9 Cat and mouse

Daniel wakes up with the sun streaming through the loft window. He looks at his watch wondering what time it is. It's after three. Looking out the window he notices that Aisling still hasn't returned. Where can she be. What is taking her so long. He hears a car pull up. Glancing carefully outside he sees Sam and Debra pulling up. Sam is getting groceries out of the back of the pick up. Debra heads inside. He hears Sam say that Aisling should be back from the airport soon. Daniel sits back down and pulls out a bottle of water. Based on what he heard it seems she went to pick up someone. He wonders which of her many relatives is coming. With the birth of Debra first child they most likely will be a lot of relatives around. Things won't be as easy for now. He thinks it's too soon to go back to any of his hiding spots. He needs to hang around close so maybe he can hear who violated his places. He lays back to wait it out he needs to see Aisling today . His head is burning with the need to see her. Tomorrow he will find a safer place that he can hide.

It's late afternoon when they finally arrive home. Sam and Debra come outside to meet them.

"Auntie I'm so glad you came. How long are you staying for?" Debra hugs her aunt and uncle hold her aunts hand as they walk into the house.

Astila looks towards the barn and nods to the commander. With this signal he speaks loudly so that anyone listing can hear.

" Debra dear you are just a few weeks away from delivering. That normally means you can go into labor at anytime. We are staying until that new addition is born. Also thank you for taking care of my officer here. He may not be in my unit anymore but he is still a member of my other family. " he gives his niece a big smile. Holding Aisling's hand the commander walks with them inside. Hoping that the man in the barn was able to hear him clearly enough. Their cover story is in place. Once inside they sit down to have a little chat. The commander wants everyone to know what to expect and what he expects out of them.

" here is the deal. The sheriff and his guys found that someone has been living on the property and stalking Aisling. Astila thinks it's the man from the other day. Now the problem is that there is a possibility that he has killed before. If that turns out to be true. We have no way of knowing what he will do now that his possessions have been taken and that his hideouts have been found. Until we do Aisling is not allowed to be alone especially outside. So Aisling I expect you to cooperate and comply no arguments. Debra you need to only concentrate on delivering a healthy baby. Astila's sister will be here next week to help out as well. Isn't God amazing that he sent one of my most decorated and skilled men to my nieces doorstep just as she needed him. So we are going to act as normal as possible so as to not tip the guy off that we are on to him understood. " with that said he stands and watches all of them nod in agreement.

" my lovely wife and I are going for a stroll it's been awhile since we have been home. I would like to reacquaint myself with my surroundings. " he takes his wife's hand and walks her outside. The walk slowly by the barn listening for any out of place noises or signs of disturbance. Taking the path by the garden they head into the woods. While they are gone snore of the family arrive to greet the commander and his wife. The women work on getting the food prepared and the kids are running around. Daniel sneaks a peek outside through a crack in the wall of the barn. He watches the large family gathering . His focus on Aisling. Her smile and laughter. Brings a smile to his face. One day he will have her to himself forever. He hears a noise inside the barn quickly he hides himself between bales of hay. Wedged between the wall and hay he knows even if someone comes up to the loft. They will not be able to see him.

Astila walks into the barn to look around . Two of the teenagers come with him.

" so are you going to be our uncle ? " the oldest one asks him.

" your aunt and I do not know each other well enough for that. So where is the charcoal briskets that she sent us in here for. " he chuckles . Seeing a place by the ladder to the loft . It looks like someone slipped there. He glances up at the loft wondering if he can get up there without causing a ruckus.

" it's over behind the loft ladder. Later after dinner would you be willing to help us take some hay out of the loft. We store the hay for the horses here. We just need someone to throw it down through the loft window so we can load it . " the younger boy asks him.

" of course I would be glad to help." Looking up to the sky mouthing a thank you to the great spirit for his Devine intervention. They find the charcoal and head back out. The evening is filled with laughter and to Astila's surprise music. After dinner as the women were cleaning up the the reverend went inside the house . When he came back out he had a guitar as well as a fiddle . The two boys went to one of the trucks and brought out two more guitars. In just a few minutes the air was filled with beautiful music. They started playing when the women were done they all gathered around the fire pit. Even the commander began to sing . It reminds Astila of home. The singing and playing lasted into the night. It was close to midnight by the time the last car left the driveway. They headed inside to get ready for bed. The commander made a point of leaving a small amount of meat on the spit for the man in the loft. That is if he dares to come down.

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