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Jake hung up the phone just as there a knock on the door. Billy got
up and said, "I'll get it."

He opened the door and was greeted with "Hi Dad."

"James!" Billy shouted.

John and Joey went running to the door as he stepped inside. Joey
launched himself at his big brother as John wrapped his arms around
him hugging him tightly. They all had him in a tight bear hug. James
was trying to breathe and he gasped saying, "I still need to breathe

Billy let go then said, "Oh, sorry son. We're just glad to see you."

James set Joey on his feet as Billy closed the door. Jake was
standing there wondering what was going on. Everyone turned to come
inside when John saw Jake. John walked over to him extending out his
hand. Jake took John's hand as he led him over to James and
said, "Son, this is Jake. He's our new foster son. Jake, this is our
oldest son James."

James reached out his arms and said, "Well it looks like I have
another little brother. It's great to meet you."

Jake cautiously walked over and James pulled him into a warm hug.
Jake felt safe and secure in the older boy's arms and relaxed then
returned the hug. "I've never had an older brother before. It's nice
to meet you too. We're you caught out in the storm too?"

James didn't know what he meant by that so he said, "No Jake, I've
been at school in Gainesville."

Jake suddenly got worried as he thought they sent him away. He
pulled back and looked at John and Billy then ran down the hall to
his bedroom. "What's wrong with him Dad?" James asked.

Both men had questioning looks on their faces as they tried to
figure out what suddenly came over Jake. "I don't know son," Billy
said. "He's been through a lot and we'll explain it to you later.
But right now we need to find out what's wrong with him."

James scratched his head then said, "Let me go and talk with him.
This all happened when I was talking with him so maybe it was
something I said."

"Alright son," John said. "Go see what you can find out."

James walked down the hall and tried the door knob. It was unlocked
so he slowly opened the door and saw Jake on his bed crying. He
walked in and gently sat down beside him and asked, "What's wrong
little brother? Did I say something to upset you?"

Jake shook his head and said, "No, it wasn't uh why?"

James was confused. "Why what Jake," he asked as he rubbed Jake's

"Why did they send you away to school?" Jake asked still
crying. "What did you do?"

"They sent me there because that's where I wanted to go," James said.

Jake rolled over and said, "You wanted to go?"

"Yeah," James said smiling. "That's where I wanted to go to college."

"College?" Jake sputtered.

"Un huh," James said. "I go to Florida State University."

"Oh," Jake said shyly realizing he got upset over nothing.

"What did you mean when you asked, what did I do, when I said I went
to school there?" James asked.

Jake clammed up then figured he would find out anyway so he
said, "My parents put me out right before the hurricane came."

When James heard this he started crying as he pulled Jake into his
arms. "Oh my god little brother, I'm so sorry. Why would anyone do

Jake figured that James knew his Dads were gay so he said, "Because
a friend and I were sucking each other."

"That's no reason to put someone out of their house right before a
major storm," James said. "Jake, are you gay?"

He looked down and said, "Yeah."

James lifted his head and said, "I guess you know our Dads are gay
and that doesn't bother me in the least. I was adopted when I was 6
and it was always great having two Dads. It blew a lot of kids'
minds. Just so you know, I'm straight but I'll always protect you if
anyone ever tries to hurt my little brother. Now let's go talk with
the others. They were trying to figure out why you got so upset."

The two teens got up and went into the living room as Billy ran over
and said, "Are you alright Jake?"

He sniffed and said, "Yeah, I'm alright. I didn't know James was in
college. This is going to sound silly but I thought you put him out."

"Oh son," Billy said as James touched his arm.

James hugged Jake and said, "It's OK Dad. We had a nice talk and
everything's cool."

Jake looked up and said, "What's for lunch, I'm hungry."

James laughed and said, "Now he's my brother. Always hungry, just
like Joey."

Everyone went into the kitchen and talked while John heated up some
beef stew. "We need to see if there are some stores open. We need to
get some food in here because we lost everything in the fridge."

Joey looked up and said, "Daddy, do you think Buck might have some

"I don't know," Billy started saying.

"Oh wow," James said. "I so wanna see the look on his face when he
sees me. "How is grampa?"

"He's doing fine," John said. "Shane and Robert have twins they're

"Twins?" John asked.

"Yeah," Billy said. "Their parents died after being in a bad

"Ah man," James said. "That sucks."

Everyone ate lunch then got in the van and went over to my house. I
heard a knock on the door and wondered why John and Bill just didn't
come in. I opened the door and James was standing there. "Oh my
God," I said smiling as I pulled him to me in a hug. "Dad look who's

Billy and the rest them came out as Dad saw James. "Well don't just
stand there Buck," Dad said walking towards him. "When did you get

They met in the living room and hugged. James kissed him on the
cheek and said, "I got in about 2 hours ago. You know, you really
need to keep your answering machine on."

"I know," Dad said. "It's new and I didn't know it wouldn't come
back on after the power came back on."

I looked at John and asked, "Did you come to get your things or to
just surprise us with James?"

"Actually there was another reason too," John said. "Do you think
you can spare some meats and milk until we can get to the store? We
lost everything we had. I'm glad we had some canned goods but we're
almost out of them too."

"Sure son," Dad said. "You know we stocked up on things when we knew
you guys would be staying. I didn't expect power to be back on so
quickly and I was worried that some of the milk we got would have to
be tossed because it went bad before we could use it."

We sat and had a nice visit as the teens went upstairs and played
video games. About 3, Billy and John packed up their things while
Dad and I made a care package of groceries to send home with them.

Over at the police department Timothy and Maria were being booked
into the Dade County jail. Timothy looked at the desk sergeant and
asked, "What's the bond?"

The sergeant looked at the charges and said, "No bond until you see
the judge."

"What," he screamed. "When will that be?"

"Not sure," the sergeant said. "It will be sometime in the next 72
hours though."

"That's bullshit," Mr. Curtis said.

The sergeant took him into a room and said, "Strip."

Mr. Curtis glared at the cop but did as he was told. When he was
told to turn around and spread his cheeks he just stood there at
first but when the cop took a step towards him he quickly complied.
He was then told to get dressed then he was photographed and
fingerprinted. When that was done he was led to a holding cell. The
police sergeant asked, "Is there someone you want to call?"

He thought for a minute then said, "No I don't,"

The officer closed the door and said, "Suit yourself."

A female officer took Maria into a room and had her undress and re-
dress, then processed her into the jail. She didn't know of anyone
to call so she just had a seat.

Things started getting back to normal pretty quickly and two days
after their arrest, Timothy and Maria Curtis made their first
appearance in front of a judge. The first to appear was Timothy
Curtis. The judge read the charge and asked, "How do you please sir?"

"Not guilty judge," he said.

He looked at the prosecutor and said, "What is the state's
recommendation on bail?"

The woman said, "You Honor, this is a particularly heinous crime
because this happened right before the arrival of this hurricane.
They put their teenaged son out of the house and then denied they
had a child. We feel that if they can deny being parents, they pose
a significant flight risk. Therefore, the state is requesting that
this defendant be remanded without bond."

His court appointed lawyer said, "Your Honor, Mr. Curtis does not
have a child and is egger to have his day in court to clear his
name. He works to support his wife and has strong ties to the

The judge looked at the charges again and said, "I'm glad the man
wishes to have his day in court. He'll remain there until he does.
Bond is denied."

Maria Curtis was the next to appear before the judge. The ADA made
her statement and her lawyer pleaded that she get bond. The judge
was appalled that a mother would do nothing to try to aid her child
and denied her bond also.

School was to open the next day when Mrs. Walden came by the house
without calling. Dad let her in and said, "What brings you out

She smiled and said, "I have good news for the boys. I have
permanent homes for the boys?"

I heard what she said then said, "Did you say homes?"

"Yes," she said smiling. "Isn't that good news?"

I started getting mad when Dad ...

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