Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hunted - 18

With Logan’s address in hand, Brice drove to Logan's residence. He’d expected it to be an apartment building, so he was surprised when he saw an older, three story house instead. For a moment he thought Logan might own it—even though that didn’t fit with what he knew of him. Then he realized it was a boarding house. He parked in front, took the steps two at a time up to the porch, and knocked on the door.

The door was opened a minute later by a pretty blonde girl who looked to be in her early to mid twenties. Her eyes widened in shock and she stuttered, “Come in…please…oh my god.”

Brice chuckled as he stepped past her, and introduced himself—although it was apparent she knew who he was. “I’m looking for Logan Fitzgerald. I was told he lived here.”

Skye took a deep breath and nodded. “I’m Skye. I’ll go see if he’s around. Please have a seat.” She pointed to the living room before she disappeared up the stairs.

Brice looked around it with interest. It was fairly obvious, from the various books and other articles sitting on tables or shelves, that this room was shared by everyone who lived in the house. And yet despite the surface clutter the room was neat and clean—as was the small dining room he discovered, when he took a peek into it. He was about to explore further when he heard the girl on the stairs. By the time she reached the hall he was back in the living room.

“I’m sorry but Logan’s not here,” Skye told him. “Kief says he went grocery shopping.”

“Would it be all right if I waited?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Please call me Brice. Sir makes me feel like an old man.”

“Which you’re not, you’re …” When Brice cocked an eyebrow Skye said quickly, “You can’t be more than, well the stuff I’ve read says you’re thirty but you don’t look more than…umm…twenty…five?”

With a laugh Brice told her thirty was correct but good genes helped him seem younger.

At that point a slender, dark-haired young man came into the living room. Skye introduced him as Kief, another one of her house-mates.

“So you’re the infamous wolfman.”

“Wolfman? I presume, well I hope you mean in terms of my TV show.”

“Yes. Logan called you that and I think it fits. You’re definitely built for the part.” Kief’s eyes roved over Brice rather blatantly until Skye smacked his arm and told him to behave, with the reminder that he was already taken and Brice was straight.

Brice smiled in amusement but didn’t bother to correct her assumption.

At that moment the front door opened and Noah appeared. Apparently he didn’t see Brice as he headed straight for Kief, wrapped an arm around his waist and gave him a kiss, along with a muttered apology for being late. Then he turned and froze. “What the hell are you doing here?” he asked Brice angrily.

“You know him?” Kief looked between the two men.

“We’re…acquainted,” Brice replied. “Although I didn’t know this was where he lived.”

Kief easily picked up on the tension in Noah’s face and body and pulled back to look at him. “How do you know him?” he asked quietly.

“He’s…a friend of sorts,” Noah muttered. “Nothing for you to worry about.”

“From the way you’re acting I’d say he was more than just a friend.” Kief turned to look at Brice. “Unless you tell me he’s your accountant, which I doubt from his reaction, I can only presume that the two of you… That you’re about a straight as I am, Mr. Davies.” Then he spun back to look at Noah. “All those late nights…you…you bastard.”

“Please let me explain,” Noah said plaintively.

Kief glared at him. “This should be interesting.”  

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hunted - 17

“You’re kidding. You got laid off? Damn, Logan,” Kief said. “So what now?”

“Start job hunting again come Monday. At least I’ve got a good recommendation from my ex boss, which should help.”

“Yeah it should.” Kief tapped his fingers on his thigh. “Let me ask around. If you really know what you’re doing I might be able to give you a couple of places to start with.”

“Thanks. It would help. Hell, I’ll work cheap as long as I get paid something.”

Kief frowned. “Are you going to be stuck now, as far as paying the rent? I bet Skye would put in a good word with her mother, if you need her to.”

“Naw I’m good for the time being.” Logan leaned his head back on the sofa and closed his eyes. “Did I tell you I met wolfman?”


“Yeah, you know, the guy on that TV program you guys like, the vampire one.”  

“Seriously? Where? How?”

“That house I was working on is his.”

“Whoa! Sweet. Of course he might not be on the show any more. They killed him off last week, off screen even. Skye says she’s going to write and protest.” Kief laughed. “She was really pissed.”

“Guess that explains why he was hanging around there sometimes.” Logan chuckled. “So he and I might be in the same boat.”

“That’s pretty rich company to share a boat with,” Kief told him with a laugh.

“I think I’ll pass,”

“A pain in the ass?”

“No, he’s okay I guess. Just…nosy. Guess he figured since he’s a somebody it gave him the right to pry, for whatever reason. That’s past history though. Right now I’m going to clean up and go grocery shopping. Eating out is off the menu—at least for the time being.”

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hunted - 16

“I’m sorry, Logan, but we’re over budget and with the economy the way it is, I’m going to have to let you, and a couple of the other short-term men, go as of tomorrow evening,” Morgan said. “I wish it was different. You’re a damned fine worker. I’ll give you a good recommendation of course, so finding another job should be easy.”

“Thanks,” Logan replied with a sigh. At least he had some money to tide him over while he hunted for other employment, but it was going to be tight. He wondered if he should just leave the city—move on to somewhere new. But common sense said things probably wouldn’t be better anywhere else, and he at least had a few friends now for moral support.

It didn’t help his mood at all when he turned and saw Brice walking down the hall toward them. He excused himself and stepped past Morgan. He intended to make his escape down the back stairs and leave the two men to their business. After all, that was undoubtedly why Brice was up here—to talk to Morgan. Thus, when he heard Brice call his name he was surprised.

Logan turned to ask testily, “Come to say goodbye, Mr. Davies?”

Brice frowned. “Goodbye?” He looked at Morgan then back at Logan.

“Yeah. Seems I’m not needed around here any more.”

Again Brice looked at Morgan, this time in question.

“I have to let three men go Mr. Davies if I’m going to stay within budget,” Morgan told him.

As much as he was tempted to put his foot down and tell Morgan to keep Logan on ‘or else’ Brice knew it really wasn’t his place to do so. Not if he didn’t want to alienate his contractor. “I understand,” he said instead. “Budgets are budgets. You and you people are doing an excellent job. I just hope this won’t slow things down.”

“It won’t. By the way, as long as you’re up here I need to get your opinion on something.” Morgan started down the hall and Brice had no choice but to follow. A moment later he cast a look over his shoulder and saw that Logan had already left. Now, I have to find some other way to talk to him and that probably won’t be easy.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hunted - 15

A week after his talk with Logan, Brice drove from his condo to his new house—this time late in the afternoon. He had spent some of the intervening days trying to find out more about Logan---in the hope that he’d left something out about himself—only to discover that what Logan had told him had been the full truth. Still something niggled at him. It had been the truth, but there seemed to be things missing—details. He had managed to get in contact with a couple of people from the small town where Logan grew up. They remembered him and his family, but only vaguely. One of the people, a sheriff’s deputy who was willing to talk to him, once he found out who Brice was, said that the family had apparently moved away about the same time Logan had left school.

“Just up and disappeared, as far as we can figure,” the deputy told him. “Left the house vacant, didn’t take much with them either from the look of it.”

“Was it a large family?” Brice had asked.

“Parents, three siblings---Logan was the youngest—and a few relatives who came and went. The father owned a small store in town. It could have been larger but he had no head for business. Let his kids run it half the time, or his brother, while he went off and did who knows what with the rest of his family. They were strange ones but never caused no trouble.”

The fact that Logan’s father wasn’t a business man at heart might explain why Logan had majored in business, to help him out, Brice thought. He did wonder why, if the family moved to somewhere else, Logan hadn’t gotten his degree and then joined them rather than quitting and moving out here on his own.

If nothing else, Brice thought wryly as he parked his car across from the house, his interest in Logan had kept him from going totally bug-fuck from his enforced time off from the show.

When he entered the house he was surprised at how much progress had been made since his last visit. But then again given what I’m paying for this, they’d damned well better be moving along quickly. The rooms on the first floor were walled in now and the crew had begun adding the hardwood paneling and wainscoting. The sweeping staircases were complete and he took one set up to the second floor where his library, study and the master bedroom would be. Again the interior walls of each room were well on their way to completion, as were the hardwood floors.

He smiled to himself, forgetting for the moment why he was there. The dream he had had for more years than he cared to think about was finally coming together. This was place that was truly his own—and would prove to everyone that he had some real worth. That he wasn’t just ‘that actor’ from television dramas who made the tabloid headlines with his outrageous antics.

A voice from behind him gruffly asked him to get out of the way. He immediately stepped aside to let two workmen carrying supplies get by. That reminded him of his original purpose in being there. He stopped another man to ask if he knew where Logan was. The man pointed and Brice headed up the stairs to the third floor.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hunted - 14

“I’ve been here for less than a month. Maybe you just saw me on the street at some point?” Logan smiled slightly. “Maybe I stuck in you mind because of my hair. I know it’s distinctive.”

“Definitely. But no, that’s not it. There’s something…” With a shake of his head, Brice took a bite of his pastrami sandwich to give him time to think. “Where were you before you came here?” he finally asked.

“Nowhere you’ve been, I’m sure. I grew up outside a small town in Idaho. Then I went to college, also in Idaho.”

“You’re right, I’ve never been there. Off topic, but what was your major?”

“Business management and marketing.”

“Then why are you working as a laborer? You should easily be able to get a job in your field.”

Logan shrugged. “I had to leave before I graduated, so with no degree people aren’t interested.”

“Pity. I suspect you’d be good at it.”

Logan arched an eyebrow in disbelief. “Just what do you base that opinion on?”

“Instinct, maybe. I’m an actor, so I think I'm better at reading people than the average guy.”

“I know, you play a werewolf in a TV show.”

“You’ve seen it?” Brice asked, preening a bit.

“Saw a bit of one episode. I wasn’t impressed.”

“Oh.” Brice slumped a little.

“Oh, you were okay. Most of the actors were, I suppose. But the whole story is hokum, as least from what I can gather about it from my friends, who are faithful viewers.”

Brice chuckled softly. “You’re an expert on vampires and werewolves?”

Logan’s reply was to smile and shake his head. Then he finally picked up his sandwich and began to eat, after a quick check of the time.

Brice noted that and told him, “I’m the big boss, I’ll alibi you if you’re late.”

“That won’t be necessary because I won’t be late. I’m sorry I couldn’t answer your question but I honestly don’t think we’ve ever met.” Logan said the words, but inside he had a strong feeling he knew the real answer to Brice’s question. They hadn’t met, but like called to like, and Brice was a shifter, no matter how deeply he’d been able to bury his second nature, for whatever reason. Perhaps because he couldn’t accept what he was.

“I suppose you’re right,” Brice said. “Though it’s still going to bug me,” he admitted with a small smile.

Logan nodded and they finished their meal in silence. Then Logan excused himself, thanked Brice, and headed back to work. Brice watched him leave and shook his head. I know I’m not wrong. Somehow I do know you Mr. Logan Fitzgerald.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hunted - 13

Logan and two men he worked with walked down the front steps of the house on their way to a small restaurant a block away, where they usually went for lunch. He stopped short when he heard someone call his name.

“Uh oh,” one of his companions said, with a nod towards the red Ferrari that sat across the street from them. “That’s the owner. You know him, Logan?”

“No.” Logan frowned when he saw the man beckon for him to come over.

“Better go see what he wants. Maybe he’s going to make you his designer for the place or something.” His other companion laughed.

“As if,” Logan replied with a snort. After a moment’s hesitation he told them, “Go on, I’ll catch up with you at the restaurant.” The last thing he wanted to do was talk to Mr. Brice Davies in front of them. Especially since he knew what the man was. But he had to find out if Davies knew he, too, was a shifter. So reluctantly he crossed the street to stand beside the car window.

“I’d like to have a word or two with you in private,” Brice said and then introduced himself.

“I know who you are,” Logan told him. “A TV actor and the owner of the house I’m working on.” He tapped his fingers on the roof of the car as he looked down at Brice. “So?”

“So… Look this is awkward I know. There’s a small deli a couple of blocks from here. Would you let me buy you lunch in exchange for a few minutes of your time?”

Logan shrugged. “Sure, why not, as long as you don’t mind walking there. No way am I getting in the car with you.”

Brice winced at the implication but nodded in agreement and got out.

Their pace, as they headed to the deli, was fast and tense, as if they both wanted this over with so they could get back to their normal lives. Logan glanced often at Brice but saw nothing to clue him in on why the man wanted this talk.

“Order whatever you want,” Brice said as they stood at the deli counter.  

Logan glanced at the menu posted behind the counter, got a sandwich and a drink then followed Brice to a just vacated table at the back of the room. When they were seated he asked without preamble, “What did you need to talk about?”

“Right to the point,” Brice replied before he took a sip of his coffee. “So I will be as well. I have the strongest feeling that I know you from somewhere and it’s driving me crazy because I can’t figure out where.”

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hunted - 12

Logan glanced at the doorway, then quickly away, when he saw the man from the restaurant standing there. What the hell, was his first reaction, followed by, Not possible.

He heard the man walk away and moved to the door to track his movements.

“That’s the man who owns this place,” one of the other men commented when he noted Logan's interest. “Some actor, or so they say.”

“Yeah,” a second man said. “He plays a werewolf on a TV show. My daughter watches it religiously.”

“Typecasting, according to my wife,” the first man said as he got back to work. “Apparently he’s a real wolf when it comes to chasing the women, and has a temper to match one as well. At least from what she’s read in the scandal sheets.”

Typecasting is right, but not the way you’re thinking, ran quickly through Logan’s mind. If he’d had hackles at that moment, they’d have risen the second he picked up the man’s scent. How the hell..? But he knew how. It was the same way he kept his dual nature a secret---by being careful to the point of paranoia.

Now he had to wonder why the man hadn’t reacted to the fact that he was there. Or perhaps he had. Perhaps that’s why he’d paused at the door for a long minute before moving on. Although, when he considered it, maybe the man had been concealing his dual nature for so long it had dulled his senses. Logan had heard that could happen if a shifter didn’t let his animal side out from time to time. If so, and Logan prayed that was it, the man must have just been checking up on their progress.

* * * *

When Brice returned to his condo he found he couldn’t stay still. The trip to the house, which should have relaxed him, had instead intensified his tension.

Who the hell is he? Why do I feel as if we’ve met somewhere before and not here in the city? Maybe if I knew his name.

That was easily remedied he realized. He quickly placed a call to Morgan. When he answered, Brice described the man in question. Morgan recognized him immediately and after a quick check of his records he gave Brice a name.

So, Logan Fitzgerald, why are you familiar? He knew his thoughts were running in circles. He also knew they wouldn’t stop until he had an answer to the question. And the best way to do that would be to return to the house and hope that Logan would talk to him.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hunted - 11

Brice woke the next morning feeling sore and out of sorts, not sure he was ready to face the idea of being at liberty for six weeks. As he showered he considered the idea of an extended vacation, but couldn’t think of anywhere he wanted to go that he hadn’t been to already. He got out, dried off, thought about shaving then muttered “The hell with it,” and went to get dressed.

After a protracted, and to him tasteless, breakfast, Brice wandered the condo. He paused to pick up the game controller then tossed it down in disgust. A check of the few books he owned proved uninteresting. He wasn’t the least bit inclined to go down to the building’s gym to work out, and it was still a bit chilly for a swim. He could go for a run, but one look at the cloud-filled sky and he put that idea on hold as well.

There was one thing he could do, he realized with a bit of a smile. It would at least kill a couple of hours or more if he put his mind to it. He snagged his jacket from the front hall closet then headed out.

Half an hour later he pulled off of Lake Shore Drive to head west into Lincoln Park. When he turned onto the street he needed, he sighed. There were trucks and cars parked the length of it. He finally found a parking place a block away then strolled back to his destination. He stopped across the street to look at the house. Even after two months it still gave him a thrill to realize it was his, lock, stock and barrel.

He crossed the street, walked up the short sidewalk to the steps and through the open front door.

“Hey, Brice,” he heard someone call out. Turning, he saw Morgan, the head contractor, nodded and went to join him.

“How’s it going?” Brice asked. 

“We’re actually a bit ahead of schedule. I was going to call you to get you down here but you saved me the trouble. Come on, I’ll give you a tour so you can see where we’re at.”

With all the non-load bearing walls gone and only the bare studs visible the ground floor seemed cavernous. Brice took it all in as he imagined what it would look like when it was finished. The workmen had started on the sweeping staircases. They would lead to the second floor from the back of what was going to be a massive entry hall. Off to the left was the area that eventually would become a living room running the depth of the house. To the right, the plans called for a dining room. The kitchen and pantry would fill the rest of that side of the ground floor.

Brice followed Morgan to the flight of stairs at the back of the ground floor that had been left intact to give access to the second floor. When they got up there, Brice saw the new walls had already been framed in and men were putting up drywall. As they walked down the hall, Brice envisioned it with the long balcony that would span the area between the two staircases.

“This is going to be perfect,” he told Morgan.

“I agree, although I have a few suggestions I’d like you to think about.”

They spent the next twenty minutes moving from room to room on this floor, and then the one above it, as Morgan talked and Brice listened. With only a couple of small quibbles, Brice agreed to all of Morgan’s changes.

They were on their way to the stairs when Brice suddenly pulled to a halt at a doorway to what would be a guest bedroom. Several men were inside, taping and mudding the drywall. One instantly caught his attention when he saw the flaming red hair showing from under the man’s hardhat.

The man turned slightly to say something to one of the workmen beside him, and Brice again got the feeling that he knew him from somewhere. If only I could figure out where. He was sorely tempted to go talk to him but Morgan said something that required his attention and he put that thought aside.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hunted - 10

Logan nodded, then asked something that had puzzled him since Kief had told him he was an interior decorator. “How come, since you all have good jobs, you’re living in what’s essentially a boarding house instead of having your own places?”

“Because my mom owns the house,” Skye replied. “And I’ve known Kief and Noah forever, so when mom decided to turn this into rental units we jumped on the chance to pretty much take over. Mom makes money, we get to live together as friends without other people we don’t know all around us. Make sense?”

“I suppose. But why did she rent to me then?”

Kief laughed. “Her mom’s a sucker for down-and-outers, and no offense but that’s what you come across as. So when you showed up on the doorstep to ask if there were any vacancies, she’d have found one even if she had to make me and Noah share a room.”

“Which wouldn’t have bothered either one of them one bit,” Skye added with a grin.

“Yeah it would have, because we each like our own space at times. But that’s not the point. She’d been talking about maybe turning the front half of the attic into another room to rent but hadn’t gotten around to doing anything more than talk.”

Skye nodded. “So you were a God-send, Logan.”

“Well I haven’t really done much to it…” He stopped when something on the television, which was on but with the sound muted, caught his eye. “I’ve seen him before, about a week ago. He was coming out of a restaurant.”

“Which one, the vampire or the were-wolf?”

“The blonde. He was not happy.”

“Wish I’d been there,” Skye said with a romantic sigh. “I’d have tried to…well…”

“Make him happy?” Kief chuckled.

“Wouldn’t you have, if he was gay?”

Kief shrugged as he watched the actor. “Maybe.”

Logan shook his head. “From the look on his face, you could have walked up to him nude and he wouldn’t have noticed you. He was one seriously pissed off individual.”

“Just like his character, so maybe he was getting into the mood.”

“Who knows?” Logan got up, pleading the need to get out of his work clothes and take a shower, and left the room.

“You do have a way with you, Skye,” Kief commented. “You actually got him to hold a conversation, as short as it was.”

Skye replied, “It’s my innate charm and beauty,” then rolled her eyes when Kief broke out laughing.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hunted - 9

“Where’s Noah? I thought you two were joined at the hip these days,” Skye said when Kief walked into the communal living room to flop down at the other end of the sofa.

“He got called into work.”

“At this hour?” Logan gave Kief a puzzled look from the archway. “What does he do?”

“He’s an accountant, and with the end of the quarter plus the end of some of his clients’ fiscal years he’s pretty much at their beck and call.” Kief sighed. “Unfortunately.”

“That’s rough.” Logan shook his head, about to continue on his way upstairs.

“Hey,” Skye called out, “before you vanish, again, who are you other than the mysterious man who lives in the attic?”

Logan paused, chuckled, and told her, “I’m Logan and you must be Skye.”

“I am. Come on in and be sociable. I want to know all about you.”

“Oh that’s really going to make him want to join us,” Kief muttered with a laugh.

After a moment’s hesitation Logan shrugged and came into the room.

“Sit,” Skye ordered with a nod to the chair next to where she sat on the sofa.

“She’s bossy,” Kief pointed out, “but we still love her.”

“Am not,” Skye protested.

“Are too.”

Logan watched the interchange with amusement as he sat down. “So what do you want to know?”

“Name, rank, serial number, past history, sexual preferences, all of the above.” Skye grinned at him.

“Humm. Okay. Logan Fitzgerald, low man on the totem pole at the moment, no serial number. Past history? I grew up out west, was studying business management and marketing until I had to drop out a couple of months before graduating.” Before they could ask why, he gave them the same story he’d given all the job interviewers, “I ran out of money and, well…” he shrugged.

“Hey, at least you got close. I never even had the cash to get into college to say the least of making it through four years,” Skye told him with a rueful smile. “So now I’m a secretary.”

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hunted - 8

Brice tossed the script down on the table with an angry glare at the rest of the people sitting around it. “You’re killing me off?” he growled, sounding like the character he played on the show.

“Only temporarily,” one of the writers said cautiously. She didn’t want him to turn on her, but felt it implicit upon herself to point out that fact, as no one else had.

“How long is ‘temporarily’?” Brice asked coldly.

“Six weeks,” the director told him. “Enough time to get your fans rallying to bring you back. It makes for great publicity.”

Brice scowled at him. “And just what am I supposed to do during this hiatus, take up knitting?”

“You knit?” his co-star asked snarkily. “I thought all you did was…” A cautionary throat clearing from the director shut him up.

“Brice, it’s not the end of the world,” the co-director told him. “Take the time to relax. Maybe go on a vacation; get away from the city for a while.”

Brice took a deep breath to rein in his temper and nodded. “Yeah I can do that I guess. But,” his temper flared again as he headed to the door, “by all that’s holy, if this is just your way to get rid of me, I’ll sue the whole damned lot of you for breach of contract and anything else my lawyer can think of.”

Once outside the room, he strode down the hallway, anger and tension rolling off him so strongly that people he passed almost jumped to get out of his way. When he got into his car in the studio parking lot, he slammed his fist against the steering wheel.

“What the fuck’s going on in my life,” he raged. “First the idiot walks out on me and now this. Who do they think they’re screwing around with?” He turned the key in the ignition and moments later the red Ferrari was racing out of the lot, barely missing an oncoming car.

Several minutes later Brice screeched to a stop in front of the building housing his condo, jumped out of the car, and tossed the keys to the valet as he stormed past him. When he got into his place he poured a good stiff drink which he downed in two quick gulps, after which he poured another. With that one in hand he went out onto his balcony to lean against the railing and look out over the city.

He sipped the second drink slowly, his expression tight with emotion. Then he took out his cell, dialed a number and when his call was answered he said sharply, “You, here, now,” and hung up without waiting for a response.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hunted - 7

With Kief’s help, Logan figured out where to find the house he was supposed to go to for the job—and what bus would take him within a block of it. As he walked from the bus stop to the street and turned the corner, he knew immediately from the vehicles in front of it which house he needed.

“Damn,” he muttered when he realized it was huge—a real mansion that stood three stories tall, all white limestone and brick, with trees surrounding it on both sides. He walked up the short sidewalk to the steps and through the open doorway. Chaos met him. Controlled chaos but still… The interior of the ground floor had been gutted down to the studs. He presumed the same held true for the floors above him.

He stood hesitantly until a man came up to him with a look that said he had better have a reason to be there. Logan told him who he was supposed to report to and was immediately handed a hardhat and sent off to the right, toward the only place he could see with a standing wall and a door. He opened it cautiously, and found himself in a small work area with a large table. Blueprints and designs were spread over it and two men stood at one end talking.

One of them looked over, saw him and asked if he was the man from the day labor service. When Logan said he was, the man introduced himself as Mr. Morgan.

“Go find Johnny. He should be on the second floor, short, dark hair, red plaid shirt.”

Logan nodded and went in search him. Eventually, he found Johnny at the back of the second floor. Johnny turned him over to one of the other men and Logan soon found himself so busy he barely had time to think.

Eight hours later he was told to stop for the day. When he asked if he should return the next morning, Johnny said, “Hell yes. You work as hard as you did today and you’re here ‘til this is finished.”

With a great deal of relief, which made up for his aching muscles, Logan left. Too tired to wait for the bus and make the long ride back to the house, he found a deserted spot where no one could see him and flashed back to his room.