Author's Note- Sorry for the delay. I was preparing for an exam so I didn't have time to transcribe the chapters this past weekend. I hope you enjoy this chapter.

Chapter 9 - Are you Lost, Kid?

Brandon exited the baggage claim of L.A.X. with his luggage just in time to see a familiar friend waiting for him at the gate.

"Brandon, over here," said Steve.

"Steve, my man" said Brandon as he goes and hugs Steve.

"How are you, Bran?" asked Steve.

"I'm doing alright. How about you? How's Janet and Madeline?" asked Brandon.

"We're good. Madeline's fine. Janet and I are actually expecting another baby," said Steve.

"That's great; congratulations. Seeing you as a father; now that's scary," joked Brandon.

"Hey, things have changed. I have matured since we last saw each other," said Steve.

"It has been way too long, hasn't it?" asked Brandon looking at Steve.

"It sure has," replied Steve who hugs Brandon again.

They continue talking as they walk out.

"Hey, thanks again for picking me up," said Brandon.

"No problem. Thanks for calling," said Steve.

"Now, I got to admit that I was pretty mad that you didn't call me when you first got here," added Steve.

"I'm sorry, man. I haven't really spoken to anyone, really. I had a lot of things on my mind including the office," said Brandon.

"Well, you could make it up to me by having dinner with me and Janet tonight," said Steve.

"Tonight? I don't know, Steve. I got to check into a hotel and find an apartment," said Brandon.

"Brandon, please? It would mean a lot to us if you come," said Steve.

Brandon looked at Steve for a moment. Seeing Steve serious for a moment really surprised Brandon. Maybe he really has changed over the past ten years. To Brandon, Steve will always be his goofy funny best friend from school. However, settling down and raising a family definitely brought out a mature side that Brandon was not used to seeing in Steve.

"Sure, I'll have dinner with you. You just got to give me a ride back; it's a long way from Santa Cruz to here," said Brandon.

"Of course I will. Oh, this is going to be so much fun. I really missed you," said Steve.

"Me too," said Brandon as they both get into Steve's Corvette.

"I see your taste in cars still hasn't change," said Brandon.

"Yeah, well, Janet let me keep this for good behavior," smiled Steve as he starts driving.

"I'll be sure to thank her for letting you off your leash to come here and pick me up," joked Brandon.

"It's not like that, Bran," smiled Steve.

"I know, Steve. I'm just kidding. It's great that you found someone," said Brandon.

"Yeah, it is. But you got to tell about all the women you've met over the years," said Steve.

"Steve, it's not like that," said Brandon.

"It's not like what? I want to hear about the trips, the girls, and the forbidden love; everything!" said Steve.

"Now that's the Steve, I know and love," joked Brandon as Steve laughs with him.

"I guess sometimes I just missed being single," said Steve.

"You and Janet doing alright?" asked Brandon.

"Oh, don't get the wrong idea; we're doing great! It's just that whenever you tell me about your trips, I kinda wish I was hanging out with you," said Steve.

"The feeling's mutual, man," said Brandon.

"Ah, c'mon. I still can't believe you're even giving up free trips and all the women you'll meet for an office job," said Steve.

"It's more than trips and women, Steve. I love writing," said Brandon.

"Then why are you giving it up?" asked Steve.

"I'm not. I'm just splitting my time between managing and writing," said Brandon.

"Believe me, from the ways things are going at the L.A. office, I'll still be writing for most of the paper," added Brandon.

"Ok, fair enough but don't you miss the women? The no-strings attached rule?" grinned Steve.

"First of all, it's not a rule. And for your information, I didn't have that much time to date," said Brandon.

"Who said anything about dating? Didn't you have at least a few one nighters?" asked Steve.

"Nope, none of those," said Brandon.

"C'mon Brandon. It's me, you're talking to. I thought we were best friends," said Steve.

"We are. And I'm telling you the truth," said Brandon.

"Fine; be that way. I'll just keep bugging you until you tell me," said Steve.

"And I'll tell Janet our little conversation," said Brandon try to threatening Steve.

"I'm sure she'll be thrilled to know that you miss being single," added Brandon.

"No, please Brandon; don't tell her. I didn't even mean it...I love her," pleaded Steve.

"I'm sure you do," said Brandon smiling at Steve.

Still in L.A., Steve waits for Brandon at the hotel as Brandon checks backs in. Afterwards, Brandon gets back into Steve's car and they drive to Santa Cruz to meet Janet for dinner.

After last Friday, Kelly's life had returned to normal. Since she hasn't seen or heard from Brandon in a few days, Kelly assumed that Brandon had returned to D.C. Dylan decided to stay in L.A. for a while longer. Though he doesn't know when or where he's needed next, he's making an effort in trying to be a better father to Sammy. Kelly, who notices this change in Dylan, is getting used to the fact that he may stay for a while.

Dylan and Kelly are at the park with Sammy. They sit one of the park benches as they watch Sammy play.

"I can't believe he's going to be starting school soon," said Dylan to Kelly about Sammy.

"Me too. Next thing you'll know, he'll be chasing little girls in the playground," said Kelly.

"Hey, we McKay men don't chase. Girls chase us," joked Dylan.

"Sure you do. Now tell me, how many of them are chasing you nowadays?" asked Kelly sarcastically.

"I may let them chase me but that doesn't mean I let them catch me," replied Dylan.

"So, how many have you let catch you?" asked Kelly.

"Not enough to keep me from coming back to you," said Dylan.

"If I recall, back in high school, you were chased by a few girls too," said Kelly.

"You should know, you were one of them," said Dylan.

"I thought you were chasing me," said Kelly.

"No, if I remember correctly, I was still with Brenda at the time. So I couldn't be the one doing the chasing," said Dylan.

"Is that why it took so long for you to decide between me and Brenda?" asked Kelly catching Dylan off guard.

"It was never like that. Choosing between you and Brenda was a very hard decision for me," explained Dylan.

"Is that why you two stayed so close after we broke up?" asked Kelly looking at Dylan.

"I stayed close to Brenda to get to you," said Dylan.

"Was she aware of that or did you make her believe it was something else?" asked Kelly.

"Kel, it was always about you. She was perfectly aware. Nothing happened between us," said Dylan.

"I know. I'm sorry for accusing you. I've just haven't dated for so long that I get jealous easily," said Kelly.

"Ok, why don't you and I go out to dinner tonight...alone," said Dylan.

"What about Sammy?" asked Kelly.

"We'll leave him with Silver," replied Dylan.

"Silver's going to be busy with her friends at the house tonight," said Kelly.

"That's perfect. She'll be there," said Dylan.

"I don't know, Dylan. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves here," said Kelly.

"It's just dinner, Kel. C'mon; a night out will do you a lot of good," said Dylan.

Dylan and Kelly looked at each other for a moment.

"Ok," said Kelly.

"Great," smiled Dylan.

After the park, Dylan and Kelly take Sammy back home.

"Silver, you're staying in tonight, right?" asked Kelly.

"Yeah, Annie and a few friends are coming over," replied Silver.

"Ok. I was wondering if it's not too much trouble, can you keep an eye on Sammy?" asked Kelly.

"Sure, no problem. Why? Where are you going?" asked Silver.

"Dinner with Dylan," replied Kelly.

"Ok," said Silver.

"That's it? You're not going to demand details when I get back?" asked Kelly.

"Why? It's just dinner with Dylan. You're not still interested in him, right?" asked Silver.

"No, of course not," said Kelly who is not so sure.

Meanwhile in Santa Cruz, Brandon, Steve, and Janet are at dinner at a restaurant.

"So Janet, when are you due?" asked Brandon to Janet.

"Two more months; I can't wait," replied Janet.

"Well, I'm sure Steve can't wait either," smiled Brandon.

"Honey, you told him?" asked Steve to Janet.

"Steve, it's no big deal. Many pregnant make their men wait," laughed Brandon.

"Yeah, for a lot of things; but not for sex," said Steve mad.

"Oh honey, you miss me that much?" smiled Janet sweetly at Steve.

"Yes, I do. How about tonight? We can ditch Brandon with the bill," pleaded Steve to Janet.

Janet looks at Brandon.

"Very funny, guys," said Brandon who is not so amused.

"Ha, this is fun. I miss our days at the Beverly Beat," said Steve.

"Speaking of the Beat, how's your little paper doing?" asked Brandon.

"Hey, it's nothing but little; we're better than your paper," joked Steve.

"Only for the time being," joked Brandon.

"So Brandon, which country did you enjoyed visiting the most," asked Janet.

"I'd say it's a tossup between Maui and Paris," replied Brandon.

"Meet any women there, Brandon?" asked Janet.

"Forget it, he won't tell. I tried earlier," said Steve.

"No; no one serious. I was working most of the time. I didn't really have time to meet anybody," said Brandon.

"Well, you're going to have plenty of time to date now that you're back," said Janet.

"Sure. I can't wait," said Brandon.

"Have you spoken to Kelly?" asked Janet to Brandon.

"Yeah, I talked to her," replied Brandon.

"Just talk? Nothing else happened?" asked Janet.

"No, that was it," lied Brandon.

"You sure? I mean since you said you didn't date much in D.C., I would think that you two would do more than just talk," said Janet.

"We're not actually on speaking terms, nowadays," said Brandon who is trying to be careful of what he says.

"Why, what happened?" asked Janet.

"Nothing. It's a long story. And I prefer not to get into it," said Brandon sadly.

"I can't believe you didn't tell me about Kelly," said Steve shaking his head.

"What else are you hiding?" added Steve.

"Nothing. Boy, you two certainly know how to welcome a guy back," said Brandon sarcastically.

Steve and Janet give Brandon a weird look.

After dinner, Steve drives Janet and Brandon back to Steve and Janet's house. They are in the porch.

"Well, it's great to see you guys but I should be heading back," said Brandon.

"So soon? You don't want to come in?" asked Janet.

"Thanks but it's getting late. Besides it's going to take a while for Steve to drive back," replied Brandon.

"Oh ok. It was great seeing you Brandon. Now that you're back; come and visit us, ok?" asked Janet.

"Don't worry, I will," replied Brandon.

Janet gives Brandon a hug and a small kiss on the cheek. She gives Steve a kiss and goes inside the house.

Steve and Brandon walk to Steve's car.

"Hey, think fast," said Steve as he throws Brandon his car keys.

"You're letting me drive your Vette?" asked Brandon as he's holding the keys.

"Yes but that's not all," said Steve.

"You're giving me your Vette?" asked Brandon confused.

"Hell no, are you crazy?" asked Steve loudly.

"Then why are you giving me your keys?" replied Brandon.

"I see it as more of a loan. I don't have much time to drive it anyway," said Steve.

"You sure? It'll be a while till I have time to drive back here," said Brandon.

"But at least, this will guarantee that you'll come back to visit me," said Steve.

"Steve, c'mon; we're friends. We've always kept in touch," said Brandon.

"Yeah, but it's not the same. I miss you, Brandon," said Steve.

"I miss you too, Steve, and I promise you that I'll be back," said Brandon.

Brandon and Steve look at each other.

"You sure? There's no going back now," said Brandon.

"Yeah, now go before I change my mind," said Steve.

Brandon smiles at Steve. They hug and Brandon gets into the car.

"Nice!" said Brandon as he feels the soft leather seats.

"Thanks Steve. I could get use to this," said Brandon.

"Hey, it's just a loan, Brandon," said Steve.

"I know. I'll think of you every time I'm in it," said Brandon.

"Bye baby; daddy loves you," said Steve to the car was he goes and hugs it.

After a minute, Steve is still hugging the car. Brandon is just staring at Steve, laughing.

"You two wanna be alone?" asked Brandon.

"No, I'm done," said Steve as he backs away from the car.

"Bye Steve and thanks!" said Brandon.

"See ya, Brandon," said Steve as he sees Brandon drive away.

Silver and Annie and a few friends are at the house. Sammy is in his room. Dylan and Kelly are at dinner.

Sammy comes out of his room and goes to Silver.

"Sammy, I'm busy. What is it?" asked Silver.

"I'm hungry," said Sammy.

"Ok; we'll have dinner soon. Go back to your room and play, ok," said Silver.

"Ok," said Sammy sad.

Sammy lowers his head as he slowly heads toward his room. He stops at the door of his room and looks back at Silver and her friends. He sees that Silver isn't paying any attention to him. He goes to his room and shuts the door.

"He's so adorable," said Annie referring to Sammy.

"I know, isn't he?" said Silver.

Dylan and Kelly are seated at a fancy restaurant.

"Kel, I just wanted to let you know that I am trying my best to be more a part of Sammy's life," said Dylan.

"That's good to hear," said Kelly.

"And I think I have you to thank for that," said Dylan.

"Well, I just think that Sammy deserves to spend time with his father," said Kelly.

"You look beautiful tonight," said Dylan looking at Kelly.

"Thank you," said Kelly looking back at Dylan.

"Then again, you always look beautiful," said Dylan.

"Thanks but you really don't have to keep complementing me," said Kelly smiling at Dylan.

"But I do. And I think I should also do this," said Dylan.

Dylan gets up from his chair and puts the necklace that she bought for Kelly. As Kelly touched the necklace, Dylan kisses her on the cheek.

"Wow, that was unexpected," said Kelly as Dylan sits back down.

"Well you deserve it," said Dylan.

"Dylan, I said I couldn't accept this," said Kelly.

"Kel, this is to thank you for allowing me to stay in Sammy's life," said Dylan.

"You don't need to give me anything or that; I'm doing this for Sammy," said Kelly.

"Kel, I want to; please take it," said Dylan looking at Kelly sincerely.

"Thank you for the gift," said Kelly.

"You're very welcome," said Dylan.

Silver and her friends are still at the house. It's getting late and Silver forgets to make Sammy dinner.

"C'mon, I want to show you guys something in my room," smiled Silver.

"Why not just bring it out here?" asked Julie (one of Silver's friends).

"She probably doesn't want Miss Taylor to see it," smiled Annie.

"No, it's not that. It's just private," said Silver.

"Ok, this better be good," said Julie.

They walked to Silver's room.

Sammy hears Silver and her friends and he comes out of his room. He follows them to Silver's room. One of the girl notices Sammy.

"Aww...isn't that cute? He's following us," said Julie.

"I'm sorry but you're a little too young for me," joked Julie.

"C'mon guys; don't make fun of him," said Silver.

"Aunt Silver, I'm hungry," cried Sammy.

"Ok, you go back to your room and I'll be right there with you dinner," said Silver.

"You promise?" asked Sammy with a sad face.

"Yes, I promise," replied Silver.

"Ok," said Sammy as he heads back to his room.

A few minutes go by and Sammy could hear his stomach rumbling. He wanders around the living room and kitchen trying to find any means of food. He sees that Silver and her friends left a bunch of candy bars and a few bags of chips on the living room floor. He takes a handful of it, opens the door, and goes outside.

Sammy knew he wasn't allowed outside without someone but he was bored. After all, he was just going to sit on the porch and wait for Dylan and Kelly to come back from dinner. Since he was so hungry, Sammy managed to eat the snacks pretty quickly. He was going to go back for seconds until he saw Silver finally coming out of her room. Sammy kept quiet so that Silver won't catch him outside. He peeled inside the window and saw the Silver grabbed the rest of the snacks they have left in the living room back to her room.

Sammy was still hungry. He knew that Dylan and Kelly were eating dinner at a fancy restaurant. He just didn't know which restaurant it was or where it was located. He got tired of waiting and started to wander around in the dark trying to figure out where he was going. He figured he'll search all the fancy restaurants in the area. After all, how many could there be? Sammy managed to get pretty far away from the house without being noticed. The only problem is that he have gone so far that he didn't know his way back home.

Meanwhile back in the house, we see Silver putting a few frozen burritos in the microwave.

"Sammy, dinner in 10 minutes," said Silver.

"If you're really hungry, come to my room for some snacks," added Silver as she headed back to her room.

Sammy eventually realized that he was lost and didn't know where how far he had gotten from the house. He sat down at a park bench and started to cry. A couple of older kids noticed his crying and approached Sammy.

"Hey kid, you alright?" asked one of the kids.

"I'm looking for my mommy and daddy," replied Sammy who is still crying.

"You lost?" asked one of the kids.

"Yes," replied Sammy.

"Do you know where your mom and dad went?" asked one of the kids.

"A restaurant," replied Sammy.

"What kind of restaurant?" asked a different kid.

"I forgot" said Sammy as he shakes his head.

"What's your name, kid?" asked one of the kids.

"Sammy" replied Sammy.

"Well, Sammy, you can come with us and we'll go to all the restaurants in the neighborhood," said one of the kids.

"Really?" asked Sammy feeling a little relieved.

"Sure. You just got to do one thing for us though," said one of the kids.

"What do I have to do?" asked Sammy.

"You got to pay us for helping you find your mommy and daddy," said one of the kids.

"I don't have any money," said Sammy.

"How about your parents?" asked one of the kids.

"My daddy's got a lot," replied Sammy.

"Cool. Then we got a deal?," asked one of the kids.

"Ok," said Sammy as he goes with the kids to find Dylan and Kelly.

Back at the house, the burritos are done and Silver takes them out of the microwave.

"Oh, these are hot," said Silver.

"Sammy, dinner!," said Silver loudly.

Silver doesn't hear a response.

"Sammy, dinner is ready!," said Silver loudly.

Silver puts the burritos down and goes to Sammy's room.

"C'mon kid, I'm sorry for the wait but..." said Silver as she goes into Sammy's room, finding out he's not there.

"Sammy? Sammy, where are you?" yelled Silver.

"Sammy, this isn't funny. Where are you?" yelled Silver.

Silver doesn't get a reply and she starts to panic. She goes to her room and grabs her friends to look for Sammy throughout the house.

"Oh my god, I lost Sammy," said Silver.

"Look, don't worry. We just got to find him. He couldn't have gotten far," said Annie.

Silver's friends come back from searching the house.

"Silver, we can't find him," said Julie.

"You sure you checked everywhere?" asked Silver.

"All over; the basement, the laundry room, Kelly's room...no Sammy," replied Julie.

"Oh no; what if he's hurt?" asked Silver who is really panicking.

"It's all my fault; I should've been watching him," added Silver.

"Silver, I think it's time to call Kelly," said Annie.

Silver has a worried look on her face as she starts to cry. She takes her phone out and calls Kelly.

"Hello?" asked Kelly who is still at the restaurant with Dylan.

"Hey Kel, it's Silver," said Silver.

"Hey Silver, what's up?" asked Kelly.

"Sammy's missing," said Silver.

"What?" asked Kelly in shock.

"One minute he was in his room and the next, when I called him for dinner, he was gone," said Silver.

"Ok, we'll be right there. Check with the neighbors to see if he's there," said Kelly.

"Have you called the police?" added Kelly.

"Not yet," replied Silver.

"Ok, I'm heading over there now," said Kelly.

"Ok, Kel, I'm so sorry," said Silver.

"Silver, it's ok. We just got to find him," replied Kelly.

Silver and Kelly get off the phone.

"Sammy's missing; let's go," said Kelly to Dylan.

Dylan takes out some money, throws it on the table, grab their stuff, and they leave in a rush.

Meanwhile, Sammy and the older kids are still trying to find the restaurant.

"Alright kid, we've looked in all the restaurants; where are your parents?" asked one of the kids.

"I don't know. They said they were going to a fancy restaurant," said Sammy who starts to cry again.

"Look kid! I'm not joking around. I want my money," said one of the kids.

"I don't have any money!," replied Sammy who is still crying.

"Looks like we're gonna have to beat it out of you until you remember what restaurant it was," said one of the kids as the group gets closer to Sammy, who is still crying.

After a bit, Brandon finally gets back to L.A. He hears a sound coming from the gas gauge. He looks at it and sees that the gas level is nearly at empty.

"Oh, good ol' Steve. I knew this was too good to be true," laughed Brandon as he drives up to a nearby gas station.

As Brandon is filling up the gas tank of the Corvette, he hears a kid screaming for help.

"STOP IT!," said Sammy as the kids are beating him up.

"I WANT MY MOMMY!" yelled Sammy.

Sammy tries to run but one of the kids held on to his foot. He trips and hits his head on the concrete street. Sammy is not responsive.

"Oh shit, this is bad...let's bail," said one of the kids.

"Hey, what's going on over there?" asked Brandon as he headed towards the group of kids.

The older kids see Brandon coming and they run away. Brandon sees a kid lying unconscious on the ground, not knowing that it's Sammy.

"Hey, are you alright?" asked Brandon as he tries to wake Sammy up.

Brandon turns Sammy over and sees that it's Sammy whose head is bleeding.

"Sammy?" asked Brandon as he checks Sammy for a pulse.

Brandon gets out his cell phone and calls 911.

Coming Next - Kelly finds out Brandon is staying in L.A. and Dylan gets some unpleasant news about his car crash in 1994.