Seeker by Andy Frankham-Allen Page A

Book: Seeker by Andy Frankham-Allen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andy Frankham-Allen
Social in.”
    Jake’s eyes widened in surprise, although Willem wasn’t sure why. It was a natural conclusion after the last few weeks.
    â€œThat is a seriously bad move, guy, get them involved and Lawrencia could end up losing Curtis.”
    â€œWant to explain to me how that’s a bad thing?”
    Jake shook his head, and threw his cigarette into the back yard, without even trying to stub it out first. “How’s this for a start; if Curtis ends up in Care you might never even get to see him again. He gets put up for fostering, next thing you know he’s lost in the system, just another unwanted child. Name changed. How long before you lose track of him?”
    That hadn’t occurred to Willem; he had only been thinking that Curtis was in danger around Jimmy, and unfortunately by extension his sister. “Worst case…”
    â€œScenario? Yeah, I’m hearing that a lot. Someone needs to consider these eventualities, Will, ’cause it seems like your brain isn’t functioning properly at the moment.”
    â€œOh, come on, just ’cause I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone a bit?”
    Jake didn’t answer; instead he stood up and left the kitchen. Willem narrowed his eyes, but followed nonetheless. The two of them stopped by the lounge and looked in on Curtis, who had fallen sleep watching CBeebies.
    â€œTell me, Will, do you really want to lose that kid? Cause I know I don’t.”
    Willem stepped back and rested against the wall. He closed his eyes and let out a breath of air. Now he thought about it, Jake was right. He opened his eyes and looked at Jake, who was still looking into the lounge. Jake loved Curtis; as far as Curtis knew Jake was as much his uncle as Willem was. Blood didn’t matter in this case; it was the familial bond that counted. “What do you suggest?” he asked.
    Jake never took his eyes off Curtis. “Speak to her, work something out. I don’t know the details, but there is shit going on you’re not aware of, guy, and I’d lay money on Lawrencia waiting for help from her big brother.” He looked back at Willem, and there was something in his eyes that made Willem believe him. “Maybe you can become his legal guardian, temporarily at least, until she gets rid of that dead weight?”
    Now it was Willem’s turn to be surprised. “Come on, really? Even if Lawrencia did agree to that, how can I look after him full time? My workload is…”
    â€œNot insurmountable. Way you tell it Steve is amazing at his job, so I’m sure he could take a whole load of weight off your shoulders there.”
    â€œI suppose.” Willem mulled it over, and he had to admit the idea did have much potential. Jimmy would never stand for it, but Jake would no doubt happily take care of that, and once Curtis was out of harm’s way Willem didn’t care two shits about what happened to Jimmy. Getting Lawrencia to agree, though, that would be a tough one. She’d take it as a personal attack.
    â€œOkay, let me think this over, and when I get back we’ll talk more.”
    Willem smiled, glad to have come closer to some kind of resolution there. He brushed past Jake and scooped Curtis into his arms. He was due a midday nap anyway; and ten past ten was close enough. “I’m taking him upstairs, you coming? I need to get my shit together before I have a shower anyhow.”
    Not waiting for an answer and knowing Jake would follow, Willem left the room and took to the stairs. When he came back out of Curtis’s room he found Jake at the bottom of the second flight of stairs.
    â€œWill you keep an eye on Curtis while I’m away?” Willem asked.
    â€œOf course I will, as best I can,” Jake replied, leading the way up to Willem’s bedroom. He sat down on the edge of the bed while Willem made himself busy. “This is going to end badly, you

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