ALAN MEETS PARKER
Rated K+. Alan known as a little terrorest to Jeff's employees, meets Lady Penelope's solution to Jeff's 'wild child'.
The tall dark haired man excited the sedan. An air of authority surrounded him. He was quicklly followed by a small sandy blond haired boy. They stood before the enormous home of Lady Penelope Crieghten-Ward. Seven year old Alan stood at Jeff's side with arms crossed and a look of defiance in his eyes. Even the enormous, magnificence and majesty of the Crieghten-Ward mansion could not make him cower to his father, Jeff Tracy, ex-astronaut, airforce major, now businessman/CEO, billionaire, demands that he behave himself.
Jeff leaned over to his son, "Alan I mean it, you will act as a young gentleman, do not touch anything. If you dare cause a ruckus like you did at the office last month, you won't sit down for a week. Do you understand me?"
Alan did not say anything, but he did begin to fidget, not moving his head, but glancing up giving his dad a wary eye.
Jeff stared at his youngest. None of the other boys seemed to give him such a run for his money. Just a spoken word in his commander voice would have them stopped them in their tracks and have them minding their P & Q's. Not that he had had to use it on his boys all that often, especially now that they were in boarding school, or college.
Scott now in Yale, had enlisted in the ROTC program in high school, and carried it in to college with plans to enter the Air Force as an officer, after graduation. He had been taking college courses along with the military classes. He was a star on the school's baseball team. When Jeff introduced him to flying he had taken to it like a bee to honey and had gained his pilots license on his sixteenth birthday.
John was never trouble, he was brilliant, but quiet. His interests were the stars same as Jeff, and now in his senior year of high school, he was looking at several colleges, also taking college courses, though Harvard, he hoped to follow his father's footsteps and enter the NASA space program after he graduated. Jeff smiled as he continued to think of his second born. All John had ever needed was a telescope, a book and a computer to keep him happy.
Jeff's middle child Virgil, now in his sophmore year was already a star on the football team, like John a straight 'A' student, Jeff wasn't sure which way he would go, he was definitely mechanical minded; used to drive he and Lucy crazy by taking things apart just to see how they would work since he was four. At least now when he took something apart he would not only put it back together, but it usually worked better. But there was a softer side to his middle son. Virgil took after his mother and was a very gifted artist and pianist. Several athletic schools were already showing keen interest in him. It would be interesting to see which talent he would follow.
Gordon, Jeff's second youngest was his water baby. He kept him on his toes. Gordon was happiest when he was in water. It was the only thing that boy liked better than pranking someone, especially one of his brothers. Many a time Jeff had resorted to draining the pool as punishment. Worked much better than a canning. Jeff's mother said Gordon was a lot like her brother Joel. He had always been a joker as Ruth put it. Joel and Gordon would really have made a force to be reckoned with. It actually surprised Jeff just how serious Gordon could be at times. He demonstrated a military mindset when it came to training for swimming. He was about to graduate from junior high. He had made varsity on the swim team, but in order to be on the team Jeff's rule was grades had to be maintained. With a little tutoring from his older brothers Gordon had no problems.
Then there was Alan, his youngest. Just three when his mother, Jeff's beloved wife was killed. Jeff knew his own withdrawal from the family and especially Alan who was a spitting image of his mother had led to some of the problems he was having with Alan now. He had managed to reconnect with his other boys once he started to give them more of his time. However, he had only started doing more with Alan on his own, after Gordon left for junior high school.
Jeff just did not seem to be able to connect with Alan and found himself relying on Brains, and especially Kyrano and Onaha to help him watch over Alan as well as their own children Fermat and Tin Tin respectively. Recently though with the encouragement and demands of his mother he had been trying to get closer to his son, but Alan was a handful and did not seem to respond to his efforts as readily as his other sons. Indeed he openly demonstrated how much he hated going with his father on his business trips.
"Well what do you expect Jefferson? You take him and then practically dump him on whoever is handy while you go to your meetings for sixteen hours a day. Of course he hates it! And... You are loosing precious time that you will never have again." Ruth had adamantly advised him.
Jeff knew it was true, and truth be known Jeff wanted to be closer to his youngest, but he just did not seem to be able to relate. Alan seemed to respond better to his brothers than Jeff, especially Scott. Jeff knew he had no one to blame but himself, so for now he would just keep trying to repair the damage no matter how long it took, or how many headaches Alan gave him.
Jeff wasn't making any friends with the employees forced to watch his son while he conducted business. Alan was a handful, and was easily bored; which, made Alan search out other ways to entertain himself. Only Anne Marie seemed to be able to handle him, but unfortunately she was many times too busy trying to keep Jeff on top of his game for business meetings; which; usually involved millions of dollars, so care had to be taken.
Years of learning how to keep his brothers on their toes, Alan had no trouble manipulating Jeff's' 'forced babysitters'. Anne Marie made sure with Jeff's blessing that those forced into going above and beyond their duties were compensated for their trouble.
On the rare occasion the entire Tracy family would be together, Alan would brag and tease his brothers how many times he got to have Micky D or Royal Kings for lunch and supper. Of course then they in turn would complain to Grandma or Onaha, because they were missing out on their favorite fast food diners. The ladies would then lay into Jeff for not seeing that Alan stayed on a well balanced diet. Alan seemed to enjoy keeping Jeff constantly in the doghouse. He also had no trouble asking why before obeying when Jeff gave an order, much to Jeff's consternation.
Now Lady Penelope had insisted he come for a visit so they could also discuss future business plans. Jeff tried to explain the problem with Alan. That he was reluctant to come because of his behavior, but Lady P had assured him she had just the cure for the situation.
"Alan do you understand me?" repeated Jeff much more sternly.
Before more could be said, Lady Penelope and Parker appeared.
"Good Morning Jeff," said Lady Penelope as she gave Jeff a small peck on his cheek, before addressing the young terrorist that Jeff had told her so much about.
"You must be Alan."
Alan quickly took a step backwards even as he kept his arms crossed in defiance. No way was any 'girl'; well, any girl other than his beloved grandmother or Onaha, going to give him a kiss. To his surprise Lady Penelope did not even try. She just stood in front of he and his father giving him the once over. Alan glanced up at his fathers' face and could see the anger in his eyes at his behavior. He looked back at Lady Penelope, she seemed not to have noticed the daggers Jeff was shooting at Alan and almost seemed amused at the situation as she continued to look him over. Alan began to feel uneasy for reasons he didn't have a clue. Though he had to admit she was a very pretty lady and had a wonderful smile.
"Jeff, Alan I would like you to meet my most reliable right hand,... Parker."
"Good day to you, it will be mi pleasure to be of service to you Mister Tracy, Master Alan."
Jeff quickly acknowledged the greeting, but Alan hung back and looked at Lady Penelope wondering why this lady's own right hand wasn't reliable. He didn't see any bandages. Before Alan could ask further questions he heard Lady Penelope tell Parker to take Jeff's suitcases to his room and help Alan get settled in his.
"Yes mi lady. With pleasure." Parker headed toward the trunk to gather their suitcases. "This way master Alan."
Lady Penelope took Jeff by the arm and they headed into the mansion. Jeff only glanced back once giving the seven year old the raised eyebrow that meant behave. Alan glared back then turned to more closely inspect his newest quarry.
Parker in his blue-grey uniform very much looked the part of a proper English butler. To Alan; however, he was just another babysitter his father had just dumped him with. Alan watched as Lady Penelope and his father disappeared into the mansion, never looking back. He turned to Parker a smirk on his face. Silently he thought to himself "let the games begin."
"Well master Alan would you like to accompany me as I deposit the suitcases to your rooms, or would you rather wait on the veranda and I will give you a tour upon my return?"
"Rooms? You mean dad and I won't be in the same room?"
"Assuredly not master Alan. Adults stay in the west wing and children in the east wing."
"B-But we always stay in the same room when we travel. Does my dad know about this?"
"Perhaps, as you are not staying in a public place he was okay with this arrangement. Now if you will follow me."
Alan followed Parker quietly. Finally at the far end of a long dark hall Parker opened a door. Alan peered inside. There stood a large four poster bed. 'Man that bed would be fun to jump on.' Alan thought to himself.
Parker laid Jeff's bags down and quickly started to place the contents in the drawers and closet as Alan looked about. The large nearly floor to ceiling windows looked out upon the court yard.
Finishing his work Parker instructed Alan to follow. Alan was beginning to wonder it they would ever get to his room as they left the long hall went across a large formal room that had the largest fireplace Alan had ever seen, His eyes grew big as he tried to take it all in. Parker led him to the end af another long, dark hall adorned with what appeared to be metal knights with a variety of weapons.
"Why does Lady Penelope keep all these fake soldiers around?" asked Alan innocently.
"Fake? These ain't fake lad! Them's real armour that was worn by knights of the round table. Some of them served under King Authur his self, they did. Fake indeed! Do ya not know of England's 'istory at all?"
Alan crossed his arms across his chest and tried to make himself look taller before answering sarcastically. "Why do I need to learn bout England's history, I'm an American. I'm suppose to learn American stuff."
Parker fought to hide his exasperation.
"Well perhaps I might be able to give 'ye some instruction on the benefits of knowledge and understanding of others customs."
''Yeah, I guess that'd be okay, beings Dad says we'll be coming here often over the next couple of years, cuz he's got a lot of work to do. Long as you're not to boring."
"Boring indeed!'' Parker, more than a little disgruntled at the forwardness of the young boy opened a door at the far end of the hall and indicated that Alan should go inside.
"You're room Master Alan."
Alan slowly walked in. There were two large windows, that let in an abundance of light. He raced over for a look. The windows over looked what appeared to be a field with a forest beyond. A lone very large tree stood close to his window. The only tree until you got to the forest. In another corner Alan spied a large, four poster bed with a huge double mattress.
"Alright! I'm so far away, Dad won't even know if I jump on the bed." Alan smiled to himself. "Is there anyone else in this hall?''
"Me own room is at the other end of this 'all."
Alan thought to himself, "I'll just have to be a little bit quiet and no one will know if I jump on the bed." He walked about the room taking it all in.
Parker began to place Alan's belongings in a draw. He couldn't help but notice a worn brown bear with jeans, and a ranger shirt in the bottom of the suitcase.
"Would 'e like me to place this item on your bed?"
Alan raced over to retrieve his prized possession. "No I-I'll just keep it in this drawer by the bed, okay?"
"As you wish Master Alan." Parker said with a look of puzzlement.
"You won't tell my dad I brought him will you? He says I'm too big for him, so I just keep him close. You won't tell will you?"
"My lips are sealed on the matter. I promise not e word." Parker replied as he made a motion like he was locking a 'mouth door'.
Alan smiled, "Thank you Mister Parker."
"Just Parker, master Alan."
"Sure doesn't seem polite, but if that's what you want."
"It is. Remember I said e need to learn the customs of the country ye are visiting, if you want to get along with people."
Alan just smiled up at Parker. May be he would be more like Anne Marie. She always kept Alan's little secret's too. He was starting to like Parker.
"All finished. 'ave got to finish Me Lady's car before I dinner. Would ye like to come and see it?''
"Sure. Alan quickly placed the bear in a drawer near the bed and then followed Parker to the garage.
"Well, there she is. A real beauty don't you think?"
Alan walked around the car then stood with arms folded over his chest. "Just one thing wrong...It's PINK! Can't you change it to red or blue, or green, or silver or even yellow would be better."
"No master Alan, pink is mi Lady's signature so to speak."
"It's 'ow people can identify ew she is."
"Why? Dad doesn't let anyone take our picture or know who we are. He says we need our privacy."
"Well master Alan I know it's 'ard to understand, but sometimes it's a good thing to 'ave people recognize ye. Sometimes it can open doors that would otherwise remain shut. Do you understand?"
Alan sighed and placed his chin in his hands as though he were pondering the question. After a few moments he simply said, "no."
"Well that's okay, at yer age it is quiet right, your father should keep ye from the limelight so to say."
Alan's head came up quickly as he looked at Parker..."what's a limelight?"
Parker chuckled, ''just a fancy word Master Alan, you'll be learning 'bout them soon enough as ye gets started with your education."
"Oh... Or I if you have a computer, I could just Google it."
This time it was Parker who gave a look of disbelief, as he smiled and answered, "yes master Alan I do believe that would be an option...Now could ye be a good laddie and 'and me a wrench, it is the one on the left."
"Oh I know what a wrench is." said Alan excitedly, "Virgie showed me once...hey what are all these funny looking sharp things?"
"That me lad would be what you might say...a few tools of mi trade."
"Can you show me how they work sometime?''
"I'd be more 'en 'appy to. For now though, if ya will 'and me the wrench I will finish up 'ere and we can go and check on mi Lady and yer father."
"Okay." After handing Parker the wrench Alan began to examine his 'tools of his trade'.
Alan soon felt bored and decided to use the laptop he found on the car seat. Opening it to paint he matched pieces together until it looked very much like Lady Penelope's car then tried several different colors, all of which he thought looked better than pink.
Parker finished up, then wondered over, at first he was a little perturbed at Alan for touching things not belonging to him, but as he looked over what he was doing, he had to choke down a laugh. Clearing his throat to get Alan's attention he tried to look stern as he said, "I do not believe mi Lady or your father would be pleased to know you are getting into things that do not belong to ya!"
"Sorry Mister Parker, I was bored."
"It's just Parker, Master Alan."
"Apology 'cepted, but ye must learn, ye can't be getting into others things just cuz of boredom. You'll end up in a world of 'urt if you do and I should know. My mum always said 'idle 'ands aid the devils works."
"Really?" asked Alan excitedly. "My grandma says that too! She says that really applies to me cuz I'm too smart for my own good." He pondered for a moment before adding, "not exactly sure what she means though."
Parker just laughed as he led the way back up to the mansion.
Over dinner Lady Penelope drew Alan into conversation and laughed when Alan told her he had made pictures of her car and had changed the color. Stating she should see them, she might like the other colors.
"My dear Alan I could not possibly change my favorite color. I am sure the colors you have chosen would be simply wonderful for you or your brothers, but for a ''Lady" pink is quite right. Now what about you? Of all the colors you looked at, what is your favorite?"
"I like red, it's the bestest! Someday I will have a car and it will be red! I'm going to drive it really fast! I'm going to have a really fast red plane too! It's even going to be faster than dads jet."
''That sounds wonderful dear. Now tell me about your brothers? What do they like to do and what are their favorite colors?"
Alan took another drink of milk. His blue eyes sparkled as he took a big breath then began to tell all about the big brothers he adored.
"Well there's Scotty, he's my biggest brother, and he's not scared of nothing! He likes fast jets, he's a pilot too, and he likes blue and silver. Johnny, he likes the stars, he shows them to me. and if you ever have a question about the stars he can tell you, he is really smart. He likes silver, red, yellow, green, and blue. Vergie likes green the best. He can play the piano really good. I bet he would really like that big one you've got in that big room, and if you ever hurt yourself he knows how to fix knees and elbows really good.
"Gordy, he likes to play jokes and he is the best swimmer ever! He taught me to swim, but dad still won't let me swim by myself like Gordy does, but Gordy says dad will when I get as big as him. He likes the color yellow and his favorite song is about a yellow submarine and that a group from here where you live, made the song a l-o-n-g time ago. He said they were called the Beatles. I don't know why you'd want to be called a bug, though. Did you know them?"
Lady Penelope laughed as Jeff about choked at Alans last statement. "No Alan I never had the pleasure as that was a bit before my time; however, I have heard the song and it is quite a catchy tune isn't it."
"Yeah, it sure is." He began to loudly sing, "we all live on a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, we all li..."
"Alan that is enough. You are getting a little carried away." said Jeff.
Alan saw his dad's raised eyebrow and immediately stopped and his eyes suddenly found the floor very interesting. "Sorry dad, sorry Lady Penelope."
"Think nothing of it Alan. I quite enjoyed our little chat.'' She flashed him a big smile.
Alan looked up, into Lady Penelope's eyes and bright smile and found himself blurting out, "You are the most beautiful lady I have ever seen! 'cept for my grandma of course. And your right, pink is a good color for you!"
Parker almost spilled the tea he was about to serve as he fought back a chuckle. No one could resist one of e's Lady's smiles.
"Now Jeff, it is quite alright. I have a feeling Alan will never be one to hold back saying exactly what he thinks." Looking into Alan's eyes she smiled, "thank you young man."
Jeff pretended to clear his throat as he then suggested it was very near Alan's bedtime.
"Penny and I have some business to attend to. Will you be alright in a room by yourself Alan?"
Alan felt his face redden, finding the floor very interesting as he softly replied, "I have my own room at home dad."
"I will be 'appy to see master Alan is tucked in proper, Mister Tracy."
"Thank you Parker. Goodnight son. Behave yourself."
"Sure dad, goodnight. Goodnight Lady Penelope." Alan could not hold back they yawn as he left with Parker.
Alan readied himself for bed. His day had actually been long and busy, he fell asleep almost as soon as his head had hit the pillow. He might have slept straight through except for the ever increasing wind and rumbles of thunder as a freak, but intense thunderstorm approached. The large tree near his window added to his developing nightmare as the wind blew its massive branches against the windows, causing a frightful scraping, screeching sound.
This with the now frequent, loud crashes of thunder had one small boy in a corner of the huge room quivering, holding onto his 'Smokey' the bear with all his might as he buried his head and tried in vain to get away from the now ferocious cracks of thunder and the many shadowy figures revealed in this strange new room, with each flash of lightning. His heart was racing and he longed for the reassuring arms of a big brothers that had always used to be there, always seeming to know when he was scared. Now they were gone off to various schools and he was frightened and felt very alone. He was near tears and he could not control his body increasing shaking.
Suddenly he let out a gasp and struggled to get away from a dark figure standing over him.
"It's ok master Alan, it is I, Parker. I willst not let anything 'urt ye. There, there, it's just a bad storm. Nothing to fear."
Alan stopped struggling as the reassuring voice continued to talked to him and strong arms held him. Slowly he felt his racing heart slow.
"My brothers wouldn't be afraid."
"Well now I bet you they were when they were younger. When I was small, me mum used to tell me it was just the angels 'aving a bit of fun bowling and the bright lightning meant they got e strike."
Alan let out a quivering sigh, "My mom is an angel. I wish she'd tell them not to play so loud.''
This time it was Parker who had to catch his breath to keep his voice steady. "Well she must 'ave said something, see it is already starting to quiet down." He continued to rock the frightened boy. "Do ye think we can get you back into bed now?"
"Yes...you won't tell anyone will you Parker?" asked Alan as he looked up at Parker, his big blue eyes begging.
Parker made a locking motion over his mouth, "I assure you master Alan your secrets are safe with me."
Alan gave him a quick hug before climbing back into his bed, "Thanks Parker." He pulled his Smokey the bear into the bed with him.
"Would ye want me to place him," he pointed at the bear, "back in the drawer for safe keeping?"
"No thank you Parker I think he'd feel better if he stays with me tonight."
"Very well master Alan. Good night to ye then."
Alan awoke to bright sunshine coming through the tall windows. Though he did not realize, it was a bit later in the morning then his usual rise time due to the disturbance to his sleep the night before. He felt relaxed and happy and knew he had found a new friend in Parker. He stood up in the bed with Smoky in his arms, he looked about the room, nothing seemed scary now. Why had he been so scared during the storm. He could feel the bounce in the bed as he walked about the king size bed. It was way bigger than his bed at home. Alan couldn't help himself and started to jump around the bed, with each jump he found himself going higher and higher and giggling louder and louder.
''ALAN SHEPARD TRACY! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING!"
Alan spun around, when he saw the anger in his fathers eyes, his face paled to that of his white sheets. He scrambled to get down from the bed only to get caught in the bed sheets. CRACK. THUD. His head hit one of the posts and he dropped onto the floor. He lay still for only a moment before he struggled to stand upright. Before he could even think of what had just happened he was being helped to stand and he heard his father asking if he were alright and telling him to just slow his breathing. It took a couple of moments, but then he was able to focus and do as he was told. His eyes were as big as saucers as he looked up at his father's face. For a moment his father seemed concerned and he rubbed a hand over his face gently checking around the now growing goose egg to the upper left forehead.
"Are you alright Alan."
"Yes dad. I'm sorry. I was just trying to have some fun."
"Fun? Fun Alan. What have you been told about jumping on the beds?"
"And why are you not to jump on the beds?"
"Cuz it wears them out and you can get hurt."
"Precisely. You are a guest here and yet you show no regard others property."
"I'm sorry dad." Alan shuffled one foot back and forth.
"Sorry isn't enough Alan. I should tan your hide till you can't sit down for a week!"
Alan looked around, a quick survey showed there was nowhere to run.
Neither noticed they arrival of two more interested parties.
"Now Jeff, you know boys will be boys. Please do not tell me you did nothing wrong at this tender age?" Penny smiled as she walked in and put her hand on Jeff's arm. Then turned and addressed Alan.
"My, I think you will have a real shiner young man. Parker would you please fetch an ice bag for little Alan."
"Of course me Lady."
Alan frowned wishing he was anywhere but where he was at the moment. He father was angry and disappointed with him and Lady Penelope referred to him as being 'little'.
Jeff turned back to Alan, "You can thank Lady Penelope that you are not getting that tanning," anger still in his voice.
Alan let out a little sigh of relief.
"Do not think you are going to get off scot free Alan. In fact, as punishment you are grounded to this room for the rest of the day. NO TV and NO computer or vid phone!"
Alan gulped then quietly, "but dad this was suppose to be our day. Just you and me. You promised!" His voice becoming a little stronger."It would have been had you behaved yourself. I guess I shouldn't be to surprised by your behavior." Alan followed his fathers eyes and saw him staring at Smokey as he said, "I am very disappointed in your behavior, but I guess you really are still v-e-r-y little in 'many' ways."
Alan hung his head at his father's words.
Jeff stood and started to walk out then turned back "I am glad you were not badly hurt Alan, but it's time you learned actions have consequences. Maybe someday you'll understand like your brothers already do.''
As Jeff and Lady Penelope walked out, Parker walked in with the requested ice bag.
" 'ere ye are master Alan, keep it to your fore'ead it will help with the swelling.''
Alan took the offered bag and climbed up onto the bed and lay staring up at the ceiling, not saying a word as between his aching head and disappointment in himself for disappointing his father it was all he could do to hold the tears at bay, but he was determined not to let them fall again at least not in front of anyone. Alan felt an object being placed by him as he heard.
"I'll be back and check in on ye later master Alan."
The door closed and Alan took a quick glance around the room. He was alone. Gathering Smokey into his arms, he turned over and cried.
Shortly after their late brunch, Jeff and Lady Penelope left to conduct further 'business'. Parker went back to Alan's room and found him sitting by the windows staring out.
"Excuse me master Alan, I know all your favorite things 'ave been placed off limits for today, but I though maybe we could 'ave a little fun if your a mind to and I'll teach you about the tools of mi trade that you asked me 'bout yesterday. Though as I 'ave agreed not to reveal your secrets, I would ask that you do the same for me and not tell anyone where you learned these things."
For the first time since the enounter with his father that morning Alan smiled, "my lips are sealed, Parker." he made the sign of locking his lips. Together they began the study of picking various kinds of locks.
On Jeff and Lady Penelopes' return, Jeff came to look in on his youngest son.
"I am sorry I had to punish you Alan. I hope you used this time wisely and understand the consequences of your actions."
Alan gave his father a little smirk as he answered, Yes dad I certainly did learn lots."
Lady Penelope saw Paeker roll his eyes and smiled as she thought about the things Alan would probably learn.
Little did Jeff know what the events of that day would lead to. If he had perhaps he might have been more careful as to who he was leaving his youngest son with. During the frequent visits to England over the next two and a half years, before he would be sent to live with his grandmother, Alan's friendship with Parker would blossom. His skills in areas of locks, driving, the Parker Haymaker move along with other various activities, would grow way beyond what anyone could possibly have imagined.
The 'End' for now. Hope you enjoyed.