As soon as they arrived home, Alana went upstairs to the nursery and held each of her babies and snuggled them close. Aiden had been crying and Alissa was sitting in her crib, playing with her bear. I brought bottles upstairs for them both.
Although I knew that it had been the right decision, I still felt guilty about leaving them. When she looked at my face, Alana knew what I was feeling.
“David, if our positions were reversed, I don’t know if I would have made the decision to leave them, but if you hadn’t come for me when you did, it would have been too late for me. Tarquin planned to take me away to his country.” She did not tell him about his plans to rape her. She didn’t think that he needed to be worried with all the details of her time with Tarquin.
“After you appeared in my dreams last night and asked me to come and get you, I knew I had to try and find you!”, I told her.
“I had the same dream!,” she said excitedly. “Somehow, I must have communicated with you in my sleep.”
They both smelled of smoke and were covered in soot.
“Why don’t you go relax in the tub and I’ll make sure the kids are settled.,” I suggested to Alana.
Alana went and filled the tub with nice, warm water. She was grateful that David had been able to engineer a rough plumbing system that pulled warm water from the hot springs into the kitchen and the bathroom.
After David made sure the children were settled for the night, he went to the bathroom to check on Alana.
“David, why don’t you join me in the tub?”, she suggested. ” It’s big enough for both of us.”
I stripped off my clothes and joined her in the tub, pulling her into my arms. We just soaked and cuddled, content to be together.
I knew that it would be best for Alana to talk about what had happened with
Tarquin. I didn’t think it was healthy for her to hold it inside.
“Alana”, I said. “Please tell me everything that happened between you and Tarquin. It isn’t good for you to keep it inside. We promised that we would never keep secrets from each other. Whatever happened, I want you to know that I will never blame you or love you any less.”
Alana was silent for a few moments. “I don’t want to upset you!”, she said.
“I can’t promise that I won’t get upset, but I can promise that I won’t be angry with you.”, I assured her.
Alana considered what David said. “Okay, where should I start?”
“Tell me about the first time he contacted you.”
For the next hour, we talked; and at times Alana cried remembering certain moments. She especially sobbed when she remembered her feelings after Tarquin made her believe that David Jr. was his baby and not mine.
I tried to keep my emotions in check, so as not to upset her further, but I felt so angry over how he had abused my wife. If Tarquin had not already been dead, I would have killed him.
After Alana finished telling me what had happened, she began dosing in my arms. I gently awakened her and we dried off and both went to bed. For the first time in several days, we both slept soundly.
The first thing Alana did after getting up the next morning was give me a long sensuous kiss. Without saying a word, we returned to bed and made love passionately.
After breakfast , I returned to Tarquin’s lair to make sure that he truly was gone, and to see if I could salvage anything that we could use.
While David was gone, Alana played with the children. After a while, she went downstairs to prepare a bottle for Aidan and lunch for Alissa. She looked down the beach as she waited for Aidan’s bottle to warm.
She was concerned about David going back to Tarquin’s lair alone. Even though she believed Tarquin to be dead, she was afraid that after the fire the roof of his lair would be unstable. She was relieved when she spotted David coming up the beach toward home.
Time continued to pass steadily. Alissa and Aidan were growing up quickly. Alissa loved to play chess. Had they not been on the island, Alissa would have started school. Alana did her best to teach her with what she had available here on the island.
Aidan was walking and talking, getting into everything.
I had not given up on the radio, but I needed a power source. I was still trying to come up with one.
The weather on the island was usually warm and sunny. Alana loved to stretch out on the beach in the warm sun and gentle breeze. Sometimes I would join her. Occasionally we would have a rain shower, but they never lasted long.
One morning I walked out on the beach and the wind felt stronger than usual. Out in the ocean, off in the distance, I could see dark storm clouds.
The storm looked as violent as the one that caused us to be stranded on the island.
Not long after I built our home on the beach, I had found a cave and kept it stocked with basic necessities in case we ever needed shelter from a storm like the one that was rapidly approaching.
I raced into the house. Alana and Alissa were sitting together on the sofa, reading. Aidan was sitting on the floor playing. I scooped Aidan up into my arms.
“Alana!”, I cried. “Come with me quickly! We have to get the children to the cave now. There is a bad storm coming!”
A look of panic crossed Alana’s face. She stood up uncertainly, and took Alissa’s hand. Alissa didn’t even look afraid. She seemed excited.
I ran out of the house carrying Aidan, while Alana and Alissa followed closely behind me. The rain started as we raced across the island to the cave. I ushered Alanna and Alissa inside ahead of me.
It was dark inside the cave. Alissa was no longer excited.
“Daddy, I’m scared!”, Alissa told me.
“We’re okay Alissa!”, I told her, as I felt on the floor beside the entrance for the box of matches to light the torches.
I handed Aidan to Alanna and struck a match and lit the torches. We could hear the wind howling as the storm increased in force.
Alissa looked around. It was brighter, but it was cold and dreary.
I started a fire.
“Is a fire safe in here, David?”, Alana asked me.
“Yes. There is plenty of air circulation. We have to keep the children warm.”, I told her.
Alana snuggled Aidan closely to her and then put him in the crib, pulling the blanket around him.
Alissa fell asleep on one of the benches. Alana gazed at me silently for a few moments.
“David we have been through so much? Why do these things keep happening to us? When will it be enough?”, she asked me wearily.
“Alana you have had to endure more than any one woman should ever have to. You have done it with strength and dignity. Without you by my side I would never have made it this far.”, I paused gathering my thoughts.
“I’m truly sorry for putting us in this situation. I can only promise to try to keep making our lives here as comfortable and happy as possible.”, I told her.
Alana come closer to me and hugged me tightly.
The storm raged on throughout the night. Alana and the children slept. They felt secure because they knew that David was always there to protect them.
David was too keyed up to do more than nap. He had become determined to find some way to get his family off the island and back to civilization.
Around daybreak, the storm abated. David went to the mouth of the cave and looked out. As he stood there, dirt and small stones began to fall from the roof of the cave opening.
Suddenly, he realized what was happening. The roof of the cave opening was collapsing! In that same instant, he became aware of Alissa standing behind him.
He automatically pushed her back inside the cave!
Then the roof collapsed raining down stones and dirt upon his head. He was outside the cave while his family was trapped inside! Suddenly everything went black.