Aurora never once imagined that the group had decided they were not worth their time. They were simply biding their time and waiting for the right moment to attack them. The next four days went by slowly and she was beginning to feel some sort of distance between her and Jay since he was taking shift with King. Gabriel was staying with them since King was either on watch or sleeping so Aurora took charge of the kids with Jack's help.
When the attack happened Aurora had been looking out of the window and saw the fire before anything else. She went straight for her gun and found Jack. "You get the boys out of her! Get to the back where the cars are and get the fuck out of here."
"Don't argue with me! Just do it." He didn't argue. He woke the boys up and he got them to the getaway cars quickly but apparently that wasn't enough. They had known about the exit and sent men around that way. Of course they knew about the exit. They had been watching them. When she saw Gabriel with a gun to his head from the apartment window she panicked a little and looked around for Jack and Harrison who were moving to the centre of the complex.
Aurora sneaked out of the apartment quietly, using the darkness to conceal herself a little. She wore one of Jay's shirts which happened to be just loose enough for her to conceal her pregnancy. She heard a click of a gun and then she stopped.
"Where do you think you are going? He said everyone to the centre of the yard."
"Fuck you." Aurora turned to look at the man pointing the gun at her and within an instant the gun was being dropped to his side.
"Aurora?" She could hardly believe her eyes. Of all people...of all places...
"Mitchell?" She blinked for a second and used the opportunity to grab his gun and trained her two weapons on him. "What the fuck are you doing here?"
Three days passed. Three exhausting days. King and Jay still alternated leading the watch and the shifts were still bigger than before. But people were starting to believe that no one was after them. King didn't want to risk it. "They'd wait for our guard to be down," he'd said.
Jay's sleep schedule was off because of the shifts. He took the first half of the night and King took the second half. Same with the daytime. So they were just sleeping when they could. Jay would come back to bed in the middle of the night but Aurora would already be asleep. He missed her snuggling up against him. But he knew this is how it had to be to keep her safe.
On the fourth day around midnight is when it happened. Jay and the others heard a blast from one of the platforms overlooking the fences. Not a second later and there was an explosion at the front gates. Fire. The wood they had used to board it up was burning.
"The gates!" Jay shouted and hopped off the platform, rushing at them. He and a few others tried to close them again, but the spots they could find that weren't on fire were too hot to touch. They all had to back away anyway because a huge military truck forced the burning gates open.
By now the others were pouring from the buildings brandishing their weapons. "Take cover!" He heard King shout and Jay found himself behind one of the parked cars. Bullets were flying and he tried his best to aim for the driver, but the darkness wasn't helping. His thoughts went to Aurora and the boys and he hoped they were heading to the back. Praying they were making it out safe. But after ten more minutes of combat his hopes were destroyed.
Another truck came from the back. And in the bed was a man holding a gun to Gabriel's temple.
"Cease your firing!" He yelled. "Or the little one gets it!"
King was the first to lay down his weapon. Jay followed, tossing his rifle to the ground. Even in the darkness he could tell that Gabriel was crying.
"Hands up! All of you! And walk to the center of the yard!"
They followed directions, the lot of them. None of them would risk Gabriel getting hurt.
"What do you want?" King asked the man.
"We like your housing here. We think we'll take it. Thank your boys, they led us right to you." An evil grin spread across his face. "Name's Rhodes. And I'm your new mayor here in this cute little town."
Aurora set the boys up with a game in the middle of the floor and she asked Jack to watch them while she paced thinking about what she needed to do if someone were to attack. She didn't have high enough ground to be able to take a rifle and shoot from a height but she could take out a few through the window but that wouldn't make her feel any better.
When Jay came back she looked up at him and nodded. They would be vigilant and they were prepared for something like this but they didn't really know what kind of man power this group had and whether they would even be able to cope with whatever they brought with them. One thing she knew for sure, was that she wouldn't let anyone hurt her family. She watched as Jay made sure the boys knew the plan and it was clear that they both knew that something bad could happen any minute.
"How could they be so reckless?" She asked with a whisper as he placed his forehead against hers. "Rest up. I'll be right here if you need anything."
It wasn't long before they had finished boarding up the fence, but standing back and looking at it, he had to wonder what it would do against trained military professionals. True, King had once been military, but he was the only one in the entire place that was. And they didn't have the firepower to back him up.
Their doubts were exchanged with just a single glance. Neither one of them had to say anything about it. "Go get some rest," King told him. "I want you on first watch. I'll take second. I want one of leading every shift."
Jay nodded. "I'll be ready if anything happens," he said. "And Aurora and Jack will keep your boy safe."
King just gave a knowing nod and then Jay was on his way. He entered the apartment. "King is leading first watch," he said, closing the door behind him. "Then we're going to alternate." He saw the boys playing a board game and they looked up at him, curious.
Jay knelt beside them. "Listen," he said softly. "If you're ever scared or not sure what's going on, I need you to do exactly what Aurora or Jack tells you to do. You understand me?" They both nodded, a little lost. "You remember where to run to if something happens to the gates, right?" They nodded again. They'd been to the safety meetings. They knew to run to the back gate where most of the cars were kept facing outward for a quick escape. Someone would take them safely away.
He knew it was scary for them to think about, but he preferred them to be ready if something happened. They could only sugarcoat so many things.
He stood and pulled Aurora close by her waist to kiss her once softly. "I'm going to try to get some shut eye," he said softly. "I'm taking over at nightfall and I wanna have my wits about me." He leaned his forehead against hers and closed his eyes for a moment. Then he let her go and went into their room to lay down.
Aurora watched the whole thing unfold before them. It was clear that this group should never have gone out without someone a little more experienced when it came to runs but that didn't matter now. What mattered was that they made sure they protected themselves and could stand their ground if this [I military group] attacked them.
Aurora looked to Jay and shook her head but he was already walking off to devise a plan with King. She looked to Jack and shook her head. "If he thinks I'm staying inside with the children he's got another thing coming."
"Aurora...you are pregnant...noticeably so. Don't you think that being inside is the best place for you right now. You can protect Harrison and Gabriel. That job is just as important as being out here. Think about it, if someone got inside your apartment and you weren't there..."
Aurora sighed heavily. What he said made sense but she knew he was just twisting things to guilt her. "You are a dick." She said as she went to find Harrison and Gabriel. "Come on guys, time to get cleaned up. We have a game of monopoly to finish at home."
Jay and King heard the shouting at the gates and instantly dropped their hammers, running for them. Aurora was the first on the scene and the men stepped up beside her.
The three people they let through the gate were tired and breathing hard. They had obviously just fought for their lives. But there was no time to catch your breath when being asked the important questions. And Aurora was asking the right ones.
They realized what they had done. One of them turned to the other. "I told you we shouldn't have come back, yet! But you said-!"
"Don't put this one me! You're the one that was so eager that we ran through the night!"
King was trying to keep the peace, but it wasn't working. They couldn't hear him over their anger.
"HEY." Jay shouted and stepped up close to them. His presence was enough to know that he meant business. "Shut the hell up and listen to him," he said, gesturing over to King.
He asked them where they had been and who had cornered them. How many. Neither one of them had an official count.
"They had cars, too. And some of the guys looked military. And I mean like... currently military. Like they still have all their guns and shit."
Jay exchanged a glance with Aurora. Then with King. Then he laid his eyes on the group. "And you just led 'em right to us."
"We didn't- We lost them!"
King sighed and a worried look took him over. "I'm doubling the watch," he said. "And we're keeping the kids inside at all times. At least until we know this has blown over. Get with your assigned groups and make sure everyone knows the evacuation plan, just in case."
"I swear- I swear they weren't behind us!"
Jay shook his head. "That's cause they probably went around. Get a better view of the place. They're probably watching us right now."
King touched Jay's shoulder. "Come on. Let's get the rest of that last fence boarded up."
He turned to Aurora and Jack first, though. "Can you get the boys inside?" he asked. "And Jack, don't leave Aurora's side."
He turned back and jogged to catch up with King. Things had felt so right and suddenly... Just like that...
Aurora stayed outside whilst Jack went in to pick up Harrison who kissed her stomach in the way by and then waved to her.
"Be good for Jack okay?" He nodded as the two of them walked off, leaving her alone as she watched their people move about their home. They had done so well to secure this place and started to become self-sufficient. As she looked around Kris caught her eye and instantly looked away when she caught him. She rolled her eyes and shook her head before looking back to Jay.
The one thing Aurora was struggling with at this stage of her pregnancy was her cravings. Some nights they would keep her awake and last night she lost two hours of sleep because she couldn't stop thinking about olives. She laughed to herself when the thought crossed her mind and then she yawned a little.
She was trying to decide what to do with her day when she heard someone shouting from the gates. Aurora frowned a little and started to make her way there when she heard even more of a commotion.
"What the hell is going on here?" She asked as she approached.
"We were out on a run a we got cornered."
"Were you followed? Answer me god damn it were you followed?"
"I...I don't know."
"You gonna keep staring at her or are you gonna help me some more?" King asked, breaking through to him. Jay grunted and turned away from watching Aurora talk with Jack, scratching the back of his head bashfully. He picked up some boards and grabbed his own hammer and nails to help.
"Do you talk to Gabe about his mom?" he asked King around the nails between his teeth. After they hammered in a couple of nails and King got the moment of silence to answer, he shrugged. This wasn't an invasive question for him. He and Jay had spoken about her before several times. And King seemed to like to keep her memory alive, but he had never heard him speak about her in front of his son.
"We talk about her," he said. "I just let don't lead the conversations a lot. I don't really know what he needs from me, you know?"
Jay nodded and glanced back at Aurora before returning to his hammering. "You're worried something's gonna go wrong," King said. It wasn't a question. "That if it does, you won't know what to do about the kids. How to talk about it."
Jay shrugged and swallowed hard. He continued his work, but a moment later he felt King's hand on his shoulder and he looked over at his king face. "She's going to make it through this. The doc has seen it all. One birth isn't going to shake him. Even if something does go wrong. We've spent a long time getting him what he needs for the infirmary. You should be enjoying this time. Not dreading something you're not sure is going to happen or not."
As usual, King was his voice of reason. Jay squinted up at him with a smile and nodded. "Yeah..." he said softly and went back to his work.
"Why are you blushing?" She heard Jack's voice coming from the other side of of and then he followed her sight line to Jay and he smiled widely. "You two are so in love, it is really cute you know."
Aurora rolled her eyes and slapped him arm a little. "What do you want?"
"Harrison asked if he could work on our engine project today. I'm here to pick him up. Is he inside?"
"He is just washing up. You go on in and get him." She said still looking over at Jay.
"I'm really glad that you two were able to make this work. I was hopeful you would get together right from the start." He reached out and touched her stomach with a smile. "And how is the little guy doing?"
"I don't know what everyone thinks the baby is a boy." She smiled and shook her head. "[I She] is doing just fine. She's starting to get fidgety. Not kicked properly yet but I can feel her moving."
Jack smiled widely and kept his hand there as if waiting to feel the baby. "You better call when he does start kicking."
Two months seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye. Jay wasn't sure where the time had gone, but the only time it seemed to slow was when he was alone with Aurora. The nights were cold and the winter had been relentless and they stayed huddled together to keep warm. The nights when they made love were very much like the second time they had. She was the only one he would let see his scars, mostly because he knew they didn't mean anything to her.
Jay didn't realize as it was happening, but he had somehow become King's right hand man. He felt much better in these shoes than he had being a leader. King asked him for his opinion quite a bit and took his answers to heart, but he never left the actual decision making up to him when it came to things of huge importance.
He was back to going on runs which he enjoyed. They were extra careful now. But sometimes King sent out groups without them, knowing they were needed more at the complex. They heard from these groups that there were signs of people littered about. Places having been lived in that hadn't been before. And it looked like a large group.
They could be harmless, sure. But they also could be looking for a place to call their own. They might want what they have. So Jay and King set to trying to make their perimeters more secure.
They were just getting back to work after taking a break to eat a little something when he saw Aurora coming out of their apartment. [right [pic https://66.media.tumblr.com/6a2040a087d8073171aaabb933a8d9b2/tumblr_powov2XgJ71qzh21go1_250.gifv]] He looked her over, his heart filling at the sight of her, distracted because she had stolen one of his shirts to wear that day. It wasn't something new, but every time she did it, it made him want to melt. He realized he was staring and he waved back while King chuckled behind him.
He turned to look at the man, squinting. "I swear," King said in explanation. "Sometimes you two look at each other more like high school crushes and less like a couple preparing to have a child." Jay rolled his eyes and handed him a hammer. They were boarding up the gates so they were harder to get through on all sides of the complex. "That's not a bad thing," King added with another laugh.
Jay spared another glance back over his shoulder at Aurora. He wondered if she even knew the kind of affect she had on him.
Spending every night wrapped up with Jay was beginning to feel more and more perfect. Most nights they would talk until they fell asleep or they would make love as quietly as possibly so that they didn't wake Harrison. By the time another two months had passed Jay seemed to be getting back into his routines and he had built some of her strength back up. Aurora had pulled back on some the duties around the place since she figured that she had no need to distract herself anymore.
Aurora stepped out of the apartment and glanced around at everyone going about their day. Most people waved and some even stopped to check in with her, everyone so wrapped up in her pregnancy. She couldn't even count the amount of times people touched her belly and gave her blessings. Aurora didn't mind it, after all it was giving everyone something to look forward to.
She looked over at Jay and caught his eye and she waved towards him. If it was possible she could have sworn she was more in love with him now than she ever had been.
Jay sighed once they had all climbed into bed. He loved laying like this next to her. No more barriers. He pressed his chest to her back and kissed her hair softly. Her hand found his and he squeezed.
"I'm excited, too," Jay said softly. "Just wish I could show it like him. And not be worried at the same time." He pulled her closer under the covers. "This is gonna be a long six months, isn't it?" he asked. "We just hope things stay stable here..."
Somehow in the night she had turned around and he woke to her head against his heart. He looked at the ceiling, letting his thoughts wander. He wanted her to get plenty of sleep. She needed it now more than ever. And the last thing he wanted to do was wake her up my moving.
Good thing he didn't want to move. He wanted to stay right here in her arms all day if he could.
Harrison pouted and little and poked her stomach gently. "It feels funny."
"Does it?" She asked curiously and chuckled a little when he nodded. "How so?"
"Well it looks like you ate too much pasta and it's hard." He laughed. "Will your belly get big like our old neighbor's?"
"It will. I'll be waddling before you know it." She picked him up and kissed his head. "You should try to bed, mostly because Mommy needs to sleep!"
Harrison agreed and after saying goodnight to Jay and soon enough Aurora was crawling into bed with Jay herself. "He is very excited isn't he?" She asked as she took his hand and snuggled into him.
When Harrison went back to his mother Jay fell into one of the comfortable chairs in the living room. He couldn't help but laugh at Harrison practically shouting at Aurora's stomach.
He listened to their conversation, looking in on it fondly. Harrison obviously hoped they were having a boy. He probably wanted someone else to play with. A little brother. Jay didn't burst his hopes by telling him that by the time the baby would be old enough to play the way Harrison wanted, he would probably have outgrown playing in the first place.
Jay didn't get hung up on what he did or didn't hope they were having. Any baby was a miracle in this world. But he couldn't help but wonder what kind of challenges might face them. And if it was a girl... how much harder things might be for her.
Aurora smiled as she watched the two embrace and she found herself quite emotional. Her hand went to her stomach and she looked down at her hand for a moment. She couldnt wait to bring another life into this family. Regardless of all the fear she was happy to bring the fact that their family was going to be bigger and she was doing this with Jay.
"Mom, is the baby ready yet?" He asked as he ran over to her and placed her hand on hers in top of her stomach. "Can he hear me?" He placed his lips next to her stomach. "Hello in there!"
Aurora laughed hard and placed her hands in his shoulder. "The baby needs another six months to grow sweetheart. You think we are having a boy huh?"
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