Alissa, tried not to complain, but she was very uncomfortable on the flight. The babies sensed her stress, and they would not be still.
Alex held Sharlee and tried to keep her distracted.
Dale still saw how uncomfortable she was. “We’ll be there soon sweetheart.,” he told her, trying to reassure her. She continued to wriggle around in her seat. “Come with me!,” he said.
He took her to the back of the plane and massaged her back.
Then she relaxed on the bed, and they talked until they landed.
In another half an hour, they arrived in Barnacle Bay. Matthew had a limo waiting for them. They were whisked straight to the house that Matthew leased for them. Alissa was happily surprised when she went through the door, and he was there waiting for her.
She rushed to him and hugged him tightly.
“I’m glad to see you too!,” Matthew said, pleased at her greeting. He rubbed her belly, feeling his grandchild’s movement.
Alissa smiled at him.
Then she saw Miki!
“Miki!,” she screamed. She and Miki cried and embraced.
“Let’s get you to your bedroom so you can relax! I love your hair! Look at how big your belly is! The baby will be here in no time!,” Miki said excitedly.
Alissa was smiling. Miki was just what Alissa needed.
Dale looked at Matthew. “Thank you for bringing her with you!,” he said. He had suggested that Matthew ask Miki to come with him. He had wanted Matthew and Miki to be a surprise for Alissa.
“Of course! I’ve really missed her and so has Miki!,” Matthew said. “The interview is scheduled for this evening. I think the sooner the better!”
Matthew took Sharlee from Dale and hugged her. “I’ve missed you baby girl!,” he told her.
“So, Alex has been with you and Dale for a good while now!,” Miki said.
“He’s been in Ann Arbor, but he has his own apartment. He stays with me while Dale is at work. He refused to go back to Riverview and he works for the police department in Ann Arbor.,” Alissa told her.
“Hmm.,” Miki said, looking at her closely.
“What are you getting at Miki?,” Alissa asked her.
“Alissa, you know that man is in love with you! The question is, how do you feel about him?,” she said.
Alissa blushed. “I love Dale, and that’s all there is to it. Alex is his brother, and he feels like he has to protect me.,” she explained.
Miki could see that Alissa was becoming upset and decided to change the subject. “Sharlee has grown a lot. Does she know that she is going to become a big sister?” They talked about harmless things until time for Alissa to prepare for the interview.
Matthew had brought his stylist, Jamil with him. There was an immediate and mutual attraction between Jamil and Miki.
“I can’t believe that we’ve never run into each other at the station!,” Miki told Jamil.
“I usually stay in the movie studio and you probably hang around the television studio.,” he responded.
They decided that it would be best for Alissa to go back to her natural hair color. Dale and Sharlee were changed as well.
Alissa had worked with the reporter who was doing the interview, and so she was not unduly nervous about his questions. However she was nervous about the fact that her personal life was being put on display for everyone to see. She was also uncomfortable with her appearance.
“Miki, I look like I swallowed a cow!,” she said.
Miki pulled her eyes from Jamil’s and looked at Alissa.
She struggled not to laugh at Alissa’s expression. “Alissa, you always look beautiful! You’re pregnant! You look adorable.,” she said and hugged her.
Dale came into the room. Jamil and Miki left them alone. “We’ll get through this, Alissa.,” he reassured her.
Then he gave her a quick kiss.
Matthew was the first to arrive at the hotel where the interview was to take place. It was swarming with news vans and news crews. His chauffeur drove him around to a private entrance, and Matthew rushed inside the hotel.
Dale, Alex and Alissa drove up to the hotel’s main entrance and were shocked to see all of the press and paparazzi swarming around. Hotel staff were on the lookout for them and directed them to the private entrance. Hotel security held the press and paparazzi back. They quickly ushered Alissa inside.
“Matthew, what happened!,” Alex asked.
“Somehow, word of the interview leaked out! Maybe its for the best. If she takes their questions, they may leave her alone afterwards.,” Matthew answered.
Alex was thinking about the security nightmare. It would have been different if they had received advance notice.
“Keep Alissa here! I need to speak with hotel security. The interview will have to be postponed for at least an hour!,”he instructed. Then he went to talk with security.
Alissa stood in front of the podium with Alex and Dale standing beside her, facing a sea of cameras. The reporters fired questions at her.
“Why was there a hit put out on your life?,” one reporter asked.
“I have no idea!,” Alissa said. On and on the questions went. Alissa tried to answer as best she could.
Some questions were directed to Dale and others to Matthew. They hoped to satisfy the thirst for information so that the press would move on to other stories and leave Alissa alone.
Alex’s eyes constantly scanned the news crews, keeping an eye out for trouble. This was the perfect setting for the hitman to strike.
Bryant had the same idea. He was the one who had notified the news agencies of the interview after one of his contacts had alerted him. He had learned that the expression “Hide in Plain Sight”, was very appropriate. He had a gun specially fitted as a news camera.
In the sea of cameras, no one would know where the shot had originated. He focused his fake camera and got a laser sight on Alissa’s face. He had forgotten how beautiful she is.
As he lowered his scope on her, he got a shock. No one had told him that she was pregnant!
At the same time, Alex noticed the red light of a laser scope pointed at Alissa. He immediately moved in front of her.
Bryant decided to take care of one of her watchdogs and pulled the trigger. Alex collapsed to the floor.
Pandemonium broke out as the press rushed for the exits. Bryant faded away with them. Alissa turned to help Alex, and Dale grabbed her. He was concerned about his brother, but his first priority was Alissa.
“No Dale!,” Alissa cried panicked. “We have to help Alex!”
“Get Alissa out of here now, Dale!,” Alex managed to shout. Dale picked a struggling Alissa up in his arms and carried her out of the room. He tried to shield her with his body until he got her to safety.