Chloe hummed softly rocking baby Suzi. She’d traded Luke’s couch for Sofia and Rob’s becoming a live in nanny for the kids, while Sofia recovered.
“You’re a natural.” Sofia murmured sitting up in the bed.
Chloe laughed lightly, “Natural aunt maybe.” Standing she placed the sleeping infant in her crib. “Can I get you anything?”
Sofia shook her head, biting her lip. “Thank you Chloe, I don’t know what we would have done if you weren’t here. Rob told me how you’ve been helping with the kids and house. I really appreciate it.”
“Please, it’s the least I can do since you guys took me in.” Chloe checked on Johnny before moving to the door. “Get some rest. Dinner will be ready in a bit.”
Nodding Sofia laid back down as Chloe left the room, shutting the door behind her. Turning to walk down the hall, she bumped into Luke.
“Just the person I was looking for.” Placing his hands on her hips he gently pushed her back toward the opposite end of the hall.
“What are you doing?” She asked as her back bumped into the bathroom door. “I have to check on dinner.”
“It’ll be ok for a minute.” Leaning down he kissed her, wrapping her arms around his neck she kissed back. When he finally broke away, he leaned his forehead against her’s. “I’ve missed having you sleeping on the couch. It’s really quiet over there without your cute little snore.”
Chloe smacked him on the back of the head playfully. “I do not snore.”
He grinned, “yes, you do.” Before she could reply he captured her lips again.
Behind them, came a loud, “ahem.”
Luke jerked up looking over his shoulder, and Chloe peeked around him. Rob stood in the hallway next to Sofia’s door, looking half amused and half annoyed. “Guys I get it hard to find privacy but, come on, no making out where the kids could see.”
“Sorry, Rob.” Chloe murmured, slipping out of Luke’s arms. “I need to check on dinner.” She almost ran down the hall, her face blazing red. Behind her she could hear Luke giving Rob hell for interrupting them and smiled. In the kitchen she pulled the chicken lasagna from the oven, as she was setting it on the stove she glanced out the window. A reddish yellow light catching her attention she moved to the sink, leaning toward the window to get a better look. Beyond the yard she could see flames licking up the side of the barn. “Luke, Rob get out here the barns on fire!”
Rob was the first one in the kitchen, stepping up beside her to look out the window. “Oh no.” He bolted to the door with Luke on his heels. They slammed out the door, Chloe watched the dark shadows race across the yard toward the barn. As much as she wanted to help she couldn’t leave the kids alone in the house, and Sofia wasn’t up to dealing with this type of crisis.
Behind her a little voice said, “Chlo-weee.”
“Yeah, Hon.” Chloe replied turning toward Maria and froze. Roy stood in the doorway to the hall with Maria in front of him a gun pointed at her head.
“Hi Chlo-wee,” he mocked grinning at her. “I need you to go get Sofia, RJ and those precious little babies"
“Why? You are pretty well set up at the Wal-mart, what could you want with us?”
Roy grinned, “We want to trade, you all for this place. It’s self sufficient, the Wal-mart ain’t.”
“Sofia’s just had twins, Roy. She can’t get up.”
He scoffed, “My old lady was up and bitching an hour after having our kids. Sofia’s had a few days to recoup, she’ll be fine. Go get her and the others, or the little gal here gets plugged.”
“Chlo-wee…” Maria wailed, tears streaming down her little face.
“Shh, Maria, don’t worry honey. I’ll go get everybody.” She moved toward the door and Roy guided Maria out of the way not removing the gun from her head.
“You have 5 minutes. To get Sofia an’ RJ out here and the babies in car seats.”
“Ok.” Stepping into the hall she yelled, “RJ Get down here I need your help.” There was a door bumping open upstairs then the thump of footsteps running down the stairs. He appeared a moment later. “Go in the kitchen and don’t do anything stupid.”
With a confused look he did as she told him. She heard him give a surprised noise then Roy say something she couldn’t make out. Sending up a silent prayer that everything was going to be ok, she moved to Sofia’s room. Opening the door she found Sofia sitting up with a look of alarm.
“The barns on fire, and Roy is kidnapping us. We have five minutes to get you dressed and the babies in their car seats or… you don’t want to know.”
Sofia threw back the covers and struggled to her feet. “He threatened my kids.”
“Get Suzi and Johnny together, while I get dressed.” Sofia got up and moved painfully to the dresser. “I’m going to rip that man apart.” She muttered as she pulled clothes from the drawers.
Chloe grabbed up a piece a paper and jotted down a note, before taking some warm clothes and dressed the babies before tucking them into the car seats. In less than five minutes Chloe was following Sofia out of the room with a car seat in each hand.
“Very good, Ladies.” Roy said as they entered the kitchen. “I’ve had RJ wrap up dinner to go. It looks like that fire we started is a little bit more than your guys can handle. This makes it pretty easy for us. There’s a car waiting outside for you all to get into, do it quick and quietly.”
Author's Note: Unedited Version