Shawn M.I. Tigges
Original Road Rover’s concept © Warner Brothers
EUF, the Maddog Family are © Robert Baer Jr.
Misty Maddog © Bart Walls
Marauder © Jeremy Bass
Robert, and Timothy McLoude © Shawn Tigges
“Emily, how many of this frivolous excursions with Robbie must you attend a week?” Amelia said as she watched her sister Emily brush her long hair in the mirror of her quarters.
Emily just smiled and shook her head, pulling her hair up and tying it with a bow. “A date is not a ‘frivolous excursion’ Amelia, you should know that by now,” the collie/shepherd-mix said with a smile.
“Yes I do realize that, but, do you not think that these ‘dates’ have made you ready for matrimonial coupling, after all, you are the most emotional of us, and your and Robert have been together for over a solar year…”
Emily simply looked at her sister as she slipped into a simple but elegant semi-formal dress. “Amelia, You make love sound so dry. It isn’t a matter of dates and lengths of relationships, we’ll be engaged when it is time to be engaged.”
“I have already set a date to ask Timothy myself if, upon reaching that marker, if he has not asked me then I shall ask myself. You should do the same, to ensure that our potential mates become more than potential. Your continuous romantic interludes before proposal may actually weaken Robert’s resolve.”
“Remember dear sister,” Emily began as she brushed out her tail and then turned to Amelia, “that if it had not been for romance, we would not be here.”
Amelia was about to make a reply when Emily picked up a purse and put her collar on. “Anyway, Robbie and I will have our collars on, so if you need to get in contact with us, you know how.”
“Why do you continue to wear that device, it simply duplicates abilities we have with our bionic…”
“Because sister, unlike our brother and yourself, I would at least like to maintain some form of normalcy in my life. I may be bionic, but that does not mean I wish for everyone in the entire world to know of it.”
“Illogical, just like you desire to keep from passing on our abilities along to your offspring.”
“How did you…”
“It is in your diary files sister, I find it extremely strange that you would not wish to have children you might bear in the future to have our…”
“Amelia those are private files,” Emily growled. “You had no right to look at those. Besides, if I have children, I want them to have a normal childhood, something we were denied.”
“Sister, you are just as emotional as mother at times…”
Emily blew out a long breath through her muzzle and looked at her sister. “I’ll take that as a compliment. However, I do have a date, and you dear sister, should go to see Tim, you could use him making you ‘emotional’ for a bit.”
Before Amelia could say another word, Emily exited the room and walked down the hallway to another room door, where she pressed the door chime button. Emily smiled warmly as Robert McLoude opened the door, and smiled very warmly at her. The collie/akita/malamute-mix was tall and gracefully lean with his father’s markings save that both his arms were brown from the elbow down, instead of simply the right one, he also had his mother’s collie ears instead of his father’s. He was dressed in a pair of slacks, white shirt and tie with a sports coat, while simple, in Emily’s mind he looked quite dashing in it. Just the site of him smiling at her that way warmed her body all over, the feeling of being loved by someone something she enjoyed immensely.
“Miss Emily,” he said warmly, kissing her gently on her cheek. Emily may have been his girlfriend, but Emily still enjoyed the way he called her ‘Miss Emily,’ it had become a favored way of referring to her over the year and few months they had been dating.
“Hello yourself Robbie,” she said with a warm smile as she returned his kiss then gently took his hand and put hers in it. “Can I ask where we are going tonight?”
“Dinner with your mother, father, aunts and grandfather,” Robbie returned softly as he tentatively wrapped his tail around hers.
“Oh? Nothing by ourselves?”
Robbie shook his head. “No, no because I want to, I want to ask your father for permission, to, to become well…”
Emily looked at her boyfriend strangely. “Robbie, you haven’t been this nervous since you asked Daddy for permission to date me.”
“Well, that’s because I want to ask your father permission to marry you Emily.”
Emily took a step back in astonishment. “Robbie, did, did I just hear you right?” her conversation with her sister coming to the fore at that moment. She had been wishing this day to come for sometime, but even then, she was as astonished as if it had been a complete surprise.
Robbie nodded sheepishly. “Yes, I’m not talking about right away Miss Emily,” he returned as he brushed his hand against the silky fur of Emily’s cheek. “But, I do know I want to spend the rest of my life with you, if you want to spend it with me.”
Emily smiled shyly. She knew she loved Robbie, with all her heart. “Yes, if my father agrees, yes I will marry you,” she smirked. “And you don’t have to set a time limit on the length of the engagement, we could get married whenever we felt it was right and all the arrangements were made.”
With that Robbie smiled and took her back into his arms gently, wrapping his tail once again around hers affectionately, she felt him sigh in ultimate relief, he had been worried about her response, he was sure she would have said yes, but that little voice in every man that sprouted thoughts of doubt had come to him as well. “Thank you Miss Emily, thank you for loving me.”
“I should be saying that to you, but lets get going, we don’t want to keep my family waiting.”
Robbie shook his head gently and held Emily as she smiled and tapped her collar. With a loud ‘boom’ the two disappeared away.
“Well, where are our guests of honor?” Abby Maddog said with a frown, looking over the eloquent table setting, and noticing the two empty chairs. She crossed her arms, wishing she had someone else to keep those same arms on, but no, he wasn’t here right now, and that only fueled her irritable mood.
“I agree, we go to all this trouble for that niece of ours and her muttly boyfriend they aren’t even here yet?”
“Girls,” Ben Maddog said sternly as he escorted his new bride, Rupee Maddog, down the stairs and into the dinning room of the Maddog mansion. “Emily and Robbie have to travel from the Rockies, even with the transporter, they take some times.
“Besides, I thought you two had gotten over your silly prejudice of mix-breeds,” Rupee said warmly. “Aren’t you yourself dating Illonov Vickie dear?”
Vickie sighed and nodded her head, her step-mother was right after all. Step-mother, that seemed so strange to utter. Yes, it had been many years since her real mother, Emily Maddog, who her niece was named after, died after being hit by a car. Her father had lead the life of a widower for many years, and while he had date Hunter’s mother for a while, he had not married again. Then, he had met Rupee, a terrier-mix that originally hailed from India. The two had first met as client and lawyer, when Rupee’s land was about to be foreclosed on. That soon crew into friendship, then slowly love. Vickie knew that Rupee was not replacing her mother in her father’s heart, just taking her own place, but still it just felt strange with a mother again, that, and a new sister. However she was with the Space Rovers so she didn’t see Shamansta to terribly much…
“Earth to Vicki,” Abby said with a sigh as she waved her hand in front of her sister’s face. Hey!!!”
“Huh, oh, sorry Abby, did you say something?”
Abby harrumphed and planted her fists on her hips. “Well, someone’s really out of it tonight.”
Abby just sighed and shook her head, she couldn’t fault Vicki, not in the slightest, she had Convoy, and she melted with his touch. Abby was beginning to wonder if her irritable mood was more for the fact that Convoy had been called away on a mission with Hunter that night. She knew he was a Rover just as much as she was, but at times, she really hated these surprise partings.
With those thoughts, Abby looked up to see the rest of the family that lived in the mansion descending the stairs. Misty and Molly Maddog were smiling and chattering away about something or another while Roger helped his wife Kyra down the stairs. The collie/Shetland sheepdog-mix was quite pregnant, Marauder, Abby’s other new –in-law, and another vet had confirmed that she was carrying a litter of five puppies. While each one was small, all together they made the poor mix look quite big and she had trouble with forms of movement not much more complicated than walking at times.
“How are you feeling Kyra?” Rupee asked warmly as she walked up and hugged her stepdaughter.
Kyra sighed; looking from her husband whose arm she was grasping rather tightly, and Rupee. “Tired honestly, keeping my elasticity powers in check to keep my stomach from sagging all the way to the floor is taking some energy away, that, and the sheer fact that I am so huge right now…”
“Kyra, you’re carrying five of our pups,” Roger returned softly, with a smile. “How could you not be showing so much, or look so absolutely stunning.”
Kyra smiled weakly at her husband. “You would say I am gorgeous if I lost all my fur and teeth.”
“And you still would be.”
“He is right however my dear,” Rupee said with another one of he warm smiles. “You are quite the beautiful young lady.”
“Especially pregnant, now come, I have kept you on your feet too long, lets get you seated so you don’t have to stand and burn your energy away.”
“But…” Kyra tried to protest, but looked in her husband’s eyes and knew that protesting would only gain her more lost energy, so she simply gave up and let him guide her to a chair.
Next to arrive were Otto and his wife Samantha, both dressed simply but elegantly. Ben smiled at his daughter and son-in-law. “How are you two doing?” Ben asked with a warm smile across his muzzle.
“Functional, within all operating parameters,” Otto said flatly, but there was a small up-tick in his muzzle that suggested he was trying to exert a little humor.
“Great Daddy,” Samantha said as she walked forward and hugged her father. “How are you and Ms. Rupee…”
Before Samantha could finish the statement, there was a loud ‘boom’ that rattled the finery and Emily and Robbie appeared. Emily smiled warmly at everyone, but went straight to her parents first. “Daddy, mama, its good to see you.”
“And you daughter,” Otto returned with a warmness that only appeared in his voice when he talked with his wife or children.
“How are you Emily?” Samantha asked in a concerned voice as she too hugged her daughter. “You and your brother and sister, your well, not anything wrong at all?”
Emily smiled warmly at her mother, hugging her, grateful for her concern. It let Emily know that even though she was cheated of a chance at a childhood, that she still had a mother that loved her dearly. “Yes mama, they’re fine, we’re fine.”
“Robert,” Otto said in his normal stern voice as Robbie walked up.
“Otto,” Robbie returned, offering his hand and trying to smile through his nervousness. Otto took it and an eyebrow cocked as they touched. Robbie winced, knowing that though his internal sensors, Otto had detected that Robbie was nervous about something. “Please,” he whispered, only loud enough to where Otto and Emily would hear. “Don’t say anything to anyone yet, I have something I want to ask of you.”
Otto frowned but nodded. He approved of Emily’s selection of a male counterpart. Caring and kind, he was everything a father could want, yet still Otto found it hard to let the young cano in through most his shields, he figured that was most likely do to the fact that he was courting his daughter, and while she was grown and of age to consider such things, even though it happened in an accelerated state, Otto still did not feel totally comfortable. He was not, however, against the courtship, not in the slightest.
“Well everyone that can be here is,” Ben said with a smile, his other daughter, Linda, and her Husband Marauder where on a vacation in Europe. “Shall we eat?”
Everyone nodded and sat down. It was a joyous dinner, even though there were some people missing. The conversation throughout the evening was light and happy, save for probably Abby, who even though she tried to hide it, made it quite clear that Convoy’s sudden absence was upsetting her. No one blamed the collie one bit, especially those present that were married knew what it was like to be separated suddenly.
Rupee did her best to cheer up her stepdaughter, and she did help a little, but it was clear Abby was not going to be fully and truly happy till Convoy returned. Rupee then turned to Molly, who she herself looked a little down. “Molly dear?”
Molly smiled warmly. “Just missing Shankar, but he’ll be back in a day.”
Rupee smiled and nodded, yes that was true. She had become quite pleased with the relationship that had developed between her adoptive son, who had been born to her evil ex-husband and a poor young dog that he had later killed. The two had become very close, especially after Molly had finally resolved her feelings for DJ. Rupee had to admit, even though she was really the newest member of the family, she was already looking forward to planning that wedding with her new daughter.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be home from Washington soon, he is just going through the last of his immigration procedures.”
Molly smiled. “Thank you mama.”
Rupee smiled warmly at that. “And thank you daughter.” Molly and Misty had been the first to start calling her mother or any form of it. It meant so much to the mix that the girls were accepting her as their father’s bride and love. It also didn’t hurt that she had a bit of a motherly instinct about her and loved having more children.
Otto nodded toward Robbie, who had fumbled his flatware on several occasions during the meal, eliciting a giggle from Emily and looks from Vickie and Abby. “So, Robert, I must ask, how is your brother’s relationship progressing with my other beloved daughter?”
Robbie gulped down a bit of food. “Well, Tim is definitely under Amelia’s skin. Don’t take this the wrong way, but, I think he is real good for her…”
“I agree father,” Emily picked up. “You know how brash and arrogant she is, Tim, well Tim is having a mellowing effect on her. Though she is still, what would be the best word for it?”
“Spitfire?” Roger suggested playfully and Kyra smiled warmly, giving him a slap, which was more loving than reproachful.
Emily giggled. “Yes, that would be a good word for Amelia. He is mellowing her, though, Catherine and Otto Jr. Are fully enamored with themselves as well, in fact, just the other night…”
Robbie smiled as his girlfriend related the details that she believed prudent, and not too embarrassing for them, to her parents and grand parents and aunts and uncle. He looked at her in amazement of how beautiful she was. That never had let go of him he thought as he began to daydream. He wondered how she would look in a wedding dress…
“Um Robbie?” Molly’s voice called out, breaking his daydreams. “Um, you do know that you’re suppose to peal the shrimp before you eat them right?
Robbie blinked and looked at his hand, Molly was right, a shrimp from the cocktail patter was hovering next to his mouth, still fully in its shell. “Oh, whoops, erm, thanks Molly….”
She giggled as Robbie sat down the shrimp and blushed, pealing it away then eating it. He sighed, whipping his hands on his napkin he looks up, everyone’s eyes were on the mix. He sighed, knowing they were most likely trying to understand what had gotten the young cano so anxious. He sighed and tried to change the subject a bit, he turned and smiled at Krya, who was trying to not look like she was completely exhausted. “Kyra? How far along are you?”
Kyra sighed, looking up. “Eight month and one week.”
Roger beamed and held his wife’s hand. “And as gorgeous as you always are.”
Kyra shot him a look that made it clear that she did not agree with her husband’s glowing assessment of her current beauty, but she let it drop, knowing that she could not get out of such showering of love and affection, and, even though it annoyed her at times, she really didn’t want it to stop.
With that, dinner continued on through desert, and, as always, Ben Maddog had a wonderful desert to fallow a wonderful dinner. As everyone finished, the party moved into the large, but comfortable and warmly decorated living room of the mention, talking and laughing joyfully. It was then that everyone turned to Robbie, who’s nervousness had been building ever since the couple had arrived. Rupee was sure she knew what it was about, and as she looked at Samantha, she was pretty sure that Sam knew as well, she looked a combination of sad and happy at the same time. Rupee refrained from taking a peak into her step-daughter’s mind, deciding to judge from her outward signs, after all, of anyone here, Sam was the least capable, or even the one with the least desire to hide her feelings.
The conversation went on for several more minutes before Robbie finally got the nerve and stood before the gathering. He had to admit this was rather intimidating to the young canine. So much wealth gathered in one place he admitted was the majority of it. While Ben Maddog always tried very, very hard not to put himself forward as a typical American style millionaire, flashing his wealth in front of all. However, the mansion really, while discretely decorated was still a bit overwhelming.
Finally, Robbie gulped down the lump in his throat that had risen as he also had stood to his feet. “I... I wanted to thank you all for having Emily and I here tonight.”
Ben nodded slowly and warmly; he liked the young canine, and approved of his granddaughter’s choice of suitors. “Your welcome son, you know you and my granddaughter are always welcome in my home.”
Robbie nodded, turned and took everyone in at a glance, Vicki and Abby both thought it very strange. He was acting as if he were about ready to try to find an escape rout and flee. However, the young canine, who had proven his courage by protecting Emily with his own body, stood firm, sighed and looked up, turning to Samantha and Otto.
“Mr. And Mrs. Maddog, as you know, I love your daughter, more than anything else, I have loved her from the moment I laid first eyes on her I think. I know love at first site is probably the most waxed of things in these days, but I truly believe that it is true in your daughter and my cases. I thank you for approving of our relationship, over this last year we have grown closer and closer, and well…”
Robbie sighed, reached into the pocket of his suit coat, taking out the ring box. He opened it, displaying a simple, but stunningly beautiful ring, a small triple diamond set into a platinum band. He looked up, getting on one knee and presenting the ring to mother, father and his love. “Mr. And Mrs. Maddog, may I please…”
It was right then and there that Kyra’s pups, in most likely the worst sense of timing moment the Maddog family had ever seen, decided that it was their turn to share the light of the family’s love.
Kyra let out a horrible yelp as Robbie was about ready to finish his statement and wait for the blessing from Emily’s parents before making his love his fiancé. Everyone turned to her, and it was obvious by the look of sheer surprise mixed with pain on her face on what exactly had happened to make her give such a sound to interrupt the quiet moment. And, in that instant, the proverbial calm was shattered; to be replaced by the equally proverbial clatter and commotion that was most times, labor.
At first, everyone was too stunned, even Kyra herself, who thought she had another good three weeks before it was time, and Roger, for his part, played the stereotypical father to be…
“Oh Good Lord Kyra!?!?” The youngest of the Maddog yelped as he stood gape muzzle at his very pregnant wife. For his credit, many a father throughout the generations had simply frozen at that moment of time, or, passed out. Roger however, gripped in the panic of a expectant father did something else… He bolted from the scene to collect his wife’s bags.
As soon as Roger had left the scene Kyra yelped again. Rupee was at her side immediately. “It is time child?” All though those words were said in a question, the tone in the mix’s voice made it clear she knew the exact answer and was simply trying to comfort the young canine she had brought into her heart as another daughter.
Kyra’s head nodded fast and firmly, obviously in pain, he voice was a squeak as she tried to stand and get away from the lovely living room. “Yes, they’re coming…”
With that, the entire family jumped to the young mother-to-be’s aid. Her father and brother-in-law stood at either side, walking her gently towards a point where teleporting the young woman would not cause the flatware to become rubble-ware. Her sister-in-laws consoled and tried to make her feel more at ease, even though she was really the first of the Maddog Girls to really go through the situation of natural labor.
Finally Roger arrived again with his wife’s small suitcase, it had been decided that Road Rover Mission Control had the best facilities to deal with Kyra’s birth rather than the Maddog’s own underground facilities. “Are you prepared Kyra?” Otto asked as Roger held his wife rather nervously.
Kyra simply nodded and let out a yelp of pain before Otto transported himself, Roger, Kyra and Samantha with a loud boom. As the sound dissipated, the wake of what had happened crashed down on the young couple that had been hoping today would be a happy day and got more than they bargained for.
Robbie simply looked around, all the adrenaline his body had had pumped into it to reach the nerve to ask his lovely canine’s parents for permission to be engaged to her began to drain off, leaving him quite drained. He sat down on the couch once again and smiled, trying to be happy. “Well, not exactly the announcement I wanted, but…”
His voice trailed off and everyone present knew his disappointment that he was trying desperately to hide away to keep everyone in a happy mood for Kyra and Roger. Emily walked up to him and placed her head on his shoulder. “It’s ok Robbie.”
Abby blinked. “You really were getting ready to propose weren’t you?”
Robbie nodded. “Yes.”
Rupee smiled, putting her hand on the young canine. “Do not worry young man, in fact, I think we should go to the Road Rover’s Mission Control to great the new life that is about to join us all.”
Robbie smiled at the terrier mix, she was so disarming and motherly, the perfect grandmother it seemed for Emily. “Thank you Mrs. Maddog.”
Rupee nodded and smiled, and, with a few gestures, the entire remaining gathering was off through her magic.
The entire family waited outside ER of Mission Control’s infirmary anxiously, many fidgeted, especially Ben, who paced back and forth rather anxiously.
“Dad!! You’re gonna wear a hole in the floor if you keep this up!” Misty called out playfully.
“You would think,” Abby said with a large smile, “That it was Rupee in there giving birth and not Kyra the way he is acting.”
Ben Maddog smiled at his children and turned to them. “It isn’t every day you get to be a grandfather girls, I will be exactly the same way when each of you are giving birth to your children.”
That caused Molly, Misty, Abby and Vicki to stop short and blink, them with children of their own? Well yes it could happen but none of them at the moment had ever thought about it, least of all Misty, who was the youngest off all the girls. Abby and Vicki shuddered, admittedly a bit of vanity creeping into them again, thinking of how horrible it would be to be that big.
Emily however, the youngest by far of any of them present, simply sighed and shuddered. She still remembered the dream, or more nightmare, she had had months ago. How she had had Robbie’s pups and they had, because of their bionics, run amok as toddlers and preschoolers. She sighed; remembering how Robbie had assured her their children would not turn out like her dream had, but still that fear would be there.
Robbie, always seeming to be tuned to Emily’s emotions, even though he had no power as such, took her hand and smiled at her. “The dream again?”
Emily nodded slowly and Robbie began to run his hand through her silky hair. “It won’t happen like that, I know it, you will make a wonderful mother, and our children will not be little hellions.”
Emily smiled back and kissed him, he had kept his voice quiet so no one else would hear, she had asked him no to tell anyone outside their fellow EUF members about the dream, and Robbie had never broken a promise to her, and planned never to do so in the future.
Abby sighed and looked up. “What is taking so long? Common, she was ready to give birth right there in the living room and now she waits?”
Rupee chuckled lightly. “It doesn’t work like that Abby, Labor is, unfortunately, at times unpredictable, it may take several more hours, or, they could be born right now.”
Abby winced at that, not knowing exactly what to think. However, her thoughts were cut off as Roger walked out of the ER, a exhausted, but, ecstatic look on his muzzle, he smiled with a lopsided, amazed smile he looks up to everyone his eyes full of amazement. “I’m a father.”
The entire family came forward to congratulate the new father, all except Emily and Robbie who simply sat and watched the family, and Roger. Emily sighed and wrapped her arms around Robbie, laying her head on his shoulder. “Is that how it will be for us?”
Robbie sighed, wrapping his arm around her waist. “I think so Emily, but,” he smiled gently. “I still have to finish asking your father to let me have a chance at making you a mother.”
Emily smiled and laughed as Roger lead everyone into the recovery room. He smiled as he opened the door to the room and asked everyone to remain quite for his wife’s sake, and as they entered, they could see why. Kyra was holding two of the puppies, a girl and a boy, fussing over them, and obviously wanting to fuss over the three others, two girls and a boy, who lay in a basenet next to her. Robbie smiled sat down with his wife and took up his other three children, carefully cradling them so each would receive the same amount of attention.
“Oh Kyra they are so beautiful,” Samantha exclaimed softly. “What are their names?”
Kyra sighed in exhaustion and maybe a small bit of pain, but there was a serene look on her face, making it obvious that she was very happy with everything in the world at the moment. She kissed the tiny puppies in her arms each in turn. “This, is Roger Jr. and this is Melissa. Roger is holding Benjamin II, Patricia and Holly Anne.”
Ben’s eyes went wide as he gently took his grandson that bore his name in his arms, the tiny pup gurgled a bit and the sighed. He looked a lot like his father, but, he had the more russet color of his mother. Since Shelties and collies were so close together, looking alike in everything save size, the puppies would most definitely look like the other Maddogs when they were older, save for Roger Jr. and Melissa, who were both the very rare blue-merle coloration. “He’s named after me?” Ben asked in reverence.
Kyra nodded with a smile. “You have been my father ever since I became a Rover, and fell in love with your son. It is I guess, a little bit of my way of saying thank you.”
Ben smiled and looked back at Rupee, showing her his grandson and smiling, she smiled as well, and everyone knew that all of the newest additions to the Maddog family were in for some loving spoiling.
With that, Otto turned to Robbie and Emily who hung back from the rest of the family. “Robert, would you present yourself to me?”
Robbie gulped and looked at Emily. He wasn’t exactly afraid of Otto Sr. however, he was, if anything, his father’s son and almost always snapped-to whenever Otto talked to him. “Sir?”
Otto nodded to Kyra and her newborns. “You do realize, that, if, I grant you permission to marry my daughter, it could very well end in this situation?”
Robbie nodded. “Yessir, very aware, we have talked about it a lot these last few months. Both of us agree that children will only make our marriage even happier if we are blessed with them after we are married.”
Otto cracked a smile, looking at his wife, pulling her closer. “Then, you have my permission to ask my daughter to marry you.”
Robbie visibly looked like he was about ready to explode, he turned to Emily, who had a look that made it obvious that she thanked her father with all her heart for his blessing. Admittedly, a recovery room was probably one of the more interesting places to ask a girl to marry you Robbie thought, but he for one didn’t care, he knelt down, smiling, presenting the ring he had showed earlier at the house.
“Emily Maddog, will you please marry me?”
Emily had know it was coming, she had told herself that all she had to do was say yes and put the ring on. However, she couldn’t help it, she started crying in joy. She sobbed, not being able to utter the words yes. She let Robbie slip the ring on her finger, and then, she quite easily and hugged him, she heard a gasp from him and she realized she had probably squeezed a little to tight, she laughed and let go a little. The gathering joined in gently chuckling, then, everyone congratulated the young happy couple as they both turned towards everyone, no longer simply girlfriend and boyfriend, but fiancés, one step closer to being married, one step closer, to being their own family. The two smiled as they looked at Roger and Kyra who after congratulating the young couple had gone back to doting on their new puppies. Both smiled and knew that family, was exactly what they wanted to be