She heard the boys come in just past two in the morning, and sighed with relief. She could never sleep until she knew they were safe at home.
Mrs. Knight could hear their low, muffled voices in the living room. She sat up in bed, listening. The refrigerator door shut. Someone cleared their throat. The TV was turned on.
The boys were still talking quietly amongst themselves in the other room when she laid back down. She couldn't make out what they were saying. Mrs. Knight figured she would have to have a talk with Gustavo in the morning. This was the second time he had kept the boys at Rocque Records after midnight. They were just boys, after all. They needed their rest.
She was so proud of Kendall.
She was proud of all of them. Kendall, James, Carlos and Logan were determined to make their dreams happen, and it definitely showed. She was glad she was there to help.
It was not much longer when Mrs. Knight noticed the lack of noise in the other room. She pulled the covers off her body and grabbed her robe off the back of her desk chair. She exited her bedroom and saw that the light was on in the living room. She entered quietly.
Mrs. Knight could not suppress a smile at the sight of the boys. Her son was laying on the couch, mouth open and one arm dangling off the side. James was next to Kendall, sitting in an upright position with his feet on the coffee table. Logan laid with his head on the arm of the couch, his knees tucked against his torso. And Carlos was on the floor, one leg up against the couch as if he had fallen off. All four boys were sound asleep.
The TV was playing cartoons, and, careful not to disturb the boys, Mrs. Knight grabbed the remote from the coffee table and turned the volume down. She approached her son first. She gingerly laid her hand on his cheek, remembering all the times she would tuck him in at night and all the times he would crawl in bed with her when he had a nightmare. God, was she proud of Kendall. He was a leader, not a follower, and had his own strict moral code that she was still trying to figure out. He never turned his back on his friends.
And Katie. He was always so good to Katie, even when the two were little. Sometimes, when Katie couldn't sleep, Kendall would take her hand, tuck her in, and sing her a soft song until she fell asleep.
Mrs. Knight carefully removed Kendall's shoes and set them on the floor beside the couch. Carefully stepping around Carlos, she retreated back to her bedroom and dug around her closet for some blankets. When she returned, the boys where all laying in the same spot she had left them in. She took a fluffy green blanket and put it around her son. He didn't even stir. Then she leaned down and kissed his cheek.
James was next. Like she did for Kendall, Mrs. Knight carefully removed James's shoes and put them on the floor. Then she took a blanket and put it around him. She sighed. James was definitely a ladies' man. It cracked her up sometimes. There had been times where she had overheard the boys' conversations about James. Apparently he was always getting the girl. It did not surprise her, though. With all the time the kid spent on his hair and his skin, it was no wonder he was so handsome and had so much self-confidence. Leaning forward, Mrs. Knight planted a motherly kiss on his forehead. She made sure the blanket was snug, and went to Logan.
Logan was a determined kid with a bright future. He was very smart for his age and always eager to learn something new. Mrs. Knight could tell he was a level-headed member of the group. Kendall often told her stories about Logan. She even witnessed some of the things Logan had come up with. Once, back in Minnesota when the boys were ten, Carlos got one of his toys stuck on the roof of the house. Logan found a long stick and had the boys take the shoelaces off their tennis shoes. Then, he tied the laces together to make one very long string, and attached one end to the stick. On the other end of the string, Logan had tied a magnet, since part of the toy was made of metal. Like it was a fishing pole, he cast the magnet to the roof. It only took him a few tries before Carlos's toy stuck to the end of it, and was safely pulled down.
Mrs. Knight smiled. Logan was such a nice, clever boy. She tucked a blanket around his body, and not being able to get at his shoes to take them off, she kissed him on the temple.
Carlos looked very uncomfortable laying on the floor. Mrs. Knight gently removed his helmet from his head and put a pillow underneath instead. She also removed his shoes and draped a blanket over his body. Carlos was a goofy kid. When the boys were little, Carlos was always doing something crazy. Hanging upside down from trees, eating bugs, crashing his bike into trash cans… It was no wonder he always wore a helmet. Mrs. Knight could tell he was the most outgoing of the four boys. He loved to be where the action was, and he loved to make others laugh. His sense of humor and knack for cheering his friends up when they were upset was displayed to her many times throughout the years. Mrs. Knight bent down and gave Carlos a kiss on the forehead.
She stood and gazed at the boys, all still soundly asleep after a long day of recording. They were such good boys. She was so unbelievably proud of them. Taking one last, long look at the sleeping bodies, Mrs. Knight flipped off the light and retreated back to her bedroom.
She smiled to herself. Carlos, James and Logan all had loving families back home, but they were, and always would be, her boys.