Status: Active :) Comments are lovely.

Lost Inside

Common Interests

Thankfully for Declan, Clarissa wasn't in his home when he'd arrived with Caleb and the unnamed woman. That would buy him some time to actually think about what he would say to her so that she wouldn't go squeal to his parents about the homeless boy living in his house. 
As soon as the woman had closed the door behind Declan and Caleb, she headed straight into the kitchen, searching around to something to make. To say she wasn't taken aback by the absolute beauty of the place would be a lie; Declan's kitchen belonged more in a five star restaurant than the extravagant loft. Declan walked into the guest bedroom where he was currently residing. Carefully placing the still unconscious Caleb on the bed, he quickly made his way into the washroom, wet a towel and set to cleaning Caleb up a bit before he awoke.

After Declan finished washing his face, the towel, that was once light blue, was close to black, but Caleb's face was clean and flushed. For a split second, Declan looked into the face of that little boy he once knew, the one who never talked, the one who had changed him in more ways than they both knew. Those thoughts were dispelled quite quickly when the woman walked into the room. That was when Declan remembered that he didn't know her name.

Her name was Emilia and she told him that she already knew his name from the engraved picture frame of him and Clarissa in the kitchen and the fact that his face is always somewhere on either a magazine or on television. Being the son of one of the richest men in North America put Declan’s rank somewhere with certain celebrities.

She'd gone back to cooking and barely a few hours later, Caleb began stirring. 

Declan found it would be pretty awkward to just be caught staring at the boy as he awoke, so he quickly made his way out of the door and into the kitchen where Emilia had laid down a feast onto the table. Declan had allowed her to borrow a pair of his sweatpants and one of the shirts Clarissa bought but never wore. It wasn't that her shirts were old or ugly, Clarissa just liked to buy what she didn't need and those things always wound up in Declan's closet for some reason he just couldn't understand. She had just sat down the barbecue ribs onto the table with the baked potatoes when Declan walked in.

Caleb was...confused. The hunger had been too much for him and he knew that he had passed out, but what he didn't know was how he managed to get onto a soft comfortable bed surrounded by what felt like millions of fluffy pillows.

'Did I die? Is this was heaven looks like?' The smell of food chose that exact moment to reach his nostrils. 'Yeah, this definitely has to be heaven...'

But did heaven include pain? The lurching and biting in his abdomen hadn't subsided, he was numb, but still felt it. Forgetting the pain for the moment, Caleb still wondered where in the world he was. After pinching himself a good six times, he was sure that he was neither dreaming nor dead, so where was he? Should he take a chance and go look?

'What if these people are ax murderers? What if they took me here to fatten me up just so they can chop me up and feed me to their children...ew.'

The hardwood floor was warm under his toes as he stepped down. Unlike his old home, they didn't squeak when he walked across them; he had once got caught trying to sneak out of the house because the floors had been so loud. Why was he comparing this place to his old home so much? He'd never lived in a place this extravagant, not even close.

Poking his head out of the door (which also didn't creak when opened), Caleb looked around the hallway. There were pictures lining the wall, but none of which showed the owner of the place. They were beautiful, nature shots, paintings, but at the moment, he didn't care. If he ever escaped this potential prison and got up to the police, he would need a description of a person to give them.

Shuffling his way straight through the hall, Caleb reached what looked to be a small foyer, a neat table placed elegantly to the side, a vase of flowers and the picture of a cute, chubby child running through a field. 
That was when he heard it, the quiet talk in a room not too far from where he was standing. One voice definitely belonged to a woman and the other a man, but the distinct tones were unidentifiable, they were talking too low. That was when the smell of food yet again reached his nostrils. Caleb had been so afraid that he'd been abducted that food was the last thing on his mind, but...he was really hungry.

'Maybe these people are just a nice, loving couple who saw a dreadfully skinny kid pass out 
on the street and decided to take me in and feed me...yeah...that's it.'

Caleb would have fought himself tooth and nail for the chance to just see the food. Not taste it (though he really hoped he could), just to see it to make sure it was real. 

Caleb's breath was nearly taken away when he stepped away from the small foyer and walked straight into the grandest living room he'd ever had the pleasure to see. The floors were all a light, cherry hardwood, the furniture contrasting dark leather with beige lining and plush. They all looked so comfortable and made Caleb tired just thinking about sitting on them. A big, flat screen television was offsetting the couch, closer to the love seat set not too far away. Two end tables were also spotted; dark mahogany, with a light cherry finish, to match the flooring. Paintings and photographs littered the walls here and there, not too much, but just enough, but yet again, none of the actual person who lived in this beautiful place. There was an opening on one side of the room, where the source of the smell of the food was coming from and on the other was a marvellous spiral staircase leading to the second story. It was all just the most beautiful atmosphere and the amount of plants this person had...again, not too much, not too little...just right. His favourite of course had to be the bamboo near the staircase, Caleb was sure it was real, but water poured from the individual bamboo. They were set in a dark wood, large rectangular box. Caleb could have sworn he just fell in love with this person's living room.

Deciding that the best thing to do at the moment was to show himself, Caleb slowly made his way across the living room, attempting to make the least amount of noise possible.
Carefully poking his head through the door, Caleb nearly fainted when he saw who was sitting on the spotless counter in the perfect kitchen. For a while he couldn't decide if he was lucky or cursed. He knew that Declan had been looking for him, but what were the odds of him actually finding him passed out in the street. It could have been anyone, but...why him? Caleb actually gave himself a headache just thinking about it.

Caleb didn't know who the woman was, but she was absolutely beautiful. A strange pang of jealousy hit the bottom of Caleb's stomach as he watched a small smile spread across Declan's face at something the woman had said. It seems Caleb's mind was made up for him, he should just leave and leave them be. He felt that they didn’t need the burden of taking care of him.

It had been decided and he was about to turn his back and walk straight out of the door, the food long forgotten, but unfortunately (or fortunately, he hadn't yet decided), Declan had decided that exact moment to lift his eyes from the ground and stare straight into the (now deep blue) eyes of Caleb. His smile had dropped slightly as they stared straight into one another's eyes. Neither were the cliché type to be able to read other people's emotions, so they were completely at a loss.

Caleb wasn't sure if Declan was happy that he was now awake and it was pretty obvious that he was about to leave, his body was half turned in the other direction. Declan wasn't sure if Caleb was happy that he'd awoken in his home of all places since he looked about ready to leave. 
Emilia had seen the smile disappear from Declan's face and an unreadable expression cross his features. She looked behind her and saw the small boy who had looked so helpless before staring directly at Declan, not even noticing her. She had gathered that Declan had probably known this person; he'd told her the boy’s name, but that was all he could say. Seeing that none would make a move towards one another, she took the initiative and raised herself from her seat, walking over to the obviously scared child. His gaze had finally shifted from Declan to Emilia when she began walking towards him; her heart melted at the sight of him practically curling in on himself when she approached.

"No need to be afraid." She told him in a small voice, trying not to scare him more than he already was. "You fainted and Declan here was kind enough to bring you here. I cooked food, you look extremely hungry. Would you like to sit?"

Caleb looked from under his arm and stared at Emilia for a while. She seemed genuinely kind, but if there was one thing Caleb learned from being on the streets so long, it was that you can never trust anyone; he had learned that many times.

It took quite a bit of convincing on Emilia's part to finally get Caleb to agree to at least sit at the table. To be quite honest, Caleb was afraid of being unwanted. He now knew that it was Declan's home and he wasn't sure if Declan wanted him there. Emilia might have said Declan took him in but that might have just been out of pity.

Emilia was all smiles as she placed one of nearly everything onto his plate. Even though Caleb was deathly starving, he had high doubts he could eat everything on the plate. He refused to touch it until Emilia took a bite first, not because he doubted it was safe, but because he didn't want to seem even more pathetic than he knew he already was. Once he got started though, he just couldn't seem to stop. Caleb refused to ask for seconds, but as soon as Emilia saw that he was running low, she stocked him up yet again, beaming, enjoying the sight of him eating. Declan actually could not help himself but to smile as well; Caleb was definitely too fragile and young to be in his position. Once Emilia saw that everyone was remotely happy (words couldn't possibly describe the feelings Caleb had), she placed her fork down and smiled over at the two strangers. That caught Caleb's attention and caused him to stop eating. Seeing as Declan had been staring at Caleb, he too looked over at Emilia and waited for her to speak.

"Oh, no, continue eating." She laughed; Caleb didn't hesitate before digging back into his crab legs. "I just wanted to know a little bit about you two. I just met you both a few hours ago..." 
Caleb took notice that the woman liked to smile. "Well, my name is Emilia Retter, but my friends call me Millie; you can call me whatever you like." Declan suddenly felt as if he were back in kindergarten, where the children are forced to talk about themselves. "I'm turning 23 in four weeks and I'm currently looking for a new job and I have a dog named Scooter and a boyfriend named Adam." Her gaze turned onto Declan, who swallowed hard and looked extremely uncomfortable. For some reason, he was hoping not to talk while Caleb was around, to save himself from looking like an idiot. What choice did he have now?

"Um...I'm Declan Callum...age 20...I like the colour green." He wasn't attempting to be funny, but Emilia seemed to find everything everyone said...laughable.

Her gaze now turned to Caleb, poor him. Caleb, unlike Declan was sure that he truly couldn't talk. He had never been good with people, ever since he and Declan first met and that honestly didn't change. It was one of the things his father hated about him; the fact that he wasn't as outgoing as his brother, he didn't go out of his way to make new friends and be liked by absolutely everyone. Declan knew this, but he didn't know what to do to take the spotlight off of him. What could he say? Ducking his head, Caleb carefully put down his fork and stared intently down at his lap, playing with his fingers. Emilia surely wasn't going to push him, she understood.

"Oh that's alright if you don't want to say anything, I won't force you." She smiled kindly, pouring more juice into his nearly empty cup. Caleb hadn't realized it, but...he was...full. In over 3 years, Caleb had never eaten so much that he just simply couldn't take any more. He thought he'd never get to feel that way again; that he'd die with only the taste of hunger on his tongue. It was so foreign to him now that it almost scared him; his stomach hurt but for the first time in so was because he had had enough. The perplexed look on his face was enough to alarm Emilia; she wasn't used to caring for someone other than her dying father and childlike boyfriend so this was almost new to her. Declan too was afraid, not for the fact that he didn't know how to care for someone, but because he didn't want to see Caleb in pain again. It had been too much the first time.
 "I-I didn't mean to cause any discomfort." Emilia stuttered out, a frown marring her features. Caleb decided that it didn't belong on her face. "You can continue eating...we'll continue in silence."

Caleb shook his head almost immediately, finally looking up at her. He was amazed that someone could actually pretend that they cared so well. He had grown to believe that everyone lied and no one truly cared or wanted to care; to know that a woman could pretend so well almost warmed his heart. He wasn't ready to speak yet, definitely not, so how was he supposed to tell them that he was full? He could try to sign it out, but the fact that he didn't know sign language didn't help, they probably didn't either. He knew that now he probably looked uncomfortable.

"Are you full?" 
Caleb hadn't been expecting it; if anything, he thought Declan would avoid talking to him until he left. He didn't know how Declan knew and he wasn't about to question it either. Bashfully looking up into those honey brown eyes that once plagued his dreams, Caleb nodded, although minuscule, Emilia saw, smiling up at Caleb as if he were a newborn child who just opened his eyes for the first time; so full of pride.

Raising herself from her chair, Emilia walked over to Caleb and took his almost empty plate, having given him his fourth helping not too long ago.

"Declan told me that he'd laid out the guest bedroom for you. It's the one you woke up in. We both think it would be best if you stayed here, at least until you're healthier. Is that alright with you?"
She laid his plate down into the sink and looked over expectantly back at him. Declan would never admit that he'd had his fingers crossed under the table.

Well Caleb couldn't exactly say no, could he? Would he really turn down hot food and water and most of all, shelter? But what if Declan really didn't want him to be there? He would be nothing but a burden and he didn't wish that upon people, especially people so nice as to take him in with all of his flaws. Maybe they'd give him some food for the road?

Emilia saw the look on his face; the one of pure defeat. She knew what he was thinking. After being in his presence for more than a few hours, Emilia could already tell what type of person Caleb was. The boy had been nearly dead on the streets, starving, but he'd rather go back than take people out of their way. It was time someone cared for him. Catching Declan's eye, Emilia tilted her head in Caleb's direction; telling him to say something.

"Um..." Declan was at a complete loss of words, but Caleb's eyes immediately snapped up in his direction, waiting...hoping. "I'd really like it if you stayed; it doesn't matter to me for how long, but you don't look healthy enough to be out there on your own. If you don't want to stay long, then at least stay until you get back on your feet; you know, you're able to get a job and find somewhere you do want to stay." Declan knew he was on the verge of rambling, so he quickly shut his mouth. Going over his words. Declan attempted to find a double meaning to his words, maybe something rude that Caleb would look into, but nothing came to mind.

Emilia apparently didn't find anything either because she was beaming and giving Declan a thumbs up behind her back, which was facing him.


Emilia was making her way out of the door, having already said goodbye to Caleb who was currently taking a shower for the first time in years.

"I'll be back tomorrow afternoon and we can take him shopping for some things, if he wants. Be nice to him, please, he needs someone right now and you are going to be that person." She pointed a manicured finger at him, wrapping her scarf around her neck and grabbing her jacket; it was quite chilly. "And can you please talk to him? He may not talk back, but you need to show him that you have no problem with him being here. Even if it's something small like inviting him to watch television with you, I don't care what you do just make him feel welcome."

Declan would never say it to her face, but they'd known each other for a few hours and the woman was already too much for him to take. She had taken the place of Caleb's mother and she seemed as if she would do absolutely everything in her power to stay that way. But Emilia wasn't Declan's biggest problem at the was Clarissa. The other woman in his life had gone to the spa for the weekend with her 'friends'; she would not be back until Sunday afternoon, the next night. Declan could hope all he wanted, but Clarissa would not like Caleb in the house and Declan would honestly kick her out if she tried to harm Caleb in any way.

Declan had waited a good half hour before he finally heard the water turn off; he had placed a pair of his sweatpants along with a shirt, sweater, a new pair of boxers, lotion and deodorant on the bed for Caleb. The clothes would be too big, that was a given, but like Emilia had said, they could buy clothes for him. Soft footsteps could be heard in the bedroom not too far away from where Declan was sitting on the couch. He was waiting...he would do what Emilia had asked of him; talk to the poor boy. The television was on mute and he was listening intently until he could no longer hear footsteps or the ruffle of material. The bed didn't creak and nothing made a sound, so Caleb was probably not in bed at the moment.

Quietly walking over through the foyer, Declan stopped in front of the doorway of the guest room, waiting a while before knocking. He didn't expect Caleb to talk so it came to no surprise to him when he didn't. Instead, Caleb just opened the door and peeked out shyly, keeping his eyes to the ground.

"Um...I just w-wanted t-to know if you wanted to come watch television...or something." Since when did Declan stutter? Why would he possibly start now, in front of Caleb? 
Caleb gave a shy nod, not taking his eyes off of the ground and followed Declan into the living room he had fallen in love with. Declan, not used to have guests, took a seat on the couch like it was no big deal, but when he was making a grab for the remote, he saw Caleb just standing there, wringing his hands together, looking like he absolutely didn't belong.

'Of course he would feel out of place you idiot, he's not used to this house yet.' Declan scolded himself, almost face palming if he didn't have the common sense to know it would look stupid.

Patting the spot beside him, Declan watched as Caleb shyly took a seat on the edge of the couch, careful to keep his eyes directly on the television.

"You don't have to be so careful. I won't hurt you, I promise." Declan whispered, almost afraid to break the silent atmosphere. 
He could see Caleb visibly relax, but still would not move further down the couch to get comfortable. Declan guessed that was good enough for the moment, he would wait.

Silence enveloped them as they watched television, though none of them were quiet sure what was happening in front of their eyes; both too lost in thought to give it much care.

Declan could only remember his childhood, the good times before he was forced to do things which he never dreamed of. The five or so days in which he spent in the company of the boy he barely recognized. Caleb was deep in thought of what he should possibly do. He couldn't very well stay there forever, some day he would have to leave. Declan had told him that he could wait until he found himself a job, but what job was there for a high school dropout? McDonald's? For the rest of his life? Caleb's face must have showed his great discomfort, for a soothing hand placed itself on his shoulder. Caleb must have jumped about ten feet in the air.

"Are you alright? You look worried; I really won't hurt you, Caleb."
The younger of the two did not answer, he didn't say a word, he was not comfortable enough in the almost stranger's home to say a word.

The two stayed in silence for what felt like hours, only sharing the occasional glance and nervous smile; it wasn't going at all like Declan had hoped - calm atmosphere, laughs, talking like the old friends they were - but nothing ever happens like he wants. That was when Declan remembered something that the small boy had uttered one day while eating their packed lunches (Caleb's being a small peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while Declan enjoyed Fettuccine Alfredo made by his parents' chef). Caleb had always enjoyed music, maybe it was something they could enjoy together. Declan looked over once more to see that Caleb had now settled comfortably onto the couch, legs pulled underneath him as he got completely absorbed into the movie. Who knew he'd find the world of Harry Potter so interesting?

"Do you play any instruments?" Declan asked, succeeding in getting Caleb's attention away from the television. Those bright blue eyes bore into his; Declan wondered why they changed colour so frequently, he doubted anyone else had such abilities.

Shaking his head from left to right, Caleb stared down at his fingers, only all too conscious of where he was and who he was with. He had always wanted to play an instrument, he so very much liked music, but his father was dead set against anything that would turn his son into 'more of a pansy'. Instead of the piano or guitar he'd wanted, he had gotten a football and a new hockey stick.

A small smile stretched across Declan's face as he thought:

'I may have just found what will end all of this awkwardness.'

"I...uh...have a few instruments here if you'd like to learn. I wouldn't mind teaching you...if you want." Declan waited...hoping for a nod or even a shake of the head, as long as he received something, some sign that Caleb had at least thought about what he'd said.

It might have been a trick of Declan's desperate mind, but he could have sworn he saw a minuscule nod. He didn't care, standing from the couch, he held out a hand to Caleb, who stared at it curiously for a while before slowly taking it. Both men ignored the feeling pooling up at the pits of their stomachs at the direct contact and continued on as if nothing had happened. Both were sure that it was only themselves who could feel that way for the other.

Declan had a music room upstairs, near his bedroom that he always kept locked, in case either his mother or Clarissa decided that they wanted to clean it out. No guitar was left outside for more than an hour after use, in fear that it would not be there when he returned. The old fashioned key was kept securely on a silver chain that he always wore around his neck (except for when taking showers).

Caleb was stunned speechless at the room. Every instrument known to man, most likely, was kept in the very room he was in. The room in itself was huge, almost bigger than the living room and that was the main room. Yet, it was organized and neat. There was a huge floor, nothing there except for a lonely white couch and matching chair. A grand, white piano sat on an elevated platform near a window with a magnificent view of the city. Violins, guitars, wind instruments were all pegged on was...amazing. Caleb was really at a loss for words.

"I don't know what you like, so you can take whatever you want." Declan sighed out, loving the expression on Caleb's face. An even brighter smile lit up his face once he saw Caleb headed towards the guitars on the stands near the piano.

"C-can y-you t-t-teach me g-guitar?"

Declan wasn't sure at first whether it was a trick of the mind, a blow of the wind or the beautiful voice he had been dreaming about, but it was airy, light and...perfect. Declan hadn't heard Caleb talk many years now? And even when they were friends, Declan had done most of the talking, Caleb was just there for the company that he had desperately needed.

Caleb himself hadn't been planning on actually saying anything, he didn't want to, but...he wasn't quite sure how to explain it, he just had to for some reason. Of course, he immediately shied away from the older man as soon as words left his mouth, but at least something came out. Declan beamed, feeling himself get more comfortable.

"Of course, it's my instrument of choice, after all. You can go pick whichever once you like."
Caleb shyly walked towards the stands; careful to glance behind him every once in a while to make sure that Declan was not glaring at what he chose. As soon as he entered the room, Caleb knew immediately which guitar he liked. It was not be the most professional choice, but it was beautiful nonetheless. It was actually a zebra striped acoustic guitar...enough said. A complete white acoustic with black stripes along the front and back, Caleb thought it was gorgeous. Declan gave a light chuckle at his choice.

"She's one of my favourites...she sounds a tad more crisp than some the others. I would have never picked her out for myself, it had been sort of a gag gift from an old friend." Declan smiled, picking up a regular mahogany acoustic and sitting on the couch, signalling Caleb to come sit as well.

Declan could already tell it would be a great night.

♠ ♠ ♠
Thank you so so so much to:

Josh Cutlip
Distressed Damsel
polka dot perfection

For your wonderful comments. Here is an extra long update for you :3

This is the first time I've gotten this many commenters for a chapter in this story and that made me happier than you will ever know. It's always so wonderful to know that people actually like what you're writing and feel strong enough to send a comment.
It could even be a 'hello' and that would be enough to make me happy. So please comment and subscribe

- C

ps. Also for anyone who is wondering where the random 'u's are coming from (eg. Colour as opposed to color; neighbours as opposed to neighbors). Realize that pretty much only the USA chooses to omit to additional U from their english language. Even though this story is set in the US, I am not from the US, so I word things as I was taught :) Rest assured, they are spelled correctly :3333