You Ain’t Santa Claus
by: E Walk

(© 2009-2010 by the Author)

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 25

There She Blows


Shawn had Dan and me peeling vegetables to put in with the pot roast at the appropriate time while he was making some biscuit dough.  Dan looked at Shawn, “You certainly are organized.”


“Thanks, sir, would someone like to set the table while I take care of the mess?  I assume there are going to be just eleven of us for dinner, but around here you never know anymore.”


I was setting the table as requested when Ryan came into the kitchen and grabbed some apples so he and Nate could give the horse a snack. 


The front door opened and we heard a voice complaining, “But Dads, I don’t need all of these things.”


George suggested, “Son, get Shane to help you put the things in your room.  They’re yours, so get used to it.”


Shane was laughing as he entered the kitchen, “I’m not sure who is the biggest complainer when it comes to spending money, your sons or Jacob.  He just about went ballistic when Uncle Bruce bought him a neat computer set-up, a television and an IPOD at the Best Buy Store.  When we stopped at the Credit Union and Uncle Bruce insisted that Jacob open a high yield checking account and get a debit card, Jacob was practically crying.”


“Jacob went into total meltdown when we stopped at the Verizon Store and got him his own cell phone.  He absolutely refused to do anymore shopping after that.  Shawn, come help carry the things in from the car then we’ll finish fixing dinner.”


Dan and I went to see if we could help, and the van was indeed full.


When we had everything in the room, Bruce commented, “Jacob, we may need to rearrange your room to make it more functional.  We’ll worry about that after dinner.”


Jacob shrugged, “The first thing I need to do is to get ready for church tomorrow.  I need to change what I was going to say.  What I was going to say doesn’t seem to fit anymore.”


The three teenagers went into the kitchen to finish preparing dinner.  Bruce, George, Dan and I were in parlor having a cocktail.  Nathan appeared, “Hi everyone, can we get you anything to munch on?”


Bruce shook his head no, “No thank you, nephew.  We’ll be fine until dinner.  It smells really good.”


Vince and Alex joined us.  Alex was laughing, “We got kicked out of the kitchen by a six year old.”


George asked, “Would you guys like a before dinner drink?”


Vince shook his head no, “No thank you, we’re working tonight and it seems that the owner of the club gets a little uptight if we show up for work with the smell of alcohol on our breaths.”


Bruce grinned but Ryan appeared before he could say anything.  Ryan made a sweeping bow, “Gentlemen, dinner is being served in the dining room.”


Dinner was indeed very good.  While we were eating, Jacob asked, “Will someone be able to take me to the church in the morning?  I’m supposed to be there by 8:00.”


Dan nodded, “We’ll take you.  Which church do you go to?”


“Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church.”


That caught my attention, “That’s where we go?  I’m surprised that we haven’t seen you there.”


Jacob frowned, “My family rarely goes.  Mr. Bates thinks churches are only out to take people’s money away from the necessities.  I go with some of my friends, especially to the youth group meetings.  I’m not sure as to why I was selected to give the message.”


George grinned, “Son, there must have been a reason.  I guess we’ll see for ourselves tomorrow.  Bruce and I’ll bring you home after the second service.


The guys took care of the dishes and it was only Ryan, Nate, Dan and I who made our way to the Little House.  After the boys had taken care of their animals, they didn’t even resist when we suggested that they sleep upstairs.   The four animals were already in Nathan’s bed when the boys finished their shower.”


After we had everyone settled, Dan and I went to the first floor and were having a nightcap.  Dan, leaned his head against me, “I’m almost afraid to go back to work on Monday for fear I might miss something.  What do you plan to do on Monday?”


I grinned, “For starters, I need to go to the University and check some things and bring some work home to do before classes start the next week.  Don’t forget, I need to take Nate and Ryan to meet with the school counselor on Monday and Tuesday.”


Dan sneered, “Let’s go to the bedroom and finish the wild ride with one of our own.”


It turned out to be a wild ride indeed.  We each took a turn directing the ride.


It was six forty-five when Nate came into the room, “Dads, Snitch and Snatch need to go out.  You need to get up since we need to take Jacob to church.  Ryan and I will be back shortly.”


Dan and I took a quick shower, I was coming out of the shower, when Ryan walked into the room, “Whoops.  Oh well, it’s too late now.  Do you want us to wear the same things to church again?”


I frowned, “So much for the closed door policy.”


Ryan challenged, “Daddy, the door wasn’t really closed; I pushed and it opened.  Someone needs to go help Nathan make the coffee.  He’s not sure how much coffee to put into the pot.”


I put on my briefs and my slippers and went to assist Nathan. 


Nathan giggled, “Daddy, is that how we’re going to dress to go to church today?  What do you want me to fix for breakfast?”


“Why don’t we fix something easy.  You boys could always have cereal, if you would like.  I hope you bought some, yesterday.”


Nathan went to the cupboard, “Yep, Dad made us buy four boxes.  There’ s some fresh orange juice in the fridge and there are some gooey sweet rolls in the bread keeper.”


I looked at what was available, “We’re all set.  We’ll have a light breakfast and eat an early lunch.  Why don’t you go get dressed while I fix breakfast?  You can take your Dad his coffee now that it’s ready.”


I was thinking as I watched Nathan going up the steps, “We sure do have two very good looking young guys.  They’re not only beautiful to look at but beautiful on the inside as well.”


When we arrived at Homebase, Jacob was pacing, “Guys, it’s okay if you don’t go.  I’m already nervous enough.”


Shane hugged Jacob, “Jake, you’ll do just fine.  Of course we’re going and we have some rotten tomatoes that we’re going to throw if you’re too bad.”


Ryan asked, “Shane, do we really have rotten tomatoes to throw?”


Shane shook his head, no, “Ryan, I was just teasing.  I’m trying to get Jacob to relax.”


When we arrived at the church, Jacob looked at Dan and me, “Do, I look okay?”


Dan hugged him, “Son, you look just fine.”


Shane and Shawn knew the young man who was ushering us to our seats, “Hi guys, I didn’t realize that you went to our church.”


Shane and Shawn grinned and Shawn answered, “Pete, we don’t.  We’re here to lend our moral support to a friend of ours.  We’re Presbyterians.”


We were seated where we could see Jacob as he was sitting where the pastors usually sat and his legs were visibly jumping up and down.  When he was moving toward the lectern, it appeared that he was so nervous that there was no way he would be able to do what he needed to do.


He was clutching the lectern and his knuckles were white.  I leaned over to Dan, “Dan, Jacob looks as if he’s totally going to freeze.”


Jacob looked to where we were seated and both Ryan and Nathan for some reason put up their two pointer fingers and moved them as if sending something to Jacob.


Jacob started to laugh, “Members of the congregation, I’ve just been zapped by two young men to remind me why I’m here this morning.  I have changed the title of my message to reflect some things that have happened to people.  The title of my message is that God Makes Good Things Happen At the Right Time.  The experiences which I’m about to describe are actually true and have happened within the past two weeks.”


Jacob was very relaxed as he described how Ryan and Nathan came to be in Dan’s and my possession.  He told the tale so skillfully that there was not a clue who the people who were involved were.  Then he started to tell what happened to him and very skillfully put the story in the third person.  He was about halfway through the message when he looked at a clock or someone gave him a signal that he was going overtime.”


“Members of the congregation, I was told that I have used my allotted time.”


The senior pastor walked forward, “Jacob, you can’t leave us hanging there.  What happened to the young man involved in the second incident.”


Jacob looked at the pastor, “Pastor Keith, God is still working on the case.  I’ll have to report the final part of the story at a later time.  Everyone, please stand and join our fantastic youth choir as they sing

All Things Bright and Beautiful.”


After the song, Jacob pronounced the benediction and he and the other worship leaders departed for the sanctuary exits.  As he walked by us, he zapped Nathan and Ryan. 


We were some of the last people to reach the receiving line, Ryan was leading us.  Jacob picked him up and hugged him.  He did the same to Nathan.  He hugged me and whispered, “I don’t know how the guys knew what to do, but that was just what I needed.”


He also hugged Dan.  When Shane and Shawn were talking to him, he announced, “Guys, I already checked and there’s lots of food.  Why don’t you have brunch with us?  You already know a lot of the people from your school.”


Shane and Shawn looked at us and Dan answered, “They’ll stay to make sure you don’t get into trouble.  Would you like the two sons to be here for the second service?”


Jacob shook his head no, “They made it possible for me to get through this service.  They need to get back to Belle Monte and take care of the animals.”


Nathan looked at us and grinned, “You heard what Jacob said. He said we were to go straight home and not spend anymore money.”


We stopped at Homebase to tell them that we were back.  I went to George and Bruce’s apartment to inform them that Jacob had done an outstanding job and that we wouldn’t be going to the second service.


We went to the little house and the guys took the animals outside for some exercise while we fixed some soup and sandwiches which is what the guys wanted.  We were finishing eating when the intercom was activated.  “Little House, this is Homebase.  Lunch will be ready in twenty minutes.”


Nate went to the intercom, “Homebase, this Little House.  We’re just now finishing eating.  We’ll be there as soon as we take care of the cleanup.”


It was obvious that the two boys were in no hurry to go anywhere.  The two kittens and two young dogs were lying at the entrance of the sunroom watching what we were doing.  Ryan looked up at us, “Dads, this is how families are supposed to be, isn’t it?”


I knelt down, “Ryan, not all families are like us.  We’re lucky we have each other.  It is nice to be able to spend some time alone as a family.”


The intercom was activated, “This is Homebase, what’s taking you so long?  Jacob’s stepfather just called and they’re on their way here.  He said they were going to take him home.  Uncle Bruce and Uncle George want your two Dads to be here to help prevent any problems.”


Dan went to the intercom, “Homebase, we’re on our way.  I assume that you and Shawn are going to keep our young sons from being involved.  It doesn’t sound good.”


Shawn chuckled, “Why would Jacob’s stepfather care about Ryan and Nathan?”


When we arrived at Homebase, George and Bruce were sitting talking to Ian and Tessa.  Ryan asked, “Where are the others?”


George answered, “They’re in Jacob’s room rearranging the furniture and equipment so they can make it functional for him.”


Ryan asked, “Daddy, what did Uncle George just say?”


Everyone chuckled, but Bruce answered, “There trying to make the room like Jacob wants it.”


Nathan frowned, “That sounds boring.  Come on, Ryan, let’s go outside and see if we can’t find something fun to do.”


The boys had no more than departed than Nathan returned, “Dads, there’s a man who says he’s here to take Jacob home.”


Bruce answered, “Nate, please show the gentleman in.”


“But Uncle Bruce, he has a lady and five children in the van with him.”


Bruce frowned, “George, go invite the man and his family in.  He’s not taking Jacob with him.”


George went to retrieve the visitors and the five young children were complaining, “But Daddy and Mother, you said we were going to go home and get something to eat.  We’re hungry.”


Nathan reacted, “Come with me, we’ll get you something to eat.  Ryan, go tell Shane and Shawn that we need their help in the kitchen.”


Ryan returned with Shane, Shawn and Jacob.  Shane and Shawn  went into the kitchen and we could here some voices.   Ryan returned and asked, Mrs. Bates, would you like something to eat?”


Jacob’s Mother answered, “No thank you, young man, I’m too upset to eat.”


Ryan was about to leave, when Mr. Bates asked, “How come you didn’t ask me if I would like something to eat?”


Ryan wheeled around, “Sir, I don’t like you.  Your children told us how you treated them.  You can starve like Nate and me had to do.”


Ryan’s response took the wind out of the Mr. Bates’ but only temporarily.  He was looking around, and blurted out, “Masters, if you can afford a house like this you should be able to afford more than a measly $ 500,00 for Jacob’s birthday and Christmas presents.  That doesn’t even begin to cover his expenses.  I should never have adopted the little prick.  He keeps asking for more.”


Jacob decided to enter the discussion, “Mother, didn’t you ever think it odd that we never received any presents at the Grandpa and Grandma Bates house when everyone else did?   Why didn’t your parents give us something.  I know that they don’t have very much money, but the other grandkids always got gifts.  I’m almost guessing that your husband somehow convinced everyone that we preferred to receive money.  Dad, I’ll bet he even was telling your parents that they needed to send me money to help pay for my expenses.  I received cards from them with a note that said enjoy.”


Mrs. Bates had tears in her eyes, “Jacob, now that you mention it, I should have realized  what was happening.  What is it with you, Hal, that makes you need to control the money so tightly?”


Bruce looked at Mrs. Bates, “Marty, your husband is so far in debt to a gambling syndicate that there is no way he is going to be able to get himself out.  I’ve notified his insurance company of his financial troubles and they are going to be sending in a team of auditors tomorrow to check his agency.  In the meantime, Jacob is going to be petitioning to have the adoption process by Mr. Bates nullified, first thing in the morning.”


Mr. Bates was defiant, “You people are blowing smoke.  No judge in his right mind would take Jacob away from us.  You’d probably bribe them since you obviously have a lot of money to live in a house like this.”


Bruce moved his wheelchair so he was looking directly at Mr. Bates, “Bates, when a judge sees that George is Jacob’s birth father and hears that Jacob chooses to not be your stepson, I’m sure the adoption order will be rescinded.  Since you seem so preoccupied with the money from Belle Monte, you'll be disappointed to hear that neither George nor I are the owners of the estate.”


Bates tried to stand, “Why the hell did you decide to tell Jacob that George was his father, anyway?”


Jacob stood, “Mr. Bates, it is your fault that I found out who my Dad was.  You’re the person who had me open the safe to get information you needed so you could probably bilk money from your family.  Dad, I’d like to call Grandpa and Grandma Masters and find out if they had indeed been sending me money that this bucket of manure embezzled.”


Bruce grinned, “Good thinking, Jacob, that would be the nail that sealed Mr. Bates’ coffin.  Mrs. Bates, I hope you have never signed anything that would tie you to this bucket’s gambling debts.  I suggest that you file for a divorce first thing in the morning, so you can‘t be tied into the scandal that surrounds Mr. Bates’ activities.  I‘d be glad to be your attorney with no fees.”


Mr. Bates was able to stand.  He made a fist and was about to hit Bruce, but Ian grabbed Mr. Bates’ arms, and growled, “I wouldn’t do that, you bucket.  Mr. George, I suggest you call the Sheriff that we are holding a man who tried to assault Mr. Holloway.  It’s apparent that the man needs psychiatric help, if he would hit a handicapped person.”


Mr. Bates was struggling, so Dan and I went and helped Ian immobilize the prick.  Jacob left and returned with Vince and Alex.  We pushed Mr. Bates onto a chair and he realized he had better not try to move.


Bruce looked at Vince, “Vince, take the children to the little house.  They don’t need to see Mr. Bates being arrested.”


Bates tried to stand again, but Ian pushed him back into the chair.


We were joined by Charles and Eva.  Charles commented “We’re home but the boys have already been kidnapped by the Belle Monte Express.  It sure had a lot of young people in it.”


Bruce chuckled, “We’ve been collecting young people right and left.  For starters we found the young man standing over there next to George.”


Eva had a funny look on her face, “That has to be George’s son.   There must be an interesting story here.”


Bruce nodded, “Eva and Charles, Jacob is George’s son.  Jacob these are the people who take care of Belle Monte, Mr. and Mrs. Fort.  Mrs. Fort is the person who is going to be home schooling Nathan and Ryan and their two sons, Evan and Chase.”


Mr. Bates muttered, “If these people work here, who are the wealthy owners?  It must be you two fags.”


Dan stood, “What gives you the right to talk like that in someone else's house?  It's none of your business who owns Belle Monte, because you’ll never get any of the money.  I can assure you that neither Kirk or I are the owners.  I’m a medical doctor and I work at the hospital.  Dr. Richter is a professor at the University.”


The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of two Sheriff’s vehicles.  Jacob went to answer the door and escorted two deputies to where we were assembled.  The older of the two officer’s asked, “Mr. Holloway, what seems to be the problem here?”


Jacob answered before anyone could, “Officers, we'd like that man arrested for attempting to assault Mr. Holloway.  I’d like to also charge the man with forgery and embezzling funds from me.”


George put his arm around Jacob, “Son, let Mr. Holloway handle this.  He’s the legal beagle here.”


Bruce grinned, “Jacob has very succinctly stated the charges.  That should be enough to detain the man until I can come in and file formal charges in the morning.”


The older officer grinned, “I’ll say this for you people here at Belle Monte, you sure do have an interesting life.  We’ll be glad to take this man to the country jail.  Since it’s Sunday, I think you can safely assume that he won’t be going anywhere until at least tomorrow.”


Mr. Bates was handcuffed and led away.


“Homebase, this is Little house.  Is it safe for us to return yet?   We gotta take care of the horses.”


Jacob went to the intercom, “Little house, the path is clear for your descent to Homebase.”   


To be continued...


Editor's Notes: I think that mister Bates has finally met his match, or at least I hope so. I don't like him very much. I am ready for more chapters. Yes, indeed, more chapters would be just the thing we need.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 01/22/10