Disclaimer: I don't own anything OC related. Lyrics by the Beatles.

Peace of Mind

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink.
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink...
No, no, no.

He'd stayed in Chino with Teresa three weeks before they'd moved into the Cohen's poolhouse.

Seth was gone. He'd hear rumblings of cryptic letters addressed to his parents, but no one was really talking to him about it.

He doesn't blame them. It was his fault that Seth was gone.

No one really talks to him at all except Teresa, anymore.

His days have become a tense routine. He gets up at seven, makes breakfast for Kirsten and Teresa and leaves it covered on the counter. Rosa had to be let go once Caleb's assets were frozen by the feds. Sandy's money was enough to support the family but he didn't see the need for Rosa anymore. Ryan doesn't mind. He takes care of the housework.

He leaves the house at seven forty-five and heads down to the construction site. He'd made some connections with the company that did all the work on the Lighthouse and they'd taken him on their crew when he'd applied. It's hard work, but it's in Newport so he can be close to the Cohens.

He comes home at lunch and gives Teresa a ride to her job at the bakery by the pier. They share her convertible. Sandy drives the BMW and the Rover stays in the driveway. Kirsten doesn't go many places anymore. He enjoys the short time with Teresa and its one of the few times he relaxes anymore. After she goes into the bakery, he returns to the site.

After work, he goes straight home. Usually Kirsten is in the kitchen with papers scattered on the counter. She always has a glass in her hand. At first, it was merlot. Lately, it's been vodka over ice.

She doesn't even smile at him anymore. She doesn't even pretend that she's glad to see him.

He thinks that she resents him. If he hadn't left, Seth wouldn't have left. He came back, but her son didn't. He thinks that she hates him for trying to fill a role that isn't vacant. She has a son, a real son, but he's not here and its Ryan's fault.

Ryan asks her if she's eaten and she always says no. She doesn't eat alone. He fixes her something if there's anything in the refrigerator and if not, he leaves again to get her take out. He watches her eat it. She takes a bite and then chases it with a swallow.

He wonders if Sandy knows how she drinks. All day every day. Sandy stays at the office until at least midnight, trying to save his wife's father. He's trying to salvage his family and Ryan can't bear the thought of giving him something else to worry about.

He came home so he could be there for Sandy and Kirsten. Sandy depends on him. He might not call or see Ryan but a few times a week, but he depends on Ryan and he won't let Sandy down.

So he feeds Kirsten and listens to her slurred requests. The toilet's broken. He fixes it. He makes her bed. He dusts Seth's room. He goes out for groceries. He buys her the vodka she likes.

He can't say no to her. He won't. He's not supposed to.

She doesn't meet his gaze. For the first time in his life, he's trying to look people in the eyes but she won't look at him. He's not worthy of her gaze.

She's not the woman he remembers. The alcohol or the lack of her son has done something to her. She says things to him that he knows she doesn't mean.

You need to clean the pool again. Since we're letting you stay here for free, you need to do something to pay us back.

When the baby comes, you're going to have to do something about the noise. I can't take crying babies in the morning, it's just too much noise. You need to look into that.

When Seth gets home, I don't want you bothering him. He's my son and I should have never let you near him. You drove him away from his family.

He lets her words roll over him. He doesn't let them sink in. She only gets mean before he has to leave to get Teresa. She's usually on the couch by then so when he pulls out his keys in preparation to go pick her up, she starts in. It's the only time she looks at him.

He tells her that he'll be right back and she usually starts to cry.

He always buys extra boxes of Kleenex when he goes shopping for groceries.

He leaves to pick up Teresa.

Her feet always hurt these days, the weight of the baby and the constant walking take their toll. He brings her back to the poolhouse and rubs her feet. He enjoys the fact that he can actually do something for her.

Everything he does is futile, now. But he can rub her feet and it helps. It's such a small thing but the fact that she appreciates him means everything to him.

Around eleven, he'll go inside and put Kirsten to bed. She's usually passed out where he left her and he carries her to the master bedroom and gently places her on the bed. He cleans up her glass, and her vomit, if she has an accident.

Then he goes to the poolhouse.

Teresa doesn't make him talk, but if he wants to, she listens. She knows he doesn't sleep. She doesn't nag him. She knows that he doesn't eat. She doesn't nag him about that either.

Because she knows that she's too round and rosy for the baby to be his. She's too far along for there to be any chance of him being the father of her child.

But he doesn't complain so she lets him be.

He holds her and he finally lets himself relax, he can feel her shaking with his tremors. She can feel him shaking when he finally lets his guard down.

I'm so tired, I don't know what to do
I'm so tired, my mind is set on you

Sandy slams his fist on the table. He wishes it would make a dent so he could see some sign of his effort. But the desk is strong and wooden and it doesn't care how hard he hits it, it's not going to budge.

Caleb's going to jail and there's not a damn thing he can do about it.

His son's missing and floating around God-knows-where and there's not a damn thing he can do about it.

He's never lost this much control.

He agreed to let Ryan go to Chino because it was the right thing to do.

He asked him to come back because he didn't know what else to do. He needs Ryan close. He needs something he can control. Ryan's in the poolhouse, he's safe, he's not alone.

Seth's alone. Seth's not safe.

And Sandy can't stop thinking about him.

Seth's a smart kid, but they'd spoiled him. Seth has never had to live without money, he's never had to go to a strange place without a credit card or a cell phone or a safety net.

Seth's lost.

Sandy returns his attention to the pages and pages of evidence against his father in law. He has to focus and channel all his worry into this case.

Kirsten will never forgive him if he lets her father go to jail. She'll never forgive him if she loses her father, too.

He can't take seeing his wife so broken. She doesn't go to work anymore, she just sits at home and worries.

He wants to take her in his arms and make everything okay but he can't. He's trying, but he hasn't fixed things yet.

He has to fix things. He has to work harder. His money supports the family now, his time is devoted to Caleb's case now.

He's the man of the house, he has to take care of everything.

He's always wanted her to depend on him but now that she does, he's not sure he's going to be able to come through.

He has to save Caleb. If he can't find Seth, he has to save Caleb.

One thing at a time. Seth is okay. He won't have it any other way.

I wonder should I call you, but I know what you'd do

Seth's staring at the payphone again.

He's been docked at this small marina for days and no one's bothered to stop and talk to him.

He doesn't remember why he thought this was a good idea.

He's sunburned and his skin flakes off a little more every day.

He feels like he's decaying.

The payphone taunts him from the dock. It's outlined from the streetlight and it's clearly not a popular phone since it's phone book is still intact and hasn't been stolen from its cable yet.

He thinks about calling his parents. He thinks about calling Summer. He needs to say he's sorry for leaving a note. He needs to say he's sorry for leaving.

He thinks about calling Ryan.

He wants to know if his parents will ever forgive him. He wants to know if Summer will ever be able to love him again. He wants to know if Ryan will still be his best friend.

He wants to know if he's really lost everything.

But he doesn't pick up the phone.

He eats from the snack machine that's on the nearby pier for transient fishermen. He put a twenty in the machine on his first day and has a sock full of change to sustain him.

The change would sound the same whether it was dropped in the payphone or the snack machine.

The snack machine taunts him every time he drops in a quarter. Instead of giving him contact with his family, it gives him a package of Twinkies or a six-pack of cheese crackers.

He knows that Summer won't wait for him. He knows that his parents will never love him the same way for leaving. He knows that Ryan won't understand why he had to leave.

He wants to explain it to them.

But he has to understand it himself first.

He left because he needed to come to terms with the changes in his life.

But it didn't work.

It isn't working.

He's more alone than he's ever been.

And this time it's his own fault.

Fucking payphone.

You'd say I'm putting you on
It's not joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane

Summer can't stop thinking about that punk, Cohen.

She knows that she's being obsessive but she can't stop.

Is her phone fully charged? Has she checked the answering machine at her house? Has she checked her email? Have there been any postcards for her? Is the mailman on time?

She's tried to keep herself distracted by going to the infamous Newport summer parties but she's tired of dragging Marissa's drunk-ass home every night.

She has enough on her mind to spare any thoughts for her friend's desperate need for attention. She's known Marissa forever but she can't help her now. It's her turn to be "self-absorbed." God knows she's earned it.

Marissa has to want to get better and she doesn't. She doesn't listen. She just talks.

And Summer really needs someone to listen.

She's tried going to Cohen's house, but Kirsten is a wreck. Summer doesn't know when she started drinking but she thinks that Marissa's got a role model. Kirsten drinks all day. Marissa would if she could wake up before five.

She's tried talking to her "friends" but they never understood her relationship with the "emo-geek" anyway. They tell her to move on. They're so dense that they don't see that she can't.

She's tried talking to her father but he didn't like Cohen, either. He tells her to move on. She's never hated her father before but the way he shrugs off Cohen hurts her more than she could ever say.

The only person that seems to listen to her is Teresa.

She finds herself at the bakery by the pier a few times a week. Teresa brings her coffee, decaf, because she knows that Summer doesn't sleep. Teresa sits with her on her breaks and listens to Summer talk about Cohen.

Teresa doesn't know Cohen but she understands because she knows Chino.

Teresa knows what it's like to lose someone and not know where they are. Chino left her without a word once. He was just gone. Just like Cohen.

But Teresa got Chino back. Summer has hope when she sees Teresa.

Teresa gives her gentle hugs that make Summer want to cry.

Summer likes Teresa more than she likes Marissa these days.

Marissa's never listened to her. She's never understood why Summer loves Cohen. Summer thinks that Marissa doesn't understand love because she hates herself.

Summer never knew love either until it fell into her lap.

And she lost it. She lost Cohen.

Summer goes out to eat with Teresa and Chino sometimes.

Being near Chino makes her feel closer to Cohen.

Chino is Cohen's polar opposite. He doesn't talk, he doesn't babble, he doesn't joke. But he listens and smiles and when he says something, he's actually thought about it in his head first. Cohen's all about talking on impulse but Chino is all about methodic planning. It's hard for her to picture Chino with a temper since he keeps himself under such tight control.

He takes care of Teresa. He holds the door open for her, he doesn't smoke cigarettes when she's within inhalation distance, he keeps his arm on her back for support when they walk up stairs.

Chino would take care of Summer, too, if she'd let him. She sees the way he looks at her, worry in his eyes.

But Summer isn't a damsel in distress that needs saving.

She just needs Cohen.

She knows that Chino needs him, too.

She's so mad at Cohen for abandoning her, abandoning them all.

She just wishes she could see him again so she could tell him.

I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind

Teresa knows that something is wrong. She's known it all day.

Ryan slept all night last night. He hasn't slept a full night since they've been back at the Cohens, but last night, she'd woken up and realized that he was snoring softly.

She should have known that it was a sign that something was going to happen.

He'd brought her to work and now that she's finished, she's waiting on the curb.

He's always on time. He's never late. But he's not there.

She calls Summer to pick her up. Summer had only just left the bakery as it was closing so she doesn't have too come far to get her.

Summer knows that something is wrong, too. She knows just by looking at Teresa.

Teresa wants Ryan to be happy. She wants him to know that she'll love him forever and that he doesn't have to take care of her like he does for everyone else. She wants to take care of him.

But he's so strong and unwilling to admit that he needs her.

He lets her take care of him as much as he can. He cries in her arms. He shakes in her arms. He lets her hold him and she knows that he's never let anyone do that for him before. Ryan doesn't know how to let people help him. He's never had anyone that's even tried. He's conditioned to take care of himself.

Summer parks her car beside the yellow convertible.

Teresa doesn't go in through the main house, she never does. She accepts Summer's hand in hers as they walk around the edge of the house toward the poolhouse. She's scared. Ryan's never late. Something's happened. Summer feels it, too. Something's wrong. She's grateful for the girl's support.

Summer gasps and Teresa follows her gaze.

She breaks away from Summer and rushes to the edge of the pool.

Ryan's body is lying beside the Jacuzzi. His head has a halo of red on the concrete.

"Go call 9.1.1," Teresa whispers when she sees his chest rising and falling.

His eyes are closed. He's breathing but she can't see his eyes.

His blue eyes are the only way she knows that he's okay and he won't open them.

There're several empty bottles of champagne scattered by the Jacuzzi and a broken wine glass in his hand.

She knows he wasn't drinking. He must've been cleaning up after Kirsten. He must've slipped. The tile is wet and he must've slipped. She should've made him buy newer shoes; the faded sneakers on his feet are smooth on the bottom from wear.

He wears boots all day and she'd bought him the sneakers so he didn't have to do the housework in steel-toed boots. He always wore them because he knows that she likes them. God….

"Ryan? Ryan, please, talk to me," she whispers.

But he doesn't move. He doesn't talk. His head is bleeding and she needs him. She needs him so much. This can't happen.

She needs him to look at her. She needs him to open his eyes. She needs him not to bleed.

Summer is talking on the phone when Teresa glances up again.

"I don't know if we have insurance, Summer…but they have to come and help him," Teresa whispers.

"They're coming…. Kirsten's passed out inside; he must've taken her in before he fell…." Summer kneels beside Teresa and takes Ryan's limp wrist between her fingers.

"He's going to be okay. He'll be okay…."

"He's going to be fine, Teresa, Chino's tough…. We'll be laughing about this tomorrow, okay?"

Teresa nods with tears in her eyes. Summer gets up to meet the ambulance when they first hear the sirens.

He'll be okay. He will be okay.

I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired, I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh. He was such a stupid git.

He is such a dumbass. He knocked himself out. God, he'd been beaten, he'd even been stabbed before but this is the first time he's ever had to go to the hospital because of something that was truly an accident.

Teresa hasn't left his side. Summer hasn't left, either. The two brunettes have successfully put the fear of God into the nurses that are trying to help him. He's finally getting released after hours of tests and poking from the doctors.

The girls are fiercely protective of him, they barely let him answer the doctor's questions.

His head is killing him when they finally tell him he can go.

They shaved part of his head so they could put in the stitches. Teresa has his clipped hair in a bag in her purse.

She hates to throw anything away. He doesn't question her.

"Get away from him, skank, we're taking him home," Summer snarls at the nurse when she tries to push Ryan's wheelchair. The lady raises her hands and steps away.

Teresa waits until he sits in the wheelchair before giving Summer a nod. Summer starts pushing the wheelchair toward the exit.

They haven't called the Cohens. Kirsten was passed out when he'd found her in the Jacuzzi earlier. He'd carried her inside, wrapped her robe around her body and laid her on the bed before going back to clean up.

He doesn't really remember what happened. He slipped. He woke up in the hospital.

Once they're outside, he stands up and Summer pushes the wheelchair back into the ER. Teresa has her arm around his shoulders.

"You okay?"

"Yeah."

Summer returns but doesn't speak, she rushes across the parking lot and, within moments, has her car idling by the curb. He gets into the front seat and sighs.

"You scared the hell out of us, Chino," Summer says once they're on the highway.

"I'm sorry."

"You could've died. How long were you lying there?" Teresa asks. "Kirsten is so oblivious --"

"She's sick. It wasn't her fault."

"She's not sick, she's drunk. She's always drunk," Summer mutters under her breath.

"I'm okay," he whispers, and wishes it were true. Teresa's hand settles on his shoulder and he's grateful for her support. She knows he's lying. She knows him.

"I called your boss and told him that you needed a few days off. He's going to call tomorrow to check on you. I have the weekend off at the bakery. You're going to take it easy. Okay?"

He nods. He won't question her. Not after all she's done for him.

Summer parks in the driveway, having made record time from the hospital.

"Sandy's home," Summer says quietly.

"I need to clean up the mess by the pool…." Ryan mumbles halfheartedly to himself as he remembers.

"No. You're going to bed. I'll take care of everything," Teresa says quietly. She opens his door from the outside.

"Will you guys be okay?" Summer asks.

"Thanks, Summer. For everything. We'll be okay," Teresa answers. Ryan squeezes Summer's hand gently before stepping out.

"Call me tomorrow, okay?" Summer says.

"Sure," Ryan nods. Teresa keeps her arm around his waist as her car pulls away.

"C'mon, let's get you to bed."

He walks slowly because she's holding him too tightly for him to take long strides.

"I'm sorry I scared you."

"I know. It's not your fault," she replies. "I'm just really glad you're okay."

When they turn the corner around the house, they see Sandy staring at the mess by the Jacuzzi. The bottles and blood are still there.

"Teresa, Ryan, what happened?" Sandy asks, concern and fear dripping from his words. He looks so tired; his face is drawn and his hair is peppered with more gray than Ryan remembers.

"I slipped. It's nothing."

"All this blood and you say it's nothing?" Sandy asks, falling into step with them as they continue to the poolhouse.

"He's got a few stitches, Mr. Cohen, but the doctor says he was really lucky. I'm supposed to wake him up every couple of hours," Teresa says.

"What happened?"

"I slipped."

"The bottles…."

"Ryan was cleaning up after Kirsten and he slipped," Teresa says quietly.

Sandy pales. "Kirsten…she's sleeping…. She doesn't know?"

"She drinks, Mr. Cohen. A lot. She's always sleeping when you get home because she drinks all day," Teresa says slowly.

"Teresa, stop," Ryan whispers.

Sandy sits down in the chair across from the bed.

"She has a problem, Mr. Cohen. Ryan could've lain out there for hours," Teresa says. Ryan looks at her and she stops talking. She sits down beside him on the bed. He puts his arm around her and she leans against him.

"I…I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Ryan." Sandy looks thoroughly overwhelmed.

"It's okay. She's upset about Seth. She'll be fine once he comes home."

"She drinks all day?"

Ryan nods. He hates that Sandy doesn't know. He hates that he has to be the one to tell him that his wife is an alcoholic. He hates that he's the reason Seth left in the first place and caused all this. He hates seeing what he's done to their family.

"Ryan…I'm so sorry." Sandy repeats, this time forfeiting to his exhaustion by answering in a whisper.

"Mr. Cohen, he needs to sleep."

Sandy stands up and goes to his side. He gently pushes Ryan's head down so he can see the stitches. "You sure you're okay?"

Ryan nods.

"You're still on our insurance, how'd you pay?" Sandy's gentle touch around the stitches makes him wince.

"We took care of it," Teresa says quietly. She whispers something in Ryan's ear about resting and he lies down. She stands up and takes Sandy outside.

He wants to know what Teresa is saying but he's too tired to call out to her or follow her out. He's dizzy and tired and he knows that things are going to change again. He's messed up again. He let Sandy down. He let everyone down again. He wants a cigarette but he's too tired to get up. He'll ask Teresa when she wakes him up later.

You'd say, I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm

"He's tired, Mr. Cohen."

"It's Sandy. You know that." He wishes that she would listen and stop calling him Mister. Teresa is Ryan's girlfriend, she should feel like a part of the family. His family. His family that's in shambles.

"Sandy. He's tired. Every night he comes home and cleans up the house. He makes her eat and puts her to bed when she falls asleep. He takes care of her. He doesn't want to upset you so he doesn't say anything. He's so tired, Sandy."

"I'm sorry, Teresa. I…I've been so caught up in Caleb's case that I…I thought Kirsten was doing better. I never intended Ryan to have to take care of her."

"That's what he does. He takes care of people. Now, I'm going to take care of him. Maybe you should talk to your wife. He's not going anywhere."

He reaches out for her as she turns away. She turns to face him. "I'm sorry, Teresa."

"I know." She steps toward him and pulls him into a hug, patting his back. "It'll work out, Sandy. Seth will come home and everything will work out. Ryan and I will help in any way that we can." She releases him. "But Kirsten needs your help now more than Caleb or Seth."

"Ryan…."

"I'll take care of Ryan." She closes the door behind her.

Kirsten's drinking. All day. She's not working, she's not doing housework, she's not taking care of herself. As he walks back toward the house, he tries to remember the last time he talked to her but he can't.

He's been so busy trying to save her father that he didn't see that she was in trouble. He's let her down. He's lost her son, he's losing her father and he's going to lose her, too.

He goes into their bedroom and sees her sleeping on top of the covers. She's wearing her robe but when he pulls at the belt, he sees that she's only in her bathing suit underneath. He shakes her, gently, sitting beside her.

"Hmm?"

"Kirsten, wake up. We have to talk."

Her blue eyes are glazed and he wishes that it was just with sleep but he can smell the alcohol on her breath when she smiles at him. "Hey, honey."

"Kirsten. Have you been drinking?"

"Today? I had a glass or two of champagne." She yawns, sitting up.

"Is that all?"

"I think so. What's wrong?"

"You're drinking. All the time."

Her face hardens. "Who told you that? Ryan? He doesn't know anything…."

Sandy's slapped in the face by her bitterness. "Kirsten."

"So what, Sandy? What am I supposed to do? Seth's gone, Dad's going to jail and I never even see you. Ryan's not my son and I refuse to give him all my attention just because I can't have Seth," she snaps.

He's never heard her talk like this. She's cold and angry. She's drunk. She's not the woman he married.

"You know he almost died tonight."

Something flickers across her face. "What are you talking about?"

"He slipped when he was cleaning up your bottles. He split his head open by the pool. Get up." Sandy pulls her to her feet and pushes her to the window so he can make her look at the bloodstain beside the pool. "Look. You see that blood? He carried you inside and fell when he went back. He lay there bleeding, Kirsten, until Teresa found him. He would've died. He would've died out there while you were in here sleeping it off."

"Sandy…."

"I don't know what you think you're doing by being this way, but it has to stop. What's wrong with you?"

"I didn't know that he…." She raises a shaky hand and points to the bloody mess on the other side of the window.

"I'll put you in the hospital before I'll let you act this way. Seth's gone but we'll find him. D'you want him to come home and see you like this? D'you want your son to see you like this? Is this who you want to be?"

"Sandy…." She has tears in her eyes and he knows that something he's said has gotten through to her. "I'm sorry."

"I'm trying to help your father. I'm trying to help Seth. I'm trying to keep your family intact, Kirsten but I can't do it without you. You need to get some help. Kirsten…I love you…will you let me help you?"

"Is…is he okay?" Her eyes remain locked on the red-stained concrete surrounding the pool.

"Teresa's taking care of him. Let me take care of you."

You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane

No one's answering the phone at his house. He's called Summer but she's not answering, either, her phone just rings and it doesn't feel right for him to leave a message. What the hell would he say?

He's in Newport. Now he just has to go home.

His father's car is not in the driveway when the taxi drops him off. His mother's Range Rover is parked beside Teresa's convertible. He hopes Ryan's here so he can talk to him. He hopes that he's ready to talk to him.

He hopes that his family will talk to him period.

He tries the front door but it's locked and when he tries his key, it unlocks, but the chain holds the door closed.

He walks around the edge of the house onto the patio.

He sees Teresa on her knees beside the Jacuzzi. She's scrubbing and doesn't hear him. He drops his bag as he makes his way to stand beside her. She's round with pregnancy, further along than he expected.

"What happened here?" he asks.

She turns to look up at him with little to no reaction. "Ryan had an accident."

"What are you doing here?"

"What are you doing here?" Teresa responds, slamming the rough brush down against the soapy surface. "We've been here. We've been here since you ran away."

"I didn't run away."

"Okay." She sits back, looks up and stares at him for a second, like she's trying to determine whether or not this is reality. He lets her examine him; he barely believes that he's here either. Once her eyes have scanned his entire form, she lets out a satisfied sigh and nod and continues. "We live here, now. Ryan and I stay in the poolhouse."

Seth realizes that the dark stain is blood. "Is he okay?"

"He's resting. Your father and mother are…Sandy will be back soon. He'll talk to you."

He realizes that she doesn't want to tell him something. She's not lying to him but she's not telling him everything. Something's wrong. Something bad has happened.

She slowly gets to her feet, dropping the brush into the soapy bucket beside the stain. "Come on, Ryan would never forgive me if I didn't wake him up."

Seth leaves his bag beside the pool and follows her. "How are you?"

"I'm fine," she answers curtly and immediately changes the subject. "Have you called Summer?"

"I tried."

"You should try again. She's worried. Everyone's been worried." She turns to him by the door. "I'm glad you're back."

"Thanks." He's relieved to hear it. He doesn't know what he was expecting, but it wasn't this.

"Ryan?" Teresa pushes open the door and leads him inside.

"Hmm?" Ryan has his arm stretched across his face and he's lying on his side. Black stitches stand out against the blond of his hair.

"Seth's here." Teresa turns and walks back outside, leaving them alone.

Ryan rolls over and regards him. His blue eyes are bright. "Seth?"

"Hey, man. You're back."

"You, too," Ryan says quietly. He sits up.

"What happened out there?"

"Busted my head. I slipped." He grins at Seth. "It's damned good to see you, man."

"I really needed to hear you say that."

Ryan slowly gets to his feet and stands up. He grabs Seth's arm and pulls him into a hug. Seth holds onto him a long time before he lets him go.

"I'm sorry, man."

"I know. Me, too."

"What's going on with Mom and Dad? Where's Rosa?"

"Sit down, Seth. You've been gone way too long."

You know I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind