HOTH Season 3, Part 2

I won’t stall. Here’s part 1 if you haven’t read it, and without further ado, below is part 2 of Hang on to Hope, season 3!

Emma’s POV

I’m going to be up all night researching this so-called Connor Cavanaugh, I can tell.

I sit down at my desk and spread my supplies before me. Notepad. Ballpoint pen. Phone. Headphones. Laptop.

I inhale and exhale deeply. Something is not right about this kid. He’s too familiar. And Connor… Connor… Cavanaugh? No.

I push my earbuds in. I’ll need some motivating music for this.

My hand instinctively grabs my notepad and pen, and without a second thought I begin to write down everything I know about Connor so far.

Connor Cavanaugh

  • Twelve years old
  • Supposedly grew up in an orphanage
  • Claims to be from the FCA since he was “nine or ten or something like that”
  • Is familiar
  • Was uneasy when I asked about him

I cock my head. What is it about Connor that’s got me so intrigued? Am I just curious? Has detective school got me so excited about working on a real case that I’m making these suspicions up?

Or—or maybe he’s a runaway thief or juvenile bank heister!

My fingers fly across the keyboard as I type his name into the Google search bar. After perusing through results, I find nothing of significance. There are less than a thousand people in the U.S. with the last name Cavanaugh, and I filter through them after about an hour.

I glance at the time on my phone. It’s only midnight. I have plenty of time.

I pop a caffeine pill into my mouth and think harder on what I need to do next. A grin flashes across my face as I whip out my phone and hit my Photos app.

The family picture. Connor’s in it. A face claim. This is helpful.

I rummage through my bag and pull out my charging cord. After I quickly push it into the HTML slot of my laptop and plug my phone in, I upload the photo.

I nervously bite my lip. No one at detective school knows I’ve hacked into my professor’s computer and downloaded the facial recognition app prototype for myself, but…

I load his photo in and sync it up with Google, Bing, Yahoo, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat—anything and everything. It takes hours until I have every search engine and social media platform I can think of ready to sync and comply with my search.

My fingers nervously tap as the results load. Google deems it five seconds in pulling up the results, but it’s felt like an eternity.

I pop another caffeine pill in when I feel my eyes close after staring at the slow loading bar on my screen from my facial recognition software.

There. There they are. My results.

The famous movie actors Caleb and Aleksandra DaCosta with their son Connor DaCosta. I flip through their FaceBook and find face match after face match of this so called Connor Cavanaugh. It’s him. I grow excited, a smirk spreading across my face.

I do a little more searching and then feel my jaw drop. The ads on the side of my feed bear an ad I know I’ve seen before. That’s why Connor has seemed so familiar!

Connor DaCosta missing from Miami Boarding School for Boys

Reward $250k

He’s worth a quarter of a million bucks, and I just found him! Runaway Connor DaCosta has been posing as a foster kid in my parents’ home this entire time!

My heart sledgehammers against my chest. No way. It can’t be this easy—and yet—and yet it is!

Alarm clocks from Lexi and Issa’s room sound, and I nearly jump two feet from my seat, startled. I glance at the time on my computer and beam. Another successful all-nighter, and this time I’ve actually cracked a case. In less than eight straight hours—I can’t believe it.

My fingers fly across the keyboard again as I quickly save and take multiple screenshots of all the information I’ve found. I even copy and paste and sync the info to my my phone’s Notes.

After three different backups of the documents just on my computer, I snatch my laptop and phone.

Flying out of my seat, a grin spreads across my face. I have to show Mom and Dad this.

With that, I take off running out of my room.

“Mom! Dad!” I cry, streaking toward the kitchen. “Guys! Guys!”

Mom’s taken advantage of Thanksgiving break with her PJs and tired mom look. She lets out a yawn and clutches her coffee cup as she sits down. “What is it, honey?”

Dad laughs at me. “You haven’t changed from last night. What have you been doing?”

“Family meeting,” I gasp, breathless. “Now.”

“Woah, Emma, slow down,” Mom says, taking a slow sip of her coffee as I shift my weight anxiously. I have no patience! “What’s this about?”

“It’s important!” Is all I’m going to say. “When are the kids getting up?”

Dad flips through the email on his phone and doesn’t look up. “I don’t know, sweetie.”

I let out a frustrated ugh! before plopping my laptop and phone down on the table and collapsing into a chair. “You guys don’t understand! This is urgent!”

Mom smiles. “I promise. Family meeting as soon as we have breakfast.” Then she winks, sliding me a coffee mug. “I made a cup of coffee for my baby girl.”

“Mom.” I groan. “I can make my own coffee.”

“Coffee?” Issa walks in. “Do I get some?”

Dad looks up. “Special occasions only, Issa.”

Issa sighs before plopping down in the seat next to me. “What’s that?” She points to my computer screen. “Why are you looking at pictures of Connor?”

“What about me?” Connor comes walking in, followed by Lexi who is trying to run past him and get to me.

“Nothing,” I say quickly, slamming my laptop shut. “We’ll have a family meeting about it.”

“Good morning! I love you!” Lexi squeals, wrapping her arms around me and hugging me tightly.

I smile and pat her arm. “Love you too, sis.”

“Family meeting?” Connor repeats. “Am I invited?”

Mom nods vigorously. “Of course, honey. You’re part of the family.”

Connor smiles at her, and I can’t help but noticing the look of adoration and sense of belonging he seems to carry when she says this.

I fight the urge to roll my eyes. The sneak ran away from boarding school. He has a family. Famous actors for parents, no less.

When breakfast is finally over, I’ve finally been able to gather everyone into the living room for a family meeting. I take a deep breath before beginning, remembering what I’ve been taught at detective school and trying to remain calm and professional.

“Listen up, guys,” I say, pulling up the files and evidence on my laptop. “Because this is important.”

Issa’s POV

Emma turns her laptop around and shows us all comparison pictures of the family picture we took last night and pictures of Connor with a man and a woman surrounded by paparazzi. “You’re a liar, Connor DaCosta,” are the first words she says. “I know who you are. I did all the research.”

She’s struck gold. The blood drains from Connor’s face as he turns pale, and he tries to deny it. “DaCosta? What on earth?”

“Don’t try to deny it!” Emma says, her voice rising in frustration. She yawns a little as if she’s been up late, and she pulls up a few more files. “How could you lie to my mom and dad like this?”

She shows us all a picture of an ad with a picture of Connor that says Connor DaCosta missing from Miami Boarding School for Boys. Reward $250k. “This is you, isn’t it? It’s a direct face match.”

Connor squirms uneasily. “I don’t—that must be—a hoax.”

“Is it?” Emma raises her eyebrow in that intimidating detective way of hers. She pulls up multiple file after file of Connor with famous actors Caleb and Aleksandra DaCosta and him together. For a while, they load, but then the comparison picture of a close-up of his face from the family photo last night is pulled up as well, and as they’re placed side-by-side, she flips through photo after photo.

Each one circles green around each Connor face and produces a green check mark.

“Just admit it, you liar,” Emma hisses, holding up her phone with the family photo pulled up. Connor begins to tremble.

“Emma, honey, what is this all about?” Amy cries in worry. “Connor, is that—is that you?”

“I just told you!” Emma shrieks as her laptop turns off. “Of course it’s him! He’s the runaway famous actors’ kid from boarding school!

Jackson turns to Connor. “You can be honest, buddy. It’s okay. Is that true?”

Connor doesn’t have to say a word. The tears filling his eyes are enough and say it all.

“We have to call the police and authorities,” Emma prods, excited she’s just solved her first case. “And the reward—it’s a quarter mil!”

Amy sighs. “I’ll go ahead and call the—”

“No!” Emma interrupts. “Let me call them! I want to be the one to have cracked the case!” She forces her voice level to a lower volume. “Please.”

Connor bows his head and blinks back alligator tears, and in one horrifying moment, I flash back to all of the times in my life where I felt all hope was lost, like I had nothing to hang on to. I know what it feels like.

It feels terrible.

My heart thuds nearly out of my chest at the thought of the words about to come out of my mouth to Connor’s ears. I swallow my bold decision back.

My hands feel clammy, but when I look at Connor again, my heart pangs and thuds harder. I have to do this. He’s been kind of—nice to me recently. Why the change? I don’t really know why he’s been the kindest he’s ever been to me—all I know is what I have to do.

Connor looks up at me like he wants to say something as Jackson and Amy leave the room to discuss in private what they’re going to do, but he doesn’t trust himself to speak for fear of crying.

Instead, he jumps up from his seat and runs out of the living room as fast as I can.

I jump up, too. “Connor!” I say. “Wait!”

Connor slows to a stop in the hallway but doesn’t turn around to face me. I halt in my tracks behind him, and I hear him sniff as he swipes his arm over his eyes.

He finally turns around to face me. His voice is breaking as he chokes back a sob. “What is it?”

I swallow. I can’t believe I’m about to say this.

To be continued in HOTH Season 3, Part 3!

Coming up next on Hang on to Hope:

“Kid!” Someone shouts at me. I pick myself up off the ground to face an angry boy of about fourteen or fifteen years old. He seems to tower over me.

“Sorry!” I pant out, catching my breath from the fall.

“You popped my ball!” He yells in fury. He’s glaring death at me. This kid has serious anger issues. “You’re dead.”

Are you looking forward to part 3? Let me know! Just hit “like” and leave a comment below!

2017-10-26T12:18:56-05:00 October 20th, 2017|55 Comments


  1. Avatar
    The Dolls’ Mom from AG Doll Dreams October 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm - Reply


    • Madison
      Madison October 21, 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      AHHHHHH! I hope that means you like it! XDD

      • Avatar
        The Dolls’ Mom from AG Doll Dreams October 23, 2017 at 6:18 pm - Reply


        • Madison
          Madison October 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm - Reply


  2. Avatar
    Liv October 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    YAY THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!😀😁😂😃😄😅😆😉😊😋🙌🙌🙌Conner is the son of a movie star! Wow plot twist! I was here at 11:98 reloading the page like twenty million times!!! I am so excited for next week to come the suspense is unbearable!!!!! You and your evil cliffhangers!!!!😣😫

    Also here is the link to Molly’s new book it is available for preorder on Amazon. I think she is coming out sometime next year I will probably get some of her clothes when they come out… Anyway That was amazing keep being awesome!
    Your friend always,

    • Madison
      Madison October 21, 2017 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      AWWWW YAY! I am SO glad you liked it!

      Awww! That literally means so much! I do that when I’m excited for a schedule post, too! XDD Awww, you’re so sweet, Liv! I’m really glad you’re excited! XD

      Oh, thank you SO much! I’m so excited she’s coming back, she’s one of my favorite dolls!

      Aww, thank you so much Liv! I always love your comments! <3

  3. Avatar
    Jewel October 20, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    OOOOOOOH! This is getting interesting! I bet the boy in part 3 is going to be Del as the bully. I can’t wait to read more! Thumbs up Madi 👍


    • Madison
      Madison October 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      HEHE! Oooh, GREAT guess! 😉 Thank you sooo much, Jewel! <3

  4. Avatar
    Diamond October 20, 2017 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    This is getting more and more interesting! I seriously need to read the next part like now. I love how amazing the writing was. You’re an amazing writer!

    • Madison
      Madison October 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm - Reply


      Aww, I’m SO glad you like it! You’re so sweet Diamond, I love your encouraging comments! Thank you so much!! <3

  5. Avatar
    designsbymaelyn October 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm - Reply


    • Madison
      Madison October 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm - Reply


      DUN DUN DUNNN! Part 3 coming next Friday. >:)

  6. Avatar
    olivehiddenhollow October 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    ok, I was not expecting Conner to be famous. AMAZING!! and Emma is so excited, getting to crack a case, little dear. 🙂
    Most crazily, ~Olive

    • Madison
      Madison October 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm - Reply


      Hehe, thanks so much! LOL, she was very excited. XD

  7. Avatar
    KaylynsWorldBlog October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    This is amazing! I love your HOTH! I can’t believe that Connor has been lying this whole time!

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Thank you SO much, Kaylyn! I’m so glad you like it! I know, right? Sneaky Connor!

  8. Avatar
    Rebcake October 20, 2017 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Emma, I–I–I–I just, I, er, I–
    I don’t think I can EVER forgive you. Don’t you even care about Connor????????????
    I must recollect my senses for a minute.

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 11:17 am - Reply

      XDDD LOL! Bad Emma. >:( XD

  9. Avatar
    Emmie October 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    WOW. WOW. WOW. WOW. WOW. WOW. WOW. x 999999

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 11:17 am - Reply


  10. Avatar
    Emmie October 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Ooops, i think I accidentally posted that without finishing it!

    WOW. That was so, so good! I can see all the hard work put in to this and I CAN’T WAIT for the next part! Her laptop is super cool! AND THAT PLOT TWIST OHMYGOSH.


    Oh, Ellie.

    -EmeraldPhoenix (Emmie)

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Oh my gosh, I do that all the time. XD

      AWWW THANK YOU SO MUCH EMMIE! I’m so glad you like it, you’re so awesome!


  11. Avatar
    Allison October 20, 2017 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Woooooow, that was GREAT, Madi! 😀

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Thank you SO much, Allison! 😀

  12. Avatar
    Arabella October 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    How do you come up with all this awesome stuff????

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Awwww, you’re so sweet, Arabella! I believe a lot of my ideas are God-given, as I want to honor Him and share the love of Jesus in everything I do.

  13. Avatar
    light4thelord October 20, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe I had to wait for FIVE hours (we left early ?!?!?!??! WHY OH MOTHER WHY for lessons and it was TOO EARLY), but it was worth it. AMAZING AS USUAL!!!!
    😀 Can NOT wait for next week!!!
    ~ Light4theLord

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      AHHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH! UGH, I can’t believe you had to wait five hours! XDD I’M SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT! Thank you so much!! <3

  14. Avatar
    From a Doll's Perspective (Anna) October 20, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    WOAH! 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮

    (BTW In case you’re wondering why this isn’t my email I’m using I have to use my mom’s for this type of comment form. )

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      HEHE. 😮

      (Oh, okay! 😀 )

  15. Avatar
    Katie October 20, 2017 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    Wow, I did not see that coming! Can’t wait for part 3!!!!!
    -Katie 🙂

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Hehe, I like plot twists. >:) I can’t wait to post it! Thanks so much, Katie!

  16. Avatar
    Sassafras October 20, 2017 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the cliffhanger, Madison. XD I can’t wait to find out what happens next! How many parts are there to Season Three? By the way Madison, I know I’ve said this before, but your pictures are such good quality! They have such beautiful lighting and your setups are very realistic. 🙂

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      You’re very welcome. XD Just kidding. XD

      There are going to be 10 parts, with part 10 as the finale! Awww, thank you SO much! I’m so glad you like the pictures! Your comments always mean a lot to me. 😀

  17. Avatar
    Hannah October 21, 2017 at 6:24 am - Reply


  18. Avatar
    Clara October 22, 2017 at 10:53 am - Reply

    DUDE. :O I DID _NOT_ SEE THAT COMING. O_o I read this on my phone in the car, and then I handed my phone to my sister, and then we were both going “Wow!” “Whoa!” “That’s crazy!” XD XD
    Can’t wait for the next part!!!

    -Clara <3

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      HEHE PLOT TWISTS. >:) LOL! Awww, I’m so glad you guys read HOTH! That means so much! <3

      • Avatar
        Clara October 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm - Reply

        😀 <3
        Did you get my letter yet?? 😛 (I'm so annoying. XD)

        • Madison
          Madison October 28, 2017 at 6:57 pm - Reply

          I did! I’m replying to it ASAP! 😀 XD

  19. Avatar
    Alyse October 23, 2017 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Wow. I did not see that coming.

    • Madison
      Madison October 24, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      Hehe. Plot twists.

  20. Avatar
    The AG Homeschooler October 23, 2017 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    What?! Just, what?! Plot twist!!

  21. Avatar
    Olivia Bell (aka Livy) October 28, 2017 at 7:18 pm - Reply


    • Madison
      Madison October 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm - Reply


  22. Avatar
    Xyra November 10, 2017 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Very interesting…the plot thickens. Or is it thinning out? 🙂

    • Madison
      Madison November 12, 2017 at 12:53 pm - Reply

      Dun dun dun. 😀

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