Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chapter 46: Who's your Daddy

The barracks room was a pretty rude shock after the luxury of the rooms in the lodge. It was a long building with rows of double-bunk beds extending down either side, at right-angles to the walls. There were twenty-five double bunks down each wall, enough place to house a hundred people. Each end of the building had toilets, showers and basins. The showers were open, with no partitions and the toilets were seperated only by low walls between them; no doors. I could see that the girls were curious about the place. "Like our new accommodation?" I asked and laughed as the girls turned on me with looks of dismay on their faces. "We'll move in here in a day or two, once things are organised. That is those of you who want to go through the training with us." I watched as Daise quickly made up her mind. Her expression cleared and she nodded at me, accepting that where I was, she wanted to be. Alina followed her lead. Bettina was obviously in two minds and Katy just seemed shy. "There's no pressure. If you don't want to join in, you can continue to live in the lodge. There's space there. I just want us to focus, and living together here, working and training together will build the team. We'll also do things at odd hours, and it's just easier. We are also hoping for a bunch more guys to join us, and we couldn't host them all in the lodge, never mind that we would have to turn away paying guests if we did so." Katy and Alina whispered together for a while, and I wasn't surprised when Katy told me that she would like to try to be part of what we would be doing. "Rupert," Bettina said finally, "I wouldn't mind being involved, but..." she rolled her eyes in Lisa's direction and shrugged. "Yes, I thought it might be difficult for you," I told her, "this is not exactly the best place for a child." Like all children, Lisa had long ears, especially when she thought that the adults might be discussing something that would effect her. She turned on her mother, a thunderous expression on her face. "Mom," she declared, "I'm almost eight. I'm not a baby any more. I want to be with Rupert and do this stuff." Bettina looked at me, and I shrugged, amused. Lisa watched this interaction, and then rocked my world. She reached out and took my hand. "Rupert," she said in a small voice, "I don't have a Daddy to look after me, will you be my Daddy?" Of course I had no defence against an appeal like that. I dropped to a knee and wrapped her in my arms. It had started out as a pretence, and as a way to get her own way, but when I hugged her, she started sobbing and clung to me fiercely. I looked up at Bettina and saw she had tears in her eyes too. She shrugged and nodded at me, and I bowed my head, putting my mouth right next to Lisa's ear. "Of course I will Darling, I'll look after you. You don't need to worry," I said quietly. I had surprising difficulty talking with the huge lump in my throat. "You better give your Mom a hug, I think she needs one." Lisa whirled around and Bettina swept her up into a crushing embrace, the two of them walking off to talk. Chapter 47 Home - My Library - Top [Bookmark Next Chapter] - More Info

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