AN/: I had fun with this chapter and hope you enjoy it. I know it's short, most of my chapters will be between 300 and 600 words. This may be my shortest. Please review, it helps me see if anyone likes what I'm offering, and it motivates me to type faster. Rest assured, those who refuse to review but still like it, I'll continue posting chapter whether I get reviews or not. Also, please don't expect me to be regular at updating; I get terrible writer's block and I type really slowly. Thank you for spending time with my writing.

Disclaimer: Still not Matthew Reilly.... Sorry if you expect me to be.

Packing

"Hey, Zoe? Have you seen my canvas jacket and gloves?"

Jack had brightened up significantly since they'd made the plans to visit his mom. Much to Zoe and Lily's amusement, he seemed incredibly excited. Almost as excited as, when on his 28th birthday, his sister surprised him by calling to say she was at the airport about to board a plan to Kenya; she would go no longer without meeting Lily. Zoe just hoped his happiness would not be cut as cruelly short; Lauren's plane never landed. No, she told herself sternly, Jack needs this taste of normality too much for something to go wrong. Although, an evil voice told her, he had needed his sister's comforting presence then, too. She pushed away these morbid thoughts, only then realizing the strangeness of his question.

"Uh, Jack. It's rather to warm for that."

"Yeah," he said looking distinctly uncomfortable, "I kind of haven't told my mom what happened when Max and I got Lily..." he mumbled.

"She doesn't know you're missing an arm." Zoe finished flatly.

Jack seemed to shrink with every word. "I just told her Malena died in childbirth and we got Lily. No specifics. I didn't think she would be happy hearing over the phone."

Zoe stared at him for a minute, incredulous, before responding. "No, I doubt it. But, did you think for a moment, she may be pissed when you've failed to mention your loss of limb over twelve years! How much have you, or should I say haven't, told her?"

"Well, I told her I adopted Lily..."

"Does she know we're married?"

"Not many people do..."

"She's your mother! She should have been the first to know! Jack, you need to learn to trust people with your personal life. I told my parents the following day. You should have told her. Everything. Now, come here and let's find your jacket before we give your mother a fricken' heart attack."

With their disguises set and their route checked and protected by Pine Gap, the Wests made their way to Broome.