AN: Another chapter for you all. It was really hard to write this one. I didn't want any of them to be too harsh or cruel, so I hope this came out all right. So PLZ R&R!

Disclaimer: See earlier chapters.

Chapter 17: Angry Outburst

When Seth walked into Dr. Freedman's office, he at first thought that Ryan wasn't there. Then he spotted him facing away from them as he sat in a swivel chair in between the long couch and the chair that the doctor was sitting in.

"It's nice to meet you all." Dr. Freedman greeted them. "If you would all take a seat."

They all slowly sat on the long couch across from both Ryan and the doctor and waited for Dr. Freedman to start.

"I'd like to give Ryan a little bit of break from talking right now. He's had a big breakthrough, which I won't tell you about. Ryan can later if he's up to it."

"OK. So what do we do here?" Caleb inquired.

"First, I would like all of you to take turns telling me how you met Ryan and what your first impression was of him. Whoever would like to begin..."

"I guess I'll start." Sandy started. "I met Ryan in lockup in Chino. I received all the information on the case that morning. He was caught stealing a car with his older brother. It was his first offense, but his brother had priors and drugs on him as well as a gun. My first thought was that he was very guarded."

"How do you mean?" Dr. Freedman asked him.

"He didn't talk; just gave me a couple of long stares, and looked at me like I was from another planet. His school records were in his file. I noticed his high test scores and told him that he should start thinking about his future. He gave me this speech about social security and how he didn't want to commit to anything too soon. Needless to say, he left quite an impression on me."

"As I understand it, you gave him your business card before he left with his mom. Why?"

"There was just something about him. I grew up like he did. I figured he would need some help eventually." Sandy glanced towards Ryan to see if there was any reaction from him yet. "He ended up calling me not that long after I got him out of lockup. His mother had thrown him out and he had gotten into a fight with his mother's boyfriend."

"And by fight you mean?"

"He means fist fight." Ryan spat as he spun around to face the doctor. "But you already knew that. You have all the information in that file before you."

"You're right. I do. I just want to hear it in their own words though, Ryan."

"Whatever." Ryan spun away from him again as Dr. Freedman focused his attention back on the Cohen's.

"OK. Please go on, Mr. Cohen."

"So I drive back down to Chino and pick him up by a pay phone. He's just sitting on this stone ledge with a beat-up old bike beside him. I get his things in my car and I drive him back to the house. I ask him to wait in the car while I talk to Kirsten about what happened. She was still at work when I got the call from Ryan."

"And what was your reaction, Mrs. Cohen?" Dr. Freedman turned his attention to her. "What were you thinking when he told you about Ryan?"

"My first reaction was disbelief." Kirsten told him. "He's worked with the PD's office fro so long, but he's never been compelled to bring any of his clients home. My next thought was that I needed to protect my son from him."

"Why would you need to protect him?"

"I knew where he was from and I knew what that town was like. I was afraid that he would try to hurt Seth in some way."

"That's why she had me put in the pool house." Ryan mumbled. "Because she was afraid I would try to steal from them or hurt them while they were all sleeping."

"I may have thought that when I first met him, but my opinion changed less than a week later."

"I met him for the first time the next morning." Seth quickly jumped in. "I was playing video games when he wandered into the house."

"What did you think when you first saw him?" Dr. Freedman turned to him.

"He was different from every other teenager in this town; in a good way."

"How do you mean?"

"He most likely had more important things that he would rather be doing, but he still wanted to hang out with me and play video games or go sailing."

"And I understand that you hid him out in one of your Mother's model homes when he tried to run away so he wouldn't have to go to foster care?"

"Not one of my better ideas." Seth mumbled. "Since he almost died when it started on fire."

"At least you were willing to help me." Ryan turned to face Seth. "You didn't just want to cast me to the side so you could forget that I existed."

"Mr. Nichol," Dr. Freedman turned to Caleb as Ryan turned his chair back around. "You met Ryan when?"

"It was a couple weeks after my daughter decided to make him a part of her family. I was out of the country when he started coming around."

"And what did you think of him?"

"Truthfully, I didn't like him before I met him. I heard that he burned down the model home and knew that he was bad news."

"So what changed your mind?"

"At some point, my opinion of him changed. I had been trying to engage in some kind of conversation with him whenever we were in the same room, but he wouldn't have any of it; not that I blamed him. Then I heard that he was sent away and I did everything I could to try to get him out of there and back to my daughter and her family."

"OK., Ryan. It's your turn now." Dr. Freedman looked at him. "I want you to turn around and face all of them. Tell me what your first impression was of all of them and how you feel about them now."

Ryan slowly turned his chair around and glanced at them all before looking down at his lap. They all waited for him to start, but he refused.

"Let's start with Sandy. What did you think of him?" they all heard him mumble under his breath, but didn't hear what he said. "Speak up, please."

"I said he was just my do-gooder lawyer who wanted to prove that he wasn't like the rest of the snobs in this town." Ryan stated as he looked at Sandy. "When I first met him, he claimed that we were the same. But we aren't the same."

"Go on and elaborate. Speak directly to Sandy if you will."

"You said we were cut from the same deck, but that's the farthest thing from the truth." Ryan told Sandy. "Your dad wasn't around, yes. But he walked out on you; mine was sent away. Your mom wasn't around, that's true. But she threw herself into her work; mine threw herself into a bottle. These are very huge differences between you and me."

"I suppose that's true." Sandy agreed with him.

"Keep going, Ryan." Dr. Freedman encouraged him.

"Well when I first met Seth, I thought he was a little weird." he glanced at Seth. "No offense, man."

"None taken." Seth assured him.

"I was a felon and you still wanted to hang out with me. I couldn't understand why, but I eventually accepted all of your quirks. And we eventually became best friends. No matter how much he rambles about pointless things, I look forward to hanging out with him everyday."

"Good. Keep going."

"Well, I tried to get along with Mr. Nichol." Ryan stated. "But he made it very hard, so I just stopped acknowledging him."

"I'm trying to make up for that now." Caleb spoke up. "My actions may have not been the best, but my intentions were well-meaning."

"Ryan, I noticed that you skipped over Kirsten," Dr. Freedman acknowledged. "What was your first impression of Kirsten?"

"I can't say it. It's too horrible." Ryan mumbled, lowering his head as his eyes shifted down to his jeans.

"It's ok, Ryan." Kirsten assured him. "My first thoughts of you weren't very nice, either. You don't think those things now, do you?"

"No." he glanced up at her briefly before looking down again.

"So go ahead. I promise that I'll try not to be upset."

"I thought you were a stuck-up bitch," Ryan blurted out before abruptly turning his chair around.

"It's ok, Ryan." Kirsten assured him. "You said you don't feel like that now, right?"

"Yeah." Ryan whispered.

"It's fine." Kirsten got up and turned his chair around, but Ryan refused to look at any of them. "I don't hold it against you."

"Mom," Seth warned her as he saw the look on Ryan's face. "I'd back off a little if I were you."

"Why?" Kirsten looked back at him.

"Would you like to know what I hold against you?" Ryan spat out as he finally looked up at her and she sat back down beside Sandy.

"Ryan-" Dr. Freedman cautioned.

"It's ok. Let him get this out." Kirsten told the doctor before looking back at Ryan. "What do you hold against me?"

"I hold against you the fact that you didn't like me before you even met me face-to-face." Ryan stated. "You just knew me as Sandy's client. You knew where he met me, so you didn't like me."

"Ryan-" Kirsten started.

"Let him finish." Sandy told her. "Go on, kid."

"And then you met me in person, saw the bruises, and thought that all your assumptions were true. You never asked where they came from or how I got them. In fact, none of you asked me why I decided to go with Trey that night; except for Seth. He knows and he kept it a secret, which I'm glad he did that for me."

"I wasn't going to betray your trust." Seth told him.

"OK. So tell us now." Sandy spoke up. "Why did you decide to go with your brother that night when he stole that car?"

"I went because-" Ryan started to shake. "Because I wanted one full night where I wasn't getting my ass kicked!"

They were all quiet as Ryan's words sunk in. Ryan was now glaring at them all as he fought to stay in control of his emotions. Finally, he jumped out of the chair and bolted for the door.

"Ryan, don't go." Sandy stood up to try to stop him.

"I need to get out of here." Ryan yanked his arm out of Sandy's grasp. "I'll see you back at the house. I promise."

"Sandy, let him go." Kirsten told him. "We'll see you at home, ok Ryan?"

"Fine." Ryan opened the door and rushed out.

"I think I'll go after him." Caleb stood up and followed Ryan out.

"I'm going to go as well." Seth stood up. "Play mediator if I have to."

"Oh my god." Kirsten sighed. "That was just horrible."

"Believe it or not, this was a good session." Dr. Freedman told them. "This is what we want."

"I'm sorry, but how was this a good session?" Sandy asked as he held Kirsten. "How is that angry outburst a good thing?"

"Because he's starting to communicate with all of you; which is what we're all striving for."


Seth was pacing the waiting area when his parents finally emerged from Dr. Freedman's office. They noticed that Ryan and Caleb were both missing.

"Where's your grandfather?" Sandy asked him.

"He went home. He tried to give Ryan a ride home, but he refused. He just got his bike from Grandpa's trunk and took off on it."

"Well, let's pick up some supper and go home." Kirsten told them and they all walked out to the parking lot.

AN: So what'd you all think? Good or bad? Next chapter, the aftermath. PLZ R&R!

On a side note, I started posting a story on a website called Wattpad. If any of you are interested in reading a non-fanfiction story thatI've written, let me know and I'll send you the link.