Great news…I had the best writing day of 2016 yesterday. 5820 words and a whole chapter in Rings of Fire. Only one more chapter to go, folks. Oh, and I have figured out what the next story in the Apocalypse series is going to be…Katia Alexandroff and Lieutenant Zane Rogers in Cataclysmic Chemistry. But that won’t be for a few months yet…
As Lauren came up to the coral she saw Katie sitting on a blanket while Jill and Simon’s children played nearby. The younger woman seemed to be fighting back tears. Or perhaps it was the sun? But Lauren could not just walk past without checking on her, she had been such a blessing.
“Everything okay, Katie?” Lauren smiled as she shielded her eyes and looked up at her. There were definitely trails of tears running down her cheeks. Lauren did not wait for a reply, simply taking a seat next to her on the blanket and waiting as she collected her thoughts for a moment.
“What, did you miss Elise so much that you had to go and borrow other kids?” she tried teasing to lighten the mood, but it only seemed to make things worse from the pained look on her friend’s face. “Want to talk about it?”
Katie shook her head, “No, not really. But I have to anyway.”
They sat in silence for a couple of moments as the children ran and played a game of tag in the open field. Lauren decided to wait the woman out. She understood how difficult it could be to find the right words sometimes. She had been mulling over the ones she would use with Brent this night for hours. Maybe for seven years…at least in her fantasies.
“I need to go with you tomorrow,” Katie finally broke the silence.
Lauren turned to her, “What, Katie? What do you mean ‘go with me’? To Washington?”
Katie nodded, staring off after the children.
She was not certain what to say. Katie was more friend than employee and while she would worry more about leaving Elise here with just Grandmam, Megan and Brent, the look on the woman’s face told her this was important. She wanted to demand an explanation, but sometimes it was important just to trust people. Or so it seemed she was learning. Question was…was it too late? She certainly hoped not.
But that was another matter. “All right then. Pack and be ready. Brent says that the plane from Morocco as well as Jason’s will be ready by noon tomorrow. One will fly east to DC and the other back west to California. Brent is hoping his brother will have made it to the extraction zone by then,” she explained.
Katie nodded as she wiped tears from her eyes with the back of her hand, “You aren’t going to ask me why?”
“No, if you want to tell me, you will. But you have always been more than just Elise’s carer. I like to think you are my friend. Maybe even the little sister I never had. Whatever your reason, if it upsets you this much, then I will do whatever I can to help. No questions asked,” she reached over and squeezed Katie’s hand on the quilt.
Her eyes swam with tears as she looked up and whispered, “I need to go back there to try and find my children. Before it’s too late.”
…And yes, this does mean that as soon as I am done…back to Ægir’s Wife…