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 26

Down For the Count


When the people returned from the Little house, Ryan entered the house, “Where’s that mean man?”


Bruce grinned, “Ryan, he left and he won’t be back.”


“Good, Jacob’s brothers and sisters want to know if they’re going to stay here for dinner.”


Tessa answered, “They’re certainly welcome to stay.  Dinner isn’t going to be fancy though.”


Ryan giggled, “Not fancy is good.  Mrs. Bates, will you be able to stay.”


Mrs. Martha Bates answered, “Thank you for inviting us Ryan.  I think we will be staying.  That way I can talk to Mr. Holloway, Mr. Masters and Jacob.”


“Okay, I’ll go tell the others.  You’re not going to take Jacob away are you?”


Mrs. Bates grinned, “No, I’m not going to take Jacob away.”


Everyone had departed except Bruce, George, Mrs. Bates, Jacob, Dan and me.  Bruce suggested, “Why don’t we go into the den where unwelcome ears will be less likely to hear what’s being said?”


 When we were settled, Jacob asked the first question, “Mother, do you need me to come and help you take care of the children?”


Mrs. Bates took a couple of deep breaths before answering, “Jake, since we don’t know exactly what’s going to be happening, it might be best if you weren’t around when and if your stepfather gets out of jail.  He’s been caught with his hands in everyone’s pockets and is going to be striking like a wounded rattlesnake.  You should have heard the trash that was spewing from his mouth as we were driving up to the property.”


“Since, you’ve already made clear that it belonged to none of you, I’ve decided that it had to belong to Ryan and Nathan.  If it is them, I would suggest you constantly monitor their activities, because I know my husband well enough to know that he can be very vindictive and conniving.”


Mrs. Bates wasn’t finished, “Jacob, you were very wrong in your assessments of my parents.   Granddad Elder and Grandmother Elder are relatively wealthy.  I’d like to call and talk to them and see if we can stay with them.  I don’t think it is a good idea for me and the children to spend much time at the house.  I’m also sure that Grandma and Grandpa Bates will provide assistance when they find out what is happening.  In fact, I’d like to call them right now and explain what has transpired.”


Bruce pointed to the phone, “Martha, be our guest.  While you’re doing that, we have some other things we need to take care of.”


When we left Mrs. Bates in the den, Bruce looked at George, “George, it’s time for you to tell your parents what’s happening.  They can’t throw their only grandson away, too.  Please go to the apartment and call them.”


When it was just Bruce, Dan and me, Bruce looked at us, “Guys, Martha raised some good points.  It is hard to tell what Mr. Bates might attempt to do.  I’m concerned, for three reasons, first for the safety of Martha and the five children.  Secondly about Jacob’s well being.  But at this point, I’m most concerned about what he might try to do, to get his hands Ryan's and Nathan’s assets.”


“He may initiate a kidnapping and demand a huge ransom in order to pay his debts.  The boys shouldn’t be in public without being under the supervision of at least one, and preferably two, adults.”


“As far as Martha and the five children, they can always spend the night here, since here, you do have a few empty bedrooms upstairs.  They must have some clothes with them, since they spent several days at their Grandparents’ house.”


Mrs. Bates came out of the den, “My parents want to know if the children and I could possibly stay here tonight?  My Dad doesn’t think we should go home, just in case Hal should somehow manipulate his release.  They’ll be here to take us to their house tomorrow evening.  The Bates are fit to be tied by their son’s activities.”


“Both sets of parents confirmed that what Jacob had suspected about the creep telling them that we preferred to receive money as opposed to gifts was true.  I always assumed that we didn’t receive gifts because the prick wouldn’t give me money to buy any gifts.”


Bruce nodded, “Martha, we’d already decided that you and the children should stay here, at least for tonight.  We assume that you must have some clothes with you, since spent some time at the Bates’ house.”


She nodded, “We do have clothes in the car, but I probably will need to do some laundry.”


Dan put his finger to his mouth, “I think I hear the young people coming now.  Shane and Shawn can help bring your suitcases in.”


Bruce added, “The ladies in the kitchen can show you where to do your laundry.”


Shane and Shawn brought the suitcases from the Bates’ van and took them to the laundry.  Martha went to start some laundry.  We could hear the young people laughing but couldn’t tell what was happening.


George and Jacob emerged from the apartment and Jacob asked, “Where is everyone else?”


Bruce shrugged his shoulders, “For starters, your Mother is doing laundry; we haven’t a clue what the young people are doing, but they sure are having a lot of fun doing, whatever it is.  How did your conversation with the Masters go?”


George had a twinkle in his eye so it couldn’t have been too bad. 


Jacob was frowning, “It was the strangest conversation.  Mr. Masters, sounded mean and gruff and yet, at the same time, I felt as if I should know who he was.   They invited themselves here tonight.  They’ll be arriving about seven-fifteen.  Mr. Masters said he was going to take me out of this den of iniquity.”


Jacob sighed, “All I can say is that this has been another day here at Belle Monte.  By the way, why is my Mother doing laundry here?”


I hugged him, “Because she and your brothers and sisters are going to be spending the night here.”


Jacob threw up his hands, “Whatever!  Where are they going to sleep?”


Dan was laughing, “Jake, unless they’re horses, they’ll probably sleep in a bed.”


Jacob had the funniest look on his face, but he was saved from having to comment by the arrival of Nathan, “Mrs. McTavish says dinner will be ready in ten minutes.  Everyone who needs to do so should wash their hands.”


Jacob must have felt the need to go to the bathroom, because he announced, “I’ll be right back.”


As soon as Jacob had gone into the apartment, George grinned, “Jacob already knows my parents, he just doesn’t realize it.”


Bruce had a question, “George, it almost sounds as if your parents were waiting for you to call?”


George nodded, “Dad said he would explain in more detail when they arrived tonight.”


Nathan returned, “We’re ready to start serving dinner.  Where’s Jacob now?”


We heard, “I’m here; what do you need?”


“We need for you to do some work.  We’ve decided that since you’ve been playing all day, you get to do the dishes.  Now come on, we’re getting hungry.”


The seven youngest were going to be eating in the kitchen since there were so many of us.  Ryan, Nathan, Evan and Chase were serving us our meals.  Ryan put a plate in front of Vince, “Here you go, sir, you have three of the enchi thingies since yours have dog food instead of ground beef.  We ran out of ground beef.”


We were just about finished eating when Nathan reappeared, “Can someone help us, please, Some of Jacob’s bothers and sisters would like another enchilada.”


Shane went to help get the extra food while Shawn was checking to see if any of the adults would like anything else.  The adult plates were empty and I asked, “Did the children have the same size portions as we did?”


Tessa shook her head no, “I made small enchiladas for the children because I wasn’t sure if they would like them.”


Martha laughed, “I’m surprised our children ate them.  They’ve grown up on old fashioned foods that their father liked.  I swear that man was only happy when we were having meat and potatoes.  Heaven help me if I fixed pasta of any kind.  That was un-American and a waste of time and money.”


I looked at Vince and Alex, “Guys, would you be available to take our two boys to the Little house so they get some needed rest.  I’m sure they’re going to complain that we won’t let anyone else go with them.”


Vince chuckled, “Got it bosses’ Dads.  That will give us an opportunity to see what it would be like to be a father.  We do get to whip them, don’t we?”


Dan  laughed, “You do that and the vette would probably flying straight down the mountain side.”


The young people were clearing the table and the three teenage guys were taking care of the cleanup.  The adults were sitting at the dining room table bringing the Forts up to speed with what had been happening at Belle Monte.


The doorbell rang and Nathan announced, “I’ll get it.”


I followed him just in case it wasn’t the Masters.  I guess I was already paranoid about Mr. Bates trying to do something to the two boys.


Nathan stuck out his hand, “Good evening, I’m Nathan Holloway.”


I hard a male say, “Good evening, young man, I’m George Masters and this is my wife Michelle.”


Nathan was quiet for a short time, “You have the same name as our Uncle George.  Do you know Uncle George?”


I heard the lady say, “We probably do know him.  Are your Uncle George and Jacob  here?”


As I approached the couple Nate was taking their jackets.  “This is our Daddy, Dr. Kirk Richter.  Daddy this is Mr. and Mrs. Masters.  They would like to talk to Uncle George and Jacob.”


“Thank you, son.  After you hang up the Masters’ jackets, would you please tell Jacob we would like to talk to him in the dining room?”


I looked at the Mr. Masters, “Sir, if I’m not mistaken, you’re the mayor of our fair city.  I think I’ve also seen the two of you at church.”


Mr. Masters nodded,  “Guilty on both counts.”


When I took the Masters into the dining room, I introduced them to the people who were assembled.  Marty was the first to speak, “Nice to see you again, Mr. and Mrs. Masters.”


Mrs. Masters, “Martha, you’re looking well.  How are your parents?”


“Dad and Mother are doing well and are going to be here tomorrow evening.”


Jacob entered the dining room and stopped when he saw who was there.   He started to stutter, “D-d-d-do y-y-you m-m-m-mean..?”


Mayor Masters growled, “Look grandson, if you keep stuttering and taking so long to speak, we’ll fall asleep sitting here.  It’s a good thing you got zapped in church this morning to get you moving.  I was afraid that you were going to pass out.”


Jacob sat down and tears were starting to roll down his face, “I’ve known you for as long as I can remember.  I used to mow your lawn for you.  Have you always known that I was your grandson?”


Mrs. Masters nodded, “Yes, we’ve always known that you were our grandson, but you didn’t know that we were your grandparents.  Why do you think we had the yard mowed so often?”


“Did Mr. Bates try to get you to send me money as well?”


Mayor Masters shook his head no, “No, but he tried to recently blackmail me for fifty thousand dollars. He claimed he would go public with the information that we had a queer son who was responsible for an illegitimate kid.  He was going to make sure that I never held another political office if I didn’t pay him.”


“Grandpa, you didn’t pay did you?”


“Nope and I told him to go ahead and go public with the information and I would sue his ass for defamation of character and attempted blackmail.  I talked to my legal counsel about this and we’re going to be going to court as soon as possible, right Bruce?”


Bruce nodded, “We’ll take care of the matter as soon as I file a petition to get Mr. Bates adoption of Jacob nullified and Martha and I can start divorce proceedings.”


Our conversation was interrupted by Ryan, “Dads, we need to go take care of the animals."


Ryan got a funny look on his face and went and put his arms around Jacob, “Jacob, is that man your Granddad?  You and your Daddy look like him.  You’re going share your grandparents with Nate and me aren’t you?”


Bruce was laughing, “Ryan, you already have two sets of grandparents.”


“Uncle Bruce, I know, but a boy can never have too many grandparents.”


I was thinking this whole mess could make for some interesting reading in a psychology journal.  I cleared my head, “Ryan, Vince and Alex are going to take you and Nate to the Little house and stay with you until your Dad and I get there.  Where are they?”


“Everyone is in the game room.”


Ryan hugged Dan and me and hugged Jacob, “Make sure you give your Grandparents some fresh eggs before they leave.”


Mayor Masters questioned, “Ryan, shouldn’t you ask someone before you give away things?”


Ryan put his hands on his hips, “Why?  Uncle Bruce and everyone says that me and Nate own Belle Monte, so why can’t we do what we want?  It was nice meeting you.  We’ll see you later.”


After Ryan had departed, Mayor Masters grinned, “I take it you have some very wealthy young men here who enjoy spending money.”


Bruce laughed, “I think I can honestly say that is not the case at all.  Not only do Nate and Ryan resist spending money, but your Grandson is just as bad.  He went into total meltdown today.”


Jacob interrupted, “Granddad, they were out of control.  I not only got a deluxe computer set-up, a television and an IPOD, but they took me to the Credit Union and opened a high interest paying checking account and ordered me a debit card.  They didn’t stop there, we went to the Verizon Store, and I now have my own cell phone.”


Grandpa Masters was laughing, “That sounds like a lot of necessities, to me.”


Vince came in, “We’re ready to roll.  Jacob your Grandparents’ eggs are on the table in the foyer.”


After the guys had departed, Eva and Charles stood and Eva grinned, “Marty, Charles and I’ll make sure your children are ready for bed.  Our two boys are used to getting ready for bed by themselves.  Since it is a new place, your children might not feel comfortable getting settled by themselves.


Ian and Tessa  stood as well.  Ian announced, “I need to make a couple of phone calls.”


I started to stand, “I feel like an outsider looking in.  I don’t see any need for Dan and me to be here.”


Bruce pointed, “Richter, set your ass down.  This is all your fault.  If you hadn’t decided to play Santa and hadn’t found my two nephews, George and I would still be in Arizona.  If we were in Arizona, then Jacob wouldn’t be here either.”


Jacob was almost in hysterics, “Yeah, Dr. Richter, this is all your fault.”


It was nearly ten o’clock before Mayor and Mrs. Masters decided that they needed to leave. I honestly had no idea how George and Bruce were going to get everything done that they wanted to do tomorrow.


When Dan and I arrived at the Little house, Vince and Alex had a fire going in the fireplace and they were on the sofa.  Vince was leaning against the armrest with Alex between his legs leaning against his chest.   Both guys were wearing only bikini briefs.


Vince looked at us as we entered, “The bosses made us do it.”


Alex chuckled, “They made us shampoo and condition their hair.  We’re to tell you that they need to get their hair styled again pretty soon.  Do they always fall asleep talking?”


Dan laughed, “I’m afraid they do, especially Ryan.  He’s making up for the time when he didn’t talk.”


Vince grinned, “Anytime you need someone to take care of them, let us know.  Maybe next year I’ll play Santa and see if I can find us some sons.  For your information, we were instructed to make sure that Ryan’s bed worked.  See you in the morning.”


Dan and I watched as two very handsome young men made their way up the steps.  Dan whispered, “I think they have been told to make sure nothing happens to Ryan and Nate.”


I watched as Danny came out of the bathroom after taking his shower.  I thought to myself, ‘My man can give any of the performers at the Golden Nugget a run for their money.’    


To be continued...


Editor's Notes:  It looks as if things are going pretty well, at the moment.


When my partner and I lived in Chicago, many years ago, in the mid seventies, there was a wonderful pancake house called the Golden Nugget. They had an all you can eat Sunday breakfast buffet. We used to pig out on all the eggs, bacon and sausage we could eat. We also ate a few pancakes, just to even it out a bit.  It was wonderful. I don't even know if the place still exists, but they took away the breakfast buffet a long time ago.  I think we may have over eaten there.


I am ready for another chapter.  This is a wonderful story.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 01/29/10