X-Men fan fiction
Chapter 1: Mayday
Chapter 2: Sunset Home
Chapter 3: Sunset Home, part II: Exam
Chapter4: Sleeping Rough
Chapter 5: The Bogarts
Chapter6: The Bogarts, part II: Glasses
Chapter 7: Xavier
Chapter 8: New Students
Chapter 9: Eve of Grey
Chapter 10: Grey Christmas
Chapter 11: Dilemma
Chapter 12: Confrontation
Chapter 13: Jack O'Diamonds
Chapter 14: Escape
“What exactly is the purpose of theses exams?”
Six months had passed since Scott had awakened from his coma. Every month since then Dr. Essex had taken the boy for exams in his private hospital wing below the orphanage. Despite her frequent lobbying of Nurse Mueller and Administrator Pearson, Robyn had not been able to speak with Dr. Essex nor to see Scott’s medical records. Today she had been hovering about Nurse Mueller’s office most of the morning, hoping to get more information.
“Routine brain scans to assess healing,” she answered, “and a routine physical exam to cover everything else.”
“I still think he’s a bit thin, and a little small for his age,” Robyn worried out loud despite Nurse Mueller’s assurances that Scott’s general health was fine.
“That’s to be expected in the wake of a coma. His metabolism will catch up.”
“He still gets headaches from time to time.”
“A side effect of the brain injury; it will pass. You seem to have taken special interest in this boy,” Mueller prompted.
“I know. I shouldn’t have favorites, but I like Scott, and he’s had such a hard time of it.... One of these days he’ll break my heart,” she smiled, “but he’ll make some lucky family a great son.”
A strange expression came over Nurse Mueller’s face, and she absently placed her palm over the stethoscope she wore, covering the red diamond on blue background at its center junction. The staff called that insignia the “coat” of the orphanage.
“The ones Essex takes an interest in, they don’t leave. Not until he’s certain they’re ready to be released,” she amended after a second.
Muller’s tone gave Robyn a chill, but she ignored her gut reaction for the moment and pressed on.
“Does he expect complications in Scott’s case?”
“Scott’s case is not straightforward. Anytime a patient has been in a lengthy coma there can be further complications. That’s why Dr. Essex is monitoring him closely.”
“I’d like to see his records.”
“Yes. I remember you said so before. I’ll remind the doctor of your request. In the meantime, it will do little good for you to wait here. I expect the boy to be in the hospital wing for most of the afternoon.”
Robyn took her leave after that, but she didn’t go far. She sat in the cafeteria, worriedly picking over her lunch. There were too many things here that didn’t add up. After Scott’s attempt at running away to Alaska, Robin had spent the better part of a week making phone calls and checking public records, trying to track down Philip and Deborah Summers.
She hadn’t been prepared for what she found. Philip and Deborah Summers were both dead. Scott’s paternal grandfather had died during a fighter mission in WWII. He was survived by his wife and his son, Scott’s father, Christopher. But Deborah Summers died in a car wreck about the time her son finished school and enrolled in the Air Force Academy, well before Scott was born.
Either Scott was still very deeply in denial, in which case he would continue to believe in this fantasy world where his grandparents would come to rescue him – and when they didn’t he would continue trying to escape the orphanage, putting himself in danger. Or Scott really had sustained lasting brain damage, perhaps affecting his memory, perhaps leaving him unable to distinguish fantasy from reality... or, at the very least, leaving him unable to accurately comprehend the unpleasant portions of a reality which contradicted with his fantasy version of reality.
Robyn hadn’t known what to do in the wake of that disturbing revelation. How she handled this depended greatly on Scott’s physical, medical condition, which she was being given no insight into. Unable to consult Essex or his records, she resorted to checking over the custody records, hoping that there might be some indication of Scott’s initial condition noted there by his referring doctors. But she only found another dead end. Most of Scott’s files had been sealed.
“Something is definitely not right here,” she mumbled under her breath.
Robyn was not easily given to conspiracy theories; she preferred to deal in facts, and the absence of them severely frustrated her. But she had become steadily more suspicious over the secretive nature of the Sunset Home, and of Dr. Essex, himself. She had never seen the man; most of the staff had not. The only people at the orphanage who had contact with him were Amanda Mueller and Mr. Pearson. They both insisted Essex was nothing short of a genius, only a tad bit eccentric... and they wanted nothing to upset him. To that end no one was allowed into his hospital wing but his patients. Robyn continued to ask, after each of Scott’s exams, to see his medical records, but she was beginning to suspect that either the message was not getting through or Essex had no intention of complying.
Robyn kept herself busy throughout the afternoon, trying not to worry, while waiting for Scott’s release from the hospital wing. She kept telling herself it was only a checkup, and it was foolish of her to be hovering like a mother hen, but she was only getting more anxious as the afternoon wore on. At dinner she was standing in the back of the cafeteria, scanning the tables for any sign of Scott, when little Chase Miller ran up to her.
“Hi, Chase,” she happily greeted the blonde-headed five-year-old, who promptly motioned for her to bend down to his level. Robin smiled and crouched down. Again, Chase motioned her closer so he could whisper in her ear.
“Okay,” she smiled at the worried boy after she had heard what he had to say. “You get your dinner now. I’ll go check on him.”
Just like Chase had said, she found Scott curled up in his bed with the lights out.
“Chase told me you were back from your checkup,” Robyn offered before she turned on the lights and came inside. Scott tended to be quiet and reclusive if no one bothered to draw him out, and that tendency always seemed a little more intense after these exams. He was a strong, independent kid who didn’t easily accept help, and he couldn’t like being reminded every month of why and how he had ended up here. She wasn’t surprised that he had retreated, or lost his temper with Chase’s over-exuberant curiosity.
“I’m sorry I yelled at him. I didn’t mean to.”
His back was turned to her, and she saw him brush his hand over his eyes.
“How are you?”
“I’m alright,” Scott murmured, turning his face into his pillow, “just tired.”
Robyn grimaced. She wasn’t buying that one. He was embarrassed that she had caught him crying, and it took every ounce of restraint she could muster not to go hug him as tightly as she could.
“Will you please turn out the lights?”
Robyn reached back and dimmed the lights, but the alarm bells in her head were screaming that something was wrong. That was more than embarrassment. Scott’s voice shook over the simple request, words spoken with a hint of desperation hidden behind them. That scared Robyn. She closed the door behind her and crossed the room, knelt down to place a hand on his shoulder.
“Scott. Nothing about these exams should be hurting you. If they are, you need to tell me, and I can make it stop.”
He took several unsteady breaths before he seemed able to speak again.
“My head hurts,” he whispered. “It hurts really bad.”
“Hang on, for just a second. I’ll bring you something for pain,” Robin promised, and leaned down to lightly kiss his temple. Scott winced. He wasn’t crying any longer, but his entire body was trembling against the pain.
Robyn’s eyes stung with tears as she left the room. By the time she reached Nurse Mueller’s office she was madder than she’d ever been in her life.
“What are you doing?”
Robyn ignored the nurse and helped herself to a bottle of Midrin. “None of your concern.”
“You can’t give medications unapproved.”
“Watch me. It’s harmless: a pain reliever mixed with sedative and vasoconstrictor, suitable for treating migraines.”
“You can’t give that to the Summers boy.”
“He’s experiencing severe headaches with light sensitivity, likely brought on by extreme stress, increasing serotonin levels, and blood vessel constriction. This will help him.”
“The ability of his brain to process chemical stimuli is severely compromised.”
“You’re refusing to medicate him,” Robyn stated in disbelief.
“Best case, the drug has no effect,” she stated. “Worst case, in his current condition, you could do him serious damage.”
“Show me his medical records,” Robyn demanded.
“Dr. Essex is still updating them.”
“He can’t be in pain like this! It’s not humane!” Robyn nearly yelled. “If Essex can’t help him, Scott should have a second opinion. I’ll take him to the University Medical Center, tonight if I have to.”
Mueller turned her back and opened a medical cabinet, then unlocked a drawer inside. Robyn tried to see what she was looking for, but Nurse Mueller seemed intent on hiding her actions.
“I strongly advise against moving him tonight. His symptoms are temporary; the best thing for him is rest.” She placed two tablets in Robyn’s hand. “Give him these, if he’s still awake. He’ll sleep through the night and feel better tomorrow.”
Robyn gritted her teeth. She didn’t like this. The last thing she wanted to do was trust Mueller and, by extension, Essex, to keep treating Scott... but the longer she stood here distrusting them the longer Scott suffered. She hurried back to Scott’s room, praying that the pills would serve him without harm, and she steeled her determination to take stronger action if they didn’t.... Either way, she was staying here to monitor Scott overnight.
She reached his room and cracked the door as slightly as she could to let herself in.
“Scott?” she whispered. Scott had curled himself into a ball, arms wrapped over his head, forehead cradled into his elbows, and cried himself to sleep. She could see tear marks streaking his cheek, and Robyn didn’t know whether to be furious or relieved. She balled her fist around the pills she’d been given, strongly tempted to throw them across the room. Mueller had all but predicted this; they had known exactly how he would react, and had been willing to let him suffer through it. What kind of sick game were she and Essex playing at with Scott?
Robyn wiped her eyes, making an effort to get a grip on her own emotions. Then, after making a short phone call to Jonathan and finding Chase another room for the night, she settled into a chair to keep watch beside Scott’s bed.
Robyn wasn’t sure how long she’d been asleep when she felt a hand on her shoulder, and lifted her head. Jonathan. He was still dressed in hospital scrubs. Her groggy mind quickly caught up to reality. She was still at the Sunset Home. She’d fallen asleep watching Scott sleep.
“I just got the message you left for me," Jonathan whispered. “I was assisting in emergency surgery all night. The receptionist said you were really upset, so I came straight here. What happened?”
Robyn stood and they walked out into the hall where they could talk without the possibility of waking Scott. She quickly told him about Essex’s exam and Scott’s condition afterwards, then Mueller’s refusal to let her medicate him.
“I was going crazy, Jon. Scott told me before that something was wrong, but I didn’t think– I don’t know what this doctor is doing to him, but this extreme of a reaction has nothing to do with routine brain scans and–”
“Easy. Easy,” Jonathan calmed her. “That’s a heavy accusation.”
“Jonathan, you didn’t see him tonight. It was awful. He was in so much pain, he could hardly stand it.”
“So you stayed here with him.”
“Of course I did.”
“This is the same child you went after when he tried to run away. The same child who’s been telling you about the dead grandparents – he never knew – who should be coming to get him.”
“What are you getting at?”
“I’m just saying, before you wreck this Essex guy’s career, consider that the kid might be playing you for attention.”
Robyn turned her back on him, shocked, and feeling overwhelmed. “I know what I saw, Jonathan.”
She didn’t believe for a second that Scott was manipulating her. He wasn’t an attention-seeking child; if anything, she worried about him being too detached. His first instinct tonight had been to hide the fact that he was in pain. He hadn’t let her see his face, and what she had heard in his voice was so unlike him... it had scared her half to death.
Jonathan ran his hand through his hair and took a deep breath. “Okay. Look, we’re both tired. Let’s go home, get some rest, and we’ll talk it over in the morning.”
“No. I’m not leaving him.”
Jonathan lowered his voice. “Robyn, the way I see it there are three possibilities. One, this place really is bad news, in which case it seems this Essex guy is well-protected. So you need iron-clad proof of wrongdoing, not suspicions. Two, Scott has learned that embellishing and acting out gets people’s attention, especially yours.”
“And,” she prompted him for the last possibility, having a good idea where this was going.
“And maybe you’re a little too attached to him, and he knows that.”
“So it’s his fault, or my fault. Whose side are you on?”
“Yours,” he answered without hesitation. “That’s why, when you’re spending the night here, I get worried. Robyn, I don’t want to see you burn out again.”
She dropped her head. That was the reason why she’d had to leave medical school, and cut her nursing hours back to sporadic relief work.
“It’s not the same,” she argued. “This is not a job that I can’t let go of. This is one little boy who I’m really scared for. If I’m right or if I’m wrong– doesn’t matter. It won’t hurt for me to stay with him. But if I’m right– I’m not going to leave him,” Robyn whispered, and she returned inside.
Jonathan followed her a few seconds later. “I really am sorry,” he whispered. “It’s just been a long night, all around. And if I’m totally off base, it’s only because I’m worried about you.”
Robyn smiled at him. “Don’t worry. I can take a little stress and a little lost sleep.”
“I thought it was part of my job to worry,” he countered, smiling.
“That’s part of your charm,” she whispered affectionately, “but you worry too much,”
“You need to take better care of yourself,” he insisted softly, “especially–”
“Scott. How do you feel?” She placed a soft hand to his forehead, and pulled it back when he winced. “Head still hurts,” she whispered. “I’m sorry.”
“I’m okay,” he insisted timidly. “It’s not bad anymore.”
“Here. Nurse Mueller gave me these; they’ll help you sleep.”
He started to take the pills from her, then hesitated.
“I’ll get you some water,” Robyn offered.
“No. I’m okay without.”
“I’m okay,” he repeated. Then he noticed Jonathan standing behind her in the dark, and Scott stared at him for several seconds.
“It’s alright,” Robyn whispered. “This is my husband, Jonathan. He just came to check on me; he works at the hospital downtown.”
Scott’s eyes moved back to Robyn’s. “You don’t have to stay with me. I’m okay now.”
Robyn glanced briefly at Jonathan. “Scott, what do you remember about Dr. Essex’s exam?
Before, she had thought she detected worry. Now she saw fear. Scott quickly turned over and curled back into his pillow, mumbling about being tired.
Robyn stroked the back of his head. “Try to sleep. If you’re sure you don’t need me to stay, then I’ll be back early tomorrow.”
“Goodnight, Scott,” she whispered.
Jonathan closed the door behind them.
“That look like a needy, manipulative child to you?”
He shook his head. “I see it too. Something is seriously wrong with his reactions. I can’t tell if that’s a lot of pain, or lot of fear and distrust,” he hesitated, “or all three. I know it doesn’t seem like the same child you’ve been telling me about.”
Robyn swallowed hard, anger slowly overcoming her relief that she had found an ally in Jonathan.
“I’ll come in with you tomorrow. We’ll talk to him about Essex. And if we don’t like the answers, we’ll get Scott into protective custody and go from there.”
Robyn nodded and hugged him tightly. “Thank you.”
“Come on.” He released her and draped an arm around her shoulders. “Let’s go home, while we can still get a few hours of sleep tonight.”
Robyn and Jonathan returned early the following morning. They found Scott already up, sitting alone in the empty cafeteria, eating a bowl of cereal.
“Hi, Scott,” Jonathan greeted him.
“How are you this morning?” Robyn asked.
“Fine, I guess,” he answered. He was watching Jonathan curiously as he and Robyn sat down. “No offence, but, do I know you?”
Jonathan’s hand on Robyn’s arm stopped her from saying anything.
“You don’t remember me?”
“No. Should I?”
The two adults exchanged worried looks before Robyn spoke. “This is my husband, Jonathan. He was here last night. We both were.”
“Oh.” Scott shrugged, absently stirring the milk around in his cereal bowl. “Sorry.”
“What’s the last thing you remember yesterday?” Jonathan asked.
“Going down to the hospital wing yesterday morning,” Scott replied. “They said memory loss might be a side effect of the testing, that it’s normal.”
“Do you remember anything at all about the tests?” Jonathan asked.
Scott shook his head.
“Do you remember Essex?” he asked next.
Scott looked suspicious. “Why all the questions?”
“Do you remember him, Scott?” Robyn asked gently.
“Sure. He’s this creepy old doctor who likes to work on my brain. Can we be done with the questions now?”
“Scott,” Robyn said softly, “I know you don’t remember, but we stayed here with you most of the night last night. You gave me a scare. You were really–” she hesitated. She wanted to say “upset” but she knew that was the wrong word, too abstract and emotional for something he didn’t remember. “Agitated,” she tried instead, “complaining of bad headaches. I was ready to take you to the hospital, I was so worried.”
His defensiveness faded, and Scott looked between the two of them, part worried, part curious.
“Really?” he asked.
“Are you sure you can’t remember anything about the testing Essex did?” Jonathan asked gently. “Anything at all?”
“I already told you, no!” Scott bit out angrily.
“Why are you yelling, Scott?” Jonathan continued calmly.
“Scott–” Robyn reached for his arm, but as soon as she touched him he jumped to his feet.
“I’m not some brain-damaged freak that you have to keep questioning like he doesn’t understand–”
“I know,” she whispered, reassuring him.
“There’s nothing wrong with me!” Scott yelled.
“Are you afraid that there is?” Jonathan persisted.
Robyn closed her eyes. “Jonathan, please, that’s enough.”
Scott glared at her. “I’ve got a question for you. Remember, how you were going to help me?” he challenged. “How you promised to help me?”
“Scott.” She sighed. Now was not the time to be giving him bad news, but if she didn’t answer him he was only going to get angrier and more agitated. “I’m sorry, Scott. I looked, but I couldn’t find any record of your grandparents.”
Scott pulled back from her and ran from the room.
“Let him go,” Jonathan suggested quietly.
“He’s so upset,” Robyn argued, dejected.
“Yes, irrationally so. Like a trauma patient recovering from a head injury, having amnesia for the event, and trouble controlling his emotional impulses.”
Robyn stared in disbelief for a couple of seconds. “Are you telling me he’s been re-injured?”
“I’m telling you what I see,” Jonathan replied softly. “We need to be very careful here. His memory loss is the perfect alibi, and all the rest of this is circumstantial. If we try to bring charges, Scott is still stuck in here, and with no one to protect him. Likely, you’ll be out the door as soon as they can find an excuse to get rid of you.”
“Then we get him out first,” Robyn decided.
Jonathan sighed. “Agreed.”
“I’ll fill out the paperwork and talk to Pearson.”
“While you’re working on that, I have to check in with the hospital, try to get my afternoon shift moved back by a couple of hours. With any luck we can get Scott settled in by lunch.”
“I know things are going to be tight for a while,” Robyn offered with a regretful smile. Jonathan was worried enough about making ends meet for them. He would soon be going through some of the toughest, most demanding parts of his surgical rotations, and they were both just getting over the unexpected shock and joy of finding out they had a baby on way. “Thank you for doing this.”
He smiled. “Suddenly this family is growing in a huge hurry.”
She laughed and hugged him tightly.
“I know you’re crazy about this kid,” Jonathan murmured against the top of her head. “You’d never forgive yourself if we didn’t help him, and neither would I. It’s the right thing to do.”
Robyn slid the paperwork onto Pearson’s desk and watched his face for a reaction.
“What is this?” he asked, looking up.
“You know I’ve become fond of the Summers boy. My husband met him this morning and he agrees. We want to take custody of Scott. We’ll be his foster family until the adoption can be made official.”
Pearson continued to stare at her benignly. “I’m afraid that’s out of the question.”
“Why?” Robyn asked, feigning confusion. “I don’t understand. Scott is a ward of the state and it’s our responsibility to find placement for him. That’s what I’m doing.”
“That boy is under Dr. Essex’s care. He’ll leave when Essex says so and no sooner.”
“Why are you trying so hard to keep him here?”
“Perhaps it would be wise for you to limit your contact with the boy in the future,” Pearson suggested. “You don’t need to get any more attached than you already are, and Scott doesn’t need any false hopes of adoption. He won’t be leaving this facility in the foreseeable future.”
“Perhaps you could answer my question,” Robyn suggested coldly.
“Very well, allow me to explain. This Home has been run by the Milbury family for many generations; it’s a responsibility that Mr. Nathan Milbury now entrusts to me. He is a very powerful and wealthy man who is getting on in life, with no heir to pass his fortune on to. His main priority at this point is leaving a legacy to honor his family name. To that end, he wants to settle affairs before he passes on. That means Essex has a place here, and the Summers boy is not leaving. Those two things are set in stone at this facility.”
Robyn shook her head. “Why is Essex so important? What does he want with Scott? And what do the two of them have to do with the owner of this place?”
“The two share a common debt as far as Mr. Milbury is concerned. I don’t ask; I just carry out orders. The fact of the matter is, Summers’ care and treatment are provided for as long as he stays here. If you have his best interests in mind, you’ll recognize the difficulty in finding a better situation on the outside. I suspect you and your husband are barely getting by as it is, taking into account his expenses from medical school and completing a surgical residency. There’s hardly room in this picture for a boy like Scott, with special medical needs.”
Robyn’s anger flared. “If you had best his interests in mind, you’d see that this place is not a home or a family, and that Essex is not a proper doctor. I’ve brought my concerns to you. If you continue to ignore them and insist on keeping Scott under that man’s care, I’ll be forced to find someone who will listen, even if it means shutting this place down and ruining Milbury’s precious legacy.”
Pearson stood from behind his desk and leaned both hands against its surface. “That is not an option, Mrs. Hanover. Your employment here is terminated. You can finish out this week, under my conditions, or leave today without pay – and forfeiting your hiring bonus. Unless you don’t have the money,” he amended after a brief silence.
He was right. She couldn’t return the bonus. It had already been spent in tuition and fees.
“What are your conditions if I work out the week?” she asked, mainly to give herself a little time to think.
“You’ll cause no trouble and give no indication that you’re leaving. In return for your cooperation, the termination won’t have to go against your record. You’re also to have no further personal contact with the Summers boy. No goodbyes.”
Robyn was so appalled she forgot she wasn’t really considering his offer. “Just ignore him, like he doesn’t exist. I won’t hurt Scott like that.”
“Then it’s option two,” Pearson concluded.
“What about option three, the one where I shut you down?” Robyn countered tersely.
“I was afraid we might come back to that. Robyn, I’m willing to let you go painlessly, or I can bring charges against you that will ensure you’ll never work again. The choice is yours.”
“I prefer to think of it as a guarantee. And I can make the same guarantee for your husband’s career. I’m sure he’s a promising surgeon, but Mr. Milbury gives generously to the hospital board and has numerous friends among the trustees. You’ll find that promise can be a fleeting thing compared to generations of connections and contributions.”
A cold fury washed over her. Robyn was willing to sacrifice her career and spend years fighting this if necessary... but Jonathan.... His career was his dream, all he’d ever wanted to do with his life, and he’d spent his entire adult life working toward it. If being released from the residency program didn’t kill his career outright, the tarnish of the dismissal would follow him for the rest of his professional life. She couldn’t make a decision like that for him.
“You look pale,” Pearson offered quietly. “I could accompany you down to the hospital wing. Among other talents, I think you’ll find that Dr. Essex is as renowned an obstetrician as he is a surgeon.”
Robyn jumped up and backed away, suddenly short of breath and feeling lightheaded.
“Nurse Mueller, I’m glad you’re here. Mrs. Hanover needs medical attention. Please escort her–”
“No! That won’t be necessary.”
Pearson sat down, looking quite satisfied with himself. He studied her for a moment longer. “Then I take it you’ve reconsidered.”
“You win. I’ll leave, a clean break, just like you wanted.”
“A wise decision.” He tore up the paperwork for Scott’s custody transfer.
Robyn tried to leave, only to find Mueller still blocking the door. Robyn turned back to face Pearson.
“Allow me to give you one more piece of advice. If I were you, I’d resist the temptation to reconsider that decision once you leave here today. Accidents happen suddenly. Rumors spread quickly. Before you know it, lives or lives’ works can be destroyed.”
Robyn felt a chill run down her spine. “I understand.” She had absolutely no doubt that he meant every word. Whatever was going on at the Sunset Home under his watch, Pearson would stop at nothing to keep it hidden.
Scott was standing, staring numbly out the window of his room on the fourth floor, watching Robyn leave. He liked Robyn... she was the only person here who seemed to care about him... or at least that was what he had thought. After this morning he was no longer sure she wasn’t just another part of this place, working against him, trying to keep him here for reasons he couldn’t understand....
Part of him still wanted to run after her and stop her, tell her he was sorry, beg her not to go. But she walked away without looking back, like she hardly knew him, like he meant nothing to her. Scott knew she wasn’t coming back, and she hadn’t even bothered to say goodbye. His hurt and anger were slowly overwhelmed by loss, and a feeling of restlessness. He had to move; he had to go now.
Scott started packing his school bag. He was leaving for good this time. There was nothing to stop him and nothing to make him stay. He threw the bag over his shoulder and started walking. Scott heard footsteps behind him before he even reached the stairs.
“Going somewhere, young man?”
It was Administrator Pearson. Scott stopped and stood silently until the man caught up to him.
“I’d like to talk to you.” He led Scott back to his room before he said any more. “We have a problem. I had to let Robyn go this morning. She didn’t understand the way things work here. You, on the other hand, are a bright and reasonable young man. I think you will understand.”
Scott waited for him to continue.
“Scott, you’re here because a benefactor stepped forward on your behalf after the accident, and that benefactor insisted on having you here.”
“Someone repaying an old family debt. That’s all the explanation I have.”
“But can’t you find out–”
“The terms are very specific. You are to stay with us until you turn eighteen. Your school and medical bills will all be paid for, there’s even a fund for your college. All you have to do is stay – without asking questions. If you leave, or if you try to discover the identity of this benefactor, the money will be pulled.”
“So you’re saying this mysterious benefactor will only help me if I stay here and do what I’m told, and I’ve got no choice over it.”
Scott stood and threw his bag back over his shoulder.
“There’s no way someone I don’t even know is gonna run my life.”
“You have to stay, Scott. This benefactor is not only supporting you. A trust has been set up for the whole orphanage which will allow us to operate comfortably for the next decade. If you leave, we loose all that, the kids here loose all that.”
Scott looked down. His shoulders slumped and a second later his bag slid to the floor. He couldn’t do it.
“There’s a good boy. See, I knew you’d be reasonable.”
Scott flopped down face first across his bed to stare aimlessly out the window. What he wanted didn’t matter. What he needed didn’t matter. He would have to stay here, no matter how much he hated it... and this mysterious benefactor.
His mission accomplished, Pearson left the room. The Summers boy would stay, and Robyn Hanover wouldn’t interfere with him. It had taken a bit of maneuvering, but interestingly enough they both shared the same weakness, a natural instinct to unselfishly protect others.
So Let it Be Written Publishing © 2004