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Blake Saga III
Chapter 6 - To The Streets
Ian wakes up to the sound of Blake's alarm going off, another part of his son's plan.
"Blake shut off your alarm."
Ian's voice echoes through the house as he tries to wake Blake, so he'll shut off that accursed alarm. The alarm stops only to restart a few minutes later. Instead of yelling, Ian gets up and goes into his son's room. He looks around and notices that Blake is missing, but the boy has at least slept in his bed. Looking around the room, he notices that there are clothes lying around, Blake's cell phone is sitting on the bed, his wallet is sitting there open with $40.00 of allowance gone, and his backpack is missing too.
`It is not like him to just take off without saying something first.'
Ian's heart is racing a little bit as he heads downstairs to check the kitchen. Looking around the kitchen, it appears that the room has not been touched since last night. He walks back into the dining room and sits, when he notices a piece of paper on the table and Ian grabs it.
I hope you are okay. By now, you know that I am not home, and I know that you are worried. I had to get away from the house. I couldn't take it anymore. Don't you worry about me, I'll be fine. Do not look for me, I will come home when, I am ready. For now, the streets will be my home.
Ian's heart breaks in two; he is alone, tears roll down his face and all he can think of is the safety of his son.
= = =
Ian is not sure what to do, but he knows that he cannot just sit here doing nothing. Knowing is not translating into doing just yet, because he wants to form a plan, so he comes up with a list of people to call and places to visit. Walking to the front door, he opens it, walks outside, where he takes in a few deep breaths, and then he pauses. He knows that he'll have to call Trace at some point, and that scares him a little since things are rough right now anyway. There is a possibility though that maybe he can find their son on his own. Feeling more composed, Ian walks back into the house.
= = =
He heads up to the office to grab his planner so he can make his phone calls. Opening his planner, he flips to the phone directory. Inside Ian's directory is a special section just for Blake's friends, it is not a huge section, but it does the job. Ian decides to go right down the list. He starts with Ben... with his fingers crossed. Blake is most likely to head there, since it is already his home away from home. He meant to call the house phone, but ends up calling Ben's cell phone by mistake, and it's not really big deal because it serves the same purpose.
"Blake, what's up dude?"
"Sorry, Ben, but this isn't Blake, it's Mr. Richards. Have you heard from Blake today, or have you seen him?"
Ian is hoping that they have spoken to each other or that Ben might know of a place to look.
"No, I haven't seen or heard from him at all today."
Ben did not help one bit and Ian's frustration level rose ever so slightly.
"Thanks, Ben. Do me a favor, will you call me on Blake's cell phone or mine if you talk to him or see him?"
"I will, but what's going on?"
"Blake ran away, and all I know is that he's still in the city."
All Ian can hear is silence on the Ben's side of phone.
"I'll get the word out amongst the kids from school."
"Thanks again, Ben."
After hanging up with Ben, Ian calls Juan and Rick, but again, he gets nowhere.
= = =
Meanwhile at Trace's parent's house, Michael and Trace are discussing the argument that led Trace to return home.
"Dude, if Ian says that nothing happened, then nothing happened and you need to get off your high horse and head home to apologize."
Trace is not sure that apologizing is the answer. Still, he missed waking up next to his husband and the good morning kisses that they exchange every day.
"I'll apologize to him, when he can give me proof that the note is a lie."
`He needs to end the bull and just go home.'
What will it take to get Trace to see that Ian, Michael, and Blake have told him the truth? Trace wonders about the note, but his stubborn side shows through and he cannot let go of the pain.
`Dude, come on, quit being an ass.'
"Honestly, are you really going to say that when deep inside you already know the truth about the note? Call your man, Trace, just do it already."
Trace gets out his phone to make the call, but his wounded pride stops him, so he puts his phone away.
"He can call me."
Mom comes into the room and she is not happy about her son's behavior.
"Are you going to send me packing too?" Trace asks, as she looks at him and frowns. She just ignores his comment, because this conversation is about him realizing that he still loves his man, and that he needs to do the right thing. She is hoping to get something to stick inside that hard head of her son. There is not a single soul who believes in that note, but no one is making him see the lie.
"Trace, you have a man back in Tylerville whose heart is broken in two, and you don't seem to care at all."
Trace is shocked by his mother's comment because he expected her to take his side.
"How in the world can you say that?"
"I know things were a little crazy that first meeting between Ian and the family. No one knew him and yeah, we knew you had someone that you loved, but to be honest, we pictured you with a person more like yourself. I can tell you, it was easy to welcome Ian into the family once we got to know him. We love him, son, and when the two of you brought Blake home, we made him a part of the family as well, and now you can't see the truth because of your own silly wounded pride."
Trace's eyes reveal that maybe not all is lost, and Mom and Michael can see it. He is quiet while he lets what she said sink into his brain; all he really wanted to do when he arrived was to sort things out in his mind.
"Maybe, you're right."
"Trace where love is concerned there are no maybes. You are either in love or you're not in love."
Michael smiles at their Mom, and he learns a little something about love, as well.
"Of course, she is right. She's Mom."
He puts an arm up on her shoulder and smiles at Trace and for the first time since their conversation started, his older brother smiles at his comment.
"Let's say that I do go back and apologize, where do we go from here?"
"Don't you have an anniversary coming up? I remember you promising some mighty big things to Ian, so maybe that is where you need to go."
Trace looks at Mom and smiles, and then he looks at Michael, waiting for him to say something.
"Dude, what she said."
Trace sits up and goes outside to think over what his mother said and what Michael said. He has to make his own decision and then act on it.
= = =
Back home in Tylerville, Ian calls the police, since none of Blake's friends have seen him.
"Hello, Tylerville Police Department, what is your emergency?"
Ian is trying to contain the panic in his voice and all he can think about is Mark's attempt to kidnap Blake.
"My, my son, Blake, has run away. He, he said not to look for him, but I'm worried sick. I have called all his friends and not one of them has seen him. He didn't take his cell phone, just some clothes, and a red and black backpack."
The dispatcher has heard this panic in quite a few parents' voices. It never is an easy thing to hear that a child has gone missing. Now, she just needs to keep him calm and assure him that all is well, so that she can get rational information from him.
"Sir, can you give me your name and address?"
"My name is Ian Richards, and I live at 1500 Popular Drive."
He's hoping that the officer who comes out to the house already knows the family.
"Do you have any idea where Blake might have gone?"
Blake could be anywhere, and that is part of the problem, and it will take an officer with good judgment to find him.
"No, I don't know, but he is use to live on the streets here in Tylerville, so he knows the streets by heart."
"Okay, so how long has he been missing?"
"I don't know the exact time, but I'm thinking 2 or 3 three hours."
"That helps give us a time scale, Ian, if you have any recent photos of Blake, you need to have one for the officers to scan into the system. I have an officer on the way."
"Thank you so much!"
With an officer on the way, Ian is glad to hear that someone is coming.
"Ian, I am going to stay with you until the officer arrives."
Ian watches from the front porch for an officer to arrive. A few minutes go by before the officer pulls up to the house.
"You should be able to see the officer pulling into your driveway. Can you see him?"
"Yes, I can see him."
"Okay then, Mr. Richards, I am going to let you go."
Dispatch ends the call just as officer exits the car. The officer recognizes Ian from the various parties that he has attended over the years.
`I have never been so glad to see an officer before.'
"Ian right? I understand you have a runaway. I'm Officer Grant by the way."
"Yes, I am Ian. I hope you can find Blake."
Officer Grant pulls out a small notebook and a pen, as he gets ready to ask Blake's dad a few questions.
"Do you know what clothes Blake might be wearing?"
"No, he was gone before I got up this morning. He has a red and black backpack with him."
"Would he have gone to a friend's house or maybe a family member's house?"
"I thought he had gone to a friend's house, but none of them have seen him or heard from him today. As far as family members go, no one lives close enough for him to walk to."
Having Officer Grant here is helping Ian feel a lot calmer.
"I know that you're aware of Blake's story, so you know that he could be anywhere in the city."
"Yeah, I know, but I know the streets pretty good myself. We'll find him and bring him home. Do you have the picture that dispatch requested?"
"Be right back, I need to grab them out of the office."
Running inside, he runs up to the office to grab the photos. He did not waste any time getting back to Officer Grant.
"Here you go; these were taken on his birthday, so there only a week old."
"Alright, I will be right back."
It takes five minutes for Officer Grant to come back to the porch.
"Can I have your cell phone number so we can contact you just in case you decide to go anywhere?"
Officer Grant hands him the notepad and his pen. Ian takes his time writing the number so that it is readable.
"Someone from the department will call you when we find him. I am going to relay this information to the dispatch and then start my sweep of the city."
Ian does not intend to just sit on his butt waiting for a phone call.
"Thanks again Officer Grant."
Ian reaches out his hand to Officer Grant, who gladly shakes it.
"You're welcome, Mr. Richards."
The officer turns and heads back to his squad car so he can begin the hunt for Blake.
= = =
Ian sits down on the front porch and considers where his son might have gone. At the moment, he cannot think of any one place, so he decides on another course of action. He gets up and goes into house to grab his keys, and heads out, not sure where to head first. Ian ends up driving around for what seems to be hours when an idea hits him `Maybe Blake went to the City Center shelter.' He gets into his car and heads towards the shelter, his heart is racing in anticipation of finding his son. Arriving at the shelter, he practically jumps out of the parked car and runs up the door. Having rung the bell, Ian's heart feels like it may very well explode out of his chest as he waits for a staff member to answer the buzzer.
"Hello, can I help you?"
"I'm Ian Richards, one of Blake Kimball's adopted dads.
"Mr. Richards, how are you? We do not often get to talk to our kids once they get off the streets. How is everything?"
"Everything is not good. Blake ran away this morning."
"Oh no, do the police know about it."
"Yes, they left the house an hour ago. By any chance, have you heard from Blake?"
"No, I'm sorry, we have not heard from him.
Ian's heart sinks down into the pit of his stomach at the news.
"If you hear from him, can you call me please?"
After driving around for a little bit longer, he gives up and goes home to wait on the cops.
= = =
Ian arrives at home and heads to the phone so he can check for messages. No phone calls have come in from any of Blake's friends, the shelter, or the police. He decides that it is time to call Trace and face whatever scolding his husband might give him. His heart is racing as he calls his husband; even his fingers are trembling, and his hopes are up, which means his hopes can come crashing down on him.
"Ian, what is going on? Is something wrong?"
Ian pauses as he gathers his strength for answering his lover.
"Blake, he... he ran away. He left me a note saying not to worry and not to look for him. Of course, I'm worried and I have been looking for him."
Now, Trace is worried and decides to head home, but he has a drive ahead of him.
"Have you called his friends?"
Trace wants to make sure that Ian has covered everything.
"I called Ben, Rick, Juan and the police."
`Good, he's done everything right `
Trace is glad to see that his partner has not lost his head since he needs Ian to calm him down. He is beginning to worry about Blake more and more he cannot stand it anymore.
"Call me if anything changes, okay, Ian?"
"I will Trace, I love you."
Trace does not say a thing and just ends the call perhaps he is not ready to say those words... or his mind is just preoccupied.
= = =
Trace is telling his family that he is headed home and all Michael can do is smile. Their mom looks at Michael, who's holding his cell phone and motions him to make a phone call. Trace goes out the front door and runs to his car to go home. As his family watches, he gets into the car and takes off. Michael brings up Ian's number and presses 'Send', wanting to give him a heads up.
"Hey, Michael, what's up?"
"Mom wanted me to call you to give you a quick update."
`Do I really want to hear this?'
"My brother is on his way home, but you should know that he does love you. He never stopped loving you."
Ian's heart fills with joy and excitement.
"Are you sure he loves me?"
"I'm positive, I heard him crying himself to sleep last night."
Ian did not think that Trace loved him after events of the other night.
"I'm going to let you go, Michael. My phone needs to be free in case the police call."
"Okay, but remember that the police will find Blake, and Trace still loves you no matter what stuff comes out of his mouth."
Ian wants this to be true, but his problems with Trace are secondary right now.
He ends the call hoping that he will hear something soon from the police or from Trace. Ian goes back to waiting, but decides after a few minutes that he will do some chores.
= = =
Meanwhile, Trace's thoughts are focused on their son and not on the problem in his relationship. He knows every hour that Blake is missing just puts him that much more in harm's way. If he were driving his squad car, he would turn on the sirens and the lights so that he could go faster than the speed limit to get back to Tylerville.
`Blake is going to be in so much trouble when I find him. Why on earth would he take off?'
Finally back in Tylerville, Trace pulls over on the side of the road and calls the station.
"Hello, Tylerville Police department, how can I help you?"
"Tracy, this is Officer Andrews. Do you know if there are any leads on my son's location?"
Trace, like Ian, is hoping for any leads that might help them in locating Blake.
"Officer Andrews, I am going to put you on hold so I can check."
"Thank you so much."
The bad hold music and the lack of information is driving Trace bonkers. Three minutes later and Tracy finally comes back to the phone.
"Officer Andrews, all our leads are drawing blanks, but dispatch just got a call from a concerned citizen who thinks that he spotted Blake on the river walk. Dispatch just sent a squad car to that location."
"Thanks Tracey and give whoever is at Dispatch my thanks too."
"No sweat, you know we always stick together."
Ending the call, he heads towards the one spot that he wants to search, even though there is a small chance that Blake is there.
= = =
Blake use to come to this park to swing and sometimes he would sit amongst the rose bushes to think. Roseland Park sits near the river walk and a small-forested section of the city. It has a mile long trail that hooks up with two other trails that cut through the city and several other larger parks. Arriving at the park, he grabs his badge and ID and gets out of the car. Knowing it would be faster for two people to check the park, he pulls out his phone. Trace hopes that his husband will come to assist in the search for their son, and to help balance Trace a little bit.
"Trace, where are you?"
"I want you to meet me at Roseland Park. There is a possibility that Blake might be here."
Ian's heart begins to beat faster for two reasons; one is that Trace is back, and two because he knows that Blake isn't far away.
"Okay, I can be there in about ten minutes."
Even Trace's heart is beating a little faster. Twelve minutes later and Ian arrives at the park and gets out of the car. Trace makes his way straight to his husband with a smile on his face, and a plan ready to be put into action.
"If he's here, we'll see him on the mile loop trail, so if we spilt up and search the area from the trail, we might just find him."
"Okay, I hope he's here."
"I do too."
They separate and hit the trail keeping their eyes out for their son. As the two dads, finish the mile long trail, their phones ring, and as they face each other, Trace and Ian answer their phones.
= = =
Trace's call comes in from another officer.
"Hey, what's going on, Officer Reed?"
"Andrews, I have Blake in my sight at Crown Park."
Trace is scared that somehow Blake will escape, that he will slip past the officers.
"Don't lose him, I'm on my way."
Trace looks at Ian and smiles as he gives him thumbs up, as his heart is slowly mending. Trace takes off running and then stops to look at Ian "Are you coming?" Ian ends his call and put his phone into his pocket and as he runs towards the car. Together they head to Crown Park to find their son, and, unknown to them, to find what they have lost.
= = =
These events took place while Trace was on his cell phone, we find Ian on his phone talking with a friend.
"Caden, what is going on man?"
"Word has gotten around that Blake ran away, but guess who is at Crown park?"
Ian is so happy that he is crying, a part of him did not think they would find Blake.
"There are four squad cars around the park."
Ian smiles. `At least he isn't going anywhere. I need to be there.' Ian has no clue that this trip will change everything in their lives.
"Caden, I need to go. Trace wants me to ride with him up to the park."
"I got ya; I am going to head off to work."
Ian ends the call with Caden and Trace signals him to hurry up. Life suddenly feels like everything is better. He takes off towards Trace and gets into the car, so they can find their son, and maybe ground him for life. They take off towards Crown Park together and towards a better future.
= = =
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