We took a taxi to the airport, my staff saw us. Jimmy raised an eyebrow when he saw me with two boys. He was used to me having only one boy. I thought if Alex has his way, the days of one boy are probably over or at least infrequent. Charlie’s eyes got big when he saw the plane, I knew David was impressed as well, but he acted as if to say,' no big deal.' Jimmy came and took our luggage, the pilot came and met us. “We have an hour before take-off.”
“That’s okay. We can relax onboard. I have a few phone calls to make, and you can wow the boys by showing them the cockpit. Is Ronnie on board?” Ronnie was our co-pilot.
“Boys, if you want something to drink, just ask Jimmy. “
The boys sat in their seats. Jimmy started a movie that occupied their time. He brought them a cup of hot chocolate and a cup of coffee for me. I called Judy and told her when we would be arriving. I knew she’d call Maria and take care of the limo. We talked a little about the case and the billing. She brought me up today on the next two cases, one was in the US, and the other was in England. I made notes on what Judy told me and my views. I got lost in what I was doing when Charlie crawled on my lap.
“Are you scared?” He nodded his head, yes. “You don’t have to be afraid. When we get home, you’ll meet your five other brothers and Gram. She will bake you the best cookies. I bet when we land, they’ll meet us, and you’re going to get a lot of hugs.” He smiled as he snuggled into my chest and arms. When I looked at him, he was asleep.
Jimmy brought me a blanket to cover him. I thanked him and asked for a cup of coffee. I check on David. He was watching the movie. “Jimmy, offer David some snacks and a blanket.” I drank my coffee while I held the papers Alex gave me. There were tears in my eyes as I read the bio on Charlie. His mother wasn’t married when she gave birth to Charlie. His grandmother raised him until she died. His mother tried to sell him for drugs. That was when Alex, through some connections, found him. I thought about that for a while. It was apparent that the men around that table have a well-developed organization for sorting out these boys. I was aware that if anyone took a boy for sexual pleasure, they would be dealt with unpleasantly. I wondered if the Russian mafia was part of their system. The murder of Chris’s man appeared a result of Alex and I escaping with Chris. The more I thought about it, the more questions I had.
Going to sleep, with Charlie in my lap and David snuggled against my left arm, I decided I didn’t care as long as I could continue helping Alex saving these kids.
Jimmy came and woke me, “Mr. Jeffries, we’ll be landing in 45 minutes.”
I carefully nudged David. He woke up. I smiled, “We’ll be landing in a few minutes. If you have to use the bathroom, now is the time.”
Smiling, he stretched and went to the forward bathroom. “Charlie, Charlie, wake up,” I whispered in his ears. He squirmed, and as I continue to call him, he slowly opened his eyes. “Charlie, we’re going to land soon. If you have to go to the bathroom, now is the time. David, show Charlie where the bathroom is."
I watched as Charlie and David went to the bathroom. “Jimmy, do we have time for a hot chocolate for the boys.”
When the boys came back, Jimmy had hot chocolate for them. Charlie climbed back on my lap as he drank his drink. I wrapped my seat belt around him. In effect, we’re both belted in the same seat.
It was early morning when we landed. There was no activity at the airport. Customs came on board, check our papers. Donnie came and told me the limo would be arriving at the plane since it was so early in the morning. I love these private airports.
Jimmy got our suitcases, opens the plane door, and drops the stairs. As we descend, the boys were waiting. No sooner did David touch the tarmac when he was surrounded. When Charlie and I stepped off the plane, we also were surrounded. “Dad, we’re glad to see you and two new brothers,” that was Steven, the spokesman for the boys. I saw Chris at the end of the line. I smiled at him. I gave each boy a hug and a kiss on their head. David and Charlie looked as I did that. I grabbed David, hugged him, and a kiss on the forehead, “You are home now, David.” He had tears in his eyes, but not for long as the rest of the boys ganged on him. Charlie never left my side. When the boys started to approach him, he grabbed onto me.
“Charlie, these are your brothers. You're going to have so much fun with them.” The words were wasted. He wasn’t going to let go.
We all got into the limo, Charlie and I got in the front, the noise from the back became less as we drove. I looked back. The boys were drifting off to sleep.
Arriving at home, the boys woke up when the limo stopped. Maria was there to greet us, and when she saw Charlie, the smile could have lit up a grey sky.
The boys introduced David. I introduced Charlie. There must have been something about Maria that reminded him of his grandmother. I could see the bond growing as Maria gave him a big hug.
“Carleton, coffee is on. Breakfast will be a few minutes.”
“David, offer to help. She’ll be surprised. Then we can talk.”
I watched as David approached Maria. At first, Maria was making an effort to say she had everything under control. David looked at me, smiled. I nodded, and he followed her and Charlie into the house. “Steven, help me with the luggage. Take this bag to the spare bedroom at the end of the hall. Do you think you can change your bedroom so I can give it to Charlie? You are right next to mine. If he has any problem sleeping, it would be easy for him to slip in my room, or I can hear him.”
“Sure, Dad, I’ll move to the bedroom across from David.” I hugged Steven. I could always count on him. With my arm over his shoulder, we walked to the kitchen and breakfast.