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Samantha Reed

"Daddy calls me Thammy!"

0 · 371 views · located in Coon Falls, Virginia

a character in “How Could I Have Known”, as played by DyslexicAngel713

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Name: Samantha Elizabeth Reed

Nickname: Sammy

Age: 4

Birthdate: 17th June, 2009

Family: Her older brother Taylor Reed, her Grandmother (who she lovingly calls Grams), her father, and her now absent mother.

Quirks: she carries around a blanket and sucks her thumb, she also can't pronounce her "s" sound, so she says them "th"



Likes: her daddy, her brother, candy, lemon flavored things, her blankie (which she calls baba), being with her daddy

Dislikes: when her daddy "gets sick" (uses drugs), when her daddy "goes bye byes" (touring and concerts and such), when she gets yelled at

Personality: Sammy is very much a daddy's girl. She loves to be around her daddy, and tries to do everything possible to make him proud. She's also your typical 4 year old. She throws tantrums, likes to be right, and doesn't like to get in trouble. Sammy is pretty much a good girl, but she does get in trouble sometimes.

So begins...

Samantha Reed's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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It was a bright and clear morning at the Reed house. From the outside, the home looked quite peaceful. A place that one would want to visit. The house was located a bit farther out than many in the small town preferred to live. It was well known around Coon Falls that the Reed's son had moved back home almost a year before with his two children to be closer to his family. The reasoning behind his move had been kept a mystery at first but then the media had begun releasing news about the event that, in the locals minds, had led to the move. They had left the Reeds alone for the most part. There had been a few older women that had spoken with Judith Reed a few times, trying to find out what was going on. It had been no secret that Darrin, Judith's son, was famous and part of the rock group Unfinished Belief. Naturally, everyone wanted to know why the band had broken up. Judith had not said much except that her son had felt that a break was needed. Rumors were circulating around the town still, no answers were found.

When news began to spread that Judith was looking for a nanny to hire to help with her two grandchildren, all of the girls in town had applied. Even some girls from different states. Judith had not been sure how so many people had found out about the position. She'd not really advertised it except in Coon Falls. The task of finding someone who would truly care for the children and not care who their father was had been very hard. She'd interviewed at least two hundred girls and had thought that it was a lost cause until she'd met Jane Miller. She'd liked the girl from the start. She spoke with Jane several times before offering her the position, which the girl gladly had accepted.





It had only been a year since Hannah had left them, since she'd turned her back on her family. Darrin still could not believe that she had left them. He'd thought that they were happy, that she was happy with the life that he was giving her. He had been so very wrong. When Hannah had disappeared that awful day, Darrin had been worried sick. She had been supposed to pick the kids up from school and had just never shown up. Luckily, the kids teacher had called Darrin to let him know that she still had his children. He'd picked them up, at first being quite angry that Hannah hadn't picked them up. He'd taken them home, fixed them something to eat, made sure that they finished their homework, and put them to bed...and still no Hannah. It was by then that he'd really started to worry. Darrin had begun calling her phone, calling her family. No answer and her family hadn't heard from her that day. Becoming frightened for his wife, he called the police. They wouldn't be able to do anything for forty eight hours.

Darrin had stayed up most of that night, worrying. In the morning, he had had to get his children ready for school and take them there. He'd called the bass player of his band, his best friend, to let him know what was going on. By around noon, he received a text message from Hannah. All that she said was that she no longer loved him, the kids. She needed a life of her own. Darrin felt his world collapsing around him. His entire being belonged to Hannah and she didn't love him. He didn't know how to react. Slowly, as the next few days passed by, Darrin found himself not being able to really take care of his children properly. He had called his mother, asking her to watch them until he decided what he was going to do. Judith had flown out to the family's large home in California. She'd spoken for a long time with Darrin. She could not believe what Hannah had done. She attempted to comfort her son, to no avail. He was too far brokenhearted. She took her grandchildren and flew back to Coon Falls, keeping them at her small home.

Darrin stayed in California for another two months before he'd completely stopped caring about his career. He tried to leave the band, though his bandmates wouldn't hear it. Darrin resorted to calling them extremely hateful names, saying hurtful things. The other men became very angry with Darrin and at the time had not cared that he was leaving them. Darrin flew to Virginia to be with his family. He told his mother that they would be living in his large home that was located on the outskirts of the town. At first everything seemed to be all right. Darrin had seemed to be holding up as well as could have been expected. Slowly, as Judith would come over to the house everyday, she would notice that Darrin was usually drunk or had been taking some sort of drugs. He'd lost weight, didn't seem to care about his appearance, his eyes were usually bloodshot. His behavior had begun to change as well. Darrin had begun to have a bad temper, he'd lost any interest in singing or practicing his guitar, he was trying to push many people away from himself. Judith was beginning to worry about her son. No matter what Judith or her husband Mick said to Darrin, he just wouldn't listen to them. It had gotten to the point that Judith was staying at Darrin's home twenty-four-seven. They were afraid to leave the children alone with the messed up man.

Darrin was upstairs in his large bedroom, laying upon the large bed. He was felt no need to move. He recalled his mother telling him that someone was coming over that day. He wasn't sure if they were just visiting or actually going to be living with them. He couldn't really think clearly. He could hear his children, Taylor and Samantha, running around the large house. It must be Saturday, he thought. He slowly sat up and reached to his bedside table to pour himself a drink. He'd forgotten what kind of alcohol was in the glass but he didn't care. He drank the strong liquid quickly and popped a couple of pills. That should do it. He stood up and made his way to his closet and quickly got dressed. He chose to wear jeans, black converse, a white t-shirt with a random band name on it, and his black hoodie. He pulled the hood up, covering most of his dyed bright red hair. He grabbed his lighter and a pack of cigarettes. He slowly made his way down the stairs and into the kitchen. He sat down at the table, not saying anything. He was beginning to feel the effects of his recent intake. He was feeling tired once again. Perhaps he shouldn't have taken the pills with the alcohol. Darrin watched his mother as she moved around the kitchen, fixing breakfast. "I wish you would stop taking whatever it is that has you so doped up all of the time." ,she said softly, not looking at her son. Darrin chose not to say anything. "I hope that you didn't forget that the nanny that I hired will be here today. Her name is Jane Miller and I've asked her to stay here for a while. I didn't see any need in her having to drive out here every day." Darrin only stared at his mother. It was obvious to the older woman that her son wouldn't be too friendly that day. She could only hope that Jane would be able to handle Darrin. Suddenly, Judith heard a knock on the door. She quickly walked to the door and opened the heavy thing. She was now face to face with a young woman. "I'm so glad that you're here! Come in! I'd like to introduce you to everyone!" ,Judith said, gently leading the woman into the home. "Head into the kitchen while I round up the kids." Judith quickly walked into a different area of the house finding the children. "Come, there is someone I'd like you two to meet." she said to her grandchildren. She led the into the kitchen, to where she had asked the nanny to wait for them.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Jane looked around the large house, and instantly noticed that the elderly woman had left bacon in the pan. It smelt close to burning, so Jane quickly flipped it and picked up where Mrs. Reed had left off. Jane looked around the kitchen for various plates and cups to pour juice for the children. All Jane knew was that there were two little ones, Taylor and Sammy. The young girl tied her hair back into a messy bun before she started on the pancakes she had found the mix for. Jane smiled to herself as she cooked, hearing Mrs. Reed chasing the two little ones and trying to get them to come into the kitchen to meet her.

By the time Mrs. Reed had roped the kids into the kitchen, Jane had two spots set for breakfast for the kids and a cup of steaming, strong smelling, pitch black coffee in front of Darrin. "Drink that, it'll help," Jane said as she put a cork back on the bottle of bourbon she had opened and added to Darrin's coffee.

Sammy ran up to Darrin and grabbed onto his leg. "Daddy! Thammy maked you a picture!" She was clutching a picture of three stick people in what seemed to be a pool. "That's Thammy, Taylor, and daddy at the pool in Calforna," Her little 4 year old words were not perfect, but she spoke in such a way that people could still understand her.

Jane smiled at the entering family, looking over the kids. "Daddy, who's that?" Sammy asked her father when she noticed Jane. Jane knelt down next to the little girl, smiling in a gentle way. "Hello, Samantha. I'm Jane," she said, holding out her hand.

Sammy giggled and shook her hand. "I'm Thammy, not Thamantha," she said with a cute smile that showed she was missing her two front teeth.

"How did you loose those teeth so young, Sammy?" Jane asked, standing up and lifting Sammy into the tall chairs at the breakfast bar.

"I falled and hitted my head on the thairs," Sammy said as she dug into the pancakes and bacon Jane had finished for the children. Jane smiled, laughing a little at the little girls speech.

Jane then turned her attention to the other child, a little boy she knew was Taylor. "Hi, Taylor. I'm Jane," She said, offering to help him up into the chair as well. The little boy said nothing, denied her help, and climbed into the chair himself. Jane didn't take it personally, but instead turned to the dishes she had from breakfast.

Jane looked at Mrs. Reed from her place at the sink, smiling as she glanced at the two little children who were eating happily. "Hi again, Mrs. Reed," She said brightly, her smile never wavering.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Darrin completely ignored the young woman as she entered into the kitchen. His blue eyes followed her movements closely, though. This had to be the children's new nanny. From just looking at the young woman, Darrin could see that she was quite a bit different from him. He wondered, why his mother had chosen this woman above all others. He tried to push the thoughts from his mind. The woman began working on the breakfast that his mother had left when she'd left the kitchen. Darrin gently laid his head down on his now folded arms. He closed his eyes for a moment. It felt nice to just..rest. Even though he'd taken the drugs earlier before coming downstairs, Darrin could feel them already beginning to leave his system. Sitting back up, stretching a bit, Darrin gently pulled down the hood that had been covering most of his hair. Though he'd not really looked at himself in a mirror as of late, Darrin looked almost..normal. Yes, he was still underweight..his clothing hanging on him a bit more than they used to and his hair was in need of a dye job but all in all, Darrin Reed could have looked much worse.

When Jane sat the cup of coffee down in front of him, it almost startled him. He'd not been expecting her to even pay him any mind."Drink that, it'll help." the woman said. Darrin didn't reply to her. Instead, he stared down at the cup and its contents. She used to make him coffee. That was when she'd been happy with him. Any time that he was home, Hannah made sure that there was plenty. A sadness filled his eyes, though he tried not to think about her. It would do him no good. She'd made her choice.

Darrin began to slowly sip at the coffee. It did help. At least to wake him up. Though he was trying to be nice, if only for his mother's sake, Darrin wanted nothing more than to go back upstairs. Being down in the main part of the house meant that his children would most likely want to spend time with him and honestly...well..he just didn't feel up to it. When his mind was clear, he felt bad for not spending more time with his beautiful children. The problem was, they reminded him of the life that they'd had. He knew that it was selfish but he just couldn't help it.




Judith had gone into the large living room to round up the children. When she entered the room, the two were sitting around the coffee table drawing together. The sight brought a smile to her face. "Kids, breakfast is almost ready. Why don't you wash up and come on into the kitchen." she said kindly. Taylor only nodded and gently took hold of his little sister's hand and led her into the bathroom that was down the hall. While the two were washing up, Judith couldn't help but feel badly for the two. Not only had they lost their mother but their father was slowly slipping away from them as well. When the children made their way back to their grandmother, Judith led the way into the kitchen.

When Sammy had seen that her father was actually downstairs this morning she ran to him, grabbing onto his leg. Darrin looked down at his daughter, a small smile gracing his handsome features. "Daddy! Thammy maked you a picture!" the little girl said. Darrin eyed the picture, the small smile still on his face. "That's Thammy, Taylor, and daddy at the pool in Calforna," Darrin gently took the picture from his daughter. "I suppose that since it's so good we should put it on the fridge?" he asked her.

When Samantha asked him who the woman was, it was then that Darrin realized that he didn't even know the woman's name. He hesitated and was glad when Jane answered for him. The smile that had been on his face was now gone. He was watching Jane's interactions with his children. Sammy seemed happy enough with the new woman but Taylor on the other hand didn't look pleased. The boy refused any help and was not speaking at all. Darrin let out a silent sigh. His family seemed to be falling apart. One member at a time.

Judith smiled at Jane, grateful that the woman had finished breakfast. "Hello, dear. Thank you for finishing breakfast. When these two are finished I'll give you a tour of the house and show you where you'll be staying." she said kindly. Judith walked over to the sink and fixed herself a glass of water. She stood, watching as the children ate happily. She wondered if Darrin had even spoken to Jane. She hoped so. He could be so stubborn at times and she was sure that he wasn't thrilled about having someone new in the house.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Sammy practically yelled when her father told her he'd put her picture on the fridge. "Daddy really wants to put Thammy's picture on the fridge!?" She knew her father was feeling better, because he hadn't put a picture of hers on the fridge since mommy went bye bye. "Daddy, is Janey going to stay with Taylor and Thammy and daddy?" She asked, looking up at her father with syrup dripping from her lip and pancakes in her hands.

Jane smiled, finishing up the dishes and watching the children eat. Jane couldn't help but remember her family, and her smile faltered for a second. Jane stood up a bit straighter, shook her head, and took her hair down from the bun she had wrestled it into. "So Mr. Reed, you're a musician, right? What do you play?"

Sammy's eyes went huge. "Janey doesn't know daddy is famouth!?" Sammy was so shocked, she actually dropped the piece of pancake that was in her hand, gasping in shock. "Thammy can show you!" Sammy jumped down from the chair she was in and grabbed Jane's hand with her small, sticky one. "Thith way!"

Jane followed the little girl, laughing quietly as Judith tried to follow them. Sammy led her to a den, small but not cramped, that was full of band memorabilia. "Thith is what Thammy's daddy does! He maked muthic...then mommy goed buh-bye, and daddy just gets thick now,"

Jane got down on one knee in front of the little girl. "Want to know what I think will make your daddy feel better? How about you and your brother go tell your daddy that Janey is going to take you to the aquarium, and you want your daddy to come with,"

Sammy's eyes got wide, her smile so huge her little face looked stretched. "Okay! Thammy has never been to an aquarium!" The little girl ran out of the room, chanting in a sing song voice, "We going to the quarium, we going to the quarium!"

Jane stood up and laughed, wiping the syrup residue on the apron she had found and put on. "These kids are absolutely the cutest things, Mrs. Reed. I can't imagine what they're going through..."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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When Samantha had asked if Darrin really wanted to her picture on the fridge, he merely nodded at her, smiling. "Daddy, is Janey going to stay with Taylor and Thammy and daddy?" Sammy asked him. Darrin said, "Yes, she is." His answer wasn't a long one nor did it explain to the child why Jane was going to be staying with them. This was the longest that he'd been downstairs in a long time. Darrin almost didn't know how to act. It didn't help that Jane was still in the kitchen with them. He couldn't be too bothered by it, though. His mother hadn't shown her around yet, not told her of what was expected of her everyday. Darrin hadn't been expecting Jane to speak to him and yet..she did. "So Mr. Reed, you're a musician, right? What do you play?" He looked down for a moment. How was he to answer that question. It wasn't everyday that he met someone that had no idea who he was. Luckily, Sammy seemed so shocked that Jane didn't know about him that she whisked the older woman to the other room to show her the band memorabilia that he'd not been able to throw out. By looking at all of the photos and magazine interviews, Jane would be able to quickly see that Darrin was the front man. The singer and one of the guitar players. That life seemed almost...well a lifetime ago. For three years he'd refused to sing or play his choice instrument.

Darrin was lost in thought when he heard Sammy singing about going to the aquarium. He wondered if Jane had told her that she was going to take them. He couldn't recall the last time that even his mother had been able to take the children anywhere. Since he'd left the band, anytime anyone that was known to be related to him seemed to get stalked by the paparazzi anytime they left their homes. Hopefully, with Jane taking them they'd be left alone.




Judith stood with Jane in the den as Sammy was heading to the kitchen. "I know," she said, sadness creeping into her voice. "Taylor is taking it worse than Samantha. She never really knew Hannah. But Taylor..the poor thing. It doesn't help that Darrin is trying to push everyone around him away. I am almost at my wits end with him. I've tried everything that I can to get him to at least stop doing whatever drug it is that he's been taking. I..just don't know what to do anymore. Maybe..if you can get him out of the house..make it clear to him that he has to go with you all to the aquarium..maybe that could be a start.." Judith wasn't sure but it most certainly couldn't hurt Darrin to get out of the house. The only thing that she was worried about was if the paparazzi found out about the trip and began following the small group.




Taylor could hear his sister singing about the aquarium. They'd never been. Daddy hadn't been in any shape to do barely anything with them since mommy left them. When Sammy entered into the kitchen again, Taylor cocked his head to the side, almost as if asking her what was going on. Seeing that Jane wasn't near, he said, "Sammy, what are you going on about?" He gave his little sister a smile. He loved her to death but sometimes her energy got to him. It was still early, though, and he'd not slept well the night before. He shouldn't allow his tiredness get to him. It wasn't her fault, after all.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Sammy grabbed Taylor's hand. "C'mon, Tay! Janey said Thammy and Tay and daddy going to the 'quarium, but Thammy and Tay can't go in jammies!" Sammy tugged Taylor's hand, jumping up and down with excitement. "Pwease, Tay, pwease? We can go with Janey, right?"

Sammy managed to drag her big brother out of the room and up toward their bedrooms. Sammy was still doing her little chant about the aquarium, and obviously dancing around by the sound of her light footfalls on the floor upstairs.

Jane re-entered the kitchen and washed her hands, then the remaining dishes. "I suggest you get dressed in something, shall we say, inconspicuous. That way the paparazzi won't recognize you. If you hide the red hair it will help. By the sound of their footsteps you have about," She listened for a moment. "Two minutes before they come back down here and tell you they can't wait for you to go with them,"

Jane recognized the look of protest on his face, and held up her hand to keep her quiet. "No. You're coming. Your mother has provided me with certain...information. You need to be with these kids. Poor little Taylor can't even talk around me! You need to be there for these kids, and break down in your own time. Take whatever alcohol you need in this," Jane handed him a black, resealable canister that resembled a thermos. "And don't try to lock the door to your bedroom, either. Mrs. Reed already told me where the skeleton key was,"

Jane turned on her heels, going to the stairs. "Sammy! Taylor! Hurry up, kiddos! Daddy is all ready to go, and so am I!" Jane smiled devilishly to herself. Sammy ran back down the stairs wearing a cute shirt and skirt.

Sammy ran to her father, smiling brightly. "Daddy, are you really coming with Thammy and Taylor and Janey!? You aren't thick today, daddy?" Sammy asked with big, beautiful gold eyes.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Taylor smiled at his sister. "All right. All right." he said softly. The young boy went with his sister upstairs to their bedroom. He helped his little sister to get ready and then quickly changed into one of his nicer outfits. No matter how things had turned out, Sammy always seemed to put Taylor into a better mood. He wasn't sure how she did it, but..she did. Taylor recalled his mother in the times when Sammy would make everything all right. His mother had been exactly the same way. Ever since she's left them..well, nothing but his little sister seemed to make him smile, save for spending time with his father. Taylor was brought out of his thoughts when he heard Jane calling to them. When she said that their daddy was going, well..Taylor didn't believe it. There was no way that the woman was able to convince the man to get out of the house. He'd not been out at all as far as the boy knew since they'd arrived in Virginia.




Darrin was paying Jane little mind, finishing his coffee. The silence continued until the woman spoke to him at last. "I suggest you get dressed in something, shall we say, inconspicuous. That way the paparazzi won't recognize you. If you hide the red hair it will help. By the sound of their footsteps you have about," the woman listened for a second. "Two minutes before they come back down here and tell you they can't wait for you to go with them," Darrin had been ready to protest. There was no way that he was leaving the house. He had no desire to. Who did this woman think she was. She'd just arrived and was already trying to tell him what to do.

It seemed that Jane had recognized the look he had on his face. The woman quickly silenced him and informed him that he needed to be there for the children. He merely glared at her. He took the canister that was offered him and quickly stalked up the stairs and into his room. He entered and quickly changed into a green outfit that would in no way say, 'Hey...I'm famous.' He picked up a old beanie and walked into his bathroom. He quickly brushed his hair back and tucked as much of the long strands as he could into the hat. He looked at himself in the mirror and was fairly satisfied. This was the first time that he'd truly looked at himself in about six months. He'd not realized that he'd lost so much weight. He was beginning to look quick poor, in his opinion. He pushed the thoughts from his mind and quickly walked over to his night stand where his bottle of alcohol still sat. He filled the canister. He was doing well so far but hopefully he wouldn't need it.

Darrin made his way back downstairs just as Jane was yelling up to the children. He eyed her for a moment before both kids were bounding down the stairs. Sammy threw her questions at him and Darrin smiled at his little girl. "Yes I'm coming with you. If you want. I'm feeling fine today." he said. Darrin's eyes found Jane's. He picked up his sunglasses and placed them on his face. He really hoped that he wasn't making a mistake in going with them. On a more positive note, Sammy and even Taylor seemed happy to be going with him. Taylor wasn't even standing a bit closer to Jane than he had been early. The boy was even eyeing the woman curiously. "If you all are ready we can go ahead." he said softly.

He led the way out of the house and down to his car. Darrin called to Sammy so that he could help her into her car seat. Taylor walked around to the other side and waited on Jane. When the woman reached the side of the car, the boy said, "Thanks." and he quickly got into the car. He wasn't quite sure why he'd spoken to the woman but he'd felt as if he needed to thank her for all that she had done. When Darrin had finished buckling his daughter in, he eyed Jane again for but a second before getting into the car.

Once inside of the vehicle, Darrin buckled up and waited until the other two were ready. He then slowly pulled out of the driveway. It would take about thirty minutes for them to reach the aquarium. Before too long, Taylor was asleep. He was sure that Sammy would follow soon which would leave him with Jane. He wasn't quite sure what to say to the woman. It had been a long time since he'd really even cared about talking to anyone much less a woman.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Sammy, too, quickly drifted off. She was exhausted from the events of the morning, and not even the enormous amount of syrup she'd put on her pancakes could keep her up. Before she fell asleep, however, she mumbled, "Thammy loves you, daddy," she then pulled her blanket up to her face and stuck her thumb in her mouth. Sammy then drifted into a content, 4 year old sleep.

Jane looked at Darrin. "You should get a less...attention grabbing car. I mean, if you don't want people to know you're famous, I'd suggest a black suv. It still says "hey, I have money" but it doesn't say "hey, let me flaunt all the money I have...and oh by the way I'm famous,""

Jane looked back at the little children, asleep in the back. "The reason Sammy can't say her "s" sounds is because she sucks her thumb," Jane told Darrin in a matter of fact way. When she spoke to the children, and even his mother, she was gentle and sweet. With Darrin, she had a tone of authority and a matter of fact way of speaking.

Jane then stared ahead, watching the road as Darrin should have been instead of watching her as she spoke. "Also, you probably shouldn't be driv-" just as she was about to finish the sentence, a blue pick up truck ran a red light, and came very close to hitting them. "Darrin, watch out!!" She yelled as she grabbed the steering wheel and had to make the car swerve to barely avoid a collision. The car swerved, and they ended up in the ditch. Sammy was jostled awake and was so frightened that she began to wail.

"Thammy scare, Thammy scare!" The little girl cried struggling against the restraints of her car seat. Jane got out of the car and pulled the little girl out of the car seat, bouncing her and walking her.

"It's okay, Sammy...Janey's right here. Shhh, honey, shhh," Jane looked at Darrin. "Make sure Taylor is okay," She ordered, still rocking Sammy. The man in the blue pick up had turned around and stopped to see if they were okay. He was a larger African american man with dark sunglasses and a scary scowl.

"Hey, girl! Get your man to watch where he's going!" The man yelled at Jane. Jane instantly got angry and set Sammy on the front seat.

"You know what, maybe you shouldn't have run a red light! We had two little kids in the car! Do you know how expensive this car is!? Any damage and I'll make sure you have to pay for every cent, you ignorant jerk! The poor little girl can barely breathe she's crying so hard! You want to be responsible for ruining the day of a little girl and her brother!?" Jane continued to yell, making the man back down and cringe.

At the end of her yelling fit, the man had given her a card for his insurance agent, apologized about a hundred times, and was so scared Jane was pretty sure he'd do anything to avoid being yelled at by her again. Jane then walked back over to the car, and picked Sammy up again.

"Janey yelled really loud," Sammy observes, smiling slightly around her thumb. "Thank you, Janey. You kept the bad man away!" Sammy threw her arms around her neck, hugging her tightly. Jane hugged back, smiling slightly.

"Is Taylor okay?" Jane asked Darrin in a much softer voice.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Darrin listened as Jane spoke of his car. He wasn't sure if he should be impressed that she was already openly criticizing him or if he should be angry. "If you must know, I bought this when we were still living in California." he said, pausing for a moment. "I've actually not been out since I got here.." He sounded pathetic. He could only imagine what Jane was thinking of him. Here he was, not taking care of his children and barely taking care of himself. He'd not been really out of his house in about three years. With the substances slowly leaving his system, Darrin was beginning to think a bit more clearly. He wasn't sure if he liked it or not.

When Jane continued on about Sammy and her speech, Darrin eyed the woman from the corner of his eye. "Perhaps that's something you could help her with." he said. Darrin was intrigued with Jane..if he was honest with himself. She didn't care to tell him exactly what to do. Not even Hannah had done that. Instead of being angry with the woman..he was actually..glad of it. He'd been lost for three years and had almost forgotten what it was like to spend time with those that mattered most to him. Before losing himself, Darrin had loved spending time with Hannah and the kids. Any time that he wasn't busy with work he'd devoted strictly to his family. It..bothered him to think of how he'd been neglecting them as of late.

He'd not been really listening to Jane. Only when her voice rose and she jerked the wheel did his attention focus. They ended up in a ditch. His little girl was crying and Jane was telling him to check on Taylor. He quickly moved into action, stepping out of the car. Darrin had seen the large man getting out of his truck but chose to ignore him. His children were more important. Darrin opened Taylor's door and crouched down to check on the boy.

Taylor had been awoken as soon as the car had jerked. Unlike his sister, however, he'd remained silent. He was frightened, yes, but he didn't want to upset Sammy any more than she already was. He turned his eyes to his father as the man came to his side. "How are you doing? Does anything hurt?" Darrin asked, looking over the boy. Taylor merely nodded, not trusting his voice right at that second. What he did do, though, was wrap his small arms around his father's neck. Darrin unbuckled his son and picked him up, keeping him close. As Taylor hugged himself to Darrin, the boy noticed that his father's clothing no longer seemed to fit him. Instead, they were actually quite loose. Even the man's neck felt thinner. This confused the young child. He did not understand why his father would be getting 'smaller'.

As Darrin held Taylor, he turned his attention to Jane and the man. He almost couldn't believe it when the woman began yelling at the man. He was actually glad that to see this side of her. He'd have to make sure to stay on her good side. He didn't particularly want her wrath directed towards him. Darrin was pleased to see that the man quickly began apologizing and the like. Darrin eyed Jane as the woman went back to Sammy after the man had left. He slowly approached from behind her to check on Sammy. When Jane asked him how Taylor was, Darrin said, "He's fine..shaken up a bit but other than that all good. What about you two?" He eyed the two females, trying to make sure that they both were all right.

Darrin smiled at Jane. Something he'd not really done in three years. "Remind me not to get on your bad sad. I'd hate to see what you'd do." he said, joking. "Well, I supposed if everyone is all right we should get back on the road. I should be able to get the car out of the ditch." Darrin waited for Jane to reply before taking Taylor back to his side of the car. He helped the boy back into his seat and made sure that he was for sure all right. Darrin watched Jane for a moment and when the woman had been getting ready to get into the car herself, he said almost quietly. "Thanks." He eyed her for a moment. "I mean it. I probably wouldn't have reacted as nicely as you had I spoken with him." With that, Darrin slid into the car.

He waited for Jane to get in before starting the car again. True to his word, Darrin was able to get the car out of the ditch. Luckily they'd not been too far down in it. This time, he kept his eyes glued to the road and continued on the rest of the way to the aquarium. The rest of the drive Darrin remained silent but allowed for the children and Jane to speak as they wished. To be honest, he enjoyed listening to them. Taylor had even quietly joined in on the conversation.

When they finally arrived at the aquarium, Darrin was glad. He parked and then got out of the car. He glanced around and it seemed that there were actually no photographers around nor had anyone recognized him. He helped Taylor out of the car and waited for the girls. "Well, we made it in one piece. Are we excited?" he asked. Taylor nodded several times very quickly. He was beaming at his father. He was beyond excited. Having never been to the aquarium, Taylor wasn't exactly sure what to expect but hoped that they would have fun.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Sammy ran over to her father the second Jane had let her out of the car seat. She wasn't shaken by the accident anymore, and even the bump on her head wasn't bothering her. In her four year old excitement, she'd even left her blankie in the car, which she never did. Sammy grabbed her fathers hand, tugging it as if asking him to lean down. When her father obliged, Sammy whispered in his ear. "A'mind Thammy to never ever never make Janey mad...it wath awethom that Janey fighted off the bad guy...but Thammy don't wanna get yelled at like that,"

Jane laughed, walking over to them. "Yes, and I still managed to not cuss, thus not breaking my 24 year streak of not cussing," Darrin gave her a confused, almost shocked look. "Yes, in the 24 years I've been alive, I've never used one curse word. The worst I've said is c-r-a-p," She spelt out the last word, smiling slightly.

Jane thought back to the moment that Darrin had said he didn't want to get on her bad side. "Mr. Reed, no one wants to be on my bad side," She said, remembering that he was her employer, and she should treat him as so. She'd called him Darrin on the road, but only because she was scared half to death.

Sammy looked up at Jane and laughed. "Thammy think that it funny Janey callth Daddy "mister"," she giggled, still clutching Darrin's hand. Sammy looked at Taylor and tagged him with her other hand. "Tag! You it!" She said as she ran off toward a small grove of trees.

"Stay where your father and I can see you!" Jane called after them. "Okay Janey, Thammy and Taylor will!" Sammy called over her shoulder as she ran. Jane then fell into step to the left and almost a half step behind Darrin. She watched the two children closely, and without looking at Darrin, she spoke. "Don't worry, Mr. Reed," She started, smiling to herself. "You'll be needing to buy larger clothes soon," Even she had noticed his clothes hanging loosely.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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When Sammy ran to him and clutched his hand, trying to get him to lean down, Darrin obliged the small girl immediately. As Sammy told him to remind her not to make Jane angry with her. Darrin gently placed a small kiss upon the small girl's head before saying, "I'll remind you if you'll remind me." He was smiling at the small girl when Jane approached them. Darrin straightened back up, eyeing the woman as she spoke. "Yes, and I still managed to not cuss, thus not breaking my 24 year streak of not cussing," Darrin couldn't believe what he was hearing. She'd never cussed before? The idea seemed almost..crazy to him. He couldn't even recall a time when he'd not used foul language. Since having the kids, he'd tried not to say such things around them but he doubted that he would ever not use the language. "Yes, in the 24 years I've been alive, I've never used one curse word. The worst I've said is c-r-a-p," the woman said. Darrin quickly recovered from his shock. "I wouldn't want you ruining your streak." he said, returning the smile.

Jane then told Darrin that no one wants to be on her bad side. Darrin laughed lightly. "I can believe it. I don't think even my mother is that violent when she's mad. I don't like getting her mad either." He was smiling at Jane once again. "I've learned that it's usually best not to make women angry anyway. It never turns out well." Darrin could recall the few times that Hannah had been angry with him. The time had been over the band and their tour. Hannah had just had Sammy and Darrin had already postponed the tour for as long as he could. Even though he absolutely loved spending time with his family he also had an obligation to fulfill. He'd had to deal with the woman screaming at him. Telling him how poor of a father and husband was. Looking back on it now, Darrin wasn't all that surprised that she'd left him. Perhaps there had been other signs as well and he'd just ignored them. He tried not to think about her. He needed to be focusing on his children.

Taylor had been standing next to his father when Sammy told Jane that she though it was funny that Jane called their Daddy mister. The small boy smiled at the two adults. It was strange to hear someone referring to their Daddy in that manner. Even during the rare times that he'd been around when his father had been working, the man had always been referred to as Darrin. He made a face at his father. Sammy quickly tagged him and took off running. Taylor smiled and took off after his sister. He made sure to allow the younger child to stay ahead of him for some time. When he finally caught up to her, Taylor tagged her at last and tried to stay out of the younger child's reach. He was smiling and laughing..something that he'd not really done in some time.

As the two adults walked together, Jane spoke to him. Darrin listened to her. So she'd noticed as well that he'd lost quite a bit of weight. He'd not meant to, really. Any time that he was taking the Oxycontin he would lose his appetite. It was almost as if he was wasting away. Darrin was not an idiot. He knew that it would only be a matter of time until his mother got together with Jane to tell her exactly what had been going on. Ever since he'd started losing the weight, his mother had been all over him attempting to get him to eat better. Sometimes he would and sometimes he'd just go back into his room and stay in there for the remainder of the day. Darrin realized that he'd still not said anything to Jane after her statement. He wasn't quite sure what to say, actually. Even his mother had yet to call him out on his weight loss. As he walked with the woman, before reaching the children, he said, "Darrin." When he turned his gaze to the woman, he noted a slightly look of confusion. "Sorry. I meant that you can call me Darrin. You're making me sound old." he said, smiling.

Darrin and Jane reached the children. "Are we ready to go in?" he asked the two children. Taylor's eyes widened slightly and a smile crossed his face. He nodded quickly. "Yes! Can we go in now, Daddy?" the small boy asked. Darrin nodded and told the two to stay close to them. As they approached the building, Darrin could see just how busy they were already. People were lining up to pay. Children chattering happily. He quickly became uneasy. He looked about, trying to see if anyone had recognized him and to his pleasure, no one had. Darrin led the way to the end of the line and stood, waiting to get to one of the counters. As they stood, Darrin was listening to Sammy and Taylor chattering away about the large building.

As the line slowly moved, it seemed like no time before they were next to be waited on. When Darrin approached the counter, he told the old woman how many were in their group. The woman smiled at him and rang him up, telling him the total. He pulled out his wallet and quickly paid and thanked the woman. He then turned to Jane and the kids. "All right. We're ready to go in." he said happily. Taylor grinned and quickly grabbed Jane's hand. "Come on!" he said, smiling. Darrin took Sammy's small hand and slowly took off his sunglasses and placed them into his pocket. He eyed Jane once again with his blue eyes before saying, "You two lead the way." Darrin moved to walk behind Jane and Taylor. With it being so crowed it would be the best way for them to stay together.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Jane was uncomfortable with Darrin being behind her. She was also uncomfortable with him telling her to call him Darrin out loud. As she clutched the little boys hand, she smiled. Already, in the few short hours that she'd been with them, the little boy was coming out of his shell. Jane was proud for that, and thankful that the little boy seemed to like her. Jane looked around at the crowd, and scrunched her nose at the mass of people in front of the first tank. Jane knew it was sharks, and little boys usually loved sharks (at least that was her experience with her nephews).

"Hey, Taylor," Jane knelt down, pointing toward the tanks. "Want to get up on my shoulders so you can see better?" She offered, a soft smile on her lips. Taylor reminded her a lot of her youngest nephew, Michael. They were both painfully shy, and both quiet, and both very very adorable.

Sammy was holding her fathers hand, her hand small and barely recognizable in the larger hand of her fathers. The little girl was slightly irritated (well, as irritated as a 4 year old can be) that she couldn't see the fishies. So, in her little 4 year old logic, she slipped away from her father, pushed her way through the crowd, and pressed her face up against the glass.

Sammy didn't like the sharks, though, so she moved on to another tank, assuming (as 4 year olds do) that her father would follow her. Sammy found a tank that was low to the ground with the fish from Finding Nemo, and pressed her face to the glass. Her breath fogged it up, and she giggled as the fish swam near her nose.

"Daddy! Look! It Nemo! Thammy like Nemo-" The little girl was going to say something else, but when she turned around and her father wasn't there, the little girl freaked out. "Daddy!?" She yelled, though no one was in this particular part of the aquarium yet. "Daddy! Thammy thcared! Thammy thcared!" The little girl sat down in the middle of the floor and began to sob.

Jane had lifted Taylor to her shoulders and they were watching the sharks. Jane turned her head to make sure Darrin was still behind her. He was, but when she looked down to try and see Sammy, she didn't see her. Seeing as it was very loud in the room, Jane mouthed Where's Sammy?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Taylor smiled brightly at Jane as the woman asked if he wanted to get on her shoulders. He nodded quickly. He wanted to be able to see better. "Can I?" he asked quietly. His mother had never allowed him onto her shoulders but..she'd been frailer looking than Jane was. From what he could remember of her, his mother had been quite small and he even recalled thinking that she could break easily.

Darrin was distracted as soon as he noticed a small group of teenagers eyeing him closely. Not good. It was during his distraction the Sammy slipped away from him. He didn't notice her disappearance. The noise that was going on all around him was almost deafening. It was almost making his head swim. He didn't like it at all. He tried to ignore the swimming when he saw Jane looking at him with Taylor on her shoulders. She was..mouthing something to him. It was then that he realized what she was trying to ask him. Sammy. She was no longer holding his hand and he could no longer see her. His blue eyes began quickly scanning the crowd. He couldn't see her. Darrin could feel his heart clenching. He needed to find his little girl.

The man paid no attention to Jane or his son. He trusted the woman to stay put and to wait for him to return. Darrin began quickly moving through the dense crowd, asking people here and there if they'd seen the little girl. He was beginning to panic when no one had seen Sammy. Darrin finally came across an older woman that appeared to be with her grandchildren. "Oh..yes I did see her. She was walking that way by herself. I just assumed that her parents were close behind." she said. Darrin thanked her quickly and made his way in the direction that his daughter had gone. As he walked, Darrin could hear the crying of a child. Hopefully Sammy. He moved quickly coming to the small girl that was now sitting in the floor crying.

As Darrin approached, a young man had been trying to calm the child down to try and find out where her parents were and the like. Darrin approached quickly. "Sammy!" He picked the crying girl up, holding her close. He thanked the boy and tried to calm Sammy down. He was furious that she'd wondered off but was glad that she was fine. "Sammy? Sweetie? Are you ok?" He was rocking the girl and just keeping her close like he used to do before.. "You can't run off like that..we've been over this. Anything could have happened to you." He tried to keep his voice soft but it was quite hard. "I'm sorry. We can go and get you a stuffed fishy if you want after we've seen everything. You have to promise me to never wander off again, though. Pinky promise?" he asked, holding his pinky out in front of the girl.

Taylor was confused as to why his father had taken off through the crowd. "Jane, where is Daddy going? Where's Sammy?" he asked. He was confused..had no idea what was going on. He was getting scared and was holding onto Jane a bit tighter. He wanted to be with his Daddy and sister. Then he would know everything was all right. He was trying not to cry. He needed to be a big boy. He couldn't let Jane see him cry.

Darrin was now holding Sammy in his arms so that she could see everything. He was smiling brightly at the little girl. He couldn't remember the last time that he'd been with his children like this. It was..nice. He placed a soft kiss upon Sammy's cheek. "Daddy!" Darrin heard Taylor yelling. He turned around to find Jane and Taylor coming up behind them. He'd known that if they stayed put the other two would find the more quickly. Darrin smiled at the two. "She wandered off." he explained softly. He saw no need to say anything else about the event. They'd found her and she was completely fine. He doubted though that the girl would forget about his promise. "We can continue now that everyone can see." he said smiling. He led the way this time, showing Sammy the next large tank that was filled with tons of brightly colored fish.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Jane sighed in relief. Thank God the child wasn't hurt...the woman made a mental note to add that bit of thanks to her prayers for tonight. Jane prayed every night, always for something different, but never for anything for herself. Her prayers were always that of thanks and praise, asking of things for other people, making sure others were taken care of, as she was raised.

The group walked on, stopping at many tanks and exhibits, Sammys favoite being the Otters. She watched them for almost an hour, laughing as the baby otters played and the big otters came straight up to the glass to put their noses against where Sammys hand was. The little girl would squeal with laughter, smiling brightly and clapping each time. She had even asked her father to bring one of them home as a pet.

When Jane felt Taylor getting tired on her shoulders, she bounced a little to lighten the mood for him and to wake Taylor up a bit. "Hey, Taylor, see that school of red fish?" Jane pointed to a group of red black and yellow fish. "They're called flame angelfish. You wanna hear a cool story?"

Sammy, being utterly content in her father arms, nodded. "Thammy wanna hear the thtory, Janey!" Jane smiled at the little girl and pushed a piece of hair out of her face. In the process, her hand brushed Darrins, and she blushed slightly, pulling her hand back. "Tell Thammy and Taylor the thtory, Janey," The little girl smiled and cuddled into the crook of her daddys neck, yawning.

Jane smiled, looking back at the fish. "There was a time, a long long time ago, when God said that the water needed more beautiful things in it. There were a group of angels who found the ocean so beautiful, so full of life, that they offered to become fish to enhance the beauty in the water," Jane smiled up at Taylor, who was now watching a group of black and parrot angelfish as they swam around. "Well, each angel that God chose to become a fish was special and beautiful in his or her own way, so God couldn't allow them all to look the same. He made flame, black, parrot, blue, yellow, white, and orange fish of his beloved angels, and released them into the ocean. He then called them angelfish, and let them keep their wings,"

Sammy laughed. "That not true!" She giggled, poking Jane right on the nose. "Daddy says God is just a made up story!" Sammy looked at her father, still smiling. "Right, daddy?"

Jane looked at Darrin, a slight look of confusion on her face. "Oh." Was all she replied. The young woman didn't look shocked, but rather...hurt? Almost as if he had personally insulted her. When she met his eyes, Jane flushed and looked away. She looked at her watch, then back to Sammy. "Hey, Sammy, if you still want that stuffed fishie, we better hurry. The store closes soon, as does the aquarium,"

Sammy's eyes went wide. "Let go then!" She poked her fahters arm, then toward the exit. "Daddy promithed Thammy a fithy!" Sammy looked at Taylor and laughed. "Taylor and Thammy both want fithies!" Jane laughed, looking up at Taylor.

"Is that true, buddy?" She asked Taylor, smiling as she walked toward the exit. Sure, her shoulders hurt, and her back was a bit sore, but she didn't care. She was happy that the little boy was coming out of his shell a bit, and she liked that he could talk around her now. Jane turned to see Darrin following her as she walked toward the gift shop. It was about 430 in the afternoon and she knew she needed to get home to make dinner.

Once done in the gift shop, about a hundred and fifty dollars later, both children had t-shirts, each had a stuffed fish, Taylor had a shark toy, Sammy had a stuffed Otter, and they'd gotten a picture book with all the fish in it. "Can Janey bring uth here every day, Daddy?" Sammy asked as they walked back to the car.

Jane lowered a nearly sleeping Taylor from her shoulders and buckled him in, making sure he had his fish and shark. She then ruffled his hair gently and got into the car, laughing at Sammys request.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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As the group made their way through the aquarium, Darrin focused on those in his small group. He was happy to see his children so happy. When they were looking at the flame angelfish, Darrin listened to Jane as she spoke about telling the children a story. When Jane reached over to brush some hair out of Sammy's face, the woman's hand gently brushed against Darrin's. It happened so quickly that Darrin didn't even react at all. He merely eyed her as she moved away from. He tried to think nothing of it. It was an accident, after all. Sammy cuddled closer to him as she got ready to listen to Jane's story. Darrin watched the pretty fish that Jane was telling the story about. She was speaking of God. Darrin's parents both believed in him and at one time he thought that he had as well. As he'd gotten older, Darrin had slowly begun developing beliefs of his own. He saw no point in believing in something or someone that he couldn't see. His parents had tried for some time when he'd been younger to convince him to change his beliefs but he'd refused. Darrin was brought out of thought when he heard Sammy say, "That not true!" The little girl laughed. "Daddy says God is just a made up story! Right, daddy?" Sammy was beaming at him, waiting for an answer. He smiled brightly at the little girl. "That's right Sammy." he said.

When Jane looked at him, Darrin wondered why the woman looked as if he'd said something that hurt her. He eyed her..confused. Why would what he said have hurt her? He didn't understand. He didn't like the look on her face. It made him feel..bad. When Jane mentioned heading to the gift shop, Darrin was glad. He could focus on the children and not Jane. Darrin smiled as both children picked out their toys. He would have bought them anything that they wanted. As they were heading back to the car, Sammy asked if Jane could bring them there everyday. This brought a brilliant smile to Darrin's face. It had been a long time since he'd smiled like this. He didn't answer right away but put the little girl into her seat and made sure that she was fastened in. Darrin got into the car and buckled himself in. He looked back at Sammy. "I don't think that it would be as much fun if you all came every day, Sammy. Maybe you all can go once or twice a month." he said. Darrin turned back around and slowly pulled out. He paid attention to the road, not wanting another near accident. The thirty minuted drive seemed to drag on for some time.

At long last, they arrived back at the large home. Darrin parked the car and then got out. He opened the backseat door and gently got Sammy out. He gently woke her. "You need to go and tell Granny all about your trip." he said, smiling. When Taylor heard this he wanted out of the car. "Jane! Can I get out now? Please? I wanna tell Granny about our trip!" he said. When Jane had gotten him out, the little boy took off running towards the house. "Come on Sammy!" Darrin sat the little girl down. He watched as the two children ran into the home. Darrin slowly made his way to the house, Jane near him. "Thanks." he said softly. After a short second, he then added, "For making me come along, I mean." He fell silent once again. He felt as if the woman wouldn't care to speak with him anymore after finding out his beliefs. He couldn't change, though. That was just another part of who he was.




Inside the home, Judith had been finishing up a few small chores that she'd had left to do. When she heard the children yelling for her, the older woman quickly came into the kitchen to wait for the kids. Taylor was the first through the door and quickly ran into the kitchen. He quickly began trying to tell her about all of the wonderful things that they'd seen at the aquarium. He even showed the older woman the things that he'd gotten. Judith smiled and then looked to Sammy. "And what did you get, sweetie?" she asked.

Darrin entered the house and saw his mother. When she noticed him, she began beaming. It was obvious that she was happy that Jane had been able to get him out of the house. "I hope you two had fun." she said to Darrin and Jane. Darrin said nothing but merely walked farther into the large home. This brought a frown to the old older woman's face. When she heard him heading up the stairs, she sighed. She sent the children into the living room to watch some cartoons. When they were in the other room, Judith said to Jane, "I hope he wasn't too terrible while you all were gone. Now, I'm not going to be staying here tonight. I've not seen my husband in some time and since you're hear I was going to spend some time with him. Let me give you a quick tour before I leave." As the two women made their way about the main floor of the house, there really wasn't all that much to it. Just a few normal rooms and then a large dining room . Heading up the stairs to the first floor, Judith showed Jane where Darrin's room was, the first on the left. The room that Jane would be staying in was right next to his and directly across from the children's room. There was two more several more spare bedrooms and a play room. Judith paused at the steps. "The only place that you can't go is the top floor. It's a rehearsal room that Darrin used to use for practicing with his band when they would come home. He won't let anyone up there." The older woman looked a bit sad. "I wish he'd straighten up. He's barely spending any time with the kids and rarely comes out of his room. He's lost a lot of weight..he hasn't even dyed his hair in months. It's not like him at all. I'm so worried." Judith tried to smile at Jane. "Well, I've got to go. If you need anything just give me a call. My number is on the fridge or Darrin has it as well. Oh! I forgot! If you'd like to redecorate your room just let me know how much you need. We'll take care of it. Have a good night, Jane." With that, Judith headed down the stairs and into the living room. She told her grandchildren goodbye and that she loved them. She placed kisses on both of their cheeks and let herself out.

Darrin was in his room, laying upon the bed and staring up at the ceiling. He was tired and just wanted to go to sleep.. He looked over to his bedside table. He could see the alcohol and the pills. He'd not had to drink any while he'd been out with Jane and the kids but now..he felt as if he really needed to. He fought with himself for some time. He tried to ignore the pull. After all of this time of being on the pills..it was becoming harder and harder for him to stay away from the pills. He could never admit it to anyone, though. He sighed heavily. He felt..lost..as if he had no idea what to do anymore. He rolled over and buried his face into the soft pillow as the tears slowly began sliding down his handsome face. He was silent but he felt as if his life was not worth living anymore. He remained on the bed, hiding his face. He doubted that he'd come out of his room for the rest of the night.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Jane did as Darrin had suggested and asked the children what they would like. They weren't as picky as their father had suggested, so Jane went to work in the kitchen. She started by looking through the cabinets, wrinkling her nose at the lack of groceries. Okay, so no tacos... the woman thought to herself as she looked through the cabinets. When she had found the ingredients she was looking for, the ingredients for her famous bar-b-q ribs, mashed sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob, she started to work in the large kitchen. While the ribs were in the slow cooker to make them tender before they went on the indoor grill, she put the sweet potatoes in the water to boil and the corn on the indoor grill.

She chewed her bottom lip, thinking about what she could make for dessert. She went to the cabinets again, looking to see whe she could find. As Jane went through the last cabinet, one of the few she hadn't gone in to in the first place, she found a box of no bake cheese cake, and some grahm crackers to crush up for the crust. The young woman got to work on the desert, going into the freezer and finding a bag of frozen mixed berries. She warmed the berries in sugar and put it on top of the cake.

After an hour, she put the ribs on the indoor grill and used her home made bar-b-q sauce to baste them. After having them on the grill for 45 minutes, she seperated them into servings, put a piece of corn on each plate, and some sweet potatoes. She then took them out to the ooutdoor patio set, set the table and put the cheese cake in the middle. She then went to get the children from the living room and brought them out to the outdoor patio set. She looked over her shoulder to where Darrin was sitting and cleared her throat. "Mr. Reed? It's time for dinner," She told him as she waved her hand at the patio set. Both children had milk in front of their plates, and Darrin had some sort of dark cola. "Enjoy," She told him with a soft smile.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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As Jane was in the kitchen, fixing supper, Taylor was sitting with his little sister watching cartoons. He always allowed her to choose. He didn't see the need for fighting about such things. He was currently sitting with the little girl upon one of the several couches that was located in the living room. "Do you like Jane?" he asked quietly, not wanting the woman to hear them speaking of her. "I think that she's really pretty..and really nice. Daddy acts like he likes her." In his young mind, Taylor began thinking. His mother had left them all. His daddy had never really given a reason besides that the man had done something that his mother didn't like. Other than that, his daddy wouldn't talk about it. As a matter of fact, his father didn't like talking about their mother at all, anymore. Sammy had only been a year old when the woman had left them. He doubted that she even remembered her at all. Suddenly, Jane was in the living room telling the two small children that it was time to eat. Taylor grabbed Sammy's hand and led her into one of the bathrooms that was located downstairs so that they could wash up. Afterwards, they followed Jane outside and to the table. Taylor sat down at his plate and watched as his sister sat across from him. He was smiling..glad that today had been so wonderful.




Darrin had finished smoking some time before Jane had come outside to ready the table. He paid her no attention, his mind elsewhere. He continued starring out into the woods for some time. Only when Jane had cleared her through, informing him of dinner did he seem to snap out of it. He slowly made his way over to the table and joined his children. "Thanks." Darrin said, quietly, returning the woman's smile. Taylor was beaming at his father but then noticed that Jane hadn't sat with them. "Aren't you gonna eat with us?" he asked the woman. Taylor was now eyeing Jane. Darrin was being quite silent. He was still going over how he'd been acting over the past few years. He felt as if he'd been nothing short of a terrible father. He'd let down the two people that mattered most to him..and yet..they still loved him. He couldn't understand it.

The handsome man looked a bit troubled, still. As he began slowly eating with his children, the little ones were throwing questions at Jane. Taylor asked, "Did you know, that my Daddy is the best singer ever?" The little boy believed it. His daddy used to sing him and Sammy to sleep but that had stopped when his mother had left. He secretly wished that his father would sing to them again. Actually, now that he was thinking about it..had Sammy heard the man sing? Taylor looked to his father who seemed to be trying to ignore the conversations that was going on.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Jane smiled, ruffeling the young boys hair. "I bet he is, buddy. No, I'll eat later. The kitchen is a mess, and there's laundry to do," She looked at Darrin. "Mr. Reed, when you're finished eating, I'd like to discuss a few things with you," She said before nodding her head and walking back into the house. Soon, the children would realize that she was staff and not family, as all the children she had worked for did, and they would stop treating her the way they were now.

The woman recalled the first family she had ever worked for, and executive chef, a lawyer, and their three children, 12, 9 and 6. Their father, a chef, had taught her how to cook. Jane was eternally grateful for that, as all she had known how to make were family reciepies and home made bread. Now, the young woman could cook as if she'd gone to Le Cordon Bleu in France. The mother had taught her how to argue a point until the other persons head swam so badly that they would just...give up. It was something Jane was quite proud of. She'd once convinced a color-blind man that the sky was orange, despite what he'd heard from other people.

Jane laughed at the memory, setting to work on first the dishes. The young woman hadn't realized what a mess she'd made, and she shook her head at herself. What would her mother say? Thinking of her mother made her homesick, and she had to take a deep breath to calm down. Jane finished up the kitchen, then moved on to the piles of laundry she'd noticed earlier. The young woman rolled her eyes and shook her head. Really, did this man not to anything for three years?

Sammy looked at her father, bar-b-q sauce all over her face and hands. "Daddy? Can Thammy athk Daddy thomething without Daddy getting mad?" The little girl looked at her brother who looked very frightened by what she may ask. "Is Janey gonna be Thammy and Taylors new mommy?" She then took a huge bite of sweet potatoes and smiled brightly. "Cauth Thammy likes Janey,"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Taylor Reed Character Portrait: Samantha Reed Character Portrait: Jane Miller

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Darrin merely nodded to Jane as she informed him that she wanted to speak with him. When the woman went back into the kitchen, Darrin and his children continued to eat. Though he wouldn't admit it, Darrin was very impressed with Jane's cooking skills. It had been some time since he'd really eaten anything and the meal that the woman had prepared was just completely delicious. Suddenly, Sammy spoke. Taylor was eyeing his sister, trying to get her to not ask anything. Whatever it was, it couldn't be good. When the little girl asked their father if Jane was going to be their new mother, Taylor couldn't believe it. He could only imagine what his father was feeling. Darrin had almost fell out of his seat when the question hit his ears. Darrin smiled sadly at his daughter. "Sammy, Jane is yours and Taylor's nanny. I'm afraid that doesn't mean that she's going to be your new mommy, sweetie." Darrin felt horrible for telling Sammy that. He couldn't understand why, though. He'd never had to explain something like this before to either of his children. It had almost seemed easier to explain that their mother had left them all. "I'm sorry, sweetie."

He was no longer all that hungry. Darrin wiped off his hands and made sure that there was nothing on his face. He simply sat with his children as they finished eating. He watched the two. If he was honest with himself, Darrin had no idea if he'd ever begin looking for a new mother for his children. Hannah had hurt him greatly, broken all trust that he'd ever placed in her. She had known everything about him. She'd crushed him completely when she'd left and told him that she didn't love him..never had. He just couldn't believe that. She'd seemed so happy for so long. He had given her everything that she had ever wanted. He just couldn't see himself trusting another woman like that again.

When the children were finished eating, Darrin helped to clean them up and then sent them inside to play upstairs. Taylor took Sammy by the hand and led her to their playroom. He wanted to play and had heard Jane tell his father that she wanted to talk to him. He decided that it would be best if they weren't around for that.

After the children had gone upstairs, Darrin slowly made his way into his house. He began to look for the woman. At last, he found her, working on laundry. Though Darrin's mother had worked on it, it was still quite obvious that he'd not helped at all. The handsome man stood in the doorway and said, "You wanted to talk to me?" His blue eyes were glued to Jane. He couldn't imagine what she wanted to talk to him about. He was worried, though. Not about her speaking with him but his children. They were quickly becoming attached to the beautiful woman and Darrin wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. He didn't want to see them upset when the time came for her to leave. Darrin forced himself to pay attention. He didn't want to appear as if he'd been taking something while with his children. That was the last thing that he needed. Darrin had a feeling that Jane was about to lecture him and that was something that he hadn't had to endure in three years.