I didn’t have time to think about this morning. Trent was already on us when we had come back from calling Dorian. We started with how to make traps first. There were lots of different kinds. But they had to make them all. Rope was the best. But there were holes. One of the more engineering minded boys – I can’t think of his name and AJ doesn’t have her notes handy on the phone – He made one of those Wile E Coyote traps, ya know the one with the stick and the bait under the box and the rope tied to the stick. He intended to sit there too. I wanted to stay and watch him waste his time, but I had another group to help out.
Timothy left Matt alone. He better with Trent standing over the prick. Matt was doing better now. He smiled at the other boys. I wondered if he the conversations we’d had had helped or if it was more the fact that Timothy wasn’t gonna bother him anymore. It was like a weight had been lifted from his body. He wasn’t acting like the outlier he had been.
Dylan was watching over Matt like a hawk too. I’m glad, maybe Matt would be productive part of Dylan’s team now. I had my own boys to deal with.
Drama queen had take up with James and John and was being a total dick about getting his hands dirty. I threatened to paint his nails black. He gave me this look that said dare you. And then the little shit said exactly what he was thinking. “I dare you.”
I looked at Dylan to make sure he’d heard and he grinned at me with a shrug. So I wrapped up the little shit in bonds of air and tied his hands around a tree so he couldn’t move. He squalled like a spit pig. And I did exactly as I threatened. I took one of the bottles of nail polish I brought with me and I painted Bob’s nails black. I could have been a dick and did it with my ability but I wasn’t going to be that bad. Besides this would come off. I would have to reapply soon. Maybe I should tonight…. nah. I’m too preoccupied to sit still and do it right.
After the air bonds were release we moved into fishing. And he was still complaining about touching smelly fish. I guess the boy didn’t want to eat. I was done caring. He could starve. Maybe this was why Dylan and Trent let the boys complain and opt out. If they failed they failed. It wasn’t because they weren’t taught. I didn’t like this kinda teaching.
Fishing wasn’t done with bait and hook necessarily though it could be if you had the equipment or knew how to make it. My little engineer did. He said his grandfather had taught him how to fly fish. I watched with mild curiosity, but beyond that I didn’t care. Though I was fairly certain he was going to be the only one who caught a fish today.
I was right in the end Bob had only berries to eat for lunch and dinner. No one wanted to share with him. Which made it all that much better. Bob picked at the nail polish and the boys would giggle at him when they caught him.
We all check out traps and only one of the boys had caught a rabbit. Teaching them how to skin a rabbit and gut it and cook had been fun. There were several boys who had emptied their stomachs at the sight of it. Hopefully they weren’t trying to be hunters. Things got a lot worse.
Matt and Dylan watched me as I watched them. I’d give them a reassuring smile, but Nate was far more intuitive than the other boys. He never asked me what was wrong. When he wasn’t with his group he was doing the family thing. Him and Chris weren’t really friends from what I gathered but yet both boys felt like family to me. And they both treated me the same.
That’s one of the best things about Jace’s family – they loved me. Not because they had to, but because they wanted to. Granted they loved everyone, but they took the time out of their day to send me a birthday card or send me a present for Christmas. Jace’s family loved me and I needed more than that. They weren’t mine. I always feel bad when I say I don’t have a family because I do. I did then too. But they were never mine. I was always an attachment. They loved me. But I wasn’t their son no matter how they treated me.
By the time I had time to sit and look at my phone I had two messages one from Dylan and one from Sage. They both said the same thing. “Don’t worry about this. We got it.” The only difference was in Sage’s he said he loved me. I sent a quick reply to Dorian to let him know I got it and I replied back to Sage. I love you too. And that was the truth. In all of this, in every thing I’ve learned in my short life is that I fell in love with a boy who I would never have thought possible. He’s different in every possible way. And I love that about him.
I love that he’s a geek. I love that he’s smart. Don’t get me wrong it’s not all perfect – he’s not perfect. He’s always late. OMG always. He snores. He’s a horrible cook though he does try. He’s too honest. He doesn’t sugar coat things. He’s blunt, and that’s good and bad. I love that he’s brutally honest, but sometimes he can leave it be until it’s safer. He says what’s on his mind when it’s on his mind. But there is nothing that I would change about him. I wouldn’t want to anyway it’s all what makes him Sage.
But now that I’ve taken the time to sit down and relax my mind can’t help but worry for those kids. I know Sage and Dorian got this covered. I know they will find them. They will help them. They both know how much this means to me – what it could mean to these kids. I know if I close my eyes I’m going to see them, I don’t want to go to sleep. Nate is curled up in his bag, as is everyone else but I’m not the only one up. Matt is watching me from his sleeping bag near mine. It’s kinda funny how none of the boys around me actually are using tents. Everyone else is, but the eight boys by me aren’t.
Matt asked, “You going to sleep?”
I shook my head. “I don’t think I can. Only way I’m getting through tonight is in Sage’s arms and he’s not here.”
Matt frowned. “Tomorrow you are teaching navigation, you need sleep.”
I sighed. “I know.”
Matt laid his hand on my leg and smiled. “We are here with you. And Dorian and Sage will watch out for those other kids. You trust them right?”
I noded. “With my life.”
He smiled. “Good. Then lie down, go to sleep and know they are safe.”
I took a deep breath and nodded. I would try to sleep. I knew I’d be up later, but I had to try, Matt was right. I needed sleep.