In our last chapter, saw the wedding of Marshall and Misty. I sent them off for the weekend a really great hotel in the Smoky Mountains only a few hours from here. When the class is over I’ll give the class a two-week vacation in Hawaii. I’ve also made reservations for Alyssa a five-star hotel in LA plus first-class airfare for her and Mom for just before court date to a few days after. Johnny will accompany his mother on her trip. Joan pleaded out of it, she wants to finish class. Marshall and Misty’s combined total is enough for them to retire on if they wish, but we won’t stop them from continuing with the class.
My poor Sam is having a recurring nightmare ever since she moved into her bedroom, lacking the security Kathryn and I give her Sam’s dreams turn to nightmares. She never sees Lester but she knows he is after her. What really scare her are the reactions of her uncle Marshall and Kathryn within her nightmare. She always wakes up after Kathryn begins to cry in her dream.
The way her nightmare plays out would be the way I would react if I found out Lester gotten bail and then released. A more likely scenario is somehow he escaped and was armed and dangerous. Either way our family will be safe in the security of the house when George, Michael and I confront him. Sam says she hears the booms that can only be their shotguns just before her Mommy begins to cry and Sam wakes up.
I hope Sam’s dream doesn’t play out the way she relates it. The only problem is that’s the current plan if Lester does leave jail some way. I lack the heart to tell Sam that, and hope that he won’t see any bail or at least so high that he and his family cannot raise the money for it.
Sam’s nightmare has quickly become mine, not as I sleep, but as I worry through the events of the last few days. If Sam is right, Lester will come after her and I’ll do what I have to protect her.
Lester’s lawyer continues working away at the case against him. Even with the video evidence thrown out he works against the witness testimony. I think he’s trying to get the DA the lower the charges against Lester or make a deal reducing Lester’s time in jail or perhaps to remove the career criminal that would assign Lester a life sentence.
As Kathryn I go through our exercises, something we been lacking on. I tried to center myself but find it hard to concentrate. My mind continuously wonders if I can kill Lester like I did the bear. The bear seemed to be in almost instinctual event, my training taking over in the few moments when the bear decided to attack. My speed and strength from pure adrenaline, I wonder if it will be enough to protect my family this time. I love my family that drives my desire to ensure their safety. I couldn’t protect myself without first protecting them.
I see Sam is my daughter and I guess you can say I am a proud father. I brag on her every chance I get. The family is there witnessing most of what Sam does, so bragging to them isn’t good. The Coach chuckles at me, he’s been there and understands. Another truth is he sees himself as Sam’s grandpa and loves to brag on her too.
Ms. Clark is still working on the adoption paperwork, and she got the permission from Sam’s home state to continue. The child protective services there had no clue on what happened to Sam after her grandmother passed. Ms. Clark is working closely with them. After six months of custody and home visits from Ms. Clark and other coworkers of hers we should be able to adopt Sam with no further CPS involvement.
So far Ms. Clark is very happy with Sam’s progress, and she’s one person I get to brag about Sam to. She’s been fifteen to twenty minutes with Sam alone and always come back laughing. She smiles at me and says, “Sam has some of the most interesting stories about you and Kathryn. Did you really letter shop for everyone in the family is her birthday present?”
I tell Ms. Clark, “Sam convinced me that was what she really wanted to do. She asked nicely and I let her do that because it was something that was going to make Sam happy.”
Ms. Clark says, “Sam is very happy and adjusting well to your family. Do you still have her reading?”
With a chuckle I say, “Sam has that e-book full, I’ll have to move some stories soon for Sam, she finishes two or three a day, and can easily read and a third or fourth grade level now. Kathryn I also read to her a story at bedtime. Michelle Collins, who Sam calls Aunt MC, reads during the afternoon on the weekends. Her Grandmas also read to her, we will read a page and then Sam reads a page. Only now again she stops when she doesn’t recognize a word and Sam would ask for help. We have taught her how to sound them out. When she has it she will ask what it means. Lately I’ve been having her go to the dictionary to find out.”
Ms. Clark is impressed and says, “That is a lot better than most of the children that I deal with in some of those are in third and fourth grade. What do you plan to do for Sam Schooling?”
I state, “I’m not sure yet Ms. Clark, I arrange my own home schooling when I was seven because classes at the public school were boring to me. Bored children do often misbehave. Maybe homeschooling would be just the thing for her. I can see that it keeps her busy, challenged and engaged.”
Ms. Clark says, “I’ll bring by the materials and the paperwork to begin her homeschooling next week. I figure she’ll be in a second grade before long, and if other academics are anywhere near her reading.”
Ms. Clark continues, “Coach Edwards is bragging on Sam’s swimming. He can use his accreditation for Sam’s physical education requirement.”
With a chuckle I say, “I want to see about getting my accreditations as an instructor in jujitsu and tae kwon do. Because I have a third Dan in tae kwon do and a second Dan jujitsu I instructed at the local high school for four years in self-defense.”
Ms. Clark says, “I met a few of your former students, I also have to do rape counseling, the girls were in shock but your training kept most of them from being raped or worse. One girl had several knife cuts was still able to fight off her attacker. You may my job a lot easier because of that. A couple of the rapists were in worse shape than the girls by the way.”
I say, “I’ve always instructed them if they have to defend themselves it was a no holds barred situation, let the person have it without any holding back. Some of those girls were strong enough that they were really could hurt a guy. Others at full strength I worried about, with adrenaline pumping through them after what they knew they probably could stand up for themselves pretty well.”
With a chuckle Ms. Clark says, “One of the rapists that was beaten the worst, was by this little eighty-six pound girl. She broke his arm, nose and dislocated his knee, and three of his ribs were also broken. She put him in the hospital for a week. The number of rape cases has steadily dropped over the last few years too.”
I think that’s when I decided I’d go back to high school not as a student but to continue giving my classes in self-defense. As long as they let me continue doing that I would. If that could help one girl it would be worth it.
Ms. Clark leaves after a few more minutes of discussion and setting a time to return.
I rejoin the rest of the family. Sam is getting a swimming lesson from the Coach. Most of the family is there watching Sam and her grandpa work on her new swimming style she’s learning. Last week Sam learned how to do flip turns from Kathryn. Now Sam is up to nearly twenty laps before she needs to float for a time. I don’t want to slow Sam’s development but I worry she is pushing herself too hard.
I don’t want to be one of those dads that push kids so hard that they hate whatever sport they were truly good at. Sam seems to enjoy swimming, playing in the pool it is really fun for her so far and I don’t want her to lose that. Childhood should be about being able to have fun and enjoying oneself. There’s plenty of time for Sam to be serious and work hard when she’s older.
I am amazed how fast she picks up new strokes, and how fast she can swim across the pool now. In a short race Kathryn and I always lose to Sam now, and we don’t even try to, there’s no need to swim a little slower to let her win, instead we swim full out trying to give her a little challenge. The one way to win against Sam now is to swim past her endurance, but that seems to be improving daily. Sam has stopped using the lifejacket to swim most of the time, her laps she swims without it. I’m more at ease with her in the pool now, I don’t let her swim alone ever and Sam hasn’t tried to do that.
Sam is well behaved, any restriction that I place on her she follows. She has questioned them more than once and when I explained them fully, and answered all her questions Sam hasn’t once broken a rule. She even reminds me once in a while of my rules.
Kathryn’s and Joan’s driving has increased and improved they took their test and both past easily. Now both have farm license and can drive to and from the market. Alyssa likes this. She sends the two off for vegetables from the market at least twice a week.
Also the preparations for Kara’s birthday party another event for the boat house are underway. We were going to make it a surprise party but forgot to tell Sam it’s a secret that she can’t tell Kara. So Kara found out very quickly. She punched me in the arm and says, “What is this I hear about a party?”
Jokingly I say, “I just needed another reason to dance with a beautiful woman.” I give Kara a peck on her cheek and quickly disappear.
I tell Kathryn about what happened and ask her if there’s some way we can help our sister. Kathryn says she wants to go by her a new dress for the party. I get Kathryn a kiss and a prepaid credit card one I was going to use for our annual shopping trip, but I will replace it. Kathryn gets a mischievous look and asks, “Can I spend the entire card on her?”
I point out, “Your Mom and Dad have it raise the limit yet on us, that’s for her babysitting Sam, and a little bit of advance on that. Be sure you explain that to Kara when you give her the card.”
Kathryn giggles, “You’re devious when you need to be.”
I chuckle hugging my wife. I said to her, “Just remember I’m always on your side.”
Kara’s birthday party would be tomorrow night, after trading today Kathryn, Kara, Sam and I drive off to the mall. To take Kara shopping, I was along to carry the bags and Sam. Sam always wants to be with her Mommy whenever possible. It’s always good for her too. Sam is becoming more and more secure about being our daughter. She even told us, she want to visit great grandma for a week in the summer like Kathryn did when she was a girl, Of course Sam assumed we would come too. We probably would I love grandma just as much as Kathryn.
Next summer with have a three-month old with us. It would be nice to pick berries with Sam. Grandma can show Kathryn how to make the jelly from them. Sam wants to see the location from the bear story.
A minor setback at grandma’s house she’ll be staying for another two weeks, as some termite damage needs repaired. That’s something I’m really happy about I enjoy having her here. She seems to enjoy it as well she does spend a lot of time with her Granddaughters, and now Great-Granddaughter.
Sam sits in my lap wide-eyed listening to stories from her Great Grandma. A few of her stories I’ve heard before, but she has new ones that she shares with Sam and me. Some are very happy while others bring tears to our eyes. Michael’s older brother was among the few that lost their lives during the first Gulf War. When a missile warhead smashed into the barracks they were living in. She tells a few stories about him. He was a career airman and would have finished his twenty years of service shortly after he died.
For the first time Sam talks about her parents too, Sam’s memory allows her to relate the story of them leaving, first her father left for Afghanistan than a week later her mother left for Iraq. The story brings tears to our eyes. I hold Sam as she cries it may not have been something that Sam got to do before. She’s never finished grieving for her parents. I think of my father and cry too. Maybe no one finishes grieving totally.
That night I bring Sam to bed with us, I know she needs to feel secure right now. Kathryn understands as we lay down with Sam on my chest she places her arm over and kisses her good night. Sam asks, “Mommy is it okay if I miss my Angel Mommy.” Sam refers to her birth mother as Angel Mommy.
Kathryn draws in a breath, it’s almost like I hear her silently plead for the right words and she says, “It’s okay Sam, I understand that you miss your Angel Mommy. I’ll do the best I can to be your Mommy. I hope your Angel Mommy gives me a hand when I need it. I hope she always looks out for you my beautiful little Sam.”
Sam gives Kathryn many kisses holding to her tightly, and Kathryn returns everyone. Without a thought I say, “Honey stop calling Sam little, she’s our big girl now.”
Sam begins laughing and she looks up into my face she says, “Angel Daddy would say that all the time whenever Angel Mommy called me little Sam.” I make a mental note right there never to refer to Sam as little again. Sam’s father referred to her as his big girl no wonder she hated me referring to her as little.
I smile and say, “That’s right my Princess Sam you’re my big girl.”
Kathryn sticks her tongue out at me making a sound that gets Sam’s attention and starts her giggling. Kathryn says, “She still is my beautiful little Sam.”
Sam kisses Kathryn and they both giggle. I rub Sam’s back she does look up at me and I ask, “Should we tickle Mommy for calling you little?”
Sam shakes her head no and says, “Mommy can call me little if she wants to. But you can’t Daddy I’m your big girl.”
I smile and say, “In that case my big girl should get some sleep.” Almost on cue Sam yawns kisses Kathryn one more time than drops her head to my chest. I hear Kathryn whisper, “I love you my beautiful little Sam.”
Sam whispers back, “I love you too Mommy.”
I whisper, “I love my girls, now get some sleep my Loves.”
Kathryn whispers, “Love you Hubby.”
Sam whispers, “Love you Daddy.”
They seem to fall asleep almost instantly after that. I wonder if the two will ever realize how much I truly love them, as I too fall asleep.
The next morning dawns bright and clear but I feel a sense of uneasiness even as I come awake. My two girls are right where they were the night before. The site of them sleeping makes me feel a little calmer but something doesn’t feel right about today. Mom, Alyssa and Johnny aren’t leaving until Wednesday. Kara’s birthday party is tonight. It’s a Tuesday and Marshall and Misty came back last night from their weekend. We can start trading early today. I can’t figure out what’s wrong, what would give me a feeling like this.
If I can’t figure out what’s got me worried, I’m not going to worry the two beautiful girls sleeping with me. I force it out my mind before I say playfully, “Get up you sleepy heads, we got laps to do.”
Kathryn groans, “Just five more minutes.”
Sam raises her head and looks into my face she says, “You heard Mommy five more minutes.” Sam rests her head back on my chest. For some reason it looks like the ladies in my life are in charge. They do outnumber me and if my premonition still holds true eventually it will be fourteen to one. Kathryn given me twelve daughters and we adopting Sam make it fourteen to one.
I chuckle and say, “Five more laps for five more minutes.”
Kathryn raises her head then says, “If you are going to be that way about it.” She starts tickling me, which causes me to jump and buck, Sam hangs on for a wild ride until Kathryn stops.
Sam giggles as she says, “That was fun Mommy. Do it again.”
I warn Sam, “Be careful Sam once you get Mom started tickling she will get you too.” I give Kathryn a wink.
Kathryn has a devilish expression and Sam catches it right away Sam jumps up and runs to the bathroom followed by Kathryn as both of them giggle. I chuckle and stretch out I get five more minutes in bed.
I act like I’m asleep once I hear the shower shut off. I know the girls will be coming out in their ropes to dress in their bathing suits. I’m waiting to get Kathryn back for tickling me this morning.
The bathroom door opens and I hear Sam’s footsteps running down the hall she doesn’t even slow as she jumps on the bed Sam screams, “Daddy, Mommy needs you. She’s sick.”
No payback for Kathryn’s earlier actions as I go to the aid of my wife. I scoop Sam up into my arms on the way back to the bathroom. I set her down at the bathroom door and I moved to Kathryn is bent over the toilet. I can tell she is sick from the sound. I go and gently hold her hair out of the way. I tell Sam to get a washcloth with cool water, I hear the water run and know Sam is doing what I asked.
As Sam hands me a washcloth Kathryn begins to straighten up and I clean her face with the cool cloth. Kathryn goes to the sink and washes her mouth out than brushes her teeth. She won’t get near me knowing I will kiss her. Sam is nowhere in sight.
This is the first time Kathryn had morning sickness because of her pregnancy, something not unexpected it doesn’t worry me or Kathryn. Sam seems to be scared to death when she ran to me. She almost pushed away when I picked her up. I wonder what scared her so badly. As Kathryn is brushing her teeth, I relieve myself once the sink is free I wash my hands.
In a matter-of-fact voice I say to Kathryn, “We need to explain this to Sam. I think she doesn’t understand why you were sick this morning.”
I wasn’t really paying that much attention when it happened, Sam ran from the bathroom without her robe, and she is a modest 4-year-old girl. It must’ve scared her very badly for her to overcome her modesty or simply forget it. Sam sits on the edge of the bed now dressed in her robe, her hands plays nervously with the cord that ties the robe. Silent tears run down her face.
Kathryn can’t help it she immediately runs to Sam picks her up and wraps her in her arms. Only an instant later I have both of them wrapped in my arms. A frightened Sam looks into Kathryn’s face she shyly asks, “Mommy, are you sick? My grandma was sick like that a lot.”
Kathryn giggles and says, “No my beautiful little Sam I not sick. It’s because I’m pregnant.”
Sam’s expression is priceless, one of total relief followed quickly by confusion. Sam asks, “My sister is making you sick?”
Kathryn says, “It’s not her fault Sam. Women get what is known as morning sickness when their pregnant. It’s because their body is changing to help the baby grow.”
Sam’s eyes light up no longer worried about her Mommy. Kathryn elbows me off to the bathroom telling me to shave. She hates the way my beard feels against her face. I shower and shave before returning to my girls and dressing in my trunks.
We had downstairs to do our laps and meet Marshall and Misty already there. Misty snacking on crackers and Kathryn goes to get a few as the two women giggle. Misty asks, “Were you?”
Kathryn nods her head as she eats a cracker. Sam goes over and asks, “Mommy why are you and Aunt Misty eating crackers before breakfast?”
I warn, “If you tell her, you better tell her not to tell anyone else.”
Misty giggles, and then she says, “It’s not like something I’ll be able to hide very long anyway. Sam I’m pregnant too.”
Sam’s arms wrap around Misty with her ear pressed against her belly. Kathryn warns, “Don’t squeeze too tight Sam.”
Sam instantly loosens her grip on her Aunt Misty. Then she looks into Misty’s face and says, “I’m sorry.”
Misty says with a giggle, “It is okay Sam. If you kept squeezing me like that, I may have to run to the bathroom.”
Sam asks, “You having morning sickness too?”
Misty answered, “Yes Sam, it won’t last all that long. Mom only had it for a couple weeks each time she was pregnant.”
Kathryn groans, “I hope I’m not like Mom when it comes to morning sickness. She said she was sick for three months with me.”
This morning MC joins us for our swim, were still in the water when Mom walks in with Daniel. Kara and Karen normally come over in the morning to be with Sam. It’s a trading day for us. Sam’s two aunts babysit her throughout the morning all the way through lunchtime, they usually help Alyssa around the house as well. Alyssa has insisted I start paying them for their work, and that something I gladly do.
Daniel immediately notices Sam’s Aunt Kara and I hear him suck in a breath. He came over to ask a few more questions and showing he has done so far. Marshall and I are looking over the plans for his house, while the women play in the pool.
I hear Sam tell Kathryn she’s going to start her laps now. Sam comes to the end of the pool, takes the short run and dives in. I had a grab Daniel’s shoulder the keep them from grabbing Sam before she dove in.
Daniel just watches as Sam swims nearly half the link of the pool before she comes up to the top and begins a dolphin crawl. The dolphin crawl is an altered style to the front crawl which happens to be the fastest style of swimming. Sam is very fast for a four-year-old child, she will do maybe five or six laps in that style then switch to breaststroke or a butterfly. She’s recently learned to do the back stroke usually about lap ten or twelve she’ll switch to that to catch her breath.
Daniel shakes his head after seeing Sam do about four laps he says, “Bet the Coach had something to do with that.”
I chuckle and say, “If you want to hear him brag on Sam for an hour just bring it up.”
Daniel asks, “About how many laps does she do?”
Marshall says, “I think she’s over twenty now.”
Daniel shakes his head before he asks, “What she trying to do?”
Chuckling Marshall and I say, “Learn to swim the English Channel.”
Daniel chuckles and says, “That’s the Coach.”
Of course that’s when he showed up this morning. He asks, “What lap is she on?”
I answer. “Five. We got a late start today, Kathryn had morning sickness.”
He asked Kathryn, “You okay baby, you know you’re always going to be my little girl.”
Kathryn giggles and says, “Yes Daddy I’m fine.”
Then he acts like the coach he is and asks, “Then why aren’t you doing laps? I got to keep you healthy for the baby.”
Kathryn straightens up, gives a little salute to her father. Checks where Sam is in dives into the pool and begins her laps.
After drying off MC gets to take a look at her plans. While she’s looking over her plans I go get a sleepy Joan to have a look at her home plans as well. I find Alyssa in the kitchen she hasn’t started breakfast yet so she joins Joan viewing the plans.
Misty and Marshall like the progress so far. They only have a few questions and there’s an area they want to change. Daniel says that’s easily done, he pencils and the changes on the plan to remind him later. Alyssa and Joan are very happy with what they are getting. MC on the other hand has a half a dozen changes she wants made. She and Daniel discuss those. He writes on her plans what she asked for and asks a few more questions writes down her comments. He smiles when they finish. He commented, “Michelle you’re going to have a very interesting home.”
I noticed Daniel looking over at Kara several times she even look back a couple times herself, I even moved away just make sure she wasn’t looking at me. For the first time in four years I’m pretty sure Kara was more interested in someone else than me. I’ve always felt bad knowing Kara was interested in me. But the way I am I wouldn’t risk what I have with Kathryn, to even give Kara a single kiss. It may have caused us both a lot of heartache if I ever broke down and did that. Then again could’ve been like that one kiss in twenty-seven dresses, one of Kathryn’s favorite movies. Katherine Heigl is a leading actress and she kisses her boss only to find out there’s no fire there. She had been infatuated for years with him only to find out it was not what she thought or hoped for. I’m absolutely sure it would be like that.
Kathryn and I are so connected. Yeah I know it’s common for a husband to be very empathetic to his wife. But I swear I can feel what emotions she feels even in a different room. I know when the two of us are separated by a long distance I feel poorly. That’s one reason always go along when Kathryn go shopping. I will joke about carrying the bags. When it comes right down to it, it’s the separation that I can’t stand.
It’s in the morning and my feeling of uneasiness hasn’t truly left. It’s not our trading were doing great. We just finished a major sale got a large profit from it. The six of us are discussing what commodity to buy next as we watched the market. Then it happens the phone call even the fact Sam is in our room to witness it. Sam’s nightmare becomes reality, Lester just escaped. He was in the middle of the transfer to a different County for trial. When three men stopped the transfer armed to the teeth against a single guard. County Sheriff Deputy was shot. Thankfully his vest prevented it from being lethal. Lester is considered armed and dangerous. The Judge informs me he’s on his way. Our Sheriff is en route but he’s across the county at nearly an hour travel before he arrives here.
Uncle George informed me that he has already told Michael. He has me put Marshall on the phone. I’m telling Sam and Kathryn they need to go to the safe room. Sam doesn’t say anything but I can tell she scared to death. I tell Kathryn, “Everything is going to be fine. Just go in there and be safe, don’t cry for me please it will scare Sam. If I say anything other than its fine kill whoever comes in the door. You got that.”
Kathryn’s eyes are very large hearing me say that. “You mean to say something like everything’s good we should shoot.”
I clarify it, “That’s right if I say anything, but everything is fine, be ready to kill whoever comes in the door, but keep it locked. It should take them quite a while to get in. If I say, everything is fine, it’s safe, and you can come out.”
In a way it’s worse than what I feared. Lester has several armed men with him. They may all come here for none of them.
Misty is coming down to the safe room, I pull Joan over; I have her get her mother and Johnny in the room as well. Mom comes she had one of Dad’s old bats with her. MC is sitting in the back holding herself around her knees. She stressed out too.
I logged everyone off. The safe room as the power control for the rest of the house. I turn off everything except for the intercom system, and the lighting within the safe room itself. There are two high-powered lights that shine directly out through the door of the safe room there designed to come on the instant the doors open. I make sure their set and ready. I pulled Marshall over and I have him stay in the room. He’s back his shotgun he doesn’t have the right type of ammo for a long-distance shot. From a few feet away what he has is as deadly as anything.
I say to Marshall, “Stay calm, your Dad and Michael know what they’re doing and I can be as deadly as anyone of you.”
Marshall chuckles, “Yes just ask the bear.”
What Marshall said got me thinking. What I did worked against the bear it was something that bear didn’t expect. The bear never expected a man to stand up to it, let alone one kick it in the neck so hard that they crush several his vertebrae.
Why should I do what Lester expects? He expects to get out of his car and begin the fight. Let’s not let that happen. Whoever’s in the car with him will probably be as guilty as he is by the end of the afternoon. If it’s the men who assisted in his escape, they had already shot a Sheriff’s deputy. Who else could he have gotten in this short amount of time?
There is a load of hay in the truck about forty bales. I grab Michael and we take the truck down the road away. We’re the last two houses on this road, we see very little traffic if any. Michael has called our neighbors and gave them warning of what possibly maybe going on.
I tell Michael what I’m planning on doing is setting the bales across the road basically making two visual obstructions. The first of the two I want to do will have nothing behind it. The second is to hide the truck. When they stop at the first and find there is nothing behind it. They probably assume the second is the same. They will ram through it assuming it’s like the first and hit the truck. Will need to warn the Sheriff but he should be the only traffic on the road this afternoon. If nothing else we get a few shots at them as they get out.
Michael has me stop at the perfect place is just around a blind curve, just as we stop the judge pulled by we tell him what we’re planning on as we begin to dump bales of hay on the ground. I only make it a single bail deep and four high. It probably will fall over the first good breeze but it’s a calm day. I have my stack completely across the road. They should hit it the pass right through. That will be better than them stopping to check and possibly get involved with a neighbor. Michael and the Judge are doing the second as I finish stacking the first then run the half-mile to the next barrier that is just in tenth of a mile before you get to the house. They don’t know the road well enough they won’t even slowed down. Even if they miss the truck there’s not much room for them to stop.
The Judge is calling the Sheriff on a police radio, he receives an update. They are traveling in this direction. We have two patrol cars now out of commission. Someone has sabotaged the cruisers removing all the lug nuts on all four tires. Basically as soon as the cruisers moved the tires came off, dropping them on the ground. It will be a couple hours before their up and running. So basically we have no backup to the Sheriff arrives.
The Judge says, “Your truck is parked illegally and you have twenty-four hours to move it. “
At that moment we hear screeching tires from about half a mile away. The three of us just grin at each other and move into our positions. Even from this distance we still hear them shouting. I don’t know whose voices is a really care. But what they say is music to our ears. “Those fucking assholes are just trying to slow us down. Get back in the fucking car and don’t slow down for the next one.”
A car with hay sticking out of its grill comes into view from our angle, we’re well back be in the car we can’t really hear them but it looks like one is shouting. The car’s engine revs and begins to pick up speed aim directly for the middle of the hay. If they hit the stack there the truck will be 3 foot later directly in their path. They hit the hay at fifty or sixty miles an hour and slam into the truck had on at that speed.
These guys are not smart to start with. Only the driver had on his seatbelt. The three others in the car fly forward, is an older make car without airbags so they have nothing to restrain them. The passenger behind the driver hits the driver in the head so hard both are dead instantly. The front seat passenger goes through the windshield followed quickly by the passenger behind him. It all happened so fast if I blinked I would’ve missed it. I really wish I had. There was one huge boom from the crash. Now gasoline runs all over the place. It looks like they ruptured the tank on the truck.
Unbelievably one of them actually stands he’s bloody and bleeding but it looks like he has a grenade in his hand of some kind. He struggles but pulls the pin and brings his arm back for a pitch. That’s the last mistake he made both shotguns are up and with the shot they have, in range. Both the judge and the coach fire both hit him. The grenade falls upon the ground and explodes igniting the gasoline. The grenade would’ve been bad enough with the gasoline added to it the explosion blows the three of us down.
That’s the end of Sam’s nightmare. Two large booms, I know they heard from miles away, my ears are ringing but hopefully that won’t last. But if it does it was well worth the cost to keep my Sam safe, and end her nightmare.
The Judge called back on the police radio, we get a fire truck along with the County corner just as the County Sheriff arrives.
My ears are still ringing but not near as bad once I walked downstairs and hit the intercom and say, “Everything is fine.”
Marshall is the first out the door and he comes out very cautiously still yet. “Is Dad okay? That was a little louder than a shotgun.”
At least that was what I thought he said. I reply, “If he’s like me he’s ears are ringing pretty bad. Other than that, he is fine.”
Kathryn is crying as she runs to me. “What did you do?”
As lightly as I possibly can I say, “I guess you can say I parked the truck in a bad spot for them. They didn’t see it. They hit it when they were going pretty fast.”
Sam wraps her arms around my leg so tightly I think she never wants to let go. I finally coach her into coming up into my arms, just about the time my foot goes to sleep. Sam says, “Daddy I was so scared. I’m so happy you’re okay. I love you.” Her arms go so tightly around my neck I wish she was at my leg because I think I’m going to pass out. Kathryn comes to my rescue and talks Sam into loosening her grip.
Mom comes over and wraps the three of us in her arms. She says, “JJ, never scare me like that again.”
MC is talking to Uncle George and Grandpa Michael. The Judge and the Coach they relay the story is not only MC listens but most of the family. I think to myself this is going to be an interesting chapter of that book. Especially the way the two are telling it.
The fire engine arrived put out the last of the fire, both vehicles were burning. The explosion was powerful enough that all the bales of hay were utterly destroy and scattered. You couldn’t even tell they were single bale on the road.
By the time Kara’s birthday party starting my hearing had become normal again. The event is starting very well. Kathryn and I danced several times together. When Sam finally came down she looked wonderful in a dress that matched Kathryn’s. I had my two beautiful ladies with me. Kathryn would get one dance, then Sam the next. Occasionally one of my sister-in-laws would ask for a dance and I gladly dance with them too. Joan and MC got a few dances as well. The Coach seems to get a dance in with each of his daughters, his wife and even a couple with his granddaughter.
Matt was there with Karen they seem to monopolize each other’s time. Uncle George and Alyssa spent most of the evening dancing together as well. Although I do notice Uncle George dancing with Joan a few times too.
Kathryn had me dance with Kara a few more times, but Daniel seemed to take up a lot of her time. A little slowly at first but as the evening went on the two were together more and more. I’m hoping this is a really good thing. At least to step in the right direction for Kara, I hated being the impossible object of her affection.
At the end of the evening the Coach had me set off Kara’s car alarm. Then he complains loudly while he was giving a speech about his little girl. Just before the speech that evening I had slipped her keys into her pocket when we danced together. When he pulled her up on stage and insists that she turns off the alarm to her car. The look of confusion on Kara’s face was priceless. The Coach says, “Just reach into your pocket and get your keys out and turn off that damn alarm.”
We had a car on a barge tied to the end of the dock hidden behind a curtain. From inside the boat house no one ever noticed it. I had turned the lights off on the dock. As Kara reached into her pocket her finger found the keys she hadn’t noticed yet. The look of total surprise was on her face as she pulled the keys from her pocket. As soon as she turned off the alarm the curtain fell, spotlights came on, and the doors open revealing her car. Kara jumps into her Dad’s open arms giving him a large kiss.
After she finished kissing her father, she knew I was the one who slipped the keys into her pocket. She jumps into my arms like she did with her father. After she kisses me, there’s almost a slight look of disappointment. She realizes as do I there are nothing more than the warm feelings a brother and sister between us now. She asked how much I ended up giving for the car and I told her that Kathryn and I put up ten thousand dollars and your parents did the rest.
She hugs Kathryn and gives Kathryn a kiss on the cheek. She whispers something into Kathryn’s ear and they both smiled at each other.
When Kara finds Daniel he seems a little jealous until she pulls him into a long passionate kiss. The two smile at each other after they break.
I talked to Michael about Daniel. The coach had glowing words about the young man. I told him that Daniel was probably interested in Kara. That brought a smile to the coach’s face. She had a puppy love for him back before I came into her life. Daniel had left for college four years ago when I showed up that summer. Daniel had spent a lot of time at the coach’s house, and Kara always had a crush on him since she was ten years old. Daniel and Michael Junior were best friends even with Michael being a year younger than him.
By the time some interesting facts emerge about Lester’s lawyer. His lawyer was a former convict who got the evidence overturned in his conviction, with it expunged from his records he was able to take the bar exam and become a lawyer. Lester at one point was a cellmate. He probably was able to testify against him if he went to jail.
We found out also that Nicole had taken Sam’s inheritance, two life insurance policies from her parents that paid to trust for her, plus the estate her grandmother left. Fortunately the trust lawyers limited the amount that can be withdrawn a year. Sam’s Aunt Nicole and Lester were only able to take a hundred thousand from Sam’s trust.
We find the remains of three assault rifles, four pistols and a battering ram along with thirty-two lug nuts. Of the four, Lester was the hardest to identify very little of his body remained. A DNA test was required to obtain a positive identification. The driver turned out to be his lawyer.
We had to replace the mailboxes. The fence needed some work to repair the damage from the explosion. The road was the worst mainly due to the fire. Now it has several potholes that will require patching. Only the four criminals were victim to their own actions. Hope fully life will begin to become more normal again.
Tomorrow we’re off to the airport, Alyssa needs to be in California in two days. Her court date is in the afternoon on Friday. We’ll fly them out on Wednesday, the meet with the lawyers Thursday to go over everything on the case. Then they would be in court this Friday. Alyssa decide stay a couple days so she can handle everything else, visit a few friends and handle any loose ends that still need to be taken care of. Mom will be staying with Alyssa and Johnny until they return. In about a week to ten days whatever Alyssa needs to conclude her life in California.
It’s still too early to know for absolutely sure, but I tell Sam that Lester is dead. We’ll know for sure in a day or two. There wasn’t much left of him, he was at the center of the blast and fire. They did find enough of his remains to ensure he didn’t just lose an arm or something. They found his head and torso pretty well burnt to a crisp.
Sam slept peacefully that night, but I missed her. Kathryn did as well. The first thing we did was to go to Sam’s room in the morning. Kathryn kissed Sam awake, when Sam was awake she throws her arms around Kathryn and says, “Good morning Mommy I slept good.”
I ask, “Any nightmare Sam?”
Sam giggles and says, “Daddy I didn’t have any nightmares. I had lots of good dreams.”