I don't own these characters. They belong to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
Mark Andrew Hunting, born 1961
Married to Anne, 1982
Sons Brendan (14), Chad (11), and Ricky (10)
Mark Andrew Hunting walked through the back door tired after another long day's work at Hunting Auto-Body. It had been his father's business and since he was the oldest, he was the first to go to work with his father. Unfortunately, although he had 12 younger brothers, not one of them had followed. So he ran the business by himself, supervising employees he rarely trusted, rather than his brothers, as had been his father's original intent. But Marky had made his peace with that more than ten years ago and now rarely mentioned his annoyance with his family. He just went to work and came home to put food on the table for his family.
His bones creaked as he sat at the kitchen table, as they often did now. He was getting older, his body kept emphasizing to him. He could have done without the reminder. He stretched his legs and arched his back. As it cracked in multiple places, his wife Anne entered the room. She bent down to kiss him on the cheek, welcoming him home. That was the best part of his day, and sometimes she was his only reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
He smiled internally when he thought of the woman he had been married to for 14 years. There were guys who looked their whole lives and never found a girl half this good. There were times when she looked at him and he felt like he was 19 again, just a guy in a bar. The same guy who saw the most beautiful girl in the world smiling just at him.
At that moment he was brought out of his reverie by the entrance of his youngest child, Ricky. He was named after Marky's brother and looked so much like him sometimes he couldn't tell the difference.
Ricky pulled plates out of the cabinet to start setting the table for dinner, only putting out four places.
"No Brendan tonight?" Marky asked his wife.
She turned away from the stove holding a spoon in her hand. "No, he's over with Robby again. Tryouts are next week."
"So soon? It's only April. How can they have football tryouts four months before the season?" That didn't seem to make much sense.
"I don't know. I just hope Timmy isn't going to take him to the bar again." The look of malice on her face made it clear she remembered the last time she had left Brendan alone with the residents of that apartment. Marky's brothers Timmy, Robby, Johnny, and Will. Not one of them had an ounce of sense when it came to being responsible. None of them saw anything wrong with a fourteen year old boy going to a bar until two o'clock in the morning. Probably because they did the same thing when they were that age. But she wanted something different for her children. She didn't want them to be alcoholics before they were old enough to drink.
"I think Timmy will think twice before he takes Brendan anywhere after the way you cussed him out the last time. He probably thought you were going to castrate him," Marky mused.
"I considered it." That was one of the things he loved her. She didn't put up with anyone's shit. He'd worried, being the oldest of 13 that he would never find someone who would stand up to his brothers. She did that and sometimes she was even the instigator.
Marky turned to Ricky. "How was school today?" he asked.
"It was good I guess." He paused to think of some details. "Oh, yeah. Chad got in a fight."
"Really?" Marky sounded slightly pissed.
"Well you couldn't really call it a fight. There was this kid who was shoving ahead in the lunch line and Chad just punched him. The teachers made a big deal about it but he was only out for a couple minutes."
"Chad punched a kid out just for cutting in the lunch line?" Marky didn't like that it took so little for his middle son's temper to flare. "Did you know about this?" he asked Anne.
"Yeah the school called me and had me come pick him up. They said they won't suspend him this time but this is his last warning. He's in his room right now being punished."
"We're gonna have to talk to him about this," Marky said, though he knew she would already know. Chad had a very quick temper for an eleven-year-old. Something had to be done before he got sent to juvie. More than one of his brothers had been there and from what he'd heard there was nothing positive that came out of a trip there.
Anne started dishing the food onto plates and yelled, "Chad! Dinner!" She didn't doubt that he would come down. He may have resented punishment, but there wasn't much that would come between him and food.
Chad appeared in the doorway and walked to his chair. He kept his eyes on the floor and took his seat. His mother set a plate of meatloaf and french fries in front of him and he immediately dug in.
Marky cleared his throat. "No one eats before saying Grace, especially someone who got in a fight today. You could use the extra prayer."
Chad glared at him, but put his fry down. He stared off into space, waiting for his mother and Ricky to sit. When they did, his father looked at him and he knew that he was being called upon to say the blessing. He wondered if being forced to pray was a normal punishment. He didn't care. If it did qualify as a punishment he could easily take it.
"Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord. Amen." He sped through the blessing and had a fry in his mouth before he was finished, a small act of rebellion. It didn't go unnoticed. Marky shot him a look and he knew he was in for it later. He tried to concentrate on his food to keep the subject of his punishment from coming up for as long as possible.
Dinner was a quiet affair, as usual. While all four were usually talkative individuals, it was understood that the dinner table what a quiet place for reflection. The only sounds were the scraping of silverware on plates and Anne's occasional whisper to the boys to keep their elbows off the table.
Chad finished first and jumped up to clear his plate. In a very uncharacteristic gesture he washed it himself. When he finished that an idea struck him and he began washing the pans the food had been cooked in. He even prepared a plate for Brendan to eat later. He cleared places as the others finished, becoming more and more nervous when his parents didn't vacate the table.
Marky watched all of this silently. He knew his son was trying to punish himself, hoping that would be enough. Unfortunately, one night of doing the dishes is not good enough for knocking someone cold. But he gave the kid credit for trying.
"Can I go over to Joey Mac's for awhile?" Ricky asked. He was out the door before his mother said yes.
Chad was drying his last dish when Anne said, "Chad will you sit down here for a minute?" He finished his drying and took his time putting it away. Slowly he walked back to the table, sitting in Brendan's normal seat so he wouldn't have to look at both parents at the same time. Also, he was out of reach of his father, although his mother was closer. It was a calculated risk.
"You know why we want to talk to you right?" Marky asked him.
"Because I got in a fight at school," he said, almost nonchalantly.
"And you know why you have to be punished?" Anne prompted.
"Because fighting is wrong?" he asked with fake innocence.
Anne raised her hand and struck him in the back of the head. "Stop being a smart ass." Obviously his calculated risk had not turned out in his favor. "You know that's why you're always in trouble. You don't take anything seriously. Well except for cutting in the lunch line," she qualified. "Apparently you think that's a capital offense."
He gave her a look but knew better than to open his mouth again.
"I want to know why," Marky asked him.
"Why what?" Chad asked.
"Why you felt this kid deserved to get knocked out."
"I don't know, Dad. He was pushing in and you're not allowed to do that. No one else was stopping him."
"So you think that he deserved it?"
"Well, yeah. He was breaking the rules." As soon as he finished Chad saw the flaw in his logic, but didn't point it out hoping he parents hadn't noticed.
Unfortunately for him, they did. "But you broke the rules. Does that give us permission to beat the shit out of you?" Anne asked him.
He dodged the question. "Ok, I was wrong. Can you just give me my punishment now?" He was eager to get this over with.
"Just one more thing," Marky added. "You know what happened to you Uncle Will a couple of weeks ago right?"
"Yeah, he got arrested." Chad hated these after-school-special talks.
"And how much time might he have to spend in jail?"
"A couple years."
"So what does this tell us?" Marky asked him. When there was no response he answered his own question. "That if you can't control your temper, it doesn't matter how smart you are, you'll spend a better part of you life in jail. And trust me, you don't want that."
"I know," Chad said, looking down at the table.
"So you're going to be grounded for a month." Chad's eyes bulged but he didn't argue. This punishment was more severe than he was expecting but he knew that fighting it would only make it worse. "And you're going to apologize to that kid. What's his name?"
"Really?" Marky asked, incredulous. "Do you think that was the best idea?" Frankie Scarpaglia was the younger brother of Carmine Scarpaglia, the guy Will just got busted for pummeling. He really didn't want to start a grudge between the families. He was going to have to give Old Man Scarpaglia a call later to smooth things over.
"I wasn't thinking about who he was, just what he was doing." Chad replied honestly.
"Well, next time you get the urge to beat the shit out of a guy who's related to someone that any one of your uncles doesn't like, think twice," Anne interjected.
"So no one ever again, basically," Chad said with a smile.
"Yeah, that's probably true," Anne mused. "There's our new philosophy right there. If any of your uncles don't like someone, they are off limits to you."
"That counts out just about all of South Boston, maybe even Dorchester too," Marky laughed. Chad chuckled nervously and was looking uncomfortable still sitting at the table.
"Ok, you can leave." Marky said. "Go up to your room and do your homework. No music, no phone."
"Fine." Chad got up and left the room.
Marky leaned back in his chair and ran his hand through his receding hair. "What are we going to do with him?"
"Can we afford military school?" Anne offered.
"No." Marky laughed. "Besides, I don't think we need to send him to school where firearms are part of the PE requirement."
"Oh god, you're right. Could you imagine?"
"I'm trying not to," he said with a smile.
"Are you going to call Scarpaglia?" she asked him.
"I don't know. Do you really think I need to?"
"It probably won't hurt and if they are mad at us it will go a long way to smoothing things over."
"Us?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I'm a Hunting too. And have you seen Jenny Scarpaglia? She's fucking huge. She'd involve herself in a heartbeat if this gets ugly. And I don't think I want to deal with that."
"This isn't Shakespeare," Marky chortled. "I can promise there won't be any dueling."
"No, I know. But what if they gang up on someone?" She seemed genuinely concerned. When would she learn that his brothers could take care of themselves, even three on one? "Anyway, you should call."
"I know. I'm just trying to come up with a reason not to."
"Too bad," she said. "Just get it over with."
"All right," he allowed. "Get me the phone book."
Anne went over to the side table and pulled the five pound book from the bottom shelf. She dropped it in front of her husband with a thud and he started paging through it. He flipped back and forth between two pages repeatedly.
"What?" Anne asked, impatiently.
"Fucking number isn't listed. Where the hell did they get the money to keep their number unlisted?" He sighed. "Fuck it. If he wants to talk he can call here." He slammed the book shut and put it back where it belonged. He wasn't going to worry about it. Fights happen there was no reason for Scarpaglia to hold a grudge.
He pulled a beer out of the refrigerator and made his way to the couch. Anne followed and curled up next to him, handing him the remote. She pulled a blanket off of the back of the couch to cover her legs and Marky put his arm around her. He turned on the TV and switched to the news. He didn't really care much about current events but he knew Anne liked it when he paid attention to what was going on in the world. All he was really interested in was the Sox game starting afterwards.
"It's nice not having any kids around," Anne proclaimed suddenly. "We should empty the house more often."
Marky chuckled. "Chad's still here. He might take offense to that."
"That's the beauty of punishment. We can offend him as much as possible and it's all part of the discipline process."
"You're evil. You take pleasure in your child's pain?" he asked with fake concern.
"You don't know the half of it," she replied. "They don't even have to do anything wrong, I'll punish them just for the hell of it."
"Well if that doesn't make you mother of the year I don't know what does." He chuckled again.
They watched the rest of the news in relative silence and when the baseball game started Anne got up to check on Chad. She returned with a look of annoyance on her face.
"The little bastard's sleeping," she grumbled.
"He really has it figured out. You know pretty soon he's going to be sneaking out the window in the middle of the night."
Anne shuddered. "Don't even mention that. I don't want to think about my children running the streets at night."
Marky pulled her onto his lap. "Don't worry, I figure we have at least a couple of weeks before that starts."
"And why is that?" Anne asked, curious as to how he could pin the date down so closely.
"It's still too cold. He's not going to go running around when it's forty degrees out. Give him until at least May," he teased.
"You think you're so funny," she mocked.
"I'm fucking hilarious," he returned.
He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer. He nuzzled his nose into her hair, smelling the sweet scent of her shampoo. She turned her head up, exposing her neck and he kissed his way up from her collarbone to her ear. As he nibbled on her earlobe she let out a contented sigh and turned her face to kiss him properly.
They were interrupted when they heard the front door slam. "Jesus Christ, get a room!" Ricky yelled, covering his eyes.
"Watch your mouth," Anne warned with a severe look as she got up. "Is your homework done?" she asked as she walked into the kitchen.
"Pretty much," Ricky replied. Marky gave him a stern look and he sighed, giving in. "I'll go get my backpack." Ricky went into the kitchen and pulled his backpack off of the hook and set it on the kitchen table.
Anne picked up her book from the kitchen table and headed up stairs. She didn't feel like watching the game and didn't feel obligated now that Ricky way home.
"Why don't you bring it in here and watch the game while you do it?" Marky offered.
"Really?" he asked eagerly.
"Sure, as long as you promise to work hard."
Ricky picked up his papers and sat down in front of the TV with him. He focused diligently through the first two innings but it gradually declined to working during commercial breaks, and only when Marky reminded him.
When the game ended, in a loss as usual, it was after 10 o'clock. Marky sent Ricky up to bed and went to call Robby to remind him that Brendan needed to be home by eleven on school nights. He didn't let Anne know. He was trying to help Robby get back into her good graces and it was going to take some effort from both sides.
He dialed the number and waited for an answer. While it was ringing Brendan walked through the front door. Marky hung up and said, "He got you home on time. That's a first."
"Uncle Robby had a date so I think he was in a hurry to get me out of there."
"Cara, Alice, or Brenna?" Marky asked. It was a well known fact that Robby had trouble with monogamy. And apparently these girls had no problem with that.
"Brenna," Brendan laughed.
"So how did your practice go? Did you learn anything new?"
"It was mostly going over the stuff I already know. But he taught me some new stuff about receiver routes. It was really cool."
"Good. There's nobody better for that that Robby," Marky said. He nodded toward the refrigerator, "There's some meatloaf in there. Did you watch the game?"
He pulled the plate out and started eating it cold. Marky shook his head. Teenage boys. They're like garbage disposals.
"Yeah, we left as soon as it was over. Could've left soon though. It was pretty fucking worthless." Brendan had been allowed to swear in front of his father for about a year now, so he took full advantage. If his mother heard the words coming out of his mouth she would've slapped him upside the head.
"I know. The only one that looked decent tonight was that Nomar kid and I don't think he's going anywhere." He continued ranting slightly and Brendan yawned. "Why don't you go to bed?" Marky offered.
"Yeah, I think I will," Brendan said.
"Make sure your brothers go to sleep too."
"Ok. Night, Dad." Brendan put his dirty plate in the sink and walked out of the kitchen and up the stairs to the room he shared with Chad and Ricky. Marky started picking things up and turning off lights in his preparation for bed.
He dragged his creaky body up the stairs and walked into the bedroom. Anne was lounging on the bed with her back to him, propped up with pillows reading her book. He walked up behind her, put his hand on her side and leaned in to kiss her on the cheek. She rolled over to face him and pulled him down for a kiss. After a couple of seconds, she started pulling her shirt over her head and whispered, "Lock the door."
Next is Ricky, and it is the only chapter that will not take place in 1997.
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