I know this is a little goofy, but it will have to do unless I can come up with something better! Enjoy...

Chapter 9

"I'm not going back with you three." Theo surprised the men with her announcement. She continued to rub her swollen stomach with her right hand. The movement was sort of a calling card to anyone who would even question if a woman was expecting. Theo was defiantly expecting, and very soon. She smiled at the men. It was an expression that the three just weren't accustomed to from the hardened woman.

"Wait…" Jeremiah shook his head taking a step towards the petiet overly exuberant, moderately flamboyant African American woman. "…did you just say that you are staying here with a group of women who are teachers?"

"I thought you wanted to raise little Cleo or was it Leo at the mountain." Kurdy asked shaking his head in confusion.

"Boys, I know that it will be very difficult for you to adjust to life without Theo. You are just going to have to try to get over it." Theo smiled a crooked smile as she almost mocked the confused men.

"I think that you made a good decision." Smith nodded in approval. He was confused too. He knew that the woman and the two men had a history together but he wasn't aware of the whole story.

Kurdy shook his head in confusion as he looked over at Sister Hannah who simply stood at the door with a smile on her face. She held onto Lilly's hand with one hand and Rose's hand with her other.

Theo took another step towards Kurdy and Jeremiah who watched in dumfounded confusion.

"Look this is a chance… a chance for this one to have a better life. I mean… I can't teach my baby about math and science. I didn't pass that crap when I was in school. I wasn't good at it. I want it to have a chance." Her eyes were gentle and sincere. She licked her lips and continued. "I questioned if I even wanted it when I was at the mountain and then something happened inside of me and I just want the best for it. Here it'll have that chance."

"Theo, the baby would have a chance at the mountain." Kurdy pointed out.

"True…" Theo raised that brow at the men. "But here it'll have a sister… Lilly."

Smith took a shuddering breath in as he looked up at Theo. She was a woman of profound thought. She had a vision, an often selfish one, but she had one. She had always had a plan. That plan had protected her when life on the streets should have killed her. That plan had saved a town and then helped to save the mountain. She had done her part to help with the alliance. Today she had a vision for her unborn child. That vision would mean a future for it not matter what.

--

Smith smiled as he turned his back on the three who were still talking and headed to the door. Sister Hannah smiled at Smith. She had always been so proud of the devotion Mister Smith had had for his daughter. He had chosen to walk away from her to save her from the world to help deliver the world someday. She knew it was hard for him to be away from the young girl. She also knew the sadness Rose held in her heart not seeing her father. It made her proud to know GOD was alive and speaking through his profits again.

"Do you have to go?" Rose asked poking her bottom lip out as she squeezed Smith tightly around the neck

"Yeah… daddy has to go for now. You need to look after Lilly and help her. She's gonna be a little scared at first." Smith raised his right eyebrow as he gave his daughter the "do you understand" look that fathers give their children.

"I know daddy." Rose smiled as she looked over at Lilly who pulled herself from Hannah to approach the two.

Lilly's blue eyes sparkled underneath the blond bangs which hung just above her brow line. Her hair blew in the cool afternoon breeze. She had a tear in her eye as she looked up at Smith who felt himself start to tear up. To him she was the most precious. She had been abused by a madman who also happened to be the one who murdered her family. She had bravely taken that abuse for too long waiting for GOD's promise of delivery by an angel.

"Please don't go." She whispered as the tear slipped down her cheek.

"It's alright Lilly… he'll be back." Rose smiled taking her by the hand. "Daddy always comes back."

Smith was taken aback at the comment. He felt the tear he had been struggling to hold in roll shamelessly down the discolored yellow and purple of his cheek. He took a deep breath as the girls bolted for him standing together hugging him tightly around the neck.

Smith knew he wasn't ready to give this up yet.

--

"Smith…" Jeremiah shouted at the smaller man as Theo walked towards the house. Smith gave Rose a kiss on the cheek and then turned and gave a kiss to his little Lilly. "Be good for Sister Hannah and mind Theo. Lilly you take care of Rose and Rose you take care of Lilly…"

It was becoming overly apparent Mister Smith wasn't ready to go. Jeremiah thought to himself how difficult it would be to walk away from your child in the world today. She wasn't his but he could feel the pains growing inside of his stomach as he remembered how Lilly had slept in his arms after he and Kurdy had found her in the woods. He remembered how she had slept all the way back to the mountain with her head on his lap. She was his little girl, she was Kurdy's little girl… and Smith… he was her angel.

--

Kurdy watched Smith as he rose painfully slow to his feet. He had nearly given his life to save the tiny little creature from the heathens of Bailey. He remembered the beating he had endured and knew that the ache Smith was feeling today was a direct result of that. He and Smith had nearly died on the road in the battle between Thunder Mountain and Bailey. They had survived for this day. The day that they would deliver Lilly to the school… the day that Smith saw his daughter… and the unexpected departure of Theo who insisted she needed to stay at the school. Although Kurdy knew it was because she wanted to be with Lilly, she was right, she did have a better chance with the teachers and the children of the school.

He watched as the little blond child made her way over to where Jeremiah stood holding vigil by the Rover. She had pulled him to his knees. She then took his cheeks in her hands and whispered something in his ear. Jeremiah bit his lip visibly choked up by the innocence of the child. He then pulled her in tightly for a hug as she kissed him on the cheek and he whispered something back in her ear. He then stood up slowly wiping a tear from his eye with his hand.

--

Kurdy looked down at Lilly walked up to him interrupting him from his thoughts.

"Mr. Kurdy…" she had that far off look in her eyes. The same look she had when Jeremiah and he had found her cradling the remains of a tattered purple scarf in the woods.

"Yeah baby?" Kurdy leaned over and lifted her up holding her in his arms.

"Mr. Kurdy, do you have to go to?"

Kurdy nearly melted into her big blue eyes. She had him wrapped tightly around his finger. He wanted to badly to say no. It was his commitment to the mountain that stopped him.

"Yeah little girl… I have to go." He smiled rubbing his forefinger over the bridge of his nose. She let out a giggle and followed it up with her arms around his neck too.

"I love you." She murmured in his ear.

"I love you too little girl."

Where had this little girl come from? She was melting his heart with the smallest gestures. He hadn't heard that from anyone since Elizabeth. He felt a lump in his throat as he held her tightly to him. He was going to miss her so much.

"I love you too." Kurdy answered again as he held her in his arms.

--

"You ready?" Jeremiah asked as he climbed into the driver's seat.

"Yeah…" Kurdy responded looking at the foursome walking into the mansion.

"Yeah…" Mister Smith answered nodding his head. He turned and climbed into the cab of the truck holding his bag on his shoulder.

"Where to next?" Kurdy asked Jeremiah.

"Millhaven." Jeremiah responded.

"What for?" Mister Smith asked.

"I need a drink and it's the closest town to us right now." Jeremiah said calmly turning the key in the Rover bringing the engine rumbling to life.

"A drink?" Smith wrinkled his nose.

"Yeah Smith, a drink." Jeremiah answered coldly.

"Not sure weather to celebrate the loss of Theo or to morn the loss of Lilly." Kurdy replied.

"Nah… I'm gonna toast the fact that Smith here is a daddy and she isn't annoying, chatty, obnoxious and is hardly as ugly as he is." Jeremiah laughed throwing the vehicle into drive.

"HaHa very funny…" Smith reacted to the laughter of his two best friends.

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