Chapter 55 Lance

Lauren’s POV

Chad and I step out of the taxi and walk into the police station in Sunlit Tides. It’s a beautiful, warm island community.

The police request that we stay here while they do the raid, but I insist on going along.  The police know Moe, he goes by Max here and they were completely surprised that he could be guilty of anything like this.  He has been living quietly with a local girl and Lance. He’s working at the hospital and not been in any trouble at all.  The police found out Moe’s schedule at the hospital and they will send one team of officers there to pick him up and the other officer, along with Chad and I will go to their home and pick up Lance.  Summer won’t be charged with anything, she has been an innocent bystander and also turned him in to the police. Without her help, we may not have ever made it this far.

We pull up close to the house and slowly get out of the car.  The police officer knocks on the door.

Summer answers it carefully.  She is very pregnant and frail looking. She nervously glances behind her and then opens the door and lets the police in.

I want to run in and get my son, but I have to stay here until they bring him out. Chad and I hold hands and he nervously rubs my arm. I’m so nervous, just standing here waiting.  Finally, the door opens and the police walk out alone.  My heart drops, he isn’t there.

He comes over to us and says,”It’s all a big shock to Toby, he doesn’t understand. He thinks his mother died in a car accident. He’s refusing to leave Summer.” Tears stream down my face, I can’t believe he’s forgotten about me.

“Toby? His name is Lance! Can I talk to him? He will remember once he sees me, I know it!”, I cry.  The police officer looks sad,” We are going to call a child psychologist in to talk to him first. We don’t want to traumatize him any more than we have to. I think it would be better if you would just check in to your rental and wait for us.  It may take awhile. Summer is talking to him, she isn’t going anywhere. She’s a good girl, she’s had a hard life, but I can tell she loves the boy.” I look at Chad, “What do we do?”, I ask. He looks at the police officer, “Have they captured Moe yet? I’m not leaving until I know he’s in custody.”, he says.  The officer radios in to headquaters to check on the status.  A few moments later, “Yes, they have him at the station. He is securely locked in jail.” “I want to see him!”, Chad says.  I can’t deal with Moe now, I can’t see him. All I want is my baby.  The officer calls for one of the other men to take Chad to the jail. “I’ll stay here with you Ma’m. If you want to stay a little while longer.”, the officer says. I sit in the back of the car and try to stay calm.  The child psychologist pulls up and walks into the house.

Summer walks out and looks in my direction.  She looks scared. I get out of the car and slowly walk towards her. She walks down the porch steps.  I can see she has been crying.

I reach out to hug her, “Thank you for taking care of my baby!  I can’t ever repay you.  Who knows what would have happened if you hadn’t been here to help Moe, Thank you so much!” She cries and says,”I’m so sorry. I didn’t know or I would have called sooner.  Toby is a sweet boy, but he’s really confused is all.  Max, er Moe told him you had been killed in an accident.  I’ve tried to be a good mother to him. Even when Max started getting mean, I never let him touch Toby.  I protected him, I love him like my own child.”

My heart breaks, I’m so thankful that she has taken care of him, but I’m his mother.  “If you can just give him some time I’m sure he will adjust, I’ll talk to him some more.  I know you want to see him, I brought out some pictures. I thought you might want them.  Where are you staying? I’ll call you later and let you know how it goes.  You should probably get some rest. We both look like we’re in the same condition.”, she says sweetly.

I take the photo book and hug it to me.  I give her the address and my phone number, I nod my head, take another look at the house and get in the car.

When I get to the house we are renting, I sit on the couch and look at the pictures.  Hundreds of pictures of everything I’ve missed.  Summer took pictures of everything.  Very few have Moe in them, it’s mostly just Lance and a few of Summer with Lance.  I must sit there for hours, just looking at all the pictures.  Chad comes in a little later, obviously worn out.  He sits next to me and tells me that he seen Moe.

He was locked up and it had looked like he must have struggled with the officers because he looked a bit beat up.  “It was all I could do to not kill that man.  They let me talk to him and I really told him off. He didn’t even act like he cared.”, he says.  “He’s evil, Chad.  He doesn’t care about anyone.”, I tell him. I show him the photo book and tell him about talking to Summer.  He’s relieved that she took such good care of him. Now we worry about Lance not remembering us.  Summer calls us and says that Lance is still confused but she thinks he’s interested in meeting with us.  She says she will call us tomorrow and try to plan something. Chad and I go to bed happier than we’ve been in a while. At least we know Lance is safe and we will be together soon.

The next morning while we are eating breakfast, Summer calls again.  She says Lance wants to meet and she recommends that we meet on the beach at the park.  She tells us where it is and gives us time.  I’m so excited and nervous, I can’t finish my breakfast. We run to change clothes. We get to the park quite early. We sit on a bench and wait.  Just a short time later, we see Summer and a little boy holding hands and walking toward us.  I stand up and wipe my hands on my pants, I’m so nervous.  We wait for them to get closer and then I bend down and say, “Lance, I’ve missed you so much. We’ve been looking everywhere for you.” He backs up against Summer, and she looks down at him and says,”It’s ok, remember I told you this is your real mommy. She has been so worried about you and we didn’t even know it.” He looks up at me and says quietly, “My name is Toby.”  I smile, “Ok, I’ll try to call you Toby. When you were real little we called you Lance. Do you remember me at all?  I brought some pictures of you when you were little and still with us.  This is one of me and you.” I hand him the picture.  “Hey, I have that same bear!”, he says. “I know, it’s the same bear! When your daddy took you, he took your bear too. He knew you loved it.”, I say.

He stops smiling, “Daddy said you died. Why did he do that?”, he asks.  I try not to cry and say,”I guess he just wanted you and didn’t think about how it would hurt you to take you away from your mommy and Chad.” We sit and talk for awhile and Lance gets more comfortable with us.  “Would you like to swing? I’ll push you!”, I ask Lance. He looks at Summer for approval, then quickly back to me.  Poor little thing, he doesn’t know who to look to for permission. “Yea, that sounds fun. I like to swing.”, he says.

We plan to stay on the island indefintely.  Each day we meet Summer and Lance and spend time together. We are trying to make the transition as easy as possible, as much as I want to get back to Lucky Palms, I want Lance to feel ok with leaving Summer.  It’s been a couple weeks on the island.  We met Summer and Lance for lunch at our house.

Summer looks tired when they come in.  “Are you ok, Summer?”, I ask.  “Yea, just tired and my back is killing me. It started last night. I couldn’t get comfortable all night.”, she says. Chad and I look at each other, “Summer, you sound like your in labor.”, he says. “Oh, gosh. I never even though about that. I’ve been so worried about Toby.”, she says. Chad offers to take her to the hospital. When suddenly, she doubles over in pain.  “Yea, that sounds like a good idea.  Toby, will you stay with your mom please? I’m going to the hospital to have the baby!”, she says.

Lance barely looks up from his toys, “Yea, sure. Bring back a boy, ok?” My heart soars, I guess he feels ok staying with me.

Chad comes home later that evening, Summer had her baby. A little boy, she named Matthew.  She calls and talks to Lance and tells him that he will need to stay with us tonight and she will see him probably tomorrow when they let her leave the hospital.  Lance says that is fine, it will be fun. We make up his bed and I read him a story and tuck him in. I can’t believe my baby is back and I’m kissing him goodnight. I’m so happy! The next day, we spend the day at the beach and playing at the park.

Summer is coming home in the evening.  We make plans to stop by her house when she gets home. I’m sad to leave the beach.  I don’t want to take Lance back to Summer’s house.  We walk in and see Summer is home already, she’s sitting in the living room with the new baby.  Lance runs up to her and wants to see the baby.

Summer invites us in and we hang out with her for awhile.  Chad says,” Well Lauren, we probably need to go and let Summer get some rest. We will see you all tomorrow!”.  I nod and look at Lance. I reach down to hug him and he clings to me. I pick him up and kiss his forehead, “I want to stay with you Mommy.”, he says. Tears stream down my face, “Oh, baby! Of course!”, I look at Summer and she’s crying and nodding her head.  I carry Lance out to the car and we go to our rental house. He falls asleep in the car, so I pick him up and carry him to his bed.

We stay on the island for several more weeks, Lance has been staying with us and we’ve started making plans to go home.  We visit with Summer almost every day and feel guilty for leaving her here. Her family doesn’t help her at all and are pretty much worthless.  We decide to ask her if she wants to move back to Lucky Palms with us, we can help her get settled in town and help her find a job.   She tells us she will think about it. She wants to stay in contact with Lance and he wants to see her too.  I feel like we owe her alot for keeping him safe and taking such good care of him.  Things could have been very bad for Lance if she wasn’t here.

Summer decides to move with us to Lucky Palms.  She doesn’t want to stay here alone and loves Lance so much that she wants to keep in touch.  We will help her find a house nearby and I’ve spoken with Mom and she has arranged for Summer to get a job at her restaurant.  She’s really excited because she worked in that field before Moe came along.   We all pack up our stuff and get our tickets to go home. Sunlit Tides is a beautiful place, but I’ll be glad to get  home.

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