She worked through her mail. There were forty-something congratulation cards from actors and people in the field. Her good friend Nick, who worked with Rick, sent her a card with a picture of a fat woman on the front and a smart a*s remark on the inside, making her smile.
A good portion of the letters were requests from book stores and colleges for signings and lectures. One invitation in particular caught her eye, the American College in Paris, France. She wanted to go to that one before she was too big to travel.
There were plenty of bills which Deana would take care of since she was in charge of running the household. She did however open her bank statement. She was vigilant about keeping up on her finances. Too many problems could happen these days with bank fraud and identity theft.
She opened it and held her breath. No matter how many times she saw it she could never get used to seeing that figure. There were too many zeros, more than enough money for one person could ever spend. Their children’s children would live very comfortably for the rest of their lives.
The next envelope was from Children’s Hospital, her favorite charity. It was a thank you card signed by all the children on the floor for her latest donation. She sent them a large check and practically bought out a toy store and video game store for the kids. There were more than a dozen colored pictures the kids drew for her. She folded them carefully and put them back in the card so she wouldn’t lose them.
There were twenty pieces of mail addressed to Edward. She put those into a pile for him to handle. She knew he would ask Amy to do it for him. The only thing left was the box.
She picked it up. She didn’t remember ordering anything, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t. That happened plenty of times during the course of her life where she ordered something and forgot about it when it finally arrived six weeks later. She tried to remember what she ordered while she pulled the tape back. She opened the box and her jaw dropped.
On a small square piece of paper the word “Boom!” was printed in large thick black letters. She took in a deep breath, trying to steady herself. She looked at Edward who was busy playing with the kids.
“Edward,” she said, trying to keep her voice calm.
“Yeah?” he asked, semi distracted by Cole jumping on his back.
“Edward and Amy, I need you both to grab the kids and get off the property right now,” she said, standing up trying to keep the box steady. She could make out a large black object beneath the note with green, red, and blue wires.
“What’s going on?” Edward asked, pulling Cole and Elizabeth out of the pool.
“Now! Get out of here, please!” she cried. She backed up slowly, holding the box out in front of her. She used her elbow to slowly lift the latch and her foot to open the gate. Her towel dropped, but she wasn’t dropping the box to pick it up, oh hell no.
“Amy, get the kids out of here!” Edward said.
Dana looked up to see Amy grabbing the kids and running with them through the house. Edward walked slowly towards her.
“If that’s what I think it is, put it down and come to me, now,” he said firmly.
She shook her head. “No, I need to get it as far back on the property as I can. I don’t know if it’s real or how powerful it is. I don’t want it to go off this close to the neighbors, they have kids, too.”
“Then hand it to me,” Edward said, walking towards her.
“No, baby, I need you to take care of the kids. Please,” she said, moving steadily, but cautiously across the large backyard.
“Dana, give it to me, please!” Edward begged.
“No!” She continued to move towards her back gate.
“I can’t lose you, damn it!” Edward snapped.
“I can’t lose you either, baby. Just please let me put this down and then we’ll run like hell. Sound good?” she asked, trying not to shake the box.
“Okay, but if you get hurt I’m going to kill you,” he stressed.
“Understood.” She made her way to the tall iron gate that ran along the back of the property and put the box down. The second it was down Edward grabbed her hand and pulled her away. They ran across the backyard, around the house, and toward the sidewalk. The media went crazy snapping pictures and recording their mad dash to safety.
Amy stood on the sidewalk with the kids. Her arms were wrapped protectively around them. The more reputable news reporters were pushing back the paparazzi. The moment they stopped running, Edward pulled Dana into his arms. “Are you okay?”
She nodded against his chest. “Don’t ever do that to me again! You scared the hell out of me!”
“Edward, the police are on the way,” one of the news reporters said. It was Mark from Channel five. He was a good guy, always respectful. He was the reporter who pulled Edward into a hug the day he announced their pregnancy.
They stood watching the house while they waited for the police. Edward kept Dana, Amy and the kids protectively by his side. Mark couldn’t stop people from taking pictures, but he did stop them from reaching them.
Dana looked back at Mark and gave him a weak smile. “Thanks, Mark.”
“No problem, Dana,” he said, pushing someone back. “Back up! They have kids with them and she’s pregnant!”
Edward looked back as well. “Thanks, Mark. Come to the house afterwards and we’ll talk.” Mark nodded and went back to protecting their backs. He was a good guy and the one of the few reporters they gave interviews to.
The police arrived with loud sirens. Dozens of cars descended on the property. She wasn’t too surprised when the bomb squad arrived. A man in a large foam outfit stepped out of the back of a van. His name tag read “Boom.” Fitting, she thought.
“Doggies!” Cole pointed to several large German Sheppard Dogs. Dana heard other kids yelling, too. She looked back to see a large crowd had gathered. The kids looked frightened and excited.
“Daddy, can we get a doggie?” Cole asked Edward.
That one word took Edward by surprise. It was only the memory of what was going on that stopped him from jumping with joy. Cole called him Daddy. Cole didn’t know it, but at that moment there was nothing in the world he would deny him.
“I think a doggie would be a good idea.” Edward grinned hugely. Dana gave his arm a squeeze and kissed his cheek.
“Mommy, if Daddy and Cole are getting a dog, can I have a snake?” Elizabeth asked.
Edward felt Dana freeze under his arm. For a bomb she kept her cool and walked across the lawn without showing an ounce of fear, but the mention of a snake had all the blood draining from her face. He had to laugh.