Real Family Part 12

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I broke one of my longstanding personal rules in this part. I was in a bind and thought it best to just do what was right and throw caution to the wind. I didn't like that I did something bad to someone but it was for the greater good.


Linda was genuinely scared. Juan read her expression and asked what was going on. Linda burst into tears and told him "I know the man who threatened me! He was introduced to me as Marlene's ex-boyfriend Silvio Nero! He said I had his money and he was going to kill me tomorrow!"

Juan had to think of what to do next. He called for help from Ricardo and Alex as they would know best what to do in this situation. Alex wasted little time and contacted his FBI colleagues as well as Mike Daniels and Mick Jones. Both felt this was something huge and smelled of desperation by Marlene Brown and Ted Blue to get this Silvio Nero guy off their backs.

After he arrived at the house Alex talked with Linda about Marlene's past, going over everything from all angles and leaving nothing to chance. Linda sighed and confessed "Marlene and I met through Ted. Ted had changed his name from Brown to Blue to make himself ‘unique' and Marlene was simply his secretary who needed a ‘friend'. He thought we'd hit it off and become friends. Marlene used to meet with Ted and Silvio every few weeks with Silvio kissing Marlene affectionately as Ted tried to look like it was no big deal. Silvio would always make it known that he was there to see Marlene and that I should get out, they would always meet in the house with Ted giving me money to go shopping for something nice or get them a nice dinner."

She stopped as she realized they were doing illicit things. She looked at Alex who was encouraging her to tell more. Linda added "Silvio was never alone, he often had a couple of guys with him who were beefy but didn't say anything. They waited outside and if they were still there when I returned one took the things inside while the other talked with me and sent me to get them something else so they could finish whatever they were doing. I didn't think anything about them being there, it was private."

Alex asked about where Marlene would go whenever she wasn't at home. Linda had to think hard but recalled a few times where she had to go on trips with Ted, several of which were in New York and Boston but otherwise, they'd spend a lot of time at the office or out at meetings. She never thought it was odd as other secretaries were pulled to go with their bosses for these important meetings so it was normal for Marlene to go. She did them very infrequently with Juan though, which concerned her.

Mick and Mike were busy cross-checking the names, dates, suspected actions by Marlene and her "boyfriend" as well as Ted. The more Linda talked the less she actually knew about Marlene's life outside the home, which was a huge red flag for them as they could show direct links to criminal rings in multiple areas that went beyond simple money laundering and case fixing that they already knew of.

Ricardo and Juan discussed the kids. Linda asked about the money she gave them to which she learned that their trusts were protected, nobody could access them without multiple OKs and not even Linda could raid them without good reason. If the money was the target it would never show up in Linda's account as it never went in there, it actually went to proxy accounts that were set up for the transfer of money into trust funds and were in the names of the Nelson-York-Smith Investment Firm, not Linda's.

Juan hated to do it but he asked "what about the children? God forbid Silvio follows through on his threat and he hurts Linda, what will become of them?" Ricardo looked at Juan who outright refused, telling him firmly "I love kids but I am not a parent. I could never do that to Linda. I believe Valerie and John or Lilly should have custody of the kids. I would prefer John and Valerie as it would be less complicated on them as they already are cousins to Daisy and the others."

Ricardo nodded in agreement, with both hammering out a custodial agreement that would be presented to Linda for approval. Linda though had her hands full with the federal agents. The FBI agents were looking at the number and noticed that it had come from Marlene's phone, something that should not have happened at all and caused a panic among them.

They made a quick phone call to the Metropolitan Corrections Center in Chicago and confirmed their suspicions- Marlene had been visited by someone claiming to be her brother and had given him all of her personal possessions at her request. Her phone was among them, claiming that she had no need for it and feared it being lost. It was a flimsy excuse and should have been denied immediately as she was not supposed to have any visitors except her attorney.

The corrections officers who were overseeing the visit claimed they were unaware of her not being allowed visitations and when it was found out that she had been allowed a visit that was prohibited the two guards were placed into custody by the US Marshals then outright arrested for being paid off by the man for access to Marlene. This was a serious matter and an alert was put out to both Chicago airports as well as Logan, T.F. Green Airport, and Manchester airports.

The agents had a clear view of him from surveillance and were able to get his true identity, which really was Silvio Nero who was suspected of having ties to a Chicago crime family. Linda confirmed that it was him and grew scared as he was clearly yelling at Marlene who was seen telling him everything he wanted to know. She finally walked away, with the man giving something to the guards which prompted them to call the marshals directly.

A short time later the agents were alerted that Marlene was found dead in her cell. They had reason to believe that the guards were the ones responsible with Silvio giving them the means to kill her. Linda was now frantic and inconsolable, Juan calmed her down but she uttered a somber "he's going to kill me. She gets the last laugh, she knew she was going to die and gave me up as payback. She knows you would do everything possible to keep the kids safe but you can't protect me from him. He will kill me."

Linda looked at Ricardo and told him firmly "if something should happen to me, please have John and Valerie take the kids in. They need two parents and as much as Lilly would be a great parent for them having to care for three young kids is just too much for her. Please, tell me you will ensure they take them in? Please assure me that they will be safe and happy once I am gone?"

Ricardo and Juan both told her "we have it arranged. All you need to do is sign the order and we will file it in the morning with the court." Linda signed and burst into tears, telling both "you two are the best family anyone could ever hope for. I loved Ted and Sophia but both of you have been better siblings than either of them ever were. I love you like a brother, and you are the ideal cousin."

Linda was taken up to her room to get to sleep by Juan while the others were busy finding leads and ensuring that she wasn't left uncovered the next day. Ricardo suggested that he'd strike in a public spot like the school, Juan figured he'd stake her out and learn her movements first and wasn't likely to go after her that day. The agents thought they were joking but Mick laughed and added: "he will do both, he has her scared and is probably going to let her wiggle before he strikes."

The group had to call it a night with Mick and Mike checking the immediate area for unknown cars and people. They spotted someone up the street but couldn't get a close look. The way they were coming out they looked like a group of guys enjoying an evening with friends and with Mick, Mike, Alex, and Ricardo known to the neighborhood it wasn't too far from the truth. The agents were simply seen as friends and relatives, if the man was down the street he wouldn't be suspicious of them yet.

The next morning Linda drove in with Juan taking the kids in his own car. The kids didn't ask what was going on with Linda going the normal route and the kids taking a different route. The cars were followed by agents with Mick and Mike following Linda's car. All agents were armed and the locals on high alert over possible action.

At the school, a man who was observed going back and forth up and down the street acting suspiciously prompting a response from the police but they lost sight of him around the corner as he ducked into a backyard. Mike kept close outside, always keeping an eye on the school and the buildings around it and hadn't been alerted that the man had been spotted so wasn't able to react in time to catch him. Linda kept busy and went about her normal routines but was agitated.

There was an issue during the day that caused a near panic as the fire alarms went off with a small fire occurring in the mulch against the school. During this chaos, Mike lost sight of Linda which led to screams and frantic rushing as Linda was found bleeding heavily in the parking lot as he was trying to search for her. Silvio used the chaos of the fire to strike and did so so quickly that nobody noticed him rushing in and leaving.

Linda hugged Mike tight, telling him "Silvio did it. She grabbed me from behind then ran. Get him, don't let him get the kids." Mike tried to stem the bleeding as she said this, but it was too much. She didn't make it to the hospital, she died in the ambulance before she arrived.

Mike was upset at having failed, Linda paid the price for him losing track of her. This was the biggest letdown of his career and one that hit him the hardest. Not even his fellow agent selling out their take-down of Duane Todwell the previous November nor the attempts by Taylor Gault to kill Al Samuels had hit him as hard as this. Linda was innocent, she didn't have to die for Marlene's greed.

Mick sent him home to talk with his wife as well as the regional director. Both felt he wasn't at fault, it was a freak occurrence that Silvio took advantage of. He couldn't stop it, if he did he was putting everyone in the school in danger. The fire was one of any number things you can't account for. Linda knew he was going after her and went to a spot that he would be seen by a dozen cameras and was away from the kids, she knew it was dangerous but she thought of others first and wouldn't want him to blame himself for her doing her best to keep others safe from Silvio's actions.

Mick and Alex worked hard with the FBI agents to track down Silvio. It was clear that he had committed Linda's murder himself and that he dragged her away to the isolated parking lot to do it. She was seen talking with him, pleading with him to do it away from the kids. They were on him fast with his picture forwarded to every media outlet, state, local, and county police agency in a 100-mile radius. They weren't playing around, they were going for full saturation so Silvio couldn't scratch his nose without someone spotting him.

He never made it out of the city as officer Ian Bailey pulled over Silvio's stolen car and caught sight of the bloody knife. He got into his ready stance and pointed his gun at him, directing him to put his hands where he could see them while forcing Silvio to get out of the car. Ian immediately spotted blood on his hands with as well as the jacket and pants, both matching the description of clothing given by Mick to dispatch a couple of minutes before.

It took all of Ian's might to stop himself from beating Silvio senseless. He angrily cuffed him and took him directly to police headquarters with Willie and the agents deciding what to do with him as they arrived. Willie wanted to throw the book at him but the agents were waiting on word if this was going to be a federal crime or just a state one.

Silvio was finally handed over to the feds for trial. He was caught on camera and it was clear that he was about to leave the country as he had reservations with an airline for a flight to Asia under a different name with multiple false identifications and passports found in the car. He also had several thousand dollars in cash and other items all of which would have been trouble for the US to get him back.

As Linda was a witness to his actions he was in for the worst possible sentence allowed, he was eligible for the death penalty. Willie didn't even try to fight the feds on this, Linda deserved true justice and he would only rot out in Shirley. He deserved worse than he was getting, but he still had to face justice.

Willie hated to do it but he started the phone tree once Silvio was handed off, calling members of the family to tell them about the murder of Linda and get them to keep the kids occupied and prepare them for the bad news when they are finally told. Juan and Ricardo were told to help with the arrangements while he worked with Chloe Daniels to prepare the kids for the bad news. Juan explained what Linda had requested to which Willie had to agree to, with Chloe signing off on the agreement as there was little reason not to heed her wishes especially as they were done with the best interests of all involved.

Yvette had an even tough job, she had to take the kids out of class and talk with them about what happened. Choe was with her as was Dr. Charles Dane, the family's resident psychologist who came at the request of Alison Eliza. The kids realized something happened immediately and started to cry with Logan hugging Ella tight while she fully broke down. It was heartbreaking to Yvette, she hated to do it but it was one part of the job that at times needed to be done.

The kids were given the rest of the week off with Yvette making arrangements for the others to get their schoolwork. Chloe drove them to the Finn home to a saddened Valerie who explained to them what their mother had requested be done and why. Both kids understood, Lilly was a good person but she would be overwhelmed being by herself with three young kids even with David, Patrick, and Claire helping.

Dr. Dane felt that they would benefit from talking with their friends as soon as possible with Valerie assuring him that they would have a hard time keeping the five of them away from the two. The kids kept to themselves once Chloe and Dr. Dane left, but immediately perked up at seeing Sophia and Emma come by to check in on them. Emma was in tears as she saw them but let both play with the suddenly rambunctious Sophia as a way of easing their grief and keeping their minds off the pain of losing Linda.

Gabby was the next to come by with both kids getting to see the month old Walter that they had heard a lot about back in Chicago. He looked at both and didn't cry as he usually did at seeing new people. He just saw them and looked away, it was cute and subtle but meant a lot to the adults. Gabby happily told the two kids that he was happy to see them, he just couldn't focus for long on much of anything yet.

The kids played with Sophia and helped change Walter while Gabby and Emma tried their best to keep them from focusing on their grief or that they were orphans. Emma got up to talk with Valerie about the kids with Gabby understanding the mother in her needing to know what was going to happen to them, causing her to smile at it. To her surprise Sophia didn't want to go with her, she wanted to still play with the kids with Ella being gripped tightly by her. It was a big step for Sophia, a little bit of independence but showing Emma that she could go without her constantly by her side while awake.

Emma carefully asked about who was going to be taking care of Ella and Logan. Valerie looked down in shame and admitted "John and I were requested by Linda. She knew this would happen and wanted them to go with us so Lilly wouldn't be overwhelmed. It's also why neither you and David nor Deborah and Patrick were selected, you are new to being a mother and they are so busy with school that you all would give up too much to care for them. They need parents, we will give that to them."

Emma hugged and kissed her for doing that for the kids. She shed a tear then added a solemn "you and Uncle John didn't want more children but you are the best mother and father for them. Jaimie, Michael, and Miles will understand and the twins will do the right thing and accept their new brother and sister. I will be happy to be there for them as will David, Deborah, and Patrick. They don't need more complications in their life, they stability and you and Uncle John give them that."

The kids heard what they were talking about and saw the seriousness of Emma's words. Gabby asked them if they wanted Valerie and John to be their new parents getting tears and a solemn "yes" from both. She added a soft "you have one another but your cousins aren't right for you as foster parents. John and Valerie know how to deal with the pain and grief of losing a parent, they went through it with Miles, Al, Francesca, and Ethan. They are good parents, please give them a chance to show their love."

Walter stirred and gave them a big cry as they helped sort his diaper. He gave them the perfect chance to focus on something else. Valerie calmly told them that school was out and she needed to pick up the twins which prompted them to want to go, not wanting to leave her side out of fear of losing her too.

Valerie didn't have the heart to tell them no and Sophia gave Emma a nasty present which was her signal to them to go or they'd have to help. The kids thought it was funny but Emma wasn't happy. Valerie had to hide her smile, she was definitely her father's daughter at the time and had the Brown sense of duty to release when she needed to release for maximum impact on the moment.

The group drove on to the school with the kids being anxious about how others would react to them as surely the news had spread already. The twins saw them and ran for them, followed closely by Julio and Willow. Cat and JD looked at Valerie then at them and thought they understood why they were with her, hugging them tightly as they felt a rush of grief and sadness over the kids losing Linda.

Lindsay Reagan offered to take the twins but Valerie declined due to the need to be with Ella and Logan. The kids quietly went to the minivan with the twins and Julio being encouraged to talk with the two so they were occupied with them. It didn't take much prompting to get the trio to do that as they wanted to tell them about school with Julio starting to enjoy being with the other kids and enjoying that the others had accepted him as both another boy and as the twins' cousin.

Back at the house, the youngsters realized they were going to lose the playroom to Ella or Logan now that they were staying there. JD started to pack up his toys which prompted Cat to do the same while Julio went downstairs to play with Ella and Logan. Valerie never had a chance to say something, the kids had gotten their things together and moved out to their own rooms. It was the sweetest, most mature action they had ever done for another person and meant a lot to Ella and Logan.

Emma and Gabby were both flabbergasted at the twins doing something so bold. It was so unlike them. In fact, it was the last thing they'd expect them to do at that point. Valerie helped them with their biggest toys, then hugged both for being so kind to their new foster siblings.

JD looked at Cat then asked, "are you going to make them our new brother and sister?" Valerie didn't answer but it was obvious that they were trying to make it clear that they felt that they wanted to be siblings if they were going to live with them. She simply told them "we will see, they need a lot of time to adjust to being here and they just lost their mommy so it wouldn't be right to do that yet."

The two had cleared the playroom with only furniture needing to be moved inside. As much as she hated to do it she had to take the kids home to get their things and arrange for a bed to be delivered fast. The kids knew this needed to be done and steeled themselves for the trip with the twins seeing that they were going to be in the way, opting to go to the Reagan home to play with Willow while Valerie did what she needed to do.

Valerie was immediately stopped as soon as she got out of the car by the FBI agents but was saved from interrogation by Alex. She understood why they were doing what they were doing, but was a bit upset that it had bled over to the house. Alex asked if she was getting their things, getting a soft "they need just about everything. I have to see if the boys will be able to set up a bed for them in the house as well since the twins felt the need to give up their playroom to them."

Valerie collected a week's worth of clothing for both as well as whatever personal items she could find that would bring them comfort. She smiled at the stuffed animal Logan kept hidden on the bed while shedding a tear at the pictures of Linda and them in Ella's room. They didn't have much set up yet but what they did have she grabbed for the kids to show they were going to make their rooms their own.

As she was leaving Paige and Hannah caught sight of her. Both beckoned her over and asked what was going on. Valerie was surprised that hey didn't know already but were told they had a lab in school that they couldn't have their phones one for with the others knowing not to call or text them during class.

Steeling herself she admitted "Linda was murdered today. The man who did it was after the money she got from her ex-wife. He was caught by Ian before he got outside the city and is facing a trip to Terre Haute since Linda was a witness to a lot of his meetings with her wife and brother."

The two were shocked then asked, "what will happen to the kids?" Valerie mumbled "they are staying with us. It's why I'm here, I'm getting their things. The twins have already moved their toys out of the playroom and made it clear that they want them to stay and even be adopted."

Both were stunned into silence as Valerie left. Alex just nodded to her as she got into the car to leave. The agents asked why she was unchallenged by Alex, getting a swift "ask your colleagues about Valerie Finn. If they don't immediately stop short and tell you to not upset her they haven't seen or heard what she did to agents in Boston and Providence who crossed her. She was here for the kids' benefit and the two she talked with are two who needed to know what was happening here. Before you ask, they are her nieces and had I not been here would have already had the police by to investigate you."

At home Miles and Michael had arrived and were shocked to see Logan and Ella there. Seeing Emma down they figured something happened but when they saw their mother arrive with bags of clothes and other items it dawned on them the two were staying there now. Valerie wasted no time and told them to head out to get a new bed, mattress, and box spring for the playroom which they neither complained about nor asked why, they just did it.

Jaimie arrived next with Claire, both knew exactly what happened from Daisy, Neil, and Ethan texting them. They hugged the two with both finally breaking down at the two teens showing them affection. Jaimie kissed Logan's head, softly telling him "it's OK to cry, it's painful but it's OK to cry. Any person who says it's not right for a boy to cry because their mother just died never experienced losing their loved ones."

Logan started crying hard, Jaimie had opened up the dam that was holding back his feelings. He didn't want to cry out of fear of appearing girly then didn't want to show weakness in front of Valerie or Emma. She let him cry into her shoulder, rocking him back and forth until he finally ran out of tears and felt relief. The fear and anxiety were gone but the grief remained.

Ella had done the same with Claire with Claire telling her that she lost her dad at the same age and it hurt for a long time but she would always remember Linda and had people who wanted to help her all around her. Ella understood what she was trying to do, and appreciated her opening up but it was hard to let go of the sadness.

Lilly and Daisy arrived followed by Neil, Faith, and Sarah Johns. Lilly and Sarah went right for Valerie while the kids went for their friends. Daisy could barely contain herself, she felt horrible for Ella and Logan while Faith and Neil were unused to losing loved ones. The two understood death and had known the White-Clarks before they died but this was someone who was closer to home for them.

Lilly asked about the kids' new guardian getting a somber "John and I were asked to take them in." Lilly hugged Valerie over that, it was selfless and done for the right reasons. She offered up "you two are the best people to help them. I can't handle three on my own especially with this being such a tough situation, you have a lot more support than I will ever have. They need stability, I can't give them that."

Valerie knew she was lying but thanked her for understanding. Lilly added "I would rather they went to you, I don't believe I am the right person. This is just too much and Daisy will need a lot of help to get over her grief as we both know she is hiding her true feelings. This is a blood relative dying, one that she knew and loved. She has lost too many people to count now. I can't give her support while dealing with the kids' own needs but you two can."

Daisy entered and hugged Lilly for doing the right thing. She kissed Daisy's head and admitted "you are a smart, mature young lady but you are still barely eight years old. I know you wanted more siblings but they need Valerie and John." Daisy understood fully, adding "I know" as she hugged back.

The kids were told to do their homework with the Ella and Logan being encouraged to do the same. Both were grateful for the distraction and didn't fight it. They spent the next two hours working, coloring, playing on their iPads, and playing on the game system while the adults talked.

John arrived home and didn't react to seeing the kids there. He hugged both, kissing Ella and trying to kiss Logan only to get the usual "I'm too old for kisses" reaction from him. His only question was whether they did their homework, getting a complaining "yes" from all five kids and grin from them over his trying to act like this was normal.

Miles and Michael arrived back just as they were getting ready to start dinner. The two worked fast to set up the bed then helping to move the new dresser and desk into the room. John didn't ask why, realizing that it was meant for the older Logan who would need his space more than Ella.

Logan was shown his new room and had the boys help him set out sheets and pillows then put away his clothes. Hannah called and asked if she should bring over the rest of their clothes to which Logan and Ella agreed. A half hour later they were enveloped in more hugs from the four Smiths as they shed tears over Linda's death while the two kids held together, shocked and happy that others were saddened.

The kids had a tough day and were put to bed early, with the twins refusing to go to bed until they were sure Logan and Ella were alright. Both kids were exhausted emotionally with what had happened but knowing that the Finns had tossed open their home and were doing everything possible to make them comfortable and even trying to ensure they were happy gave them great relief.

In the morning John drove the twins in while Valerie let Ella and Logan sleep in. They were told that they should expect visitors from her aunt and uncle as well as her parents which were explained as them trying to ensure they were coping as well as help her settle issues regarding Linda. They knew about Jorge and Victoria so they expected the worst but both elders were kind to them and gave them space.

The kids listened to the adults talking about Linda's funeral. It was surreal but neither said anything, just listening and waiting for them to ask them questions. Victoria figured it was best to ask them to help as it was their mother and they would know what she loved and what she would appreciate happening as well as help the kids accept that this was real and not a nightmare.

Logan mumbled about her liking flowers and wanting them to not have cut flowers as they were just going to wither and dry up. Ella added that she would want everyone there, she didn't have any other family and it would be wrong not to have them there. Both added she wanted purple things, it was her favorite color and here middle name- Violet.

Victoria smirked at the others, it was exactly what they needed. They had to talk about Linda and know that they wanted her remembered as well as remembering the good things about her. Valerie understood and thought it best to do some sort of garden for her as it would benefit others for years to come, something the kids nodded at hearing.

Jorge came in and brought food for lunch, knowing that they would be too busy to consider eating. The kids ate without questioning it, it was something that they recognized and had eaten multiple times before. Jorge asked if Juan made the dish for them, getting nods and quiet "mom hated it, momma loved it. Juan liked to make it for us whenever mom worked late so mama didn't have to worry about cooking the next day. He always cooked more than we needed so she got the night off."

Jorge grinned at hearing that, he added "Juan learned it from my mom and inherited her rice pan. He is the only other person who can make it well, I tried to teach John but he just can't capture the right timing to make it dry yet moist, crunchy yet soft, caramelized but not burned. Poor John has tried for over 20 years to make it right but he just can't get it done right."

The kids were smiling at that, Jorge was making them forget their troubles and enjoy the day. After lunch, he ushered them out to the park to play for a bit while the adults talked about things that they shouldn't know about. The kids understood and went with him and Victoria, with both telling them about the city and the family so they didn't feel left out of everything or overwhelmed by the number of people who were related to the Finns.

The time in the park was time well spent as they ran around and tired themselves out. After an hour they walked back home and took a nap while awaiting the kids returning home. The boys were held up but they were able to talk with Kylie at her house with Ella going upstairs with her as she changed while Logan waited down below.

Kylie changed in front of Ella unintentionally showing her Kylie's "birth defect" which caused Kylie to blush and apologize for forgetting she was there. Ella hugged her, offering her apologies for forgetting to leave the room prompting both to realize it was no big deal to them. For Ella, it was a big moment, one where she realized that she was simply Ella and that she was really normal as others had tougher situations than her as Kylie had more to fear from her birth defect than Ella had with her own.

Ella asked if she was really born a full boy getting a somber "unfortunately. I don't have what real girls have inside like you and need surgery to get things changed when I am 18. You are lucky, you get it now." Ella hugged her, telling her "you are a real girl. Mommy said you were special and you really are."

Logan asked what took so long getting a snicker and "nothing" causing him to mutter "girls" causing Kylie's face to light up at the unknown compliment that he gave her. Ella whispered "told you so" which Kylie hugged her for while Logan just went into the backyard to play with them trailing behind them.

They played for a while before it was time for dinner and the kids were called in for homework and to eat. Kylie again hugged Ella with Logan groaning "so you saw what she had, big deal. We knew she was born with boy parts and hadn't had surgery, you don't have to make a big deal out of it."

Kylie smiled and kissed his cheek causing him to blush. He reluctantly hugged her back with Ella teasing him. He chased Ella across the street with both rushing inside after one another leaving the twins shocked. Valerie had to fight a smile, whatever happened was helping them come around again.

After dinner and more schoolwork, the two spent some time with the twins before the younger kids went to bed. The teens left them alone with John working on schoolwork in the office leaving Valerie to entertain the two with both enjoying the closeness of her. When it was their bedtime both kissed her goodnight with Ella sleepily asking if she was going to be their new mama.

Valerie didn't answer her. Ella had spoken from the heart and accepted the situation as being permanent and Valerie as her new mother but it was still early in their stay to make any rash decisions. John waited for her to come out of her fog and told her that they'd give it a week before signing the paperwork which she nodded at before going to sleep.

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