Eliot Jacob Spencer was born in Watonga, Oklahoma. He had one best friend since he was four; his best friend, Thomas Donnelly. They grew up together, got into trouble together, and got into fights together. When he was five, his mom died giving birth to his brother. His dad's sister took the baby leaving poor grieving Eliot to feel like he wasn't wanted. Jessica Donnelly, his mother's best friend seeing how despondent the child was, took him under her wing and had him over to their house more often than not—making the friendship between the boys that much deeper from friends to brothers. Joseph Donnelly took to incorporating him in Tommy's martial arts classes. He taught both boys how to fight and how to disarm an opponent. Eliot took to it like a duck to water.
If anyone asked Eliot what some of his important moments in his life were. You would think it would be when he and Tommy built their cars. Eliot had a '72 426 Hemi Charger, and Tommy's was a '67 Camaro, or you would think it would be the day he enlisted in the Army. You would also think it was the day he graduated high school. Those were all milestones in his life, and Eliot would give you a list. He would also tell you the one that made a lasting impression on him besides losing his mother was the year that Tommy and his dad got stuck in Tulsa during a heavy snowstorm. He had promised Tommy he would stay with his mom because she was nine months pregnant. She ended up in labor with only twelve-year-old Eliot there to help her. That day Tommy's little sister Catherine Elize was born. It made quite an impact on the young man that day, and some would say he doted more on Catherine than her older brother did. They were wrong, but he was just as bad.
He was quite attached to the family, so when Tommy had asked him if he wanted to go to the fair with Catherine and him, he jumped at the chance. It was better than listening to his dad gripe at him because he had enlisted with Tommy into the Army. They would be leaving in two days, and he spent the day with Tommy and Cat, rather than stay at the hardware store. He knew his dad wanted him to stay there and take care of the business, but Eliot wanted more or something different. So with the stories that Joe used to tell him and Tommy and wanting to do something to help to serve his country, they had signed up right after graduation. In two days, they were leaving for boot camp and the great unknown.
The warm county sun beat down on their heads. Catherine skipped along between the two, a happy smile on her heart-shaped face. It's amazing what a little cotton candy and greasy funnel cake could do to distract a child. Eliot hadn't been a child for a long time, but even when he was, he didn't know if funnel cake and cotton candy would have ever been a fix-all.
Cat squealed, drawing Eliot's attention to her as she took off, running toward the zipper. Eliot hurried after her. She had been telling them both all about her plans to ride it since they arrived. He grabbed her up into his arms, "Cat slow down..." He sighed, looking around the large fair. There were enough people around here that they could quickly lose Catherine, and he'd be damned if that would happen on his watch. He set her down, kneeling in front of her, getting her attention. "Listen ..."
"I want to go on the zipper El-iootttt..." She stated with a pout on her face. She pulled at his hand, but he wouldn't budge.
He tried to distract her from that ride by changing the subject. "Catherine Elize " His voice was a touch stern to get her attention. "Please listen to me.." He motioned around the fair with Tommy standing next to him with an eyebrow raised. "You have to stay with us. There are a lot of people here... and you could easily get hurt or get lost..." He sighed, "if you DO get lost when you come off a ride, what did I tell you to do..."
She tilted her head, her blonde curls falling into her big blue eyes. She was so tiny that Eliot was afraid she'd get trampled there. She wore a denim jacket with her cowboy boots. She bit on her bottom lip, thinking back to the discussion they had in the car. "If I get lost and can't find you or Tommy, I am to stay right where I am till you find me." She tugged on his hand, looking up at him with a pleading look "now, can we please go on the zipper please..." She gave him the biggest blue-eyed pleading look complete with a pout when he didn't answer immediately.
"You do know she has you wrapped around her little finger..." Tommy started, pushing his own hair back from his face the heat from the day sticking it to his forehead. He stared at the large ride in front of them. His stomach dropped into his feet at how high it went. There was no way in hell he was riding that monstrosity, and there was no way Catherine was going to be tall enough for it either. "Cat..."
Eliot ignored his comment and looked over at the ride. He shook his head. He sighed, "Cat …" he shook his head "I don't think you'll be big enough to fit on that one..." He pointed to the height guide next to the ride. Catherine was a good foot and half too short for it. He looked around "what if we go win you a stuffed animal..." he pointed to the games. "Then maybe I'll take you onto the ..." he rolled his eyes "the teacups..." he wiggled his fingers for her grab hold.
"You can also ride the carousel," Tommy smirked as he watched her debate. She looked longingly at the zipper. He shook his head, running a hand through his shortened hairstyle. She was if anything, but stubborn.
Catherine glared up at Tommy, her arms folded across her chest "I'm too old to ride on the carousel..." She stuck her tongue out at her brother before taking Eliot's hand, letting him guide her over to the games holding on tight. He ended up winning her two large stuffed dogs, which Tommy ended up having to carry around. They took off to go on some rides that were her size.
Much to Tommy's amusement Eliot did take Catherine on the teacups, the tilt whirl, the merry mixer, and even the huge slide. By the time he got off the slide with her, he was glad to finally see a smile on his friend's face despite the issues he was having with his dad. He had asked Eliot to come with them to get his mind off it. He laughed as Catherine was talking a mile a minute, then he heard the world carousel she was pointing towards it. He hadn't been joking; Cat had Eliot wrapped around her little fingers; however, it was true as much as it was the other way around. Cat would do just about anything to make Eliot feel better. Even on a ride, she thought she was too old to ride.
Catherine held onto Eliot's arms as he lifted her onto the horse with dark black paint. She held onto it tightly after he strapped her onto it gently. "Now, Tommy and I will be right over there..." he pointed to the side, "when you come off here, you come right to us got it..." He rested his forehead against hers, making sure she understood. "Then, we will get some ice cream..." He got a quick nod from her before kissing the top of her head. He jumped down from the ride. He jogged to Tommy's side, ignoring the smirk on his friend's face he shoved him. "Shut up ."
Tommy just shrugged with another smirk shoving Eliot back. "I didn't say anything..." He set the dogs on the ground as he watched the ride start. He sighed, "I am going to miss her..." He stated softly, the smile falling off his face. He knew his friend felt the same way. He put his hands in his pockets, watching her smile and ride on the ride waving at them. It was starting to get crowded again by the ride as the night was closing in. The fresh air blew through the fair, rifling their hair. It would soon be time to go home and start packing. They stood there as the ride began to slow down, but they couldn't see Catherine.
Catherine got off the horse without any help and jumped down. She headed towards where Eliot had pointed to where he would be with Tommy. Cat had gotten off the carousel when she got jostled and sent the wrong way. Now she was standing there with tons of people milling around her. She looked around, trying to see anyone she knew. She had headed the way that they told her, but she kept getting pushed further and further away from where she was trying to go. Each time she would head the one way she would get turned around, she couldn't see anyone. All she saw was the back of people's legs. She jumped and down only to get sent another way. When she spun around, she noticed she had gotten sent the completely wrong way. She tried to stand on the bench to see if she could see where Eliot and Tommy were when one of the carnies yelled at her to get down. She froze, remembering what Eliot told her to do if she got lost to stay in one spot, it was hard because people kept pushing her and knocking into her.
Back with Tommy and Eliot, both of the boys were looking around, calling out Catherine's name. Tommy walked with Eliot "where the heck is she? I can't see her, can you if I lost her dad's going to kill me..." He sighed even with his 6ft height. It was still hard to see anyone with so many people, and they were standing by the ride when the riders departed. "Catherine, where are you..." He jumped on a pole holding on to see if he could see over the heads, but he could not see the little girl with curls and a denim jacket. "Mom and dad are going to kill us.
Shaking his head, Eliot let out a short puff of air. "We'll find her. She couldn't have gotten far. It is just more crowded than it was when we got here. She probably got turned around and can't see us. She is short." Though he said it with a snort, he was worried. It was so easy for someone to just take off with a kid. His gut was churning as he kept going towards the ride, trying to see her.
Snorting at that, Tommy shook his head. "I wouldn't say anything, shorty. She might have decided to ride the ride again." He said, hoping to ease the fear churning his stomach.
If they lost her or someone had taken her, he didn't know what he'd do.
"Nah, she knows better than that, besides she didn't have any extra tickets. She's around here somewhere, the crowd just needs to thin, and we could find her. If you were her, where would you go after leaving the ride?" Eliot started ignoring the dig about how he was shorter than Tommy. His own gut was churning, and his mouth was dry. God help anyone if they touched Catherine. He'd tear them apart piece by piece.
Tommy glanced around the area, noticing the benches that were seemly placed randomly by rides. "I think she would try to get a higher vantage point, which would be getting on one of these benches to see better."
Eliot looked around the area. "She isn't on any of the nearby benches, maybe on the other side of the rides? We'll find her." he looked at Tommy as they headed closer to the ride using their bodies to make people move out of their way. Eliot's face was enough to make them jump out of the way without an issue.
Tommy frowned as he looked around further. "I hope so, Cat, where are you ..." He called out, trying to see over the other people even at six feet he was still unable to see anything. "You go this way, I'll go that way..." he pointed, "meet up in the middle yell if you see her. " He figured if they split up, they would find her faster.
Elliot nodded. "Good luck, man," he says before he takes off down the midday, checking the game stands. He continued his walk down the Midway, checking out the girls, categorizing them as he walked. Making sure he didn't accidentally miss her. "Come on, kid, where are you …." He was worried if anyone touched her, he would kill them. No one touched his family.
While the boys were busy trying to find her, Catherine kept jumping up and down, trying to get back to where she knew they were. She couldn't see anything, and every time she tried to stand on a bench of a pole, she'd get yelled at to get down. Cat frowned as she knew she should stay right where they told her, but she was scared it was getting darker. She hurried to the left when she got knocked over by a guy. She hit the ground with a yelp. "Hey, watch it," she growled at him from the ground. She got up and tried to go around him when he grabbed her arm. "Hey, let go... "
The man looked down at her. He was about six feet tall, wearing a pair of dark sunglasses and a sneer. "What is a pretty little girl doing running around on her own..." He looked around to see if he saw anyone with her. When he didn't, he started to pull her towards him, tugging her away from where she was trying to go. He looked around and kept pulling her with him, making her stumble.
"I am not alone!" She growled and yanked her arm back from him, but his grip was tight. She knew she had to do what her daddy and her big brothers taught her. She kicked as hard as she could at his legs cause she couldn't reach his groin. She bit his hand as hard as she could. She knew it was the only way to get him to let go of her.
He howled as she latched onto his hand. He glared at her, "why you little ..." He slapped at her mouth but let her go, as she hit the ground. She yelped.
She finally got free only for him to grab her by her wrist quickly; she got smart, hoping that Eliot or either Tommy heard her. She knew she was going to get yelled at, but she didn't leave on purpose. She finally screamed as loud as she could as he grabbed for her again. "Tommy. Eliot, help!" She fought against him, kicking and scratching at him. She had a small trickle of blood on her mouth where he had hit her. She yelled louder though it was hard to hear with the crowd, people screaming on the rides and music.
On the other side of a ride, Eliot heard Catherine's voice shouting something. His eyes went to slits as he heard her yell louder. He yelled, "I'm coming Cat hold on darlin.." He started to head to where he heard her shouting. He saw Tommy as he was also running towards the sound. He grabbed his arm and pointed towards where he heard the yell. Eliot pushed through the crowd, doing his best to avoid the people while taking the shortest route to the spot that he had heard Catherine yell.
Finally, Eliot and Tommy were able to spot Catherine pushing through enough of the crowd, shoving people out of their way. Seeing her struggle against the larger man holding her wrist, made the two boys pick up their speed and shout at the man to let Catherine go.
"You brat..." he yelled as she kept hitting him to make him let her go. "I am not going to hurt you ..."
Eliot raced forward and grabbed the man's hand and bent it backward "Damn right, you're not," he growled. "Now, I think you are the one that needs to let go..." He glared at him; the man howled his grip tightened on Catherine's arm.
"Let go..." She yelled and screamed in pain, causing Tommy to grab the other wrist that was holding onto his sister. Her little arm was going to be black and blue after this.
The man growled, shoving her away from him. He went to grab Eliot only to have him pin him down to the ground, "who the hell are you?"
Eliot's voice went down three octaves and whispered down into his ear as he had the man pinned down. "As far as who I am, I'm your worst nightmare." He looked around to see if anyone had gotten a hold of the fair security. When he saw two of them running towards them, he let the guy up before shoving him into their arms. As he let go of the man and turned, Catherine jumped into his arms, crying. "Shh..darlin, I got you, shh..." He stroked her hair and kissed her temple, "I have you..." He looked at Tommy over her head, their eyes connecting. It was lucky that the security had shown up. Otherwise, they would have done something that would make it impossible for the man to get up again. He turned to the guard who was standing there with the guy asking questions.
Tommy looked at him "I'll handle it. I don't think Cat is going to let go..." Tommy turned to the security to talk to them, who was now calling in the police. He kept one eye on his sister and Eliot, the other on the men.
Catherine cuddled into Eliot, her tears starting to slow down. "You saved me ..." She whispered, "you protected me..." She kept whispering. She wouldn't let go of him and just held onto him with her face buried in his neck. His hand stroking her hair, finally got her to calm down.
Eliot lifted her head with his finger, "always darlin; I will always protect you no matter what .. you and your brother are my family...no matter where I am or what I am doing, I will always protect you..." He would keep that promise till the day he died.