduced himself as the owner Bert Holloway and Tony told him his name and told him he was the person going to buy it. The man held out his hand to Tony who took it and shook it, Angela followed suit with the boys getting into the act also. Introductions over the man spoke.

"I came up for just one look at the place, my wife and I lived here for ten years until last year. Now my son in Australia wants us to go and live with him. It was a hard decision but I decided to go. I must say you are a lovely family."

"We are not a family yet but hopefully close to being so. Angela and Jamie are mother and son and David in the wheelchair is the boy I hope to foster. I think I speak for all of us when I say we have been brought together by wind."

Bert looked puzzled and the boys just giggled while Tony and Angela gave each other a peck on the cheek.

"I know you have looked round the house but I have the keys if you would like to have another look round."

"That would be nice because David hasn't seen inside yet as he is supposed to be in hospital but is out for a bit of R&R."

"Come on then young fella let me open the door for you."

"What is your dog's name mister?" David asked.

"Him is her young David and her name is Bella. She is a 3 years old Labrador."

"Bella licked David's hand and he in turn stroked her head.

"She likes you." Bert said. And turning to Tony continued. "She will need a home soon as I can't take her to Australia with me."

Tony smiled. "Is that a hint Bert? If it is we'll think about it."

"That will be good if she can stay up here as she came here as a puppy and loves the open spaces, she hates it in London."

David was still stroking Bella's head and she was nuzzling her head ever closer leaving no hint about her loving the attention.

Tony nudged Angela and whispered. "Look at those two together, like they have known each other for ever for years not minutes."

Angela gave a short laugh and then said. "I think there might be competition between the boys for her favours. Jamie adores dogs but we have never managed to get round to getting one,"

Tony replied. "In that case I think we might just have to go and visit the local dog sanctuary before too long."

Jamie's voice called out. "Come on mum and dad the man is waiting."

Angela looked at tony with a frown and said. "Did you hear that Tony? He called you Dad. Where did that come from?"

"Well I don't know but I have to admit, I like the sound of it love. Come on let's catch them up."

David had eased his way out of the wheelchair and was walking slowly with Bert Bella trotting behind them. Jamie was leading the way explaining to David as they went explaining what each room was. After a tour of downstairs Tony picked David up to carry him up the stairs so that he didn't strain his wounds. Jamie was itching to show them the two rooms that he saw in the morning. David was completely amazed on how there was a bathroom in between the two rooms and one could tell he loved the house as much as the others. The house tour finished with David catching hold of Tony and Angela and looking up to their faces. "Will I really be able to come and live here?"

Tony replied straight away. "David I will be as honest as I can with you. Angela and I along with you and Jamie want to make us one happy family. However we both have a lot to do before that can happen. We have the house, well almost. Angela and I want to make a loving family with a mum and dad for both you and Jamie and I think the wind has made a decision for all of us. We have to be patient for a while longer but we all know it will happen."

"So will you be my new dad Tony. Mum said you would?"

"I hope so David and Angela your new mum if you want her to be so stay happy and forget the nasty men."

Angela knew something had happened earlier but as yet knew nothing of what had transpired. "Will you tell me what happened to David Please Tony?"

"I sort of promised I wouldn't but I will when David is able to let me. Please be patient love. All I can say it wasn't pleasant."

"Alright Tony I won't pry but I hope we can talk about it some time."

The subject was left at that and everyone made their way back to the ground floor where David returned to the wheelchair to do a trip with everyone around the nearby land. It took a while longer and it was approaching 4-30pm by the time the tour finished. Bert locked up and made his excuses to leave for London. He shook everyone's hands and told Tony he would see him on Monday with the solicitors to finalise the deal. Bella seemed reluctant to leave but finally jumped up into the rear of Bert's Volvo estate. As Bert left they all waved him goodbye until he was in the distance.

The adrenalin rush over the four of them tried hard to decide what to do next. When Tony suggested tea at his house the boys whooped in agreement and Angela seemed just as enthusiastic. They all piled into the car with the wheelchair in the boot and headed off to Tony's house.

The boys, not having been there couldn't wait to get inside. Angela phoned the hospital and asked the day sister if she could manage an extra hour for her as she was still tied up with Tony and the boys. The day sister told her to take two hours and enjoy herself for a change and that she could return the favour at some later date and asked her to just bring David back with her. Angela thanked her and put the phone down. "I have licence until 7-30 and so do you David." She said. "The day sister is going to fill in for me until then."

"That's nice of her Angela. Now who wants a coke, who wants tea and who wants to lay the table?"

The boys asked for a coke and Angela tea. The boys offered to lay the table so Tony showed them what to lay out for spaghetti bolognaise. The mention of food made the boys happy "Cooking time. Angela there is scrabble or monopoly while I do the meal."

Tony got the board games out and handed them to Angela and headed for the kitchen.

A lot of laughter and noise could be heard in the kitchen emanating from the lounge.

35 minutes later Tony called out Dinner's ready. The game ceased and was put away and the table was clear for the food. It smelled delicious as it steamed in the bowls. Tony sat and joined the others and for 15 minutes not a word was said while the food was consumed. David burped and giggled followed by Jamie.

"Pardon boys?" Angela reminded them.

The boys as one said. "Pardon mum."

Angela's eyes widened at the use of the word mum from David and a surprised look went between her and Tony but nothing was said.

After the meal it was time to get Jamie home to his grandparents so that Angela and David could get back to the hospital. So there was a quick wash up and then back to the car to leave.

At Angela's home she and Jamie got out while David and Tony stayed in the car and wait for Angela to change and come back out. Jamie gave David a hug then Tony before he went indoors.

While they were alone Tony asked David if he felt better after the problems that morning. David nodded and hugged Tony round the neck from the backseat. "Let's hope it won't be long before we have you with us all son, I can't wait for us all to be one big happy family like Bert thought we were."

"Will we be able to have Bella dad?" David asked.

Tony gave a gentle smile and replied. "I don't see why not son, as he loves it at the house on the hill."

Angela came back out of her house and Jamie waved them all goodbye as Tony drove off. They all waved back.

The drive to the hospital was uneventful and in no time they were pulling into the car park. Tony got the wheelchair out of the boot while Angela headed off to relieve the day sister. Tony would pop in and see her when he had got David settled. As they entered the ward they saw Ben and Tom waiting.

"Hi Guys." Tony greeted them. "What brings you here?"

"Nothing to worry about Tony, It is just that we were sorting out David's house to return it to the council when we found something that amazed us. Have a look at these."

Ben handed Tony a carrier bag which he opened and inside was a folder. He took the folder out and there were a bundle of magnificent paintings.

"They're mine." David blurted out. "Oh great you found them."

Tony slowly went through them one by one and what he saw took his breath away. The paintings were absolutely brilliant. They varied from landscapes to portraits and still life.

"David, they are wonderful son. What a talent you have. Here, take them from me."

Ben and Tom asked after them and Tony said all was fine except the fostering but that would be resolved very soon.

Ben ruffled David's hair and then said. "We are off now then, duty calls. Sleep well young David."

"I will Ben, I am ever so tired, we went to look at our new house today and I met Bella."

Ben raised his eyebrows to Tony who told him he would explain another time. Then both the policemen left Tony and David alone. It was too late to talk about the pictures so Tony got David into bed and then kissed him goodnight and tucked him in.

"Night dad." Tony heard David say as he walked away.

He turned and said. "Night son, sleep tight and don't let the bugs bite."

Tony went to see Angela who had just finished taking over from the day sister. "I can't stop long Tony as I have to do the rounds. Can I meet you in the morning love?"

"Just you try and stop me ma'am. I will collect you at 8 O'clock, alright?"

"Done kind sir, good night love. Sleep well"

A quick peck on the cheek and he was off home. He had had a very tiring day and was so tired. He had been indoor just 2 minutes when the phone rang.

He picked it up and a voice said Zulu 5 this is Zulu 1. Sorted tonight, sleep well."

Tony knew not to answer and put the receiver down and went off to bed. There after a shower he read for a while and fell asleep.

The man sat in his chair watching TV when he thought he heard a noise. He looked at the clock on the mantle of his large drawing room and saw it was 10-45pm. Creaks were normal so he thought nothing much of the noise until he saw standing before him a man decked out in black.. The man hit him hard and the lights went out. When he came too he was handcuffed and had a hood over his head. He could see nothing but blackness and his head hurt.

A voice spoke to him in question form. "Mister John Hepworth?"

"Yes." He replied "What do you want, Money? I have lots of money.

"No Mister Hepworth. I want your life. Or I want you out of the UK."

"What! Why would you want my life and who the hell are you?"

"Who I am Mr Hepworth is your worst nightmare because Mister Hepworth I have in my hands hoards of photos of young children I have taken from your safe and other hiding places and if you refuse to go abroad for the rest of your life you will die. Do you understand? Have I made myself clear? In addition I have your client books for the last five years and the money that was paid to you by men for 'services rendered.'"

Hepworth felt his bladder give way and the pee ran down his leg.

"Good I see I have got through to you. You are finished in this country Hepworth." The 'mister' title being dropped on purpose.

"Where will I go, this is my home?"

"Not after today Hepworth. You are going to sign it over for use as a family children's home and will go to help the children you have abused."

"You can't do that." Hepworth said.

"Oh I can Hepworth and your partner in crime Daws is already on his way to Spain, never to return. In addition your pet dog the manager of the children's home is also on his way to foreign parts. Let's just take your hood off."

As the hood came off Hepworth saw all his files and money lying on the floor in front of him.

"Now, just one last thing Hepworth, it is for you to do some good in your filthy life.

"Here is an application by one Tony Andrews to foster one David Hennessy who you two pieces of crap visited this morning and gave such a horrific trauma. You will clear the application with full recommendation and waving the normal waiting time."

"I will not sign that document, you can go to hell."

"Your choice Hepworth let me give you an example why." And with that he broke Hepworth's nose.

Hepworth was taken aback. He had been top dog in the children's department for a long time. His nose bled profusely but he still refused to sign the application.

The next blow was with a truncheon across his knees. The bones went crack and the pain made him scream. That was when Hepworth had had enough. He wasn't brave. He took the offered application and signed it off with glowing terms.

"There Hepworth you could have saved yourself a lot of hurt. Now all we have to do is for you to write your resignation and sign your house over to the children's home that you used for your abuses. We already have everything off Daws and your pet manager wasn't worth the effort, they were also very cooperative in the end."

Hepworth took the paper offered and wrote out his resignation stating health problems. Once it was done along with the house transfer and signed, his visitor said. "Thank you Hepworth, be gone by morning. With that he released him and then punched him hard enough to knock him out again.

He picked up everything including the large amount of money and left the house.

At 2am a taxi called at Hepworth's ex home and a man with a black eye limped toward the taxi, a large suitcase in his hand. "London Airport driver please." Then he was gone.

Next morning Tony awoke to a fresh sunny morning. The birds were singing and life felt good. He turned on the radio and heard it was the 24th of July. A switch went in his brain, 8 days to the boy's birthdays. He went to the front door to get his milk off the step when he saw the large envelopes sitting on the carpet. He picked them up and took them into the lounge and then went and got the milk as originally planned.

He made some coffee and then went into the lounge to open the envelopes. Each had a small Z1 written on the top and Tony felt relieved.

The first 2 envelopes he opened were filled with cash. A note said £9,000 along with the transfer of property letters for the children's home.

The third contained two resignations. The fourth contained the signed foster parent application and the fifth contained all the photos and books with regard to the abused children.

Tony finished his coffee and left the house with three of the envelopes. The local paper was his first stop where he dropped two of the envelopes into reception. His second call was to the children's services offices where he dropped the foster application into Miss Archer's letterbox. Then he went back home to shower and take his run before picking Angela up from work.

His morning run today took him uphill past Brighton station, up, up and up he went until he could look down below and he felt the town was a lot cleaner than it was the day before. Then turned and ran back home for another quick shower and dress.

He arrived at the hospital at a quarter to eight and went up to the ward to find Angela. He saw her just finishing the morning brief with her colleagues and waved with a smile.

Angela waved back and her friends all looked and saw Tony all smiles. Suddenly there was loud chatter with Angela seemingly the centre of attention. Angela threw her arms in the air in mock defeat and left the others laughing.

Angela met Tony head on and he swept her up in his arms and they had a long kiss. "Good morning, that will get them gossiping love."

"I have had it all night. Who is he? What does he do? How old is he? On and on and do you know what. I don't care about any of it. Love at first sight I suppose."

"I will tell all soon and I feel a bit guilty not being upfront but for the moment, I am 45 years old, I am, as of yesterday, almoner for this hospital. As to whom I am? I am Tony Andrews ex SAS of her Majesties Forces my fair maiden."

"Ooh kind sir, my brave retired knight of the realm no less. Take me in your blue charger to breakfast in our little cafe."

Tony had to laugh at the retort from Angela but came back with his own silliness. "Yes buxom wench I shall escort you in my charger and feed you until you burst with black pudding."

That did it; both of them dissolved into hysterics much to the enjoyment of the ward staff.

Arm in arm they walked like two teenagers out to Tony's car and off to the cafe for the much wanted sustenance.

The children's home rose to find the manager gone, just a note saying he had had enough and was going abroad to work. Nobody on the staff was concerned in fact they were overjoyed and the atmosphere was vastly improved over previous mornings. Staff and children smiled for the first time in a very long time.

At the Evening Argus the editor Simon Ellis had opened the envelopes that Tony had left at the reception desk. "Christ." He said. "This will blow the socks off Brighton children's services. Bring everyone in and let's see what we do with this information."

An hour later as Miss Archer opened her mail she found the application form duly signed and cleared by the Director. She put it in her 'to deal with' tray for later in the morning.

At the cafe Tony was talking earnestly to Angela. "I want us to marry love, sooner rather than later. What do you say?"

Angela was about to speak when it happened. The wind did its work again as it wound around Angela. Without realising she found herself saying. "Yes Tony." And finding that was what she wanted more than anything in the world at the moment.

"Did you say yes love?"

Angela smiled and said. "I think I just did love and I met the wind."

"You just made me very happy love and before you go to bed for the day we can go and get an engagement ring."

"Surprise kind sir, as of today I am back on days. Bill Kent insisted on it said a mother needs to be with her children for at least part of the day, also, that a courting girl needs to be with her boyfriend."

"Hmm, does that mean I might be able to get my wicked way with you?"

"Only if I can get my wicked way back kind sir."

Just then the breakfast arrived before things got out of hand. The waitress service was new, thought Tony but most welcome. They both tucked into the large breakfast with relish and conversation took a back seat. During the coffee afterwards Angela said. "When are we going to tell the boys?"

"How about we do it next Wednesday, their birthday?

"What a lovely idea, perhaps David will be released from hospital by then. Can you imagine the effect on those two boys?"

"I am hoping it will have only a positive effect for both of them. Now what time is it?" He looked at his watch and saw it was 9-30 AM.

The wind blew gently round the two of them as they got up to leave the cafe. It seemed to just finally join them.

They went shopping for the ring at H. Samuels and then around the toy shops preparing for the boy's birthday presents. A must for David was a complete artist kit which along with other sharing style presents making up the rest of the shopping, Clothes for David were also on the list. The sizing for him was easy since he was the same size as Jamie. By one o'clock they were exhausted and called in at The Grand hotel on the seafront for a celebratory lunch. Afterwards they went back to Ton's house and hid all the presents except for a set of clothing for David which they would take to the hospital.

A quick cuddle and a kiss or two was all they had time for. Then it was time for a quick dash to pick up Jamie and from there off to see David in hospital. As they were on their way Jamie said to his mum. "You've got a new ring on your finger it looks really nice. Are you going to marry Tony?" 'Dad' was not used this time.

Angela turned in her seat and said. "What would you do if I did baby?"

"I'd love it my own real dad."

"Well sweet heart we were going to tell you on your birthday along with David but it looks as if the cat is out of the bag already."

Jamie jumped up and down in his seat with joy and then said, "Can I tell David? Please, pretty please? Dad, dad, dad, I am going to get a dad"

Angela and Tony couldn't hold on any more Tony said to Jamie. "Of course you can son if it will make you happy."

"Hurry up then dad I need a pee I'm so excited. I can't wait to tell David"

Tony smiled at the use of 'dad' again and said. "When we get there Jamie we will let you go in and talk to David alone first and don't forget to go to the toilet. We can't have pee all over the ward now can we?"

"Daaaaaad." Jamie said in his best groan voice.

Once at the hospital and parked up then went up to the ward where they let Jamie do his thing. It was then that Tony noticed Miss Archer coming out of David's part of the ward.

She sat Tony and said. "Just the man I want to see mister Andrews. I have just come from seeing David to ask him some questions. Seems he had an aunt but when we contacted her she was to say the least rude. After my chat with David the feeling is mutual so I have some good news for you." She handed Tony an envelope which he opened there and then. In his hands he held full authority to be David's foster father. He wept with joy even knowing that all would be alright and Angela, not quite understanding and thinking it might be bad news asked what was wrong.

"Wrong? Love, no nothing is wrong and he handed her the document.

"Oh my God Tony!" she cried out and hugged him, them both weeping freely. "We can be a complete family Darling." She said

Miss Archer left them to their joy for a minute and then broke in. "It came in my post this morning from the Director. It's strange but nobody has seen anything of him or his deputy this morning and I had to place one of the staff in charge of the children's home this morning as the manager had gone missing also. It's most strange. I haven't told Tony by the way."

"Thank you Miss Archer for the good news and maybe we will have to work together sometime soon as I'm the almoner to this hospital since yesterday."

"That's excellent news Mr Andrews. This hospital definitely needs someone to look after the children's interests. I look forward to it."

Enough time had elapsed for Jamie to have given David the news about Tony and his mum. So they thanked Miss Archer and went into the ward.

The sight that met them made them feel so happy. Jamie was sitting on the bed with David and the pair of them were holding each other and laughing.

Tony got close to them and said. "Alright you two desperadoes break it up and let the old ones in on the deal. We are all going out on a big picnic, guess where."

The boys said together. "The house on the hill"

"Yes indeed, first we will go home to Grandma's and put together a nice big picnic and we will get a taxi for them to join us."

And so it was that at 4pm the whole family was at the house on the hill laying out a picnic from containers. The grandparents were really enjoying their rare trip onto the downs despite them living so close to them. At a quarter to five Tony asked everyone to gather round as he had a special surprise. When everyone was gathered he gave David the envelope that he had received from Miss Archer earlier. David looked at the envelope and asked what was in it. Tony told him to open it and find out. He opened up the folded form and read it. Slowly his face changed from a look of concern into a radiant smile and ended in him running to Tony to cuddle him.

"You are really my dad now?" he asked.

Tony picked him up carefully so he could look eyes to eyes and said. "Yes son and soon Angela will be your new mum and Jamie will be your brother. How's that feel?"

David kissed Tony on the cheek and told David it was the best news he had had in a long time.

Tony and then Angela told him that they could never be his original parents but they would do their best to make both of the boys happy.

That finished the afternoon off nicely and the remains of the picnic were cleaned up. The taxi returned to take Angela's parents back home. Jamie insisted he wanted to go to Tony's house with his mum and of course David had to return to the hospital.

On the way the Evening Argus billboards were headlined 'Children's services bosses flee the country.' Had anyone bought the paper they would have read further that both the director and deputy director had fled the country after it was discovered that they along with the children's home manager had been systematically sexually abusing children in their care. It continued that 'The Evening Argus had received many lurid photographs along with financial transactions that that all three were involved in. These had now been passed to the police.

Part 9
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