Justin Rutherford: There's No Place Like Home

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'Are you sure you'll be okay?' Tiffany inquired of the speechless Justin after her father pulled up outside his parents' house. Justin only nodded and let go of her hand; he'd been holding it tightly for the past twenty minutes. He could see all of the lights were on in his parents' house and the curtains in the living room were closed.

'Thank you, Mr. Hawkins. I appreciate the lift home,' Justin said. It was the first time he had spoken since he had entered the car. His voice came out a little different than how it usually sounded. He smiled at Tiffany. 'Thank you for tonight; I don't know what I would have done without you.'

'Let's never find out,' Tiffany comforted him, looking behind him to the house. 'I think your parents are happy you're home.'

Justin looked over his shoulder in the direction Tiffany was staring in. His overprotective mother and father ran out from the front door, moving faster than they should have in the icy conditions that plagued the front path. Justin's mother grabbed hold of his muscular father to keep her standing. She was obviously more worried about her son than banging her head off the ground.

'I'll see you later. I am so sorry for today,' Justin gave Tiffany a hug. She didn't usually like any sympathy directed her way, but after the night she'd had, she allowed Justin the kindness to give her the best comfort she'd had all night. Justin eventually let go of her when Henry Rutherford opened the back door. His mother, Rebecca, scrambled in to throw her slender arms around her son.

'Oh my God, my baby, we have been so worried,' Rebecca cried, her silky brown hair covering Justin's face. Tiffany felt a little uncomfortable with what was happening in front of her.

Philip Hawkins rolled down his window when the six-foot Henry bent down to talk to him. He tried to speak though he struggled with the words, as if they were stuck in his throat. 'Thank you for bringing my son home. We really, really appreciate it.' Henry's words sounded awkward.

Philip nodded. 'I'm sure you would have done the same for my girls,' he replied bluntly. Henry nodded back before walking around the car to where Rebecca had pulled Justin out. He threw his arms around them both in a suffocating group hug. Henry was double the size of Justin, his biceps almost covering Justin's head from view.

Philip drove away when Henry and Rebecca supported a weak Justin into the house. They had kept the fire on for hours and Justin almost melted the moment he stepped through the threshold. He was eternally grateful for his parents as he didn't want to face going to the apartment he shared with Hunter. His parents were terrified by what had happened when he called them at the police station, but were grateful that he decided to stay with them.

'How are you, honey? Do you want something to eat or drink?' Rebecca's asked in a sweet, high-pitched voice. She never broke her grip on her son's hand. Henry had his arm around him, holding him up, until they reached the sofa and sat him down.

'Anything you need son, we're right here,' Henry's said with a voice that always assured Justin that he was safe. His family's support was always welcome, if not a little overpowering.

'I wouldn't mind a drink,' Justin murmured loud enough for his parents to hear.

'One piping hot chocolate coming right up for my brave little boy,' Rebecca said as she kissed his cheek before taking Henry out of the room.

Justin looked around the living room. It had been weeks since Justin was last there. It would partly explain his parents' overjoyed reactions that he was finally home. Sometimes he regretted leaving the comforts of the house he grew up in, but moving in with Hunter was a step he was glad he took. He was finally growing up, but now, he felt like a child again; a defenceless, poor little child that needs to be looked after by his parents.

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