It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, only one voice could be heard and it's the voice of a mother, telling her kids a bedtime story. A bedtime story about her life.

"Mommy?" Joyce asked, "Can you tell us another story?" The five-year old girl's eyes were shinning with anticipation.

"Yeah, mommy. Tell us more about daddy. Tell us more about your first kiss with daddy." Joyce's three-year old sister, Rose, also urged.

"Well," A Mrs. Annie Marie Benedict Thomas, now twenty-nine and the mother of three, replied. "You daddy, when he was just a teenager." Annie paused. "He had the richest golden-blonde hair. His eyes were a shocking silvery-blue, like yours, Richard. And Daddy had the warmest smile anyone can ever have. The first kiss with him was…" Annie paused and thought back to the time. "…was amazing. It was simply amazing. We got married right after I was finished with college."

"Tell us more about Scott and Neo." The oldest of the Thomas kids, Richard, six-year-old, craved for some excitement. "I want to be like them when I grow up."

"No. You wouldn't want to be like them." Annie teased. "Scott and Neo are the clowns of the family. In fact, my first Christmas with them, Neo dressed up as Santa Claus, thinking that I still believed in Santa Claus, and got stuck in the chimney. Boy, Sean almost blew his top!" She kissed them each on the forehead and shut the lights off. "Now, it's time to go to sleep."

As Annie turned to leave the room, she saw Mr. Brad Thomas leaning against the doorway, arms crossed in front of his chest, listening to every word of the story.

"God, Annie." He whispered, looking at her and the children tenderly. "That was a marvelous story."

"Oh, Brad." She gave him a kiss. "I have already told them…and you…the story hundreds of times. They just find it purely astounding. You yourself find it the greatest thing." She laughed playfully. Her laughter still sounded like a delicate twinkling of a bell.

"No one can ever have a story as exquisite as that." Brad kissed her back and hugged her tighter to him. "Especially when it's the story of your life. I am glad I didn't turn out to be an actor. I love my job––being an IMF, especially when you and your uncles are on the team with me."

Their kiss was interrupted by a series of door knocking.

"Now, who could that be at a time like this?" Brad frowned, annoyed that his kiss was interrupted this way.

"I'll go see who it is. But there could only be one group of people who would knock at this time…" Annie strolled to the door and opened it. "And I was right––it's the "babysitters."" She sighed.

"Hey, Annie!" A deep, rich-accented Scottish voice boomed. "We thought Santa Claus should visit on this Christmas Eve." Five lanky, rowdy agents trouped into the house. In their middle forties, the agents were still as enthusiastic and boyish as when Annie was a teen. Getting along very well with kids, the one of more of the agents were often called by the Thomas's to baby-sit the kids when the both Annie and Brad are on a case. Annie, more than often, expected to come home and find the house burned down…or the whole "Sean's Island" in a mist of fire. With five lunatic agents and three youngsters, what can you expect? But Annie knew the agents better. They may be fun loving and insane at times, but they always took responsibilities very seriously. They repair the problems when they realize that they made mistake. Especially three of them––Sean, Ethan, and good old Hugh. They got Annie back when she was kidnapped, even though their life is at stake.

"Sean." Annie groaned. "When are you guys ever going learn that the kids go to bed at eight?" Then she laughed. In a second, her laughter was mixed with delightful shrieks and squealed.

"Uncle Sean!"

"I don't think I heard my name being called, yet." Ethan said, his voice edged with jealousy.

"Santa Claus is coming to town." Neo sang as he looked toward the fireplace for the Christmas socks. Except for the merriment, his tall, lanky frame barely duplicates the fat, old Saint Nicolas. His old Santa Claus suit, first time use when Annie was thirteen, had not been exchanged for a newer one. He declared that it brings back good memories.

Too bad there was only three kids, the agents battled on who should hold whom. The kids were tossed up in the air and caught as they descended again by a different agent.

"Ho, ho, ho." Scott imitated Neo. Neo casted him with a dark look and went back to stuffing the socks.

"Hey, Richard. How about giving your Uncle Hugh a big hug?" Hugh swung Richard up and gave him a big bear hug.

"You know something, Brad?" Annie looked at the scene in front of her tenderly. Her eyes shone with warmth and love. "I don't think these agents are ever going to change nor grow old." The agents' laughter echoed through the house on this Christmas Eve.

"You know something, Annie, I don't think they will either." Brad took this time and stole another kiss. His arm circled around Annie's waist. Annie could almost hear one of the agents mutter, "Don't make me go over there."

"Don't make me go over there!" As if he could read her mind, Ethan did called over. Guess they haven't and will never change, Annie thought as she reluctantly pulled away. But Brad wouldn't and pulled her to him tighter.

"Are you big kids ashamed of yourselves?" Sean scolded. "There are youngsters at sight."

"Joyce. Don't look. Your mommy and daddy are being naughty." Hugh covered the eyes of young Joyce. The other also covered the eyes of the other youngsters.

"Uncle Hugh," Annie complained good-naturally. "I am twenty-nine!" "And I am your uncle." Hugh replied firmly. "And I still don't approve of you two kissing in front of the kids."

"You guys use to kiss all around me when I was a kid." Annie reminded them. "I remember when Sean took me to that dance and you, Mr. Hugh Stamp, was flirting with the local waitress as well as your own date, Alaina. I am also a mother. In case you have forgotten. Those little devils you are holding is mine." Annie remarked. Remembering back when she was having Richard. All the agents had arrived, but Brad was not at presence because he was on a mission in Spain. The nurse had came out and assumed that Scott was the father, considering that he looked and was the youngest. When he told her no, she moved on to Neo. That continued until the last agent stated his position––"I'm the uncle." She also remembered the day of her wedding, Sean had glanced at his watch for the millionth time. "Afraid that the groom wouldn't show up?" Annie had asked, with Scott beside her, fanning for her as if he expected her to faint any minute. "No." Ethan drawled as he strolled over in his tuxedo. "Sean's afraid that Brad would show up."

Little Rose interrupted before Hugh could retort back.

"Uncle Sean." She tugged at his black tie to get his attention. "Mommy was telling us about you guys tonight." Her innocent voice silenced the whole room.

"Really?" Sean turned all his attention to the little duplicate of Annie and cooed as he laid his index finger on her little nose. "What did she tell you? Annie, what have you been telling the kids to poison their innocent minds about us?"

"Why, nothing." Annie looked surprised. Nobody heard her. The agents were all telling the youngsters about when they were young.

"When I was young," Sean made his voice spooky as he held Rose. She fit into his grasp comfortably and rested on her head on his elbow as she stared up at him expectantly. "I was cruel and mean. People died when they even tried to tell me something I didn't want to hear." Rose shrieked with laughter.

"When I was as young as your daddy." Hugh told Richard. "I was an air pilot. I was not just a pilot––I hijacked planes. Many planes have went crashing down into the valleys and canyons because I had decided I didn't want the plane anymore and parachuted down." Richard's eyes were big as he stared at Hugh expectantly, waiting patiently for him to go on.

"When I was only as young as your mommy," Neo began his work on Joyce. "I was a computer genius. The thing I love to do the most is decoding the code that I found when I hack into a Top Secret file. I love hacking into folders that I wasn't suppose to. Many Top Secret informations were hacked in by me, but nobody ever knew." Joyce's mouth was as round as an O.

"Whoa," Annie interrupted just as Scott and Ethan was about share and freak the kids out with an experience of their own. "Talking about poisoning the kids' mind. It's time for bed for the kids." She told the agents. The three kids protested about staying late.

"You heard what your mommy said." Brad ordained. "Do what your mother asks." The three kids followed Brad back into the bedrooms, where the tall agent tucked all of them back up. Richard's shocking silver blue eyes and his blonde hair was as blonde as his own. Brad beamed with pride as he also looked at his two little daughters, barely taller than his knee. Joyce, with hair of strawberry blonde and dark violet eyes, was sweet and precious. And not to forget little Rose's dark auburn hair and violet blue eyes with her innocent thoughts and mellow actions. He loves his family. Richard was a satisfactory duplicate of him and the girl were a lovely duplicate of their mother and his wife.

He had to thank the agents for this lucky family he has got. If Annie happens to have gone back to California and had gotten killed with her brothers, he would have never met her. He looked out to the living room, where Annie had settled in the center of the agents, letting them scold her and pamper her like the old times.

I must say, Brad thought, these agents are something. They made up for the lack of her parents' and brothers' love Annie's had. They raised her up with no help from a woman. What a story of love. What a life for Annie. They still love each other, as much as ever. I love Annie. Annie loves the agents, the kids, and me. Everyone loves everyone. As I was saying…this is amazing…simply amazing…and it all began with a kidnap…