Over the next three days, the excitement quickly mellowed out. While Cameron was out of the hospital the next morning, Lucas was kept for observation for a bit longer due to his injuries. This didn't stop Kenton, Cameron, and Mia from visiting and telling him everything that they knew about the older brother that he never met. While counselors were terrified of overwhelming the young man with this shockwave of information, Lucas never refused and kept wanting to know more about Elias.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
The same cousins who claimed Elias's remains back in 2014 stepped forward and graciously offered to take Lucas in and give him a new life in Arizona. However, before being released to their custody, Lucas had one more request.
The skies were a gloomy gray as Lucas walked through the gates of the local graveyard alone. Kenton, Mia, Cameron, and Detective Anson were with them, but they decided to give him some privacy.
"Fire crews found this in the remains of the Conner house. I think it might be of some interest to you." Anson said as he handed Kenton something wrapped in a transparent plastic bag. Mia gasped a bit when she saw it.
"Oh… what is this?" Kenton politely asked. Mia took a couple seconds to compose herself before speaking.
"That is what Elias was making for your birthday back then. Remember? He said that he was working on your present. He showed me pictures of it, but I never saw it in person."
Kenton flipped the model robot over and saw that his name was engraved in the back of it. He took a deep breath, trying not to let anymore tears fall.
"So, what made you decide to go back to the Conner residence?" Anson asked Cameron.
"I don't know. I really don't know. I just had this feeling in my gut that was telling me to go back there. It's so weird."
"I think I know what it's like. I had the same feeling when you were kidnapped, Cameron." Kenton added.
"Wow..." Cameron replied. Anson looked towards the graveyard and noticed that Lucas was approaching his brother's grave.
ELIAS A. CONNOR
AUGUST 1, 2000 – JULY 3, 2014
Lucas told himself that he wasn't going to cry, but he felt a lump in his throat as he felt the engraved letters of the tombstone.
"I'm so sorry, Elias. I'm so sorry that I didn't get to meet you."
Not crying was out of the question as a small sob left his throat.
"I was so lonely growing up. Were you lonely, too? I… I… met your friends, Kenton, Olivia, and Cameron. I also met Mia. I don't know if you knew it, but you were the luckiest person on the face of the planet. I'm kind of jealous, but now I have them as friends. I'm more jealous of them because they got to know you and I didn't."
He had to wipe some tears away at this point.
"Dad's going to jail and he's been hurt pretty badly. He's not going to hurt anyone else anymore."
Lucas realized that he better wrap it up soon and took a deep breath.
"I don't know if you knew that I even existed, but I now know that you're here. Even though I never got to meet you, I miss you and I'm proud to be your brother. I hope that someday, we'll see each other again and I'll be able to tell you that in person."
He gave one more affectionate pat to the grave marker before saying "Goodbye…" and walking back to the group. Lucas wanted the tears to stop before letting these people see him, but he got one final thought about how Elias lived blissfully without knowledge of him, and the waterworks got worse.
Cameron saw him wiping away his tears and ran over to him. Without saying another word, Cameron grabbed onto him and Lucas started crying into his shoulder.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
The place to be on the last day of 2015 was at the Gabriel residence in Maine. The two families were back together again. Bud and Harlow were laughing and messing around like kids on the back patio while the actual kids were upstairs waiting for midnight so they could see the fireworks.
"Who wants drinks?" Olivia said as she brought a small cooler up the stairs.
"Me!" Toby excitedly said.
"Me, too!" Calvin happily added.
"Count me in." Orson said before Olivia handed out the cans of soda.
"Does this mean that you'll clean it up if I spill it?" Toby jokingly asked.
"That depends. How absorbent is your hair?" Olivia replied.
"She's got you there, kiddo." Orson said before they all had a small laugh.
"I'm so glad you're back." Calvin said as he put an arm around Toby.
"It feels good to be back!”
A small chime came from Olivia's phone and she checked it to see a message from Mia.
"Hey, Toby, that was Mia. Lucas is at his new home in Arizona." Olivia said after reading it. Toby's face lit up with happiness.
"Thank you..." Toby said in his mind, thinking about the kind soul that ran into a burning building to save the one person that saved him.
"How are you holding up?" Orson asked Olivia as the two younger boys started laughing and goofing off.
"What do you mean?"
"I heard that you and Kenton..."
Olivia gave her cousin and his best friend a little playful glare for spreading gossip so easily before giving her reply.
"It was a mutual decision. We're on opposite coasts and it just wouldn't work out. Besides, it was just a first love. I think he's moved on and it's time that I do the same."
"That sounds… so bad."
"It's really not. We'll always be friends and we'll always have the memories."
"It's almost midnight!" Toby exclaimed.
"That it is."
"10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
The four of them looked in amazement as the fireworks exploded in the skies around them.
Friday, January 1, 2016
Later, in the early hours of 2016, Olivia was the only one awake as the three other boys were crashed out in Toby's room. She looked at the starry Maine night and took a deep breath. If there was something to be learned from this, it was to live life and make every day count.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Back in Oregon, Butch Conner found himself pushed by an officer into a small room. Due to the accident, both of his legs were amputated at the knee, leaving him confined to a wheelchair. After a few minutes, Detective Anson walked into the room and turned on a video recorder.
"Hey, I know you. You're the guy who took that crazy rich bastard down. Stanley Berkley was the guy, right?"
"Yep. Now, are you going to make this easy on both of us and start talking?"
"That depends. What do you wanna know?"
"Well, we know that you have a thing for starting fires."
"Yeah, I know where this is going. I torched the restaurant. I owed a favor, and I was paying up."
"Paying up? Explain."
"The deal was simple. He would get the lady out to New York for a couple days while I did the deed. However, my son wanted to bring his friend along and things got a bit complicated from there."
"Okay. That's all I need to know. You're charged with two counts of arson and one count of attempted murder. And that's on top of escaping from prison and all your drug charges. Your days of freedom are over."
"...Attempted murder? Does that mean that Lucas is alive?"
Butch felt tears of happiness come down his face.
"Oh, that's a relief, I didn't want to have to kill another one."
Anson dropped the pen he was writing with before saying "Excuse me?"
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Elias was furiously working on the robot that he wanted to give to Kenton. If his destiny was jail, he wanted to at least get this one little thing done so his best friend would have something to remember him by.
His haste and the resounding threat of his friends by William made him careless and he accidentally caused an electrical connection across his arm.
"AH! JEEZ!" he exclaimed before falling back in his chair. After lying there for a few seconds, he got up and shook it off.
"Heh, I should've got that on video. Mia would've loved to see that." he said to himself with a chuckle before pulling his chair back up and getting right back to work. He sighed when he heard stomping coming up the stairs.
"What in the hell are you doing?!" Butch said as he threw open the door.
"I fell out of my chair. I'm okay but thank you for your concern." Elias said sarcastically before continuing.
"You know what? I'm tired of the crap that you're bringing onto this family. The cops are all over my ass because of the stupid little stunt that you pulled! And now I can't have a quiet evening at home because you're up here showing your ass?!"
"Sorry, Dad." Elias said without looking up.
"Sorry… you're sorry… grr..." Butch said as he grabbed a shirt from Elias' dirty clothes pile. In a fit of anger, he wrapped it around his hand before grabbing Elias' head and pull it back quickly. Unlike before, the bedpost hit him in the back, killing him from the traumatic impact. When the adrenaline wore off, Butch screamed in horror as he realized what he had done. He grabbed a pair of gloves from his "kitchen" and carefully rearranged Elias' body to make it look like an accident. Three hours later, he called 911 and pretended like he had just discovered Elias.
Anson's blood was boiling right now. Even after dealing with the horrors of the Stanley Berkley case, this was too much for him. After giving himself a few minutes of silence to keep him from jamming his pen into Butch's eye, he got up and signaled for some officers.
"You're now also under arrest for the murder of Elias Conner. Get him out of here."
"Hey, hey! It was an act of passion! How about this, if I give you some information, will you tell the judge to go easy on me? I know some people who sold my stuff down in California..."
Anson shook his head as he got his coat. No amount of information would make up for the destruction of a human life.