A humble heart, p.19
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       A Humble Heart, p.19

         Part #1 of Hollywood Hearts series by R. L. Mathewson
 

  She sighed heavily, “Okay.”

  He smiled hugely.

  She suddenly felt tired and made her way out of the pool. Edward made a move to join her, but she waved him off. He stayed in the pool with his sister and the kids playing. Dana wrapped a towel around her waist and looked at her watch. The mail should be here by now. She made her way through the gate back into the house to the front door.

  She wasn’t surprised in the least to see several media vans camped out in front of her house. She ignored them and grabbed her mail. It overflowed from the box. A large stack of mail and a box were placed on the ground. She picked them up and adjusted the weight in her arms, surprised to find that it weighed as much as one of the kids.

  Dana brought the large pile of mail back to the pool area and was met with a glare from Edward. He didn’t like her carrying anything. She sighed inwardly and sat on her lounge chair and began going through her mail. Edward made sure her fan mail was no longer forwarded to the house so she didn’t have to worry about that.

  She worked through her mail. There were fortysomething 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 ass 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.

  Shit.

  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.

  “N-no sweetheart

  no snakes

  ..” Dana looked like she was about to pass out. She decided clarification was in order when she caught a twinkle of mischief in Elizabeth’s eye. “That includes babys
itting a snake and any snakes you find outside.”

  “Man!” Elizabeth groaned.

  Amy looked Dana over and realized the same thing Edward did, she had a huge phobia of snakes. “Sweetie, perhaps this isn’t the best moment to talk about this,” Amy said, taking Elizabeth into her arms.

  “Okay,” Elizabeth said dejectedly.

  The fire department arrived next. Several men ran full blast toward the backyard. They could hear loud screams and then a loud boom! “Oh, please let everyone be okay,”

  Dana said softly. Edward pulled her and the kids closer.

  “Daddy, smoke!” Cole said, pointing above their house to a thick column of gray smoke.

  Edward pulled Cole into his arms afraid his son was going to try and get a better look.

  Several police officers came running around the house.

  They paused at the corner. Their eyes ran over the crowd until they settled on them. Then they were running full blast towards them.

  “Get down!” one of the officers yelled as screams erupted behind them.

  Edward turned to find everyone behind them was running or dropping to the ground except for a teenage girl holding a gun aimed at them. Her hand shook violently.

  Tears ran down her face, dragging black massacre with it.

  He pushed Dana behind him using his body to protect her. She grabbed onto his sides, holding him tightly.

  “Edward,” she said tightly.

  “Amy, get the kids out of here,” Edward said evenly.

  He didn’t have to look back to know Mark was pulling Amy and the kids away to safety. “Get them behind the car!” an officer ordered. Edward heard Cole crying out for him, but he didn’t look back.

  “Edward, move please,” the girl said through broken sobs. “Let me take care of this for you.”

  “Take care of what?” he asked genuinely confused.

  “Her.” She gestured towards Dana with the gun.

  He shook his head. “You might as well kill me, because you’re not touching one hair on her head,” he said firmly.

  “Edward, no!” Dana said behind him.

  “I’m not going to hurt you, Edward. I would never do that.

  Can’t you see this is the only way we can be together?” she cried. Edward looked her over, she looked familiar.

  “I know you from somewhere.”

  She smiled hugely. “Yes! I’ve asked for your photograph thirty times now. I send you homemade cookies every week, and I write to you every day.”

  He shook his head. “No, not that. I’ve seen you walking outside my other house and this one.”

  She gave him a sheepish smile. “Well, I had to keep an eye on you.”

  “You sent the box, didn’t you,” he stated.

  She nodded frantically. “It was supposed to kill her. I tried to make sure it had a three foot range, but the directions I found on the internet were a little confusing. I didn’t think you would be around when she opened her mail, that’s too mundane for you.”

  “What if my children were near her? Or what about my unborn children? Did you think about them?” he asked through clenched teeth.

  “They’re not really your children. I only care about you.

  How do you know she’s carrying your babies? I’ve seen her pictures in Maxim magazine, there’s no way someone like her would settle for just one guy,” she rattled on.

  “They are my children!” he snapped.

  “Really?” she scoffed. “Then why was she kissing Lucas James? Hmm, I have pictures from the internet.” She pulled out a printed picture from her back pocket while keeping the gun pointed at Edward. She held up the picture of Lucas and Dana embracing.

  “They’re in a movie together. What you saw was pictures from the set. I saw the same pictures.”

  “Well

  I don’t think so,” she said sounding a little uncertain, “you were gone for nine weeks and now she’s pregnant

  uh uh, she cheated on you now I’m going to take her out for you.”

  “Edward, move I don’t want you hurt,” Dana said.

  “No!” he said to Dana.

  Movement to his right caught Edward’s attention. He saw dozens of officers circling the girl. “Put the gun down now!” a man ordered as dozens of weapons were aimed at the girl.

  “No!” she screamed.

  “Put the fucking gun down before you get shot!” Edward roared.

  “You care about me?” she asked, giving him a goofy smile.

  He didn’t answer her. She placed the gun down while she stared at him dreamy eyed. Two officers threw her to the ground and checked her for more weapons. Edward spun around in time to catch Dana as her knees gave out.

  “Are you okay?” Edward asked her. He was shaking so badly that he had to lower them both to the ground before he dropped. He pulled her onto his lap and held her tightly.

  He ignored the cameras that were snapping rapidly.

  Dana kissed Edward’s face and neck repeatedly.

  “Don’t you ever scare me like that again!”

  “Yes, Dear,” he said mockingly, making her chuckle weakly.

  He placed a hand on her stomach. “How are my babies doing?”

  “They’re doing fine,” she said, looking a little embarrassed.

  “What is it?”

  “I think I’m hungry. I can’t believe I can even think of food at a moment like this,” she said, shaking her head in disgust.

  He laughed feeling a weight lifted off his shoulders with this revelation. “You’re carrying twins, sweetheart. You’re bound to get hungry.”

  “No! He’s mine!” the girl screamed as she was dragged away.

  “I’m really sorry about this,” he said, feeling horrible about everything.

  “You didn’t do anything. It could have just as easily been one of my many stalkers so don’t worry about it,” she teased. She kissed his mouth gently, trying to chase the unnecessary guilt away.

  “Why don’t you bring her inside?” the officer standing protectively over them said. “We’ve checked over the house several times, it’s safe.”

  Edward nodded. Dana moved off his lap as they stood up. He took her hand and began walking towards the house. He could see Amy and the kids entering the house.

  Cole was riding piggyback on a fireman’s shoulders.

  He looked back to see Mark talking with his cameraman. “Mark, are you coming?” Edward called.

  Mark looked at him and nodded. His cameraman followed him close behind. Neither man looked triumphant about getting the hottest interview in town at the moment.

  Mark looked upset and serious. That was one of the reasons he liked the man. He never took joy out of someone’s misfortune and he certainly didn’t risk his own life saving children expecting anything in return. He was a good guy all around.

  Chapter 11

  Dana and Edward slipped into their bedroom and quickly got dressed before they made their way to the kitchen. Dana immediately started to make coffee, sandwiches and snacks for the police officers and firemen.

  Within twenty minutes she had a huge spread laid out on the table for them.

  Police and Firefighters passed through the kitchen, grabbing something to drink, or eat, and thanking her. Soon she found herself sitting on the couch with Cole on her lap.

  “Baby, you need to eat something,” Edward pleaded.

 
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