The group laughed and chattered as they walked through the mall, each of them carrying bags of clothing.  Simon walked in the midst of the small crowd with a small smile, seemingly happy to have brought them so much joy.  They wandered past an HMV store, and Evan broke away from the group.

            “Hey, Mr. Lamb, are we in any kind of a rush?”

            “Not at all, Evan, why do you ask?”

            “Well, it’s just that I lost all my CDs on the plane.  I was wondering if I could check out some of the albums in the store?  I just want to see what’s come out while we were gone, and then we can get back to the limo.”

            Lamb grinned.  “Be my guest.  Perhaps you’ll be able to explain young people’s music to an old fart like me.”

            Evan smiled broadly and dashed into the store.  The rest of the group followed, willing to kill some time.  They spread out into different sections.  Dan headed to the hip hop area, while Jason peeked through the gospel music.  Genevieve wandered aimlessly, staring at the movie selection and wondering why a music store carried films.  Alex and Neal argued over whose favourite rock band was better.

            Evan was at the back, listening to song selections on headphones.  Lamb wandered close to see what the youth was enjoying.  He was startled when Evan started to sing along.  His voice was clear and melodic, and had a ripple effect.  First Simon stopped to listen, and then a pair of girls further down the same aisle.  His voice reached Neal and Alex, and they stopped their disagreement to listen.  Soon, the whole store was listening to Evan sing. 

            His eyes were closed, so when he stopped and hung the headphones back up, he was startled to find a store full of people staring at him.

            “What?  Did I fart?”

            Dan burst out laughing, but Lamb ignored the comment.

            “Evan, that was wonderful.  I may not know a lot about music, but you have real talent.  Why didn’t you tell me you were such an amazing singer?”

            Evan shrugged.  “Oh, I’m nothing special.”

            “I beg to disagree.  Do you have any other talents?”

            “Well, I used to play guitar in a band with the others.”

            “Why do you say ‘used to?’ When did you stop?”  Lamb asked.

            “Well, I didn’t stop, exactly.  I lost my guitar on the mountain, I guess.  Kind of hard to play without one.”

            “I think we’re going to have to go instrument shopping, then.”  Simon smiled, clapping an arm around the younger man’s shoulders.  “You say the others play as well?”

            “Sure.  Dan loves the drums, Alex plays guitar too.  Owen is great on bass.”

            Genevieve turned to Jason while their host discussed music with Evan.  She whispered quietly.

            “I think he’s lying.  Mr. Lamb has to know something about music.  He owns part of two major record labels, alongside his production company and oil shares.”

            “Eve, knowing music and owning a company are two very different things.”  Jason looked at their friends.  “Besides, he’s trying to be nice.  I know Evan misses his music.”

            “But why exactly does he have to buy all this stuff for us?  It’s not like we’re family.”

            “No, but he doesn’t have a family of his own, either.   Can’t he just be a rich, lonely guy who wants to help a bunch of kids who are stranded far from home?  We’re lucky to be alive, why look a gift horse in the mouth?”

            “Seriously, who even says stuff like that anymore?  ‘Gift horse.’  This isn’t Trojan, or anything.”  Genevieve glared at her friend.

            “Troy.  At least you got it half right.  I didn’t think you were paying attention in history class last year.”

            “You’re one to talk,” Eve laughed, swatting his arm.  “You slept through it!”

Main Storyline

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