The Diapered Detective

Status
Not open for further replies.

TheWolfEmperor

Contributor
Messages
1,380
Role
  1. Private
Here is my attempt at the amateur sleuth genre. My plan is to do a series of stories and post both here and on DailyDiapers. Feedback is always welcome, though I have a fairly clear idea of what I intend to do with this series of stories.


~Prologue~
An Escaped Wolfe


“I'm not going back.”

Keating couldn't resist a grin as he took a seat across from his favorite, yet most frustrating patient.

“When I authorized your shoelaces, I hardly expected you to stick around.”

The intense gaze and cool composure dropped for just a second. The boy seemed taken aback, or possibly disappointed that Keating wasn't going to try to drag him back to the hospital kicking and screaming. Well, in so far as the dragging would have occurred before the kicking and screaming began.

It was getting harder not to laugh. Keating kept it under control while he pulled a folded document from his pocket.

“They were the only thing holding you back, Mister Wolfe,” he said, placing piece of paper on the table and gently pushing it towards Aiden. “Logically, you couldn't get very far without your shoes. Although you didn't have to assault Jerry on the way out.”

Aiden shrugged.

“Apparently you talked him out of pressing charges,” he said. “Since you obviously knew where to find me, you could have told the police where I was.”

Keating lost it at that moment. Aiden raised an eyebrow but said nothing as he waited for Keating to compose himself. Many of the cafe's patrons seemed to be puzzled by the outburst of laughter and Aiden was tempted to make some comment on his doctor's behalf.

When Keating managed to get himself under some control, he removed his glasses and took a couple of napkins from the holder. “Oh, Aiden, you will have a special place in my heart, always.” He said, gently drying the tears. “Finding you wasn't exactly challenging.”

“Really?” Aiden seemed genuinely puzzled this time. He had memorized the layout of the hospital and was certain to only make his way through the corridors and staircases where there was no surveillance or alarms. When he left the hospital he immediately took to the woods, expertly navigating the forest, until he found this sleepy little town where he was certain no one would be looking for him. He had even managed to scrape together enough change and a few dollar bills to purchase a small coffee, so he could sit in the town's only coffee shop for a little while without drawing any attention. “What did I miss?”

Keating could only point. Aiden saw his reflection in the wall length mirror at the far end of the sitting area and frowned.

“I really did expect you to gain something from our sessions.” Keating said. “Like realizing that you were still wearing a hospital johnny.”

Aiden was silent. The stares from customers made more sense now that he saw the red polka dots and the flimsy sash closing the opening in the back. The pale blue pajama bottoms were the only things really protecting his modesty. Suddenly the odd stares from the customers made more sense.

“I missed a few things,” he admitted.

“Apparently.” Keating said, drawing the word out as he unfolded the piece of paper. “I had already signed your release the night before. It was easy to convince Doctor Willard to cosign.”

“Then Jerry did come clean?”

“Thanks to your note. Going forward, I'd be careful what you write on a piece of paper when a psychiatrist asks you to write a statement about the weather.”

It was Aiden's turn to grin.

“'Doctor Willard stole a patient's watch and the head of security, Jerry Gilbert, sold it at a pawnshop on a sunny day.' I fit the weather in somewhere.”

Keating shook his head, pushing the matter aside. While Aiden took a closer look at the release form, Keating pulled a backpack out from behind him and placed it by Aiden's feet.

“Go change in the bathroom. We have to talk about what's happening next.”

“Next?”

Aiden looked up from the document. Keating simply gestured to the bathroom with an expression he only reserved for when Aiden absolutely needed to shut up and do as he was told. Aiden shrugged, tossed the paper back on the table and grabbed the backpack.

He knew he could easily run. Even on his best day, Keating wasn't the healthiest individual. Not obese but not likely to take the stairs when an elevator was an option either. But realistically, there was only so far he could get and Aiden was mentally and physically tired. He went into the restroom and closed the door behind him.

Only when he saw himself in the mirror again did he really kick himself for overlooking the hospital johnny. It was only the most recognizable piece of clothing in the history of hospitals, down from the stethoscope and those cute little hats nurse's use to wear. He tried to shrug it off, telling himself that he couldn't wait any longer or the orderlies would notice his change in behavior and watch him more closely. But once he had his shoes it would only stand to reason he would want his normal clothes back.

He shook his head and kicked off his shoes. Quickly he tore off the johnny and slipped out of the hospital issue pajamas, stuffing them in the trash before opening the backpack. The clothes he was wearing the night they admitted him were clean, ironed and folded. There was also something else that the “Good Doctor” must have put in there himself: A pull up.

Aiden had been lucky so far. He was able to get a shower in this morning before he put the final phase of his escape plan into motion. But he took the risk of not wearing another absorbent product, knowing he would be in the woods most of the time. He didn't even touch his coffee and it had gone tepid long before Keating arrived.

“Probably a good idea,” he muttered, pulling off the boxer shorts and stepping into the pull up. It was the standard hospital issue Attends pull up. The crinkling sound was audible even under his boxers and khakis which was why he didn't want to wear them while he was on the run.

He flushed the toilet and washed his hands, more to make an appropriate amount of noise than anything. Then he zipped up the backpack and left the bathroom.

Keating was still at the table, this time with his own coffee and a plate of scones in the middle table. A tall black woman was already munching on one of them and sipping... chamomile. Aiden took a deep breath through his nostrils, savoring the smell and wishing he had thought to order that instead of his initial “coffee beard”. With the pleasant scent on his mind, he took his seat and thanked Keating for the coffee.

“Aiden Wolfe, I'd like you to meet Genessa.”

Aiden turned to Genessa. Even sitting down, he could tell she was about a foot taller than Keating. Unlike Keating, however, she obviously found some time in the day to work out, either by jogging or taking one of those Crossfit courses that you could cram between doing a load of laundry and picking up a pound of turkey at the deli.

“Pleased to meet you,” he said, offering his hand. “Must have been hard to find room in his car.”

“We had to leave some boxes behind,” Genessa said, with a light chuckle. “How do you know I came with him? I could have followed his car.”

“Oh please,” Aiden said, rolling his eyes. “Wouldn't you be more impressed to know how I escaped from the hospital? I mean a social worker should probably know how likely her charge is to break free of whatever home she places him in, am I correct?”

To her credit, Genessa's eyes didn't pop out of her head when he guessed her profession. Aiden didn't mind when people were genuinely impressed, but adding theatrics and a constant barage of “Oh, how did you guess that” was just insulting.

“I'm all ears.”

Aiden took a sip of his coffee before continuing, reaching for the sugar and cream as he spoke. “You'd be surprised how thin the walls are in a hospital, especially the psychiatric ward. So why would you risk talking about your financial difficulties with someone in the nurse's station while there were people in line for their medication, even in a low whisper. Of course, Keating took me off the anti-depressants three weeks ago, which is what helped me become more aware of all that was going on around me. So when I heard his colleague-”

“Former colleague,” Keating interrupted.

“Former colleague, Doctor Willard worrying about an outstanding balance on a few of his credit cards I filed it away for future use.”

“Oh yes,” Keating said, turning to Genessa. “I forgot to tell you that if you sneeze in church, he won't forget it.”

“Anyway, a week or so after that I noticed Jeremy Gilbert escorting a new patient to the ward. I couldn't remember if he had been the the guard to escort me or not, but then I was in such a sorry state that I doubt I would have noticed if Justin Timberlake had been the orderly who pushed the wheelchair. I digress. Jeremy became a frequent fixture on the ward, even at the end of his shift. I knew it was the end of his shift because he was out of uniform when he and Doctor Willard met near the elevator in the small vestibule just beyond the locked doors of the ward.

“But how did you know what was going on?” Genessa asked. “You'd have a reason to be near the nurse's station. But if they saw you eyeballing the exit that might make them a little suspicious.”

Aiden raised an eyebrow. “Hmm. You're smarter than I expected.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“You're right. I couldn't have guessed what they were talking about behind a soundproofed door. But the one time I definitely saw them there was a brief exchange. Jerry got right back on the elevator and when Willard reentered the ward, I had either made my way to the bathroom to shower or back to my room.” Aiden paused. The last comment was deliberate and if Genessa knew that he was referencing his little problem, she didn't show it. “My first real clue was when one of the patients was being released. All of our belongings go into a bin that is then locked in a closet just outside of the common area. I happened to over hear the concern that a patient's camera seemed to be missing, even though it wasn't listed on the inventory list that gets made during every intake.”

“Jerry was kind enough to buy the camera back. As well as the watch.”

“Hey, no spoilers.” Aiden shot Keating a playful grin to show he wasn't serious. “I was able to casually a sneak a glance at the inventory list. It took me three or four tries but it did happen. The nurse was getting annoyed with me so I remained in my room for the rest of the day, trying to find a way to see a sample of Doctor Willard's hand writing.”

“You think he messed with the inventory lists?”

“Not all of the time. Only on the nights when he was on call and there was fewer staff on the ward. He wasn't stupid. He only went into the closet a few times and he always had an excuse. I'm a doctor, so fuck you.”

“Doctor patient privilege,” Keating amended. “He was using doctor patient privilege to go through the patient's bins.”

“He only took the small things. Things he could easily pocket and slip into Jerry's waiting hands. He didn't always do this in the vestibule, or someone would have noticed sooner. But he had plenty of access to the inventory forms just as any other employee working on the ward. It was a simple matter of writing a new list, conveniently leaving out the things he knew he was going to take, and replacing the original.”

“How did you confirm your hunch?”

“I didn't,” He said, looking his doctor in the eye as he said it. “That's the beauty of stealing from patients on a psychiatric ward. Everyone has it in the back of their mind that you couldn't possibly know what you're talking about. That what you have seen, or heard, or suspected was just a part of your delusions. Keating did the legwork after I took the risk of pointing him in the right direction. I presume everything added up, or you wouldn't have given my shoelaces back.”

Keating nodded, but allowed Aiden to continue.

“Well I was just so excited to get to that big milestone that I had to go into the common area and enjoy the new found freedom. I was so happy with myself that when Big Peety came in to watch his morning cartoons, I gave him a big hug.”

“Thanks for that,” Keating muttered. For Genessa's benefit he explained, “Peter is a twenty-two year old autistic man who hates to be touched. Aiden conveniently 'forgot' this fact around the time Gilbert shut off the cameras in the elevator and near the elevator doors on the third floor.”

“While the ward staff were focused on Peter and a number of the other patients were beginning to wake up to see what the commotion was, I made my way for the double doors and waited while several security guards and a few other orderlies entered the ward to help with the situation. It was almost too easy to slip by them before the door slammed, but then Peety makes a lot of noise when he's agitated.”

“Nice,” Genessa said. “Still could have planned that better.”

Aiden shrugged again.

“We live and learn. In fairness, I'm still working the industrial sedatives out of my system.” He looked to Keating. “I truly didn't know what Gilbert was doing. My plan did take me into the third floor because there's a door just down the hall from the staircase that leads into a storage tunnel. It was propped open when they brought me by there and I took a gamble that it might be propped open again.”

“He remembered that after six months,” Keating pointed out.

“You weren't lying.” Genessa finished her tea. “So Willard and Gilbert are taken care of?”

Keating straightened up and took a glance around the coffee shop. Now that Aiden was less obvious and most of the morning customers had gone about their day, no one else seemed to take interest in them. Keating then said, in a low voice, “They're both on a short leash, but because of how shaky things are with Aiden's escape I couldn't go to the police directly. Willard and Gilbert both have thirty days to retrieve the items they sold or to pay restitution to the patients and then they're out of there. We're going to keep things as hush hush as possible and hopefully we can keep the victims satisfied enough to move on with their lives. After the dust is settled those men are out of here.”

“So many gray hairs,” Aiden said, making tsk, tsk, noises. “And an ulcer eventually. You could have let me know what you found out and I wouldn't have been so hasty.”

Keating mimicked Aiden's shrug. “We live and we learn.”

“So what's this 'next' business you were referring to,” Aiden asked, looking from Keating then to Genessa. “We've established you're a social worker. The lanyard with your name badge is hanging out of your pants pocket by the way. I noticed it as I was sitting down and I could see a portion of the logo, which I recognized as the same agency that helps many of the patients at that particular hospital.”

Genessa reached to tuck the lanyard in her pocket. It was hard to tell if she was annoyed or disappointed, but the look was there so briefly that Aiden simply filed it away for future use.

“Aiden, the fact is, you're still a minor,” she said, speaking in a firm and controlled tone. Aiden suspected she was trying to use Keating's tone in the hopes that he would be just as receptive towards her. “At least for another year, you're going to need some kind of supervision. We thought that emancipation might be an option, but since you did technically escape before the release was signed and you were noticed by several people, I'm afraid convincing a judge to let that happen will be harder now. Especially with everything that's going on right now.”

Aiden sighed. He wasn't about to apologize for breaking out there. Keating understood this, but said nothing. Aiden followed his lead and listened to Genessa.

“I'd like you to come stay at a group home for a few weeks until we find you a foster home,” she continued. “Unless you know of any relatives who would be willing to take you in until you are old enough to be on your own.”

“You already know the answer to that, or you wouldn't be here.”

“Right, well, there it is.” Genessa said. “Doctor Keating is obviously willing to pull a lot of strings for you. I'm willing to do the same as long as you meet me half way.”

A million possibilities fired across Aiden's mind at once. None of them particularly satisfied him because they all began with the assumption that he would have to run from this very building. He might even get to plead his case before a judge, citing Doctor Willard's actions as the reasons he ran. Keating didn't have nearly enough clout in that hospital to keep an investigation from happening. Then there was what could happen to Keating if Aiden did cry foul. The man basically committed blackmail to turn Aiden's escape into the legal release of a mental patient.

Keating must have sensed Aiden's struggle.

“Aiden, I only want to help you,” he said. “This could be a long year or a very productive year. You have skills that can be put to good use and maybe, one day, you will find someone you can trust enough not to just take off when they show you how much they care.”

“Well that was subtle,” Aiden shot back, halfheartedly. To Genessa he said, “Since the alternative his him sending me on a guilt trip, why don't we just get this over with.”

Keating smiled. Aiden tuned out most of what was said over the next few minutes. Aiden made another trip to the restroom, but found Keating standing by door alone, while Genessa was taking care of business in the ladies. They went outside to Keating's car. The day was nearly over, with half the street covered in shade.

“How much does she know?” Aiden asked. He shook the backpack for emphasis, feeling the weight of the extra pairs of Attends Keating had placed in there. “What will I have to explain to her?”

“Not much,” Keating said. “She won't push you to tell her anything. I explained that you like your privacy, but you should know that going into foster care won't be easy.”

“I was wondering when my life of ease would come to an end.”

“Could you ease up on the sarcasm just a bit?” Keating asked. “You don't have to be Mr. Popular overnight, but it might work to your advantage to have one or two people on your side.”

“Thanks for getting me out of there,” Aiden said after a long silence. “I'll try not to bolt again. For a year at least.”
 

TheWolfEmperor

Contributor
Messages
1,380
Role
  1. Private
~ The Thrifty Theft ~


No one told her it was going to be an easy career path. But she was beginning to wonder if wishing for a solid year of crack babies, hoarders, drug addled veterans, and violent drunks in exchange for one week without a complaint about her current client wasn't just a little unprofessional.


“A Clean Room is the sign of a Deranged Mind.”


The sign on the door was written in calligraphy on a blank canvas and the frame was handmade. Both were done by Aiden when he was twelve. When the director of the group home, a woman named Wendy, opened the door letting them into the room, the subtlety of the sign became clear. The room was uncomfortably cold but it was clean and meticulously organized. Except for a blanket which had been neatly folded and placed on the chair next to the desk, the bed was made so neatly that no drill sergeant would find fault with it.


“We have to wash about four or five blankets a week,” she said. “You might want to talk to him about that.”


Although Wendy did nothing to hide the frustration in her own voice, Genessa kept a reign on her own. To be fair, Wendy and the other staff had to deal with him every day. Genessa at least got a respite.


“Is that why he was grounded?” She hated to ask, but part of her job was making sure her client was being treated well.


“Of course not,” Wendy answered, with the expected level of annoyance. “Kids wet the bed all the time. We wouldn't punish a child for something he couldn't help. Keeping his own room and laundry clean is the only aspect of dealing with him that I don't have a complaint about. But if he just woke up one day and was even the slightest bit more pleasant to deal with then I swear would go out and buy him a car.”


Genessa looked around the room. There wasn't even a mark on the walls or a stain on the window. The sign might as well have been a drawing of a middle finger. And knowing her favorite client (insert all intended sarcasm) as she had come to know him over the last few weeks, it wouldn't surprise her to find out he had been planning to do just that if he could afford the art supplies.


“The other day, Trisha asked him to sweep the hallway,” Wendy explained. “She got his name wrong, called him Allen. I'm sure she wasn't doing it to be mean, but he insisted that she didn't even apologize when he corrected her. I would have spoken to her about it had he come to me but instead he proceeded to tell her that it was no wonder her boyfriend left her. I know he did his little “psychic Sherlock” thing to figure it out because we don't talk about our personal lives to the residents. But the fact that he was so... malicious about it over such a trivial thing.”


“It wasn't right,” Genessa agreed. She hesitated before asking the other question she was starting to hate. “Anything else I should know about?”


Wendy nodded. Genessa was mentally planning a trip to the nearest Walgreens for ibuprofen.


“Last night, it was cold. We understand he likes it cold. We've stopped asking him to wear a jacket ever since he tore up the sweater that Mike gave him back in October. But last night it dropped to about ten degrees and Jim, who was the night awake counselor on duty thought it would be alright if he came in to close the window.”


Genessa noted the bed and it's strategic position in front of the window, which was still wide open. This story wasn't going to end well.


“What did he do?” She asked.


“He shouted 'boo'.” Wendy paused to let it sink in before adding, “The man is in his sixties.”


Forget Walgreens. After this, Genessa was buying stock in Advil.


“Is he alright?”


“We sent him home early,” Wendy said. “But he'll be fine, physically. He's on temporary leave until Aiden is out of here.”


“Where's Aiden now?” Genessa asked, trying to keep her voice level.


“That's the other thing. He seems to think being grounded is optional. We don't have a clue where he is.”


“Did you call the police?”


“Apparently they think it's optional too. All I get from them is, 'we'll find him'. But he still comes and goes as if he owns the place and if that police sergeant he's friendly with ever speaks to him about his behavior, I haven't seen any evidence of it.”


Genessa raised an eyebrow at that. She knew that Aiden sometimes called the police with tips when he had a hunch. Was he really that good that the police turned the other way over something as serious as possibly giving a sixty year-old man a heart attack?


“Alright, I'll see if I can find him.”


“See about finding another home for him as well,” Wendy said, bluntly. “We've given you plenty of time and frankly, we're tired of waiting.”


* * *


The drive gave Genessa plenty of time to feel like she had just had salt rubbed into an open cut. She stopped at a gas station for a bottle of water and gave the Advil a chance to do it's work before heading into town.


There was only one coffee shop within a hundred miles of the group home and there were no buses or train stations close by. Kids who had permission to go out and about on their own often went into town, but as there wasn't much to do there was very little incentive to leave the house. Aiden managed to find something to do.


I bet they would appreciate a social worker who wants to help them, Genessa thought, as she stopped at an intersection.


As Main Street came into view, she considered stopping off at the local sheriff’s department to find out if what Wendy said was true. But if she was going to get a truthful answer from anyone it would be Aiden. And if she wound up strangling him as a result of it well, lets see the police cover that up. If he wasn't at the library across the street, or wandering aimlessly, Aiden would be at the coffee shop. She found a space in front of the shop and tried to see through the glass window, but the late afternoon glare was making it impossible.


Genessa really didn't want to go inside. A combination of the cold breeze and the brightness from the sidewalk that was bleached from rock salt was making her headache worse. But Aiden was her responsibility. She gritted her teeth and put on her most professional face as she got out of the car and walked into the shop.


The coffee shop was busiest in the afternoon since it served a full lunch menu and many of the small business owners met clients here. The tables in the center of the dining area were mostly full, with only one or two people sitting alone, eating, drinking, or reading. In the far back there was a raised section with a comfortable sofa, a book shelf and a coffee table. Aiden usually went up there if it was free, but he didn't appear to be in the shop at all.


“Can I help you?” The barista asked.


Genessa took another glance around the shop before turning to the woman. A college girl, by the looks of her, Genessa wasn't sure if she was around long enough to recognize any of the regulars. She decided to take a chance.


“I'm looking for my client,” she said. “Tall kid, about my height, blond, probably under dressed for the weather. He's kind of a know it all.”


“Oh, Aiden?” The girl said, in a surprisingly cheerful manner. “Yeah, he's in here a lot. I think he just stepped out.”


Genessa frowned.


“Um... so do you know him well?” She asked.


The girl nodded and smiled.


“Yeah, I talk to him every now and again. He seems like a nice guy. At least he's always sure to tip. Is everything alright?”


“Yeah, everything's fine.” Genessa turned to leave and saw a cop standing outside the shop, writing a ticket. She'd forgotten to pay the meter! Trying to keep as much of her dignity as possible, she ran outside and was surprised to see the officer placing the ticket under the windshield wiper of the Audi next to hers.


She watched the officer, expecting him to start writing the ticket for hers. Instead, he just smiled, got into his car and drove away.


“You really should put some money in next time. Even if you don't think you'll be long.”


Genessa clenched her fists and turned around, slowly. Sure enough, there he was, leaning against the sliver of brick wall that separated the coffee shop from the row of shops along the street.


Wearing a dark blue long-sleeved t-shirt that couldn't have kept him any warmer if it had been painted on, Aiden gave her a shit eating grin as he fidgeted with some quarters with one hand while the the thumb of his other hand was hooked around the pant loop of his gray khakis. Since leaving the hospital, he was keeping his hair shorter, cutting it himself every month. Genessa looked from him, to the meter she was parked at and saw the digital timer counting down from five minutes. The thoughtfulness of the gesture wasn't lost on her and it eased her frustration. A little.


“Why aren't you at the group home?”


“I had things to do.” That shrug returned.


“You were grounded.”


“And yet...” Aiden made a sweeping gesture to the world in general.


Genessa had to clench her fists again to keep from raising her voice. Knowing it was a silly move out of the gate, she decided to see if guilt would take him down a peg.


“Does it even bother you that you might have put someone in the hospital last night?”


Nothing. If anything, the grin only downgraded to a smirk.


“Jim is a high school track and field star who only eats red meat once a year. He goes for a jog every morning before he goes to sleep and his day job is as a part time personal fitness trainer. His heart is fine.”


“Well... what about Jessica? Did you have to be so cruel with her because she forgot your name?”


“Several times, Genessa.” Aiden shook his head and started digging through his pockets for more change. “And I tried to do it your way, politely reminding her that my name isn't Allen, Alex, Aaron, or John. Yes, she called me John once. When we first met. And I've confronted both her and Wendy about this lapse and neither one of them seemed to think it was important, so I nuked Jessica. To be quite frank, the bitch had it coming. She's a control freak with no regard to others' feelings and I'm surprised her boyfriend didn't leave her sooner. If I knew how to get a hold of him, I'd set him up with Ashely there.”


Aiden nodded towards the coffee shop indicating the barista who thought he “seemed like a nice guy”. What would she think if she ever wound up stepping on Aiden's toes, Genessa wondered.


“Look, don't pop a vein,” Aiden said. “Lets go for a walk.”


With a heavy sigh, Genessa went into her car for a sweat jacket. When she slammed the door shut, he was putting more money into the meter.


“You don't have to do that.”


“Yes I do. We're going to be here for a while.”


How did she lose control of the situation? Genessa never let any guy tell her what to do, yet here she was, falling into step beside Aiden without the slightest resistance. It gave her so much more respect for Doctor Keating, who at least managed to keep Aiden in the same hospital for six months. Then she heard some shouting and a bit of cussing from the direction of the coffee shop. No one went out of their way to keep the Audi driver from getting a ticket.


“Thank you,” she said, halfheartedly.


“Don't mention it.”


Genessa stopped when she realized Aiden was behind her. Because he was leading the way, she wasn't really paying attention to where they were going and realized they were on a narrow side street. At first, Aiden seemed to be lost, looking across the street at the buildings which were mostly the back doors of several businesses as well as a few BFI bins and exhaust fans. Then he turned to the large yellow brick wall that ran the length of their side of the street, gazing thoughtfully at the roof. Then he took an interest in a few of the cars parked along the street and stopped at one of them, giving it a long look before he turned to see the loading dock at the end of the brick building.


“What are you doing, casing cars?” Genessa asked.


“Not me,” he said, with a grin. “The entrance is around front. Come on.”


Get his name wrong or get into his personal space and pay the price. But Aiden was capable of taking a joke. Or maybe that was his funny way of showing that he liked Genessa, she couldn't tell. They turned the corner and Genessa recognized the store front of Light House thrift shop. She knew about the place because it raised money for the group homes and homeless shelters, but she had never been here.


Inside, the atmosphere was warm and cozy. There were a few shoppers, looking at some of the funiture on display or going through the bins of toys and the stacks of board games. There were scattered bits of chatter and a radio played soft music, but otherwise it was as quiet as a library. Aiden went to a bookshelf, running his hand over the spines and appearing to take an interest in the titles, while sneaking discreet glances at different parts of the store. Genessa managed to follow one such glance to a glass counter, where an older woman sat on a stool behind the register, reading a book.


There was no point in interrupting him while he was in this mode, so Genessa went to the racks of clothes and looked at dresses. The activity got her mind off of trying to find a new placement for Aiden and her headache eventually disappeared.


“Aiden!”


“Peter, how's it going?”


Genessa looked up and saw a man leaning out of a doorway into a room marked by an “Employee's Only” sign. Peter was almost baby faced, except for a bit of stubble on his face and a strange looking goatee that may or may not have been the result of a broken razor. Aiden shook his hand and they started chatting casually. Without wanting to seem like she was hovering, Genessa pretended to be interested in a rack full of silverware so she could hear their conversation.


“We just got a shipment in,” Peter said. “Did you want to take a look and see if they're the right ones?”


“Yeah, that'd be great.”


“Carole, I'm just going to show Aiden something real quick.”


Carole, the old lady at the counter, looked up and nodded. Aiden glanced in Genessa's direction and mouthed “be right back” before following Peter into the backroom and Genessa tried to be as discreet as possible as she looked inside. The adjacent room was a warehouse of sorts and she could see the loading dock that was visible outside. There were piles of clothes on tables and men and women were sorting through them. Boxes of books and other donations were organized agains the walls and in the center of the room.


Genessa didn't see where Aiden had gone to, but a few seconds later he emerged from the room.


“Yeah, those will definitely work,” he said.


“I can make you a deal,” Peter said. “Five dollars a bag?”


“That'd be great. How long can you hold them for?”


Peter shrugged. “As long as no one else is looking for them, we don't have any room on the floor for them just yet. I'll let you know when I need a definite decision.”


Aiden made eye contact with Genessa. There was a rare moment of vulnerability in his eyes as he as he thanked Peter and told him he'd get back to him. When Peter went back inside, Aiden said,


“I can wait outside if you're still shopping.”


“Nope, I'm all set.” Genessa followed him outside and waited until they crossed the street before she added, “So what was that all about?”


“Do you have your phone with you?”


“What?”


Aiden stopped and held out his hand.


“Your phone. I need to make a call real quick. Please.”


“Who do you need to call?”


“Sergeant Gregson,” Aiden said, impatiently. The name sounded familiar.


“What, from the police department? Why do you need my phone to call them?”


“Because Carole is about to have her car stolen.” Aiden pointed to the thrift shop. “There is a two time felon hiding in the warehouse and he's going to make his move in about two hours, when they're getting ready to close the shop.”


Genessa groaned and rubbed the bridge of her nose. She took her phone out of her pocket and unlocked it before handing it to Aiden. He quickly dialed and put the phone to his ear. As it rang, he gently guided her to a place where he could see the loading dock of the thrift store without being seen by anyone who left the rear entrance.


“Hi, Scott? It's Aiden. Are you in plain clothes? Can you meet me by Victor Street as soon as possible? That guy on the poster is here. If you get hurry up and get here fast enough you can catch him in the process of grand theft auto. Don't flash the lights or you'll scare him off.”


Aiden hung up and handed the phone back to Genessa.


“Now we wait,” he said.


“Okay, Aiden, I need you to explain some things.” Genessa said in a slow voice. “Like what are you up to?”


“I told you, there's a felon hiding in the donations warehouse. He's probably been there for the last two weeks at least. There's a rewards poster down at the police station matching his description and I can confirm that he's in there.”


“Okay...” Genessa pressed. When he didn't continue she ventured a guess. “Was it, Peter?”


Aiden snorted.


“Of course not. Why would I be so stupid? I met Peter a few weeks ago when I stopped by the thrift store and saw that they were selling a package of my...” Aiden glanced down. “Something I needed. It wasn't the right size, but Peter was on the floor when I asked him if they frequently carried those products.”


He paused. Genessa nodded to show she understood.


“Well he told me they do get things like that on occasion and he'd let me know. Today I just got lucky and he took me back to see if they were the ones I needed. That's when I saw the prospective car thief folding clothes in the corner nearest the door, where he could easily escape if someone came looking for him.”


“You just looked around at the dozens of people working back there and thought, 'oh yeah, he's a car thief'?”


“No. There was a scar on his neck that just barely noticeable from where I was standing. Probably from the tattoo he had removed as a condition of his first release from prison, but I'm just guessing there. The scar was in the description though so I knew I was right all along.”


Before she could say anything else, there was a squealing sound as the back door of the thrift shop opened. Genessa jumped and watched as a man stepped outside, cautiously glancing all around him. A bit of adrenaline made it's way into her bloodstream. What did he just get her into?


In the shade of the building it was hard to make out any features, except for the short dark hair that was cut in army fashion, but the guy had to be at least three hundred pounds of sheer muscle. The guy took a cautious look around before letting the door close behind him and making his way to the row of cars they has passed earlier.


“Dammit,” Aiden cursed. “They're taking too long.”


“What-”


Aiden ran across the street and went down the alley, falling into step behind the man. He had the keys in hand and he reached for the door of the '93 Plymouth.


“Hey, that's not your car!” He said in a falsely cheery tone. The man stopped and turned around, glaring.


Genessa's heart pounded, but she refused to stay frozen in one place. Aiden was her responsibility and she had to get him out of there before he got himself killed. She ran across the street, dialing the last number Aiden called.


“Fuck off.” The man said, simply. “It's none of your business.”


“Well...” Aiden held up his hands. “See, it kinda is my business. Twenty-five grand's worth of my business to be exact. So I can't let you take the car.”


“Aiden get out of there!”


Aiden didn't let himself get distracted. But Genessa forced the man to panic and he took a swing. Aiden jumped to the side and wrapped his own arm around the man's underarm. He brought his knee up into the man's crotch, twice. Stunned by the movement and the pain, the man was slow to react as Aiden grabbed hold of the man, sticking his left leg behind the man's calves and forcing him to fall back. The man slammed into the concrete dropping the car keys.


Genessa watched, stunned as the movement became a blur. Her hand was on the send button but Aiden shouted,


“The camera! The camera feature!”


Thinking quickly, Genessa turned on her phone's camera feature. Aiden threw his weight down on the man, who was still in pain from the movement but struggling to get up.


“What the hell is going on here?”


The back door of the thrift store swung open and Carole and Peter stepped outside.


“Aiden, what's going on here?” Peter asked.


“Peter give me a hand here!” Aiden shouted, struggling to keep the thief on the ground. “Put weight on his legs. Genessa, are you filming this?”


“I'm getting it.” Genessa confirmed, moving the camera from Aiden and Peter, who were both struggling with the thief to the keys on the sidewalk. Carole moved to grab them, but Aiden told her to wait.


A few minutes later several squad cars pulled up and in the fray there was some confusion. Aiden and Peter were pulled off and cuffed, while Genessa tried to reassure them that they were only trying to stop a car thief. They cuffed the guy on the ground and got him into a sitting position. An ambulance to make sure he wasn't seriously injured.


Genessa took one look at the man's head and saw that there was some bleeding. She pocketed the phone and went to the cruiser where Aiden was leaning along side Peter.


“This is just great,” Peter moaned, breathing heavily from the excitement. “I can't believe this is happening. I'm going back to jail, I know it.”


“No you're not,” Aiden confidently reassured him. He turned to Genessa, “Are you okay?”


“Yeah, I'm fine.” Genessa crossed buried her hands into her pockets. The sky was growing darker and the temperature was dropping, but true to form, Aiden didn't seem to mind. As if that was the only thing on her mind at this point. “I didn't know you do that.”


“What, dropping Biggie over there?” Aiden tried to shrug, but the gesture was awkward while the cuffs were on. “That was nothing. Oh and finally he shows up.”


Genessa followed Aiden's gaze to a man who was standing by the ambulance. He was in plain clothes, but the other officers recognized him and were answering questions. A female officer pointed in their direction and the man started towards them.


He had a confident stride, which she guessed was necessary if he was a police sergeant. Aiden threw his head back in greeting.


“What's up, Scott?” He asked. “Can you get me out of these?”


“I think I like you better that way,” Scott replied. “You're easier to handle.”


Genessa had to laugh at that. Scott flashed her a smile.


“You must be his social worker. I can tell cause you're enjoying this as much as I am,” he said. “I'm Sergeant Gregson. Scott.”


She took his hand and introduced herself. His hands were strong and callused but his grip was gentle. He was probably close enough to her age, give or take a year and he'd be attractive if she he hadn't been the other cause of her aggravation that morning.


“You know, I called about twenty minuets ago,” Aiden chimed in. “If this were Dominoes you could kiss your tip good bye.”


Gregson shot him a look.


“Here's a tip. When you think there's a criminal hiding in a thrift store, tell someone before you do something stupid.”


“I didn't know he was actually here until tonight,” Aiden said. “I only suspected he was here. It was the only place he would hide.”


“Run that by me again, please.” Genessa asked. “Or at the very least find whoever sold you the crack you've been snorting so you can get your money back. I think it's finally fried your brain.”


“Glad to, but first thing's first. Sergeant Gregson, would you please take the cuffs off?”


Scott rolled his eyes, but he called over the officer with the keys. Aiden gestured to Peter when the bracelets were off his wrists.


“Could you also release Peter here? He assisted me and apprehending the criminal and for the record, I think that's worth mentioning to his parole officer, don't you?”


“Don't push it, Wolfe.” Scott went to o Peter he said, “But yeah. As long as Aiden's story is true I'll put in a good word for you.”


Once Peter was out of cuffs Aiden explained,


“A couple weeks ago Leslie Martin failed to meet the conditions of his release. He seemed to go off the grid, which is why the wanted posters went out. That was just twenty miles north of here and he has a history of car jacking, on top of breaking and entering, and two separate accounts of possession of a class A substence with intent to sell.” Aiden took a dramatic deep breath, as if he were the funniest thing on Earth. When no one was laughing at his performance, he shrugged and moved on. “Well, I was on one of many errands into town when I noticed that the thrift shop never seems to have the same two people working there, with the exception of Peter, Carole and a few other paid employees. Everyone else working in the shop is either a volunteer or a group of trustees from the county jail.


“The men's homeless shelter over on Dartmouth requires it's residents to spend at least five hours a week volunteering at the shop, which is supposed to give them experience to put on a job application. When I found out Leslie was on the run, I learned everything I could about where he lived and what he had done to wind up in prison. I did some research. I made a few phone calls to the shelter and talked with a few of the men who ate at the soup kitchens and I figured out that no one bothers actually verifying where you're from. If I were to show up and say, 'Hey there, I'm from the shelter. What do you need me to do?' They just point you in the direction of the warehouse and forget you're there.”


“It's true,” Peter added. “Sometimes a volunteer might need something signed, but other than that, so long as they're working no one asks questions.”


“Add to that the pesky little tenancy shelter workers have for protecting their residents and a felon could hide out in the shelter all day until he could plan his next move.”


“But how'd you know about the car?” Genessa asked. “How did you know he was going to steal Carole's car? There were a three cars parked on that street.”


“But her's an older model,” Aiden pointed out. “From before the days when every car off the factory floor had a GPS in it. If Leslie over there was going to make a stupid move he would have made it long before now. He was waiting. Probably leaving town under the cover of darkness and hiding under a bridge, or in the woods. But every time he came back to volunteer at the shelter, he saw Carole's keys right where she always left them.”


Peter sighed.


“On the little table beside the phone,” he said. Aiden tapped his nose to indicate he was right.


“They were there every time I stopped by and Carolee was working. She might as well have put up a big sign saying, 'please come take my keys and drive off with my car'. So I made a habit of stopping by literally every single day over the past two weeks. When she was here, I noticed the keys. Today, when we went inside, the keys weren't there and I was waiting for some kind of sign that he had them.”


Genessa shook her head in disbelief. “What was the plan if he drove off before we even got there?”


“Okay, I had no way of knowing when he'd make his move.” Aiden admitted. To Scott, he said, “The only reason I didn't say anything sooner was that it was just a hunch. I would have drawn too much attention and I might have been wrong.”


“Or,” Scott held up one finger. “Or, someone could have gone in there pretending to be a volunteer from the shelter. Did you not just point out how easy that would have been?”


Aiden stared blankly.


“Yes I did.”


“You could have also told me,” Peter said. “I could have told my PO and made my situation slightly better. Or you could have volunteered to help out and found out sooner if you were right and called the police long before this.”


Aiden lowered his head.


“Alright, I'm not perfect,” he said. “Never said I was. But I found him and that should be enough to lead to the reward, right?”


“There's some paper work to fill out,” Scott said. “You'll also might have to testify in court. But yeah, that money is pretty much yours now.”


“Fortunately, Genessa got most of it on her camera, since there's no surveillance anywhere on Victor Street,” Aiden said. “Also, I was sure to tell Carolee not to grab her keys so Leslie's finger prints will be all over them. It'll be hard for his lawyer to convince a jury that he didn't steal them with the intent to take her car.”


“Is that what this was all about?” Genessa asked. “You risked your life for the money?”


Aiden nodded.


“I'm not exactly popular with the group home staff,” he reminded her. “My house belongs to me now and that money will be more than enough to tide me over until my 18th birthday.”


“What house?” Scott asked.


“His parent's home,” Genessa said. Scott raised an eyebrow and since Aiden didn't seem to object, she explained, “His parents willed the house to their kids.”


“So now I'm definitely moving back there,” Aiden said. “No way a judge can deny that I can handle myself.”


Peter, who had been mostly silent until now replied, “Unless you figure out there's a meth lab near a school and get the whole place blown up.”


“That's a good point.” Genessa said. “Don't get me wrong, Aiden, on your best day you're fun to be around and what you did with that guy was pretty impressive. But lets not forget that you're the guy who ran from a psychiatric ward without changing your clothes first. Yeah, you're financially set and you could probably make a really decent living doing what you do. But you can be absolutely brain dead when it comes to dealing with people you don't like, or escaped felons that could be armed.”


“That's why I'm inviting you to stay with me,” Aiden said, to Peter, surprising him. “It's across state lines, but after tonight, I think that will be easy to finagle. Doctor Keating will have my back and I trust that if you want me to testify in court that you'll have it as well.”


“I've always had your back,” Scott said. “You don't need to give me altimatums, considering what I go through with that woman at the group home. That reminds me, don't scare old men who are trying to close your bedroom window.”


“Understood,” Aiden said, in an offhanded way.


“What, no excuses?” Genessa quipped. “No 'I didn't scare him, he's a Spartan god'?”


“He tried that with me once,” Scott said. “Aiden's surprisingly obedient when you threaten him with a night in the drunk tank.”


Aiden snorted, showing that he didn't take the threat seriously. Genessa turned to Scott,


“We need to talk at some point.”


“Yes we do. In the meantime, Peter, why don't you give me your details and I'll-”


Aiden let them trail off as he felt a more pressing matter to attend to. Genessa watched as Aiden sought out Carole, who was waiting to find out the fate of her car.


“Are you alright?” She asked.


“I'm fine,” he said. “I just have to... take care of something.”


Genessa knew what he meant from his tone. Her instinct was to try to help him at least find a bathroom, but Aiden valued his privacy when dealing with his condition. After a brief conversation with Carole – who was obviously tired, but grateful not to have lost her car – Aiden called Peter over to let him into the store.


“Carole's agreed to let me have them for free,” he explained.


“Have what, for free?” Genessa asked.


Aiden turned to her, grinned, and shrugged.


“Oh whatever I want. You know, Depends.”
 
Last edited:

KCAboy

Est. Contributor
Messages
81
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaperfur
Aiden's character is so believable it's almost unbelievable! He's snarky, bombastic, and downright smart, but he lacks wisdom and finesse. I would walk up and give him a big hug if I wasn't scared he'd punch me in the face. What's more the way that this is written is easy to read and I really enjoyed it. Just a few grammatical errors, but that's just me nit-picking. Keep it up, kid. You'll go places.
 

ClandestineWing

Gomamon Supreme(ly diapered)
Est. Contributor
Messages
1,385
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Babyfur
  4. Diaperfur
I'm really liking this one so far. The only advice I could give is to put some fine tuning into your proofreading.
 

richbaby

Est. Contributor
Messages
37
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Sissy
At first I just thought it was so-so but now I love it.
 

TheWolfEmperor

Contributor
Messages
1,380
Role
  1. Private
Thought I forgot about it, didn't you. :p

I kind of toiled with how I would do this next story. It's going to be a three part tale and I appreciate your patience in letting me take my time with the story.

Thank you ahead of time for your comments and critiques.


The Home Invasion​


Aiden always took meticulous care of his skin, carefully applying the body powder. The Dollar Store brand was just as effective and it prevented both a rash and strong odor. After stuffing the used liner in a grocery bag, he checked the absorbent material of the pull up and decided it could handle the rest of the trip before inserting another liner.

Road trips were always a challenge, especially when the weather went from record a breaking cold to a record breaking heatwave in a matter of days. They called the first one a polar vortex. What would this be, he wondered. Dante's Inferno? The Hellevator? Sorchageddon?

Aiden was just glad the truck stop had a family restroom. Not that he was ashamed of his condition, but he did value his dignity. People could get uncommonly curious about what he had just thrown in a trash barrel at Wal*Mart for example. And there was the occasional pervert that liked looking through the cracks of stall doors.

When he was satisfied he could be comfortable, Aiden tied the bag up tightly and tossed it into a trash barrel. He then washed his hands before hoisting the backpack onto his shoulder and leaving the room. He stuck his head into the men's room to see Peter, finishing up at the sink.

Dressed in blue jeans and a red t-shirt that was so pale that it bordered on pink, Peter had undergone a few major cosmetic changes in the last few weeks. His red hair was shorter and professionally styled and the remains of his beard were gone. Clearly he was spending his share of the reward money well.

“I'm going to grab something from the car,” Aiden said.

Peter looked up. “Okay. I'll meet you inside.”

Aiden found the rental van at the far end of the parking lot. To anyone else, it would seem like his doctor had a sick sense of humor, but a van was just the practical choice for four people spending a week together. There was space in the back for their luggage and plenty of room to ride in comfort.

He opened the rear door and placed his “diaper bag” on top of Genessa's suitcase and he retrieved the messenger bag that contained all of his snacks. As a favor to him, Keating loaded up on all of Aiden's favorites, like freeze dried fruits, trail mixes, and beef jerky. The water bottle with the water purifier was a gift from Genessa and he took the time to fill it up at the water fountains just outside the bathrooms.

Inside there was a Cold Stone Creamery, Burger King, and a shopping area that was essentially a convenience store with all of the essentials for truckers, motorists and anyone with children in tow.

Aiden stopped at a rack of best sellers and pretended to be looking for an interesting title. In reality, there was a woman on her laptop sitting at a table just on the other side of the rack. From his vantage point he could make out her Facebook page out of the corner of his eye and see the trending news items along the side. Another celebrity passed away, Arizona vetoed that awful bill, and Ben and Jerry's released four new flavors. Wonderful.

He took a walk around the rack and suddenly became interested in another shelf that sold bungee cords and other accessories for travel. A man was chatting with a woman about a car crash he passed on the way here. Another woman was arguing with her son over the phone. He could make out snippets of the conversation that lead him to believe the son was one mistake away from winding up in a residential school that catered to children with behavioral disabilities. A quick look at the mother and he could see noticeable dark circles beneath her eyes, even with the dark complexion that he believed suggested native American roots. He turned away from her before she caught his eye and he made his way back to the dining area.

He focused more on the bits of information he could gather about the route ahead. A state trooper emerged from a room and Aiden caught a glimpse of her smart phone and the string of texts she was exchanging with her daughter. People were always talking. There were several televisions on different news stations and a computer screen embedded into a wall near the information desk that gave Doppler radar information for the area.

“-construction along the Mass Turnpike-”

“The two armed assailants got into a light blue pickup truck-”

“- to three inches of rainfall. Later we should see-

“Go to class tomorrow, or else-”

The world was just a crazy place in general. When Aiden couldn't find anything else that would be useful on the trip he found the table where his doctor and social worker were sitting, chatting quietly. Genessa, dressed comfortably for the warm weather, finished an ice cream sundae while Keating was teasing an empty burger wrapper by picking bits of leftover cheese and bread. Without even being close to them, he could tell they were talking about him, at least at the moment.

Aiden wanted to believe that he wasn't always the subject of conversation. After all, October wasn't that far off. They couldn't be expecting him to want them in his life beyond that point. This whole trip was a favor to him and he was grateful for their assistance. In his home, they would be his guests, treated like royalty because that was how he was raised. But at the end of this week there would be a big dramatic good bye after which he planned to restrict contact to phone calls that would eventually drift off.

Peter came into view, having stopped at the Burger King counter for some food. When he sat at the table, Genessa and Keating quickly dropped the subject and Aiden chose the moment to join them.

“Hey, buddy,” Peter said, when he saw him. “You hungry?”

Aiden took the empty seat opposite Peter and went through his bag.

“No thanks,” he said. “I'm covered.”

He removed a bag of pumpkin seeds and placed it in the center of the table for anyone to help themselves to and took out a package of freeze dried strawberries for himself.

Peter arched a brow. “Do you ever eat more than a handful of things at a time?”

“I just never liked fast food,” Aiden said, simply. “And I don't really do large meals except for breakfast and dinner.”

“Or tea,” Genessa said. “Seriously, this kid drinks an insane amount of tea. It practically qualifies as a meal.”

Keating chuckled. Aiden smiled and started to munch on his strawberries. After Peter had taken a few bites of his food, he said, “Yeah, put you like pizza. That's fast food, isn't it?”

Aiden shook his head.

“Pizza is made fresh on the spot. The ingredients are kept fresh and most of the people working in a pizza place can tell you what's in them.” Aiden smirked and nodded to Peter's lunch. “How many people know what's really in the secret sauce?”

“It's mayonnaise,” Peter said, not missing a beat. “And that's McDonalds, this is Burger King.”

“Oh, well,” Aiden shrugged and grabbed a handful of pumpkin seeds. “Either way, we should get off at the next exit. There's construction and traffic is going to be backed up at some point. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want to be sitting on the turnpike until morning.”

No one argued with that. Peter was obviously curious about how he picked up that information, and before Aiden could explain it, Keating said, “We're in your territory now. Do you feel comfortable sitting up front so you can give directions?”

It was Keating's turn to drive. Since they arranged to stop here for lunch so that Aiden could take care of his needs, Aiden knew that he and Genessa must have planned it this way. Like the van, it was a calculated decision to see how he would react.

“Of course,” Aiden said, turning to Genessa. Three could play this game. “I know you get motion sickness if you're not in front though. Will you be alright losing shotgun?”

Genessa finished her ice cream and said, “I'll be fine. I need to cop a nap in the back seat anyway.”

Back on the road, Aiden had to fight the urge to sleep. The air conditioning was on full blast, which was the only good thing about the heat. No one complained about how cold it was when the alternative was eighty degrees and climbing. Genessa was passed out and Peter was deep in his own thoughts as the world passed by.

“Are you okay?” Keating asked.

“I used to get seriously car sick,” Aiden explained. “I did this self hypnosis thing to get my body to fall asleep in any kind of moving vehicle and then it's not so bad. But I really have to fight to stay awake now.”

During the drive, Aiden remained awake long enough to give directions before passing out. Keating gently tapped his shoulder every few minutes and Aiden simply told him when to turn and how long to stay on each road. He was awake enough to notice the North Shore Mall and after taking a long drink of water, he helped Keating navigate through Peabody, taking them through the rural back roads of Danvers.

“There it is,” Aiden pointed.

The house was on a hill and it could be seen from quite a distance. As it got closer, Keating could make out more features, including a fence that seemed to cover quite a bit of land.

He stole a few glances at Aiden, watching for any signs of emotional reaction. Aiden was composed as ever. It was a change from the smart mouthed little brat that grew on Keating in the last year and he wondered if this wasn't some sign that his defenses were slowly coming down. What kind of a life would Aiden lead from here on in?

“Oh wow,” Genenessa said, half yawning. She leaned forward for a better look. “You must be excited to finally get back home.”

“There's definitely a lot of work ahead.” he said. “I apologize ahead of time for the theatrics.”

Keating raise an eyebrow, but realized what he meant when turned onto the driveway. It was completely paved and wound around the edge of the property, so that passengers could easily see the custom built house, the barn and a few other structures built near the property. Peter whistled appreciatively.

“My dad could be a bit of a show off,” Aiden explained. “The house belonged to a farmer before it burned down in the late 80's. After my parents got married they bought the land and took five years off from work to build the house and refurbish the barn. We can park in front of the garage.”

Keating pulled up in front of a squat building between the barn and the house. Made of cinder block with an ornate roof, the garage had five separate units, all locked shut.

“It's like a small kingdom,” Peter observed, stepping onto the asphalt.

“The Wolfe Empire,” Aiden affectionately responded. “That was the term thrown around the kitchen table. Dad was just getting started.”

Quietly, he reached into his pocket for the house keys. They were attached to a flat metal key chain that was made in the shape of a wolf's head, with the name and logo of his father's security company. He tried not to notice the way Genessa and Keating both watched him, anticipating something, anything. Tears maybe. Sobbing. Aiden simply lead them up the path to the front door of the house and put the key

“Welcome to my home,” he said, opening the door.

“Nice.” Peter whistled appreciatively, taking it all in.

A sofa and a few recliners faced the large bay window that allowed the light of the afternoon sun to bathe the room in a friendly warmth. From their place near the door, they could see the road they traveled and the beyond that was the busy highway and a glimpse of the Liberty Tree Mall. The floor was covered in an eggshell white carpet that ended a foot from the window. On the hardwood floor at one end of the window was a bistro table and four matching ornate chairs.

Aiden led them upstairs where the bedrooms were. The wall of the staircase was decorated with photos of the Wolfe family. Mostly it was the children at various stages of growth, with the parents, apparently unable to find someone else to hold the camera while they took turns posing with their kids.

“Did they have any extended family?” Genessa wondered, keeping her voice low so that only Keating could hear her. "Aunts, uncles? Grandparents?"

Genessa and Keating stopped at what looked like the latest photo. The knowing smirk and intense gaze stared at them from what had to be just a few years ago as a younger Aiden sat in high backed wicker chair with a small girl in his lap. The little girl was raven haired, with a round face, wearing a pink dress. A taller girl that shared more features in common with Aiden, including the dirty blond hair, stood off to the side. Her expression was mature and thoughtful and she held herself high with the youthful wisdom of a girl in her early teens.

“What little personal information I did get out of him during our sessions was that Taylor Wolfe was an only child and Lisa, his mother, was estranged from her family,” Keating said. “That could be why he was never comfortable with all those families you tried to place him with.”

Genessa bit back a snort. Aiden never even tried to fit in with those people, usually making his first impression of them known within seconds. Granted he was usually right about the people he met and Genessa had learned to trust his instincts after the events at the thrift shop. But it would have been nice if he had given people just half of a chance. No one was ever going to be perfect and sometimes the standards seemed on unfair.

"Seemed unfair" because she truly had no idea what his standards were. He was nice the girl at the coffee shop and he was always friendly in restaurants and in shops. But if anyone tried to get close to him or take any aspect of control away from him, he was an outright monster towards them. This road trip was Aiden at his most amiable.

The second floor had a large hallway, with an ornate rug in the center. At the end of the hall, a winding staircase led up to what was probably once the attic, but from the sounds of Aiden and Peter's voices, was now a guest bedroom. As a social worker, Genessa had an urge to go peaking through closed doors. But out of respect to Aiden, she satisfied herself by sneaking a look into a bedroom where the door was open.

On the door was a sign. Handmade, like the one Aiden had on his room at the shelter. Only this one was made from some kind of homemade paper and the frame was dried twigs that were tightly hand woven.

Freya's Domain

The F and the D were stylized in a kind of Old English style and the area around the words was filled with leaves painted in autumn colors and a small bird on the end of the name. She turned to the bedroom next to Freya's and saw another sign on the door that read “Princess Isolde's Castle” that also had it's own unique features. Genessa wondered if Aiden made those as well.

Keating stood in the center of the hallway, hands in his pockets as he seemed to form his own theories. Whatever Aiden and Peter were talking about, they were obviously going to be up there for a while. Genessa gestured to Freya's room and suggested they take a look. She pushed the door open a little more, just to let herself in.

Like the living room, the bedroom was brightly lit and every color in the rainbow was represented in the bed spread, the curtains and the furniture. The bed was covered in a rainbow comforter and several pillows were propped against the headboard. Various posters covered the wall. Liam Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, there was a Lord of the Rings poster from the 80's that looked like it had been folded and bent several times through out its life. Genessa went to the window where there was a small bookshelf. Freya was obviously in college, judging from the recent editions of some text books Genessa recognized from her college days. Hardcover Harry Potter books, a copy of Twilight, and a few Jane Austin novels filled the upper shelves and the top shelf was covered in sea shells, a snow globe and a picture of Freya at a beach leaning on some guy's shoulders.

“What do you think?”

Genessa's heart slid into her stomach as she turned to see Aiden in the door frame, wondering how he would react when he saw her poking around. He wasn't fuming and he didn't seem angry, but then he seemed to be sound asleep when Jim tried to close his window at the shelter. He also seemed weak and vulnerable when he dropped a guy nearly twice his size on the pavement. There as just no predicting his moods from one minute to the next.

When she didn't answer Aiden stepped inside the bedroom and came to the window.

“You can stay in this room if you like,” he said. “I think you and Freya would have gotten along.”

Genessa couldn't have been more surprised if he screamed at her. Keating also seemed surprised, but again, he simply stood there and observed. Aiden picked up the photo and sighed.

“She was still with that idiot,” he said. “I guess I'm going to have to get a hold of him.”

“Was he her boyfriend?” Geness asked.

Aiden gave her a sidelong look.

“Are you asking me professionally or out of curiosity?”

“Just curiosity, I promise.”

“Yes, he was her boyfriend,” Aiden said, putting the frame down. He took great care to make sure it was exactly as he found it. “Karl. He got held back in his sophomore year of high school. The guy had reading troubles but the teachers just kept passing him along. Yes, I know it wasn't his fault, but he could have tried harder if he wasn't so stubborn. Then Freya comes along and two years later he's college bound.”

“Maybe she really was a goddess,” Keating said.

Genessa bit her lip. Aiden's skin was thick, no doubt about it, but that still wasn't the most tactful comment. Even she'd flip out over it, but Aiden just shrugged and snorted.

“Yeah, well, he'd have to go into battle first,” he pointed out. “He started working out to impress her. I guess she had a lot of experience dealing with a disabled headcase.”

Holy shit, Genessa really had to bite her tongue this time. A sign of humility? She had to check outside to see if there was a pig flying around. Maybe later she'd buy a lottery ticket. Peter squeezed past Keating and joined them by the window.

“Hey, what's that?” He asked. He pointed to a structure at the far end of the property. It looked like a greenhouse at first, only it was smaller and surrounded by a small wrought iron fence.

“That's Tristan's grave, ” Aiden said, solemnly.

“Who's Tristan?”

“Tristan and Isolde were twins, but there were complications. Tristan only lasted six months and Isolde was eight years old.” Aiden paused, giving Genessa and Keating a subtle warning glance that seemed to say that the conversation was over. “Anyhow, Peter's taking the guest bedroom. Keating, do you want to use my parent's room? It's the only one that's made up right now.”

“Yeah that's fine,” Keating said. There was a slightly chipper tone in his voice from Aiden revealing just as much as he did.

Aiden went to Freya's dresser and pulled out the top drawer. He removed an iPad that was still plugged into the wall and handed it to Genessa.

“The power's still on,” he said. “So the wifi is probably still working too. I'll double check before we turn in for the night.”

“Thank you,” Genessa said. She was touched by the offer and she held the iPad like it was some rare egg.

“I only have one request. Just log out of her Facebook, please.”

There was a catch in Aiden's voice and he quickly turned to leave the room. He paused in the doorwa.

“Peter, do you want to give me a hand in the kitchen?” He asked. “We should see what's in there and maybe make a shopping trip.”

“Yeah, sure.” Peter followed Aiden out of the room.

Genessa put the iPad back in the drawer and sighed.

“I think we should probably cool it for a bit,” she said. “He knows what we're trying to do and I don't want to make him feel defensive in his own home. That could get messy.”

“Yeah, you're probably right,” Keating said. He had been quiet the whole time and Genessa hoped they would have time later to compare notes. “I'm going to grab my stuff and get settled in.”

* * *

“You have plenty of canned stuff,” Peter observed, going through the cupboards.

“I know. I did a mental inventory before we left the house.”

Peter snickered. Aiden was leaning against the kitchen island, staring into the living room with his arms crossed. The only sounds other than the refrigerator running were of Genessa and Keating bringing their stuff in from the van.

“That was what, a year ago?” he said.

“I just needed to come down here to get a clear head. Those two are making things more complicated than they have to be.”

“Hey, did you hear me?” Peter said. “There's no way you know what's in these cupboards.”

Aiden turned to give Peter the full power of his all knowing smirk.

“You do remember how we met, right?” He asked. “I know where every single item is in this house. Even the things Freya probably wished I didn't know about and I have to admit, I kinda wish I could forget those things too.”

“A couple lucky guesses.” Peter returned the smirk to show he was having as much fun with this as Aiden. “You did impress me with that laundry detergent thing though.”

Peter had never told anyone about his time in jail and except for his boss, the director who ran both the homeless shelter and the thrift shop, no one knew he was on parole. Then Aiden began coming to the store every other day for a few weeks. At first Peter thought that it was weird that the kid never went to school. Then they got to talking and Peter's opinion upgraded to some weird kid that never went to school, but was pretty damn smart. So maybe he was wrong about the age and Aiden was in college. Peter didn't think anything of it until they met up at the coffee shop one afternoon and Peter started making eyes at the cute barista who worked behind the counter.

He remembered the conversation as clearly as if it were yesterday.

“Careful.” Aiden's voice echoed in his mind. “She's a long way from home, but she tells her parents everything.”

“What's that supposed to mean?” Peter asked.

Aiden leaned forward and whispered. The coffee shop was crowded so Peter leaned closely to listen.

“Ashely is going to college in Albany,” he explained. “But she's from North Carolina. There's a bible inside of the school bag she brings with her to work every day. It's an actual bible that's obviously been used, so not a textbook for a class, but an actual tool for religious practice. Her accent has a Southern tang, but it's not so strong as it would be anywhere below the Mason Dixon line. So probably North Carolina and most likely Baptist. That's supported by the fact that she's never here on a Sunday. She's from North Carolina and she goes to school in New York. How's she paying for that working in a small coffee shop?” Aiden paused to take a sip of his tea. “My guess is a scholarship, but her parents have to be paying for the plane tickets at least if not half of her schooling.”

Peter shrugged. Ashely did have a Southern accent which he found charming and he supposed Aiden was right since he was in here all the time.

“Well what does it matter if she tells them everything.” He asked.

Aiden smiled, sympathetically and sniffed the air dramatically.

“You did laundry recently. That's an industrial strength detergent similar to what they used at the same hospital I stayed at. Places like hospitals and jails buy it in bulk. I'm guessing you get a box of it every now and again from your...” Aiden whispered. “Parole officer.”

If anyone else had said it, well, Peter wouldn't have slugged them so much as he would have made accusations about their sex life. In either case, something about the way Aiden said it made it seem like he really cared whether or not Peter got himself into trouble. Ashely might have been okay with a relationship, but who knows how she might react to finding out he had been in trouble with the law?

“I won't tell anyone.” Aiden leaned back and finished his tea.

A year later, Peter stopped being surprised by Aiden's brains, or his personality. But it was still fun to watch him in action and Aiden was a born showoff.

Without another word, Peter picked a random cupboard above the sink and opened it just a jar. He glanced over his shoulder and Aiden, smirk and all, turned to face the living room again.

“On the top shelf to the far right there's a can of creamed corn.”

Peter looked. He had to stand on his toes just to be sure, but there were actually a few cans of corn.

“Lucky guess,” he said.

“There's a can of yams exactly six cans to the left.”

Peter's eyes wandered to the left of the corn and saw a single can of pureed yams exactly where Aiden said it would be.

“Yeah, okay genius,” Peter randomly grabbed two cans from two separate shelves and swapped them.

“I can actually hear you.” Aiden said. “And you just swapped a can of Swanson's chicken broth where a can of baked beans used to be. One is obviously going to be heavier than the other and it's going to make a slightly louder sound no matter how sneakily you place it.”

“But it still could have been any two cans.” Peter said.

“Well, you did have your back turned. I stole a glance.”

Peter laughed. He went to the refrigerator and looked inside. “Okay, what's in here?”

“Okay, very funny.” Aiden shook his head. “We cleared the refrigerator out before we left. It's empty, unless you mean the empty racks and crisper bin. Oh how could I have guessed that's what you meant?”

“Then you missed the milk.”

Aiden turned around and all traces of humor vanished. Peter stepped aside and held the door open so he could see a half empty gallon of milk sitting on the top shelf. Aiden reached in to take a closer look, then he closed the door. He stared at the stainless steel door for a long time, silent and thoughtful. Then he cleared his throat and took a step back.

“There's a general store just down the road from here.” he checked the clock above the stove. “They should still be open. We're not going to survive long on half a gallon of milk.”

Peter arched a brow as Aiden made his way for the stairs.

“I'm going to grab some things from my room,” Aiden called down. “Meet me at the garage.”

Well that was weird. Peter pulled open the fridge door and looked at the milk again. It was still fresh and there was a way to go before it expired. Even he could guess what that meant, so why didn't Aiden say what they probably both knew?

Someone else was using this house.
 

TheWolfEmperor

Contributor
Messages
1,380
Role
  1. Private
This is a Rewrite of the first story in the Aiden Wolfe series. I posted it in this thread to give readers a chance to compare them and offer any insights.


“Disturbance on Three.”

“I'm on my way.” Jerry sprinted down the hall. A disturbance on the psychiatric ward would have finished him this early in the morning, but he felt an extra spring in his step that he couldn't explain.

Over the radio, he heard Mike and Douglas responding. Their rounds covered the upper floors of the patient wing, so they were physically closer to psychiatric. As he rounded the corner, Joe was tempted to take a more leisurely pace. In the chaos, no one would question him too closely if he just happened to show up as the violent patient was brought under control and he could volunteer to do the paperwork and win just enough points with his coworkers that no one would complain.

Unfortunately, employee evaluations were coming up and in five years, nothing changed. He could prevent a severe outbreak of small pox by physically throwing himself on the disease and his boss would give him a bad mark if he forgot to polish his boots. This year would be no different, but, finally, he found something to make the job more bearable. Nothing could piss on this day, although some nut bag was sure going to try his best.

As Joe got close to the elevators, he pulled his ID badge from the clip on his shirt pocket. There were three elevators and a stairwell. Two went up to the minimum security wards and the one that went to the psychiatric floors could only be opened by hospital and security staff. Before Joe could swipe his badge, the door to the stairwell swung open. He didn't have time to look up before someone punched him in the stomach and threw flipped him onto his back.

Somewhere between hitting the floor and having something removed from his hands and pockets, the spring in his step had gone.


* * *

“I'm not going back.”

Doctor Keating couldn't resist a grin as he took the chair across the table from his favorite patient. It was close to noon and business in the little coffee shop was beginning to pick up. Aiden seemed to be perfectly at home in the environment, apparently oblivious to the subtle and not so subtle glances he was receiving from other patrons and some of the baristas. But judging from the coffee that had obviously gone cold, Aiden had been sitting there for some time, which only made it harder not to laugh.

“When I authorized your shoelaces, I didn't expect you to be with us for much longer,” he said, placing a backpack on the floor and discreetly nudging it towards Aiden. “But I was hoping you would give me some time to get you out of there legally. “
Aiden's cool and thoughtful gaze dropped, replaced by disappointment.

“You're not going to drag me back?”

Keating pulled an envelope from a pocket inside of his coat and placed it on the table.

“I already signed your release last night.”

* * *

The next few moments were a blur. He remembered being helped onto a stretcher and having a doctor examine him for signs of serious injury in the emergency room, but not of details in between those events. He had either fallen asleep or blacked out, because all he could remember were it was a fragments of a conversation between himself and one of the other security guards (Mike? Douglas?) that led him to understand that a patient had escaped from the hospital.
Jerry slowly opened his eyes and took a few deep breaths. A mild pain in his back grew steadily worse as he became more aware of his surroundings. He was still in the hospital, but he was lying on a bed in one of the patient rooms. The curtain was drawn, but it didn't block out the light coming from the open door of the room or the typical sounds of staff answering phones, typing away at computers and moving medical equipment. Through the paper thin walls, he heard people talking in the other rooms and in the hallway. He even thought he recognized the voice of one of the doctors who worked on this floor. Through the haze in his vision, he was also aware of someone standing just outside of the door.

“Nurse?”

Someone pulled the curtain back and stuck his head in. Jerry thought he could make out a badge and as his vision became clearer, he also thought he could see a gun at the man's hip. A cop? He tried to sit up and his heart raced when he realized that one arm was cuffed to the bed rail.

“Take it easy,” the cop said. “I'll get someone to see you.”

A few minutes later a nurse came in with some pills and water. They took care of the pain and the water calmed him down, but the anxiety came back when the nurse left and two more men entered the room.

One of the men was a doctor with the hospital, according to the badge attached to his coat pocket. Slightly overweight and with the beginnings of a bald spot, Jerry thought he had seen him a few times, but there were so many people coming and going that he was hard to place. The doctor pulled two swivel chairs over to Jerry's bedside and sat down.

“Hello Mister Higgins, this is Detective Fleet. I should apologize, it was my patient who assaulted you and took your wallet.”

“Then why am I the one under arrest?” Jerry yanked at the cuffs for emphasis. “I was out cold the whole time.”
Fleet, who had remained standing, lifted his hand to show that he was carrying Jerry's wallet in an evidence bag. In the same hand there was a second evidence bag, which Fleet took in his left hand to show Jerry. There was a piece of paper with neat handwriting he could barely read. But still, Jerry began to feel nauseous and it didn't help when the doctor started to explain.

“One of the things I ask my patients to do at the beginning of each session is to write a statement about the weather. It's mostly to see if they're cognizant and can follow simple directions. Over the last three weeks, my patient started writing a few interesting observations that were only very slightly related to the weather. This one was found in your wallet near the exit in the west wing of the hospital, close to the woods.”

“'On a nice cool autumn day',” Fleet read the note through the note through the plastic. “'I took ten dollars from Jerry's wallet to buy some new clothes and left the rest of the money in the wallet as evidence'.”

* * *

“Should the subject ever come up,” Keating said. “You should be very careful what you write on a piece of paper, when a psychiatrist is trying to determine whether or not you are able to function outside of an institutional setting. And I feel like that's going to happen a lot sooner than later.”
Aiden frowned.

“What do you mean?” He asked. “Every single day I wrote those notes, I told you exactly what the weather was doing.”
Keating shrugged and gestured to the backpack on the floor.

“Why don't you go get changed in the bathroom and we'll talk more about this.”

Aiden looked at the backpack and arched a brow. Then he looked up and saw something behind Keating that seemed to surprise him. Keating turned around in his seat and slung his arm over the back of the chair so he could rest his chin as he looked at he large mirror hanging on the opposite wall that made the small shop seem a lot bigger than it was. More importantly, it showed a perfect reflection of Aiden as he stood up and finally seemed to notice that in addition to his fully laced sneakers, he was also wearing a hospital johnny and bottoms that both showed significant tears.

“Okay,” he said. “Clearly I forgot some things.”

“Clearly,” Keating said. “But you navigated a forest you were unfamiliar with, so I can't fault you there. The note was clever. This is a popular shop among the hospital staff and now it's going to be popular on Youtube, thanks to you.”

“What do you mean?” Aiden asked.

Keating turned around as he pulled out his iPhone and showed him the video titled “Crazy For Coffee”, that someone had taken from their car a few hours earlier. The camera zoomed past a sliver of car door and gave a very clear and shaky picture of a dark blond haired boy in full hospital clothes, trying to look natural as he walked down the street and into the coffee shop they were now sitting in. There were a few snickers and some chatter from whoever was in the car with the camera's owner, but Aiden was more interested in scrolling down to see the statistics.

“A local newspaper got a hold of this and tweeted the link. Someone from the precinct saw it and called us to ask if you were one of ours.” Keating said. “I told them you were harmless and that I would be there to pick you up.”

“Over ten thousand hits and climbing.” Aiden said, picking up the backpack. “Well, if they didn't monetize it than I'm hardly the crazy one.”

Only when he was in the tiny bathroom with the door locked and the light on did he look at himself in the mirror and admit that he made a mistake.

* * *

“You're such an intelligent young man,” Keating said.

Aiden, who had spent much of the session focused on trying to solve a Rubik's cube, paused long enough to shrug.

“Everyone has some form of intelligence,” he said. “Some people just choose not to use theirs.”

“That is true.”

Keating glanced at his notes. Six weeks ago, Aiden's responses ranged from various unflattering remarks about Keating's background, sexuality and physical appearance. Five weeks ago, Aiden showed Keating every unique way possible to flip someone the bird. Just four weeks ago, the nurses and staff seemed to note that Aiden was easiest to get along with when he was focused on solving problems. Crosswords were nothing to him. He had finished every book in the activity room in three days, never leaving a single puzzle unfinished. He could eat and drink while working on the puzzles but otherwise he only paused to sleep.

“Why don't you take the crosswords with you into the bathroom?” Keating asked, trying to appeal to Aiden's logical mind. “There's two stalls in the men's bathroom, you don't need to talk anyone while you're in there. You could stay in there as long as you need to.”

Aiden placed the Rubik's cube on the desk. Finished.

“32 minutes,” he said. “Why haven't you done anything about the patient's things being stolen?”

Keating sighed. He looked at Aiden's latest statement and then glanced out at the window and saw it was, in fact, a very breezy afternoon. At first it was an easy to conclude that Aiden was suffering from a persecution complex, which may have been a sign of early onset schizophrenia. But his responses to the other questions and tests were reasonably normal and revealed a person who was perfectly functional in other areas. Being a smart ass certainly wasn't a sign of mental illness and eventually Aiden might get bored with the game.

Clearly, Aiden was not yet bored. But this was also the first time Aiden had engaged him in conversation, so Keating decided to pursue the subject and see where it lead.

“Alright,” he said. “Why do you feel as if patient's items are being stolen?”

“Not all patients, just the ones on this floor,” Aiden said. “And I don't feel like anything is being stolen. Things are being stolen and sold.”

“How do you come to this conclusion?” Keating asked.

“When a patient is admitted to the hospital for any length of time, all of their possessions are inventoried, correct?”

“Go on.”

“That inventory is handwritten on a sheet of paper by the nurse, signed and cosigned, then copied. If the patient is bound for the psychiatric ward, all of those possessions are placed in a bin along with the copy of the inventory sheet. Another copy is made and placed in the patient's file during the intake process so that if a patient wants something, the clinician assigned to their case can review the list and see if it's appropriate for the patient to have at that time.”

“Right, because it could be something that could be used for self harm, or to harm someone else.”

Aiden nodded.

“Before I was admitted to the minimum security ward, three patients had things removed from their bins. When three people on a psychiatric ward make an accusation of theft, it immediately becomes questionable because who trusts the word of a mental patient?”

“Now that's not entirely true,” Keating replied. “Unfortunately there are some bad apples out there who have stolen items from a patient's nightstand and we may not always catch them in the act, but the hospital is insured against theft those people don't remain employed for very long. The police get involved and we cooperate in anyway that we can to make sure the patient's stolen possessions are returned to them. Sometimes that ends in a lawsuit where the hospital is forced to pay out a settlement.”

“But your lawyer might try to downplay an accusation from a person who was admitted for mental health reasons, you can't deny that because what goes to court is not in your hands.” Aiden stepped in. Before Keating could speak, Aiden raised his hand. “Even if it was the patient's family who made the accusations.”

Keating realized he was being defensive. He was to all sorts of misconceptions about the mental health field, usually as a result of people being unable to tell fact from fiction. Other times the media would get a hold of some crippling news item and milk it for what it was worth.

Aiden had surprised him with his well spoken reasoning so that for a moment, Keating felt like he was being grilled by another misinformed member of the public and not the patient who had been so rude and dismissive towards him until just now.

“I may not always be able to control the circumstances,” Keating said. “But I assure you that if one of my patients has been a victim of theft, I will do what I can to stop him.”

“What if it's the patient of another clinician who works on this floor?” Aiden asked.

“You think the patients who had things stolen all had the same doctor?”

“Well, I only spoke to one patient. A man named Gellar. He had a watch on him when he was admitted to the hospital and he had asked to see it just to verify that it was there. It was very valuable and all he asked was that he could see it. The nurse on duty wouldn't take it out of the bin, but she checked the inventory on file and it wasn't there.” Aiden shrugged. “So it must not exist, right?”

Keating thought about this. It wasn't unusual for patients to be more open with each other than with their doctors or other staff. He made a mental note to see if he could speak to Gellar and checked the clock.

“Alright, I'll look into it,” he said. “In the meantime, we need to reach a compromise.”






* * *

Aiden stripped out of the johnny and pajamas. He used them to wrap up the wet brief and stuffed the entire package into the garbage bin in the corner of the bathroom. He used the hand soap and paper towels to clean himself up as well as he could without making too much noise.
He had the foresight to take a shower before going to bed the night before. But once the final phase of his plan went into motion, there was no time to for anything else but to get into position. He even wagered that asking for his own clothes from the bin might tip off the staff that he was up to something, so the hospital clothes were preferable to running naked through the woods.

What he didn't count on was there not being a thrift shop in this little town to buy some cheap clothes to change into. And not being from the area, Aiden didn't have much of a plan until he could figure out where he was going. There was a coffee shop, however.

The coffee was so much nicer than the cheap tea or the decaffeinated gutter water they had at the hospital. It had been so long since he drank real coffee that Aiden lost track of himself and took a few sips. As the coffee got cooler and he could take a deeper sip he stopped himself. This coffee was only supposed to be his beard!
He had to finish the coffee now. But he only had the one diaper and the coffee would soon give him two things to take care of. He never panicked, but he did hate himself for having a moment of weakness that would destroy weeks of planning.

Inevitably, he peed. Not a straight flood, but a controlled burn, as best as possible while sitting. He learned long ago to give the pad a chance to absorb the liquid. But the hospital diapers always leaked eventually, which he didn't care so much about in the hospital, but he knew would bring him even more attention in the coffee shop.
With the relief Aiden was free to focus on how he was going to find new clothes. Judging from the customers, few people actually lived in the center of town but probably in surrounding rural areas. Further up the mountain, past the hospital, there may well have been a few homeowners with low security standards and clothes drying on a line. But he didn't have enough time or information to go on to determine which of these customers might live close by, have clothes in his size, drying on a line outside of their home, that may or may not have afforded easy access to a visitor in the night.

The only solution Aiden had come to was to give up. Let the police take him back to the hospital, or arrest him for assaulting Jerry and stealing his wallet. They would know the truth. Now he just had to either wait for someone to call the police, which someone must have done by now. Too many people had been snickering or pointing in his direction, as though he wouldn't notice.

To his surprise, it was Keating that arrived with his Aiden's backpack without a squadron of police waiting outside to take him back to the hospital in cuffs.

When he was clean and dry, he pulled on the fresh pull-up, grateful to the good doctor for keeping up his end of the compromise. The clothes were new. Black jeans, a light gray t-shirt and a sweater, a package of boxers and a few clean pairs of socks. Aiden put them all on and washed his hands thoroughly.

Keating was still at the table, only now he had his own mug of coffee and he bought Aiden a fresh beard. There was also a chocolate eclair on a plate next to Aiden's coffee. Keating looked up and smiled.

“My nephew wants to meet you someday.” He said. “I hope it's okay that I mentioned you once or twice.”

Aiden returned the smile and sat down.

“Well you already broke the rules once. But, still I'd be happy to tell your nephew that you aren't one of the corrupt ones.”

* * *

Samuel Gellar was released two days ago. Keating spent an hour reading his evaluation. The week before Thanksgiving, Gellar lost his job and became overwhelmed with depression. According to Gellar, he had just enough strength to wait until after the holiday to put his passive suicidal plan into action. Then he put on dark clothes and started walking along a dangerous road in the dead of night, hoping someone would run him over and that it would appear to his family that it was an accident.
Cary Levesque, the inpatient therapist assigned to his case, noted his progress during the initial two week evaluation. There were no more thoughts of suicide and he was planning to try to find seasonal employment for the Christmas season. She made additional follow up appointments with an outpatient therapist for when he left the hospital.

Doctor Willard was the clinical psychiatrist assigned to Gellar's case. His report concurred with Levesque's notes. He wrote a prescription for some anxiety medication, but otherwise he was perfectly happy to co-sign the release form with one of the other clinicians. There were plenty of notes in Gellar's file from staff meetings, noting his progress and his good spirits in the milieu of the ward so there was no descent.

Neither report mentioned a watch. But there was a missing item report filled out by Gellar before he left the ward that day. He described it in great detail and included a note about how the watch was a gift from his grandfather. The note was stapled to the copy of the inventory sheet but there was nothing else indicating that someone followed up. He went to the nurse's station and managed to catch up with the head nurse who signed the inventory sheet when Gellar's belongings were brought to psychiatric.

“We get about a hundred claims a week,” the nurse said. “I can count the normal ones on my hand. One woman insisted that we stole the chip in her head so she couldn't report back to her grandmother's secret bunker.”

“But you don't remember if Mister Gellar had a watch?” Keating asked.

The nurse shook his head.

“Sorry Doctor, I honestly don't look too closely Even when I am the one I really lose track of things like that. Like I tell the patients, if it's not on the list, it's not there and it probably never was.”

Keating was annoyed by the cynical tone in the nurse's voice, but he couldn't fault the guy. Hospitals were a busy place during the holidays and the psychiatric ward was no exception.

When the nurse punched out, Keating took a closer look at the inventory sheet. This was the copy that was made when Gellar's belongings were brought to psychiatric. The signatures at the bottom were barely readable and the original would have gone home with Gellar along with the instructions for his follow-up appointments and his prescription.

“Hello?”

Keating looked up and saw Doctor Willard standing in the doorway, holding a coffee cup from Honey Dew in one hand and a magazine rolled up in the other. He seemed taken aback to find Keating there.

“Theodore. Did you forget your keys?” Keating asked.

Willard hesitated. His eyes seemed to narrow on the folder Keating was looking through, but he quickly turned his focus to Keating and smiled.

“No, uh, the night staff was a bit short tonight,” he said, placing his coffee on the desk by the switchboard. “I thought I'd just come up here and provide an extra body on the floor.”

Keating nodded and tried to go back to reading. There was plenty of room for just two people, but Willard seemed to be making a labor out of walking behind him.

“Am I in your way?” He asked, trying to be polite.

“Oh, no, you're fine.” Warren took a seat at the switchboard. “Is Aiden giving you a hard time?”

“Actually, we've made some real progress today,” Keating said.

“Great.”

That seemed to be the end of the conversation, but there was an unspoken tension between the two men. Keating was ready to put the file away and call it a night. He did his part, looking into it as he promised. Aiden was clearly manipulating him and he was falling for it like a cat chasing a flashlight. Before he left, he decided to come clean with Warren to clear the air.

“Theodore, I just wanted to apologize.”

Warren looked up and Keating looked him in the eye. Then noticed the book Theo had brought with him. It wasn't a magazine. It was a crossword puzzle book. The puzzle was solved on one page and he working on the next one.

“Apologize for what?”

Now Keating hesitated. Suddenly, he had a very strong hunch.

“I'm sorry if Aiden has been bothering you,” he said. “I know he's been bugging the staff to get more crossword books. I hope he hasn't been trying to get at yours.”

Theo laughed.

“Oh no, Aiden didn't bother me at all. He only asked for one-,” Theo stopped, as if he had just admitted to doing something wrong. His gaze went from the file in Keating's hand to his crossword book. “It was no big deal.”

Keating returned the laugh and shrugged. He was glad he chose to wore a darker sweater today, because the sweat would definitely have shown as he turned his back on Theo to discreetly remove the inventory sheet from Gellar's file before placing it back in the cabinet. Doing his best to discreetly keep the inventory sheet out of site, he grabbed his coat from the hook on one wall and threw it over his arm before muttering a quick “goodnight”.

He stopped at Aiden's room. The door was only open a crack, just enough so that the night staff could open it during room checks without waking up the patients. Keating knocked. He didn't know exactly what the plan was, but as he glanced down the hallway to the nurse's station where Warren was still sitting, he knew he would sleep a little better tonight if he made sure Aiden was safe.

“Come in.”

Keating opened the door and stuck his head in.

“Aiden, can I-”

“I said you can come in.”

Keating entered the L-shaped room and found Aiden, lying spread eagle above the covers on the bed closest to the window. Before Keating could say anything, Aiden yawned and held up a hand containing an envelope.

“What's this?” Keating asked.

“My ticket out of here.” Aiden answered, half asleep.

Keating took it and Aiden fell back to sleep, signifying the end of the exchange.



* * *

Flustered, Jerry stammered. “Look, I've been having a lot of financial troubles. I got desperate.”

“That's not an excuse,” Detective Fleet replied. “Those poor people you stole from have problems too. Is it worth a couple of dirty twenties to steal the watch of a man so desperate he tried to kill himself?”

“I didn't steal anything,” Jerry said. “I swear.”

Doctor Keating leaned forward.

“Calm down, Jerry. Listen to what I have to say.” He offered Jerry another cup of water, which he accepted. When he was calmer, Keating continued. “I've spoken with Detective Fleet. We know you had an accomplice. You've already lost your job, so why don't you help us out and the hospital might be willing to drop a few charges and keep you from spending too much time in jail.”

Jerry shook his head, but his expression said it all. He was willing to do anything to make this day end. He agreed to drop any assault charges against Aiden in exchange for his full statement and testimony in court. He was expected to help retrieve the items he had taken to be pawned and anything he couldn't retrieve in a reasonable amount of time, he would be forced to pay restitution to the patients.

* * *

Aiden picked up the envelope.

“On a cool December evening, Doctor Theodore Warren left his coat in the office and proceeded to the nurse's station on the psychiatric ward of the hospital. There he planned to wait for the opportunity to go into the inventory bin of his newest patient to see if the patient had anything valuable that he could smuggle out to an accomplice, who would pawn the item and bring back the money.”

“Not sure where you're reading that,” Keating said. “The envelope you gave me was given to the police as evidence.”

“I have a great memory,” Aiden flashed a playful grin. “I'm just glad you had one too. If I had to fill out one more crossword puzzle I was going to really go insane.
“May I remind you, you could have told me about Warren at anytime and even given me the crossword puzzle with his handwriting on it and I could have compared the inventory lists he had altered long ago .Or you could have just said, 'Hey, Doctor Keating, you've so attentive to my needs that I feel the need to tell you that Doctor Warren is writing new inventory lists and forging the signatures of the other employees to cover up what he had stolen.'” ” Keating put his hands behind his head and leaned back in the chair, regarding his patient with bewilderment.“You also didn't have to put Jerry Higgins in the emergency room. What if he hadn't been the one outside the stairwell? Would you have assaulted any random person who happened to responding to that call?”

“First, I didn't hurt the guy that badly. Secondly, my plan was to go straight down to the basement floor. Everyone was busy dealing with Peter, who was having his violent episode that Higgins being there was just a happy coincidence.”

Keating recognized the name of the twenty-two year-old autistic patient who was normally very gentle and sweet-natured. He got up early every morning to watch cartoons in the common area and Keating realized what Aiden had done.

“You changed the channel on him.”

“Just to see what the weather was going to be like,” Aiden said, feigning innocence. “Anyway, when I got to the second floor, I saw Higgins through the window of the stairwell door. I remembered him becoming a frequent visitor to the ward, even when he was out of uniform. Then I remembered how unusual it was to overhear Doctor Warren talking to a security guard at the nurse's station about credit card balances and financial difficulties, when they thought no one was listening. I wasn't going to stick around, but I wanted to make it easier to find Higgins in case Doctor Warren tried to throw him under the bus.”

“How thoughtful of you.”

Keating was beginning to wonder if releasing Aiden from the hospital was such a good idea. Of course with Warren's scheme exposed, Keating's remaining colleagues practically got in line to cosign the release. Did Aiden plan that part too, or was it also a happy coincidence?
 
Last edited:

wilddog

Est. Contributor
Messages
143
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
first of all, i love it. non chronological story telling can become confusing, but i think you're doing fairly well.

it might have been better to make a new thread though, and put re-write in the discription/title. new readers could become confused if they start at the top while you are re-writing the story.


but non the less, cudos to you, you managed to keep me off my assingment for 45 minutes with this re-writen chapter.
 

TheWolfEmperor

Contributor
Messages
1,380
Role
  1. Private
I thought of doing a separate thread, but I figured this would be just as well as long as I indicate that it's a rewrite.

I'm glad you were able to follow the non-linear style I was trying. If anyone else wants to chime in on this, please do because I won't be doing this with every story, but there are going to be stories in the Aiden Wolf series that this format is going to work best for. Also, essentially what I'm working on is a full book of episodic short stories. Where each chapter advances the plot of the story of Aiden Wolfe, but could stand on their own without the reader being too confused.

I'm going to rewrite the Thrifty Theft as well and those will be the last "chapters" I post here, because I want to publish the full book, either as a self published novel or through an actual publishing company. I feel like with the greater acceptance of diapers being used by older people in society, a book where the main character prefers to pee himself rather than stop his efforts to solve a problem won't be too far fetched. It might not be as widely received by the non-ABDL community, but if books like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, where the main protagonist frequently wets himself, can have a good shelf life than hopefully Aiden Wolfe will have one as well.
 

wimsett

Est. Contributor
Messages
42
Role
  1. Adult Baby
Well As no one else has said it I will.

You should have posted at the beginning that you were only going to be posting part of this. That way I would not have bothered reading any of it.

I have seen others who have done this on other sites, and they have stated that from the start. To leave an unfinished part, as the home invasion is far from complete is just plain wrong.
 

TheWolfEmperor

Contributor
Messages
1,380
Role
  1. Private
Uh... okay. I appreciate your opinion, but maybe no one stated it because no one will lose any sleep over what I chose to do with a story? Could you elaborate on how it's wrong, instead of giving me the third degree and expecting me to feel ashamed for whatever reason?
 

AllwaysLittle

Est. Contributor
Messages
23
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Babyfur
  3. Little
Uh... okay. I appreciate your opinion, but maybe no one stated it because no one will lose any sleep over what I chose to do with a story? Could you elaborate on how it's wrong, instead of giving me the third degree and expecting me to feel ashamed for whatever reason?

simple because people don't like to get sucked into stories that go unfinished also since u live in the usa people like me from europe probably won't be able to buy the book without using amazon which is a big no-no considering how evil that company is (it's evil because its attempting to gain a monopoly any company that wants a monopoly on anything what so ever does not have pure-hearted interests) i do hope you will be able to offer me an opportunity to buy the book without me having to resort to amazon would like to know the ending. p.s. on a dutch diaper forum someone also decided to publish his story but he still posts the story also it continues does not mean i'm not buying the books since well reading a book in my bed is a lot nicer then reading a story from my desktop sitting in a chair.
 

TheWolfEmperor

Contributor
Messages
1,380
Role
  1. Private

I'm going to reply to this as delicately as possible. Because at the end of the day, I don't wish to alienate potential readers, but I still want to make it clear that I am not accountable to anyone.


because people don't like to get sucked into stories that go unfinished

I appreciate the positive response to the initial concept of the Aiden Wolfe series. But however well I write it, writing purely with the ABDL community in mind is going to limit the people who are exposed to my work, which is what I truly want. I don't expect to solve all of my financial problems with the publication of one book, but if a larger demographic of people get a chance to read it and hopefully enjoy it as much as people seem to have enjoyed this small sampling, then I will feel truly successful as a writer.

probably won't be able to buy the book without using amazon which is a big no-no considering how evil that company is (it's evil because its attempting to gain a monopoly any company that wants a monopoly on anything what so ever does not have pure-hearted interests)

There are so many points to address here but as I am not trying to seem confrontational, I'll focus on the ones that I feel are relevant to this thread. I haven't even finished the book yet so where and how it is going to be distributed is not even here, let alone there.

Is it fair to me that friends on Facebook post Doctor Who spoilers, when I can't watch the series until it's out on DVD? Of course not. But they're not responsible for the fact that I don't have cable and they're not answerable to me over what they post on their Facebook. I care about them enough that I'm happy they're getting to watch Peter Capaldi kick Dalek ass and I look forward to when I can finally see series 8 and join them in their revelry.

If you (the general reading audience) really cared about me, you wouldn't make me eat crow over not posting my entire book here. You would show support over the fact that I have obviously hit on something that could mean a lot to me and make me a little bit happier. You would be happy for me and encourage me to keep going, but instead, you're reacting as if you're entitled to dictate the aspects of my life that lead to your happiness and yours alone. You're not my family, you're not close friends, you and the last poster aren't even people that have ever developed any sort of forum-related relationship with.

If I do publish and this does appear to be my ticket, do you think that I'm going to look back at your posts and say, "Gee, I'm sure glad those people wrote really selfish and entitled posts on my thread. Maybe I should be sure they're doing well and make sure they both have a chance to read my book." No. I'm going to think of you as just one more person or groups of people who made my life more difficult than it had to be and I certainly didn't need extra help with that. I'm not going to blame you if I fail, but I'm also not going to credit you if I succeed.

So once again, I appreciate the positive reactions I received as well as the constructive criticism that helped me make the story better. But by no means am I going to kowtow to anyone.
 

Nihlus

ADISC Moderator
Staff
Messages
1,831
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Babyfur
  4. Sissy
Closing this at the OP's request.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top