When Stiles was only five, he’d run off when the Sheriff had turned to check the ripeness of a display of watermelon at the local bargain mart. And it had taken the Sheriff a minute, after deciding that there was no way he and Stiles could finish an entire melon themselves, to look down at the ground where he would usually find Stiles tugging at his sleeve.
But Stiles was gone.
Panic welled in his chest and he spun around so fast he nearly knocked the display table over.
And it had taken a moment—one long, utterly terrifying moment—but then Stiles had poked his head around the corner of the next aisle and given his dad a toothy grin.
Now, on the chilled lacrosse field, the Sheriff can hardly breathe.
No one is listening. He turnes, eyes flitting desperately from face to face. Searching for that goofy grin, those overlong limbs.
“Where the hell is my son?!”
Stiles doesn’t appear this time.
And it’s like losing her all over again, that same riptide of grief and despair and terror coursing through him, and it’s all he can do to keep himself from collapsing right there on the field, the glare of the stadium lights forcing him to blink back his tears.