Mental Games

A Close Call

Mike returned a couple of minutes later with a couple of the park's security guards.  Mike had already told them some of the story, but now Adam explained everything that had happened and how he knew the woman was trying to take Megan off with her.  As the security guards got ready to question the woman, Adam sent her another mental message. 

'You will tell them the truth and confess to everything you did.  You will also tell them about your husband or whoever is helping you to do this.  You will tell them everything now, and if you cooperate we won't seek the death penalty against you.'  Again, that was totally made up, but Adam felt it might be enough to get the woman to tell the truth.

"Ok, so I'm not her grandmother," the woman began.  "My partner and I go around to different places and pick out kids we think would do well in the sex trade.  We have connections that pay a good price for supplying them with these kids, both girls and boys, and that's how we make our living." 

"What did you do to her?" Adam demanded, since he was more than a little concerned about Megan.  "She is totally out of it and can barely stand up." 

"I just gave her a little injection after I followed her into the Ladies Room.  It was so she wouldn't fight back," the woman answered.  "Then I took her into one of the stalls and put the shorts and shirt on her, along with the wig and hat so no one would recognize her.  There didn't appear to be another woman with her, so she was perfect for the taking." 

"Except you forgot about us!" Adam screamed.  "It's a good thing I recognized that scratch on her leg that she got the other day or you might have gotten away with her." 

"Yes, that was too bad," the woman confirmed. 

She then gave the security guards the description of her partner and his vehicle, so one of them radioed back for assistance.  Once more security guards arrived, they led the woman, Megan, Adam, Mike and Jack back to their office, while the first two went to find her partner.  They brought him back to their office several minutes later and put him in a separate room from the woman. 

Once they were both in custody, Adam decided to give them a little added incentive.  'The man and the woman who tried to abduct the young girl, if you cooperate with the authorities and tell them about your contacts and help them break up the sex-trade ring you were involved with, then the prosecutor will take the death penalty off the table.  If you don't cooperate, then we'll make sure you are sent to a country where guilty people are executed immediately, without any chance to appeal the sentence, since this is an international problem.'  Once again that had all been made up, but Adam felt it would assure their continued cooperation with the investigation. 

The security guards had called in the State Police to handle this, and as soon as they arrived they began taking everyone's statement.  The officers wanted to know how Mike and Adam were involved in this, so they showed him the power of attorney that Jim and Melinda had given them.  As soon as that was cleared up, Adam and Mike gave their statements. The State Police also took statements from Jack and Megan, although she couldn't really tell them very much, since she was still pretty much out of it. 

Before they left, however, Adam decided to give the State Police Officers a mental suggestion.  'Since the woman and her accomplice have confessed to their crimes, you won't need to bring the details of this incident or the names of any of the people who gave statements when reporting this to the press or when breaking up the sex ring.  If you need to mention how the pair was captured, just say they were apprehended after trying to abduct an underage female.'

"Of course we will keep your individual identities confidential, since that information won't be needed," one of the officers stated next. "Seeing the suspects have confessed, there will be no need for you to testify in court and we'll be able to keep your personal information private."  After hearing this, the others thanked him for his help.

A short time after the State Police left with the man and woman, one of the park officials showed up and spoke to Mike and Adam next.  He explained that he wanted to have Megan checked out at the first aid station and then he offered to let them use one of the cabanas while the effects of the drug wore off.  Adam and Mike thanked him, and after Megan had been taken to the first aid station, they were led to the cabana.  Once there, they sat, relaxed and watched over Megan until she had recovered.  Before that happened though,  Adam told Mike and Jack that he would stay with her and they could continue going on the attractions, but they both refused and chose to remain with Megan as well. 

It took about an hour before Megan started to come around and act like herself again, so then the boys felt they could go back out and start having some fun again.  It had been a close call, but they didn't want it to ruin their day.  They would take it easy for a while, for Megan's sake, and even Jack agreed that it would be all right to go to some of the milder attractions for a while. 

They opted to start off at the Lazy Rider first, since it sounded like an ideal place to kick back and resume having fun.  After they all got on one of the inflatable tubes, they rode it down the quarter-mile (.4 km) watery chute.  It  turned out to be a good choice and proved to be a very relaxing ride, as it wound its way past a collection of waterfalls and geysers until they reached the end of the attraction. 

"That was fun," Megan said gleefully when they were all at the bottom again.  It looked as if Jack wanted to argue the point, but he kept his mouth shut for his sister's sake and merely followed the boys over to try out FreeStylin' next. 

Once again, they climbed aboard another inner tube and traveled down a series of curves and drops.  Sometimes they did this while they were facing forward, but at other times they were backward and on occasion even sideways, since the inner tube rotated around and went the way it wanted to go, because there wasn't any way to steer it.  When they reached the bottom, they splashed down in another pool and then they climbed out to move to another area.  Before that happened though, Megan spoke up. 

"I think I'm ready to go on the other rides again.  The ones that aren't so gentle," she told the boys. 

"Are you sure?" Adam pressed looking concerned, and she nodded her head in the affirmative. 

Since they had Megan's ok, they went over to try the Zoom Flume next.  Mike and Adam had chosen this ride, because all four of them could ride together and they'd be able to watch how Megan was holding up.  After they all got on the four-person 'raft', the water swept them away and they went 'zooming' down the curving and tilting route.  Sometimes they found the raft was also going from side to side as it moved down the broad, sloping area, but it was definitely more exiting than the previous two rides, although not as breathtaking as some of the others they'd been on earlier.  What it did, however, was to show Mike and Adam that Megan was doing fine now and ready to go on the other attractions. 

Once they got off the Zoom Flume, they went over to try the Tornado next.  This was another ride they could all go on together, but it was a little more exciting than the last one.  This raft was open, and didn't have defined areas for them to sit, like the Zoom Flume, so they had to hold onto the handles along the side, as the raft spun and bounced as it plummeted down the slippery surface. 

"Ok, those last two rides were much more fun," Megan observed, with her brother eagerly nodding his head in agreement.  "So where are we going next?"

Since the kids seemed to desire more thrills, Adam took them over to Thunder Falls.  This was the last of the three rides at Hurricane Heights and the one they had skipped earlier.  This time they had a choice of going on a single or double raft, so they opted to go on the double raft this time.  If they decided to do this again later, they would try the single raft then.  Once they were situated on the raft with their partner, they navigated another set of drops and banked turns until they reached the bottom.  Then, the kids wanted to try the other two attractions at this tower again, before trying out some of the other attractions, including those they liked best. 

They did this until it started to get late, and since they were all getting hungry too, they decided it was time to leave the park and then find someplace to eat on the way back.  They went to the locker area first, so they could get dressed again.  Since these lockers were merely meant for people to store things in while they were at the park and this wasn't actually a changing room, they were all able to stay together as they slipped on their shorts and t-shirts over their swimsuits.  Then, they left the park and began looking for a nice place to stop and have a late dinner.  Before long, the kids spotted an Italian restaurant and thought that would be a good place to eat.

While they were chowing down, Adam decided to say something to Jack and Megan.  "I'm not so sure we should tell your parents about what happened at the park today.  I think it would only cause them to worry and start keeping a closer eye on you two, but they also might not be as willing to allow you to do things or go places with others again.  What happened back there was an unfortunate event, but we were able to prevent anything bad from taking place, other than Megan being injected with some unknown drug." 

"Yeah, we think that would be best too," Jack agreed.  "I think you handled what happened really well and those two people will be going to prison for a really long time." 

"I'm glad you were there too, because I'm not sure anyone else would have noticed the scratch on my leg and known it was me," Megan added, looking grateful. 

"Well I did give you first aid after it happened, so I was more familiar with the scratch than anyone else," Adam responded.  "I'm just glad I noticed it when you came out of the Ladies Room with that woman." 

"Yeah, me too," Megan confessed. 

After they finished eating, they all got back in the car and began the long drive back to the cabins.  They were all tired out when they got there and each of them was ready to call it a day. 

"Did you have a good time again?" Jim asked as his kids were walking up the steps to the porch. 

"Yeah, it was another great day," Jack replied, "but I'm tired now." 

"Me too, but I really had fun," Megan added as they walked past their father and entered the cabin. 

"Imagine that," Jim mused.  "It looks like they're ready to go to bed and without a hassle again."  Mike, Adam and Jim all laughed about that and then they said goodnight. 

When Mike and Adam reached their own cabin, they found their parents waiting up for them again.  After answering their questions and assuring them everyone had a good time, the boys went to bed.  Once they were alone, Mike confronted Adam. 

"Damn, I'm sure glad you were there today.  You not only stopped Megan from being sold into the sex trade industry, but I think you broke up that little organization and all of those people will be going to prison now.  There's no telling how many kids you might have saved today, so they won't be suffering that same fate too.  Now, are you still going to deny you're a superhero and that you managed to do a whole lot of good today, as well as all those other times?"

"Not again," Adam whined, as he looked at Mike.  "Ok, maybe today was a really good day and I saved more than just Megan, so I won't give you a lot of grief this time, but I'm not so sure about the rest." 

"Well at least we're making progress," Mike teased, as he kissed Adam and then cuddled with him as they went to sleep. 

Wednesday started off slowly again, since Mike, Adam, Jack and Megan were drained, mentally and emotionally more than physically.  Megan also seemed to be suffering from some mild and lingering effects from having been drugged, but it didn't appear to be anything serious.  She just decided to stay inside and spend more time with her mother, as they did things in the cabin. 

Jack, however, came over to spend time with the boys, but mostly he wanted to talk to them about some things.  "You two are boyfriends and not just best friends, aren't you?" he asked, totally surprising the other two. 

"What makes you say that?" Mike asked, since he didn't know quite how to respond to Jack's question. 

"It's just the way you guys look at each other and act when you're together, especially when you don't think anyone else is watching," Jack replied.  "I've not only seen you do it when we're here at the lake, but I really noticed it when we were at Kings Dominion and yesterday at Splash City.  I can see the loving looks and touches you give each other."

"Ok, yes, we're boyfriends," Adam acknowledged.  "We just don't go around telling everyone, because we're not always sure how people are going to react.  That's because of something that happened to me when I was at college, but we won't lie if someone asks us about it." 

"That's cool and it's ok that you're gay," Jack assured them.  "I really don't mind, I just wanted to know.  Heck, I don't even care that you both saw my junk that day out in the woods, even if you are gay.  I don't have a problem with that, and even though I think I'm probably straight, I might try something with another guy sometime, just to see what it's like." 

"We're pretty sure you are straight too, especially after we saw what you were doing with Rachel in the woods the other day, but I'm glad you're willing to keep an open mind," Adam offered.  "I'm also glad it doesn't bother you that Mike and I are boyfriends, because we'd hate to lose you or your family as friends." 

"Nah, I'm sure my mom and dad will be cool with it too, but I won't tell them if you don't want me to," Jack assured them.  "My parents think you guys are great and they wouldn't let nothing like that change their minds.  And Megan likes you too.  She may even have a crush on you guys.  I think that's why she was so embarrassed that you saw her naked too.  It's too bad for her though, because she doesn't know that you're not available."  They all had a good laugh over Jack's last couple of comments. 

The three boys spent most of the day together and talked about a whole bunch of different things.  Jack had a lot of questions for them, and not just about being gay either.  He also wanted to know if they could give him some information about what he'd done with Rachel, but Adam also took the opportunity to talk to Jack about not taking any chances and always having safe sex.  Although Jack laughed at various times, mostly just nervous giggles over the topic, he seemed to absorb all the information, so Mike and Adam felt the time they'd spent with him had been very productive and rewarding. 

Later, the boys got together with the combined families to eat and then they played Bocce and horseshoes again, before going inside to play the other games. 

Megan was back to normal by Thursday morning and Jim just told everyone else that she'd had some sort of 24-hour bug, but she seemed to be fine now.  Jack, Adam and Mike were all glad to hear that's all Jim and Melinda suspected, because it meant they weren't likely to question them about their last trip. 

After Mike and Adam had spent some time swimming with Jack and Megan, Mike and Adam's parents came out and announced they'd like to take one more canoe ride before their vacation ended.  Mike and Adam had no problem about doing that and quickly agreed to go out with their parents again.  They also agreed to do it exactly the same way as they had the various other times. 

Before they started out, however, Megan asked Mike and Adam if they'd take her, her brother and her parents out in the canoes again too.  The boys agreed they would and told Megan to check with her parents and see if they wanted to do that.  If they did, then they'd take them all out after lunch.  Megan was thrilled with his answer and raced over to the cabin to check with her mom and dad. 

Megan was waiting for the boys when they returned from their canoe trip with their parents, because she had something she wanted to tell them.  "Mom and Dad said they'd like to go out in the canoe again, as long as you don't mind taking them." 

"No, not at all," Mike agreed.  "We'll come over after lunch and let you know when we're ready."  Megan was pleased with his response and happily ran back to her cabin again. 

Having lunch together gave Adam and Mike a little more time to spend with their parents before they had to run off to take the Kritzers out in the canoes.  "We really feel bad that we haven't been spending as much time with you as we'd planned during this vacation," Adam apologized to both sets of parents.  "We've spent two days with Jack and Megan at Kings Dominion and then we've spent a lot of other time with them too." 

"It's ok dear, and we understand," Rita told them.  "We can see how important all of it has been to Jack and Megan and we can also see how much they idolize both of you."

"And their parents have told us how important and beneficial it's been for them too, since we've spent a great deal of time with Jim and Melinda while you've been with their children," Judy added.  "They are grateful that you are doing these things for Jack and Megan, since it would be difficult for them to do anything like that, and even if they did, they don't feel the kids would have as good a time as they've had with you." 

"Don't worry about us," Dave added, looking sincere.  "Although we like to spend time with you too, we don't mind giving some of it up for a better cause like this has been." 

"And what you did for Melinda has totally changed and rejuvenated her," George added.  "Jim has raved to us about how having the Landeez has helped.  He said this vacation has done what he hasn't been able to do for her, and he's also told us that he hasn't seen her this happy since she first started to get sick.  You've managed to do all of that on your own, so just keep doing what you're doing and we'll muddle through on our own." 

Having had this little conversation had made Adam and Mike feel much better about things and they were grateful their parents didn't feel slighted that they were spending so much time with the Kritzers.  They had both been feeling really guilty about taking this time away from spending it with their parents, since that was what this vacation was supposed to be for, but now they no longer had to worry about it, because their parents understood. 

After they finished eating, Adam and Mike went next door to take the Kritzers out in the canoe again.  They did exactly as they had done the previous times and Jim and Melinda both had their life jackets on as they made their way around the lake.  It was a nice time and each of them seemed to enjoy doing this, and Jim even told the boys that his arms didn't feel nearly as bad this time, as they had the last.  Jack and Megan just seemed pleased to see their parents having a good time doing this, because maybe now their mom and dad wouldn't be so scared when they were around water. 

Later, after dinner, they all got together to play games again and they did that until it was time for bed.  This activity turned out to be another one that Melinda really enjoyed, because she felt able to participate with everyone else, even though sometimes she would need assistance moving her piece on the board.  For the most part though, she felt good that she was able to participate without holding everyone else up. 

When the games ended, Mike and Adam walked the Kritzers back to their cabin.  Along the way, the boys noticed that Jack and Megan looked a little down, so they decided to confront them about it.  After Jim carried Melinda to the porch and placed her in her wheelchair, the boys held the other pair back so they could ask about what was bothering them. 

"What's wrong?  Why do you both look like you've just lost your best friend?" Adam wanted to know, as he looked each one in the eye. 

"Because in a way we are losing our best friends," Jack answered.  "Tomorrow is the last day we'll be together, because the next day we'll all be going home.  We're just sad that we won't be seeing you guys again." 

"But we'll keep in touch, just like we did last year," Mike told them. 

"Yeah, but it's not the same," Megan whined.  "I'm going to miss you even more this year, since you did so much with us this time and we really enjoyed being with you." 

"Does that include the day in the woods too?" Mike teased and Megan began to blush. 

"Maybe we should just forget about that day," she answered, as she turned bright red. 

"Ok, and Mike and I will try to make time to do more with you two tomorrow, but I'm not sure how much time we'll have.  We promised to help our parents clean the cabin, pack up and get ready to leave, but we'll work out something," Adam told them. 

"So do you want us to come over in the morning to swim, like we usually do?" Jack countered, while looking at the boys for an answer. 

"Yeah, sure.  That will be fine," Mike agreed.  "We can still take time for a swim." 

After that was settled, Jack and Megan went inside, while Mike and Adam returned to their cabin.  Before they went to sleep though, Mike and Adam agreed on what else they would do with the kids the following day.  Then they cuddled together, as they thought about what tomorrow was going to bring. 

Jack and Megan didn't show up quite as early the following morning, so Mike and Adam had time to finish their breakfast first, before the kids came knocking at the cabin door.  Then, they all went down to the lake and swam for about an hour, but then they took a few minutes to talk after they got out of the water too. 

"Will you promise that you'll still keep in touch with us?" Megan asked as they were sitting on the grass. 

"Sure we will," Mike quickly agreed.  "We'll do just like we did last year." 

"Do you think maybe we can do this again next summer?" Jack followed, his eyes wide and looking hopeful. 

"It's possible, but we'll have to get your parents and our parents to agree too," Adam responded.  "Then they'll have to contact the cabin owners to see if the cabins will be available for the dates they agree on." 

"Then let's start talking to them now, so we're the first ones to ask about renting the cabins again," Jack quickly offered, while nearly jumping up and racing off to his cabin. 

"Hold on," Mike stated as he reached out and grabbed Jack's arm.  "We can do that later, when we're all together." 

"Ok," Jack agreed, although he appeared to be slightly disappointed.  "I just don't want to wait too long." 

"We won't and a couple more hours won't make that much of a difference," Mike assured him. 

After they left the kids a short time later, Mike and Adam went back to the cabin and helped their parents start cleaning the place up.  They also made sure everything was put away, except for what they were going to be using that afternoon.  They did this until lunchtime and then they helped carry things outside, because they were going to have a final joint cook out with the Kritzers. 

Once everyone was gathered together outdoors, Jack got brave and asked his question.  "Do you think we can all do this together next year too?"

As soon as the others heard his request, the adults began to look at each other, as they silently sought the other's consent.  Once they felt they knew what everyone else was thinking, Dave spoke up.  "Sure, I can call the guy who owns this cabin and see if it will be available, but we'll just need to pick a date first." 

"I can call the owner of this cabin as well and let's plan on the same two weeks next year.  That would be the first two full weeks right after the Fourth of July," Jim quickly suggested. 

"That sounds fine with us," George concurred, after he saw the others nodding their heads in agreement. 

Since that was settled, the families ate, joked around and played Bocce and horseshoes against each other again.  Then, they cleaned up the picnic table and took everything indoors, before Mike and Adam agreed to take Jack and Megan on one final canoe trip. 

The kids were thrilled and eager to do this again.  They had both become very good at this and adeptly made their final tour around the lake.  Although they were all enjoying this activity, it was kind of sad too, since they all knew this was the last time they would be doing this together for a while.  Once they returned to the dock, they helped drag the canoes up on shore and tipped them over.  Then, the kids each gave Mike and Adam one more hug. 

"Thanks for doing that for us again," Megan told them as she pulled away.  "I'll always remember these summers we've spent together."

"Yeah, it's been great and I can't wait to do it all again next year," Jack added with a huge grin. 

"All except that little episode in the woods," Mike teased and Jack and Megan started to turn red again. 

"Yeah, we've learned our lesson," Jack agreed, as he sheepishly looked up at Mike and Adam. 

Now, the four of them went back to their cabins to help finish up.  Mike and Adam carried the canoe paddles back with them and placed them in the storage room again.  Then, they helped to pack up and load the van with the things they wouldn't need again. 

Jack and Megan helped their father do many of the same things the boys were doing, as they cleaned up their cabin, packed up their belongings and loaded some of it in their car.

After dinner, the families got together for one final set of games and these turned a little more cutthroat than the previous ones.  It looked as if everyone wanted bragging rights until they returned the following year.  When the last game ended, they all turned in for the night, with each one feeling a little sad that this great vacation was coming to an end.