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This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
This story is copyrighted by Darrin Thomas, all rights reserved. Distribution, including but not limited to: posting on internet sites, newsgroups, or message boards, or in book form (either as a whole or part of a compilation), or on CD, DVD or any other electronic media, is expressly prohibited without the author's written consent.
Walking hand in hand to Simon's room, Dylian. He was kind of holding back. I looked down at him and could see he was fighting tears, so I stopped and knelt down next to him and said, "It's ok to cry, Little Man. Nobody will think badly about you for crying. You can cry for what has happened to Simon. I know I have, and will cry some more about that. You can cry for what has happened to you. I know I have, and will cry more about that. You can cry happy tears for Simon now being safe and back with you. I know I have. You can cry happy tears for us being a family and for happy time to come. I know I have, and always will." I said while tears flowed down my face. I grabbed him and hugged him as tight as I could.
"Daddy, I can't breathe." He whispered in my ear with a giggle.
I pulled back and looked into his little face. He had a big smile and tears in his eyes. "Ok, you ready to see Simon?"
"Yeah, Daddy. I am ready" And with that he pulled me towards the door. I opened the door and that is when Dylian got a little nervous. But, once he saw his big brother lying on the bed, he bolted for him. Dylian had climbed up on the bed and was hugging his brother faster than I could get to the bed. Both boys were crying and so was I.
"Dylian, please be careful. Simon is hurting and we don't want to cause him any more pain." I told him, worrying that he would hurt Simon and cause him pain.
"It's...OK...Dad," Simon gasped.
"Ok, son. I just don't want you in any pain. But, no more talking! I mean it. Dylian, why don't you slide over to the side of Simon, so you are not lying right on top of him? Dylian, I think you should tell Simon what happened after he was taken from the foster home. Can you do that?" I asked, pulling up the chair and sitting down.
"Ok, Daddy I can do that. Simon, it was real bad after you were gone. He started drinking all the time and was really mean to me. He said that I would need to start learning the family trade." At this point Simon was crying hard. I was starting to think that this wasn't such a good idea to have Dylian tell his story. "I fought back like you told me to, Si. But he beat me real bad. Then he left me alone for a while. I told Mrs. Johansson, but she told me to stop making up lies. Then he did it again. I fought hard, but he still beat the crap out of me. I went to school and never went back. I was staying in the park, but I got cold, so I went into that big parking garage over on the other side of the mall. I was there for about a week and a half. I found a good hiding place by the dumpsters. And it was a good place to find food. I was going out looking for you during the day, then back to my camp area at night. That worked out really good till I fell off the dumpster and hit my head. After that was when Dad found me. He took me home and got me cleaned up, he kind of freaked when he saw my bruises, but he held me while we both cried. Then he got me a pizza and talked. That's when I told him about you and he got real mad. Said he would take care of it and here you are. I think he started the search at like 3 in the morning. He is so great!" He said smiling at me. "Dad told me that you had been hurt real bad and that you can't see right now otherwise I would show you the bruises so you would know that they really aren't that bad. Dad said that once we had you back, we would be moving out to his old home, it's out in the country and Donnie lives close to it. Oh yeah, Donnie is Uncle Miles and Aunt Debbie's son. He is almost 12. I know you will like Uncle Miles, just like you like Aunt Debbie." I could tell Simon was a bit confused about this Aunt Debbie person.
"Simon, Dr. Edwards is the Aunt Debbie that Dylian is talking about. Her husband, Miles, is my best friend. Donnie calls me Uncle Drew, so Dylian just picked up on that and started calling them Aunt and Uncle. They are just like family. I know you will like them very much." I tried to explain to him.
"Yeah, Simon, they are way kewl. I know that it hasn't been all that long since Dad found me, but I have never felt so safe. I know he will take care of us and we will be safe." Dylian was rambling.
I decided to leave the boys alone for a little bit while I went to check with Deb on a few things. "Boys, I am going to go talk with Aunt Debbie for a few min. Simon, remember you are not to talk. And Dylian, it's your job to make sure that he follows the rules. I know that it's normally the other way around, but not this time. Nod if you understand this." I had to chuckle when both boys nodded. I had thought they would have known I was only talking about Simon. I kissed both boys on the forehead and headed out of the room.
In the hall, I headed over to the nurses' station to ask where Debbie was. "Drew, over here." I heard Miles call.
"Hey, where is your wife?" I asked him.
"She went to set up some test for Simon and to talk to a couple of other doctors about his case. She called her Partners and told them she was taking a leave of absence so that she can make sure Simon is taken care of and that he gets the best care possible. After all, he is our nephew." Miles said with a grin.
"Well, she didn't have to go that far. But, I am not going to complain. I just want him healthy and safe. No matter what it takes. As of right now, I am taking a leave, vacation or whatever you want to call it. You're in charge. Keep the birds in the air, the trucks on the road, and the shop open." He gave me a hug and I headed back into Simon's room. I was shocked at what I heard when I opened the door a bit.
"Are...you...playing?" Simon gasped to his brother.
"No. I had to leave it behind. Didn't matter anyway. After you left, he broke it so I haven't played in a month." Dylian answered him.
"NO! There is no way I could ask. They cost way too much money. I know he can take care of us, cause he has a nice place to live, but he has this real old truck, so I know he don't have a whole lot of money. I don't' want take any chances."
"Ok, Simon you weren't supposed to talk." I said, as I walked into the room. Dylian looked so scared it wasn't funny. "Dylian, I didn't have a chance to really talk to you about some things before the search for Simon started, but there are a few things that you need to know. First off, that building that you were hiding in, you know the one?"
"Yeah, what about it?" He asked, still scared.
"Well, I own it. And the building that the Condo is in, I own it as well. You see, Little Man, I am very wealthy, so if there is something that you need, want, or should have, then you need to let me know. I am not saying that you will get everything that you want, but you should never be worried about asking. OK?" I tried to calmly explain to him. You could see the relief in his face that I wasn't mad at him.
"Yeah, Dad. But, it's just not that important." He said while looking down at his chest.
"Why don't we let me be the judge of that?" I told him. "Or do I need to call for a tickle torture?" You could tell Simon was trying very hard not to laugh.
"No, you wouldn't!" Dylian yelled, eyes going big and with a huge smile.
"No, I won't, as long as you tell me what you two were talking about playing." I told Dylian.
"It's really nothing." He said in a small little voice.
"Well, then it won't be expensive. I heard you tell Simon that it would cost way too much money for you to ask. You know what, I am not going to make you tell me." He looked up and had a little bit of a scared look. "Simon, can you tell me using only one word?" He nodded. "OK, last chance, Dylian. Want to tell me?"
"I used to play the cello. I never had any lessons, but our mom had played and she left it behind when she split on us. I kept it and played around with it. Si said I got real good. I taught myself to read sheet music. But the Foster kicked a hole in it so I couldn't play. I know they cost a lot of money, and you don't have to get me one," he said.
I saw a couple of tears roll out of his eyes, so I knew this was important to him. "Son, not only will you get a new one of your choice, but I will also get you a teacher so that you can learn to play to your heart's content. If you want to learn to be the best, then I will do everything in my power to see that you have that chance." I picked him up from Simon's bed and hugged him tightly and gave him a kiss. "I will do this, all because I love you, not cause you asked or didn't ask. I want both you and your brother to be happy, and if you want to play the cello, and it makes you happy, then I want you to play the cello."
By this time Dylian was really crying. I was a little scared that he was really upset until he put his little arms around my neck and squeezed. "Thank you, Daddy."
"You're welcome, Little Man." I wanted to talk to them more about what it was going to be like as we became a family, But Debbie and another man walked in.
"Drew, Simon, and Dylian; this is Dr. Ed Sanders. He is an ENT, that's an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. We have been talking about your voice and here is what we want to do. First, we want to do a CT or CAT scan of your throat, to see what kind of damage there is. I have a colleague that is a Micro Surgeon that I have spoken to, and he thinks that unless it is very bad that he should be able to repair any damage. Now, I am not saying that this will fix your voice completely, but it should make a huge difference." Debbie said.
"When will these tests take place?" I asked.
"Well, right away. We will need to give Simon some meds that will do several things; one will be a light sedative so he will be relaxed during the CAT scan. And the other will be contrast to help with the imaging," Dr. Sanders said. "I have already put in the order. As soon as the meds come up from the pharmacy one of the nurses will come in and administer them. We will have to wait about 30 min for them to take effect. The CAT has been reserved so there won't be any wait there. For some reason, Simon's case seems to be top priority here at the hospital. I know Dr. Edwards hasn't pulled all that many strings, so we haven't figured it out." He said with a little laugh.
I could tell he was a little concerned as to why the high priority for Simon, so I thought that I would relieve some of the wondering. "I think my Brother-in-law has had a lot to do with that. It wouldn't surprise me if he got involved, seeing it was a government agency that caused the damage Simon is suffering from." I told him.
"Ok, but could you tell me who is you Brother-in-law?" He asked
"Governor Tom Dailey." I said, smiling.
"Yes, that would do it." He said with a chuckle. "Well, the nurse should be here any moment, so I think we should head over to get things ready." With that, he and Debbie headed out.
"Simon, I'm sure you are a little nervous, but remember, I am right here for you. I know Dylian is, as well." I tried to comfort him squeezing his hand.
"Dad...I...am...not...worried...at...all. My...voice...isn't...important...Dy...is." Simon gasped.
"You are so wrong, Son. Dylian is very important, but so are you. Your Voice is important, but I will love you with it or without it. I want you to be pain free and happy. I will do anything to have that happen. I don't want you to ever think you are less important than anyone else. You are so strong and pure it's not fair what has happened to you, but it is so not your fault. Are we clear?" I didn't want to be too firm with him, but I just couldn't let him put himself down.
"Yeah." He answered.
"Yeah, Si, I will have to hurt you if you make fun of my big brother." Dylian, said with all seriousness.
I had to laugh at that. "I don't want you two fighting, but, I would have to agree with Dylian on that one." Simon had a really big grin on his face after hearing me say this.
There was a knock at the door, and the nurse came in with Simon's medicine. Then she said she would be back for Simon in about 15 min. I informed her that I would be going with him for his test. She said that would be fine.
No sooner had she left than there was another knock at the door and Tom poked his head in. "Mind if I come in and say hi to my Nephews?" He asked, looking at me.
"No Tom, come on in and let me introduce you to them." I said, waving him in. "Boys, this is my Brother-in-law, Governor Tom Dailey. Tom, this little man is Dylian, and this very brave young man here is Simon." I told him pointing out each boy.
"Hi, Sir." Dylian said.
"Hi...Governor...Dailey." Simon Gasped.
"Simon, you have to stop talking." I reminded Simon again.
"Simon, Dylian, my late wife was your dad's sister. So that makes me your Uncle. You are welcome to call me Uncle Tom or just Tom. Whatever you are comfy with. I know Lisa will love both of you, she is my 3 year old daughter." I could tell Tom wasn't sure just what to say to the boys.
"Tom, what is going on with the investigation?" I asked him.
"Well, as of an hour ago, every CPS worker was taken into custody and their files seized. Each file will be audited and each worker will be investigated. If they are proved innocent, then they will be reinstated, if not, then they face criminal charges. In the meantime, we are bringing in CPS workers from other states to cover until we can finish the audit. It might take months for this to all work out." As he was telling us about this, I saw that Simon was crying. Tom saw this as well. "If it wasn't for my two extremely brave nephews, many more children could have been abused and lost. This state owes you two a lot, and don't think I am going to allow it to forget. I am so proud of you, both as your Uncle and as your Governor." Tom told the boys.
"But...I...cause...so...many...problems." Simon cried.
"Yes you did. But, Simon, you only caused problems for those who broke the law. Those are the kind of problems that we want brought to our attention."
Simon stopped crying and was listening to Tom try to explain why what happened was a good thing when Dylian piped up. "I just want to see Mrs. Johansson busted. I told her what was going on, and she called me a liar. I thought she was supposed to protect us, but she didn't even like kids. I want to see her hurt like she did us." Dylian said with anger.
"She will get what is coming to her, that I promise you," Tom said, placing his hand on Dylian's shoulder.
Before this conversation could go any further, the nurse came to get Simon. "Tom, would you please keep Dylian with you. Miles and Donnie are out in the waiting room."
"Sure, but I think I will take Dylian down to get an Ice Cream or something from the cafeteria. Simon, would you like anything?" Simon shook his head to Tom's question.
"Ok, if you're sure. Come on, Dylian I am hungry." Tom said, holding out his hand for Dylian.
Simon and I went with the nurse up several floors to the CAT scan. We were there for about 30 minutes, while the test was completed and verified. Then we were taken back down to Simon's room, where we waited for the results and for Tom and Dylian to come back.
"Dad...I...am...scared." Simon gasped while grabbing for my hand.
"It's ok to be scared, Simon. I am! I am scared that they won't be able to help your voice. I am scared that I won't be a good Dad for you and your brother. But, we can't let our fear rule us. We will be Ok, that I am sure of." I told him.
Debbie and Dr. Sanders came in with smiles on their faces. "Well, young man, it looks like we will be able to fix your voice up without much problem. I think that we found out why you can't see, as well, but we are going to have to wait till a neurologist can look at the film. Right now, we want to get you into surgery so that we can fix that beautiful voice up. Are you ready?" Debbie asked expecting Simon to nod yes.
"NO!" He snapped.
"I don't understand, why?" Debbie asked looking at me very concerned.
"Have...to...tell...Dy." Simon gasped.
"Ok, I will find Dylian so you can let him know what is going on." She told him, picking up the phone and dialing. She called down to the cafeteria and had them send Tom, Miles, Donnie and Dylian back up to Simon's room.
"What's going on?" Tom and Dylian asked at the same time coming into the room.
"We are just getting ready to take Simon down to surgery to get his voice fixed up. But, he wouldn't go until he told you where he was going and what was going on." Debbie told Dylian.
Dylian climbed up on Simon's bed and hugged Simon around the neck. "You make sure to come back to me. I can't lose you again." He cried.
"I...love...you...Dy. I'll...be...ok." Simon told Dylian.
"Ok, Dylian, it's time for Simon to go with Dr. Sanders and Aunt Debbie. You know Aunt Debbie isn't going to let anything happen to Simon, but let's go hold Donnie ransom until we get Simon back, OK?" I asked Dylian, picking him up off Simon's bed.
"OK, Aunt Debbie, I love him. Please take care of him." Dylian cried holding onto me.
"I will, Dylian, because I love him, too." She said, kissing him on his forehead. "Drew, it should take about an hour or two. I will have a nurse keep you posted." With that, they took Simon away on a gurney, for his surgery.
Now, all we could do was to wait for news and for Simon to come back to us.