I gape as Alex stands at my door, like a little present sent from heaven, gift-wrapped and everything. Except he’s crying.

I reach down and pick him up, happy and deliriously angry at the same time, that one woman could inflict so much fear into this little boy.

“It’s okay, Alex. Just tell me what happened.”

“My mommy says I have to—have to,” he sobs.

“Have to what?”

He just bursts into full-out tears then. I want to, too. That woman must’ve been some kind of crazy to make this little boy so afraid, so hurt. Then I have a scary thought. If her Alex was gone, where was the first place she’d look?

I take Alex and look him straight in the eye. “Alex, as long as you’re with me, you’re safe, okay? Your mommy can’t get you here. If she comes, I’ll make sure she leaves.” I’m not sure how I’ll fulfill this promise, but Alex seems assured.

Then another thoughts hits me. I have Alex here illegaly. He’s Amanda Faulkner’s child, now.

Was I a kidnapper?

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