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By Gina Mae Callen

Mystery / Thriller

Chapter 1

August 1985.

"Cal!" Six-year-old Martin Brandel tugged on the arm of the older boy.

Callen turned over and groaned. It was about four am and being summer the sun was already up.

Callen knew Martin was an early riser and he loved to go down to the beach when they could safely sneak out of the foster house.

"What's wrong Kiddo?" Callen asked rubbing his eyes

"I'm hungry, Emmy says I can't go in the kitchen, Mr. Kendall says no." he sniffed.

Callen reached for his bag under his bed and pulled out two Klowny Cakes for him, he lifted the boy onto his bed and opened one.

"Here you go kiddo."

Martin took a big bite and smiled. "Thank you Cal." He said and hugged him.

Callen lifted and eyebrow and looked at the boy, "Did you wake your sister up?" he asked.

Martin nodded and smiled his face covered in cake.

"Great she'll be pissed at me again then." He said smiling. "Stay here and Keep quiet we don't wanna wake the mister, I'll get Emmy and we'll be gone before he wakes up."

"We really gonna go somewhere safe?" Martin asked.

"Yep, we're gonna be a real family." Callen said.

That was the plan, 15-year-old Callen, his girlfriend Emily and her little brother Martin were finally going to get away from Jeremy Kendall.

Callen had been with Kendall a month and there were days and nights, he could not remember, but he would wake up sore and in pain and with a headache that suggested to him that he was being drugged.

A week ago, 15-year-old Emily Brandel and her little brother Martin had been placed with them. Kendall had immediately been overly kind to the six year old and it set Callen's senses on edge. There and then, he had not left the boy alone with Kendall and he had quickly fallen in love with Emily.

On seeing them both and falling in love with Emily it had been easy to talk them into leaving without worrying her with his suspicions of Kendall.

Last night he dropped sedatives in Kendall's bottle of Jack Daniels and knew that he would be sound asleep this morning.

He tied Martin's laces on his sneakers, helped him pack his things into a small bag, and grabbed his own bag and they made their way down the hall to Emily's room.

He knocked twice then once again and she opened the door.

"Cal, are we still going?" she asked quietly.

He nodded and she smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.

"Let's go." She said and grabbing her brothers' hand, they snuck out through the back door.

They jumped on the early morning bus heading from Reseda to the beach and spent the morning begging on the boardwalk and avoiding the police.

By the evening the money they had collected plus what Callen had managed to get by pick pocketing was more than enough for them to get a no star motel room.

Callen took some cash and one of the credit cards and walked into the motel office as Emily and Martin waited around the corner.

The man behind the desk took a suspicious look at Callen.

"Hey," Callen smirked, "My Dad and I need a room for a week. Two queens please." He said and placed the cash on the counter, and showed his 'dads' driving license for I.D.

At the cash, the motel owner barely glanced at the I.D and handed over the key. "There you go kid." He said

Callen nodded and sauntered out "Got it!" he yelled to his non-existent dad and grinned back at the manager.

Callen walked around the corner and gave a genuine smile to Emily, "Here you go." He handed her the key and then took a sleeping Martin off her shoulder.

"Let's get him into bed." Callen said and put him in the bed furthest from the door.

He walked back locked the door and put a chair under the handle for extra safety.

Emily looked at him shyly and smiled.

She gulped and reached for him. Within moments, they were acting just like the hormone driven teenagers they were and although they were quiet so they didn't wake Martin up a few quiet giggles and a lot of quiet moaning soon filled the air.

Later as they lay there, Callen gently stroked Emily's hair, "I love you Emmy." He said and she kissed him, "I love you too Cal, I don't ever want to leave here." She said as a small tear escaped her eye and she thought about how the police and social services and even worse how Kendall would all be out looking for them.

"No one will ever split us up Emmy," Callen promised.

She snuggled into his chest and soon fell asleep listening to his heartbeat, which to her was safe.

Callen lay staring at the ceiling, "Wow," He thought; finally, he wasn't a virgin anymore and he could see him living with Emily and Martin forever.

For a moment, his teenage brain had images of him with a car and a big house with them all and a dog. A big dog with snarling teeth that went for the social workers and foster carers trying to get at them. He smiled at the image and then he too satiated and happy, fell asleep.

He awoke a few hours later to the sounds of Emily making breakfast for them in the small kitchenette in the room; he rubbed his eyes and sat up in bed as she brought him a coffee and a plate of bacon and eggs.

"Morning sleepyhead," She said and kissed him.

"Ummm, morning," He mumbled taking a swig of the coffee and devouring the eggs. "Where did this come from?" He asked,

"I went to the corner store this morning while you were both sleeping, and yes I was careful." She said as a small look of panic had flitted across his face. "We now have enough food and Martin has some coloring books to keep him busy," she nodded in her little brothers direction and Callen saw him sitting happily at the table with a bowl of fruit loops in one hand and a crayon in the other smiling.

Emily sat on the bed leaning into Callen. "That's how he should be, smiling and happy, thank you for making it happen Cal." She said softly to him so Martin wouldn't hear.

Callen kissed her and she smiled. "I want you….later, when he's asleep." She whispered in his ear.

He grinned and groaned at the same time, "That long?"

She laughed and took his plate and cup to wash up and walked to the sink.

He sat back and admired the view.

For now this, right here was heaven. No beatings or abuse, Martin playing happily and the girl he loved humming as she washed up. He actually couldn't remember being happier, if, he didn't count last night he thought with a grin.

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