I'm sorry it's taken me so long to update. I am still unemployed.

I apologize for the quality, I had hoped to make the ending better. Endings don't seem to be my style.

Mikey and Eliot became fast friends. Eliot spent a lot of time at Mikey's house learning how to fight and to protect himself.

Mikey's mother even taught Eliot how to cook for himself and for his father. No more eating meat loaf three times a week.

Mack, Tommy and Kyle never bothered Eliot again. Kyle still walked with a slight limp and seemed to take particular pains to avoid being in Eliot's company.

Eliot found that he had a talent for finding lost things, for retrieving things from people they did not belong to. Sometimes in the course of retreating lost items, Eliot was forced to rely on the training he got from Mikey. The reward money that he got for returning the lost and stolen items was nice, but nothing compared to the feeling that he got when handing back something cherished. When Eliot would give the money to his father, his father always smiled proudly at him and tousled his hair.

"You're a good boy Eliot, your momma would be proud."

Nine years later Eliot buried his father beside his mom. Still in his teens, Eliot was left to make his way in the world on his own.

Eliot never stopped looking for nurse Biddlecomb. False leads and dead ends took him all over the country, he always seemed to be one step behind her. One thing never changed though, wherever nurse Biddlecomb had been, people had lost things.

He finally tracked her down to a nursing home near Tacoma, Washington. Ruth Biddlecom had been a resident in the nursing home for the last six years.

Nothing fancy today, he was disguised as a flower deliveryman. Sometimes the simplest con worked the best.

The former nurse sat in a wheelchair by the window, chin resting on her chest. She looked a lot different than the last time he had seen her: her hair was now gray and the tobacco stained teeth were gone but it was definitely her. Eliot set the vase of flowers on the small table next to her and knelt beside the chair.

All the anger and all the grief the he'd felt over the last eighteen years welled up in his throat as he saw the bracelet still around her wrist. His fingers closed over the silver and in his mind he still heard himself promising his mother that he would retrieve the bracelet.

"This is not yours." He said softly. "It was never yours." The sudden rush of pain in his heart made his hand jerk and the bracelet broke under his fingers. Eliot slipped it into his pocket.

"That's so sweet," came a voice from the doorway, "They never come to see her anymore, at least they are sending flowers."

Eliot swallowed hard. "Yes." His voice was ragged. "I hope she enjoys them." He stood up and scrubbed a hand over his eyes.

Seeing his distress, the girl in the pink scrubs offered, "You can stay a little bit if you'd like."

"No." Eliot shook his head, "No, I can't. She just reminds me of someone. I better be going."

Back in the truck he pulled the bracelet from his pocket and held it in the palm of his hand. With the tip of one finger, he traced a fleur-de-lis embossed on the silver.

"I'm sorry Mama." A sob caught in his chest. "I'm sorry it took so long, but I promised and I couldn't let it go."

Sunlight glinted off the broken clasp.

"I'll never let it go."