This was all wrong. What happened? It wasn't suppose to be this way. Now, River was with Declan.
"How did that happened?" Gage looked at Sage as if he couldn't figure it out. Wasn't River suppose to hit it off with Spencer..so then Spencer would have no need to bother with Noah? As it was Spencer was safe in his room going, over car prices on his laptop. He was getting a new car, after all. So it wasn't all bad.
"You..you cannot play this game. Ever again." She laid down the law. He looked at his text book once more as if he would do the right thing. He slightly nodded. "Promise?"
"Promise." He wanted to look like he was studying, but he couldn't.
"I dunno, what I'd do..if..if something happened to Declan." She hugged herself and went to take the clothes out of the dryer.
"Like what?" He called.
"I have no idea what River is capable of." She told him.
"I'm not sure if I know what you mean?" Gage squinted hard.
"He might have already done something to him." She sounded as if it were unspeakable.
Gage stared at her when she got back to the kitchen with a warm basket of clothes.
Well, now he felt guilty. What if Declan were robbed or raped? Was River like that? Gage got up.
"I'll go check on him. Right now." He put on his coat and flop-eared furry cap. Actually, he wanted to get away from the homework for a little while. He'd looked at the pages until his eyes burned.
"You don't have to." She called after him, but he didn't listen. He got in her car and drove right on down to Declan's. In minutes, he was standing in the cold. ringing the doorbell. River was at work, but Declan was home. It took a few minutes, but Declan let him in.
"So how's it going?" Gage said the first thing he could think of.
"Not bad." Declan looked at him with those saucer eyes of his. Declan was in his grey sweat pants with a blue cardigan over his black Tee.
"River still here?" Gage looked around. The house wasn't tore up.
"Uh-huh." Declan nodded. He looked all of a little man. Possibly half man. Close enough to be just a boy.
"So, what's he like?" Gage thought he should sit.
"Fine, I guess." Declan shrugged.
"That's all you gotta say about him?" Gage thought there should be more. "Sage is worried."
"Really?" Declan's eyes lit up. "Look, um, you know, Halloween, was just a fun time. I just wanted to be someone different, and you know..." Gage noted the crack in his voice as he listened. "I was only trying to be somebody else that night..when I was ..with Sage."
"So you're different now?" Gage looked at him as if he'd made some sort of invisible transition that the naked eye couldn't explain.
"I guess so." Declan nodded.
"How different?" Gage winced. "Is this something..River did, to you?" Gage was feeling guilty, again.
"River's not like you think. He wants a home, too, you know." Declan told him. He offered him a chocolate chip cookie then. River made them.
Gage bit into the cookie. It was homemade goodness.
"Maybe Sage and I can come over sometime. She'll want to see for herself, if you're OK." He picked up another cookie. "Can I take her a cookie?" For all he knew, she'd want to put it under a microscope.