GLORY CHAPTER 19

Thank God they hadn't changed the code to the gate or the lock on the side door, Brenda praised as she quietly as possible laid Glory and Robbie under the covers. She'd hid the car behind the guest house so no one would see it first thing in the morning. She didn't dare turn on a light, but it seemed and smelt like her mom had kept her room the same.

As Brenda sank into her luxurious bed, she happily closed her eyes for the first time in awhile and fell into a peaceful sleep. She was home.

"Good Morning, Robs. You're up early for someone who didn't get in 'til late last night or should I say early this morning from the hospital," Tad greeted as he drowsily rubbed his eyes and blindly accepted the mug of coffee placed in his hand.

"Good Morning, Dad," Brenda responded.

Tad's eyes flew open as the coffee flew out of his hand. Hopping from one foot to the other due to the heat of the spilled coffee on him, Tad ran to the doorway. "Anna! Anna! Anna Devane Martin get down here now! Anna!" He then hopped over to the intercom and started pressing random buttons screaming his wife's name. Trying to dry himself and keep his eye on Brenda, who was cleaning up the coffee quietly, kept him busy until Anna and the rest of the family arrived.

"What's wrong?" Anna asked her husband concerned.

"Brenda!" Nola and Katie squealed and ran to their older sister, who quickly embraced them.

Anna slowly turned to see her prodigal daughter in the flesh. She was stunned.

Slowly Aidan, Gabriel, JR, and Jamie came out of their stupor and went over to her. They each took turns, hugging and kissing her as they passed her petite frame around as if she were a doll.

Robin, Anna, and Tad just stood there flabbergasted at the impromptu reunion.

"Nana, Papa, Annie Robin," Glory screeched, running into the kitchen and wrapping herself around Tad's legs. Robbie toddled in after her and did the same to Anna.

Seeing their greatly missed playmates, Nola and Katie squirmed from underneath the crowd surrounding their sister and headed to their nieces.

JR pushed Brenda forward closer to the parents. "Hi, Mom, Dad, Robin," she said coyly. She knew this wouldn't be easy.

Anna opened her arms and Brenda ran into them. She was home; she was finally home she thought as she felt Tad's arms and Robin's.

"Don't ever leave us again," Anna cried.

"Never," she promised. How could she have been so mistaken; she was so much stronger with her family around her and beside her. Together they could fight anything and anyone.

"Where were you Brenda?" Robin demanded.

Stepping out of her parents loving embrace, Brenda took a breath and stared into her sister's hurt eyes. "I'm sorry," she whispered. But she could see the not good enough answer lying in Robin's eyes. Brenda walked over to the phone and dialed. "Sonny, we're back." She hung up the phone. "I just want to tell it once."

Anna and Tad nodded.

"Well, I'm starved so who's cooking breakfast?" Jamie asked, breaking the awkward silence.

"Brenda made the coffee, so Gabriel you're on meat duty. Aidan, you're on pancake detail. JR, you're eggs and Jamie, you're drinks. Hop to it!" Tad ordered and the kitchen became a flurry of activity as he, Anna, Robin, and Brenda watched the youngest members of their family play.

"Hey, Sonny, want some breakfast?" Aidan asked nonchalantly as Sonny burst into the breakfast nook.

"Daddy!"

"Daddy!" Glory and Robbie screamed, both struggling to get out of their chairs.

Sonny ran over to them. "Mi hijas," he murmured, hugging them simultaneously. Slowly opening his eyes, he drank in the woman he had cursed, hated, worried and prayed for for months.

"Daddy will be up in a little while. Go with Pam," Sonny instructed.

Glory and Robbie nodded and followed the nanny up the stairs.

With a sigh, he walked into the family room mentally preparing himself for Brenda's explanation. It had better be a good one.

Brenda waited for him to take a seat; she took a deep breath and began.