Posted January 31, 2014
As Logan went to the front of the building to inquire about when they might return home, Alec stood and stretched before glancing to Max. "I'll be back," he said quickly. Max nodded and watched him navigate his way across the warehouse.
Dawn was approaching. Murmurs and sounds of rustling came from all around as people started to stir. It had been hours since they first entered the warehouse, and the crowd of people was uneasy. Police officers were still at the front of the building near the doors, keeping watch. Max watched from afar as Logan approached them.
"So, what's the status on letting us out of here, Officers?" Logan looked from one officer to another.
"Listen, sir, you along with everyone else in here is going to get back home just as soon as we can let you." An officer with an aggravated tone turned and spoke to Logan.
"Well, what's going on at our building? What's the update of the rest of the city at this point? We haven't heard any news in a while…" Logan's voice was even as he spoke.
Another officer stepped closer to Logan. "Look, when we know we'll tell you. For now, just relax."
Logan nodded, unsatisfied, but reversed and headed back towards his family.
"That was fun." He said to Max as rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"The not knowing is the worst part." Max said.
Logan reached into his jacket pocket to retrieve his cell phone only to find that it was dead. "Great…" He groaned.
Max shrugged. "Figures."
Max still held both kids where she sat. Jaden sighed and Max knew she was close to waking up. Max was thankful though that both kids had gotten a little bit of sleep despite the conditions.
"Mommy…" Jaden whispered as she opened her bleary eyes.
"Hi, honey. How'd you sleep?" Max reached out and brushed her cheek.
"I wanna go home now." She replied, her voice quiet.
"I know, baby. We'll be here for just a little while longer, okay?" Max helped Jaden sit up.
They were all ready to get back to the safe confines of the apartment. It had been a long, confusing, uncomfortable night for everyone. Logan watched Max and Jaden's exchange, and then he reached out and gestured for Max to give him Atley. She carefully handed him over and then stood up, pulling Jaden to her feet as she looked over at Logan.
"I'm going to see if there's a restroom we can use." Max stated.
"Okay," Logan replied while settling Atley on his lap.
"Come on, little lady, let's go see what we can find." Max smiled at Jaden. She and Jaden walked away, and Max hoped there would acceptable facilities in the place.
Alec came back a moment later with a few more bottles of water and raised one to Logan.
"Sure, thanks." Logan said as he took the water.
Alec stood tall a few feet away and twisted off the plastic cap to his own before taking a long drink. There was silence between the two men until Alec cleared his throat and spoke.
"Can't say that I would have come back to Seattle if I knew this mess would be happening." Alec glanced around the warehouse.
Logan looked up at him expressionless.
"Can't say we ever expected to see you back in Seattle in the first place." Logan responded with an eyebrow raise.
"Touché." Alec smirked and pulled another drink from his water bottle.
"Speaking of," Logan looked down at Atley who had begun to move around. "Why are you here? If you don't mind me asking…" He looked at Alec.
"Decided to do a little traveling. Figured I'd see how things were in Seattle." Alec looked down at the empty water bottle in his hands and crushed it in one squeeze. The noise startled Atley from sleep and he let out a cry before turning and burying his head into Logan's sturdy chest. Logan sighed and pulled him closer.
"Oops." Alec shrugged and tossed the crushed bottle into a nearby barrel.
"Where have you been over these last few years, anyway?" Logan looked at Alec quizzically.
"Boston." Alec replied with a confident nod.
"Hm. Boston." Logan cocked his head and sat up straighter. Logan wondered why Alec never picked up the phone to call and check in with Max over the years. Even though Alec and Max hadn't left things on the best terms when he left Seattle, Logan knew that Max would have appreciated Alec giving her an update. He never called, never sent an email, and had not even showed his face in the last 7 years. That was Alec though. Unflinching. Independent. Strong. No attachments.
From behind them, Max and Jaden approached. Logan turned his chair to face them. "Find one?" He asked.
Max nodded. "Sure did." She looked at Alec, who raised his chin in acknowledgment before settling himself in the folding chair.
Jaden crossed a few more feet and slung her arm out to drape it on Logan's shoulder.
"Morning, Dad." She said, her voice weary.
"Good morning, Jay." Logan placed a hand on her back then leaned over and kissed the side of her head.
Max walked forward and reached for Atley who was wide awake.
"Hey," Max said, looking at Logan. "Got another diaper for this boy?"
Logan reached around in to the bag on the back of his chair and revealed one. "This is the last one." He said as he handed it to Max along with the case of wet wipes.
"Hello, my little guy…" Max cooed before lifting Atley up and balancing him on her hip. "Let's get you changed."
Logan craned his neck and glanced around the warehouse. "Uh, Max, where is the restroom?"
"Oh," she pointed. "That far wall and then down a hallway."
Logan nodded his thanks. "I'll be back." He said and gave Jaden a slight squeeze on her arm before pushing off.
Max knelt down onto the blanket and Jaden followed, imitating her mother.
Max leaned Atley back on the floor and began to change his wet diaper in silence.
"I'm thirsty, Mom." Jaden said.
Before Max could answer, Alec reached down to pick up a water bottle. "Here, kid. It's fresh." He leaned out and gave it to her. Max glanced at Alec. She was surprised to see a softer side to him.
Jaden took the water bottle. "Thanks." She said quietly with a polite smile. She opened the top and took a drink. "Mom? You want some?" She lifted the bottle to her mother.
Max smiled and shook her head. "No, thanks. I bet your brother might though." She stood Atley up and straightened his clothes. The little boy took a sip that his sister offered.
Max knelt on the floor by the kids as she folded the diaper and wipe together in preparation to throw it away. She glanced at Alec and caught him looking down at her left hand, studying it.
"So, I notice you two don't wear rings…." Alec gestured to Max's empty ring finger. He had only assumed she and Logan had gotten hitched as soon as they shacked up together.
"Well, aren't you observant?" Max's tone was dry.
"Don't want to be flashing your wealth around or what?" Alec smirked. He was purposely trying to annoy Max and he could see on her face that his effort was working.
She stifled an uncomfortable laugh and shook her head. "You are just the same, you know that?" She tossed the diaper in his direction and he swatted it away.
"Hey!" Alec furrowed his brow with disgust.
"Oh, please. You've touched worse." Max stood up and brushed off her jeans.
"Not that it's any of your business, but Logan and I aren't married." Max stepped a couple feet away from the kids and turned in Alec's direction. She crossed her arms and thrust out a hip.
"Wow. Alright. I just figured with the kids…" Alec trailed off as soon as he saw Logan coming back.
"Hey," Max said with a slight smile as she turned to him.
"Hey." Logan returned her smile.
"Okay, then…" Alec said before standing up and looking around. "Got anything to eat?"
Max and Logan looked at each other and shook their heads.
The sun was beginning to rise, and the warehouse was buzzing. People were moving about. From what they could see of outside, the streets had also started to fill up with people and cars. It almost looked like a normal Seattle morning. A male police officer stood by the front doors and shouted above the noise of the building. He asked people to gather up their things. Max, Logan, and Alec could clearly hear him from their spot in the rear of the warehouse when he made another announcement.
"Listen up, folks. We've just got word that your building, along with the surrounding ones, are secure and we have determined that it's safe for you to return home. But, we're going to do this slowly. Got it? Three lines." He gestured in front of himself and people started to come forward to the doors.
Jaden and Atley stood and Max bent to pick up the blanket that lay on the ground. "Alright. Come on, you two." She grabbed both of their hands and wiggled them. "Stay close, okay?"
"Max, I'll get the blanket," Logan said leaned forward to take it from under her arm before stuffing it into the bag behind his chair.
With, Alec trailing close behind the foursome, Max, Logan, and the kids made their way to the lines.