Backfire (Furies MC #4)(6)

By: Harley McRide

Jaci tilted her head when she heard a soft crying, what the fuck? She moved silently to the backdoor, making sure she didn’t step on any of the loose boards, warning whoever was under the house. Strange, she thought as she pulled open the door, the crying was still soft. She could feel the rain, fuck the mud was going to be a problem. It was hard to be silent when you were squishing through the rain. She hunched a little figuring walking out into the open could get her head blown off.

She reached the far corner of the shack; it was where she knew there was a gap in the foundation where you could see under the base. She stared at the ground, there were no footprints, but there were little indentions in the mud. Jaci bent down and squinted as she looked under the house. The faint light from the shack behind theirs allowed her to see enough so she could see a tiny huddled figure in the corner.

“Hey,” Jaci whispered softly. She saw a slight movement. “Please, it is raining, come out.”

She waited but nothing, and she sighed. Shit, she would never leave someone so small in the rain and cold. She just needed to figure out how to get them to come out.

Jaci reached into her back pocket. “Are you hungry?”

She saw the small figure move a little, but it still didn’t turn fully to her, yeah they were hungry. Jaci and Carole had seen and talked about the abundance of homeless people in this country, especially the children, it was sad.

“Hey,” Jaci said softly. “I have a snack if you are hungry. It is just a power bar, but it would help. Can you come out and get it?”

Silence, but the small figure turned a little more. She wished she had a flashlight. She was getting soaked and was cold as well. The storm seemed to be getting stronger.

“There is no way you can stay here. The storm is getting worse, and I can’t leave you here. Come on, please, I promise not to hurt you. I just want us to get warm and dry,” Jaci said softly and then she saw the little figure move toward her, slowly at first. She waited patiently when they got close enough so Jaci could see a face, she sucked in a breath. A child, not more than five appeared hesitantly, a little boy. She smiled at the child and held out the power bar, a tiny little hand reached out and grabbed it from her hand.

“Are you cold?” she asked softly.

The small boy stared at her, shit, maybe he didn’t understand her. Jaci opened her mouth to repeat herself in Mandarin when the little boy nodded slowly. She smiled and then scooted back and held out her hand. “You can come inside, I don’t mind, to get warm.”

Again the boy hesitated, but she could see him clearly, he was thinking hard, which she assumed he was wondering if he could trust her. “I promise, I will not hurt you, I only want to get you dry and warmed up.”

The boy slowly moved until they were both standing in the rain and Jaci walked slowly to the backdoor, and the boy followed her. He was skinny and filthy. The mud was caked on his legs so much she couldn’t tell if he was even wearing shoes, but the clothes he was wearing were torn and old. Shit, how could someone leave a child out in this type of storm? It was frustrating.

By the time they got back into the shack, Jaci was shivering. She moved to where the old stove was, it was the only heat source, and she began to start a fire. Before going to bed, it hadn’t been this cold. She should have remembered to start the fire, but she hadn’t.

The little boy stood at the door as if he was ready to bolt at any time. Jaci smiled at him as she built a fire in the stove. When it was finally going, the boy moved closer to the stove in order to feel the warmth. She moved to the small table and sat down at one of the chairs.

“My name is Jaci,” she said softly, and the boy stared at her and them looked at the stove. He didn’t answer, just stared at the stove. “Why were you out in the rain? I am sure someone is worried about you. When you are dry, and the rain has stopped, I can walk you home.”

The boy turned back to her and stared, and then he shook his head, and he said, “I have no home.”

Jaci nodded and then said, “Where are your mother and father?”

The boy looked at the fire and then shrugged. “Gone.”

Jaci bit her lip, trying to sound calm while she tried to keep her anger down. Who would leave a child? She nodded and said, “Where?”