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Amber Alert

By Emma Muto Gordon

Action / Drama

The Alert

It was another quiet night in the café. The boys occupied their usual couches, each lost in their own activities. Enjolras was hunched over his laptop, furiously typing away at his latest speech for his latest cause. Grantaire sat next to him, sketchpad open and eyes trailing every inch of his marble god as the pencil drifted across the page. Courfeyrac rolled over in a fit of laughter as he, Feuilly, and Bahorel played a fairly pathetic game of go fish. Jehan looked on lovingly, scribbling his latest poem about his favorite muse. Joly was lost in a book on medicine; Bousset in a book on chance and luck and Musichetta was sprawled between them, head on Joly’s shoulder and feet in Bousset’s lap. Marius and Cossette sat quietly in a corner, too wrapped up in each other to notice the world. Combeferre sat in the big arm chair that faced the door, a beaten up copy of Plato’s Republic open in his lap, his eyes trained to the door every so often to see when his beautiful girlfriend would arrive, her ever energetic seven year old brother in tow. The clock ticked on and the group hardly noticed their phones buzz simultaneously. Feuilly checked his briefly between rounds, blinking several times to see the message.

“Guys, what’s an Amber alert?” He questioned, squinting to read the many words that flooded his screen.

“It’s a message they send out when a child is kidnapped, why?” Enjolras questioned, looking up from his work for the first time in nearly an hour.

“I just got one,” he replied, glancing at his phone once more. “And it looks like this kid disappeared not far from here.”

Bahorel leaned over to check his own phone. “I got the same message, says the kid was taken from their foster family or guardian by their actual father.” The thought hadn’t hit them yet, they simply returned to their activities, but the night took a dramatic twist when the café door burst open. The glass door slammed against the wooden windowsill so forcefully, it actually cracked. Musichetta rose to accuse the incomer of wrecking her shop, but she froze when she realized whom it was.

“Ponine?” Combeferre’s head shot up and he saw his girlfriend stagger into the establishment; face flushed, clothes torn, and tears racing from her eyes. He met her in two strides and enveloped her into a hug.

“My God Ép, what the hell happened.”

The group had moved to surround the couple; Jehan’s nails digging into Courfeyrac’s shirt when he realized Éponine was crying, sobbing in fact. Their resident spitfire never cried.

“Who hurt you?” Combeferre growled, wiping the tears away with the pad of his thumbs, his eyes further scanning every inch of her. He growled at the bright red mark on her cheek, a mark from someone slapping her.

“H-he, Gav, guh-gone.” She choked out between sobs, falling into Combeferre’s open arms, soaking his shirt with years of unspent tears.

At the mention of Gavroche’s name, Courfeyrac and Grantaire stepped up, brows furrowed with worry, eyes pleading for more information.

Merde!” Enjolras exclaimed, pulling out his phone and scanning the recent message they’d all received. He moved to Combeferre’s side and began to rub Éponine’s back, whispering soothing words to her, all the while fighting off complete fury at his sudden realization.

“Apollo,” Grantaire began, staring confusedly at his boyfriend. “What. The. Hell?”

“It’s the Amber alert.” He said solemnly, head bowed and stepped away from Combeferre, realization spread across his features as he pulled Éponine closer.

“What’s that got to do with any… no?” Start writing here ...

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Ashley Kimler: I love the drama and the darkness of this story. Sadly, I was distracted my editorial errors and couldn't delve into it. The grammar mistakes kept me from being able to forget where I was and immerse in the story. If not for that, I think I would have given this chapter 5 stars. My advice to the ...

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