Protecting Her
Author:Allie Everhart

Shelby and Logan love each other and I wish they could be together, but they can’t, which is why Shelby finally ended things with him.

I hate the way the organization controls these girls. The way they don’t allow them to have a life. Their contracts should be limited to just a few years, but instead, it’s as long as the organization wants it to be. There is no end date, and even when our members decide they no longer want them, the women are still tracked and threatened so they don’t tell our secrets. So they’re never really free and can never have a normal life.

“Pearce, are you still there?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. I’m just tired.”

“Go get some rest. Maybe your mom could watch the baby while you take a nap, then you can take the night shift.”

“I suppose we could try that. Are you sure you don’t need anything? Because I’ll get you whatever you need.”

“I know you would, but I’m fine. I’ll see you tomorrow. I love you.”

“I love you too. Goodnight.”

I leave my office and go upstairs to the nursery. I stop before I go in because I hear my mother talking to Garret.

“You are a very handsome little boy,” she says. “Your father was handsome too. When he was born, he had dark brown hair just like you. And blue eyes, a little darker than yours. And much like you, he did not enjoy being in his crib. He fussed and cried until I picked him up. But after a month or so, he became accustomed to the crib, and you will too. It just takes time.” I hear the baby fussing. Then I hear my mother softly singing. It sounds like a lullaby.

Since when does my mother sing? I’ve never heard her sing. She finishes the song and the room becomes quiet.

I make some noise like I’m just now coming down the hall. I go in the nursery and see my mother in the rocking chair, holding the baby and smiling at him.

“How is everything going in here?” I whisper, noticing Garret’s asleep.

She slowly gets up and gently places him in the crib. Then we both quietly leave and go back downstairs to the living room.

“Mother, if you don’t mind, I was thinking I would take a quick nap. I’m sure I’ll be up with him all night, so if you wouldn’t mind just watching him for an hour or so.”

“I don’t mind,” she says.

She’s staring at me like she did earlier. Did she forget what I look like after all those months of not seeing me? I don’t think I’ve changed that much.

“Okay, well, I’ll be up in my room. Thank you again for your help.” I turn to go up the stairs.

“Pearce.”

“Yes?” I turn back to her.

She comes over and puts her arms around me. “I’m sorry.”

She’s giving me a real hug, not her normal shoulders-only hug. I hug her back. I can’t remember the last time we hugged like this, but I’m sure it was when I was a child, so it’s been a long time.

As for her apology, I don’t ask her to elaborate. I know she’s sorry for letting this silent treatment go on for so long. I also know how hard it was for her to tell me she’s sorry, so I just keep quiet.

She holds onto me for longer than I expected, and when she finally lets me go, she says, “Go ahead and rest. I have no need to go to bed early, so sleep as long as you like. I’ll watch the baby for you.”

“Thank you, Mother.” I go upstairs, stopping at the nursery to check on Garret. He’s sleeping soundly. I enjoy watching him sleep. It makes me feel at peace.

He’s so tiny, and just two days old, but he’s already had a huge impact on our lives. He’s bringing this family back together.





CHAPTER FOUR


4


RACHEL

It seems like I’ve been in this hospital forever. I’m hoping they’ll let me out tomorrow. I’m so tired, but I find it hard to sleep with the nurses coming in and out of my room throughout the night. I also can’t sleep because I miss Pearce and our home. And now that the baby isn’t here, I miss him too.

Garret is the most adorable baby I’ve ever seen. He has the sweetest little face with his tiny nose and little pink lips and those big blue eyes. And when he’s awake, he’s so alert, always looking around, already curious about the world around him.

He looks just like Pearce. I immediately saw the resemblance. I wonder if he’ll grow up to be just like his father. I hope he does. It would make me very proud for my son to be like his father. Strong. Kind. A gentleman.

When Pearce held him, he couldn’t stop smiling. I knew he’d warm up to being a father when he saw the baby. He’s going to make a great dad. He’s still nervous about it, but he’ll get over that the more time he spends with Garret.