We were sitting on the sofa. Well, I was sitting while Dillon was lying with his head on my lap and his long legs propped up on the arm of the sofa. Under normal circumstances, this would not be allowed. However, my baby didn't feel good and he was hot to the touch. I'd taken his temp and it was high but not high enough to become concern. He was breathing somewhat ragged through his mouth since his nose was plugged up. He whimpered when I took the now warm washcloths off his forehead and neck. I dropped them into an old ice-cream bucket I had setting next to me on the end table. I rung them out and reapplied them. He gave a soft whisper of thanks before he closed his eyes again.
We sat there for a while. That is, I sat and he laid. When I felt him shivered, I pulled the sheet over him that I had flipped over the back of the sofa. Once again he whispered his thanks. I put the book down I was reading and started to lightly scratch his chest. He has a tattoo of a panther on his chest and it looked like it was climbing out oh him. I laid my head back, closed my eyes and dozed off. It has been a long night.
It was just a little over a year ago, that David and I were sitting at a local Taco Bell, getting lunch when the call came in. I gave the siren a flip, waited and then hit it again to give the signal we had a call. David came running with two bags in one hand and a cup holder in the other. David stated to toss the stuff in the trash.
"No, you eat and I'll drive. Allen would kill me if I let you go hungry," I told him as I slid into the driver seat. "Bad enough I let you have junk food."
When we got to the accident there was a 24-foot Budget truck lying on it side. To my surprise there were no other cars around. Only one truck on the opposite of the road, and once we got there the driver waved to us and left. I walked around to the front of the truck to see if the driver was alright. The first thing I saw was a pair of gold cat eyes looking at me over a waistband of a pair of tight fitting Lee jeans that hung low off the man's hips. I assess the driver who seemed rather scrawny. I could almost count his ribs as he was shirtless even for it being still cold out. His hair was faded lavender and hung to the middle of his back. He had it tied back into a ponytail.
The boy was doing his best to stand but I could tell he was hurt because his left leg barely touch the ground and when it did, he lifted it up fast. He was trying to figure out how to get out of the truck.
He jumped when I rapped on the window. As he spun around to face me I saw a pair of eyes that showed he was scared out of his mind; they were huge. On his chest was a tattoo of a panther trying to climb his way out of the man's chest. I had never seen anyone with gold eyes before. When I heard David up on the side of the cab, I got my mind back on my job and off the boy in front of me. I glance up to see David open the driver door. The boy's head jerked upright.
"We're here to help you," I told him. He just looked back at me. I could see a small cut about his right eye brow. His bangs hung over his left eye and he was holding his right arm to his chest.
"Hey kid, try to climb up!" I heard David yell at him. The boy did his best to reach up but couldn't because of his right side hurting him and his left leg.
"I can't!" he yelled back. "It hurt," he whimpered.
"Okay, turn around and face the back of the cab. Gary will kick the window out." David told him.
"No, it cost too much to fix and I already fucked it up enough," the boy said as he once again tried to get out by himself.
I rapped on the window and he looked at me. "Turn around and face the back. Now!" I ordered. He did as he was told. It took about five good kickes before the window gave-way in a crumble. He jumped and I took his hand, helping him out of the cab while doing my best to keep him turned so he would not see the truck. At first glance it seems to be totaled. As I helped him to the side of the road, he turned and saw what had happen.
"Oh fuck, he's going to kill me!"
I felt him go weak in the legs and I quickly laid him down on the ground.
David came up to me, bringing over the stuff we needed to assess the situation.
"My name is Gary and this is my Partner David," I told him as I started to check him out. "What's your name?" I asked, making him look at me. When I touched his arm, I got light-headed for a minute. I gasp and David looked at me, shaking his head as he gave me a knowing smile.
"Dill, Dillon Anderson," he said as he rolled his head from side to side.
"Hey, don't do that," David said as he placed the collar on him.
"Sick," Dillon managed to get out and we quickly rolled him to his side while he just dry-heaved.
"Dillon, I am going to cut your pants up the legs so we can see if there's any damage is done" I told him. As I took the hem of his pants and let my scissors slid up the front of them, his hand came to stop me about his pocket. I looked up at him and he gave me a sly grin. I removed the scissors and went to the other leg.
The whole time we assessed, David was talking to the hospital in the area. I heard sirens and people came running up beside us. I stayed with him as long as I could but once he was laid on the stretcher, it was my cue to go.
"Is there anyone you want us to call for you? Mom, Dad, brother, sister?" One of the guys asked as they loaded him into the back of the ambulance. I saw him shake his head no.
We headed back to the bay but my mind was on the boy. "Hey" I felt a punch on my arm. David was giving me a sly look.
"Man, you got it so bad," David told me.
"What do I have badly?" I asked him.
"You care for that boy," David told me.
"Hogwash," I told him as I grabbed up my lunch and shoved a taco into my mouth. I bite into it. Yes, I was thinking of that boy and how much I hated cold tacos. I ate the one and then shoved the bag between the seats.
Four hours later, we were once again heading back to the bay. Once there I change clothes and headed to my car. David came running up to me and handed me my lunch from the truck.
I headed home only to find out I was about out of gas, so I headed to the mini-mart close to home. I went in, paid for the gas and headed out. When I got outside I heard, "Where's the fucking truck and my stuff," some guy was yelling. Then a small voice saying, "I don't know." It was Dillon.
I walked around the corner just in time to see someone slap Dillon so hard his head hit the wall of the mini-mart.
"Dillon, get in my car!" I ordered as I pointed to the car at the gas pumps. He looked up at me and blinked, got up and slipped between me and the other man. I turned and followed him toward the car. When we got there, I hit the button on my key chain to unlock the door and Dillon got in. I pumped the gas the whole time the man just stood and watched us.
I opened my door and got in. "Buckle up," I told him as I shut the door. I saw him eye the bag as I quickly glanced to see if I could see any blood on his head.
"They're cold but if you want `um, you can eat `um," I told him. He dug into them like there was no tomorrow. I pointed to the water and he took it and drank it fast.
"When was the last time you ate?" I asked him. I also notice once we got into a confined area that the boy stunk badly.
"Damn, that was good," he said as he finished the last of the water. "And just now," he told me. "Where are you taking me anyway?" he asked finally as he watch the scenery go by.
"Home for now: you still hungry?" I asked. He didn't say anything but the look on his face told me yes. I figured if he could swallow a couple of soggy cold tacos in a few bites, he had to be starving.
I turn into my apartment complex and finding my space empty, I pulled in and turn off the car and got out. Dillon still sat in the car, so I went over and opened his door.
"Come on," I told him. He got out and followed me. I stopped at the mail box, got my mail and went to my apartment once. Dillon wiped his feet and stepped in. I dropped the mail on the counter and went into the kitchen. I pulled two bottle of water out of the fridge and turned around to find him standing by the open door.
"Shut the door and come in," I told him. Dillon stepped in and looked around. "It has one bedroom, bathroom and as you can see, a front room, and a dinning/kitchen combo," I told him. He just gave me a smile. I pointed to the sofa and he sat while I quickly checked out his head to make sure he was actually alright. I know I should have done that right after the incident, but I wanted to get out of the area before the guy realized what had happened.
"Would you like to take a shower?" I asked.
"I don't have any clothes with me," he said.
"I think my sweats might fit. They'll be big, but clean," I told him. "Come on." I went down the small hall and he followed. Once in the bathroom, I showed him where the towels were and gave him a toothbrush, comb and soap. I left as I heard the water come on and went to order food. Once that was ordered, I went to the bedroom and found what was needed and laid it out on the bed.
About twenty minutes later, I heard the shower turn off and the door open. "Hey dude," I heard him call out to me. I came out of the kitchen area and the sight took my breath away. Dillon stood with the towel wrapped around his waist. His hair was long and a dinghy brown color, his eyes were just as blue as the sky. I just started at him.
"We're the clothes?" he asked.
"They're in the room," I told him and pointed to the door across the hall. He gave me a smile and shut the door.
It only took him a few minutes to get dress and I was right, my clothes were baggy on him.
"I hope you like sea food, because I am hungry for crab," I told him.
"Yeah, I'm not picky. Right now, I would probably eat liver," he told me, but his face told me he probably didn't like liver.
When the food arrived, I laid out the paper plates and we started to eat. Boy, I am glad I ordered more than I normally do. I had never seen anyone eat like that.
"So tell me, Dill, where are you from?" I asked him. He stopped with the food mid-way to his mouth, then cocked an eyebrow up and shoved crab cake into his mouth. Chewed slowly he swallowed, licked his lips and sat back.
"Small town California," he told me.
"What do you do?" I asked
"This and that; things with computers"
"So what happen to the gold eyes" I asked him.
"Oh contacts, I like looking different, makes people wonder what you are up to." He told me as he pushed some food around his plate.
We sat and talked about this and that until it was bedtime. I helped him make a bed on the sofa and then I went to bed myself. I was not sure what time it was when I felt something touch my bed and I looked over to see Dillon wrapped in the sheet, standing by the bed.
"Cold," he told me and I lifted the covers. He drops the sheet and slipped in and snuggled beside me. Something deep inside told me this was where he belonged.
I was brought back to the present when he coughed. I reached over and pushed his bangs out of his eyes. `Yeap, time for a doctor's visit,' I thought when I felt his forehead.