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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.
As we drove towards my home, this attractive young teenager asked me about our extended family. I answered her questions the best I could without revealing private information. One of her inquiries concerned the boys' sexuality.
"Sweetie, I will tell you this: several are gay, a few straight, the remaining either unknown or undeclared. In all cases you need to speak with them about their orientation, I'm not at liberty to say."
"Uncle Drew, how badly abused was my brother?"
"My Dear, I can't start to described what he endured. That is something you need to discuss with him. However, please refrain from pushing him should he shy away. He went through many harrowing experiences, which remain too painful for him to discuss. Even needs a bundle of love right now, I hope you help give him plenty. In all cases, be honest! If you decide on returning to the Williamsons, I shall support you. However, you must explain to your brother the reasons."
"Wait, you mean it's up to me?!"
"Yes, Sweetie, we discussed this earlier at the farm. We won't force you to stay against your will!"
"I'm sorry, I doubted you. I thought you made those comments, so I would come. WOW! I actually get to choose, Man, what a novel idea!"
We drove an hour, before we stopped to snack. Dakota felt uneasy eating in the car, but I assured her she could, since it was simply a vehicle, five wheels plus a motor.
During the rest of the trip we chatted about her desires, plus her dislikes, mainly making small talk. She became a bit nervous, when I pulled off the interstate.
"Sweetie, don't worry! The boys shall love you. Little Donnie is excited over the possibility of getting a big sister. My little prince wants an older girl around to educate him concerning women!"
I tried to make her laugh, see the lighter side of things, however I failed miserably.
As I pulled through the gate to the estate, her eyes grew huge, I feared she might cease breathing.
"HOLY CRAP, you live here?!"
"Yes, in the main house: Bradley, with little Hanna, occupy the cottage, the Koch's inhabit the apartment above the converted stables, your brother dwells a mile to the south!"
"I can't get over the gigantic size of this place! Am I going to meet Evan tonight?"
"No, they will come by tomorrow after you settled in. You will get to know my three sons this evening. Normally, my eldest picks up his daughter by five thirty, but Patty usually convinces him to stay for dinner most nights, hopefully this might be one of them."
"Hanna is how old, three?"
"Yes, the munchkin is a riot! She calls me Grampa, as well as Cookie Monster!"
We pulled up in front of the garage. I decided to park the Rolls outside, I told my niece to leave her bags, we would bring them in after we ate. Entering the house through the back door, led us directly into the kitchen, man it smelled good!
"Wow! I never inhaled anything so good!" the young lady enthused.
"Sweetie, I agree! Patty, please say hello to Miss Dakota Gordon."
"It is such a pleasure to finally see you, My Dear! Indeed, Drew didn't exaggerate, when he raved about your beauty!"
"It's nice to meet you, too, Miss Patty."
My niece seemed puzzled as to the role of this person.
"Darling, while we are here, let me introduce our house manager plus cook, Patty, without her our abode would sink, worse its inmates starve! If you need anything feel free to ask her, she resides beyond those doors, however remember it's her home."
"Haa! Haa! Untrue, there's always take-out!"
"Grampa! Where you been?"
"Busy with a very special project, how is my Gramgirl today?! Have you baked cookies?"
"No, we made cake! And, Aidn says I'm becoming much smarter!"
I chuckled at the way my Hanna pronounced Adian's name.
"Munchkin, I want you to meet a very special person. This is Dakota, she will be visiting us for a few days. Can you say hello to her?"
"Hi, you're very pretty. Teach me to do that with your hair!"
"Sure! I think you look lovely as well! If you want, I shall show your daddy how to French braid it. I bet, you would look still cuter with them!"
"Indeed! A friend did so a few weeks ago, unfortunately I couldn't get the hang of it. Hi, I'm Bradley Harrison, Hanna's dad."
"Your,... Your,... Bradley Harrison, THE 'BRADLEY HARRISON', I can't believe it!"
"You know me?"
"I am a huge fan of your playing. I watched your chamber strings group at the state ensembles for the past three years. I wish we played as well!"
"I may be good, however you should hear my little brother! Man, the kid makes music with his cello like an angel! He is a self-taught nine-year old prodigy. What's your instrument?"
"The double bass. I play in my school's general orchestra, in addition to the jazz band and string quartet."
"Wow, we almost have our own group within the family! All we need is to bring Brandon, our cousin, up to speed. With a wee more confidence, he will perform like a pro."
By this time Hanna returned with a hairbrush, then she climbed into her cousin's lap.
Taking the proffered item, the teen lovingly caressed the little tykes curls.
"Hey, if she becomes a pest, shoo her away!"
"She couldn't ever be one! Wait, why do you say we would have our own music group?"
"Well, Brandon plays the violin, Dylian the cello, I the violin. So, with you on base, that makes four!"
"But, who says I am part of the family?"
"Dakota, I'm not ignorant! I know Evan is your brother! Whether, or not, you decide to stay, you are still one of us. Don't worry, I won't say a word to anyone. Hanna, time to take your bath!"
"Hanna Lynn! Stop acting up, continue to misbehave we shall go home NOW for an early bedtime!"
"Munchkin, suppose after your bath, I French braid your hair?"
The remark earned Evan's sister a smile from Bradley, plus a hug from the little imp.
I walked down the hallway with my eldest, plus my Gramgirl on the way to the bathroom. I wanted to ascertain all remained hunky dory with the young dad.
"Is everything alright, Son? You seem tired."
"Yes, Dad, I've too much going on. Yet, I'm okay, I feel better about myself all the time, more than ever before!"
"Great! I can't tell you how proud you make me! Everyday you surprise me, make me prouder of you!"
"Thanks, Dad! It means the world coming from you!"
Returning to the kitchen, I told Dakota we would take her bags upstairs to her room. As I went out to fetch them, Dylian and Nicky nearly bowled me over.
"Whoa, Boys, where is the fire?"
"Sorry, Dad! I learned a new song, which I want to play for Nicky. But, his mom said he must return home in thirty minutes to eat dinner. So, we have to hurry!"
"Alright! Remember, no running in the house, I mean it!"
The two boys took off again, I simply laughed. Grabbing both two suitcases out of the trunk, we headed up to the second floor. I chose the room across from Simon's suite for his cousin. Before arriving at our destination, the young girl stopped dead in her tracks. I feared a mishap, instead she asked,
"Is that sound a recording?"
"I don't think so, but let's check."
We needn't, music streamed from down the hall, where my prodigy played. Dakota's lower jaw nearly hit the floor.
She whispered to me, "Bradley wasn't exaggerating, he's the best performer, I've ever heard!"
We stayed at the doorway, until my little artist finished the piece. Then, we clapped, causing his cheeks to redden.
"Son, how incredible! Please tell me the name of the song!"
"Juile-O, by the Turtle Island String Quartet. Did you like it?"
"You're the greatest artist I ever heard, since I started playing at six! Is it true, you never had a lesson?"
"Yes, whom are you?"
"Sorry, Dylian, meet Dakota who will be here for a few days. Sweetie, the other striking boy is his best friend, Nicky!"
"Hello guys! It's very nice to meet you!"
"Same, here!" both yelled out in unison.
"That makes you my sister, right?" my nine-year-old asked with a little bit of worry in his voice.
"No, cousin, does it work for you?"
"Yeah! What's your instrument?"
"Oh, kewl! Marcus plays it as first chair in our chamber strings. He jokingly tells me, I should take it up, oh sure!"
"So, you belong to the best group in the state, WOW, that's awesome!"
"Yeah, but for the project only, nothing more! Is it with you?"
"I don't own one, I use the school's. Although not very good, it works. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring it on this trip."
My boy looked me in the eye. Without uttering a word, I knew what he wanted.
"Son, is it alright a talented musician, plus family member, must use a borrowed poor quality instrument?"
"I say it's an outrage! Please have one made which fits her!"
"Huh, wait! No, they cost too much!"
"Nothing is more valuable than the happiness of one of us, correct son?"
"Right, Uncle Drew!" Nicky add.
I saw tears form in Dakota's eyes.
"Sweetie, no sweat! Money isn't any good, if not spent on things which make you, plus your loved ones, happy. I plan on getting you the perfect instrument, I won't accept no for an answer!"
Walking my niece to her room, she appeared impressed with it. I showed her where everything was kept. She asked,
"Uncle, what are those boxes on the bed?"
"Well, one is the cell phone, the other a laptop with wireless internet, which permits you to email or IM your friends at will. There are some basic rules, I want you to follow while using the computer: One, don't give out personal information, such as your address and phone number. Two, be careful whom you chat with."
"KEWL! Thank you soo much! I never owned a computer before!"
For the first time, Dakota hugged me, what a terrific feeling!
Thank you for the feedback. Thanks for your support! As always BR you make this such a better story and make me a better person!!
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