Eilea and the kids were waiting just inside the door when Paul arrived.  Although he was pale and looked more exhausted than anyone should ever look, he was a sight for sore eyes.  Christina walked to him first and held out her arms, “Hey you!  You look a little worse for wear but there’s a sparkle in them there eyes still!”  Paul hugged her briefly, “Takes more than a knock on this old hard head of mine to knock the twinkle out.”

Andrew stepped forward and held out a fist and they stood doing the manly bumped fist thing which had Eilea smirking.   “Glad you’re alright, Paul.  Sorry he got to you though.”

Gently touching the lump on the back of his head Paul agreed, “Yeah, I could have done without the goose egg that’s for sure.”

Eilea opened her arms wide and Paul walked into them and pulled her in tight.  “Hi beautiful.  How’d you sleep?”

“Ok I guess, it could have been longer and better, but Im sure I slept better than you.”

“It was a long night mostly because I wanted to get back here to you!”  He hugged her tight and then glanced at the kids, “All of you!”

They settled into the living room and the kids decided they’d make pancake breakfast for everyone and headed off to the kitchen.  Eilea and Paul snuggled on the chesterfield.  “God I’m so sorry, Paul!”

“No need, Eilea.  He would have gotten around to me sooner or later, rather surprised I wasn’t his first target but I figure the opportunity presented itself and he took it, which means we’re on high alert from now on!  I’m just very unhappy I didn’t get a look at him beforehand, mind you then he’d be the one sporting the bruises and cracked skull, not me!”

“I’m completely lost you know. I want this over with, I want him charged in behind bars so he can’t hurt any of us anymore.  It’s my first thought when I wake up and my last thought before I go to bed,” Eilea admitted fervently.

“What?”  Paul feigned a shocked look, “I thought I was a little more important to you than that and ranked a little higher on the scale of … well … I  know where I stand now then, hey?”  He winked.

Eilea held on hard, “You fishing there, Paul?”


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