Common Duty

Common Duty

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Summary

Carrie has sole custody of her younger brother, a twelve year old in a twenty-two year old body. Caleb struggles with daily life and acceptance and Carrie struggles with keeping him out of trouble. Can an unlikely source help her straighten things out with her brother and help her see that men aren't out to break her heart at the same time? This is one of my lighter stories, nothing too crazy just a simple romance to take my mind out of the gutter for a while. I hope you enjoy.

Summary

Carrie has sole custody of her younger brother, a twelve year old in a twenty-two year old body. Caleb struggles with daily life and acceptance and Carrie struggles with keeping him out of trouble. Can an unlikely source help her straighten things out with her brother and help her see that men aren't out to break her heart at the same time?
This is one of my lighter stories, nothing too crazy just a simple romance to take my mind out of the gutter for a while. I hope you enjoy.

Chapter42 (v.1) - Finding Caleb

Author Chapter Note

I'm a little apprehensive about posting this one but I can't be stuck on it forever so here goes. Hope you can get something out of it.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 02, 2019

Reads: 218

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 02, 2019

A A A

A A A

Caleb woke in the middle of the night to his stomach growling, he hadn’t eaten more than a bag of chips at Zach’s house and now he was starving. He found his shoes and made his way to the door. He wanted to find food but didn’t have a clue where to begin looking. He looked in the window of Asfour’s shop, there was plenty of food in there, he knew it was wrong to steal but he figured he could just tell Asfour what he took and pay for it like he did last time he stole. He couldn’t find a way in as he walked around checking the doors and windows. Then he remembered the storage building around back sometimes had food if there was a large shipment and the lock wasn’t always the most secure. He was grateful when he yanked on the door and managed to pry it open. He snuck in and rummaged through the boxes for food. As he sat eating packages of donuts he worried about what he would do. He wondered if Mr. Asfour would still let him work even if he didn’t live with Carrie, he didn’t want to go back home, maybe he could get an apartment like Nate and live on his own. Then he could see Nate and never have to see Jordan again. He didn’t like Jordan. 

He froze when he realized there were blue lights outside the door. He worried that he would be in trouble, he peaked through the opening and watched as an officer started checking the windows and doors on the store. Now was his chance before they spotted him, he made a mad dash for the exit and started running down the alley. He didn’t escape their view though and they started chasing him. Caleb was fast but he could hear the man’s footfalls gaining on him, the officer kept yelling at him to stop but Caleb feared he’d be in too much trouble so he kept running.

*******************

Nate ran a hand through his hair as he turned on Turner Street. He’d been by the warehouse twice; the first time Caleb hadn’t returned, the second time Caleb had returned but he’d just missed him. He was roaming the streets looking for the young man when he caught wind of a break in attempt. He was reluctant to pull away from his search, he technically wasn’t even on shift at the moment but if he could help than he knew he had to be there. Once he realized the address was Asfour’s shop he started to stress that it could be Caleb and rushed over. When he arrived he found a fellow officer had Caleb in the back of an ambulance. His heart beat out of his chest as he worried how injured Caleb could be.

Mr. Asfour stood nearby, the owner lived on the second floor and called when he suspected a possible break in. If he’d known it was Caleb he wouldn’t have called. Nate talked to both the officer and Asfour before he stepped up to the ambulance to check on Caleb, he was bruised and scraped up but he wasn’t seriously injured. The medic informed him they were taking him to the hospital because he injured his leg when he tripped and they wanted to make sure it wasn’t broken.

“Do you mind if I have a minute to talk to him?” Nate asked.

The medic agreed and left the van to give them a minute. Nate sat next to Caleb and noticed the young man wouldn’t look at him. “Caleb.” He stated forcing him to acknowledge him. His heart ripped in two when the boy started to sob. He quickly wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close. “I’m sorry.” He whispered into his messy hair. Caleb continued to cry and all Nate could do was hold him. When his body stopped trembling he pulled Caleb away to look at him. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

Caleb sniffled. “Everything is wrong.”

“Let’s break it down into specifics. Are you upset because I haven’t been by?”

Caleb nodded and then offered. “I don’t like Jordan. I don’t want him there. Can’t you come back?”

Nate was torn, there was nothing he could do about Carries decision to end their relationship and it angered him that it was hurting Caleb. Did she have any idea he felt this way. She must have, otherwise she wouldn’t have asked him to come by and see Caleb. “Maybe.” He offered as he considered Carries request that he spend time with Caleb. “I don’t know if Jordan will ever not be there but I can promise that I’ll be there more often, every chance I can get. I’ll be there for you.” He didn’t like the idea of seeing Carie and Jordan together but he wouldn’t let anything happen to Caleb.

Caleb nodded accepting the promise but Nate was concerned that something more was happening with Jordan. “Why don’t you like Jordan?”

Caleb shrugged. “He hates baseball and he made you leave.”

Nate frowned. He didn’t expect the last part. He regretted that he hadn’t gone by the house to see Caleb but in the last few weeks he had stopped to talk to him at the store and Caleb never seemed disappointed. He wasn’t good at showing his emotions.

“Are you mad at me?” Caleb asked cautiously.

Nate shook his head. “No, of course not. But I do need you to talk to me next time. Don’t run away like that again. You had your sister and I both worried, not to mention Mr. Asfour and the rest of your family.”

********************

Carrie panicked at the sight of Nate’s number on her screen, she’d been driving around with Jordan looking for Caleb and it was so late she worried it would be bad news.

“I have Caleb. He is safe but we are taking him to the hospital because he might have a busted ankle.”

“Oh thank God!” She breathed out relieved he’d been found. They made their way to the hospital.

After talking to Mr. Asfour and discovering what Caleb’s intentions had been the shop owner refused to press charges and even offered to pay for the ambulance and medical bills. He saw Caleb as a son he’d never had and didn’t want the boy to be in any trouble. He knew the kid meant no harm.

At the hospital Nate pulled Carrie to the side as they waited for Caleb to get done with his X-ray’s. He told her everything Caleb had said in the ambulance and her shocked features told him she had no idea Caleb felt that way about Jordan. “That doesn’t make sense.” She spoke her thoughts out loud as she looked over at Jordan and worried how he would take the information. They both turned as Caleb was wheeled into a private room to wait for a doctor and get the results of his x-rays.

She watched Caleb as she worried he might try to run away again. He was in a lot of pain right now, his ankle was swollen and bruised but fortunately not broken. Nate’s words rang in her ears and she tried to understand why Caleb would suddenly not like Jordan, they had been best buds in the past. Jordan had always been kind to Caleb and gave him attention like playing games together. She never thought Caleb would think Jordan was the reason that Nate wasn’t around, she told him she’d broken up with him. She would talk to Caleb tonight and assure him that Jordan wasn’t the cause of her breaking up with Nate. 

After her worrisome day she was grateful for some rest and hoped that Jordan would leave after he helped Caleb hobble into the house and to his bed. They both stepped out of Caleb’s room and Carrie stared down the hall at her own room ready to be in her own bed. She was fortunate that Marci had agreed to open for her the following day because she didn’t see herself waking before nine in the morning. She looked back at Jordan and let out a sigh. She had to see him out before she could go to bed. She made an attempt to walk towards the front of the house. “Thanks for all your help today.”

She was grateful when he started to follow, at the kitchen he stalled her pursuit to the door. “Carrie.”

She turned to face him with a tired smile.

He set his hands on her waist, she put her hands on his arms to stop him. “Jordan?”

He gave a soft kiss on the lips. “It’s really late. Why don’t I stay the night and help you keep an eye on Caleb? He might try to sneak out again.”

She shook her head. “He’s not going anywhere with his leg busted up, he’d make too much noise if he tried. I’m tired and ready to get some rest.”

He pushed a little further. “I’d really like to stay the night. I’m worried about you. I can help with Caleb.”

She pulled from his grasp. “I appreciate that you want to help, I really do but I don’t want you staying the night. I need to talk to Caleb tomorrow and we need to work some things out before he gets any more confused.”

“What do you think he’s confused about?”

“I think he’s confused about us and maybe he’s confused about what happened between Nate and me.” She took a deep breath. “I need to take some time and make sure Caleb is okay before I do anymore damage.”

Jordan stepped back a look of bewilderment on his face, he was reading more than what she was actually saying and he feared she would step further away from him. “Okay.” He kissed her cheek and gave a brief hug. “I’ll come by and check on you guys tomorrow.”

The following morning she sat Caleb down and explained how worried she’d been and how much she regretted that she hadn’t paid more attention to how he was feeling about Nate not being around. “I think it would be a good idea if we have Nate over for dinner. Even though him and I are no longer dating doesn’t mean we can’t all be friends.”

Caleb smiled, his eagerness to hang out with Nate proven when he asked. “Can he come over today?”

Carrie smiled. “I’m positive he’ll be coming by to check on you today.”

She watched his face fall. “Will Jordan be here?”

“It won’t matter if he is. Nate is your friend and he is welcome here anytime. Okay?”

Caleb smiled. “Okay.”

As she suspected Nate did stop by that afternoon. Carrie was all nerves as she worried how things might go with Jordan there but the two men managed to avoid each other and she was grateful. Nate wasn’t able to stay long due to a call on his radio but it was enough to let Caleb know he’d be coming by more often and would be taking him to work when his ankle healed. Carrie didn’t have time to say much to him but she did make sure to thank him and let him know that she’d talk to Caleb and hoped Nate would come by and visit anytime he wanted.

He gave a pensive look before he stated. “I’m fine with hanging out with Caleb but I’ll be taking him out to do so.”

She nodded knowing she wouldn’t be able to change his mind on that. She figured Nate did not want to hang out with her and knew she shouldn’t expect it. 


© Copyright 2019 Trixie. All rights reserved.

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