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  1. #11
    Ivy and Michaela Allerton

    Michaela shook her head, preferring to retreat to the solitude of her bedroom, but Ivy said, "Yes please." It had been a long time since they had seen Margareth, but Ivy was eager to connect with a friendly face.

    Once they got into the room, Ivy realized how little time it was actually going to take her to unpack. All she had was one small suitcase. She reddened a little as she gestured to it and said, "Um, this is it. Things were... you know... tight for awhile. We can put stuff wherever."

    Meanwhile, Lisa Greer was finally taking the hint. She allowed Jonah to walk her to the front door, leaving him with some final paperwork and appointment cards for the girls' next visit with their counselor.

    "Well!" Lisa said with forced cheerfulness. "I guess that's all for now! I'll be back soon to check on how you're all doing. Good luck!"

    And with that, she was out the door, leaving the girls in their new temporary home.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #12
    Marissa Sanders

    Marissa smiled, happy that Justin was able to ease their son's fears about Santa finding them this year. She squeezed Justin's knee as he drove. If it was possible, she'd make it so neither of her sons ever had to have real life worries. Too bad they would have to grow up someday. Hopefully they would not make the same mistakes their parents had with money. Live and learn.

    Ross fell asleep during the car ride and Randal seemed to be focused on positive things about their new living situation. When they reached Grandpa's house, they saw him at the door with a woman she didn't recognize. Marissa told Justin quietly as they got out of the car.

    "I'm not sure who that is."
    Last edited by Sojourn; 10-01-2016 at 08:42 AM.

  3. #13
    Justin Sanders

    If only his biggest worry was if Santa would be able to find them this year, Justin thought. He was glad that Randal's fears were eased for now and he was focusing on the positive stuff of this move. Hopefully it would not take them too long to get back on their feet.

    The rest of the ride was pretty quiet, just Randal telling his parents how much fun he thought everyone was going to have together. A big, extended holiday. When they got to Jonah's house, Miss Greer was just leaving. He told Marissa.

    "Maybe a social worker for the twins?"

    He wasn't sure, just assuming. He knew his wife's cousins were still minors and with their dad in jail, it made sense to him. He opened the back door of the car and Randal immediately ran out towards Jonah, as fast as little legs would carry him.


    He yelled in excitement as Justin got the sleeping Ross out of his car seat.

  4. #14
    Jonah Allerton & Margareth Allerton Blake

    Margareth would have liked Michaela to interact more, but she didn’t force anything. She knew full well, going through a difficult situation herself, that sometimes people just needed space. So, she focused on helping Ivy for now. She would tell Michaela that she could talk whenever later, Maggie decided.

    Getting in the room with Ivy, she set her son down on the bed after asking if it was okay and then started helping her cousin unpack. Noticing how little she had was a little sad, but Maggie didn’t say anything that could hurt Ivy’s feelings.

    “It’s okay, honey, sometimes things do get tight”, she replied kindly, walking to the dresser. “We should get everything here, so it’s all organized”, Margareth suggested. “Is there anything that needs to be washed?”.

    Out of the room, Jonah was relieved to see that Miss Greer was finally leaving. That woman really didn’t have enough tact to be a social worker, he thought to himself while walking her out. “It will be a pleasure to see you again, Miss Greer, and I’m sure we will be perfectly fine”, the man told the woman, hoping she would show a little more tact next time. These girls really didn’t need any more problems.

    As he watched the woman step away, Jonah showed a smile when he heard Randall’s voice. The man waited for the boy to come closer to him and then picked him up. “Oh, man, you’re getting big!”, he commented, giving the boy a tight hug before walking to his parents. “Welcome home, kids”, he said to both Justin and Marissa. “Did you have a hard time finding the farm?”, Jonah asked, waiting for them to unload the car so he could see if they would need help.

  5. #15
    Ivy Allerton

    "No, it's all clean," Ivy said as she laid her meager amount of clothes neatly in her dresser drawer. She was always the neat one, the organized one. It had driven her crazy, back home, when Michaela let clutter start invading Ivy's side of the room. "They let us use the washing machine at the children's shelter before we left."

    They had only been at the children's shelter for a couple of days. Pete Allerton had never had an issue with CPS before - being poor wasn't a crime, and the girls were always clean and fed - so prior to his arrest, there hadn't been any plans in place for what would happen if the girls were taken into care. It had taken a few days for arrangements to be made for where the girls would go, which relatives would be able to look after them. In the meantime, they'd stayed at the shelter.

    "It wasn't bad there," Ivy said, mostly to make conversation to avoid an awkward lapse into silence. "The staff were pretty nice."

    Some of the other kids had been a little scary, though. There were rougher kids than the twins were used to, not like the other students at their school. Ivy and Michaela had been pretty glad to move on to their grandfather's home. If they couldn't be with their dad, at least they were still with family.

  6. #16
    Marissa Sanders

    "You're probably right."

    Marissa replied to her husband about the woman. She hoped that the twins were doing okay. She was sure it was hard for them to be without their dad. Marissa took Ross from Justin and smiled when Randal found Grandpa.

    "Ross, wake up. We're here. Wave hi to Grandpa."

    She told her younger son. He gave his great-grandfather a sleepy wave and laid his head against his mother's shoulder. It was obvious the little boy would be going back to sleep soon. She smiled at Jonah.

    "Hi, Grandpa. We didn't have any trouble."

    The drive had not been bad at all.

  7. #17
    Justin Sanders

    "Yes, he is."

    Justin said, agreeing that his elder son was getting big. It didn't seem that long ago he had just been born. Randal happily let his grandfather pick him up. Justin smiled, happy that his son was so eager to see him. He knew Randal really adored Jonah, so moving in would be fun for him. Justin let Marissa take Ross, so he could grab their stuff. They didn't bring everything they had owned, some things from their old house were in a storage locker. They could have sold off more but he and Marissa hadn't wanted to totally start over. It wasn't like the locker's monthly rent was that expensive.

    "Hey, Grandpa."

    Justin said, he had been calling Jonah his grandfather since before he and Marissa were married. Having lost his own grandparents before he met his wife, he had taken pretty quickly to the idea of having another grandparent.

    "No problems at all. It was a pretty quiet drive, actually. Is the rest of the family already here?"

    He asked as he grabbed his family's bags and shut the trunk of their car.

  8. #18
    Jonah Allerton & Margareth Allerton Blake

    Maggie nodded when Ivy said everything was clean. That was good, and she was happy to see that at least the girls hadn’t been mistreated in the shelter. They had enough problems with their father in prison to have to endure any kind of ill treatment, after all. “That’s good, honey”, she replied to them being allowed to use the washing machine. “You are home now, and will be able to do whatever you need until you go back to your own house”, she completed kindly.

    Margareth sighed softly, thinking of her own lack of a home now, but tried not to start crying. That wouldn’t do, and she was supposed to be nice to her cousin and make her feel at ease.

    Forcing herself to smile, Maggie leaned back to pick up the sleeping child she had left on Ivy’s bed. “I’ll let you rest or finish getting settled, okay? I will be in the room at the end of the hallway if you need anything”.

    Outside the house, Jonah kept holding Randall - he loved children, most of all the children of his grandchildren - and gave Marissa a kiss on the cheek. “I’m glad. You look great, dear, did you get a new haircut or something?”, the man asked, hoping to cheer Marissa up a little.

    He then gave Justin a half-hug, as he was holding the boy. “Hey, kid”, he greeted as usual. “Yes, you were the last ones in. The twins are getting settled, and Maggie and Nick are upstairs as well. I’m trying to make her rest and relax a little, poor thing”, he explained, while motioning for everyone to go inside. “I have your rooms as the usual ones you take every Christmas, I hope everything is all right with them”, the man completed, waiting for everyone to come in before he could close the door.

  9. #19
    Ivy and Michaela Allerton

    "Okay," Ivy replied.

    When she had finished putting everything in her dresser drawers - a process which didn't take very long - she went across the hall to Michaela's room. After knocking lightly on the door frame, she entered to find her twin looking overwhelmed, with small piles of garments and socks scattered around her. Without speaking, Ivy took charge of the organization and helped, laying things neatly in the chest of drawers and hanging a few items in the closet. She knew Michaela wouldn't keep it as tidy as she did, but right now her younger twin just seemed to need a hand.

    "You alright?" Ivy asked.

    Michaela nodded. "It's just weird, you know? I mean, they're nice but..."

    "Yeah," Ivy said. "It's still strange."

    At the sound of car doors opening and closing outside, the girls made their way downstairs to see who had shown up.

  10. #20
    Justin Sanders

    "She always looks great."

    Justin replied with a loving smile to his wife when her grandfather complimented her. Justin did think that Marissa was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He returned Jonah's half hug and handed Randal his favorite stuffed toy, a Winnie the Pooh bear, before he grabbed the bags to carry inside.

    "Thanks, Daddy."

    Randal said and Justin told his son he was welcome. Randal then told his grandpa.

    "Pooh say hi."

    Randal was very attached the toy and Justin nodded his head to Jonah.

    "I'm sure they'll be fine."

    He remembered what rooms he and his family normally stayed in. Although he wondered how his sister-in-law was doing. She was going through a lot, even more then him and Marissa. She had just lost her husband. Justin missed Keith, he had been a good friend.

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