Subject: When You Least Expect Chapter 22 Copyright 2020-2021: No part of this story may be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the author. The author fty permission to post the story on their website. DISCLAIMER: This story is a work of fiction and fantasy. No part of it is based on true events, and any similarity to any person, living or dead, is coincidental. It contains descriptions of homosexual activities between consenting adults. If you are not over 18 years of age, or if you find this type of story offensive, or viewing this material is illegal where you are, then please DO NOT READ IT! If you choose to read it, then – I hope you enjoy it! Nifty needs donations to continue doing what we all enjoy. If you can, please consider donating. When You Least Expect By Josh Blake Chapter 22 Braden practically ripped my clothes off as soon as we got into our bedroom Christmas night. Like a mad man, he pulled down my jeans and underwear in one move, then gave me a moment to step out of them before he pushed me onto the bed with my ass toward him. He used his fingers to spread my cheeks and buried his face in my hairy ass. “Ahhh fuck that feels good,” I moaned. I loved having my ass eaten. “You taste good, too!” Braden said, coming up for air for just a moment. He buried his face in my ass once again and used his tongue to swirl all around my hairy anus. I had offered to shave it, but Braden liked it hairy. I liked his hairy as well, so we had that in common. After several minutes of tossing my salad, Braden changed positions, and I felt the head of his cock knocking at my back door. There was enough saliva built up from the fantastic rimming I had just received for his cock to slide inside me with very little resistance. “Ahhhhh yessss!” I moaned as Braden’s cock grazed my prostate. His fingers dug into my back so hard I was afraid he’d leave marks. Not that it mattered, though. He then began to kiss and lick the back of my neck. I was sure he was going to leave marks there, but he knew to keep it in the area that would be covered by my shirt. “Fuck me, babe. Fill me up with your seed!” I begged, as Braden kept pumping in and out of me. He was sweating. I could feel drops of his sweat landing on my back. It made the whole thing that much better. I was on my stomach, but I reached under myself and grabbed my cock, fucking my hand and the mattress as Braden fucked me. I could feel myself on the verge of cumming from Braden’s assault on my ass and from my hand. Suddenly, we heard Jackson crying on the baby monitor. “Fuck!” Braden said. “Don’t you dare stop now,” I said. “He’ll be okay for a minute! Now fuck me harder and give me that load!” “Ugh Ugh Ugh,” Braden grunted as he fucked me. “I’m close.” Jackson continued to cry. “I am too, bring it home, baby. Give me your seed.” I begged. Suddenly, I could feel my ass being flooded with Braden’s cum. This caused me to have my own orgasm, spewing a huge load on the sheets underneath me. “Fuck!” I said. “That was amazing!” “You’re not kidding,” Braden said. “Hey, the baby stopped crying. I better go check on him, though.” Braden picked up my underwear off the floor and used them to wipe his cock off, then put his robe on over his naked body. “I’ll change the sheets while you do that,” I said. Braden walked into Jackson’s room to find Mom sitting with him in the rocking chair, gently singing to him. “Oh, I didn’t know you were up,” Braden said. “I got here as fast as I could.” “Well, it sounded like you had other things to attend to,” Mom said. “So, I got up and handled this.” Braden turned about ten shades of red realizing that Mom had heard us having sex. “Oh, well, thanks,” Braden said, not knowing what else to say really. “Is he alright?” he asked, walking toward them both and using his finger to stroke Jackson’s cheek. “He’s fine, just a little fussy. I changed him, so he should be good now. I’ve got this under control. You should go take a shower. You smell like sex, just like Josh the other day!” “Oh God!” Braden exclaimed. “You did not just say that.” “It’s true!” Mom laughed. “I don’t care what you boys do, but you do smell like sex and ass right now!” “Well, I’ll go take care of that,” Braden said. “Good Night!” “Why is your face so red?” I asked Braden as he came into our bedroom and closed the door. “Because your mom just said she heard us having sex and then told me to go take a shower because I smell like sex!” Braden explained. I had just finished changing the sheets, and I collapsed on the bed with laughter. “She said the same thing to me the other day,” I said. “I guess we should be a little quieter and shower before we leave the room!” “Well, we do need a shower. It does stink in here!” Braden said. “I mean, I don’t mind it. It smells like…us.” “We probably should light a candle, though,” I said. “Come on, let’s take that shower.” I held out my hand to Braden. He took it, allowing me to lead him to the bathroom. We managed to take a shower without getting too horny again. We cleaned up, then climbed into bed. “Merry Christmas, Braden,” I said to my lover as I spooned him. “Merry Christmas, Josh,” he said back. “I love you so much!” “I love you more!” I said. We drifted off to sleep in each other’s arms. I woke up a few hours later to the sound of my phone vibrating. I looked at the clock and saw that it was almost 2:00 a.m. “Who would be calling me this time of night?” I thought to myself. I picked up the phone but didn’t recognize the number. I almost didn’t answer it, but then I realized it was the same area code as my school, so I thought I better see who it was. “Hello?” I said into the phone. I didn’t hear anyone say anything immediately, but I heard someone breathing and sniffling. Braden woke up and turned on the light on his side of the bed. “Josh, who is it?” Braden asked. “I don’t know yet. Hello? Who is this?” Silence. I was just about to hang up. “Mister P…I…I’m sorry to call you so late.” To begin with, I didn’t recognize the voice. It sounded like a younger boy, probably a teenager. Calling me Mr. P meant it was one of my students. Suddenly, it occurred to me. I had only given my phone number to one student. I put the phone on speaker so Braden could hear what was being said. “Lucas? Is that you? What’s wrong?” I asked. “I didn’t know who else to call.” I could hear more sniffles. “What’s wrong, Lucas? Where are you?” “At the McDonalds on Highway 241. Out by the mall. My dad kicked me out of the house.” He was crying more heavily now. There were pauses between his words. “He found out about me and Trey. He found my phone and saw our texts. He started screaming and threw my phone at me. It broke but it’s still working. I had to run out of the house. I couldn’t take anything. I’ve been walking for a couple hours now and I just stopped here because I don’t know what to do.” His crying was getting worse. He had to be freezing. It was well below freezing outside. “I want you to stay where you are,” I said. “I’m coming to get you, but it’s going to take me a little bit. You know I live about an hour away.” “No, you don’t need to do that. I’m not worth it. I should probably just go jump in front of a truck on the highway,” he sobbed. “Lucas, you listen to me. I’m coming to get you. You are worth it to me. Is there anyone else around you right now?” “No, the building is locked. It’s just the drive through open.” “Lucas, I need you to promise me that you’re going to stay where you are. I’m coming.” Suddenly, the phone went dead. I had no idea if the battery had just died or if he had hung up. I called back the number, but it went straight to voicemail. “Hey! This is Lucas! Why are you calling when you can just text me? But if you really gotta talk, leave me a message and I might call you back!” Braden was already up and getting dressed. He threw me some jeans and a shirt. “God, Braden, what if we don’t get there in time and something happens?” “Call David,” Braden said. “He’s closer and he can get there faster.” “You’re a genius. I’ll call him from the truck. Can you drive?” “I already have the keys. Let’s go.” “Wait, I have to tell mom where we’re going.” I knocked on her door. “Huh? What’s wrong?” she asked, groggily. “Mom, Braden and I have to go. It’s an emergency with one of my students. I don’t have time to explain right now, but we’ll be back home in a few hours. Please listen for Jackson. We have to go. I love you.” I didn’t wait for her to respond. We were out the door and in my truck in a flash. Braden set the GPS for David’s house, then set out on a safe but steady pace. While he was driving, I called David’s number. “Josh? Do you know what time it is? What on Earth is going on?” David asked. “David, I don’t have time to explain everything, mezitli escort but one of my kids is in trouble. He’s at the McDonalds out on 241. I’m on my way but I can’t get there as fast as you can. He’s in a bad place and he’s already threatened to jump in front of a truck. Please go get him. Take your superintendent badge so he knows you’re legit and tell him you’re my friend. His name is Lucas. He has red hair.” “Jesus, Josh, did you call the police?” “No, I didn’t. I don’t need him being taken to the police station like a criminal. It’s like 10 minutes from your house. Can you please go get him and bring him to your house until I can get there, and we can figure out what to do? He’s a good kid, David. His dad just threw him out because he’s gay.” “I’m on my way, Josh. Robert is throwing clothes at me now. I’ll call you when I have him.” “Thank you, David. We’re coming as fast as we can.” “Josh, you know we’re going to have to call CPS, right?” “I know, but can’t we at least wait until morning to do it? They won’t do anything tonight, anyway.” “Yeah, you’re right. Let’s just get to him first. I’m in the car now. I’ll let you know.” I spent the next few minutes filling Braden in on the whole situation. He knew most of the story, but there were some gaps to fill in. After what felt like an eternity that was only about fifteen minutes, my phone rang. It was David. “David? Do you have him?” “Yes, Josh, we have him. Other than being cold, he looks to be just fine. He wants to talk to you.” “Lucas? Are you okay?” “I’m okay, Mr. P. Just cold. Thank you for sending your friend to get me. I’m sorry my phone died. I was on 2 percent when I called you.” “That’s okay, Lucas. David is going to take you to his house. I’m on my way there. Braden and I will be there in about 45 minutes. We’ll figure out what to do when I get there, okay? Everything is going to be fine, Lucas.” “I can’t go back there, Mr. Patterson. I just can’t. He won’t let me, and I won’t. I’ll run away if you try to make me!” He was sobbing again. “Lucas, calm down. We will figure this out. I promise.” “Josh?” It was David again. “Yeah, David. I’m here.” “Josh, we’ll talk when you get to my house. Robert and I will take care of the boy and get him in some warm clothes. He left his house in shorts and a t-shirt. We’re blasting the heat in the car to try to get him warmed up.” “Thanks, David. We’ll see you soon.” We pulled up to David’s house at 3:24 a.m. We didn’t ring the doorbell; we just walked right in. “Josh, we’re in here,” David called out from the den. We went in to find David and Robert sitting on the sofa while Lucas sat across from them in a chair. He was wearing a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt that were too large for him, but they were better than the clothes he had on prior. He was wrapped in a blanket. As soon as he saw me, he jumped up and ran across the room, throwing his arms around me. “Mr. P, thank you for sending your friend to get me. I thought I was going to freeze to death out there!” “I’m just glad you’re safe, Lucas. We are going to figure this out. You can trust me,” I said. “I know I can. Just don’t send me back to my dad. Please. He’ll kill me if you do,” the boy cried. “We have to talk it over and see what we can do, Lucas,” David added. “I know you don’t know me like you do Mr. Patterson, but I can assure you that I care as much about you as he does. But for now, I think you need to go get some sleep. Robert is going to take you upstairs and show you the guest room where you can rest. We’ll talk about all of this in the morning.” “Yes sir. Thank you all, so much.” Lucas hugged me again, then went upstairs with Robert. “What can we do, David?” I asked. “First off, we have to call CPS. We don’t have a choice. Is this the first time you knew about any issues? How did he have your phone number?” I knew that I was talking to my superintendent now, not my friend. I filled him in on how Lucas and Trey were caught in the closet and how Lucas was afraid of his father finding out that he is gay. I told him that I had called in the guidance counselor and we kept documentation of the meeting. There was no reason to call anyone or take it any further at the time because there were no allegations of wrongdoing. After listening to the background story, David sat and nodded his head. “You followed protocol. Giving your number out to students isn’t the wisest thing to do, but you may have saved the boy’s life. So, we shouldn’t have any issues there. I have connections with a caseworker we can call in the morning. She’ll help us out.” David said. “I wish I could just take him home with me,” I said. “But I know I can’t.” “Actually,” David said, “You might be able to. There’s a stipulation called kinship care. Basically, since you are his principal and you have a relationship with him already, you can petition CPS to allow you to take him in. If he agrees to go with you, it shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll have to take some foster parenting classes, but it won’t be a big deal. I used to be a foster parent when my wife was still alive, but I’m pretty sure my certification has lapsed. It’s been at least 20 years since we fostered any children.” “Wow, I didn’t know about that,” I said. “But our house is already so full. Mom is in the guest room, and Jackson is in the other bedroom.” “We can figure out a way, Josh. We’ll make it work,” Braden said. “You really think we can do it?” I asked. “You’re only 20 years old, and we’ve only been married a couple months. We have a baby already and to take in a teenager. I just don’t know.” “Josh, look at me. He’s only a little younger than Austin. What if it was him? We’d want someone to take him in and take care of him. We can do this. We’ll figure something out.” “Let’s all get some rest and talk about it in the morning when we can think more clearly. Josh, you and Braden take the same room you slept in last time. I’ll find something you can sleep in,” David said. He walked upstairs, leaving Braden and me in the den. “I’m sorry you got dragged into this,” I said to Braden. “You didn’t know what you were getting into with me, did you?” “Stop it, Josh. I knew exactly what I was getting into. I married one of the kindest men on the planet, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are just going to have a bigger family than we planned a little sooner than we planned.” “I don’t know how well these will fit, but it beats nothing,” David said, tossing Braden and me each a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. “Thanks, David. I don’t know how well we’ll sleep anyway, but we should probably try,” I said. Braden and I walked to the downstairs guest room we slept in last time. We didn’t even think about having sex again. We couldn’t even fathom it. Surprisingly, I managed to doze off. I was awoken sometime later by Braden shaking me. “Josh! Josh! Wake up! I have the answer to the problem!” Braden said. “Braden, what time is it?” I asked, groggily. “I don’t know. Like 6:00 or something. But listen, I know how to fix this!” “How is that?” I sat up and picked up my phone. I had texts from Mom asking if we were okay. I quickly replied “Yes…will call soon. All is okay.” “When I moved out of Mom and Dad’s house, it left my bedroom empty. Mom and Dad always talked about being foster parents, so they went and took the classes. They haven’t had an opportunity to foster yet, but Lucas could stay with them for now until we get everything sorted out for him to live with us.” “That just might work,” I said. Call your mom and explain everything. I don’t want to bring this up to Lucas or anyone until we know they will do it.” “I know they will, but I’ll call and make sure.” Braden called his mom. After explaining that everything was okay, he told her the reason for calling so early. He explained the whole situation, making the story as short as possible. He was smiling when he hung up the phone. “She said they would love to have Lucas stay with them!” Braden said. “That is awesome!” I said. “Hey, do I smell bacon?” “Yeah, I smell it too. Come on, David must be up,” Braden said. We went out to the kitchen to find Robert frying bacon and David making coffee. “Did you guys sleep any?” David asked. “A little, but not too much,” I said. “But it’s okay, because we have a plan now!” Braden and I spent the next couple minutes explaining to David and Robert how Mark and Bonnie were certified foster parents and had agreed to take Lucas in. “I’ll call my friend at CPS and get her over here. Braden, you may want to call your folks and get them over here, too. They will need to be here to make sure everything works out.” Braden made the call, and his parents said they already anticipated needing to come. They were almost pozcu escort finished getting ready and would be headed this way shortly. While Braden was on the phone, I got his attention and said “Hey, ask them if they’ll swing by and pick-up Mom and Jackson. David and Robert haven’t met him yet.” Of course, they said they would be happy to. I called Mom and told her to be ready. She was excited about meeting my friends and said she’d have Jackson ready as quickly as she could. Just as Braden got off the phone, Lucas appeared in the kitchen. His face was streaked with tears, and his eyes were puffy. “Come here,” I said to him. He didn’t need any persuasion as he ran into my open arms and buried his face in my chest, crying. I held him and tried my best to sooth him. It was almost like holding a much larger version of Jackson. “It’s going to be okay, Lucas. We have worked out a plan,” David said. He put a plate of bacon and eggs and glass of orange juice on the table. “Here, sit down and eat and we’ll tell you all about it.” “I’m not hungry,” Lucas said. “You may not be, but you need to eat,” Robert said. “Trust us, son. You need to eat.” Lucas pulled away from me and walked to the table. David brought over plates of food for the rest of us, and we all sat down and started eating. Once Lucas started eating, it must have reminded him that he really was hungry, as he started eating pretty quickly. By the time our plates were cleaned, we had explained the whole plan to Lucas. “Do you really think your parents will like me?” Lucas asked Braden. “I’m sure they will, Lucas. You’re a very nice boy.” Braden said, placing his hand on top of Lucas’s hand. “But the idea is not for you to live with them forever,” I said. Lucas looked at me in shock. “You mean I have to go back to my dad?” He asked with tears in his eyes. “No! That’s not what I meant,” I said quickly. “Braden and I have discussed it, Lucas, and if you are open to the idea, we want you to become part of our family and live with us.” “Really? So, you’ll be like my new dads?” “Well, I guess so,” I said. “But please understand that it may take some time. That’s why Mark and Bonnie are going to take you in for now. They are already foster parents, where Braden and I are not.” “I understand. I’m just so thankful to have you all.” Lucas said. A little over an hour later, Mark and Bonnie arrived with Mom and Jackson. I took Jackson from Mom and introduced him to Robert and David. They had a good time holding him and playing with him. They were happy to meet Mom, as well as Mark and Bonnie. “So, you must be Lucas,” Bonnie said, holding out her hand. “I’m Bonnie, and this is my husband, Mark. You’re going to be staying with us for a little while,” she said. “Yes ma’am. If you’ll have me, that is. I’ll be forever grateful if you will. I’ll do chores. I’ll wash dishes and take out the garbage. I’ll clean the house. I’ll do whatever you need me to do.” “Slow down there, son.” Mark said. “We don’t want a slave. There will be some chores, but you and our son Austin, Braden’s brother, will do them together.” “How old is Austin?” Lucas asked “He’s 17,” Bonnie said, “So he’s about a year older than you.” “What’s he like?” Lucas asked. “He’s a brat!” Braden spoke up, causing us all to laugh. “No, he’s actually a really cool brother. He plays baseball and loves to play video games. He just got a PS5 for Christmas.” “That’s probably what he’s doing right now,” Bonnie said. “Do you think he’ll let me play it with him?” Lucas asked. “Let you? If he finds out you’re interested in the same stuff he is, he won’t let you leave his room! He’s missed his brother a lot since he moved out,” Mark explained. “He is going to be thrilled to have another boy to hang out with.” “It’ll be kind of like having a brother of my own,” Lucas said. “I’ve never had anything like a PS5. Dad said he didn’t have the money for that foolishness.” About that time, the doorbell rang. “That’ll be Charlotte, my friend from CPS,” David said. “Let’s all go to the den.” David invited Charlotte in. She was a very attractive black lady who looked to be in her early fifties. She was well dressed and spoke with such a soothing voice that I imagined she could make any bad situation sound a little bit better. “Lucas, I want you to meet my friend Charlotte. She works for Child Protective Services. There is no reason to be afraid of her. Just be honest with her about everything.” “Thank you, David. Lucas, would you mind talking to me in private for a few minutes? I just need to get your account of what happened with your father.” “Yes ma’am. That’ll be fine,” Lucas said. “You can use my study,” David said. “It’s right this way.” He led Lucas and Charlotte to the study, then rejoined us in the den. A few minutes later, Charlotte and Lucas returned to the den. “Josh, can I speak to you and Braden now?” Charlotte asked. We followed her into the study. I gave her my account of everything that had transpired since the day Trey and Lucas were caught together in the janitor’s closet. I explained that we followed protocol but saw no need to report anything at that time. She agreed with me that we handled the situation appropriately. “What is your goal in all of this?” Charlotte asked. “What do you want your involvement to be from this point forward, if any at all?” I looked at Braden and took his hand. “We want to adopt Lucas. We just adopted our son, Jackson, and we know we have room in our hearts for another child. We hadn’t planned to adopt again this soon, but the opportunity is there, and I love Lucas like he is my son.” “You may have room in your heart, but what about room in your house?” Charlotte asked. “Adoption is a process in situations such as these, and you have to prove that you can handle it.” “What if Lucas’s father agrees to sign custody over to me?” I asked. “That does make things easier. If a parent voluntarily surrenders their parental rights, you just need an attorney to take it through the courts and have a judge grant you custody,” Charlotte explained. “So, essentially the same thing that we did with Jackson, right?” Braden asked. “His birth mother signed over all rights to us.” “Yes, it’s very much the same process,” Charlotte explained. “That is why we were hoping that Mark and Bonnie could be Lucas’s foster parents for now until we can get everything sorted out with the custody.” “Yes, that is going to work in your favor,” Charlotte said. “I still have to meet with them, but I’ve already pulled their credentials. They are up to date on their certification, so placing Lucas in their temporary custody will not be an issue. Of course, I’m going to have to visit his father and determine what his story is.” We thanked Charlotte, then sent Mark and Bonnie in to see her. They all emerged smiling a few minutes later. “Lucas, the only thing I have left to do is to speak to your father. I’ll have to get his side of the story and then we can proceed,” Charlotte said. “Do you have his phone number?” “I don’t know it by heart,” he said. “And my phone died. I tried to recharge it, but it won’t hold a charge. I guess when Dad threw it at me, it damaged it.” “I can get it,” I said. “David, can I use your computer?” “Absolutely, Josh. Use the desktop in the study.” I walked back to David’s study and turned on the computer. I logged into the student information system from the district’s website, searched Lucas’s name, and printed his profile page with his father’s contact information. I logged out, then handed the paper to Charlotte, who was standing in the doorway of the study. “Would you mind if I stand by while you make the call?” I asked. “Not at all. Let’s just close the door.” Charlotte closed the door to the study, then took out her cell phone and dialed the number. She put the phone on speaker. “Yeah?” Was the reply from a man’s voice who answered. “Is this Mr. Albright?” “Who’s askin’ and what do ya want? I ain’t buyin’ nothin’.” “Mr. Albright, my name is Charlotte Campbell. I am a social worker with Alabama Child Protective Services. I was called in this morning by the superintendent of the Bruno County School District regarding your son, Lucas.” “I ain’t got a son. That faggot ain’t my son,” the man snarled. My blood was boiling. My eyes were watering. My fists were clenched. “Mr. Albright, please understand the gravity of this situation. According to your son, he was forced to flee your home on foot last night because you found out that he is homosexual. He was able to make contact with his high school principal, who was able to arrange for him to be picked up safely.” “So, he’s with that faggot Patterson, huh? I always knew he was queer. I heard he married a boy a lot younger than him from my cousin that works in the cafeteria escort bayan over at that school. Patterson’s probably fucking all those kids, Luke included. Fucking faggot.” I got up out of the chair and paced the floor. It was all I could do to stay quiet. I wanted to rip his head off through the phone. I made a mental note to figure out which cafeteria worker was his cousin and fire her immediately. “Mr. Albright, I can assure you that Mr. Patterson has done nothing wrong in this situation. Quite the opposite, actually. What I need to know from you is whether you are interested in attempting to regain custody of your son. I’m placing him in foster care for the time being until we resolve the situation,” Charlotte explained, calmly. “I told you he ain’t my son anymore. You can have the little faggot,” he said, hatefully. “Very well, Mr. Albright. I’ll note in Lucas’s file that you have no interest in regaining custody. For your information, Lucas will be placed with a foster family for the time being. You will not be made aware of his location and should not under any circumstances try to contact him or anyone associated with him.” “Fine. I don’t give a shit.” “One last question, Mr. Albright. Will you allow me to obtain Lucas’s personal belongings from your home?” “I don’t want his shit. Come get it.” “Very well. I will be by with a sheriff’s deputy within the hour.” “Suit yourself, bitch.” He hung up the phone. Charlotte let out a sigh. “That never gets any easier,” she said. “I’m sorry you had to hear that, Josh. For the record, I asked Lucas what your relationship with him is. It’s standard protocol in cases like this. He gave me no reason to think there is anything more than a caring, loving relationship from a mentor going on here. Plus, I know David well enough to know that if anything was going on, he’d know it. So, don’t worry about what that man said. He has no basis for his hateful remarks.” “Thank you, Charlotte. It just hurts me so bad to know that a man can just throw away his own son. But I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. My own father did the same thing.” “Let’s go back out and tell everyone that it’s a go. But let’s leave out the part about what his dad said. We’ll just say he agreed to this arrangement for the time being,” Charlotte said. I agreed. “Lucas, it looks like you’ll be going home with the Howells!” Charlotte said when we walked back into the den. Bonnie put her arm around Lucas. “So, what did my dad say? Does he hate me?” Lucas asked. I looked at Charlotte with a sad expression and sighed. “I’m going to be honest with you, Lucas. I see now that everything you told me that day in my office is true. Your dad is not okay with you being gay, and he is happy to have you live somewhere else,” I said. “It’s okay,” Lucas said. “He doesn’t love me, anyway. He didn’t even get me anything for Christmas. He said I’m too old for that shit.” Lucas started crying. I balled my fist and had to turn and walk out of the room before I punched a wall. Braden walked out behind me and took my hand. “It’s a lot, isn’t it?” Braden said. “This whole thing with his dad. It’s striking a nerve with you. I can see it.” “Call your brother. Tell him to go to our house and get the emergency credit card that I keep in my top desk drawer. Tell him to go shopping and buy things that he would like. He’s a lot like Lucas, I think, so I bet they’ll have similar interests. Tell him Lucas plays baseball and wears clothes about his size. That boy is going to have Christmas when we get home. I don’t care how much he spends. That boy is going to have Christmas.” While we were talking, Braden had guided me downstairs so we wouldn’t be overheard by the others in the den. David and Robert had overheard some, apparently, and had followed us downstairs. I was crying by that point. I was crying out of anger. I was hurt for Lucas, and I wanted to make it all better. “Josh. You have to get ahold of yourself,” David said. He put his arms around me and held me. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” I said. “I just can’t stand this. If you could have heard what that man said about his own son…” “We know. Charlotte told me,” David said. “Call your brother,” I said to Braden. “Tell him what I said. I want everything wrapped and fixed for Christmas for Lucas when he gets home.” “Josh, let us help with this,” Robert said. “David and I will go out and do the shopping, then deliver everything to Mark and Bonnie’s house.” “Are you sure you know what to buy?” I asked. “We’ll pick up Robert’s 18-year-old grandson on the way,” David said. “He’ll help us out. We can do this, Josh. Let us handle it.” “Okay, I will. Thank you. Thank you both!” I said, hugging both of them. David and Robert went back upstairs and explained to Lucas that they had some errands to run and had to leave, but they would see him again soon. Charlotte had left to go to Lucas’s house. A sheriff’s deputy was meeting her there. She would drive his belongings straight to Mark and Bonnie’s house. Lucas gave her a list of items to be sure to get, along with their location. With everything in motion, we loaded into our cars and headed toward home. Lucas rode home with Braden and me. We talked along the way, trying to keep Lucas’s sprits up. It was obvious he was depressed, but who could blame him? “Trey is probably worried sick because he can’t get me on the phone. Oh crap! I hope he doesn’t go to my house to try to see me! My dad will kill him!” “That would be very bad, I said. Braden, head to the school. We have to call Trey and let him know what’s going on.” I called Mark and told him why we were changing course and told them to go ahead. A few minutes later, we pulled up at my school. I used my key to open the door, and Braden and Lucas followed me in. I had to deactivate the alarm, then we went into my office. I turned on my computer and searched for Trey’s name. I found his contact information, then dialed his mother’s phone number from my desk phone. “Hello?” “Mrs. Briggs? This is Josh Patterson, the principal at Trey’s school. I know this is a very strange call, and I’m afraid I can’t go into much detail with you, but is Trey at home with you now?” “No sir, he got worried when he couldn’t get his buddy Lucas on the phone, so he left going to his house a little while ago.” “Oh God!” Lucas said. Braden took his hand. “Mr. Patterson, what’s wrong? Who is that in the background?” “That is Lucas, ma’am. There was an incident last night at Lucas’s house, and we believe Trey may be in danger by going there. Can you call him and tell him to turn around and come home? Lucas is okay, but he cannot go to his house. “Can’t you tell me what this is all about? I’m terribly confused.” “I’m sorry, that’s all I can say right now. Please call Trey and then call me right back. Please. Just do it,” I said. “Yes sir. I will. Thank you.” She hung up. The three of us sat in silence waiting for my phone to ring. Finally, about three minutes later, it did. “Mr. Patterson, I can’t get Trey on the phone. It is going straight to voicemail. His phone is off, too, because I can’t track him. His last location was at Lucas’s house. “Call the police, I said. Do it right now. Give them Lucas’s address and tell them your son is in danger. Do it now!” I hung up the phone. “Let’s go, I said to Braden and Lucas. We got to the truck, and I got behind the wheel. “Lucas, give me your address.” He did, and I plugged it in the GPS and took off in that direction. Lucas only lived about five minutes from the school, so it would be a quick drive. I imagined we’d make it before the police. “Braden, open the dash and take out my gun.” I said. “A gun? I didn’t know you kept a gun in your truck!” Braden said. “You never told me…” “Not now! Just take it out and when I stop, hand it to me.” I pulled up in front of Lucas’s house. It was not in the best area of town, and it needed a lot of work. I took the pistol from Braden and got out of the truck. “You two stay here. Do not get out of this truck. If you hear a gunshot, call 911. You know what, call 911 now. Tell them to get here as fast as they can. I got out of the truck. I don’t know what possessed me, but I had a mission to accomplish. I charged to the door and knocked hard. There was no answer. I banged again. Nothing. Then I heard a scream. “Trey! Is that you in there?” I yelled out. “Albright, OPEN THIS GOD DAMN DOOR!” I screamed. “HELP ME!” Came a scream from inside. With one swift kick, the door flew in and I charged inside. “Mr. P! Screamed Trey. He was laying in the floor, bleeding from his head. He had been beaten badly. “Trey! Be still, don’t move. Help is coming!” “Mr. P! Watch out He’s got a gun! No!!!!” Trey screamed. I never saw what was coming, but I felt a lot of pressure on my shoulder and my back, and then the world went black. The next chapter in this series will be published soon! Your feedback is always appreciated! Send it ail. Let me know if you want to be added to my mailing list to be informed when new chapters are published.