AHHH! THE NEXT PART IS THE FINALE! *hyperventilates* It’ll be posted on Thanksgiving Day!

Previous parts of season 3:

Prologue
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

And another quick refresher from part 8:

I scream as strong police arms grab mine and pull them behind my back. “Where’d he go, kid?” He asks. I kick the policeman as hard as I can, and he yelps. “Kid!” He grunts and then sighs. “You have to tell me where he went.”

“No, I don’t,” I say, struggling from his grip. Of course, I can’t break free.

“No, you won’t,” he says with a grin. “You won’t have to. There he is.”

And without further ado!


Issa’s POV

I look up to see Connor streaking back. A screaming “No!” escapes my lips, and when Connor becomes aware of the two police officers on the street, he halts to a stop.

I kick the police officer one more time and streak back toward Connor as the policeman chasing him finally catches up.

“No!” Connor echoes as the policeman throws Connor to the ground. Connor fights him with all of his might as I stand there fighting tears. “Please!”

The policeman keeps Connor’s arms behind him as they stand him up and identify he’s Connor DaCosta. “Please don’t make me go back to them!” Connor cries.

“You need to be quiet. You’re going to wake up the whole neighborhood,” the policewoman says as she grabs Lexi’s arm. Once one policeman has a firm hold on Connor, the other one grabs mine, too.

And so we begin to march to where the others stand outside of the house on the driveway.

“Issa?” Connor says quietly, and I turn to look at him.

“Yeah?”

“I just—wanted to say sorry.”

I swallow. “For what?”

“I never officially apologized for everything I did to hurt you. Back at the FCA center.”

Oh. I smile a little bit through my coming tears. “It’s okay. I forgive you.”

Connor deeply inhales and exhales. “Thank you so much.”

“Thank you, too.”

“For what?”

“For—for being so nice. And apologizing. And punching that bully in the park for me.”

Connor laughs. “What, were you planning on punching him?”

“Maybe!” I grin. “Although he probably would’ve punched me back and sent me halfway across the park.”

Connor laughs more. “Yeah, that’ll never happen on my watch.”

“Not—not that you can watch,” I mutter, and that’s when the sobs come.

We reach the driveway, and Connor stops in his tracks. The policeman is annoyed, but he doesn’t drag Connor along.

“Goodbye, Issa,” Connor says, giving me a strong hug.

I cry as I hug him back. I don’t want him to go. Not at all. I cry harder when he pulls away to be taken again.

Lexi sniffs as she cries, too, and she waves as Connor is walked to the police car.

“You can’t take him!” I screech at the police officers. “Please don’t! This isn’t fair!”

They don’t pay any attention to me. As one of the police officers goes up to talk to Jackson and Amy, I rush toward them. “No! No! You can’t do this! Guys—do something! Adopt Connor—please!”

“Issa,” Amy whispers softly, pulling me in for a tight hug. “Shhh. It’s okay.”

“It’s not okay!” I shout all the louder, accompanied by tears.

“Issa, we can’t adopt him unless his parents give their consent and are willing to give up their custody over him.”

“They will! They don’t care!”

“Issa.” Amy sighs and gently strokes my curls. “I need you to be strong through this, okay? Like the Issa we all know and love.”

I angrily pull away. “There has to be—there has to be some way!”

Jackson shoots me a look. “There isn’t.”

I swipe my hands over my eyes. “None of this is fair.”

“Issa,” Jackson sighs. “Life isn’t fair. There are times in life where we have to say ‘I’ve got nothing. I don’t understand’. And we have to be okay with that. The important thing is just to keep going.”

“No!” I shout, the waterworks refusing to stop as the policeman makes a call.

“Issa.” It’s Connor’s voice. I turn around and swipe at my eyes again to see him better. “Thank you for doing all you could.”

“I don’t want you to go.” My voice trembles and quivers with each word.

“Life won’t be so bad. I promise. God cares. He’s a Perfect Dad.”

I smile through raging tears. “I’m—I’m so glad you know that.”

He gives me one more smile before turning around to go to with the police.

And that’s when a limousine pulls up and drops a silhouette of a man off on our driveway.


To be continued… in HOTH Season 3, Part 10 (Finale), to be posted on Thanksgiving Day!

Coincidence cliffhanger? I think not. This guy has been foreshadowed. 😉 Who do you think the man is?

P.S.

10 days left to enter and claim as many bonus entries as you can for my free American Girl Create-Your-Own doll giveaway!