The talk with Kristina ended up having to wait. Giles came home early the next day, and worried. He disappeared into the washroom for just long enough to get the worst of the day's grime off of him before coming to the kitchen.

He took my hand and led me to the table in spite of the fact that dinner was still cooking on the stove. His expression was grim as he sat down and beckoned for me to do the same.

"Giles, what is it?" I asked.

"Trouble." He said uneasily, running a hand through his dark hair. "This gang we've been after, Lizzie, they're getting desperate."

"Meaning?" I prompted, when my husband did not continue right away. Giles sighed.

"Someone broke into Smith's house after he left this morning." He said in a hollow voice. Dark eyes searched mine as he spoke. "The place was trashed, Lizzie. They found blood on the floor..."

"He was married." I recalled, and realized what was bothering my husband. "They had a small boy."

Giles nodded unhappily. "The boy was at school, but there's been no sign of Margaret." He hesitated, then seemed to steel himself. "Do you think you and the children could stay with your mother until this is over?"

I nodded, though it seemed as though I were watching someone else as I added, "Mum has been after me to come and visit anyway." I stood and went back to the stove before the dinner burned. "We can pack tonight and be on our way in the morning." I suggested.

"Early." Giles replied, and I nodded.

"Early." I agreed. "And you'll take care of yourself while we're gone, Giles?"

He managed a smile, worried as he was. "Of course, love."