CHAPTER TWENTY TWO
The doorbell rang at eleven. Brian looked up from the ironing. They were early.
He bent down to look at Sammy, who had been playing beneath the ironing board with his toys. He wasn’t there anymore.
“Sammy?” Brian said.
Sammy’s eyes peeped at him from behind an armchair.
“Don’t be scared!” Brian said, with a laugh. “My parents are really nice!”
Sammy retreated back behind the chair. He could often be quite shy around new people and he seemed extremely nervous about meeting Brian’s parents.
Brian grabbed the sheet he’d been ironing and wrapped it around Sammy so that he couldn’t escape. Sammy began giggling as he tried to struggle away from Brian.
“You’re coming to say hi whether you like it or not!” Brian said grinning and trying to wrap Sammy up in the sheet.
“No!” Sammy said, laughing as Brian tickled him.
The doorbell rang again. Brian gave up trying to seize Sammy in the sheet and ran to the door instead. Sammy wrapped the sheet about him and made a hood for his head.
“They’ll think the place is haunted if they see you like that!” Brian joked.
Sammy hid himself back behind the armchair while Brian opened the door to be met by his parents, Harold and Jackie Littrell.
“Hey mom! Hey dad!” Brian said, hugging both of them.
“Okay, where is he?” Jackie demanded looking all about for any sign of Sammy.
Brian smiled and let them both in. His mother had been dying to meet Sammy since Brian had first told her about him. Harold rolled his eyes and Tyke came bounding up yapping until he was stroked.
“Your mom’s been talking non stop about him all the way here!” Harold said, petting Tyke. “So how’re you doing? You both all right?”
“Fine,” Brian said, hanging their coats up. “You want a coffee, either of you?”
“Please,” Harold said. “And give your mom one too! It might calm her down!”
Brian turned to his mother. “Okay by you, mom?”
“Yeah, sure honey,” she said, peering about for any sign of her son’s foster child.
“Don’t be scared to sit down!” Brian said, gesturing to the sitting room.
As they both took a seat on the couch, Brian noticed that Sammy was gone from his hiding place. He smiled and shook his head as he made his way to the kitchen where Tyke was excitedly bouncing about the place like a loose tornado. Brian quickly let him out before he bowled him over and then reached for some mugs.
He was making the coffee and finding out some biscuits (noticeably fewer since Sammy’s arrival) when he heard the sound behind him.
“Woo! Woo!” Sammy said, still dressed in the white sheet.
Brian spun around and pretended to jump and scream in fear as Sammy bounced up and down in front of him, waving his arms.
“I’m a ghost, daddy,” Sammy said, proudly.
“I can tell!” Brian said.
He scooped him up into his arms and disentangled him from the sheet. Fondly he played with Sammy’s hair.
“I’ve got you now so you can’t get out off meeting my folks!”
He handed Sammy a cookie and then carefully carried him into the sitting room. His parents were sat together chatting. His mother had found one of Sammy’s toys and was turning it over in her hands. It took them both a few moments to realise who it was that Brian held in his arms.
“Look what I found!” Brian said, smiling at the expression that appeared on his mother’s face at the first sight of Sammy.
“Hey there little fella,” Harold said, after a moment of taking in the sight of the small little boy.
“Hello,” Sammy said shyly. Brian felt Sammy’s arms tighten about his neck.
“Sammy, this is my mom, Jackie, and my dad, Harold,” Brian said.
“Aren’t you a little sweetie?” Jackie said, gently.
Brian knew what his mother wanted and handed Sammy over to her. She held him on her lap for a second and the two of them stared at each other. Then Sammy gave his mother a hug and Brian could tell by the look on her face how thrilled she was.
Brian grinned, happy that the ice had been broken. They were all like one big, happy family now.
He returned to the kitchen and retrieved the coffee and biscuits. He made a cup from himself and poured Sammy a fruit juice. Then he carried it all back into the sitting room, where he found his parents fussing over Sammy as if he were their grandson.
“Got the address?”
“Yep. I checked it out today. They’re both there – Sammy and the Backstreet Boy.”
“Good, any others?”
“Looked like they had a couple of visitors, but they left around six.”
“So they’re alone?”