We drove for a few hours until the kids were complaining too much for us to continue. Gerard stopped the car and groaned “Alright fine, get out and have fun or something!” Gerard snapped. All of us were grateful to get out of the hot car.
The kids ran around shrieking, over-excited because they were all so scared about Penina and whether the same thing would happen to them or their parents. Miles was being especially annoying, shoving over all the other kids and screaming things at people at the top of his lungs “Come on Miles.” Frank muttered, lifting him up but Miles kicked him so Frank had to put him back down.
Suddenly Jora and Rosie screamed and ran away from where they had been playing “The ground moved!” Jora screamed, clinging to Frank.
“What are you talking about?” Crayon asked, lifting up Rosie.
“The ground moved Mommy!” Rosie sobbed, wrapping her arms around her Mom’s neck.
We all looked over to where the two of them had been playing. The sand had completely moved and a large metal door had taken its place. It was standing upright and a head popped out of the sand “I knew I heard voices.” The male voice said. He was pretty good-looking with golden brown skin, jet black silky hair with long bangs and dark brown almost black eyes.
“Hi!” Draven grinned. I took his hand quickly and pulled him back.
“Hey.” The boy smiled back at Draven, making me smile. I liked it when people were nice to my son “Wait a minute… I think I recognise some of you. Dad! Dad! Come up here a second!”
There was some shuffling around under the sand “What do you want?” A head popped out of the sand.
Hozzie’s eyes widened “Jack?”
About ten minutes later we were all under the sand in Ben and Jack’s kitchen with the boy who’d popped his head out of the sand and another familiar looking girl “Shit, is that you Chloe?” Bob cried “What happened to you?”
“Well you guys never seemed to notice me because I was so shy so I ran off.” Chloe shrugged her shoulders “I don’t really wanna talk about it.”
“So what happened?” Crayon asked.
“That’s not the most important thing here.” Ben replied “… What about our kids?”
Sapphire and Finn were introduced to their real Dad’s but it was all a bit awkward really. It clearly wasn’t the happy family reunion that they wanted it to be “Come on then.” Ray said “Tell us what you’re doing here and what happened.”
Jack sighed “Well I’m sure Kat told you about BLI completely destroying that town and how Natalia and Carl didn’t make it. But we did make it. And I guess before all that, we left Hozzie and Crayon because we were I love with each other and Ben knew that Crayon loved Gerard more than she loved him.” Jack glanced at Hozzie “I’m really sorry but I couldn’t keep lying to myself. We’re both so sorry that we weren’t there for Sapphire and Finn but that’s gonna change now. Can we re-join your group?”
“Of course you can.” Crayon said but she bit her lip and looked worried.
“So anyway, we ran away from that crap town.” Ben said, continuing on from what Jack had said “And we built this secret underground base so that BLI wouldn’t find us. We found Chloe and said she could stay with us. And then we found this guy.” Ben pointed at the little boy who’d found us in the first place “He was only twelve when we found him and he was an orphan so we agreed to adopt him.”
“What’s your name?” I asked him.
“I’m Rining.” He grinned. He had such a cute grin with a gap in his teeth. He was kind of cute too.
“I like your tee shirt.” Gerard said. He was wearing a baggy Smashing Pumpkins tee-shirt with ripped baggy jeans and checkerboard slip-on Vans.
“Thanks. I like your hair.” Rining replied.
“So what brings you guys here to the middle of nowhere?”
“BLI got Penina, my girlfriend, I’m sure you remember her.” Frank said. He’d been completely silent up until that moment “We needed some help. Do you think you could give us a hand?”
“I dunno.” Ben bit his lip “We’re sorry about what happened to Penina but I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to Jack, Rining or Chloe.”
“Well I dunno what I’ll do if something bad has happened to Penina!” Frank yelled “And I have kids too you know! How can you just turn your back on us like that?”
Jack stood up “Don’t talk to him like that. Of course we’ll help you. Ben just isn’t really a fighter. We’ve been hiding here for three years so we-“
“Well we’ve been locked up in BLI for the past three years. Who do you think was better off?” Frank roared.
“Frank, they’re agreeing to help us, please calm down!” Hozzie pleaded.
Frank glared at Ben and Jack then stormed off into a different room.