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There was a knock on the door and the woman from the desk walked in. “Your friends are here with two police officers,” she informed him.

Brian peered around her and saw Nick and the other’s anxious faces. Two men in police uniforms were with them. Brian wondered if they had been laughed at as well. The press were going to love this ‘Backstreet Boys almost kill five year old’.

“You okay, Brian?” Kevin asked. “What about you, Sammy?”

Brian nodded but Sammy peered fearfully at all of the men looming above him. He clutched Brian’s hand tighter.

“This is Sergeant Muir and Sergeant Harsen,” Kevin said. “They want to talk to you, Sammy. Is that all right with you?”

Sammy looked up at Brian who cuddled him gently. “It’s okay,” he whispered.

Muir nodded and noticing Sammy’s nerves said: “Would you like everyone to leave so we can talk in private?”

“No!” Sammy said, clutching Brian and trembling even more.

“All right, calm down then. We’ll let your friends stay. Now Sammy, were you hit by the vehicle these men were in?”

Brian’s mouth fell open. It seemed everyone really did think they had tried to kill Sammy. He stared at Muir in disbelief. Kevin shook his head in the background, warning Brian to keep his mouth shut.

“No, they rescued me,” Sammy replied. “They look after me.”

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like us to talk in private?” Muir persisted.

“They never hurt me. They really nice.” He pressed closer to Brian.

“You say they rescued you? In what way?”

“I would still be alone if they hadn’t found me.”

Muir glared at them all. He seemed disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to arrest them all for something. He turned back to Sammy. “What’s your surname?” he asked.

“Brooks,” he whispered.

Harsen wrote it down in his notebook. “B – R – O – O – K – S?” he asked.

Sammy nodded.

“What’s your address?” Muir asked.

“T – thirty seven b, Carrie Street in L.A,” he replied.

Harsen raised an eyebrow. “L.A is a long way from here. Where were you going?”

“I d – don’t know,” he said. “People were chasing us.”

“What people? Did you know them?” Muir asked.

“I didn’t see them and mommy never told me who they were. They were in a white van.”

“Did you get the registration number? No? What about your mother’s car, what’s that registration number?”

Sammy looked blank and turned to Brian.

“He’s only a kid! How’s he supposed to remember a vehicle license plate?” Brian said, fighting back his anger. They were clearly frightening Sammy. He was intimidated enough as it was without the persistent questions from Muir and Harsen.

Muir glared at Brian. “Do you know you’re phone number?” he asked Sammy.

“No,” he whispered.

Muir looked annoyed. “It’s all right. We’ll go to your home and see if we can find your mother,” he said.

Tears sprang to Sammy’s eyes.

“What’s wrong?” Muir asked.

“She – she - ” Sammy stammered. He hugged Brian close.

“She left him,” Brian said, quietly. “On the road. He told me so earlier.”

“You were abandoned, Sammy?” Harsen asked, sympathy in his voice.

Sammy began to sob as Brian held him close. Brian saw the looks of disbelief on the other boys’ faces. Nick looked as if he were going to cry himself.

Muir looked up at the boys. “We’ll take it from here. You boys can go now. We’ll deal with it.”

“Can’t we stay just to make sure he’s okay?” Howie asked.

“I think it would be better if you all went. You boys draw a lot of attention to yourselves. Sammy doesn’t need any of that now.”

“D – don’t leave me, Bri! Please don’t leave me!” Sammy begged, shivering and beginning to cry even more.

“I’m staying,” Brian said, quietly.

“I think you should leave. He’ll calm down - ” Muir said, irritated.

“No, I’m staying. He’s scared and he needs someone to look after him. He wants me to stay.”

Sammy looked up at Muir with his wet eyes. “Please?” he whispered.

“Let him stay,” Harsen said to Muir.

“All right,” Muir said, grudgingly. “But the rest of you can go.”

Kevin and the others looked at Brian for confirmation of this.

“It’s all right, you guys go. I’ll be fine. It’s no use us all hanging around,” Brian said. He felt that Sammy would prefer it if it was just the two of them.

“Sure?” Nick asked.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be okay.”

“All right, then,” Kevin said. “See you later, take care Sammy.”

Sammy gave a small wave as they went. “Thank you for looking after me,” he said, quietly.

“You’re welcome,” Kevin said, smiling at the tiny figure. He led the others out.

Muir stood up to. “I’m going to make some enquiries,” he said. “Maybe we can track some of his family down. Don’t leave until I return.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Brian replied.

Muir gave him a suspicious look before departing. Harsen came over to sit beside them.

“What’ll happen if you don’t find my mommy?” Sammy asked.

“Well we’d find somewhere else for you to live,” Harsen said.

An orphanage, Brian thought. That’s where he’d end up going.


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