After a couple of hours on the water everyone seemed to get thirsty, and without communicating all the boats except Ben and Joey's turned toward the dock almost at the same time. Rob and Mike landed their boats at the same time on opposite sides of the pier, both of them grinning as they looked at each other. After tying their boats up both of them unhooked their boy's leashes and helped them up onto the dock.
Rob pushed against his older friend as they walked toward shore. "I hope Benjy don't drown, and I don't mean on lake water," he chuckled in a whisper.
"I hope the fucker does," Mike groaned, rubbing his collar. He paused as Shawn and Conner moved next to each other just ahead of them, laughing and comparing notes about their first sailing adventure. He slowed his pace slightly until both the younger boys were as far ahead as their leashes would permit. "The little shit found them, he almost sailed next to them!" he whispered.
They walked their boys to a nearby snack bar and got everyone a cold drink before sitting down at a picnic table nearby. Shawn cut a somewhat dirty look as he watched Mike hook his safety line to the table. "Do you want to go back to the locker room and take it off? You don't have to wear it you know," Mike told him.
The youngster glanced at the table, and then the end of his tether. "Please don't take it off," he whimpered. "You promised to hold me...um, it!"
"I'm not going anywhere without you," Mike answered. He hesitated briefly, then unhooked the strap from the table, attaching it to the front of his harness. "Feel better?" he asked, wrapping his arm around his charges thin shoulder. The youngster giggled and cupped his mentor's inner thigh. Oh shit, here we go again, Mike's groin moaned.
Dave and David sat down next to the others a second later. They chatted for a couple of minutes before David asked where Benjy and his boy was, earning a nasty look from Mike.
Mike was about to answer, but stiffened when he felt his collar pulse. Oh shit, what did I do now?" he silently gasped. He looked over at Rob for an instant before grabbing Shawn's leash. "Come on, I have a message I got to go check," he moaned. Please, I didn't do anything, I hope I didn't! he mumbled under his breath as his charge tucked under his arm. Oh fuck, the leash! I know I can use one, well I thought I could use one! he groaned as he looked at the web strap connecting Shawn to him and they walked back to the locker room's computer terminal.
He gave his blue level four shorts a parting look before he stiffened his neck in front of the computer. Damn, I can't let him go, in case I'm right, he thought when he tried to log on and his charge's tether pulled him slightly off balance, making him mistype. He gave Shawn a quick hug before hooking the end of the leash on a hook next to the terminal and retyped his password.
"You bastard! That's all you wanted?" he asked the computer monitor. He had to reread the message, 'Bring Shawn and Joey to the infirmary for a blood test BEFORE they eat lunch. Thanks and have fun, Doc H', to believe it. He scared the unholy shit out of me to tell me that? He asked himself as he collapsed against the terminal.
"What's wrong Mike? Is something wrong?" Shawn asked pushing against Mike's arm and hugging it.
"Damn, dude, you okay? Did you get busted or what?" Ben's voice rang from behind. "Shit, your neck is so red I thought you were going to explode!" he added as he pulled his friend next to him.
"Today's just a 'fuck with the Mike' day," the older teen groaned. "Come on little buddy, let's go sailing!" he told Shawn as he unhooked his leash from the terminal stand.
"But I'm hungry!" Joey protested.
"The barf bar is open, we were sort of thinking about going up there," Ben added.
You prick! Mike silently snarled. You've been sucking on a liquid lunch for the past couple hours, both of you! "What do you want to do?" he asked his boy. Yeah, me too, but not for sandwiches, he thought as Shawn licked his inviting red lips and looked up at him with a hungry look.
"You go tell David and Rob we're cruising, I'll turn the boats in," he suggested to Ben. He gave the back of Ben's head a final frustrated glare as the two of them turned away toward the picnic tables and he noticed Ben's freckle covered hand cupping Joey's naked little bubble butt and turned back toward the computer terminal.
Benjy and Joey walked into the locker room right behind Shawn and Mike a couple of minutes later. Mike stiffened his neck and pushed a button near the entry door, and an instant later a small door flipped open and he withdrew a key attached to a chain. After he unlocked his and Shawn's chest harness Ben released Joey, then himself from theirs.
A couple of seconds later everyone was in the showers. Mike studied little Shawn's little body and the tiny droplets of water reflecting off his tight little body so wonderfully in the light for a second or so before offering, "Want me to wash your back?"
After probably twenty minutes of washing and caressing each other, all four boys somewhat reluctantly dried each other off and dressed. Doc, you're gonna kill me! Mike groaned as they left the changing room and the bright sunlight glared off his boy's tightly stretched spandex shorts and rapidly tanning thighs and bare midriff. What ever, he thought as Joey and Shawn following right behind ran up the hill, and he raced to keep up with them.
"Go on, they won't hurt you!" he told his charge as he half ushered, half pushed Shawn toward the infirmary door. "Just stand up straight and push the button," he told him. Yeah, you're doing great, you still have it, the mentor side of the sixteen year-old told himself as he watched the boy reluctantly pass through the door. Joey offered no argument a couple of minutes later to buzzing the door after his little brother emerged sucking on an ice cream bar.
The boys were finishing lunch when Mike's collar pulsed again. Damn, what now? he asked himself. Oh, their blood tests, it's cool, he decided as he made his way to a terminal. Or is it? Are they done with them this quick? What if they found drugs or something? He took a deep breath and logged in. He read Doctor Hutchinson's message that he wanted to see the boy to go over the test results, then relaxed as he read the end of it, 'it's good news.'
"But I wanta go back to the boats!" Shawn protested when Mike filled them in.
"Hey, you have to wait a few minutes after you eat anyway," Mike countered. "Besides, Doc's cool, he won't keep us long!" he promised his younger charge as he led him out of the dining hall.
Ben and Mike teased the youngster most of the way to the Evaluation Center about wanting to get back on his 'leash' and such. As they started inside Joey chimed in needling his little brother about his red face. As they walked toward Hutchinson's office they were laughing and cutting up so loud Zach stepped into the hall giving them a dirty look.
As they rounded a hallway corner toward the office, everyone was so absorbed in trying to control their silliness they didn't notice a teenage boy in street clothes at the far end of the hall until Joey froze dead in his tracks. Ben kept walking for a couple of steps still fairly giddy before realizing his buddy wasn't next to him, but Mike stopped next to Joey, gesturing for Shawn to go ahead of him.
Mike turned to ask the now ashen boy what was wrong, but before he could Joey muttered "Oh shit." He glanced at Mike, then the boy at the end of the hall again before turning and bolting back down the hall the way they had come. After a couple of steps, he grabbed his neck and slowed his pace slightly, then burst back into a sprint as he raced down the hall.
Mike started to run after the teen, but when his collar began vibrating he automatically slowed to a fast walk without realizing he had. Shit! he groaned as he watched Joey burst out the center's back door still at a full sprint. He was sure he heard Pop Zach yelling something at him as he rushed out the door, but kept going when he saw Joey speeding toward a line of trees and forest about a hundred yards away.
God Damn, where's Benjy, he could catch him! he asked himself as he realized he was not closing the distance between his frightened charge and himself. Fuck, he's gonna be runaway out of limits quick, I gotta do something! he thought after yelling at the boy to come back several times. Shit, I'm going to be runaway too! he realized as he neared the tree break Joey had just entered. "Joey, stop, please!" he yelled.
He ran ahead trying to follow the trail of trampled grass and brush for thirty or so yards after his collar started vibrating wildly, informing him he was in a very forbidden zone. Shit, how can he keep running like this? he asked himself as his collar's wild gyrations fought against his efforts to breath and run. Shit, please stop! he begged, stuffing his fingers under his collar trying to absorb some of its assault.
A minute or so later he saw Joey, bent over also grasping his neck and leaning against a tree only a few yards ahead. The youngster started away from the tree when he noticed Mike, but then leaned back against it again.
"You fucked up Dude," Mike gasped, trying to regain control of his breathing despite his collar.
"When's it gonna quit, make it quit," the boy begged.
Mike didn't answer, but grabbed the youngster's arm and started back toward the tree line. Joey tried to pull away but he locked his grip even tighter against the younger boy's thin arm, half dragging him along. Shit, we are both so dead, but maybe if we can get back inbounds Doc won't completely kill us, he prayed.
His hope was short lived; they were about half way back to the forest edge when a jeep style vehicle appeared off to the side and raced toward them. As soon as the jeep stopped next to the boys both of their collars stopped vibrating, and two uniformed guards jumped out.
"Please sir, he was going back, we were," Mike exclaimed as the men rushed toward them. Oh shit, he thought as one of the men wrapped a wide belt around his bare waist, then pushed his wrists into cuffs attached to the sides of the belt. He felt tears forming in his eyes when the man snapped restraints onto his ankles.
* * * * *
Both boys pulled nervously against their restraints a few minutes later, feeling Hutchinson's eyes drilling into them as they stood in front of his desk. He let them squirm for a minute or so before standing up and walking around his desk. "Do we need these?" he asked, pointing at their waists.
"No sir," Mike sobbed. Joey quickly followed his mentor's lead.
The doctor released the boys' wrists from their restraint belts then picked up a box of tissues from a nearby table. "Blow your noses, then go wash your faces," he instructed, pointing at the private bathroom in his office. This is not going to be fun, he thought as he watched Joey and his favorite patient shuffle away, trying to figure how to walk in their hobbles.
"Sit down boys," he instructed, pointing at his sofa, as they slithered back from washing up. "Joey, would you care to tell me why you chose to run away? Would you like to explain your actions?" The fourteen-year-old risked a quick glance at Mike then wiped his eyes. He shrugged his shoulders and stared at the carpet. "You both could be in a quiet a bit of trouble, please don't clam up on me son. It could cost you dearly if you do." After not getting any response for several seconds he added, "Please Joey, I promised to help you, please tell me what is wrong?"
The youngster glanced at his mentor again then back at the floor and shifted, pulling against his leg shackles. He took a deep breath, then uttered, "Fuck it, you found Gilbert, just send us back, I don't give a fuck!"
"You can say that in better ways, I know you can," the doctor snapped. He paused for a second as he digested his patient's statement. "We're not going to send you back anywhere, especially not back to jail, if that's what you meant." He thought for a couple more seconds as he waited for a response, trying to connect the dots. "Do you know Gilbert? Are you afraid he might harm you or Shawn?"
Mike shifted his position, trying to get a little more comfortable despite his leg restraints and the wide belt tightly cinched around his waist. "Please Joey, give Doc a chance," he tried, earning a dirty look from the younger teen.
"Please trust me, Joey," Hutchinson added.
"Trust you? I don't trust shit anymore!" the boy screamed. "You found Gilbert and brought him here to bust Shawn and me again and I gotta trust you? He promised he'd never tell anyone so what, maybe trust him? Fuck it! Fuck all of you!"
"I didn't bring Gilbert here to bust you, he is going to live here," the doctor countered. "He, , ," the man cut himself short as he remembered seeing on the new boy's record that he had been in Wilson county juvenile detention a couple of times. "Where do you know Gilbert from?" he asked. Failing to get a response he added, "Did you meet him in Juvenile Hall?"
The lad's gasp and stiffening shoulders gave him his answer. "Joey, I don't think Gilbert even knows you are here, and he hasn't told us anything about you or Shawn. Right now Gilbert is probably just as scared as you are, or were the day you arrived." He watched the youngster sink into the couch cushions. Give it a rest, he told himself.
"Well, young man, would you care to explain your actions?" he said toward Mike.
The older boy sniffled softly and pushed his long black hair out of his eyes. "I screwed up sir, I'm sorry," he sobbed at his shackles. Not getting any comment he risked a quick glance at the physician. "Joey was totally freaked and I was afraid for what he would do and I freaked sir. I'm sorry."
"Once you left the meadow, what was your status? What is your status now?" Hutchinson asked.
"R, , , run, , , runaway, sir," Mike cried. "But I wasn't gonna, sir!"
"When you left the meadow, went out of bounds, did you realize what you were doing?"
"No sir. I mean, well, ah well I didn't until my collar went nuts sir. I was just, , , well scared, well scared for Joey sir." "I'm sorry sir," he repeated.
It was Hutchinson's turn to take a deep breath to keep from sobbing. Do your job, fool, he told himself. "Did Joey agree to come back voluntarily?" he asked.
"Yes sir, he was, I swear. We were coming back here when they caught us, Joey wanted to."
You never could tell a lie, Hutchinson silently snickered as he looked at the red fingermarks on Joey's upper arms.
"Joey, are you ready to talk to me?" he asked. After waiting several seconds for a response he stood up and sat his notepad on his chair. "Please stand up, Joey," he instructed. The boy stiffened somewhat but offered no resistance as the doctor locked his wrists back into the restraining belt around the lad's waist.
"Please stand," he said toward Mike. The teen took a deep breath then struggled to his feet. He started trembling, then shaking almost uncontrollably as he felt the thick cuffs tighten around his wrists. "Calm down Son, take deep breaths," Hutchinson told him.
When Mike let out a long wail and babbled something unintelligible the doctor pulled his favorite patient into a tight hug, tucking the teen's quivering head in his hand. "Yes, you are going to the Re-socialization, I have no choice." "But we will talk tomorrow, I promise. Be brave Son, I know you can," he whispered. Before he realized it he kissed his patient on the top of his head.
"Can I tell my brother good bye?" Joey begged as he was lead toward the office door.
"It's not goodbye, you will see Shawn soon," Hutchinson answered. Sometimes I hate this job more than I can describe, he thought as he passed the boys to the security guard waiting in the hall.
* * * * *
"Do you think they caught them?" Shawn asked his bedroom window more than Ben.
"They caught them. Security's got these little boxes, they can find us anywhere," the redhead answered. He looked at the thin youngster seated next to him on Joey's bed. "He's okay, they won't hurt him or anything," he answered the fear in the youngster's eyes.
"Your brother is safe, and so is Mike," Hutchinson's voice interrupted from the bedroom door. "Don't get up, keep your seats," he instructed as the boys started to scramble to their feet. "Mike and Joey are both back, they are downstairs and safe now."
Ben shuttered at the man's words, knowing the Re-socialization Center was in the basement. "Doc, Mike didn't run away, I know he didn't. He was just trying to help his boy, well our boy." He took a deep breath. "Please sir, please don't send him there?" he begged.
"I know he didn't, and Joey wasn't really a runaway, he panicked. But they broke the rules, one of the most serious rules here, didn't they?"
"Yes sir. But, well, but I've been to RC, and Mike can't take it, he'll lose it." the thin teen whined.
"I love Mike as much as you do, I won't let anything happen to him," the doctor replied, gently squeezing the boy's freckled shoulder. "And Joey will be just fine, you guys will see them soon, I promise," he added, wiping the tears from Shawn's cheek. "Benjy, I'd like you to stay here tonight. I don't think Shawn wants to be alone."
"Yes sir!" He wrapped his arm around the younger boy's shoulder before he stiffened slightly. "Are we grounded sir? Do I gotta asked Pop?"
"No, you're not grounded," Hutchinson answered. "For now you are Shawn's mentor, if you're on restriction can you be a mentor? You sign out, and I'll call your dorm dad." he said, pointing at the nearby computers.
"Now, to what I wanted to see you two about," he said toward Shawn. "Your blood tests came back with great news. I was going to take tomorrow off, is why I sent for you today." He guided the thin lad to stand, and placed his stethoscope in his ears, listening to the boy's flat abdomen for a few seconds.
"Your stomach seems to have recovered from all the jailhouse food, and your blood levels are completely normal. I'm changing your diet slightly, to help you gain weight. The cafeteria said your favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate swirl, is that correct?" The youngster stared at his doctor in disbelief for a second or so before nodding it was. "Good. I've ordered a supply of it be kept in the snack room, and you are to eat a container of it every evening, a little before bed time."
The boys stared in shock at the bedroom door for the better part of a minute after Hutchinson left. A cup of ice cream? My lover and my best friend got busted so he could tell them to eat some fucking ice cream? Ben asked himself. He was still gawking at the empty doorway when Shawn pushed under his arm and buried his face in Ben's chest.
* * * * *
Good God, he looks like warmed over death, Hutchinson thought as the security guard led Mike into his office and in front of his desk. Damn I hate this. "Did you sleep good, do you like your new room?" he asked.
The teen sobbed a couple of times and pulled against his wrist restraints trying to reach to wipe the tears off his cheeks. "No sir," he whimpered.
"Do you like your new uniform? And your new jewelry?"
Mike glanced down at his bright red spandex shorts, and his ankle restraints, then pulled against the belt holding his arms at his sides. "No sir," he sobbed.
"How long do runaways spend in Re-socialization?"
The boy closed his eyes and held his breath, trying to keep from breaking down. "A month, sir."
"At, at least a month, sir." He shifted his weight side to side trying to keep his knees from buckling. "But please Doc, I, , ," he stopped in mid-sentence and stared at the floor.
"Remove his restraints," the doctor said toward the guard. "And leave them here." As the guard started out of the room he stood and walked around his desk, gesturing his teenage patient to the couch. "Would you care to explain your behavior?" he asked, sitting next to the teen.
"Ah, I screwed up, sir," Mike whimpered. The room was silent for a couple of seconds as he waited for a response, hoping his therapist would say something, anything. "I'm sorry sir, but I was afraid for Joey. He freaked and I was afraid he was going to do something stupid or stuff, sir. I wasn't gonna run away or anything sir, I swear I wasn't!"
"I know you weren't, Son. But absconding is one of the most serious rule violations here, isn't it?" He didn't wait for a reply saying, "Your intentions were admirable, but does that justify what you did?" Mike's lips mouthed a response as he shook his head side to side, but no words came out. "What happens now, Mike?"
The teen trembled and risk a glance at his doctor. "I guess I go back in the hole, sir. I mean RC, sir."
"Rules are rules, Mike. If you run, you get 30 days in RC." the doctor said. He stood up and started toward his desk, ignoring his patient's soft sobs. He stopped beside the desk and turned back to the boy. "But, I am going to put you on probation of sorts. I'm not sending you back to Re-socialization, but I expect perfect behavior. If you so much as belch in the lunch room, if your necklace goes off one time, you will spend a long time downstairs. Do I make myself clear?"
Mike's only response was turning ghost white and his mouth dropping open. After a couple of seconds he mumbled something unintelligible and nodded his head.
The doctor took a deep breath, then opened his desk drawer. He's worth it, he damn sure is, he reassured himself. "Go wash your face and change your uniform, your boy needs you," he said, dropping a blue level four shirt and shorts into the youngster's lap. "Well, both your boys need you."
The teen stared between the skimpy garments in his lap and his doctor for several seconds, then risk a gentle touch of the fabric as if to see if it was real. "But, ah," he stammered. "Thanks Doc!" he hooted an instant later. He leapt to his feet and threw his arms around the man pulling into a tight hug. "I'll be good sir, I promise. Thanks, thanks so much, I will, I will!"
The physician wrapped his arms around the youngster and enjoyed his cuddle for a second or so. "Go get dressed before I change my mind," he whispered.
Mike gave the man another quick hug and turned, darting toward the rest room. He had only taken a couple of steps when his collar began vibrating. "Oh shit! I mean oh, no," he groaned. "Please Doc, I'm, , ,"
"Chicken Legs, you're hopeless," Hutchinson chuckled, shoving the lanky teen into the bathroom and closing the door. "Completely hopeless," he snickered as he started back to his desk.
* * * * *
Crap, we gotta get up, but I don't even want to, Ben told himself. He looked down at the tuft of dirty blond hair showing above the bedcovers and stroked the back of the tiny little body pressed tightly against him. Well, he's finally asleep, a couple of more minutes, he decided when Shawn moaned softly and snuggled even closer.
Mike, Mike and Joey. Shit I hope they're okay, he'll loose it in there. He closed his eyes, remembering very vividly the endless days he spent locked in one of RC's tiny, windowless bedrooms. The silence, that will kill him, he decided, remembering the only noise he had heard for days at a time was when a small trapdoor opened twice a day and a food tray was slid in. Fuck, if only I could have gotten past Pop Zach, he whimpered.
"God damn, I get busted and you don't waste any time moving in on my boy!" Mike's voice rang into his seeming nightmare. Fuck, I am an asshole. My best buddy's in the hole and I'm sleeping with his boy, he chastised himself. "Come on food in the hole sucks and I'm hungry! Get your ass out of bed!" the voice continued.
Just as Ben was about to open his eyes to be sure he was dreaming a hand smacked his butt through the covers. He blinked a couple of times trying to believe hie eyes. "Mike! Mike, your, your, , ,"
"I'm out! I'm free! I got out a couple minutes ago!"
"Mike?" Shawn groaned in a sleepy voice. "Mike!" he howled. Ben let out a loud grunt as the youngster scrambled over him and slammed into his mentor's arms. "You're okay, you're, , , where's Joey? What did they do to Joey?"
The older teen hugged his boy for several seconds, the tension in his neck and shoulders draining away. "Joey is okay, I'm sure he is." He cupped the boy's thin shoulder. "I promise he is okay."
"How'd you get out? Wow, you didn't even loose your level?" Ben interrupted, running his fingers over his friend's thigh.
"Hey, I got it covered! I just told Doc how things are and he caved in, when I said jump he jumped!"
"I can tell," Ben replied, running his finger over Mike's puffy red cheek.
"Boys," Hutchinson's voice rang from the doorway. "Pop Zach is off today and his substitute is at breakfast. I have to go downstairs or a minute, call me at RC if you need anything. Don't be late for chapel."
"Yes sir," Ben answered. He grinned at the saucer eyed, ashen white faced statue sitting next to him on the bed. "Shouldn't Doc ask your permission first?" he laughed. "Go get dressed," he said to Shawn. "Let's go feed Sir Mikey before he nails us too."
* * * * *
Hutchinson took a slow, deep breath as he peered through the spyglass. He felt a knot tighten in the pit of his stomach when he saw Joey leaning against the headboard of his bed almost in a fetal position, his thin arms tightly clutching his knees that his face was buried between. "I'd trade my soul if I could just give them a hug, or a kiss and heal them," he told the security guard standing next to him.
He clenched his eyes tightly closed hoping for some extra strength before opening the boy's door. "Do you feel any more like talking?" he asked. Joey glanced up then curled more tightly into his bony legs as his only response. "If not, I can come back tomorrow," earned no answer. Please Lord, I need some help, badly, he silently prayed. He waited for another second or so before stepping back into the hall and started to close the door.
"What did you do to Shawn? I did it, Shawn didn't!" the youngster whimpered.
"I think Shawn is either at breakfast, or on his way to chapel, where ever Mike, and Benjy take him. The only thing I did to your brother is say good morning. Are you ready to tell me what's wrong, or should I lock the door back up?" he asked, extending his arm toward the frightened youngster. Thanks God, thanks so much, he thought when Joey slowly slid off his bed and slowly approached him.
The youngster timidly walked next to his doctor down the hall, but stiffened like a board when he saw one of the RC staff waiting with a set of restraints like he had been locked into yesterday.
"When I first met you, you, or I think Shawn asked if you had to wear those here, do you remember that?" the doctor asked. Not getting a response he added, "What did I tell you? Did I say only if you needed them?" he paused a second. "Do you need them now, while we go up to my office?" He let the lad stare at the heavy strapping for another couple of seconds before adding, "You promised to talk to me, I ask you a question and I expect an answer. Do we need to put you into restraints?"
Joey shook his head, then whimpered, "I'll be good."
"I asked you a question, do I need to restrain you?"
"No, , , no sir,"
"Fantastic! Let's go talk!" the doctor all but hooted as he tucked his patient under his arm and led him into the elevator.
"Please tell me about Gilbert, why you became so frightened when you saw him," he began after they sat next to each other on his couch. Failing a response, he tried, "You promised to talk to me, please, please don't clam up." He tightened his jaw slightly, then said, "You have to answer this, are you afraid Gilbert might hurt you, or Shawn, I mean physically, like injure one of you?"
"You promised to talk to me, please answer in words," he said when Joey just nodded his head side to side ever so slightly.
"No. No sir,"
"Why are you so afraid of him? Do you think he knows something about you, or Shawn, that so frightens you? Did you know Gilbert when you were in Wilson County Juvi? The detention center? Did you, or Shawn tell him something about, your court case?"
Joey's ashen face portrayed his answer, but the physician waited for him to mumble a meek 'yes sir' before continuing. "Please, please listen to me very carefully. Nothing that happened before you moved to Boys Village can affect your life here, when you agreed to move here you got a fresh start. Nothing in your past can hurt you unless you get dismissed from the program, I mean you get kicked out, but no one has ever been kicked out of Boys Village. Do you understand me?
"I talked to Gilbert yesterday afternoon, and he does not remember you." he said, not waiting for an answer. "Now, decision time. Absconding, trying to run away buys you at least thirty days in the Re-socialization Center, in a bedroom like you spent last night. You get out every other day to shower, and for therapy sessions with me, otherwise you are in isolation. If you were out of the Evaluation Unit and in a dorm, that is where you would be, no other options. Is that what you want to happen?"
Joey whispered something his doctor could not hear, but the tears flowing down his cheeks like a waterfall provided an answer.
"You choose, Joey. Do you want to go back to RC, or give me, and the Village another chance, and trust us?"
"If I do, do I get'a say, , , I mean Yes Sir," Joey answered. "But, please don't hurt my brother, I hit our dad, ah did it, Shawn didn't, he really didn't! I'll be good sir just don't hurt my, ah I'll be good sir!"
"Let's talk about that later," the doctor responded. "Let's go find your little brother, and your Mentors." he moved to his desk and scanned his computer for a second before guiding Joey out of his office and across the meadow.
Not the day off I wanted, but worth it, he told himself as he watched Shawn and Joey crash into a tight hug outside the dinning room. Well worth it, he decided when Ben joined their hug and Mike pushed into a hug against him and said "Thanks Doc, thanks, thanks, I love you Doc!"
He enjoyed Mike's embrace for several seconds until the teen asked, "But he's still in Restriction Level shorts, RC one's!" Ben cast a worried glance at the doctor. "Please sir, I promise he will be good, sir!" Mike begged.
"You go review who can change a Newby's restriction levels, and I will go practice jumping through your hoops, okay?" the doctor chuckled. "Take care of them, both of them Benjy," he snickered, kissing the top of his favorite patient's head as he pointed toward Mike so that Ben could see but Mike could not.
"And Benjy, not while he is Restriction level, I already programed it. No red light district here!" he added as he walked away.