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    Dabeagle
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Things We Lost - 7. Chapter 7

I woke in the morning to the tangle of sheets I'd read about so often, but to my delight and relief, the bed was not empty. Tristan and I were snuggled in together—interwoven is the word that comes to mind—in his bed and he was breathing in deep, regular breaths. I lay quietly, needing to use the bathroom but unwilling to break this fragile moment of peace. Instead I reveled in his touch, his arms loosely wrapped around me, and in the scent of him that permeated the sheets and pillow.

His breathing sped up and his eyes fluttered open. He appeared momentarily confused, and then a smile spread on his face.

“Hey,” he said, his voice not much more than a croak.

“Hi,” I replied, a smile curving my lips.

He brought a hand up and touched my face. “I thought I had a dream, but here you are.” His fingers inched around to the back of my head and, with a mischievous glint in his eyes, pulled me forward into a light kiss. He moved his nose up and inhaled deeply. “I love your scent.”

My lips quivered in amusement as I thought of how his own scent had been so attractive to me from the very beginning.

So focused were we on each other, that the whisper of the door opening hardly registered.

“Tris...oh!” Piper stopped and put her hand up to her chest. Then, a smile slowly spread across her face. “I didn't expect this.”

“It was a surprise to me, too,” Tris said and pulled me close. “I like it, though.”

I wasn't sure what to say, and so I kept quiet.

“Ehren?” Piper said.

“Y-yes?”

“You should probably say something about how you like being with Tris, too,” she said, grinning.

I glanced at Tris, whose eyes were fixed on me. I looked back to Piper and said, “I wasn't sure what I should say. He kissed me and I love him.”

She let her face drop just a little and then said, “Could you be any more clinical, Ehr?”

“Pipes,” Tris replied, chuckling, “Do you really want details?”

“You know...hey, you were safe, right? Nevermind, I just...yeah. Listen, the folks are going antiquing and May and I are going out. Mom left a chore list for you.” She spun on her heel and was gone. Tris shook with mirth next to me and I let a smile curl my lips.

“What's so funny?”

“She thinks we had sex.”

“Oh,” I said, suddenly remembering we were in bed together. “But, we're boyfriends—wouldn't she expect that?”

“Well,” he said, drawing the word out and leaning over to kiss my lips, lightly. “I don't know how fast those things are supposed to happen but...I guess, maybe, she didn't count on us actually, you know...falling in love.”

He kissed me again and my reply died on my lips. Some time later we went downstairs for breakfast and looked over the chore list. This was part of a normal Saturday and Mrs. Malone teased that, since I practically lived there, I was helping. I didn't mind, even though I didn't much see the point of cleaning things that got dirty again right away.

Tris went outside to mow the lawn and I started on the inside. I knew what Mrs. Malone expected when it came to cleaning, now, and made sure I dusted and vacuumed to her standards. After doing the dishes and taking the trash out, I checked on Tris. He was sweating like crazy and I brought him some water to cool off with.

“Wow, I needed that!” he said, handing me the empty glass.

“How much longer will you be?”

He glanced around and said, “Maybe another twenty minutes. How much do you have left?”

“I'm done,” I replied.

“Oh? Well maybe...when I come in we could, I don't know,” he said, looking down and seeming reticent.

“Could what?”

“Like...take a shower? Together?” His face lifted and his gaze flitted over my features, gauging my reaction.

I blinked. “Do I smell?”

He blushed and drew out his response, “No. I was just thinking...”

I imagined us in the shower and his suggestion suddenly clicked and I flushed. “Oh, you mean...right. Um.”

“I mean, you don't have to.”

“No, I-I don't mind.” I shut my mouth and closed my eyes before continuing, “What I mean to say is, I want to but...I just wonder how far...how much you want to do.”

“Ehren,” he said, his voice tender, “I'm not those guys.”

“W-what? No! No, I know that!,” I said as I let out an uncomfortable chuckle. “I just, you know, wanted to know what...” I closed my eyes and tried again, but Tris beat me to it.

“Ehren,” he said in that same tender voice as he placed a hand on my shoulder. “We'll know when it's right. I'm not talking about full on sex, I just thought...” he moved a little closer, pitching his voice low. “Ehren, I think you're sexy. We've been pretending for about two months, now—most of the summer. I want some intimacy with you, but when you're ready, okay?”

I looked down. “I know what sex is, Tristan. I don't want sex with you to be like it has been for me, in the past.” I lifted my gaze to his face. “I'll do it whenever you want.”

He shook his head and leaned his forehead in against mine. Looking in my eyes he said, “Ehren, this isn't just about me. I know whatever we do together, it's going to be good. I'm not in charge of us; we are. I don't decide when we have sex; we do. And I don't think we should have sex right now. Not until you feel good doing it.”

Tears welled in my eyes and I pulled away, crushing them with the heel of my palm. “That only lasts so long though, right? How long before—”

“Hey, hey,” he said, placing his hands on either side of my face. “It's okay! It's okay!”

“No, it's not! I don't know how to have sex without it being a trade!” I said, probably louder than I should. “I don't know how to have sex without knowing what the terms are; what people want from me.”

He looked at me with a compassionate expression and then kissed me, gently, chastely.

“Ehren,” he said softly, his voice pitched just for the two of us. “The terms are I'm giving you love when you give me love. The terms are we don't have sex unless we both want to. What I want from you is for you to genuinely want me, and to respect yourself enough to say no if you aren't ready, yet.

“Those...men, they didn't love you. I do. I understand that you might think that sex is sex, but I don't believe that. Even though I'm a virgin,” he said, his face coloring slightly. “I believe there is a difference between having sex and making love. And I want to make love with you, Ehren.”

My tears redoubled their efforts and his face blurred before me. Leaning in, he whispered in my ear, a small giggle shaking his voice.

“I also want to fool around with you, though. I don't mean to put pressure on you, and you may not know this but...I have an attractive boyfriend.”

I laughed at that and he hugged me, quickly. He turned and went back to the mower and I retreated back into the house. I wandered inside, from room to room, sniffling and wiping my eyes as I idly neatened things as my mind turned over his words. The idea of showering with him was exciting and part of me yearned to try. Before, sex had always been a job, a trade. How different would it be with someone that made my heart beat as Tris's made mine beat?

When Tristan came in from the yard I let him drink a glass of water before I took his hand and told him he stunk. His lips quirked and then I don't know what his expression was as I led him up to the shower. I was unprepared for the experience, for the difference. Even as my heart thundered in my chest, even as my eyes feasted and my soul sang to see the same thing being returned to me in his look and in his touch. Even after we were spent, with the evidence of our passions circling the drain, the feeling that this was something I'd never experienced before was absolute—sex was not love and love was not sex. But, sex with Tris was far more than sex because of love.

~TWL~

His parents returned in the early afternoon. We'd dressed, and then turned briefly to video games before making out seemed a better use of our time. Upon hearing the front door open, though, we quickly got the game system going again and were engaged in a battle when his mother appeared in the doorway.

“Nice work on the house, boys. Why don't you come down and have some lunch?”

As it happens, lunch was the precursor to Mrs. Malone telling Tris video game time was over and he needed to work on his summer reading list. I was mystified as to why the idea of reading bugged him, but I offered to pick out a book and read with him. He seemed mollified and went upstairs to retrieve his book from his room. I went to the bookshelf and ran my finger along the titles, trying to pick out something that would interest me.

“I appreciate you offering to read with me, but you don't have to,” Tris said, entering the room and sounding glum.

“I like reading,” I said over my shoulder.

“You do?”

“Sure.”

“Oh, right, duh!” He leaned against the wall and regarded me. “What do you like to read?”

I glanced at him and smiled. “Detective novels, mostly. My...friend at the bookstore that I told you about, Emily? She made sure I had plenty to read.”

“She sounds really nice.”

“She is,” I confirmed. “She liked to pretend it was just books she was lending to me, but she always gave me a bag with food and some hygiene items like a toothbrush or toothpaste.”

“I like her already. So, why detective novels?”

I glanced back at the books in front of me and said, “I identify with the detectives. They have to figure out who is lying, who can be trusted and solve the case.”

“What about that do you identify with?” he asked, his tone plainly curious.

“Well,” I said, looking to be sure we weren't overheard. “On the street you have to judge people quickly. Choosing to trust the wrong person can get you in a lot of trouble—dead or may as well be.”

Tris straightened. “For example?”

I thought for a moment. “Well, there is this guy, Mamoud. He runs a convenience store near my old hideout. He overcharges street kids for food and whatever else he sells. His big vice, as far as I can tell, is greed, but not excessively so. Knowing that, I could manage him. Now, on the other end you have this other store called Finnegan's. The family that runs that is also in bed with some weird characters. I've heard some street kids have gone into the store but never come out.”

“That's creepy,” Tris said, his voice somewhat skeptical. “What do you think happened?”

I pursed my lips in thought. “Well, the most likely thing is human trafficking, I think. Nobody misses street kids except other street kids. So, if you run a prostitution ring like Carson does—he runs one of the gangs,” I said, glancing at Tris before continuing, “then grabbing someone off the street and forcing them to work is the easy way to get new bodies.”

“That's...disgusting. Why don't the kids just run?” he asked, frowning.

I let my fingers trace over the spines of the books. “They get them addicted. Hell Dust. Meth. Cocaine, maybe—whatever is cheapest. Once they get addicted, they'll do a lot to make sure they get their next hit. It's not pretty.”

I was startled when Tris grabbed me, hugging me tightly. I didn't question it, but returned the hug.

“That could have been my sister. You saved her.”

I shook my head. “No. Those were frat guys. They wanted to do evil shit, but they weren't organized or looking long term at making money like the gangs do.”

Tris leaned back and pecked me on the lips. “I think you're pretty noble. Are any of your detectives noble?”

Heat blossomed in my face. “I'm not noble, Tris,” I demurred.

“Sure you are. You stood up and defended my sister when no one else could and nothing was in it for you.”

“Tris,” I said, feeling embarrassment creep up on me. Licking my lips I said, “I have to be honest with you. When your sister stumbled into me, she kind of took my choices away. I didn't step up and help altruistically; I'm not as noble as you are, taking me in. I had to stop and figure out how much I could get hurt for sticking my neck out.”

I looked down, unable to look at his face lest I see his disgust. Instead he lifted my face by my chin and locked his gaze to mine.

“You still could have run. At any time you could have just told them where she was and left her to whatever they had in mind. I...understand why you had to weigh the possible cost to you, but you still did the right thing. Stop beating yourself up, Ehren.”

Then he was kissing me and I was, gratefully, kissing him back.

“This doesn't look like reading,” Mrs. Malone said. We jumped back, looking embarrassed as can be. She rolled her eyes, “Teenagers in love! Tristan, get on the couch with your book. Ehren? Find something and get comfortable.”

“I'm not familiar with these, do you have any suggestions?” I asked her, with my face burning.

She approached and reached past me, and handed me a book. “My husband loves these dumb things, maybe you will, too.” Glancing at the spine I didn't recognize the author's name or the book—Steve Berry, The Romanov Prophecy. She patted my shoulder and then gripped it for a moment. I looked up at her, but her expression was unreadable.

Reading the back cover of the book, I followed Tris to the living room. I sat on one end of the couch and folded my legs under me. Tris stretched out and put his head on my thigh while opening his book. As I settled into the book, my hand drifted over and began to idly stroke Tris's hair. He sighed and snuggled a little closer, but I only just noticed, so engrossed was I in the book.

“Look over at me,” Tris said, interrupting me. Glancing over he held his phone down by the floor so the camera would catch both our faces. It made a mechanical clicking noise, which was almost immediately followed by his mother re-entering the room.

“You boys just can't keep your hands off each other, can you?” she said, putting her fists on her hips.

“Ehren's a distraction,” Tris said, his tone teasing.

“I'm reading!” I yelped, lightly smacking him with the book.

“I know you boys are in love and everything,” she said before pointing at Tris. “But you are way behind. If you can't focus with Ehren here, then he'll have to go home. Understand?”

“Yes, Mom,” he said in a subdued tone.

“Now, sit at the other end of the couch and get reading.”

Tris moved as instructed, but no sooner had his mother left the room than he whispered to me. I tried to ignore him—hadn't he heard her? I had nowhere to go! He was nothing if not insistent, though.

“What?” I whispered, looking at him.

“Turn and stretch out,” he instructed me, whispering. I copied him and put my back up against the side of the couch and stretched my legs toward him. He placed his feet flat against mine and wiggled his toes. “This'll have to do. I just wanted to be touching you.”

I blushed and told him to read, and then proceeded to do just that. We read until dinner and his mom was happy with the progress. After dinner Tris wanted to play games, but I suggested we lay down and read more. He was unwilling, initially, but once I told him we could make out every time he finished a chapter, he warmed up to the idea. That's how we spent our evening, lying side by side and reading our books, pressed tightly together and pausing at the end of each of his chapters for a nice make out. Even Mrs. Malone had to be pleased at his progress!

We awoke Sunday much as we had on Saturday—tangled together under the sheets. His warm body was next to me, his unique scent filling my senses made waking up a very happy circumstance. I wiggled my arms around him and pulled him tighter to me, which woke him, gradually. He rolled over in my loose embrace, yawning and smiling all at once and placed a light kiss on my lips. I pulled him closer, enjoying the feeling of our bare legs entwining; the friction and the heat sending jolts through my body.

“You know, all my life I've slept by myself but waking up with you...how am I supposed to sleep alone ever again?”

I gave him a crooked grin, but didn't know what to say to his prose.

“Have I told you I like your haircut?” he asked, leaning back and letting his gaze roam over my face.

“Yes.”

He reached out and ran his fingers through my hair. “I think May should touch it up. I like your hair like this.”

“Boys, breakfast.”

We both jumped at the sound of his father's voice. Turning to look, the door was already drifting closed and his father's steps could be heard descending the stairs.

Tris let out a nervous chuckle. “Well, I guess they'll believe we're boyfriends, now.”

I lay my head down and looked at him. “Are we, really?”

Turning his gaze to meet mine he sported a lopsided grin. “I want you to be my real boyfriend, Ehren... Jesus,” he said, slapping his face and laughing. “I don't even know your last name!”

“It's Robertson. Nothing fancy,” I said, unsure of the reason for his laughter.

“Well, Ehren Robertson—my boyfriend—shall we go get breakfast and get a side order of sex ed from my parents?”

I paused long enough to grab Tris's hoodie from the day before and wrapped myself in his scent like armor. We appeared at the table minutes later and things were a little uncomfortable—but they quickly became more so. For the first time, his parents were asking direct questions that I had a hard time answering such as where I lived and where my parents were, since I'd been living there for the past several weeks. To my surprise I began to become aware, during the course of the interrogation, they already knew the answers to many of their questions.

I'd read enough to recognize the situation and there were precious few people to have informed on me. I glared at Piper, who wilted only the slightest. To her credit, I didn't have to play any games with her, my accusing and her denying.

“They knew something was wrong, Ehren. I had to tell them what was happening.”

“Don't blame her, young man,” her mother jumped in. “I've overheard a few things and I'm not completely dim.”

The conversation by the bookshelf yesterday came back to me and I grimaced, wondering how much Mrs. Malone had heard. There were many times when things might have been said and, given how long I'd been here without trouble from the adults, I should have known better. My train of thought was interrupted by their father.

“We were content—even obliged and happy—to help you out. But you've turned our kids into liars as they sought to protect you right in our own home.”

“Obliged?” I asked, my voice quiet.

“Yes, obliged,” Mr. Malone said. “Any kid in trouble should be able to get help from an adult. As responsible people, who would we be if we hadn't helped?”v

I glanced at Piper, “So you didn't tell them everything, did you? Just the parts to justify my being here.”

“Ehren, I tried...” she trailed off, her hands spread out in a gesture of helplessness.

I stood. “I'll go.”

“No!” Tristan pled as he also stood and placed a hand on my forearm. “Please, Ehren. Please, let's talk!”

“Tris,” I said and faltered as he reached for my hand. I took his fingers in mine and sighed deeply. I loved him too much to just walk out without trying. As I looked into his face, filled with desperation, I felt my anger cool. Without looking at them I said to his parents, “Did Piper tell you why she was helping me?”

There was the subtle sound of skin moving against cloth and I imagined his parents looking at each other. In a much softer tone, Mr. Malone asked, “Why don't you tell us?”

I rubbed Tris's fingers between my own as I spoke, choosing to focus on Tris's hand in mine. “Back when it was still cooler out, I was in a frat area of town. I didn't know it all that well. Frat guys aren't that nice when they're drunk.” I paused and wet my lips. “This girl needed help. She was staggering like she was drunk herself or on drugs.”

A cup plunked to a table or counter accompanied by a gasp. Their mother, I think. Tris's fingers tightened on mine.

“I helped her get away, hid her for a night where I lived, in an abandoned building over by the river. It was safe because you had to climb up top and get inside through a hole in the roof. She, uh,” I hesitated and slid my hand farther into Tris's grasp. “She said she wanted to help me. I had no where else to turn when things went bad.”

Silence filled the room to bursting. Tris began to move his thumb across the back of my hand and I sighed.

“I told them the rest, Ehren,” Piper said, softly. “They know all about Smokey and the guys looking for you.”

I nodded and lifted Tris's hand to my lips, briefly. Still not looking at them, I said, “When you live on the street, no one sticks their neck out to help you. You have to do everything alone. I needed help and I was...scared. Scared for my life. I admit I didn't think that hard about the danger to anyone else. I was afraid Piper would say no, but...I told her the truth.

“Knowing what I know now...learning what I have,” I said and then coughed. I met Tris's gaze and said, softly, “Loving the way I do, now, I don't know if I'd make that choice again.”

Tris's lips folded inward and he sniffed.

“Piper and Tris helped me when I needed it most. Yes, they lied for me. Yes, I'm not a suburban kid who's going to college in a few years. But I promise...” I pulled Tris's fingers to my lips once more. “I do love him.”

Outside there was the sound of a car door closing and, with certainty, I knew. I turned my head and glared daggers at the elder Malones. “You called CPS.”

“You need help—”

“You called fucking CPS!” I yelled and darted around the table, knocking a chair into Mr. Malone's path. I yanked open the sliding door and streaked into the yard and scaled the fence, getting a sliver in my foot for my trouble. I was, once again, running shoeless. Once over the fence, I ran through neighbors' yards as long as I could to stay behind houses. Voices called my name, but I forced my heart to go deaf where my ears could not be and I ran. Eventually, some thirty minutes later, I found myself near the garage where I'd first sought shelter fleeing from my hunters so long ago.

I crept behind the foliage and found my socks and shoe still there and felt an odd pang that I'd forgotten to retrieve them before. Scooping up my belongings I slipped into the parking lot of the garage and quietly climbed into the protective interior of the old van. There, in the silence, Tris's scent wafted up from the clothes I wore and I broke down in tears.

~TWL~

Some time later, after the sun was well into its evening descent, I crept out of the van. Like I had once, in what seemed like ages ago, I put both socks on one foot and my shoe on another to protect them. I crept around behind the garage and relieved myself and then paused to think. I had no money and I was thirsty, not having had any water that day. I decided that, although I wasn't sure how long I'd been at the Malone's, it was time I headed to the bookstore. Past time.

I kept out of sight as much as I could, ducking into bushes or behind cars when vehicles approached. By the time I'd reached downtown I was moving steadily, so as not to attract attention. I kept the hood up and took some comfort at having part of Tris with me; it helped me to not feel so alone. Eventually, I turned onto the block with the bookstore. I scouted things out, first, to eliminate as much danger as I could.

Satisfied, I approached the store, which was closed, and searched for a bell to ring the apartment above. Id' never noticed one before, so I wasn't entirely surprised not to find one. In fact, as I thought about it, since you had to go through the store to get to the apartment it probably wasn't your standard apartment arrangement. I circled the building, stopping in the back when I spotted a light through a window. I gathered some small pebbles and began throwing them at the glass, most missing wildly.

Then, a shadow. The curtain moved and part of a face appeared. I waved and the curtain parted farther. Abruptly it dropped back into place. I could only hope they'd recognized me and I hurried around to the front of the building. As I approached the door, it opened suddenly and Emily spoke to me in a hurried whisper.

“Get inside! Quick!”

I needed no encouragement and she closed and locked the door behind me. I followed her in silence through the darkened store and up the stairs into her apartment.

“Was it him?” Beth asked, and then looked relieved at seeing me.

We had just crested the stairs when Emily turned and grabbed me fiercely, a strength in her embrace I wouldn't have credited her with. She stepped back and took an inventory of me, which was sort of embarrassing.

“I still have all my parts,” I joked. She smiled at me uncertainly and smacked my arm lightly.

“You had me worried. Your boyfriend and his sister were here earlier today,” she said, as she walked toward her kitchen; I followed in her wake.

“Tris was here?” I asked, not liking the neediness in my voice.

“Sit. Have you eaten?” Beth asked. I took a seat on a stool and shook my head.

“Everything went to shit at breakfast,” I said.

“We heard,” Emily said, taking the seat next to me. Beth was busy across from us, putting some leftovers into a dish and placing it in the microwave to warm it. Emily reached out and touched my hair. “You got it cut. You look adorable.”

“What did they say?” I asked, dodging her compliment and still trying to digest them looking here for me. What else had I said to them about my comings and goings?

Turning from the microwave, Beth said, “Your boyfriend is very worried about you. He left you a backpack of things in case you showed up.”

I looked down. “I couldn't stay.”

“They know, honey,” Emily said, rubbing my back. “They understand, but they're worried about you.”

Beth leaned on the counter and said, “That boy loves you. He told us everything.”

I nodded and let out a shaky sigh. “I love him, too.”

They left off talking, for a bit, and gave me food and let me clean up. I put on the clothes, taking comfort from Tris's scent. He'd even sent the bright blue shoes.

I sat on their couch and Emily and Beth had a long talk with me. I had been right, they had wanted to make a home for me. Knowing now what I was missing, I was far more open to the idea. However, they understood the issue I was facing with respect to CPS and the authorities. Those entities had never been my friend.

“Tristan told us—explained the situation, with respect to that,” Emily said. “Like I said, he told us everything.”

I pulled my legs up and wrapped my arms around my shins. “I don't know what to do,” I admitted.

“Ehren,” Emily said, touching my forearm lightly. “Even Poirot knew when to call in the police, sweetheart.”

“But...what if my parents are still alive? Or what if they put me somewhere and I can't see you or...what if I can't see Tris?”

Emily glanced at Beth, who stepped forward. “My uncle is a cop. He can help us navigate things, on his end. He has some connections, professional ones, in child services. I think...you have to risk something if you hope to gain anything.”

I nodded my head slowly. I wasn't sure I agreed, but I also knew that my path forward wasn't a clear one. On the streets, I'd had control—to go with a guy or not, how late I'd sleep, to collect cans or not. I decided and I knew what, more or less, the outcome would be. I'd learned not to go with guys who were obviously on something—honestly, that had been my rule from the beginning. After dealing with my parents and all the things that went on in that house, I had a lot of rules.

All of that was on the table in exchange for the possibility—not a guarantee, just a possibility—that Tris would be mine. Oh, I liked Piper well enough and I'd miss her, miss her a lot. Emily and, to a lesser extent, Beth, were in the same place. But Tris...I really loved him. I knew I did because this feeling whenever I thought of him, which was more frequently than I cared to admit, just overwhelmed me with emotion.

“Okay,” I said. I'd risk it all for him.

~TWL~

The rest of the evening was awkward. There was a nervous tension in the air and, finally, I felt like I needed to get outside to think. After giving assurances that I wasn't going outside to smoke or run, I went downstairs and out onto the street. I walked slowly, thinking about contacting Tris. Maybe, if I called, he'd feel better? After all, they said he'd been worried. Of course, I didn't know his phone number so...maybe I could walk over and apologize for running away?

Problem was I wasn't sorry for that. I was sorry he was worried, but he knew I didn't—couldn't—have CPS involved. Of course, now, that wasn't entirely true. Now, for him...and maybe for my future, to have a future—I'd risk it all. As I debated I only became aware of the footsteps at the last moment. I ducked and turned, not entirely avoiding the blow that would have knocked me out but for my ducking. I staggered and put a hand up defensively as I tried to backpedal enough to run.

“No you don't,” my assailant said and his blow to the back of my head landed true and everything went black.

Copyright © 2016 Dabeagle; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Blissful love...danger!....cliffhanger! Augh! A was a great and engrossing chapter, from the charming, lovely beginning to the sinister end. Ehren has people who want him, who love him, and now... Oh, this is just too bad.

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Parker's right.

 

The emotions of the chapter gained speed as they went downhill and even crashed at the bottom. :,(

 

Not a good spot to end it (for us ...hehe).

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Oh no! What an ending! I'll be nervous all week. I just hope Tris and Piper don't decide to go all hero... These guys are dangerous and they should have proper back up.

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Ehren's gotta work on his trust issues. Understand why he'd run from CPS, but maybe he's starting to learn to trust a little.
Now we have to wait till the next chapter to work past this damn cliffhanger...and that next chapter will be out--when, tomorrow? (Grin)
Nicely done chapter!

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I was afraid at the beginning of the chapter that things were going too smoothly. This was one serious shit storm though. What a rollercoaster! Great story, just keep it coming.
Thanks

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On 03/06/2016 04:58 PM, Parker Owens said:

Blissful love...danger!....cliffhanger! Augh! A was a great and engrossing chapter, from the charming, lovely beginning to the sinister end. Ehren has people who want him, who love him, and now... Oh, this is just too bad.

I did have a lot of moving parts. I'm glad you enjoyed it - thanks for reading and taking the time to review!

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On 03/07/2016 01:25 AM, Rndmrunner said:

I was afraid at the beginning of the chapter that things were going too smoothly. This was one serious shit storm though. What a rollercoaster! Great story, just keep it coming.

Thanks

I guess it had to be expected, right? What else could I do, though? Let them live happily ever after? Naw!

 

Thanks for reading and taking the time to review!

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On 03/07/2016 12:45 AM, Robert Rex said:

Ehren's gotta work on his trust issues. Understand why he'd run from CPS, but maybe he's starting to learn to trust a little.

Now we have to wait till the next chapter to work past this damn cliffhanger...and that next chapter will be out--when, tomorrow? (Grin)

Nicely done chapter!

CPS is a bit of a demon for him, that's true. I think he trusts Tris and Piper, and the elder Malones to a degree, but CPS is a bridge too far, especially the way it was handled. Last chapter next Sunday - or Thursday if you're hitting my site, I always post a few days earlier there.

 

Thanks for reading and taking the time to review!

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On 03/06/2016 08:51 PM, Puppilull said:

Oh no! What an ending! I'll be nervous all week. I just hope Tris and Piper don't decide to go all hero... These guys are dangerous and they should have proper back up.

Well, all I can say is I don't think Tris is quite ready to let Ehren walk out of his life. Tune in next week for the dramatic conclusion!

 

Thanks for reading and taking the time to review!

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On 03/06/2016 06:22 PM, skinnydragon said:

Parker's right.

 

The emotions of the chapter gained speed as they went downhill and even crashed at the bottom. :,(

 

Not a good spot to end it (for us ...hehe).

Well, I do have to give you a few curveballs, even if it's a little formulaic, right? I wouldn't want you to get bored ;-)

 

Thanks for reading and taking the time to review!

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On 03/07/2016 08:01 AM, flamingo136 said:

This chapter has it all.....romance,drama,,,,,AAAAND a cliffy..........Great job.......:)Mike

Thank you kindly!

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Hey I often described myself as the social gestapo as a child welfare worker. Way too much power and not a lot of oversight. But I still am discouraged to run into that fear. Wow are you still wrapping up next chapter? Hope not. What a sweet relationship with Tris. But the bump at the end kinda sucked. Thanks for another great chapter. Pax.

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On 03/07/2016 01:41 PM, Gandalf said:

Hey I often described myself as the social gestapo as a child welfare worker. Way too much power and not a lot of oversight. But I still am discouraged to run into that fear. Wow are you still wrapping up next chapter? Hope not. What a sweet relationship with Tris. But the bump at the end kinda sucked. Thanks for another great chapter. Pax.

I've worked with good and bad workers/counties. I'd love to have gotten a few of them their comeuppance. Yes, the story is done and the final chapter posts next week!

 

Thanks for reading and for taking the time to review!

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Well, fuck.

 

The bad guys finally caught up with Ehren.

 

I'm so annoyed with Piper and Tristan's parents. Why did they have to call CPS? Couldn't they just let things lie, especially after hearing the truth from Piper?

 

Now who's going to save Ehren?

 

I'm anxiously awaiting the next chapter, Beagle! :)

 

Oh! And a sequel is definitely in order! I know you said you're seeing Val on Wednesday. I'm seeing her in 30 minutes!! :D

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On 03/08/2016 07:30 AM, Lisa said:

Well, fuck.

 

The bad guys finally caught up with Ehren.

 

I'm so annoyed with Piper and Tristan's parents. Why did they have to call CPS? Couldn't they just let things lie, especially after hearing the truth from Piper?

 

Now who's going to save Ehren?

 

I'm anxiously awaiting the next chapter, Beagle! :)

 

Oh! And a sequel is definitely in order! I know you said you're seeing Val on Wednesday. I'm seeing her in 30 minutes!! :D

That's a corker of an opening line!

 

Yeah, the excrement hit the cooing device. Perhaps Ehren will have to save himself? We shall see next week when it all wraps up!

 

Have fun with her! I'll be chatting with her over coffee on Wednesday!

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Ehren lost his edge and his cautious instincts during his time with Tris and his family. Now he pays the price for not paying attention. :(  

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On 3/7/2016 at 3:15 AM, Dabeagle said:

Yes, the story is done and the final chapter posts next week!

Well, I’m glad chapter 9 has been posted so the next chapter isn’t the end that it was!  ;–)

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Ehren hates CPS to the point where, instantly, he gives up his new life--his new boyfriend--and runs. I have to wonder at his history with CPS to evoke this kind of reaction.

 

Walking outside to think? Did Erhen forget the neighborhood he was in? When he first arrives at Emily's home, she speaks hurriedly, saying "Get inside! Quick!"  Now she's Ok with him wandering aimlessly? I want to hit Erhen on the head myself! (Maybe Emily, too.)

Edited by travlbug
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