Justin was bored as he paced back and forth. Really bored. It was the Institute’s annual three-day exhibit – definitely not Justin’s favorite time of year. He only had to attend for one of the days but the noon to nine schedule seemed like a lot more than just nine hours. It was already a little after four and Justin was wondering how he could last till 9:00. Brian had promised to come over and rescue him about four – oh not so much to actually rescue him – or to help him escape - but at least to help him pass the time. Having Brian around always helped. But Brian was already fifteen minutes late and that fifteen minutes seemed like an hour to the kid.

The ringing of his cell phone startled Justin back to reality. He was glad to note that it was Brian - so he hoped for the best.

“Sorry, Honey,” Brian started, “I’ll be a while yet. There was an accident. Mikey’s car is like – maybe – totaled.”

”You weren’t in it, Bri?” Justin exclaimed nervously. “You’re all right, aren’t you? And Mikey?”

“Everybody is all right, Baby,” Brian assured him. “Actually the car was parked in the mall parking lot and some crazy teen-ager crashed into it broadside. They had to page Mikey inside. It’s a total wreck….”

“Hey, Brian,” a relieved Justin replied. “It was already a wreck. It’s been a wreck for a while now. Everybody wanted him to get a new car for the last year or so. This might be a blessing in disguise….”

“Yeah,” Brian agreed, “But Ben is out of town and I got the SOS from Michael, so I’m with him over here now and I’ll be over there later. Mikey was a friend in need so….”

“What’s new about that?” Justin laughed a little. “But just how do you manage to get a car broadsided in a parking lot?”

“Well, it’s a slow day at the mall and there were only a few cars parked in the lot,” Brian explained. “So this kid was driving across the lot instead of in the aisles – cigarette in one hand and cell-phone in the other – and she said Mikey’s car just came out of nowhere and she couldn’t stop in time.”

“Is she OK, Bri?” Justin wondered.

“Yep,” Brian told him. “Not a scratch. She was wearing her seat belt. She says she always obeys the law and is a very careful driver. Her mom’s here – and the tow truck driver – and the cops just left. Everything is as fine as it can be.”

“OK, Bri,” Justin responded. “But I’m sending you an SOS too. This place is driving me crazy. Get here when you can.”

“Won’t be long at all, Baby,” Brian assured him. “I’m heading in your direction right now.”

“Well don’t have them tow the wreck over here, Brian,” Justin seemed happier. “It would easily win the prize for best steel sculpture.”

“Nope,” Brian laughed too. “The wreck is heading to the junk yard – and Mikey is still kinda upset so I think I better bring him with me to the Institute. Hunter isn’t home either and Mikey needs company at a time like this – losing his beloved car and all.”

“And I thought nothing could be worse than the whole day at this damn exhibit, Kinney,” Justin pointed out. “But now you’re bringing Michael with you. One wreck to the junk yard and one wreck to the Institute. Oh well, it will be a diversion from the general boredom over here, I guess – a little change….”

“OK, Babe. We’re on our way,” Brian concluded as he hung up. “Brian Kinney to the rescue.”

“Brian Kinney to the rescue, eh?” Justin mused as he put his cell-phone away. “As usual.’

But the kid was smiling now – and that was a change – and the rescuer wasn’t even there yet.

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