G woke as he usually did just as the sun started to rise.
He looked around his…Room?
It was bigger than his cell and the bed had been soft…but it had been too soft, he had not had his master's firm body to lie against and he had felt uncomfortable and ended up sleeping on the floor under the window.
He had woken in the middle of the night to see two women, watching him as he had been sleeping. Both had been sitting on the bed hand in hand looking sadly at them. He had turned to look at them but then they faded away. He had been sure it was a bad dream due to the new location and he had gone back to sleep.
He stretched as he woke and reached to pull on his shorts, but they were not there.
He looked over at a pile of clothes and remembered that he'd been given them yesterday and his new…he didn't know what to call them, they said they were not his masters…his new people had been pleased when he wore them so he decided he would, in the absence of any other instructions, wear them today.
He remembered what the miss…woman… Hetty had said about the bathroom and he walked in there to use the facilities. After taking care of business, he stood in the shower, turned the water to cold as he was not allowed to use up the hot water and had a cold shower.
He grabbed the towel that had been put out for him and stopped dead.
It was soft…really soft. He brought it up to his face and smelled it, savoring the sweet clean smell and rubbing the soft fabric against his face.
He looked around for the old sacking type towels he used usually that they must have left for him, but there was nothing.
He could not use this; it was not for the likes of him. Therefore, he carefully folded it and placed it back where he had found it.
He ran the faucet for a moment and took his finger and a miniscule amount of the toothpaste, as he did not have his brush, one of the few luxuries his master allowed him, and cleaned his teeth.
Walking naked back to his clothes, he shook himself dry, opening the window to allow the warm Californian air to dry him as he did the exercises that were required of him every morning.
He looked out of the window, his hand pressing against the closed side of the window, touching in some small way, the yacht that floated in the bay in the distance.
He allowed a small tear to fall as he thought again of his master.
He jumped as the door knocked and instantly fell to his knees.
The door opened and Sam walked in, "G…Are you awake?" he called softly.
G looked up; of course, the man, no Sam, he had to remember their names, had waited until this morning.
He did not know what the man had just said, but knew what his master wanted usually at that time of the morning.
He stood up, walked to the bed, and lay face down on it.
Sam just sighed, he turned the boy over and handed him his briefs.
G looked confused as Sam shook his head.
"Help." Sam said, as it was a word G knew.
Understanding flared in G's eyes, the man did not want to take him, he wanted to help him get his clothes on.
G smiled and went to grab the boxers.
Sam looked at him, "You're all wet." He said.
He stood up, walked into the bathroom, and picked up the neatly folded towel.
Sam cast a glance at the dripping showerhead and the unopened bottles of shampoo, shower gel and soap. Then he noticed the temperature…Cold.
Had this kid ever take a normal shower?
"G?" Sam called.
G came walking into the bathroom; he glanced nervously at the towel.
"You….Shower?" Sam asked pointing at the boy first and then the shower.
G nodded, "You….Shower…" he affirmed.
Sam smiled the kid was trying. "In." he said pointing to the shower again; he knew this was going to be messy, but it needed to be done.
G got the idea and stood naked under the shower again.
Sam turned the faucet on and G stood there as the freezing water cascaded around him.
Slowly Sam turned up the heat.
G felt the water get warm and he couldn't help the second of panic, that flooded through him, this wasn't allowed when he was alone, hot showers were with the master only. He looked over expecting Sam to get in and join him, but that did not happen.
Sam handed him a sponge and G looked at it and nodded, he grabbed the shower gel, put some on the sponge, and went to reach for Sam's arm to wash him.
Sam shook his head and turned up the heat a bit more, he took the sponge and rubbed it up and down G's arms. Sam smiled slightly as G gasped at the bubbles that flooded out of the sponge; he tentatively reached for one and jumped as it popped.
He let out a small giggle before he could stop himself and shot Sam a look of worry.
However, Sam was smiling this bit was going easy.
Sam rinsed off the soapy bubbles and marveled in the sigh that G gave as the warm water moved over his back. With his back turned, Sam could see the scars of years of abuse on the boy.
He turned G around and showed him the next bottle.
'This is gonna be fun.' Sam thought with more than a hint of sarcasm.
And as he expected, Hetty was woken a few minutes later by a loud scream.
She ran into the bathroom to find Sam washing the shampoo out of G's eyes and talking calmly to him to try and get him to calm down,
G's eyes were red and stinging and he shot Sam a look.
"What was that?" Hetty asked moving back to give the boys some privacy.
"Apparently shampoo is a new thing for G and he didn't realize he needed to close his eyes." Sam said, "Can you tell him to calm down I am trying to wash it out?"
Hetty translated and G turned to Sam with tear-filled eyes.
"Help?" he asked
Hetty looked surprised and Sam smiled and nodded, "Yeah Help."
Sam shot Hetty a look, "What? We talk…!" He smirked as he turned to grab the towel that G had held earlier.
"No…no not that…too good for me…" G panicked.
Hetty took the towel off Sam, "It is for you, you are good enough…now Mr. Callen, dry yourself," She told him.
G took the towel and once again buried his face in it.
"It is so soft." He sighed and Sam took another towel and rubbed his hair with it as G stood still.
"Tell him he needs to dry his own body; no one will touch his body anymore without his permission." Sam said.
Hetty translated and G nodded, he wanted to believe her, but somehow, a small part of him was holding back.
He dried himself and Hetty told him that Sam was going to help him dress.
G folded the towels and turned to clean the bathroom.
"That's alright, we can do that later, we have things to do today." Hetty said with a wry smile.
G walked naked past her still with no modesty and went to where the clothes were, remembering how they were put on yesterday, he followed the same routine and put the clothes on without Sam having to help.
He looked towards them hoping he had done right and he was rewarded with smiles from both of them.
"Alright then, let's get some breakfast then." Hetty said brightly as they walked down the stairs.
G sat at the table as he had been shown last night and smiled as Hetty put some toast in front of him, this was food he knew how to eat and waited until the others were eating before he started.
"So I called Miss Jones last night," Hetty said turning to Sam.
"Nell? Why?" Sam asked.
Hetty smiled, "Mr. Callen expressed an interest in learning to read and write, I asked Nell to find a program to help and she offered, after hearing his story, to help teach him herself."
Sam nodded; "it would be a good idea. When does she want to start?" he asked shooting G a look, but he was not even trying to listen into the conversation, He moved a glass of milk towards G and motioned that he should drink some.
"She will be here at nine," Hetty said, "I was also thinking that Mr. Callen could use a friend."
Sam smiled "I was thinking along the same lines, G needs a buddy." He agreed, "Also…Hetty, I need your help, I need to make sure no one can take him, we need to get him placed legally with us."
"I called my lawyer and Director Vance this morning and explained the situation, we are already working on it, and a lawyer will be meeting with you and Mr. Callen tomorrow. I will talk to Mr. Callen this evening and tell him of our plans."
"What if he doesn't want to stay with us?" Sam asked.
Hetty shook her head, "Where else would he go?"
Sam had no answer for that and drank his coffee, he stood and started clearing the table before G could. He watched as the boy's eyes widened in surprise that the man was doing his job. He thought he would get into trouble but Sam was smiling.
The doorbell rang and G automatically stood up and then realized he could not understand the people at the door. He looked worriedly at Hetty who merely stood up and walked to answer it.
He was amazed, these people were doing the things he had been raised to do, and they were not expecting him to do it.
He heard voices from the hallway and shifted slightly so he could see who the newcomer was.
He suddenly felt shy; it was a girl…not just any girl, not like the women that Yoska paraded around his boat, not tall, skinny, vain women.
No, this woman was smaller, and in his mind beautiful.
The morning sun shone through the window and illuminated her hair, it was copper red and looked like it was on fire, he wanted to stretch out his hand and touch it to see if it were actually ablaze.
He curbed his impulse and balled his hand into a fist.
He wondered if she were an angel, like he had heard some of the orthodox priests talk about when they had come to see his master. Although a few had called him an angel…He shuddered at the memory and turned his attention back to the two women.
The girl was talking to Hetty, "So I brought first grade readers and some work books, but I have no idea what he can and can't do," She said. "Kensi was telling me he was the person who broke into the boat-shed yesterday,"
Hetty nodded, "I took some DNA from him yesterday and sent it by courier to Washington, but I am convinced that just by looking at him that he is Amy Callen's brother."
Nell nodded. She, like everyone else was hurting from the loss of Amy. "She was a good friend; she would have loved to have had a little brother."
Hetty gave a small smile, acknowledging the sentiment.
"Mr. Callen?" She called as they turned to enter the family room.
G looked up, Hetty had used the word Callen to refer to him, and so he figured he was wanted.
He walked into the room and looked at the two women in there.
Nell smiled at him and he could not look in her eye.
"Mr. Callen this is Nell Jones, she works with Mr. Hanna. Sam. She is going to teach you English and to read and write."
G looked at her and Hetty and blushed, "Miss…Hetty…is…is she an angel?" he asked.
She laughed and shook her head, "No, she's just a person like you, would you like to say hello to her?"Hetty asked him.
G gulped and nodded.
Hetty leant over and whispered in his ear.
"Hel...Low." he said with a grin.
Nell smiled and G felt butterflies in his stomach, "Hello G." she said holding out her hand.
He looked at the hand and reached out to shake it like he had seen the Master do once or twice.
She smiled and gestured to a table in the family room. "Shall we get to work?" she said.
Hetty turned to tell him what Nell going to say, but Nell was already holding up her tablet, "I have a translator program, if I am to teach him we are going to use it to learn together."
She typed in what she wanted to say and then she said, "I hope we can learn together G, we need to sit on the table and start work."
G giggled a little as the translator tool got it a bit wrong, but he understood.
"Nell Help?" he asked.
Hetty was surprised as was Nell, but both nodded. "Well done." Nell smiled.
Hetty watched as the pair of them settled down and the interest in G's eyes as Nell pulled out the workbooks and paper, she was thrilled at the look of delight on the boys face when Nell handed him a pencil and showed him how to write the letter G on the paper.
He held his pencil shakily and copied her.
As Hetty turned to go she wondered just how bright this boy was, he had obviously been starved of knowledge and was a quick learner, she hoped he could pick up the language easily and that he would find his place here with them.
Nell and G worked hard throughout the morning, G was trying to learn as much as he could as he wasn't sure if she would be allowed to come back.
"Miss… Nell?" G asked.
Nell turned to him surprised, apart from repeating her words this was the first time he had initiated anything since they had started.
G thought what he wanted to say, she had gone through the basic English words and he wanted to say how much he appreciated his time with her.
"Yes G." she said focusing fully on him.
He blushed again under her gaze. He stuck his tongue out of the corner of his mouth as he tried to think of the words he needed.
"Thank…please?" he said, he shook his head that wasn't right.
He bit his bottom lip in frustration, and rubbed his thumb and forefinger together trying to concentrate. He didn't notice Hetty walk back into the room with a tray of snack food and tea.
She stood quietly watching the two of them interact.
"Thank….you…?" he looked at Nell and she smiled.
He smirked, he thought he had died and gone to heaven and he felt that warm fuzzy feeling in his chest again.
He looked over at Hetty as she continued in acting like she hadn't seen anything.
"Miss…Hetty…did I get it right, I want to tell her…I liked learning with her…it was…not…painful…no pain…not…." He got frustrated and sighed.
"Fun Mr. Callen, the word you are looking for is Fun and yes, you got it right." She placed the tray on the coffee table and Nell got up motioning for G to join her.
"I think…if it's alright I like fun." G said.
Hetty smiled and handed him a plate, "This is cake and tea G," she handed another plate to Nell and she took a cup of tea.
Nell pointed to the cake…"Cake." She said and G nodded, then she pointed to the drink, "Tea."
"Cake…Tea…" he repeated.
G watched as they sipped the tea and he took his cue from them.
He took a bite of the cake and smiled, this was the most fantastic thing he'd ever tasted. "Cake!" he grinned with his mouthful.
Nell giggled a bit and Hetty smiled indulgently.
He carefully picked up the cup, it was warm and he took a big gulp of tea and started choking as the hot liquid poured down his throat.
Nell rubbed his back as Hetty patted his knee with a napkin to clean off the excess liquid that he spilled.
He shook his head, "Tea….No…" he told them.
Nell looked over at Hetty, while still rubbing the boys back, "He picks things up very quickly, as soon as he can speak English well enough we should have him tested."
Hetty agreed, it had only been the morning but G was already able to get things across to the two women, like his apparent dislike for tea.
G gave the offending tea cup a look that reminded Hetty so much of Amy when she was annoyed, her heart ached although she was certain that if the lawyers could sort things out and the boy could remain in their lives whether it be with her or more likely due to her age with Sam, having him around would in some small way ease their pain.