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Josh was unsure if this was a good idea or not as he pulled into his parent's driveway. He had just finished his final Military tour, and at forty years old was looking forward to a life of peace and quiet. Some shrewd investments that he had made with his extra pay while he was in had paid off; between his interest income and his retirement benefits, he would be able to live quite comfortably.
Josh's parents were less-than-pleased when he joined the Armed Forces right out of high school; their dreams of him becoming a lawyer and following in the family's footsteps shattered. Instead, Josh took advantage of the government's backing and worked hard to earn the right to sign his name "Joshua Michaels, MD". Once they saw that Josh managed to end up in a "respectable" profession, his parents calmed considerably.
There was a good reason for Josh's unease. It had been decided that a party was to be thrown, the minute he announced that he was accepting retirement. While normally this would be a good thing; in this case, it would mean he would have to be civil to his brother-in-law Jared. Josh's sister Sherry had passed away from cancer last year; leaving Jared and their twin sons behind. Jared had managed to use Sherry to earn himself a spot in the family law firm; that and the boys were the only reason the family even kept in contact with him. Josh had seen through Jared and couldn't stand him, but kept it to himself for the boys' sake. The last words Sherry had said to Josh were "Keep an eye on the boys." That is the one thing that drove him into retirement; he had found that he had no chance of staying a part of their lives while being at the beck and call of the government.
Josh climbed out of his car and headed inside. He prepared to brace himself as he opened the door; if his nephews were anywhere nearby Josh could always count on them pouncing on him the minute they saw him. Josh smiled to himself at the thought of the twins; Chad and Craig were great kids and he never complained about their obvious joy whenever he visited.
Josh opened the door, but the expected attack never came. He stepped inside and looked around as he took off his coat and placed it in the closet. From the sounds of it, everyone was in the family room off to his left; a noise from the kitchen told Josh where he would probably find his mom. Keeping his priorities straight, Josh first headed to the kitchen to let her know that he was finally here.
"Moooom! I'm Hoooommmmeee!" Josh announced as he walked into the kitchen.
Caroline turned at the sound of Josh entering. "It's about time!" she announced with a smile as she came around the counter and gave him a big hug.
As Josh was returning the welcome, he noticed the two boys sitting in the corner. Both of the ten-year-old platinum blonds were sitting in chairs with their heads hung down. "What's up with the twins?"
Caroline looked towards the boys. "I'm not sure; Jared brought them in here and told them to sit in here and not to talk to anybody."
Josh shook his head. "There'd better be a good reason for that," he whispered. He walked over to where they were sitting. "What's wrong guys?" he asked as he put a hand on each of their shoulders.
Both boys jumped as Josh's hands made contact; tears forming immediately in their eyes. Josh's training kicked in immediately as soon as he saw their reaction. "Mom, get Dad and have him meet us in my room; tell him to bring his camera. Boys, go with Grandma to my bedroom; I'll be right in. Don't worry about your father; this is GRANDMA'S house and her rules apply, not his."
Caroline had been watching the unfolding events and immediately replied to the worried looks on the boy's faces. "Your Uncle Josh is right; your Dad doesn't want to tangle with me! Let's go munchkins; I'll take you in there first then get your Grandpa."
The boys nodded warily, then laboriously stood up. Josh's blood began to boil as he watched them move like every joint in their body was sore. Once they were out of the room, Josh flipped open his phone and hit a speed dial entry. A few seconds later the call was answered. Josh didn't even bother with a 'hello'; he immediately said "Mike, this is Josh. Drop whatever you are doing, grab Samantha and get your furry ass over to my parents' place now! Tell her to bring her briefcase. You might as well call Dispatch; you're about to go on-duty."
"I could call in ..." Mike started to reply.
Josh interrupted him. "No you can't; this concerns my nephews. Cover up that gorilla butt of yours and get over here before I decide to kill something."
"Just relax, we'll be right over," Mike replied hurriedly before ending the call. Josh closed his phone and slipped outside to wait on his long-time friend. A few minutes later, a black Suburban came tearing into the driveway with red and blue strobes flashing; the doors opening before it was completely at a stop. "What's wrong?" Mike asked as he climbed out of the vehicle, attempting to place his radio into its holster as he walked.
Josh shook his head. "You'll find out when I do; let's just say my gut instinct says that there is something extremely wrong. Come on; the boys are waiting in my old room."
Josh led Mike and Samantha up to his old bedroom. Once they had entered the room, Josh locked the door behind them and turned to the boys who were sitting nervously on his bed.
"Can we go now?" Chad whimpered. "Daddy said we'd be in big trouble if we left the kitchen."
Josh's dad held up his hand. "Boys, your Uncle Josh said to come in here. I'm sure he has a good reason; if your dad has any problem with it, he'll have to deal with me. Is that understood?"
"Yes, Gran'pa Ron." both boys responded weakly.
Josh knelt down in front of the boys to be at their eye level and carefully took one of each of their hands in his. "CJ, Chad; relax guys, it's your Uncle Josh. You are not in any trouble; in fact, nothing that could happen in here will get you in trouble. Since I happen to be a doctor, I thought you might feel better if I took a look at your shoulders and figured out a way to help make them not hurt when they are bumped. Is that okay with you?"
"But Daddy is gonna be mad," CJ mumbled.
Ron gave the boys a strong look. "Not half as mad as I'm going to be if he gives you any trouble. This is MY house and you are MY grandsons; if he doesn't like what I say you are allowed to do, he can just go to straight to Hell."
Both boys looked at their grandpa in shock before turning their gazes to the other adults in the room. When they received nods from everyone present; it reassured them somewhat and they began to relax. "Uncle Mike and Aunt Sammy, why are you here?" CJ asked.
Mike smiled. "Your Uncle Josh called and asked us to come over to see you."
CJ nodded. "He wants you to protect us from Daddy don't he?"
"If that's what's needed, Munchkin," Mike replied, his blood beginning to boil at what the innocent reply insinuated.
At CJ's words, Ron straightened his posture and set his jaw. "Shirts boys. Now."
Josh saw the looks on the boy's faces. "Do you want me to help?" he asked softly. At the approving nods of the boys, Josh reached out to CJ and carefully worked the polo shirt off of his thin frame. Josh fought down his urge to throw up, as CJ's bruised and battered chest came into view. Once the shirt was off, Josh kissed CJ's forehead and turned to Chad. He wasn't surprised to see that Chad's chest was in almost the same condition as CJ's. Josh looked at the two scared boys in front of him, lovingly asking "What happened guys?" As Josh asked the question, he gently massaged their 'amazingly undamaged' necks.
Chad gave a nervous small smile. "We fell off the slide?"
Josh sadly shook his head and said softly, "Both of you? I kinda think your bellies say something else. I want you to know that I love you, no matter what; so do you think you can trust me enough to tell me the truth?"
CJ glanced at his brother. Tears streamed down his face, as he sobbed "Daddy's gonna beat us for tellin'. We was bad an' he punished us; that's why he said we can't talk to no one. He said if we told, we was gonna get more of it."
Chad got a panicked look on his face, as he inhaled sharply. "We're dead meat."
Josh kissed each of their foreheads again before glancing over his shoulder at the rest of the room's occupants. Caroline had taken a seat, and was holding her hand over her mouth in horror. Ron was as stiff as a board at military attention; his face almost matching the red of his shirt. Mike was obviously barely holding back his rage; while Samantha had grabbed the camera from Ron and was quietly taking pictures with a grim look on her face.
Josh turned back to the boys. "Hey, guys; what he said doesn't matter. I still love you guys, and always will; what did he say you did wrong?"
"We forgot to do part of our homework," CJ replied, dejectedly.
Josh shook his head. "You should see how many times I did that in Medical School. How's about you guys standing up and letting me look at your backs to see if I can make it hurt less."
"Will you hold our hands again Uncle Josh?" Chad asked timidly.
"Sure munchkin; anything to make you guys feel more comfortable," Josh said lovingly.
Both boys held his hands tightly as they stood and slowly turned around. Josh barely withheld a gasp as the scars and welts of numerous beatings with a strap of some sort, came into view. Ron had no such restraint, as he began to colorfully depict the lineage of Jared's ancestors for dozens of generations back. A low growl came from Mike; a growl which suddenly stopped when a group of young voices suddenly came over his radio, saying one word, 'Daaddddd...', the concern in them evident to everyone listening. Mike took a deep breath and tried to regain some control over what he was feeling, as Samantha shot him a sharp look of concern.
Josh noticed that both boys had fresh welts leading below the waistline of their trousers. "Guys, it looks like you have some of your hurts going down into your pants. Does it hurt where your belts are pressing on them?"
Both boys nodded and replied softly. "Yeah."
Josh nodded as he softly replied. "I thought so. What do you say we get these pants off, so you are not hurting so much? You don't need to worry; we're all family and we're not gonna make fun of you."
CJ glanced at Josh. "But you'll see our underwears," he responded in horror.
Josh chuckled. "It won't be the first time. I seem to remember a couple of rugrats who used to think it was okay to climb on my lap with even less than that on."
"Uncle Josh!" both boys exclaimed, as they started blushing all the way from their toes to the tops of their heads. "We ain't babies no more!"
"No, you are good looking young boys. Don't be ashamed of your bodies; there is nothing wrong with them." Josh replied patiently. "It's okay for you to let me see you in your underwear, since I'm your uncle; besides, you know I can't stand to see you guys hurting."
Josh could tell by the looks the boys were giving him that he just about had them convinced. "I love you guys, but I can't make the hurt stop, if I can't see it."
"Okay Uncle Josh," CJ replied quietly. "Will you do it, please? It hurts to bend over."
"Sure little buddy; I'll try to be careful," Josh said, in a caring tone.
Josh unfastened CJ's belt and carefully opened the front of his trousers. As he slid the pants over CJ's butt, Josh barely withheld a groan of sympathy. Directly in front of his face, Josh found two red stripes of fresh blood on CJ's right butt cheek and one on the left cheek. "CJ; I think you might want to let me take off your underwear too. You have a spot on your butt that it's irritating and it could get infected if I don't do something about it. Is that okay with you?"
"You're not gonna look at my wiener are you?" CJ asked.
Josh reached up and rubbed CJ's neck. "I'll be honest with you; I do need to look at it, just to make sure it doesn't have any hurts on it. That's part of being a doctor though; I would not be doing it to do anything that would make you feel funny."
"I guess you can look then," CJ replied. "I know you ain't gonna do bad stuff to me."
"You can count on that, angel," Josh replied. "Could you turn a little bit, so that I can make sure nothing gets caught up front, when I pull them down?"
"Okay, Uncle Josh," CJ replied as he turned to face Chad. Josh carefully worked the underwear down, and let it drop, once it was past CJ's knees.
Josh looked up to see a worried expression on CJ's face. "Relax angel; I'm going to make sure both of you are all fixed up, good as new, so I can give you all of the hugs I've been saving for you. I need to check your privates now; it means I will be touching them. It might tickle, and you might get a stiffy; that is normal, if it happens, and is nothing for you to worry about. If something hurts when I touch it or move it, let me know; even if it just hurts a little. Is that okay with you?"
"I guess so," CJ replied, as he turned to face his uncle.
Josh winced as he took a closer look at the nephew standing in front of him. On the inside of the boy's right leg was a welt from a recent beating which was no more than an inch from CJ's scrotum. Josh carefully ran his fingers over CJ's sack, lightly pressing it, to see if there were any signs of bruising. He was relieved when not only did CJ not complain about any pain, but his little pride and joy started to rise and point towards Josh's face. Josh looked up at CJ and smiled, as he quickly verified CJ's penis was not hurt. "Not only does it look like you are okay down here; you have a pretty impressive set of privates for a ten-year-old."
CJ turned about ten shades of red, as he looked down at his body part pointing at Josh's face. "Really?!" he squeaked.
"Yeah, really! I've seen a lot of ten-year-olds, as a doctor, and yours is mature for your age." Josh replied.
Chad dropped his pants and shorts and turned so that his privates were directly in Josh's face. "Is mine bigger Uncle Josh? I AM older!"
Josh chuckled as he took the opportunity to make sure that Chad was okay as well. "I don't think seven minutes makes a difference, munchkin. Yours is just as perfect as your brothers is."
At the sight of Chad's buttocks, Caroline jumped up and bolted from the room. Samantha pushed the camera into Mike's hand and quietly, if not all that calmly, announced, "I'm going to go take care of Caroline; you guys make sure the boys are properly taken care of."
Ron put a hand on Mike's shoulder. "You know what they'll need, Mike. I'll be back in just a few minutes, with some hot chocolate for the boys."
As soon as Ron was out the door, Mike announced, "Boys, I'm turning my back now. If you need me to look, please just say something."
CJ looked down at Josh then made sure Mike's back was turned. "Uncle Josh?" he squeaked softly. "Are you sure my privates are okay? Could you please check again?"
Josh looked up at CJ to reply, and felt his heart being ripped out, at the expression on his nephew's face. Without a word being said, Josh could easily see the longing for acceptance and love in CJ's expression. Josh glanced at Chad and found a mirror image in Chad's eyes, and of the needs being expressed by CJ.
Josh gave both stiff members in front of him a squeeze; holding on as he stood up and then sliding his hands off, gently, once he had kissed both of their foreheads. "They are both working fine, guys. I think I know where you would like to go with them; right now, it could hurt you, if I were to help you get the feelings you want. You guys know I would never hurt you; not even to make you feel good later. I love you more than you'll ever know. If you still think you need to do this, after you are healed up, then you can tell me and we'll decide what to do about it then."
"You're just saying that to get rid of us." Chad accused.
"If I was trying to get rid of you, would I do this?" Josh asked, as he reached back down and stroked the undersides of both boys' scrotums softly. Josh knelt down again so his face was at their pubic level, then tugged on their arms until he was nuzzling both sets of privates at once. As he was about to pull away, he held both stiff members so the tips were touching. He went to kiss them quickly, but at the feeling of his lips touching them both boys unconsciously thrusted and he ended up with two little heads in his mouth for a second. Josh looked up and saw the panic in their faces. "Relax guys; they taste healthy too. That's the first time I've ever done a taste exam. Do you still think I'm trying to get rid of you?"
Before the boys could reply; Mike cleared his throat dramatically. Josh blushed deeply, as he amended his statement. "Okay; it's the first time, since I became a doctor. You're really no help here, Gorilla Butt!"
Both boys gave small giggles at Josh's insult of Mike. CJ tentatively put his hand on Josh's shoulder. "You ain't mad at us cuz' our weenies went in your mouth, Uncle Josh?"
Mike considered all he had seen and heard. He suddenly realized that this ran much deeper emotionally than what it appeared to be just by the tone of the voices he was hearing. From personal experience, he knew that the best thing to do right now was to keep the conversation light, while still getting the point across that everything was okay. Still facing away from the boys, he interjected a response, before anyone else could. "Boys, that was not the first time your Uncle has had one of those in his mouth, and I'm sure it's not going to be the last! As far as I know, though, it's the first time he's had two of them at once; way to go guys!"
Josh returned to his blush once again. "I'll never be mad at either of you, for something you need, or something you can't control, guys; just warn me next time. As far as you, Mike; as soon as we get back from fixing these two angels up, I'm bringing them over to your place, and we'll just fill in your boys on some of your escapades!"
"I'm not really sure they don't already know," Mike responded with a chuckle.
Chad looked over at Mike. "Uncle Mike? You're a policeman. Daddy told us we'd go to jail forever, for stickin' our weenies in someone's mouth. That's why he started spankin' us with that rope he's got. Are you gonna take us to jail?"
"Can I turn around please, guys? I want you to see my face, when I answer." Mike responded lovingly.
"Are you gonna look at our weenies?" CJ asked, with concern.
"Only if you want me to. But if they are half as big as your Uncle makes them sound, I'll have trouble not seeing them." Mike replied with a grin.
"Uncle Mike!!" both boys giggled. "Okay, you can turn around," Chad added.
Mike turned and audibly gasped as he witnessed the condition of Chad's tattered backside. Unlike CJ's three stripes, Chad's backside was covered with welts and bloody streaks; so many, in fact, that it was impossible to count them. Mike took a second to compose himself, and then answered the original question. "Okay, guys; nobody in this room is going to jail for anything that has happened in this room this afternoon. It is illegal for one person to force another person to do stuff like that with their privates; you guys surprised your Uncle Josh, but I never heard anything showing that you were forcing him to do something. It IS illegal for adults to do that kind of stuff with kids; but in that case, the ADULT goes to jail, not the kid. Even then, I wouldn't do anything, since it is obvious that everything that happened here today was your idea and not his."
There was a knock on the door and then it opened slightly. "Is it okay to come in?" Ron's voice asked.
"Sure Gran'pa," Chad replied. Both boys gave small smiles as Ron entered, carrying two cups of hot chocolate piled with marshmallows.
"Here you go, boys," Ron said, as he walked over and handed the cups to them. "Special order hot chocolates for the two most special grandsons in the world."
Both boys smiled as they took their hot chocolates from Ron. "Thanks, Gran'pa."
Ron took his first close look at the damage to his grandsons, and caressed their heads as he turned with a stony face to Mike. "Boys, your Aunt Sammy just made arrangements for you to go to a special hospital that is set up to fix kids who have been hurt like you have been. Uncle Josh will be there by the time they have fixed you up; he has to go sign some really important paperwork first. Aunt Sammy will be there with you the whole time. Mike; I believe I spotted a trespasser on my property. Would you be so kind as to help eradicate him from the premises? I will come with you to point him out."
"What about Daddy?" CJ asked. "He ain't gonna like us leavin'."
Mike barely withheld an evil grin. "Your daddy has got to go on a long trip for a long time. I think it'd be best if you just stay with Uncle Josh for a while."
"You're puttin' him in jail, ain't you Uncle Mike?" Chad almost stated as fact.
"Yes, I sure am," Mike replied. "I promise he will never hurt you again."
"What about when he gets out?" CJ asked.
"He won't be getting out; not if Samantha was accurate about the person who will be sentencing him," Ron stated. "Mike, your boys are waiting at the station."
Mike looked at Ron in shock. The look in his eyes told Mike everything he needed to know. "Oh shit. You don't have to worry about your father anymore, guys; if he survives to see daylight tomorrow he can consider himself lucky. Let's just say he will be seeing a judge that has never let someone get away with what was done to you."
Samantha walked in just as Mike was finishing. "Mike, Jamie is meeting you there. Ron, I found those robes you were telling me about. Are you sure these are the ones you want the boys to wear?"
Ron took the two silk bathrobes from Samantha's hands and opened the packages. "These are exactly the ones I want to give my grandsons; thank you, Samantha." He then carefully dressed both boys in their new robes with Josh's assistance. "Boys, listen to your Aunt Sammy and we will see you soon. Go stand by her, not touching her, and you're going to get to do something that neither myself, nor your Uncle Josh has ever done. You get to take a trip using a transporter."
Both boy's faces lit up at the news that they got to do something special. They pulled Josh down and gave him a twin kiss on the cheeks before moving over to stand with Samantha. As soon as they were in place, Samantha pulled a communicator out of her pocket and opened it. "Terra Main, this is FYS Officer Perry. I have three for emergency medical transport to Camp Little Eagle Medical Center. Energize when ready."
"Acknowledged, Officer Perry. Energizing."
A second later, both boys and Samantha disappeared in a tower of sparkles.
"What was that all about?" Josh asked in wonder.
"That, son of mine, was the shit hitting the fan," Ron stated factually. "Josh; you should go mingle with your guests and as gently as possible, fill them in on the basics of what has happened. Mike, I believe it is now time to take out some trash."
The three men walked out of the room and down the stairs, taking the time to bring themselves under control for what was to come.
As they reached the bottom of the stairs, Ron said: "He's in the living room."
Mike nodded and headed in that direction. When he reached the doorway, he stopped in the doorway and stared at the one person responsible for all of the damage he had just seen upstairs. He gathered up all of the willpower he had, and calmly announced, "Jared could I speak to you for a minute please?"
Jared was lounging in a chair in front of the television, with a beer in his hand. He replied insolently "I'm kinda busy right now;" without his eyes ever leaving the screen.
Mike was surprised that no one could hear the steam coming from Ron, who had walked up behind him. Mike was about to start forward when Ron stepped around Mike and strode to the television. He pulled the power cord while saying "Not anymore, your not."
"Hey!!! What the hell do you think you're doing?!!!" Jared yelled, as he sat up in the chair and looked at them angrily.
"I said... we... needed... to speak with you." Mike replied in a cold angry voice, as he stepped forward.
"Well screw you!!! I told you, I'm busy here!!!" Jared responded angrily.
"It wasn't a request, Jared!" Mike stated.
"Too bad, I'm not going anywhere!" Jared stated insolently.
"Oh, well; actually, yes you are," Mike said, as he reached out to take Jared's arm.
"Get your filthy hand off me!!!" Jared yelled, as he lunged upward, and swung the beer bottle at Mike.
Mike stepped back and pulled out his PR 24; bringing it up to meet Jared's descending arm with a satisfying crunch. The crunch was followed by a satisfying scream from the perpetrator, as Mike brought it back and around, striking Jared several other times in rapid succession before the 'man' fell to the ground moaning.
"STAY DOWN!" Mike said loudly.
Jared didn't listen, which was just fine with Mike. As Jared began to struggle back up, Mike brought the baton down on his legs and then on his remaining uninjured arm; hearing at least one more snap as Jared collapsed screaming to the ground. It was obvious that Jared wasn't going to try to get up anymore.
Mike pulled his radio from its holster and keyed the mic. "41 Sam 10-33."
"41 Sam go ahead emergent" dispatch responded quickly.
"902R to 157 Riverside Avenue; also request an additional Sam unit re use of force, and a unit for transport," Mike reported. He then added, "One suspect in custody, injured resisting."
"10-4." the dispatcher replied before switching to the task of calling for the appropriate units.
"Is he going to live?" Ron asked.
"Probably," Mike replied, as he holstered the radio.
"Too bad," Ron said; his disgust at the outcome obvious.
Mike's radio suddenly came back to life. "41 Sam dispatch. 10-14 waiting."
Mike quickly retrieved his radio again. "41 Sam. Proceed with 10-14."
"41 Sam; be advised AHJ is 10-17 to your 20."
"10-4. 41 Sam will be 10-6." Mike replied.
Mike turned to Ron. "You might want to tell Caroline that there will be some very important guests here shortly. It seems that the authorities are not going to wait for him to reach the hospital."
Ron gave Mike a curious look. "I didn't know they could do that."
Mike glanced at his immobile detainee. "There are a lot of things they can, and will, do. I just realized that my boys consider the twins family. If they know anything about what has happened, Jared's problems are just starting."
A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. Ron went to answer it, and was surprised to see an officer standing there with three youths wearing black hooded cloaks with an unusual green crest on the breast. "Follow me, gentlemen," Ron said as he started towards where Mike was waiting.
Mike looked up as they walked in the room. "Hey, Eric. You got picked to be the taxi, I see."
Eric nodded as he glanced at the hooded figures next to him. "I think 'Diplomatic Escort' fits better."
Just then, the smallest figure flipped his hood off, revealing a ten-year-old boy with strawberry blond hair cascading to his collar. The boy turned to Mike. "Michael; I require the immediate transfer of custody of this subject. I have determined that he has committed multiple infractions of the Safe Haven Act. These include, but are not limited to all subsections of Article 11, Article 14 section 14.2, and all sections of Article 68. In addition, these infractions have been made upon subjects which have sworn an oath of family membership to members of Clan Short of Vulcan."
The other two boys flipped off their hoods. One was a platinum blond twelve-year-old, wearing an extremely serious expression, while the other was a brown-haired eleven-year-old, who was looking at Jared with a sweet expression on his face. Mike took one look at them and quickly replied. "You hereby have full custody, and we will provide any assistance you require." He then turned to Ron. "Ron; you know Sammy, and I'm sure you know what that look on his face means. This is Jamie and that's Adam. Jamie is Clan Short of Vulcan Intelligence and Adam is Clan Security. Jamie is a Vulcan-Trained Telepath; so I'm sure you know the weight his statements hold."
Before Ron could reply; Sammy spoke. "I have reviewed your report Jamie, and verified it against the report submitted by Jacob from the two victims. Jared Allen Clements; I find you guilty of willful physical abuse of your two minor children, Chad David Clements and Craig Joshua Clements, in direct violation of the Federation Safe Haven Act; Articles 11, 12.3, 12.3a, 14.2, and 68. As stipulated in section 200.4, I hereby sentence you to termination, sentence to be executed immediately."
As Sammy finished, Adam turned to Mike. "At this time, we shall require a location that will not be damaged by the termination of this scum."
Ron interrupted with a scowl. "There is nothing in here that can't be replaced. You may proceed with the termination."
Nodding, Sammy, Jamie, and Adam all raised their arms in unison, pointing them at the injured man on the floor. Despite the lack of weapons in their hands, three red blasts of light sprung out, hitting Jared and vaporizing him on the spot. All that remained was a small scorch on the carpet where he had once laid.
Ron looked at the three boys sternly, and said, "Okay, boys; the trash is taken out. Would one of you three mind telling me what in the Hell just happened?"
Jamie tilted his head for a second, then responded. "You're CJ and Chad's grandpa. Stop blaming yourself for not seeing this situation sooner; Jared knew exactly what he was doing, and he made sure that nobody could see the damage he had done to them while they were dressed. Your being there for them when it was found is enough. He had them convinced that they deserved what was happening to them, so they had no reason to say anything to you. It was you who forced the three of them to be here today at the last minute, so their ex-father did not have time to cover his tracks."
Jamie paused at Ron's shocked expression before delivering his final blow. "You saved their lives by not backing down about them being here. Call your son Josh in here please; he has a few questions of his own that need to be answered."
Adam giggled. "Chill, Jamie; you're getting as bad as Leech. Mr. Michaels, you just witnessed a Vulcan trial and conviction, based on telepathic evidence. I know it moved kinda fast, compared to what you are used to; but, trust me when I say that all doubt was removed before the first word was spoken. If you want, we can all sit down later with my Mom, and you can learn the details behind what has happened; right now, I think making sure your grandsons are taken care of is a higher priority. Jamie and I have been given the task of ensuring that when they leave the hospital, they are with someone who is best suited to help with all of their issues. There are quite a few that I'm sure you don't want to know about, right now."
Ron nodded his head. "Are you a telepath too? That thought has been nagging at me since this started. I'll accept that rain check; it will give me time to formulate my questions more thoroughly. I think I understand the reasoning about being so careful about who they live with; is that the reason you need to see Josh?"
Adam nodded. "He's already made progress in their healing by things he has done today; we need to decide if he is capable of finishing the job he started."
"He loves those boys like they were his own sons," Ron stated.
Adam smiled. "That is a start." He then opened his cloak, revealing that all he was wearing underneath was a pair of cargo shorts. Adam pointed to the largest of the scars crossing his chest. "Trust me; there is a lot more than love needed to fix what things like this do to you. I've been in the twins' shoes; if I don't think Josh can handle what will be needed to help those boys, he won't get them."
Ron's eyes watered as he looked at the crisscrossing scars covering Adam's body. "I understand; I'll trust your judgment. Let me go get Josh; I just hope he is able to meet your requirements."
A minute later, Josh and Ron returned. Josh looked at his father with surprise when Ron stood next to Adam and placed his hand on Adam's shoulder. Adam looked up at Ron and smiled at the understanding look that Ron was giving him. Ron smiled back before speaking to Josh. "Son; you will have to just roll with what's about to happen here and not argue. These boys have some things to do and say which you are going to want to ignore due to their ages. Don't make that mistake; they are a lot wiser than you expect." Ron turned his head towards Adam. "Son; before we start, would you feel comfortable showing Josh what you showed me?"
Adam beamed at what Ron called him. "Only if I can call you 'Grandpa'," he replied with a mischievous grin.
Ron squeezed Adam's shoulder as he replied softly. "I would consider it an honor, grandson."
Adam undid his cloak, this time letting it drop to the ground before snuggling up to Ron's side. Ron gave Josh a serious look. "Any questions?"
Josh's jaw dropped as he got a good look at the scar-covered body of Adam. "Only one; where is the bastard that did this to him?"
Adam grinned. "Last I heard, both 'its' are Bubba's slaves in the never-leave state hotel. You might wanna take a seat for a few; I think you might be more comfortable. We need you to trust us; I think Grandpa can vouch for what we need to say."
Josh sat down as the other two boys dropped their cloaks. Mike took one look and groaned. "Samuel Patrick! Didn't you kind of forget something?"
Sammy grinned. "Nope. I was wearing the cloak, Dad; besides I didn't have time to go get clothes to put on underneath."
"You're incorrigible," Mike replied, as he shook his head.
Sammy giggled. "Is that a long word for 'cute' dad?"
Ron chuckled. "Not exactly munchkin; but 'cute' fits too."
Jamie groaned. "Gran'pa Ron, don't go givin' him a swelled head. He's bad enough when the little one swells, we don't need the big one swellin' too!"
Sammy turned a shade of red which rivaled Jamie's hair. Once everyone stopped chuckling at his predicament, Sammy turned to Jamie and asked, in a tone sweeter than maple syrup, "Jamie, Grandpa Ron has a nice lake out back. Would you like to see it?"
Jamie shook his head as he began to back away. "Maybe later, Sammy." he giggled.
"Get his feet!" Adam chuckled, as he reached out and grabbed Jamie. Sammy gave some of his patented 'Sammy giggles' as he quickly grabbed Jamie's feet and led the way through the house to the back door.
Sammy and Adam returned a minute later; Sammy, a very beet red from the applause and wolf whistles he received from all of the guests on his return trip. "Nobody told me there was a party; if I'd known that, I woulda brought some dance music!"
"SamSam! No, you wouldn't!" Mike groaned, after he recovered from choking.
Sammy grinned. "Sure I wouldn't Dad. What got caught in your throat? Was it good?"
Mike started choking once again. As soon as he recovered, he stood up straight, and in an even tone said, "Samuel does it look like I'm at home, unlike some people, I don't do such things in public."
Sammy gave another Sammy giggle. "Neither do I dad; I save it for the shower."
Mike collapsed into the chair behind him in shock as the rest of the adults broke out in laughter. "I don't believe you just went there!" Mike groaned.
Sammy walked over and made himself comfortable on Mike's lap, wiggling around until he was situated just right. "C'mon Dad; I'm your little SamSam. You know I didn't mean nothin by it." Sammy said with a purr, as Mike put his arms around him.
Just then Caroline walked into the room with a now-nude, mostly-dry, Jamie under her arm. "Does this little cutie belong to anyone in here?"
Ron smiled. "I'll claim the little imp; he is one of our new grandsons it appears. Jamie, would you like to sit here with me and Adam while you guys take care of your business?"
"Sure; thanks for helping me get dried off Grandma," Jamie replied, as he gave Caroline a hug, then joined Adam on Ron's lap.
Caroline smiled. "So I heard. You're welcome Jamie; I'll take care of the guests, while you are taking care of what you told me about." She then waved and then headed back out of the room.
Josh sat there expectantly, as Jamie made himself comfortable. Jamie gave Josh a small smile. "You know; it's nice being able to ask this for a change. Usually, I'm collecting evidence so the other guy has no choice, if I'm going to do this. Josh, I'm a Vulcan Trained Telepath. Is it okay if I go inside your head, and see your side of what has happened today? I'd like to look at how you interact with your nephews too, from your point of view."
Josh gave Jamie a strange look. "Why do you need to do that? That trash that passed for their father isn't a threat still, is he?"
Jamie glanced at Sammy before replying. "No; he'll never see those two boys ever again. Have you heard of Clan Short, of Vulcan?"
Josh nodded. "Yes. They are a group of kids, who go around taking kids from families that are abusing them to give the kids a chance at a real life. What does that have to do with this?"
Jamie turned his head to look at Ron. "Grandpa? Do you know any good PR firms? If that's the reputation the Clan has, I think we need one!"
Ron chuckled. "I'll see what I can do. Josh, I think you need to do some research son. There's a lot more to the Clan than what you think. I see the legal notices crossing my desk all the time. The entire legal profession has committed to transferring cases which could turn deadly for the youths involved over to the Clan. According to the latest statistics I have seen, most of the time they manage to work out something so the children end up with someone familiar to them. The cases that get the most publicity are the ones where they have to dramatically intervene and help the child start his or her life over."
Josh nodded. "I'll give you that, but I still don't see how it applies here. The local authorities are handling Jared."
Ron shook his head. "No, they are not. There is a reason Jamie was able to tell you that Jared would never see his former sons again; before you were called in here, Jared was tried, convicted, sentenced, and terminated on the spot."
Eric interrupted. "Josh; CJ and Chad have always considered my boys and Sammy, to be their brothers. It's a long story that we don't have time to get into right now; but our boys accepted an invitation to join Clan Short. When they accepted the invitation the twins were included by reference. One thing I know from experience is the Clan takes care of their own with a vengeance; they won't rest until they are satisfied the boys are safe and will be loved unconditionally."
Josh looked over at Jamie. "So you are trying to say that you need to see inside my head, to figure out what to do about the twins?"
Jamie nodded. "You could say that. We could do it the long way, and interview you, but that's not fair to CJ and Chad and actually could hurt them, in the long run. It's up to you though."
Josh thought about Jamie's statement. "When you put it that way, it makes sense. Go ahead, Jamie."
"Thanks, Josh," Jamie replied before he leaned back and stared in Josh's general direction for about two minutes. Once he was done, Jamie closed his eyes and laid his head back on Ron's shoulder. "I'll be just a minute, Josh," he announced.
Two minutes later, Adam spoke up. "Okay Josh; Jamie's reviewed his findings with HQ. You will be required to sit down with my dad-in-law, myself, and the head of Clan Security, to learn not only what to expect, but also what we have found are some of the most effective responses to the reactions the boys are going to have, to their ordeal. Once that is done, you can take your sons home with you. One thing I will tell you now; everything you did from the time you walked into the bedroom, until the time the boys were beamed out, was absolutely the right thing to do for their situation. They have already started recovery, just by a few small things you did in there."
Jamie noticed the skepticism in Josh's eyes, and added his input. "Uncle Josh; when it feels good, and is done with love, while being limited to just what the youth tells you verbally, and shows you with his body language he needs, it is okay, in situations where the youth has been through what those two have. If, however, even for a second, it becomes something where you feeling good takes priority, you do more than they need, or especially if they were to feel even the tiniest bit of pain; then, at that time, you have crossed the line and have betrayed their trust. Before I reported to Adam, I compared notes with my brother. He has been in CJ and Chad's heads, and was able to tell me their side of what happened. I compared it with how you felt, and what you did. Not only did you never cross the line, but you made sure they didn't accidentally do something which could have dragged you across the line unknowingly. Your instincts are right on target; we just want to make sure you are prepared for what we have seen happen in similar cases, so that you can have a clear head to work out the unique response that will be needed."
Josh thought for a second before replying. "I think I see where you are coming from now. I'll agree to your conditions." Josh paused before his eyes opened wide. "Hold on a minute! Did you say, SONS??!!"
Sammy giggled one of his patented giggles. "Uh huh, Uncle Josh. I bet they've already changed their names!"
"How?" Josh asked. "That requires going through a ton of hoops; even with Dad's pull!"
"The Clan can give kids too, Uncle Josh!" Sammy giggled. "We TOLD you we were looking for the BEST parent; we don't need a court, once we make a decision."
Josh just shook his head. "I get the feeling that life is about to get really interesting around here! Let's get on with it; I've got a feeling there are two boys who are going to be wondering where everyone is really soon, since we promised to be there when they were fixed up."
Eric stood up. "I'll see if anyone wants to join us. Adam, would you mind arranging transportation?"
"Got it, Uncle Eric," Adam replied as he tapped the commbadge stuck to his chest.
See what happens when I have writer's block on a story? This story is definitely going to be from a different perspective than what you are used to; you get to see a placement from the other side of the situation. I've got some ideas where this is going; definitely, do not expect 'Clan as usual' for it!
Why did I know that somehow SamSam would help save the day? Why did I know that Jared was in DEEP DOO DOO?
This is starting out to be a terrific story. I can hardly wait for the next chapter. This story is another collaboration. Several of us gave ideas toward it, and there have been at least two of us checking it over for any mistakes, so if there are any mistakes left, then they just have to stay there. Hurry up guys, I'm already salivating for the next chapter. This story has a lot of really great elements. There is a Clan connection, and a connection to 'Out Of The Past'. I highly expect to see characters from other stories finding their way into this one. It is really going to be fun.
AKA The Radio Rancher.
Another wonderful addition to the Clan Short Universe, with a slightly different take on things. Thanks to Josh noticing something amiss his nephews may now be his new sons; talk about worlds being turned upside down.
Unfortunately, a lot of child and sexual abuse goes unnoticed or unreported because of the threats that Chad and CJ were placed under occur too many times in real life. If only there was a Clan Short in real life a lot more kids would be saved.
It is a good thing to see children being placed with relatives who actually love and want to care for them. The Clan does not always take children away from their families.