Lincoln, The Family I Never Expected

Lincoln-12, Battles

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Installment 12 (Battles)

Part - 1

I was frozen, I didn't know what to say to Lincoln as I held him in my arms. I was staring into his blue eyes, and I could feel the pain and sense the level of fear this innocent child went through. I prayed and prayed that he wasn't awake and that I would never have to answer this question. In my lifetime, this was the hardest thing, I've ever done, I wanted to respond to his question but words weren't coming out of my mouth, and I just stared at him.
"You-you.... did... didn't you?" Asked Lincoln again.
I took a deep breath and spoke, "yes."
Lincoln started crying even more as I confirmed what he just experienced was true. 
"Why did this happen to me?" Lincoln bawled.
"Some evil people live in this world Lincoln, some horrible people that believe their actions don't have consequences for them or the people they mistreat... I don't know why," I said, cradling Lincoln and kissing his forehead.
"I could feel everything... it hurt so bad, and-and he wouldn't stop Garret. I tried to-to-to get him to stop. But-but he didn't, he didn't care, and he kept doing it... I.. I.. could fe fe feel everything."
"I am so sorry Lincoln," I said as I was starting to cry. "I wish I could change things I really do."
"It hurts, I still feel like it's happening to me, Garret... I don't want these flashbacks anymore, I can't take it... I would rather be dead."
"Oh please don't say that Lincoln, please," I said.
"It's true," he bawled.
"Shhh, it's okay... We will get through this. Things will get better Lincoln... we will make it through this."
"You've been saying that," Lincoln replied. "Nothing is working, NOTHING!"
"We have therapy Monday, it will help."
"You don't know that," Lincoln said. "I... I... I don't know what is happening to me."
"Lincoln," I said as a gave him another hug.
"No, get away from me, please. I don't want to be touched," Lincoln said as he pushed my arms away and stood up to walk to his bed. He was in a world of his own, and nothing made any sense to him.
"That's okay, I understand that."
"No you don't, I want to be left alone," he cried. "Please... can you.... can you just leave me alone."
"Lincoln, I can't do that."
"Please!" He sobbed.
"Absolutely not, you just made a comment about not wanting to live anymore. I'm not leaving you alone," I said.
Lincoln buried his head in his pillow and cried. We weren't talking, but I wasn't going to leave this room. I went over to the bedroom door to lock it and stopped in the bathroom to get a towel to lay on the ground to cover up the blood stain from Jacob's nose. 
"Whyyyy," cried Lincoln as he started beating his pillow. His actions were beginning to become very concerning, and I wasn't sure what to do. 
"Lincoln," I said. "Listen to my voice."
"Why didn't you tell me, Garret? You said you always told the truth, and you lied to me... you knew and never told me, you lied... you're a liar!" Lincoln screamed.
Lincoln wasn't in the emotional mindset to understand my reasoning, so there was no point in explaining my side right now. 
"Every time I close my eyes, I still see the guy..... I WANT YOU OUT OF MY HEAD," Lincoln screamed while smacking himself.
"Lincoln! Listen," I said.
"I want this to end!" Lincoln yelled in rage.
"Hey buddy, listen to my voice... Lincoln, don't think about the pain or the memory, just listen to my voice right now. You need to breathe. In through your nose and out through the mouth." I said in a calming voice.
"O, okay," Lincoln replied hyperventilating.
"Breathe in and breathe out big deep breaths."
"I... I... I can't," Lincoln bawled again.
He was in so much emotional pain and confusion that I hope it wouldn't alter him for good.
"Lincoln," I said putting a hand on his back.
"DON'T TOUCH ME!" Lincoln said as he turned around and sat up in bed. He was resting his head on his hands while trying to regain composure... it wasn't working. 
"Lincoln you need to calm down buddy, this isn't getting us anywhere," I said.
He was breathing at an unreal speed, and before I knew it, Lincoln fainted from hyperventilating as his body drifted backward and his head hit the pillow. I didn't know what to do, part of me wanted to run downstairs and check on Jacob, but I was worried about Lincoln waking up and harming himself. I decided to stay and sit on his bed until he regained consciousness.
He was out for 5 minutes but slowly came back.
"Lincoln," I said. 
"I think I'm gonna puke," Lincoln replied.
"Let's go to the bathroom... come on," I said and grabbed his hand. We ran to the bathroom, and Lincoln puked in the toilet. 
"It's okay buddy," I said as I rubbed his back. I didn't know if I was allowed to touch him again but took the risk.
"I hate these stupid flashbacks, I don't want these anymore."
"I know I know kiddo," I said.
"No you don't... everything is so real, and it feels like I was there again. I thought you said these were going to go away," Lincoln replied as he started crying again.
"They will buddy, but it takes a while. You went through such a dramatic experience that your brain tried to forget, but it can't... your brain tried to block the memories and protect you but it couldn't... it means you were awake that whole night, but you were in shock.  These PTSD attacks are being triggered by something, and we need to know what makes these attacks occur." 
"I don't want them, Garret, I rather die than have these," Lincoln replied.
"Knock that talk off," I said as I wiped away a tear. I couldn't stand to hear that.
"I WOULD. You don't know what it's like."
"You're right I don't, but I know this. Your brothers need you in their life, and I certainly need you in mine. Listen to me, we will get through this, and I know it sucks, but you can't ever take your life. You mean too much to those around you."
"I... I, just want to be left alone Garret."
"Lincoln," I said. "I can't do that."
"Please," he said returning to his bed.
"I hate you," Lincoln bawled. "You're a liar, you knew, and you didn't tell me... I HATE YOU... just leave me alone." 
"Lincoln," I said as my heart snapped in two. 
"Please leave, I don't want to be around you."
"You can hate me Lincoln..... but I won't ever stop loving you," I replied as I walked over to his bed and rubbed his back. He wasn't responding, and he just laid on his stomach with his face buried in the pillow. He cried for 20 more minutes, and we didn't say a word the entire time. I just rubbed his back and wondered if Lincoln would ever be the same. Somewhere around the 30-minute mark, I think he cried himself to sleep as I didn't hear anymore weeping sounds and his breathing was heavy.
I took this opportunity to run downstairs and check on everyone. I knew it was a risk, but I had to make sure the other boys were okay. I was up with Lincoln for around 45 minutes. The clock read 7:20 and I appeared to an empty kitchen, I went to check the family room and saw Rita on the couch cuddling all the boys. Jacob had an ice pack on his nose as he sat in Rita's lap. Ryker was seated next to Rita, and Clayton was next to Ryker.
Ryker saw me first and jumped off the couch,
"Is... Is Lincoln going to be okay?" He asked as he gave me a hug.
I bent down to be face to face with Ryker and said, "I think so kiddo, he is just having a rough night." 
"That was scary," Ryker replied and wrapped his arms around the back of my neck.
"Yes it was, and you did awesome kiddo. You really did, I'm so proud of how you took charge and got your brothers out of there."
"Thanks," he said. I went over to Jacob who looked to be in a funk still. Hell, I would be if my brother socked me in the nose.
"Come here buddy, let me see your nose." 
"It still hurts," Jacob cried as he got off Rita and ran into my arms.
"It's okay, I know," I said as I comforted him. "Let's take a look at your nose."
"Okay," Jacob replied and took the ice pack away.
"Well the bleeding has stopped," I said. That was about the only good thing I could tell, as Jacob's nose looked to be broken to the left or maybe it was swelling, but I didn't want to cause a panic especially with the weather being bad. We already accumulated around an inch and a half, so I didn't want to get stuck on these roads. 
"It hurts still."
"I bet, let's put a little more ice on it. Is it hard to breathe at all?"
"Kind of," spoke Jacob.
"Well, if the breathing ability worsens, you come tell Rita or me right away.... okay? But for now, let's see what the ice does," I said. "Come here bud, I need another hug from you."
"Okay!" said Jacob. I gave him a big hug, and I apologized for this happening to him. 
I let go of him and stood up, "Rita can I speak with you in the kitchen please?"
"Certainly," she replied, and we walked into the kitchen, "how's Lincoln?"
"Sleeping, I need to get back up there soon, but do you mind staying the night and getting the boys to bed?"
"No, I don't mind at all."
"You're a saint, did the boys eat?" 
"Yes, there is a plate for you and Lincoln in the fridge."
"Oh thanks, " I said. "I may ask for you to heat the food up here soon."
"That's fine... is everything alright?"
"Honestly... I'm not sure."
"Well call me if you need me, these boys mean so much to me too." 
"I know they do Rita, thank you, but I need to run upstairs and make sure Lincoln hasn't woken up."
"Okay," Rita replied, and I took off for upstairs.
I reached his room to find him sleeping in the same exact position when I left. I went over and sat towards the top of his bed with my back resting against his headboard. Lincoln was lying on his stomach, so I turned the TV on and scratched his back as he slept. 
He must have been asleep for 30 more minutes before he started to stir. He gained his senses and turned his head to look at me and started to bawl.
"I'm so-so sorry Garret."
"It's okay buddy."
"I... I didn't mean what I said," Lincoln spoke as he cried, and buried his head in my stomach.
I rubbed his head trying to comfort him, "I know kiddo, it's okay."
"I'm sorry," 
"Hey Lincoln, look at me," I said. It was difficult for him to look up at his current position So with my right arm, I rolled Lincoln onto me, where he was on his back with his head on my stomach and his body in between my legs. "It's okay,"
"No, it's not," he cried.
"Lincoln," I said wiping the tears away, "I love you. No matter what you say or do, I will always love you.... I don't think you really knew what you were doing. Just saying a bunch of stuff because you were scared and in pain."
"Well," I began as I rested my hands on his chest. "I know you didn't mean what you said, as you were in a panic of rage and pain. It's difficult to control and sometimes, people say things they don't mean."
"No, how do you love me after I said I hate you?"
"Oh," I said. "You can't explain love, especially love with regards to kids. But, I know you didn't mean it, and if you did mean it, then I would still love you because I care about you."
"I don't hate you, ya know?..... I'm sorry."
"I know," I replied. "It's okay."
"Why didn't you tell me though?"
"Sit up," I said as I put a long pillow from my groin to my stomach to make it more comfortable for Lincoln.
"Thanks," he replied as he laid back down. 
"Well, I didn't tell you for three reasons. One, I didn't have the courage and the strength to tell you, and I am sorry. I did lie to you, and I'm sorry, but when you asked me what that cut was on your butt. I just couldn't tell you kiddo. I'm truly sorry for the lie, however my second reason for not telling you was, I didn't know if you would remember or if you were awake when this happened. When you started having these flashbacks," I said as I rubbed his chest, "I didn't know when they would stop and what they would show. Part of me was hoping you weren't awake for it and that the flashbacks wouldn't reveal the truth. My third reason was I thought it would be best to find out on your own. I didn't want to tell you and then have you live through the flashbacks waiting for it. Honestly Lincoln, I was petrified and didn't know how to handle it. The situation was a lose-lose for the both of us."
Lincoln sat in silence thinking and taking in all the information. I would love to know what his thoughts.
"This is just stupid."
"Lincoln, I have one question for you, don't feel obligated answer it."
"How did the flashback end?"
"Umm," Lincoln said as he squirmed. "Umm when he was, uhh.. when he was, he was...." 
"You don't have to say it, I know what you mean."
"Okay," Lincoln replied as he started crying. "He punched and hit me all over, and every time I yelled for him to stop. He hit me on the side of my face, and the back of my head then everything went black."
"Was he still..... was he still, you know... umm molesting you when everything went black?"
"Yeah," Lincoln wept. "Can... can we talk about something different?"
"Yes," I said as I bent down and kissed the top of his head. Something set the waterworks off again as Lincoln turned to his stomach and dug his face into the pillow. "It's okay buddy, let it out. It's okay."
"It's not fair!"
"No it isn't kiddo, no it isn't." 
"I just wanna be normal."
"You are normal," I said.
"No, I'm not," Lincoln protested. "I'm a freak and a baby that can't stop crying."
"Don't you ever be afraid to show your emotions Lincoln. Just because you are crying doesn't make you a freak or a baby. Those that can show emotions are truly the strongest people. Crying isn't something you should ever be ashamed of doing, all humans cry, and it doesn't make you a baby."
"No buts," I interrupted. "Those are facts."
"Okay," said Lincoln. 
It was around 9, and I heard a knock at the door, it was Rita bringing us our plates of food with a little help from Ryker and Clayton. I slightly opened up the door, and Rita spoke,
"Here's the food, I tried to bring it up myself... but these two wanted to check on their brother."
"Oh," I chuckled. "That's okay, the boys can say their goodnights and get to bed afterward. Boys come on."
The two walked in, and Ryker immediately ran to jump onto the bed and give his brother a hug. Clayton soon followed, and the three boys embraced each other.
"We didn't know what was happening," Ryker spoke first.
"Yeah, it's... it's okay," replied Lincoln.
"Yeah it was scary," Clayton said.
"Where's Jacob?" Asked Lincoln.
"Umm, he is in his room," said Ryker. 
"Do you remember?" Asked Ryker.
"Remember what?"
"You punched Jacob."
"Yeah you punched him in the face," continued Ryker.
"Is he okay?" Questioned Lincoln.
"Umm, yeah he had a bloody nose, not sure what else," I quickly spoke.
"Can I go see him?" 
"Uhh... go ahead sure," I said, and Lincoln stood up to head to Jacob's room. I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but I decided to stay back. They were in there for 15 minutes, and Lincoln came back out. He said everything went well, and he and Jacob hugged it out. I was proud of him for fixing the situation and for resolving it without my help. It showed character and the ability to apologize and own up for his actions even though Lincoln does not recall punching Jacob. 
With the help of Rita, the boys minus Lincoln were put to bed. Lincoln and I went downstairs to eat our meals that we had to reheat again. Before I sat down at the table, I checked outside, and snow was coming down heavy. We had around 3-4 inches, and we had no signs of a closure of their school. 
Lincoln and I went to the family room, and we watched some cartoons with him cuddling me on the couch. We weren't discussing much, which was unusual because I could still feel that Lincoln wasn't himself. He still had a lot on his mind, so I asked,
"What's up kiddo?"
"You okay? I can tell your thinking about something."
"Yeah I'm okay," Lincoln replied.
"If you want to talk about it or tell me whats running through your head, I'm always here to listen." 
"Okay," Lincoln whispered as we continued to watch TV. Rita came and went to clean up the kitchen before she headed downstairs to the basement spare room and called it goodnight. We had made it through two commercial breaks when Lincoln finally broke the silence.
"Garret?" Lincoln asked sitting up.
"I'm confused."
"Everything," he replied as he rested his head on my shoulder.
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know... I, I guess everything in my head and everything is... I don't know," 
"Let's begin by taking one small bite out of everything, and as we move forward, we can talk about everything individually."
"I don't know where to begin though," returned Lincoln. 
"Well start with the first thing, that pops into your head." 
"My parents."
"What about your parents?"
"I miss them."
I wasn't ready for that one, but tried to ease into the topic, "that's okay, you're allowed to miss them. It's completely natural."
"Yeah but they weren't nice to us, well mom was sometimes... I miss having a mom too," he said softly.
"That is completely okay, and I understand Lincoln," I said as I kissed his head. 
"But they weren't always nice to me or my brothers, and-and I miss them, but I don't because I also have you to love me and-and your family is, uhh I don't know... I guess better."
"That is true, I do love you," I said. "But doesn't mean you have to stop missing your parents. Your parents are a part of you, for the first 11 years of your life, they have shaped you into who you are today. A loving 11-year old boy with courage, bravery, and one heck of a good personality." I sort of lied to Lincoln, because even though his parents shaped who he was, they didn't give him the good traits. His parents left him abused, and their child in danger. It's a miracle Lincoln has the wonderful personality he has because he didn't get them from his parents.
"Yeah, but because of my parents, I had to go through... well umm you know.... And it's all their fault," Lincoln said beginning to cry. " I miss my parents, and I don't. I loved my parents, but I hate them.... I hate them, I hate them, I hate them."
"It's okay kiddo," I said but was quickly cut short.
"But then if I didn't go through what I did, then I wouldn't have met you. My brothers and I would be stuck in the hell hole we use to call home... but I can't take these flashbacks anymore, they hurt me Garret."
"I know they do," I said comforting him.
"But I wouldn't have met you or Rita or umm uhh Christian or LJ or Uncle Lucas or Grandma and grandpa. But If I wouldn't have met you or this didn't happen at all then I wouldn't have these flashbacks, and I would have a normal life," Lincoln cried.
"Its okay Lincoln, it's okay."
"I just want a normal life again."
"Well kiddo, this is the normal life. At least for the moment, until we get your PTSD in order," I said as I scratched his head. "Trust me, if I could go back in time, I would change everything so you wouldn't have to experience what you did."
"Nooo, I wouldn't want that because I wouldn't have met you. This is why it's so confusing. I love you more than I loved my mom and dad, but I hate the stupid PTSD or flashback things. I just went them to end."
"And they will, with time Lincoln." 
"But how much time?" Asked Ryker.
"No one knows, but we will fix it, I promise," I said promise with a little bit of worry because I didn't know if he would trust my word since he called me a liar. 
"Okay," he said with a hint of doubt.
"Now I have something for you to listen to." 
"You mentioned earlier about taking your life and not wanting to be alive," I said.
"Yeah," Lincoln said in a dejected tone while staring at the ground.
"Whether you meant it or not, I don't ever want you to commit to those actions and take your life. If you ever feel the need to take your own life, come talk to anyone in the family. Matter of fact talk to anyone who you think will help you through it. You can talk with me, Rita, grandpa.... anyone, but I know, even the thought of losing you son... well I can't even think about it because it would destroy me and destroy our family. You are too important, and we love you kiddo... everyone in our family loves you, and you have a purpose. Don't ever feel that you can not talk with someone."
"You.... you called me son," Lincoln said looking up at me. "Do you really think of me as your son?"
"I think of you and all your brothers as my sons," I said.
"I don't ever think my dad has called me his son."
"Well, I think of you as my son even though technically you aren't, you mean too much to me," I said as I pulled Lincoln into my lap and gave him a hug.
"Thanks, Garret," Lincoln replied. 
"Come on kiddo, let's head upstairs and try to get to sleep."
"Can you lay down with me?"
"Of course," I said as we reached the steps and made our way to his room. Lincoln stripped down to his boxer briefs, and we climbed into his bed. He cuddled against me, and we talked for a little while. He mostly told me about being afraid to fall asleep and asked me about my past. But we didn't really dig too deep into my history. Just fundamental questions, like sports I played and what not. I was trying to keep conversation lite and small because I feared something could set him off. Luckily Lincoln fell asleep around 11:30, and I meant to go to my own room but accidentally fell asleep in his bedroom shortly after.
"NOOOO PLEASE STOPPPP..... IT HURTS, STOOPPPPPP," Lincoln screamed. I shot out of my dead sleep to see Lincoln in the middle of a PTSD attack, and it was just as severe as the previous one. He was twitching, screaming, and looked in pain. 
"Lincoln," I yelled.
"NO PLEASE," Lincoln screamed.
I tried wrapping him in a hug, but that might have been the worst thing I could have done. He started kicking and throwing punches around, and luckily one never connected as I stood up and avoided the blows. Lincoln was screaming the same stuff as he did earlier, and I was hoping that it would end soon. I turned on the bedside lamp, and Lincoln slowly started to calm down and come out of the PTSD attack. Before he entirely came back, I was able to take my position back on his bed. 
"Lincoln," I said as I slowly scratched his head. " it's okay kiddo, it's okay... it was just another flashback, come here."
"Garret," Lincoln cried as he crawled into my lap. I picked him up and placed his butt on my thighs with one arm supporting his back and the other arm under his legs. I slowly rocked him in my arms and kept whispering I love him. 
He cried for another 15 minutes but I wasn't quite sure if he was awake or not, he wasn't communicating, just a sniffle of the nose. It was around 1:45, and I knew I would be in for another long night. After he seemed to stop crying, I swung Lincoln's legs down to my legs and lifted his body to the right of me. I positioned him, so his head was laying on the right on my chest, and I believe he fell asleep in that position.
Throughout the night, two more PTSD attacks occurred. One at 3 and another at 4:30, I don't know if Lincoln will recall these but by the end of the attacks he was crying, and I would comfort him. I was no longer calling them flashbacks or nightmares because these seemed like an attack on this poor innocent child. To be fair though, I'm not sure if it is PTSD, but I couldn't think of anything else, and PTSD attacks would be easier to explain to the therapist. 

Part - 2

Even with Lincoln's latest PTSD attacks, I woke up around 6:45 to check if the school was canceled and hope that today would be a better day. I walked down the steps and without even checking email or the school website, I knew school would be closed. I took a peek outside, and I would say we had about a foot and a couple of inches of snow and it was still coming down. Luckily, I don't think it would last much longer as they called for the snow to stop around 12 am. Just to be sure, I did check my email, and my thoughts were confirmed as the school was shut down for the day. I texted Keith and told him I wouldn't be able to make it, as the kids have off and that the roads don't look too good. Luckily for me, my driveway is heated, so I didn't need to go worry about shoveling snow, as that would probably take me a whole day to do. 
I went into the kitchen and had my morning cup of coffee. Rita came up soon after and said,
"My word, you look awful." 
"Not much sleep," I replied.
"How come?"
"Lincoln had three more PTSD attacks."
"Four in total.... that poor child." 
"I know, I keep promising that it will get better, but it only gets worse." 
"Well you should call the therapist, I know the appointment isn't until Monday, but she may have some suggestions." 
"Not a bad idea, but I doubt she is in her office."
"No emergency number?" 
"I don't know, I wasn't given one." 
"Well maybe online, I'm sure she has to have one," Rita replied.
"Yeah I'll look into it later... just curious, did the boys have a bath last night?"
"No... was I suppose to give them one?"
"Oh no, I'll just give them one when they wake and finish breakfast. I wouldn't expect Lincoln down here anytime soon, but we need to keep an eye on him. His door is cracked open, so if we hear him screaming or yelling, we can rush in there."
"Oh," Rita paused. "Umm, what am I suppose to do if I reach him first and he is having an attack?"
"Make sure he isn't hurting himself... he made a few statements about not wanting to live anymore."
"I know, I was crushed. I talked to him about it, but he still has me worried."
"That would be about the worst thing that could happen to the boys," Rita said as she wiped a tear away.
"Ya," I said softly. "We just need to watch him at the moment. Lincoln isn't exactly himself, he has a lot going through his head." 
"I can't even imagine the pain he is suffering," Rita said.
"Tell me about it."
"When are you going to wake the others up?" 
"Well I'm assuming Clayton will be up soon, he normally doesn't sleep in. But I'll let them sleep in today, and whenever they wake, they wake."
"Are you okay? I know this is depressing, but you seem to be taking this rather hard."
"I'm tired and worried, worried about Lincoln and wondering if he will ever be the same child again."
"All we can do is hope and pray Garret," spoke Rita as she brought over a bagel with cream cheese.
"Yup," I replied and ate my bagel. 
"Well, you should at least notify Kelly," spoke Rita.
"That's not a bad idea either, I should give her a ring."
"She probably has some advice." 
It was quite early still, but my sister was always up around this time, so I gave her a call.
"Hello? Everything alright, you never call this early," Kelly worried.
"Everyone is good, well I mean not everyone. Lincoln found out about the rape."
"Oh no... did you tell him or was it through his flashbacks?"
"PTSD attacks," I said.
"PTSD attacks?"
"Yeah, that's what I'm calling these episodes instead of flashbacks."
"Hmm, guess it makes sense. So I'm assuming he didn't handle it well?" Asked Kelly.
"Of fucking course not Kelly. What kind of stupid idiotic question is that?" I returned.
"Geez Garret, calm down I'm sorry."
I sighed, "no no, I'm sorry. That one is on me, I just didn't get much sleep." 
"Why what happened?"
"He went into a rage... he punched Jacob, and I think Jacob's nose may be broken but it could be swelling. He yelled he hated me, called me a liar, apologized for everything, had a deep conversation about him missing his parents and not missing his parents, went to sleep, and had three more PTSD attacks throughout the night. I'm praying, today is a better day."
"I'm.... I'm sorry Garret, that does not sound fun." 
"It is not my cup of tea, but I don't care. I just want Lincoln to feel comfortable with himself and for him to get better. He.... he said he didn't want to live anymore.... multiple times."
"I know, I talked to him about it, and I think I got through to him. Maybe I didn't, I don't know..... but I know Rita and I are planning on keeping a close eye on him today." 
"There are warning signs to look for," Kelly said.
"I know, but he is 11.... that is awfully early to be watching for warning signs isn't it?"
"Garret.... really?"
"The suicide rate among people 18 and younger is increasing while the average age is decreasing. Kids are killing themselves as early as 9... it is never ever too early to watch for suicide. Especially the ages of 12-14, that age range has seen a spike in recent years."
"Fuck," I sighed. "I'll keep you updated,"
"You okay?"
"Yeah... I just can't think of the thought of losing one of them. I'll look into the warning signs though."
"That's a good idea.... by the way, I think you are doing a tremendous job with these boys, bro, you're making a difference for sure." 
"Thanks, sis, I'll keep you updated." 
"Yes, please do," Kelly said.
"One more question... how do I start the adoption process?"
"Garret, you just got the foster license to have them, you need to wait at least 6 months before becoming their father. Plus you'll need to go through a few courses and what not. It's a long process."
"6 months, are you serious? Whoa, that's ridiculous." 
"It's the same for everyone.... is there anything else I can help you with?"
"Any news on the birth certificate, I sent it in yesterday."
"You expect the information that quick," laughed Kelly. "With this snowstorm, I bet I don't receive the letter until next week. Give it some time, by the way. How much snow did you get?"
"At least a foot, you?"
"8 inches, still coming down though."
"Yeah well I better go wake the boys," I said. "Tell everyone I said hi."
"Oh, before you go, Christian has none stop been talking about coming to see you again. We are going to need to set something up before this boy drives me crazy," laughed Kelly.
"I'm sure the boys would love that, and by the way, have you given any more thought to the job offer?" 
"I have until tomorrow you said... I plan on using all my time to weigh my options,"
"Very well," I chuckled. "Don't miss out on this opportunity."
"Goodbye Garret," Kelly said and hung up the phone. 
Kelly wasn't that much help, and honestly, the call was basically pointless, but I received some information on the adoption length, so I guess that was good. I told Rita about the conversation with Kelly and finished eating my bagel. 
It was around 8:00, I was sitting in the family room when I heard footsteps pounding down the steps. 
"Garret, Garret!"
My heart sank again, "Ryker? What's wrong?"
Ryker came running into the family room in his boxer briefs with a panicked expression on his face and said, "we are gonna be late for school."
I let a sigh of relief and laughter out, "you scared the crap out of me," as I thought he was coming to tell me about an issue with Lincoln.
"Silly... school is canceled."
"Yes," I said.
"YES!" Ryker said hopping up and down. Eventually, he was tired of celebrating and collapsed over my lap.
"Someone's happy, that we don't have school," I said as I started rubbing his back.
"Anything you want to do today?" I asked as I continued rubbing his neck down to his underwear while every few times, my fingertips would go underneath his waistband and hit the top of his bum.
"Can we build a snow fort?"
"Possibly," I laughed.
"Rub my tummy please," he said rolling over.
"I could tickle you so easily."
"Please don't," begged Ryker.
"I won't," I laughed and did the same process I did on his back. "Keep thinking of ideas though."
"Ummm, we could watch movies." 
"Alright, 2 good ideas."
"Err what about going in the hot tub?"
"Don't believe that one is possible, the cover has a foot of snow on it."
"Okay, well I'll think of something," Laughed Ryker. I so wanted to tickle the half-naked boy laying on me, but I decided against it. 
"Sounds like a plan, go get some breakfast... after breakfast you need a shower or bath."
"Can I shower with you again?"
"We will see," I said lifting him up to a sitting position on my lap.
"Love you, Garret," spoke Ryker as he gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"Love you too. Go ask Rita for breakfast," I said as I released his hug and lightly pinched his butt to tell him to get moving.
Ryker laughed as he got up and went to the kitchen. Shortly after Ryker entered the kitchen, Clayton was awake and downstairs eating with Ryker. Jacob soon followed, and the three were laughing and talking about what to build outside in the snow. Jacob's nose looked 10 times better, but still had swelling in the nose area, but he wasn't complaining, so I decided to let it go for the moment. There was no sign of Lincoln, but Rita went upstairs to check on him and informed me that he was still sleeping. The three younger ones finished eating, and I took them upstairs. I stripped Ryker of his boxer briefs and pulled the t-shirt that Jacob wore to bed off of his body. I undressed Clayton, and the boys jumped in the big jacuzzi tub. 
They were in there soaking for a good 30 minutes as we talked and had fun. I dipped my feet as they chatted with each other.
The three had made plans while in the tub to go outside and build a snow fort, so as soon as they were dry, they put on their snow gear and went out for some fun. I went up to check on Lincoln and found him still sleeping, so I told Rita I was going down to run on the treadmill. She agreed that she would keep an eye on Lincoln and check up on the boys outside. I wasn't too worried about the boys outside because I think they were building the snow fort behind the hot tub, which meant they were nowhere near the lake.
I went to the basement and ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes and completed 3 miles. Wasn't my best time or distance, but I did work up a sweat. I was on my way to my room when Lincoln came out of his door.
"Morning buddy," I said.
"Morning," he replied while rubbing his eyes.
"School was canceled, just in case you were wondering."
"Figured," Lincoln chuckled. "Where is everyone?"
"I think Rita is checking on the boys outside as they are building a snow fort."
"Oh, what are you doing?"
"About to get a shower."
"Looks like you just had one," laughed Lincoln.
"Funny.... Rita should be back in soon if you want breakfast."
"I'm not that hungry... can I shower with you? I haven't had one since two nights ago."
"Why don't you shower in your room?" I asked.
"I never get to shower with you. Ryker and Clay already have... why can't I?"
"Well, you're a bit older kiddo."
"Please, I never get to do things like that." 
"You get to swim naked in the hot tub, don't you?"
"Yeah but-but, please Garret."
"I am going to regret this," I said. It wasn't the fact that he would see me naked or vice-versa because that has already happened, I was more worried about getting an erection and Lincoln was starting to know what they meant.
"YES," Lincoln said and ran to my room. Before I could enter my bathroom, he was already out of his underwear standing at full mass.
"Someone is excited," I joked.
I just looked down with my eyes, and he caught on quick.
"Oh sorry."
"It's okay," I laughed and started stripping off my sweaty clothes. I was fully naked and walked by him to turn the shower on, I told him to jump in as I went to get towels. 
I walked back in and stopped dead in my tracks. Lincoln was under the rainfall showerhead, looking up as the water fell onto his body. He slowly moved his hands down his smooth, hairless, flat chest and continued past his tight stomach before finally resting his hands on his thighs. The water from the shower head trickled down his chest, and abdomen as it ran down his penis and off the tip of his perfectly pink head like a waterspout. 
I was blown away.... awestruck in other terms, as I could have sworn, I just saw a slow-motion clip from a movie, it was that perfect. I was just staring at this beautiful human boy. 
"You okay?" Lincoln asked getting my attention. 
"Huh? Umm yeah, I'm good.... you're... you're just a beautiful boy with a lovely body. You're absolutely stunning Lincoln... gorgeous."
Lincoln giggled while looking at the ground, but raised his head into the water as his hair dropped down his beautiful face and asked, "really?" Before shaking the hair out of his eyes.
Oh my goodness, this kid is gonna give me a hard-on, and I haven't even stepped into the shower yet. It was honestly like a movie scene with a light above him, shining solely on this gorgeous boy. I managed to muster the words, "you're unbelievable." 
"Thanks," Lincoln blushed as he fiddled with his erect penis. I took a step forward to enter, and he stepped out from underneath the center showerhead to one of the showerheads located on the wall. I usually say all the boys are good looking, with Ryker standing out more from the others. However Lincoln, was a close second, very close. With what I just witnessed, this boy was insanely gorgeous. 
I stepped into the shower and said, "I don't know how I am so blessed to have such amazing kids in my life."
"What do you mean?" Lincoln said as he turned to face me. We weren't washing yet, but just letting the water run over our bodies.
"You guys are amazing in every way: personality, kindness, looks, charisma."
"My past," Lincoln interrupted.
"Yes even your past is amazing," I said.
I think he was expecting a different answer because Lincoln looked up at me with a smile and said, "thanks." 
"It really is Lincoln, your past is extraordinary. It's amazing how far you've come, with the positives and the negatives. it's simply amazing."
"Thanks," Lincoln said as he ran to give me a hug. 
"Love you kiddo," I said as I picked him up and put my arm under his butt for support. His cock was poking me in the stomach, but I didn't care. It was a much-needed hug with a lot of emotion, I just don't know what kind of emotion it was. Either way, it was much needed, especially with last night and all the drama.
"You're pretty amazing too," Lincoln whispered into my ear and kissed my cheek.
"Thanks buddy," I said as I lowered him to the ground and he returned to the other shower head.
"You don't care to know how you are amazing?" Asked Lincoln. 
"Enlightened me," I said joking.
I laughed, "it means tell me." 
"Oh, that's silly.... Umm, you're amazing because you are awesome, nice, I can talk to you about anything, umm uhh you love me, you're funny, you are good looking too. Umm, you're amazing because you care about me, Ryker, Jacob, and Clayton."
"Well buddy.. thank you for the kind words. It means a lot," I replied.
"You're welcome."
We chatted for a few minutes, and then I handed Lincoln the shampoo while I started to use the body wash gel. 
"Can you wash me?" Lincoln asked.
"I don't think so,"
"Lincoln," I said in a stronger tone.
"Fine," he giggled.
"Glad you find it funny."
"At least my back when I use the body wash?"
"Fine, just your back," I said as I put a dab of body wash on my hand and quickly did his back.
"I wasn't ready," giggled Lincoln.
"Too bad," I laughed. The rest of the shower was uneventful thankfully. I gave him a towel, and we dried off. He went to his room and got dressed in his boxers and a shirt and went downstairs. I cleaned up all the dirty clothes and then got dressed and joined Lincoln.
He was sitting at the table waiting for Rita to bring a bagel or something while I went to the family room to turn on the TV and watch some sports.
Before long we had three shivering boys wanting to come in. The snow was still falling, but it was slowing. In total, I think we had 15 inches of snow, which wasn't standard at all. We are used to heavy snow, but heavy snow for us is 6-9 inches.
The boys wanted to show us their half-completed fort, but I told them to get warm first, and we will all head outside to help build up the fort. I got cheers from everyone, and the three stripped down to their dry shorts and shirts underneath the heavy snow gear and then came to the living room. Lincoln soon followed, and we turned on the 6th Harry Potter film, even Rita joined us.
Lincoln sat like he always did, with his butt against my thigh as he used the arms of the couch to support his head. No one sat on my lap this time, but Rita had Clayton on her lap with Ryker resting against her. She loved it, and it was noticeable. She had a smile from ear to ear. Jacob was in-between my legs with a pillow resting on my groin area, as I think he was drinking hot cocoa and was using the coffee table. 20 minutes in, he finished his drink and moved to lay down with his feet resting near my thighs. I honestly think Jacob might have fallen asleep midway through the movie and I was close too, as  I was exhausted. 
When the movie ended, all the boys wanted to go outside, so they put on all the snow gear as I went upstairs to put mine on. The snow finally ended, and we had a total of 17 inches, so going outside was going to be fun.
We stepped onto the back patio and walked over to the fort. It was a good sized one but could use work, so the 5 of us began moving massive amounts of snow from the surrounding areas. It was tons of fun, and by the end of it, the snow pile was taller than Clayton, and as long as me when I was laying down. Our next step included shaping the mound of snow to look like a fortress. We cut little holes in the wall to attack any brave soul who would try take down our fort. It was indeed a blast especially being able to act like a kid again. 
With the fort complete, we moved to our next task of building a tunnel for the kids to crawl around in. I was a bit skeptical this idea because I had reoccurring thoughts of the tunnel collapsing on one of the kids. However, the boys all wanted to do it, so we started by digging a hole until we saw green grass, and then started digging a hole on the side 2 ft wide and a 1 ft tall. I started realizing that the snow wasn't packed down enough, and after every few attempts, the tunnel would collapse, so I decided to start a snowball fight, which ended with me being tackled into the snow.
All of the outdoor activities took a toll on the energy levels as we were outside for 4 hours. We went back in, and Rita had dinner prepared. She made spaghetti with garlic bread, and the boys went to town. Clayton had spaghetti sauce everywhere; his hands, his cheeks, and even managed to get some on his forehead. It was honestly impressive, I didn't know it was possible to be that messy of an eater. However, the boys found it amusing as they had a giggle at Clayton. 
When dinner was finished, and Clayton was clean, the boys helped with the table and went to the family room to watch some cartoons. Around 7, I checked my email and saw school was canceled again for Friday. The Blue Jackets game started at 7:30, and the boys all stuck around to watch. I think I converted them to hockey fans.
Around 8, I noticed Clayton yawning and barely able to keep his head up, so I picked him up, and we went to bed.
As I was carrying him upstairs, Clayton said,
"This was the bestest day ever!"
"Aww really?"
"Yeah! Playing in the snow was fun!"
"Well," I said as we reached his room, "we can do it again tomorrow!"
"Yes," he giggled.
I set him on the ground and started taking off his clothes, "Alright buddy, let's get out of these and into PJs."
"Yes please!"
"You are so well mannered," I said tickling his stomach on my way to removing his pants and underwear. 
"Thanks," he giggled.
"You're welcome," I saw as he stepped out of the clothes. I turned around to grab his PJ bottoms when I heard him laughing and giggling.
"I'm nakey, I'm nakey!" Clayton said as he started running around the top floor.
"Get your little white butt back here," I said jokingly as I chased after him.
I finally caught up with him as he entered my room and made a fatal mistake of going into my bathroom where I could corner him.
"You're gonna be outrunning me soon where I can't catch you anymore," I said out of breath.
Clayton just laughed the whole time as we walked back to his room.
"I think we might have a streaker on our hands," I said as I pulled the PJs up. He usually didn't sleep with underwear underneath his bottoms, so I pulled the shirt over his head and picked him up to carry him to bed.
"Can you tell me a bedtime story?" Clayton asked.
"Oh boy... Ummm, let's see here," I said as I laid down next to him and started scratching his head. "Give me a topic!"
"Ummm Sports!"
"Sports? Hmm alright, I think I can come up with something." 
"Okay," Clayton squirmed with excitement. 
"So there once was this boy, he was around the age of 5, and he was the most athletic kid in all of the land. He could do backflips, front flips, or any flip you could think of. He was the best at every sport, that's how athletic he was. At his young age, he was already making headline news around the world, and people began thinking he would be the next big thing. This boy, who we will call ummmm... CJ. CJ was starting to get used to the attention of being known. Wherever he was, he always walked the walk and talked the talk of being recognized. Honestly no one his age or even a few years older could beat him in any sports. 
A few years later when he was 13, there was still no competition as CJ won every game and everything thrown his way. He couldn't be stopped, until...
Clayton was out, I didn't know where I was going with this story, so luckily Clayton fell asleep very quickly. He must have been beat tired from all the outdoor activities. I slowly got out of bed and went back downstairs to be with the rest of the boys. When I reached the family room, it was around 8:30 and Lincoln had fallen asleep on the couch. Since he was sleeping, I picked him up and carried him to his bedroom. I gently placed his body on his bed and removed his shirt and shorts. I tucked him in and went back downstairs to try and get the last period of the hockey game.
Rita must have gone to bed because when I reached the family room, only Ryker and Jacob remained and they were barely hanging on. The two were cuddling each other and sharing a blanket in the recliner section but, Ryker quickly came over and sat on my lap when I took a seat. He rested his head on my shoulders and planted his butt on my thighs, I wrapped my arms around his stomach and gently gave him a squeeze. 
"I love you boys," I said to both.
Ryker turned and kissed my cheek, "love you too."
"Yeah love you Garret," Jacob chimed. 
"What was all the noise upstairs?"
"When? Now?"
"No, when you put Clayton to bed." 
"Ohhh," I laughed. "Clayton thought it would be fun to go streaking."
"Oh, he is a maniac," Ryker laughed.
"You can say that again," Jacob commented. 
"Yeah, the boy likes to be without clothes," I stated.
"Lucky," commented Ryker. 
"What do you mean lucky," I said poking him in the side. "You guys are naked half the time too."
"Nut uh," Ryker laughed.
"Yuh huh," I replied.
"Not really!"
"This is getting us nowhere," I laughed. "Look if you want to be naked, you guys can be naked. You boys have amazing bodies, and you should never ever be ashamed. Be comfortable in your own skin, and don't ever feel like you need to hide or cover yourselves especially in our house... that being said, you can't be naked all the time, especially when we have company." 
"You don't care if we are naked?" Asked Jacob
"No, not at all. But when Rita is around and stuff, you guys at least need underwear. However, if it is just us around. I don't care, be naked if you want to, this is your guy's house. Don't feel uncomfortable or feel like you need to hide here."
"That's so cool, you're awesome!" Ryker said as he started taking his shirt off.
"Wait, hold on," I laughed. "I like your commitment to the idea, but we have company here, Rita is downstairs."
"Can I at least get down to my underwear?" Asked Ryker.
"Uhh yeah sure," I said, and he stood up and lowered his shorts and took off his shirt. 
"Much better," Ryker said as he took a seat on my lap and rested his body on me. His bare skin was so smooth to touch, and I loved rubbing his skin as I put my arm around the front of him and started scratching his chest.
"Glad you're comfortable."
Jacob was perfectly content with staying under his blanket all warm as he laughed at his brother. 
We watched the rest of the game and saw Columbus win in a shootout. It was time for bed, I put Jacob to bed first as he looked the most tired.  I tucked Jacob in and kissed his forehead goodnight and told him I loved him.
I went to Ryker's room next and repeated the same routine. It was 10:45 and I was about to lay down when I heard the deafening screams bellow from Lincoln's room.
 He was having another PTSD attack, and it was the same attack reoccurring over and over again. Luckily, I was able to comfort him quickly and get him back to sleep. He had another in the middle of the night which lasted longer, as we were up for another hour trying to get him to calm down. All I know was Monday could not come soon enough, as I was interested in knowing what the doctor thought of these. 

Part - 3 

Friday, February 12th, 2016. I was woken by a 5-year-old jumping onto my bed and giving me a hug.
"Morning Garret," Clayton said with a big smile as he leaned over my face.
"Morning bud," I said as I gained my senses and grabbed Clayton for a hug. Oh, how I loved the morning cuddles.
Ryker came running in and jumped on the bed giggling.
"Morning to you too handsome," I said as I wrapped my free arm around Ryker and pulled him in. 
"Morning," he said as I got a kiss.
"You guys are living the life... no school for two days!" I mentioned.
"Yeah," giggled Clayton. 
"When did you start wearing this?" I asked as I picked up the necklace from Ryker's bare chest. It was the necklace given to them by my father.
"I think I am going to start wearing it all the time... I like it."
"Well that's okay, just don't lose it."
"I won't," Ryker said as I let go of the necklace and it fell to his chest.
"So what do you guys want to do today? I asked.
"Ice skate!" Clayton said.
"Umm not today bud, but I promise next week we will start taking classes for you guys... sound good?"
"Fine," Clayton said. "Umm, can we go sled riding?"
"Sounds like a great idea," I replied. Our house didn't have that many high hills even though we lived on a huge property. The lake behind the house left the surrounding properties on lakeside pretty flat. However, right across the street, there is a beautiful hill, in which the neighbor lets all the kid sled ride. 
We chatted and cuddled for 15 minutes before starting the day and heading downstairs for breakfast. Jacob and Lincoln joined us. Lincoln looked exhausted and barely awake, as the two PTSD attacks, messed up his sleep schedule for a second consecutive night. We finished eating, and everyone got their snow gear on, except for Lincoln who said he didn't want to go. He went and laid down on the couch where I put a blanket on him and told Rita to keep an eye.
I loaded the boys into the SUV, and we drove down the driveway. With our house way back from the road, it would have taken us forever to walk down and back. I parked the Mercedes at the end of the driveway, and then we went over to our neighbor's property where some other kids were sled riding. It was a lot of fun, and I even think Ryker made a friend, as he rode down on the sled with this kid multiple times. 
"Who is that?" I asked as we walked back up the hill.
"Dylan! he is in my class," Ryker replied.
"Oh, does he live around here?"
"Yeah, a few houses down I think."
"Alright go have fun," I said as Clayton and I jumped on the sled together. I usually knew my neighbors in the area, and I didn't know Dylan, so I wondered if he was the new kid that moved into the Jenkins old house. We rode back down the Hill and were followed by Ryker and Dylan. The two walked over, and Ryker said,
"Can Dylan come over sometime?"
"Why don't you introduce us first," I Chuckled.
"Oh yeah," Ryker said. "Dylan, this is Garret."
"Hi Dylan," I said extending my hand.
"Hi," he shyly responded.
"Are you new to this area?"
"Yeah! I live like 4 houses down on the left. I just moved in at the beginning of the school year!"
"No way, I didn't know that," laughed Ryker.
"You don't sit next to me in class," giggled Dylan.
The two went up the hill again laughing their little butts off, and I was starting to see a best friend in the making.
By the end of sled riding, the boys wanted to head back as they were freezing. We drove back up, and the boys quickly started stripping to the dry clothes underneath the snow gear. They grabbed two blankets and started watching some cartoons. This allowed me to go to the office and make some phone calls.
Luckily just as I sat down, my phone rang.
"Hello, may I ask who is speaking?" I answered.
"Uhh yes, this is Rory King with The city of Columbus police department, is Mr. Garret Hamel around?"
"This is him."
"Oh wonderful, how's this weather treating you, Mr. Hamel?"
"Please, call me Garret! But it's been good, the boys love it."
"I bet," Rory said. "So I have a list of private investigators, and I believe Berry Rodgers is the best for this job. I'll give you his number, but he isn't cheap. Actually, his prices are outrageous, but I've heard great things from everyone, as he doesn't stop until he gets the answers to your questions."
"Why thank you, Officer," I replied.
"My pleasure," Rory replied. "Umm one thing."
"Go ahead."
"Umm, if possible, I would uh. I would like to be involved in this case."
"How come?"
"Well honestly, for one thing, I want to be a detective. It's been one of my goals since I was a kid, and this case could line me up for a promotion. I've taken classes and put in my hours, I just need to get recognition."
"Well thank you for your honesty," I said. 
"Also... I want to help these kids, I was in the Big Brother Big Sister program a few years back, where I got to help a boy through a rough time. It was nothing like your boys have experienced, but none the less, it was troubling for him. I see the hurt and pain that one night caused the Barnard boys, and it fills me with rage. So anyway I can help, I would like to."
"Well umm thanks, that is very kind of you. I'm going to call this Rodgers guy, and see where it goes. You may have to talk with him because I don't know how he works or if he is even interested," I said.
"Well thank you, Garret."
"No, thank you, Rory stay safe," I said and hung up.
I quickly dialed the number I was given.
"Hello?" A guy answered in a deep voice. 
"Hello? Is this Berry Rodgers?"
"Yes, calling?"
"Hi this is Garret Hamel, I'm looking for a."
"I know who you are, and I've been informed of the general case."
"Oh, umm okay."
"Just for your information," Berry said. "I would be delighted to take this case, what happened to those kids are inexcusable."
"Uhh yes," I said. "I'm sorry, but how did you hear about me and this case?"
"Oh, well I am around the police station a lot, and I heard through the grapevine. I also heard that you were looking for a private investigator and since you've called me. I have figured that's why."
"You would be correct, I am looking for answers."
"Well, when can you meet Mr. Hamel?"
"Please, call me Garret." 
"Okay Garret, when would you like to meet?"
"Tuesday, lunchtime."
"Works for me," Berry replied. 
"Excellent, see you then."
"Bye," he said.
"Wow, Berry sounds intimidating," I thought. 
I had one more call to make, and that was to my sister.
"Hey, how's  Lincoln been doing?" She answered
"Not good, rough night again."
"Ohh I'm sorry Garret," Kelly spoke.
"Thanks," I said.
"So I think I know why you called."
"Yup," I replied, "I need an answer here." 
"Umm... Garret, this is so tough. I mean I wouldn't be the boy's caseworker any more, and I wouldn't be able to place the kids that need homes."
"Kelly, look I'm not saying quit your job right now and come work for us."
"Yeah, you basically are."
"I mean technically.... yes," I laughed. "Look, I want you to have this job because you will be a rockstar! If you accept this new role, You will have time to place the remaining kids in a home that fall under you right now, but we are going to want your input and ideas for the building layout and stuff. If you accept, I'm not going to make you quit your job immediately. You'll have time to finish what you want."
"So you're saying if I commit to the job right now, that I do not have to quit CPS for a little while?"
"Yes, but you'll be very busy working for CPS and for us. We expect your input, and you need to be available to go over ideas."
"When will this be occurring?"
"Well, ideally we will have a piece of property by the end of the month and start renovations immediately."
"When will I have to quit CPS?"
"Probably a month or two before we officially open the doors, and that's probably 4-6 months out, depending."
"Well," Kelly said. " I need to place at least 10 kids in foster homes, so I should be able to do both."
"So does that mean you'll accept?"
"Yes!" I shouted. "You're gonna be awesome!"
"This is so exciting Garret," Kelly said.
"I know, I can't wait to tell Keith! Us three will be unstoppable!"
"Oh my gosh, I have to call Tom and tell him."
"Okay," I chuckled. "Congratulations!"
"Thank you!"
"Oh, by the way, make sure you pass the boys to someone nice and understanding when you retire from CPS."
"I promise they will be given to a great caseworker," Kelly assured.
"Awesome, congratulations again! Love you, sis," I said and hung up. I immediately texted Keith and told him the news. He was thrilled, but he also told me we have a property to go look at on Monday morning around 10. I thought that was great and thanked him for his effort, but now we just have to hope no more snow comes.
The rest of Friday was filled with fun and laughter, even Lincoln was doing better after his nap. However, he still had this weird mood, but I don't blame him. He was always worried about triggering an attack and reliving Hell, so he was just acting a little strange like avoiding contact with his brothers and even dodged a hug from me. I didn't like what I was seeing because I started feeling that these PTSD attacks were changing this loving boy into someone afraid of touch. 
About midway through the day, I got a call from Christian.
"Hey Uncle G!"
"What's up little bud?"
"Was that suppose to be a joke about my dick?"
"Ha, that's funny. I was looking at Clayton and meant bud, but little bud slipped through. That's hilarious!"
"Uncle G, you said it wasn't small?" 
"I mean you were zoomed in on the photo,"
"Uncle!" Christian laughed. "Don't make me send you one."
"Make sure it's noticeable in the next photo," I laughed my ass off.
"Wh, but umm.... Uncle G... I'm sending one now."
"No no no, I'm sorry. No need for that," I said. "Like I said when we were in the room, it's a good size."
"Uh huh," Christian said giggling.
"You better not be sending me a photo," I said as the phone dinged with a text messaged. "Christian..."
"What?" He giggled.
"What did I tell you about sending those pics."
"What?" He said laughing.
"You know what I'm talking ab," I was stopped mid-sentence and just started losing it with laughter as I opened the photo.
"Gotcha ya," Christian said laughing hysterically. The photo he sent me was a picture of a mushroom, yes a fucking mushroom that grows in the ground.
"Yeah yeah, you know... at least I can see the mushroom, unlike the last the photo I saw from you," I joked.
"UNCLE G! Not funny!" 
I exhaled and regained my composure, "so what's up man?"
"Mom told me she accepted the job you offered!"
"Does that mean I get to move closer to you?" 
"Umm, I don't know if it means that at all, you guys probably won't need to move," I said.
"Oh, well that's stupid.. anyway, can I come over soon?"
"What about next weekend?"
"Yeah sure, you can stay Friday and Saturday."
"Oh yesss!"
"You have to ask your mother first," I said.
"Oh boy, this is gonna be awesome."
"Are you listening?"
"You have to ask your mom!" 
"Oh yeah, I will."
"Good. So how is Austin? And have you told your parents yet?"
"Austin is good, we haven't hung out again, but that's okay."
"Yeah that's okay, what about talking with your parents?
"No," I heard him say in a low tone.
"Hey, it's okay buddy. I was just wondering... it's completely okay, you know when you are ready or not, but just remember I am here for support kiddo."
"I know, you're the best, I love you Uncle G!"
"Love you too," I replied.
"No like, thank you. Like you are so cool and easy to talk to."
I chuckled at his comment, "thanks bud."
"So is Lincoln around?"
"Can I talk to him?"
"Umm sure," I said and yelled for Lincoln to come to the office.
"Phone is for you buddy," I said to Lincoln who came over and sat on my lap, and he answered, 
I couldn't hear the conversation, but Lincoln instantly cheered up when he heard Christian's voice. I think they were chatting about the possibility of Christian coming over next weekend, but I wasn't positive. 
Lincoln ended the conversation by, 
"Cool, hopefully! Bye cya!" And handed the phone back to me and walked out.
"Christian?" I asked.
"Didn't know if you were still on the line or not."
"Oh okay!"
"Alright, well bud, I'm sure I'll talk to you again soon. Remember to ask your mother."
"Okay," he said, "bye Uncle G. Love you!"
"Love ya, bye," I replied.
I was curious to know what they chatted about, but it wasn't a significant concern. The rest of Friday was a bit boring with the boys going upstairs and doing their own things. Lincoln was downstairs in the family room the whole time, as I think he was afraid to be by himself. 
Rita cooked us dinner and was finally able to leave as the roads were manageable to drive. She went rather late when two of the boys fell asleep, but Jacob and Lincoln were the last ones up. 
They didn't have much energy left in them though, as they were fading quick. Especially Lincoln, so I decided to call the night and send them to bed. 
Nothing eventful, with Rita being gone, the boys expressed the ability to walk around naked during the mornings. Ryker was liking his new found joy of being nude, it was funny because he still slept in underwear, which meant he had to take the underwear off in the morning before coming down. It didn't make sense to me, but he was joined by Lincoln in the nude lifestyle. After breakfast, they did go and put clothes on. Saturday was short and quick, well at least it seemed that way. Lincoln didn't have a PTSD attack, so I drew that up as a victory. 
Sunday morning: 
Unfortunately, the victory was short-lived as he had another major PTSD attack. You think with each attack, the recovery would be more manageable and comfortable, but I swear it was getting worse because he was petrified of doing anything that might trigger another one. Besides the attack, nothing major occurred as it was an easy going day. Jacob and Clayton did join the nude breakfast club. Well I guess Jacob always has because he sleeps bottomless and usually eats breakfast that way. 
The boys went outside and played in the snow some more, as they built a snowman and started the process of creating another fort. They had their fun, and the rest of Sunday was laid back as the boys most likely would have school again. The roads were clear, and everything was returning back to normal around the area with shops and small businesses opening back up.
The 4 of them had there showers or baths, and then I put the boys to bed and prayed Lincoln was going to sleep through the night, as he and I could both go for another night of sleep without interruptions. The other 3 went to sleep with ease, but Lincoln was a little bit of a struggle. Eventually, he finally fell asleep after me scratching his back for 25 minutes straight. However, I'm not complaining, I would scratch his back for 40 hours if I needed to. 
With the boys all down for the count, I went to my bedroom and finally did something I haven't done since the boys have been in my life. I had some free time, and I was going to enjoy it as much as I could, so I stepped out of my pants, and pulled my underwear off of my feet. I was getting ready.... and I laid down in the tub for a nice bath where I got to soak in the tub and relax.
You dirty minded people!!! Probably thought I was going for a wank... a good choking the chicken, you know, cranking the shank... well that did happen too, as it was a much-needed stress reliever. 
To Be Continued...

Author's Notes

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I hope you all enjoyed the 12th installment! If you want to tell me your reactions or thoughts of installment 12 (Battles) email me! 
Third and final, the destinations, streets, events, and locations are made up. I use Columbus as a nearby city, but I'm unaware if the addresses listed are real or not. All scores and games are made up in my head. However, most teams are real.