"Remember what I said stukkie." Dup told Alice patting her shoulder as they entered the dark house they called home.
"I know." Alice smiled before stopping in the hallway, halting him from walking any further by placing her hand on his arm, "Thanks Dup."
"Ach woman..." Dup smiled, his eyes warm and caring, "Martin won't try anything or I'll shoot him."
"You know I'm not thanking you for that." Alice smiled knowingly, "You know full well what I mean."
"Don't mention it." Dup said quickly, his voice tightening.
"Dup, are you sure you're ok?" Alice pestered, her blue eyes trying to catch his.
"I'm fine. Seriously. I just want you all to be happy." Dup lied, "It's late - we should get some sleep."
Alice nodded, it was 11pm and it seemed everyone had opted for an early night. She yawned and stretched before making her way into her room. She frowned as she noticed Danny wasn't around before realising that he had probably had to get up to go see to Robert. Slowly, she began to wander to her son's room (which was in fact the box room next to hers and Danny's room). Again, he wasn't there but Alice couldn't help but look at her baby boy. She smiled as she leant on his cot, resting her hand on his chest, a familiar yet indescribable feeling flooding her as she felt his heart beating. She quickly checked his monitor was on before leaving the room.
She was about to enter her Charlotte's room when suddenly she heard a soft murmer from the living room. She frowned and crept into it and looked around. It was at that moment she spotted them. Her heart somersaulted in her chest, her breath caught and her eyes welled as she observed her Husband and daughter asleep together. She swallowed. It was times like this that made everything worth while. With a soft smile, she took a blanket off the side and gently placed it over them - it got cold at nights and she didn't want them to be cold and didn't have the heart to stir them. She smiled, kissing both of them with a feather softness before making her way to bed.
Dup sat on the chair in the corner of his and Caroline's bedroom watching her as she slept. He gulped, maybe he should tell her, but with everything going on this was the last thing she needed. No. He'd tell Caroline after he'd sorted everything out. Then they could fuss do what they like. Alice was already onto him and he hadn't missed the shadow that had crossed her face momentarily. He shook his head before climbing into bed, pulling Caroline close as he did. He'd sort this.
Danny yawned tiredly as he slowly opened his eyes. He looked down to see Charlotte fast asleep on his chest, a blanket covering every inch of them. He smiled; so obviously Alice. He sighed, maybe he'd been a bit harsh on her recently. He couldn't help it sometimes; the jealously - after all, what was a woman like him doing with a boring old man like him? She was beautiful, smart, funny, independant but more importantly, she was Alice. He shook his head - she did play into Martin's hands though even if she didn't realise it! He exhaled quietly, he'd sort it with her but first, he decided he'd better get Charlotte into bed. Almost effortlessly, he picked her up without disturbing her one bit, gently carrying her through to her room before placing her on her bed and tucking her in. He stood for a moment watching her, a smile on his face, before moving some of her hair and kissing her forehead tenderly.
Satisfied, he closed the door and made the small trek to his and Alice's room. He quickly undressed before climbing steadily into bed beside his wife, careful not to jostle her. She looked so relaxed and care free as she slept peacefully. He smiled and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her closer. She gripped his arm with both hands shuffling further back into him. Danny exhaled and kissed the back of her neck gently.
"Hmm..." Alice mumbled, "Charlie?"
"In her own room." Danny whispered back, "Sorry for waking you."
"I was only dozing..." Alice admitted softly, hugging his arm closer.
"Rik ok?" Danny asked.
"Yeh, he said Ngani had a similar thing last month... went to a circus over there." Alice yawned, "Sandra is expecting by the way. I said we'd come over when everything settles down, take Robert."
"Ok." Danny whispered.
"Dup and I told Martin too..."
"A chaperone?" Danny snarled,
"In a way - Dup's good with a gun." Alice told him tiredly, using humour to combat his jealously.
"Hmm... I'm sorry for being so jealous." Danny began, "I just find it hard to believe that you want to be with me."
"Why? You know I love you." Alice said passionately, turning in his arms to gaze into his eyes. "I don't want to have to prove it Danny."
"You don't." Danny promised, "I love you too."
"Thing is though..." Alice began, "I don't want you to keep putting work before family. I can't keep looking after Robert and working at the same time without some rest. You need to pull your weight more."
"But I..." Danny exhaled, "I didn't realise you felt this way."
"I kept it hidden." Alice admitted, "I didn't want to admit I needed help. I thought I could handle it."
"When will you learn you can't be superwoman?" Danny smiled, running fingers down her face gently, "Ok. We'll share the work load a little. But we'll sort that later, it's late. We should get some sleep."
"Ok." Alice whispered. She was annoyed he'd chosen to go sleep instead of just sort it but he had made a start and he was kinda right in that it was late. "Tomorrow? After we've done the animals."
"Absolutely." Danny confirmed, kissing her softly yet with a touch of restraint. Alice smiled as he pulled away, wrapping her arms tightly around him. Everything was going to be ok - or at least that's what she thought.
A/N - Ominous last line there.