ENDS

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9- Go

Iris's p.o.v.

Nine pm.

It's almost a whole day since Louisa went missing.

A whole day is more than enough to do a lot of things to a little person.

Trust me, I do not want to think of the possibilities.

We had been designated to various rooms shortly before dinner, for everyone to finally get some rest after eating.

I couldn't even eat a thing at the dining table, so I left them all there and headed for my room.

Uncle Tucker and his wife were to follow Aunt Laurel home right after dinner. And yeah I was right, she did come with her husband and her son Cody.

At least Cody was another light to my day, but his age grade reminded me too much of Louisa so I had to cut our little conversations short.

As to why Aunt Laurel had a child as young as Cody. Mrs Laurel had been in two marriages before her current husband but all marriages crashed due to her inability to give birth. Till she met Kennedy who loved her for who she was and had no issues with her barrenness.

So to help fill the void, they adopted a new born baby five years ago who we presently know as Cody.

So, yeah. That's the story.

Everything seems to be choking and pressing down on my lungs. Not that the environment was too packed up or hot.

But simply because, I'm in no mood to be around people who are happy. I needed to leave.

Now I was alone in a room I was supposed to share with Megan but she hadn't come up yet.

So I just sat quietly, thinking of things that I could have done to prevent this entire situation.

Clearly most of my thoughts were filled with had I known questions.

Like, had I known, I would have never left Louie alone in the bedroom. But then no one would discover the bomb.

Or, had I known, I would have gotten home a little earlier. But that would mean meeting Hunter a lot earlier than I wanted.

Or had I known, I would have never attended the wedding. But Louisa was the flower girl, so I couldn't ditch. Everyone would suspect something's up.

Heck, had I known, I would never have accepted Mr McConnell's transfer. I would never have accepted his employment. God!!

I was too deep in my thoughts that I hadn't realized someone had walked into the room and provided me company till she took a seat beside me on the bed.

" Jules. Finally nice to put a face to such lovely reputation. To be honest, pictures didn't do you much justice"

Their Aunt Laurel said as she just stared me in the face like she was trying to read my soul.

Uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.

" I know this is really hard for you" she continues, then places a hand on my shoulder.

Her words were like a question-statement. It was a statement that required an answer.

So I nodded and unwantingly, tears began leaking from my eyes. Her expressions suddenly changes from questioning to one of utmost compassion, quickly as she pulled me into a hug.

I didn't fight it, I needed it. I needed someone to hold me tonight or I'd do things I'll regret.

" It's okay baby, she's gonna be okay. I know heavens are gonna keep her safe from any harm"

" I hope so" I said in between sobs.

We maintained the position for a while, with me crying and aunt Laurel holding me tight as her fingers brushed through my hair.

The entire room was silent, the only sounds you could hear were the crickets somewhere in the corners of the room and the tick tocking of the clock on the nearest wall. I'm pretty sure it's been up to ten minutes.

" Thank you so much Mrs Laurel, I can't explain how much I needed that" I said as i pulled away, wiped my streaked faced and drew in air with my nose.

" I know sweetheart. It's not everyday a mother loses her child to kidnappers" she replied with a sad smile that I had no problem reciprocating.

I glanced over to the clock and the time read a few minutes to ten pm.

" I'm so sorry for keeping you here so late. Oh my God you need to get home" on reflex I stood up and began searching for anything she may have carried along into the room whilst she came looking for me.

It's not safe for a McConnell family member to be driving out this late.

But while I was panicking, she began laughing.

" It's okay Jules. We'll be fine" she said with a smile, still seated.

" But it's late"

" I know"

A little silence and she starts to read my face again as she did before. I had to speak to stop my nerves from building.

" I'm sorry for keeping you here so late" I really meant it, if I hadn't been a cry baby she may have gotten home by now.

" If you think I'm gonna regret consoling you then you're wrong. I can remain here till three am if I feel you need it and you can't chase me away"

In a strange way, I felt the depth of her words. She meant it. But why would she mean it? We're just meeting for the first time.

" Thank you so much. But why?" I had to ask? I mean.. shouldn't I?

" Because I know you munchkin, or heard of you rather. And from what I've heard, you're a special lady who deserves it"

In this sad hour, that statement didn't fail to put a smile on my face.

"Plus" she continues as she joins me to stand " you're the mother to my only grand niece. What other answers do you need?" And she gave a shrug that was utterly graceful for her age.

" Thank you." I responded with a smile but that doesn't mean my suspicions are numbed. "How did you hear about me?" I continued.

With a forming smile, she patted on my left shoulder " let's just say, Brooks and I are the closest siblings" she added a wink and began heading for the door.

" Goodnight sweet Jules, and don't forget to take a shower. All that crying can really wear you out, have your bath so you'd sleep perfectly and don't forget to eat something" were her last words as she walked out and shut the door.

I didn't let her know that I didn't want to have a perfect sleep. At least not with Louisa missing.

But I let it go.

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