Kyndall looked around the playground trying to decide what she wanted to do. She saw the boys playing with the basketball. Most of the girls were on the swings.
She looked around and saw one of the girls from her class sitting alone at one of the picnic tables. She decided that she would try to cheer her up. She had heard what one of the boys had said to her in class.
“You are Almira, right? I’m Kyndall.”
She saw the girl look down at the table without saying anything.
“I heard what Rohan said. It’s not true. You are smart in your own ways. You know all of your letters. Not all of them know that yet.”
Almira nodded and looked up at Kyndall.
“And did you hear him call the kangaroo a giraffe?”
She nodded and laughed.
“Even I know the difference in those two animals.”
The two girls spent the rest of their recess talking and becoming friends.
Abbey sat the plate on the table in front of Kyndall.
“Hurry and eat. You are running late. Your dad is going to have to drop you off at school on his way to work.”
Kyndall looked down at the plate then up at her mother.
“It’s okay, Mama. Daddy don’t have to take me. I can wait until tomorrow to go to school.”
Campbell came in as she said that.
“It does not look that way, Princess.”
He sat down beside her at the table.
“Why don’t you want to go to school?”
She looked over at her dad.
“People who go to school are smart, Daddy. I’m not smart yet.”
Campbell smiled and shook his head.
“That’s not how it works, Sweetheart. People are smart because they go to school. School teaches them the things they need to know to be smart.
“So if I go to school, I can learn to be smart like you and Mama are?”
Campbell nodded and smiled.
“You need to eat your breakfast first. Then I will drive you to school.”
Campbell watched their daughter run around the living room with Abbey chasing behind her. He couldn’t help laughing.
He opened his arms and wrapped his arms around his little girl. “I think your mommy is wanting you to take your bath.”
Abbey stood with her hands on her hips looking at the two of them.
“Campbell Philip Powell! You are not supposed to be lifting her right now. That is not resting your back like the doctor said to do.”
He looked at Kyndall and pretended to be sad. “You got Daddy in trouble with Mommy now. I think you better go take your bath so Mommy might be happy with both of us again.”
He let Abbey take their daughter and watched as she carried her to the stairs. He couldn’t believe how fast she was growing up. She went from a little baby sleeping in her bassinet to a toddler running around the house.
He knew that he needed to enjoy it now. She would be all grown up and ready for college before he knew it.
He got up from the sofa and made his way upstairs. Kyndall’s bath was over and she was getting ready for bed.
He stood in the doorway of her room watching Abbey get her into her pajamas. “Do you mind if I read her the story tonight?”
Abbey looked up at him and smiled. “She’s all yours, love.”
Abbey hung up the phone and called Shelby. “Campbell fell. He hurt his back. I am going to meet them at the hospital, but I need someone to stay with Kyndall.”
Shelby was at the door just a few minutes later. “Let me know as soon as you know anything.”
Abbey nodded. “I’ll call you.”
She hurried out the door so she could get to the hospital.
Campbell held his wife’s hand as they listened to the doctor.
“You may be dore for a few days, but you are going to be fine. There was no damage done.”
They were happy to hear that. It wasn’t a big fall, but they were cautious anyway. They were not going to take any chances after all of the time he had spent in a wheelchair already.
“I want you to take a few days off and rest your back. If you get any tingling in your legs or feet, I want you to come back immediately.”
Campbell nodded. “Thank you, Doctor.”
He looked over at Abbey. “See, love? I told you I was fine. You worry too much.”
She nodded and smiled softly. “Let’s go home. I left your mother at the house with Kyndall.”
She pulled out her phone and sent Shelby a text as they were leaving.
“I know Mom is worried. How much you want to bed that Dad and Grandpa will also be there when we get home?”
Abbey shook her head. “I’m not stupid enough to take that bet. I know they’ll both be there.”
No video available for the song
Campbell looked at the two people sitting on the other side of his desk. Two of his men were standing behind them making sure they stayed put.
“I have heard about your plans. If you think you are able to take me in order to get back at my father and grandfather…” He looked at Tierra. “…your uncle, then go ahead and try. Right here I am.”
He looked at the two men and grinned. “I can promise you that you will not leave this office if you even try. Not alive at least.”
He sat back in his chair and looked at Tierra. “You know your uncle has retired, right?”
He saw her nod. “You know who now has control over all aspects of the business?” He grinned when he saw her eyes grow wide. “Smart girl.”
He leaned forward and put his hands on the desk in front of him as he looked at the two of them. “Just so it is very clear to you both, I am a lot like my grandfather…both in the construction business and the other. I will stop at nothing to protect my family.” He looked at his cousin. “Even if means having to deal with another family member.”
He saw the look Tierra gave Willie. “I see you fully understand what I mean. I suggest that the two of you forget all about this little plan of yours to go after my father and grandfather. If anything at all happens to them, the first people I will be talking to will be the two of you. If I even hear a whisper of the two of you going after my father or grandfather, I will find you.”
He looked at Willie. “You are my Aunt’s nephew. That makes you family. You can either fall under my protection like the rest of the family, or you can go off on your own and take your chances.”
Tierra looked at Willie. “I think maybe we should listen to Campbell. You have a family to think about now.”
Willie nodded. “I think you are right. I don’t want my kids growing up without me. I know what it’s like to not have a father. I don’t want that for them.”
Campbell looked at the two of them. “My men will take the two of you home. I suggest you remember this conversation. I won’t be as nice the next time.”
He watched them both leave with his men following them. He shook his head and sighed. When was this shit going to be over?
Campbell explained to his father and grandfather about the conversation with Johnny. He was hoping his grandfather would give him some advice on how to handle this, but he was not much help.
“I have faith in you to do the right thing, Campbell. I would not have put you in charge of everything if I did not believe you could handle it.”
“Grandpa, Tierra is family. What am I supposed to do about that?”
Andy shook his head. “You do what you feel is the right thing, Campbell.”
He looked at his dad and frowned. He was hoping his dad would help him, but he could see that was not going to be possible.
“Dad? Are you okay?”
Philip was lost in his memories of having to deal with the father’s of these two and all the torture they had put him through.
Campbell looked over at his grandfather who was watching Philip.
“Go get your mother.”
Philip went to the living room where his mother was sitting with Abbey. “Mom, Dad is needing you. He’s in Grandpa’s office.”
Abbey looked at her husband curiously. He shook his head then followed his mother. He stood off to the side watching as she cupped his father’s face and looked into his eyes talking to him. He watched his dad respond to her then follow her from the office.
Campbell looked at his grandfather. “Maybe you should have given Mom all the control.”
Andy laughed and nodded. “She sure does know how to control your father.”
“He is going to be alright, isn’t he?”
Andy nodded. “He’ll be fine. I think he was just reliving a bit of his past. Your mother has always been able to get through to him when he was like this. She will calm him back down.”
“Probably shouldn’t talk about this around him then.”
It wasn’t often that his uncle stopped at the office, so when he showed up, Campbell suspected something was wrong.
“Is Aunt Nakusa okay? The kids?”
Johnny smiled and shook his head. “They are fine. I need to talk to you about something else.”
He sat down and looked across the desk at his nephew. “Threats have been made against you, Campbell. My brother’s son and my halfsister. They are upset over what happened to their fathers.”
Campbell was shocked and confused. “I didn’t have anything to do with what happened.”
“I know. They think that if they use you, they can get to your father and grandfather.”
Campbell knew that was the way to his dad and grandpa. They would both give their lives for the family. He wasn’t going to let that happen.
“Have you talked to Grandpa?”
Johnny shook his head. “I don’t want him or your father going after the two of them. I just wanted to warn you about them.”
Campbell nodded. “You do know that if they come after me, Abbey, or our daughter, I will do whatever I have to do to protect us?”
Johnny nodded. “I wouldn’t expect anything less. Your wife and daughter were never mentioned. It is only you they are after.”
Campbell leaned back thinking about that. “Thank you for letting me know. I will do what I can to make sure nobody gets hurt.”
He watched his uncle leave and wondered what he should do about this. He didn’t want to hurt anybody. Tierra was his cousin. He definitely didn’t want to cause her any harm. He didn’t even know Willie.
He needed to talk to his grandfather about this one. He wanted to protect his father and grandfather, but he also didn’t want to hurt his cousin or anybody else.
Andy stood up when Campbell came into the office. He walked around the desk and smiled.
“The seat is yours, Mr. Powell.”
Andy looked at his grandfather confused. “What do you mean?”
“Today is my last day. I’m officially handing everything over to you.”
Campbell looked at the chair his grandfather had sat in for so many years and shook his head. “I’m not ready, Grandpa.”
“Yes, you are. I would not be leaving if I didn’t think you were capable of taking care of the business and the family.”
Campbell looked at him a bit shocked. “The family…”
Andy nodded watching him. “I know you will do what you need to do, Campbell.”
Campbell shook his head as he sat down in his grandfather’s old chair. “I don’t know, Grandpa. Why me?”
“Well the business point is obvious. As for you taking care of the family, you have experienced things that the others have not. It instills a sense in a person that makes them want to protect what they have remaining.”
Andy sat down in one of the chairs in front of the desk. “If someone hurt your daughter, what would you do?”
“Hunt them down and make them pay.”
Andy nodded. “And that is why you are the person taking over, Campbell. I have faith in you to do what you need to do and keep everybody safe.”
Campbell wished he had that same faith in himself. He thought about Devin and Rita and shook his head. “I will do my best, Grandpa. That’s all I can promise.”
Andy was happy with just the promise. He knew that his grandson was stronger than he believed himself to be. If tested, he would show his true strength.
“I am going to go past the job site one last time on the way home.”
Andy looked at the house that was almost finished. His grandson had designed this house. He was very proud of the man Campbell had become. He was wandering around the house when he heard the conversation between a couple of the workers.
“Can you believe the old man is giving that kid everything? Big mistake. The dude just got out of a wheelchair. He doesn’t have what it takes to do this damn job.”
Andy stood back listening to all the talk about Campbell. He kept getting angrier with each word.
“I don’t know what that hot wife of his sees in him. The fact that he was even able to land a woman like that from a chair gives me hope. If he can do it, then any of us can. Hell, maybe I’ll just take the kids woman. Show her what a whole man can give her.”
Andy stepped away from the wall. He had one last thing to do before his retirement became official. He had an employee to get rid of.
Campbell carried Kyndall into the house and laid her in the bassinet they had for downstairs.
He looked over at Abbey when she walked up beside him.
“We did good.”
Abbey smiled and nodded. “We sure did. But tonight is our first night alone with her. Let’s see if you still feel that way in the morning.”
“I’m sure I will. Our little girl is perfect.”
Abbey kissed his cheek. “Just like her mother.”
Campbell thought she was going to say something else so was caught off guard. He laughed then kissed her.
“You are perfect.”
He helped her to the sofa. “You rest. I will fix dinner.”
“Thank you, love. You may want to prepare extra. I am sure your parents will stop by to see Kyndall.”
Campbell shook his head. “I already made them promise to wait until this weekend.”
“Two days alone with our daughter? How will we survive?”
Campbell smiled as he pulled her closer to him. “Change diapers, nap when she does, cuddle when we can.”
Abbey kissed him then smiled. “I’m really liking that plan. Especially the nap when she does part.”
Campbell laughed and shook his head. “My favorite was the cuddle.”
She grinned up at him. “That we can do while we nap.”
He took her hand and started to lead her toward the stairs, but someone had other plans. He dropped her hand and smiled. “I’ll change her since you have the dinner she wants.”
He went over to the bassinet and picked up their daughter. He kissed her forehead as he cuddled her. He grabbed the things he needed then changed her wet diaper. He smiled as he handed her to Abbey.
“She is ready for dinner.”