Status: Active :) Comments are lovely.

Lost Inside

Speak Out

Caleb was job hunting. Of course it was very hard for people to hire a boy without even his GED, but some fast food places and convenience stores seemed pretty interested. Declan...he can’t say that he likes it very much; the fact that Caleb was looking for a job meant that he would not be home all of the time when Declan was and he would make friends and meet other people and maybe forget about him. He would often give himself a good slap after thinking these thoughts because he realized how controlling he sounded, but he couldn’t help it. He didn’t want Caleb to meet new people and forget about him; the thought frightened him to no end! But he would support Caleb in what he wanted to do and if he wanted to get a job to feel as if he was contributing to the...’relationship..?’ then Declan would have no problem with this and would simply accept it. After all, Caleb was not his child; he could not control him, no matter how badly he wanted to.

Two days after his searches, Caleb came bouncing into the living room, phone in hand and big smile on his face. Declan could not help but smile as well; he loved this new Caleb...the carefree and confident one. Declan laughed as Caleb plopped himself down on the couch and sent a big smile his way.

“And why are we so happy today?” Declan chuckled.

“Guess who just called me? Starbucks! That’s right, someone other than you and Millie have graced this phone!”

This caused Declan to laugh even louder and Caleb grinned and began bouncing in place; he was usually like this after Declan makes the mistake of allowing him free reign at the candy stash.

“That’s great, Caleb. Did they call you for an interview?”

“Yeah! They said that even though I have absolutely no experience, they are desperate and are willing to train me! Yay!” He jumped straight onto Declan, causing the older man to fall right off the couch, a bouncing Caleb on top of him, still grinning like no tomorrow. Declan did not know he would be so excited. He also did not believe that in such a short amount of time, Caleb trusted him enough to be like this around him. Of course he would not think about their compromising position – Caleb bouncing up and down on his hips – and simply enjoy this happy version of Caleb. “So, um…” The bouncing stopped and Caleb’s face turned three different shades of red. “I was wondering if you could possibly give me ride to the interview tomorrow.” He slowly raised himself until he was standing on top of Declan, his feet on either side of Declan’s waist. Declan remained on the ground, hands behind his head and a coy smirk on his lips.

“Oh yeah, you need my help? Huh, and what would I get in return for this service?” His smirk widened. Caleb knew he was joking, but that did not stop him from crossing his arms over his chest, his hip cocking to the side and a small glare appearing his face. Declan liked him in that position; he thought it was sexy. “I just mean that you can’t just expect me to go out of my way to help you. What fun would that be?”

“Well then Mr. Callum, what could you possibly want from me?” Caleb let a smirk of his own appear; he liked teasing Declan.

Declan knew what he was doing, it was not a big secret, but he could not help let out an audible gulp. Many scenarios appeared in his head of what he could get Caleb to do for him – to him – but he would never dare say these out loud, it was only too embarrassing. Declan could feel his cheeks darkening at the mere thought of telling him.

“I was thinking that maybe we could get back to those guitar lessons that you seem to have forgotten about…conveniently.”

Caleb let out a small smile at the suggestion. He did not need to be asked twice to spend more time with Declan.

“I was actually thinking that we might move on to the piano…maybe.”

Caleb moved to the side to allow Declan to raise himself from the ground. He stood so much taller than Caleb that the younger man was almost shocked that he had to look up so far to see Declan’s face. 
Declan sighed; he had a feeling that Caleb would start being inconsistent with instruments; even he was when he was younger and could barely focus on one thing at a time, but he could not say no the younger man.

“How about we take lunch into the music room then and yes, I have tomorrow off so I would love to give you a ride to your interview.” Declan was in the kitchen when he realized that Caleb was not following him. He was still in the living room, stuck in the same spot with a look of pure terror on his face. “Caleb, what’s wrong?”

“I’ve never had a job before,” He began. “I have no idea what to say! What are they going to ask? Are they going to ask about experiences and stuff? I have none!” His hands flew up and covered his face, sounds of frustration leaving his lips. Declan walked up and calmly took his hands away, holding them in his own to stop Caleb from placing them back. He did not dwell on the feelings he got from holding the other boy’s hands and set to calming him down.

“How about we have a practice interview instead of those piano lessons? Sound better? We can have the lessons after you’ve gotten the job, which I know you will get.”

Caleb let out a small sigh and nodded. He could count on Declan for so much.
It turned out that Declan’s “master plan” to get him a job involved him lying about nearly every single aspect of his life.

“But I never took the leadership role in a school project. I was always the one who got told what to do and usually ended up doing the work for the other people too.” He stated, confused.

Declan sighed, placing his half eaten sandwich on the plate in front of him.

“I know that Caleb, but the people interviewing you don’t know that. Just say it convincingly and without putting your head down. I know you’re shy and they can tell right away, just keep talking and laugh and smile and eye contact is key!”
Caleb was beginning to feel physically ill. Why did he ever think that he would be able to do this?

“H-how about I just...look for another job...another time.” Caleb stuttered out, refusing to meet Declan’s eyes. He didn’t want to see the look of disappointment on the man’s face.
Declan let out a light chuckle, running a hand through his messy hair.

“Okay, and then in the future when you’re looking for another job, they’re going to ask you the same questions and you’re going to have to give the same answers.” Caleb’s paled. “You have to start somewhere. I know you can do this.”

Caleb wanted to ask him how he knew he could do this. If Caleb didn’t know that he had the courage to get through the interview, then how did Declan? And Starbucks? He would have to actually talk to people and call out orders.

“Maybe I should get a job at a library or something.” Caleb mumbled. “I’m not loud enough to be a barista.”

That Declan agreed with. He could imagine Caleb coming home in tears after his first day because the shop was too loud and the people too obnoxious.

Declan placed his chin in his palm and stared at the younger boy sitting across from him. Caleb was just as perfect as the first day he had seen him. The only difference was that now he could barely control his feelings.

“I agree with you on that. I have contacts, I’ll call someone for you.”
Caleb could have cried in happiness. He loved nothing more than reading and libraries were meant to be places of quiet and peace. He would be more suited to do something like that than work in a loud, busy coffee shop.


Declan had not been expecting this and obviously neither were Emilia and Caleb. The three had been sitting in Declan’s living room, playing a game of Monopoly - Emilia was about to burst a blood vessel and renounce all of their friendships - when a key turned in the lock of the front door. Declan was contemplating suing the locksmith company for continuously giving out the key to his house.
They had been expecting Clarissa to attempt to burst her way through the door...that would have been lucky.

Declan’s intimidating mother and father were standing by the front door, equally stern looks on their faces as they observed the group in front of them. Caleb wished for the floor to open up and swallow him whole. Emilia wished she had super speed so that she could rush right out of there, but they were blocking the only way out. And Declan....

“What the hell is this, Declan? You leave the best thing that’s ever happened to you and you don’t even seem remotely remorseful.” His mother spat, turning her glare to the guests. “And who the hell are these people?” She pointed a perfectly manicured nail to Emilia. “Are you having sex with my son?”

Emilia opened her mouth to answer, but she had never been so nervous in her life, so she could only settle for a slight shake of her head.

Declan finally decided to speak up. He raised himself from the ground and stood in between his parents and his friends.

“Guys, can you wait for me upstairs please?”
Emilia and Caleb didn’t need telling twice. They quickly gathered their things and were flying up the stairs without a glance back.

“Mother, father...what are you doing here? I wasn’t aware that you were coming to visit.”
Declan’s father, Ronald Callum, self made billionaire, moved from his wife and went to the liquor cabinet where he grabbed himself a glass of brandy and got comfortable on the couch.

“Your mother told me what happened between you and Clarissa.” He began, voice gruff. “I want to know what happened from your perspective.”

Declan gulped. If there was one person he feared more than his mother, it was his father. The man rarely raised his voice and perhaps that’s what made it worse.

“Um...I just couldn’t take it anymore. Clarissa was cheating on me, lying to me, nearly running me bankrupt with her countless spending and she was pushing my friends away and -” His mother cut him off.

“Your friends? Right, she told me about the homeless scum you let live in your house. Was it that boy? I want him out immediately! Can you imagine -” Ronald calmly raised a hand and his wife fell silent.
Declan’s father kept his eyes on his son the entire time. He didn’t need to say much to make his point known clear.

“Cheating and lying?” He repeated. “Well of course you can’t stay with a woman like that, you’re supposed to be happy in your life, not completely miserable.” If there was one thing Ronald Callum was, it was some aspects. Declan just wished he knew his father more to know those aspects. “If you feel that you would not have been happy with Clarissa, then it is more than alright that you leave her.” Renée looked absolutely scandalized. She had been fuming over this the entire drive to the loft and she had expected her husband to take her side on things. This was unacceptable. 

“You will find someone else, someone who makes you happy and you'll marry her when you’re ready. It’s no one’s job to pressure you into marriage ahead of time, you’re only 20 years old.” His eyes shifted to his wife, almost daring her to say another word. Declan could have sung out in relief, until...“Now what is this I hear about a homeless man living in your house?”
Declan gulped. He had been hoping that topic would never come up.

“Um...well it’s not as bad as it sounds. His name’s Caleb and we used to go to school together and he hit some rough times and -”

“Drugs, no doubt.” His mother interrupted, scoffing. “You don’t need that kind of influence under your roof. What do you think’s going to happen, huh? You’ll stay best friends forever? You’re going to come home one day and you will be robbed of everything! Count on it!” Again, Ronald’s hand went up and Renée fell silent. Declan felt that it was safe to continue.

“He’s still shy when it comes to telling me what really happened, but it had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Three years ago, he and his family had some sort of...falling out and -”

“They kicked me out...”
Three head whipped in the direction of the stairs. Caleb didn’t know what had come over him. He was in no way confident enough to speak to complete stranger and yet here he was. The thought of Declan getting in trouble with his parents because of him....he didn’t want to think about it. He knew that Declan didn’t deserve it and he would make sure that if anyone was going to get in trouble, he was at least going to take some of the blame for it.

“I was never the son that my parents wanted me to be.” He continued, a bit louder, keeping the tears at bay. “I wasn’t strong, I couldn’t play sports, I never got a girlfriend. I wasn’t my brother. They had told me that I was going away to my aunt’s and that I shouldn’t bother packing anything because she had some of my clothes at her place.” Caleb closed his eyes, wringing his hands together. He remembered that day as if it was happening right in front of his eyes that very second. The hurt, the resentment. “My mom gave me a few sandwiches and bottled water and told me to come back when I was a man.

 “I was so...resentful, I never wanted to go back because I...I wanted to show them that I could do it...without them, but...” Caleb wasn’t certain if he could find his voice to finish. “When I finally went back two weeks later, they had all left...packed their things and gone before I...I haven’t seen them since. I promise, I won’t rob your son; I don’t deserve his kindness or his generosity, but...I would never take that for granted.”

Declan stood quite still, staring at the brave boy in front of him. He never thought Caleb would find the courage to tell him this story, nevertheless stand there and tell his mother and father.

Mrs. Callum stood still and for what seemed like the first time in her life, she was speechless. Declan wondered if either his mother or father would care that this happened to Caleb. They were too rich to ever imagine the hardships of living on the street and they believed in nothing but perfection; perhaps they thought this was normal for parents to do to a child.

“Well then...” Mrs. Callum was clearly racking her brain for a snarky remark. Thankfully Ronald opened his mouth before she could continue.

“What’s your name, son?” He enquired.

“C-Caleb Barnes, sir.”
Mr. Callum nodded, placed his empty glass on the table beside him and raised himself from the chair. He shook both Declan and Caleb’s hands, grabbed his wife by the arm and they were both gone.

As soon as the door closed behind his parents, Declan rushed and pulled Caleb into his arms. He didn’t know how the boy was feeling. Most likely emotional, but he knew that he was going to be there for him. Caleb didn’t have to be alone anymore.

Caleb felt...okay. He was okay. The tears had dried, he no longer cared. Yes, his parents had abandoned him when he needed them the most, but that was three years ago. He was alive and right now he couldn’t be happier. He was with Declan and for once he felt like he was home.
♠ ♠ ♠
I got so excited randomly for this chapter that I just had to update it immediately even though I work tomorrow morning and I'm dead tired! Here it is :))

Thanks so very much to:
Josh Cutlip.

Yummy Octopie
for your wonderful, wonderful comments. You guys really have no idea how happy you make me to know that you actually like this and that I should continue.

I can't thank all of my readers, commenters and subscribers enough! You guys are all so perfect :)

- C