Tony was the first to reach the bedroom swiftly followed by Angela. He opened the boy's bedroom door to find Jamie gently holding David and soothing him. Seeing Tony he said. "David is having a bad dream dad, he really frightened me too. He is still asleep but has calmed down now."
"Good boy Jamie, let's help him lie down again and we will all get back to sleep. Only mention it in the morning if he remembers the dream, OK Jamie?"
"Yes dad, good night."
"Goodnight son and well done."
Downstairs again Tony and Angela discussed the occurrence and decided it might be a problem for a while but as he became more secure he would hopefully get better.
Mondays always seem to bring a fresh beginning and today was no different. Tony awoke full of beans ready for work. Angela also seemed to feel extra motivated and the boys filled with excitement as boys with a project always are. So it was, at breakfast that the family was all chatty. David showed no signs of his bad dream. Angela asked Jamie for the roll of film of the foxes so she could get it into Boots to be processed. Tony asked David for his folder of pictures. He wouldn't say what for. Jamie wanted another film for his camera but this time he wanted Kodachrome so he could make slides. Then there was the visit of Andy and Julie for the boys to look forward to. It looked like a full day for all.
Under supervision the boys made breakfast, nothing too difficult, just poached eggs on toast. There were minor errors like an egg broke and 2 slices of burned toast, otherwise it all went well.
After breakfast everyone went their own way. Tony to work, the boys to set up for their day and Angela to go to Brighton for the errands and collect her parents ready to pick up the Smith children from the hospital and probably have coffee with Tony. She hoped the boys would be all right alone for awhile. She saw that they were beehive busy so any doubts were put to the back of her mind.
The boys waved her goodbye and carried on with setting up their individual projects. David set up his easel, paints and brushes, along with some sketching pencils. David set up a large table ready to design a large span bridge. Both raided the fridge for a bottle of coke and set about their individual tasks.
David did his rough drawing as he remembered the fox family in his mind while Jamie selected the drawing of the bridge he wanted to build. For the next two hours they worked away at their tasks not realising the passing of time. It was only the sound of tyres on the gravel that made them look up. It was Angela with their grandparents, Adam and Julie.
They dropped everything and ran over to the car and greeted everyone with a hug except the children as they were still bandaged. The first question from Jamie was did the adults want tea. The natural answer was yes and surprisingly the same from Adam and Julie.
"We love tea." Julie said. "We had it in hospital and we loved it."
"Sure thing Julie, tea it shall be."
The grandparents went to look at the boys work so far. First to David's easel and they visibly gasped when they saw the drawing. "David, that is wonderful. They almost look alive. Are you going to paint it?" Granddad asked.
"Yes granddad I am but it will take a while, probably two weeks. Jamie took a lot of pictures yesterday; mum is having them processed today."
"If all goes well Jamie, I will have the photo's this afternoon. I will call in when I take grandma back home. Now, who's for lunch?"
"We are just going to look at what Jamie is doing first Angela, is that alright?"
"Yes of course, I am only making sandwiches for now anyway. Tony wants us to go out to dinner tonight for some reason."
George and Gladys went over to where Jamie, after giving out the tea, was showing Adam and Julie his partially built bridge.
"Good Lord Jamie, how big is that going to be?
"When it is finished granddad it should be about 4 feet long. It will be the biggest thing I have built with meccanno."
"I would love to see it when you have finished Jamie."
"OK granddad I will tell mum and she can bring you here to see it."
George took Adam and Julie by the hand and asked them what they liked to do. Julie liked to dress dolls and take them on walks in a pram, while Adam said he thought he would like meccanno the same as Jamie. It was difficult for them to answer as they had never really had much of their own.
Jamie remembered the glider kit still waiting to be made and offered Adam the chance to help him and David to build it. Adam agreed and so it was arranged for one day soon.
Angela appeared with a selection of sandwiches that everyone got stuck into. Four children soon hoovered up any excess ones and they were soon gone. After they had eaten the boys decided to put their work away so as to spend time with Adam and Jamie. It didn't take long with Adam helping and they all decided to go for a walk to see the foxes. When they got there the foxes were asleep so they left them and continued along the track just chatting and looking at birds and other animals along the way.
After a while Grace said she felt a bit tired so they all headed back to the house. Once there Jamie and David showed the other two children around the house. They were amazed and chatted, asking questions all the time. When they got back outside, Angela rounded up her parent's new family and set off for their home. Jamie and David waved goodbye and when they had gone David said. "I hope they will be happy at Grandmas. Perhaps we could make them our brother and sister Jamie?"
"That would be good. But with them elsewhere it would feel funny."
"We shall have to work on mum and dad Jamie to see if they can stay here during the holidays."
"I just thought Jamie, I wonder if they will go to school with us. That would really be good because Julie would have to go to another school though as our school is all boys."
Still not having decided what to do during the time Angela would be away the boys discussed it and finally decided to get the bikes out and go for a ride. They set off uphill along the bridleway to the top. There they stopped to look at the view over the countryside seeing the fields of ripening corn the heads rippling in the light breeze. Without warning and as if for no reason David started crying. Jamie noticed very quickly, got off his bike and went to David to hold him in a hug and ask him what was wrong. Through the sobs David told Jamie he was so happy to have found a new mum, dad, brothers, a sister and grandparents.
"I, I never felt so happy since mum died. I am so lucky to have you all. I just feel so loved."
Jamie was then brought to tears by what David had said. "I know David. I have always wanted a dad and a brother or sister, now I have lots. Suddenly Tony appeared, mum loves him and he loves us all and, what about the work of the wind."
As if it had heard the boys the breeze picked up slightly and like a gentle tornado surrounded them and held them together. The tears eased and then stopped and suddenly Jamie kissed David on the cheek.
"I love you David." Jamie said with a gentle voice.
David felt a sense of something he didn't understand yet, but he kissed Jamie in return and felt it was right to do it. The boys looked into each other's eyes still too young to know what the feelings were. Like boys who are happy do, they danced around not caring who saw them enjoying life.
Tony was having a good day. All was well with the children in the hospital's care. All wards were working well and the children were mostly happy. For obvious reasons the surgical ward was quiet because of the hurt that operations cause. Sitting at his desk his mind wandered to the events of the last few weeks. He had met David, albeit through strange circumstances. Then he had met Angela and Jamie, her parents, now Adam and Julie. His life as a SAS sergeant seemed a long way away compared to his present life but one thing was certain. He had never felt so fulfilled in all his life.
He looked at the clock on the wall and saw it was 16.45. It was odd how military time sticks with you. The garage had phoned and told him he could pick up the Mercedes at 17.10 but they were open until 6pm. Tony had told them he would pick the van up at 5-30 pm. Tony popped into Bill's office and arranged to meet with him and his wife at the new steak house on the A23 road on the outskirts of Brighton at 8pm.
Angela dropped her parents and the children at home, accepting a cup of tea and the use of the toilet before heading into town to collect Jamie's pictures. She didn't look at them as she wanted to give them to him tonight. The feeling overcame her before she realised it. Suddenly it hit her she had a large family, a man she loved and was getting married in 4 months time. The need to get home overtook her; she wanted to see the boys. 15 minutes later she arrived home to find the boys missing along with their bikes. Resigned to waiting for them she put the kettle on. She heard a noise outside and then a rush of feet. "Hi mum." The boys shouted in unison.
"Hello boys, come and give me a big hug. I missed you a lot this afternoon."
"We missed you too mum so we went for a bike ride up to the top of the hill."
"I got some cream soda for a change. Would you like some?"
"Yes please mum, we got hot on the bikes."
Angela made her tea and poured the boys a glass of pop each, then remembered the photos for Jamie. He opened them and showed them to the others as he looked at them.
David suddenly stopped Jamie and said, "That one Jamie, I have to paint that one."
They all looked at the picture in question. It showed the fox parents playing with the cubs. Just the feel of the photo was right and the structure was spot on, everything balanced.
Jamie gave the photo to David and said, "Paint it for me please David."
The way he said it sent goose bumps up the arms of Angela. There was just something there.
"I will love to Jamie, just for you."
Angela put that short conversation to the back of her mind and changed the subject by asking, "I wonder what the surprise dad has for us tonight boys, he sounded so mysterious."
Jamie answered first, "I don't know mum, he just likes to give us surprises."
David then made them laugh by saying, "Maybe he is bringing us another brother."
"You two are hopeless cases. I might just have to send you back under guarantee and get two new boys."
David looked puzzled until Jamie explained the joke to him.
All he could think to say was. "Mum you're barmy."
"He, he, I know David, I have a piece of paper to say so."
The humour was broken by a loud honking of a car horn.
"Who's that?" David said. "It's not dad's car his horn doesn't sound like that."
"Perhaps we have visitors then David, let's go and see.
The boy's stopped dead outside the front door seeing before them what seemed a huge van and sitting at the wheel grinning was dad. The boys yelled. "MUM! Come and see."
Angela thinking there was some sort of disaster ran to the door to also see the large Mercedes.
"Oh my boys, what has your dad done now, let's go and have a look at it?" Tony couldn't hold back his laughter as he saw the family's faces; the look of awe was so funny.
He got out and went to them to embrace them and making a joke to start with said. "Mum's getting fat so I had to get a bigger car." And before Angela could retaliate he continued more seriously. "We are a growing family and we needed a bigger vehicle. I saw this one last week and bought it. Not only will it be big enough but we can also go camping in it. Come on, we'll have a look round it.
It gleamed in the evening sunshine and they all did a full exploration of it. The boys wanted to know what the straps were for on each seat and Tony explained they were seat belt to keep you safer if they were in an accident. Of course they had to be tried out. Jamie worked out how they worked quickly but David took a bit longer. They tried to pull against them and found they did indeed keep you firmly in place. The boys counted the seats and found it had space for seven adults but likely a few more children.
"Is it fast dad?" Jamie wanted to know.
"Yes it is Jamie but I won't be using its top speed because that would break the law but we can go up the A23 later on the way to dinner and give you an idea of how powerful it is. Oh, we are meeting with Bill and his wife for dinner later." Angela at last got to speak and told Tony that she loved the vehicle and that they should all have some fine times in it.
Tony gave her a kiss and then went to the front of the car and got out the pictures he had taken from David in the morning.
"Now young man," he said to David. "I popped into your new school this morning and showed these to your art teacher. He loved them and can't wait to work with and help you with your art. He said he knows it is early but he wants you to do an A level in art. That will be seven years of hard study. Firstly, six years until you are sixteen and two more at 'A' level. What do you think son?"
David gave his dad a big hug and said. "Thanks dad, I love painting. It is a lot of study though."
"It could be even more if you go on to university afterwards that could be another three years at least."
"I don't mind dad, I just know I have to do it."
Angela then told Tony of the drawing David was working on of the fox family that she saw earlier and also of his promise to paint a picture especially for Jamie from one of the pictures he took.
Tony raised his eyebrows and said, "What a lovely thought David. Isn't it mum?"
"It certainly is love," she replied. "I am sure it will be beautiful when it is finished."
"Anyway boys, I fancy a run before we go out, how about you?"
"Yes please dad, can we change first though?"
"Of course, all back here in ten minutes. What you going to do Angela?"
"I, my fine fellow am coming with you. I like to run as well. Women do run you know."
"Wonderful darling, running as a family will be just perfect. If you feel tired on the way you can slow up and we will pick you up on the way back."
"We'll see darling." Was all Angela said, and if you had looked closely you might just have seen a slight smirk?
Fifteen minutes later the family were running up the track towards the nearest footpath and then they turned right onto it and followed it further up hill. Tony kept looking back expecting Angela to be slowing but that was not happening. She was encouraging the boys to keep up and that they would get their second wind soon. It was five miles by the time they got back to the house and the real amusement was for the boys who saw mum and dad racing each other the last hundred yards.
Tony was stuck for words but congratulated Angela on her running.
It was then she smiled and told him. "I used to run all the time with James before he got killed and I never really gave it up. I can do 10 miles at a good pace."
"Good girl love. That means we can go out as a family a lot more. I know the boys love running as well."
"Yea mum, that would be great." The boys said, again in unison.
"Are you two boys joined at the hip or something?" Tony asked. "Nine times out of ten you say the same thing at the same time."
"Yep, that's us dad, the terrible twins, saying it as one yet again"
"I give up. Come on everyone let's get showered and changed to go out."
"Yes my liege, I art coming sire." Angela said making the boys laugh again.
Twenty minutes later they were all back again dressed in their finery and ready to go. The boys wanted to sit in the front but of course with only three seats that was impossible so they sat in the front of the cavernous back. Tony reminded them about their seat belts and the boys put them on. When the engine started up the boys went wow! It made easy work of the humps and bumps of the track out to the main road. It was then Jamie jabbed David in the ribs. "Ask about Adam and Julie to see if they can come and live at home David?"
David, normally a bit slow in coming forward asked point blank, "Dad, can Adam and Julie come and stay at our house during the holidays?"
Tony thought about it and spoke quietly with Angela so as the boys could not hear. Then spoke to the boys. "Mum and I don't mind boys but we have to ask grandma and granddad first as they are responsible for them, and boys we have to be certain that Adam and Julie want to live at our home. They might prefer to be where they are. Anyway, we will ask Granddad later."
"Thanks mum and dad. I am sure they will like to come."
As Tony had promised, once on the A23 road he put the speed up to seventy miles an hour. Strangely they hardly noticed as the vehicle was so quiet and smooth.
"When can we go camping then dad? Can we go before we go back to school?" David asked.
"Again boys, we will ask grandma and granddad. I expect they might like to come with us but not to camp at their age. We might be able to go to Brockenhurst in the New Forest where they could stay in a hotel while the rest of us camp. It will also depend on whether Adam and Julie's burns improve enough."
"OK dad. Can you check with Grandma tomorrow?"
"Sure thing David, in fact I will call them tonight when we get home."
They arrived at the steak house with some time to spare so they went to the garden bar and got some drinks. Tony, because he was driving, just had a coke with the boys and Angela had a glass of white wine. They got a table and sat down when Bill and his wife came round the corner of the building. The family got up to greet them all shaking hands.
Tony asked Bill and his wife Mary what they would like to drink and each had a small shandy. At Bill's suggestion they all decided to eat outside and selected food from the menus on the table where they sat. It was waitress service even in the garden so they ordered with their waitress whose name tag said Millie. The boys wanted sausage and mash as did Angela. Bill and his wife had scampi and Tony had beef and ale pie. They ordered a bottle of wine for the adults and lemonade for the boys. The meal arrived quite quickly and they all tucked in. After Bill and Tony chatted about work while the ladies discussed nursing as Bill's wife was an ex nurse. The boys went off to the play area to play on the swings and other games there.
It was mostly small talk about children and family life. Bill had twin 16 year old boys both at boarding school in Somerset. They had just started their 'A' levels and would stay on until they were 18. Tony mentioned that David and Jamie would be going to St Andrews and that possibly Adam also but that had yet to be decided with Angela's parents. Julie's educational future was as yet undecided but it was hoped to get her into Roedean School as a day girl rather than a boarder.
The evening finally wound down and everyone said their goodbyes. When they were back in the Mercedes Angela and Tony discussed the evening with the boys to see whether they enjoyed it or not. Both boys were happy and thanked mum and dad for a nice evening. On the drive back home Tony again gave a short demonstration of the vehicles power. This time the boys did notice and gave the van their thumbs up. As soon as they arrived back home Tony phoned George and Gladys to check on what the boys had asked. George seemed to make the decision that Adam and Julie should be able to stay with the boys at the house on the hill, and also that it sounded a good idea to go camping, but they, as suggested, would stay at the hotel. Tony suggested the first week in September as St Andrews new term started a week later than state schools. He would have to see if he could get some time off, if not then he would help set up and visit the campsite when he could. It was late by now and the boys got ready for bed coming back down to say goodnight before again going up to bed.
Angela and Tony left alone had a chance to talk together. It was Angela that raised the subject of them perhaps both working. That would leave the boys alone for a lot of the time.
I've thought the same love and it has been worrying me. It isn't long before school starts either. The thought I had was for mum and dad to come and live up here with us and make one big family. I am sure June will agree to the change for Adam and Julie. Mostly it depends on mum and dad and whether they would want to move this far out of town. Dad can still drive OK so if I get them a nice runabout they would be independently mobile."
"Where would they live though love? They like to have their own space."
I have thought of that as well Angela. You know the small barn just up the track? Well that would easily convert into a small bungalow for them."
"Hmm, how long would it take to do that Tony?"
"I am not sure love but the firm that did up my house were very quick and not too pricey. I could give him a call it is still early."
Phone mum and dad first love. No good getting the guy out unless they would be happy to move here.
"Yes ma'am, right away ma'am." Tony said and lifted the phone and called. George answered the phone and Tony put the idea to him. He didn't give and answer straight away and said he would call back once he had spoken to Gladys.
"They'll chat it over and call back love."
Hardly had he got the words out and the phone rang. It was Gladys.
"I thought you would never ask." She said. "I love it up there, so does George and the children. When can we move?"
Tony gave Angela the thumbs up with a mouthed YES.
Tony replied to Gladys and said. "Not for a couple of weeks mum. We need to talk to June and also to my builder then get a car for dad. I can phone the builder now. I'll call you tomorrow, OK?"
He got a positive answer and replaced the receiver. Then he picked it up again and called his old builder. He was in and Tony explained what he wanted. He said he would be right over as he knew the barn as he had renovated it for Bert 4 years ago. He turned up just ten minutes later and wasted no time in looking over the barn. His verdict was very pleasing. He could have it habitable up and running in three weeks. The cost would be in the region of £30,000. It would have three bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen, bathroom and toilet. By lowering the floor he could make it into two stories. He knew for a fact that planning permission had already been granted for it to be converted and he had the original plans at home. After he left Tony phoned June at home and apologised for calling so late. He put the idea to her and she whole heartedly agreed to the plan. Tony replaced the receiver, picked up Angela and gave her a big hug and said. "To quote the big man, 'Never in the history of human conflict has so much been achieved in such a short time by so few'." (With apologies to Winston Churchill)
Just before ten the builder phoned back and said he could have a gang start the next day digging out the floor. Would that be alright?
Tony thanked him and agreed and thought 'Wow, what a Monday'.
He told Angela and they were off to bed exhausted.
End of part 14
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