It was about three in the morning when they left the hospital. Jessica had tried her hardest to find him a permanent home. Or even a temporary home before she gave up and called the only person left. Evelyn Mercer. The only reason it was such short notice for Evelyn and so early in the morning for everyone is because the hospital said that Jack was good to go and that they needed the space. Unfortunately they waited to tell her this until a major fire took over an apartment complex and the space was absolutely necessary.
"Jack I know that with you just being out of the hospital, you probably don't want to hear this, but I've found you a new home. This one is only an emergency placement until I can find someone who will take you permanently, but I want you too know that this woman will not let any harm come too you." The worried social worker took her eyes off the road for just a split second to give the boy in the driver's seat a worried look. "This woman has worked for years as a social worker and has got too be one of the kindest woman I have ever met. She has already taken in three boys before you and they were all considered lost causes. This will be a great new start for you." She let out a sigh. "I just want you to give them a chance okay? Jack answer me honey."
The boy continued to stare out the window before he spoke.
"How old are they?" He asked in a monotone voice.
Jessica, the social worker, was happy that Jack had talked, but it wrenched at her heart that he had asked that question. She knew that the only reason he asked it was because he was worried about them hurting him and he wanted to know if he had a chance.
"Bobby is the oldest and he's 20. Jerry is the second oldest and he's 17. Angel is the baby of the family at 16. But Jack these boys would never hurt there own. If you live in there house, then you're family. You'll be safe i promise."
"Gee, where have I heard that before?" He said in a whisper that Jessica wasn't meant to hear. She did hear it though and it seemed it was all she could do to contain her tears. She tried to place Jack in good homes. She really did, but Jack never talked and if he was abused in the house then he wouldn't say anything and the only way they would find out is when things had gotten extremely bad.
"Okay, we're here Jack." She said as she slowly pulled over to the side of the street in front of a beautiful brick house with a wrap around porch. She turned off the car and unbuckled her seat belt. Jack hadn't moved an inch. "Jack?" She said in a hushed tone. "Sweetie we're here you have to get out now okay?" She watched him tense up and then slowly unbuckle his own seat belt. As they exited the car and walked up to the house she couldn't help but notice that Jack was tailing rather slowly behind her. She knew that he was debating on whether or not he should just bolt. So she reached back and took a gentle hold on his hand, ignoring the flinch and small effort to draw his hand back. She was comforted when he didn't struggle once he realized he wasn't going to be able to run. Normally he wouldn't let anyone touch him, but he seemed to trust Jessica enough to allow her to hold his hand or once in a while give him a small hug.
Jessica knocked on the door to the front of the house which caused Jack to jump slightly. The door was answered by a very irritably tired looking older man wearing a sweat stained wife beater and red wing boxers. Jack took a step back, tugging on Jessica's hand. She just squeezed her hand around his reassuringly and said. "Hi, you must be Bobby. Is Evelyn here?"
The man's face soften when he saw the terrified aura the small boy was giving off despite the fact that he couldn't see the kids face because his eyes were glued to the ground. "Yeah, she's getting a room ready for the kid. You can come on in though she should be done soon." Bobby stepped aside opening the door wider to let them in. He watched as the boy tailed behind the woman quickly, keeping his head down and hidden by his baggie hoodie.
Once inside Jack and Jessica sat on the couch. Jessica kept hold of Jack's hand because she could feel him start to shake under her grip. Poor kid looked so pathetic just sitting there shaking with his head shielded by his hood and his eyes glued to the floor.
"So, kid, how old are you?" Bobby said sitting in a chair opposite of them. Bobby could see the kid shaking and he knew he was scared but Bobby wasn't going to hurt him. How could he?
"He's thirteen. His name is Jack and I'm Jessica." The young red head sitting next to the kid answered.
Bobby was about to ask why she was answering for him when they heard small footsteps descending the stairs.
"Hi Jessica, it's nice to see you again sweetie." Evelyn said as she walked in to the room. Bobby stood and Evelyn sat in the chair that he was previously sitting in.
"I'm sorry Evelyn about such short notice but the hospital needed room and Jack was okay to leave but i didn't have anywhere for him to go." Jessica explained exhaustedly.
"No, no its fine Jess really. Call me anytime you need." She directed her attention to the small boy next to her. "Hi, its Jack am I right?"
Jack didn't say anything which rewarded him with a sad sigh from Jessica. "Evelyn I'm really sorry to do this to you, but I actually have one more case I need to get too and I really can't stay any longer." She stood up slowly and let go of Jack's trembling hand. "Jack I have to go now but you're in safe hands. I promise this time." At that Jessica said some more goodbyes and left the house leaving Jack a shaking mess.
"Are you tired Jack?" Evelyn asked stifling a yawn.
Jack considered his answer carefully, not wanting to say the wrong thing, before he decided on a, "Yes ma'am."
"Okay well why don't I show you where your room is and you can decide if you want to stay in there and get used to it or come down here and watch TV or something. How's that?" Evelyn said in an attempt to make him more comfortable.
Jack hesitated before he shook his head up and down slightly. He waited to get up until Evelyn was already heading out of the room. He inched his way around Bobby who followed him up the stairs where Evelyn showed him his room. Jack was surprised. There was only one bed. The room was all his. He assumed. He couldn't be sure. Maybe the bed was someone else's and he was supposed to sleep on the floor.
"Okay Jack, come on in. You have this whole room to yourself. You can use anything in here; the dresser, the closet, the bed, anything okay?" Evelyn said almost reading his thoughts.
Jack stepped in to the room cautiously his eyes still locked on his feet and his hood still up.
"Jack? Did you hear me?"
Shit! Jack thought. She was talking to me and I didn't hear her. She'll be mad.
Jack backed himself further into the room and started shaking a little more than before.
"Jack?" Evelyn said worriedly. "I just wanted you too know that there are some sweat pants and a T-shirt for you to sleep in. Jessica informed me that you didn't have any clothes other than what you're wearing now. So I fished out some of the boys old clothes. If you want to change, I can wash your clothes for you and you'll have them clean for tomorrow?"
Jack forced himself to calm down seeing as how neither the lady nor the older man standing next to her got mad. His shaking subsided and he agreed to her suggestion. Once they had shut the door to his room to give him the privacy he needed to change, he inched his clothing off as carefully as he could. Trying hard not cause his healing body any more damage.
It was a painful process but he finally got his dirty clothes off and the clean ones that Evelyn had given him on. He folded his dirty clothes and stacked them in a neat pile. He cautiously opened his door to see that both Bobby and Evelyn were waiting not to far off to the side of his door. When they turned to look at him, they for the first time saw his face nice and clear. Both there eyes grew big.
"Who the hell did that to you!?" Bobby nearly yelled in a threatening tone that made Jack jump.
"Bobby calm down." Evelyn said soothingly.
She slowly and calmly approached the now very frightened Jack, and gently took the clothes from him. "Jack honey, what happened to your face?" She cooed, referring to the large stitched up gash that ran across his face from his left cheek bone to just across the other side of his nose. There where also a large amount of bruises that covered both his arms and his face making it almost impossible to make out his original skin tone.
"N-n-nothing." Jack stuttered out.
"Nothing my ass!" Bobby screeched making Jack take a few steps back.
"Bobby, can you take these down stairs for me and throw them in the wash."
Bobby hesitated, obviously wanting to say more about what he saw, but decided to just let ma handle it and reluctantly took the clothes down stairs, disappearing from view.
Evelyn turned her attention back to Jack. "I want make you talk about it if you don't want to, but I want you to know that you can come to me about anything. Bobby too. He seems scary, but the only reason he got so upset was because he stand it when people do things like what has been to done to you. He wasn't mad at you and he would never raise a hand to you okay? Good now you can get some sleep if you want. Just so you know though Jerry and Angel, my other two boys, will probably be home when you wake up. Don't worry about them either thought okay? Everything will be okay, I promise. Good night sweetie." Evelyn said at last letting Jack return back to the safety of his room.
Jack quietly shut the door to his room and looked around it. Then he went over to his new bed and laid on it letting the events of the night set in. He started crying silently letting his mind drift into a part of his past he really didn't want to remember. A part of his past that went back to when he wasn't in the system and still lived with his mother and father.
Six-year-old Jack woke up to loud footsteps descending the stairs of the basement where he was kept in a small animal crate in a closet. Jack waited wondering if the footstep where that of his mothers or his fathers, or worse, his father's friends. Jack was horrified when the closet door swung open revealing his father and one of his father's friends. Jack pushed himself as far as he could against the back of the crate.
"You think that'll stop me you little shit!?" Jack's father screamed at him.
His father opened the lock on the crate and aggressively shot his hand in to the crate and grabbing Jack by his hair. Jack let out a whimper and was tossed to the cold, hard concrete of the basement floor.
Jack's father turned to his friend. "One hour Devon, just like I promised. There's a mattress over in the corner if you need it. Don't worry about him screaming down here. We tested it, and you can't hear anything that happens down here, outside. So enjoy!" And with that, Jack's father walked himself up the stairs and threw the door.
Jack got to his feet and tried to run after his father, but was grabbed by the back of his T-shirt and yanked backwards on to the concrete again. Then before he could get off the ground again the man was on top of Jack straddling his waist. Jack's struggles were in vein and his arms were help tightly above his head by only on of the man's hands. Jack let hot tears of desperation roll down his face when the man, Devon, reached under Jack's shirt and began to run his fingertips over Jack's bruised body. Jack struggled again when he felt Devon's hand brush along his waist band. Then Devon quickly released Jack and grabbed his waistband hauling him off the floor and throwing him on the mattress. Jack tried again to get up but was once again straddled. This time though Devon started to undo his belt. Jack let out a series of screams for help, but was not surprised when no one came to his aid.
Devon looped his belt around Jack's hands and tied them to the heating pipe just in front of the mattress. Jack felt his skin burning and he released other set of screams before he gave up and just cried hysterically. Once Devon knew the kid couldn't get up he stood up and removed all his clothing. Then he straddled Jack again and skillfully removed his clothing. He leaned over Jack's body and began licking and sucking at his neck before he pushed his tongue threw Jack's mouth. Once he felt satisfied there he started grabbing violently in between Jack's legs. Jack was horrified even further when he felt Devon grow hard. Everything after that was a blank, because Jack got so distraught that he went unconscious from a state of shock. If had happened before but he never passed out. He thanked god that this time he did.
When Jack woke up he was back in his dog crate in the closet. He was still naked and was freezing. The only part of him that felt like it was on fire was his wrists that were tied to the heating pipe. They screamed in pain, but Jack knew that his father would not be happy that he had passed out. There would be more pain to come.
Just then the closet door swung open so forcefully that it flew off its hinges.
"YOU LITTLE FUCKER!!! I lost a lot money because you couldn't keep fucking awake!!"
In less then a split second Jack was torn from his crate and was dragged over to a corner of the room. Where, when released, he felt his fathers hard fist connect with his face, over and over again. Then he moved to the rest of Jack's body and started hitting him all over until Jack didn't even have the strength to scream anymore. He laid in the corner a bloody, bruised, broken mess.
"No more." Jack heard his father in a low angry tone.
The next thing Jack knew he was in a hospital bed and in a lot of pain. The nurse there told him that he had been dumped in an alley and that a cop just happened to be across the street dealing with a parking ticket when he saw the car speed off. Unfortunately he got no plates, but he was able to save Jack.
End of Flashback
Jack woke up screaming, tears drowning his face. Somewhere during his train of thought he had fallen asleep and somewhere during his sleep he had wedged himself underneath his bed.
Jack saw the door open and four sets of feet hurried there way in to the room. Jack held his breathe and kept completely quiet. He saw two sets of feet stay in the door way. The other two sets of feet he saw go over to the closet, and then to the bed. They stood there for a moment and then he watched, practically scared shitless, as they bent down and looked under the bed. Jack started whimpering and pushing his starved body frame against the back wall.
"Jack, we are not going to hurt you, you can come out." Evelyn said as calm as possible.
It was light out now, so at least Jack didn't wake anyone. That might make his punishment less.
"Jack sweetie, Bobby and I are going to back away and go stand on the other side of the room. So you know that you can come out on your own. We are not going to hurt you okay?"
Jack was surprised when they did exactly as she said. He saw there feet and they were all the way on the other side of the room. Usually when someone wanted him out from under the bed, they would just drag him out. Jack was still cautious though. The other two sets of feet were still waiting at the door. It could turn in to a possible ambush. Jack decided to test whether or not these people really meant harm. So he found the courage to make a small demand.
"I-I want to two at the door to move over w-wh-where you a-are." He knew he was pushing it and they could jump him right now, but at least he would no for sure instead of waiting in suspense to be hit.
"If that'll make you feel better, we can do that." Evelyn's said softly.
Sure enough the two sets of feet moved there way over to where Evelyn and Bobby were standing. Jack was still hesitant, but he was a fast runner and he could make his way out the door if anyone so much as lifted a finger in his direction.
Jack slowly rolled out from under the bed and stood, readying himself to run if needed.
"Jack, tell me what happened. Why did you scream honey?"
Jack had forgotten about his nightmares past, when his survival instincts took control, but now they were back in the light and he could feel steady streams of beady liquid fall from his eyes.
"Did you have a nightmare?" Evelyn asked trying to figure out the cause of his scream. She wanted to help him, but Jack wasn't focusing on her anymore. Now his eyes darted between her three boys. "Would it be easier if the boys left?"
Jack's eyes drifted back to Evelyn. He thought about it for a moment and decided that he would give it a try. He nodded to Evelyn and backed himself on to his bed and against the wall. The three boys did leave, without even swearing or slamming a door. Jack was impressed, but he wouldn't get his hopes up. This could all be an act to get him to trust them and then they rip it all out from under him.
"I'll stay right here okay? I won't move from this spot if you don't want me too. Can you tell me what wrong though?"
"I'm fine." Jack said in a hushed voice. He was looking at his feet and not at Evelyn, but he had managed to stop the tears and the involuntary shaking.
"Was it a nightmare?" Evelyn continued, ignoring the bullshit answer he gave her.
Jack sat silently before slowly shaking his head yes.
"Was it about your past?"
Another head shake yes.
"Okay then I'll leave it at that. I won't pry if you're not ready to talk about it. But when you need to you can, alright? You can talk to me or any of the boys." Evelyn started to move forward, making Jack flinch and her stop moving. "It's okay Jack I'm just going to set your clean laundry on your bed and then I'll leave. I have breakfast ready for you. So when you're done you can come down when ever you fell like it. I can't wait to introduce you to Angel and Jerry."
With that, she laid his now clean clothes on his bed and left the room shutting the door behind her.