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Old March 26th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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Andrew prequel chapter 13

It had been many months since I have posted on this forum, but here is Andrew's Prequel Chapter 13, which I have finally finished after a long break. You can read the completed Chapters of the Andrew Prequel at my website:


Andrew and Carrie were walking out of the school after their last class before the Christmas Holidays when they ran into Darrel Parker on the front steps.

"What are you doing here Darrel?" Andrew asked him with a frown. "Were you waiting for us?"

"Yes Andrew," Darrel replied hesitantly. "I don't mean to be rude but-"

"Sadly, accidental rudeness happens far too often, especially from you," Andrew said, cutting him off. "It's best if you say nothing at all Little Man."

"Okay Andrew; I just wanted to say hello," Darrel said hesitantly.

"Well you've said hello, now say goodbye," Andrew said nastily, borrowing a line from his favourite show Walker: Texas Ranger.

"Okay Andrew; Merry Christmas," Darrel said, turning to leave.

Andrew started walking down the sidewalk with Carrie when she suddenly nudged him in the ribs.

"He wished you Merry Christmas Andrew; it's only polite to return the holiday greeting," she whispered in his ear.

"Okay fine Carrie," Andrew sighed. He turned back towards Darrel and shouted, "Hey Darrel!"

"Yes Andrew?" Darrel asked him, turning to face him.

"Wish your brother Merry Christmas for me," Andrew said. Carrie nudged him in the ribs harder this time and Andrew reluctantly added, "And Merry Christmas to you as well."

Darrel smiled slightly and turned around to walk home.

"There Andrew, that wasn't so bad now was it?" Carrie asked him.

"That hurt worse than pushing myself to the max during a workout Carrie," Andrew complained. "Don't ask me to do that again."

"Darrel's trying to be nice Andrew; the least you can do is return the favour," Carrie reminded him.

"Only for you Carrie," Andrew said, squeezing her hand gently. As they began walking home, he asked her, "Why do you think Darrel keeps trying to talk to me?"

"I think he always wanted to hang around you; that's why he bullied you," Carrie said. "Maybe he wanted a friendship with you like his brother has, but he didn't know how to ask for one."

"I don't think so Carrie; it's more likely that Darrel's trying to get close to me to find out how I got so big," Andrew realized. "Then he can get bigger than me and bully me again."

"I hadn't thought of that Andrew, but if that's true, let's hope you get more weights for Christmas," Carrie said.

Once they got to Carrie's house, Andrew kissed her goodbye and asked her, "Is your family coming over for Christmas Dinner Carrie?"

"I'll ask my dad and call you with the answer Andrew," Carrie promised him. "See you tomorrow."

"Goodbye Carrie," Andrew said, waving as he began to walk the two blocks to his house.

"Hey Dad, I'm home!" Andrew shouted, entering the house and setting down his backpack.

"Hello Andrew; you must be excited to be off for the Christmas Holidays," Chad said, stepping out of the kitchen.

"Yeah I am Dad, now I can work out during the day and now just in the evening," Andrew said.

"Yes and I can teach you how to snowboard over the holidays," Chad realized, handing Andrew a protein shake. "Drink up son and then we'll see how much you can lift in the gym downstairs."

"Well, I got to 200 pounds two days ago; we'll see if I can do better now," Andrew said.

"Are you talking about the bench-press Andrew or how much you can curl with one arm?" Chad teased him.

"You'd better stop the jokes Dad; my bench-press is only 20 pounds less than you weigh!" Andrew reminded him. "And that's my ten-rep working weight!"

"Your one-rep maximum should be more than 250 pounds," Chad realized, doing some quick math in his head. "I think it's time to see if you can lift me Andrew."

"Do you really think I'm strong enough to do that?" Andrew asked him in astonishment.

"Hey, you reached 300 pounds on the squat two days ago, didn't you?" Chad asked him. Andrew nodded and Chad added, "Then it's no stretch to think you can lift me: I only weigh 220 pounds. You remember how to pick someone up in the Fireman's Carry, don't you Andrew?"

"Yeah I do Dad," Andrew said. "Let's give it a try."

Chad ordered Andrew to squat down and then he had Andrew grab him around his knees and stand up slowly, with Chad across his shoulders. Andrew managed to stand up slowly and Chad helped him with a hand in the small of his back. Then Andrew turned towards the hall mirror to see an amazing sight: his dad draped across his shoulders like a rag doll.

"I'm very proud of you Andrew; you've exceeded my wildest expectations," Chad said. He felt Andrew shifting his grip and then asked him, "What are you doing son?"

"I want to get you fully across my shoulders Dad and then try something," Andrew replied.

He leaned against the wall and got Chad fully across his shoulders and then got his hands under him. He turned around so that his back was to the wall and then extended his arms slowly. Chad slowly felt himself rising into the air and a look back in the mirror showed that Andrew was military-pressing him.

"Good job Andrew; take each rep slow and steady," Chad urged him. "Keep your back against the wall so you don't lose your balance and let's see how many reps you can press me for."

Andrew followed his dad's orders, even as a cocky smirk came over his face and he realized that his dad's days of giving him orders would soon come to an end. Andrew managed to military-press his dad for five reps before he had to let him down to the ground again.

"I can't believe I just did that Dad," Andrew said, panting with exhaustion. "I even did the last couple of reps without the wall to assist me."

"Yes you did Andrew and I'm very proud of you," Chad said, laying a big hand on his son's shoulder. "Now I know that you wanted to work out tonight, but I think you'd better wait until tomorrow and then we can start with an arm-wrestling contest."

"Good idea Dad, now how about I get a shower and then have a protein shake to recharge my muscles?" Andrew asked him.

"Go ahead Andrew," Chad said. "Off you go." Andrew ran upstairs quickly and Chad grinned with relief, pleased that Andrew still obeyed his orders. "But for how much longer?" Chad asked himself.

The next day, Andrew and Chad had their arm-wrestling contest before their workout in the basement gym. Chad still beat Andrew, but not as easily as he used to, even with his strongest arm.

"Good job Andrew," Chad said. "I'll make a deal with you: when you can beat me in arm wrestling, then I won't give you orders anymore; I'll make suggestions instead."

"It's a deal Dad," Andrew said, shaking Chad's hand as they both stood up.

"Thanks son, now let's go workout downstairs," Chad said.

"Is that an order or a suggestion?" Andrew asked him with a silly grin.

"It's an order son, because I can still do this!" Chad laughed, picking Andrew up in a Fireman's Carry. He carried Andrew downstairs and set him down on the weight bench. "How's that son? You're not the only big man around here, you know!"

"You think I'm a big man Dad?" Andrew asked Chad.

"Yes I do Andrew," Chad said seriously. "You stand at 5 foot 8 and weigh 162 pounds! Your growth may have slowed down as I told you it would, but you're still twice as big as anyone in Grade Five! So you're the big man at your school!"

"Yeah I am Dad and everyone there worships me as a muscle god," Andrew said with a smirk.

"Just remember that they worship you because you protect them from bullies," Chad reminded him. "You wouldn't want to damage your new reputation by being a bully like Darrel, would you?"

Andrew shook his head, and as he and Chad had their workout, Chad told him more about the great responsibility Andrew had to protect other people with his great strength.

A few days later, Andrew and Sarah's friend Margaret called them on the telephone to say that she was moving into Orillia before Christmas and that she needed some help moving. Since she had helped Andrew, Sarah and Susan move into town six months before, on a weekday when Chad was at work, Susan assured her that they would be glad to return the favour.

"I'm going to bring my husband over to help out, since he's off for the Christmas Holidays just like Andrew and Sarah," Susan told Margaret, forgetting that Chad was still at work.

"That's a good idea Susan; if we have a strong man around, then I won't have to attempt some magic to move the furniture," Margaret said.

"You taught yourself a few more spells Margaret?" Susan asked her, deciding to keep quiet about Andrew's new size and strength. "Do you think we can see you perform some magic after we help you move?"

"Yes you can Susan," Margaret replied. "I'll see you at my cottage in 20 minutes to start the move."

Margaret hung up the phone and Susan did the same, realizing that she hadn't seen Margaret in six months and neither had Andrew and Sarah.

"I wonder why that is; maybe Margaret's been busy teaching herself some new spells," Susan realized, heading upstairs to tell Andrew and Sarah about Margaret's phone call. "I guess it makes sense for her to practice the spells alone first to work out any kinks; she's rather absent-minded actually."

Once Susan told Andrew and Sarah about Margaret's phone call, they got excited that they'd be able to see Margaret again.

"Do you think Margaret would agree to come to Christmas Dinner so that she could meet Dad and the Petersons?" Andrew asked her suddenly.

"I think so Andrew," Susan said, as they went downstairs to get dressed. "It's too bad that Margaret called while your dad was at work, or she would have been able to meet him today."

"Ask her to stay for supper; even if we help her move, she won't have any time to get any unpacking done," Andrew reminded her. When Susan stared at Andrew in confusion, Andrew elaborated by adding, "She's probably spent enough on the moving van that she won't want to eat out tonight and all her kitchen gear will be packed away in boxes."

"I think you're forgetting that Margaret is quiet adept at making meals with magic Andrew," Susan reminded him. "The Meal-Making Spell seems to be one of the few spells that is effortless for her to perform."

"That may be true Mom; okay: how about we ask her over for supper but let her make it with magic?" Andrew asked her.

"That sounds like a good compromise Andrew," Susan said, locking the front door once they were all outside. "Okay, let's go."

Everyone got into Susan's car and she drove them to Margaret's cottage. When they got there, the moving van was pulling away fully loaded.

"Ah, there you are," Margaret said, stepping forward to shake Susan's hand. She looked over at Andrew and Sarah and her eyes widened when she saw how big Andrew was. "My goodness Andrew: you've certainly grown over the last six months, haven't you?"

"Yes I have Margaret," Andrew replied, taking off his jacket and flexing his 14 inch bicep. "What do you think of that Margaret: 14 inches of cold hard steel!"

"It still looks like human flesh to me Andrew, unless your skin is just an exoskeleton like in the Terminator Movies," Margaret chuckled.

"Yeah I am a Terminator Margaret; a Terminator of Bullies that is!" Andrew laughed.

"Good for you Andrew; I'm glad that you're using your great strength for useful things instead of wasting it bullying other people," Margaret commended him. "Are you ready to use your muscles to help me put the boxes in my car?"

"Yes I am Margaret," Andrew replied. "Let's go."

So for the rest of the afternoon, the three members of the Pearson family helped Margaret move the boxes of posessions over to her new house, which was just a few blocks away from their house in the Hillside Drive Subdivision.

"I didn't know that you were moving just a few blocks away from us Margaret," Sarah said, as they set down the last of the boxes in Margaret's living room.

"Well, I never told you that, but I wanted to move into town for a while now to be closer to my friends," Margaret said. "Also, since I need to make some modifications to my car, it only made sense to move into town closer to the repair shops."

Once all of Margaret's possessions were in her new house, Susan asked her, "Margaret, is there another reason you moved into town?"

"What makes you think that Susan?" Margaret asked her, trying to evade the question.

"Women's intuition Margaret and you didn't answer my question," Susan said.

"Sorry Susan, but I don't want the answer to your question to leave this room," Margaret said firmly. The three Pearsons nodded and Margaret said, "I met my boyfriend six months ago and I'm moving into town so I can be closer to him."

"You must have met your boyfriend just after we defeated Alexander," Andrew realized.

"Yes I did, on the same day I met Chief Collins for the first time and we got checked out at the hospital," Margaret said. "My boyfriend is the Doctor who checked us out actually and his name is-"

"Richard Johnson," Susan finished, her face turning red.

"That's right Susan," Margaret confirmed. She took a closer look at Susan's face and asked, "What's wrong Susan? Your face is flushed."

"Richard Johnson was my high school boyfriend Margaret, but we broke up when our long-distance relationship became too much for us in college," Susan replied.

"Ah I didn't know that Susan," Margaret said, looking embarrassed. "My dating Richard isn't going to be a problem for you, is it?"

"I don't think so Margaret, once I calm down of course," Susan replied. "It was just an unpleasant shock, but since he's been our family doctor for years, I think I'll get over it soon."

"That's good Susan, because we just became friends seven months ago and I don't want anything to interfere with that," Margaret said. "Even before I met Richard, I was planning to move into town so that I could live closer to you guys; you're my only friends in town so far."

"Well hopefully you'll have more soon," Susan said. "Richard should be able to introduce you to the people in his social circle, which includes our family dentist Dr. Wilson and Mr. Harrington my husband's boss."

"Speaking of your husband, where is he?" Margaret asked, suddenly realizing he wasn't with them. "I thought you were bringing him over here to help me move."

"He's at work Margaret and I forgot about that when I told you he could help us move you into town," Susan said. She checked her watch and added, "He should be home from work by now. Do you want to join us for supper tonight and meet him for the first time?"

"Good idea and thank you for the invitation Susan," Margaret said.

She followed the Pearsons to their house in her car and they saw Chad's car in the driveway.

"My dad's home Margaret," Andrew said. "After you meet him but before supper, he and I can show you the new weight room downstairs."

"And you can show me how much you can bench-press, right Andrew?" Margaret guessed.

"That's right Margaret," Andrew agreed. "Is mind-reading once of the magic spells you memorized?"

"No Andrew; I'm just a good guesser," Margaret replied.

Andrew nodded and they went inside to introduce Chad and Margaret to each other. Once the introductions were complete, Andrew and Chad took Margaret down to the basement weight room, which Chad had built for Andrew's birthday more than two months before. Margaret was very impressed with Andrew's performance on the bench-press and she could see that all his big muscles weren't just for show. She suggested that Andrew look into joining a football program before high school. Chad agreed and during supper the whole family talked about that and other topics that would define their future.

On Christmas Eve, having confirmed that the Petersons would be joining them for Christmas Dinner the next day, the Pearson family wrapped their presents in seperate rooms. Then they put out the milk and cookies for Santa and went to bed. Andrew lay in bed smiling to himself at how much his life had changed in just six months and he suddenly realized that this would be the first Christmas in their new house.

"Margaret just moved into our neighbourhood last week," Andrew said to himself. "I'm glad that I was able to use my new muscles to help her move her stuff into her new house and she was certainly surprised at how big and strong I've become!"

As Andrew fell asleep, he wondered if he would get an addition to the weight set that his dad had given him for his birthday.

On Christmas Morning, everyone came downstairs to see all the presents under the Christmas tree.

"Merry Christmas everyone," Chad said. "Let's have breakfast first and then we can open our presents."

Everyone followed his suggestion and then they enjoyed opening their presents. Chad and Susan gave each other ski tickets for Horseshoe Valley Resort over New Years, while Sarah got clothes and Andrew got more weights and protein bars.

"Thanks a lot Dad!" Andrew shouted in excitement. "I had a feeling that my Christmas presents would be geared towards my goal of becoming big and strong!"

"You already are big and strong, for an 11 year old Andrew," Chad reminded him. "But these new weights and protein bars will help make you even bigger and stronger! And that's not all you're getting this Christmas Andrew and Sarah! Stay right here; I'll be right back."

Chad went upstairs to the Master bedroom to get their presents out of the closet. Then he brought the gifts downstairs and watched his kids' faces light up with excitement.

"You got us snowboards Dad!" Andrew shouted in excitement.

"Yes I did Andrew and we're staying at Horseshoe Valley Resort over New Years so that you can learn how to use them," Chad said.

"Yeah Dad; I can't wait to be a cool snowboarder!" Andrew shouted in excitement. "Which ski suit should I wear: the slim one or the bulky one?"

"Wear the slim one Andrew: it will cause less wind resistance," Chad replied. "Also, it won't catch on any trees if you pass close to them on your way down the ski hill."

"Good point Dad and it will also show off all my big muscles on the ski hill!" Andrew realized with a big grin.

"Yes Andrew," Chad sighed, realizing that his son was turning into a cocky jock, even at age 11! "Carrie will be there with us, since I invited her family to join us there for New Years."

"Good idea Dad; Carrie loves to see my big muscles and I look forward to showing Steve who's boss on the ski slopes," Andrew said with a smug grin.

"You know Andrew, I think you've become a cocky jock even before you've started playing a sport," Chad said, giving voice to his opinion about Andrew's change in attitude.

"You don't really think I'm acting cocky, do you Dad?" Andrew asked him, as Susan took Sarah outside to try out her new snowboard on the snow hill.

"Yes I do Andrew, but it's completely understandable considering how you completely transformed yourself over the course of one summer," Chad replied with a proud smile.

"All because of your training Dad," Andrew said.

"Yes, but you also trained in your room; I saw you working out alone," Chad said. "I'm glad that you're getting good use out of the chin-up bar I installed above your door."

"Yes I am Dad, and I look forward to getting some use out of this snowboard," Andrew said. "Do you think after Mom's done showing Sarah how to use hers, you can show me how to use mine?"

"Good idea Andrew," Chad agreed.

So, once Sarah and Susan came back inside, Andrew and Chad had a chance to try out Andrew's new snowboard on the snow hill in the back yard. Then they came back inside and had lunch. After lunch, everyone started to prepare Christmas Dinner and Susan sent Andrew and Chad to the IGA to get a few extra things. At the IGA, Andrew and Chad ran into Margaret and her boyfriend Dr. Richard Johnson.

"Hello Margaret," Andrew said, shaking her hand. "It's good to see you again and we look forward to seeing you at Christmas Dinner this evening."

"Thank you Andrew," Margaret said, massaging her sore hand once Andrew released it. She motioned to the man beside her and said, "You already know Dr. Richard Johnson: he's my boyfriend and with your permission, he'll be my dinner date tonight."

"Sounds good Margaret," Andrew said. He turned to Chad and said, "Introduce yourself to my good friend Margaret Dad; then we can continue shopping."

"I'm very pleased to meet you Margaret," Chad said, stepping forward and shaking her hand. "Andrew's told me a lot about you."

"All good things I hope," Margaret said, wincing as she massaged her right hand, which was even more sore after Chad's firm handshake. "You and Andrew certainly have strong grips Chad."

PAGE 131

"Thanks Margaret, but it looks like we squeezed too hard," Chad realized. "It's just that in business we learn that our customers appreciate a firm handshake."

"What felt firm to you felt crushing to me!" Margaret informed him. She turned to Andrew and said, "If you keep growing like that Andrew, you're going to start scaring people soon!"

"I hope not Margaret," Andrew said, looking pretty worried. "Everyone worships me as a hero now and I don't want that to change! And if they grow bigger as well, I don't think they'll be scared of me as I grow!"

"Quite right Andrew; I didn't think of that," Margaret said, looking embarrassed. "I guess I'm still a bit absent-minded after all." Before Andrew could assure her that she wasn't, she said, "I'd better let you and Chad get back to your shopping. What time is dinner?"

"6 pm at our house Margaret," Chad said. "You'll be able to meet our close family friends the Petersons then."

"I look forward to it Chad," Margaret said. "See you then."

"Goodbye Margaret," Chad said, waving as he and Andrew headed for the next aisle.

Once Andrew and Chad were done their shopping, they went home and helped Susan and Sarah with the Christmas Dinner preparations.

"You'd better get the extra boards for the table Chad; we're going to need them," Susan said, once Chad told her that Margaret and her boyfriend were coming for dinner.

"Good idea Susan; let's go get them Andrew," Chad said. Andrew followed him to the hall closet and Chad said, "Since our normal dining room table seats six, we'll need two extra boards to expand it to seat 10 people."

Chad and Andrew brought the extra boards to the table and after pulling the two halves apart, set them in place. Then Chad sent Andrew upstairs to change into one of his new T-shirts.

"Which one should I wear Dad?" Andrew asked him. "I got several brands this morning."

"Just hurry up and pick one Andrew," Chad sighed. "Our guests will be here any minute."

Andrew complied and soon came downstairs in an Abercrombie T-shirt. He heard a knock on the front door and went to answer it. After opening the door, he saw six people standing on the front steps: Steve, Carrie, their parents, Margaret and Dr. Johnson.

?Hello everyone,? Andrew greeted his friends at the front door.

?Hello Andrew,? Steve replied. ?Can we come in??

?Oh yeah, I forgot to say ?come in?, but you can do so now,? Andrew replied.

?Thanks man,? Steve said, stepping inside with his parents and Carrie following him.

That left Andrew standing on the front steps facing Margaret Moore and her new boyfriend Dr. Richard Johnson.

?Follow the Peterson family inside you two: they?ll probably be in the kitchen chatting with my parents,? Andrew said.

?What about your sister Sarah?? Margaret asked, stepping inside with her boyfriend.

?She?s having Christmas Dinner over at her best friend Sue?s house,? Andrew replied.

He left out the fact that Sue and Steve had just had a big fight and that was why he wasn?t over at Sue?s house. Steve looked over at Andrew as he spoke and grinned at him, pleased that Andrew hadn?t spilled his relationship issues in front of everyone.

Margaret, her boyfriend and Steve?s parents stepped into the kitchen to help Chad and Susan make supper, leaving Andrew and Carrie alone in the living room with Steve.

?I promised Matt Stevenson I would start protecting his little brothers now that he?s no longer around to do it,? Andrew informed Steve.

?Have you been hanging around with those wimpy runts?? Steve sneered, revealing an nasty side of his nature now that the parents were out of the room. ?You?re a jock now Andrew; why are you wasting your time with them??

Andrew glared at Steve and then said, ?I don?t consider teaching them to protect themselves a waste of time Steve. Frankly I?m surprised at your attitude; you sound just like Darrel. You haven?t been wasting your time with him, have you??

?So what if I have?? Steve asked him defensively. ?You can?t tell me who to have as friends!?

?The reverse is also true Steve, even if I have much better taste in friends than you do,? Andrew reminded him.

?You can?t talk to me that way!? Steve snapped, jumping up from the couch and stepping forward to meet Andrew nose-to-nose.

?What are you going to do about it Steve; try to shut me up?? Andrew sneered at him. ?You?d better hope you have better luck than Darrel did a few months back!?

Carrie chuckled at the look of shock on her brother?s face and then eased her way between them.

?It?s Christmas you two; let?s try to get along,? she advised them. ?Let?s go into the dining room Andrew and we can set the table.?

?Good idea Carrie; it?s getting too crowded in this room anyway,? Andrew agreed. ?Steve?s ego takes up too much space!?

Andrew and Carrie walked out of the living room and across the entry hall into the dining room. There, they helped their parents set the wooden table with a white tablecloth and fancy china dishes from the hutch in the far left corner.

Once they were done, everyone went back into the kitchen to get the food, leaving Andrew alone in the dining room for a moment. He turned towards the hutch and noticed the big rainbow coloured dish on the central shelf. He suddenly remembered that the dish had been a gift that his grandfather had brought back from Vietnam about 25 years before.

Andrew turned to the window to look out at the snowy street and suddenly realized that since the hutch faced the street, the big shiny dish was clearly visible to anyone outside.

?It would make a very tempting target if someone wanted to steal it,? Andrew said to himself. He decided to tell that to his dad, but then his mom called him into the kitchen to help put the food on the table. ?Coming Mom!? Andrew called out.

He walked through the swinging double doors into the kitchen and grabbed the closest dish of food.

?Thanks Andrew; I know it?s a huge strain on those big muscles of yours to help us out,? Carrie teased him as she followed him out of the kitchen with another food dish.

?Stop making fun of me Carrie, or you?ll find out what these big muscles can really do!? Andrew threatened her with a laugh.

?Like I do every time we make out?? Carrie asked him with a big grin.

Andrew smiled and nodded, just as the four parents came out of the kitchen with more dishes of food.

"Everything's on the table now, so we can sit down," Chad said. He looked around at the group of eight people and asked, "Where's Steve?"

"He's in the living room Dad; I'll get him," Andrew replied.

"I'll get him Andrew," Carrie corrected him, laying a soft hand on his muscular forearm. "Stay right here; I'll be back with him."

Andrew nodded in agreement, admiring the view as Carrie walked across the front foyer into the living room. Chad noticed the direction of his son's gaze and smiled to himself, pleased that Andrew had found his soulmate. Then he waited impatiently as Carrie took a few minutes to convince Steve to join everyone at the table.

"It's about time you got here Steve; what was the problem?" his dad Ron asked him.

"Nothing Dad; I was just daydreaming," Steve muttered, looking down at his feet.

"It's nighttime now Steve," Andrew reminded him with a smug grin.

Steve snapped his head up to glare at Andrew, but wisely decided not to when Andrew flexed his massive biceps.

"Stop showing off Andrew," Chad ordered him with a laugh. "Sit down everyone."

The nine people sat down at the dining room table, leaving only one empty chair on the front window side. Once everyone was seated, Chad began asking his guests how their Christmas Holidays had been so far. As everyone began talking, Andrew looked over at Steve and noticed how quiet he was. Andrew smirked, pleased that he had put Steve in his place twice that evening.

"Why are you smirking at Steve Andrew?" Ron Peterson asked him.

"Steve called Mike and Mark Stevenson runts and I reminded him that Darrel Parker used to call me a runt until I took care of him," Andrew replied with an arrogant grin.

"What do you mean, you took care of him?" Chad asked.

"Why did you call Mike and Mark runts?" Ron asked Steve.

Then the two fathers realized they had asked those questions at the same time.

"Take care of what Steve said first; then I'll take care of what Andrew said," Chad told Ron.

"Fine with me Chad," Ron said. He turned to Steve with a glare and asked, "Why did you call Mike and Mark runts?"

"Because they are Dad!" Steve shouted. "I outweigh them almost two to one and I could swat them like flies!"

Everyone at the table put down their napkins and stared at Steve in shock, unable to believe that he was acting like a complete jerk.

"As Andrew reminded you, Darrel used to call him a runt," Chad said. "I'm tempted to let Andrew take care of you as well so that you'll show him some respect!"

"I already did Dad, with just words," Andrew assured him, cutting off an angry retort from Ron. "Steve backed down."

Ron's look of anger faded and he turned to his son. "I'm glad to hear that Steve. But I don't want to hear you referring to small kids as runts ever again! It wasn't so long ago that you were as small as they are, and don't you forget it! I think you're just jealous that Andrew's finally bigger than you are!"

"You're probably right Dad," Steve agreed, missing the triumphant smile on Andrew's face. "I'll just have to work harder in my home gym so that I can become as big as he is once again."

"That's better," Ron said with a pleased grin. "Now shake Andrew's hand and apologize to him for what you said."

"I'm not sure a forced apology would be helpful Ron; it would probably lead to embarrassment and then resentment on his part," Chad advised him.

"Besides, I wouldn't accept his apology anyway!" Andrew snapped in fury. "He looks down his nose at those who are smaller than he is and-"

"Everyone except you is smaller than I am!" Steve snapped at him, standing up from the table.

"And I'm bigger than you, so don't mess with me punk!" Andrew roared in fury, causing everyone to lean back in fear as he jumped up from the table.

Chad and Ron stood up as their shock at Andrew's fury wore off and stepped between the two huge kids.

"Dinner's going to be a little late everyone; we have to sort this out before we can eat," Chad informed his seated guests. "The four of us are going into the garage for a few minutes."

"I'm not going anywhere with him!" Andrew shouted in fury, glaring at Steve.

"Fine, then you're coming with me up to your room," Chad informed him through clenched teeth. "Let's go Mister."

Andrew knew better than to argue with that tone of voice and obediently followed his dad upstairs, while Ron Peterson led Steve out to the garage. The four females and Dr. Johnson remained seated at the table in shock, unable to believe what they had just witnessed.

"I've never seen Andrew so angry in my life," Margaret finally said. "That was really scary!"

"Yes it was Margaret," Susan agreed. "I never thought that I would be scared of my own son, but I am now! What am I going to do to keep him in line now?"

"I'd say let your husband deal with it; he seems to still have some control over Andrew," Cathy Peterson replied. She turned to Carrie and asked her, "Are you alright honey?"

"No I'm not Mom," Carrie replied, her voice and hands shaking. "I feel torn between Andrew and Steve but worse than that, I'm terrified of Andrew for the first time! This certainly wasn't the Christmas Dinner I was expecting!"

Upstairs, Andrew's dad was yelling at him for embarrassing everyone and Andrew was yelling right back: insisting that Steve was the real problem.

When father and son had finished yelling at each other, Chad opened the door of Andrew's bedroom and stepped into the hall. "I may not be able to control you much longer Andrew, but I'm still the boss here for now. I never believed in hitting my kids as you well know, but I got really close to that tonight!" Andrew's face showed a trace of fear at that revelation, but he masked it quickly. "Instead, I'm going to take your weights away and get a refund for your ticket to Horseshoe Valley Resort on New Year's Day."

"You can't do that Dad!" Andrew snarled in rage, stepping forward menacingly.

"And I suppose you're going to stop me?" Chad roared, stepping forward until he was face to face with his son. When Andrew stepped back slowly, Chad nodded in satisfaction and said, "That's what I thought." He turned back towards the door and ripped Andrew's chin-up bar off the wall from above the door. "You won't be needing this anymore," he growled in rage, bending the bar in half. He then folded it back on itself several times until it formed a crude ball of metal. "Here you go; I made you a paperweight for your desk," he said with disgust, tossing the crude metal ball at Andrew. Andrew had to use both hands to catch it and almost dropped it because of the weight. "Keep that little demonstration in mind if you have any more delusions that you can take out your old man. I don't want to see you for the rest of the night; your mother will bring your cold supper up to you later. Thanks for a wonderful Christmas Dinner Andrew!"

Chad walked out of Andrew's bedroom, slamming the door behind him for effect, since he had taken the rest of his anger out of Andrew's chin-up bar.

"It's good to know that I'm still really big and strong," Chad said to himself as he came downstairs. He stopped short as Susan stepped into his path. "Yes dear, what can I do for you?"

"You let me know what you meant by that," Susan replied. "What did you do to Andrew up there?"

"Nothing physical I assure you," Chad replied with a reassuring smile. "I just grounded him for the rest of the holidays and took away his weights."

"Does that mean he's not coming with us to Horseshoe Valley Resort for New Years?" Carrie asked him with a sad look on her face.

"That's exactly what it means Carrie," Chad replied with a frown. "My time in the military taught me discipline, which I intend to teach Andrew no matter how long it takes! As he gets bigger and stronger, discipline will mean the difference between a jail sentence and an athletic career! And he won't run the risk of scaring or hurting those he cares about if I nip his rage in the bud now!"

"It was really scary Chad," Susan admitted. "But I'm relieved that you can still keep him under control."

"But for how much longer, I wonder?" Chad wondered. "Andrew's growing up so fast that I can no longer deny that he's hit Early Puberty! He'll be as big as me by the time he enters High School!"

"As soon as he's not grounded anymore, sign him up for some Spring Football run by the City of Orillia," Margaret suggested. "If you can redirect his aggressive tendancies onto the right path early on, they won't lead him down the wrong path later on."

"A very good suggestion Margaret," Chad agreed, sitting down at the table. "Sit down everyone, and let's eat before the food gets cold."

"The food won't get cold Mr. Pearson; it's in covered dishes," Carrie informed him.

Cathy patted her arm gently and said, "Now's not the time to make jokes Carrie; this a serious matter we've been discussing!"

"Sorry Mom," Carrie apologized. She looked around the table and asked, "Dad and Steve are still out in the garage; we should wait for them."

"No need for that; I sent Steve home," Ron said, stepping around the corner into the dining room. "I don't know what I'm going to do with that young man, so I just took away his weights and grounded him for the rest of the holidays!"

"I did the same thing with Andrew," Chad informed him. "I'm glad to see that we're on the same page when it comes to disciplining our sons."

Ron smiled for the first time that evening. "So am I Chad, and I hope that the end of Andrew and Steve's friendship doesn't mean the end of ours."

"It certainly doesn't," Chad assured him. He turned to Carrie and added, "I neglected to ban Andrew from using his computer, so he can still email you, even if he can't come over to see you."

"That's okay Mr. Pearson; I'll still see him on the bus and at school," Carrie realized.

"Just keep Andrew away from your brother," Ron snapped. "Steve was all ready to apologize when Andrew started their argument up again!"

Chad looked up sharply at that remark; ready to yell at Ron, but Susan's hand on his forearm stopped him from speaking. Then Chad realized that Ron was right: Andrew had started the fight with Steve once again.

"We might as well say the blessing and eat our meal before it gets cold," Chad decided. "Then we can have a nice evening without any more fights."

Everyone agreed and joined him for the blessing: silently praying that the next Christmas would not see a huge fight like this one had.
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