I pulled the car up outside the house and took a good look at it. Plain, nondescript house in the suburbs of Burbank, California.
Not too shabby at all.
Switching off the newscaster's droll review of yesterday's election -- Kennedy won, dang it -- I turned and looked at my passenger. Poor kid.
He was asleep -- finally -- and his lips were pulled up in a slight smile. At least his dreams are happy ones, I thought as I brushed the crudely-chopped blonde bangs from his forehead. God knows his life lately sure hasn't been.
But maybe I can change that. I got out of the car and walked around it. Careful not to wake the kid, I lifted him and made my way up the walk.
The door opened, and an attractive older woman stepped out. "Yes?" she asked.
"I think I have something that's yours," I said, shifting the boy's position.
Her hands flew to her mouth and her almond-shaped eyes widened. "Peter," she whispered, reaching out and taking him from me. She whirled and ran into the house with him.
I followed, curious as to what would happen next.
As she lay the kid on the couch, two other boys materialised as if from nowhere -- one tall and lanky, a green wool hat perched on his head. "Omigod, Peter," he groaned, dropping down beside the kid.
I blinked. The Southern accent took me totally by surprise.
The other one -- obviously the woman's biological son, he favoured her -- took her hand. "What happened?"
"I'm not sure," the woman said, looking at me. "This gentleman just arrived with him."
The boy in the hat turned and looked at me at that -- and I swear, that kid's eyes were looking right at my soul! "What happened," he repeated, his tone brooking no arguments, no deceptions.
God help anyone who crossed this kid!
"Found him down in LA proper," I told him, crouching down and observing the kid's hands. One held Peter's limp hand tight, the other one was caressing those bangs in the same way I had. "Down on the Strip."
"The Strip?" the curly-haired boy frowned. "What was he doing there?"
I sighed. Only the truth -- brutal as it was -- would satisfy this pair, it seemed. "Streetwalking."
"What?" the curly-haired boy gasped and the other one's face closed in completely. I'd rarely seen such rage as I saw in that one's eyes at that moment.
I held up a hand fast. "Nothing happened, son. From what I could get out of him, he was forced into it and my partner was his first 'Jane'. She recognised he'd never done it before and brought him right to the station, where I took over. He's still innocent, we made sure of it."
"Good," was all the boy said before he turned back to soothing Peter.
Peter's eyes fluttered open, and he smiled. "...Michael..."
The first sign of softness I'd seen on his face showed and he smiled. "Yeah, Peter....I'm here."
Then Peter's eyes cleared and he sat straight up. "You shouldn't be here!" Then he looked around. "I shouldn't be here!" he gasped, swinging his legs off the couch. "I've gotta go... I-I've..."
Michael caught his shoulders and eased him back down. "You ain't goin' nowhere, shotgun. You just rest there."
"B-but if I stay here....she'll...."
"She'll do nothin'. You ran once, you ain't runnin' again. Together forever, remember?"
The words meant nothing to me, but they sure did to Peter. His eyes widened and his face drew in solemn lines before he nodded slowly.
"Well then, ya think that only means together in the happy times?" Michael went on. "It means through everything, even the really really bad times."
"And this certainly qualifies," the curly-haired boy crouched beside them, rubbing Peter's cheek with his fingertips.
As Peter burst into tears and gathered them both in a hug, I stood and moved to the woman's side. "Detective Jason Collins, LA Vice," I introduced as I showed her my badge and ID.
She nodded. "Janelle Dolenz. I... I'm these boys' guardian."
"Mind filling me in on what's going on here? Why did he run away?" She sighed and watched the trio hug, two soothing a sobbing Peter even though their eyes were none too dry either. "Peter's mom contacted him." My confusion must have shown, because she smiled. "Come sit down, Detective. It's a long story, and one I think you deserve to know."
"Much appreciated, Mrs. Dolenz."
"No, Detective," she said firmly, her eyes back on the boys. "It's I who appreciate you bringing Peter back to us --- untouched by the street. Your kindness is much appreciated."
"More than you can ever know," Michael said as he stood up and turned to me. He held out his hand and as I shook it, suddenly it seemed as though I was shaking the hand of an equal, not of a teenage boy. His eyes never moved from mine as he finished, "Sit down, sir. You came in late, but we just might need the police's help in this."
As I sat down, he went on, "See, we moved out here two years ago after my mom died. About two weeks ago, Peter received this letter...."
As he spoke, he sat down, taking Peter’s hand. The curly-haired kid sat on his other side, jostling him and interrupting the story. I waited and after a deep sigh, the kid in the hat started talking again.
"Now, see, I didn't think too much of it when the letter came for Peter. Our relatives are all the time writin' him...."
Peter smiled proudly at that, and the other kid squeezed his leg. "Yeah, we've not met anyone yet Peter hasn't charmed, have we, Mike?"
The kid in the hat -- Mike -- smiled for the first time. It transformed his face -- he looked like a kid instead of someone with the world on his shoulders. "Not yet -- except...." His face closed up again and his dark eyes narrowed. "'Cept for her."
I said it before, and I got the same feeling again. Heaven help anyone who crossed this kid! And from the way he rubbed Peter's shoulder, I amended it.
Heaven help anyone who crossed this kid -- and Heaven have mercy on whoever crossed his family.
Cause he sure as hell wouldn't!
Peter looked miserable now, and both boys were doing their best to comfort him. I leaned forward and asked softly, "What was it about the letter, son?" I asked Peter. "Who was it from?"
"My mother," he whispered, clinging to both Mike and Micky's hands "She... she lives in Connecticut."
"He told me t'read it," Mike went on, his voice tenor steel. "And I did. It was -- Peter, I'm not mad at you."
"I know," he said with a small smile. "Tell him. Maybe he can help."
Mike studied his face and gave a slow nod before he turned back to me. "I can't remember everything it said -- it was full of insults and... and...."
"Just horrible things!" Micky couldn't contain himself any longer, it seemed.
Mike nodded. "I swear, I'll never forget how it ended."
"Me either," Peter whispered.
"Or me," Micky ground out.
As one, all three boys growled, "'I'm coming to take you home.'"
Then Peter burst into tears. Micky drew him into a hug and Mike rubbed his back as he looked at me. "He did this then, too," he said, his voice gentle though I could see his eyes blazing. His Southern accent thickened with his emotions. "I keep tellin' him he don't have to go back there. Keep tellin' him he don't gotta go back to that hell."
"But he wouldn't listen?" I guessed.
Mike shook his head. "Woke up the next mornin', Peter was gone."
"I had to!" Peter sobbed. "I-I couldn't let her hurt you, too!"
"Peter," Micky said, tilting Peter's teary face up to face him. As he wiped away the tears, he said, "We have The Promise binding us. Bad times as well as good."
I guess my confusion showed, because Mike spoke to Peter, but looked at me. "Yeah, Man -- Together Forever. It's still Someday till we're all together, but for us three it's Today. We're not gonna let her undo them."
"You can't stop her!" Peter sobbed. "She's a grownup and we're still kids! I had to run away!"
"Peter," Mrs. Dolenz said firmly. "You forgot something. I’m a grownup."
"So am I," I said, looking into Peter's eyes. "I'm more, too. I'm a cop. If she's hurting you, I'll do my best to make her stop."
"How can I trust you?" Peter whispered. "I trusted my mother, and she hurt me. I trusted Mouse, and what you said he had me doing--" he shuddered. "I didn't know what 'tricks' meant...." Peter shuddered again.
Mike hugged him one-armed.
"Why do you trust them?" I asked.
They frowned at me, and Peter spoke as if I were slow-witted. "Detective. we--" he pointed to the three of them. "We. Have. The. Promise."
Well. I guess I'd been told.
We sat there in silence for a few minutes more. Nobody knew quite what to say after that.
It was Peter who broke the silence. He shuddered again, lost in thought, before he looked up at me and asked softly, "Detective?"
I met his eyes and replied, just as softly, "Yes, Peter?"
His hands tightened on both Mike's and Micky's before he asked, his voice shaking, "M-Mouse... he-he'll force another runaway kid to do what he thought I'd do, won't he?"
It took me a second to decipher the quick flow of words. I looked over at Mike, and the kid's eyes were sad. So were Micky's and his mom's. They were leaving it up to me, apparently -- lie to this tender-hearted kid or be truthful and maybe break his heart more.
In the end, though, there was no real choice. All these kids had been honest with me. I couldn't lie to them, now.
Reaching over, I put my hand lightly on Peter's knee and squeezed. Keeping my gaze on his eyes and my voice gentle, I told him the absolute truth. "Yeah, Peter... he will. That's what parasites like him do."
I expected the nod I got. I expected him to bow his head -- which he did. But instead of the tears I expected, what I got was seeing him squeeze Mike and Micky's hands again, then let them go. I watched him stand up, his back straight and proud. I watched him straighten his too-small shirt and raise his eyes to mine. In those tawny depths, I saw fear, nervousness -- but also a steely resolve. His voice was grim, steady.
"So let's stop him."
"Peter, no!" Mike and Micky shouted together, rocketing to their feet on either side of him.
"I have to," Peter said, turning to face Mike. "Don't you see? If he doesn't have me, he'll have someone else! And he'll keep hurting and hurting and hurting! I know where he is. I know his habits -- I can help!"
I hated to do this. "He's right, kid. Right now, he's our best shot."
Peter shone that huge, dimpled grin on me before he turned to Mike. "I'll be okay, Michael. They'll keep me safe."
"Like hell they will," Mike growled, cupping a hand on the back of Peter's neck. "You go in there, you'll need a backup other than a guy who screams 'cop'."
"Now, look --" I started, but Mike cut me off.
"No, cop, you look. This is my brother you're sendin' to the lions here! If you think I'm gonna let him go alone, you're crazy!"
Mrs. Dolenz stepped forward. "Detective, he's right. We'd all feel safer if they were together."
"Besides," Micky said seriously, "Peter'll have more credibility bringin' in another runaway kid."
”I don't like it," I sighed.
"You also don't have a choice," Mike ground out. "Cause if Peter's goin' in, so'm I."
I met his eyes and held them. I didn't like what I saw there. This kid was boiling mad and out for blood.
But he was also right. I didn't have a choice.
Heaven have mercy on this 'Mouse' character. I had a feeling he'd crossed the wrong set of brothers.
I sat in the car, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel and waiting. Peter and Mike had gone into the club twenty minutes ago.
Well, I had to hand it to those kids -- they were good actors! Before I had dropped them off, I wanted to see them in character.
Before my eyes, Peter's eyes had hardened slightly. He took on the air of a teen who'd been touched by the street -- a male hooker who had enjoyed his first trick and wanted more.
"Whoa..." I breathed. "Peter... how'd...."
His smile was cold -- enthusiastic, but cocky. In character. "I have a good imagination."
Then it was Mike's turn. He took his cue from his heart's brother -- his eyes went soft and innocent, gullible brown eyes that lost all trace of the raging anger. His face held an expression of eager awe that practically screamed: 'I'm new, this is all wonderful, I can't wait to see this!'
"Damn, you're good," I had breathed.
"We have to be," Mike had said -- in character. "We have to get this guy."
Then they had gone.
And now I was here, waiting.
Damn, I wish there was some way to know what was going on....
Finally, they came out. Peter walked with an air of confident toughness and he put an arm around Mike's shoulders, steering him toward the car. I followed the plan and drove by them, stopping. We chatted for a minute, then both boys got in and I drove off.
Peter leaned back in the seat. "That," he sighed heavily, "was incredibly hard."
"So what happened?" I asked.
It was Mike who answered. "We're to meet him at ten tonight at the Cove. Wherever that is."
"I know where it is," Peter said tiredly.
"So do I," I nodded. "How'd he take the fact there were two of you?"
The snarl from gentle Peter startled me. "You could see the dollar signs in his eyes!" he growled. "He's nothing more than a snake!" His hands clenched into fists on his thighs. "He trades in kids like me -- he takes away our innocence for money! For money!" Peter's tone held equal parts incredulity and fury.
I found myself struck dumb by Peter's succinctly accurate statement of Mouse's character. Mike leaned forward and squeezed Peter's shoulder. "Peter," he said gently, "he didn't take yours away."
Peter turned sad eyes to him. "Not completely -- but he did a pretty good job of damaging it. I didn't know people like him existed... and now...." He hung his head with a sigh.
What could I say to that?
Apparently Mike was struck too -- the look he shot me in the rear-view mirror showed he was at a complete loss for what to say to comfort Peter.
Peter shivered. "Detective, when this is over, I need a very, very long shower."
I smiled at him in what I hoped was a reassuring way. "Peter, when this is over, you can use the shower at my house -- and run my hot water tank dry."
I could feel that huge, warm smile he shot me as much as I could see it. Then and there, I made up my mind to actually do what I'd said before just to soothe him.
Nobody would harm this boy or his heart's brothers again.
Not his biological family.
I would make damn sure of it.
And heaven help anyone who tried.
Ten PM rolled around, and I drove the boys to the Cove -- an underground nightclub that also gave shelter to runaways. It gave them a place to sleep, to shower, to have a dirt-cheap meal.
Unfortunately, it was also a place where drugs and human flesh were peddled openly.
As we walked in together, Peter startled us both. "Mike, don't accept anything from the redheaded waitress -- she won't leave you alone if you do. Keep all your drinks in sight and stick with me." It must've showed on my face, because he smiled -- partially out of character. "I stayed here awhile. Mouse showed me the ropes."
Mike looked at him, whispering, "Then he demanded payment."
Peter turned to look at him, his eyes large and pain-filled. Then he began to smile. "He'll get paid, right?"
I blinked, watching Mike's slow smile and nod. These boys had startled me more in two days....
Suddenly Peter slid fully back in character. "There's Mouse."
I sat down at the edge of the bar and watched them look over at.... Mouse? I didn't expect Mouse to be a child himself! He wasn't much older than Peter and Mike! "Peter?"
"Yeah?" he whispered back.
"How old is Mouse?"
Four years older than Peter, then. I began to smile. "Do you remember the plan?"
"Stay with Mike," was all Peter said. He threaded through the crowd and caught up with Mouse. A brief conversation followed, and they moved back toward us.
"Here we go," Mike whispered.
They arrived, and Mouse sized me up. Peter was right --- you could see dollar signs in his eyes. "I hear you gave Petey-boy here a great high."
I nodded, grinning coldly. "And he gave me and my old lady a good time in return."
"Is that why you haven't paid my boy?" Mouse asked menacingly.
I held up a hand. "Now, I've brought the money. I wanted to give it to his boss." I smiled. "Perhaps we can work out a deal."
His eyes shone again. "Perhaps. Why don't you step into my office?" He swung his hand toward the back door.
"Agreed." I stood up and followed Mouse. Peter and Mike followed me.
We exited into the alley. "The money's in my car," I told him, leading the way there.
Peter and Mike flanked him so he couldn't bolt and run. Once we were at my car, Mouse asked, "So where's the stuff?"
"Right here," I said, grabbing Mouse's wrist. I whirled him around and handcuffed him.
"What the hell--?"
"You're under arrest, Mouse. For prostitution, pandering, drug possession and distribution...."
As I spun him back, he was laughing. "I'll be out of there in a week!"
"No you won't," I smiled. "This time, I have witnesses who're willing to press charges."
"And that won't make a damn bit of difference," he snarled into my face. "Judge Grafton will--"
I laughed in his face, then. "You won't be going in front of Grafton. You're twenty-two. You're going into an adult prison."
Mike put in, "And we'll make sure your cellmates know that you sell that shit to kids."
"And that you force boys to turn tricks," Peter grinned.
Mouse wasn't grinning anymore. By the look on his face, I could tell he knew what happened in prison to people who harmed kids for money. He knew he wouldn't survive for long.
I was going to enjoy locking the cell door this time.
After we booked Mouse, I sat at my desk, typing up my reports. Peter and Mike were visiting the captain's office, at his request.
Mike had been right -- there didn't seem to be anyone with a heart Peter couldn't charm.
My phone rang, startling me. "Vice, Collins."
I didn't expect to hear Micky's trembling voice. "....Detective?"
"Micky, what's wrong?"
"...we need you here... P-Peter's mom j-just left...."
My hand tightened on the receiver. "Micky -- are you and your mom all right?"
He took a deep, ragged breath before replying. "Yeah... j-just shook up...."
"What did she say? Do?"
Another breath, and he stammered, "W-we hit the r-reel-to-reel... ta-taped the wh-whole thing!"
I smiled at that. Kid had one hell of a head on his shoulders. "Excellent work, Micky. I want you and your mom to come to the station. Bring that tape."
"A-all right." He hung up.
I hung up and sighed. "...give me strength..." and it was a fervent plea, not an exasperated one. I pressed the intercom button. "Cap? I need to talk to the kids."
Mike and Peter came out, Mike smiling and Peter babbling excitedly about what was in Cap's office. I smiled to see his excitement, but it was a sad one. "Sit down, boys."
Mike's smile vanished. "What's happened?" Peter shot him, then me, a worried look as he sat down.
I sat down beside him and took his hand. "Peter... Micky just called. Your mom was at his house."
"SHIT!" Mike lunged to his feet and toward the door. Peter's eyes grew huge and filled with tears.
"Mike!" I called. "They're all right, they're coming here!"
He turned back, looked at me -- taking my measure with those piercing brown eyes. Then he nodded, once, and returned to his chair. One hand went to Peter's shoulder, trying to soothe him.
I kept my eyes on Peter's and told him the absolute truth. "They taped the encounter on a reel-to-reel. My hope is that on that tape, she's incriminated herself --" I saw his eyebrows start to draw together in confusion. "That she's accidentally blown it -- given us what we need to protect you."
He nodded, his eyes huge. "She won't... make me leave with her?"
"Not if I can help it," I told him, meaning it with all I had in me.
Mike nodded and turned Peter's face gently toward him. "Peter, we're family. We have The Promise."
Peter visibly relaxed at that, and I heard it spoken aloud, for the first time in its entirety. Both of them spoke it together as a solemn vow.
"Together. Forever. Someday."
"But for you?" Mike added. "And me? And Micky?"
Peter nodded again, eyes on his heart-brother's. "Someday is Today."
"And when will Someday be gone?"
The angelic smile shone out. "When Davy comes home."
Davy? I silently wondered about that kid -- who was he? But Peter was relaxed now, smiling and squeezing Mike's hand. He was comforted.
I left them there, whispering to Mike where I was going. He nodded his understanding, and I slipped out to wait for Micky and Mrs. Dolenz.
When mother and son arrived, I set the tape up in a private room to listen. Before I got the chance to turn it on, there was a slight knock on the door.
I opened it and blinked. Damn -- startled again!
Peter stood there, his hand firmly clenched in Mike's. Micky stood behind them, his normally sunny face cold and shuttered with fury. The expression was mirrored in Mike's eyes. Peter's eyes were frightened, but his jaw was set.
"Boys," I said softly. "What's wrong? I was just about to listen to the tape --"
"Yes, sir," Mike said, his voice solemn. "We know. We tried to talk him out of it, but--"
"I want to hear it."
I turned to the speaker. "Peter... are you sure?"
He nodded, though I saw his hand tighten on Mike's. "I have to face this. I have to."
"No, you don't--" Micky began.
But I read something in Peter's eyes and held up my hand. "All right, Peter. But you can stop it at any time, deal?"
"Deal," Peter smiled. "
No deal," Micky sighed. "I don't care to live through it twice."
"You don't have to," Peter said, turning to him. "I want to."
"Not alone," Mike said firmly.
"Never alone," Peter replied.
Micky squeezed his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Pete."
"Don't be," Peter smiled at him. "Hug Ma Dolenz for me."
He nodded and jogged to find his mom.
They came inside and sat down. I closed the door and turned on the reel-to-reel.
When I pressed 'stop', Peter doubled over, his face in his hands and his shoulders heaving. Mike looked positively murderous.
I shook my head. "Man, she is a real piece of--"
"Shit?" Mike interrupted.
"Work," I finished with a sigh. "Now I understand."
If one of my colleagues had looked at a perp the way Mike looked at me, said perp would have messed his pants. "What wasn't to understand?"
"Peter's eighteen. Of age. I couldn't understand why she was so hell-bent on taking him. But if she sees him like that...."
"Impaired," Peter sobbed out the hated, ugly word. "I'm... impaired."
Mike grabbed his chin and forced his head up. "Now you listen to me, Peter Tork. You. Are. Not. Impaired. You were hurt. You're getting better."
Peter's eyes bored into Mike's and he slowly nodded.
The wheels in my head were whirling and I realised what to do. "She said she'd return again... Peter, the way she sees things, she thinks she’s right. Adult or not, you do need a legal guardian." I smiled. "And I think I can use that version of reality to help protect you from her."
"How?" Peter asked as Mike's eyes widened.
"Let me make a few phone calls...."
The call came at eight the next morning. "I think it's time," Mike's voice, tense. "Micky recognised her car -- she's been drivin' by the house."
"I'll be there in ten minutes."
Putting feet to words, I was at the Dolenz house in ten minutes.
We waited in tense silence, until Mrs. Dolenz made lunch. We all sat and arranged our food in interesting patterns. Nobody had much of an appetite.
When the knock on the door finally came, it was almost a relief.
Mrs. Dolenz opened the door, and was viciously shoved aside by an older blonde woman who strode in as if she owned the place. She stopped beside the table and glared down at Peter. "Do you have any idea of the trouble you have caused me?"
Mike slowly got to his feet, his face a mask of pure rage. I caught his eye and shook my head. He sat down silently and slowly, though his eyes clearly telegraphed he wanted to rip into her.
Much as I wanted him to, it would only have hurt Peter in the long run.
She looked Peter square in the eye and demanded, "Well? What do you have to say for yourself?"
There was silence for a moment, then Peter said something that showed me the measure of that boy's soul.
"Mama... I am going to stay here. With my family."
Now, I've been a cop for nearly fifteen years. I've seen a lot of things. But until this moment, I'd never seen a woman's face turn two shades of purple with fury.
In a flash, she lunged and grabbed Peter by the hair on top of his head, jerking him out of the chair and dragging him toward the door. "Family!" she roared. "I AM YOUR FAMILY! DAMNED RETARD CAN'T EVEN RECOGNISE HIS TRUE FAMILY!" And she shook him.
When she did that, Peter made this tiny sound -- almost like a kicked kitten.
The next few moments will forever be a blur. The only truly clear memory I have is seeing Mike's thin form airborne and crashing full-force into Peter's mother, sending all three of them tumbling to the ground.
Micky pulled Peter to the side. It took both me and Mrs. Dolenz to drag Mike off Peter's mother.
"This isn't the way!" I hissed into Mike's ear.
He was literally trembling with rage. "I know," he growled. "But I can't seem to help it--"
"Learn," I hissed, releasing him and turning back to where Peter's mother was picking herself up off the floor. "Ma'am, I'm officer Jason Collins--"
She began to smile and her voice suddenly dripped honey. "Officer -- thank heaven! I have legal guardianship over my mentally impaired son. Surely you can help him see some sense...."
The two quiet words from Mrs. Dolenz made the blonde woman's head snap toward her. "What do you mean?" she growled.
Mrs. Dolenz stepped forward. "As of this morning-- I am legal guardian of Peter Tork."
Mike stood up. "And on December 30, I become eighteen. Then I am legal guardian."
Her jaw dropped. She whirled to face me. "B-But..."
"It's over," I told her. "You won't get the chance to hurt this boy anymore."
Peter took a step forward. "Mama... I love you. I always will. But this is my family. This is my home."
"I am your mother! You belong to me!"
He gripped Mike's hand. "No, Mama. I belong to me. And I'm sad you can't see it."
"Now hold on!"
Mrs. Dolenz stepped in front of her. "Get out of my house."
I moved to her side, facing Peter's mother. "I will arrest you for trespassing," I told her flatly. "Not to mention harassment. Assault. And a few other things I could go into -- but I think you get the point."
"There's a plane for Connecticut leaving at five o'clock," Mrs. Dolenz said firmly. "I strongly suggest you be on it."
"And don't return," I informed her, "or I will arrest you."
She turned stricken eyes onto Peter. "I love you...."
He smiled. "I love you too -- but I love me too. And that's why I'm staying here." He turned his back on her -- literally.
I escorted her to her rental car. She spluttered the whole way. “She’s not – she can’t be--- I’m his mother!”
“Mother, yes, but not guardian.” I showed her the papers I had a judge friend draw up. All totally official-looking, naming first Mrs. Dolenz and then Mike as Peter’s legal guardians.
And all completely bogus, since Peter was of legal age.
But they did the trick. Mrs. Tork sighed and her shoulders slumped. In her reality, she had lost. Others would now take care of Peter. I held the door for her and made damn sure she drove away.
If she ever comes back -- I will arrest her. And I'll put a flag on her file so if I don't -- others will.
I walked back inside to celebrate with the boys, and so I was there when it happened.
The phone rang, and Mrs. Dolenz picked it up. "Boys!" she called, her face lighting up. "Telephone!"
"For all of us?" Micky asked.
At her nod, Peter frowned slightly. "That's really odd."
"Wonder who it is?" Mike asked as he took the receiver. "Hello?"
Suddenly his entire body seemed to light up! "Peter! Micky! It's from overseas!"
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