At home and at work (tag Emily, Patrick)
((Ali Masjed, de Montfort quarters))
"I think the girls would understand it. Emlee, Jeck is right; they need a proper mother."
"I know I can never completely fill those shoes but I hope in time they will accept me has well."
Jack smiled. "I think they've already taken a liking for you, Emily." He feared, or, rather, was resigned, that the girls might show their liking for Emily in their typical way, by playing a prank on her.
Emily knew she was taking a huge step into a ready-made family, but it was a shot at her happiness.
"Jack, shall we tell the girls?"
"Yes, let's do that."
They called the girls in. "Girls," said Jack, "Miss Emlee is going to stay with us for a long while. She will be like a mummy."
"A Mummy! A Mummy!" Their faces lit up and they both ran over to Emily. "Are you going to be our new Mummy? Please!!!! PLEASE!!!! We'll be good!!!"
(The next morning)
After sleeping in separate bedrooms, everyone met in the kitchen, for breakfast.
"Good morning, Jack. You know, Patrick wants a Christmas wedding, and they came back from Peshawar, last night. I hope he behaved himself while he was down there."
"I think he did; he's behaving himself until he gets his punishment for the rocket incident." Jack laughed. "After the punishment, though, he will start thinking of new pranks! That's the way he is!"
"I will call on Lakshmi, later today, with girls, if you like, and we can settle plans for the wedding."
"Sounds good to me. What do you think, girls?"
"Yes, yes!" They were both agreeable to it. They wanted to see Miriam, who was their best friend.
Lakshmi woke and then woke Patrick up.
"I am awake love," he said. "Right, I am up. Oh, it is later than I thought!"
A few minutes later, in the kitchen, he came through and said, "Sorry, have to rush breakfast," as he grabbed something on the way out.
"Dahdee! Can't you eat bread with me?"
"No time to day, little one, Dahdee is running late. Be good for mummy, and I promise a double story tonight."
Indra sat down at the table with a disappointed look on her face. "Dahdee in a hurry?" she asked.
"Yes, little one. We do not want Uncle Jack mad with Dahdee, do we?"
Indra was not quite sure what this meant, and said, "Mummy, what does Dahdee mean," as Patrick left.
"Dahdee has to be to work, on time, or he will get punished."
"Oh." Indra went back to breakfast, a bit disappointed. Lakshmi sat down with her. "That is alright, Indra; you and I will do things, today."
Patrick only just made it into the company office as the rooster started crowing, and he saw his father in law.
"Just made it." He smiled at Ranjit, slightly out of breath. I had trouble getting away from Indra, this morning, but with the promise of a story tonight, I was able to go. Anything happen while I was away, Ranjit?"
"Not really, sir. It was a quiet week."
"I best go and report in. I hope they're both in a good mood."
Patrick went over to the post headquarters building and knocked on the Colonel's door and went in.
"The dispatches from Peshawar, sir."
Colonel Alwynn was in a good mood, so far. He smiled, took the packet and thanked William.
Patrick was nervous, and it showed. Permission to ask a question, sir."
"Of course, Lieutenant. What is it?"
"Sir," he asked, "you know there will be a Christmas wedding between Lakshmi and myself. Here's an invitation to you and your wife." He handed it to the Colonel.
"Thank you. We'll be there." He thought of his wife, Mary, always so busy with the families of the soldiers and officers.
"But, sir," asked Patrick, "am I still under threat of punishment for the rocket prank? May I have it before the wedding, sir?"
"I don't think you'd like to do what I have in mind, before the wedding. Just enjoy the wedding and honeymoon, and we'll have something for you, after that."
COL Nestor Alwynn, CO
5th Khyber Rifles