I sat down to write more of Cronus but this took over instead. I hadn't planned on going this far back in to Gryffin's past for the next book but it came out and I wasn't going to get in the way. It's unedited so forgive any errors. :)
Maggie Sawyer closes the small bag and places it on the bed beside her. She watches Daegan pack his wash bag as Bray plays with his toys on the floor. She smiles when he ignores the hairbrush by the sink and closes the bag. She’s not surprised he didn’t pack it. Brushing his unruly locks is a daily battle - one that she will miss for the next week. The school trip to the planetarium wasn’t mandatory, but against her better judgement, she caved and signed the permission note.
He gives her his best stern glare. ‘But Mom-’
‘Not another word.’
He sighs dramatically and slams his bag back on the sink.
She smiles at her brother, Morgan as he steps into the room. He bends down and ruffles Bray’s hair. ‘How did you guess.’
‘It’ll pass. In a few years he’ll be chasing the ladies. He’ll want to look his best for that.’
‘He’s only ten. Can we please keep ladies off his radar for the moment?’
Morgan laughs and gestures to the holdall on the floor. ‘You finished with your bag, Daegan?’
Daegan throws his washbag into the holdall and fastens it. ‘Yep. All done.’
Morgan takes the bag while Maggie holds out her hands. Bray eagerly takes her hand while Daegan looks at the other for a few seconds before giving in. She keeps hold of her sons’ hands as they walk down the path to the waiting transport. As soon as Daegan sees the transport he tries to pull his hand out of her grip, but she keeps a firm hold. Morgan packs his bag in the cargo hold then comes back to stop Bray from running into the waiting vehicle.
Maggie crouches down and pushes a particularly stubborn lock of hair from his eyes. ‘Best behaviour, Daegan. Do as you’re told, finish your meals and go to bed on time - no messing. Do you hear me?’
‘I already said I’d behave.’
‘I know you did, but you don’t always listen to me.’ She nearly adds that he’s as stubborn as his father but stops herself in time. ‘I’m your Mom. It’s my job to repeat myself.’
He glances at the transport then back at her. ‘Can I go now?’
She shakes her head, knowing that he’s already on the transport with his friends. ‘Say goodbye to your brother.’
He gives Bray a brief hug, pushing his younger brother away when he tries to latch on. Before he can escape, Maggie embraces him, holding him tightly. He hugs her back then squirms out of her arms. He grabs his backpack, races down the driveway and disappears into the transport. He sits at the back with one of his friends and waves out the window as the transport pulls away.
Morgan drapes his arms over her shoulder while keeping a wriggling Bray secure in his other arm. ‘Hey, you okay?’
‘I know Dean and I leave them every few weeks, but this time is different. He’s leaving, not us.’
‘Daegan is ten going on twenty. He’s well overdue a few nights away from home.’
‘He’s going off-world Morgan, not camping in the woods.’
‘On a highly organised school trip. Stop worrying. He’ll have a ball and come back in a week with loads of stories. Now, I’m going to get this little man some lunch. You coming?’
‘I’ll be there in a minute.’ Bray waves at her over Morgan’s shoulder as he’s taken into the house. Maggie looks back down the drive. She knows Morgan is right. The school has visited the planetarium numerous times without any issues. That doesn’t help to quell the uneasiness. She can’t explain why, but all she wants to do is chase after the transport and bring Daegan back home. She pulls herself avay from the driveway and follows Morgan into the house. It’s going to be a long week. She knows she won’t be relax until she holds Daegan in her arms again.