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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.
The rest of the evening went much smoother than the start. Although Dylian figured out whom the visitor was, my fifteen-year-old remained clueless.
Around eight o'clock, Tom, Brandon, and Lisa showed up. Not long after them, Tyler, plus Andy, arrived with their fathers. The kids all ran up to the game room on the third floor, while the adults chatted around the kitchen table.
"Brian, Mark, thank you for agreeing to meet me away from your place of work. I want to keep this matter private, not become a state issue. As you know, I filed the paperwork to formally adopt my boy. Do you think this whole mess will postpone or stop my application?"
"On the contrary, helping your child regain what legally belongs to him not only won't be detrimental, but, in fact, any family court judge shall look at your efforts as a form of commitment. Now, I took the liberty of filing all the proper injunctions. The clerk of the State Appellate Court in Kansas agreed to fast track the case. That state's Lieutenant Governor and the Attorney General called to tell me they intended personally handling the matter!" Mark assured us.
"Mark, what are we looking at here for my son in the terms of recovery?"
"I'll handle this one. I ordered an IRS audit of the company, which our nephew's grandfather owned. It shall uncover the value at the time of the man's demise, plus its worth at present. According to Kansas statutes, we should expect a seven percent rate of annual growth. This figure may change the assessment, which is based on the actual increase over the last five years. Those figures are to be released in two-to-four weeks, however the business, itself, reverts to Brandon, via a trust set up in his name, within seven-to-fourteen days!"
Now, the personal estate is a different story. The land will be moved back into your son's trust the instance the judge signs off on it. The FBI already inventoried everything in the house. I have the listing with me, we were not sure if your boy could tell us what belonged to his grandfather or was newly added. We understand, in spite of everything these people did to our nephew, they kept the property, for the most part, intact. There are a couple of things we need to dispose of right away, such as the old junk cars rotting in the garage."
This perked my interest more than anything else said earlier!
"Wait, what about those vehicles, what kind, in addition to how many, are there?"
"I figured that would wake you up, Drew!" Mark laughed.
"There are two, we know of. One is a nineteen thirty-four Packard, the other a forty-eight Tucker Torpedo. Although I never heard of the later make, my sources tell me it is a very rare find!"
"Indeed, plus one on my must own list! I hope they haven't tampered with it. You know, one idiot, out of the state of Washington, moved the drive train from the BACK to the FORE, can you believe such a transgression!"
The other three, sitting around the table, looked at me, as if I were totally insane. They had no clue what I meant.
"Drew, I realize I have no car sense, but aren't all engines in the front? I know they have been on all mine!"
"Hell, no! In all of my Ferrari's, they're mounted in the rear, which remains the norm with most other sports vehicles. Unfortunately, to date, few manufacturers do so with their sedans. The Tucker Company became renowned for its independent thinking. Sadly, only fifty one cars, including the prototype, rolled out of their facility, before they shut down. The attacks on their founder are widely believed to originate from the Big Three (GM, Ford and Chrysler)."
My companions laughed at my boyish enthusiasm, hurting my feelings.
"Drew, you are one of the only gay men I ever met, who possessed a vehicle fetish! Your eyes light up, when you talk about anything mounted on four wheels! However, to me, I hear gibberish! Forgive me for embarrassing you, but saying 'The Tucker Torpedo is a very rare car' would have covered it. So, you wish to buy this auto from my son?"
"I might make him an offer or, better yet, help him preserve it for his use in the future."
Clearly, my friend regretted putting me in an awkward spot, therefore I dropped it. I realized only another aficionado appreciates a magnificent piece of engineering genius, so it remains their loss, not mine! Then, I added,
"For your information, the last car of that make went for nearly one half million, back in nineteen eighty-eight! So, it should set up our boy very nicely!"
"HOLY SHIT! How can such an old piece of junk be worth a fortune! And, equally unfathomable, you actually remembered its worth?! Everyone knows I'm clueless with respect to cars but DAMN!" Brian exclaimed.
"I guess you now appreciate my hobby! Returning to the business of saving Brandon's heritage, Tom, did you ask your son his plans for the items he inherited?"
"No, I'm unsure how to broach the topic!"
"Buddy, both Brian and I feel we need a detailed plan before everything is finalized by the courts. The judge could very well demand a precise blueprint on the spot, since most of the case concerns the recovery of his grandfather's real estate."
"Would the three of you mind, if we talk to him together. I believe he will understand more with you helping me explain."
"Okay, let me call him. It'll only take a second."
Then, I did exactly that. Within five minutes, my frightened looking nephew appeared in the doorway. It surprised us to see him with the Koch's son.
"Umm, Uncle Drew, is it, aaah, okay if Nicky stays with me while you talk?" Tom's twelve year old inquired.
"Sure, Brandon, as long as he remains quiet! I want to assure you everything is fine, alright?"
"We need to speak with you about a few important matters."
The two kids sat at the table, while I handed each a glass of apple juice. I said nothing until they finished drinking, after which I started,
"Alright, our meeting concerns something positive not negative! Your father asked us to help him explain the situation. As you may remember, your grandfather owned a very successful company, as well as a huge house, before he died."
He nodded, so I continued, "Well, it turns out one of the social workers determined his estate would be put into a trust for you, so she took advantage. While the company would automatically be run by a pre-selected board of directors, you should have been allowed to keep the mansion, living under the supervision of his assistant, as your paid care giver. Instead, the woman withheld the will, worse she ignored your grandfather's final wishes. We plan to sue the state of Kansas for their criminal neglect and mistreatment of you. But first, we must ask you how to dispose of the property and monies owed you."
"Is all my stuff still there?"
"Yes!" Mark answered.
"I have some things I hid in my special place, may I go back to retrieve them?"
"Of course, Sweetie, everything belongs to you! You must decide whether you want to keep the mansion, grounds and furnishings." Brian replied.
"You mean I determine what to do with the house?"
"Yes, Son, you own everything."
"Then, I shall return to get my stuff. Afterwards, I want to give it to the guys at the home, so they can live in a nicer place!"
This darling child took us all by surprise! These were the same boys, who abused him to the point he underwent brain surgery. Nevertheless, our nephew takes his mansion, he deeds it to his tormentors, so they have a new real home to improve their miserable existence!
"Brandon, are you sure? These fellows treated you badly. Granting them your estate, rewards their mistreatment of you."
"Yes, Dad, they suffer greatly there, how they act, isn't their fault. They never chose to live in that horrible place. Maybe, if they were happier, they wouldn't pick on the other smaller kids."
"The house has its own trust fund to take care of its needs, like taxes. Sweetie, I think your suggestion rocks! We will make this happen. Now, let me continue."
"Wait, Uncle Drew! The money I receive from the state shall be placed in a fund, so the guys may attend college!"
"Alright, we shall do it! The sum is more than enough to cover all their educational expenses. Next, comes the cars, I strongly urge you to keep them. Not only are they worth a fortune but a great investment for your future. Finally, we have the business. Shall we sell it, or keep it running? The enterprise grew into the most successful school bus chassis manufacturer in the Midwest. The board of directors did a wonderful job running the factory. Its value remains unknown, until after the audits. So, you have time to decide. In addition, we remain available at all times to advise you!"
I worried over the amount of information we threw at this sweet, special child, who, after all, was merely twelve. Further, he only recently joined the family, which left him unsure of his status.
After several minutes Tom's son replied,
"Uncle Drew, I'm a kid, I know nothing about the company or how to run it. However, Grandfather always wanted it to stay with me. Do you think you might run it, until I grow up?"
"Of course, Sweetie, as soon as the judge agrees. Tell you what, next week we should know more, then let's jump on my big plane to fly there. That way we can take a look at what you want to keep, okay?"
"May Nicky come with us?"
"If his parents agree, yes! But, I see no problem with it. Better, yet, all of us shall go!"
"I refuse to travel without him!"
Our business completed, the two boys ran back upstairs holding hands!
Tom and I silently looked at each other with big grins.
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