Home > The Spark(7)

The Spark(7)
Author: Vi Keeland

I shook my head. “Shoot. Alright, well, I guess we have no choice but to take it one day at a time.” I looked over at Storm. “I’m glad you’ll get to stay here tonight at least.”

A little while later, Donovan and I said goodnight to Storm. I hated to leave him alone, but this wasn’t our first time doing this, and it wasn’t like I had a choice. We promised to meet him at the courthouse and told him to try to get some sleep.

Outside on the precinct steps, I blew out a deep breath. “Thank you for coming. I don’t know what to do with him anymore.”

“Does he have any family?”

“His mother is an addict. When they found him, he was living in an abandoned building by himself. He’d been living in a car with her and her newest boyfriend until the boyfriend gave the mother an ultimatum—the kid went or he did. Storm left the next day because the car had heat, and he didn’t want his mother to be outside in the cold. He doesn’t know of any other family, and the mom says it’s just them.”

Donovan raked a hand through his hair. “That’s tough.”

“He’s a smart kid, too. Doesn’t do any homework or put in any effort and still gets good grades on all his tests. He also speaks Spanish and Russian pretty fluently, and he knows some Polish, too.”

“Three languages? Is his mother bilingual?”

“Nope. Mom is German, I think. But she doesn’t speak anything other than English. When I asked her about it, she said they bounced around Brooklyn a lot. When they lived in Brighton Beach, he went to school with a lot of Russian kids, and he just picked it up. Polish he learned when they lived near Greenpoint. Spanish he’s absorbed from various friends over the years.”

“Smart kid. His brain sounds like a sponge.”

“It is. Yet I can’t seem to get through to him.”

“Kids on their own don’t easily accept help or listen to people. But I guess I don’t need to tell you that.”

I nodded “I just hope he doesn’t get sent to a juvey detention center. Some of them are as tough on kids as a prison.”

Donovan nodded. “I know. I’ll do my best.”

I suddenly realized how quiet it was outside the police station. It was just the two of us, and that gave me the urge to flee as fast as possible. “Is there anything you need from me for the arraignment?”

“No, it’s just a formality.”

“Oh. Okay. Well, thanks again. I’ll see you in the morning, then.” I waved awkwardly and started to walk away.

But Donovan caught my hand.

“Not so fast…”


I chanced a look up at him, and he silently raised his brows as if he was expecting me to speak.

“What?” I said.

“Are we just going to pretend that weekend never happened?”

I bit my bottom lip, praying it was a rhetorical question. When the silence stretched, I managed, “That would be great. Thanks.”

Donovan smiled. “Nice try, but not a chance.”

I sighed.

“I went back to that Starbucks every day for two weeks, hoping to run into you.” He paused and searched my eyes. “Since you snuck out of my place and didn’t leave me any way to contact you, I didn’t even know your last name until you said it to the police officer inside. Wilde…” He smiled. “It suits you.”

My heart squeezed a little. Almost a year had passed, and yet I still thought of him every time I passed any Starbucks. Only unlike him, I’d avoided going in the one we’d met at after our weekend together.

“Sorry…I, uh…”

His brows drew together. “Are you married?”

“God, no.”

“Did you…not have a good time? Because I thought you did.” He flashed a dimpled, crooked smile, which made my knees a little weak. “I thought you had multiple good times.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Yes, I did have a good time.”

“So then why the brush-off?”

“I just… I was looking for what we had. Not more.”

He seemed to digest that for a minute before nodding. “You could’ve just said that. I’m a big boy. I would’ve liked to have said goodbye. Maybe even made you some breakfast—given you some coffee, at least.”

I felt embarrassed and was glad it was so dark out. “Sorry. I, I’m not good at those things.”

Donovan rubbed his bottom lip with his thumb. That was one of the things I’d felt drawn to when we first met. He took his time and picked his words, rather than doing what most people do—spewing whatever thoughts immediately came to mind. Well, that and his broad shoulders, mesmerizing eyes, and bone structure that should’ve made him a candidate to be a fifth head carved on Mt. Rushmore. Screw presidents. That I’d go see.

“You’re sorry? So that means you feel badly about the way things left off?”

My face wrinkled. “Yes. That’s why I apologized.”

“Well, since you feel badly, I should let you make it up to me. So that we’re even.”

I chuckled. “And how exactly would I do that?”

“Have the coffee you skipped out on with me…now.” He nodded across the street. “There’s a twenty-four-hour diner a block over.”

It was tempting, but I knew it was a bad idea. I offered a conciliatory smile. “It’s pretty late. I should get home.”

Donovan forced a smile, though I could see he was disappointed. Honestly, I was, too. He shoved his hands into his pockets. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then?”

I nodded. “Goodnight, Donovan.”

I thought that was the end of it, and we both started to walk away, but after a few steps, he yelled. “Hey, Red!”

I stopped and turned around. Even though I had auburn hair, he was the only person who’d ever called me that.

“Court will only take about an hour. So it won’t be too late for coffee afterward.”

I laughed. “Goodnight, Mr. Decker.”

“Oh, it has been a good night.” He smiled. “And I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”





* * *




“You don’t speak unless the judge asks you a question and I give you the okay to answer. Understood?”


Spending the night locked up in a jail cell hadn’t done much for my client’s sunny disposition. While attitude from a client would normally have me up in arms, it was an effort to act pissed off with this kid. He reminded me so much of myself at that age that I found it amusing.

I cleared my throat. “Not whatever. Tell me you understood what I said and you will follow my rules.”

Storm rolled his eyes. “Fine. Speak when spoken to. I get it, alright?”

“That’s better.”

I pushed up my shirtsleeve to check the time on my watch. We still had a few minutes before the guard would call him for the obligatory lineup and march of criminals upstairs to the courtroom. Only attorneys were allowed downstairs to visit clients before arraignment, so this was the first time I’d been alone with him. I figured I might as well make good use of the opportunity.

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