“I’m scared for her, what if something happens to me? She can’t lose any more parents!” Kate wiped away tears with her sleeve.
Spencer held her in his arms for a few minutes while she cried, wiping away her tears with his thumbs. Kate fell onto the bed, kicking off her shoes. Spencer pulled up a blanket, covered her and left the room.
A minute later he rejoined the others in the kitchen.
He found Kelly washing the serving bowls, pots and pans while the guys finished clearing the table, tossing plates into the trashcan.
“Is she alright?” Andrew asked.
“Should I talk to her?” Kelly offered. She rinsed another pot and placed it in the drainer.
“I think she’ll be okay. She’s not worried about herself, but for you know who,” he gestured with his head toward Sarah, not wanting to say her name.
“That’s understandable. I don’t know how families do it. I’m trying not to settle down till I get out,” Matt shared. Heads nodded in agreement.
The party atmosphere had been sucked out of the room with the phone call. Sarah was in the living room listening to books that Jen read to her. Spencer checked on them but they were fine and Sarah was oblivious to the goings on.
“Do we need to report or anything?” Andrew asked. He was thumbing his phone, searching for news.
“I don’t think so yet. We’re just on alert for now; they’re doing roll call. Just stay in the area and keep your cells on you.” He picked up the turkey platter and headed for the kitchen. “What a way to end the day.” Spencer picked at the turkey. “Thanks Kelly, for washing up.”
“Of course. Tell Kate not to worry. We’ll all help any way we can.”
“Right.” Spencer rubbed the back of his neck.
“Thanks guys for coming and bringing your dishes.” The guests picked up their coats from the sofa where Spencer had moved them after trying to console Kate in the bedroom.
Kelly said, “Be sure to tell Kate thanks for us. I guess we’ll all be anxious to check the news.”
“I’ll tell her. You guys have a nice evening. We’ll see you.” He led them to the door, the guests silent as they filed out.
Jen was the last to go through the door, but before she did she put her hand on Spencer’s arm and said, “I’ll be praying for you guys. Let Kate know if she needs anything, to let me know.”
“Sure thing, Jen, thanks.” Spencer shut the door slowly and returned to the living room to pick up where Jen left off. He sat down with a heavy sigh and gave Sarah a reassuring smile, but as he read to her, his mind was elsewhere. He unconsciously hugged Sarah as if she were his own. He kissed the top of her head, wishing she were his daughter already and none of this stress effected her.
If Kate had to deploy, it would break her heart. How would Sarah handle it, really? The poor thing had been through enough trauma for such a short life.
Sarah yawned, so Spencer asked her, “Are you ready for bed?”
She nodded, her eyes getting droopy. Spencer gently lifted her up from his lap and carried her to the bedroom. Kate slept, curled up on her side. In the light from the hallway, Spencer found some pajamas and quickly changed Sarah’s diaper. He helped her brush her teeth in the bathroom and whispered, “Your mom is asleep already, so let’s be quiet okay?”
Sarah nodded and rubbed her eyes. Spencer’s heart was troubled and he hugged the little girl extra tight before laying her down and covering her up. He said a silent prayer over her then tiptoed out.
Spencer washed the few dishes that were left from their grand dinner. Such a shame how it ended. He wrapped the remaining turkey and put it in the fridge for sandwiches. They didn’t even cut into Jen’s dessert, but she had left half of it for them.
Spencer took his glass of wine to the living room and put his stockinged feet up on the coffee table. Christmas was coming up and he hoped that neither he nor Kate would have to deploy beforehand. Who knew with the stuff going on in the Middle East how many troops would be needed or what kinds of trouble they were dealing with. He turned on the news and remembered that Kate had wanted to watch it. He stepped quietly down the hall to her room to see if he could wake her.
Having fun writing novels,