Chapter One

Kyra sat on the mattress located on the floor of the old home, she and Leonard shared in Brahms, looking at the freshly painted mint green walls as if the answers to her questions would jump out at her, unaware of Leonard's entrance as he sat down beside her, he gently stroked her black locks, now becoming aware of his presence she looked at him. "Kyra, you need help, you can't go on like this. You haven't said much if anything since we got here, you're not the happy little girl I rescued a month ago. Please talk to me, Kyra." His voice expressed his concern for the child he had come to call his own.

The young girl looked at him attempting to put him at ease, "Dad, I'm ok, I'm just overwhelmed. What can I say about everything I heard and saw at that hotel. You were gone, then you weren't, you were dead, now you're not," looking from the man who had willing gave his life for a stranger, trying to summon the next words, the next thought seemed crazy, however. Her whole life up to this point was madness, "Is this reality? Or am I still lying on that lobby floor waiting for what's to occur next? Please, dad, give me some answers to this madness, because I can't get them on my own, this whole event seems like one big nightmare."

Holding her close Leonard sighed, "Kyra, why did you want to stay in that, I made you a promise, I would have come to you after that period was ended. I understand trust must be earned, but you have grown mentally twice your age. Why did you stay?"

"I couldn't just leave you there, you're my dad. You rescued me, but you died protecting me, I told you everything would be alright, but it wasn't-" Kyra felt salty tears form in her blue eyes but was interrupted by Leonard.

"Kyra, you are young how would you know rather anything was going to go on, you have to forgive yourself, you have done nothing wrong. I never faulted you for that moment, as I never will, " he handed her a pink stuffed rabbit, " I love this rabbit, where did you get it?"

Kyra looked at it, taking it into her own hands, "I remember she was my sleeping buddy during thunderstorms, she always gave me good dreams."Leonard watched as she looked at it and smiled, "Lillian gave it to me, she stated it helped her, she gave it to me before she ran away." The last words caused her to look at the floor a few tears to escape her eyes.

Leonard looked at her stuffed animals, then at her room, "This place will be good for us, once I've unpacked, gave this place some paint, we can make it work." Kyra laid her head on his lap, he went on, "the bed I ordered, would you like to come with me to pick it up tomorrow? We can look for some decorations for your room, and get you some new clothes, you pick them out, tomorrow will be your day, does that sound fun?"

Kyra looked at him for the first time a heartfelt smile crossed her lips, "That sounds cool, can I sleep with you tonight, dad? Only until my rooms done."

Leonard leaned back against the wall a smile on his lips as well, "As long as you need to, we'll get through this, like we always do, Kyra."

Kyra looked at the wall, "I've always wanted a room done in princess decorations, a princess canopy bed."

Leonard looked at her placing his hand on her hair, "We can do that, I think some clear lights around the door would seem good."

Kyra sat up, as did Leonard she stretched, "Is Grace, coming over tonight?"

Leonard looked at her, "She is, you two will love each other, she's been worried about you."

Kyra got off the mattress, walking over to a large box, Leonard stood up, "I got us some takeout, it's in the kitchen, teriyaki chicken and rice for you and those fortune cookies you seem to enjoy."

Kyra smiled as she and Leonard walked to the kitchen once they came to the kitchen Kyra looked at the various birthday banners and the large birthday cake on the table, "What's all this dad?"

"You didn't have a family when you turned nine, so we are celebrating it today. Come blow out your candles and open your presents."

Kyra made her way to the table and sat down in a chair, blowing out the candles. She watched as Leonard took the candles off the cake and started cutting pieces getting her a piece and himself a piece they sat and took in their cake, Kyra smiled," This is starting to look great dad."

Leonard looked around, "Grace made this a home, I just keep it clean."

"You're both doing a great job, I'm glad you found her, just don't forget me." She looked at the ground as tears threatened to escape.

"Kyra, look at me." Leonard gently raised her head to look at him, "I would never put someone before you, we've been through it all, you're suffering now because of me, I will never leave you to battle something alone, I promise."

Kyra smiled wrapping her arms around his neck, "Thanks, dad."

"Anything for you, sweetheart." he returned the embrace.