Sabrina had been home from the hospital for a few days. She was happy to be back with her family.
"Mom, watch…" Jory sprinted across the yard towards the obstacle course in their backyard. He climbed up a ladder, ran across a plank, swung back down to the ground with a rope, and as the grand finale…dove through a tire and rolled to a stop in a pile of leaves. He was flat on his back and couldn't stop giggling.
Neither could Sabrina. "You're a complete nut, you know it?"
Jory ran over and gave her the biggest hug.
Sabrina squeezed him tight with her good arm and kissed the top of his head. "I missed you so much! Did you have fun with grandpa?"
Jory nodded enthusiastically. "We caught fish! Lots of them…"
"Oh, my goodness…"
Jory went on for about 15 minutes about his big fish adventure with Grandpa.
Just as he was wrapping up his story and took off towards his obstacle course again, a dirt bike sped into the driveway. Sabrina didn't recognize the tall rider right away, but realized it was Sam when he pulled his helmet off. He looked upset.
"Don't get up. I know you're still hurt." He sat down heavily on the steps next to Sabrina. "I can't stay with her…"
"My aunt is driving me crazy. She treats me like I'm…" He pointed at Jory. "…well, four."
"I'm sure she's just worried about you."
"I know. Everybody is worried. It's a little late for that, don't you think?" Anger flashed in his dark brown eyes. "Damage is done." He threw his helmet on the ground in frustration.
His words stabbed through her. "Sam, it's my fault…I'm so sorry."
"What? No…" Sam's hand touched her arm and his voice softened. "I know you don't believe me, but this is not your fault. My mom is…was…crazy."
Sabrina covered his hand.
He ran his other hand roughly through his thick brown curly hair. "I know I've never told you this, but you're more of a mom to me than she ever was. "
"Sam…" Sabrina said softly. She was trying hard not to cry. How in the world could this kid forgive her so freely and quickly? She certainly wasn't willing to forgive herself anytime soon.
"Can I stay here?"
Before Sabrina could answer, Jory was standing in front of Sam. "Cool bike…can I sit on it?"
"Yes." Sam smiled and walked Jory over to the bike. He dropped his helmet on Jory's head. It was way too big for him. "Safety first, little man."
Drake came out on the porch and sat next to Sabrina. "I'm guessing that's Sam?"
Sabrina nodded and sighed.
"His aunt is on the phone. She's pretty excited."
"He wants to stay here."
Drake shrugged. "If it's fine with you, it's fine with me. I know you're worried about him. If he's here at least we can both keep a close eye on him."
Sabrina nodded and gave Drake a quick kiss. "Thank you…"
Jory was now running across the yard pretending he was on a motorcycle…sound effects included.
Sam walked back to the porch and stuck his hand out to Drake. "Hi…I'm Sam Duncan. You must be Drake."
Drake nodded and shook his hand. "Very nice to meet you..."
"Sabrina says you want to stay with us?"
Sam nodded. "If that's okay…"
"It's fine." Drake got up and walked towards the house. "We need to talk to your aunt first. She's on the phone."
Sam rolled his eyes and leaned down and to carefully give Sabrina a hug. "I love you…"
Sabrina squeezed him back. He was just a bigger version of Jory to her. "Love you too, kiddo."