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In The Eyes of The Mother
By Megs


----Montgomery Manner----
---Paris, France---
----March 19, 2030---

I wonder sometimes how I ended up here. How my life has brought me here.

My name is Bianca Christine Montgomery.

I am the daughter of Erica Kane and Travis Montgomery.

The sister of Kendall Hart-Spencer.

I am the mother of Miranda Mona Montgomery, Gabrielle Amelia Williams-Montgomery and Leonardo Frances Stone.

Last but certainly not least I am the lover of one Mary Margaret (Maggie) Stone.

Today is my daughter Miranda's twenty-sixth birthday and for the first time in years my entire family is here to celebrate it with her. We already finished dinner and enjoyed the birthday cake. Everyone is still milling around with glasses of wine, bottles of beer, or cups of coffee or tea.

This moment is one that I wouldn't give up for the world. People might think it strange of me to be enjoying such a simple moment so deeply, but then they don't know the history of my family.

The family that I am watching from my position against the doorframe, looking in on them littered around the living room laughing and smiling.

It has taken us a long time to get here and I am not about to miss a moment of it. I will not take one moment of it for granted.

It has been nearly five months since my baby girl; Gabrielle Montgomery-Williams celebrated her 21st birthday alone. Now, never again will she spend a birthday alone. Not now that she has made amends with me, Maggie, and her sister.

It took her a long while to take her second step in reconciliation but when she did she was not disappointed. I knew she wouldn't be. I know it was her fear of Miranda's rejection that kept her from reaching out to her older sister. It was an unwarranted fear and I am ever so grateful that she now knows that. That my two baby girls are talking and that my family is once again whole and happy.

I will be forever grateful to my sister for sending Ian three bottles of French wine that turned out to be for Gabrielle. I fear often, had Kendall refused Ian the bottles, if Ian hadn't asked his mother to send him the wine, if Gabrielle didn't miss drinking a glass of wine during dinner that she would have never taken her first step back towards me. Towards the family she left behind three years before in a rush of insults and despair after returning home from her mother's funeral.

I tried for years to help Gabrielle understand that Reese's departure from our daily lives was not because of her, or Miranda, or even me. Though I guess I didn't convince her enough of that last fact.

I guess I couldn't convince her of something I knew wasn't true.

Reese left me and our family long before I kicked her out of the house.

The moment Reese started her affair with Zach and decided to spend holidays, Miranda's, my birthday and her own in the United States with him over us was when the family Gabrielle was clinging to ceased to exist though the ghost of it remained alive for years to come.

I can't blame her, my little Bells, she had no idea of the heartache Reese caused within me. She had no idea how many nights I spent wrapped up in Maggie's arms crying over my dissolving marriage.

Not once did Maggie refuse me entrance into her office, or not come to me while she was not at work. At least…after a time she did not refuse me entry.

It wasn't planned. That is, having Maggie back in my life wasn't planned.

I admit that I often thought about how she was doing, what field of medicine she would have gone into, where she had taken her residency and if she was still in Paris. I never had the courage to try and contact her. Even before Reese, with and while I was with Reese, I couldn't though I sometimes craved the comfort she could offer me and missed how she made me laugh.

Still, I never tried to contact her or find her. I just went on with my life, deciding she was a part of my past and always going to be the best friend I ever had.

My meeting and reestablished relationship with Maggie started after I ran into her…literally ran into her…at a local market place. Reese left me behind to be with Zach and I left my home while my children were at school, practice, or a friend's home and ran into Maggie.

My car was about to be ticketed because the time was out in my meter. I ran to try and put the money in, searching wildly through my purse for change unaware of the woman that stepped into my path. I knocked fully into the woman and ended up falling on top of her.

I heard the air leave her lungs in a rush at the force of my body pushing her against the cobblestone ground. When I looked up to apologize I was shocked to see familiar shocked and pained brown eyes looking up into my own.

"Maggie…" I whispered and it took me almost an entire minute to realize that she couldn't answer or say anything because I was still lying on top of her.

Trying to forgo getting a ticket quickly left my mind when I rolled off of her, apologizing profusely as I did so afraid that she'd catch the flush across my skin. No matter the place or how much time had passed lying above Maggie, pressed against her so fully even fully clothed was exhilarating.

That, that should have been my first clue that things between Maggie and I were not going to remain as platonic as I convinced myself they could be.

Then again, I did most of the convincing.

Maggie had tried to back away. Leave me alone in my shock and surprise. I begged her to have coffee with me, talk to me.

I think it was the tears that filled my eyes at the thought of losing her after just finding her that made Maggie sit down.

We talked.

For hours.

I called Miranda and let her know that I would be home late and made sure that Marc—Gabrielle's manny—was aware that I would be home late as well. I did not worry, knowing that Marc would take care of my girls.

All the while I sat and laughed and smiled more than I could remember doing in years as I talked with Maggie.

She told me how she was, obviously, still in Paris and living with her girlfriend. They were engaged.

It hurt to see Maggie's obvious happiness with a woman that was not me. I know that I said some rather harsh things to Maggie after she informed me of her engagement and Maggie only laughed at me, "Nice to see you again Ms. Mini Kane," put money down for our coffees and wished me a farewell.

I don't know why I did it but I grabbed her and stopped her from leaving.

That's not true.

I knew why I stopped her.

I stopped her because I had missed talking to her.

I missed smiling and laughing at the stupidest of things and god help me I missed how I felt while with her.

But I was still married, even if my wife was halfway across the world most likely enjoying the talents of my brother-in-law. At the time I didn't know that Reese was sleeping with Zach, but later on I wondered why I didn't.

It was three years later, when Miranda was seventeen and Gabrielle thirteen that I found out Reese had been sleeping with Zach for nearly nine years. Her trips to the States always ended with a rendezvous with him.

It makes me sick to think about it.

The rare holidays full of tension and unease as we sat at the same table with Zach and Kendall—before the divorce—and how my wife was sleeping with my sister's husband behind both of our backs.

If Mom had been around for that debacle, Reese and Zach would be nothing more than forgotten memories and missing posters on street corners.

The day I met Maggie for the first time in nearly twelve years I forced myself to concede and I apologized to Maggie. We continued our discussion, with me promising to do my best to stem off my inner Kane.

She agreed.

It was only due to the manager of the café we sat in, informing us that he was closing up now—all the other tables were cleaned with the chairs up on the table—that we left. We left a large tip for him in thanks.

It was when I stood before my car and she moved to walk away, having already informed me that she lived only a few blocks away that I asked her for her number.

"Why don't we just end it here Bianca?" She'd asked me, obviously happy to end our entire relationship on this positive note.

I didn't blame her. I couldn't, not knowing myself the way I did, not knowing who I had been and become. She wanted to cut her losses, not risk seeing me again.

The problem was that I simply couldn't not see her again.

"Email?" Her bitter laughter left my insides cringing.

"Why?" She asked, "Why ruin it Bianca? Why can't we just leave it here? It was wonderful seeing you again. But we both have lives, have people to go home to…" Except I didn't not the way Maggie thought. Reese wasn't home and although I had Miranda and Gabrielle to go home to, I wanted to know I'd see Maggie again before I returned to them.

My silence was enough for Maggie. She simply turned with a sad smile and small wave and left.

"I miss you, Maggie." I whispered to her retreating back.

I figured that would be the last time I saw her, so I watched her until I couldn't see her anymore, picked up the ticket off my car window, and got in my car and drove home to my children.

After that, life didn't allow for me to think about Maggie much. I was working on saving my marriage and saving the relationship between my daughters.

Miranda was fourteen and Gabrielle ten. They did nothing but fight.

I don't think it was either of their faults that they didn't get along. They were very different children. Where Miranda was outgoing and open Bells was reserved and closed. Though I did my best to try and bridge the gap between them.

I tried to reassure Miranda that she could talk to Gabrielle but their relationship remained on the rocks, although there were always days, weeks, and sometimes if I was lucky there were months where they were joined at the hip.

Those became fewer and far in between as they both continued to grow up into two very different people.

Somehow, it didn't help when I put my best efforts in trying to save my children's relationship. Reese believed I didn't care enough about our relationship. I shake my head even at the thought. Was it wrong of me to be interested in my children's relationship more than the woman who was rarely home with our children and me?

Still, I tried to reassure Reese that I was more than interested in saving our marriage and if she stayed home from her sporadic trips to the States, or invited me and the girls to go along, I'd actually believe she cared about working on our relationship too.

That…I sigh.

Well, needless to say, didn't help.

But at the time I didn't care. I was still unaware of her relationship with Zach but feared she was having an affair while in the States. Just not with him.

It was during an outing with Miranda that she and I ran into Maggie. Miranda, I don't know how, knew who she was almost immediately. I wonder still how. I had hidden almost all evidence of Maggie from her since she was three years old.

So, nearly two years to the day that I had last seen Maggie and there I stood in the middle of a crowded street with my fifteen year old daughter looking out across the street at someone. It wasn't until she whispered, "Mags…?" That I turned and followed her line of sight and saw her.

There was Maggie sitting at a bench by the park smiling as she talked with a man with graying hair both in a lab coats.

They were both eating sandwiches and as I looked around I realized that there was a local hospital only four blocks from where we stood and it was where Maggie worked. I remember her telling me she had taken dual specialties. One in pediatrics and the other in cardiology.

This time, I didn't run into her or even attempt to go over to her. I was stock still as my daughter looked at me with millions of questions filtering into her mind through her eyes at me.

"Mom…?" It was her desperation for answers that broke my will to leave Maggie alone. "Can I…can I say hi?" She asked her eyes shining as she looked across the street at Maggie and back up at me.

What could I say to that?

"Alright…" I was surprised when she took my hand in hers immediately and walked by my side.

It was like she was six years old again and knew better than to cross the street without holding my hand.

I could hardly breathe when we got closer to the two seated doctors. I couldn't keep my eyes off of Maggie's rounded stomach and the glow that was about her.

Maggie was pregnant. Pregnant! She was shocked to see Miranda and me standing in front of her. I know it was more the fact that I stood with Miranda by my side that shocked her. She had to know that we'd run into each other again at some point. Paris was big but it wasn't that big.

She straightened up on the bench and I did my best not to stare or make any noise at all.

"Bianca…" Maggie greeted her back stiffening as her eyes fell to Miranda, her eyes tearing as she took several moments to take in how tall and grown up Miranda was as she stood by my side—still holding my hand. "Mir…Miranda." It took her twice to say her name and I could see the love Maggie still held for my daughter simmering in her eyes.

"Hello…" Miranda was scared and timid as she said hello to Maggie. I imagined she was almost afraid that if she spoke too loud that Maggie would disappear and all of her questions would remain unanswered.

"I…Miranda wanted to say hello." I offered as an uncomfortable silence fell over us and the older doctor by Maggie's side shifted the most in the tension between us.

He obviously had no idea what was going on, or I assume he didn't. He didn't stay very long. Only long enough to have Maggie reassure him thrice that she was alright with Miranda and I before he departed.

"You did?" Maggie was surprised as she looked from my eyes to Miranda, who seemed to meld into my side as she held onto my hand and forearm, her eyes shifting from the ground to the seated doctor.

"Yes, I…I…" Miranda stumbled and looked up to me for help.

"She has some questions for you." I offered and Miranda smiled softly in thanks.

Even if that wasn't what she had in mind to say, that's what I knew she wanted the most. Answers as to why she recognized this woman, why she remembered bits and pieces about her but couldn't place her in any more than a few of her memories.

"You…you used to play with me when I was…was really little ra-right?"

It took nearly an hour for Miranda to satisfy her curiosity.

I left the two alone while they talked.

I stayed in the park. I just sat by a tree down the path from them, always keeping them in my sight.

It was only after Maggie hugged Miranda to her and then left that I stood up and walked over to my daughter. She was quiet and had tears in her eyes.

I wondered what Maggie told her.

It wasn't until much later in my relationship with Maggie that I found out Maggie had been honest with Miranda. She told Miranda that she had made a mistake while she was with me and that she loved me and Miranda very much but her mistake was too big for me to forgive. For us to be the family Miranda began to remember us being—somehow my little girl began remember more and more about our life before Reese with Maggie.

I still wonder how, because I know I didn't share any of them and Maggie admits that she hadn't begun to share any until after she'd been back in our lives for nearly five months. Still, Miranda remembered, sometimes far more than I remembered. I didn't question it though. Miranda had spent nearly a full year in Maggie's care during the morning and early afternoon while I worked when we first arrived in Paris. I know that those memories are why Miranda could easily accept Maggie into our lives again, even while knowing the pain she had caused. I also like to think that my little Mimo knew how happy Maggie made me. Even if Gabrielle couldn't or wouldn't see it.

Still, I didn't doubt that locked away in Miranda's mind were thousands of memories with Maggie. I was just shocked that a lot of them started to come back to her.

My big girl always did have a fantastic memory.

It was that evening, after we saw Maggie in the park, during dinner that Miranda demanded her baby book. In front of Reese.

It wasn't the most tactful thing in the world to do but Miranda didn't want Maggie to be hidden anymore and I…well I couldn't help but feel very proud of my daughter for that. As she was doing something that I hadn't been able to do.

So, Reese threw a fit but I gave Miranda her baby book. The one with all the pictures of Maggie and I with her, not the one that I had made after Maggie was no longer a part of our lives and I did my best to erase from Miranda's memory the woman that loved her as her own.

I know, I know. It wasn't right of me, but I couldn't handle Miranda asking for Maggie every night to read her a bedtime story or for Maggie's pancakes on Sundays. So I erased her. I did what I thought was best for her. For me.

I didn't talk about her and soon enough Miranda stopped asking and then Reese was in our lives and I hardly thought about Maggie at all. At first.

It was a month later that I saw Maggie, this time outside my front door, again. She stood behind a baby carriage and wanted to talk.

Maggie's wife had left her. She decided eight months into the pregnancy that she didn't want the responsibility of a child and left. Maggie hadn't seen or heard from her in two months and Maggie needed someone, needed me, to help her through it.

I did and I secretly plotted Marg's death for the pain she had put Maggie threw and for not wanting to be a part of the life of Maggie's beautiful little boy, Leo.

Reese nearly exploded when she came home to find Maggie wrapped up in my arms as we danced across from us watching Miranda sat holding a snoozing Leo. In the end, Reese didn't get what she wanted and she made a point of hissing about it whenever she could. I didn't care. I had Maggie back in my life and I wasn't about to let her go. Not when she needed me. Not when I needed her.

I think Reese understood how thrilled and delighted I was that Maggie had done what I couldn't. Maggie had come looking for me and Reese could fuss about it all she wanted but I hadn't been the one to go looking for Maggie and I wasn't going to throw away a second chance to have her friendship.

Maggie was the one to chase after me. I wondered when I would be able to return the favor.

Trust me when I say that I have.

Several times.

Especially in the three years that I was close with Maggie while still married to Reese. My friendship with Maggie helped me more than anything through the hardest years of my marriage. That is after I found out Reese was having an affair while traveling to the States. She swore it was over though. That it was a mistake. That she wanted to make things work with me and our family, our children.

I let her try.

It hurt Maggie that I tried to stick my relationship with Reese out after I found out she cheated and I hadn't when Maggie begged me to all those years ago.

In fact Maggie stopped talking to me for nearly three months because of it. She said it was because Reese began to question my fidelity because of Maggie's place in my life.

I knew better.

Maggie was devastated and felt betrayed that I could forgive Reese but not her.

I myself wondered about that while lying in bed at night. I don't anymore because I know why there was a difference between Reese and Maggie. It hurt when Reese cheated on me but it nearly broke me when Maggie cheated on me.

I know now it is because I trusted Maggie enough with all of myself and haven't been able to place that trust in anyone else since. Reese only knew a shell of the person I am. That is not her fault. That is mine and maybe that is why she ran to Zach. Zach shared every part of himself with her while I couldn't. He was open and loving and trusted her.

Forgiving Reese and trying to hold my family together, that was the first time I had to run after Maggie.

I wasn't about to let Maggie get away from me. Not when I was in need of her friendship, of her smile, of her ability to make me laugh and smile or her easy ability to make me feel beautiful and desired even where my own wife could not.

So Maggie stayed.

Reese stayed.

Only one of them would stay through it all.

It wasn't my wife.

It was my best friend.

I remember having to tell my daughters that I was divorcing their mother.

Miranda accepted it with a smile and an 'about time', she was eighteen and had known since she was fifteen that Reese had been unfaithful. I did not tell Miranda. Spike told her. The two of them had gotten very close during the summers that Kendall spent in France. He found out from Ryan that Zach had cheated on Kendall with Reese and told Miranda, who did not tell Gabrielle.

I was grateful that she had learned some form of tact from me and didn't tell Gabrielle. Though, sometimes now I wish she had.

Gabrielle did not take it well. She was fourteen and I never told her of Reese's infidelity. She blamed me. So when Reese packed her bags and left Gabrielle was the only one to beg her to stay. I'm not afraid to admit that I know Reese enjoyed knowing that Gabrielle loved and trusted her more than Gabrielle trusted me.

I know that it was during Reese's heart to heart with Gabrielle as she left the house that the bitch drove the spike into my crumbling relationship with Gabrielle.

Whatever it was that Reese told Gabrielle as she packed her bags and left, broke my relationship with Gabrielle for nearly six years.

For that I will always despise my ex-wife, may she rest in pieces!

Gabrielle hated me for ruining her family.

I hadn't the heart to tell her that it wasn't all my doing. That I wasn't the only one to blame…that I couldn't rightly move forward with Reese while I was so madly in love with Maggie.

I felt guilt for being the one to end our marriage but when Reese attempted to smear my name in the papers as the cheater I felt nothing but anger. My relationship with Maggie, up until the divorce, was nothing but platonic.

Even if I was aware that I was still in love with Maggie, I never cheated on Reese—not physically!

Maggie wouldn't let me.

Oh, how I loathed Maggie for stopping me. For being the rational one, for keeping me from giving Reese exactly what she wanted. I hated her for it. I hated Maggie for being the moral one between us.

I cringe as I remember how I taunted her for being a cheater but apparently she'd only cheat on me not with me.

God I was messed up during that time, thank god for Maggie's patience with me. I couldn't possibly bear not having her and Leo in my life. Not now.

She knew. She knew what I needed and she was strong enough to make sure I knew what I needed as well. I needed to remain faithful, she knew it would break me if I wasn't.

So…I was.

I loved her far more than I could hate her. She was protecting me. She's always protects me.

Anyhow, with the help of Kendall, I won everything in the divorce. Reese didn't get a dime and I put her behind me and moved on with my life.

I stopped working late. I came home earlier and spent more time with my daughters. I helped Miranda pick out colleges and helped her fill out applications while I helped Gabrielle prepare for her SAT's.

Maggie started to come over with Leo much more. They stayed for dinner and often stayed the night over the weekends.

Gabrielle learned to despise Maggie but easily loved and adored Leo.

Gabrielle hated Maggie for taking Reese's spot.

I hated Reese for having had that spot for so long.

Reese stopped talking to me a year after the divorce. She didn't talk to Miranda and rarely spoke to Gabrielle.

On Gabrielle's sixteenth birthday I tried to contact her to tell her about the large party we were having for her. She never got back to me. Though, Reese did send Gabrielle a birthday card, a check inside it along with a sorry note for being unable to spend her birthday with her. The witch!

I know that in the letter I was blamed for not inviting her. I never told her that Reese choose not to come. I couldn't hurt her like that. So I played the bad guy.

Maggie told me not to. She told me it would backfire on me. I thought she just wanted to stick it to Reese, I should have known better.

I wish I had listened to her.

The day that I ended up telling Gabrielle how little Reese truly cared for her, how she never came to any of her birthdays after the divorce—though she was invited to each and every one of them!—was the afternoon of Reese's funeral.

I don't know why I did it.

I guess it was because of all the hurtful things Gabrielle was saying about me, about Miranda, about Maggie.

I couldn't take it.

I had listened to her hateful words about the only people that truly cared about her for years. Years! While she defended Reese, proclaimed Reese free of almost all her sins against us, showed Reese with praise and reverence.

I snapped.

I blew my top really.

I feel arms snake around my waist and smile as Maggie rests her head on my shoulder. She kisses my neck and I grip the stem of my wineglass tightly, not tight enough to brake it mind you, but tightly as I bite the inside of my lips to keep from making a sound.

Maggie smirks at me and forgoes trying to make me moan aloud and bring the attention of the room to us.

"Look at those three…" She instructs and I look back into the living room and I smile. My eyes take in the scene of my two daughters pinning and tickling their little brother. I can't help but laugh as Leo calls for help between his laughter.

I wonder what Maggie thought of me in that moment as I stood before my grieving child screaming at her all the atrocious things her 'dear beloved mother' did to us.

I've never asked, but I think Maggie knows when I think about it because she just offers me a small smile and pats my hand. It's enough. It's always enough.

That afternoon we screamed and yelled and then…then she ran out and I didn't hear from her for two years.

The last two years have been both hell and heaven.

Hell because my daughter was half a world away from me becoming a woman I knew she would grow to despise.

I tried, very often, to reach out to her. To apologize. To ask her to forgive me for everything, but she never listened. At least, Kendall told me from Ian that my baby always deleted each of my messages. Most of the time never even listening to them.

It hurt me. It hurt me so.

But beyond my baby girl's resistance and estrangement from me and her family, my life was good. Miranda finished college in that time and went on to med school to both mine and Maggie's delight.

Maggie…when Miranda told Maggie that she was going to be a doctor Maggie nearly fainted and did her best to hide her tears, she failed at hiding her tears. She remained conscious though, so I do give her a great deal of credit.

Miranda didn't look forward to leaving though. Miranda loved having Maggie and Leo around, loved the idea of Maggie, Leo, her and I becoming a family.

I loved seeing Miranda with Maggie and Leo, I loved seeing my bigger baby girl shower Leo—her little brother—with affection. It wasn't until after Miranda moved out and to NYC that Maggie and Leo moved in with me. I was lonely in this large house by myself. Well, that's how I convince Maggie to move in with me. Not that she needed much convincing. She and Leo already practically lived here anyway.

Now, as I stand in the house that they christened the Montgomery Manor, I wonder what I'd do without them.

I plan to tell Maggie that this isn't the Montgomery Manor anymore but the Montgomery-Stone Manor on her birthday next month. I plan to ask Maggie to marry me then too. I already have a ring. I think that she'll say yes. I pray that she'll say yes.

Maggie points back into the living room again. I look immediately as I delight at being held in her arms.

Leo…the little squirt…is just like his mother and I've loved him from the very moment I laid eyes on him in his baby carriage. He was a month old.

Now he is ten years old and is on top of Gabrielle's back trying to get her to the ground. He can't.

Gabrielle and Miranda tower over his four foot small stature.

Then again, Maggie assures me that when he if fourteen he'll grow to be the same size as his older sisters. I don't ask, although Maggie has offered to tell me, I don't want to know who his father is. He isn't a part of his life, he was only a sperm donor and I like to pretend that Leo is mine. As Maggie likes to pretend that Miranda and Gabrielle are her daughters. She loves them like they are and I know that Miranda loves her as much as she loves me.

Gabrielle…well it was only five months ago that we—Maggie and I—became aware that Gabrielle loves Maggie just as much as well. It was a glorious day and the following five weeks that Gabrielle spent with Maggie, Leo and I, was wonderful.

I learned who my daughter was. I learned her new likes and dislikes and found that as much time had passed and as much as she had changed I still could read her like the back of my hand.

I feel Maggie's head turn towards the corner of the room where Kendall is with her husband John Spencer and John's oldest daughter Stephanie.

Ian and Spike are talking to their step-sister Alison but their conversation is hushed as they tap each other's arms and jerk their head towards Miranda and Gabrielle. The two men are my daughter's best friends and I'm glad that they've all had each other.

Then again, if Spike hadn't come out to me and then requested I go with him when he told Kendall…I don't think I'd be as close to Kendall as I have become.

(On a side note Kendall took Spike's coming out gracefully. I had kept my suspicions to myself through the years, afraid to break the fragile bridge Kendall and I were building. Ryan had a harder time with Spike's sexuality. He's learned to deal, but is still trying to rebuild the trust and his relationship with Spike after his initial bad reaction.)

It took us nearly eleven years to get back to where we had been before 2009. Before Reese and Gabrielle and everything. But goodness am I glad that we're as close as we once were and that she lives only two hours away with her third husband and his children.

I smirk as I watch the plan that I had apparently watched unfold take shape and then watch as it is executed. Spike had grabbed Miranda by the waist and lifted her bodily into the air and his arms while Ian has grabbed both of Gabrielle's arms and has them trapped between her back and his chest. Leo is now free and looking at the two men with both wonder and thanks.

I chuckle and feel Maggie's laugh before I hear it as we both watch Leo tickle both Gabrielle and Miranda who are both trapped under their cousins. The two are shrieking and calling out for help.

It isn't until the warmth at my back disappears that I realize Maggie intends to help them.

I cover my mouth as I watch Maggie grab up two pillows and pop the two men that stand at least a foot and a half taller than her in the head.

They look up at her and she seems to realize what she has gotten herself into. Leo, turns and looks at his mother with an evil smile.

"Oh shit…" Maggie drops the pillows and rushes back towards me and I drop my hand away from my mouth in shock as she now leads three conspirators in my direction.

"Run Maggie, run!" Gabrielle calls out as she tries to hold Ian back by latching onto his leg.

All the while Miranda has decided she wants in on getting Maggie and had joined teams with Spike, Ian and Leo.

I'm relieved when I find that Maggie didn't have plans of hiding behind me and sigh before I feel my hand snag and I'm pulled after the racing doctor.

I nearly trip as I'm pulled after her the five youngsters chasing after us.

I curse at Maggie for getting me involved as I rush two at a time up the stairs after her afraid to look behind me to see if we're still being followed.

I'm getting too old for games like this. I'm forty-seven years old!

I shouldn't be racing around my own house running from my ten year old son, his twenty-six year old sister and his twenty-something year old cousins.

Maggie pulls me into the bathroom at the end of the hallway across from the bedrooms to hide and locks the door. She holds her ear against the door and sighs as she realizes none of the kids know where we are.

"Maggie…there are only seven rooms up here…they're going to find us." I tell her and she turns to me with a falling smile and I can't help but laugh outright.

I wonder sometimes how I ended up here.

Then again as Maggie slowly slides towards me, a predatory look upon her face, while downstairs my family is probably laughing at my misfortune to have been in the wrong spot at the wrong time, and my children and nephews look for me as I am pushed up against the door to my guest bathroom by the love of my life, I can't help but wonder and realize.

There is nowhere else I'd rather be than right here.

The End

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