AN: I am a horrible person. I haven't updated this in forever. I had this grand plan about updating in a timely fashion, and it fell to pieces. So SORRY! But thank you for actually reading and reviewing this. It makes me feel good to know I'm not writing just for myself. And it's short, and I'm sorry it's short. I'm gonna try to write faster and longer. I promise.

Sometimes people leave you….

Breakfast was a solemn affair. The baby boy, Jerry, back in his crib sleeping soundly, Jim, Cindy, Red, and Jack all putting away mouthful after mouthful of bread and eggs, washed down by milk. Everyone had been so exhausted the night before they'd hardly thought of the fact that none of them had eaten since the morning before. Their bodies had been weak and tired, but come morning, their bellies had been empty and rumbling.

Then Red spoke the question on all of their minds, "What are we going to do now?"

They all sort of looked at each other with tired, questioning eyes. What were they going to do?

"Well…" Cinderella tried to start, but really didn't know what to say. None of them could go back to the lives they'd lead before. They had no family, no friends except the ones sitting before them….

"I'm going to find the steward who killed my mother," Jack said, shoveling another mouthful of egg. "And once I have found him…I'm at least going to tell him what a horrible person he is, and at most going to kill him."

"Jack…" Jim yelled. "We talked about this. Killing him won't change anything."

"But it will make me feel better."

"Don't you think enough blood has been shed?"

"No. She didn't have to die. Everyone killed by the giant could not have been avoided, but she didn't have to die. He murdered her. A life for a life." Jim shook his head knowing he couldn't convince they boy otherwise, but he hoped Jack would tire of the idea before it came to fruition.

"I'll go with you!" Red piped up, smiling.

"No, I have to do this alone."

"But…I have a knife." She pulled it out of her basket. "See?"

"I can fight my own battles. I'm a boy. You're a girl. Act like it." His bitterness was starting to show. Red glared at him, using her hunting knife to cut her egg, just to prove a point to Jack. He ignored her, gulped his glass of milk, and huffed off to his room. Red disappeared into Cindy's room, mostly just to have a place to slam the door in response.

Cinderella sopped up the last bit of egg with her bread, then began clearing plates and washing them in the wash basin.

"We'll have to start gathering supplies to rebuild," she smiled warmly as her hands worked. "See what we can salvage from what's left of your house. If there's still good wood and metal there we can use it as a start. I know I saw a hatchet out back we can start cutting down trees with. Maybe you can take Jack with you, distract him from this silliness about the steward. Who knows where they even are by now. I certainly don't care to know…"

She prattled on, Jim paying her very little attention, only contented slightly to hear a woman's voice speaking. He missed his wife, Sarah, very much.


His eyes shot up, coming out of the trance.

"You miss her…"

"I do." She wiped her hands on her dress and laid a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"I'm sorry…"

"You must miss him too…"

"Sometimes I think it might have been easier if he'd died."

"No." Jim shook his head. "At least he's safe. Your heart will heal."

She smiled, sitting down beside him. "And in time, so will you…"

Jack came out of his room, pack slung over his back. "If I'm not back, I'm not."

"Jack please!" Cinderella stood, moving toward him.

"Don't! You're not my mother. I need to do this for her. I'll…be back eventually…" He ran out the door, leaving Jim and Cindy staring at the door.

"Where'd he go?" Red heard the door close again and stood, hands on hips.

"He's going to find that steward…" Jim sighed.

"Not alone!" Red rushed into her room, throwing a few pieces of clothing, ribbons, and leftover bread into her pack and rushed out after him.

"Red please be careful! Both of you back before dinner!" Cindy called out the door, seriously doubting that it would happen. Perhaps they would get tired. Perhaps they would turn around. Perhaps they'd never even make it to the woods. She sighed, closing the door, looking back to Jim who had risen and now had his son on his lap. She smiled at the beautiful sight, laying a light hand on her stomach.