Okay everyone... the very long awaited chapter... Some of you might have to go back and read just to remember what has happened... a little recap... Karen and Dan had given Lucas up years ago... They ended up marrying and having a set of twins...Dan also had Nathan with Deb who died when Nathan was little...Since that point Dan and Karen have raised him and he calls Karen 'Mom'...There was a terrible fire at the home of the people who adopted Lucas and both of his "parents" were killed leaving Lucas and his little brother homeless...Due to the fact that dan had kept track of Lucas since the day they gave him up he knew about the fire... Dan and Karen are now in Nebraska getting ready to take Lucas and Matt (His five year-old brother) back to Tree Hill... Needless to say that nothing has been easy ... Nathan and the twins are angry that Dan and Karen never told them about Lucas... Lucas is upset that he was given up for adoption and Karen and Dan apparently went on with their lives without him...so that brings us up to the day of the adopted parents' funerals...

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Keith: Nathan get up! (He had just opened the blinds in his nephew's bedroom and let the morning light shine in hoping that the kid would get annoyed enough to wake up.) NATHAN!

Nathan: (Rolling over and putting the pillow over his head.) Five more minutes mom.

Keith: Nathan you are already late for your first class. GET OUT OF BED!

Nathan: Call me in sick.

Keith: I'm not lying for you.

N: (He took the pillow off his head long enough to give his uncle a pleading look. The sun made his head hurt more and he had to close one eye just to focus.) Believe me, it would not be a lie! Please Uncle Keith?

Ke: Uh uh! I waited up for your ass until 4:00. If I have to go to work on 3 hours of sleep you can suffer through school.

N: (Covering his head back up.) You can't make me go.

(The phone rang.)

N: (Groaning.) Stop the ringing please! Head hurts.

Keith: Hello?...Nope still no luck Karen...(Nathan groaned again at the mention of his mom's name.) Yep. Hold on...(Keith pulled the pillow off his nephew's head and held the phone in front of his face.) Your mom is calling to say good morning.

N: (He squinted enough to find the receiver and then put it to his chest.) How much does she know?

K: (Smiling.) All of it.

N: Traitor.

Keith: Sucks to be you. My advice? (Pointing to the phone.) I would not keep her waiting much longer.

N: (He put the phone to his ear.) Mom...

K: (She never even gave his a chance to try to get out of this one.) Don't you use that sweet, innocent voice with me. School started 30 minutes ago.

N: I know, but I don't think that I can go.

Ka: (She was trying to keep her voice down but at the same time trying to make herself very clear to her step-son that was in another state.) YOU ARE GOING!

N: But my head...

Ka: Nathan I have really tried my hardest to be patient with you but at this moment I don't have a lot of time to deal with this...

N: Missing precious time with Lucas? (It was too early for Nathan to think before he spoke. He was tired and definitely hung over from his night out but the long pause on the other end of the phone line made him feel a little guilty especially since the last phone call between himand Karen ended so badly.)

Ka: Actually I don't have time to deal with this because your dad ran out to get coffee and I am sure he will be back soon and since I think that sixteen is too young for you to die, I haven't told him what you have been up to at home. So my dear son, you have two choices. Either you can get your butt out of that bed and get to school or you can stay in bed and when your dad gets back I can put him on the phone and you can fill him in on everything. I understand that you are not happy with us and that is fine Nathan. You have the right to those feelings, but you are going to have to be unhappy with us while you are at school because you are not going to skip school.

N: It's one day.

Ka: No. Yesterday day was one day. Today would make two. (Knowing her son well enough she decided to beat him to the punch.) Yes Keith told me EVERYTHING including what time you have been getting home and that you have not been sober. Whatever you need to do to make it through this school day I would advise you to do it. (She never heard the teen say anything.) NATHAN?

N: Yeah?

Ka: Did you hear what I said?

N: Yeah.

Ka: Are you out of bed?

N: Umm...

Ka: GET UP OR I WILL GO GET YOUR DAD ON THIS PHONE RIGHT NOW!

N: (He sat up on the edge of the bed trying to keep the room from spinning.) I'm up. I'm up!

Ka: (Calming down.) Good. How is the tutoring going? (She heard him breathing on the other end but that was it.) Nathan?

N: What?

Ka: I asked you how the tutoring was going?

N: Fine.

Ka: Really? I hope you are telling me the truth. I don't want you messing this up with Haley. I had to pull a lot of strings to get you in with her. She is the best tutor there.

N: It's fine. I need to take a shower.

Ka: You need to get to school by your next class.

N: That's in like (Looking at the clock.) twenty minutes.

Ka: Then you better get going. Nathan?

N: (He was now up digging through his drawers.) What?

Ka: You better be on your best behavior the rest of this trip. Got it?

N: Yeah.

Ka: Put Keith on the phone.(Nathan handed the phone to his uncle with a glare as he passed by him on the way to the shower.)

Keith: (Putting the phone to his ear.) WOW! I am impressed. You managed to do in two minutes what I have been trying to do the last two days.

Karen: (Laughing.) Threatening to sick Dan on him usually get him to do what I ask.

Keith: How's it going?

Ka: The funeral is today. It will be hard on the boys.

Ke: I can't imagine.

Ka: Did they get the rooms done?

Ke: They are having the beds and the rest of the furniture delivered today. She did a great job.

Ka: I am glad that at least one thing seems to be working out. (She sighed.) We should be home tomorrow Keith. Will you stay that long or has Nathan completely ruined that?

Ke: I don't know Karen.

Ka: I am really sorry...

Keith: (Laughing.) I am kidding Karen. This is nothing compared to what I was like at his age.

Ka: Yes I remember. Can you do me a favor?

Ke: Anything.

Ka: Not share those stories with my children.

Ke: What's it worth to you? (He heard her laugh a little which was nice to hear. Keith could tell by her voice that she was under a lot of stress.)

Ka: Nathan didn't crawl back in bed did he?

Ke: The shower just turned on.

Ka: That's a start. Dan will be coming back soon so I am going to go. If Nathan causes you any more problems just call and I will let Dan deal with him.

Ke: Will do. Bye.

Ka: Bye.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

(Lucas laid in his hotel bed listening to the theme song for "Spongbob Square Pants" as it played in the other room. Lucas was awake when Matt crawled out of bed an hour before that to go to the other room but he was not quite ready to face the day. Matt told him the night before that he wanted to go to the funeral and that put Lucas in a tough spot. Even though Lucas had made the decision no to go to the funeral he did not want to tell his little brother that he could not go. Karen and Dan were Luke's real parents but the couple that died in that fire were Matt's and he had every right to be able to say good bye to them. Now Lucas had to make a tough decision and now that he had new information about Dan he knew what he would have to do.)

Flashback from the previous night.

(Lucas was sitting on the couch in the main room of the suite pretending to be interested in the baseball game that was on TV. He had managed to avoid any real alone time with Karen and Dan since they had been back at the hotel. He was either pretending to be asleep or in the pool with Matt. He was doing the best that he could to avoid the never ending questions that Karen seemed have for him. It was all great until that point when Matt was so wore out that he fell asleep in the middle of his dinner. The sun was still out so there was no way that he could go to bed yet. He glanced out of the corner of his eye at Karen who was sitting at the table going through the stacks of papers that Dan had brought her from his school and his doctors. Lucas felt like his privacy was being invaded and all he could do was sit back and let it happen. Every once in a while she would stop and ask him a question about something that she was unclear of and then she would go back to reading. He hated that this complete stranger had every right to know his most personal information. He wondered what they would say if he just started going through their drawers when he got to the house. She noticed that Karen looked at her watch for about the fifth time in ten minutes and then look to the door. Lucas assumed she was wondering where Dan was. He had left hours before for the prayer service at the funeral home.

Karen: Are you sure that you still don't want to go to the funeral tomorrow Lucas?

L: Yeah. (He continued to stare at the TV.)

Ka: I guess I can stay here with you and Matt can go with Dan then.

L: He's not going either.

Ka: When you were in the shower I asked him again and he said he wanted to go.

L: You can take him then.

Ka: Dan is capable of taking Matt. He has been the one dealing with the arrangements and I think that he should be there. (She watched as he got up and headed for the door.) Where are you going?

L: (He just needed to get out of the room.) I'm going to get a soda.

Ka: (She picked up her purse and started digging for her wallet. She was not real confident about letting him leave the room on his own but she had little choice at that point. Dan was gone and Matt was asleep on the couch.) It's getting late.

L: It's like 8:00.

K: (She pulled out a few dollar bills and held them out.) Here is some...

L: Paying to like you works with my little brother but not me. I have money. (He grabbed a key card off the table and then walked out without saying anything else.)

(Luke headed towards the pool area the long way trying to stay out of the room as long as possible without going too far away from his little brother. He figured he would check out the rest of the hotel in the process. Luke grabbed a few dollars of what little he had left to his name and headed to the bar. He could have used something a little stronger then Pepsi but decided against that. As he was ordering he noticed a familiar figure off in the far corner and realized quickly that it was Dan and he was on the phone. Luke waited for his drink and then went around the other way without being seen. Why was he sitting down here alone when Karen was obviously waiting for him? There were some fake palm trees that made a wall between Lucas and Dan. It allowed for him not to be seen as he walked by but he could still make out what he was saying on the phone.)

Dan: Karen I am on my way back to the hotel now...I am sorry that it is taking so long...I got hung up with some last minute details for the funeral...I should be back within a half hour...I am sure that he just needed some air...Luke is not a child Karen he will be fine on his own for a little bit...I will see you in a bit...bye.)

(Luke cringed a little when he heard the man call him "Luke" he had told his "new parents" earlier that only friends called him that and apparently Dan Scott did not feel like he needed to listen. Luke could not very well confont him on the issue though since he was eaves dropping. In a different situation what he was doing might be funny but right now he was curious why Dan did not just tell Karen that he was down in the bar area of the hotel. He heard a second voice through the trees.)

Bartender: Mr. Scott can I get you anything else?

Dan: One more. This time make it a double.

Bartender: Sure thing. (He saw Dan reaching for his wallet.) Sir I can just put it on your room bill...

Dan: No! Make sure that you DON'T put this on the room. (There was a pause in the conversation.) Keep the change.

Baretender: Yes sir. Thank you.

(Lucas started to walk away realizing why Dan had lied to Karen. He was hiding his drinking from her. He got a sick feeling in his stomach. He was not thrilled about having to move out of state and play happy family with these people and the other kids but now he was starting to see that he might just be moving from one alcoholic father to another. He was not sure what he would do with this new information. For now he would keep it to himself but his immediate concern was that he would need to go to the funeral the next day because there was no way that he was going to let this man alone with his brother. Lucas headed back to the room almost wishing that he would have never left in the first place.)

Present time

(Lucas continued laying in the bed looking at the ceiling and going through the events of the last few days. He could not say that he was surprised that Dan was hiding things froms his wife. Lucas did not trust him from the first time they had met. What he was a little surprised by was that Karen was keeping secretsfrom Dan. He had overheard the earlier conversation that Karen had with Nathan and she made it pretty clear that she was not going to tell Dan about what Nathan was doing apparently afraid of upseting him. This threw up more red flags for Lucas about his new found father. When Luke's adoptive mom was pregnant with Matt she stopped drinking and she was always doing her best to cover for Luke trying to keep his father from getting upset. Lucas had a pretty bad feeling that his new life was going to be a lot like his old one. The only difference in this situation was that he would be dressed in the latest fashion when he get his lip busted. Until he found out for sure he had to make sure that he never let Matt alone with Dan. There was a knock on the door.)

Lucas: What?

Karen: (She opened the door.) You should probably get up so you can get some breakfast and a shower. We are leaving in an hour. (Luke just nodded his head, never bothering to look at her. He waited until she shut the door and then slowly got up ready to get the day over with.)

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

(Nathan and Tim were on their way to their next class.)

Tim: I need a step-mom like yours. (Nathan just raised his eyebrow a little but did not comment. His stomach was still not completely settled and his head felt like it could explode. He had promised God many times on the way to school that if He would make him feel better he would never drink again. Obviously God did not buy his story anymore then Nathan did.) No seriously! I mean she yells at you about skipping school but then she calls the principal and covers for your ass so that you won't get detention. What the hell? (Nathan still did not respond to his friend but he knew that he spoke the truth. Karen was great to him and Nathan could not remember a time that was not the case. In fact there were many times that she sided with him over Chris or Kaylee and they were her flesh and blood. He was worried how that would change now that "the other" kid would be there.) Earth to Nathan?

Nathan: What?

Tim: Tara just walked by and thanked you for last night. She actually "thanked" you. Can you give me a few pointers?

Nathan: NO!

Tim: Come on. Whenever I am with a girl they will never even look at me the next day.

Nathan: When have you been with a girl?

Tim: There have been some.

Nathan: Uh huh. Sure.

Tim: So I take it that you and Peyton are done then?

Nathan: No. Why?

Tim: I just figured that you sleeping with her BEST friend and now her WORST enemy that might put a little damper on the relationship.

Nathan: I never said that I slept with Brooke or Tara. That is just school gossip.

Tim: Come on...

Nathan: Tim as far as you know I never did anything with anyone and if I find out that you said differently I will beat your ass.

Tim: Fine. So did you?

Nathan: Did I what?

Tim: Sleep with them.

Nathan: GOD TIM, SHUT THE HELL UP! (Many people turned around to see who was doing all the yelling in the hall and Nathan just gave them few looks that told them to mind their own business and most went back to whatever they were doing. Nathan was relieved when Tim ran into someone else to annoy for a while and turned toward his locker to get his books for the next few classes. He saw a familiar figure at the locker next to his and smiled as he approached.) Hey Peyton.

Peyton: Hey yourself.

Nathan: I missed you at the party last night. I thought you were going to go?

Peyton: I got caught up in a scetch I was working on and then decided to just go to bed early. I find it a little hard to believe that you really missed me though.

Nathan: (He gently moved her hair out of the way and whispered in her ear.) Only thought about you the whole time. (He was a little disappointed when she closed her locker and moved away but by her face he could tell that she was not up to date on the morning rumor mill. Deny, deny, deny. He really was not sure how far things had went with Tara but he remembers a red satin bra and he was pretty sure that was more then Peyton would understand. They broke up when she heard he was with Brooke and any attempt of getting her to go back out with him would be over if she found out that he was with Tara.)

Peyton: I am sure that you found something to do to entertain yourself. Hey, by the way. Mr Mitchell told me to tell you that there is a test in Algebra tomorrow.

Nathan: (Shrugging.) Too bad I was sick and he'll have to give me a make up.

Peyton: He thought you might say that so he gave me this to give you. (She pulled out the papers and handed them to him.)

Nathan: What are these?

Peyton: The practice test. The material is over stuff we did up until the day you were gone. I think he planned this test just for you.

Nathan: (He looked over the material on the paper and gave up when he realized it was like reading a forign language.) He hates me. Shit! (The first warning bell rang.)

Peyton: I gotta get going.

Nathan: Hey you wanna do lunch?

Peyton: Umm...sure. You are buying.

Nathan: (Smiling.) Just like when we were dating. (He turned around flinging his backpack over his shoulder. He quickly scanned the crowd until he found the person he was looking for. He picked up the pace to catch up with the girl.) HALEY!

Haley: (She had seen him coming in her direction so she did her best to get lost in the crowd but obviously that did not work. She felt him put a hand on her shoulder but she never slowed down.) What?

Nathan: Hey can we meet after school today?

Haley: For?

Nathan: I have an Algebra test tomorrow that I am going to fail if I don't get some help.

Haley: Sucks to be you then.

Nathan: Can you slow down a little?

Haley: No. I have class. I think you know what that is.

Nathan: We have the same class together.

Haley: (She was a little surprised that he had remembered that. Normally he acted like she did not exist.) When you choose to come.

Nathan: That is why I need your help so bad. I have been really sick and...

Haley: ...Let me guess that is why you blew off our sessions the last two mornings? IF you were sick, and I mean that is a BIG IF, you could have at least called me and told me so that I would not have had to get to school so early.

Nathan: You're right. I'm sorry. But all I have done is sleep for the last two days and I guess it just slipped my mind. Can't you fit me in sometime after school. I will meet you anywhere, anytime. (She walked into the classroom and took the seat closest to the front of the room. Nathan sat in the seat right behind her feeling strange since he would have normally sat as far away from the teacher as he could but he was desperate to get this girl's help. If his mom found out that he blew off tutoring and failed a test he was screwed. He gave the girl his best pleading look he could muster feeling as bad as he did.) Please?

Haley: (She was having a hard time even focusing on the words he was saying as she was getting lost in his gorgeous eyes.) I don't know...

Jenny: Hey Nate?

Nathan: (Looking up at the pretty blonde.) What?

Jenny: Was that tequila you were using in those drinks last night or rum? I am having a party Friday and I want to make them. They were awesome.

Nathan: (He saw the daggers that Haley was sending him and knew that at that point there was nothing he could do. They might as well be making his headstone.) Vodka.

Jenny: Thanks. (She went to find a seat in the back of the room as the teacher came in.)

Haley: Sounds like you were REALLY sick. (She turned around and ignored him the rest of the class.)

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Matt: (He was messing with the tie on his neck.) Can I take this off Lucas?

Lucas: Not yet.

M: But the funnel is over.

L: Fu-ner-al! We still have to go to the cemetary.

M: But it is too tight on my neck and it is choking me.

L: It is not.

M: (He faked a cough.) I can't breath Lucas! I don't like it.

L: JUST FREAKING LEAVE IT ALONE!

Dan: LUCAS!

(Matt had jumped a little when Lucas had yelled but the entire car jumped when Dan raised his voice. The little boy starred at the older man as he was in a stare down with his older brother. Karen stepped in to try to smooth things over before they got even more out of control. The stress of the last few days was becoming too much for everyone but this was not the place or the time for it all to come to a head. She put her hand on her husband's leg and gave it a little squeeze in the hopes that it would calm him down. He got the hint and relaxed a little.)

Karen: (She reached across to the five year-old and loosened the tie a little.) How's that?

M: (He looked scared and unsure of the situation and his bottom lip started to tremble a little as he spoke.) Better.

Ka: (She reached into the cooler of the bar and opened a bottle of water pouring a little into a glass and holding it out to the little boy.) How about a drink? (The dark-haired boy nodded his head and took the glass.) Karen glanced at Lucas who was still glaring at his father for his attempt at trying to correct him for his bad language. She held out the bottle to the seventeen year-old.) Lucas do you want the rest of this? (The teen broke his stare down but did not answer. He turned his body completely around and looked in the other direction.)

(Dan tried to keep himself calm. He was trying to be understanding with his oldest son but that was hard to do. His nerves were pretty raw at this point and he had spent the last few days running around the state of Nebraska collecting records for Matt and Lucas, making funeral arrangements, plane reservations and whenever he did get the chance to relax at the hotel he spent the whole time watching the hurt look on his wife's face as her first born either avoided conversations with her completely or snap at her whenever he could not avoid it. Karen was trying her hardest and she was getting shut down at every attempt and her normal positive demeanor was slowly slipping away. Dan did not really expect Lucas to except his new life with open arms and to a certain extent he was fine with him letting his anger out on him but it was hard to swallow seeing the defeated look on his wife's face all the time and he definitely did not think it was necessary for Lucas to keep lashing out at Matt who was completely innocent. He starred back at Lucas and was fully aware of the angry glare he was getting from him. He watched as the blonde ran a hand through his hair in an attempt to stay under control. Dan's anger toward him softened when he saw him look at his little brother. Dan saw the dark circles under his eyes and wondered if the kid was getting any sleep at all. He spent most of the time either in the pool or locked in the bedroom but apparently he was not sleeping. The guilt was now taking over the anger. Sure Matt did not deserve to be on the receiving end of Luke's anger but Dan deserved all of it and like it or not Karen did too. Luke had every right to hate them. Dan could not help also thinking that his son was not only suffering from the fact he had just found out Dan and Karen gave him up but as a result of that, he was also having to deal with the loss of the two most important people in his life. Directly or indirectly ALL of Luke's pain could be traced back to the day many years ago when him and Karen gave him up for adoption. The worst part of all of it was that Dan could only watch helplessly as he suffered through it.)

(Karen looked at her husband able to almost read his thoguhts. Her mind raced with it's own thoughts. She was worried about Nathan at home who was obviously acting out his anger in not the most positive way and she had a bad feeling that this was just the beginning. Her step-son had a hard time dealing with his emotions in a constructive way. When things were great in his life he was great to be around but when things were bad he was more then a handful and usually the people closest to him took the worst of things. When Deb passed away there was a period that was hell for the whole family. He did not know how to tell people how he was feeling and he lashed out at the world. Her and Dan made weekly trips to school to talk about his drastically failing grades and classroom disruptions and at home he was constantly fighting with Dan and Chris. For a short time they sent Chris to stay with his grandparents for his safety. Dan had little patience when dealing with him and it did not help that Nate made it very clear on a daily basis that he wished it was Dan that had died instead of his mother. Dan took that to heart instead of realizing it was a child's reaction to the death of his mom and that his world had just crashed down on top of him and he was crying out for help. Eventually some intense counseling got the family back on the right track and the house calmed down. She was worried that this might trigger Nate to go in a downward spiral and to top that off she had two more boys that just lost BOTH their parents and she had no idea how they were going to respond to that. Matt was not showing a lot of emotion and Karen was a little worried about that but she also realized that he was pretty young and had not really grasped onto everything that was going on. It was Lucas that concerned her the most. When Deb died Nathan did not deal with it in the best way but at least he showed some emotion. Luke was not showing anything and was not saying anything either. No anger, no sadness, absolutely nothing. At the church Karen had touched his back to guide him to where he should sit and he felt so tense. She wanted to offer support and even tried to offer it but he wanted nothing to do with her. It broke her heart to know that SHE could not do anything to help him through this but at that moment she just wished that he had ANYONE that he could turn to for help.)

(Lucas watched out the window as all of the oncoming traffic came to a stop and let the two herses pass them. He wondered who came up with that tradition. His former house was near a church so on many occassions he would be walking home as a funeral procession would drive by on the way to the cemetary. One by one all the cars would drive by with their head lights on and each time he would get goosebumps. He wondered if the person who died was elderly or a child. Was the death sudden or a long time coming? Was the person well liked? Sometimes he would wonder how he would die and how many cars would be following the herse? Would anyone really care that he was dead? Most of the time his thoughts would come to an end with his final thought that when he did die he hoped that Matt would be old enough to take care of himself and would not have to live with their parents alone. I guess he does not have to worry about that anymore. He was a little surprised that he had never thought about his parents dying. There was a police officer stopping traffic for them at a busy intersection. Lucas wondered if all these strangers would still feel the need to honor his parents by stopping their cars if they knew that one of the people they were stopping for was a mother that was a drunk that could not stay sober to take care of her kids and the other was a father that was also a drunk that beat his wife and kids.

Lucas took a quick glance at his little brother who was now no longer drinking out of the glass but instead had the entire bottle of water in his hand. Obviously if Karen and Dan were thinking they would not have given him that water for two reasons. The first was the two water stains going down the front of his blue dress shirt and the other was that he would definitely need to go to the bathroom soon and the last that Lucas knew there were no bathroom in the cemetary. Lucas met Dan's eyes for a second and glarred at him again before looking back out the window. The bonding process between father and son was not going well. Lucas was beyond furious with the older man. Lucas knew that he had been out of line with his little brother. The stress was getting to be too much and unfortunately it just seems like people who are the closest to you are the ones that suffer when you are having a bad day. But Lucas did not need that jackass to tell him what he already knew. This was the second time in one day that Dan had raised his voice at Lucas and it was the last time that he was going to let it go. Earlier Dan had chewed him out pretty good for not getting ready faster and making them all late for the funeral. Lucas did not get what his problem was. They were his parents and if he wanted to be late he didn't understand why that upset Dan so much. Lucas had actually planned it that way anyway. He did not want to go to the funeral in the first place but he was going for Matt. He figured that if he had to go he would make sure that everyone was already seated when they showed up that way he would not have to talk to a single person. So far his plan had worked. Too bad Dan was in the car with them. He would have let Dan know exactly how he felt about his need to be a "father" after seventeen years but he needed to keep his emotions in check at least until after the cemetary, then Dan and him would have words.

The car came to a stop and shortly after the door opened. Luke took a deep breath and followed his new family out of the car. It was only a short distance to the spot that his parents would be laid to rest. Twelve friends of his dad's lifted the two caskets from the herses and headed down the small hill. Luke was surprised that all of the guys seemed to be sober. He could not remember a time that they did not have a drink in their hands. Luke picked up his little brother, relieved that he did not seem angry with him for yelling at him earlier.

Matt: Are Mommy and Daddy in those boxes Lucas?

Lucas: Yeah.

Matt: Where we goin'?

Lucas: (He pointed to the chairs that were set up.) Down there.

Matt: What are we gonna do down there?

Lucas: We are going to say some prayers and then we are going to leave.

Matt: We are gonna leave Mommy and Daddy here?

Lucas: Yeah buddy.

Matt: (He leaned in and whispered into his older brother's ear.) So Daddy can't hurt us anymore?

L: (He stopped and almost caused Dan and Karen to run into them. Luke shook his head and he was losing the battle not to cry. Matt saw the tears in Luke's eyes and sniffed a little as the tears spilled down his own cheeks too. He took his little hand and wiped the tears from his older brother's face.)

Matt: It's okay Lucas. Don't cry. (He put his head down on his shoulder and wrapped his arms around his neck.)

(Lucas felt a hand on his back. His legs were suddenly tired and he didn't know if he could take another step. The world suddenly felt like it was folding in on top of him.)

Dan: Lucas you okay? (He did not get a response from the teen and worriedly looked at his wife. Doors were slamming all around them as other mourners were getting out of their cars. The caskets had now been put in place and the funeral directors looked on waiting to seat them.)

Karen: (She saw how pale Lucas had become and noticed the tears dripping from his jaw onto his shirt. She had been waiting for hims to show some emotion but now that he was she was not sure what she could do to comfort him. She heard Matt crying into his shoulder and thought about taking him out of his arms but thought better of it knowing that the little boy was the last connection that Lucas had to his adopted parents. Instead Karen took a hold of Luke's free hand, which surprisingly he squeezed. She gently pulled him and that got his feet moving again and got him to his seat. But as soon as the mother and son moment has started, it was over. Once Lucas had sat down it was as if the last two minutes had not taken place. He let go of Karen's hand, wiped away a few final tears, readjuted Matty on his lap and got that emotionless look back on his face again. He looked straight ahead of him at a road off in the distance. Lucas never once looked at all of the people that had shown up for the service or even at the priest as he gave the final prayer. When he got up he stopped at his mother's casket and gently slid his hand across the shiney wood.)

Matt: Bye Mommy. (He laid his head back on Luke's shoulder again as the teen walked towards the car. Lucas stopped walking when he heard fast approaching foot steps and a familiar voice.)

Jessie: Lucas! (She saw that he had stopped and he put Matt down. The little boy ran directly for her and wrapped his arms around her waist.)

Matt: JESSIE!

Jessie: (She bent down to get eye-level with the younger brother of her best friend.) Hey Matty. I have missed you so much the last few days.

Matt: I have really missed you too. Lucas is really sad.

Jessie: (She looked over the five year-old's shoulder at her friend that was still in the same spot but had not turned around. She touched her finger to the little boy's nose.) You know there is someone else that has missed you too.

Matt: Sara? Is she here?

Jessie: She sure is. (The blond teen pointed in the direction of her five year-old little sister who was patiently waiting next to her mother.) Why don't you go talk to her and I am going to go talk to Lucas. (She waited until he was gone and then headed in the direction of her friend. He still was not facing her when she reached him but she wrapped her arms around him from the back and just rested her head on his shoulder blades. She felt him begin to shake.)

L: Jessie...I can't do this...(He fell to his knees and began to cry, unable to hold it in any longer.)

Jessie: (She knelt in front of him and took him into a protective hug.) Lucas it's okay. I'm here.

(That was all that she needed to say as he let out the pain of the last few days, of the last few years. Jessie held her friend as tight as she could. This was not the first time that she had comforted him but this was definitely the worst. The sounds that were coming from Lucas were gut wrenching to the many people that had not gotten back to their cars. Anyone that had been crying for the loss of their friends were now shedding new tears for Lucas. They thought that the sadness that he was showing was because he lost his parents but only the teens knew that the sobs that came from him were the final release of all the pain he had endured over the years and kept bottled inside. He lived in fear almost everyday that he could remember and anyone who did know the true story would have thought that there would be some relief with the passing of his father, but now he lived with the fear of the "unknown". Was his and Matt's life about to get worse? Was that possible? In many ways the fear that he was feeling now was worse then the fear of getting beat by his adoptive father.)

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Okay I know that it has been forever since I have updated and I am sorry ... I hope that there are still a few of you that are reading this... and if there are a quick review would be apprecitated... thanks wendy.