Castle Roland


by Eric Aune


Chapter 27

Posted: N/A

When Hal entered the waiting room it was to a scene of chaos. There were two Hemet policemen standing at the door looking like they didn't know what to do. Mark had Alma Geddes on the floor and was kneeling over her with her hands behind her back and was snapping the cuffs on her. Her purse and its contents were strewn about the room. Patients waiting to be seen and their families had moved back to stay out of the line of fire. Mark looked like there was a big red mark on the side of his head and he looked a bit angry. He finished snapping the cuffs on and got off of Alma. He and John than reached down and hauled her to her feet.

Alma was red faced and livid, she looked at the two Hemet police officers by the door.


The two officers didn't know what to do.

Hal stepped up. "Officers, you may return to your duties. Mister Baxter and Mister Taylor of the State Bureau of Investigation will take it from here."

John pulled out his credentials and showed the officers.

They inspected it and nodded. "Yes, sir."


They ignored her and walked out the door. She began to struggle against Mark, but he just pulled her arms up, applied some tension, and when she realized that it was going to hurt her more if she continued moving around, she stopped struggling. She still had not seen Hal and he smiled a little mischievous smile as he walked up behind them.

"Well Alma. It's good that you quit struggling, because I'm sure we wouldn't want these two fine officers to have to Taser you or something. However, I wouldn't mind watching you bounce about on the ground. I would consider it small payment for the pain and suffering you have inflicted on the boys and girls that you have supposedly cared for."

Alma whipped around causing Mark to move a little. She snarled at Hal. "YOU! I'LL SEE YOU RUINED! YOU DON'T KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH! I'LL HAVE YOUR LICENSE TO PRACTICE LAW!"

Hal just grinned at her as he neared her.

She lunged at him, but Mark simply lifted her arms up and she stopped moving after giving a yelp of pain. Whereupon she looked around at Mark with hate in her eyes, "I'LL HAVE YOUR BADGE TOO AND BRING YOU UP ON CHARGES!"

"John, would you please read her rights to her before we continue."

John nodded and smiled as he started. "Alma Geddes, you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have that attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense. Do you understand these rights as I have explained them to you?"

"What are arresting me for? I am doing nothing wrong. I am here to take custody of the drug crazed troublemaker James Carpenter. He assaulted four poor innocent boys and one staff member at the home that I assigned him to. You should be arresting him, not me."

"Miz Geddes, do you understand these rights as I have explained them to you and with that in mind do you wish to answer my questions without an attorney present."

Alma ignored him and continued to look at Hal with anger. Hal stood before her with his arms crossed and a slight smile on his face.

"Who do you think you are? You don't have the authority to interfere with me in the performance of my duties. I'll ruin you."

"Alma, you're right, I don't have that authority."

She gave him a triumphant grin and straightened up; giving him a grin that told of all the hurt that she was going to inflict on his career. She expected to be released now.

However, Hal just looked at her and chuckled as he pointed at John and Mark. "But they do."

"What are you arresting me for?"

"Very well Miz Geddes. John, if you will?"

"Miz Geddes you are being charged with multiple counts of fraud, misappropriation, and theft in the mishandling of the money, goods, and property of several of the minor children that you have had in your care over the years, including most recently James Carpenter. Also, child abuse and negligence on the said minor child, James Carpenter."

"Child abuse? Are you mad? I never touched that boy."

"There are many forms of child abuse, putting a child in danger as you did when you placed him in that home for no reason."

"He assaulted and injured four boys and a staff member."

"Yes, we are aware of what transpired and we will be investigating that as well."

"Then you'll find he is a drug user, as drugs were found in his room at the home."

"We will investigate that as well, Miz Geddes. Now, to continue, we have also arrested your accomplice from the bank and she is presently being interviewed by our investigators. We have also found the storage facility that you have used to store the items stolen from your clients before you can sell them. We have found and locked your various accounts, including the off shore accounts. Our investigation will be proceeding ahead and we expect to find many more felony counts of misappropriation and child abuse that have been perpetrated on those children that have been placed under your care. And, of course, there is the assault on a Law Enforcement officer, Mister Taylor here. So, do you understand these rights as I have explained them to you?"

As he had continued, her face became pale in shock and surprise as she realized that she had been found out.

When John finished, Hal said one more thing. "Alma, I suggest you use that right to remain silent. Oh, and don't forget to ask for an attorney. You'll need one very badly and I know you can't afford one at the moment. I almost wish that I still worked for the State District Attorney's office. I would have begged them to let me prosecute you. I'd have done it for free, because people like you are part of the reason that Child Services has a bad reputation. You need to be put away. Goodbye for now Alma, I'll see you in court when I will be presenting my evidence of what you have done in regards to James Carpenter."

"Miz Geddes, do you understand your rights under the law?"


"Good, will you take her to the car Mark, I'll retrieve her things."

She gave Hal a dull and lifeless look as Mark took her out of the hospital and out to the car. Some of the other families that were there actually clapped a little as she was taken away, since they had heard everything and were glad to see justice done against someone who had mistreated children. There was not much fight left in Alma Geddes. Her life as she knew it was over. With what they had told her, she knew that they seemed to have enough to put her away for a long while. Her only hope may be a possible plea bargain for a lesser sentence.

Hal helped John pick everything up and put it in the purse before he said goodbye to him. They made plans to get together in the next couple of days to go over what had been found at the storage facility and Alma's house after the searches were conducted. The people in the waiting area resumed their seats while Hal rejoined the families.

He gave an apologetic smile as he sat down. "Sorry about that folks."

"She was stealing from Jamie?"

"Yes, and Jamie is not the only one. From what we've found so far, it appears she may have been stealing from many of her charges over the years."

"What a horrid woman."

"Well, just to bring you up to date. Jamie is going to be released in a little while. I told him about coming to live with the Robinsons and he seemed to like that. He did have one concern though."

"Whatever the concern is, we'll do what we can to help him."

"Oh, it's something that can easily be taken care of. He's worried about whether or not he'll be able to see Shane and Mark."

The adults laughed a little.

"I'm sure that will be no problem. He can visit them whenever he wants. He's always welcome at our house."

"Yeah, I want him to come back home."

They saw that Mark had awakened and was looking at all of them.

Maggie turned to Mark. "Honey, Jamie can't live with us right now, but he says he wants to visit you guys, so you'll still get to see him."


They sat back and waited for Jamie to be released. They asked Hal questions about the paperwork that would be required for taking care of Jamie and what they would need to do to take care of him. Maggie also let them know what Jamie liked to eat and things like that. While they talked Hal went back into the treatment area to Jamie's room. He was dozing when Hal got there. The nurse came in a few moments later with the discharge paperwork for Hal to sign. He quickly signed everything and accepted the prescription form for Jamie's antibiotics.

Before she left Hal stopped her. "I wanted to ask, were any drugs found in Jamie's system?"

She asked him to wait and she went outside for a moment. When she returned she shook her head. Hal thanked her and then went to wake Jamie. He was startled awake at his touch and jumped a little, looking around quickly with some fear showing on his face.

Hal placed his hand on Jamie's shoulder. "It's okay Jamie. It's just me, Hal. Everything is okay."

Jamie looked around a little more and then he cocked his head as if listening and after hearing nothing out of the ordinary he looked up at Hal. "What happened to Miz Geddes?"

"Well buddy, she will no longer be a problem for anyone. She was arrested for several things, most recently for stealing money from you. This is something she has done over the years. She oversaw the distribution and sale of property and other goods on behalf of her cases, and in several cases she diverted part of the proceeds into her own bank accounts. She had someone at a local bank that helped her with it as well."

"What did she take from me?"

"We don't know yet, but we should be able to figure that out once the investigators get done searching some locations we've uncovered. I have a list of items that were in your house, your mother gave it to my law firm as part of her estate information. So we should be able to recover most, if not all of it."

"Oh, thanks. Um, they took my clothes. Am I supposed to wear this?" Jamie plucked at the gown he was wearing and he blushed a little bit.

Hal smiled and tousled his hair. "I'll see if I can get something better for you."

Hal left the treatment room and found the nurse heading back in his direction. "Can we get something for him to wear out of here? Those gowns don't cover much and the police had to take his clothes for evidence."

"I'll see what I can do. I should be able to find something."

She walked away, and Hal went back to wait with Jamie. She returned a short time later with some surgical scrubs. She handed them to Jamie and he slipped the pants on under the gown. Then he sat up, with the nurse's help, and took the gown off and put the scrub top on. While Jamie changed the nurse left and then returned pushing a wheelchair. Hal supported him because the bottoms of his feet were still sore as they sat him down in the chair. The nurse led the way out to the waiting room. When they saw him the families stood up and went to greet him. David went to bring their car around so Jamie didn't have to walk far.

Maggie knelt down next to Jamie. "Jamie, I'm glad you're going to be okay and that you'll be with your friend's family. I know that they'll take care of you. You can come and get your things as soon as you can."

"Thanks Maggie. I'm sorry for all the trouble and that Shane got hurt."

"Oh, don't worry about that. Shane is going to be fine and you were no trouble. We've enjoyed having you with us. I'm sorry that you've had to deal with that horrid woman, but at least that's nothing for you to worry about anymore. You just get well and come and visit us whenever you can."

"Okay, I will."

Mark then came over and gave Jamie a hug and kiss on the cheek. "Come visit soon Jamie."

"I will Mark, as soon as my feet don't hurt."

Mark nodded and stepped aside as his dad came over and shook his hand goodbye. David drove up and got out. He and Dylan helped Jamie get into the backseat and Dylan then jumped in on the other side. Hal thanked the Woods and told them that he would arrange for the pickup of Jamie's things and told the Robinson's he would be by sometime in the next few days to talk to them. The Woods waved goodbye as the Robinsons drove off.

Hal said goodbye and went to his car, he wanted to head for home, but he needed to meet with John about the searches that were probably happening right now. He made a call on the way.

"Hi, its Hal…Everything is taken care of. The BI have Geddes in custody, they are conducting searches of her house and the storage facility. We should have most of the local things wrapped up soon…Oh it was fun, especially when I started listing some of what we knew. I think she knows that her life as she knows it is over…Of course I will let you know what I find out from the searches…Yes, sir, I will…See you."

He made his way through the streets until he got to Alma's home. There were a few cars there and investigators were coming in and out of the house carrying evidence to the cars.

Hal saw John and went over to join him. "Hi John. How's it going?"

"Very well. We've found a lot of evidence so far, and I also think that there are some jewelry items that we found that you may want to check against your client's list to see if they are part of it. I'll take you in and you can look at them. Do you have the property list?"

"Yep, lead the way."

Hal and John went inside to the bedroom. On top of one of the dressers were a large number of necklaces, rings, watches, bracelets, and other jewelry items. Hal pulled a tablet computer out of his case and turned it on. He quickly searched through a couple of screens until he found the file he was looking for. He scrolled through it until he found the section he was looking for and starting comparing it to the jewelry on the dresser. It didn't take him long to pull out five items from the laid out array. He held the tablet out to John.

John took the tablet and compared the list to the items that Hal had set aside and nodded. "Yep, those match."

He looked over the rest and shook his head a little, "I wonder, how much of this is Alma's and how much of this was stolen. We've got a lot of work to do, to see if we can find any of her former clients. We're going to go to the storage facility next, would you like to go along? You can see if any of the items stored there belong to the boy."

"That sounds like a good idea. What about these items." He was pointing at the items that he had put to the side.

In answer John motioned one of the officers over to him and directed him to put the items in a separate bag and mark them as property of James Carpenter. "We'll return them to you as soon as possible, but they are evidence for now."

Hal nodded and the two of them left the house. Hal got into his car and followed John to the storage facility. They entered through the normally closed gate and wound their way through the facility until they came to an area where there were several officers and the manager of the facility.

When John and Hal joined them, Mark Taylor and the manager walked up to them. "Sir, according to the manager, Miz Geddes has apparently rented three of the larger lockers. We were just waiting for you to join us before we opened them."

"Good enough Mark. By the way how is Alma doing?"

Mark grinned a little and rubbed the side of his face. "I expect she's not having a great time. You know Lenore."

John nodded.

"Well, I told her what Alma was being charged with, and apparently she was a foster child. Although she was lucky and ended up with a good family, she knew of others that didn't, so she said she would take care of Alma. Last I saw, Lenore had Alma practically cowering as she shouted orders at her. I don't think Alma has ever had a large intimidating black woman yelling at her like that. It made up for her catching me with her purse."

John chuckled. He gestured for them to go ahead and open the lockers. Mark nodded to the manager and he waved to one of his men, who went to the first locker and started up his saw. When he finished cutting through the lock, he moved to the next and the next, until all the designated locks were cut.

The investigators went to each locker and removed the lock and opened the door. When the doors were opened they could see inside that each of them was full of furniture and other household items. John told the men to start emptying the lockers and Hal pulled his tablet out and as items were removed he checked them against the list on the tablet. It took them a couple of hours but it appeared that the contents of the lockers all belonged to Christine Carpenter's estate and hence to Jamie as her heir. As they did this, items were photographed and logged as evidence and then returned to the lockers. John gave the manager three new locks to put on the lockers.

"We'll return the property to your care as soon as possible. Alma has just made a payment to rent these for the year, so we'll leave them here for now. Once the DA has released them, one of our people will meet you here when you wish to take possession. However, you should at least take advantage of where they are stored since it's paid up through the year, until you and the boy arrange for their disposition."

"Sounds good. Thanks once again for your help John."

"My pleasure."

They shook hands and Hal got in his car and left. He was yawning a little as he drove home. Now he would go take a nap, but he had a call to make.

"Hi its Hal….I think we've found everything. There are still a few small items missing. Alma probably already sold those, mostly some jewelry. The car is one of the things missing; she probably sold that quickly and pocketed the money. John will let me know if they find any receipts or any such evidence of where she may have sold the items, but that is probably a slim chance at best. Other than that, everything is going fine…I expect he's probably asleep in his new home right now…Yes, I agree the Robinson's seem like a very nice family. The Woods were good, too, and I think Jamie wants to keep in touch with them because of the affection he has with their sons…Yes, of course, the Robinson's are a better match….Very well…Of course I will arrange for the move of the property once they are released…This weekend, of course, I'll be there…Bye."

Hal yawned again as he hung up. His drive home was considerably calmer, since he wasn't breaking any speeding laws this time. When he got to the apartment, he set the alarm for a couple of hours from now. He just wanted to take a long nap to refresh himself, before he got back to work.

At the Robinson's house, they found it to be easier if David carried Jamie inside and up to the spare bedroom. Jamie allowed it, because he was almost asleep and it still hurt a bit to walk on his sore feet. The hospital scrubs were almost like pajamas, so Jamie just got into bed and was soon fast asleep. While Jamie slept, Barbara arranged with Maggie Wood for her and Dylan to come by that afternoon to pick up some of Jamie's things, mostly his clothes and school stuff. Maggie told them that they were going to be heading over to the hospital soon to pick up Shane and take him home. Barbara told her that she was happy for them and looked forward to meeting Shane when they came over.

When it was time, Dylan and his mom drove over to the Wood's home. This was the first time that any of Jamie's friends had been over. Josh had seen it from the outside when they had picked Jamie up or dropped him off.

Maggie invited them in. She introduced them to Shane, who was lying on the couch watching TV. He immediately asked about Jamie. "How is Jamie doing?"

Dylan went over and sat next to Shane while Maggie and Barbara went into Jamie's room to get some of his things. "He's doing good. He's sleeping right now because he didn't get much sleep last night."

"My mom told me that he won't be living with us anymore."

Dylan saw the sad look cross Shane's face and nodded. Mark came over and sat on the couch with them.

"Yeah, it has something to do with that Social Services lady. She did something so that your parents can't have him live with you guys right now. I don't know what it was she did, but whatever it was, he can't live here right now."

"Oh, will he be able to come back and live with us again?'

"I don't know. But I'm sure he'll come by and visit you guys when he can."

"I hope so. I'm going to miss him being here. He's been a big brother to us."

"Yeah, I think he'll miss you guys too. He told us, his friends at school, that you guys were pretty cool and he liked hanging out with you."

That statement made both younger boys smile brightly. His mother called to him and he excused himself to go to her. She and Maggie were in Jamie's room. There were a couple of suitcases on his bed and they were putting clothes in them. Tom was just coming into the room carrying a garment bag that they were letting them borrow to put Jamie's dressier clothes in. Maggie told them that they could bring it back when they came to get the other things.

"Dylan. Will you look around and choose a few of the small things that Jamie would like us to bring with us right now. Oh, and don't forget to get all his school stuff, books and whatever."

"Mom, I thought you said things that Jamie would want."

"Shush you."

Dylan grinned and grabbed Jamie's backpack and checked inside before putting it on the bed. He then looked on top and through the desk until he found everything that had to do with school. He saw the laptop and the desktop computers and grabbed the laptop. He figured that the laptop was easiest and it probably had what Jamie needed. If he needed the desktop, he was sure they could come back the next day and grab that as well. He looked around and saw a picture of Jamie and a lady, who he guessed was his mom, sitting on the bedside table and he grabbed that and put it in the backpack. He looked around and saw a computer bag on the ground leaning against the side of the desk, so he picked that up and put the laptop into it and placed it on the dresser as well. He looked around and couldn't see anything else that Jamie would need right away and looked over at his mom and the Woods. They were closing up the suitcases.

"I think this is it Mom. He might have some school work and stuff on the desktop, but I guess we can get it later. I got his laptop, and that might have what he needs on it. I also have his books and schoolwork in the backpack. So I guess that's the important stuff."

"Okay honey. Why don't you take his laptop and backpack out to the car and then come back and help me with the rest of the things."

"Oh, we can help you carry this stuff."

"Okay, thank you Maggie, Tom."

"Would you like to have something before you head back home?"

Barbara checked her watch and nodded. "That would be nice. We can talk about picking up the rest of Jamie's things."

Maggie agreed and the three of them picked up their burdens and made their way out of the house and to the car. They loaded everything in the trunk and returned to the house. Barbara went to sit with Tom and Maggie to arrange the best time to come and get Jamie's other things, his furniture, bike, and the rest of his clothes and things.

Dylan sat with the two boys to watch TV. As they talked, Dylan could tell that they would miss having Jamie there with them as he used to do a lot of things with them, just as if he really was their big brother. Dylan did his best to reassure them that Jamie would visit them and not to worry about that.

The adults finished talking and Barbara told Dylan it was time to go. They said their goodbyes and headed home. When they got home, Dylan and his mom carried Jamie's things into his room. They were careful to not wake him up as they could see he was still asleep. They put the suitcases by the dresser and the garment bag on top of the dresser. Dylan put the laptop and backpack on the table near the window and they quietly left the room, closing the door behind them.

While Jamie slept, Dylan called Josh to tell him what was going on. At first Josh sort of freaked a little when Dylan told him the whole story and wanted to come right over, but when Dylan asked his mom about it, she said it would be best if Josh waited until after school the next day because it had been an ordeal for Jamie and he should be given a chance to rest first.

Of course this did not set well with Josh, since his boyfriend was hurt and he couldn't be there, but he reluctantly accepted it. Before he hung up he told Dylan to tell Jamie that he loved him and that he would see him the next day.

When it got close to dinner time, Barbara had Dylan go wake Jamie up. When he went into the room, Dylan sat on the bed and gently pushed on Jamie's shoulder. "Hey Jamie, time to get up. Mom said dinner is going to be soon."

Jamie rolled onto his back, looked at Dylan, and then yawned and stretched a little. "Hey Dylan. What time is it?"


Jamie's stomach growled as it woke up and they both laughed, although Jamie immediately put his hand to his side and winced. "Ouch. It hurts to laugh."

"Do you need any help?"

"Yeah, I'll probably need help to walk, since my feet are a bit tender."

Jamie moved to the side of the bed and sat up. He saw the suitcases and stuff.

"Oh, we stopped by and got some of your stuff. Both of the suitcases have a bunch of your clothes and the garment bag has your suit. Your backpack with your school stuff is over on the table along with your laptop."

"Cool thanks. Did you find out anything about Shane?"

"Yeah, he's home. I was talking with him and Mark while the rents were talking. He looks okay. He has a bandage on his upper arm, but other than that he's okay."

"Good. Can you bring one of the suitcases over and I'll get some clothes out."

Dylan nodded and put one of them on the bed. Jamie opened it and sifted through it until he found some underwear, shorts and a t-shirt. He took off the scrub top and replaced it with the t-shirt. Then, with Dylan supporting him, he dropped the scrub pants and got his underwear and shorts on. Once he was dressed, he leaned on Dylan as he gingerly walked to the bathroom to clean up a little. He winced on every step, but it was manageable. When they were finished there, the two boys carefully headed down stairs.

Barbara saw them and called for them to come and sit down at the table. Once Jamie was seated, Dylan helped his mom get everything out to the table. They talked while they ate.

"How are you feeling Jamie?"

"Not too bad. My side and face ache a bit and the bottoms of my feet hurt, but other than that I'm okay."

Barbara looked at his face and shook her head in disgust at the evil woman's actions that got Jamie in this fix. Secretly she hoped Alma Geddes ended up in prison in the same cell as a lifer who was big and tough and would beat the crap out of her every day. It would probably not happen that way, but if there was some justice out there it would.

"Well you just take it easy for a few days. We need your feet to heal so that you can get to school. In the meantime, we'll have Dylan pick up any assignments so you won't fall behind. Dylan said he got all your school stuff, so if there is anything that is due tomorrow, Dylan can take it in for you."

"I'll look and see when I get back upstairs. Oh, and thanks for letting me stay here."

"We're glad to have you. I talked to Maggie this afternoon and we're going to go over there in a couple of days to get the rest of your things. We'll get a small U-Haul truck to carry everything."

"Can I go? I'd like to see Shane and Mark."

"Yes, I suppose so, but if your feet aren't healed enough, it might be best if you stay here."

"Okay. I think they'll be healed up enough by then. They are feeling better than they did earlier."

When he said that, he looked over at Dylan and Dylan looked at him curiously before he realized that Jamie had put a slight emphasis on the word healed and he gave Jamie a nod of understanding. It sounded like Ian would be visiting soon.

After dinner, Jamie asked Dylan to give him a hand to get upstairs. He wanted to make sure he had all his homework done and to put some of his things away. In the room, the first thing Jamie did was to make sure Dylan understood what he meant. "Can you ask Ian at school tomorrow if he can come by to visit?"

"I have a feeling that all the guys will want to come by. So you'll probably see everyone after school."

"Will that be okay with your parents?"

"They will both be at work, so it should be okay. I'll ask to make sure, but I don't think there will be a problem."

"Cool. Have you talked to Josh?"

"Yeah, and he was all ready to come over and see that you're alright, but Mom said to let you rest. He probably wasn't pleased about that, but he understood. Maybe you could call him."

"Good idea."

Jamie started looking around for his cell phone and then his face fell as he realized his stuff was taken at the home and he let out a frustrated breath.

"Fuck, I forgot. My phone and wallet and stuff were taken at the home. It's probably still there. I wonder how I'm going to get it back."

"I'll ask Mom and Dad. I'm sure they can take care of that. Maybe that lawyer guy can do it. Oh, yeah man, you should have seen it, when your caseworker got arrested. It was cool."

"Yeah, I meant to ask about that. All I heard was the screaming and yelling. I tell ya Dylan, I thought that bitch was going to take me back to that place."

"She came in with two cops and she went up to the desk there and demanded that she be told where you were. These two other guys that were there with your lawyer, they went over to her and said something to her. She got mad and swung her purse at the younger guy hitting him in the face. Suddenly boom, she was down on the floor on her face and the guy was kneeling over her putting the cuffs on her. It was so cool. That guy moved so fast, when he slammed her to the floor. About that time your lawyer came out and started talking to her. He would say something and then she would yell at him. The whole time he just smiled and talked to her all calm and cool and she would just scream. Eventually the older guy started reading her rights, you know, right to remain silent, and all that stuff. Finally she quit yelling and they took her outside to their car. We couldn't hear everything, but we did hear some of it. Is it true she stole from you?"

Jamie shrugged. "That's what Mister Jackson said. He told me that she had been stealing from a lot of kids that she had been the caseworker for. He didn't know how many yet, since they were still investigating it, but he thought it would be a lot."

"Wow. Lucky they caught her."

"Yeah, I hope they get a good person to replace her. Dylan, can I borrow your cell phone to call Josh to let him know I'm okay?"

"Sure bro, it's in my room, I'll be right back." Dylan stopped at the door and looked back at Jamie with a smile. "You know, I just realized it, but what I just said is kinda true now. You are my bro. But are you my little bro or my big bro. You're a little short, so I guess little bro."

Jamie threw a pillow from the bed at him and he ducked as it hit the door jamb. When Dylan had left, Jamie started to get up to retrieve it, but as soon as he put weight on his feet, it hurt. He sat back down on the bed and looked at the pillow on the ground. He suddenly remembered what he had done at the home. So he looked at the pillow and tried to make it come back to him. He put out his hand and tried to remember what it felt like when he did that and he screwed his face up as he concentrated and put his arm out like he was reaching for it. He thought he saw it move so he concentrated more and suddenly the pillow flew at him and hit him in the face really hard, knocking him down on his back. He took the pillow off his face and sat back up, holding his side a little because it hurt, as did his face. He looked at the pillow and at the floor where it had been with surprise. He had done it, but he obviously didn't have much control. About that time Dylan came back in and handed him his phone. Jamie thanked him. Dylan went and sat over at the desk while Jamie made the call.

"…No, it's Jamie. I'm using his phone because mine was taken from me yesterday when I was arrested and I haven't got it back…Maybe not really arrested, but anyway, I don't have it, so I borrowed Dylan's so I can call you…Yeah, I'm okay. I have some sore ribs and feet and my face is a little banged up…Ah, don't worry about it. I'll heal. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I'm okay and now since Dylan's Mom and Dad are my foster parents now, we're a lot closer than before…No, I won't be there tomorrow. I can't walk very well, the bottoms of my feet are kind of cut up a little and it's hard to walk very far…No, that happened when I escaped…Josh, I'll explain it all to you tomorrow when I see you…No, I'm not going to school tomorrow because of my feet…Yeah, I had the same idea…Yeah, talk to Ian about it…Dylan said that he bets that everyone will want to come over tomorrow. Dylan's going to ask his parents about it and see if it's cool for you guys to come over after school…I got to make sure my homework is all done, so Dylan can bring it in to school tomorrow for me…Okay, I gotta go…Yep, love you back…Bye."

Dylan was grinning at him and making kissing sounds. Jamie scowled at him. "I bet you're just as bad with Ethan."

Dylan stopped and blushed a little before nodding agreement. "Yeah, I guess. I'll leave you to your homework and go ask the rents about the guys coming over."

Jamie nodded and looked at where his laptop and backpack were laying. For a moment he thought about trying to call them to him and then he remembered the pillow. He didn't think it would do his face much good if he got slammed by several pounds of books and stuff in his backpack or his laptop, so cooler heads prevailed and he stopped Dylan as he started to leave the room. "Dylan could you help me over to the table so I can get to check what is in the backpack and make sure everything is done for tomorrow?"

Dylan nodded and came over to the bed to help him get to the table and chair. He handed Dylan his phone too. Once he was settled Dylan started to turn away and then he stopped and hugged Jamie.

Jamie could hear relief and a little hitch in Dylan's voice. "I'm so glad you're okay Jamie, and I'm glad you're going to be living here. When you fell into my arms this morning, I was real scared."

Jamie leaned his head to the side so that their cheeks were touching. He felt a little dampness on his cheek and he saw the track of a tear on Dylan's face. He reached up and wiped it away. Then he leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. "Me too. I was so glad to see you. Thanks for catching me."

Dylan nodded and released him to go talk to his parents. Jamie wiped his damp eyes for a moment before grabbing his backpack and opening it. He pulled out everything that was in it. He saw that one of the items was the picture of him and his mom when they had gone skiing in Utah a couple of years ago and set it aside while he pulled his books out of the bag. He looked through his notebooks and found what he needed to do yet, so he got to work on it.

A few minutes later Dylan returned and he had his backpack on his shoulder. "They said it was okay, but for them not to stay too long. I told them that our friends will just want to make sure you're okay and that I'll make sure that they don't stay too long."

He then flopped down on the bed and started opening his backpack. "I thought I'd join you and finish my stuff in here."

Jamie nodded in thanks and went back to his work. Dylan smiled back and got to work with his homework. The two boys worked silently, occasionally talking a little bit as they worked. They worked for a couple of hours until everything was done. About that time, Jamie was starting to yawn a little. Dylan helped him to the bathroom first before he helped him strip down and get in bed. Dylan gave him a hug goodnight and left the room. A few minutes later Barbara and David came up to say goodnight to him and make sure that everything was okay. When they left, he rolled onto his side and was soon asleep.

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