Chapter 27, Part 1
Cassie was about ninety percent sure the swinging glass door would have to be replaced after Caleb and Abby blew through it to greet them. Caleb grabbed Mariah in a bear hug. She held it for a few seconds before wriggling free to avoid being smothered. Abby shoved Caleb aside and latched onto Mariah’s waist.
Cassie stifled a sniff as she watched Mariah reunite with the rest of their adopted family. She followed behind as Caleb and Abby dragged Mariah into the building to show her around their new home.
Declan unzipped his jacket as he walked up.
“Not bad out there,” he said.
“I guess my teacher wasn’t terrible,” she replied, a light grin teasing her features. He rolled his eyes and nudged her shoulder in an almost brotherly gesture before continuing on into the building.
Cassie would have followed but she saw Luke accompanying the medics that carried a stretcher. She caught a glimpse of bright hair and suppressed a shudder. She’d had a few nightmares about those flickering eyes and now they were bringing him into their home.
“Captain Santos will take of him if he turns out different than Mariah says.” Sam appeared at her shoulder, following the medics’ path into the building. Cassie nodded, grasping at the cross that hung beneath her uniform jacket. “Still can’t quite believe we got her back.”
“I know,” Cassie agreed, grateful for the subject change. “I’m sure they’re already into the ice cream. We should get in there.”
Sam grinned and held the door for her as they headed for the kitchens.
Cassie was correct and ice cream was already being consumed. Mariah sat cross legged on the table and had at least two flavors on one spoon, trying to eat and follow everything the others were telling her. Josh had apparently already been introduced and it appeared he had given up on trying to correct Caleb’s version of events. Sam and Cassie joined them and Mariah gave her side of the story.
The ice cream was long gone when she was done. Abby leaned over to hug Mariah again. Mariah straightened and took a deep breath.
“So what’s for dinner?” she asked.
“Pizza?” Caleb suggested without a second’s hesitation.
“I’m okay with that,” Mariah said through the chuckles.
“You’re making it, buddy,” Cassie said.
“I’ll help,” Mariah said. “But first, is there a shower around here?”
“Yeah, Abby and I will show you,” Cassie said. The girls left and headed upstairs.
“You can stay in our room,” Abby said.
Cassie laughed. “There’s plenty of room. We could each have our own room if we wanted.”
“Maybe we can have a slumber party tonight?” Mariah suggested. Cassie caught the look Mariah sent her over Abby’s head. They could work on getting Mariah a room later.
Hey, guys! Sorry for the super short post today and for the lack of posts for the last two weeks. I’ve been out of town and then family has been in for Thanksgiving so I was kind of doing good to get this much done. 🙂 Anyway, hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!!