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Old 10-31-2002, 01:44 AM   #6
Assistant to Gooshie
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Independence, MO
Posts: 491
Default Round Robin 3: Part Six

"Oh for the love of the Lord Almighty," Mrs. Tate exclaimed. "You be nice now to your father! He's worked long and hard today. Now, run along with you until you can greet him proper." She made a shooing gesture at little Joel, who giggled and started to leave, but then turned around and glanced one more time at Sam. He pouted a bit, looked so very sad, and then shuffled back to his room that he shared with his sister.

"No, not you Anna!" Mrs. Tate continued. "I think that you, your father and I all need to have a talk!"

Dread filled the expression of young Anna Ackerman as she moped over and finally sat down next to Sam. She comfortably leaned against him as Sam sat on the sofa, one arm laid across the back of the cushions. He found himself subconsciously rubbing her shoulder, and realized how much he would have loved to have been a real father.

Besides, young Anna was the spittin' image of his own sister, Katy at that age.

"Your father informs me that you said I spanked Joel."

Anna nodded. "You did." She said it without hesitation.

Mrs. Tate blanched. "Young lady! I would never do such a thing!"

"Oh yes you did!" the seven year old challenged. She looked back at Sam with pleading eyes. "Daddiiiie!"

"Yes, I agree. Enough's enough. Go on to your room, I'll be in later in a bit. We've got company coming, and I'll need your help making snacks."

"Is Uncle Billy coming over?"

"Yes, with his friend."

Anna giggled. "They're more than friends, Daddy! Geez!" and she rolled her eyes dramatically.

Sam grinned. "Okay you old woman. Get on and I'll be in later in a bit." He made a waving motion and sat back, watching Danny's daughter bounce out of the room without a care in the world, wishing he could have a time like that. "Why oh why am I always putting out fires?" he thought, rubbing his eyes with his fingers.

"Mr. Ackerman, certainly you aren't going to take a seven year old's testimony over an adult's."

"Mrs. Tate, young children are notoriously innocent. What they say comes off the top of their head, and rarely do they think of the consequences. I'll ask you one more time... did you spank my son?"

She looked down and chewed her lip. "No sir, I didn't."

"I'm sorry to hear that," Sam said, sighing. He had no idea how this was going to work out, but he felt right in doing this. "Well, until this all works itself out, I don't think I'll be needing your services again. I'll be happy to write you a letter of recommendation."

The nanny bristled, and she stood up. As she did so, her purse toppled over, and a silver flask fell out, along with other bottles of pharmaceutical pills... their yellow, waxy looking containers with a white top identifiable from over a mile away!

Sam kneeled down before she could react, and grabbed one, turning it so he could see what the prescription was. He frowned, and placed it and the others back in her purse. Uncapping the liquor bottle, he sniffed briefly, and his expression changed for the worse. He grabbed her arm and said, "Come with me this instant!"

Mrs. Tate tried to pull away, but Doctor Beckett's grip was like a vise. He walked down the hallway with her and entered in the room of the kids. It was in a typical disarray, but he noticed Joel was sitting on the lower part of the bunk bead, his head hung low, and thoroughly miserable. He looked up with hope to see his father, but only saw this man he didn't know. Joel's face fell, and he looked back down.

"Joel?" Sam began, but didn't know how to begin. Then the doctor in Sam took over. "Son, I know what I'm going to ask may be hard to understand, but can you please lift up your shirt for Daddy?"

"Y'er not Daddy," Joel mumbled, and he sighed.

Anna looked over at Joel, and she giggled. "He is too, muffin!"

"Is Not!"

"Is TOO!"

"Okay, okay," Sam said. He was still having trouble holding onto the protesting woman, when he heard the Imaging Chamber door open up. "Thank God!" he muttered.

"Hey Sam, what's up? Ohhh, this scene looks bad," Al said, turning serious.

Joel's eyes lit up like a Christmas Tree, and he squealed with delight. "Wow! Do it again!" he said, and he ran over to Al and attempted to hug him, but passed right through the Observer's image. He giggled with delight, and looked up at Al with awe.

"Well, hiya kid! You must be Joel, who He sent me down here to look after!" Al said, kneeling and making a pointing up gesture with his hand.

"Are you an angel?" Joel asked. "I prayed today for mommy!"

"I know ya did, kid," Al said, his face becoming so very kind. He looked over at Sam and nodded, pulling out his handlink, and began to tap in some queries.

"What is he talking about?" muttered Mrs. Tate, thunderstruck.

Anna shrugged, but watched her brother intensely.

"I think he see's someone," Sam said. "Joel, will you show me where Mrs. Tate spanked you?"

"Dad, it was on his bottom n back. Joel cried a lot!" Anna said hopefully.

Al stopped his tapping to look ferociously at the woman. "You slime! He's only three years old!" Then he turned back to Joel, who was looking at Al rather timidly. "Hey buddy, the big man upstairs sent me and my pal Sam here, down to check on you. You're dad will come back very soon... I promise! But you have to pretend that my pal is your dad, okay?"

Joel nodded, and then giggled.

"Now, would you show ol' Angel Al where this bad woman hurt you?"

And as Joel slowly slid up his shirt, the markings of several days worth of abuse began to be apparent. Sam gasped, and Al closed his eyes in despair.
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