Realistic/Modern The Visitor

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,176
Now you fucked up, Carter. You made a little kid cry. Bully.

I'm kidding.

Jason wasn't sure of the whole thing, but, he accepted the hug and hugged him back, weakly, but he'd much rather hug Charlie in a time like this. Carter said he didn't mean to make him cry... "Okay." He sobbed, quietly. He believed him. He did. So far Carter had been really cool... He wouldn't just go out of his way to make him cry, would he? Of course not. Carter wasn't like that. Carter was nice...

Charlie came over and took him, though, and that was what he wanted. He held Charlie tight and sobbed for just a little bit. It was all a little too stressful, but at least this way they cleared the air. He didn't have a little sister (yet) so he didn't really know what it was like. He knew he'd be protective of his little brother, though, that went without saying.

He didn't know it was a boy yet. None of them did. But they'd find out soon enough, for sure.

"I guess you're right." Jason sniffled into his cousin's shoulder. He stayed there for a little while. "I'm gonna' protect that baby, yup... I'll care about it a whole lot. I'll be the best brother." He sniffed. He looked at Carter as he spoke, too, and he wiped his eyes again. He nodded his head to show he understood. He got it. Being protective. In some ways Charlie was very protective of him, so... He partially understood it. He wasn't entirely sure just yet, but, he'd understand it fully one day. Sooner or later.

"It's okay." He sniffled, wiping his eyes once more and nodding to Carter. "Just... Don't be mean next time." He said, quietly. "But it's okay... We're cool..." He nodded.

He took an extra couple of minutes just to calm down and dry all the tears.

"Can we go race now...?" He squeaked.

Back to the thrill of it all.

--

Mark learned a lot about Miley today. He learned about the things she liked and the things she was scared of, the experiences she'd been through and even that she was allergic to nuts. That was something. He started to realize something, too: She was doing better and becoming more talkative when they engaged casually, when they talked about normal things. Maybe that was going to be the path to recovery that she needed. Maybe that was going to be what helped her get over everything.

She was a chirpy and cheerful little girl. Mark was... Well, he was hoping he'd have a daughter just like her, honestly. She was just a human embodiment of happy. It was incredible. He was starting to figure her out slowly - it looked like this was going to help the both of them, because Mark found himself opening up to her instead of remaining strictly professional. He wasn't going too wild but he was talking about what he was scared of and who he was closest to, and things like that.

Music came up, too. He also mentioned that his son loved writing stories. He was going to push for her to fall into the little friendship circle, and he knew Max was going to be able to help with that. One step at a time, though. He couldn't rush a sweet little thing like this girl into a situation that might make her uncomfortable.

He was intrigued as to why her dad didn't visit her in hospital, though. That was rough. Understandably the older brother punched dear old dad in the face. It was his kid, for fuck's sake. He was going to have to bring this up with her and try to find out why her dad never visited her. He was going to work that one out sooner or later, but, it would take time. It would take time to do that and he was going to tackle things as they came. He didn't want to rush into anything just yet.

He did indeed have some cards, and he was surprised and happy when she showed him that trick.

"Well, a good magician never reveals her secrets." Mark smiled, "That's very good. Very smart. I love it." He said, "You know, my son and my nephew are downstairs. They're super nice." He said, "We did talk about making more friends, so... Maybe you'd like to come and meet them? My nephew is six and my son is nine, so, you fall right in between." He said, positively. "I don't mind introducing you guys once we're done here." He said.

--

"Soft and tender is what I need. The perfect heir to the throne, and all." He nodded.

He was happy enough. He gently stroked her cheek. She was going to have to cope with the fact that she was going to forever suffer her own form of mental torture. After all, John broke her. John found a way to do it and he got her good, and she wouldn't even think of going against him now, would she? The thrill of it all indeed. But now that wasn't important. What was important was Tommy. Tommy was finally going to meet his maker, it seemed.

But poor Tommy was not going to be the same. John's words were burned into his mind. The rantings of a psycho. Tommy would be able to recite all of this for the longest of times, you see, and now? After four hours... He'd pissed, he'd shit himself, he'd thrown up... He'd done just about everything he could do and he was a royal basket case. He felt himself being untied, but, Tommy was drooling. He'd lost all of the energy he had. He couldn't cry. He couldn't fight. He couldn't even scream.

Yes, he felt violated when he was washed down. It was good to be clean but it was a horrible feeling and he didn't like the spot he was in. But he couldn't fight it. He just had to accept that it was happening. It was a weird feeling, because he knew someone was dressing him again. John had actually got some fitted attire for him. Formal wear, too. A shirt, suit pants and shoes... It was going to be his fucked up Christening or something like that.

He had metal shackles all over his body and he was lead through to a different room. This one smelt clean. It smelt like fresh air. It was nice... But in the room, well... The things that happened here were much darker. A large tub sat in the middle of the room. The floors were only wooden boards, there were shelves with all sorts of medicine, poisons, and sedatives... It was a pretty depressing place, and there was a meat hook hung above the tub itself.

This was the place where the victims' bodies were drained.

He was left alone for a little while, though. He was left alone until he heard footsteps again. They came right up in front of him, and the floorboards creaked as someone crouched down only inches away. He could feel them breathing on his face.

The headset was removed.

And there he was... John.

But Tommy was still seeing colors and swirls. He was still hearing John's voice read out his beliefs... He was still seeing the words flash in his vision.

Tommy just stared at him.

John held out a glass of water. "It's not poisoned." He whispered, pressing it to Tommy's lips.

He drank the whole glass in seconds.

Oh, thank god. SOme kindness at last. He was clean and dry, and he was given water, too.

"Please don't hurt Riley." He whispered.

"Oh, how very noble..." He pulled a key from his pocket and reached up, unlocking his wrists. Tommy's arms fell to his sides, ragdoll style. He unlocked the cuff around his neck, too. "Now, you're not a dog. Let's get those things off you." He said, and then he gently rubbed his shoulder. "Are you okay, Tommy?"

Tommy looked at him, warily.

"Why are you..."

"You've been through a lot." He said, "And after all... You did ask for a fair fight. Here I am." He said.

He shook his head weakly. "I don't want to fight..."

"That's not what I heard earlier on." He said.

Eli slowly rose to his feet. "Get up, Tommy."

"Please..."

"Get up."

Tommy shakily pulled himself to his feet. He stood up in front of him, his legs feeling like they were about to collapse underneath him. John walked to the bath and turned both the hot and cold faucet on. He looked back to Tommy. He walked up to him. He raised his fists.

"We're going to have a fair fight, Tommy." He said, "Just like you wanted." He said, "You can have the first swing. Go on." He said.

Tears broke out again, Tommy quickly shook his head.

"Fucking hit me, dammit. Or do you want me to do this with Riley instead?" He asked. "You've taken a beating before. You've been in plenty of fights. I'm no match for you. Hit me. Right in the face."

Tommy didn't move.

"HIT ME."

And he did. A quick swing out of nowhere. Bop. Right on the mouth.

Eli's lip bled. He licked the blood away and nodded a few times. He grinned crazily. "Good." He said, "Now it's my turn."

"What?"

Before he could say anything more, he took an uppercut to the gut that he'd already been punched in once today, and he fell to the ground with a cry. He curled up. He couldn't move.

But it was far from over. It was only going to get worse.
 
Riley hung up the phone and wiped her eyes. She looked a little cold and distant in that moment as her cell got tucked in her pocket. "Eli wants Tommy to believe he's a killer...that means he's going to play with his food...that's going to buy us some time to find him...I just hope we get to him in time so whatever they're doing to him doesn't stick."

Too late.

Try not to think about it. "What else do we got Ava?"

Eventually the two found pictures of another house in the woods with an address. They combed this place through and threw. The only other useful item she found was a leather bound journal that was scribbled with lunacy.

John's Gospel.

Riley did read it and felt sick to her stomach. "Ok...I guess we check out this house next."

The two rode Riley's bike...the house was empty...but it looked recently lived in. Riley felt her breath hitching but she had to stay calm...she had to tell herself that she was getting closer.
--
Don't be a bully carter. "I'll give you extra Mentos so you can beat your cousin. That make us even?"

Yeah, the three of them were ok. Charlie's protective hug ended and to show that they were all good, he gave Carter a handshake. Kid was nine but you could tell he was already being the protective older brother.

The rockets were set, three bottles duct taped together on each side. Helmets on, the two laid flat on their boards.

"On your marks," carter said popping off the caps.

"Get set," He slammed the mentos in.

"THIS IS HAPPENING." Charlie grinned.

"GO!" and the soda bottles exploded zipping those boys down the hill.
--
Miley gave a bashful smile as she tucked her cards away. "Magic makes everything better. I need to learn more magic tricks though...but it would be really cool to use real magic." She wished magic was real.

It was Miley, this group of friends had two witches in their family. Look at that!

She held out her hand to invite mark to walk with her. If he wanted her to make friends he should come too. "Ok...that would be fun, but you should play too because you're my friend right?"

Right.

The two would step outside the front doors and see both Jason and charlie zip down the hill with soda strapped to skateboards. Charlie's board hit a rock and his son saw his kid fly into the air crashing into the neighbor's bushes. His legs were sticking out. Charlie was then laughing hysterically.

"DUDE YOU ACTUALLY FLEW!" Carter was yelling running down the street to catch up to them.

Miley sighed. "My brother does stupid things..."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,178
It sadly didn't buy them any time at all. If anything, they needed to find Tommy a few hours ago. More than that. They needed to prevent him from being taken altogether but obviously that was no longer possible. It sucked. But what could they do now? They'd lost Tommy. They'd lost him entirely. It was Tommy that entered that basement, but, it wasn't Tommy who left it. It was a changed boy, a childhood lost. It was no longer gentle Tommy Jones that was taken out of there. His experience in that place was going to affect the rest of his life.

Tragic, I know, but that's the way it is.

"I don't know what else we've got here just yet. Let's just have a look around." She held Riley's hand, "It'll be okay, Riley." She nodded, and she walked around that house with her.

Ava had a brief look at the gospel ramblings and it was enough to almost induce a panic attack. It looked as though the people that initially captured her had taken a page from this lunatic's book. She put it down without reading very much of it at all. They didn't need to see that.

"Let's go check the house." She nodded.

This place was creepy. It was definitely haunted. She just wanted out of here, and that's what they did. But it didn't get much better beyond that. In fact, it got worse. This was the home after the family one in Millinocket. This was the place Eli and Teddy lived in. This was where their crimes started.

They were going to find some very sickening things in here.

Ava gripped Riley's hand tightly as they walked inside.

Nothing downstairs, really... The basement had a putrid smell but people had literally died down there. There was nothing down there this time, though.

Upstairs was a different story, though.

Ava walked into one room that had an old TV and VCR player plugged in. On the shelf...

Well, there were numbers 1-25. 25 victims. Well... I say that they were numbered like that. Certain ones were missing. The ones that Teddy/John were obsessed with, the ones with brown hair and blue eyes... They were missing. There were only four or five in total missing, but...

Let's just say thank god that Zoe's was missing. Riley would never be the same if she watched that tape.

"Oh, god." Ava whispered as soon as she realized what these things were. "We're... We're not watching those, right? We're just going to... Leave them, right?" She asked.

There was one on one of the lower shelves, labeled in bold - ALICE.

She never died, so, she wasn't really numbered.

But they got a film of that, too.

"This is just a trap. It has to be. Or they're fake. Why would they just leave the real things here?" She asked.

She wasn't sure if she wanted to test if they were fake or not. Why on earth would she?

--

"Extra Mentos is fair." Jason grinned a little.

Finally, a brighter smile. That was nice.

They went outside, though, and their rockets were ready to go now. Their rockets were ready to fly, and... This was going to be so much fun. Jason put his helmet on and laid flat on his rocket board. He was going to brace for impact.

The countdown happened.

Jason gripped the board tightly. Any minute now...

"IT's HAPPENING." Jason repeated after Charlie, and he only had a second to flash him a grin before they suddenly took off. It started off slow, but... Holy shit. It got real fast real quick. Jason couldn't breathe because of how fast it was. It was incredible. He had to scream (in joy and adrenaline) just to be able to get some air in his lungs.

--

"I'm sure there's such a thing as real magic." Mark smiled, "It comes in many forms, I bet. These little things you make," He nodded to the dragon, "I think they're magic. Just because it doesn't involve tricks and mind games doesn't mean they aren't magic. Things can be magic in many different ways." He said. It was very true, really. Magic came in all shapes and sizes, and these little dragons this happy kid made? Yeah, that was magic for Mark. There was something about that dragon that really made him gleeful.

His heart melted a little when she held out her hand to him, though.

This girl was just too perfect for this world.

"Of course. That makes sense." He nodded. He held her hand and walked with her - he was wondering if she wanted him there more for moral support, but, whatever the case was it was still fucking adorable and he was absolutely fine with walking with her. This was sweet. Would Mira turn out like this?

Hah. No. Maybe when she's little, maybe...

Would he have another daughter or two? Would they be as sweet as her? Hard to say. But he hoped so. Mira already loved him... So hopefully she would love stuffed dragons and drawing. But she was already an energetic little thing, so... He had the feeling she was going to be much more wild than that. Only time would tell.

They walked outside only to see his son hit a rock at fullspeed and go flying into a bush, no doubt broken and mangled. Oh no. Mark had an immediate panic attack and he looked like he was about to faint. What the fuck. He looked at Miley.

He does stupid things?

"Yeah." He choked.

No shit he does stupid things.

Jason zoomed past Charlie's crash site but he was barreled up in laughter as soon as he saw him fly... So he lost control, too, and although he slowed down majorly, his board sent him out of control and he went flying off of it, landing in the road. Ouch. He grazed his arms and his knee, but, he was too buzzed with adrenaline and hilarity to even worry about that, nor notice it.

He jumped up and grabbed his board.

"THATWASTHEMOSTAWESOMETHING!" He screamed as he ran back towards Charlie and Carter. "Oh my god. CHARLIE!" He laughed and fell down onto his knees, completely cramped up with laughter. "You went flying- you-" He had tears of laughter rolling down his cheeks as he fell onto his back and clutched his stomach.

Mark immediately went running to them with Miley at his side.

"Charlie!" He cried out, running to the bush. "Charlie, oh god. Charlie are you hurt? Charlie, son, TALK TO ME."

He was freaked.

He looked at Carter in pure disbelief and panic.

This kid... This kid was dangerous. Holy shit.
 
The adrenaline....it was amazing. Charlie was laughing like an idiot. His body hurt, and he was going to be lying down for awhile after today...but this was...wow. Just wow. He grinned like a fool as he saw Dad leering over him. He held out his arm, let his dad pull up up to his feet. "Dad! I flew! I flew in the air! This is amazing. Carter showed us that if you put these candies in sodas, it goes BOOM. So we put toy dinosaurs in cups and sent them flying...and then we made our skateboards into rocket boards. Real rocket boards!"

He could already see the scrapes and cuts, the areas that would bruise but his boy didn't seem

"Dad. Dad is this what its like when you play and not read books?"

Already a bad habit. Was his son literally just giving up his love for reading from an HOUR with Miley's brother? Holy shit. "We gotta do more of this stuff!"

Carter rushed over. "And you won kiddo! High five!" It didn't end with a high five, he hugged Jason then. "We still got more soda bottles so we can go for round two, I'll get it loaded up."

"Stop," it was MIley. She let go of Mark's hand and walked over to her brother she pushed him. "You got them hurt. It's not funny. What if they get really hurt next time?"

"No one's getting hurt Miley, look. See everyone's happy.

"What if a car came when he was in the road? Mama says we hold hands to cross the street. No one's holding his hand he could have gotten hurt!"

Carter let out a sigh, placing his hands in his pockets. "Will you feel better if we go inside and drawer?"

"Yes." Her attention then went to the little boy that was her height, and well...practically her age. "are you ok?"

She saw his cheek bleeding. Miley pulled out a few bandaids from her pocket. She ripped one from the packaging and placed it on his cheek, padding it in. "There. Better."

It was a pink bandaide with smiley faces on it.
--
It had been a good morning. Riley's bike was gone so was Ava. The two probably raced to Tommy's. Riley was always absurd with getting up at 5am and just roaming around....it didn't register to her as a red flag. How could it. So, this morning, she didn't wake her boys up and she went down to the kitchen to make them breakfast.

Shaky, vibrating mess that she was...there was a moment that she was yelling at a pepper and her arm to cut the shit so she could just cut and dice the damn thing.

The omelets she made...they were edible...let's just put it that way. Max's was too runny and not cooked long enough and jack's was cooked too long that it was far more chewey than it needed to be.

Thought that counts right?

So she decided this morning she'd focus on Jack. The two went down to her little gym/training room and she practiced meditation to help clear her mind, showing Jack how to do it too. Warriors meditate. They play sparred....it was great. She only jittered and panicked....4 times which was an improvement. After that, lace showered and called her bestfriend.

"Hey, how's the house? You mind if we swing by and pick up Riley? I want to make sure we fit in school shopping. Crazy they start in just about at a week right? You think those two will be ok? I worry alittle...it was like we broke them up last night....so I guess its a good thing Riles raced over this morning. Probably set Tommy at ease."
--
Alice.

Pat's Alice.

Riley looked at the tapes. "No, they're all real. And they were left here for us to find. Eli likes to...he likes to mentally torture you as he does his work." She frowned.

"The day we found Vincent I saw my sister's bloodied clothes and her flashlight in bags. She loved wearing yellow overalls. She just loved colors in general."

Her hands just rubbed Alice's tape. "I think he might have left a clue here...for Max or me. We have to play it."

Riley took in a deep breath staring at the VHS player, shifting back tot he tape. How far down the rabbit hole would she have to go to get Tommy back? What atrocities and tortures would he force them to endure just to save a loved one. Ava noticed Riley seemed to go a little more distant, she was closing herself off...protecting herself. She took Ava's hand.

Atleast she wasn't alone.

The tape was pushed in and it played.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,180
Mark looked at him. He didn't even seem bothered that he got all bruised up and almost died. What if he didn't land in a bush but instead landed in a pile of rocks? It wouldn't be 'dad, look how awesome this was!' it would be 'dad I THINK I BROKE MY ARMS TAKE ME TO THE HOSPITAL'. Mark cringed just thinking about it. It was the first thing he thought when he saw Charlie fly. He imagined him getting seriously hurt and he just... God. It hurt to think about. He looked at Jason. One of his elbows was dripping blood and the other was bloody, and one of his cheeks had a tiny cut on it. Fucking kids. They were going to end up giving him a heart attack.

But this was just what kids are like... He guessed.

"Is this what-"

Did Charlie just say that?

Oh no.

He shook his head, "Yes but Charlie remember it's good to read books and write." He quickly said. He was doing his best to stem the panic right now but he didn't know if he was going to do such a great job of that. It was hard to say.

"No, no, you're definitely not doing a-" He was about to object to round 2, but Miley beat him to the punch.

She told her brother firmly that someone could get hurt. Jason was already bloodied up so maybe this wasn't the best idea. Mark thought it was funny how this kid didn't go down the hill on the boards with them... He just got the little kids who didn't know any better to do it.

Real nice.

And finally Jason was met face-to-face with the little girl he'd been dying to talk to, and now he was lost for words. Was he okay? "Oh, um... Hi..."

Good answer, Jase.

He went pink and soppy when she put the bandaid on his cheek. Even though the pain was starting to kick in now, he had to admit that he liked how that one felt. She probably had bandaids that were designed to go on elbows and knees, too...

"My knees and elbows are cut, too..." He said, and he suppressed a grin but instead gave her a little smile, "Do you... Have any that go on knees and elbows?" He asked, quietly. He looked her up and down. ".. My name's Jason." He said.

He didn't know what to start with.

But he figured his name was a safe bet.

--

Kate was happily enough tending to the other kids and spending some time with Adam when she heard the phone ring. She picked it up and looked at it. Lacey. She smiled at Adam and leaned right over, kissing him on the lips. "One second." She said, and she answered the phone and snuggled into Adam's side, putting the phone to her ear.

"Hey, Lace." She said.

She was happy at first, but, as soon as she heard the things that she was saying... She wasn't so happy after that.

In the Marshall household things had been okay. Jack wasn't such a big fan of his overcooked omelette but he did say to her that it was great, and so did Max. It was... More towards being some sort of French scrambled eggs, but, he was okay. People ate raw eggs for protein for god's sake. This was just... A little gooey. He'd had worse. He ate it all and told her it was lovely - she knew his one was the shittest of the lot, but... Hey, he thought that being nice about it was a good approach. She put the effort in, after all.

Jack enjoyed sparring and meditation. Every time she panicked, he hugged her and told her it was okay, and told her to take deep breaths. She was alright.

But now...

"Lacey, um... Tommy left hours ago... He was coming to your house..."

And in that moment, you could probably hear a needle hit the ground.

".. He's not there, is he?" She asked, shakily. "He left at about ten o'clock this morning..."

--

"Oh god." She gulped. "Okay... Okay, sure. Okay. I'm here with you."

So, they were going to watch the tape.

She pushed the tape in and hit play, and the first thing they were going to hear was Alice screaming and crying in what must have been terror. The camera was eventually adjusted and they got to see just about everything. Teddy was having a little too much fun - this poor girl was going through hell in this video. There's no real need to detail what happened, but a lot of them involved Teddy and... Sometimes foreign objects, and poor Alice was tossed around like a ragdoll, beaten, strangled...

One minute in, and Ava looked like she was going to faint. The video was only five minutes long.

At the 1 minute mark, well, the screen flickered, and it flickered a word every ten seconds or so.

'DO.
YOU.
FEEL.
LIKE A.
HERO.
YET?'


That was message one.

Two minutes.

'THIS.
COULD.
BE.
YOU.'


Three minutes.

'THIS.
WILL.
BE.
YOU.'


Four minutes.

'YOU.
BELONG.
TO.
ME.'


"Stop." Ava coughed. "Stop, go back. I saw something. Go back." She whispered, and she hit Rewind and paused it at a certain point. "There." She pointed at the screen, just past Alice's bruised and bloodied face.

There was a sign in the background as the camera was moved.

'NORTH-EASTERN NATURE RESERVE.'

"North-Eastern reserve. It's not... Too far from here, I don't think." She gulped.

If Riley continued playing the video... There was one more message just before the end.

'SEE.
YOU.
SOON.
RILEY.'


The video stopped.

--

"Come on, Tommy. Get the fuck up."

Tommy scrambled back to his feet as soon as he caught his breath. He coughed. He held up his fists again. "Eli, stop..."

"No, we're doing this." He snarled. "Come on, hit me." He said, "Hit me as hard as you-"

Tommy kicked him square in the balls and immediately backed up. This one actually made Eli grunt and almost fall over. He looked up at Tommy, slowly, and there was a certain rage in his eyes. He was fucking pissed now. Tommy... Never go below the belt in a fight. It's a dirty move, but honestly? I can't blame you for doing it. Most people would do the same thing and just do everything they could to get away from him. But this was going to cost you some blood, because now Eli was fucking fuming and you had no way out. Tommy ran for the door, only to find it was locked.

Eli ran up behind him and shoved his head forward. His nose smacked against the surface and he cried out - blood started gushing from his nose. A lot of it. He was grabbed by the collar and thrown back, his head slamming against the giant bathtub.

Ouch.

He was dazed and crying. He was frantic. He was flipped over by Eli, though, and Eli punched him in the face. Tommy was going through the ringer here, but, he brought his foot up and kicked Eli in the nose, too. His nose started bleeding.

"You little shit!" He screamed, and he stepped forward and slammed his foot down on Tommy's chest, making him cry out breathlessly. His eyes went all bloodshot. He grabbed him by the side of the head and slammed his head against the tub again, this time creating a gash on the side of his head. A splatter of blood went up the ceramic. He was stunned.

He was picked up by yours truly and carried to the tub, immediately.

"Now you've got blood all over that nice fucking shirt I gave you."

He immediately plunged Tommy's head under the water.

He held him there for ten seconds until he felt the true panic racing through Tommy's body. He pulled him back out. Tommy threw up into the tub.

"Oh, that's no fucking good, Tommy." He shoved him back under the water. Another ten seconds.

This went back and forth for several minutes.
 
"I read all my summer reading books so I'm good," Charlie grinned. He was good? The kid who always picked the bookstore first. Libraries. Every free moment was a book. And. He. Was. Fucking. Good!?! "You should try it dad! Its a lot of fun. I taped the rockets together myself. You see that? I flew!"

Yes Charlie...he was never going to forget the day you flew in the air.

It was Jason's bloody knee that got him reeling back to reality. "Oh..."

Jason could have really gotten hurt. "Hanging out inside for awhile isn't bad I guess. But maybe you and me can do this later?"

No Charlie, your father was never going to do this with you.

Miley looked down at Jason's hand, she held out her hand for him to take it. "I don't have special bandaides...but I have my sewing and fabric box, I think I can make something. My name's Miley. Its ok, I can fix it Jason." This might have been heaven for this little boy. Carter watched as Miley led the boy in with Charlie not that far behind. He stayed back, went to pick up the boards and take the duct tape off them, clean up the mess he made sort of thing. He doubted Charlie wanted empty coke liters attached to his skateboard. "I got a twenty to help pay for all the soda we used from your party stash," he said to Mark not thinking much of anything or the growing rage that man might have. "I don't know if that's enough but I get paid for delivering papers so I can have the rest later, Mr. Gardner."
--
Jason was sat down on the couch, a big metal suitcase was placed on the coffee table. Miley opened the latch and compartments upon compartments opened of buttons, threads, ribbons....it was a traveling stuffed animal creation kit. Charlie brought her over some water and she cleaned the wound on his knee first, The foam cotton she used for dragon wings, she cut in the shape of a square and placed it on the cut, using a silk pink ribbon to wrap around the leg. She taped together. "my stuffed animals get booboos all the time...so I have practice." She said. She placed her ugly abomination Muffin on his lap. "Muffin's good to talk to when you're hurt."

She went to work on the elbow now.

"You're good at this."Charlie said. "Does your brother get hurt alot."

"Yeah, he still does stupid stuff though," She pouted a little. "He knows better."
--
Lace almost dropped the phone. She didn't answer Kate's question for the first minute.

"...Ok. I'm going to get Max to help track them down. Can you call the cops?"

Lacey felt on the verge of screaming and throwing up. It was like the wind was knocked out of her all over again. She just got her girl back from human fucking traffickers now THIS shit was going on?!

Breathe.

"I'm getting Max. Call the cops. I'll call you right back."

Click.

It felt like she was going to faint. She found Max in the living room. "Tommy, RIley and Ava are missing I told Kate to call the cops. It's all going to be fine. You found her before you always find her. She's going to be fine"

Lace fainted seeing headlights swirling falshing and was it her imagination or was tommy crawling through glass to reach her?
--
Riley covered her mouth. It was Alice one second and Zoe in yellow overalls the next. Alice screaming, Zoe screaming for Riley. Alice begging, Zoe yelling that her sister would come. She felt her head spinning as it continued.

It didn't stop.

The words flashed on the screen and her suspision was right...this was left for her to watch. Did she feel like a hero? This was going to be her...he would see her soon.

She barely registered Ava pausing the film to catch the clue. A reservation. It was a perfect place. Closed off from the public, no one would think to trespass it...it was basically an unchecked playground of horror funhouse for someone like Eli.

Riley vomited. Hands on her knees she vomited. She looked up when she was done only to vomit again...dry heave...and dry heave some more.

"Thats our place beyond the pines," Riley looked a little more gone and more detached. "Ok....lets go. Tommy doesn't have a lot of time. Ava...what we just saw...he doesn't know about you, you don't have to put yourself through this, you've already survived Leo...you can go home and call the cops."

She wasn't going home though...she was going to track her Tommy down and save him.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,182
"No, no, we're definitely not trying that, Charlie. This is the last thing we're ever going to do. This was dangerous." He said. "Now Jason is hurt and bleeding and you're not doing much better, either. We'll find something else to do together, but, that could have been a lot worse." He said.

He reached out and gently patted Charlie on the head, releasing a gentle sigh.

"I'm glad you're okay, son. You really scared me for a second." He said, "Go inside and get washed up, okay?" He said to him.

It was more than just the knee that was bloody. Elbows, too. One of the elbows was quite badly bleeding, dripping blood and everything. But Jason didn't care about that. Jason didn't have a massive pain tolerance but let's not forget he did fight back against Eli and lived to tell the tale. Pain didn't mean much to him right now. He'd had a good time and that was one of the most exciting things he'd ever done, so, he was happy enough. And now he had a pretty girl holding his hand and walking him inside.

He looked at Charlie, truly gleeful.

She was holding his hand!

He was lead inside so she could patch him up. This was going to be great.

Mark looked down at Carter after all the kids were gone, though, and this little bastard had the cheek to offer to pay him back for the soda?

"Pfff." He huffed, "It's not exactly the soda I was worried about. Soda's cheap." He said, "My son breaking his arms or several of his ribs, or taking half his face off on the road, that's not so easy to replace." He said.

He did have a point, really...

"Why were they doing it on their own? Why didn't you do it with them?" He asked; he had that tone about his voice, too... He wasn't happy.

--

Jason sat on the couch and watched as this wonderful girl got a big metal case out and opened it up.

He looked inside when she did and he was rather surprised. She was really dedicated to all of this. "Whoa." He said. He looked at Charlie again. This girl was just the best thing already. This was so cool! He pulled his pant leg up when prompted, though, and he revealed his knee. It was cut up pretty bad, but it would be okay. He smiled as she cleaned it off and then put the square down on it, and even tied it in place with a pretty pink ribbon.

Tom and Bridget were honestly going to wonder what the fuck had happened.

"Muffin looks cool." Jason complimented.

He watched her do her work even more so, and held his elbow out when she was ready for that one, too.

"You're really clever, ya'know." He said. "I wish I was smart enough to do things like this." He smiled.

He went a little pink in the cheeks.

"Is it true you like swimming?" He asked.

--

"I'll call the cops, yes." She gulped.

She was going to call her right back. Based on how Lacey's voice sounded... She sort of doubted that that was the case, but, time would tell, surely. She just didn't know what to think. Lacey sounded like she was slipping and she was worried now - Lacey didn't need any more stress in her life.

Either way, Kate immediately looked at Adam.

Oh, god... He was going to blame himself so much for this... But tears filled her eyes and she got ready to tell him...

"Adam..." She gulped, "Tommy's gone missing. Tommy. Riley. Ava. All three of them. Tommy was meant to leave to go to Riley's house but he never showed up. We know that's not like him and he would have called us by now if something was up and he had the chance to call. Something's happened to him, I can feel it." She whimpered, and she broke down in tears.

"I need to go and look for him."

Oh, Kate... You think his back is going to stop him from getting out of bed?

It won't.

But it will put him straight back in it once he gets MAYBE as far as the driveway, if he's lucky.

...

Max looked at her...

"What?" He said.

They're missing.

Oh no.

Not again. And this time there was a chance that someone much worse than the last lot had them. This really wasn't good. This really wasn't good at all. Fucking fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.

He got up and sprinted forward to her when he saw her start to topple, and he caught her right on time to prevent her from smacking her head. "Oh, shit. Lacey..." He grunted and dragged her over to the sofa, slowly laying her down on her side.

He pulled out his phone. He checked her pulse and her breathing, too, just to be safe. She just passed out.

He called Riley's number... But he wasn't going to get a response.

--

When she started throwing up, Ava crouched down next to her and gently rubbed her back. "I know it's not easy." She gulped, "I know, Riley, I know." She coughed, "But at least... At least now we know where he might be. He might be somewhere in that reserve. That could go on for hundreds of acres but at least we have a general area now and we don't have to trek through the whole of Maine woods looking for him, right?" She asked.

Fuck.

She pulled her into a hug and rubbed her back.

She shook her head at what Riley said.

"I'm not leaving you and Tommy." She said, "The only reason I survived Leo was because of you and him. I'm not about to leave you alone to do this." She said, and she rubbed her back still. "Riley... You're like the sister I never had. And Tommy is great. You can't go without him, and I don't think I can go without either of you, either. I want to do this with you. I don't care what happens to me." She said. "We should... We should try and pinpoint where he is, then we should call for help. We should have called for help before we came into the forest... Because now we don't have signal." She said.

She looked at the door.

".. Maybe if we can find where he is... If it's nearby here, we might be able to stay here for the night and call for help from the house phone. We can't go in there alone, Riley." She said.
 
Oh Carter, if only you knew what a little shit you could be sometimes. You weren't going to win anyone any favors here right now. "I mean we used all your soda. I'll leave the twenty on the counter. Never had to clean up soda out of grass though....that one might be a doozy. They're fine. You see how happy those two were? Next time we gotta prop up a camera so we can do it on youtube."

Next time.

Not oh geeze sir, i'm sorry I hurt your sons.

Carter just gave Mr. Gardner a baffled look as if the answer was already obvious. "Charlie said he only had two boards. I already have done it, I'm not letting one of them sit out and watch their friend they view as a brother have fun. That's just mean. Charlie's not going to let Jason sit out, he's a good cousin. Looks out for him...then you got Charlie moping he didn't get to try it. So that's what you do, you step aside so the little ones have fun right?"

He held out both boards, clean and clear of duct tape and bottles.
--
Miley went a bright hew red, a soft smile forming at the corners of her mouth. "i'm not clever," she said. "I like to make stuffed animals...so Carter saved up is newspaper money and got me this box...so I can sew wherever I go."

He was a good big brother. Stupid....very stupid doing stupid things to get hurt or make someone mad....but he was a good big brother.

There was a small bottle of rubbing alcohol, she used it to clean the buttons or to disinfect her needles, now she dabbed it with a cotton ball and used it to clean his wound. "This will hurt."

And it did, and she knew it would...so she leaned forward and kissed his elbow after she did it. "all better."

another foam pad was placed down, she wrapped his arm up with the silk ribbon only to light up more. "Yes. I like swimming. Do you like swimming? The YMCA has a pool you can go and swim in every day...and there's a big diving board. I'm not old enough for the diving board, but I use the small one. I don't swim with floaties anymore so that's really cool. You should go to the YMCA i could see you there."

Charlie patted Jason's back. "Aunt Bridget is looking for places to get you swim lessons right? I can talk to her if you want."
--
Lacey was in no condition to go. Even if she woke up right now, her episodes were still uncontrollable. It was going to get her, the baby,himself and RIley killed. Her trying to help him was a liability.

Max was going to be on his own.

Riley's phone when straight to voicemail.
--
Tommy was gone?

Fuck this shit. He didn't wait for Kate to say she needed to go. He stood up, water immediately coming out of his eyes as he bit his tongue stifling the scream.

Two steps in, he lost control and fell.

Didn't matter. He was army crawling it. "You stay with the kids, I'll get him back. I can't have you near Teddy again. I just got you back."

It was actually very hard watching him crawling out of the room to try and do this.
--
"You're my sister too." Not like or similiar to one. Riley already embraced it. "And I already lost one sister to Eli...what we just watched on that video...."

Riley threw up again.

"My sister went through that. Probably exact same thing....I can't lose you that way....you don't have to do this."

Ava wasn't going anywhere.

She was right. THey had no cell service. And her battery wasn't there. "....we should camp here...yeah...Eli's got another clue tomorrow morning. That will help us narrow it down."

Call the cops get reinforcement....

Thats when Riley cracked and cried. "he said if I tried anything funny he'd send tommy back to me piece by piece...he doesn't make threats he promises....i think us getting help constitutes that....i think we're on our own..."

That...that was the scariest part of all this. She had a gun....she was going to shoot him and end all of this.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,184
Tommy had been in and out of the water more times than he could count, so when Eli finally ripped him back out and threw him onto the floor, not only did Tommy spit out a mouthful of bloody water, but, he threw up. And he threw up a lot, too. He'd swallowed a load of vomit-water, so obviously the poor kid was just going to puke it all back up again. He was lying there on the floor, soaking wet and on the border of unconsciousness. Eli finally stopped hurting him and walked up next to him, crouching down. "You see that hook up there?" He pointed at the one hanging above the bathtub, all while lifting Tommy's head by his hair.

"Don't pass out on me." He slapped Tommy's cheek and he woke up and nodded weakly. "You see it?"

".. Yes..." He sobbed, hoarsely.

"I was going to hang your sister from that, upside down." He said, "I was going to do that and cut her throat, just about here." He tapped Tommy on his jugular. "She'd bleed out, nice and quick. See the floor under the tub? There's a hole right where the drain is. All the water, blood... It just goes under this old house, you see. It sounds crazy but you'd be surprised how it just sort of gets... Absorbed by the earth." He said. "It's a shame. I really wanted to see your sister hang here." He said, "Teddy wanted to have a lot of fun with her, too... He got to have a little. He said she was very tight."

Tommy retched and sobbed again.

He was picked up by his collar. He was dragged loosely over to a table in the corner and slapped face-down on top of it, his arms spread at his side.

He panicked when he felt his pants and underwear get forcefully pulled down. He tried to get back up but Eli firmly planted a hand on his head and pinned him there. Tommy couldn't see a thing... But he knew what was coming.

"Amazing grace... How sweet that sound..."

Tommy heard something unzip.

"No, please, don't. Don't Eli. Don't." He sobbed, quietly.

"That saved... A wretch like me."

Tommy started hyperventilating. "Don'tpleasedon't."

"Once... Was lost... But now... Am found."
"Was blind, but now I see."

And Eli sang him the whole song. It didn't stop Tommy from panicking.

In the end, actually... Tommy had pissed all over the floor in fear. He was shaking like a leaf. Was this really about to happen?

At the end of the song, it didn't happen. Tommy got a pat on the head and was ripped back and thrown to the floor, his pants and underwear still at his ankles.

"Get up and put your pants on again. You really think I want to see that tiny fucking thing?" John motioned down to his private area. Talk about humiliation. "What are you, a dog? Pissing all over my floor?" He asked. "Get the bucket and mop from the corner, clean that up. Then we'll talk."

Tommy did as he asked, shamefully... He was broken and upset.

He just wanted to go home.

--
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,185
"Look... Happy or not that could have been a lot worse." He said. "That could have been so much worse. At that speed, with that little protective gear..." He said, "You know how quickly the surface of a road shreds skin in an accident? At that speed they'd be left with permanent scarring if they went down the road on skin." He said. "We're lucky Jason and Charlie didn't get more hurt. If Charlie landed funny he could have ended up with a serious head, spine, or neck injury. It's not a laughing matter. And downhill, Carter? Was it really a good idea to recreate a Jackass movie on a place like this?" He asked. "Nine and six, they are. Nine and six. Barely nine and six, in fact." He said.

Charlie only had two boards.

Great.

"Okay, look, that's great and all. Wanting them both to have fun. Very selfless of you." He said, bitterly. "Did you not consider the fact that they could have both gotten seriously hurt if this went wrong? Were you not worried about that?" He asked. "They came out here wearing nothing but helmets. They should have had everything from knee pads to elbow pads on, too. They didn't have any of that." He said. "Does that not bother you at all?" He asked.

"When you did this, did you not fall off your board and think 'shit, that was a close call'?" He asked.

Kid... You're really stepping on thin ice.

"I don't want your money."

--

Jason winced when she cleaned his wound, but, he still smiled all the same.

It wasn't so bad.

"Thanks." He said, but he went bright red when she kissed his elbow to make it feel better. This was a dream come true. If he had to get himself beaten up to get little kisses out of her, maybe he'd take that chance. Or maybe he'd just find some other way. He didn't know.

Either way.

She liked swimming.

"I love swimming! I've always loved swimming." He grinned. He didn't need to be told twice, though. He could meet her at the swim class, so, when Charlie suggested that. "Yespleasetalktoher." He quickly said, and he grinned at Miley again. "I'd love to swim with you. I'm a really good swimmer." He said. "I bet you're good, too. You're clever so you're probably a good swimmer, as well." He said.

Carter said the best thing he could do with her after they were done with this was draw stuff. He was happy enough to do that. He liked drawing.

"Do you wanna' draw stuff with me?" He asked.

He'd draw her a pretty picture and it would be adorable. It could be their parting gift until next time, because this girl was amazing. She made Jason's tummy feel fuzzy. It was a great feeling. She had such pretty eyes, too. Everything about her was just wonderful.

--

Kate didn't even get a chance to stop him.

Fuck.

Well, that sucked. She watched him try and walk only to get no further than the end of the bed before he collapsed and hit the floor again. She rushed over to him. It broke her heart to see him trying to drag himself out of there. It was the hardest thing she'd seen in...

God. It was hard. She didn't know when she last saw something that compared. She immediately put her hands on his shoulders to stop him from moving, and she looked at him with tear-filled eyes.

"Adam, stop." She whimpered, tears rolling down her cheeks. "He'll kill you in this state. Please, stop." She sniffed. "You need to rest. I can look for him and Max can help me get him back. You just rest. Please. You don't need to do this to yourself." She said, "Please, baby, please don't do this." She wiped his cheek. "You're hurting yourself. You're going to do more damage. You need to rest and let your back heal. You can't do this to yourself." She sniffled.

In her eyes, he didn't owe the family anything.

But maybe for him it would be a different story.

--

"I do have to do this, though." She said. "You're not going to lose me, I promise."

She rubbed her back when she threw up again.

"I'm going to be by your side for this whether you like it or not. We've been through too much together to just give up on each other now." She said, "So, we're going to do this. We're going to do this and we're going to get Tommy back and everything is going to be okay again. Everything is going to be just fine, you hear me?" She asked. "You and Tommy are going to grow up and get married, you're going to have four, five, six, seven beautiful children, and you're going to be happy, you understand?" She asked, stroking her cheek and wiping her tears.

"If he's threatening to hurt Tommy if we call for help, then we do this alone. I imagine your dad will find us soon enough, anyway, but we can do this alone. We just have to be smart about it." She said. "We can... We should go up to the attic." She said, "No one will know we're up there and we'll be safe there for the night." She said, "That's a good idea, right?" She asked. "We can discuss things more and figure out where to go from here if we can dig out a map up there." She said.

--

Tommy mopped up all the piss and got that wooden floor sparkling again.

He was sobbing the whole time, but, when he was finally done, Eli walked up and put a caring hand on his shoulder. "There you go, Tommy. You dealt with your mistake like a man. That's what you need to do." He said. "Well done. I'm proud of you." He said.

Tommy didn't respond.

"Tommy... I know accepting what you are is hard. I know that no one else will ever believe you." He said, "But I do. I'll always accept you for what you are." He said. "I'll always love you and view you as my own. No matter what you are."

Tommy slowly turned around and hugged Eli, tight as he could manage.

".. Please don't abandon me, Eli..." He burst into tears. ".. Please don't abandon me if- if I can't go home. Please don't. I won't have- won't have anyone else." He bawled.

"I'll never leave you, Tommy..." He gently cradled him.

He paused.

"Never."
 
"Nine times out of ten its only ever bruises and scapes. Two of them are fine. Plus it boosts their confidence too. Charlie figured out how to tape it up and make it work by himself. He's a smart kid."

Not helping, Carter. Oh he loved those JackAss movies. He got the feeling though as he saw Mr. Gardner's nose flare a few times that bringing up that he liked those movies wasn't a good idea. "You get the best speed on a hill...and there's barely any traffic on this road. No cars come down-"

One just sped 50 mph past them.

"here at all or nothing. Except for that. That one clearly some reckless teens."

No, Mr. Gardner didn't seeme to find that one funny. Carter bent his elbow and showed a scar on it. "I broke my elbow, fell in a bush and one of the twigs pierced my arm. All my friends got to write cool notes on my cast and stuff it was a lot of fun. That's what happened when I did it. I was seven. When I was Charlie's age I was jumping off my roof. Which is tricky, you actually have to sort of plan out landings for that one."

Really not helping your case here bud.

"uuhmm, you know you got different heights to yours, he could jump level to level and it would look pretty cool actually."
--
Jason was really nice. For some reason he kept on smiling at her and looking at her like she was the most interesting person in the room right now. He didn't really know her and he already thought Muffin was really cool.

"So you liked the bandaide cause it had smiley faces on it?" she asked. That wasn't the reason he liked the bandaid little Miley, but when you got that little nod from him that's all you needed. She took a pair of scissors and cut two yellow felt circles. She taped them on the knee and the elbow, using a sharpie to draw a smiley face.

"There. Now they all match."

He called her clever again. She just bashfully smiled. "I'm not that good...but I do like diving...cause it feels like you're flying."

Charlie got up from the couch. "You two stay there...I'll get the coloring books and stuff." he did more than that he put on Robin Hood, the Disney cartoon movie. He was giving his little cousin some space to do his magic.

Miley immediately lit up. "Oh, I love this movie...cause all of them are animals. Do you like Robin Hood?"
--
It wasn't that he owed the family anything. They were his family. Tommy was his family. "He needs me right now."

And that was the most heartbreaking part of all of this. Tommy NEEDED him...the only capable use he was to this family and he was out of commision...like a horse that should be sent to a glue factory.

"He's counting on me to find him. I can't let him get hurt. I can't let you or any of them get hurt."

He couldn't even get out the door. Kate was right...he'd be killed if he somehow managed to go...but what if his death bought max the time to get Tommy out? It was worth it.

"I can't lose you too, Kate. What happens if he captures you again?"
--
Riley cried, she hugged Ava tightly and broke down a little. "He needs me and I can't pull him out....I'm scared Ava...I'm scared Eli's going to crack him before i can get there."

Oh sweet Riley, Tommy cracked and he cracked hard. He was already humiliated, degraded, almost raped, tortured and slowly being brainwashed. All without being raped I might add. That was Eli's go-to. Grant it...hearing how your sister was going to dangle like a fish as you gutted her feeding her blood to the earth wasn't exactly a good thing either.

It fit into that manifesto though....blood of the innocent to cleanse the earth of sinners right? Right. There was a passage about that somewhere regarding that.

Dad would find them. A sad laugh escaped. "Oh he will...if Eli doesn't kill me Dad's going to. I didn't tell him what was going on...and i know I'm supposed to. I'm supposed to let him know....so when this is over I'll probably be grounded for months."

The attic was safe. Going through her bag she handed Ava a protein bar and water bottle. "Ok, attic it is."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,187
Boosts their confidence?

A smart kid?

A smart kid didn't let himself get roped into this, that was for sure. He sure didn't let himself get manipulated into doing something as reckless as this with his little cousin. Charlie looked after the people he loved, he didn't get them into danger, he didn't get them in trouble. He got them in places where they were safe and found fun and creative and safe ways to enjoy themselves. He didn't rocket down a hill on a skateboard with minimal protection. What if he fell forward and his chin connected with the road for even a few seconds? All of the skin on his chin would be gone.

It would be down to the bone and he'd be left with lifetime scarring.

And now this little shit was here telling him that it was all good to raise their confidence?

A car sped past them at 50mph. All it would have taken was for one of the boys to come out of nowhere and splat, they'd be gone. Motherfucker, dude.

He looked at him when he made the reckless teen comments and cocked an eyebrow. Angrier and angrier.

"It was a lot of fun?" He asked. "It was a lot of fun to break your elbow?" He asked. "Okay, kid. Okay. That makes sense. A lot of fun."

Jumping off a roof?!

"Are you crazy?!" He immediately popped off. "Are you not picking up on the fact that you nearly got my son killed?" He asked. "Can't you see why that is a problem? Can you not see why I don't want him jumping off our roof? Oh my god. Have you told him to do that? Have you told him to try and jump off the roof? I swear to god, kid, if you have..."

Uh-oh.

--

"I loved the smiley bandaid." He said. "Hey, wait... Smiley rhymes with Miley!" He grinned. He just realized that one. Little did he know that that was her nickname in school and with her family. Smiley. It was definitely fitting for her. She had a cute little smile that he just couldn't get enough of. He looked so stupidly happy every time she talked to him or even looked at him. She was looking at him. She was smiling at him. It was incredible. It was absolutely incredible and he was just loving every minute of it.

He got more smiley faces on all of his cuts! Score!

He couldn't stop smiling, either.

"I guess this makes you Smiley Miley." He grinned, "Cause you give everyone smiles. Or at least you give me smiles, so, you're gonna' be Smiley Miley to me."

Now wasn't that just the cutest thing?

"I love diving, too." He smiled, "Diving is my favorite thing. And swimming under water." He said, "I love doing all of that, and one of my favorite things is to... Well, like, you only breathe in a little, and then you sink. And when you sink you can lie at the bottom of the pool. You can't do it for long but it's still really awesome. 'Cause there's not enough air inside you to make you float to the top." He said, enthusiastically.

Charlie was also working his magic for him, too.

He got Robin Hood playing.

Jason sat right next to Miley and smiled happily.

"I love this movie, too." He said, "You know, I use a bow and arrow. I'm really good with a bow and arrow. I do competitions and lots of things, and I like to shoot flaming arrows sometimes, too!" He said. "Do you like animals, too? I love animals. I have two dogs. One is called Otto and the other is called Rio, and they're both really nice and friendly."

--

"You're not going to lose me again." She said, "He knows you're worried about him and that's going to be enough, Adam. You don't need to be the hero here. You don't need to be the one to save him. It doesn't always have to be that way. It doesn't always have to be you that jumps in the way of danger. I'm going to get Tommy back and then I'm going to bring both of us home. Both of us in one piece. You hear me?" She said.

She wasn't going to let him leave. She couldn't lose Adam.

She put a big kiss on his lips. She stuck there for a few seconds. She didn't want to leave his side but she knew she had to. For their child's sake. For their son.

"I will bring our son back to us." She whispered, and she kissed him again.

Too bad for one thing, though...

Amy heard it all. She heard the drama and decided to listen.

And regretted it heavily.

--

Amy ran into Scott and George's room like a bat out of hell, panicked and flustered.

"GUYS!" She gasped, and she immediately started crying. "He took Tommy!" She sobbed and fell to her knees, covering her face. "The boogieman has taken Tommy away and we don't know where he is. He took him away. He took him away, guys..." She sobbed.

She broked down into weak cries.

Oh, dear.
 
"Yup. I go to the ER a lot. Got some cool stitches. Last year I got my stomach pumped because of a dare I did with my friend, Will. Will's in juvie now. Don't drink a whole bottle of bubble soap. Lesson learned."

Will's in juvie now. Probably the only sentence Mark picked up from that...and the fact Carter was a frequent visitor of the ER.

Woah. Carter put his arms up in the air, hands up and palms facing Mr. Gardner like he waas making a surrender motion. Stop yelling, I'm just a kid, gesture. That probably wasn't helping at all. "Woah, Mr. Gardner...calm down. No one died. No one was going to die. Kids jump off rooves, cars, trees, that's just what we do."

It was very obvious this little boy never had a father figure. It was very obvious that his mother was a single mother who worked ridiculous hours and never kept an eye on him. He lived his life almost like a wild animal. No rules, no consequences for any of his actions. Kid was going to get himself killed. If not himself, the people around him.

Borderline sociopathic with his ability to not pick up what harm he was doing.

OR...you know, he was just a kid, that loved adventure and including people in his adventures. Mark wasn't going to see that now.

"I didn't tell Charlie about the roof top. He's good." he still kept his hands up expecting Mark to throttle him.

The sad part was he didn't even flinch or fight it, he just full on accepted the adult was going to throttle him and that was ok in his books.

Mark then felt two hands on his shoulders, a soft rub and a kiss on the cheek, those arms looped around his neck as his wife hugged him from behind.

"What Mr. Gardner is trying to say, Carter, is that it was very thoughtful of you to give the boys a good time...but we as their parents and guardians feel more comfortable if you come to us with ideas like this. I'm sure we could have put up safety cones, got them all padded up and let them have the same amount of fun. We have rules if you want to play with Charlie and Jason...and the biggest is...any wild idea ask Mr. Gardner or me and we'll see what we can do. Ok honey."

She kissed her husband's cheek. "Charlie's fine honey. Come back here with me, he's fine. No one's going to hurt him. He's safe."
--
Smiley Miley...because he brought her smiles. Her face was a brilliant shade of red as she giggled. "You're really funny and nice Jason."

That little comment probably made his whole week and day.

He liked swimming and had really cool ideas about swimming. She got off the floor and sat on the couch next to him. She scooted in close and did something stupid. Carter level stupid. she scooted in and leaned against him as the movie played.

"...Doctor Gardner says I gotta make friends..." She bit her lip. "....you want to come over with your puppies some day and play? Or...I could come over and see your puppies and see you shoot a flaming bow. It's safe right? You don't get hurt doing it?"

She lost her Daddy...she didn't want to lose another friend.

Charlie came back with markers and crayons, a bowl of popcorn and bottles of soda. "Drat, I got this essay I gotta write Jason...so I'll be in my room. You good here?"

He had no essay. It was summer. He ruffled his cousin's hair and went upstairs.
--
When Kate went in for that kiss, adam took the back of his hand and cupped her head just holding her there and kissed her. She was going...and there was a helpless feeling of it all. Nothing he could do or say would stop her from going and putting herself in danger.

He could not help her.

He could not help Tommy.

When he finally pulled away he just cupped her face hoping this wasn't the last time he'd ever see her again. "You come back home. The two of you in one piece. I got the kids here. I love you Katherine. I believe in you too."

If he couldn't help or do this...the least he could do was believe in her. She needed that more than anything right now.
--
Scott put on his helmet and buckled it. "We gotta call Ethan. Ethan will know what to do."

Little kid stormed down the stairs to the kitchen phone and dialed his hero.

People called the Ghostbusters when they were in trouble. Scotty called his real hero.

Ethan.
--
Ethan was currently nude blindfolded and tied to the bed as Sam sat on his bag giving him a massage. "Lena and I were reading some stuff in my mom's journals. This here is a potion lotion. Well potion but the substance is like a lotion....and its supposed to act like an aphrodesiac. So you tell me on a scale 1-10 how aroused you feel when this seeps in your skin ok? I want to see if this works."

Heads up Sam, he didn't need a spell to do that for him.

But...it actually worked. a little too well. It would cause him to orgasm immediately in the bed. Lena had too much juice, so it was a little too potent.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,189
"You got cool stitches? Cool?" He asked. And he got his stomach pumped! His friend was in juvie! How much better could it fucking get? Now, if this didn't involve Mark's son, Mark would have clocked him as exactly how you described him - no parents to really properly supervise him, a dad who abandoned them and turned out to be a murderer anyway, and a mother who worked so much to support her kids that in the process she sort of left them to fend for themselves. It sucked. It really sucked but it was just the way it was. Nothing you could really do about it, so... Mark would have invited him to sit and chat if he hadn't pissed him off.

But that ship had sailed for now. Forever, probably.

He thought back to the challenge that he did with his friend... Fucking hell. His poor mother. Her house would have smelt like diarrhea, vomit, and dish soap for... A while. For however long before she decided to take him to the hospital.

Part of him felt bad.

But the other part...

"Last year? You were stupid enough to drink dish soap as a challenge at age 11? Are you kidding me?"

PLEASE don't let Charlie be this fucking stupid when he's this age. Please.

Meltdown imminent.

Rest in peace.

"No, kids do not jump off of a roof. Kids climb trees, yes, they pop wheelies on bikes, they try and do backflips on trampolines and they for some reason think it's a good idea to try and jump on top of a glass coffee table. Yes, kids do a lot of things like that - but they do not do things they know are a danger to their lives." He said.

He was so angry that his eye was twitching at first. He didn't tell him about the roof? Well, what a fucking relief.

But he felt two hands touch his shoulders, and everything was right in the world.

She spoke. She explained. She was the voice of reason.

"Yes. That's exactly what I was trying to say." He took in a few deep breaths, "No one's going to hurt him, right." He nodded a few times, he took some deep breaths... It was all okay. He looked at Carter again. He paused.

He spoke after a while.

"If you're going to do anything with my son that you think could even potentially get him hurt in the smallest of ways, you talk to me first, got it?" He asked. "And I don't want the money for the soda. Keep it. I'm not taking money from a kid. You were just... You were just trying to have fun." He sighed. "Just ask next time... Okay?"

He was calm.

--

Oh it made his whole month, believe me.

So funny and nice.

He grinned like a little proud fool. He was funny and nice. He was going to be telling Tom and Bridget all about that when he got home today, and he was going to be showing them the smiley bandaids that she had given him. If they weren't going to be so gross and covered in blood, he'd want to keep them. He could probably keep the yellow felt, to be fair, as that was on top of the actual padding so there was no blood on those... But the pink one, yeah, he'd have to get rid of that.

She scooted over and leaned-

SHE LEANED ON HIM OH MY GOD.

What did he do here? What did he... Uh-oh. He didn't know what to do! What did he do!?

Did he put his arm around her, or...? No. Maybe that was inappropriate. Instead he just leaned his head to the side and rested his against hers. There we go. That was better.

"I'd love to come over with my dogs." He said, "And I'd love to show you the bow, too! And yup, the arrows are fine, the flaming ones are, too, but we're gonna' need an adult if we wanna' do the flaming ones." He smiled.

Charlie came back.

"Yes, we're good here." He immediately nodded and smiled at him. He looked back to Miley. He looked at her for just a few seconds. "Do you have a lot of friends?" He asked. "I bet you do. 'Cause you're super smart and nice." He said, "Nice people always have friends. And your eyes are really pretty, so, that's gotta' help, too."

Little smooth criminal, Jason.

Little did he know it was probably working wonders for her own confidence right now, but... Hey, he'd keep batting off the compliments like it was nobody's business.

--

With Kate setting off out the house with the comfort of Adam believing in her, the kids were going to be going on their own hero mission, it seemed. Amy may have fallen to pieces straight away, but, Scott had the right idea. Call for more help. That's what they needed right now. They needed all the help they could get. He quickly reassured Amy that Ethan would help get Tommy back, and he immediately chased after Scott and ran down to the kitchen with him.

He watched him patiently while he dialled Ethan's number...

As for Ethan, well... Ethan was lying there on the bed assuming he was about to have the time of his life.

"Oh, so you're using a family recipe on me, are you?" He chuckled.

But she applied it to his skin, and... Well, he definitely felt--

"Oh, FUCK!" He grasped the bedsheets and--

Yup...

Immediate orgasm. And that was a good one.

He laid back, completely red in the face and breathless. "Holy fucking tits." He whispered, "That was... It... It's okay. I've got reserves, heh." He laughed, but then his phone rang.

He quickly reached out and grabbed it, then he answered it and put it to his ear.

"Hello, this is Ethan."

Ethan sounded like he'd just been on a run, Scott. He was breathless. But there was no time for that. No time to rest.
 
"I'm not stupid, Mr. Gardner. I just don't back down from a challenge or dare. I'm not chicke."

What was he? Marty McFly?

Somewhere Mark knew what was going on here. He had spoken to and helped a girl that was practically his half twin, he knew the family history, and he just spoke to the sister. Since a young age this boy practically raised himself. He had a lot of passion inside him and given that one of his friends were in juvie...he wasn't hanging around the best crowd.

He needed help, he needed guidance.

But Mark probably saw his little boy lying in a casket well dressed but gone as the price for guidance. He probably saw that little girl who sewed and crafted him a beautiful toy sobbing in his therapy chair because of this continued behaviour. He probably saw his own fears of not being able to protect his boy and projected it there. He was the same man that was terrified one little bruise on his boy's head meant he failed as a father.

It was an interesting conflict to be apart of.

Luckily for Mark, he had his better half that knew the signs. She could sense a Mark distress meltdown miles away, and knew just want to say and do to calm him down. She saw him getting lost in anxiety and pulled him back with just a few reassuring words. He needed to know that Charlie was safe, that his family was safe and all was good.

And Mark needed to see the kid infront of him wasn't as much of a punk as he came off. A punk would scoff at his wife and make some smartass remark.

"Ok, that's fair. Mrs. Gardner. Your house your rules. Ummm you want to clarify harm?"

Reba rubbed his shoulders so Mark would stay calm. Not a smart ass remark, the kid's hands were still up in the air as if he was surrendering.

"What do you think is a safe idea, Carter?"

"Street hockey."

"Supervision. Safer."

"...uuhhm...bike riding."

"Supervised if its passed this street. But the whole street is safe."

"Wait just the street what if we went into the cit-"

"Supervised."

"...I'm guessing anything I think of is going to be supervised."

"Smart boy," She kissed her husband's cheek. "Why don't you invite your mother over for dinner with us some time this week? Charlie's upstairs in his room, you two boys can hang out upstairs until your mother comes to pick the two of you up." She made the nod and the boy left.

Mark felt hands around his waist drawing him in. "You are a good father. I saw Charlie all bruised up and didn't see you. And I also know you, how you think" She kissed him again. "You are a good father. Jason's cuddling with a kid on the couch with a big grin on his face, Charlie's confident and happy...we'll figure it out. Talk to his mother, set some ground rules...and if that gets broken then we take other measures."
--
"I got Carter, Mom, Muffin, my stuffed animals, Doctor Gardner and you. That's a lot of friends." She said. Yeah, that felt like a lot of friends. Jason was nice, and he kept saying nice things.

"You have pretty eyes too," She smiled.

She hugged his arm to her.

"I'm going to make your puppies dog toys when you come over with them." She confirmed.

Doctor Gardner was right. It was good to make friends.
--
"Yes family recipe,"Sam smiled. "I'm training a witch, gotta try and be a good teacher. There's a whole bag of potions too we did today. I guess we'll find out how..."

She saw his body instantly spasm and convulge, gripping the sheets.

"Yeah...I still don't know how to turn down her juice...its like putting every spell on steroids right? Guess we know it works." He then felt her hands glide down his back, his ear licked as she whispered. "You better have this much energy when you get the real thing."

Phone rang, saving Ethan from a very quick round 2.

"Ethan, it's Scott. The boogie stole Tommy and Riley. Mom's going to find him. Mom needs a hero...she needs you."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,191
Oh yes. Mark saw all of that. Mark saw his boy all suited up but cold and dead in a casket because he thought it would be a good idea to jump off a roof. He decided to jump off a roof because a cool older kid said it would be fun. He landed funny and broke his neck. He smacked his head. He shattered his skull and hurt himself awfully. His injuries resulted in death. He had to bury his son when in reality he wanted all of his children to outlive him.

He saw his son dead... And he saw that sweet little girl sobbing to him because she was all alone. She was all alone because her older brother got locked up in kid prison. Juvie. Oh the joy. He didn't want to have to deal with that. The little girl loved her brother. She saw him as her friend. If she lost him she would be in pieces and Mark knew it. He saw it as selfish on Carter's part - why would he put all of that at risk? He had a little sister counting on him and he was the man of the house. She needed him.

It was indeed an interesting conflict because it was at the point where it came down to his own ability as a father. However would he protect his son from all the evil in the world when he could even protect him from some reckless preteen? And now Charlie wanted to give up the fucking reading and writing to become a new Evil Keevil.

But at least Reba was here to talk him out of his fears. She spoke to the kid who apparently wasn't going to be a smsrtass about it anymore. He didn't back down from a challenge? Right. Fine. He could live with that. He could live with the fact that no matter how much they tried Carter would still find a way to involve Charlie in a dangerous challenge. Because never back down, right?

Reba soothed his nerves. The kid was okay with being supervised... Which was fair. Charlie was 9. Barely. He couldn't make a whole number of decisions for himself because kids that age didn't have a huge concept of danger. If something was said to be fun, they'll do it without thinking about the consequences. That was what Mark was worried about. What if Charlie got involved in something and he didn't know any better? Fuck!

"We definitely need to talk to the mother." He turned to Reba again and gave her a hug. He set his head down on her shoulder and shut his eyes. This had been a stressful day. He held her there tight for a minute and didn't let go. He thought all of this over in his head until he eventually felt ready to speak.

"We should speak to Charlie about this too. You should have seen it, Reba." He said. "They were on skateboards and had soda rockets. Jason and Charlie went downhill on them. Charlie hit a bump and went flying into a bush and Jason fell off while he was slowing down... Thank god he was slow." He said. "It could have been so much worse. Maybe Charlie didn't know any better... But he must have known better. That's why I'm worried. What if Carter pressured them into this?" He whispered.

Paranoid Mark was great.

"And Charlie wants to give up his reading to be a fucking stuntman. It's all gone to hell now. I'm going to end up burying a son before he turns eighteen and it's going to be a disaster. I can't keep losing people... I can't just let anything happen to my boy. I've lost too much over the years and now I have the chance to change it." He said.

"I can't let my son down, Reba. I've already done enough damage to my family. I abandoned my brother with our parents to let those bastards do whatever they wanted to him. And I ran."

He finally cracked. Tears ran.
 
Her hands reached out, cupping his face. "Shhh," She smiled letting her thumb press on his cheek. "Mark, you remember when Charlie was two and he ran too fast, he fell and hit his head on the corner of the coffee table?"

Reba remembered that day. Everything in that house that had a corner or sharp edge NEEDED to be child proofed. He failed as a father, it was his duty to protect their boy, he wasn't being diligent enough.

"Babies fall down. Kids do too. So don't adults. Honey, you remember who Charlie hung around with before he met Alice and Jason?"

No one.

"Charlie's never going to give up books. But he's making friends. He asked a girl he liked out, he asked us today to invite Jason over. Our boy is growing up to be a bave, confident boy making friends."

She kissed him then. "You are right, what happened was dangerous and anything could have happened to him. But nothing did. So, we talk to Charlie. We lay down ground rules and explain to him safety. Charlie's a good son. He will make the right choices. We'll also talk to Carter's mom get to know her too. It's all going to work out."

"We didn't do rocket boards but I do remember us doing reckless things together when we discover mentos and soda. Cafeteria, that bully that picked on your brother. You walked behind him at lunch, dropped it in his drink as it was under his face and walked away as it exploded. Because I remember that, Mark. You were such a badass that day. I thought you were an action hero that day."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,193
"I remember that day." He said, "I remember how frantic I was. I remember, eventually I was more upset than he was." He gulped, but he laughed sadly, too. "Every sharp corner in the house... Every single little thing, I got those rubber tips that would cover them. I remember doing that, combing through the house. I didn't calm down for... Hours. Days. Not until the bruise vanished." He said. Every time he looked at the bruise, Mark looked like he was going to cry, no matter how happy Charlie may have been even hours after the initial injury. Mark had a rough time with that sort of thing, and he still did.

She did have a point, though... Before these guys, Charlie didn't ever hang around with anyone. He was good at making friends and he was good with other kids, younger, older... He was great with adults, too. He was wise beyond his years in that respect. It was a shame he didn't spend time with those people, though. It was just their little family, but, they were friends in their own right, too. Still... It was healthy for the kid to have friends his own age. Now he had a girlfriend, he had Jason, Amy, Jack - he had met all the kids by now, which was great. He needed friends. Mark was proud of him for that.

"I mean, I get it." He whispered, "He was probably just excited to be doing something with some people his age, give or take a couple of years." He said, "And it started off as harmless fun, but... Him going down that hill with nothing but a helmet on, same for Jason... It was dangerous." He gulped, "Imagine how Bridget and Tom would respond if Jason scraped half his face off on the street?" He said. He shook his head. "Charlie has been through enough, too. I don't want either of them to get hurt anymore, really." He wiped his eyes.

"I'm glad Charlie's making friends, but you're right. He's a good son." He whispered and bowed his head. "We'll talk to him, yeah, and Carter's mom. We'll make sure everything is cleared up." He said, "As long as Carter knows not to do anything reckless with the younger kids... I think we can work this out. The boys seem to be quite fond of him already, so... I guess if it makes them happy..."

He sighed.

He'd let them spend time with Carter as long as there was no more danger.

"I remember doing that to that bully." Mark smiled the tiniest of amounts. "He deserved it. He was a dickhead." He said, "I know that when he ran out of there crying..." He nodded, "I know that he never picked on Tom again. I was worried he'd pick on him after we left school, so, I had to do something about it." He said, "And I did. It was worth the trouble I got into for that." He said, "I remember I had Mr Feldman screaming at me for at least 40 minutes for that one. Worth it." He smiled.

He put his head back on Reba's shoulder and held her there.

He was silent for a few minutes.

"Did we let Charlie down?" He eventually said. "Did we let him down when..." He sighed, "When we got back from Eli?" He asked. "He basically did everything for his little brother and sister. "We spent a few days recovering and coming to terms with things, I know... I got out of bed to make food and to get him tucked into bed. Occasionally I sat on the couch with him and spaced out. I wasn't even watching Tv I was just... My head was somewhere else." He said, "And I'm just scared that all of this... Him running out of the house with his siblings without telling us, him doing little stunts like this, I'm just worried that..."

He didn't know where he was going with it. "I don't know." He whispered, "I'm just worried I'm letting him down at a time in his life where he needs me more than ever."

--

Jason had pretty eyes, too? Oh, merci, Miley. You're killing this boy right now. He was loving every little thing she said and did. She hugged his arm and he nestled in a little more. Miley was a special friend. Jason was happy to be this close to her, this cuddled up. He didn't know what it was about her but there was something about her that made his heart skip a beat every now and then. He loved it. He looked at her for a while, studying her features. She was so pretty.

"My dogs would love new toys." He grinned. "But they're not really puppies. They're big dogs, but they're friendly, I promise. I know a place where there's a lot of puppies, though. We should go there, too, 'cause that's at my friend's house." He said.

He looked at her again, then he looked back to the TV. He leaned over and rested his head against hers again. "Y'know, your eyes are still prettier than mine." He said, "And your hair's pretty and smooth, too. It's smooth like... Smooth like a rainbow! Just without all the colors."

Hey, little kids have some killer compliments, what can I say? It made no sense, but... Since when do kids care if it makes sense? It was cute. That's what mattered.

--

"Putting it all on steroids? That's an understatement. It feels like my balls just exploded."

At least he was honest. At least he'd had a good time, though, right? That was the main thing here. He had a very good time, it was just a shame that it didn't entirely involve her. "If you can tone that stuff down...? Jesus Christ. We're going to have a lot of fun." He reached out and playfully pinched her arm.

Ethan grinned when she whispered to him, though. "Oh, I've got plenty of energy left." He said.

But the phone.

Of course.

When he heard Scott's voice say that Tommy had been taken, though, he immediately sprung out of bed and kicked his underwear off. He was going to need a clean pair for this one, really. He was slipping those on while he spoke. "He took Tommy?" He gasped. "Whoa, whoa. Okay. Okay, right. Me and Sam are gonna' come over. Don't you guys move, okay? Me and Sam are going to be right there. You be brave, kid, be brave for your brother and sister. See you soon." He hung up.

He looked at Sam.

"Get dressed. The Visitor's taken Tommy. You know... Kate's older kid." He said, "Well, the second-oldest. He's taken him." He said, "We need to get over there and see if there's anything we can do to help." He said.
 
Only Reba had the power to pull Mark from the abyss. She held his heart in her hands and was the only one in Mark's life that had that power and never abused it. The day Reba tormented and abused Mark would be the day he finally broke for good. She kept him sane, kept him from strangling a boy just now. This was the corners and edges situation but on steroids.

"You are not letting your son down, you understand me?" She kissed him again and did something silly. She swayed with him out on their yard as if they were listening to a slow song. Dancing to nothing but everything at once. "You and I are human...we're people. Parents aren't without flaws. We make mistakes and we're going to make mistakes with the kids. How we behaved for two days....that was a mistake but Mark honey, those mistakes do not define who we are. They don't define what we've done as parents."

He was kissed again, and again....and he would be until she could feel inside herself that his spiraling had truly stopped.

"You do not let him down." Kiss.
"Your son looks up to you." Kiss.
"He needs you." Kiss.
"He will always need you." Kiss.

She cupped his face again. "this one is important. So I'm going to repeat it a few times ok? Charlie is proud to call you his father." Kiss.

She repeated it ten times, rocking and swaying to a slow song just in their heads.
--
"Can you call my mom?" Scott asked. "Maybe if you talk to her she will go with you too so she's not alone. We can't lose Kate."

Scott felt comforted with it all, that he was getting his brother back. He hung up the phone and looked back at amy and george. He tightened his helmet. "Ethan's coming .He's going to bring Tommy back and its all going to work out. He gripped George's shoulder. "With Mom gone, you and me have to protect Uncle Adam and Amy....we don't know if more boogies are going to come. We gotta get your helmet on."

Six year olds....big imaginations.
--
Sam hopped off tossing Ethan clothes as she was getting dressed herself. "We're going to Scott's house first...ethan, if they have something personal of Tommy's...I think I can track him with magic. It's worth a shot....I don't know if it'll work but Lena and I have beeen practicing I think i can do it."

What was the worst that could happen getting her magic involved with all this? This was the serial killer that had been tormenting Ethan's life. Hurt Danny. "Danny's brother right? I think i got a few little potions here that want to make impact with his face after he nearly killed our friend.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,195
"I'm not letting my son down..." He whispered and nodded to her. Okay. He wasn't letting Charlie down. He hadn't let him down. Charlie was a good son and he understood that his mom and dad were having to cope with things just as much as he was, and he knew that his dad was going to be readily available to chat. He did know that. The whole time Mark was lying in bed trying to cope with everything, Charlie knew that his dad was there and always ready to come and see him if he needed it. Yes. He was a good dad. He was okay. He had his flaws but he was doing a good job, and that was something he was going to have to force himself to accept.

Nothing to worry about.

"You're right. The mistakes don't define us. He's a brave and smart boy. Even if we disappeared for weeks on end... You know he'd be scared but you know he'd find a way to look after the little ones and also put time into helping get us home. You know he'd manage. I'm so proud of him." He finally settled a little, and although the tears ran, he set his head down on Reba's shoulder and took more deep breaths. He didn't want to panic himself too much. He didn't want to be too much of an emotional burden, either.

Sometimes he hated coming to her with his problems. He hated being the one who brought everything down. He hated being the one who always needed picking back up, but people would be lying if they said Mark didn't try his best. It was just hard. They'd both had a hard life... They'd both come from backgrounds that would stick with them for the rest of their days and haunt their dreams...

It was just... Mark took to it differently to her. She no doubt suffered and put up the right defensive walls, but Mark was quite a 'feeling' person. He had a lot of empathy and compassionate, even for the most evil and fucked up people. That was his weak spot.

Mark could be a scary guy if you let him fall far enough into the void.

Let's hope we never see that, right...?

Hint, hint.

"I don't let him down."
"He looks up to me." He nodded.
"He needs me." He took in a deep breath.
"He will always need me."

He shut his eyes.

She repeated that final one several times over, and each time he nodded along to it. He nodded until the panic in his eyes washed away. He let out a gentle sigh.

"He's proud to call me his dad." he nodded a couple of times.

Okay, good. He stopped. He was no longer tense. All was fine. He was okay.

He took hold of Reba's hands, holding them tight. "I love you, honey." He whispered to her. "We'll talk to Charlie once all the others leave. Best not do it in front of his friends. I don't want him to feel like we're publicly embarrassing him." He said. "We should go back inside. Tom and Bridget will be here soon." He leaned forward and pecked her on the lips. "I crack so easily with things like this... I'm sorry. Thank you for being as kind and patient as you are. The rest of my life is going to be great because of you." He nuzzled noses with her for a second.

Then he just held her in a warm embrace.

--

"Yes, I'll call your mom. I'll let her know that we're going to come and help with everything and that way she doesn't have to go on her own, don't worry." He said. "I'll give her a call as soon as I'm off the phone to you and I'll let her know. Don't worry. It's all going to work out, kid. We're going to get your brother back." He said. It was a big promise to make, Ethan...

But you still made it.

And boy did he intend to keep it.

He was getting his brother back even if it was the last thing Ethan did. But hopefully it wouldn't be the last thing he did. Hopefully it would be one of the many great things he did with that family, with his life. He just hoped it counted for something with Tommy. Tommy had been gone all day and he was trapped with a madman...

He could be in any state right now.

Well, right now? He was actually cuddled to Eli's side and watching TV with him. He asked if he'd ever see Riley again and he was told no. Same for his family.

So, he gave in.

Eli was all he had now, it seemed.

George looked at Scott and smiled, unsurely. "Yeah, we have to protect this place." He said. He quickly gave Scott a hug. He grabbed his hand, "Come on, you gotta' come here. I have an idea." He said. He dragged him over to the stairs that had a perfect view of the front door from the bottom. He pointed, "We can build a big barricade here using the cushions from the couch." He said, "And then we get the guns that Allan bought us, and the vests that hold the bullets and stuff, and the helmets, and we sit here and watch the door." He said, "If anyone walks in, we can stop them!"

He was pretty enthusiastic about it, and the guns Allan got were pretty awesome. They didn't fire anything, but, they did have loadable magazines which had cool sound effects to them, too.

--

"They'll definitely have something personal of his. That house will be crawling with Tommy's personal stuff and it'll all be easy to find seeing as they're not even done unpacking all their stuff yet." He said. Well, Tommy certainly wasn't. He was far from done. He'd literally gone into his room last night and refused to move. He checked the basement out and figured he'd set up his PS4 down there at some point, and the Xbox he had, too. But not yet. The basement needed some work.

He was going to smash that shit out when he got back. He was going to do the majority of the work himself... He was going to need a lot of distractions after what he's going through.

"And yes, Danny's brother." He threw on his clothes. "But let's not focus on getting revenge right now, Sam. We need to get Tommy back. God only knows what that poor kid is going through right now..." He sighed. He didn't like to imagine it, but... He had a pretty good idea that he was clinging onto life by a thread. Especially if he'd had some time alone with Eli.

"How does the whole... Tracking thing work?" He asked as he grabbed his keys.
 
"Going to?" Reba playfully smiled. "I've been in your life since you were seven. It's already been great with me in it."

She wasn't just his calming center, she could be a playful flirt too. "Mark, I love you, always will. As long as I'm able too, I'm going to be here to catch you. Just like you catch me every day." She kissed him. "I don't know where I'd be if I never met you. My cold resolve would have taken over and I would have been just like my father, maybe worse. You remind me every day why it's important to be open and to feel."

Mark was the emotion, Reba was the resolve....too much of one and it was a broken person. They evened eachother out. She took his hand and led him back inside.
--
"All dogs are puppies. Even the old ones," Miley nodded along. She could see a 16 year old dog and call him a puppy. "If you treat an older dog like a puppy, they act like a puppy. They love being treated like a puppy." She said.

Kid was smart. She was onto something here.

"Do you have a lot of friends Jason?"

Were they stuffed animals like hers?

The two were able to finish the movie when the doorbell rang. Miley had fallen asleep, her hug on Jason's arm had turned into her head sleeping on Jason's lap, his arm still hugged, but held close to her chest. She woke up to the slobbering tongue of a dog. She opened her eyes and saw a german shepherd, half his ear missing but his face was right in hers.

Miley's face immediately lit up. "PUPPY!"

Otto got hugged around the neck immediately and cuddled with as if he was just eight weeks old. She saw another puppy crouched low and trembling under the coffee table. He seemed nervous to get to Jason with a new person. "Hey puppy. come here. You're so cute. Look at your little nub tail. Come here puppy." She was sitting up now patting her lap.

Rio inched his way over and eventually started licking her. She loved dogs. She was giggly and excited.

Bridget had managed to take a picture of the two with Miley passed out before the dogs came and did dog things. Her eyes keyed on the bandages, bloody ribbons and cut face. ''Who's your new friend, honey?" she sat down on the couch next to her boy. She kissed the top of his head. "You look like you had an adventurous day."
--
Scott nodded. "Baricade and make a fort up at the stairs. I like it. Amy, you're going to take Roscoe and Todd with you. Roscoe will keep you safe and help you watch Adam upstairs. We need to boobytrap the back door and the windows. Make sure no one gets in."

Mr. Allan Johnson gave them weapons...they were soldiers. They could do this. It wasn't like they had much of a choice...they had to do this.

He hugged both his siblings really tight. "I love you guys. Mom needs us right now to help her. So doesn't Uncle Adam. We got this. Because we have eachother. Our family needs us right now...so we gotta step up."

For six, it really wasn't a bad inspirational speech.
--
"So I have a map out, dangle a pendulum over it and hold onto something really personal. I'll have to meditate and concentrate....but how it works is the pendulm will land on the map where he is. In theory."

What do you mean in theory Sam?

"I never did it before......BUT...BUT I'd like to point out....oh wait."

Sam grinned. "We don't need a personal item from Tommy. We have something stronger. DANNY" she yelled. She quickly threw on her clothes and was putting on her shoes.

"Danny is blood related. I can scry for Eli through Danny. I just gotta cut him and use his blood. DANNY!"

"ARE YOU GUYS OK? I HEARD ETHAN YELLING EARLIER."

"HES FINE WE NEED YOUR HELP!" Sam grabbed her backpack, her boy and pulled him out of the room where they found Danny down the hall making his way.

"Danny, I need to cut your hand, is that ok?"

"Yeah, that's fine...because you need to. What for?"

"We're tracking your brother down. Ethan, get me a map of Maine or United States...globe who cares. We're finding him."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,197
With Mark all calm they were back inside to relax for a while now that the kids had settled, too. They poked their heads into the living room to see that Jason and Miley were getting on like a house on fire, and she was all cuddled up to him which was sweet. She looked like she was on top of the world and it was just perfect. That girl had to remain precious and sweet her whole life, Jason and her family had to make sure of it. She didn't need to be anything more because she was already perfect.

Mark was indeed the emotion, and she the resolve. But at least they balanced each other out, right? At least they had that sorted. At least they weren't going to be causing each other any problems - not yet, anyway. They fit together perfectly, like two pieces of a puzzle. What more could they want?

They may have had their dramas and their problems... But they had each other. That's what mattered.

--

Miley had a good point, actually.

"Huh, I guess you're right." He said. "Maybe I'll try it with Otto and Rio. Maybe they'll like being treated like puppies again." He said. He didn't ever think of that one before. Maybe that would be a good way to get Rio to trust people again - if they treated him like a little gentle puppy, then surely that would help the little guy become loving and confident again? Jason would give it a shot and cuddle with Rio every night, cradle him like he was just an infant pup. He'd love it!

Did he have a lot of friends?

"Well... I HAD a lot of friends." He said, "But now I live here instead of Millinocket, so all my friends are far away. I knew them all at my swim group and my archery classes, but, that's okay 'cause now I've got other friends. Charlie's my cousin but he's a really good friend and kinda' like a brother. Then there's other kids, too... There's Jack, Chandler, Amy... George, Scott..." He nodded. "They're all fun and they all live in this town. You should meet all of them. They're super nice." He said.

He wanted her included, but after that little talk? Well, they settled down and watched the movie they had playing. Eventually Miley crashed out and fell asleep right there on Jason's lap, and Jason leaned down a little to hug her gently. This was nice. He had his head rested on her shoulder while she hugged him and laid there. This was perfect. He felt so happy and at ease. This was a moment he'd been waiting for his whole short life, he was pretty sure.

The sleeping was all going great, and Tom's heart melted a little bit, too. He saw them all snuggled up like that and he knew one thing - he was going to have to talk to that kid who was very clearly smitten, all about girls and how to act appropriately with them in certain scenarios. That was an important talk to have with a young boy, he figured. It would be easier to get Jason to remember it if he had the talk sooner rather than later, right?

But Otto ran in and licked her face, and she was true to what she said. She was treating him as a puppy, and it was the most adorable thing ever, watching him get all excited and happy. Otto loved kids, and he loved kids who showered him in attention even more. He loved Jason and Miley. He really loved Miley already.

And Rio, too, she managed to coax him out from his hiding spot in literally seconds. It was wonderful.

And she was all excited and gleeful, too. Jason was just sat there staring at her, a massive grin on his face. The young lad looked head over heels for this girl that was working her puppy love on Otto and Rio.

"That's Otto, and that's Rio." He pointed to each one respectively, but then he looked up at Bridget when she came over.

"This is Miley. But I call her Smiley Miley, 'cause look, she gave me the smiles." He pointed to the smiley bandaid, then the smiley padding on his knee, and then the one on his elbow, too. "I fell off a skateboard because we made rockets with soda and Mentos to go down a hill, but, I was okay. I didn't cry or nothin' like that." He snuggled up to Bridget's side. "Plus it didn't hurt that bad and Miley made me better." He nodded.

He looked at Miley, "Miley makes stuffed animals and things. She's super smart and really pretty." He said, nonchalantly.

--

"Okay." Amy sniffled and nodded. The boys could work the front lines, but, she had another idea. "I can watch out back. I can see the back yard from my window." She said, wiping her eyes, "So I'll look out of it and see if I can see anything from there, and if I see anything happen I can call out to you guys. You need someone to watch your backs, too, so I'm gonna' do that." She nodded. She cooed Roscoe and Todd over to her.

She listened to Scott's little pep talk (yes, very good for a 6-year-old).

"We're gonna' step up, yup." Amy nodded to his words and sniffled once more. "We're gonna' do this. We're gonna' get Tommy back and everything is going to be okay. Family protects family, so, I'm going to help however I can." She said, "Good luck, guys... I believe in you." She gave them both one big hug and a kiss on the cheek, because she was sweet like that. If it was anyone else... Outside of the family that is, she would have been brave and strong and punching ideas out all over the place.

But this was Tommy. This was her favorite brother on the line right now. That hurt to think about. She couldn't let it get her down. She had to fight to get Tommy back, too. But she took the pups upstairs and barricaded herself in her room.

George looked dead serious, too. He gave Scott a curt nod.

"Let's get to work."

--

"In theory?" He asked. "So in theory it could easily go completely wrong and point us to the other end of Maine for the wrong reason?" He asked. "Take us somewhere completely different and all that? Right now I'm not sure how much I like the odds." He said.

Which was fair enough.

They didn't need a personal item all of a sudden- oh.

Oh.

OH. Danny was his brother! Of course!

Better yet, Danny was more than willing to give blood, just because fuck it why not. Okay, that was fine with them. If it helped them get Tommy back then surely anything was worth sacrificing, right? A little blood never hurt anyone.

Actually... I take that back.

Ethan ran and got a map of Maine, though, and this was all they were going to need. "A map of the states would be too hard to pinpoint based on how big Maine is." He said, "But this? This is the most up to date map we have. It's a few years old but I'm sure wherever he is... It's not going to be marked on a map anywhere. Not until now, at least." He said.

He opened it up and laid it out.

He just hoped this would work.
 
Blood was blood. Blood she could trace it. Ethan made a point though, could they risk it. "I don't know....literally everything I've done so far has just been theory....but it hasn't let me down so far. My mom hasn't steered me wrong."

Ethan got to understand Sam's mother a great deal with the journal he found of hers. Sam still had zero idea that this particular journal even existed....right now maybe that was a good thing. As Ethan got the map, Sam drew a circle on the floor, the elemental symbols as she got the bowls ready. Connecting to the elements helped her tap into something that was apparently easy for her to tap (Not easy. It was hard as all hell honestly)

Danny had his palm cut, blood dripping into a bowl. Ethan laid down the map. She pulled out her mom's old crystal, that dangled down a silver chain. Sam closed her eyes and began to meditate.

Ethan watched as the pendulum swung like mad, his girlfriend completely still.
--
Watching TV with Tommy, Eli felt an itch in the back of his brain. It felt like something was crawling in his skull and warming through. It was hot, warm, like a poker stick that came out of the fire lodging itself in there.
--
Sam's eyes opened, the whites were gone completely as they glowed emerald green. The pendulum spun rapidly in circular motion.

"He has his arm around Tommy. They're watching TV." She said, her voice however sounded like it was hundreds of miles away.
--
That pain turned GREEN.

For a split second all Eli felt, smelled heard was this green aura.

.....

Then it was gone.
--
The pendulum's tip slammed to a spot in the map deep in the reservation park in Millinocket woods. Her eyes returned and Sam gasped. "Holy shit. Holy shit I was there. I was in him....Tommy's alive. He's in rough shape, he's alive though..."

She paused. "I felt like I was in him, Ethan...you don't think he felt me right? Like...its just a one way connection?"

It wasn't Sam...you unintentionally opened a bridge link in your mind and you were going to regret that day for the rest of your life.

But that's a future story to tell.
--
Puppers. Every dog was just a puppy. Miley patted her lap until Rio lept on there and he got a big warm hug. Not once did this little girl view him to be a danger, neither otto. "Room for you too, Otto."

Both pups were pulled in and snuggled. Miley was in Puppy Heaven right now.

Bridget looked at the bandages. "Rocket skateboard huh? You have fun?"

She was going to talk to him later about this. That was for sure. "Well Smiley Miley, I really appreciate you bandaging Jason up here. You are a professional."

The little girl blushed burying her face in Otto's fur. "Jason's my friend...can he come over sometime?"

Bridge looked at Tom. "I don't see why not, right?"
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #4,199
"You're right in saying it hasn't let you down yet. That's always something to be comforted by. Just make sure you're completely focused on it this time okay? This is literally life or death. For Tommy I mean. Sorry. I don't want to put pressure on it or anything... It's just... Y'know." He said.

Even so... He knew her mothers sources were quite reliable because he'd read her journal and he understood that the background she was from was literally painted in this stuff so he knew it wasn't all bullshit. He knew this was going to be the realest shit he was going to see in quite some time. Probably his whole life. It wouldn't make much sense and there wouldn't be any scientific explanation... But it was going to be real.

He watched as the pendulum swung. Sam was fucking still. She was just completely stiff. It was almost like she wasn't a real person but more of a statue.

...

Eli blinked when he felt it. This felt odd. Painful. He stopped looking so relaxed but he tensed a little bit instead. His grip around Tommy's shoulders became that little bit tighter. Tommy didn't move. Tommy was sad and depressed and even suicidal at this point. But at least he had Eli who had promised to look after him.

He said he was going to be part of a big plan where they'd be away from each other for a while. But not for long. He'd come back promptly. Tommy just agreed because he truly had no idea what he was referring to.

And then it turned green. He just felt. Saw. Smelt. Heard. He could experience all of the senses just linked by green and it was... Horrific.

But it was intriguing. And he suddenly felt drawn to a very specific place. A place he couldn't quite put his finger on but somehow knew the exact direction he'd have to go in to go there. He knew there and then that that was... Something. He knew it was something interesting and he knew that it meant something.

Either that or he was dying. Forms of cancer ran in the family so he wouldn't be surprised if it was that... No. It wasn't that. It definitely wasn't that. Motherfucker.

He looked at Tommy.

"Tommy, son. It's time for bed now."

".. Yes, John." He whispered weakly. "I don't want to go alone."

"You don't have to."

--

"You saw him?" Ethan was shocked by everything he'd just seen. He was actually a little bit scared when he saw her eyes go green and everything. It was madness. He didn't expect anything like this but honestly... What else could he expect? Expect the unexpected, Ethan. He stared at her for a second and gripped her hand. "If he's in rough shape we need to get there and help him as soon as we can." He whispered.

He looked at where the pendulum landed.

He nodded slowly.

"I think I know exactly where that is." He said. "We should go as soon as possible. By the time we've driven there Tommy might be in worse shape. He will be. I know he will." He said.

He didn't know the answer to her question though.

"I... I'm sure he didn't feel you. That can't be the case." He said. "I wouldn't worry. Surely you would have felt like you were being rejected from connecting if he could feel you, right?"

Right.

Tell that to the dark energy that was literally gripping to her soul right now, Ethan.

"You ready?" He asked. "We need to go by Kate's house first." He said.

--

"It was a lot of fun." Jason nodded. "It was Miley's older brother Carter that showed us how to do it. First we shot toy dinosaurs up into the air with the soda and the candy but then we made rockets instead. I crashed ans Charlie crashed too but Charlie wasn't hurt that bad." He said. "My elbow was pretty bad and bleeding but it's okay now thanks to Miley." He said, joyfully.

Tom nodded to what Miley said. "Of course he can. We'll take your address and arrange a play date or something." He said. "You can come to our house too. Jason's got a lot of fun stuff there."

"Oh and Bridget?" Jason tugged her arm. "Can I do swimming where Miley does her swimming?" He asked.

Young love was a precious thing.
 
Ethan was right, she would have probably felt him crawling in her headspace. But it felt so real. She was in the room, she saw through his eyes, what was playing on the TV, feeling Tommy snuggled against him. She shook a little. "All I know is I'm never going to get used to what I can do. Ever. It's always going to be weird and it's always going to surprise me. Each and every time."

She wasn't wrong.

"I can help you guys."

"No Danny," she hugged him. "You're in a wheelchair. I need you to keep Peter safe."

Sam dialed Max's number. "Max. Hey. Assuming you know Tommy Jones is missing. I know where he is, don't ask how but I know it's exactly where it is. Ethan and I are going to drive down there, but let's meet up...I don't think we can do this alone. Is Mrs. Jones with you?"

Keys were grabbed, potion bag was grabbed, Ethan was snatched and off they darted to the car. They could talk and drive right?
--
Young love indeed. Bridget wanted to scoop Jason up and just hug and squeeze him. It was the first time in a long time that he looked genuinely happy. Don't get her wrong, she knew Jason was happy with them....

But his parents were murdered.
He was orphaned.
He was tortured by a madman....

There was going to be sadness inside him. So, to see not a trace of it was a wonderful thing. All brought on by Smiley Miley.

But those fucking bandages. She grabbed tom's hand and squeezed. "Maybe invite her mom over for lunch too?"

Talk to her about her son and how her son got their baby boy hurt. Yeah...that was definitely on her agenda right now.

Miley was bright red in the face but she was grinning. "THere are swim teams with competitions and trophies...maybe we'll be on the same team if we applied for it."

"That sounds like a great idea, don't you think Tom?"

WHoever this son was...she wanted to punch his face for hurting her little boy.

Speak of the devil...the doorbell rang. A frazzled woman in her thirties was at the door.

"MOM!" Miley grinned.

"Hey baby, sorry Mama's late. Mama's clients were very very particular about their gowns. Where's your brother?"

"He's upstairs with Charlie. This is my friend, Jason." She wouldn't stop hugging his arm.
 

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