I pace back and forth in the hotel room. I’m still in shock and disbelief.
“Baby, please calm down. Do you want me to make you a drink?” Aiden offers.
I feel my eyes bug out of my head, “No, how are you so calm? This is fucked up, like unbelievable. I don’t… I still don’t understand what is going on with my life!”
He stands from the dining table in our room and walks over and picks me up under my arms. I wrap myself around him and lay my head down on his shoulder. “What has happened to my life Aiden, my children, my boys, they are never going to come back from this, this is, this is—“
“Shh, don’t go there, baby, one step at a time. We will all be changed, yes, but we will go on living and making happy memories. Focus on baby Anna coming in two months, focus on the positive.”
He chuckles and lays us down on the bed with me on top. I hold the blond curl of hair that has become loose from his wax away from his smiling eyes. “Why are you laughing?” Thank God for Aiden, I thank God every day I found him.
“Because, baby,” he arranges me on his chest and gets us comfortable in our spot, “you’ve turned me into a positive thinker.” He sighs. “When that fucker mugged you, I was out of my mind with rage. Violet pissed me off almost as much as the situation that night.”
He squeezes me, “You pissed me off too. All of your focus was on the good. The good neighbor, everybody, was unharmed. You were both convinced that good would always win. I wanted you to be more cautious, scared, live your life looking over your shoulder, waiting for the bad in people to grab you. Make you more aware that good sometimes didn’t always come out on top. I was wrong to feel that way. I’ve watched you live like that now, and it’s all wrong, baby. I’m ready to live life like you. Good will always win, there is good all around us. I need you through all of this too, baby. I need you to remember that, hold on to it, and help me to remember when my old negative, grumpy self tries to reappear. This is almost over, good won, we won, and I promise, baby, I promise that we will be all right. The boys are men, and they will be all right, we’ll make sure of it. Try to get some sleep, tomorrow is coming, and we need to get some rest.”
I have no idea how, but I smile into his chest. Feeling warm and safe, I drift into a deep sleep.
I walk out of the bathroom after my shower and find Aiden pacing and speaking on the phone. “You have them both in custody?”
I freeze. Jake and Amanda have both been arrested? I wrap my robe around myself and sit on the bed. Aiden stares at me as he listens on the phone. His green eyes scan my face, and I know I look close to passing out because I am.
“I understand.” He pauses, listening. “No, she will not speak to him, ever!”
I startle, Aiden barked that down the phone line. I know he’s talking about Jake. I can’t believe Jake has gotten us all into this. I almost lost my life because of his wrong decisions. “I’ll let her know. Thanks, Williams.”
He throws the phone on the table and comes over to the bed where I’m sitting. “They arrested Amanda last night for a murder-for-hire plot. She confessed once she was shown all the evidence collected from Chris White's car. After questioning Jake all night, they had to let him go. They don’t believe he had anything to do with this plot, but he’s still under investigation. All five of the kids have been calling daily to check on the process of the case. Detective Williams has spoken to all of them, informed them there has been an arrest. You can turn your phone back on now, sweetheart. Call the kids, and let’s go home. Let’s get everyone home and figure out a way forward. Are you with me, baby?”
I nod my head, “I’m with you, Aiden.”