Authors: Amylea Lyn
“Just put the kid down,” Jake said calmly, watching for an opening. He noticed the bruises marking the kid’s face and arms; the kid had obviously put up a fight.
Blood was matted in the kid’s hair from a nasty gash on his forehead, but other than that he appeared unharmed.
He could hear sirens in the distance, getting closer with each passing moment. He knew that Max knew time was running out. There was no way he was going to get away with the kid. There were only two options; he took the chance of running with the kid and getting caught, or he dropped the kid and made a break for it.
As the sirens got closer, Jake knew which one Max would choose.
Max shoved the kid at him, and Jake barely caught Cael before he fell to the ground. Max jumped into his car and took off toward the opposite end of the parking lot.
Jake wasn’t worried. They had a description of the make and model of the car, so the suspect would be caught soon. What was important now was the victim.
Cradling the smaller man in his arms, Jake quickly checked the boy over for injuries. He was a little pale, small for even an eighteen year old kid, but some part of Jake’s mind noticed how well Cael fit against his chest.
Suddenly, the kid jolted, like he had been electrocuted.
Eyes flew open, and Jake found himself staring into the most beautiful violet eyes he had ever seen. The kid
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grabbed a handful of his uniform shirt, clinging.
“The car!” he gasped. “Watch out for the car!”
Jake was about to ask what car when he suddenly heard the sound of squealing tires and Aiden screaming.
A quick glance showed the suspect’s car barreling toward them. The man was going to try and hit them.
Grabbing a hold of Cael and tucking him to his chest, Jake tried to get them out of the way. He felt the front bumper brush against the side of his leg before the car careened past them.
The car jumped over a median and barreled around the corner, heading toward the street. A squad car raced after it, and another pulled up beside them where they lay on the ground.
Pushing up, Jake stared down at the kid in his arms. The kid’s eyes were wide, and he was panting for breath.
“Are you o-” Jake started to ask. He stopped when the kid’s eyes rolled back and he started to spasm in pain.
Shit, the kid was having a seizure!
“Aiden, get over here!” he shouted.
Aiden rushed over, near panicked. As soon as he saw the seizing kid, he instantly switched into doctor mode and started shouting orders at the medical staff that had come out of the building to see what all the commotion was.
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Cael was lifted onto a stretcher and raced back into the building, Aiden by his side. Jake was left to brief the other officers and order an APB on Max Haring’s car.
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Two hours later, Jake was finally able to find Aiden. It was the first free moment he’d had since the entire commotion started.
Josh Simmons had been found hiding out in a supply closet on the third floor. Apparently, he had been trying to wait until the fervor went down before getting out to his car to leave. Josh had actually been found by a patient who watched him go in and kept muttering about the monster in the closet. Jake thought it was a highly appropriate statement.
Unfortunately, Cael Sumner was not their only victim, although he did seem to be a favorite. Both suspects'
lockers had been searched, and there were not only pictures of patients in compromising positions, but a videotape that showed both men raping and violating four different patients, including Cael. Jake wasn’t the only one who left the room to vomit on that one.
Police had been dispatched to both men’s homes with search warrants, and Josh Simmons was now on his way to jail for processing. Apparently, the abuse had been going on for months, and they assumed Max had been doing it for years.
Max Haring had yet to be caught. Police had found his car twenty minutes ago in a Wal-Mart parking lot, but there was no sign of him. A very frustrated Jake was on his way down to the medical wing of the building to tell his lover that the danger was not over yet.
He found Aiden outside a treatment room, sitting in one
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of those uncomfortable plastic chairs, head in his hands.
Jake approached carefully, not wanting to startle his lover.
“Aiden,” he said softly. Even though his voice was low, Aiden jerked up like he’d been shocked.
Aiden just blinked at him for a moment, and then Jake watched as his eyes filled with tears, though Aiden seemed to fight them back, and heard his breath hitch.
“J-Jake?” he asked. Jake just opened his arms as Aiden barreled into them and clutched him for dear life.
“Oh God, when I saw that car coming toward you, I was sure I was going to lose you both!” he cried, burying his face in Jake’s neck. “I didn’t know how I was going to live without you.”
Jake just held him. “It’s okay, baby. We’re okay, hush now. We’re okay.”
Aiden nodded, but didn’t let go. Jake wasn’t going to tell him it was the kid who had gotten them out of the way. How Cael had known the car was there and about to hit them despite being unconscious, Jake still wasn’t sure. He still didn’t know how to explain that; he just knew he probably owed the kid his life.
“How’s the kid?” he asked, when most of Aiden’s tears had dried.
“Good. Better now. He had a small seizure because of the blow to the head, the doctors think, but should recover just fine. They checked him over for the sexual
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abuse, found some minor damage but nothing that will permanently scar. I had them order an AIDS test and to check for other STDs. The results should be in by tomorrow. He had a small panic attack when he came to and found himself in the medical wing, but the nurses got him calmed down. They want to keep him in
observation over night.”
“Good. Baby, listen, we need to talk.” Aiden looked at him quizzically, but allowed himself to be led back over to the plastic waiting chairs. Jake took a deep breath and then started to explain.
“Let me tell you the good part. Josh Simmons was arrested and taken down to the station for booking.
There was a lot of evidence in both men’s lockers, and they expect to find a lot more in their homes. You were right; Cael was being abused, along with at least three others.” Aiden made a small sound of distress, and Jake started rubbing his back.
“What about Max?” Aiden asked.
Jake sighed; this was the hard part.
“Max’s car was found about six miles east of here in a Wal-Mart parking lot. No one knows where he is.
There’s an APB out on him, and he’s considered armed and dangerous. When they find him, he’ll be charged with not only the abuse but also trying to kill a cop,”
Jake explained. “But baby, everyone is worried about you and Cael. Until the guy is found, they want you to take some personal time off and stay home. They want you both to be in protective custody."
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Aiden looked surprised. “What? Why? I mean sure, Cael should have protection, absolutely. But why me? I mean, I didn’t do anything.”
Jake shook his head. “You did plenty, Aiden. You called in the police. Cael told you what was happening, after he had been threatened not to. Max is going to blame you for losing his job, his friends; hell baby, his life as he knows it is going to be ruined. When he’s caught, he’s going to go away for a long time. Until then, you’re vulnerable.”
Aiden looked scared to death. Jake felt horrible. His poor baby; it was a lot to deal with in so little time.
“But don’t worry.” He tried to sooth. “My captain is letting me take some time off, so you’ll be protected the whole time.”
“W-what about Cael. He’ll be vulnerable, too?”
Jake sighed. “They want to move Cael to the isolation wing here in the hospital where he can be under surveillance until the bastard is caught.” Jake knew before he even finished speaking that it wasn‘t going to fly. He was right. Aiden looked furious.
“What!” his lover cried, standing up and glaring at him.
“They can’t do that! Someone like Cael won’t see that as protection; he’ll see that as punishment for telling.
He’s isolated enough! They can’t do that to him, not now that he’s finally opening up! This will kill him.”
Aiden stopped, turning to Jake with anguished eyes.
“Please Jake, don’t let them do that. He’s not like the other’s here. In fact, I don’t even think he belongs here.
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Yes, he’s withdrawn, but today shows that there was a good reason for that. We can’t let them lock him up and throw away the key. I’ll never forgive myself.”
“But what can we do, love? I’m sure they’ll listen to you as his psychiatrist if you suggest an alternative, but what?” Jake stood and pulled Aiden back into his arms.
“I don’t know…I need to think,” Aiden stated, pulling away and starting to pace. Jake sat back down and waited. This was Aiden’s way of thinking and
processing things, and Jake knew better than to get in the way.
After a few minutes, Aiden stopped “Cael was only admitted for a brief observation period, until it could be determined if he was capable of being out on his own. I mean, he went into foster care when he was seven, according to the files the state has, but since he’s eighteen, there is no reason for him to have to stay. If he were released, he could leave. But where would he go?
As far as we know, he doesn’t have anywhere to stay.
No family to speak of. The kid is completely alone.
Probably why Max was going to take him.” Crossing his arms, Aiden scowled at the floor.
An idea came to Jake’s mind, but he needed more information before he mentioned it to Aiden.
“Is he dangerous?” he asked. “You know, harmful to himself and all that?”
Aiden shook his head. “Cael? Nah, he’s just very quiet and shy. Afraid of people, I think, but not dangerous.
Just don’t try to take away his sketchbook. That’s the
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only time I’ve ever seen him agitated.”
“So,” Jake said slowly, “if he was in a comfortable environment with people he knew and trusted,
somewhere he could draw to his heart’s content, it would probably be beneficial to him…right?”
Aiden looked confused. “Well, sure, but where are we going to find a place…” Realization dawned in his eyes.
“Jake, are you serious? With us? You think we should take him home with us?”
“Why not?” Jake asked, shrugging. “He’ll be in a secure environment with you, his former psychiatrist, to help him get situated, and a police officer to help him feel safe. Plus we’ll tell him that we are all there to protect each other. I don’t see why not?”
Aiden stood there watching Jake, biting his lower lip, obviously thinking hard. “That might work,” he finally said. “If we claim it would be easier for the whole protection thing until Max is caught.”
Jake smiled and nodded.
“Jake, are you sure?” Aiden turned to him with worried eyes. “I mean, it won’t be easy. It’s going to mean a lot of work. Cael is not some kid we can boss around.
Legally, he’s an adult and will have a say in everything we do.”
Jake pulled him close. “I know that, baby, but I think we could make it work.”
Aiden studied his face for a moment, then smiled the
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same breathtaking smile Jake had first fallen in love with.
“All right, then. I’ll go talk to the board of directors, you talk to your Captain, and we’ll bring our boy home,” he said, bouncing off toward the elevators.
Jake couldn’t help but feel that Aiden’s words were some sort of prediction of their future.
And he couldn’t seem to find himself really bothered by it.
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The next day, Aiden was anxious to see Cael. He had abided by hospital procedure and left the kid for observation over night, but he was worried the whole time. Finally, Jake had taken it upon himself to fuck him through the mattress so that he was too exhausted to worry, until he woke up this morning and the whole nightmare thing started over again.
The hospital room was bright and almost cheerful; strange considering that the huddled form on the bed was strapped down at his wrists and ankles.
Aiden scowled. The cuffs were completely unnecessary.
It was common procedure with any patient under observation, but Cael wouldn’t hurt a fly. The kid was so timid and gentle, Aiden didn’t think he actually could.
He walked over to the bed as quietly as he could, trying not to wake the sleeping boy. Still, the moment he reached the edge of the bed, Cael’s eyes flipped open and looked right at him.
“Hey,” Aiden said gently, reaching out and lightly pushing the tumble of blonde hair out of Cael’s face. He couldn’t help but wince at the sight of large cuts and bruises, gentling his touch even more.
Aiden was surprised that instead of flinching away, Cael moved his head to get closer to the feathered touch.
Aiden felt a rush of warmth at the show of trust and cleared his throat.
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“How about I take these off?” he said, gesturing to the straps holding Cael down.
Cael nodded. “Please?”
Aiden smiled, quickly unbuckling the straps. Cael sighed with relief, rubbing his wrists. Aiden unbuckled his ankles, rubbing them to help the circulation back.
Cael gave him a shy smile, and Aiden had to fight the urge to pull the kid close.
“There,” he said softly. “Much better.”
Cael nodded, and then the small smile on his face faded.
“Cael, what’s wrong?” Aiden moved to the head of the bed. He laid a gentle hand on Cael’s shoulder, feeling the fine tremor running through the small body.
“I thought you left,” he whispered, looking up with luminous violet eyes.
“No, kiddo, we had to wait until the doctors gave you the all clear before I could come see you.” Aiden explained.