~ Time: Clock of the Heart ~
by Alex Tryst
Copyright © January 2002

Disclaimers: This is a sequel to Persistence and would be difficult and confusing to read if you haven?t read Persistence first. Some of you may recognize the title of this book as a song title from my favorite 80s band, Culture Club, but I assure you that no infringement was intended. I simply felt that George O?Dowd?s (Boy George) song of loving, losing, and learning to love again perfectly expressed the sentiments of this piece. I also must state that there are several songs in this book that have been modified from their original content, and even though I attribute them as original works by one of my characters, they really were written by Babyface and on his ?For the Cool in You? CD (which I only bought because the sales girl was flirting with me and I wanted a date, but that?s a story for another time). Due to the unfamiliarity of these songs, most people won?t know the melody, but they read more like poetry, so this shouldn?t hinder your enjoyment. As for sex, violence, language and so on, this is a rather tame story. Of course there is sex between two consenting adult women, and if this is illegal where you live or offensive to you, you must do a 180 degree turn immediately. There isn?t any violence that I can think of, and I could count the uses of foul language on one hand, well maybe two.

Dedication: To my wife, you are my fondest wish. To my fans of Drew and Lola, this one is just for you. You asked for it, and you got it. Enjoy!

Now on with the show........................

Chapter 1

Drew pulled up to her house at half past eleven that night. She had expected to be home much earlier but an emergency at work kept her from her precious family that evening. Knowing that everyone should be asleep, Drew quietly crept inside before securing the door behind her. The kitchen light was still on, drawing her into the room where a note had been left on the counter by her beloved Lola stating that she had put a plate of food in the refrigerator for her if she was hungry and to hurry to bed.

Even though Drew was hungry, she opted to skip the meal and head straight upstairs. When she got up to the second floor, she bypassed the master bedroom, softly opening the first of three doors on the right side of the hallway. Noting that their baby girl was not in the nursery, Drew moved on to the second room. Sprawled out in the middle of the bed, covers on the floor, and pajamas misbuttoned and mismatched was her five year old son Jack. Drew stifled a laugh at his attempt to dress himself for bed as she went to retrieve his blanket. Maneuvering him back into the correct position, she covered him as she lightly stroked his dark hair. Placing a kiss on his forehead, she left the room for the one next door.

As she walked in, she noticed that her three year old Libby looked more and more like her wife everyday. Drew thought back to a time when she babysat Lola at Libby?s age and how similar they really were in all facets. Taking a moment to brush Libby?s golden hair, Drew bestowed a kiss upon her as well before heading to she and Lola?s room.

Opening the door as quietly as possible, Drew stepped in to find Lola lying naked on her side of the bed, a book laying face down on her stomach as she reclined against the headboard sound asleep. Next to her where Drew normally slept was their youngest child, four month old Emma also sleeping. Coming over to where Lola was, Drew leaned down to kiss her lips softly.

Lola moaned before her eyes fluttered open. ?Hey. Where have you been?? she asked with a sigh. ?I called the station looking for you, and they said you had an emergency, but they wouldn?t tell me where you were.?

Drew took a seat on the edge of the bed and caressed Lola?s bare thigh lightly. ?One of my deputies got shot this evening in the line of duty. I?ve been at the hospital with his family. Sorry I didn?t have time to call.?

?I was concerned about you. Are you all right? Will he be all right??

Drew shrugged. ?I?ll be okay. It?s just hard at times like these. I care about my guys so much, and I hate it when something like this happens. It?s hard to tell someone?s wife that her husband has been seriously injured and that you have no idea if he?s going to make. It?s hard to watch her crying over her husband?s unresponsive body, knowing that I can?t do a damn thing to make either of them feel better.? she mumbled slouching forward a little.

Lola moved to embrace her. ?Drew, you?re such a kind, giving spirit. I?m sure it helped that you were there with her. Why don?t you get ready for bed? I?ll go put Emma down.?

Drew simply nodded before heading into the bathroom. By the time she returned Lola was back in bed awaiting her with open arms. Climbing into bed Drew laid her head against Lola?s breasts and promptly fell asleep from the emotional stress of the day. A few hours later Drew was roused from sleep by a constant nudging and her wife?s voice. ?What is it?? she grumbled not even attempting to move from her place on top of Lola?s frame.

?Emma?s crying. I need to get up, Drew.? Lola stated much more patiently than she felt due to the fact that Emma had been crying for several moments and threatened to wake the other kids if left unattended too long. Drew groaned but complied with Lola?s unspoken request that she move. Rolling onto her back, she went back to sleep as Lola left the room.

A couple of minutes later, Lola returned with Emma in her arms. Taking a seat on the bed and reclining back against the headboard, she let Emma settle against her breast as the infant began to feed. Lola regarded her wife intently as their youngest took nourishment from her body. Drew was seemingly passed out from exhaustion not even having bothered with pajamas that night. With the sheet barely covering her lover, Lola got a chance to examine Drew?s naked body as the older woman slept. Even at forty-eight Drew was in incredible shape, her body lean and tone through years of working out at the station gym and around their horse farm. Lola?s eyes trailed over Drew?s broad, strong shoulders passed her firm breasts to her favorite part of Drew?s body, the taut, rippling muscles of her abdomen. Reaching over Lola let her hand slide along Drew?s six pack as she reminisced about the feeling of those muscles. Whether astride her partner or with Drew lying in the cradle of her thighs, Lola always loved the exquisite feeling of those muscles slithering along her overheated, sensitive, wet flesh whenever they made love. She couldn?t even remember the last time she and Drew had been intimate, knowing that it was sometime while she had still been pregnant with Emma.

Suddenly her musings were interrupted by Drew?s husky voice asking, ?What are you doing??

Lola blushed. ?Oh, just thinking. Would you flex you abs for me, honey?? she asked sweetly.

Drew gave her a quizzical look but replied, ?Sure.?

Lola moaned as her hand skimmed over the surface. ?Oh, I just love that feeling.? she mentioned.

Drew rolled over onto her side, so she could get a better view of her daughter. ?Man, that?s one lucky girl right there.? Drew stated propping up on her elbow.

?Why do you say that??

?Every time she cries she get a face full of your luscious breasts. Had I known that was the key, I would?ve tried that technique a long time ago.? she teased. ?I hope she realizes those are only on temporary loan, because they are all mine.?

Lola laughed. ?You aren?t jealous now, are you Drew??

?Only as long as I know you get no sexual enjoyment out of that.? Drew said with a joking smile.

Lola laughed. ?Hardly, Drew. She lacks your skills, but I do enjoy this. That doesn?t bother you, does it?? she asked seriously.

Drew gave her a gentle smile as she sat up next to her. ?Not at all. I enjoy watching the two of you together like this. It?s the second most beautiful thing I?ve ever seen.? she said as she cupped the back of Emma?s blonde head.

?The second most beautiful? What?s the first?? Lola inquired.

Drew placed her hand against Lola?s cheek, turning it toward her, so they were face to face. ?The sight of you when we make love. There is nothing more beautiful than the sight and sound of you as you reach your fulfillment. It?s just been a long time since I?ve seen it.?

Lola blushed at her lover?s words. ?It?s been too long, Drew, in my opinion.? Lola admitted as she leaned in for a kiss.

A few kisses later Drew pulled back slightly and looked down at their daughter. ?Maybe if piglet there is finished, we can talk about this more in depth.? she suggested giving Lola a sexy grin. Several minutes later Emma had completed her meal, and Drew took her back into the nursery to burp her before putting her down. By the time she returned to the master bedroom for the much anticipated loving from her wife, Lola was already sleeping soundly. Drew chuckled at the situation, more amused than frustrated that another opportunity to make love to the most beautiful woman in the world had passed. Sliding in next to her wife, Drew clicked off the light and put her arms around Lola as sleep claimed them both.

Drew was awake first the following morning, knowing that Lola had gotten up at some point during the night with Emma again. Even though she knew her two older children were probably about to wake, Drew couldn?t bring herself to get out of bed. She laid there watching Lola while the twenty-eight year old was lost in sleep as she thought about their six year marriage. It was eleven years ago that Lola first approached Drew about a relationship, but Drew had adamantly refused, because Lola was the daughter of her best friend. However after five years she crumbled hopelessly to the wiles of the young woman, and Drew felt blessed that Lola had chosen her ever since. Curving an arm around her wife?s waist, Drew settled her head against Lola?s shoulder and drifted for a few more minutes until she heard the door creak open.

Raising her head she saw their middle child lingering in the doorway. ?Good morning.? Drew whispered.

?Morning, Mommy. I?m hungry.? she said softly as she moved toward the bed on Drew?s side.

?All right. I?ll fix you something to eat. Is your brother up yet?? Libby nodded affirmatively. ?He?s hungry too.?

?Okay. Just give me a minute. I?ll be right there. You wait in the kitchen with Jack.?

?Okay. Is Mama going to get up too?? she asked looking at Lola.

?No. Let?s let her sleep. Emma kept her up late last night. Go on now. I?ll be right there.? Once Libby was gone, Drew slipped out of bed and went to the dresser for her pajamas. Quickly throwing them on, Drew made her way downstairs into the kitchen where Jack and Libby were already sitting at their places at the table. ?Morning, tiger.? Drew greeted Jack giving him a hug before giving Libby one as well. ?What do you two want for breakfast??

?Cereal.? they said in unison.

?Well, that?s easy enough.? Drew mumbled to no one in particular. Going into the pantry, she dug out the cereal specially designated for Saturdays given its sugar content. As she poured two bowls for her kids, she wondered if Lola only allowed the children to eat it when Drew was around, because Drew would handle them when they got on their sugar high. Setting the cereal in front of her children to eat, she started on a pot of coffee for herself. ?So, what are we doing today?? she asked them casually.

?Mama said we were going to Grandma and Grandpa?s house to go swimming.? Jack said with a mouthful.

?Oh really? I didn?t know that. That sounds like fun.?

?Aunt Nat is coming. Are you?? Jack asked referring to Lola?s older sister Natalie.

?Well, tiger, I think I will if you want me to.? Drew stated with a smile.

?Yeah. Mommy?s coming.? Libby squealed in delight.

?Jack, did Mama say what time we were supposed to be there?? He shook his head. Drew checked her watch for the time before deciding that she could call Lola?s mother, Katherine, to find out, so after pouring herself a cup of coffee, she went to the phone. Kate?s husband Jim answered the phone on the third ring. ?Hey, Jim. Good morning.? she said.

?Hi, Drew. How are you? How are the kids??

?They?re good. Actually they just told me that we?re supposed to be coming to your house to go swimming today, and I knew nothing about it.?

?I didn?t know either actually. I better let you talk to Kate about that, but I know we?re going to be here and would love to see them. Let me get her for you. Hold on.?

?Hey, Grandma.? Drew joked when her best friend of over thirty years came to the phone.

?Good morning, Drew. How are my favorite grandchildren??

?Good. They are anxious to come see you today and go swimming. Lola didn?t mention it to me, so I was wondering if we were supposed to come over at a certain time or anything.?

?No, no specific time. As soon as you can get the troops together is fine with us. We?ll be here. I figured we do lunch and dinner here depending on how long you all are going to stay. Just come on over.?

?All right. I?ll talk to Lola when she wakes up.?

?Lola is still asleep? It?s after eight. The kids weren?t banging down your door this morning??

?They were, but Lola is pretty tired. I got up with the kids to try to give her a little extra time to sleep. We?re both really exhausted, though.?

?Well, why don?t you let Jim and me keep Jack and Libby for a few days? You two deserve a break. You?ve been going nonstop for a long time. Let them stay the next few days with us, so you two can get some rest.?

?Kate, we wouldn?t want to put you and Jim out like that.?

?Don?t be silly. These are my grandchildren we?re talking about here. I love having them around.?

?Will they be in Jim?s way? I don?t want him to be bothered.?

?No. He?s taking the weekend off, doesn?t have to be back at work until Monday. Let them stay the weekend. I know you and Lola could use a little private time.?

?Yeah, we could. I?ll talk to her about it. Thanks, Kate.?

?Anything for my little girl and my best friend. You know that. See you a little later.?

About an hour later Drew was sitting on the couch reading the paper as her two older children flanked her engrossed in cartoons when she heard movement on the stairs. Looking up over her shoulder she saw Lola coming down the stairs carrying Emma. ?Good morning, Mama.? Drew greeted with a smile.

?Good morning, Mommy, kids.? she said moving to give all of them hugs and kisses.

?Here. Let me take the little rascal.? Drew suggested reaching out for Emma.

?Thanks.? Lola moved into the kitchen to get herself something to eat, deciding on a bagel and cream cheese with orange juice. Going back into the family room, she sat in one of the side chairs to eat while she watched tv as well.

?I talked to your mom while you were asleep. She said we could come over whenever we?re ready for swimming.?

?Okay. After breakfast we?ll get everyone ready to go.?

?She also suggested that we have a weekend to ourselves by letting number one and two stay for the weekend.? she said making sure her kids were not involved in their conversation.

?Oh, I don?t know. I don?t want to put Mom and Jim though that really. That?s a lot of work.?

?I said the same thing, but she assured me that it wasn?t a problem. Honey, you?re exhausted, and we haven?t had any time alone in forever. We?ll keep piglet here with us obviously, but we could use a little break. If I can handle this crew, you?re Mom and Jim can. It?ll just be a couple of days. What do you think??

?It would be nice. I think I feel asleep in the middle of our conversation last night, and I?d like to finish it at some point.? Lola said with a smile. Turning to her two older children, she inquired, ?How would the two of you like to spend the whole weekend with just Grandma and Grandpa??

Both children nodded their heads in excitement, so Drew said, ?I guess that settles that. Let?s get going. Come on kids. Let?s get our clothes on.?

Kate and Jim?s house was about forty minutes from theirs, so they arrived shortly after ten that morning with overnight bags in hand. After hugs for the kids, Kate moved to her daughter and friend. ?Thanks for taking them, Mom. It?s just going to be for a couple of days, right??

?Of course. You just let me know when you want them back. Jim and I are glad to have something to entertain us. How many days did you pack for??

?Just until Monday. Drew has to go back to work then.?

?Great but if you still need more time, don?t worry about it. I can always buy them some more clothes.?

?Don?t you dare, Katherine. These kids are spoiled enough. They don?t need gifts every time we come over here.? Drew warned.

?Lighten up, Mommy. That?s the advantage of being the grandmother. I get to spoil them rotten and then send them home to you. Pay backs, Drew, for when you did it to Natalie and Lola.? Kate teased with a laugh. ?All right, kids. Who?s ready for the pool??

That afternoon Drew and Jim grilled hamburgers for everyone as they all hung out by the pool. Natalie spent most of her time in the pool with the kids and her mother while Lola sat in the shade with Emma. As Drew and Jim stood next to the grill, they shared a few beers as they talked mostly about their respective jobs.

?Jim, I just wanted you to know that Lola and I both appreciate the fact that you and Kate are taking the children for a few days. We?ve been dead on our feet for weeks.?

?Oh, it?s a pleasure. It?s been too long since Kate and I have had kids in the house. It?ll be fun.?

?Yeah but I hate that we?re taking up your private time. You are still technically newlyweds.? she teased throwing a playful elbow into his arm. ?I know what that?s all about.?

Jim chuckled. ?Not for much longer. It?s been a quick two years.?

?Has it been all you expected??

?More.? Jim stated with a smile. ?She really is an extraordinary woman, Drew. I?m so glad I found her. When I divorced my first wife, I wasn?t sure I?d ever find another woman that could capture my heart so fully, but Katherine did from the moment I met her.?

?You know when Paul died, I was worried about her. I had hoped she would find happiness again. You just better be glad it wasn?t with me.? Drew joked.

?I thank Lola for that. I know that?s the only reason I had half a chance. Life really has a strange way of working out, doesn?t it??

?Sure does.? Drew agreed looking over at her wife and newest baby.

Drew and Lola left right after dinner that evening. As they took the drive back to their farm, Emma fell asleep in her car seat, leaving the two of them in quiet. Reaching over to Lola, Drew took her hand. ?Why didn?t we do this sooner?? Lola inquired with a smile. ?This is nice to only have to worry about one little infant instead of the three of them. With any luck we?ll be able to have that talk from last night.? she mentioned with a seductive smile.

?I hope we can do more than talk, Mrs. Emerson-Bailey.?

?Well, what did you have in mind, Sheriff Bailey? Maybe if you tell me what you want we could work something out.?

Drew gave a demure grin. ?Well, as soon as Emma settles down, I was thinking that you and I could take a much deserved soak in a luxurious bubble bath. Then maybe I could give you a little massage, and if I play my cards right I might be able to slip you some of my special love potion.?

Lola moaned lightly at the thought. ?I have to admit. If you give me that massage first, you might put me to sleep, and I know that?s not what you had in mind.?

Drew smiled as her hand slipped between Lola?s thighs and rubbed the apex of her khaki shorts lightly. ?Don?t you worry your pretty head about that. I only intend to massage the spots that need me the most.? she said suggestively.

?I think you need to step on the gas, Drew.? Lola stated placing her hand on top of Drew?s and increasing the pressure..

Chapter 2

By the time they reached home, Drew?s hand had managed to work itself into Lola?s shorts. Bringing the jeep to a quick halt, she turned off the engine just as Lola came across the seat at her. Lola assaulted her with a barrage of sensual kisses, but Drew didn?t try to escalate their intimacy, knowing that they had to get Emma inside into bed before continuing. ?All right, Lola. Just slow down there, woman. We?ve got all night. I promise.? Drew assured her. ?Let?s get Emma put down first, and then we can wear each other out.?

Lola regretfully pulled away and nodded. ?Okay. Hopefully she?ll stay asleep for a few hours before making herself known again.?

Drew retrieved their youngest from her car seat and took her up to the nursery while Lola disappeared into the master bedroom. By the time Drew entered the bedroom, Lola had turned it into a den of love with candles illuminating the room in a soft glow. Drew heard the water running in the bathroom, so she made a move toward it, fully expecting to see her lover in the tub, but as she cleared the doorway, she saw an empty tub as someone grabbed her around the waist from behind. ?Lola?? Drew questioned needlessly as her assailant began ripping at her clothes.

?You?re way overdressed, Drew.? Lola mentioned pulling Drew?s shirt down her shoulders after unbuttoning it. Quickly unclasping Drew?s bra, Lola kissed over her back as her hands took in Drew?s abdomen before setting to work on the belt of Drew?s shorts.

Drew dropped her head back as Lola?s hands roamed over her bare torso and Lola?s breasts rubbed invitingly into her back.. ?I love it when you sneak up on me like this. It makes me so hot for you.? she whispered as Lola shoved Drew?s shorts to the floor, leaving the both naked. ?I?m so ready for you, Drew. Please take me.? begged Lola turning her wife around.

Drew growled as she leaned in to capture Lola?s lips in a fervent lock. ?Come here.? she demanded pulling them over to the tub. Settling them both into the water, Lola?s body on top of hers, Drew moved to kiss her frantically again. Drew slid her hand down between their bodies finding Lola completely ready for her. Slipping into her Drew groaned in satisfaction as Lola immediately moaned and began a grinding pace to bring herself to peak swiftly.

Once she had climaxed, Lola gave a sigh of content as she dropped her head onto Drew?s shoulder, leaving them interlocked. ?Oh, did I ever need that. I love you, Drew.? she mumbled, kissing Drew?s neck lightly.

?I love you too, Lola. Glad to be at your service.? Drew replied.

Several minutes passed in silence before Lola finally released Drew?s hand from its confinement. Turning over so her back was against Drew?s chest, Lola mentioned, ?It?s so nice just to be alone with you like this.?

?It is nice. It seems like forever since we?ve had time to ourselves that we weren?t passed out in exhaustion. As much as I love sleeping next to you, I married you for those awake activities.? Drew joked.

Leisurely they lounged in the tub long after the bubbles has disappeared, just feeling close to each other until they heard Emma?s cry on the monitor. ?Well, I guess our quiet time is over for now.? Lola mentioned with regret as she moved to get out of the tub.

Drew did the same, reaching for her robe as she said, ?I?ll go see what the problem is. You stay here.?

?She?s most likely hungry. It?s about that time.? Lola let the water out of the bath before draping her robe over her shoulders and going into the bedroom. As she thought Emma was hungry, so she took the infant from Drew and settled down into the bedside chair to feed her.

?While you?re tending to that, do you want anything from downstairs? A drink or anything??

?A drink would be nice. Maybe a glass of water. Thanks, honey.?

?Sure. Be right back.? Drew went downstairs to retrieve water for her wife and a glass of milk for herself. Figuring she could get away with stealing some of her children?s cookies without their notice, she put a few on a plate and returned to the bedroom.

Lola grinned when her wife returned with a snack. ?You know you?re just lucky the kids aren?t here to see you with those. They?d be begging for some right about now.?

?Well, I think Emma can keep my secret. She won?t tell.? Drew replied dunking her cookie in her milk to make it the proper sogginess before eating. Once Emma had finished and fallen back to sleep, Drew put her back in the nursery before joining Lola in bed. ?Well, this certainly is pleasant. I?m looking forward to tomorrow when it?s going to be quiet around here.?

?Did you have plans for tomorrow, Drew??

?Not really, jut enjoying the silence. Why? Is there something you wanted to do??

?Well, I was kind of hoping to convince you to watch Emma while I went for a ride. I don?t even know the last time I got a chance to ride, and I miss it.?

?Why don?t you go more often?? Drew asked curiously.

Lola looked at her wife like she was crazy. ?And exactly when do I have time? Drew, I?m looking after three children all day long. I never have a moment alone much less a few hours. As much as I love being down with the horses, I just don?t have time for that anymore. Besides the crew is self-sufficient down there without me. It was one thing when I could take Jack down there when he was a baby, but I can?t take the three of them down there at the same time. It would be too stressful, so we just don?t go anywhere near the stables. They know they are off limits.?

?Well, if you want to ride tomorrow, I?ll be happy to stay here with Emma. I would hate to deprive you of your chance to do that.?

?Really? You wouldn?t mind? I know we were supposed to have some time together, but this really is my only chance.?

?I don?t mind, sweetheart. I know how much you love riding, and I want you to go tomorrow if you want to. Emma and I will be fine here by ourselves for a few hours. How hard can it be to watch over a child that sleeps most of the time??

Lola looked at her wife skeptically. ?That?s what I thought at first, but when you have three of them, it makes it a little harder. I?d love to be a fly on the wall while you were in charge of the three of them for the day. I just know it would be a disaster.?

?Hey. Are you saying I can?t care for our kids as well as you?? Drew inquired with slight hurt in her voice.

?No, honey. I don?t mean it that way. I know with you their well-taken care of, but I?m saying our house might not survive that test is all. You have to admit that when you are in charge things tend to get a little messy around here. They know who the gullible parent is.? she teased.

Drew had to conceded to Lola?s point. ?I guess that?s true. It does seem like a tornado has hit whenever I?m in charge. I don?t know how you do it as well as you do. You?re something else, love.? Drew commented leaning to kiss Lola on top of the head.

Lola leaned up to catch Drew?s mouth in a soft kiss that lasted several moments. ?I love so much, Drew. You are the best provider for us that I could ever ask for. Thank you for taking such good care of all of us.?

?Thank you for letting me, Lola, and thank you for choosing me as your mate. Not a day goes by that I don?t count that as my greatest blessing.? Drew whispered bestowing gentle kisses on her wife.

Several minutes passed as they exchanged delicate kisses before Lola pulled Drew?s body on top of her. Opening her thighs for her lover, Lola rocked her hips lightly taking in the feel of Drew?s body against her own. ?I love the way your body feels against mine.? she murmured as her hands took in the landscape of Drew?s back and gray hair.

?I love it too, baby.? Drew answered leaning down to kiss along Lola?s neck and breasts as their love making continued into the night at a tender pace.

The next few weeks of the summer passed much in the same fashion, making weekly trips to Kate and Jim?s or having the grandparents visit out at the farm. One particular Saturday Drew had spent the morning down at the stables while Kate was with Lola and the kids. When she came back up to the house for lunch, Lola stopped her at the door looking like she was about to explode.

Wrapping Lola in her arms, Drew looked down at her in concern. ?What?s wrong, honey? You look about ready to kill someone.?

?Your son is being a holy terror this morning. I really need a break, Drew. Do you think you could take him for a little one on one attention? I think he could use a little Mommy time.?

Seeing that Lola?s patience was gone, she nodded. ?Sure. I?ve got to do some more stuff down at the barn, but I?ll take him with me. Maybe it?ll be just the distraction he needs. Where is he??

?He?s in timeout.?

?That bad?? Drew asked. Lola nodded. ?What did he do??

?He hit Libby, because she wanted to play with one of his cars, and he didn?t want her to.?

?Okay. I?ll handle it. How much more time does he have in timeout??

?About another minute.?

?All right. Could I trouble you for a sandwich? I?m so hungry right now, and I?m needed back down there as soon as possible.?

?Sure. I?ll make you something. You deal with our little nightmare.?

Drew walked to the designated timeout spot and found their son pouting on the bottom stair. Crossing her arms across her chest, she put on her serious face. ?Mama tells me she sent you to timeout for hitting your sister.? she stated. ?Is that true??

?She started it, Mommy. She took one of my toys.?

Drew squatted down, so they were closer in height. ?You know the rules about sharing. Hitting someone because you don?t get your way is wrong, Paul Jackson. You don?t hit people, especially your sisters. Do you understand me??

He nodded. ?Yes, Mommy.?

?Good. Now come here.? she said reaching for him. He went into her arms for a hug. ?You?re going to spend some time with me for awhile.?

?Really?? he asked excitedly.

?Yeah. I?m going to take you down to the barn. How would you like that??

?Mama says we can?t go down there.? Jack mentioned seriously.

?Well, that?s true, Jack. You can?t go down there by yourself, but I?m going to take you. Do you want to go??

?Just the two of us? No Libby?? he inquired climbing onto her back for a piggy back ride as they made their way into the kitchen.

?No Libby.? Drew clarified much to his excitement.

By the time they got to the kitchen, Lola was putting a sandwich in a little plastic for Drew. ?Sorry it?s probably not what you wanted but these were left over from the kids? lunch. I promise you a better dinner.?

Drew looked at the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that had been mangled by little hands but decided not to push the issue, knowing that Lola was at her wits end. Drew leaned over to kiss Lola?s forehead in sympathy. ?Thanks, honey. We?ll be back later. Let?s go, cowboy.? Once they got to the barn, Drew let Jack off her back but held his hand as the entered. ?All right, Jack. This is not a playground in here. You need to be on your best behavior. There are a lot of things in here that can be dangerous, so stay close to me.? With that warning Drew dropped his hand as they made their way back to the office. Drew went about her business with the stable hands, knowing that Jack was near by with they way he clung to her leg as she spoke to her employees. However once they moved out of the office for a small walking tour of the facility, she temporarily lost track of her son being so involved with work. It wasn?t until she heard the sound of one of the tractors being turned on that caught her attention. Looking toward the noise, she saw her son playing with the controls. ?Jack, that is not a toy!? she scolded, immediately retrieving him and yanking the key out. Turning back to her employees with the keys in her hand, she said, ?This is an example of what I was talking about earlier. I don?t want any more keys left in equipment. We have a lot of kids that come through here, and it?s a lawsuit waiting to happen, not to mention the keys could get lost. From now on every key gets labeled and put on a board in the office.? She tossed the keys to the office manager before looking down at Jack.. ?Son, what did I tell you about being on your best behavior? These are not toys in here.?

?Mommy, I wanna look at the horses.? she stated.

?In minute, Jack. I have to finish this first.? she said going back to work. Moving the group outside, Drew continued with her meeting. Ten minutes later Drew dismissed her workers and looked around for Jack, but he was nowhere to be seen. ?Jack?? she called out. ?Jack, where are you?? When there wasn?t an answer, she went back into the barn, thinking that he had gone to look at the horses against her warning, but he was not inside. ?Jack? Where are you, son?? she called with greater concern as she went back outside.

All of a sudden one of the farmhands said, ?Drew, you better come quick. It?s Jack. He?s gotten into ring with some of the newer horses.?

?What?? she screamed out anxiously running to the outside ring. There she saw the five year old standing in the ring oblivious to the agitation he was causing some of the untrained horses. ?Jack!? she yelled. ?Stay right there, son! Don?t move!? Drew ran as fast as she could, scaling the fence and hopping into the ring. As she ran toward him, he began to back away from her, thinking that he was in trouble for running off again. Drew saw her son bump into a black stallion behind him causing him to yelp in surprise and spooking the horse who reared up on his hind legs. ?Jack!? Drew screamed at the top of her lungs as she sprinted for him and pushing him out of the way before everything went dark.

Continued: Chapter 3

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