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8.The E.R. 8

Chapter 8

Barry and I worked our way to the corner and I saw him head towards
a red car. We hid behind some hedges and watched him as he left. He
took a different way out and I lost sight of him. I saw him come out
and head away from us and I felt totally dejected. Barry and I stood
up and walked up the street to find TJ and Freddy. I was about to
cross the street when I heard the boys yell for me saying, "We got
it, we got it."

I stopped and looked and Freddy was the first to reach us. "We got
the license plate number," Freddy said almost out of breath.

TJ came walking up grinning from ear to ear. We saw a drink machine
and I got each of us a cold soda to quench our thirst. We started
towards the car when TJ pulled out a piece of paper with a license
number written down on it. "Damn, no wonder they didn't know what to
look for," I said looking at the number.

"Why did he put that on his car," TJ said.

"I'll lay you odds he didn't," I said putting the paper back into my

We found my car in the alternate lot then I got on my cell phone and
called Pat. His office said he was on the street but would have him
call me. I unlocked the car and started the engine just as my cell
phone rang. I answered it and Pat said, "What's up Mike?"

"Meet me at my house in about thirty minutes," I told Pat.

"Why?" Pat asked.

"I'll tell you when you get there," I said. "Right now I have three
tired boys in the car and I want to get them home."

"What are you up to Mike?" Pat asked.

"See you at the house," I said. "Bye."

I hung up and then left the parking lot. The traffic wasn't that bad
so it only took twenty-five minutes to get there. Barry had fallen
to sleep and I had to carry him into the apartment. I put him in his
bed and got him undressed then covered him just as I heard someone
knock on the door. I closed his door then came out and saw Pat
standing there. TJ and Freddy were sitting on the couch but I was
still thirsty from my run so I headed to the kitchen to grab a
soda. "Come on in here Pat so we can talk and not disturb Barry," I
said sitting down at the kitchen table.

Pat came in with TJ and Barry and sat down and I could tell he was
wondering just what was going on. "Alright Mike, spill it," Pat said
once everyone was seated.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. I looked
at Pat and said, "Do you remember the license plate number I gave
you last night?"

"Yeah," Pat said. "It also came back not on file to that car."

"And I think I know why too," I said handing Pat the piece of
paper. "I think you were looking for the wrong car. Read the plate

Pat looked at it and said, "I'll be damn. 1HT-VETTE."

"Yep," I said. "We saw that same car again today. Have there been
any 66 Mustangs reported stolen?"

"I don't know," Pat said taking out his cell phone. "I'll see what I
can find out."

TJ handed Pat the cordless and I heard a pair of small feet come
into the kitchen. "Did we wake you son?" I asked looking at a half
awake Barry.

"No," he said crawling up on my lap. "I didn't have you in bed with
me to snuggle with."

Pat was on the phone several minutes and when he got off he
said, "Nope. No 66 Mustangs have been reported stolen in the past
two weeks."

Freddy looked up and said, "Think this guy has a friend who owns

"That is a possibility," I said. "He takes the plates off his car
and puts them on the Mustang."

Barry looked at the paper with the plate number on it then
said, "That's not very smart."

TJ got into the act by saying, "Nobody ever said this guy was smart
Barry. Although doing something like that is just calling attention
to your car."

"Maybe that's just what he wanted to do," I said. "Maybe he wants
people to concentrate on that car so much they won't be worried
about him."

"Well such is not the case," Pat said. "I have them running that
plate and they'll call me as soon as the state wide computer comes
back up."

It was getting late and Pat was about to leave when his cell rang.
He was listening intently to what was being said on the other end
then he closed it and said, "We finally got a name and address on
the car but there is a twist. We sent a patrol car buy the address
but the house had burned down. We know who the owner is, now we just
have to find him."

I was holding Barry and fighting to stay awake. I had a couple of
ideas but was too tired to even think. Pat left and I locked the
door and carried my boyfriend to bed. I laid him in bed then quickly
relieved myself so I could join him. I crawled in and felt him scoot
back against my chest with his butt. I wrapped my arms around him
and we drifted off to sleep.

Barry and I slept like babies all night and didn't wake up until
almost nine the next morning. I wiggled out of Barry's grasp so I
could make it to the bathroom without having an accident. I was
about to flush the toilet when I felt my little lover's hand on my
leg as he stood up to it and started going. We got dressed then went
down to the kitchen so I could put on the coffee. I was about to
pour my first cup when TJ and Freddy came into the kitchen. I got my
coffee poured then started fixing breakfast for my hungry crew.
After breakfast we just relaxed and took it easy. TJ came over and
sat on my lap and said, "Dad, what are you going to do about Barry
and me?"

"What do you mean son?" I asked totally confused by what he was

"I mean for the next two weeks," TJ said. "School is closed."

I had totally forgotten about that. I had been at the hospital for
over 15 years and I had six weeks vacation a year. I was scheduled
to work tomorrow and didn't know if they could get someone to cover
my shifts for two weeks on such short notice. I was good friends
with all the nursing supervisors so if there was a way I could get
the time off they would find it. I looked at TJ and said, "I forgot
son. With everything that's been going on, it slipped my mind. I'll
call the hospital and see if I can get the time off."

I called the hospital and one of my better friends was working. She
pulled the schedule for the Emergency Room and for the next three
days there was more than adequate staffing on during the day shift.
This would give her enough time to see to the other days. I had my
time off. I just had to stop by the hospital and sign my vacation

Pat called later that day and they weren't having any luck tracking
down the owner of that car. Pat said, "We're having some problems
again with the state wide system. It's making cross referencing
things slow."

"Have you thought of staking out that parking lot for the Mustang?"
I asked.

"That is an option," he said. "I just have to sell it to the Captain
for the overtime."

"I think that might be about the only option you have considering
you don't have anything else to go on," I said feeling really

Pat said he would see what he could do but he would have cars check
the lots as much as they could until the stakeout was approved. I
found out later that the stakeout had been approved but the guy
never returned to the boardwalk fair while it was in town. Time was
passing pretty quickly and the man had yet to resurface but on the
bright side to all this there weren't any new reported cases of

School was out and once again I had the problem of how to care for
my boys while I was at work. One afternoon when Freddy was at the
house he said, "Hey TJ, have you ever been to the recreation center?
They have all kinds of things there and they even have lunch."

I talked with Candy and it was a great city program and it kept the
kids safe. I had them enrolled and I felt good to know they were
being looked after while I was at work.

I had just gotten home from work one afternoon when there came a
knock on the door. I opened it and there stood Todd Freeman. "Good
afternoon Mr. Cummings," he said.

"What brings you out here?" I said letting him in.

He came in and we went to the dining room to talk. "I've been
assigned your case now." He said as he pulled some files from his

He was about to speak when TJ and Barry came in from the recreation
center. "Hi Dad," the boys said as they raided the fridge for sodas.

I gave each of them a hug then said, "I don't know if you know Todd
here. He's been assigned your cases."

"Let's see here," Todd said. "TJ it looks like you've been here
about 4 months now. Is that about right?"

"Yes Sir," TJ said looking nervous.

"Has everything been going alright for you?" He asked. "Are there
any problems?"

"Everything here is fine," TJ replied. "It's great here. I don't
want to leave. I have a Dad that loves me and cares about me not
like that bastard of an Uncle."

"That's one thing I want to talk with you both about," Todd
said. "We've done some investigating with the help of the police and
we've learned that the guardianship your Uncle had for you wasn't
registered with either us or the court and as such isn't legal. What
this means is that you've been declared a permanent ward of the


I looked at TJ and said, "That's quite enough young man. You don't
speak to adults like that."

I could see TJ shaking with both fear and anger. He looked at me the
dove into my arms as the dam of tears burst. ...

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