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    *HJ*
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Always - 5. Last Words

Drew had driven for a good twelve hours before he pulled off at a motel for the night; half way through the state of Utah. It was an old room and sort of nasty but it was all he could afford. His original intent for his trip was to visit an old friend in L.A but he was beginning to have second thoughts. He really wanted to be alone. He was wavering on whether or not to go back to his and family’s old apartment.

The apartment had been vacant since the attack, mostly because of the damage done and it was a popular attraction to reporters. In the end Drew decided to visit his friend in LA. Well, they were not really friends, but Jason had always been there when he needed cheering up. Plus, he always knew the right thing to say. After all, if there was one person who could talk him out of committing suicide then it was Jason.

In the back of his mind Drew knew he had to go back. He knew that he could not devastate his mom by running away or committing suicide. Thoughts kept racing through his mind as he lay in bed trying to go to sleep. He wondered how much trouble he had actually caused Luke. How much Luke must hate him for it. How Drew knew he should. Nightmares passed through his head that night, and when he awoke in the morning he felt as if he hadn’t rested at all.

He took a cold shower in the tiny, germ ridden bathroom and when he was finished, he dressed in an old pair of washed out blue jeans, and his ratty Washington High Panther’s sweatshirt. His hair was a wet mess, but he figured it didn’t matter. The wind from the drive would just mess it up anyway. He gathered his things and as he was heading out the door, his phone rang.

“Drew, can you come home? That boy that you brought in last night, Luke, is missing. He left you a letter last night after you left,” Jane said.

“I’m on my way,” Drew said.

He threw his stuff in the front seat and burnt rubber leaving the motel.

“When was Luke last seen?” Drew asked.

“I treated him after you left and he was released. Dr. McGowan was with a patient so Luke said he would walk, even though I advised against it. His knee isn’t exactly up to par yet.”

“Did anyone question David Davidson?”

“No,” Jane said. “I’m the only one other than Dr. McGowan that is searching for him. Dr. McGowan came into work this morning and asked me if Luke had been with you. I told him you left last night and he thought that Luke went with you, but I assured him that he didn’t.”

“I’ll be back in Clearstone by tonight. Keep me posted.”

“Be careful.”

Drew hung up and hit the freeway at eighty-five miles per hour. He was too anxious to just drive, so he decided to call Jeff even though he figured he might be drunk by now. Rose might not be. He flipped open the phone and dialed Jeff. It rang a few times before Jeff answered, yelling over the background music.

“Hello!” he yelled.

“Jeff it’s Drew. Luke is missing,” Drew said urgently, struggling to keep his voice calm.

“What? Missing? Rose!” Jeff yelled away from the phone.

Drew heard a panicked conversation between the two but only caught Rose saying, “What if we don’t find him quick enough this time?”

Drew’s heart skipped a beat and he stepped on the gas pedal and raced down the freeway weaving in and out between cars.

“Where are you? We need to start looking for him,” Jeff said, sounding more panicked.

“I’m in Utah, and I’m on my way home, but I won’t get there until late tonight. Start searching everywhere, call the police.”

“They won’t do anything until he has been missing for twenty-four hours.”

“Well, then leave them out of it I’ll be there as quick as I can.”

“Call me when you get here.”

“Alright.”

Drew hung up the phone and tossed it into the passenger seat. He was kicking himself, for even trying to help in the first place. Now David had taken Luke and it was entirely his fault.

              

Ì

Luke came to and found himself lying in an unfamiliar room. There were many hand tools and saws hanging on the walls. He tried to think of where he might be, but his head was pounding so bad he could barely think. Besides, David had only told him when, never where.

He realized his knee was the source of most of his pain. Even if by some chance he was near civilization he couldn’t walk anywhere to get help. He felt like his ribs may have been broken and he was almost sure his knee was past repair. The pain from it was excruciating. He unwisely attempted to move and a flood of pain overwhelmed him. That’s when everything began to come back to him.

As he was walking home from the hospital he hadn’t more than made it to the curb before David and his friends drove up and threw him in the back. David wasn’t driving but in the truck bed along with Jared and William.

Two of David’s cronies, Jared and William, had held him while David began to beat him with the butt of a sawed off shotgun. He remembered David talking but the only words he really remembered were, “You’re not going to make it this time. No one will find you.”

For some reason Luke knew David was right. No one cared where he was or if he didn’t come home. His uncle would be glad to be rid of him, the unwanted teen that killed his brother. Luke had cut ties with all his old friends and pushed the one person who cared about him to the furthest of reaches. No one would be looking for him, he would remain here until he died.

As the room swam before his eyes, he realized it wouldn’t be long. He knew his body was singing in pain but he didn’t know where the cold that was engulfing his body was originating from. He looked through swollen eyes at his mangled and bruised body. His dress shirt had been ripped off and he was left in his t-shirt and jeans. He could feel the blood trickling down his neck from his head, and that is when he realized the bottom of his white t-shirt was soaked in red, near his abdomen.

The memory of David kneeling over him and smiling as he held the fishing knife made him shiver, and he remembered how he laughed as he looked down at him in the truck bed before plunging it into his body. Then he watched as the butt of the shot gun came toward his face and the rest was filled with blackness.

He thought of the letter he had written Drew before leaving the hospital. He hoped Drew wouldn’t blame himself; that he wouldn’t care. Then he wished he did. He almost wished he would have let Drew help, but he pushed the thought from his mind. He is safe now. I’m out of his life, everyone’s life. They are safe now, he thought as the cold continued to take over and he fell into blackness.

 

 

Ì

It was nearly eight o’clock when Drew arrived back at Clearstone. He dialed Jeff’s number again and waited impatiently for him to pick up.

“There isn’t a trace of him anywhere. We have looked everywhere. Rose has gone off the deep end and I’m not too far behind her,” Jeff said as soon as he picked up. Apparently he knew it was Drew calling.

“You both need to stay calm. Where is David Davison?”

“Man, me and the boxing team already shook him down and he isn’t saying a word. Besides, he threatened to have us all arrested if we didn’t leave. They’re all drunk anyhow.”

“Jeff, you don’t understand me. I want to know where he is.”

“He’s down town at the pool hall. You don’t need to go alone.”

“Yes I do. What I’m about to do doesn’t need witnesses. I’ll call you as soon as I find out where he is.”

“Be careful man.”

           

Drew snapped the phone shut and headed to his house. He needed three things, the letter Luke had left him, the set of brass knuckles Jordan had given him at his first boxing match, and his pistol. He pulled into the empty drive and rushed in through the front door. He stopped by the kitchen counter picking up the folded piece of paper Jane had left for him. He read Luke’s words and gripped the counter as he mentally kicked himself for leaving. He quickly folded it a few times and shoved it into his back pocket. He ran to his room and grabbed the brass knuckles from his dresser and the gun from the lock box under his bed.

The gun was one he acquired just shortly after they had arrived in LA. No one knew that he had it, except Jason, and that was only because he had told Drew how to “acquire” it. Drew knew if he and his family were found, he would need more than his fists to save them from James Knight.

When he pulled in to the parking lot he found David’s red pick-up sitting in front and he knew all he had to do was let David see him. He slowed to a crawl and watched them through the large glass windows. David had perched himself on the side of the center table. Pool stick in hand, he was waiting for one of his lackeys to take their turn. Drew came to a stop and stepped out of his car. He leaned up against it and stared at the window, waiting for David to turn and see him.

When the lackey had taken his shaky shot and David began to set up his, he looked up he saw Drew staring straight at him. Drew’s eyes were cold and dangerous. David backed out of his shot, and kept his eyes on Drew’s as he let a smug smile play across his face. Drew smiled back and got into his car, and slowly pulled away watching in his review mirror as David gathered his inebriated gang and led them outside to his truck.

Drew pulled out of the lot and David followed, screeching tires as he did so. Drew headed for the abandoned neighborhood where he had found Luke the day before. He drove to the one mile marker and shut off his car, tucked his gun in the waistband of his jeans, slipped the brass knuckles onto his fist, and headed toward his desired target.

“Knight, I suppose you’re here because of McGowan,” David said, smiling like a mischievous child as he staggered toward Drew.

Drew bit back his words, he had to stay calm. He nodded as he neared keeping his knuckles hid carefully.

“Well, we can take you to him,” David said nodding to the other guys.

At once all five charged toward him throwing punches. Drew began to fight, remembering the street moves Jason had taught him in L.A. In Drew’s old neighborhood street fighting was a common practice; Drew had been eager to learn. Only Jared and William seemed to possess any true fighting skill, but the numbers were still against Drew.

Five against one was no easy task and more than once Drew found himself being held by one brute while another threw punches. Their swings were influenced by their alcohol level and didn’t cause any real damage most of the time, but occasionally they would hit the mark. Drew was able to break free each time, and finally he took out two of the more intoxicated brutes with right hooks to the chin. Drew wondered how they even attempted a pool game that intoxicated.

Drew knocked out the three remaining goons one by one until David was the only one remaining. Ignoring the pain of his hand and torso, Drew removed the brass knuckles, and stuffed them into his back pocket. David stood there shocked.

“Think you won’t need those for me?” David asked warily.

“No, I don’t think I do. You’re going to cooperate and tell me what you have done with Luke.”

“Why would I do that?” David smiled as his drunken self swayed from side to side.

“Because if you don’t,” Drew pulled the pistol from the back of his pants and aimed it at David, “I will kill you.”

David’s eyes grew wide as he stared at the 357 magnum pointed at his head.

“You won’t kill me,” David said, taking a step back.

Drew stepped closer, leaving only a few feet between them, and let David look down the barrel of the gun.

“Do you really want to take that chance with me? I’ve lost my brother, nearly lost my mother. Do you really think I will let you leave here alive while you’re a threat to what I have left? You are dead either way, unless you tell me where Luke is.”

David swallowed hard. He shifted his weight to his opposite foot. Drew followed his head with the gun.

“He’s dead by now anyway. You’re still too late,” David said spitefully.

Drew shifted his aim without breaking eye contact with David, and fired a shot. David cringed and shrank to the ground in fear as the bullet whizzed harmlessly past his head. Drew realigned the gun with David’s head.

“I will give you one more chance. Where is Luke?” Drew asked through clenched teeth.

“He’s in the shop class at school. Has been since last night.”

Drew shoved the gun back in its place, grabbing the brass knuckles with his opposite hand. He slipped them on and punched David squarely in the jaw. Not caring if he had broken David’s jaw he ran back to his car and called Jeff.

“You find him?” Jeff asked, answering the phone.

“Send an ambulance to the high school. He’s in the shop class.”

Drew hung up and stepped on the gas. He arrived at the school and ran to the front entrance. It was locked of course, thus he rushed to the next door, the service entrance. Thankfully it appeared that David had forgotten and left it open. Drew rushed in and took a moment to reorient himself. He knew that shop classroom was right down the hall from the art classroom, and he was running as fast as his legs would move. He reached the classroom in record time, but the door was locked. Without hesitating he kicked it open.

The door, old and poorly secured, swung open. Drew paused, looking for Luke in the darkness. He saw a figure lying near the edge of the room on the floor. Drew ran to him and knelt down. He began checking for a pulse.

Luke was cold, his white t-shirt soaked in blood, and he appeared to be beaten, badly. He was barely breathing. Drew could hear the sirens of the ambulance in the distance, nearing.

“Luke,” Drew said as he took Luke’s hand, “You’re going to be alright. The ambulance is on its way.”

Luke didn’t move, and he didn’t speak.

“Luke open your eyes, talk to me, please?”

Luke’s eyes fluttered open, and he looked up at Drew.

“Hey, stay with me. You’re going to be all right.”

“Please, just let me die. It’s better this way. Go,” Luke whispered.

“I will never let you die. You need to live, if not for yourself then for me.”

Luke held Drew’s gaze, his eyes filled with pain, and just as Drew reached out to touch Luke’s battered face the EMTs rushed through the door. Drew backed away and Luke let his eyes close.

“You should go,” one of the paramedics said as they crowded around Luke to assess his injuries.

Drew nodded and followed behind them when they wheeled Luke out the door. In the parking lot he was met by Jeff and Rose. Rose stood by and watched as they lifted Luke into the ambulance. Tears streamed down her cheeks and Jeff pulled her close, letting her cry on his shoulder.

“Man, if you hadn’t done what you did…he wouldn’t have a chance,” Jeff said in a grateful tone.

“He would have done it for me,” Drew said watching the ambulance rush away.

“I know. That’s the weird part,” Jeff said. You two have only known each other for a couple days and yet you would risk your lives for each other without a second thought.”

Drew shrugged, “He is deserves a second chance.”

Rose turned to look up at Drew, “It’s more than that,” she said sniffling, “Since he met you I started seeing that light in his eyes that he used to have. It was dim but it was there. You two need each other.”

Drew stared off at the ambulance lights fading in the distance, “Yeah, I guess we do. I’ll meet you two at the hospital?”

“Yeah,” Jeff said as Rose nodded.

Drew pulled out of the parking lot and sped toward the hospital with Jeff and Rose in tow. As he drove he couldn’t seem to get the image of Luke’s pale figure, lying helpless on the shop floor, out of his head. His voice, pleading with him to let him die. He pressed the gas pedal down and when he parked as close as possible to the entrance and ran inside.

He reached the ER just as Luke was being rolled into one of the rooms. He looked around for his mom but didn’t see her. Jeff and Rose came to stand by his side. He watched as nurses rushed in and out of Luke’s room. That’s when he saw his Mom and Dr. McGowan rushing toward him.

“Drew, we need you to donate blood. We’re low on Luke’s blood type, but we can use your O neg. We need to give him a transfusion before we can perform surgery,” Jane said. She motioned him toward the room where Luke was being treated.

“Surgery!” Rose shrieked.

“Calm down. We just need to make sure there is no internal damage.”

Jane pulled Drew down the hall and into Luke’s room. Drew stopped short as Luke came into view; his body looking pale and fragile. His torso was covered in long scars, no doubt from the last attack, and massive bloody bruises. His head was being wrapped in gauze and he was hooked up to multiple machines.

Drew rolled up his sleeve and his mom worked on drawing his blood. He sat there as the blood flowed from his body, watching, as the medical team all worked quickly around Luke; trying to save him.

“Mom, is he going to make it?” Drew asked not taking his eyes of Luke.

“It’s too soon to say, but I think you found him just in time,” Jane said as she looked from Luke to Drew. “You two have gotten close haven’t you?”

“Why do you say that? We have only known each other for a couple days. ”

“I see the way you look at him. It’s like you have something to care about again, and I saw the way he looked at you last night.”

“I do care about him, that’s what scares me. What if he doesn’t make it? I don’t think I can make it through something like that again.”

“He’ll make it,” Jane assured him as Drew leaned back against the wall, feeling dizzy from a combination of dehydration and exhaustion.

“Let me know how he is, as soon as he gets out of surgery.”

“Alright, he’ll be in room 238 if you and your friends want to wait there, but only one of you can stay with him when he is recovering from surgery.”

Drew nodded, “Tell Jeff and Rose I will be up there when I’m finished with this.”

Jane nodded.

Copyright © 2013 *HJ*; All Rights Reserved.
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On 02/28/2012 11:57 AM, Conner said:
That chapter was totally intense. Really enjoying the story! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif
Yay! Desired response achieved :)
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