YAY for you guys! Another update! Luckily for you, I have received some more inspiration and am trying to continue updating! Unfortunately, it's bad timing with school starting. So, I will be trying to update as much as possible, but school comes first! Sorry! I hope you enjoy this chapter and I would also like to thank everyone for their review. They truly make my day and keep me writing!
GOING TO WARN YOU KNOW: SPELLING MISTAKES WILL APPEAR! I WROTE THIS WHEN I WAS TRIED AND DIDN'T CHECK! SORRY!
"Alright, James. There's some pasta on the stove, the chicken is nearly cooked, so just add the pesto when it's done, which should be in… Maybe, 5 or so minutes?" Jennifer ran around the kitchen making sure everything was ready, "You'll need to set the table, just get the boys to help you with that. Oh, and pour the drinks! Carlos has milk, Logan has water and Kendall usually has juice, just ask him to make sure! Carlos uses the small bowl and Kendall will be eating about the same amount as you now. Give Logan slightly less. Um, what else have I forgotten?"
"Mum, relax. It's just dinner. I'm 16, I think I can handle it." James laughed as he continues to stir the chicken, "If I need any help, I'll ring you. You just go, you should have left 10 minutes ago."
"Oh my gosh, your right!" Jennifer gasped, grabbing her car keys, "Thank you James." She gave his cheek a kiss before whispering in his ear, "Please, no fighting."
"I'll do my best." James nodded, smiling lightly.
"Bye boys!" Jennifer yelled out to the rest of the boys who were scattered around the house. "James, I should be back later tonight, I just have some business to work out. If I'm not back before you four head to bed, don't fret. I'll sneak into your room when I get home and let you know, alright?"
"Yes mum! Just leave!" James laughed as his mother ran out the door, starting the car and driving off. "Carlos! Want to come help me with dinner?"
The sound of the soft pitter-patter of feet down the staircase confirmed James' question for him. "What can I do?" Carlos gasped, grasping onto the hem of James' shirt, looking up to him.
"Well," James swooped Carlos up onto his hip, holding him with one arm, "Think you can help stir the chicken?"
"YES!" Carlos smiled.
"Alright. Here is the spoon. Now just slowly move the chicken around in a circle." James used his free hand to help Carlos hold the wooden spoon and stir the chicken. "Wow, Carlitos! You're really good at this! Maybe, when you're older, you'll become Chef Carlitos!"
Carlos gasped and looked up at James, "Really? You think so?"
"You can do anything you put your mind to Carlos."
"But, what about what Jo said? She says I haffta go into prostution." Carlos frowned, disheartened.
"It's Prostitution. And ignore what she says. She's stupid and doesn't know what she is talking about. You can do anything Carlos." James growled, hatred growing for Jo and Matt. "By the way, I don't want you to ever speak to them again. Alright? If you see them, steer clear. Why were you in the middle school anyway?"
"I-I was going to find you and ask to s-sit with you because I have no friends and some older kids were sitting in my corner." Carlos said as if it wasn't much of a problem.
"Why don't you have any friends, Carlos?" James added the pesto to the chicken before looking sadly into Carlos' warm brown eyes.
"I don't know. No one likes me. I look different. And I'm s-smaller. And I talk weirdly. And I can't keep up at s-soccer. A-and I used to wake everyone up at n-nap time when I had nightmares. A-and I don't know the TV shows they watch because I-I never watched TV. And I don't have a p-phone. And, well, I guess alotta things." Carlos signed.
"You should try to make some friends Carlos. When was the last time you tried to make a friend?" James asked, not really knowing how to deal with this excluded little boy.
"Um, I dunno. Maybe, 2 weeks ago?" Carlos frowned, trying to remember.
"And how did that go?"
"He said I s-should go p-play Hop Scotch because I was really good at hopping borders. I thought he was gonna come play too but he p-pushed me and ran off with his friends."
"Oh." James looked back towards his cooking, unable to look Carlos in the eye. The young boy had no one. No one but Jennifer, and now, him. "You know Carlos, you could always come and sit with me. I can't assure you that everyone will talk to you, or even that you'll understand anything going on, but, it'd be better than sitting alone right?"
"Really? You'd let me?" Carlos squealed happily.
"Yeah, how about I drop by your classroom at lunch and walk you to where I sit?" James placed the boy on the ground.
"Yeah! I'd like t-that!" Carlos clapped his hands together.
"Good. Logan! Kendall! I need help with dinner!" James yelled out, starting to serve the pesto chicken.
"I'll be back in a second! I need to get something!" Carlos said before running off to his bedroom as the two middle brothers came downstairs.
"Alright, can you guys set the table please? Carlos has milk, I'll have water and you two can have whatever you like. Also, Logan, if you could grab some text books for Carlos again, that would be great. The booster seat is with mum. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes." James rushed, draining the pasta.
Both boys mumbled protests and rolled their eyes, however preceded with what they were asked. Within 5 minutes, everything was ready on the table, James lifted Carlos onto his seat and the boys ate their dinner in silence.
"So, Logan, how was your day?" James asked awkwardly, trying to start a conversation.
"Mediocre." Logan huffed.
"What's up?" James asked, slightly concerned.
"Nothing." Logan eyed James suspiciously while he replied.
"Alright… Kendall, when are your hockey tryouts?" James stated uneasily, the tension thick.
"Why do you care?" Kendall glared at James, a small, evil smirk playing at his lips.
"Far out! I'm just asking a question! Bloody answer it!" James exclaimed, sick of Kendall's punk attitude.
"Fuck. You." Kendall smiled, eyes taunting James.
James groaned and returned to eating, silence settling over the table once again.
"I-I made you g-guys s-something." Carlos whispered lightly, however in the silence, they all heard him.
"That is fantastic 'Litos. How about you show us?" James smiled at the youngest brother.
"Here!" Carlos squealed, holding up 3 bright cards. I made you each one!" Carlos handed the orange one to James, the Blue one to Kendall and the Green one to Logan. He then sat anxiously, waiting for their reactions.
James read his card:
Fanks for workin we to scool!
Yoo made me happi!
I lov yoo!
James smiled as he read his card, the standard of spelling and writing was well below a 6 years olds', but now that he knew about Carlos' 'problems' he understood how hard this would have been for him and how much effort he would have put in.
Logan read his card:
I wis I was as smrt as yoo!
Yoo must no evrythin!
And thats reele cool!
As Logan read his card he couldn't help but judge the young boy on his horrible spelling, grammar and writing. When he was this age, he was hand-writing essays on Judaism or Aerodynamics. The kid was stupid. How could Logan praise him for this? You learn from your mistakes. Tell him it's bad and he'll learn from it… Right?
Reluctantly, Kendall read his card:
Me may not b broffas bye blud, but no mata wot, yoo wil all ways b my broffa.
I wil all ways lov yoo.
Hopfuly, won day, yoo wil lov me to!
Kendall huffed when he read his card, willing the young boys' words not too affect him. This won't bring buck my mother! This won't cure my nightmares! This won't do anything! Friends and family mean nothing. They just turn around and stab you in the back! Like Jo!
"Thank you very much Carlos. The card is wonderful! And I love you to." James smiled sincerely at the little boy who beamed with delight.
Carlos then looked toward Logan, who looked back and then looked away, not saying anything.
"Logie? Do you like it? I've been working on my writing! I don't get the l-letters muddled up as much anymore! I still can't s-spell, but I am improving!" Carlos waited for Logan to reply.
"Huh?" Carlos tilted his head slightly to the left.
"You're improving slowly. This card is barely decipherable. You must have spelt more than half of the words incorrectly!" Logan pointed out matter-of-factly.
"Oh. Sorry. I s-still tried though. Kendall?" Carlos mournfully turned around to Kendall, dreading a mean reply.
"I've said this once and I'll say it again. We will never be brothers! I will never love you! This card won't change anything because it is a piece of shit!" Kendall growled out harshly, standing from the table. He grabbed the card and crushed it into a ball, throwing it into the bin.
Carlos jumped down from his chair and watched as he precious creation was broken and thrown away. His heart broke and tears spilled from his eyes. He had thought that those cards were perfect! That they would help bring them together as a family! He thought wrong.
Kendall turned to storm away, but an emotion other than devastation blasted through Carlos' little body. It was anger. He was angry. How could Kendall say that! Do that! How dare he, after I wasted my whole lunch hour on it! I need to hurt him, say something mean… but what? What's the meanest thing I could say?
"Well, I-I'm…" Carlos paused after he got Kendall's attention, What can I say?, "I'm happy Jo c-cheated on you!"
James eyes widened comically as Logan choked out a surprised gasp, "She did what?"
Kendall froze. Mixed emotions flowing through him. Carlos watched carefully, not sure whether to regret what he had just said and apologize. Carlos wasn't a mean boy and could already feel the guilt burning him inside out.
"K-K-Kendall?" Carlos stuttered out, waiting for a reaction.
"I'm…" Kendall paused, "going to fucking bash your head in!" He spun around and charged at Carlos who screamed when he was tackled roughly to the floor.
"Kendall! Stop! Get of him, now!" James screeched, rushing around the table and frantically trying to pull Kendall off of Carlos.
"I'm going to kill you, you worthless piece of shit! I going to bloody skin you alive and make you eat it! I hate you! I hate you!" Kendall screamed as he hit the youngest boy across the face, all the while trying to prevent James from taking him away.
"Oh my god." Logan gasped watching the events unfold, I should do something! He jumped in to help James pull Kendall off, who was viciously trying to attack Carlos.
"I-I'm s-s-sorry! I–I'm sorry! I d-didn't m-mean i-it! OW! STOP IT P-PLEASE! IT H-H-HURTS! I'll b-b-be g-good, I'll b-be g-g-good!" Carlos whimpered and screamed pathetically, becoming weaker by the second.
"You have no idea what she did to me! None! She fucking ruined my life and now I'll ruin yours!" Kendall landed a devastating blow to Carlos' eye before he was roughly pulled off and restrained by James. Logan ran over to Carlos who was whimpering in pain, bordering on unconsciousness.
James was able to calm Kendall down enough to send him to his room, where he heard, not saw, Kendall burst out into tears. Signing, Logan also went up to comfort and watch the distressed boy.
Heading back downstairs, James grabbed an ice-pack and sat on the couch his Carlos in his lap. He placed the ice-pack on Carlos' bruised eye, earning a small groan.
"It will help. I promise. You just have to be brave for me, alright Carlos?" James signed, holding Carlos' head still with his other hand. "Why'd you say that Carlos? You know it was mean."
"I was angry! I didn't know what to do so I said the meanest thing I could think of! He threw away my card!" Carlos burst into tears again.
James signed once again, deciding to let Jennifer deal with this when she is home. Instead he just hugged Carlos to him until the child fell asleep. He heard the lights switch off upstairs not long after, and placed the ice-pack down, waiting for his mum to arrive home.
Little over an hour later, Jennifer snuck into the house, surprised to see James awake and one the couch, with Carlos cuddled on his lap.
"James, honey, what are you doing up this late? You should be in bed." Jennifer walked around to the front of the couch watching as her eldest son just looked at her with red-rimmed eyes. She glanced down and gasped as she saw the bruises marring her youngest' face. Before she could even ask, James spoke up.
"Never leave me to do dinner. Ever again. Please." James broke down into sobs.
Jennifer carefully moved Carlos to the single seat before hugging James to her comfortably, letting him too, like his littlest brother, cry himself to sleep.
DONE! And wow, aren't you guys lucky! That was a long chapter! With fluff and action! I Hope you liked it! I have great plans! And no, I didn't forget about the drugs! Logan just hasn't acted on them yet! Your enthusiasm for the story certainly fuels me, so thank you to everyone who reviews!
Can I get 10?