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M/M, m/m, M/m

 

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 contains descriptions of explicit sexual acts of boys and men discovering their sexuality. It contains graphic scenes of sex between consenting underage boys, consenting adult males and boys with adult males (eventually). If this type of content offends you or you are under the age of 18, do not read it.

 

If it is illegal to read such material where you live or if you find the topic distasteful, then please stop reading now. You have been warned.

 

This story is the property of the author. It can be downloaded for personal reading pleasure or sending to a friend, but if you wish to re-post them at your own site, please contact the author for permission.

 

Copyright 2016 WSC, all rights reserved.

 

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Author”s Note:

 

I started writing this story, never intending it to grow into what it has become. It seems to have taken on a life of its own. I hope you enjoy.

 

Also, if you are enjoying this story, my first story can be found fty//gay/adult-youth/moments

 

Chapter 22 � Tuesday  

Tuesday began way earlier than I was used to. My alarm went off at 6:00AM so I could get the boys up, dressed, fed and ready to catch their bus. I never realized how grumpy kids could be at that time of day. While I dealt with the four grumplestiltskins, Tom dressed in his uniform and headed out the door, pausing to give each of us a hug and kiss.

 

“Bye guys, I”ll see you tonight. Have a good day at school and learn something new.”

 

“We will, Uncle Tom. Be careful today, we want you coming back home tonight,” Alex said.

 

“I will.” With that, he was gone.

 

“Come on boys, get a move on. Your bus will be here soon and I need to have you at the end of the drive waiting when it shows up.”

 

“We”re moving as fast we can, dad,” Alex said.

 

“Yeah, man, give us a break,” added Joey.

 

“I just don”t want you to be late. I”ll try to relax, promise.”

 

When they had finished their breakfast, I made sure they all had their coats, hats, gloves and backpacks and got them loaded in the car. We got to the end of the drive with a few minutes to spare. While we waited for the bus to arrive, I reminded the boys that the dress code, or lack thereof, at home was not to be shared with their friends. They all said they understood. The boys then chatted amongst themselves while we waited and when I saw the bus coming our direction I had them make sure they had everything before getting out. I had to laugh as the bus slowly rolled right past the driveway. Unless you know what to look for, it pretty easy to miss it hidden among all the trees. I had the boys out of the car and standing in line as the driver backed up about a hundred feet.

 

When the door popped open, the driver said, “Sorry `bout that. I was watching for your drive since turning on the road and still missed it.”

 

“No worries, it”s easy to do. By the way, my name is Max Sanders and I”m the boys” new father.”

 

“Good to meet ya”, Mr. Sanders, I”m Carl, the regular driver on this route.”

 

“Please, call me Max. Will you be getting here about the same time every day?”

 

“Should be, within a few minutes either way.”

 

“Okay, I just wanted to make sure. While it”s cold like this, I”ll be bringing them down and waiting in the car with them, just want to make sure when we should be here. About what time will they be dropped off after school.”

 

“I usually hit this road about 3:45. There”s a few more stops further up the road.”

 

“Sounds good, Carl. I”ll be here, waiting for them. The house is about �-mile walk from here, which is a little too far to walk in these temps.”

 

“No problem, we”ll see you this afternoon.” The door closed and I waved at my boys as the bus pulled away. I hopped back in the car, turned around in the road and drove back to the house. I pulled the car in the garage so it could stay warm until I left for the school later and my meeting with the principal and the boys” teachers. I undressed, laid my clothes on the bed to wear again later and headed into the study to make a few calls. The first was to Carol at the adoption agency.

 

“This is Carol, how can I help you,” she answered.

 

“Good morning, Carol.”

 

“Well, good morning to you, too, Max. How are things going?”

 

“Couldn”t be better. We spent yesterday getting new clothes for the boys and they are all back to school today.”

 

“Clothes? You think they”ll actually get worn?” she laughed. “Seriously, it”s progress. Sounds like you”re starting to get a handle on being a father.”

 

“Slowly, but surely, Carol. Say, I have something I”d like to discuss with you this afternoon. If I came to the office, would you have some spare time for me?”

 

“Let me check my calendar, Max, one second.” She returned a few seconds later, “I have some free time about 2:00. Will that work for you?”

 

“That”d be perfect. I”m going to the school to meet the principal and the boys” teachers at noon, so I”ll head your way when I”m done there. Thanks, Carol.”

 

“No problem, Max, I”ll see you then.”

 

My next call was to a local contractor I”d had do some work for me a couple years ago.

 

“This is John.”

 

“John, Max Sanders, how ya” been?”

 

“Good, Max, long time. How `bout yourself?”

 

“Doing well, John, thanks for asking.”

 

“So, what”s up?”

 

“Well, John, I”m in the process of adopting four boys and …”

 

“Four? Boys? I never took you as a glutton for punishment, Max.”

 

“I know, what can I say? People change.”

 

“Well, I shoulda” said congratulations, Max. Sorry to interrupt, go ahead.”

 

“Well, you know how far back from the road the house is located, and the boys will need to wait out at the road for the bus.”

 

“That won”t be much fun for them, will it? Not in this weather, anyway.”

 

“That”s exactly why I”m calling you, John. I”d like to get a small shelter built at the end of drive so they can get out of the wind, snow and rain while they wait for the bus. Sound like something you”d be interested in helping with?”

 

“Gee, I don”t know, we”re pretty busy right now,” he chuckled.

 

“If you”re that busy, do I need to call someone else, John?”

 

“Hell, no, Max. This is a piece `o cake. How big do you want it?”

 

“I”m thinking maybe 8″ X 8″. That be plenty big enough to last them through high school.”

 

“Do you want it insulated and heated?”

 

“That”d be a good idea, John, but I don”t think I”d want to pay to run electrical from the house all the way out to the road.”

 

“What if we put a solar panel on the roof with a battery backup to run the heater. That should be cheaper than running the wire and be almost maintenance-free for you.”

 

“I like that idea, John. The heater wouldn”t have to be that large if the shelter”s got enough insulation and sealed tight enough to keep the heat inside.”

 

“That”s what I”m thinking, Max.”

 

“I”ll also want a real, lockable door and a window in it. The window doesn”t need to open, just be there so they can watch for the bus without having to go outside.”

 

“Good idea, Max. How soon you want us to start?”

 

“As soon as you can, John. I know March is right around the corner, but burdur escort I think this cold”s going to hang around for a while, yet.”

 

“I”m with you, Max. Here”s what I”ll do. I”ll come out in the morning and we can pick the location for the shelter. Then, I can have a couple of my guys come out and set some forms for the slab.”

 

“You can come out tomorrow, but we”ll have to take out some trees before the floor could be poured. There”s not a lot of clear space on either side of the drive right now.”

 

“Thanks for reminding me, Max. I didn”t think about that. I”ll call and arrange to have a tree removal guy I trust meet with us tomorrow morning. Once we pick out the right spot, he can get the trees downed and my guys can still come out the next day to set the forms and dump some rock base inside them.”

 

“Will your tree guy remove the trees and the stumps entirely? I don”t want to have the floor cracked in a few months by them coming back.”

 

“I”ll make sure he brings all the equipment he”ll need to grind the stumps, too. And I”ll have my guys bring a plate compactor with them so they pack the dirt before they dump the rock. Then, we can get the floor slab poured a couple days after that. Shouldn”t take much to finish it, just a quick troweling and cover it with plastic and straw to help keep it from freezing before it”s set. While the slab sets, we can build the shelter in my shop and bring it out on our big trailer, ready to set on the slab. Add some anchors, bolt the shelter to the slab, and presto, happy boys.”

 

“Sounds like a good plan to me, John. Call me when you get close tomorrow and I”ll meet you at the end of the drive in the morning.”

 

“See you then, Max.”

 

I still had a couple hours before I needed to head to the school for my meeting, so I grabbed my book and curled up by the fireplace to kill a few hours. When it was time to leave, I got re-dressed and headed to the school. I found a parking spot and after entering the school, I stopped a teacher in the hall and asked for directions to the principal”s office. Directions fresh in my head, I set off down the hall. I was met by a perky and cheerful young lady when I entered the office.

 

“May I help you sir?” she asked in a high pitch sing-song.

 

“Good afternoon, my name is Max Sanders and I have a meeting with Ms. Carr.”

 

“One moment, sir. If you”d like to have a seat, I”ll page her.”

 

“Thank you.” Perky and cheerful made the page and we waited quietly. A minute later, a well-dressed, middle-aged woman came into the office followed by two women and a man. I stood as they headed my direction.

 

“Mr. Sanders, I presume. I”m Valerie Carr, the school principal and these three are your sons” teachers. Michael is in Mrs. Young”s class, Thomas is in Miss Klaus” class, and Mr. Thomas is Joseph and Alexander”s teacher.” We all shook hands as Valerie made the introductions. “Why don”t we step into my office?” Valerie led the way and then closed the door when we were all inside. “Please, have a seat everyone. Now, Mr. Sanders, what can we do for you?”

 

“First, you can stop calling me Mr. Sanders, please. My name is Maxwill and I go by Max.”

 

“We can certainly do that, Max. And please, call me Valerie.”

 

“I will, thanks. Second, one of the first things I asked the boys when we got to my house Friday night was if they wanted to be called by their full names. All of them said no and asked to be called Joey, Alex, T.J. and Mike. If you could make that adjustment here, that”d be great.”

 

“We can do that, Max, right folks?” she asked, looking to the teachers. Nods from all three teachers signaled their agreement.

 

“Okay, continuing on, as I told you during our call yesterday, over the weekend, I became the legal guardian of the boys and I”m in the process of adopting them. Since I”m obviously new to this whole `being a parent” thing, I just thought it would be good idea to come over, meet the folks responsible for my sons” education and find out what”s expected or needed of me.”

 

“I wish all our parents took their jobs this seriously. All our lives would be so much better if they did. But, really, Max, all we look for from parents is to be involved in their children”s education. Set aside some quiet time every day and help them with their homework. If you see them having any problems, let us know so we can see what we can do here to provide additional assistance. Also, attend the parent/teacher meetings so you can meet directly with their teachers and relay any concerns you may have. These meetings are also a way for the teachers to pass information, directly to the parents, of any issues they may be seeing.”

 

“I can certainly do all that. Are there any problems I should know about now?”

 

“I”ll let the teachers address that question. Why don”t you start, Ken?”

 

“No real problems with the twins. They do like to be the class clowns, though, and can be disruptive at times. Usually, all it takes is a gentle reminder and they calm back down. Other than that, they”re grades are among the top 5% of the class. Both are highly intelligent and might possibly be bored with certain subjects at times, most notably, math. I”ve noticed both seem to daydream when we”re working in that subject, but their grades don”t show it. You might consider having them tested and see if we can move them up a grade level. Other than that, I don”t see any problems.”

 

“Excellent, Ken. Peggy, how is T.J. doing?”

 

“Well, he”s only been in my class since January, remember, but from what I”ve seen so far, he seems to be doing well. His reading, spelling and math skills all seem to be where they should be. His Social Studies could be improved a bit, but he”s not horribly behind. I”m sure some of that comes from the school he came from. They use a different textbook for the subject and I”m sure he”s playing a little catchup.”

 

“One thing I noticed,” I interjected, “very soon after our first meeting a few weeks ago, he”s very outspoken and doesn”t seem afraid to share things that maybe he shouldn”t. Has that been an issue?”

 

“Only a couple of times, and that was very early on. He seems to have learned to refrain from speaking out in class without permission.”

 

“Thank the gods for that,” I laughed. Peggy joined me with a quiet giggle.

 

“Your turn, now, Anita. Any problems with Michael? Oh, I”m sorry, I meant to say Mike. Old habits die hard, Max.”

 

“No problem.” I turned to Anita to hear her report.

 

“Mike”s been in my class about the same length of time T.J. has been in Peggy”s and he”s been very quiet and reserved during that time. His skills seem to be where they should be, maybe a little behind, but not too bad, I think. My biggest concern is his socializing with his classmates. He doesn”t seem to making any friends.”

 

“Are you aware of his history before joining your class, Anita?”

 

“What history? Apparently not. What did I miss?”

 

“I”m surprised the agency didn”t pass this on, so I”ll do it now. Mike was subjected to severe physical and mental abuse by his parents and he was removed from their care and their rights have been severed. There is no chance of them getting him back.”

 

“Oh, my, I was completely unaware of that. Now, it all makes sense.”

 

“What makes sense?” asked Valerie.

 

“Some of the other boys in class tend to pick on him because he”s so small. When they do it, Mike just cowers at his desk or in a corner. I”ve tried to stop them from doing it and they won”t when I”m watching, but if I turn my back or I”m busy helping another student, they just start up again. I moved the problem boys to the other side of the class and that has reduced the issue there, but at lunch and on the playground, I”ve no control over them.”

 

“I wish you”d told me this was happening, Anita,” Valerie said. “It looks like I need to have a little chat with these boys. Right after lunch, won”t you please send them here? We”ll get this situation resolved today.” bursa escort

 

“May I join that meeting, Valerie?” I asked.

 

“I think that would be a good idea, Max.”

 

“Great, now, I have one more thing you all need to know. This stays with the four of you. If I hear of this spreading through the school from any of you, you”ll be sued.”

 

Valerie stood behind her desk with an indignant look on her face. “Max, I don”t think you need to be threatening us like that.”

 

“It”s not a threat, Valerie, it”s a promise. Please sit and I”ll explain.” She sat back down and crossed her arms over her chest, clearly upset. “Thank you. Now, you don”t need to know this as it”s not really pertinent to the boys” education, but I think you should. I”m gay.”

 

“And just how could that have any effect on our responsibilities?” Valerie asked.

 

“One of the main reasons I”m being allowed to adopt these four is, according to their case worker, they are gay also.”

 

“Oh, don”t give me that garbage,” Valerie countered. “They can”t possibly think something like that at their ages.”

 

“What makes you say that, Valerie? How many gay people have you talked to about when they knew who they were?”

 

“Well, none.”

 

“Then, I”ll be the first. I”ve known since I was Joey and Alex”s age, so I have no doubt about who they say they are. The reason I”m telling you this is so you will know what to watch for from other students. I will not allow these boys to be bullied by anyone, students or staff, over this or any other reason. Do we understand each other?”

 

“First of all, there”s no need to threaten, or promise, to sue us to have us enforce our rules. We have very strict anti-bullying policies and they are enforced equally, regardless of the type of bullying. We have no room for that in our school. Second of all, as I”ve already said, there is no way they know that at their ages. Impossible.”

 

“What about you three, do you also think it”s impossible?” I asked, looking to the boys” teachers.

 

“It”s absolutely possible, Valerie,” Anita responded. “My son, Steve, first told me he liked boys when he was five. I didn”t believe it, thought it was just a phase, but here we are 20 years later, and you know what, he still likes boys. Well, men, but you know what I”m saying.”

 

“I suppose anything”s possible,” Peggy said.

 

“What”s your opinion Ken?” I asked.

 

“Well, I never thought much about it, but now that I do, I guess I”ve known since I was about seven or eight, also. So, I”d have to say the boys know what they”re talking about.”

 

“Wait, you”re gay, Ken? You didn”t disclose that information when we hired you,” Valerie said with a look of incredulity on her face.

 

“You didn”t ask, and more importantly, it”s illegal for you to do so.”

 

“Be that as it may, this information could seriously affect your ability to retain you job.”

 

“Ken,” I interrupted, “if that happens, you let me know and I”ll give you the name of a hard-nosed attorney who has never lost a case and loves nothing more than suing a bunch of sanctimonious pricks.”

 

Ken leaned forward to look at me and answered, “Thanks, Max, I”ll do that.” He looked back to Valerie, “You were saying?”

 

“Nothing,” she fumed. “I think we”re done here.”

 

“Do you still want me to send down the boys who are picking on Mike so you can talk to them?” Anita asked.

 

“Not today. We”ll deal with them later. Get out of here. All of you.”

 

“Thank you for your time, Valerie,” I said politely, “it”s been very educational. Fitting, I suppose, seeing as we are in a school.”

 

“Whatever. Just go!”

 

As we exited the office, I turned to the other three and asked, “Can I count on you three to help?”

 

“Certainly, Max. My son went through hell growing up and I want you to know that Mike will not have to worry about that as long I can help it.”

 

“Thanks, Anita, I appreciate it.” I turned to Peggy, “How about you?”

 

“Of course, Max.”

 

“And Ken?” I asked as I turned to him.

 

“Bet on it, Max.”

 

“I want to thank you three for taking your lunch time to meet with me. It was my pleasure to meet all of you. Don”t hesitate to call or e-mail me if you any of you have problems with the boys.”

 

Anita and Peggy both thanked me and turned to head to their classrooms. I started to leave and felt a tap on my shoulder. “Ya” gotta a minute?” Ken asked.

 

“Sure, Ken, what”s up?”

 

“I think we”re going to have some problems with our fearless leader.”

 

“What kind of problems?”

 

“She”s obviously homophobic beyond belief. I picked up on her feelings during my first interview two years ago. That”s why I”ve kept my mouth shut about being gay. I knew she wouldn”t like it and would find any reason she could to let me go, and I really need this job.”

 

“Well, Ken, don”t worry about it. They can”t fire you for being gay.”

 

“I know they can”t, but I don”t have tenure, yet, and she could use just about any excuse she can think of to deny me that.”

 

“I don”t know what to tell you except don”t worry about it. She doesn”t want to take me on. I may be kinda new to the gay thing, but I don”t intend to let anybody treat us like we”re not humans.”

 

“Thanks, Max. I”ll watch out for the boys. All of them.”

 

“Thanks, Ken. Have a good afternoon and if you need anything, call me.”

 

“You, too, Max, and I will.”

 

I headed to my meeting with Carol but since I had plenty of time, I decided to grab some lunch on the way. After a couple beef, bacon and cheddar sandwiches at Arby”s and I headed to the agency”s office and my meeting. I was greeted by Marcy, the receptionist, and asked to have a seat to wait while Carol finished her current meeting. Ten minutes later, Carol entered the lobby escorting a smiling young couple and after saying goodbye to them, waved for me to follow her. I tagged along, weaving our way through cubicle after cubicle to finally find her office along an outside wall of the building.

 

“Afternoon, Max, have a seat, please.”

 

“Thanks, Carol, how are you today?”

 

“Great!” she smiled. “That happy couple you saw with me is in the process of adopting a baby and we were going over some of the final details before their court appearance Friday.”

 

“That”s great, Carol. I”d imagine they”re happy.”

 

“Well, after 6 months of waiting and a bungled background investigation, they are.”

 

“A what?”

 

“Oh, the moron that did the first background check screwed it up and delayed the adoption about 4 months.”

 

“How”d that happen?”

 

“The gentleman”s name is fairly common, something like John Smith, although that”s not his real name, but along those lines. You know, lots of other men with the same name.”

 

“Unlike Maxwill Sanders, right? Not too many of us around, is there?”

 

“Exactly. The original investigator stopped his search when he found a man with the same name in prison down south somewhere. Didn”t cross reference any other info like wife, family, date of birth, nothin”. Well, as you know, a felony is automatic removal from any possible adoption.”

 

“So I”ve been told.”

 

“Well, when the idiot faxed in his report, the dimwit here who retrieved it from the machine just flagged this gentleman as a criminal and he was kicked out of the program as ineligible. It took me months and a new investigation with a competent individual to get it all straightened out. We”re finally back on track.”

 

“What a nightmare for them, and for you. I couldn”t imagine how I”d feel if that had happened to me.”

 

“Well, we”ve removed the investigator from our list of approved sleuths and the in-house dimwit is out pounding the pavement looking for a new job. Best I can see her getting is a job where every customer is asked `you want fries with that?”.” She laughed bitterly. “I”m sorry, you don”t want the hear about çanakkale escort my problems. What can I do for you today? Is anything wrong?”

 

“Nope, we”re good, but I may have a solution to your problem.”

 

“What are you talking about, Max.”

 

“I just happen to know an enterprising young man who is about to resign his current law enforcement job in favor of something in the private sector. He says he”s interested in opening his own private investigation agency and he”s going to be looking for some clients to help pay the bills. I told him I would do some checking around to help him fill that need. So, tell me, do you know anyone who could make good use of a top-notch investigator?” Carol”s eyes had been growing during my speech.

 

“Are you talking about Tom. He”s quitting he Sherriff”s department? What brought that about?”

 

“Yes, it”s Tom. He and I have fallen for each other, hard. He”s going to talk to his sergeant, Dylan, this afternoon after his shift, and turn in his resignation. As to how it happened, we had a long talk Sunday night and I asked him if he was married to his job. He told he loved it, but was scared to death every day that he wouldn”t be going home each night. When I told him I loved him and didn”t want to risk losing him every day, he admitted the same about me and told me he”d already decided to turn in his papers today.”

 

“Oh, my god, what have I done?” she screamed.

 

I got up and quietly closed her door to avoid attracting any unwanted attention from the rest of the office, then returned to my seat. “You haven”t done anything to be ashamed of or worry about, Carol. When we met in the Mueller”s driveway Saturday, it was fate that brought us together. Besides, you did say you thought we”d make a cute couple, didn”t you?”

 

“That wasn”t fate, that was me, meddling in the lives of two people I barely know.”

 

“You call it meddling, we call it fate. Whatever you want to call it, it was meant to be. We both feel like we”ve known each other our whole lives and we want to thank you for helping bring us together. Now, how about an answer to my original question, you know anyone who needs an excellent investigator with connections to law enforcement?”

 

“You”re serious, aren”t you?”

 

“Deadly.”

 

“Let me call Anna and see if she can join us.” She dialed Anna”s extension and after brief conversation, said she”d be here in just a moment. She still had a dumbfounded expression on her face and it was priceless. There was a light knock on the door and Anna stepped in.

 

“What”s up Carol? Oh, I”m sorry, I didn”t know you had a client with you.”

 

I turned to face Anna and said, “That”s okay, Anna, she”s gone a little mute at the moment as she tries to absorb the news I just gave her.”

 

“Oh, hi, Max, I didn”t know you were coming in today. How”s everything going with our boys?”

 

“Just great, Anna. They”ve settled into their new home and are back in school today.”

 

“That”s excellent, Max, I”m glad to hear it. Now, can you please explain Ms. Lost in Space over here.”

 

“I”ll do my best. Do you know a sheriff”s deputy by the name of Tom Wright?”

 

“We”ve never met personally, but I”ve talked to him on the phone a few times and I know Carol has had his help several times.”

 

“That”s the one. Well, Carol called him Saturday to help me with the Mueller”s and, I guess the best way to say it is, things have kinda snowballed and he and I are now a couple. Ms. Lost in Space is worried she”s meddled in our lives and, I think, feeling guilty about it.”

 

“Is that why you”re here?”

 

“Actually, no. I did come to talk to Carol about Tom, but not about her supposed `meddling”. He”s decided to resign from the Sherriff”s department and open his own private investigation firm. I told Tom that I would talk to a few people to see if I could help create some business for him and I decided to talk to Carol first. As it turns out, I just happened to come in as she was escorting out a couple whose background investigation was screwed up by an incompetent investigator. I thought my timing was good, but now I”m thinking maybe not. Or maybe it was just too much at one time.”

 

“Well, first, I suppose, congratulations are in order,” she said as she gave me a hug. “And second, I think Tom will be a fine investigator and I”m sure we will be making use of his new services.”

 

“I”m glad to hear it, Anna. We are both encountering major changes to our lives now and I think this will help ease one of his concerns. He really doesn”t have to work as I”m well-off financially, but I think he thinks he”s taking advantage of me somehow. It”s kinda hard to explain. I”m hoping adding Tom to the household won”t have any effect on the boys” adoptions.”

 

“Oh, don”t worry about it, Max. We all go through changes in our lives, it”s how we deal with those changes that make us who we are. And, no, adding Tom to your home shouldn”t change anything with the adoptions. I”m sure the background checks he”s been through to get his job are more thorough than what we do. Now, any suggestions on how to retrieve her from planet Catatonia? She looks like she”s really out of it.”

 

I looked back at Carol and said, “Wait, I think I see a glimmer of recognition in her eyes. Yes, there it is, come on Carol. Back to Earth, yeah, that”s it.”

 

She looked at me with fear in her eyes. “Oh, Max, what have I done? Sure, I thought you two would be a cute couple, but from meeting to being a couple in so few days, how is that possible?”

 

“I told you Carol, we both feel like we”ve known each other forever and we just clicked. Hasn”t that ever happened to you?”

 

“Once, about six years ago, but it didn”t work out. Turned out he loved his drugs more than me and I wasn”t sticking around to watch him kill himself.”

 

“So, you know it happens. Don”t be so surprised it happened with Tom and me. You were absolutely right. I love him and so do the boys and he loves us, too. We”re all going to be just fine. Now, can we get back to his doing investigations for you?”

 

“Yeah, right, investigations.” She turned to Anna, “What do you think, Anna? I know the hassle we”ve had finding and keeping good investigators. Do you think we could use Tom? I know we need somebody good for background checks, but I also don”t want it to look like we”re using him just because of connections.”

 

“I”m sure we can. And I”m not worried about `connections”, providing his checks are thorough and accurate. We can”t have another debacle like this last one. That ass almost killed that adoption before it even got started.” Anna turned to me and asked, “Any idea when Tom will be ready to start his new venture.”

 

“Not yet, Anna, but I should know tonight. Tom is turning in his resignation this afternoon after his patrol ends. I guess it depends on his sergeant and what he says. I”m sure it will be at least two weeks.”

 

“Well, please keep us informed as to his status and make sure he comes in when he”s ready to start work. We are always needing background checks done and I”ll have some waiting for him when he”s ready.”

 

“I will, Anna. Thanks.” I stood to leave, then turned back to Carol and added, “I was serious about Tom and me wanting to thank you for arranging our meeting. You”re a good person, Carol Ward, and you do excellent work. Keep it up.”

 

“Th-th-thanks, Max,” she stammered.

 

“Well, I need to be on the way home so I can be there when the bus arrives. I don”t want the boys to have to walk the half-mile to the house. You two have a great afternoon.”

 

“Thanks, Max, you too,” Anna said.

 

I left the office and hit the road for home. My timing should work out just right to arrive about 5 minutes before the bus would. As I drove home, my thoughts swiveled to Tom and the discussion he would soon be having with Dylan. I was hoping Dylan would accept his resignation, but I also knew he wouldn”t want to lose a well-trained deputy. I”d just have to wait until he got home to find out. It turned out I was right on time to meet the bus as it turned up the road to the house right behind me. I pulled in the drive and waited for the boys to get off and pile in the car. Once they were settled, I headed to the house.

 

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