On the Bright Side

A TB story (stand-alone) of the boys together with Jeff in the Bahamas during Thanks Giving break.

The boys are - Scott - 9, John - 7, Virgil - 5, Gordon 2, Alan - 1.

Many thanks as usual to Quiller - you are AWESOME !!!


Chapter One

Susan waited for the family to arrive at the resort holiday cottage.

She was twenty three years old and had been working on Harbour Island for the last two seasons. She really enjoyed the diversity the job gave her, as well as the climate of the Bahamas. It was hard work being a holiday nanny, but she found it fun and rewarding.

The parents were nearly always nice to her. Most of them labelled her as their saviour; for both the parents and their off-spring, she was the recipe for a perfect holiday. Rest for the parents and hours of endless fun for the kids.

Susan had been given the briefest of details about her new family, which was typical of the resort. Her boss asked her if she minded working for a single dad, a resort policy that nannies did not have to work for single dads if they felt uncomfortable about it. She had no problem with single dads. Susan knew she would only see him at the beginning and the end of each day. Besides, her dad brought her up on his own after her mother died in a fire.

She was not clear on how many children her new family had though, she thought it was a couple of boys.

As the large green car pulled up outside the cottage in which the family would be staying in for the next week, she began to count as the boys pulled themselves out of the vehicle.

First emerged a blond haired boy with pixie features. He held a book under his arm and turned to help his chestnut haired brother from the car.

Susan moved over to help them. "Hi! Welcome to Harbour Island. I'm Susan, and I'm your nanny for the week. What's your name?"

The blond boy turned to look at her with suspicious blue eyes. "John," was his short reply. Susan groaned inwardly, this boy was going to be hard work, normally the kids were bouncing with excitement to get out of the car and down to the beach.

A third boy appeared from the other side of the car with a baby in his arms. "Hi, I'm Scott. This is my baby brother, Alan." Scott paused as he saw John and Virgil attempting to undo Gordon's seat belt. "John, wait! Let Dad get Gordie, just in case he runs off again."

John instantly stopped what he was doing and climbed back out of the car. He walked to stand slightly behind Scott, but on the same side Scott held the baby. Susan noticed the protective gesture.

The chestnut haired boy jumped down from the car and also went to stand next to the oldest brother and held his free hand. Scott looked down at the boy affectionately as he took hold of the smaller hand and smiled at him before looking back at Susan.

Susan felt her heart take an extra beat, these boys were lovely. It was very unusual to come across such open-heartedness between siblings.

"This is Virgil," Scott nodded towards his left, then added while nodding at John, "that's John, but I heard he already told you that. Gordie is inside the car, he already disappeared at the airport on the way here and they had to search one of the planes because he got on the wrong one.... that's why we're late." Scott gave Susan a report that she was impressed with. For a ten or eleven year old, she recognised he had a good sense of awareness and command about him.

Inside the car, two year old Gordon started thrashing about in a temper tantrum at being the last one in the car. His wailing caused the father of the boys to finish talking to the driver and get out from the front of the car himself.

Susan took a breath and counted the boys properly....five. Five boys! Her first thought was, 'Oh my god, I'd better make a run for it'! Her second thought was, 'this is a special family', seeing the boys lined up in front of her like a toy army.

Luckily for her, they 'did' seem to be well behaved and not spoiled brats, and the younger boys did what Scott had told them to do, so far without any arguments. But then she glanced at young Gordie in the car, and she wondered if he was always like that...

Then the father broke her thoughts.

"Hi, sorry about the delay. Jeff Tracy." Jeff held out his hand as he introduced himself. "Slight ..um, problem at the airport."

Behind his back, Susan saw the boys grin.

"No problem, Mr Tracy." Susan replied kindly with a smile, "Welcome to Harbour Island. I'm Susan, and I'll be looking after the boys during your stay here. If there is anything you particularly want them to do, then please just ask me and I will book them in for it. We have water sports, golf, cycle hire, the 'kidz club', for the younger ones..." looking pointedly at Gordie and then Alan, at which point Gordon's voice became so high pitched that the father grimaced and took a step towards the open car door.

"Please excuse me for just one minute Susan; by the way, before I forget, please call me Jeff. I'm on holiday and I get enough of 'Mr Tracy' at the office!"

Susan grinned and Jeff winked at her before taking a deep breath and stepping towards the raging two year old inside the car.

Susan turned to see John staring at her coldly, while Scott offered her a smile before letting Virgil's hand go so he could get a better hold on the now wriggling baby.

Virgil grabbed hold of Scott's shorts instead.

Susan was taken back by the piercing look John gave her, and she wondered why he seemed so cold towards her. The other boys and the father seemed cheery and fine with her.

"Would you like me to hold Alan for a minute? To give your arms a rest?" she offered to Scott, who looked like he was beginning to struggle with the chubby, heavy blond baby.

"Um...sure, just for a bit." For the first time since meeting the confident Scott, she saw he was a little unsure about handing Alan over. "Thanks." He added as she took the weighty baby out of his arms.

Alan took one look at Susan, was about to cry and then she poked her tongue out at him, he could not help but start to giggle. Scott looked relived, even Virgil laughed.

John on the other hand, narrowed his eyes suspiciously.

Susan jiggled Alan on her hip - she was a pro after all, if there was one thing she did know, it was how to make babies laugh!

Seeing that Alan was fine with Susan, Scott looked towards where his father had now disappeared inside the car and the noise of Gordon's temper tantrum was still going full blast.

"Come on guys, let's unload the car." Scott walked to the back of the car and opened the boot. He handed a few small cases which had wheels on the bottom to Virgil. "Here Virg, can you pull these for me?"

Virgil looked pleased to be given such an important job, and took the cases with no complaint. Scott then got out two middle sized cases and just handed them to John without saying anything.

Susan noticed the way John acted like a second in command, and saw that the two boys communicated silently as John took the cases from Scott.

"Follow me," Susan said to the boys before turning and walking down the path to the cottage.

As she reached the door, she turned to see the line of boys pulling cases behind her, and the sight was so comical she laughed out loud.

In front was Virgil pulling two small cases, then John with the middle sized cases, and Scott had two large cases. Behind them came Jeff with his arms full of the raging two year old.

Susan had no doubt who had the biggest burden.

The driver had retrieved the last bags from the car and was following them up the path.

"Scott, take Alan for a minute would you?" Susan asked. She had a feeling that Gordon was used to calling attention to himself by playing up, and she thought she would be able to help free Jeff for a while.

"Jeff, may I borrow Gordie for a bit?"

Jeff looked surprised, most people ran a mile when they saw Gordon coming, screaming or not. A typical red head, most people claimed.

"Er... sure." Jeff handed his son over, who instantly stopped howling to look at who had hold of him now.

The Tracy boys all looked on in bated breath, as Susan looked Gordon in the eyes and said "Want to go play on the beach?"

The red faced two year old blinked his eyes and looked at the woman holding him, and sniffed. Susan repeated her question, very quietly.

A small voice, wobbled back to her, "y...ye....yes..pease.." Then followed by a hiccup, and a small smile lit up the tear stained face as Susan said "Lets go then!"

Jeff smiled and knew that the family would have a great time for the rest of the holiday, Susan was a natural with the kids. His eyes went to John's face, the blond boy looked shocked for a second, before the coldness was back on his face, hiding his emotions from everyone with a cold exterior.

Jeff inwardly sighed in sadness. When Lucy died, it seemed she had taken John's smile with her. The slim, pale haired boy was silent most of the time and always had his head stuck in a book, refusing to play or talk to anyone.

"If you don't mind Jeff, I think the boys should all follow me down to the beach for an hour, you had a long journey and they need to stretch their legs."

Jeff smiled, "You know what, that is the best idea I've heard all day! I think I will join you."

Taking Alan from Scott, Jeff nodded at his sons to follow Susan out of the back of the house and onto the sandy beach.

The sun was glistening on the sea, which was the most clear blue they had ever seen, and the sand had a pink tinge to it.

"Wow! It sure is beautiful here." Jeff commented. Susan agreed, she never got get over the beauty of the place. It was like a magical Island, people always found peace and relaxation here.

"Yes it is. The sea is clean and warm too."

There was a gentle breeze, and Jeff closed his eyes and let it caress his face and hair. When he opened his eyes again, the found himself looking directly into Alan's bright blue eyes, and as he smiled at his baby boy, Alan smiled and gurgled right back whilst waving his chubby arms around.

Scott and Virgil had run off into the sea with their clothes on, Susan had put Gordon down and took his hand and together they joined the two other boys in the sea, jumping the waves and splashing each other.

John stayed next to his father, silently watching the others having fun in the sea.

"Why don't you go and join them, Son?" Jeff asked, hoping John would.

John glanced up at his father, his eyes not so cold as before, but they held something else which Jeff could not identify.

"Go on. I'll be right here. Your brothers are there having a great time."

"No. I want to read my book." Jeff then saw that John still had hold of his book and John promptly sat down on the spot he had been standing on and stuck his nose into the book as if the world around him did not exist.

Jeff let out a silent sigh at the lack of response from his second eldest son. John had changed a lot since Lucy died, and Jeff and John had never been as close as Jeff was to the rest of his sons, John had been a real mommy's boy.

The shouts and screams of his other children playing happily with Susan, got his attention away from John and back to the 'fun in the sun'. Walking towards them, leaving John on his own, Jeff carried Alan down and into the water. Together the family had a great time, and twenty minutes later they all returned to the house soaking wet, tired but very happy..... except for John.

He sat on a chair as Susan and Scott joked about while handing out towels to the others.

John had wanted to join in, but he didn't trust Susan. She was a girl. He didn't want to be here, all he wanted to do was read. By himself.

John watched out the corner of his eyes as they rest of his family moved into the kitchen to grab drinks. Alan was put into the high chair, Gordie in the raised chair with Scott sitting next to Gordie and Virgil next to Scott (as usual). Jeff had put his own towel around his shoulders and was helping Susan serve drinks.

"John, would you like some juice or water?" Susan suddenly called out to him from the kitchen.

John schooled his features to pretend he didn't hear her. She came out of the kitchen and walked over to him. He sat perfectly still, pretending to be engrossed in his book.

She knelt down in front of him and quietly said, "Would you like a drink, John? Your family is in the kitchen, and they really miss your company. Will you come and join them?"

John had been expecting her to get cross with him, and he looked up at her, surprised once again by her actions and words.

"Okay." He said quietly. She held out her hand, but he ignored her and walked into the kitchen.

"Yay! Johnny!" Gordies voice yelled out as soon as he spotted his brother in the room. Susan smiled. She thought she would have a quiet word with Jeff after the boys had gone to bed..... she could see there was a strong bond about this family. They were a close group, but something was not right. She thought that maybe, just maybe she might be able to help John out of the obvious world he had shut himself away in.

Later that night, she and Jeff settled down for a chat about the boys.... and Jeff found out that Susan might just be exactly what he and his family needed to help them move on....


Any comments are always gratfully recieved. Its been a while since I published anything, so be honest :)

Next chapter will be up soon.

Hob x