Elaina woke from her nap to find herself wedged between her Poppi and Skye. Wriggling down the bed, she climbed off the end and watched her Poppi reach out for Skye in his sleep. Pretty sure they would sleep a while longer, Elaina left the room. She wanted to make her Poppi feel better when he woke up and she knew exactly how to do that.
After everything that had gone on so far that day, Sam needed to unwind a little. Going back to the house and to her room, Sam slipped into a nice hot shower, letting the water work over her tense muscles and through her thick, dark hair.
Sam knew Lorenzo was going to be okay, but that didn’t take the image of him lying on the floor of the library out of her head. All she could think about in those few seconds was that she had just lost another member of her family. Sam didn’t think she could bear that. Her and Lorenzo had always been so close – no matter the circumstances of their childhood and she didn’t even want to think about losing Lorenzo to a mad man.
Grabbing the bottle of vanilla scented body wash, Sam poured a liberal amount onto her loofa and smoothed it over her skin, breathing in the scent and letting it invade her senses. Sam knew this respite was only temporary, but she was going to take what she could from it. It wouldn’t do good to be too tense right now. Her family needed her.
As she finished her shower, Sam turned off the water, pushed the shower door open and grabbed a thick, fluffy towel to wrap around her body. With the towel secure, Sam grabbed another, smaller one to work through her hair. Leaving her hair damp, she grabbed her brush.
Rubbing his hands over his face, Jason walked into his house. It had been a long day so far and all he wanted was to hold his daughter and never let her go. But before leaving Lorenzo’s, Jason had found Elaina asleep in between Skye and Lorenzo and knew she was okay. Deciding to bypass his office for now, Jason went into the kitchen and grabbed a beer, popping off the top and taking a long drink, letting the cold liquid slide down his throat. There was still a lot to do.
Finishing off the beer, Jason tossed the bottle into the garbage and headed upstairs. He was going to take a long, hot shower and then get back to work.
Elaina made her way down to the stables. She found Goldie’s stall and opened the latch, after using a small step stool to reach the top of the door. Pulling the door open, Elaina picked up the lead hanging from Goldie’s bridle in her hand and pulled the carrot she had taken from the refrigerator out of her pocket.
Using the carrot, she enticed the pony to follow her out of the stall and then the stables. Elaina led the little pony up to her Poppi’s house, glad no one was around. Pushing open the back door she had left partially open, Elaina pulled the pony into the kitchen and then down the hallway. Reaching the stairs, Elaina looked up the stairs and then at Goldie. Putting a finger to her lips, she said, “Shhhh . . ." and started up the stairs, coaxing the pony, with the carrot, to follow her.
She was sure her Poppi was going to be surprised when he saw she had brought him her pony to make him feel better.
“Oh my God, Diego. Is you father okay?” Georgie asked after Diego told her what had happened at the house.
“Yeah. He says he’s fine. And if it weren’t for Skye, he’d be out there hunting Sonny Corinthos down himself,” Diego said, his tone hard and bitter. Diego had been so angry about what had happened that he had needed to get out of the house for a little bit. His father was sleeping and Diego knew that Jason and Sam had everything else under control. Coming to Georgie was the only thing keeping him from going after Ruiz and Corinthos himself.
Georgie put her hand on Diego’s back, feeling how tense he was. “I know you’re upset Diego. And you have every right to be. But you can’t go after him on your own,” she said.
Diego smiled. Georgie was the only person – besides his sister – who could ever read what was going on in his head. He knew she worried about him, but she also accepted him for who he was. And Diego liked that. He wasn’t going to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. He wasn’t going to change who he was to make someone like him. That had been the problem with Brook Lynn. She had wanted to change him to suit her needs and Diego didn’t work like that. But Georgie was not like Brook Lynn. She let him be who he was and didn’t expect him to change for her. She was the light in his life when he needed her. She’d been there for him when Jessica died. She let him rant and vent and cry and be angry, without ever telling him he was wrong. And Diego knew that over the last two years, he was falling more and more in love with her.
It took some work, but Elaina finally managed to get the pony up the stairs and down the hall as quietly as she could. Tiptoeing to the door, Elaina turned to Goldie and put her finger to her lips.
“Shhhh . . . no wake Poppi yet,” she whispered to the horse. Then she pushed open the door and peeked in. Her Poppi and Skye were still sleeping and hadn’t noticed Elaina was gone. Holding the carrot in front of Goldie, but not too close so that she could take it yet, Elaina led the pony into the room and over to her Poppi’s side of the bed.
The shower and pampering Sam had done had helped. After brushing out her hair, she decided to leave it damp and threw it up on her head in a messy bun. Still wearing the towel, Sam stepped into her room, went to her dresser and grabbed her bottle of lotion. The cool lotion that was lightly scented with vanilla felt cool and calming as she smoothed it on her skin.
Jason finished his shower and wrapped the towel around his waist as he stepped back into his bedroom. He could tell Elaina had been in there earlier, as a couple of her toys were scattered on the floor and there were a couple of books on the arm chair in the corner of the room, as well as Elaina’s favorite doll wrapped in a blue sweater. Smiling and shaking his head, Jason ran his fingers through his damp hair as he went to his dresser.
“I think I left that book in my room,” said Diego as he and Georgie climbed the stairs to the second floor. “And I want to check in on my dad,” he added as they headed down the hall.
Georgie nodded as she followed him. She was glad that Diego seemed to be feeling better. She had been worried about him and what he would do with the anger inside of him and was glad he had come to her instead of doing something dangerous.
Georgie was lost in her thoughts a moment and walked into the back of Diego when he stopped short. “Diego, what . . ." Georgie had turned her head to see what had gotten Diego’s attention and her eyes widened.
Diego wasn’t sure if he was really seeing what he thought he was seeing. He turned to Georgie. “Please tell me you are seeing my niece’s horse standing in my father’s bedroom,” he said in a whisper.
Out of the corner of his eye, Diego saw Georgie nod in stunned silence.
Sighing, Diego ran his hands through his thick hair. “Can you help me get that thing out of there?” he asked. “I don’t think I want to even know how she got up here.” But he did have a good idea.
Georgie looked at him. “I’m more curious as to how Elaina managed to get that pony up here in the first place,” she said with a small laugh, echoing Diego’s thoughts. This was definitely going to be interesting.
Diego nodded and watched as Elaina handed the horse a carrot. “Come on,” he said, taking Georgie’s hand and walking into the room. Hopefully they would be able to get the horse out of the room before either his father or Skye realized she was there.
“Elaina!” Diego whispered as he found his niece on the other side of the pony. “What are you doing?” he asked.
Elaina looked up at her uncle with wide eyes and then put her finger to her lips. “Shhhh . . . Poppi seeping,” she whispered back, giving her uncle her best stern look. The look her father gave her when she was in trouble.
“Elaina, you can’t bring a horse into the house!” Diego exclaimed, bending so he was closer to her. “We have to get Goldie back to her stall in the stable.”
“No,” said Elaina stubbornly, holding tightly to the lead. “Wanna make Poppi better,” she said.
Diego sighed and rubbed his face – a gesture that mirrored his father’s. “Elaina, how is this going to help? All she is going to do is make a mess.”
“No mess. Poppi hurt and sad and Goldie make him better,” she said logically. Then she turned her back on her uncle. He was a grown-up and didn’t understand.
Diego took that opportunity to reach out for the lead. He knew Elaina was not going to like it, but since she was determined to keep quiet, maybe she wouldn’t put up too much of a fight. He was wrong. The moment his fingers wrapped about the strap, Elaina tugged it out of his hands, causing Goldie to pull her head back and snort – none too quietly either.
Diego watched as his father and Skye stirred and his father opened his eyes. Diego would have laughed at the look in his father’s and Skye’s faces if the pony hadn’t taken that moment to pee on the carpet.
Lorenzo blinked a couple of times and shook his head as if to clear it. Then he turned to Skye, who had a shocked and slightly disgusted look on her face. “Exactly how much of that stuff did you give me?” he asked.
“Damn, where’s my sweater?” Sam mumbled to herself as she searched through her closet. Clad in only a white tank and matching bikini panties, Sam looked for the light blue zippered sweat jacket she liked to wear. Then she remembered that Elaina had wrapped her favorite doll in it while the doll’s blanket was in the wash. Sighing, Sam scurried out into the hall and to Elaina’s room, but the doll was nowhere in sight. Trying to figure where she had last seen it, Sam remembered that Elaina had been in Jason’s room that morning, reading her doll a book. Elaina loved the overstuffed armchair in her father’s room.
Leaving Elaina’s room, Sam headed down the hall to Jason’s. The door was open and she walked in, stopping dead in her tracks when she saw Jason step out of the closet, a pair of jeans in his hand and a towel hanging low on his hips.
Jason’s eyes widened when he saw Sam standing in his room wearing only a thin-strapped tank – which did not leave much to the imagination – and a pair of white lacy panties. He took in how her shapely legs led to hips that were slightly flared. A flat belly led to her now heaving chest. Her skin glistened a deep bronze. Jason’s eyes finally came to Sam’s and he saw the wide-eyed shock there.
Smiling, Jason looked at Sam curiously. “Is there something you needed?” he asked as casually as he could, trying not to let the sight of Sam so skimpily clad effect him in anyway.
Sam’s mouth was dry, as she stood frozen to the spot. “Ummm . . . I didn’t realize anyone was home,” she said, her voice coming out in a squeak as she felt her cheeks redden.
Jason smiled and nodded. “Neither did I,” he said with a nod of his head. “Were you looking for something?”
Sam nodded but couldn’t tear her eyes from his chest – that hard packed chest that still glistened with water droplets. Biting her bottom lip, Sam finally looked up into his eyes. She was slightly annoyed at the amusement she saw there.
Composing herself as quickly as she could, Sam straightened her shoulders. “Yes, actually. I was looking for my blue sweater. Elaina had it earlier when she was in here,” she said.
“Is that it over there?” Jason asked, pointing to the chair that was next to Sam. Looking over, Sam saw the sweater wrapped around the doll. “Yes, thanks,” she said, reaching over to grab the sweater. “I’ll let you get dressed.” Sam turned and left the room.
Jason bit back the laugh at the way Sam tried to handle the situation, but his eyes widened when Sam turned and walked out as he realized the lacy panties she wore were actually a thong.
Sitting up, Lorenzo rubbed his face and looked from Elaina, to Goldie, to Diego and back again. “Is someone planning on explaining?” he asked.
Elaina climbed on the bed, pulling Goldie with her so the horse was closer and Diego couldn’t take the lead away. “I help make you better Poppi,” she said, kissing him gently on the cheek.
“You are?” Lorenzo asked as he pulled his granddaughter onto his lap. “And how is Goldie going to make me feel better?” He was actually very amused by the whole situation and was interested in Elaina’s take on it.
“Goldie make me better when I sad,” Elaina said seriously. “And when I fall down, Goldie make me not sad anymore. Poppi gots boo-boos and sad, Goldie make you not sad,” she said very logically.
There was no way Lorenzo was going to argue with that. “And how did you get her up here? Did Diego help you?” he asked, shifting his eyes to his son.
“I had nothing to do with this!” Diego defended himself. There was no way he was taking the fall for this. “It was all her doing.”
Elaina nodded. “Did all by self,” she said proudly. Then she glared at Diego. “Deego no help.”
Lorenzo smiled and nodded. “Well, you are a very smart little girl to get that pony all the way up here,” he said.
Elaina turned back to him and nodded. “I use carrot and Goldie come,” she said. Then she wrinkled her nose and looked at her horse. “Goldie go potty,” she said.
“I know,” said Lorenzo, still with amusement. “What do you think we should do about it?”
Elaina tilted her head and thought about it. “Make Deego kean up?” she suggested with an innocent smile.
“Hey!” Diego exclaimed.
Lorenzo held up his hand. “We could,” he mused, seeing the stricken look on his son’s face. “But is Goldie his horse?” he asked his little granddaughter.
“No!” said Elaina firmly. “She mine!”
“That’s right. So I think you have to be the one to clean up after her, right?” Lorenzo said.
Elaina thought about it again. “Okay Poppi, I kean,” she said, climbing off his lap and running to the door.
“Elaina,” Lorenzo said. When she stopped and turned, he pointed at pony. “Why don’t you take Goldie back to her stall as well. Diego can help you.”
“Okay. Here Deego,” she said, handing him the lead and then running out the door.
Not saying anything, Diego grabbed Georgie’s hand and pulled the little pony out of the room. He was going to get his niece back for this one.
Once they were alone, Lorenzo turned to Skye and they started to laugh.
“She definitely is an Alcazar,” Skye said as she slid off the bed and stretched her arms.
“That she is,” Lorenzo agreed as he too got up, groaning slightly at the stiffness in his body. Avoiding the mess on the carpet, Lorenzo walked over to Skye, pulling her into his arms.
“You know, I think I have the perfect remedy for those sore muscles,” Skye said with a smile.
“You do, huh?” Lorenzo asked as he dipped his head to nuzzle her neck.
“Yup, come with me.” Skye took his hand and left the bedroom. There was no way she was going to stay in that room again until the carpet was pulled out and a new one put in.
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