Zeke is still sure that it is the best he can do to let her go, even if he starts to get nearer to her with every day. Stubborn, little shit ;) But maybe this day will be like a wake up call for him, because Samantha suddenly is gone and no one knows where else to look after her ... poor little girl, alone in an unknown town, no place where she can go to and it's going to be dark soon enough ...
Title: Samantha - part 24
Fandom: Zeke & Casey
Author's note: AU - The boys have great future plans ...
Disclaimer: of course, not mine
previous parts: here
- twenty-four -
Zeke run outside when Stan's car was stopping in front of the house. It had been such a relief when Mrs. Connor had told them after the call, that Samantha was okay and with Stan and Stokes. He couldn't wait to pull her into his arms. Questions would have to wait for later. But the little girl just jumped out of the car and stormed to the porch where Casey and the Connors were waiting for her.
Zeke stared after her, finally he turned round to Stan and Stokes.
“What have you done,” he hissed.
“How could you just take her with you without telling me?”
“Hey, calm down, okay!”
Stan looked a bit annoyed.
“You can't blame us that she hid in the car. We just found her when we were almost at home. She looked so worn out that we decided to go there first. Stokes gave a some milk and cookies while I made the call. Now we are here again.
You could be a bit more grateful, you know. Who knows what could have happened if we wouldn't have been around.”
Stokely noticed Zeke's struck expression and put her hand on Stan's arm to stop him.
Zeke took a deep breath.
“I can't think clear in the moment. Still a bit stressed, I guess. It was so scaring when we couldn't find her anymore and still didn't know where else to look.
I don't get it, why she's done this. Everything was okay when she left me. We had a lot of fun this afternoon. So, what is happened? Was it my fault?”
Stokely slowly shook the head.
“I don't know, Zeke. She refused to talk to us. … All she said was ...”
“She … asked, if she can stay with us until she finally can go to her new family.“
Zeke swallowed. This was not what he had expected. She had been happy here, she loved Casey's stories and to help Mrs. Connor with the dinner. With 'uncle Frank' she talked about baseball … and with him, Zeke … they had had a lot of fun together during the last weeks. Went to the mall to the model car shop, put their own car together … Of course, she still had issues, she missed her mom a lot and she refused to talk about the time with her grandparents. But that she wanted to leave them all, that she preferred to live with people she didn't even know … It hurt, more than he had expected.
“This looks like a cry for help for me, Zeke. She's five and was desperate enough to run away. You should talk to her! Find out the reason why she's done it."”
Zeke stared over to the porch, where Mrs. Connor still hold her tight in her arms as if she never wanted to let her go again. The little girl had put her head onto her shoulder, Zeke could see her body shaking. Probably she was crying.
“I'm afraid I'm not the right one for that.”
Stokely snorted slightly.
“This is bullshit! You are her dad. It's great that you can have fun with her, but that's not all. I'm sure, she needs you now, more then ever before.”
“You almost sound like Casey.”
Zeke pulled the face.
“But you just don't get it, neither of you. I try to make the best out of it. And I can't give her more. The adoption ...”
“No, Zeke, you don't get it. This is not just about you. You think, an adoption is the best you can give her? But did you ever ask about her feelings about it?”
Samantha had been so worn out and after Mrs. Connor had made her a quick snack, she had put her to bed without more questions. The little girl had curled up under the cushions and closed her eyes. She hadn't even asked for her usual good-night-story. But now, half an hour later, when Casey wanted to look after her, he found her sitting at her favorite spot at the window, the knees pulled up, the head resting against the glass. She didn't even react when Casey carefully stepped closer.
“Hey, can't sleep?”
Finally she turned her head to look at him. It was almost dark in the room but he noticed her pale face. It was so heartbreaking. He would have done all to see her laugh again.
“Are you mad at me?”
“No, of course not!”
He reached out for her to brush a strand of hair out of her face.
”But it scared us a lot when we suddenly couldn't find you anymore. It was not okay to hide in Stan's car. What is happened that you've tried to run away?”
She kept quiet for a while. Finally she shrugged.
“I wanted to stay with Stokes. But she don't want me. No one wants me!”
“Don't say that. Stokely likes you, but she and Stan will have a baby soon. Their own family, you know. You belong to us. And whenever you have a problem, you can tell me.”
Her face darkened.
“No, I can't. I'm gonna leave you soon. And I will never see you again.”
Casey felt a lump in his throat.
“Of course, you will,” he tried to reassure her.
“We are gonna visit you. You don't need to worry about that. The Joneses, they are really nice, says uncle Frank. They always wanted a little girl like you. You will live in a great house with a pool … they own a dog ... and ...”
“I don't wanna dog,” Samantha interrupted him.
“So, what do you want?”
Suddenly tears were blinking in her eyes.
“My Mom! She did never lie to me,” she sobbed.
“But then she left me alone! And no one wants me anymore."
Oh god. Casey groaned inwardly. When he put his arms around her shoulders he could feel her trembling.
“I don't think so. Your Mom still loves you a lot,” he said.
“And she would never leave you all alone.”
Samantha freed herself out of his arms and frowned.
“She is dead.”
“Yes, I know. She was sick and died. But she's still here, in your heart, you know. She will always take care of you. You will never be alone. We all care a lot about you, Ditha and uncle Frank, Zeke and ...”
“No, not Zeke!”
“Of course, Zeke too. He's your dad. How could he not ...”
But Samantha shook her head.
“He is a liar!”
“What did he do?”
“He made a pinky swear. He's promised that I can stay where ever I want. I wanna stay here, but he sends me away. He don't want me any longer. You did say it!”