All Trick Davis’ needs are being met. He’s settled in comfortably at Scarcity Sanctuary and loves working at the shelter with Daniel. He’s working through his past trauma with Tommy and has met a wonderful man, Dante Farrell, the cook at the shelter. And one of the best things– Dante and Dillon keep trying new chocolate recipes. Just because he loves, no really loves chocolate. Along comes a kid named Mike and all their lives are thrown into chaos. Who threw this kid away, literally? How will they be able to learn anything when Mike can’t hear or speak?
Read an excerpt:
Tommy looked back and forth between Soldier and Dillon and said, “Have you told him yet?”
“We were waiting for you. He’s done so well this year and has worked so hard. We just don’t know how he’s going to handle it. We’ll make sure he knows there’s no shame involved in repeating a grade, even senior year. He gets so frustrated because he’s so far behind the others, but he never complains about doing the extra work.” Soldier’s voice held pride in the boy who’d come to them last fall.
Trick Davis came to them at the age of seventeen, much older than most boys who came to Scarcity Sanctuary. Tommy’s two dads ran a home for boys who were placed there through the Social Services system. Their place was highly specialized. They took boys who just did not fit into the regular foster system due to a high degree of trauma they’d gone through. It began with seven young boys being taken care of by Dillon Kramer. Tommy had been one of them, the oldest, at twelve.
At first, times were hard because it wasn’t a well-funded home, old and falling down, but the boys loved Dillon and felt safe with him. Along came Soldier and all their lives changed for the better. Soldier and Dillon fell in love and Soldier became a huge part of Scarcity Sanctuary. Soldier had a seemingly endless supply of money that he used to send his boys to school and he and Dillon made sure that all who came through their care left with everything they needed.
The original seven were still around, close by, and their lives were intertwined in many ways. They would always be a family. That was a word that meant a lot here, family. Trick came to the home through Casey Tanner, who was now a part of them, having become his brother Gom’s partner in life. Tommy would forever have a huge place in his heart for Gom. They were the only two, of all the boys who’d come through here, that had been adopted by Soldier and Dillon. They became Marshes, because Soldier’s real name was Keith Marsh. Both were very proud of it.
Tommy had gone on to school and become a counselor working in the same system that had placed him at Scarcity. Daniel Anderson, who ran a shelter, had placed him. Years later, he and Daniel had found that they loved each other. They now lived together in an apartment next door, in another part of the complex that was Scarcity Sanctuary. It had originally been planned for someone who would be a caretaker for that area of the complex, but now it was Tommy’s home. He also worked with boys who were put here. It was the best of both worlds. He got to work, a lot of the time, in the home where he grew up.
He’d talked with Gom’s friend, Laurie Summers, a counselor at the high school, and learned that Trick would need to repeat twelfth grade. They’d had him working with a tutor, Dillon worked with him, and he had a few remedial classes at the high school, but he had come to them so very far behind.
Tommy was just now getting into Trick’s history and finding out the horrors in his past. Trick had been resistant to sharing his story and he made such an effort to fit in and make them all think he was fine.
Tommy wondered how Trick would handle this news. The boy was such an old soul. Trick had been through so much in his life, been on his own for so long, that it was a wonder that he fit in as well as he did, even though Tommy felt that Trick was acting half the time. Tommy recognized it now and was working with Trick, to get him to show feelings that were real, not faked for the comfort of others.
“We can see about getting another tutor for the summer, to put him a little further ahead. He’s really amazing, you know?” Dillon said. Dillon was the champion of all the boys who came to Scarcity. “He’s made such strides in his studies. That boy is very smart, and so hard-working. It bothers me that he still isn’t comfortable accepting things without wanting to pay for them in some way. He wants to work off or pay for anything we do for him. More so than any of the others, he just can’t accept that he doesn’t have to do that. Do you know why he’s like that, Tommy?”
“I’m learning more all the time. Some day he may explain it to you, but you all are doing the right things for him. You always seem to know what the boys need. Just keep loving him and showing him that he’s a good person and he’ll come around. Here he comes. You want me to tell him?”
“I think that would be best. Laurie did us a favor by telling you, not that it was against the rules or anything, but she knows we all work with him.”
Trick came in the back door, followed by Niko, who was, of course, talking. Niko Blue was such an outgoing and happy boy now. Trick, on the other hand, was quieter, listening to Niko and nodding as they came in.
“Hey, guys. We’re starving. Is there anything to eat?” Niko asked, putting his book bag down on a chair.
“Hey, Tommy,” Trick said, glancing quickly around at all of them. “What’s up?”
“I talked with someone at the school today. It looks like you’re going to need to repeat your senior year.” Tommy didn’t see any use in sugarcoating it. He watched closely to see how Trick would handle the news.
“Okay.” Trick turned when Niko pitched him a bottle of water from the refrigerator.
“Ooh, there’s wraps in here. Are they for us, Dillon?” Niko asked, pulling out a plate with several of the sandwiches on it.
Tommy, Soldier and Dillon looked at each other in awe as Trick and Niko set the snacks on the table and settled in to eat. Soldier just shook his head and Dillon smiled. Tommy figured the news was not the surprise they thought it would be for Trick and really, this news was not the worst thing that had happened to him.