Kiaran sighed as he settled into the chair. Gwendolyn slumped, half asleep, in the chair across from him. He looked away as his eyes filled with tears. They were safe, that was what mattered. Of all of them, they’d only lost Kyle… and Josiah’s new little one.

Scrubbing his fingers through his newly-cut hair, Kiaran moaned. “Snap out of it,” he murmured to himself. “It’s not the end of the world. Gwen’s alive, that’s the most important thing.”

He looked across at his daughter again and sighed, this time in relief. He tugged one blond pigtail and smiled when she looked at him. “You going to make it to dinner, sweets?” he asked softly.

“Think so, Kiaran,” she replied around a yawn.

Her calling him by his name stung more than it should. She’d always called him Dad. Now, without her memories, she called him by name. He was a virtual stranger who was in charge of her care, that was all. Kenneth had said that it was necessary. For the ruse to work, they had to completely disappear. They couldn’t even remain as family groups.

Without his older siblings; far from home, Kiaran felt adrift. He had to establish a history, Kenneth had said. He had to move into the town – a new and different town from the one near their mountain home – as if by coincidence. One by one they would come back together, but Kiaran knew, unless they actually were able to acknowledge their ties of family, that relationship would be lost.

“We almost home, Kiaran?” Gwendolyn asked softly.

“Yeah,” Kiaran lied. “Almost.”

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