Darrin Thomas

© 2015-2016

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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.

Chapter 32

I worried about leaving Brandon on his own. I knew Simon and Even were with him, but it didn't stop me from being concerned. Upon departing, the Governor walked in.

"Drew, I am sorry, the CPS (Child Protective Services) scandal came up. What a can of worms this is turning into!"

With that remark a hysterical Dylian bolted from the room. Exchanging glances, I started for the door, but Tom's hand on my arm stopped me.

"I'm responsible, let me fix it!"

He left in search of my son. One of the nurses pointed to the waiting room.

My friend found his sobbing nephew tightly curled into a ball, hiding behind one of the couches. When he sat next to my nine-year-old the tears increased.

"I...I...I am so s...s...sorry I made you w...w... work so m...m...much more. N...n...now you aren't e...e...even able t.. t.. to spend time with B...B...Bran as you w...w...wanted to. I...I...if you can't k...k...keep him, let him take m...m...my place!"

My trembling youngster's outburst became so severe, his uncle feared he might suffer a mental breakdown.

When he opened his mouth to soothe Dylian, the tyke's waterworks increased.

"I a...a...always screw up! N...n...now everyone is m...m...mad at me for c...c...causing all these p...p...problems with Foster Services. All I w...w...wanted was for S...S...Si to be s...s...safe! W...w...why do I always m... m... mess up? How come, p...p...please tell me!"

"Oh Sweetie, you haven't! On the contrary, you're amazing! No one could ask more from you! Do you know how many children you saved?"

My modest hero shook his head,

"Let me enumerate! First, your own school, second, district wide and, now, throughout the state! This so-called "bust" succeeded beyond everyone's wildest dreams. While it caused me more work, it's part of my job! I wouldn't be able to look at Lisa or Brandon in good conscience if I left the CPS fiasco unresolved. I shall never abandon your cousin nor will your father desert you! You're stuck with us kiddo!"

Placing his nephew in his lap, my friend hugged the youngster, before he kissed him.

After a few moments, the governor asked,

"Darling, feeling better?"

"Yes Uncle Tom, I am s...s...sorry I got so upset!... Oh man! D...d...daddy is going to be s... s... so m...m...mad at me for running off! What shall I do?"

"NO, NEVER! However, perhaps a bit worried, let's go back to inform him you're alright!"

Arising, my buddy helped Dylian to his feet, took his hand and led him back to Simon's room. When they returned my baby looked at me with tears in his eyes. Holding my arms out he ran to me!

"I so... so... sorry for misbehaving! I am s... s... sorry I... I upset everyone!"

"Oh, Little Prince, all is fine. You did nothing wrong! Sweetie, please calm down."

I rocked my small angel back and forth for five minutes until he cried himself to sleep.

"Tom, please take Bradley to see Henry. I must remain with my boy. He needs me more than I ever realized. Make sure my eldest gets Dietrich's best violin!"

"Don't worry, Drew, I intend to take care of things! In addition, I plan springing my son for a few hours, be right back!"

The loving couple remained silent. I wondered what happened.

"Alright, Guys, spill it!"

{}Dad, my Bro worries me. Do you think he is okay?{}

"Son, the events of the past few weeks overwhelmed him. As strong as he appears, we need to remember his age. I decided to have detailed chats with him this weekend at the condo. In addition, I intend to get him a pediatric psychologist. Finally, I want the two of you to continuing reminding him of his good deeds!"

"I didn't, I'm responsible for the way he feels! Oh Man, how could I so screw up!"

My nephew started to cry, while my fifteen-year-old comforted him.

"Even, you're not at fault, sometimes we distort reality! None of us understood the extent he blamed himself for all our past mishaps. We must convince him of his innocence and bolster his self image!"

"I promise to tell him how much I appreciate his actions! I plan to show him he is guilty of everything GOOD which transpired in my life since we met!"

Showing his approval, my recovering teen shamelessly pulled his boy down to give him a soul kiss in front of me!

Tom returned, followed by a nurse. She unhooked his eldest from the IV line, then safely secured the tube to his arm. This accomplished, the governor helped his twelve-year-old get dressed.

My nephew's eyes shined with excitement, arising from the attention he received and, to a lesser extent, his impending outing.

"Drew, we should return in a few hours. Elisabeth agreed to bring Hanna and Lisa home, so you needn't fret about them."

"Alright, that sounds like a plan. I don't think we will be here when you return. I intend to call it an early evening with Dylian. I believe he suffers from stress rather than fatigue. Therefore, I want to get him help, so he develops a healthy way to unwind. However, where might I find a professional on a Friday evening?"

"Wait, give me a minute!"

My friend walked away while punching buttons on his cell. He talked for a few moments then returned.

"Drew, I spoke with a lady, she agreed to meet at your condo around six this evening. She wants to chat with you both. The woman, a trained pediatric psychologist, doesn't practice at present, instead she teaches at the university. I indicated the subject brought the scandal at CPS to our attention. I made no mention of you!"

"What connection do you have with her?"

"We are cousins, so when you speak with her, please don't badmouth me too much! She is my only other blood relative, besides Allen and Lisa."

"Thanks, Buddy, I owe you. Now, I can rest more easily. I worry about his reaction to insignificant things. As with Even, none of us saw it coming! Now with this accomplished, you actually need to work!"

"HEY, BE NICE! I cater to the citizens of our state nearly twenty four/seven!" my brother countered, using a mock pout.

Both of us started laughing. We chortled a little too loudly, arousing my napping beauty.

"Oh, Darling, I am sorry, we didn't mean to awaken you!"

"That's alright, a guy my age shouldn't sleep during the day! Why were you chuckling?"

"Well, your uncle and I discussed what happened earlier. I remarked if you only knew him, you wouldn't have become upset, furthermore, he must do his job!"

Feigning, getting shot in the heart by an arrow, my pal grabbed his chest! Everyone but my cellist guffawed . The golden angel sat with watery eyes.

"Dy, please look at me!" My nephew proclaimed.

Arising, he walked over to my boy. He kneeled in front of him, so they were eye-to-eye.

Once my baby stared at his cousin, the teen continued,

"Let me tell you how I feel about what you did! I must, no matter the difficulty,... THANK YOU for delivering me from slavery! I owe you big time! In addition, your actions saved Tyler, Andy and Si,... not to mention all the kids in the foster care system! You accomplished what no one else had the courage to do, ONLY YOU! Not even the adults who knew what transpired, yet, sat on their hands, UNLIKE YOU. There is no way for me to repay you! I plan on being with you Bro until the day I die, but even if something happened, OUR friendship remains FOREVER!"

The two crying youths hugged tightly, until my fifteen-year-old quipped,

{}Umm... HE'S MY boyfriend, Little Brother, you need to get your own!!{}

With that stated, my angel turned redder than a traffic light while everyone else laughed. Simon single handedly lightened the mood in the room.

Using this moment, Brandon's old man headed out with the herd.

"Son, if you agree I will take our hero to the condo. I want to feed him before his shrink arrives. Can I trust my two love birds alone?"

{}Yes Dad! And we won't be without chaperones, there are all the nurses, doctors and security personnel to keep us virtuous!{}

"Okay, we plan to return first thing in the morning. If the therapists (Marcy, speech; Stacy, physical) arrive before I get here, please call me and ask them to wait. Big Guy, I want to sit in on their session. Good night, I love you both!"

Hugging, I kissed the couple. Then, I led my little cellist down to the truck, allowing us to head home. I couldn't remember if there existed sufficient food in the fridge, so I decided we should stop on the way to fill our stomachs.

"Sweetie, what would you like to eat and where?

"How about trying Applebee's? I have never been there, so I don't know if it's any good, but I see them advertised on TV all the time."

"Sweetie, that is a great choice! There is one around the corner from the hospital, so let's l stop for dinner on the way to the apartment."

We enjoyed supper at the restaurant. My angel had the time of his life. His table manners impressed me, my middle child taught him well.

Upon finishing, we left for home. Once there, I asked my sweetie to take a bath before our visitor arrived, so he would be ready for bed if the session got late. My baby, as always, happily complied.

My compact dynamo came into the living room when the chime sounded. Looking at my nine-year-old, I observed his ill state of ease.

"Listen, my little Prince, I promise no one shall hurt you!" I declared, tightly embracing him, after which I opened the door.

On the other side of the entrance appeared a young lady who seemed in her late twenties.

"Hello, Mr. Thomas, I presume! I'm Renee Elliott, Governor Tom Doyle asked me to speak with you and your son."

"Daddy you didn't tell me Uncle sent her!"

"A nephew, very interesting! We shall get to that, shortly! May I come in?"

"Pardon my manners, let me take your jacket and, please, sit down!"

Once settled, I continued,

"Son, go play in your room for a few minutes, while I talk with our guest! "

After my boy left, I turned to woman, stating,

"Miss, first, let me explain.... Your cousin is my brother-in-law. I don't understand why he failed to mention it, but I insist you know everything. My youngest took on himself an enormous amount of stress for a youngster his age. He needs guidance in dealing with it. Please tell me whether you might be able to help him!"

"I immediately realized who you were! The fool always thought he could pull one over on me! Helping your son to handle his anxieties won't prove difficult provided you work with me. How you ask, by not adding to them. At least, no more than necessary!"

"If I had a magic wand I would make his world carefree! I plan on moving to my country estate within the week, immediately upon my fifteen-year-old's release from the hospital. Will it present a difficulty or might you prefer to see him in your office?"

"No, I think it best we meet on his turf. His home environment remains the perfect place to work on his troubles and provide him means to cope with ordinary garden-variety pressure. Before we tackle heavy stress, he must learn to handle the common daily variety."

"Sounds good to me. Let me get my little prince."

Thanks for your support! Thanks for being the best editor, Brauch!

Please remember that kids are our future. It's time to protect them.

No Child Should Have To Sleep On The Street Tonight!



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