Robin's patience was slipping by the moment. "Get up!" he hissed angrily. "How could I do this to you?" he asked with incredulment. "You left me to raise the children on my own!"
Fiona looked up towards him with tears in her eyes. "This is all your fault!" she screamed.
"Mommy!" Amber cried, running to her mother's side. "You came back! I told him that you would!"
Anxiously she glanced between father and mother. Why were they fighting? They should be hugging and kissing!
Amber glanced up at her mother's sharp tone of voice, then back towards her father guiltily. "It didn't mean anything, Mommy," she said quietly. "He didn't think you'd come..."
Robin cut his daughter off. "Amber, go back to your room," he said. "We'll discuss this later." He watched Amber hang her head and trudge back into her bedroom and shut the door. The conversation he needed to have with Fiona was best done without the children.
Glancing around, he noticed that Farrah was gone. When had she gone?
Fiona gasped. "But what will I do?" she whined petulantly. "Where will I go?"
"Back to whatever hole you crawled out of!" he shouted at her pointing towards the door. "By the time I'm back, I want you gone!"
"What else would you have me do, Farrah? If I don't go I'll lose all trace of them!" Robin countered angrily. "I'll leave shortly."
Nothing had been the same since Fiona had returned and stolen the children. Robin could barely stand to look at her pregnant belly, feeling that if he took joy in their unborn child that he was forsaking his missing children.
Fiona watched him go and wondered how long they could keep living this way.
Unwilling to leave them, she laid down down by their pallets and slept, keeping her watchful eye on them.
Robin wrapped his arms around her tightly and squeezed, but didn't say a word.
Farrah pulled back slightly, "The children?" she asked quietly.
He couldn't even take joy in his newborns, to both his and Farrah's distress. How could he shower love on them when his other children might be in danger, uncared for... He shuddered to think of what his unbalanced ex-wife might do to them.
"There's no other way, Farrah! I can't wait! I can't sleep! I can't know that they're somewhere and not go!" he said. "Maybe if they were your children, you would understand!"
"I love you, Farrah. And I love Andy and Becca, too, even though if hurts to show it. I'll be back before you know it."
"I don't want you to go," Farrah said sadly, wishing that her words would make a difference.
Robin stroked her cheek. "I know," he said quietly.
Orb's Year 946
"I'll pray every night for your safe passage," she told him, wiping his curly lock from his face.
Farrah had known it would be hard being alone. But this time she had two young babies to raise.
Unwilling to let the twins 2nd Orb's Year Celebration pass without some commemoration, Farrah had invited a few friends from the Abbey over.
Farrah opened her mouth to try to explain, but shut her mouth. How to explain the bonds she'd forged with Robin while caring for her niece and nephews. Especially now that he was gone for so long.
"Thank you, Abbess Abigail."
Abbess Abigail hung back a moment, reaching out to touch Farrah's arm. "If he doesn't return," she said hesitantly.
Abbess Abigail nodded kindly and left behind Abbess Brooklyn.
Farrah bolted upright from where she'd napped, Abbot Gordon's words echoing in her mind. "The Path of Enlightenment is within... me.." she repeated.
Who was to say that the only place she could seek Enlightment was at the Abbey?
"Oh, Curtis!" she said, tears in her eyes, rocking him in her arms, too overwhelmed to say anything. Glancing up, she saw Robin and Bryan standing a short distance away.
Bryan shrugged, embarrassed over the fuss she was making over him.
Robin shook his head sadly. "She wanted to stay with her mother."
Apparently being on the run with Fiona had left unseen scars...
"Where are we supposed to sleep?" Curtis asked, turning to his older brother.
"Maybe we should get mama or papa," Curtis said, heading towards his parents room.
"Er, I don't think that's such a good idea," Bryan said, grabbing his brother's shirt and tugging him back. "We've made do with less before."
It was much better than some of the other places they had bedded down for the night.
Orb's Year 948
It wasn't much, Bryan thought as he looked around his new room, but it was his.
Farrah smiled. She loved the interest Robin was showing in all his children. He seemed so much more at peace than he had before! And Bryan and Curtis had settled happily back into the family.
"I'll go tell them!" Farrah said.
"Enjoy!" Hansel said before heading back to the kitchen.
"Becca! Apologize!" Farrah said in defense of Curtis. "You wouldn't like it very much for someone to point out something that you needed to work on."
Becca looked across the table at her half-brother. "Sorry," she said quietly.