Roads: Chapter 21

Title: Roads
Chapter: 21 of 43
Author: Sheryl
Rating: R
Other Info: Sequel to Walls
Warnings: Drug-usage, cursing, violence etc
Excerpt: Dan, not at all comfortable about it, led Isaac into the house. He wished the kid would back off, so he could go get CC, but Ike was just sticking to him like glue.
He spotted a woman in the van, who could only be Taylor’s mother. The resemblance between them was uncanny.
Sighing, and hoping things weren’t all about to explode again, he stopped in the living room. “Wait here for a minute, okay?” He moved into the kitchen, and Isaac, pointedly ignoring his request, followed.

Chapter 21

Dan, not at all comfortable about it, led Isaac into the house. He wished the kid would back off, so he could go get CC, but Ike was just sticking to him like glue.
He spotted a woman in the van, who could only be Taylor’s mother. The resemblance between them was uncanny.
Sighing, and hoping things weren’t all about to explode again, he stopped in the living room. “Wait here for a minute, okay?” He moved into the kitchen, and Isaac, pointedly ignoring his request, followed.
He came around the corner, eyes taking in Taylor, face scratched and bleeding, eyes red, one hand held out to a man with a first aid kit, a hand so swollen and gashed it was barely recognizable as a hand.
Eyes wide, he also took in a woman, in much the same condition. Deduction coming into play, his fear, frustration and anger exploded out of him.
“God! What did you people do to him?!?!” He reached across the table, grabbing his brother’s hand away from CC, “Who did this?? What the fuck is going on in here??!!!”
Amanda, startled at the intrusion, backed as far away as she could, a small whimper escaping her, and Taylor jumped up immediately.
“Ike get out!! Just get out! You don’t have any idea what’s going on!”
The cursing from his brother had scared him. He’d seen Ike lose his temper only once, and it had been preceded by a word like that. He didn’t want anyone else to get hurt. Isaac, undaunted, advanced.
“Tell me then!!! Where the fuck did you think you were going?!?!?! Do you have any idea what you’ve done to us??!!!” His face was livid, eyes flashing.
“Ike!!!” Taylor could see Amanda’s eyes going vague, and knew he had to get Ike out of there. He stepped between them, putting himself squarely in his brother’s space. “You get out! You’re not helping!” He shoved Isaac out of the kitchen and back into the living room. “You can’t do this, you can’t go off on these people. You don’t understand. Just go home, I’m okay, just go!”
“Yeah, sure, right, and you’re coming with me…”
His hand on Taylor’s arm was roughly torn away.
“No! I’m not going with you. Just go, Ike, just go!”
Isaac grabbed his face, hard. “You can’t do this Taylor, you can’t do this to us!”
“You let me go! You shouldn’t even be here!!” Taylor pulled away from him, and stormed back into the kitchen. “Are you okay, Mandy?”
She nodded. “I’m fine.”
“You don’t look fine. Ike! Will you get out!” He was furious seeing his brother standing there again.
“No, not without you. She did this to you, didn’t she? And you’re standing there worrying about her? Taylor, what’s wrong with you?”
Another knock on the door took their attention. Taylor wasn’t surprised to hear his mother’s voice.
Sighing, he looked imploringly at CC, who nodded, and got up.
“Danny, can you bandage up his hand? Put 4 or 6 of those strips on the bad cut.”
He bypassed Isaac, knowing he’d get nowhere with the boy, and went to Diana.
“Mrs. Hanson? My name’s CC. Yes, Taylor is here, and he’s fine. Would you like to sit down? We need to talk.”

Dan finished bandaging Taylor’s hand, and nodded his satisfaction. “How’s it feel?”
Taylor smiled a little. “Like a really big cut with a band-aid on it. It hurts like hell.”
Daniel snorted, approving the snip of humor. “Sorry, best I could do. Mandy, do you have any Tylenol I could give him?”
She nodded, gesturing at the kitchen cupboard. “Taylor, you don’t know how sorry I am. I had no idea that was going to happen.”
He shook his head. “It’s okay, I got my licks in, when I first got here. Looks to me like we’re pretty even.”
She shook her head, visibly upset. “Taylor, I would have cheerfully gutted you, you have no idea.”
He paled slightly at that. “Mandy, what exactly happened?”
She sighed. “I was sort of dreaming. I thought you were somebody else. You don’t know how sorry I am. Here I was trying to help you, and look what I did.”
He reached for her hand. “It’s not your fault, it’s okay.” He nodded thanks to Dan, who’d handed him five Tylenol, and a glass of water. “That’s a lot of pills, isn’t it?”
“It’s a lot of cuts. And it’ll knock back that headache.”
Taylor’s eyebrows went up at that. “How’d you know I have a headache?”
“It shows.” Daniel sighed, his attention now going to Amanda. “You sure you’re okay? That hasn’t happened to you in a long time.”
She nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine. When all is said and done, it was just a nightmare.”
“Pretty scary, Mandy, that you could have killed someone.”
“I know it is. Taylor, I should go talk to your mother.”
“What about?” He listened to the mumur of voices in the next room. “He sounds like he’s got it under control.”
She shook her head. “No, about you. About this…” she tapped the bandaged hand. “I should at least explain, apologize”
Taylor’s eyes went huge, and his expression horrified. “NO!!! Amanda are you nuts? The last thing in the world you want to tell her is how you nearly killed me!”
“Taylor, she’s going to want to know what happened. Better it should come from me, than someone else.”
“Amanda.” He got up, and got close to her. “She doesn’t need to hear it at all. Trust me on this one. You do not want to tell that lady out there, about any of this. And if you’re smart, you won’t tell Ike either.”
“Taylor, don’t lie to them. Never do that. They love you, they’ll want to know how you got hurt. You’ll have to tell them.”
“Fine, then I will tell them. You will not.”
She eyed him, crossing her arms. “Oh really? Listen here, little boy, I already kicked your ass once, I can do it again. Don’t think you can tell me what to do.”
Daniel was grinning. This was the Mandy he knew. “He’s right, though, Mandy, don’t get into it with them, you’re all unraveled.”
Taylor nodded. “And there are two of us, and only one of you. We will sit on you, don’t even doubt it.”
Conceding defeat, she grinned, and sat back. Dan got up. “Mind if I put on some coffee, Mandy? I think this may just be a really long day.”

Taylor lay, hands laced behind his head, in his own bed, in his own room, staring up at his own ceiling. His leave-taking from Amanda’s had gone well, all things considered. His family had given him little choice but to go with them, and immediately, but there had been no obvious hostility. His mother had thanked Amanda profusely for taking him in.
Thank God,” he thought, “she doesn’t know Amanda almost killed me.
He’d gone out with Isaac, waiting for what seemed an eternity in the van, while his mother talked with Amanda, and CC. She’d come out, a determined look he didn’t at all like on her face. She’d remained completely silent the whole ride home, speaking only curtly, when they pulled into the driveway.
“Go on up to your room.”
He’d done as she asked. Something about her tone brooked no argument. He’d been up there less than an hour, when blue lights flashing in the window caught his attention.
Jumping up and looking out, he saw the media circus being treated to a live presentation of “cops.” At least six cruisers lined the street, lights flashing, officers at the ready. As he watched, they systematically ran off every last individual. Cracking the window, the words “private property,” “trespassing” and “harassment” drifted in on the wind. In very little time, the crowd had dispersed, and for the first time in weeks, the area at the end of the drive was clear. He was turning away from the window, when a huge van turned in.
Double taking, he recognized CC behind the wheel, confusion now replacing the glee he’d felt seeing the press run off. As he watched, the van was parked, and the man who’d rescued both him, and Amanda, approached the back door.
He started out the door, freezing when he remembered he’d been sent up here. When his mother said “go to your room” you went, and you stayed, until she told you you could come out again. Frustrated, hoping someone would tell him what was going on, he waited.

“Don’t you guys think, if you’re gonna talk about Tay, he should be down here?” Zac’s face displayed his unease. “This just isn’t fair. We’re down here having a family meeting, with this guy who’s not in the family, about Tay, who is in the family, but this guy is here and Tay isn’t.”
The man called CC smiled. “Zac, you’re absolutely right. Why don’t you go get him? If that’s alright…”
At the nod from his father, Zac got up, warily keeping his eyes on the stranger, and backed out of the room.
CC was pleased. He’d deliberately started a conversation about Taylor, wondering if anyone in the family would remark on his absence, or would move to defend or include him. He waited now, until Taylor trailed Zac into the room, and sat down. He’d nodded briefly at CC, before settling with the same haunted expression the rest of his family wore. CC had studied their actions and reactions, sensing their caution, their suspicion, the air they gave off of people waiting for an attack.
This was a family falling apart. People so traumatized by events that they had no idea who to trust, who to depend on, where to turn. They’d been given wrong information, wrong advice, and no recourses. No referrals had been made, to get help for either them, or for Taylor.
They’d simply been left to simmer in their own broth, and the result was boilover. They hadn’t even been able to rid themselves of the crowds of people congregating around their house, on their own. They’d been rendered helpless and ineffective, unable to make the decisions to act on any aspect of their situation.
He’d seen it before. Now, the question was, could he help them?

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This fictional story is hosted at The Gifted Ones,
with permission from the author, Sheryl.

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