It had been a rough few months for Jack, but once the adoption papers were signed and Evelyn explained what it meant, to have a family and a last name, he settled down a lot. He started to depend on his brothers and talk to them, play hockey and mock-wrestle with them.
The older Mercer brothers couldn't help loving Jack. He was cute, sweet, and considerate. He was heartbreakingly eager to please, a habit Bobby was trying to free him off after one too many attempts at breakfast in bed. The food was good; it just arrived at hours he did not like to know personally – the wrong side of ten A.M., for instance.
When Jack didn't come home from school, the whole house knew and fretted and sent out search parties. Bobby found him at two in the morning, crying and bloody and wearing only his shirt and he knew what had happened. It only took half a day to figure out who had done it, and then another three hours before he could set his trap.
"I never liked you much when I was in high school. Always thought you were kind of a freak, a pervert. But, hey, you let me play hockey and that was the one thing that made school worthwhile to me. I even got some real incentive to pick up my grades," Bobby said idly as he bashed the man's face in. "But I kept my distance. Heard you were a little too keen to watch kids change. Didn't sit well.
"And I remembered that. When I was worried my little brother was bleeding to death on a street corner somewhere, I remembered you. I remembered Jackie has your class last period. And I remembered how you always did like the tall skinny ones best, the basketball and soccer types like Jackie boy. Plays damn good hockey game, too, though, doesn't he?"
Bobby finished his lecture and got out the gas can, dripping gasoline all over his former gym teacher and hockey coach.
"None of that's going to matter to you anymore, of course. That's what you get for raping my little brother, you bastard. I hope you burn in hell the same way you're gonna burn on Earth." Bobby struck a match and flicked it into the coach's lap. Out of a sick sense of irony, he decided the man's groin would be the first part to go up in flames. If it was bad enough, hopefully the coroner would have trouble identifying the sex of the corpse.
He watched for fifteen minutes, until the muffled screams died down and the asshole passed out or died of smoke inhalation. Then he ran out like he was being chased by wolves – no need to get caught at the scene of the crime, yeah? When he got home, he took a shower and went to bed.
At two o'clock almost to the minute, Jack knocked softly and entered the room.
"What is it, Jacqueline?" he muttered, not really angry.
"I had a nightmare. Can I sleep with you tonight?"
Bobby flipped back the covers and held Jack close to his naked chest, so neither of them would fall out of his slender twin bed.
"Never gonna let anyone hurt you again," Bobby said sleepily. He kissed Jack's scalp and fell back asleep.